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August 21, 2013

Lucas Cruikshank And Jennifer Veal Are Starring In "Are You Gay?!?"

TV stars Lucas Cruikshank and Jennifer Veal are starring in the YouTube video "Are You Gay?!?"

A headline in my yahoo! newsfeed caught my attention yesterday, as it said “Nickelodeon Star Lucas Cruikshank Comes Out as Gay,  Surprises Very Few.”

As I contemplated whether I knew who +Lucas Alan Cruikshank was, I clicked on the story. According to Jeremy Blacklow who writes for the omg! blog, Lucas is a 19 year old Nebraska native who is “one of the biggest original YouTube stars of all time.”

Googling Lucas’ name helped me discover that he’s a bright, talented, and ambitious kid. He produced and starred in a successful television series called Fred in 2008, about a 6 year old with anger management issues, that was a hit on YouTube. His popularity and success led to a professional relationship with Nickelodeon, and three Fred movies, and 20 episodes of Fred: The Show.

In 2012-2013 Lucas was the star of Nickelodeon’s sci-fi sitcom Marvin Marvin, and he was nominated for a Kid’s Choice Award for favorite TV actor.

"Marvin Marvin" star Lucas Cruikshank came out, and revealed to his fans that he's gay.

Lucas has a highly subscribed personal YouTube channel, where he releases 2 videos a week, and communicates with his legion of fans. And that’s where he decided to share with the world that he’s gay.  In the video “ARE YOU GAY?!?,” the young star is in bed with his good friend Jennifer Veal, an English actress (Disney’s Jessie).

Sharing a bed with a woman seems antithetical to coming out, but these 2 pals are clearly comfortable with each other, and it’s obvious that they aren’t shagging. After Jennifer asks the million dollar question, Lucas laughingly says “I’m gay.” Lucas said that his family and friends have known for over 3 years, and that he didn’t feel the need to share it on the internet.

What was so refreshing about watching Lucas make his “gay” announcement was that he was honest. After he made his revelation, he blushed and said he felt awkward, and the video was edited at that point. It’s never easy for anyone to publicly come out, whether they’re famous or not, and I think that Lucas illustrates that point perfectly.

Both Lucas and Jennifer are adorably funny, and their laughter is infectious, and Jennifer’s presence keeps things light hearted. My favorite Jennifer-ism was when she said that she “prayed for a gay friend for 5 years.” I look forward to seeing what future projects these budding stars attach themselves to.

I’m sure that there are kids around the country who look up to Lucas, and he’s a great role model for LGBTQ students to emulate, even if no one was surprised by his news. Lucas doesn’t have to hide and can be authentic, and there will be many others who will follow his example, and that’s clearly a good thing.

Bravo and congratulations Lucas! You have a bright future, and I’m sure that your family and friends and fans are proud of you.

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com              
© 2011 - 2013 JIVEINTHE415.COM All Rights Reserved

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Lily And Jane Consider Gay Marriage After 4+ Decades As Life Partners

The legendary Oscar nominated Lily Tomlin and her life partner of 42 years Jane Wagner are considering marriage now that gay marriage is legal in California.

In the “we have gay marriage news” department, what can I say about Lily Tomlin that hasn’t been said before? The Oscar nominated comic actress is 73 years old, and in my humble opinion, she’s  a living legend. Consider that Lily has won a Golden Globe Award, a Grammy Award, 5 Primetime Emmy Awards, 2 Tony Awards, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, 2 Peabody Awards, and the list goes on and on.

Lily is a lesbian who never hid her sexuality, and never felt the need to come out. She’s been with her life partner Jane Wagner for 42 years!  Jane Wagner is an award winning comedy writer, and has won multiple Emmy and Tony Awards, as a writer.

Reporter Marc Malkin wrote the story for E! News, as Lily revealed to him  that she and Jane are thinking about getting married, after spending more than 4 decades together as partners.
We’re thinking maybe we’ll get married. No rings, no bridal dresses. Maybe we’ll be dressed like chickens. You don’t really need to get married, but marriage is awfully nice. Everybody I know who got married, they say it really makes a difference. They feel very, very happy about it. 
I know what a good heart she has, and how empathetic she is with all kinds of people and issues. She’s so brilliant on top of it that she can voice these things. And she’s as funny as she can possibly be. She makes me laugh.
Bravo and congratulations Lily and Jane! Thanks for making us laugh for all of these years, and I wish you all the best.

PS: I’d like to ask the Kennedy Center Honors producers why Lily hasn’t been honored yet? (I’d also like to know why Joan Rivers hasn’t been honored.)

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com              

© 2011 - 2013 JIVEINTHE415.COM All Rights Reserved
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August 16, 2013

To Wig Or Not To Wig - That Is The Question!

