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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, NFL player, gay country singer, 'Bliss,' MGK
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 1131 times since Sun Jul 3, 2022
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LGBTQ+ teen sensation JoJo Siwa will guest-star in the third season of Disney+'s hit series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Out Magazine noted. She will play Madison, a Camp Shallow Lake alum. Also, Corbin Bleu is back in the HSM universe, playing himself this season. He's at Camp Shallow Lake to film his journey helping the kids put on the first-ever camp production of Disney's Frozen: The Musical.

Openly gay NFL defensive lineman Carl Nassib commemorated Pride Month with an Instagram video where he again pledged to help The Trevor Project, the support group for LGBTQ+ youth struggling with their sexual identities and at risk of death by suicide, Out Magazine noted. During a coming-out video that aired last year, Nassib also used that video to announce a donation of $100,000 to The Trevor Project, which the NFL quickly matched. This year he used his Pride Month video to announce he is providing a 1:1 match for all donations to the group up to $100,000.

Country-music singer T.J. Osborne (of the duo Brothers Osborne) was grand marshal of the 2022 Nashville Pride Festival and attended the event alongside boyfriend Abi Ventura, Out Magazine noted. Osborne came out as gay in February 2021 and introduced Ventura as his boyfriend later that year. On Instagram, Osborne shared a few pictures of his experience at Nashville Pride and wrote, "[It] was an honor to be the Grand Marshal at this year's [Nashville Pride Festival]. Thanks to all my friends who came out and supported me."

Henrika Kull's Bliss—which has been in festivals such as Berlin IFF, Frameline, OUTshine Miami and more than 20 more across the globe—will be released in theaters Aug. 5 via Dark Star Pictures, a press item noted. An unconventional LGBTQ love story set in the world of sex workers, Bliss is set in a world where femininity is considered a commodity. Two sex workers fall in love with each other while working in a Berlin brothel, and must navigate relationship highs and lows.

A pink-carpet event was held in New York City for the debut of the Hulu documentary Machine Gun Kelly's Life in Pink, a press release noted. "Life in Pink" (currently streaming) is an in-depth look at the dramatic highs and lows of an artist chasing music's top spot while tackling noise from the outside world, stardom, fatherhood and more. From creating his platinum-selling, number-one album Tickets to My Downfall to his most recent top-selling studio album, Mainstream Sellout, this film is promoted as an all-access pass to Kelly's life.

The 22nd annual BET Awards aired June 26, with Taraji P. Henson returning as host for "culture's biggest night," per Deadline. Presented live from the Microsoft Theater, the star-studded event featured fresh and familiar talent, including performances/appearances by Mariah Carey, Lizzo, Jack Harlow, Lil Wayne, Roddy Ricch, Kanye West and Chance the Rapper. The honoree of the night was Lifetime Achievement Award winner Sean "Diddy" Combs, who was paid tribute to in a medley performance by long-time collaborators Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes and Faith Evans. The celebration was capped off by a surprise speech from a mask-clad West. Jazmine Sullivan, Megan Thee Stallion, Steph Curry and Zendaya were among the winners. Several people, including Henson and Janelle Monae, made statements criticizing the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Among those attending the BET Awards was Jussie Smollett, per Extra. He told the media outlet, in part, "I made the commitment to myself to go where the love is. If you see me on a carpet, I made a choice to be there and I made the choice to be there with my people with love and respect. Just know I am happy to be here and I am happy to be here with mines."

Also, unnamed members of Lil Nas X's team revealed to Rolling Stone that a BET producer came up to one of them after the 2021 performance and said that it was "really f**ked up" to kiss another man on stage, per LGBTQ Nation. The team member, speaking anonymously, said, "At some point after [Nas] got offstage, one of the BET producers came up to me and before I could even open my mouth, he looked at me and said, 'That was really f**ked up.'" Nas X issued a statement to Rolling Stone detailing his relationship with BET: "My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time. It didn't start with this year's nominations like most people might think. They did let me perform on their show last year, but only after [I gave] assurances that I was not a satanist or devil worshiper, and that my performance would be appropriate for their audience." Collaborator Jack Harlow was seen wearing a Lil Nas X shirt on the BET Awards red carpet and Nas tweeted his gratitude for the gesture.

