"I think the way David just described it was flawless. The fact that I was going into this event knowing that my identity is rooted in Christ and not what the result of this competition is just gave me peace."Steele Johnson ( a porn name if ever there was one ) talks about winning the silver medal in synchronized diving with David Boudia, who also thanked Christ. As long as Christ wants them to have rockin' bodies, kicky haircuts and use the word "flawless," I'm happy.
Let me start this week's column by applauding the U.S. men's gymnastic team. Now, I'm not applauding them for any professional achievement. I'm applauding them because they've blatantly asked for the media to objectify them. And, in a striking departure from my typical sexual modus operandi, I am happy to take this direction. The team has posed for numerous shirtless pics and deluged social media with same. Prior to the Olympics, all-around national champion Sam Mikulak wondered how to get the attention of the American people ( and, perhaps, score some financially lucrative endorsement deals post-Rio ). His answer? He said, "Maybe compete with our shirts off. People make fun of us for wearing tights. But if they saw how yoked we are maybe that would make a difference." I don't know exactly what this "yoked" is, but I'm all for anything that delivers a little flesh.
NBC has received some criticism for bias against LGBT Olympians. While many parents, spouses and children of competitors are being mentioned on TV, the same cannot be said for same-sex partners. Tom Daley's fiance, Dustin Lance Black, was shown on the screen sitting with Daley's mombut only mum was acknowledged. After a volleyball match, Larissa Franca hugged her wife. The commentator said, "That is her husband. She married Lili in 2013." Huh? If you think this is all happenstance, riddle me thiswhy is Greg Louganis, possibly the greatest diver who ever lived, doing commentary for Brazilian TV and not NBC?
The Brits aren't much better. In reporting the bronze medal won by Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow in men's synchronized diving, the UK press did something so egregious that even I was repulsedthey cropped Goodfellow right out of the photo! Headlines blazed, "Daley Wins Bronze," but relegated his lesser-known partner to the small print. I get itDaley is a media darling ( and a bobcat in the sack, btw ). But still, he didn't win it alone. Shame!
If the U.S. media is here ( I'm indicating a high level with my hand ), and the Brits are here ( somewhere in the middle ), then the Daily Beast is close to the bottom of the barrel. You might have heard that a straight reporter was sent to Rio to lure gay Olympians on Grindr and out them. But that wasn't the purpose of the story ( which has since been deleted ). The story was ostensibly about how much sex is going on in the Olympic Villagesomething we've heard about for years. The writer went on both gay and straight apps looking for sex andagain, not surprisinghe got more responses on Grindr than all the other apps combined. That explains why the piece was titled "I Got Three Grindr Dates In An Hour In The Olympic Village." What shocked me most is that the writer used his own photoand let's just say he's not a looker. While no athletes are named, he included clues about the guys' events, countries, and placing. Ultimately, the takeaway is that gay men are looking for more sex than straight womensurprise, surprise. If he wanted to get a real scoop, he should have used the photo of a hot female on Tinder! My point is not to defend the writer or the Beast itself. But I do think it's important that this incident is reported by someone who actually read the articlewhich does not appear to include most critics.
This may come as a shock to you, but I just spent a lovely time with John Barrowman and his hubby, Scott Gill, in Provincetown. The duo were vacationing prior to Johnny's appearance at Boston's Comic-Con. The pair caught a number of shows while in town. The night before I arrived, they went to see Well-Strung, which they loved. We all went to see Varla Jean Merman, and I had the best time watching Barrowmanwho, at one point, was laughing so hard, I thought he was going to hyperventilate. ( To be fair, the sight of Merman in a burqa is quite hysterical. ) We discussed my recent split-open forehead which was glued shut in an ER. Scott then told me that he sliced open one of his fingers while cutting vegetables and actually glued the wound shut himself! Johnny shared an anecdote about how pleasurable Scott's now-rough digit was, which I have filed away for future reference. It should be mentioned that Gill was quite tickled to visit the mega-popular ScottCakes shop in Provincetown, owned by my pal Scott Cunningham. You must sample his sinfully delicious treatsCunningham's, not Gill's.
I also asked Barrowman about a death threat he received. The organizers of Montreal Comic-Con received an email from someone on the West Coast threatening a number of minority groups and targeting Johnny specifically. John refused to cancel, saying, "I wasn't gonna let the bastards win." But he wouldn't risk the well-being of his fans. So he was in a separate room and his talk was transmitted via video. As to meeting, greeting and autographing, security arranged limited groups to visit Barrowman in person, and everyone was servedso to speak.
I was fortunate enough to see the incomparable Billy Stritch at the Provincetown Jazz Festival. The sold-out show at the Crown & Anchor was a tribute to Mel TormÃ©. I am consistently overwhelmed by the limitless talent Stritch possesses, and this show was no exception. You should definitely see him if he appears anywhere in your vicinity.
The LGBT for Hillary Gala will take place at Cipriani on Wall Street in NYC on Sept. 9, and that event will feature a performance by Barbra Streisand! Tix range from $1,200 to $250,000, and the top price includes a meet-and-greetobviously, not with Barbra, but with Hillary!
When I'm trying to decide if I want to be the "yoker" or the "yokee," it's definitely time to end yet another column. PHEW: Between the Olympics and Ptown, I'm exhaustedand running out of lube. But, I'm not so tired that I can't update www.BillyMasters.comthe site that likes its men over easy. Although I didn't have room for an "Ask Billy" question, you can always write to me at Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Barrowman buys a burqa! So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.