Jennifer Hudson, Courtney Love, and Padma Lakshmi ‘Turn It Up’ for Gay Equality

October 23rd, 2014 Joseph Pedro

Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com
Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com
Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com
Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com

“One, turn it up for change. Two, turn it up for change. Three, turn it up for change,” MC Jack Mizrahi repeated as flawless boys, girls, and everything in between worked a runway at W Union Square to raise money for the HRC. A high-fashion and high-attitude crowd gathered in the ballroom (how appropriate) for a Paris is Burning–style ball where those who competed flipped, sashayed, death dropped, and tumbled down the runway in order to help raise awareness for marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws. They were judged by an eclectic, eccentric, and bizarre panel of judges that included the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Padma Lakshmi, Courtney Love, Lady Bunny, Legendary Damon, Trace Lysette, and Peter Brant II—we know, we had the same what-a-cast-of-characters face, too.

Lady Fag did her best to work through the sometimes awkwardly paced string of events that unfolded in the over two-hour show that began with a late-start performance from the impeccable Jennifer Hudson. Wearing a black slit dress, she dazzled the crowd with her effortless Siren song, “And I Am Telling You”—we’re surprised gays didn’t come in off the street. The show was broken down by traditional New York ball categories, and a hesitant judging panel didn’t seem to have the heart to be too hard on the contestants. After the second category “Flower Girl,” Top Chef‘s Padma Lakshmi felt at right on the judging panel when she leaned over into her microphone and said: “I wanted to tell the last contestant to please pack her flats and go.” Courtney Love also seemed to have a unique time sipping cocktails and closely (glasses on) examining the contestants’ outfits, but seemed most surprised when she was confronted by the assemblage of transmen.

Epic battles continued till nearly midnight when the show concluded with an epic walk off between transgender models Isis King and Claudia Charriez. Claudia Charriez beat the America‘s Next Top Model contestant, King, but then ultimately lost to a fierce girl named Tyra who was wearing an impressive body suit with a long white cape.

After the event, an after party was held in W Union Square’s new graffiti-filled basement bar (formerly Underbar, formerly Lilium) called Studio where Lady Bunny DJed to keep the fashionably intoxicated crowd going.

W, HRC, and Jennifer Hudson have set up dates for “Turn It Up For Change” across the country, click here for a full schedule (JHud will be select appearances). 

 

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Art of Travel: Vintage Travel Posters

October 23rd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

Starting in the late 19th-century, long before television and radio advertising, artful posters enticed, if not seduced, consumers to discover far-off places and exotic destinations. While leisure travel endures as one of life’s great aspirations and rewards, its advent and Golden Age were especially delectable. First there were voyages by sea, followed by the steady rise of pleasure excursions by rail and road before and after the WWI era, and then the excitement of the skies after WWII. Ian Fleming captures this early jet-age buzz in his 1959 book Thrilling Cities, that chronicles the Bond author’s visits to 14 “sin infested” destinations around the globe. In 1962, the first 007 film, Dr. No, helped fuel a generation’s lust for exotic travel.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

 

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The Official Airline to Middle Earth, Air New Zealand, Launches Another Epic In-Flight Safety Video

October 23rd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
During the filming an Orc tests out the new premium economy seats. Image via Air New Zealand

During the filming an Orc tests out the new premium economy seats. Image via Air New Zealand

Can Air New Zealand do any wrong when it comes to in-flight safety videos? After all, they were the ones who put fun back into the historically dull safety videos with spots that included a  “naked” video, Betty White, Richard Simmons, and the Hobbit. As part of the company’s three-year partnership with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The video will feature appearances by Director Sir Peter Jackson, Weta Workshop Co-Founder Sir Richard Taylor, and cast members (including Elijah Wood) from the films. The video was shot to show off the beauty of the country and used an area in Central Otago as the background. Now that New Zealand was crowned the second most gay-friendly place in the country by Lonely Planet, we’re thinking of hopping on a Fellbeast to revisit the beautiful country.

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Baby News! Bryan Singer Announces Baby with ‘Queer as Folk’ Actress

October 23rd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via NoH8 via Facebook.

Image via NoH8 via Facebook.

Bryan Singer didn’t let this past year’s legal trouble get in the way of continuing on with his life as he announced that he is expecting a baby with Queer as Folk–actress, Michelle Clunie. The X-Men director’s rep confirmed the news by saying: “I can confirm that Michelle Clunie and Bryan Singer are happily expecting a baby together in early 2015. Best friends for 25 years, mother and father are both very excited about the upcoming birth and look forward to co-parenting the child together. The pair have [SIC] been planning this baby for years and have been trying for the last two.”