Former Mean Girls star Daniel Franzese opened up to Page Six about an experience when he was in his early twenties that led him to enter conversion therapy, Out Magazine noted. Franzese was raised in a Catholic and Pentecostal family who he said "lovingly tolerated" homosexuality, and accepting parents, but he still felt like the world around him was saying that being gay "was not okay." He said, "They told me to tell my mom that my mom was the reason that I was leaning toward bisexual thoughts or whatever because she was so open. They made me come out to my mom, who was literally like my best ally, and say, 'It's your fault.'" Eventually, the actor said he realized the therapy was nonsense.

Pop sensation and Republic Records artist Kim Petras ended NYC Pride with a performance on Pride Island, per a press release. Petras launched into tightly choreographed songs from her sex-positive Slut Pop EP. Blazing through the seven-song project surrounded by back-up dancers in crop-tops and cracking a whip to the beat of "XXX," she then sang her classic hits and fan favorites.

In his first television interview since his unconditional release this month, John Hinckley Jr.—the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 in an attempted assassination attempt—told CBS Mornings that his three recently canceled singer-songwriter performances at venues in Brooklyn, Chicago and Connecticut won't be rescheduled in what correspondent Major Garrett said was the "foreseeable future," per Deadline. Also during the interview, Hinckley publicly apologized to the families of his shooting victims—Reagan, press secretary James Brady, Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty—and "to Jodie Foster for bringing her into this."

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power creator Nate Stevenson—professionally known as ND Stevenson—has come out in a new comic and updated his name and pronouns, per Out Magazine. "Hello! I have something to tell you! My name is Nate!" the comic stated. "And my pronouns are he/him! ...But I am not (entirely) a boy. … I am keeping my middle name 'Diana.' It is my way of paying tribute to this other side of me. I may keep it hidden and close to my heart, but I am not ashamed of it. It is mine and no one else's." He specified that professionally, he'll be ND Stevenson, to keep a connection to his past work.

During one of many protests for abortion rights, actress Jodie Sweetin was seen on video being shoved to the ground by Los Angeles police officers, CBS News reported. Sweetin—best known for her role as Stephanie Tanner on TV's Full House—was leading a group of protesters away from the freeway when the incident occurred, a journalist who captured the moment said on Twitter. Mike Ade, the journalist who captured the moment on video, said it "pained" him to see Sweetin being "thrown to the ground" in such a manner.

Netflix announced that it is not picking up the queer animated adult series Q-Force for a second season, Out Magazine noted. The show, =led by Sean Hayes voicing the main character, featured a cast that included Wanda Sykes, Patti Harrison, Matt Rogers, Gary Cole, David Harbour, Laurie Metcalf and Stephanie Beatriz.

Christian Bale told Screenrant that he would slip on the Batsuit again but on one condition: Christopher Nolan returns as director, Deadline noted. Bale stated, "In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, 'You know what, I've got another story to tell.' And if he wished to tell that story with me, I'd be in." Bale is set to play Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love And Thunder—the fourth installment of the Thor franchise that is being directed by Taika Waititi.

Actor Zachary Levi (Shazam! as well as TV's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Chuck) has released his debut book, Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others (Harper Horizon), a press release announced. Radical Love is Levi's personal story of grappling with a lifetime of historically crippling anxiety and depression, that stems from childhood trauma and the voices in his head that told him he would never be good enough. "I'm not an expert, therapist, pastor, teacher, or monk," Levi said in the release. "I am merely a person going through my own mental and emotional health journey, hoping that I can pass on some of the wisdom and tools that I've been blessed enough to learn along the way."

Leon Brown, the child of Sister Wives stars Kody Brown and Meri Brown, has come out as trans, genderqueer and "unapologetic" in a new Instagram post, Out Magazine noted. They said that while being queer and trans are some of their favorite things about themself, the coming out process is also helping them to learn to love everything else about them as well.

Showtime Documentary Films announced it will air Confirmed (working title), a new docuseries from Emmy-nominated director Dawn Porter, a press release noted. The four-part series traces the modern history of the Supreme Court, and the people, decisions and confirmation battles that have shaped the United States.