What does the late actor Charlton Heston have in common with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and New Jersey's Republican US Senate candidate Steve Lonegan?

by Roy Steele

What does Rand Paul, Steve Lonegan and Charlton Heston have in common? [hint: it rhymes with pig]

There was a time in my life when I spent an inordinate amount of time on a plane, flying between New York’s JFK and Los Angeles International Airport. I’ve earned over a million miles in American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier program, and over 800,000 miles in United Airlines mileage plus frequent flier program.

Because of my “elite status” as a frequent flier, I flew in the first class cabin between New York and Los Angeles, and often found myself seated next to celebrities. During one flight, I was surprised to be seated next to the legendary Academy award winning actor Charlton Heston, who was the president of the National Rifle Association at the time.

I remember thinking to myself that “no one is going to believe that you’re sitting next to Moses,” but there I was on board an American Airlines DC-10 seated right next to Ben Hur.

The late actor Charlton Heston wore a wig, which I saw up close with my very own eyes.

Word spread quickly throughout the aircraft that Heston was on board the plane, and flight attendant’s were forced to spend a lot of time keeping people out of the premium cabin.

While I recognized that Charlton Heston was a legend because of his long career as an actor in iconic films, I didn’t like his politics. Because I didn’t like his politics, I had little interest in chatting with him. Shortly after the flight took off I put headphones on, so that I wouldn’t be forced to talk with him.

Heston ordered scotch on the rocks from the flight attendant, and the cabin crew worked hard throughout the flight to keep his glass full of scotch. When the flight attendants started serving meals, an hour into the six hour journey, I took the headphones off, and a seemingly giant hand came toward me, and Heston said “Chuck Heston.” I was polite, and shook Heston’s hand, and introduced myself.

A hair weave and a wig are one and the same, and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is a perfect example.

Heston liked to talk about himself, and I listened. One of the most interesting things that Heston shared with me that day, was the fact that he claimed that he was the only person that was asked to run for the US Senate representing California, from both political parties.

One of the most shocking realizations on that flight was the fact that Heston seemed as though he was being held together by tape and rubber bands. He wore an ill fitting wig or toupee, and dentures that seemed to be too big for his head. I thought to myself that if people knew that Heston was bald as a cucumber, that it would hurt his brand and his message.

Senator Rand Paul's (R-KY) photo clearly shows a knot where his wig is attached to his head.

The only reason I’m writing about my encounter with Heston is because I’ve noticed that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wears a wig too, and wonder if we could ever trust a man who wears a wig to be our President.

The "Hair Club for Men" has a hair style that they call the "Rand Paul" in honor of the Kentucky Senator.

The bald Newark Mayor Cory Booker won the primary for the Democratic nomination for US Senate in New Jersey, and his Republican opponent is Steve Lonegan, who also wears a dashing toupee. Will New Jersey voters overlook this fact, and consider Lonegan as a serious candidate?

While I understand why a man wants to cover his bald pate, I don’t think that voters will trust politicians who wear a wig, because it makes us question what else these follicly challenged men are trying to hide.

NJ GOP candidate for US Senate Steve Lonegan's photo clearly shows the threads that attach his wig.

What do you think? Can you vote for a candidate that wears a wig?

straight talk in a queer world.            jiveinthe415.com
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August 9, 2013

Gay Genius Nate Silver Leaves 'The Times' For ESPN And Sports

Nate Silver, the gay blogger who rose to fame with his blog 538 has left the NY Times, and he's moving to ESPN

The gay superstar blogger and electoral statistician, Nate Silver, who writes the well regarded and highly acclaimed blog FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver's Political Calculus , that’s hosted by The New York Times, is moving his blogging operation to a new home, just a few blocks away from the old gray lady.

ESPN acquired the blog, and that’s why dreamy Nate is moving. When the paint has dried, and the pillows have been fluffed, the new website will be found online at the old URL: FiveThirtyEight.com.

According to ESPN, they will own the name and internet property, and Nate will be the editor-in-chief. According to Amy Phillips at ESPN.com, the “site will retain an independent brand sensibility and editorial point-of-view.”

Since Disney owns ESPN and ABC News, which are two large news gathering operations, Nate will have access to their vast resources, and will get a lot more air time on television. It’s always a good thing when an intelligent LGBT person gets a public platform to display their smarts, and I say Bravo Nate!

Hopefully, Nate will be getting a huge payday after selling the blog, because he’s worked his tail off and deserves it. He’s also a HUGE sports fan, so this new marriage makes a lot of sense.

Congratulations Nate! Call me after you get settled in to your new home. [wink]

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com              
© 2011 - 2013 JIVEINTHE415.COM All Rights Reserved

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Vladimir Putin Wants Gays On His Endangered Species List

Gay men kissing in Moscow's Red Square can land them in jail, and Putin wants them on his endangered species list.

I’m really glad that there’s momentum building around the world, to take Russia to task for oppressing and silencing their LGBT citizens. President Vladimir Putin has signed three anti-gay laws, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens of Russia are forced to live in fear.

