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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SHOWBIZ Rufus Wainwright, Taylor Swift, Diana Ross, lesbian film, marriage items
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3794 times since Fri Jun 9, 2023
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Queer Grammy-nominated singer Rufus Wainwright has released the new album Folkocracy, a press item announced. The star-studded collection of folk music reinventions—featuring Brandi Carlile, Chaka Khan, Sheryl Crow, John Legend, David Byrne, Nicole Scherzinger and others—arrives via BMG in a range of formats, including digital download, CD and vinyl. According to the announcement, "Folkocracy sees the critically acclaimed artist celebrating his upcoming 50th birthday by revisiting his roots, of childhood summers spent at folk festivals and watching his famous family on stage."

As Taylor Swift's "Eras Tour" stop in Chicago started on June 2, the pop icon wished fans a happy Pride Month and celebrated those who are "living authentically and beautifully," per NBC Chicago. Speaking to the thousands who gathered for the first of three nightly performances at Soldier Field, Swift said her concert was not only a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community, but also a celebratory space. However, the singer also talked about anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, adding that fans should vote and become allies of the community.

Boing Boing ran an article on writer/producer/performer Nile Rodgers explaining how and why he wrote the 1980 hit "I'm Coming Out" for Diana Ross. While in the process of interviewing Ross to get a sense of the direction of the album he went to the Manhattan drag nightclub The Gilded Grape, and noticed that there were at least seven Diana Ross impersonators there. However, the song's gay-power meaning was initially totally lost on Ross, who thought it was about her leaving Motown Records and declaring independence from Berry Gordy, who had controlled her entire career to that point.

The critically acclaimed lesbian-themed film You Can Live Forever is now out on Blu-ray via Kino Lorber, per a press release. According to the release, "When lesbian teen Jaime (Anwen O'Driscoll) is sent to live in a Jehovah's Witness community, she falls for a devout Witness girl (June LaPorte)—and the two embark on an intense affair with consequences that will reshape the rest of their lives."

LGBTQ+ actress/Broadway star/producer Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) tied the knot with Bonnie Chance on May 20 at the Cedar Lakes Estate in Hudson Valley, New York, after five years of dating, Page Six noted. The twosome chose a summer camp-themed wedding, organized and run by women. Feldstein said that the theme held a special place in her heart, in part, because summer camp is where her parents and "both sets" of grandparents met.

Also, Jenna Jameson and girlfriend Jessi Lawless tied the knot in Las Vegas in late May, according to Extra. Jameson, a businesswoman and former porn star, told People Magazine, "I found the person that I truly should have always been with." The nuptials took place at the Little Church of the West—the same venue where Jameson's parents got married. They plan to have a bigger celebration down the road. Jameson, who plans on taking Lawless' surname, was previously married to Brad Armstrong (1996 to 2001) and Jay Grdina (2003 to 2006).

Madonna and Sam Smith teased their new single, "Vulgar," ahead of its June 9 release, per Page Six. The collaborators went on TikTok to share snippets of their respective verses from the upcoming ballroom-influenced dance track. The Grammy winners announced on May 24 that they had a collaboration on the way.

OUTtv Proud, the FAST channel created by OUTtv and Fuse Media, unveiled its first-ever Pride Month programming throughout June, per a press release. Drag icon BeBe Zahara Benet (in the doc Being Bebe) and trans performer/activist Peppermint are just two of the many LGBTQ+ individuals who share their personal challenges and triumphs in OUTtv Proud's programming. Peppermint, Jiggly Caliente, and Carmen Carerra and Kylie Sonique Love are the four transgender women featured in Translation—a roundtable series focusing on the specific issues trans people face on a daily basis. See .

Elle Fanning (The Great) and Sarah Paulson (Ratched; American Horror Story) are attached to star in I Am Sybil, per Deadline. It explores the true story behind the best-selling book and widely known case of Sybil, one of the first mainstream cases of dissociative identity disorder (or multiple personality disorder, as it was then known). Fanning will reportedly play Sybil (real name: Shirley Mason), with Paulson as psychologist Connie Wilbur, who treated her.

Never-before-seen draft lyrics of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" suggest that Freddie Mercury considered giving his anthem a different title—"Mongolian Rhapsody," according to CNN. The discovery was made following the emergence of a 15-page folio of lyrics, vocal lines and harmonies handwritten by Mercury as he composed his 1975 hit. The manuscript is among approximately 1,500 of the singer's personal belongings heading to auction at Sotheby's in London in September; the items are expected to garner a total of up to $1.5 million.

