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Bisexual Teen Fights for Gay-Straight Alliance in Florida as Homophobic Parent Compares it to a Gang: VIDEO


14-year-old Bayli Silberstein is leading the charge to get a Gay-Straight Alliance in place at Carver middle School which she attends because she says anti-gay bullying is out of hand. The Lake County School Board had a meeting on Monday afternoon, the Orlando Sentinel reports:

More than 100 parents, students, residents and a few pastors showed up at a Lake County School Board meeting Monday afternoon, many wearing red shirts to show support for a proposed Gay-Straight Alliance club at Carver Middle School in Leesburg...

The American Civil Liberties Union is supporting Bayli, saying that under the federal Equal Access Act schools can not discriminate among clubs based on what they think students should or should not discuss. If a school allows any student group that's not directly related to school curriculum to meet, then it cannot deny other student groups the same access.

Others spoke out against the alliance, saying the real issue is bullying. Students, they said, would not find the support they need in a gay-straight group.

"It's like gangs," said Lori Pitner, a Tavares resident who spoke in opposition. "More kids in gangs end up killed than are not in gangs. I don't see this as any different."

Watch the Orlando Sentinel's interview with Silberstein, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 12:10 PM EST by in Education, Florida, Gay-Straight Alliances, News, Orlando | Permalink | Comments (10)

DC Comics' 'Batwoman' Proposes to Her Girlfriend


Bleeding Cool reports on a hot revelation in Batwoman #17, out today:

Kathy Kane, the Batwoman, DC’s leading lesbian lady asks Maggie Sawyer, Captain Sawyer, her secret girlfriend to…be her wife. No idea how well that’s going to go down. And you have to read the build up to this – and the rather dangerous epilogue. There’s no guarantee we’re going to hear wedding bells.

(via jmg)

Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 11:50 AM EST by in Comic Books, Gay Marriage, News | Permalink | Comments (4)

Fault Line Theatre’s ‘From White Plains’ Opens Off-Broadway: REVIEW



Imagine making a movie, 15 years later, about your teenage torment at the hands of a high school bully — and winning an Oscar for it. Now, imagine that bully watching the televised broadcast when you name him, specifically, in your acceptance speech. The look on his face kicks off the story of From White Plains, which opened Off-Broadway last week in a Fault Line Theatre production at the Perishing Square Signature Center. 

JacobJGoldbergPhoto_FromWP_HiRes__DSC0353The scene could just as easily mark another story’s happy ending — one that begins with a boy bullied on the playground, follows his search for self-acceptance and success as an artist, and ends with a trip to Los Angeles (handsome boyfriend in tow) to collect the most coveted affirmation in Hollywood. But White Plains writer and director Michael Perlman isn’t interested in telling a one-sided story.

Thirty-year-old Ethan Rice (played by Aaron Rossini), hearing himself named on the Oscar telecast, learns for the first time that his teenage bullying had tragic, unforeseen consequences. In the film, Ethan’s former classmate Dennis (Karl Gregory), portrays not just his own experience but that of his best friend, whose suffering at Ethan’s hands led him to suicide.

JacobJGoldbergPhoto_FromWP_HiRes__DSC0529In response to being publicly blamed for the horrible outcome he never imagined as a teenager, Ethan releases an apology video online. Dennis follows with a swift rebuttal, and the two men engage in the sort of drawn-out virtual face-off that’s become a pop-culture staple. Dennis’ boyfriend Gregory (Jimmy King) tries his best to intervene, asking Dennis whether airing his anger in front of the whole world really makes him any happier.

While the premise is pretty near fantasy — it’s hard to imagine Dustin Lance Black name-calling in an acceptance speech, and where is this guy’s publicist? — the play that unfolds from there is both impressively circumspect and firmly grounded in its characterizations.

Where sympathies lie in a story like this one would usually be pretty clear, but the play succeeds in upending expectations and presenting an insightful and honest look at all sides an unfortunately all-too-familiar story. Between Dennis’ passionate crusade to combat childhood ghosts, and Gregory’s resistance to come out to his own parents, the play also becomes a thoughtful meditation on pride, shame, and the dynamics of love and sexual identity.

JacobJGoldbergPhoto_FromWP_HiRes__DSC0470Directing his own play with a sure hand, Perlman doesn’t shortchange any of his characters — each member of the talented four-man ensemble (rounded out by Craig Wesley Divino as Ethan’s best friend) has a clearly defined emotional life worthy of careful consideration.

Though it’s clear that Ethan was just another self-conscious kid, trying to get laughs from his friends at others’ expense, Dennis is still struggling — not only to overcome the death of his best friend, but to combat the echoing voice of self-hate that Ethan planted in his head during their formative years.

