Arts & Entertainment

In the Arts & Entertainment section, The Advocate brings readers all the latest news on Hollywood, Broadway, and beyond. From New York to Los Angeles, The Advocate shines a spotlight on the stars of the screen who are lending their voices to support the LGBT community, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals who are moving the cultural needle. Discover A-list interviews, the best gay movies and reviews of theater, music, books and television. Learn how Arts & Entertainment can shape national dialogue and can work to advance equality.

The religious landscape of California is diverse and populated with communities of people who have often been shunned by their more traditional religions. Rick Nahmias attempts to give them a presence with his photo documentary.

 Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited, a preface by Rick Nahmias

I am of the firm belief that every one of us carries something within that is marginalized: some piece of personal history or trait that has been, or which we wish would be left behind or cast off — the emotional scars left by an abusive alcoholic mother, the malformed foot, the embarrassingly immigrant heritage and so forth. It is this concept (compounded by an allegiance to Jung’s theory of the Collective Unconscious) which has led me to conclude that those whom society has cast off as “them” are, in reality, “us,” and which drove the creation of this body of work.

Since I began “Golden States of Grace” in 2003, it has often felt as if our world has drawn increasingly more stark divisions between “us” and “them,” be those divides cultural, political, socio-economic, or religious. Additionally, representations across faith lines have become filled with stereotypes, and at times, the outright hatred of the other. National and international events demonstrate almost daily that we live in a fundamentally faith-based society which has grown increasingly intolerant of those who do not clearly embrace the narrowly defined codes of morality and religious worship. (The day before I began editing this book a man with a gun entered a church in Knoxville, Tennessee, shot eight people, killing two. His motive: they were too liberal in that they supported the inclusion of gays, racial desegregation, and women’s rights.) This body of work aims specifically to counteract that intolerance, hoping its audience might open itself to discovering (if not experiencing) faith from the bottom up.

Even with the prevalence of mainline religious institutions and middle-class America continuing to exclude and even vilify those they view as “beyond the pale,” there are still reasons to be hopeful that we, as a society, can see beyond our religious tunnel vision. A recent study on religious views across America published by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life documented that nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that many faiths beyond their own can lead to salvation.

You do not have to want to sit down to breakfast with someone to respect his or her place beside you in sanctuary or in community. Nor is not my intention that this book’s reader throw their arms open to embrace the people depicted within it. Rather, if I have one singular hope, it is that our collective eyes remain open long enough to simply acknowledge every human being’s need and right to come to some profound understanding about their own connection to a higher power.

Thus, in the end, “Golden States of Grace” is a study of otherness — the otherness out there, the otherness within each of us, the otherness which begs us to bind together as human beings to celebrate, contemplate, and find meaning in our lives.

January 14 2012 4:00 AM

Every week, The Advocate's Jami Smith brings you the top 10 tweets
from LGBT comedians — and our favorite gay jokes from straight comedians, or
just whatever made us laugh. For previous editions of this series, check out
the Comedy section. Or join the more than 3,000 people who follow
@gaysayer on Twitter now
for daily updates.

And now a post from your host:



Number 10:



Number 9:



Number 8:



Number 7:



January 13 2012 7:35 PM


 10. DVD: What’s Your Number
The luminous Anna Faris stars in Mark Mylod’s charming rom-com now on DVD — based on Karyn Bosnak’s book 20 Times a Lady — about Ally, a Bostonian who, with the help of a skin-baring neighbor played by Chris Evans, tracks down 20 ex-boyfriends played by the likes of Joel McHale and Zachary Quinto. Brother to Brother’s Anthony Mackie appears as Tom, a college ex who says Ally opened his eyes to the fact that he’s gay.


 9. TV: Southland
This intensely gritty TNT cop drama stars O.C. cutie Benjamin McKenzie and 227’s Regina King, but we’ve been completely arrested by Michael Cudlitz, who has turned stereotypes on their head as semicloseted gay LAPD patrol officer John Cooper. We’ve seen him wake up in bed with a lover and score pain meds in a gay bar, but we hope we learn more about his dating life when the fourth season premieres January 17 with new star Lucy Liu.


 8. CD: Silence! The Musical
The original cast recording of Jon and Al Kaplan’s unauthorized parody of The Silence of the Lambs features Jenn Harris, who does a dead-on Jodie Foster as Clarice; Brent Barrett, who croons with killer charm as Dr. Lecter; Steven Bienskie as penis-tucking murderer Buffalo Bill; and, poking fun at Ms. Foster, Deidre Goodwin as a lesbian love interest. Listen for snippets of a snappy book by out [title of show] actor-librettist Hunter Bell.

