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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SHOWBIZ Rocker comes out, Billie Eilish, Luke Evans, 'Housewives,' 'Masculinity' book
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4403 times since Fri Jun 30, 2023
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Josh Kiszka, frontman for the Grammy-winning rock band Greta Van Fleet, came out as gay in an Instagram post, according to Instinct Magazine. He wrote, in part, "The greatest mortal gift of all is our capacity to love." In addition, he posted, "Where I've settled a home in Tennessee, legislators are proposing bills that threaten the freedom of love. It's imperative that I speak my truth for not only myself, but in hopes to change hearts, minds, and laws in Tennessee and beyond. These issues are especially close to my heart as I've been in a loving, same-sex relationship with my partner for the past 8 years. Those close to me are well-aware, but it's important to me to share publicly."

Also, Greta Van Fleet released a new song, "The Falling Sky," ahead of an album drop and a world tour, a press item announced. The album, Starcatcher, will be out July 21 on Lava/Republic Records. Locally, the band will be at Allstate Arena on Sept. 6.

Singer/actress Billie Eilish admitted to Vogue that despite dealing with a barrage of negative comments online, those about her appearance "still hurt" her feelings, Page Six noted. The seven-time Grammy winner added, "Honestly, nobody can say anything about my body that I don't have a stronger opinion about… I also think that if I was younger, like if the internet talked about me the way they do now when I was like 11, I don't think I would be able to exist, to be honest." In March, she revealed that she deleted all social media apps from her phone—despite having more than 110 million followers on Instagram.

Out Welsh actor Luke Evans stars opposite Billy Porter in Our Son, which premiered at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival—and Evans said he wept after reading the script that contained one of his few gay roles, HuffPost noted. (Evans also played a gay character in the 2021 Hulu series Nine Perfect Strangers.) "I've been ready to take that step for ages. I just haven't found the right story [until now]," he told People. "Divorce is as right for a gay couple as marriage, and I hadn't really seen that, and when I read it, every time I've read the script, I wept." Off-screen, Evans is in a relationship with boyfriend Fran Tomas, a graphic designer from Spain.

Real Housewives of Orange County co-star Heather Dubrow has four children—and three of them identify as LGBTQ+, per USA Today. "I feel like I was given these kids for a reason," Dubrow said. "And what I really would love to do is to keep having conversations, and opening up conversations in other people's families." She also said, "I'm really very careful to make sure that my kids are all telling their own stories, and identifying as they wish, as they grow and figure out who they are as humans. Being a parent of these very unique children is—I'm so exceptionally proud."

Also, Real Housewives of Orange County's Taylor Armstrong revealed that she's bisexual, as she detailed a five-year relationship she had with a woman before her first marriage, per Page Six. During a recent episode, she discussed the relationship while adding, "Most people are surprised to find out that I'm bisexual, probably just because of stereotypes. … I mean, it's not something I broadcast, but I'm open to all people who have great souls that you can love."

On Oct. 17, The University of Minnesota Press will release the K. Allison Hammer book Masculinity in Transition. According to a press release, "Masculinity in Transition makes a major intervention in masculinity studies, proposing how a broad range of transgender and queer masculinities have redefined what it means to be masculine. K. Allison Hammer analyzes shifting relationships to masculinity in canonical works of twentieth-century literature and film, as well as in twenty-first-century media, performance, and transgender poetics."

Two of the NHL's biggest stars—Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid—spoke out against the league's new speciality jersey ban, according to Queerty. Last season, multiple players across the league refused to wear rainbow-themed warmup jerseys; some times, like the Chicago Blackhawks, scrapped the uniforms altogether. "It was 98 percent or 99 percent of other players that wore the jersey and enjoyed wearing it and were proud wearing it, whatever jersey it was, whether it was the Pride, the military night, the cancer nights," Stamkos recently told reporters.

LGBTQ+ DJ The Blessed Madonna released her new single "Mercy," a collaboration with Jacob Lusk of Gabriels, per a press release. The Blessed Madonna said, "I began by thinking about what love is for me in my life and arrived at the simple idea that it was at its core a promise not just to live but to forgive. Love is Mercy. Over many revisions and with the developments that came from working with Jacob and the rest of the many people who came together to make this record a reality, the idea deepened and we found exactly the sweet spot between the church and the dance floor that I was looking for."

Queerty talked with Krishnanand "Kris" Kelkar of Max's "rom-doc" Swiping America, which follows four singles as they travel across the country and get set up on dates with compatible partners. In part, Kelkar (who's openly gay) said of the singles, "We just love each other. Like, it's a rare group of friends who have gone through a really unique experience of living together in their 30s—that's also super-rare. And no one's competitive with each other; we all want what's best for each other."

Rihanna has stepped down as CEO of her lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, according to Yahoo! Entertainment. The billionaire beauty mogul appointed former Anthropologie Group CEO Hillary Super to succeed her. Rihanna has held the position since she founded Savage X Fenty in 2018. Rihanna will remain in a leadership role as executive chair.

