West Coast Premiere of “8”
An unconstitutional proposition.
An unprecedented decision.
An all-star cast.
a new play by
DUSTIN LANCE BLACK
Benefit Reading for Marriage Equality
American Foundation for Equal Rights,
Broadway Impact &
Presenting Sponsor Bryan Singer
Featuring an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon and others, “8″ is a play written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and directed by acclaimed actor and director Rob Reiner. It is a powerful account of the case filed by the American Federation for Equal Rights (AFER ) in the U.S. District Court in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8 [LINK], a constitutional amendment that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. Framed around the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, 8 provides an intimate look what unfolded when the issue of same-sex marriage was on trial.
Here is the video of the historic live stage reading:
A moving Gay Rights Video That Brings Tears to Your Eyes and Chills Down Your Spin by Ryan James Yezak and friends
“A second class citizen is defined as: a person whose rights and opportunities are treated as less important than those of other people in the same society. There are many areas in which gays, lesbians, & bisexuals do not have the same rights & opportunities as others in society. We must change this now.
I want to make a documentary that encompasses all areas in which we are discriminated against. The general population is not aware that discrimination against the gay community goes beyond marriage & bullying. There is far too much hate directed towards our community and I want to capture that hate on camera. In addition, I want to explore where this hate comes from, why it continues to exist, and what we must do to get rid of it. A better solution is needed because the solution we have right now isn’t working fast enough.
I am not a second class citizen. You are not a second class citizen. Right now, the laws in place (and lack thereof) say that we are. Let’s change that.”
Ryan James Yezak
Click to learn how you can participate and help produce the Second Class Citizens documentary
Please show this to everyone you can.
It came and went so quickly, you may have missed NBC’s new Fall show “The Playboy Club.” With poor ratings and a good deal of controversy about such a racy program being broadcast on network television, the story of the famous club’s early days didn’t last beyond the three episodes aired.
Despite its demise, the LGBT community did benefit from one aspect of the shows short lived life: the coming out of principal actor (and ironically gay character) Sean Maher.
Maher is probably best known for his time on Joss Whedon’s sci-fi show “Firefly” which garnered a huge cult following even though it only aired for one season, and the subsequent film “Serenity” which continued the story arc of the band of space cowboys to its conclusion.
The L.A.-based actor remained in the closet concerning his personal life due to advice and direction from his early managers and agents, and after because of his own fears regarding the much debated question: would coming out as gay prevent him from landing leading man roles and taint people’s perception of him should he play a straight character.
When he landed his first big role at the age of 22 as the title character on cop drama “Ryan Caulfield: Year One,” he was asked by publicists from the show to keep his girlfriend on the side, so they could appeal to the female demographic audience. He didn’t think to tell them then that he was gay, because he had been told by his agent in New York “It’s best if you keep your options open. Maybe bisexual?” He took that initial hesitation and didn’t let it go for the next 14 years of his acting career.
“I kept thinking, This is my first show, I don’t want to get fired. I’m thinking, What is the potential that if they caught wind that they had cast a gay lead actor that they would fire me? I was young, I was 22. I didn’t know anything,” he told Entertainment Weekly in his coming out interview. “So that sort of started the idea of, okay, well, I’m working a lot, I guess I’ll just keep that gay part of my life on the back burner for now. I went so far as to sleep with women a couple times. It was a very confusing time for me.”
A confusing time, and an unhappy one for the now 36-year-old actor. “It was so exhausting, and I was so miserable. I didn’t really have any life other than work and this façade I was putting on,” he says. He forced himself to live two separate lives – that of his personal life, where he was out to his friends from school and to his family, and a separate scene for his professional career.
“I kept my friends from college separate from my work friends, and that was very confusing. I just kept going on and on painting this picture of somebody I wasn’t. And you just don’t realize that it’s eating away at your soul.”
Though never the victim of direct homophobia during his career, there was often the stigmatic potential of being judged for his sexuality. “Whether it be making fun of gays or gay jokes,” he remembers, “I just bit my tongue or looked the other way. That was part of the reason that I didn’t come out earlier — because there was an energy on set, and I felt like my being gay would have offset that, especially with the crew.”
