Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Billy Masters: The times Streisand failed to make a splash
by Billy Masters

This article shared 2491 times since Mon Nov 13, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"Fame is a hollow trophy. No matter who you are, you can only eat one pastrami sandwich at a time."—Wise words from Barbra Streisand.

You all know that Barbra Streisand's book is out. And I know you know this, because the majority of e-mails I received last week are about it.

Since the book is only slightly longer than War and Peace, and the audiobook clocks in at 48 hours, I haven't made my way through the whole thing. But I know you'll want some details that you won't read elsewhere. So I skipped to the chapter about her attempt at filming Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart.

At first, Streisand was going to direct and star in the film. But there were numerous issues with Larry's script, the casting, the money and the studio. After numerous roadblocks, Streisand stepped down as director in frustration. Kramer asked George C. Wolfe to direct the film, in which Barbra would still act (alongside, we now learn, Ben Stiller). But the difficulties continued. Kramer criticized Barbra publicly, and the project eventually fell apart.

But Barbra never gave up on The Normal Heart, and actually put together a cast that would include Mark Ruffalo, Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts. The sticking point was that nobody would pay Larry the one million dollars he wanted for his script.

While this was going on, Julia was making Eat Pray Love directed by Ryan Murphy. Barbra explains, "The next thing I hear is that Ryan has written Larry a check for one million dollars and will be directing the movie for HBO with Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo. Well, he didn't get Bradley Cooper—then I would have had to kill myself!"

Throughout this chapter, Barbra speaks at length about her son Jason Gould. "Jason really wanted me to make this movie, and I was looking forward to working with him on the film in some capacity. It meant so much to me just as his mother." After critiquing Murphy's version, she summed up by saying: "I'll always regret I didn't get to make The Normal Heart. It's my loss. But I'm glad Larry finally got it made."

Barbra also talks about many films she was asked to be in. One surprise was Splash—the Ron Howard movie with Daryl Hannah as a mermaid. Picture the climactic scene, where Tom Hanks finds Barbra with a mermaid tail in the bathtub!I would have paid anything to hear him say, "So don't just lay there, honey—swim something."

Dateline: Smiths Station, Alabama. F.L. Copeland, known to his friends as "Bubba," had been mayor of the small hamlet since 2016. Prior to that, he was on the city's Board of Education for 11 years. He was also pastor of the First Baptist Church in Phenix City, Alabama. He's also a proud Trump supporter.

On Nov. 1, a website published a social media post of Bubba dressed as a woman, using the name Brittini Blaire Summerlin, and describing himself as "a transgender curvy girl." When asked for a comment, Bubba said this was simply a "hobby for getting rid of stress." After the story broke, he addressed his congregation. "Yes, I have taken pictures with my wife in the privacy of our home in an attempt at humor because I know I'm not a handsome man nor a beautiful woman, either."The outlet that ran the initial report issued a follow-up. They learned that Copeland had written some trans fiction categorized as both "violent" and "disturbing." After that report came out, the police responded to a "welfare check" and spotted Copeland driving down a road. They pulled him over, he exited the vehicle holding a handgun and killed himself.

In news that might have been music to Bubba's ears, the Catholic Church has ruled that transgender people can be baptized. This has been largely due to the work of Pope Francis, who has fought the church hierarchy in terms of LGBTQ+ rights. The new doctrine states that trans people can be baptized "as long as there is no risk of causing a public scandal or disorientation among the faithful."

So I guess you can't film it for RuPaul's Drag Race! They also allow people in same-sex relationships to be witnesses in a Catholic wedding—as long as they aren't the ones getting married, naturally. Whether the child of a same-sex couple may be baptized appears to still be in question.

Bad news for Belinda Carlisle. For the third time, she will have to postpone an Australian tour. I'll let her tell you what happened: "As you know, I'm supposed to be going to Australia next week for a tour that's been rescheduled three times. And I had an accident and damaged my knee and I have to have sort of emergency surgery tomorrow. So this is all going to prevent me from going to Australia this time. I'm embarrassed and I'm really, really, really sorry. And I'm hoping that it gets rescheduled for 2024...if you'll have me." Get well soon, Babe.

Meanwhile, the ageless Lulu is preparing to celebrate 60 years in showbiz (and her 75th birthday) with five special shows in the UK—culminating in a special evening at the London Palladium on April 17th. And, yes, I think it goes without saying that the champagne will be flowing.

I know I occasionally come off as someone who's seen it all and isn't fazed by much. But last week, I was watching Dancing in the Stars (as Barbara Walters liked to call it) and there was a moment in the group dance when the pairs interchanged. Suddenly we had four same-sex partnerships: Barry Williams and Sasha, Jason Mraz and Pasha, Alyson Hannigan and Peta, Ariana Madix and Daniella.

I have to confess, my little gay boy heart skipped a bit of a beat. What's most interesting is that none of the dancers nor the judges mentioned it—as if it were no big deal. And I thought to myself...what a message they're sending out.

Same-sex dancing partners have been commonplace for much longer on the UK's Strictly Come Dancing. This season brings us Layton Williams—known in the UK from many TV and West End productions. His partner is the delicious Nikita Kuzmin—who is straight, but we're not holding that against him (he also gets blonder every week). Their dances have routinely been showstoppers.

It's certainly been a banner season for Nikita, who got to open a recent show paired with fellow pro, the stunning Vito Coppola, in a mesmerizing same-sex love story set to "Something Just Like This." It brought down the house. Kuzmin was born in Ukraine and raised in Italy (where he trained alongside Coppola). When his parents showed up to see him in the studio, he got choked up. "In the end, I'm just a kid from Ukraine who's just living his dream." Clips can be found on our website.

