By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com February 25 2011 9:30 AM ET
10. FILM: Drive Angry
Known for her roles in The Stepfather and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Amber Heard makes a fine romantic lead in this 3D action flick, in theaters February 25, which stars Nicholas Cage as a guy who escapes hell to stop a cult from sacrificing his granddaughter. It’s Heard’s biggest project since she officially came out as a lesbian at a 2010 GLAAD event, where she proudly walked the red carpet with girlfriend Tasya van Ree.
9. CD: Mr. Phyllis & Other Funny Stories, Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers has enjoyed a deserved career resurgence since the release of last year’s raw documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Fans can now trace her bleached roots back to her 1967 debut comedy record, which has just been released on CD for the first time. The focus of two stories in her act, Mr. Phyllis was actually her gay hairdresser, a topic Rivers recalled as being “very shocking in those days” in a recent Advocate interview.
8. TV: The 83rd Annual Academy Awards
Black Swan has that sex scene between Mila Kunis and nominee Natalie Portman, but fellow Best Picture contender The Kids Are All Right is our great gay hope when the Oscars air February 27 on ABC with four nods, including one for out filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko’s screenplay. Best Actor noms include Javier Bardem, Colin Firth, and cohost James Franco, gents who have all memorably played gay in past Oscar favorites.
7. DVD: Huge: The Complete Series and Nurse Jackie: Season Two
Co-created by out screenwriter Savannah Dooley, ABC Family’s underrated “fat camp” dramedy Huge featured standout Harvey Guillen as a bullied queer teen. The second season of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie — cocreated by lesbians Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem — gave more scenes to out actor Stephen Wallem as gay nurse Thor. Plus, Eve Best’s Dr. O’Hara had a lesbian affair and Harvey Fierstein appeared as a gay patient’s husband.
6. CD: Late Nights & Early Mornings, Marsha Ambrosius
Formerly of Grammy-nominated neo-soul duo Floetry, the Liverpudlian chanteuse drops her debut solo album March 1. Seductive R&B jams include sassy breakup anthem “I Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player)” and new single “Far Away,” which, inspired by friendships, is accompanied by a video that depicts a gay bashing and subsequent suicide. Also listen for her sweet cover of Portishead’s “Sour Times.”
5. BOOK: I <3 Boy and Seth
In I <3 Boy, photographer J. Yatrofsky — the J. is for Jessica, surprisingly — celebrates the androgynous beauty of slim, mostly nude dudes shot with minimalist moxie in New York apartments. Launched with a February 26 event at New York’s Printed Matter Inc. and sold at PinupsMag.com, Pinups creator Christopher Schulz’s Seth slyly showcases beguiling black-and-white nude sketches of a subject resembling pre-diet Seth Rogen.
4. DVD: Burlesque
Available March 1, out writer-director Steven Antin’s unabashedly camp pastiche of Fosse and Verhoeven stars Christina Aguilera and Cher as an ambitious singer and her prickly boss at a Sunset Strip nightclub, but it somehow gets even gayer. Aside from a weird cameo by Alan Cumming, Stanley Tucci slips back into his Prada shoes as Cher’s gay assistant, who sleeps with a DJ played by sexy Perfect Couples star David Walton.
3. BOOK: The L Life: Extraordinary Lesbians Making a Difference
With casually candid interviews by author Erin McHugh and stunning new portraits by photographer Jennifer May, this essential hardcover tribute, available March 1, celebrates newsmakers and ordinary inspirations like Dykes to Watch Out For’s Alison Bechdel, comedian Kate Clinton, breast cancer researcher Dr. Susan Love, activist Phyllis Lyon, producer Christine Vachon, and Glee’s Jane Lynch. Rosie and Ellen aren’t even missed.
2. FILM: Heartbeats (Les Amours Imaginaires)
In theaters February 25, out writer-director Xavier Dolan’s visually striking and wickedly relatable French-language follow-up to I Killed My Mother stars 21-year-old Dolan as Francis, a Montreal hipster who falls for the same guy — Niels Schneider’s cherubic Nicolas — as a girlfriend, unraveling their lives as they determine if he likes “tits or cocks.” In an unforgettable scene, Francis desperately sniffs Nico’s dirty shirt as he masturbates.
1. WEB: Jack in a Box
Out star of MilkMilkLemonade and a recent guest actor on 30 Rock, funnyman Michael Cyril Creighton won the Best Web Series Pilot award at the 2010 New York Television Festival for this indispensably uncomfortable tragicomedy, which is bitterly inspired by the cupcake addict’s job at an off-Broadway theater box office. Starting with the online sitcom’s February 28 third-season premiere, he’ll post a new episode every two weeks. Watch the first episode below.