By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com April 15 2011 3:25 PM ET
10. MUSIC/DVD: Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers and Glee Encore
Gleek out over these April 19 releases. Led by Darren Criss as gay teen Blaine, the New Directions’ a cappella rivals at Dalton Academy get the spotlight on Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers, which includes exclusive covers of Barbra Streisand’s “What Kind of Fool” and Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” The Glee Encore DVD compiles 34 season 1 musical performances, including “Beautiful” and “Rose’s Turn.”
9. BOOK: Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics, David Kelly
David Kelly’s “Steven’s Comics,” a strip syndicated from 1995 to 1998 in various LGBT newspapers nationwide, chronicled a sensitive young boy’s coming of age in the ’70s — a lovable character who inspired our empathy and pride as he played with dolls, dealt with bullying, and crushed on his best friend. A portion of the proceeds from the collection, which includes a moving foreword by Dan Savage, will benefit the It Gets Better Project.
8. CONCERT: Joey Arias: Live at Town Hall!
A fixture of Manhattan’s downtown performance scene and the original emcee in Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity in Las Vegas, legendary drag artiste Joey Arias takes over New York’s Town Hall April 21, promising a saucy evening of jazz standards and unexpected covers. Presented by Josh Wood Productions with fashion icon Manfred Thierry Mugler as artistic director, the event will benefit Lifebeat, an HIV/AIDS prevention nonprofit.
7. MUSIC: Sing It Loud, k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang
Almost 20 years after coming out as a lesbian in an interview with The Advocate, k.d. lang releases her first album recorded with a band of her own since her early days with the Reclines. Emboldened by banjo and wailing guitars, the Canadian crooner revisits her country roots and resurrects Roy Orbison’s spirit on standout tracks like lead single “I Confess,” the flirty “Sugar Buzz,” and a dreamy cover of “Heaven” by Talking Heads.
6. THEATER: The Temperamentals
Jon Marans’s engrossing play pays tribute to the 1950 founding of the Mattachine Society, a pioneering gay rights group, by Harry Hay and Austrian fashion designer Rudi Gernreich. An off-Broadway hit, this inspiring pre-Stonewall drama now opens April 16 at Hollywood’s Blank Theatre. Out actor John Tartaglia of Avenue Q fame leads a cast that includes Erich Bergen, Dennis Christopher, Patrick Scott Lewis, and Mark Shunock.
5. MUSIC: The Belle Brigade, the Belle Brigade
Fronted by lesbian Barbara Gruska and her brother Ethan, Belle Brigade’s bright and breezy debut drops April 19, just in time for summer road trips. Owing their existence to Fleetwood Mac and California sunshine, the folk-pop jams include the pro-misfit anthem “Losers,” on which the duo sing, “Don’t care about being a winner or being smooth with women ... so I wanna make it known that I don’t care about any of that shit no more.”
4. BOOK: The Jack Bank, Glen Retief
If it only dealt with his growing up against the harrowing backdrop of apartheid in a South African military boarding school trained to groom privileged white boys like him into violent oppressors — “jacks” are beatings — then this would be a riveting memoir; the fact that Retief was also coming of age as a gay man makes it essential reading. He also details his efforts to ban antigay discrimination in the post-apartheid Bill of Rights.
3. TV: Game of Thrones
Based on the first book in George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, this stunning drama goes medieval starting April 17 on HBO. Though subtler in the books, the gay relationship will be fleshed out between young warrior Renly and jouster Loras, played by Brits Gethin Anthony (pictured) and Finn Jones, respectfully. Loras, called Knight of Flowers, is known to wear bejeweled armor and a cape of roses.
2. MUSIC: Who You Are, Jessie J
Before her memorable performances on SNL, Jessie J was best known in America as cowriter of Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.,” but now you’ll be nodding your head like yeah to her edgy pop debut. The love child of P!nk and Lily Allen, the bisexual Brit is a lovable bad girl done good on lesbian club staple “Do It Like a Dude,” defiant antibullying anthem “Who’s Laughing Now,” and the self-empowering title track.
1. FILM: Scream 4
What’s your favorite scary movie? Directed by Wes Craven and wittily penned by out screenwriter Kevin Williamson, this reboot of the ’90s horror-comedy trilogy is full of genuine scares and surprises. Discussing the updated rules of slasher flicks, two geeks in Woodsboro High’s cinema club determine that only gays have a chance of survival. This theory’s tested when a major character turns out to be gay — and the payoff is a scream.