The CW has booted the low-rated new series Tom Swift, Deadline noted. The Nancy Drew spinoff only launched on May 31, airing several episodes to date. The series, which features a predominantly Black cast, started off as an unconventional backdoor pilot, and with only Tian Richards (as Tom, a gay billionaire) getting an introduction on Nancy Drew last season.

TidalWave Comics announced the addition of Ariana Grande to its "FAME" comic-book series focused on personalities who impact the world, a press release noted. Written by Michael Frizell and illustrated by Juan Jose Pereyra, this 22-page comic book is available both digitally and in print, and can be found on multiple platforms such as Amazon. A special hardcover edition will be released with a cover by famed comic-book artist Joe Phillips.

Adele, who headlined two festival shows at BST Hyde Park in London, told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs that going forward with her planned Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace earlier this year was impossible, saying the show simply was not up to her standards, Deadline noted. The concerts were initially scheduled to begin Friday, Jan. 21 and run through mid-April. The postponements (without any make-up dates) remain a sore spot for many Adele fans and critics.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Antonio Banderas have joined forces to create joint production company Amigos Para Siempre (APS), Variety noted. It's aimed at producing musicals, stage plays and live entertainment for major markets in the Spanish-speaking world, including the Latino U.S. market. Upcoming productions will include Spanish-language makeovers of Lloyd Webber classics, such as The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and Starlight Express, among others.

Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal have signed on to star in gay Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's next film, Strange Way of Life, ("Extrana forma de vida"), a half-hour Western shot in English, Variety reported. The Spanish director will shoot the short before making his English-language feature debut, A Manual for Cleaning Women, with Cate Blanchett. According to Out Magazine, Pascal and Hawke will play a pair of middle-aged gunslingers in a project reportedly being referred to as Almodovar's answer to Brokeback Mountain.

The cult horror classic Event Horizon marks its 25th anniversary with a new, Limited-Edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook on Aug. 9 from Paramount Home Entertainment, per a press release. SteelBook features exclusive slipcase packaging, the feature film on a 4K Ultra HD disc with Dolby Vision™ and HDR-10, access to a digital copy of the film, as well as the legacy bonus content on Blu-ray Disc (such as commentary by director Paul W.S. Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt, featurettes and trailers).

Cameron Diaz, who stepped back from Hollywood in 2018, will star alongside Jamie Foxx in the Netflix action-comedy film Back in Action, Variety noted. The project reunites Diaz and Foxx, who worked together on 1999's sports drama Any Given Sunday and 2014's Annie remake, which was Diaz's final film role before stepping away.

Wendy Williams said she only has "maybe 5 percent" feeling left in her feet amid her battle with lymphedema, per Page Six. Speaking with TMZ, Williams lifted her swollen leg to show fans how her condition has progressed since stepping down from hosting The Wendy Williams Show, which ended on June 17 (with guest host Sherri Shepherd). In 2019, Williams revealed her diagnosis after pics showed her swollen ankles. She also suffers from Graves' disease, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones. Recently, she announced she's producing her own podcast, which will bring her more money and free time.

Justin Timberlake is being sued in federal court by longtime music-video director John Urbano over a film about Timberlake's blockbuster The 20/20 Experience album that has never seen the light of day, Deadline reported. Under a profit-sharing plan initiated supposedly by Timberlake, he and advertising vet Urbano would film the docu under the radar and bring it to market along with the release of the long-awaited album. Urbano is alleging that Timberlake conned him out of approximately $2.5 million.

In a conversation with Alec Baldwin that was livestreamed on Instagram, Woody Allen said he plans to direct "one or two more" films, but added "the thrill is gone" because of the decline of the theatrical experience, Deadline noted. Without revealing details about the project, Allen said he will direct a film that will shoot in Paris in the late summer or early fall. His last film was Rifkin's Festival, which grossed just $2.3 million, reaching the U.S. in a limited release earlier this year.

Embattled Disney CEO Bob Chapek has gotten a new three-year contract, Deadline noted. He's taken a few hits, including in a high-profile legal scuffle with Scarlett Johannson, and from perceived waffling around Florida's Parental Rights In Education bill (dubbed "Don't Say Gay"), which took effect July 1.

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