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The Real First Agency For Trans Models Merits Media Spotlight, Too

July 27th, 2015 Chris Roney
Photo via Transcendence Icon

Photo via Transcendence Icon

Apple Model Management L.A.  made headlines this week after becoming “the world’s first agency to represent all-transgender models,” The Advocate reports. This summer, the Bangkok-based modeling agency will put down roots in Los Angeles to begin exclusively promoting their transgender model division.

“We see trans individuals as beautiful,” says LA agency director Cecilio Asuncion. “Our strong commitment to developing them as successful models is never about quantifying or qualifying their gender. It’s never a question of if they are women or men, it’s about their passion and commitment to being the best possible models they can be.”

Asuncion went on to tell The Advocate that plenty of trans* models over the years have been unable to achieve their true potential, curbed by stigmas the fashion industry held toward the community. Now, he says, is time that changes.

There’s just one thing.

The world’s first transgender-specific modeling agency already exists in none other than Boise, Idaho, and its those exact stigmas that are keeping it out of this week’s discourse over transgender models over on Buzzfeed, Elle, Hollywood Reporter, and beyond.

Transcendence Icon, a small, yet growing firm, has been way ahead of the curve in promoting trans* beauty, fostering the careers of transgender models, commercial actors, dancers, and others since last March.

On Thursday, the agency issued a press release in response to The Advocate, who falsely attributed Apple Agency as the world’s first agency of its kind.

“Recently, other existing modeling agencies, both in the United States and overseas (namely Apple Models, Bangkok, Thailand) have begun to add representation of transgender models to their existing format, and some of those agencies claim to be first out of the gate.”

Apple Model Management’s height requirements for its models, a 5’8” requirement for trans* woman and a 6′ and up requirement for trans* men, are not only unrealistic for trans* individuals, but breed a serious lack of diversity, says Amy Icon, creator and executive director of Transcendence Icon.

On The Advocate’s report, Icon told Passport: “It’s a real disfavor to us, and to our 14-year-old brand ambassador D.W. Wiona. They clearly didn’t check their facts.”

Among the transgender models who wouldn’t make the Apple cut are D.W. Wiona, a key player in lobbying state legislation to the Senate floor this year that allowed transgender students to use preferred-gender restrooms in public schools. A true beauty in her own right, the young trailblazer stands at 5 feet, 6 inches.

“While the agency doesn’t have an office in New York or Paris or Milan, it was the first of its kind and manages a number of unique and beautiful models with unbelievable potential.”

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Urine-Proof Paint Fires Back at Public Urinators in San Francisco

July 27th, 2015 Chris Roney
Photo via Youtube

Photo via Youtube

In an effort to teach public urinators a lesson, San Francisco is painting its walls with UV-coated, urine-repellent paint, the Bay Area’s KPIX reports. The new, freshly-painted walls stay clean and dry by instantly repelling liquid, which for offenders, means spraying urine right back at them.

“We are piloting it to see if we can discourage people from peeing at many of our hot spots,” Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru tells SFGate. “Nobody wants to smell urine. We are trying different things to try to make San Francisco smell nice and look beautiful.”

According to the Huffington Post, San Francisco Public Works has racked up 375 requests to steam-clean urine-soaked walls since the beginning of this year. Peeing in public has long been punishable by fines of up to $100, which ultimately do little to curb the problem.

Crews have painted a total of 10 walls so far in San Francisco, and according to KPIX, the city intends to keep the paint coming. So, public whizzers, beware. And dog owners, be warned: You might want to map a new route for dog walking, unless you want each day to end in a bath for your pooch.

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In the VIP Lounge with Allison Janney

July 27th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Allison Janney. Photo by Kate Romero.

Allison Janney. Photo by Kate Romero.

For her recurring role as Margaret Scully, the sex-deprived spouse of a gay man on Showtime’s hit series Masters of Sex, actress Allison Janney added another Emmy Award to her already crowded shelf. Some of her best-known turns include White House press secretary C.J. Cregg on TV’s The West Wing, which won her four Emmys; as Meryl Streep’s lesbian lover in The Hours; as stepmother to Ellen Page in Juno; as Amanda Bynes’ religious kook mom in the musical film version of John Waters’ Hairspray; and, most recently, as star of CBS TV series Mom, which also scored her an Emmy.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, and currently based in Studio City, CA, the six-foot-tall Janney is an ally and champion for the LGBT community, and has helped raise money for AIDS-related foundations. She inhabited Lily Tomlin’s role in the Broadway musical version of9 to 5, netting a Tony nomination in the process, while her prolific 60-plus film resume includes turns in The Help, Prop 8: The Musical, American Beauty, The Way Way Back, and, currently in theaters, Bridesemaids’ writer/director Paul Feig’s latest comedy, Spy, in which Janney appears alongside Jude Law, Rose Byrne, and Jason Statham as head of a CIA spy ring.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

 

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Watch: Julianne Moore and Ellen Page Warm Hearts as Gay Couple in New Trailer for ‘Freeheld’

July 27th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Freeheld.