January 13 2012 7:22 PM

As a guest on Chelsea Lately, comedian Bill Maher said Rick Santorum "thinks about gay sex more than any gay man in America" and suggested that Elisabeth Hasselbeck has let religion make her crazy.

"Religion, first of all, makes people crazy," he said of his feud with Hasselbeck on The View. "For some people religion is like great sex, they just can't think straight when they're on it."

January 13 2012 3:50 PM

With more than 32 million views on YouTube in just one year, “The Crazy
Nastyass Honey Badger” has proven Internet buzz as a powerful way to launch a
career. It sure has for the video’s narrator, Randall, whose new book based on
the popular meme, Honey Badger Don't Care: Randall’s Guide to Crazy,
Nastyass Animals
, comes out on January 24.

Randall talks to The Advocate about his sudden rise to Web fame and how
it has helped save some crazy ass animals from the brink of extinction.

January 13 2012 1:10 AM

Supporting Nancy Pelosi wasn't always a given in the LGBT community.

"To be a gay man supporting Nancy Pelosi was equivalent to selling state secrets," writes James Hormel in his new memoir, Fit to Serve, remembering her first run for Congress in 1987. San Francisco's gay voters had rallied behind Harry Britt, a gay man who succeeded Harvey Milk on the Board of Supervisors after his assassination.

But Hormel saw in Pelosi, who narrowly won the race, someone who could win in Washington and who promised to put that talent to use on AIDS funding.

January 12 2012 4:00 AM

January 11 2012 7:45 PM

 In late 1966 Barbara Gordon took the superhero universe by storm when she first appeared in Detective Comics #359 as the “new” Batgirl. More than a mere replacement for Betty Kane—the heroine who originally used the name Bat-Girl—Barbara became so popular among readers that she was quickly added to Adam West’s Batman television series, and in turn became a household name. This Batgirl was unlike most heroines of the day, holding her own in a fight, solving mysteries on her own, and even rescuing the Dynamic Duo multiple times.

Batgirl’s adventures continued long after the show’s cancellation. Then in the 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke, the Joker shot Barbara, leaving her paralyzed. But Barbara would not be kept down, instead reinventing herself as Oracle, the wheelchair-bound tech genius and information broker to all the superheroes of the DC Universe. Now more popular than ever, Barbara/Oracle became the leader of the Birds of Prey, a team of female superheroes, and their self-titled comic became a fan-favorite when writer Gail Simone took over.

Then in 2011 publisher DC Comics decided to re-launch their universe and characters, and this meant Barbara’s return to her roof-swinging roots with a new Batgirl solo series. The new series would start a few years after Joker shot Barbara, with her just healing from the injury, and since Simone had crafted the character’s years as Oracle she was the obvious choice for returning Barbara to the cape and cowl. Now with Batgirl riding a new wave of popularity, the Advocate sat down with Simone to talk about Barbara’s future, her loyal gay fans, and the similar struggles both women and the LGBTQ community face in comics.

The Advocate: DC’s initial announcement that Barbara Gordon would return as Batgirl caused a bit of controversy among fans. Has that reaction changed?
Gail Simone: I would say so, the book is the top selling female solo book in the entire industry right now, and reviews have been great. It's a book about a brilliant, explosive young woman, full of life, who suffered a terrible trauma that changed her entire future. And she gets a chance to regain her mobility, and takes it. That's very, very intriguing to me.

Did you originally agree with DC’s decision to make Barbara Gordon Batgirl once again?
This being comics, where people leap out of the grave with some regularity, the idea had come up every now and then, and I was always against taking her out of the chair. As Oracle, she had become this sort of internet goddess, who ruled countries and destroyed villains from a lofty tower. I couldn't see putting her back in the suit and calling her Batgirl again after all that. It just didn't make much sense.

Then DC did this huge relaunch, where nearly every character has been pushed back, de-aged, set back closer to their original starting point. If there was ever a time to make Barbara Batgirl again, this was it. I still had to be convinced — Barbara was a very inspiring character as Oracle, and there was no immediate character filling that role out there. But it hit me, that she could still be inspiring. There wasn't really any book dealing with surviving trauma as an adult, not in any serious way. Barbara was never portrayed as a complainer when she was in the chair, but in some ways, this is harder for her. She's got some trauma and a bit of survivor's guilt. She asks herself, why was she [healed and] not others? That question haunts her. Almost everyone knows someone who has struggled with the effects of trauma, from crime, or abuse, or even self-harm. There should be heroes who show that you can survive those things.

January 11 2012 6:00 AM

Mikey Rox and Everett Earl Morrow, both now 30, were committed to monogamy when they met and fell in love.

January 11 2012 4:00 AM