All this chit-chat about Strictly was sparked by an "Ask Billy" question worthy of answering in print. Jared from London asks: "Are you watching Strictly? What do you think of Bobby? I'm sure you saw his package on the Halloween episode. It's made all the papers here."

Now you've got my attention, and I tuned in. Bobby Brazier is a 20-year-old, mop-topped, lanky lad best known for his role on the UK soap EastEnders. He is the son of a contestant on the 2003 edition of Big Brother he was basically born into reality television.

In the Halloween episode, Brazier's pants weren't extraordinarily tight. But as the dance went on, a large, bulbous mass worked its way against his left thigh. It was so distracting that Shirley Ballas (Mark's mum) seemed speechless. Even the typically unflappable Craig Revel Horwood appeared somewhat flapped.

Revel kept his comments to the dancing, but added, "Is there anything that bottom of yours can't do?" According to all the media reports, the BBC was flooded with phone calls. Most were in favor of the bouncing bulge, while there were a few dissenters. You can check it out for yourself on .

When we're topping the leaderboard with someone's bottom, we've definitely come to the end of yet another column. I should mention that Brazier danced to "Come On-a My House." But not the Rosemary Clooney version. This rendition was sung by Della Reese. Who knew? For more useless bits and bobs, check out —the site that'll give you more than candy. If you have a question, dash it off to and I promise to get back to you before I plan my next trip to the UK. So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.

This article shared 2491 times since Mon Nov 13, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

BOOKS Lucas Hilderbrand reflects on gay history in 'The Bars Are Ours'
In The Bars Are Ours (via Duke University Press), Lucas Hilderbrand, a professor of film and media studies at the University of California-Irvine, takes readers on a historical journey of gay bars, showing how the venues ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, queer novel, 'Tammy Faye,' queer DJ, Bella Ramsey
Billy Porter released his long-awaited new album, Black Mona Lisa, via Island Records UK/Republic Records, and it's executive-produced by Justin Tranter, a press release noted. Porter said, "So many of the songs on my album have ...

Gay News

Disney exhibition chronicles a century of entertainment history
Disney100, a large-scale traveling exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, has opened at the Exhibition Hub Art Center, 2367 W. Logan Blvd., in Bucktown. Hundreds of props and artifacts from the company's ...

Gay News

WORLD Latvia, nonbinary magistrate, Gay Games end, Israel soldiers
Latvia's parliament voted to allow same-sex couples to establish civil unions, Reuters reported. Said couples now have legal recognition—but fewer rights than married couples. The new legislation, slated to take effect in the middle of next ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Music awards, military film, Tom of Finland, Yo-Yo Ma, 'Harley Quinn'
Video below - Brothers Osborne—a duo that includes gay brother TJ Osborne—won Vocal Duo of the Year for the sixth time at the recent CMA Awards, per a media release. Backstage, TJ told reporters, "I did not expect us ...

Gay News

Rustin film puts a gay pioneer into the spotlight
The story of activist Bayard Rustin is one that should be told in classrooms everywhere. Instead, because Rustin was an openly same-gender-loving man, his legacy has gone relatively unnoticed outside of LGBTQ+-focused history books. Netflix hopes ...

Gay News

GLAAD to receive Television Academy's Governors Award
The Television Academy announced LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD as the 2023 Governors Award recipient. Founded in 1985 by Vito Russo, author of The Celluloid Closet, and other LGBTQ advocates, GLAAD works with leaders in television, film, ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Kaytranada, NFL star, Alexandra Billings, video game, George Michael
Out Montreal DJ/producer Kaytranada teased his latest single, "Out of Luck," with Mariah the Scientist, on Twitter, Complex noted. "THIS IS THE ANTHEM!" Kaytra wrote in his quote-tweet of the song playing at a release party. ...

Gay News

Angelica Ross talks politics, Hollywood, Buddhism and more
Angelica Ross had already made her imprint on society in various ways. She is the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, which helps transgender and gender-nonconforming people become part of the tech industry; an activist who hosted ...

Gay News

Billy Masters: Barbra's bio hits stores...but don't rain on Cher's parade either
"I will be forced to be in a position where I will have to openly say how I feel about the film and go against you, my mother and this film publicly."—Lisa Marie Presley's e-mail to director Sofia Coppola after reading ...

Gay News

Emerald Fennell takes audiences on a twisted trip to Saltburn
The new film Saltburn, directed and produced by Emerald Fennell, is the twisted tale of a student named Oliver Quick, played by Irish actor Barry Keoghan, who visits a classmate's estate in the seaside town of ...

Gay News

WTTW doc chronicles the activism of Danny Sotomayor
Practically everything the late Chicago AIDS activist Danny Sotomayor did was "a fight." So says fellow activist Victor Salvo in the new WTTW documentary The Outrage of Danny Sotomayor, which is part of the station's Chicago ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Allen Ginsberg, film series, Galantis, Patricia Velasquez, queer pianist
The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg is now available via streaming and a two-DVD set, per a press release. For 25 years, Oscar-nominated director Jerry Aronson accumulated more than 60 hours of film on Ginsberg, ...

Gay News

FILM Derek Magyar dishes on 'Boy Culture' revival, fetishes and co-star's friendship
In 2006, the film Boy Culture (based on Matthew Rettenmund's 1995 novel of the same name) generated a cult following, thanks in large part to lead actors Derek Magyar and Darryl Stephens. In that movie, Magyar ...

Gay News

Chicago International Film Festival rolls into the Windy City once again
The 59th Chicago International Film Festival raced into various theaters across the Windy City from Oct. 11-22. The commute to many of the screenings changed this year with AMC River East's poorly timed construction conflict forcing ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.