Category: Ellen DeGeneres

Prince Harry and HIV Awareness Campaign; Ricky Martin’s Getting Married; Bob Dylan’s a No Show At the Nobel Peace Prize

Prince Harry and HIV Awareness Campaign

Prince Harry always seems to be doing something worthy, and this is one of his best so far.

Prince Harry has met with gay men and other minorities living with HIV for an awareness campaign.
The 32-year-old royal is carrying on with his mother’s work after spending time with London sexual health charity Naz, a group made of sexual and racial minorities aiming to help people ‘live life to the fullest’.

Read more here, and there’s a video. He actually gets tested for HIV in the video and they show the process, with Harry asking questions. It’s a good read.

Ricky Martin’s Getting Married

I know a lot of people start to roll their eyes when they see these things now. But seriously. Did you ever think you’d see the day that Ricky Martin would tell people he’s marrying a man? And he did it on The Ellen show. Back in the 90s no one would have predicted that an openly gay pop singer would sit down with an openly gay woman who has one of the most popular talk shows on TV and talk about legal gay marriage.

The single dad of twin eight-year-old sons recently proposed to partner Jwan Yosef, a London-based artist.

Martin shared with Ellen how they met: ‘He’s a conceptual artist and I’m a collector. So I started looking for art and I saw his art and I went crazy because I really love what he does, really original, and I contacted him.’

There’s more here

Bob Dylan’s a No Show At the Nobel Peace Prize

This story has been riddled with question marks since it was announced. First, Bob Dylan wins the Nobel for literature, and he’s a musician/song writer not a novelist. Second, he doesn’t acknowledge the award for weeks. Third, now Dylan is not going to receive the award in person. I have seen mixed reactions to this from all over. Most of those in the more serious writing communities are a little shocked. I was shocked. (You don’t see any novelists winning a Grammy.) Those who aren’t that familiar with publishing and serious writing circles and only know Dylan as a pop icon are thrilled. 

But as Elizabeth notes, Dylan took his time acknowledging the honor. Late in October, the committee still hadn’t heard from him (although a line on his website did mention the award) and called him “impolite and arrogant.”

The rest is here. The article goes on to mention that Dylan is expected to give a lecture sometime in the next six months. That’s a requirement. I hope he at least does that. And, in the past one winner actually didn’t show up to receive the award in person because of a social phobia. I fully understand that, and I get why someone with a social phobia wouldn’t go. But this thing with Dylan makes me wonder a little too much about him, and the awards themselves, with respect to literature.

Side note: The winner of the Nobel gets a diploma, a medal, and a nice big check for around one million dollars, US. You can be damn sure I’d show up.






Ellen DeGeneres and the Allegedly Racist Tweet; Gay History In San Francisco; Another Gay Bar In London Closes

Ellen DeGeneres and the Allegedly Racist Tweet

Either Ellen DeGeneres or her publicist tweeted something that some people are questioning as racist. I know this is yesterday’s news for people I see daily on social media, but this blog is (and always has been) for the Internet and most of my hits come from random searches that aren’t always related to social media. I also like to post these things in case I want to revisit them in the future for one reason or another. It’s happened before.

In any event…

In the edited picture, DeGeneres is seen riding piggyback on Bolt using him for transport.

If you consider America’s history of slavery, where black women and men literally had their backs broken by their white slave owners, this did not go over well. 

You can check this out here. There’s a photo of the tweet.

I don’t think for a minute that Ellen DeGeneres is racist or that she meant any harm at all with this tweet. However, I do think it’s an excellent example of how cautious we all have to be these days with the PC police questioning everything.

Gay History In San Francisco

In one of my most recent books, Unabated, I have two young adult characters who are gay…openly gay. One was raised by two gay dads in a world where he has completely assimilated into the mainstream. His gay dads are, too, and they did that on purpose because they didn’t want their family to be different. I think that’s happening a lot these days in RL, and will continue to happen, but sometimes I worry it will be at the expense of all gay culture.

This article says a lot about how things have changed.

Back in the day, people looking for Osento on a similarly soupy afternoon were probably just as confounded. The women-only communal bathhouse, a frequent haunt for lesbians, didn’t have a sign out front. It was mostly known through word of mouth by its clientele, who say its founder ended a nearly three-decade run when she shuttered it in 2008 and moved north to Lake County, Calif.

You can read the rest here. 

Another Gay Bar In London Closes

Speaking of gay culture, here’s yet another story about a long running gay bar in London shuttering its doors for good.

The Queen’s Head on Tryon Street, Chelsea, has been serving gay customers since the mid-20th century.

On Sunday it posted the following message to its Facebook page: ‘Unfortunately it’s true, the Old Lady of Tryon Street will be closing her doors for the last time on 6 September.

You can check this out, here. I’ve written many posts on this topic, and about the reasons why bars like this are closing. At one time I went to gay bars all the time, and the truth is I haven’t been to one in almost a year. Changing times…moving forward.