Angela Bassett, Mel Brooks (who just turned 97) and Carol Littleton will receive honorary Oscars at this year's Governors Awards, announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, according to Variety. Also, the Sundance Institute's Michelle Satter will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The statuettes will be presented at the 14th annual ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Los Angeles.

In California, after six months of searching, the San Bernardino County sheriff's office confirmed that the human remains found earlier this week by hikers were, indeed, those of actor Julian Sands, who had been missing since mid-January, Deadline noted. The statement said his cause of death is still pending, but Sands was an experienced hiker who loved the outdoors. Most recently, Sands co-starred in the 2021 LGBTQ+ drama Benediction alongside Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi, who both played older and younger versions of queer First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon, per PinkNews.

Global chart-topping Swedish duo Icona Pop—known for their song "I Love It (I Don't Care)"—revealed details about their second studio album, Club Romantech, which is set to drop Sept. 1 via Ultra Records/Iconic Sound Recordings/TEN Music Group, per a press release. (The duo consists of Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt.) Speaking about the album, Hjelt said, "As Icona Pop, we can release a pop tune or a super hard dance song, and that's who we are. When we started to write this album, we didn't have any rules. We just had a vision we wanted to share with our fans. We're inviting them into our world."

Queer artist Olive Klug (they/them) released the Pride anthem "Song About America" ahead of the Aug. 11 drop date for their 11-track album Don't You Dare Make Me Jaded, via Nettwerk, according to a press release. "Song About America" looks at U.S. culture, politics and social issues, shedding light on the persistent challenges faced by marginalized communities, such as homophobia, transphobia, racism and xenophobia.

Original The Book of Mormon co-stars Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells will reunite in the Broadway debut of Beetlejuice book writers Scott Brown and Anthony King's Gutenberg! The Musical, per Playbill. It will play a limited 20-week engagement at the James Earl Jones Theatre beginning Sept. 15 and opening Oct. 12. The performance will be Rannells' first Broadway engagement since starring in The Boys in the Band in 2018, and Gad's first since his Tony-nominated turn (opposite Rannells) in 2011's "Mormon."

On the closing night of the Frameline: San Francisco International LGBTQ+ film festival, the Colin Higgins Foundation and Frameline awarded three LGBTQ+ youths—Daisy Friedman, Karina Dandashi and Emilio Subia—with Colin Higgins Youth Filmmaker Grants of $15,000 each, for a total of $45,000 to support their future film projects, per a press release. The grant is named after the late Colin Higgins—the acclaimed screenwriter and director responsible for such classic films as Harold and Maude, 9 to 5 and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. After being diagnosed with HIV in 1985, he started the foundation to support LQBTQ+ youth to help them achieve their dreams; Higgins died in 1988.

Former NBA legend Dennis Rodman showed up to Houston's recent Pride parade in quite the outfit, per Queerty. The five-time NBA champ walked the route in a plaid skirt and T-shirt that said "Live and Love." Rodman was a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ people decades ago, when there weren't many public allies in the world of male pro sports. In a 2019 interview, Rodman (who identifies as straight) opened up about his relationship with gay men in the '90s. However, some of his fans were not appreciative of Rodman's Pride outfit on social media, The Advocate noted.

A Broadway stage musical adaptation of the Fannie Hurst novel Imitation of Life and its film versions is under development at Universal Theatrical Group, with Lynn Nottage writing the book and John Legend overseeing the music and lyrics, per Deadline. Although details of the two films and the novel differ, all three share a main plot: Two women—one Black and one white—become friends and, in some versions, business partners, each raising a daughter who also become friends.

Austin Butler, Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan, Keke Palmer, Stephanie Hsu and music superstar Taylor Swift were among the almost 400 artists and execs invited to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Variety noted. The 2023 class is 40% women. Thirty-four percent belong to underrepresented ethnic/racial communities and 52% are from 51 countries and territories outside the United States.

David Corenswet (the Netflix miniseries Hollywood) will play Superman while Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) will portray Lois Lane in James Gunn's Superman: Legacy, according to Deadline. The Superman: Legacy casting process has gone on for months, with DC co-chairs Peter Safran and Gunn wanting a thorough search to find the new leads for this new franchise. Superman: Legacy has been set for a worldwide release on July 11, 2025.

LGBTQ+ actress Gillian Anderson has signed on to star in Kurt Sutter's upcoming Netflix Western series The Abandons, joining star Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Variety reported. The official series description states: "As a group of diverse, outlier families pursue their Manifest Destiny in 1850s Oregon, a corrupt force of wealth and power, coveting their land, tries to force them out. These abandoned souls, the kind of lost souls living on the fringe of society, unite their tribes to form a family and fight back."

