"The only thing that worries me about Caitlyn ... it's the idea that there's going to be a big commercial thing about it. Well, the Kardashians, from what I've seen, are rather vulgar. I don't know, but I do wish her the best of luck."April Ashley, one of Britain's first transsexuals ( and a dear friend of Billy's ), shares her thoughts on all things Jenner.
Very often, symbols with positive connotations are used against people. The swastika was primarily known as an ancient good luck symbol used in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Odinism and who knows how many other -isms. But once the Nazis co-opted it, it became a universal sign of evil, and I doubt it will be rehabilitated any time soon. And, of course, we recently saw the strong emotions still elicited by the Confederate flag. Despite attempts to reclaim it as a symbol of Southern gentility, the scars of slavery linger on.
I was thinking about this when I went to see Martin Sherman's play Bent at the Mark Taper Forum. In it, we see how the Nazis forced gay people to wear the pink triangle to identify themselves. Yet somehow, the pink triangle has evolved. When I came out in the mid-'80s, they were all the rage. People wore them on T-shirts and jewelry, and they adorned banners at gay pride parades. It is said that Sherman's play helped gay people take this symbol of shame and reclaim it as one of pride ... which would surely fit in with the timeline I remember. There's a lesson to be learned there.
This revival of Bent was powerfully presented under the steady hand of Moisés Kaufman. The production was evocative, and special plaudits must go to the sound and lighting design, which heightened the emotional struggle being depicted. While the play itself may not pack the wallop it did in 1979 ( featuring Sir Ian McKellen in London and Richard Gere on Broadway ), the cast was universally excellent. The ensemble was led by Patrick Heusinger and Charlie Hofheimer, who were never less than riveting, particularly in the second act. One must admire the truncated, but still heartbreaking, work of a blonde Andy Mientus. As to the much-ballyhooed professional stage acting debut of Jake Shears, it was a case of much ado about nothing. The song he performed ( and composed ) was totally fine, if not vocally challenging. And he cuts a dashing presence onstage. But his stage time is remarkably brief. As an actor, he certainly held his ownno small feat given the strong cast. And to prove my point, a source leaked me a video of his entire scene from the play, which I'll post for you exclusively on BillyMasters.com .
Someone recently told me that perhaps I was getting a tad too long of tooth to be winching myself into my skinny jeans ( which, up until a couple years ago, were my baggy jeans ). As I mulled over this criticism, I saw Sir Ian McKellen, all 76 years of him, sidle onto the set of The View poured into a pair of skinny jeans that almost looked like tights! So, my darlings, you are NEVER too old for anythingincluding learning a new trick. Sir Ian recently admitted how scared he was when he was cast in the 1989 film Scandal. Why? He had just come out publicly and was going to have to film a torrid sex scene with Joanne Whalley-Kilmer. Since he didn't want to appear completely clueless, he asked a heterosexual actor for tips. His friend drew him a diagram, complete with stick figures. "So I'm now an expert on the missionary position, and everything went well," he said. PHEW.
Last week, my pal Leslie Jordan found himself in a situation that required his unique skills of diplomacy. It happened at a popular Starbucks on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywoodin short, one of the gayest Starbucks on the planet. Allegedly, three young men came in and started yelling anti-gay expletives at the customers. After the manager asked them to leave, the situation escalated, and the guys started calling everyone "fucking faggots." Leslie stood tall and yelled, "Shut the fuck up! Not in my house, not in my neighborhood!" He made sure the guys left, and the fracas continued outside when one of the hooligans lunged toward him! Being a man of peace ( to say nothing of a piece of man ), Jordan threw his drink in the guy's face! And, it was not coffee, as other outlets have reported: "Honey, it was sweet iced tea!" We hear it took the arrival of the police to calm the situation. In fact, 10 police cars arrived on the scene! That's an awful lot of excitement for a weekday in WeHo.
Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Randy in Providence, Rhode Island: "The guy who plays Hunter on Under the Dome is beyond adorable. What do you know about him? With that face and that body, he's gotta play for our team."
First, let me say how virtually unwatchable Under the Dome has become. That doesn't mean I've stopped watching. But it seems clear to me that they're making it up as they go along. While Max Ehrich ( who plays Hunter ) pinged for me last year, that shot of him in his undies for this year's season premiere was almost seismic. I remember him from his days on "The Young and the Restless as the young Fenmore Baldwin. When he joined the soap, rumor had it the character would come out of the closet. That didn't happen, but given Ehrich's circle of friends in real life, I don't think it would have been a stretch. At the time, someone tweeted Max asking if he was dating Chris Colfer. The response was "haha no. He's a friend." When someone mentioned it was a rumor, he replied, "I find rumors humorous. Especially when they are so far from the truth." When another fan asked "please be my gay friend, I'm looking for one," Max said, "I respect that, but I don't roll that way." Maybe, maybe not. Until then, enjoy some sexy pics we'll post of him on BillyMasters.com .
When we're delivering Jake Shears uncut, it's definitely time to end yet another column. The temperatures have crept up around the country, and it's just as hot on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that always sizzles. I'm always happy to provide whatever relief I can. Just drop a note to me at Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Sir Ian extricates himself from his skinny jeans ( perhaps with the assistance of the Jaws of Life ). So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.ith support. He responded by saying, "Than