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Ellen’s 90s "Beard;" Gay Men and Crystal Meth; Brutal South Beach Anti-Gay Attack At Burger King

Ellen’s 90s “Beard”

To clarify, a beard in this sense means a man or a woman who provides safety to someone who is gay and in the closet, so people will think they are straight. I went a Catholic high school and I knew one of the English teachers was gay, but closeted. He would show up at events with a woman on purpose so no one would ever question his sexuality. The woman was his beard. And it still happens today.

In any event, this article is about the guy who was Ellen Degeneres’ beard in the 90s back when she was still in the closet…because she had to be in the closet back then. In her defense, coming out wasn’t really an option in those days if you had a public profile. And to some extent these days, it still isn’t an option for many gay people, public or private.

My manager asked me to accompany her to events. She was scared people would not watch the show, Her sitcom Ellen, because she was gay. It was an honor. I grew up with two gay aunts and a gay uncle. My Aunt died of cancer. She was a proud woman and she didn’t get proper care because she didn’t want to be away from her partner. Hospitals didn’t allow partners the same rights as a spouse. When you have someone you love in your life that is gay or a lesbian it’s very clear that they deserve the same rights as anyone else. It’s not about religion. If you don’t love ELLEN now — you don’t watch her show. She’s a great example for the human race.

You can read the rest here. 

Gay Men and Crystal Meth

This is something that passes me by and I have been gay all of my life. I’ve never done crystal meth, and I’m not familiar with anyone gay who has done it. And I know a lot of gay people of all ages. So the title really should read “Some” Gay Men and Crystal Meth. Definitely not all.

In any event…

We all know meth is bad news, but with use rising among gays in large cities and the proven fact that it’s the most damaging drug for people with HIV, why are people still using it?

You can read more here. I think this shows one thing in particular. How diverse the gay community really is.

Brutal South Beach Anti-Gay Attack At Burger King

When I first heard about this anti-gay attack on social media I was shocked to see it had happened in South Beach. I know for a fact that entire area in Florida is filled with gay people and it’s one of the places we usually always feel safe. In fact, it’s a destination point for many gay people. Many own second homes there.

But then this happened…

Jordan Schaeffer was the victim of a brutal gay bashing at a South Beach Burger King, and now he’s speaking out about his attack to CBS Miami.

After sharing a kiss with boyfriend Eric Danko, 25-year-old Schaeffer was brutally beaten by an assailant while an accomplice held his boyfriend at bay, and the attack was caught on surveillance footage:

You can check out this link for the details.  There’s a video of the incident, with images of him post attack, that show how brutal this really was.

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Liza Reacts to Ellen DeGeneres; TMZ Sucks; Utah Kids on Gay Marriage

Liza Reacts to Ellen DeGeneres

I don’t usually link to anything associated with TMZ for reasons, but this time I made the exception because it’s a follow up to the previous post about Ellen DeGeneres’s joke about Liza Minnelli. A TMZ reporter, and I use the word reporter loosely, hunted Liza down and asked her in person how she felt about Ellen’s joke.

Liza Minnelli didn’t like the joke Ellen DeGeneres cracked about her at the Oscars … suggesting she was actually a drag queen.

Liza and a male companion hit up Craig’s restaurant in West Hollywood Monday night … and Liza made it clear — Ellen’s joke backfired big time. 

Liza’s note to Ellen:  She should have stopped and acknowledged they were friends, but instead Ellen blew through to the next joke, so it sounded mean.

And this is why I don’t link to TMZ often. If you read the excerpt above you get the impression Liza went batshit crazy about Ellen’s joke, which isn’t the case at all if you watch the video. In a professional, polite, friendly way, Liza made her thoughts clear and at the same time made several positive comments about Ellen DeGeneres showing there’s no animosity between them…at least not on the surface.

Side note: Liza looks even better in the TMZ video than she did on Oscar night. But the TMZ camera should have stopped rolling when Liza had an issue getting up the curb. She’s had two hip replacements as a result of many years of dancing (and other health issues) and a decent reporter with even a hint of good taste would not have shown that in the video.

You can read more here, and I suggest watching the video to see how eloquent Minnelli actually was.

And…you can read this post where there’s more about how a few prominent gay people responded to Ellen’s joke.

As a kid, I remember when Joan Rivers slammed Elizabeth Taylor in her comedy act with mean fat jokes. It wasn’t funny and I always thought Rivers paid a price for it. Taylor, who was sensitive about her weight, lost the weight and responded to Rivers with much less eloquence than Liza responded to Ellen’s joke. And those were completely different times. We’re all more aware of how bullying and calling names isn’t a cool thing to do. Not even if you tip the pizza delivery man one thousand dollars. I once had a group of nasty authors attack me (and my name) on a comment thread with no provocation from me whatsoever and I didn’t like it much either and I’ve never let go of that particular grudge. And never will either.

Utah Kids on Gay Marriage

While the fight for gay marriage continues in Utah, there is now testimony from kids with gay parents who talk about how the ban affects them.

“Family is really important in Utah and [Gov. Gary Herbert and the state of Utah] claim to want to protect families, but it hurts me and my brother to not be able to have married parents,” one 12-year-old, identified by the initials R.H.P., told the authors of the brief. “My parents are good moms and are patient with me and are just regular people.”

I feel for those kids. I really do. Of course the ban on gay marriage hurts and harms them. They’re just kids.

You can read more here.