Paramount+ has canceled several of its originals including Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, Star Trek: Prodigy, Queen of the Universe and The Game—and is taking the shows off its platform as it becomes the latest media company to take a content write-down, Deadline reported. Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies has been canceled after one season, Star Trek: Prodigy will not be going forth with its previously announced second season, The Game has been canceled after two seasons and Graham Norton-hosted reality series Queen of the Universe has been axed after two seasons.

Actress Fran Drescher (best-known from TV's The Nanny) is running for re-election for SAG-AFTRA president and garnered the endorsements of both of the union's major political parties, Unite for Strength and Membership First—which are typically bitter rivals, per The Hollywood Reporter. Current union secretary-treasurer Joely Fisher will be running alongside Drescher for the same seat and is also being endorsed by both parties, alongside other candidates for the national and Los Angeles local boards that will be announced by Aug. 9.

Out gay director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day; Stonewall) has teamed with people behind the likes of World of Warcraft for a new franchise, Space Nation, per Deadline. Space Nation is designed to be an online space opera game, a TV series and a series of animated shorts.

The last two Olympic all-around gymnastics champions—U.S. athletes Sunisa Lee and the legendary Simone Biles—have officially gotten their comebacks underway, according to . The duo are set to take part in the 2023 U.S. Classic on Aug. 5 at the NOW Arena in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates. The competition is the final qualifying event to the U.S. Championships.

Ryan Seacrest confirmed in an Instagram post that he will succeed Pat Sajak on Wheel of Fortune, Variety noted. In June, Sajak announced his plans to retire from hosting the game show after 41 seasons. During his tenure hosting "Fortune" alongside letter turner Vanna White, Sajak (who will continue as a consultant) has won the Daytime Emmy for outstanding game show host three times, with 19 total nominations.

At the BET Awards, Patti LaBelle paid tribute to the late Tina Turner—but experienced a technical issue with the show's teleprompter while singing "The Best" and flubbed some of the song's lyrics, USA Today noted. "I'm trying y'all," she told the studio audience as she briefly improvised. As for the night's winners, SZA and Beyonce each prevailed three times, including tying for the Album of the Year Award, per Deadline.

Kelly Clarkson said she relied heavily on antidepressants to get through her bitter divorce from Brandon Blackstock, according to Page Six. "I looked at my therapist and I just couldn't stop sobbing, and I was like, 'I actually had to cancel some of the other day because I couldn't stop crying. I cannot do this,'" the singer said on the Las Culturistas podcast, which features hosts Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang. "I was on Lexapro for, like, I think two months," she added.

Jaden Smith revealed that his mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, introduced the rest of the Smith family to psychedelics, per The Independent. Jaden made the remarks while speaking at the Psychedelic Science conference in Denver. He later credited psychedelics with helping him deepen his emotional connections with sister Willow and half-brother Trey.

And speaking of the Smith family, Will Smith reportedly turned down a chance to feature emerging drag queen RuPaul on his popular 1990s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, according to The Advocate, citing People. The claim comes from Bel-Air executive producer David Steven Simon, who is quoted in a new book by journalist Thea Glassman—Freaks, Gleeks, and Dawson's Creek: How Seven Teen Shows Transformed Television. "The reason he would say no is because of his image. Period. The end," Simon added, suggesting that Smith may have balked at the idea of being seen on television with a drag queen.

New Kanye West antisemitism accusations have emerged in The Trouble with Kanye—a BBC documentary that focuses on the recent times of the troubled artist, per Deadline. In the movie, the rapper's former business partner Alex Klein accuses him of anti-Jewish remarks when the pair parted ways. Speaking with the LA Times last year, Klein also said West "tried to call me racist when I gently told him that attacking a whole race of people wasn't good for him or [audio remix device/music]streaming platform] Stem."

Roseanne Barr has come under fire again for making controversial comments about the Holocaust, per Page Six. The embattled comedian claimed "nobody died in the Holocaust" during a recent episode of the podcast This Past Weekend with Theo Von. However, Von later said on Twitter that Barr's comments were sarcastic.

A Texas grand jury did not indict rapper Travis Scott in relation to the November 2021 AstroWorld concert in Houston, Deadline reported. Ten people died and hundreds were injured from a crushing stampede at the show. Scott was on stage when the surge happened, joined by Drake. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said that "no single individual was criminally responsible."

TMZ noted that Eight Is Enough star Adam Rich died from an accidental fentanyl overdose, per Page Six. According to the autopsy report the outlet obtained, the L.A. County medical examiner also discovered non-toxic levels of alcohol and lorazepam, the generic for Ativan, in the actor's system at the time of his death. The update comes more than six months after Rich died at age 54.

Singer Nicole Scherzinger announced her engagement on Instagram by sharing photos of the exact moment her boyfriend of three years, Thom Evans, got down on one knee with a ring and popped the question, per Extra. The Pussycat Dolls star/Masked Singer judge and the former rugby player first met in 2019 during her time as a judge on The X Factor.

This article shared 4403 times since Fri Jun 30, 2023
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