By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com June 08 2011 8:30 PM ET
10: TV: The Glee Project
On Ryan Murphy’s reality spin-off, 12 performers sing to win a multi-episode guest-starring role on Glee’s next season. Among the young competitors is gay 18-year-old Alex Newell, a Massachusetts native who counts church choir, improv club, and costume design among his hobbies. With judges Robert Ulrich, Zach Woodlee, and Nikki Anders, Darren Criss acts as a guest mentor on the series debut, which airs June 12 on Oxygen.
9. BOOK: No One in the World
Best known for his down-low debut, Invisible Life, gay African-American novelist E. Lynn Harris was still working on No One in the World with friend RM Johnson when Harris passed away in July 2009. Finished by Johnson, a straight urban fiction author, their collaborative experiment has yielded a fast-paced, drama-packed thriller about estranged twin brothers, one a closeted district attorney and the other a career criminal.
8. DVD: Undertow, From Beginning to End, and Children of God
It’s a good week for sexy gay films from foreign lands: In first-time filmmaker Javier Fuentes-León’s Undertow, Peru’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film, a married fisherman falls for a gay painter; in From Beginning to End, a controversial Brazilian drama by Aluizio Abranches, two hot half-brothers fall in love; and Kareem Mortimer’s Children of God centers on interracial male lovers on a rural, religious Bahamian island.
7. TV: Two Spirits
Airing June 14 on the PBS series Independent Lens, Lydia Nibley’s moving documentary Two Spirits explores the brief life and brutal hate-crime murder of Fred Martinez, a 16-year-old Navajo viewed as a nádleehi (“one who is transformed”), a person with both masculine and feminine essences — a dual-gender trait ironically revered and respected in traditional Navajo culture. The film features music by Patti Smith and Navajo artists.
6. BOOK: Remembrance of Things I Forgot, Bob Smith
In gay writer-comedian and master storyteller Bob Smith’s hilarious and heartwarming second novel — a Proustian blend of sci-fi, autobiographical fiction, and political satire — a middle-aged comic book dealer travels in his physicist ex-boyfriend’s time machine to 1986, where he schools his younger self (“I’m you, only with less hair and problems you can’t imagine”) and attempts to stop George W. Bush from becoming president.
5. TV: Boombox
Charismatic New York nightclub DJ and rap artist Cazwell hosts this cutting-edge music video showcase, which will feature world premieres, exclusive artist interviews, and outrageous guests such as Amanda Lepore and J.D. Samson. A sexy throwback to the old-school MTV VJ scene, the series begins June 10 on here! TV and here! Online — the day the network debuts Threesome, a celebrity roundtable discussion of gay sex and dating.
4. DVD/ TV: Pretty Little Liars
Got a secret? We can’t keep it. Pretty Little Liars: The Complete First Season is just out on DVD, so catch up on all the juicy teen drama before the fashionable ABC Family series — based on Sara Shepard’s best-selling young-adult books — returns June 14 for a second season of sass and scandal. Though still coping with her uncool mother, Shay Mitchell’s Emily will be playing the field, enjoying life and love as a newly out lesbian.
3. TV: The 65th Annual Tony Awards
Neil Patrick Harris returns as host of this year’s ceremony, which airs June 12 on CBS. Larry Kramer’s AIDS drama The Normal Heart (pictured) is up for five awards, including two for gay stars Joe Mantello and John Benjamin Hickey. We’ll also root for gay nominees like Priscilla’s Tony Sheldon, Earnest’s Brian Bedford, Book of Mormon’s Rory O’Malley, Sister Act’s Douglas Carter Beane, and Scottsboro Boys standout Colman Domingo.
2. TV: Happily Divorced
Created by Fran Drescher with her ex-husband, The Nanny’s executive producer Peter Marc Jacobson, this new TV Land sitcom, which debuts June 15 after Hot in Cleveland, is inspired by the former couple’s actual experiences. Drescher stars as Fran, a florist who must dive back into the dating pool after her husband — Best in Show’s John Michael Higgins — comes out of the closet. The legendary Rita Moreno costars as Fran’s mother.
1. COMIC: Kevin Keller
Archie Comics publisher Dan Parent’s addition of Kevin Keller, Riverdale’s first gay character, in an issue of Veronica made headlines last year. Learn more about Kevin’s backstory, including his coming-out and his strong relationship with his military general father, in this four-issue spin-off mini-series, the first issue of which — “Kevin Keller #1/Veronica #207” — is available in comic book stores now and on newsstands June 14.