For those of you visiting London, you can now, according to the Chicago Tribune ( 11/27 ) , check out a new edifice, the Swiss Re Tower. It is stripped blue & green, is tapered at base and head, and is called by all, the Gherkin, because it is shaped like a pickle or a cigar or a ... Well, let's just say even the prudish BBC refers to its shape as 'erotic'.
There seems to be a tendency among gay columnists toward hand-wringing and warning calls of being driven back in the closet, what with the political situation in this country. Whether that's true or not, perhaps this column will occasionally color-code news items: lavender, for gay-friendly ( and somewhat aligned to blue ) and its color wheel opposite, yellow—gay-negative ( and somewhat akin to red ) .
Lavender: The NY Times ( 12/8 ) reports on the Point Foundation, an 'outfit that provides grants to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered college and graduate students.' It focuses on need, merit and leadership potential and has awarded 35 scholarships so far. Ryan Kim, abandoned by his parents when he came out in high school, in spite of his A's and Advanced Placement classes, was one recent recipient. The foundation set up by Bruce Lindstrom and his companion, Carl Strickland, sent Kim to Princeton and provided mentors.
Yellow: Phil Burress who says 'I don't have a homophobic bone in my body' is running a major anti-gay-rights campaign among, and with, Christian conservatives focusing on stopping gay marriage. A former union negotiator, married three times he describes himself as an ex-pornography addict and he has plans to enable religious conservatives to run school boards, town councils, and county prosecutors' offices across the country. ( The NY Times, 11/26 ) .
Lavender ( at least, the source ) : Molly Ivins in the Chicago Tribune ( 11/25 ) says it would be hard to be 'out-dumbed' by Oklahoma's new ( yellow ) senator, Tom Coburn, who believes 'lesbianism is so rampant in some schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom' at a time. ( No evidence on this claim says Molly. )
Lavender: In a strange little mirror of the debate on same-sex marriage, The NY Times ( 11/27 ) reports that gay students ( and their friends ) are reformulating homecoming traditions in colleges all over the country. Not only are gay men running for homecoming queen and winning, not only are lesbians running for king and winning, same-sex straight couples are running for queen with both winning. It's not all fun and games— scholarships are often involved. Southern university alumnae associations are in a swivet. ( That's southern straight talk for 'major hissy fits'. )
Ellen and Portia?
Entertainment Tonight and various Web sites are reporting on the breakup of the four-year relationship between comic Ellen DeGeneres and photographer-director Alexandra Hedison. But it may be there's more to this than just a break-up, in true lesbian drama. Allegedly, former Ally McBeal co-star Portia De Rossi has also dropped HER long-time galpal, Ringo Starr's step-daughter Francesa Gregorini, says Pagesix.com, and Ellen and Portia have hooked up. They met at a photo shoot in March. Ellen talks about her relationship and love for Alexandra in a January Advocate cover story. Those darn long lead times for magazines!
Golden Globes Noms Out
The nominations for Golden Globe Awards are now out, with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association event Jan. 16 on NBC. Some of the nominees:
Picture/Drama: The Aviator, Closer, Finding Neverland, Hotel Rwanda, Kinsey, Million Dollar Baby.
Picture/Musical/Comedy: Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind, The Incredibles, Phantom Of the Opera, Ray, Sideways.
Actor In A Leading Role - Drama: Javier Bardem in The Sea Inside, Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda, Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator, Liam Neeson in Kinsey.
Actor In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy: Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind, Jamie Foxx in Ray, Paul Giamatti in Sideways, Kevin Kline in De-Lovely, Kevin Spacey in Beyond the Sea.
Actress In A Leading Role - Drama: Scarlett Johansson in A Love Song For Bobby Long, Nicole Kidman in Birth, Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake, Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby, Uma Thurman in Kill Bill ( Vol. 2 ) .
Actress In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy: Annette Bening in Being Julia, Ashley Judd in De-Lovely, Emmy Rossum in The Phantom Of the Opera, Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine, Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason.
Director: Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby, Marc Forster for Finding Neverland, Mike Nichols for Closer, Alexander Payne for Sideways, Martin Scorsese for The Aviator.
Foreign Film: The Chorus, House Of Flying Daggers, The Motorcycle Diaries, The Sea Inside, A Very Long Engagement.
Cecil B. DeMille Award: Robin Williams.
TV Series - Drama: Deadwood, Lost, Nip/Tuck, The Sopranos, 24.
TV Series - Musical Or Comedy: Arrested Development, Desperate Housewives, Entourage, Sex and the City, Will & Grace
Mini-Series Or Television Movie: American Family—Journey Of Dreams, Iron Jawed Angels, The Life and Death Of Peter Sellers, The Lion In Winter, Something the Lord Made.
Actress In A Leading Role - Drama Series: Edie Falco in The Sopranos, Jennifer Garner in Alias, Mariska Hargity in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Christine Lahti in Jack & Bobby, Joely Richardson in Nip/Tuck.
Actress In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy Series: Marcia Cross in Desperate Housewives, Teri Hatcher in Desperate Housewives, Felicity Huffman in Desperate Housewives, Debra Messing in Will & Grace, Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City.
Actress In A Leading Role - Mini-Series Or Television Movie: Glenn Close in The Lion In Winter, Blythe Danner in Back When We Were Grown-Ups, Julianna Margulies in The Grid, Miranda Richardson in The Lost Prince, Hilary Swank in Iron Jawed Angels.
Actor In A Supporting Role - Series, Mini-Series Or TV Movie: Sean P. Hayes in Will & Grace, Michael Imperioli in The Sopranos, Jeremy Piven in Entourage, Oliver Platt in Huff, William Shatner in Boston Legal.
Queer Eye ... Scripts?
So many of the new 'reality' shows are really just scripted efforts, since who is really that interesting every day of their life. But who would have thunk that Queer Eye for the Stright Guy is all scripted? Joel Stein of the LA Times reports having a copy of a script outline with every moment planned. Bravo network says that is not unusual. Then why not just tell the viewers? 'The final page of the script is Nora Ephron-worthy,' with a planned romantic get-away, Stein writes.
'Once you find out reality stars actually need help to be that dumb, they somehow stop being entertaining. We wanted to believe reality shows were real because they made us feel like other people's lives were more messed up than our own. Though that may not be true, at least we know that without writers they're just as boring as we are.'