Image via Freeheld.

The highly anticipated lesbian drama Freeheld received its first poster and trailer over the weekend, and in the short trailer, the film’s stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page perfectly capture the struggle for equality in the US. The film is based on a true love story that follows a New Jersey police detective, Moore, and her partner, Page, who learn just how unjust anti-gay marriage laws are after Moore’s character is diagnosed with terminal cancer and is unable to leave her pension with Page.

 

Check out the first trailer after the jump…

Read more…

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Join Andy Cohen and PFLAG in NYC!

July 27th, 2015 Tyler Neasloney
Join Andy Cohen and PFLAG on July 29th in NYC!

Join Andy Cohen and PFLAG on July 29th in NYC!

For the second year, PFLAG is taking over New York City for a culinary event that is too hot to handle! Join host Andy Cohen at the luxe Jenn-Air showroom in NYC on July 29th for a night of gourmet bites and cocktails at the second annual HOT! Benefitting PFLAG National.

Buy your tickets here!

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Global Cocktail: The Sangrita

July 24th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image Sangrita

Image Sangrita

¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro! Take today to celebrate National Tequila Day by lugging back a few drinks made from Mexico’s most prized plant—blue agave. We found a delicious summertime cocktail called the sangrita that combines our two favorite poolside drinks: sangria and margaritas.

Directions

  • Pour 4 ice cubes in the mixer glass
  • Add the ingredients, without tequila
  • Shake vigorously
  • Place the mix into the margarita glass
  • Decorate with lemon slice
  • Serve the tequila on a shot glass
  • Use the sangrita  as chaser
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Cocktail Music: The bird and the bee’s ‘Recreational Love’

July 24th, 2015 Chris Roney
Photo via The Bird and the Bee

Photo via The Bird and the Bee

 

The fourth album from the bird and the bee, Recreational Love marks the welcome return of LA-based pop duo Greg Kurstin and Inara George. We didn’t know it, but we’ve been pining over their dulcet, synth-heavy stylings for quite some time now.

“We didn’t mean to take so long, but life ended up getting in the way, in a great way,” says vocalist Inara George, who first began collaborations with multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin back in 2005, before his Grammy nomination.

Nowadays, Inara lends her vocal talents to indie-folk outfit Living Sisters, and Greg’s been hard at work producing for the likes of Sia, Lykke Li, and Charli XCX, to name a few. To craft the retro-inspired tunes off their latest album, the duo carved Friday mornings out of their schedules each week to sit down at Greg’s studio.

Five years in the making, Recreational Love hits its honeyed mark with “Will You Dance,” the band’s bass-drenched lead single that’s reminiscent of Haim’s Falling in its rounded out sound. To answer preemptively for you, this beat-driven track, “a dance song” at heart, will have you on your feet.

“It’s about the strangeness of people in that the things that are most natural to us, we have such a hard time letting happen,” Inara told Diffuser. “The idea is, ‘Don’t worry about what people think, just do whatever feels good to you.'”

So, is this what being struck by Cupid’s arrow feels like? Regardless, the bird and the bee’s latest record boasts summer jams we can get behind, from “Los Angeles” to “Recreational Love.” Listen for yourself, below.

 

Read more…

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Gay Family Travel: Aulani, A Disney Resort And Spa, Ko Olina, Hawaii

July 24th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Disney Aulani

Image via Disney Aulani

It’s time to take your family vacation to a whole new level, and what better place than Hawaii to show your loved ones just what kind of magic can happen when you travel?. At Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, take in the 21 oceanfront acres on the western side of O’ahu in the Ko Olina Resort Community and Marina. The two-tower resort comprises 351 hotel rooms, 16 suites, and 481 two-bedroom Disney Vacation Club Villas, but you’ll get the personal service you’d expect from Disney. In the day go on a curated excursion of the island or kick the vacation action into high gear at the resort’s seven-acre water playground, featuring pools, water slides, the Waikolohe Stream waterway, and a fun play area known as the Menehune bridge. Don’t miss the Rainbow Reef, which is the only private snorkeling lagoon on O‘ahu and offers an up-close look at the many brightly colored fish found in the Hawaiian waters.

