By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com September 16 2011 8:35 AM ET
10. DVD: Wishful Drinking
Carrie Fisher’s candid one-woman show, which was filmed for HBO and directed by out filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, is now on DVD. As warm as a wacky, wisecracking aunt, Fisher pays homage to her Pez dispenser–friendly Princess Leia past and addresses ex-hubby Bryan Lourd’s accusation that she turned him gay. She also discusses R. Gregory Stevens, the gay Republican who died of an overdose in her bed.
9. CD: Still Right Here, Melissa Ferrick
Celebrating more than 20 years behind the microphone, lesbian singer-songwriter, acoustic guitarist, and consummate live performer Melissa Ferrick has just released her latest album, a tuneful, largely peppy collection exuding optimism, sincerity, and coffeehouse charm. “You Let Me Be” features guest vocals from bisexual folk icon Ani DiFranco, and “Headphones On” features hot riffs from lesbian guitarist Kaki King.
8. FILM: 3
Opening September 16 in limited release, the latest from Run Lola Run’s Tom Tykwer — his first German-language film in 10 years — is a steamy romantic drama that also pays tribute to classic screwball comedies. A sleek yet fanciful exploration of hipster-y sexual fluidity, the film centers on Hanna and Simon, a 40-something Berlin couple who, unbeknownst to each other, begin affairs and fall in love with the same younger man.
7. DVD: Leading Ladies
This touching first feature from Daniel and Erika Randall Beahm, a light and lively LGBT film festival favorite, stars So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Melanie LaPatin as an overbearing stage mom to two ballroom-dancing sisters, one of whom is a shy tomboy who comes out as gay and takes a female partner for a ballroom competition. SYTYCD season 2 winner Benji Schwimmer costars as the girls’ flamboyant gay bestie.
6. TV: The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Premiering September 19, this original HBO documentary by out filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato chronicles the controversial legislation that let gays serve in the U.S. military as long as they didn’t disclose their sexual orientation. Shot during the law’s final 15 months, the film includes personal accounts by active gay soldiers and interviews with key players like Rep. Barney Frank and Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer.
5. TV: The Playboy Club
Set in one of Hugh Hefner’s infamous Playboy Clubs in 1961, NBC’s sexy new series debuts September 19 on NBC. Tasya Van Ree’s girlfriend Amber Heard stars as the main bunny, and Leah Renee (pictured) plays sweet, motherly bunny Alice, a closeted lesbian involved with the Chicago chapter of historic gay rights group Mattachine Society. Sean Maher, who played gay in Wedding Wars, plays Alice’s gay husband of convenience.
4. TV: Dancing with the Stars
Whether Fox News’s Keith Ablow likes it or not, transgender activist Chaz Bono is competing for the mirror-ball trophy with partner Lacey Schwimmer on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, which returns September 19 for its 13th season. And although the Bono controversy has stolen some of his gay thunder, Queer Eye alum Carson Kressley is also competing, albeit with Anna Trebunskaya and not a male partner as briefly considered.
3. TV: Glee, Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, and The Office
Some of our favorite gay TV characters return this week: Kurt (Chris Colfer), Santana (Naya Rivera), Karofsky (Max Adler), and Blaine (Darren Criss, pictured) on Fox’s Glee; newlyweds Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw, pictured) on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; dads Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet, pictured) on ABC’s Modern Family; and Oscar (Oscar Nuñez, pictured) on NBC’s The Office.
2. THEATER: 8
The American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact present the one-night Broadway premiere of 8 — September 19 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre — Dustin Lance Black’s play about California’s Proposition 8 trial. The star-studded benefit reading is based on trial transcripts, courtroom observations, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families. For more info visit AFER.org and BroadwayImpact.com.
1. BOOK: Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels, Justin Vivian Bond
Trans performer Justin Vivian Bond has always been a fiery raconteur, so it’s no surprise that Bond’s new memoir is a dizzying blaze of incisive insight, wicked prose, and biting wit. Diagnosed with ADD and learning that a childhood bully-lover has been arrested, present-day Bond revisits the early evolution of a queer existence in which Bond wore frosted pink lipstick to school and wondered why one couldn’t be both Fred and Ginger.