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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Billy Masters: Heklina remembered, and Judy Gold inspires
by Billy Masters

This article shared 2044 times since Mon Apr 10, 2023
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"Swallowing is really a good thing. It's got a lot of protein. There is something to be said for it after you put in the hard work." —Christina Aguilera. I think my work here is done.

The word "legendary" is tossed around haphazardly these days. But Heklina was just that...legendary. The drag diva was a multi-hyphenate, best known for founding Trannyshack in 1996, a weekly fixture at The Stud in San Francisco. Ironically, one of the reasons for its demise was many people's distaste for the term "tranny." Heklina, undaunted, moved on to a number of other endeavors and became a worldwide drag phenomenon. Last week, in the midst of a UK tour of the show Mommie Queerest with pal Peaches Christ, she was found dead in their apartment. No cause of death has been determined, but foul play is not suspected. Heklina—a.k.a. Stefan Grygelko—was 55.

Whenever I have the opportunity, I love to hang out with funny people—particularly funny gay people. Last week I was having fun in the sun in Fort Lauderdale with funnymen Frank DeCaro and Jim Colucci. I had to cut our time short to zip up to NYC and see Judy Gold off-Broadway in Yes, I Can Say That! at Primary Stages (closing April 16th).

Comedians doing one-person theatrical shows can be a tricky venture. Quite often, the conceit is basically a transplant of a stand-up set. Not so with this show, cleverly staged by BD Wong and effortlessly (and breathlessly) performed by Gold. Using her best-selling book of the same name as a jumping-off point, this is a cross between history lesson, confessional, and cautionary tale—with plenty of laughs.

If history has taught us anything, it's that it can be repeated. Judy draws a compelling line between the rise of Nazi Germany and today's political climate. She also reminds us that the most effective weapon against hate speech is more speech. Whenever times are bleak, it is comedians that not only speak truth to power, but also provide us with the courage to face anything and everything. Judy's not only one of the funniest people I know, she's one of the smartest. Catch her whenever you can!

I'll be sitting down with Judy Gold for a special episode of Billy Masters LIVE on Wednesday, April 12, at 1 p.m. CST. Check us out on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV, or on

Relationships are expanding hither and yon. If rumors are to be believed, Lukas Gage and Chris Appleton are now engaged. For those of you keeping track, things have moved forward at a positively Lilith speed. Only a week ago, Lukas said on the Today Show, "I think I got a taste of the Brits and couldn't help myself." See our opening quote.

The more we learn about the possible suicide of Instagram model Jeff Thomas, the more it sounds like a mental health issue exacerbated by being involved with a married man. Sure, he was set up with cars, houses, and money. But it came at a price. And it sounds like everything came to a head when the "kept" boy (his term) came face to face with the happy couple at their New Year's Eve party!

In a moment straight out of the Dreamgirls dressing-room scene, the hubby spots the side piece and says, "Why is HE here?" Apparently, neither knew the other would be in attendance and it got...well, icky. Hubby asked security to walk Thomas off the property—a walk of shame nobody would want to endure. Friends say the dismissed dude's mental health spiraled. Days later, all cash and communication were cut off. And that's that.

I recently extolled the virtues of Sex/Life solely for man-meat (which is as good a reason as any). Days later, the show was cancelled. Look, kids, I did what I can do. Maybe the meat wasn't so fresh, if you catch my drift. So, I'm answering this week's "Ask Billy" question with a large amount of trepidation. In fact, I'm not going to even mention a penis. Nope, nary a penis will pass my lips. Tommy from Dallas asks, "Did you ever see 'Pain and Glory'? What do you know about César Vicente? Especially his [word that I will not share at this time]."

First, it's a great film. Antonio Banderas alongside Penelope Cruz, directed by Pedro Almódovar—what's not to like? But I must confess I'd completely forgotten about César Vicente and his sizeable "part." Regarding "that scene," Vicente reportedly had no interest in covering up between takes. He certainly has nothing to be ashamed of. César said the following about his character: "Sometimes he is very straight, and other times, very me." Of course, he said it in Spanish. You'll get a pretty good idea why he was so comfortable when you see the scene in question on .

When a picture is worth a thousand (or so) millimeters, it's definitely time to end yet another column. Despite my many travels, I made it back to Boston in time to celebrate Big Daddy Masters' 90th Birthday! Yes, longevity is a trademark of the Masters men. I'm happy to prove that on, the site that has no limits. Should you need further convincing, drop a note to me at and I promise to get back to you before I leave a bad taste in your mouth. Until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.

This article shared 2044 times since Mon Apr 10, 2023
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