"I love my fans but sometimes think it's funny when they still speak to me when running into me. Try learning a little ASL ( American Sign Language ) if you want to make my day."Nyle DiMarco lets people know that perhaps yelling at him from across the room isn't going to get his attention.
This week, everyone is talking about Britain leaving the EU. After the vote, the fine folk of England were in an uproarmore than 3 million people signed a petition demanding a second vote. Hey, England, you don't get a do-over just because you don't like the result. But only I, Billy Masters, will reveal to you why Britain voted to leave the EUbecause the Brits love their balloons! Didya know that the EU has banned children under eight from blowing up balloons without adult supervision? The regulation is intended to prevent a child from swallowing and choking on a balloon. So, because of a handful of stupid kids, everyone else has to suffer. And you people think we have trouble with the NRA! I'll give you my balloons when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.
The annual "Broadway Bares" benefit took place in NYC last week, and it sounds like it was a sizzling time. The two performances, which were subtitled "On Demand," raised close to $1.5 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The largest donation from a single source came from "Stripathon," the online segment of the fundraiser with teams and various performers raising over $600K. It's not too late to join in the fun. Check out BroadwayBares.com for more information.
Incidentally, this year's "Broadway Bares" was dedicated to the victims, families and friends of the Orlando tragedy. Towards that end, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS donated $150K to Equality Florida, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and the OneOrlando Fund.
Broadway's most notable response to the Orlando tragedy was the recording of "What the World Needs Now Is Love"spearheaded by the indomitable Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley. The morning after the shooting, James happened to hear the song and thought it would be a great vehicle. He called Seth, and they made a dream list and immediately got on the phone. Being not only well-connected but also well-liked, the duo got virtually every star on Broadway on board ( with some notable exceptions that need not be mentioned ). What hasn't gotten much press are the people who stepped up behind the scenes to make this happenincluding Kathie Lee Gifford and attorney to the stars Mark Sendroff. Everyone was in the studio 48 hours later and, within a week of the tragedy, the song sung by Broadway for Orlando was released and hit number one on the iTunes Top Songs chart. Proceeds from the track will benefit the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida.
We keep getting conflicting reports regarding the Orlando shooter's connection to the gay community. A few people swear they corresponded with him on various gay hook-up apps. ( Grindr and Jack'd are the ones most frequently mentioned. ) One guy has come forward claiming to have been the shooter's gay lover. In an interview he gave to Univision, the lover ( in a heavy prosthetic disguise ) described the killer as "cuddly"of course, he said it in Spanish. However, the FBI has shot down claims that he had any gay apps on his phone. In fact, they say that the phone had no evidence of a secret gay life. In fact, none of the gay rumors have been confirmed. All I know is I never slept with him.
In far more positive news, NYC's Stonewall Inn has just been declared a national monumentwhich I suspect means drink prices will skyrocket! Have you ever tried to get a gin and tonic at the Lincoln Monument? They really stick it to you! Back to our storythe Stonewall Inn and the area around it ( including the surrounding streets and Christopher Park ) have been designated as the new Stonewall National Monument and will be overseen by the National Parks System. In making the announcement, President Obama said, "I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our countrythe richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us, that we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one."
On the heels of Pride Month, we've learned that Greg Louganis has posed nude for the annual "Body" issue of ESPN Magazine. Now that's a monument I can get behindso to speak. Having seen the results, let me say that the 56-year-old Louganis has lost nothing of his former perfectionalthough I do think his right foot is slightly too flexed. A minor quibblehe really sticks the landing, as you can see on BillyMasters.com .
In some exciting news, Kristin Chenoweth has been cast as Velma Von Tussle in the made-for-TV remake of Hairspray. But I'm confused. Is Chenoweth now playing brittle, middle-aged matriarchs? I know she's in her early 70s ( give or take ), but I thought she was gonna play perky ingénues forever. Time inevitably marches on...
I guess that means she'll be too old for the film version of Wicked, which they swear is actually happening. They've got a release date and everything. Universal just announced that Wicked will open Dec. 20, 2019. Wait, 2019? By then Kristin will be ... well, maybe they can dedicate the film to her memory.
Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Rich in Dallas, who writes, "Did you see that photo of Tyson Beckford in his underwear? I mean, you could see the outline of the penis and that he was circumcised. Why not just show it?"
Oh, you mean you haven't seen it? Where have you been? Surely not to BillyMasters.com, where Tyson has been au naturale for years! I don't recall the specifics, but I think he was skinny-dipping at a cocktail party in Australia.
When we're bringing you Beckford's bush, it's time to end yet another column. As we're on the brink of Independence Day, I'm furiously packing for Provincetown. But no matter where I am, I'm always updating BillyMasters.com, the site that always delivers when it comes to anything down under. If you have a question for me, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Chenoweth celebrates her centennial! Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.