Without letting the bully — or the society of which he's a product — off the hook, Perlman poses the possibility of forgiveness for someone whose worst transgressions happened when he was young, insecure, and ignorant of the profound damage he might cause. The play examines lasting scars schoolyard brutality, while acknowleding that placing blame isn't quite so simple.

Recent theatre features...
Tectonic Theatre Project Presents 'The Laramie Project Cycle' At BAM: REVIEW
Ethan Hawke Opens in ‘Clive’ Off Broadway: REVIEW
Martin Moran's 'All The Rage' Opens Off Broadway: REVIEW
Ben Rimalower Is Working Through His 'Patti Issues' At The Duplex: INTERVIEW
'Picnic' Starring Sebastian Stan Opens on Broadway: REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar ( photos: jacob j goldberg)

Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 11:01 AM EST by in Naveen Kumar, New York, News, Review, Theatre | Permalink | Comments (1)

Frank Ocean Has Recorded 11 Songs for His Next Album

Frank Ocean is far into his follow-up to Channel Orange, MTV News reports:

OceanSpeaking to BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe on Tuesday, Ocean said he's "Like 10,11 songs into this next thing. It's another cohesive thing bordering on a concept record again." The usually soft-spoken, reticent Ocean was in good spirits, laughing along with Lowe and saying his Grammy wins were "quite the rollercoaster ... I was pretty stoked," admitting that he would have "screamed in my highest note" if his name had been called for Record of the Year, which was presented to Gotye by their mutual idol, Prince.

Ocean explained that the new, as-yet-untitled disc might take off from a moment at the end of Orange. "There's 'Golden Girl' and it's this beach scene and I kind of want to extend that feeling into the next record," he said. "I'm going to Bora Bora when I get back ... I put a studio in my house, but it's all in road cases. I'm going to take it all to Bora Bora and work for a few weeks."

Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 10:50 AM EST by in Frank Ocean, Music, News | Permalink | Comments (3)

Mormon Student Tells His Friends and Family He's Gay and Films Their Reactions: VIDEO


Jimmy Hales is a gay BYU student and Mormon missionary. For an entire year he has been coming out to friends and family and capturing it on film.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

HalesHales wrote a detailed blog post in which he describes his experience coming out as a Mormon along with the making of the film.:

So today has arrived.  G-day.  I have officially come out.  Wow.  A year ago I didn't even think of myself as being gay; denial owned my face.  But I was getting older, 3 of my 5 roommates here at BYU were engaged and the majority of my closest friends were already married.  The only people at parties were freshmen and sophomores, and the things they did at the parties were boring.  Personally I feel like an OK dancer, but "Just Dance" kept giving me the lowest score at the party.  Why did people go to these lame things?  Oh, to get a date.

Then suddenly I had a thought: 'I feel like I should make movies again like I did in high school.  Sounds good to me.'

Hales began shooting his coming outs to friends and family in January 2012 and says he just finished this month.

SisterHales adds:

When it came time to edit the footage, I ended up cutting well over half of the script.  In fact, I cut the parts that I initially thought were most important.  Similarly, while searching online for some royalty free music, I felt I should just write the music and record it myself, so I did.  That's why the music is lame...

...At this point, me being gay it not such a big deal to me or those close around me.  I believe, with time, it won't as big a deal to all members of the church either.  They just need opportunity to think about it, so here I am posting about it.  Every Mormon I've come out to has been awesome.  Soon enough, gay people will be able to come out and not be as afraid to do so.    However, there will always be a certain stigma attached to it to some degree, for living a lonely celibate mortal life is a taste of hell, and the possibility that a person might "fall away" is always possible.  If you know someone who has fallen away, please try to understand that they've been through hell, and that they've probably gone through hell all by themselves with little or no help.  Please love them.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

And read the full blog post here.

Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 10:29 AM EST by in I'm Gay, Jimmy Hales, Mormon, News | Permalink | Comments (58)

Lance Bass, Susan Boyle, and the Village People 'Keep an Open Mouth' for Miracle Whip: VIDEO


Miracle Whip has enlisted Lance Bass, the Village People, Susan Boyle, Wynonna Judd, Tiffany, and a bunch of other random people for a parody of the "We Are the World" video in which they sing with mock sincerity about the processed spread.

Sings Bass, "Just because you were in a boyband, doesn't mean that you're not a man."

I'm a Hellman's man myself, but I don't judge.


Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 9:56 AM EST by in Advertising, Lance Bass, News, Susan Boyle, Village People | Permalink | Comments (17)


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