IMAX and Fathom Events are partnering to release Renee Fleming's Cities That Sing in more than 450 movie screens across the country with two one-day-only presentations, per a press release. Showcasing the well-known soprano, Renee Fleming's Cities That Sing: Paris will run on Aug. 26 and Renee Fleming's Cities That Sing: Venice will be shown on Sept. 16. Tickets are at

Among many other celebrities, queer singer Demi Lovato took to Instagram to mark the first day of Pride Month, noted. Lovato shared a selfie that she took in a rainbow-shaped mirror. Other shots in Lovato's post include pics of her dogs, a photo with her boyfriend, Jute$, and several selfies.

"Camp" Camp—a summer camp for LGBTQ+ adults in Portland, Maine—is hosting its milestone 25th-anniversary season on Aug. 20-27, per a press release. From its very first summer, the event has been structured just like a traditional sleep-away camp, with an activities schedule that offers everything from canoeing to stained glass to volleyball to an annual Talent/No Talent Show. Registration and more information on "Camp" Camp's staff program can be found at .

Nikki Fowler—an entertainment journalist who has served as the president of the Hollywood Critics Association—has resigned from her post, per The Hollywood Reporter (THR). In a letter obtained by THR, Fowler wrote to the association's board that, for her "own well-being," she is no longer willing to subject herself to "a hostile, biased and dismissive executive work environment."

Queer South Africa-born, Los Angeles-based independent recording artist Kaien Cruz (they/them) released the upbeat summer Afropop anthem "I Lay," per a press release. The track is accompanied by a cinematic video—directed by Hunter So, with production by Anna Dickson—that was shot on location in Costa Rica and features an appearance by Cruz's partner. See

Longtime Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi said she's leaving the competition after 19 seasons, per The Hollywood Reporter. In an Instagram post, she said, "Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and exec producer, I am extremely proud to have been a part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food. After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly."

Justin Bieber's dad, Jeremy, posted an offensive anti-LGBTQ+ message for Pride Month, according to Page Six. Jeremy shared a homophobic meme featuring a rainbow flag with the sarcastic caption, "Don't forget to thank a straight person this month for your existence." The since-deleted post came two days after Jeremy, who has four children with three women, tweeted that people "need to celebrate families."

Chris Hemsworth discussed booking roles outside of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and unfavorable comments from Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino about actors in superhero films, Deadline noted. "That's super-depressing when I hear that," Hemsworth told British GQ about Scorsese and Tarantino's thoughts about actors in MCU films. "There [go] two of my heroes I won't work with. I guess they're not [fans] of me." However, Hemsworth added that Scorsese and Tarantino were "still my heroes," also stating, "In a heartbeat, I would leap to work with any of them." Tarantino recently called out the "Marvel-ization of Hollywood," making movie stars obsolete.

The end of the second night of the annual Roots Picnic took a surprising turn when evening headliner Lauryn Hill welcomed old friends and former Fugees bandmates Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel for a brief reunion of the hit-making R&B-hip-hop trio, according to Variety. The publication commented, "Starting with 'The Score' and ending with the sing-song-y 'Fu-Gee-La,' the six-song set-within-a-set seemed like a fully-rehearsed, crisply executed session as opposed to an impromptu, last-minute thing" In 2021, the group canceled a world tour and, in April, Michel was convicted on international conspiracy charges and seemed to be looking at a long stint in prison.

The Mother, starring Jennifer Lopez, is one of Netflix's most popular films of all time, according to Deadline. As of June 6, the movie was eighth on the Most Popular English Film List, replacing Purple Hearts and bumping The Irishman off the list entirely—and its 28-day premiere measurement window doesn't end until June 11. Other films on the English-language list as of June 6 were The Boss Baby, Missing, 2 Hearts, Shooter, We're the Millers, Dirty Grandpa, To Leslie, The Choice and F9: The Fast Saga.

Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum-selling artist Noah Cyrus announced headlining summer and fall tour dates in support of her debut album, The Hardest Part, per a press release. The 22-city tour kicks off Aug. 24 at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver and includes stops in Portland, Seattle, Boulder, St. Louis, Orlando, Charlotte, Richmond, Detroit, Indianapolis and more before concluding Sept. 30 in Louisville, Kentucky. See

Former The Bachelorette contestant Josh Seiter has come out as bisexual, Queerty noted. "Unlike some people, my awareness of my bisexuality manifested later in life," he told Instinct Magazine. "I was homeschooled from preschool until college by parents who were born again Christians. We belonged to a sort of Christian cult of other homeschooled children, where we had to follow pretty draconian rules about what we could and couldn't do, say, and think." According to TV Shows Ace, Seiter is dating a man named David who works as an "exotic dancer."

Emmy winner Julianne Hough and So Help Me Todd star Skylar Astin will host The Tony Awards: Act One—a live pre-show with exclusive content that is available to viewers for free on Pluto TV—on June 11, per a press release. Hough, star of last season's hit Broadway play Potus, and Astin, who originated the role of Georg in the Tony- and Grammy-winning musical Spring Awakening, will kick off Broadway's biggest night with the presentation of the first round of Tony Awards during the pre-show telecast. The 76th Annual Tony Awards—with Academy Award winner and Tony nominee Ariana DeBose hosting—will take place immediately after that airing.

Laura Benanti has left Prime Video's upcoming TV adaptation of Cruel Intentions because of scheduling conflicts, Variety noted. The Tony winner was set to appear in the recurring guest star role of Caroline's (Sarah Catherine Hook) mother, Claudia. Benanti co-stars in the upcoming No Hard Feelings, a raunchy coming-of-age movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Barth Feldman, and she's currently sharing the stage with Matthew Broderick in an off-Broadway production of A.R. Gurney's Love Letters.

Kelly Ripa once received an unexpected message from pal Andy Cohen while she was on the set of Live With Kelly and Mark—and got a lot more than she bargained for, according to Page Six. Ripa said on her podcast, Let's Talk Off Camera (with Cohen as a guest), that he sent her a photo of an erect penis, explaining that Cohen was planning to have a "sex romp" with a straight, Boston-based couple, which is how he acquired the pornographic pic. (The menage a trois reportedly never happened.) Cohen wrote about wanting to have a threesome with a heterosexual married couple in his most recent book, The Daddy Diaries.

ABC defeated a lawsuit from actor Ingo Rademacher over his dismissal from General Hospital for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, per The Hollywood Reporter. In 2021, he sued the network, claiming it refused to accommodate his religious objections. In an order granting summary judgment, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Goorvitch sided with ABC, which said that Rademacher's anti-vaccine stance was grounded in health reasons rather than his religious beliefs.

Bob's Burger actor Jay Johnston was charged for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Variety reported. On the animated series Bob's Burgers, Johnston voiced the character of Jimmy Pesto Sr., a fellow restaurant owner and main rival to lead character Bob Belcher (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin). Johnston was fired in December 2021 after his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Director Bryan Singer is reportedly self-financing a documentary to address the sexual-assault allegations that have been leveled against him as he plots a comeback, per Variety. The claims against director of such films as The Usual Suspects and several X-Men movies began in 1997, on the set of Apt Pupil. In March 2019, Alex French and Maximillian Potter published an investigative report in The Atlantic in which four more young men claimed Singer sexually assaulted them when they were minors; the article is at .

After being hit with a sexual-harassment lawsuit by his former personal assistant, DJ Paul Oakenfold called the claim "baseless," according to Deadline. In a post on Instagram and Twitter, the musician said, in part, ""It is disheartening to see these baseless accusations, which appear to be nothing more than a calculated attempt to tarnish my reputation and extort money."

Minutes before jury selection was schedule to start in New York in the civil case against actor Cuba Gooding Jr. for an alleged 2013 assault, a deal was announced between the Oscar winner and the unnamed plaintiff, Deadline reported. Seeking $6 million in damages when she first filed the action nearly three years ago, the plaintiff was ordered last week by U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty to refile her complaint and reveal her identity in fairness to Gooding—which may have played a role in today's settlement. However, the court had also allowed three other women to testify at the trial of Gooding assaulting them or attempting to assault them.

Facing up to 30 years behind bars for being found guilty last month of two counts of rape, That 70's Show actor Danny Masterson will be sentenced on Aug. 4, Deadline noted. Taken away in handcuffs on May 31 at the conclusion of his sexual-assault retrial, Masterson is currently being held in custody in "administrative segregation" in the LA County Men's Central Jail.

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