This political oppression isn’t limited to LGBT people in the Russian Federation. Women have been targeted by the state security apparatus, and President Vladimir Putin’s political opponents have been targeted as well. Political bloggers have been jailed, the Pussy Riot punk band have been jailed, and LGBT activists have been jailed, for speaking out and criticizing Putin’s government.

In the last year, the Russians passed a law banning public protests, and a law to protect the “religious feelings” of Christians. The Atlantic’s  Deana Kjuka reports that “Putin recently signed an anti-blasphemy law under which offenders may be sentenced to up to three years in prison and fined up to 500,000 rubles ($15,000) for offending the religious sensibilities of Russian citizens.”

A reverend in the Russian Orthodox Church who supported Pussy Riot, and spoke out against the church and Russian government was found murdered this week. Rev. Pavel Adelgeim had written about Pussy Riot on his blog, and said “the women have unmasked the lie of the Russian Orthodox Church and its unnatural bond with the Russian Federation.”

The head of the Russian church has spoken out in support of the Russian government’s persecution of the gay community. The Russian news service RT reports:

The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill sees the recognition of same-sex unions by Western countries as a portent of doom. He called upon Russians to ensure that sin is never formalized by the rule of law. 
"We face enormous temptations when countries start approving sin and codifying it into law in order to justify it,” Itar-Tass quoted the patriarch as saying after the Sunday service in the Kazan Cathedral on Red Square. 
Those who follow their conscience and “fight such laws imposed by the minority are subjected to repressions,” he added. 
Kirill urged Russians to ensure that sin is never formalized in the rule of law. 
“This is a very dangerous apocalyptic symptom, and we must do everything in our powers to ensure that sin is never sanctioned in Russia by state law, because that would mean that the nation has embarked on a path of self-destruction,” Kirill stated.

Whenever an alleged religious figure lies to people and says that LGBT people are sinners, and that laws that confer equality on a minority is sanctioning sin, I get pissed off. I want to scream from a mountaintop that every human being is guilty of sinning, and that God doesn’t say that one sin is better or worse than another, and the last time I checked the Bible says there’s a place in Heaven for EVERYONE.

Religious leaders in every religion need to go back and read the bloody thing (Bible pun intended).

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com              
© 2011 - 2013 JIVEINTHE415.COM All Rights Reserved
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McConnell's Campaign Chief: Something Smells In Kentucky

Senator Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) campaign manager Jesse Benton is holding his nose because something smells in Kentucky.

I met Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) once and I didn’t even get a lousy t-shirt.

I make no secret of my disgust with today’s Republican party, and find it remarkable that they continue to implode weekly, right before our very eyes.

Senate Minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is up for re-election in 2014, and he’s very unpopular in his home state.

I met the Senator from Kentucky many years ago at a birthday party in Washington, D.C. My mother asked me to accompany her to the annual celebration, and I'd been a few times before and said of course.

When women are conscious about their nails, hair, makeup, gown, shoes, etc., they take a long time to get ready. I was ready and impatient, and had to wait in the bar for her. She was finally ready and we made our way to the party. When we arrived, we waited in a brief line for the secret service security screening.

We had agreed ahead of time that I'd make a beeline for the bar to get drinks (which I did), and I took a long stroll back. It's always fun checking out a cheerful crowd. When I found my mother, she was nodding and half listening to an older chatty Asian woman, with a man standing adjacent to her while silently holding her purse, as my thirsty mother glared at me. She was introduced to the couple she was chatting with, and I could tell she had no interest in them because she didn't bother learning their names.

I handed my mother her vodka and tonic with a splash of ice, and introduced myself to the Washington power couple. My mother didn't know who they were so I reintroduced them formally. Kentucky's senior Senator Mitch McConnell and his wife Secretary Elaine Chao were a power couple then, just like now. Then I walked away.

I could feel my mother's glare on the other side of the room, and I could tell she wanted me to come rescue her. After letting her squirm for a twenty minutes, I walked back over to them, and my mother was telling them a story, as they were trying to make a get away. Both McConnell and Chao were perfectly lifeless, nice, and harmless even, and that’s how I thought of him for years. And then Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

When McConnell stood on the floor of the Senate and said that he would do everything he could to ensure that Barack Obama was a one-term president, my ambivalence toward him evaporated in an instant.

The Senate minority leader hired Jesse Benton, Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) 2010 campaign manager, to manage his 2014 re-election bid.

During a phone conversation that Benton had with a friend in January 2013, he expressed that he wasn’t thrilled with his new gig managing McConnell’s campaign.....and he was unaware that his “friend” was recording the conversation!

According to The Associated Press via The Washington Post, Benton said:
Between you and me, I’m sorta holding my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand (Paul) in ‘16. So that’s my long vision.
His comment confirms that Rand Paul will be running for something in 2016, whether it’s his re-election to the Senate or for president, or maybe both?

Heaven help us in either case.

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