So what finally prompted Maher to make the change in his life and declare his true self publicly? It seems a mixture of right timing, the platform necessary with his role on “The Playboy Club,” and, above all else, his family. His ability to stay off the gay-dar in Hollywood, where celebrity gossip is a rampant by-product of our obsessions with the stars, is impressive. He’s been with his partner Paul now for nearly nine years, and they have two adopted children, Sophia Rose, 4, and Liam Xavier, 14 months.
“I have these beautiful children and this extraordinary family,” Maher says, “and to think in any way shape or form that that’s wrong or that there’s shame in that or that there’s something to hide actually turns my stomach.”
The thought of having to tell his children that they were a facet of his life he was hiding was too much for Maher. In thinking about Sophia Rose, he wonders, “What would she think if I said, ‘Oh honey, you can’t come with me to work because they don’t know I have an adopted daughter and they don’t know that I’m gay.’” He is now ready to own what he feels are the best parts of his existence. “My children and our family, I’ve really never been as proud of anything in my life.”
His role on “The Playboy Club” was the perfect platform for Maher to come out. He played a closeted character married to a closeted lesbian, who together began a chapter of the Mattachine Society, the group founded in the early 50s as one of the first to protect and improve the rights of homosexuals.
Maher can tell the difference now that he’s come out. “Creatively, I feel so much more open and free, and I am so happy,” he says. “I think it’s because I’ve never been so open on set. All of the relationships that I have off-camera, I never would have allowed five years ago. It feels so liberating.”
So, while we’re sad the platform didn’t last for Maher and the rest of “The Playboy” crew, we’re glad it gave him the chance and the courage to make his true self known. Maher can now embody the most important role of all – that of a role-model to aspiring LGBT actors everywhere and an example of why bringing your true self to work, no matter what you do, benefits one’s own life and the community at large.
as published at dot429.com
With gays and lesbians finally allowed to serve openly in the military, the Gay Freedom Day Marching Band will be the lead unit in Friday’s 92nd annual Veterans Day Parade.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” said Wallace Levin, the parade coordinator. “Future generations of Americans will look back on this issue and wonder what all the fuss was about.”
The Nov. 11 parade, which occurs on the day and hour in 1918 when the armistice ending World War I was signed, honors the 26 million Americans who have served in uniform. It also recognizes the 70th anniversary of World War II and the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.
Marine Charles Moore, a 93-year-old veteran of the Pacific campaign in World War II, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.
The parade will start at 11 a.m. at the corner of Market and Montgomery streets, make its way down Market Street to McAllister Street and then continue up McAllister to the reviewing stand across from City Hall.
as published at SFGate
But she was well and truly upstaged last night when a streaker ran up beside her at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
The Heroes actress was about to present the award for Best Song – which eventually went to Lady Gaga – when a naked man appeared on stage who we can exclusively reveal is David Monahan.
Monahan is a Belfast born actor who has appeared in a number of sell out shows in his native country and is regarded as a serious stage talent.
The 24-year-old claims that the streak was not rehearsed and not planned.
He told the Mail Online: ‘Two friends of mine work for the security company, they got me in but they didn’t know I was going to storm the stage.
‘I undressed in a backstage store room and considering Lady Gaga is walking about with a flying saucer on her head, not many people notice a guy with a black blanket wrapped around him.’
Viewers questioned whether the incident was just a publicity stunt for the event at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena but Monahan claims it was not and he ‘barely knew what was happening on stage.’
The footage shows Monahan running with his hands in the air and looking shocked as he sees the thousands of people in the audience.
Hayden feigns shock and greets the streaker.
In a Northern Ireland accent, Monahan says: ‘Hello, apparently the only way out is back that way.’
Hayden apologises and her new friend says: ‘It’s not your fault. So um, enough about me, you were in that show Heroes’ yeah?’
He tells her he’s a big fan, to which she replies: ‘Thank you… you should come grab a pint with us after.’
Monahan jokes: ‘I would love that. Um, I don’t have my phone on me though. You know what. I’ll just leave you to it and I’ll see you at the after show.’
He then jumps up and down and yells ‘She was a cheerleader,’ before running off.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2058473/MTV-EMAs-2011-Hayden-Panettiere-upstaged-male-streaker.html#ixzz1d3WaYgdu
by ALANAH ERIKSEN as published at DailyMail.co.uk