 

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At Last, Court Rules Lesbian Navy Veteran Can be Buried Near Wife

October 22nd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via CBS

Image via CBS

We reported back in April about the 74-year-old Navy veteran who challenged Idaho’s marriage equality ban so she could be buried with her late wife in Idaho’s state-run veterans cemetery. She will have her wishes respected after Idaho state officials agreed to allow the couple to be interred together. Today, Madelynn “Lee” Taylor went to the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery to make arrangements to have both her ashes and those of her late wife, Jean Mixner, interred together at the cemetery. Idaho officials agreed to Taylor’s request following the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ (NCLR) recent victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found that Idaho’s ban on marriage equality violated the U.S. Constitution. The court ordered marriages to begin on October 15, 2014, and directed the state to recognize the marriages of couples who married in other states. “Words can’t describe how incredibly grateful I am for all the work that went into making our wishes possible,” said Taylor. “Idaho is where some of our best memories together are and it’s where I want to spend eternity with Jean.”

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Gay Travel: Discovering Seoul

October 22nd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

As my partner John and I settle into a dining room at The Plaza in Seoul, Korea, the hotel’s public relations manager, Nayhe Kim, leans into the table and says, sotto voce: “I have to admit, I’m a little surprised. Do Americans really come to Seoul on vacation?”

It’s a fair question. With the exception of those Korean-Americans who visit to keep in touch with their families and heritage, most US visitors to Seoul over the past two decades have been military and business travelers. The tourism trade has focused on attracting leisure guests from within Korea and from other Asian countries.

That helps explain the fine dining options at The Plaza: Shanghainese, Japanese, and remarkable Italian at Tuscany (of all Western cuisines, Koreans have the strongest affinity for Italian—the noodle is a culinary common denominator).

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

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‘Fck that Sexist Sh*t’ Little Girls Curse America’s Gender Bias

October 22nd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Screen Cap via Vimeo

Screen Cap via Vimeo

Remember the FCKH8 campaign for gay rights? The organization is back with a new video. This time, it’s filled with adorable little girls wearing princess costumes, but there is absolutely nothing adorable about their inconvenient truths concerning sexism in the United States. These young ladies drop the F bomb and curse their way through a series of facts concerning the state of women in the country. The organization is hoping to raise money for various women’s rights groups, you can purchase them here.

You can watch the NSFW (put the headphones in) after the jump…

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Gay Imprisoned British Tourist Speaks About Moroccan Jail’s ‘Hell on Earth’ Conditions

October 22nd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Ray Cole. Image via Mirror.

Ray Cole. Image via Mirror.

Ray Cole, the 69-year-old gay British man who was jailed in Marrakesh, Morocco on the charges of homosexuality, spoke in a video about his ordeal in the North African country. The laws in Morocco concerning homosexuality are quite strict and he and his partner, Jamal Jam Wad Nass, were sentenced to four months in jail, though Cole was released after 19 days, his partner wasn’t. Now, Cole’s next task back in the UK is to seek asylum for his Jamal in the UK.

In the video, which can only be viewed at the Guardian here. He spoke of the conditions. “The stench from the toilet, you would not believe; it will live with me forever…” he told The Guardian. “There’s screaming and banging on the bars and banging on the doors. There’s no peace there whatsoever 24-hours a day… I was worried that they’d hurt Jamal. I was fairly confident they wouldn’t hurt me as a European, but I really was worried about him because they don’t have any compunction about beating up their own.”

 

 

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Michael Sam Dropped from Dallas Cowboys’ Practice Squad

October 21st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

For the second time in two months, openly gay player Michael Sam was dropped by a NFL team. The Dallas Cowboys, who gave him a place on the team’s practice squad, announced that the player was “waived.” He was replaced by linebacker Troy Davis from Central Florida. In three tweets, Sam wrote: “I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.”

Sam’s career is over yet, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com who wrote:

Plenty of NFL veterans have been cut multiple times, so there’s no reason to think this is the end of the road for Sam. It will be interesting, however, to see if Sam can land on a practice squad during this season. If not, there will likely be a spot for him when rosters expand again in the offseason.

Sam’s groundbreaking role in the NFL is unique, but his path as a professional player is not. His high profile is putting a spotlight on what so many players go through as they pursue their dreams.

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Ricky Martin Says ‘Adios’ in New Music Video

October 21st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via FlyLife.

Image via FlyLife.

Ricky Martin shows us that he hasn’t lost it in his new music video for his new single “Adios.” The men still have him going “loco loco” in his Latin-flavored song. The video, directed by Ethan Ladder, takes place in the Harvelle’s speakeasy in Long Beach, CA. Playing a sexy policeman, bartender, bouncer, mobster, and, of course, singer, Martin makes it hard for us to say adios to his sex appeal.

Check out the openly gay and now-single singer’s video after the jump…

Read more…

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