 

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

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Caitlyn Jenner Dazzles in ‘I Am Cait’ Series Premiere

July 24th, 2015 Chris Roney
Photo via Youtube

Photo via Youtube

“What a responsibility I have towards this community,” Jenner says in the opening moments of I Am Cait, wide awake from uneasiness at 4:30 A.M. “I just hope I get it right.”

And right she did by the premiere episode of her highly anticipated, eight-hour docuseries, which stars Caitlyn — formerly Bruce Jenner — as she takes her next steps into the uncharted territory of womanhood with admirable poise.

Caitlyn Jenner’s debut sails on with her new E! series, I Am Cait, a poignant move among many as of late for the 65-year-old trailblazer. Her last public appearance as Bruce Jenner in April, an unforgettable interview with Diane Sawyer, saw 17 million viewers tune in. It’s fair to say her “Call Me Caitlyn” Vanity Fair cover, in which she presented as a woman for the first time, sent the media into full-fledged blitz, further dizzied when she usurped President Obama’s Twitter-follower record later that day. And just last week, the former Olympian went on to deliver a remarkably articulate speech at the ESPY Awards, where she was honored with the evening’s high honor, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

But I Am Cait tops all else, making its Keeping Up predecessor look even less substantive, if at all possible. Kim Kardashian does (of course) make a short appearance, offering Jenner the reminder, “All eyes on you now. You cannot disappoint.”

In this Sunday’s premiere episode of I Am Cait, viewers will be introduced to a new father-daugher dynamic between Caitlyn and her 17-year-old daughter Kylie Jenner, who “meets” Caitlyn for the first time as the cameras are rolling, per usual.

“Hey, pretty!” Kylie says before giving Caitlin a big hug.

“Hey, baby! I didn’t know you were here!” Caitlyn says. “You look so pretty,” Kylie lights up.

It’s a moment that’s colored with a sincerity that almost leads you to wonder if you’ve stumbled upon a different E! entirely, one that doesn’t air shows like the #RichKids of Beverly Hills, a notoriously snobbish melodrama that hits viewers with questions like, “Have you ever partied so hard you partied your eyebrows off?”

Take note, reality TV. Catch the premiere of I Am Cait this Sunday on E!, and watch a snippet of when Kylie met Caitlyn below.

Read more…

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Deep thoughts from Big Dipper

July 24th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Big Dipper

Image via Big Dipper

by Jim Gladstone

“Where drag queens were before RuPaul’s show came on the air. That’s where bears are now,” the ursine Brooklyn-based rapper Big Dipper, who has just released a new EP, Extra Good, featuring ‘Vibin’, a seasonally splendid single on the order of Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s classic ‘Summertime.’ “Bear culture is not really mainstream culture yet. Straight people are just starting to understand what a bear is.”

Still from YouTube.

Still from YouTube.

“Even in the gay world,” says Dipper—who prefers to keep his real name under wraps when promoting his raps— “despite the fact that there are young guys who call themselves bear cubs, I think there’s still an idea among a lot of people is that a bear is something that its ok to end up as. You may be a twink now, but what will you look like when you’re 55? All roads lead to bear. Take a look at the throwback Thursday photos on Facebook: There are a lot of bears and daddies who were twinks until their metabolism slowed down.”

For Dipper, the increased acceptance of bear culture, however slowly, has been a blessing.

“The thing that’s interesting about hip hop,” he says, “is that even as its become mainstream, its also always had very local sub communities. There’s a very specific hip hop scene in Tokyo, in Madagascar, in India, in Russia.”

And now in bear country.

“Authenticity matters in hip hop, and the way I do it is authentic to me. I’m funny and I’m bawdy, with a touch of burlesque. That’s me, that’s my background. I don’t try to convey someone else’s experience by snatching someone else’s story or style. I’m a white person from the suburbs. I’m gay. I’m Jewish. I’m big. I’m covered with hair. And hip hop is my favorite kind of music.”

Watch the mer-rific ‘Vibin’ video after the jump:

Read more…

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