PHOTO OF THE DAY: Jared Leto gets glammed up in his best drag outfit.
BY SAM GREISMAN
A look back at today's top stories.
The Supreme Court has announced that tomorrow will be the day that they will weigh in with their rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA. The ruling is expected at 10am ET, so check Towleroad for up to the minute information. Ahead of the big day, Ari Waldman gives everyone 8 things to keep an eye out for.
SCOTUS did announce one ruling today that was a major step backwards for civil rights, striking down a pivotal section of the Voter Rights Act. Ari Waldman takes a look at how and why the Justices are allowing states and localities to engage in voter suppression tactics. And 20 LGBT organizations have released a statement condemning the ruling.
Watch Henry Cavill explain why his version of Superman has a hairy chest. Speaking of chest hair, if you have ever wanted to own a coat made entirely of male chest hair - today is your lucky day! It's a very steamy day here in New York and Empire of The Sun's "I'll Be Around" is a good song to sweat to. Two gays perform "Call Your Girlfriend" with plastic cups and Adam Lambert sings the National Anthem at the annual Broadway Bares strip show.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Just in time for New York City Pride weekend, two time Tony Award winner Robin De Jesus sings a ballad for all the victims of anti-gay violence.
Saunders High School boys basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo recently came out to his school team — including a few parents, past captains and the school principal — making him quite possibly the only publicly out boys high school basketball coach in the tri-state area.
Fear of parental backlash and being labelled a pedophile kept him from coming out since joining the team in 2009. But he had long read the LGBT sports blog Outsports and looked into the Equality Coaching Alliance before making the decision to join other LGBT players, coaches and advocates at Nike's LGBT Sports Summit two weeks ago.
He called the team together with a couple parents, past captains and the school principal. He admitted to them that, despite preaching the importance of honesty, he had not been forthright with them.
He told them their basketball coach is gay.
The reaction was like that experienced by every gay male athlete and coach we know to have come out to his team in the last 15 years: They literally embraced him.
"It was humbling," he said. "Very quickly the kids started to speak. A couple of the kids said, 'Who cares? Coach has done more for us in our lives than anyone else. We love him and we've got to focus on our goals.'"
Cyd Zeigler's entire profile on Nicodemo is well worth reading, especially to learn how he transformed Saunder's mostly losing team of 'street ballers' into a cohesive, winning group.
But most interesting is the effect that Nicodemo's coming out might have on the local sports culture overall:
Nicodemo is no wallflower. With his bigger-than-life personality, the coach shatters stereotypes that still fuel "faggot" and "sissy" comments in the locker room and on the court. He's ready to challenge the long-held beliefs in sports about what a gay man is and what he can accomplish. While headlines of Jason Collins and Robbie Rogers have flooded the New York area for months, a real-life fixture of the local high school sports world has emerged amongst the masses; His potential impact could be game-changing.
He also may bring some institutional change. It's been hard for LGBT advocates to institute sensitivity training for high school coaches and administrators due to various elements from interest in the topic to financial resources. Nicodemo will explore bringing that kind of training to the counties of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and others in the area just north of New York City in the coming year.
Out athletes and LGBT advocates have really challenged homophobia in sports over the last two years. In addition to Collins and Rogers coming out, three pro-LGBT sports organizations have recently come into prominence and a few high school and college coaches have begun being called out for homophobic behavior.
The Talk To Solomon Show LIVE hosted Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly to talk about the influence of the feminist movement on the Obama Administration. Schlafly, who has been fighting the feminist movement for 40 years, simply stated that they would hurt the Obama Administration as feminists are not for the American people. Host Stan Solomon took her statements as a cue to interject some scathing criticism of his own for the President. As Right Wing Watch reports, Solomon had this to say about the Commander in Chief:
Barack Obama is a wussy guy who throws a ball like a girl, who everyone knows was involved in homosexuality and I think he is the stereotypical—if he could get away with it he’d be in drag. I don’t think he’s a man at all and he leads a whole group of men that are that way.
The likes of such sharp political insight have not been seen since the playgrounds of sixth grade. Schlafly continued with some remarks about gay marriage failing to pass in Illinois, a religious right victory which may be rendered moot when the Supreme Court passes their decision on DOMA and Prop 8 later this week. The video of the interview can be seen, AFTER THE JUMP...
BY NAVEEN KUMAR
Playwright Daniel Pearle’s new play about a young couple whose 4-year-old son Jake enjoys playing princess at playtime opened Off Broadway last week in a Lincoln Center Theatre production at the Claire Tow theatre.
As an ex-lawyer turned stay at home Mom and a practicing therapist, Alex (Carla Gugino) and Greg’s (Peter Grosz) approach to parenting is perhaps more than commonly heady and self-analytical. While they’re relatively supportive of Jake’s ‘gender variant play’ (as his pre-school counselor deems it), their true feelings are put to the test as they navigate the application process for Jake to attend Manhattan private school.
Jake’s pre-school counselor and friend of the family Judy (Caroline Aaron) suggests Alex call attention to her son’s unique behavior in their applications, as something that may be attractive to progressive schools with an eye for diverse student bodies. As Jake’s behavior evolves over the course of the play, the question of which sort of body he actually wants to live in becomes more pressing.
Jake’s favorite fairytale, Cinderella, is rich with associations relevant to Pearle’s drama. Grimm’s story touches on both the power of transformation in outward appearance, and the pain of forcing the body into artificial constraints, like a shoe that doesn’t fit. (In a somewhat on the nose moment of child psychologizing, Judy and Greg examine Jake’s drawing of the bloody scene in which Cinderella’s stepmother mutilates her daughter’s foot to fit the glass slipper.)
Pearle’s play offers much food for thought in examining the indoctrination of binary gender norms during childhood development. Alex and Greg’s acceptance of Jake’s choices in gender expression at home is only one aspect of the story. When it comes to introducing his behavior to friends and neighbors or setting it to paper in application essays, Alex in particular struggles with how unconventional labels might affect him, as well as her own somewhat veiled hope that it’s just a phase.
Jake remains unseen throughout, in line with how much of child behavior is recounted in stories—from teachers to parents, from one parent to another—rather than directly witnessed. Though consequently the play, set across various interiors including the couple’s apartment, Judy’s office, and a doctor’s waiting room, has more he-said she-said dialogue than compelling stage action.
Director Evan Cabnet elicits fine performances from the small company, particularly Ms. Gugino (Desire Under the Elms, After the Fall) as frayed and determined Alex.
Though the fraught private school application process drives the play’s momentum, Pearle’s examination of responses to gender variant behavior is certainly the heart of his drama—since the former is only of genuine interest to a very elite few.
Recent theatre features...
2013 Tony Awards Round-Up: Drag Queens, Pioneer Women, and Mike Tyson
'Far From Heaven' Opens Off Broadway: REVIEW
Place Your Bets: 2013 Tony Awards Predictions
A Closer Look at the Chosen and the Snubbed in This Year's Tony Award Nominations
'Pippin’ Revival Opens On Broadway: REVIEW
Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:erin baiano)
In last night's episode of Teen Wolf, a distinct note of bicuriosity lingered in the air as character Stiles freaked out about being a virgin in a town where virgins have a shorter life expectancy than most. Previously, show creator Jeff Davis spoke to E! News, reacting to fans' (many of them young girls) desire to see Stiles and another character, Derek, together:
"We've certainly made some hints to the possibility of Stiles being bisexual. As to the psychology of why 'girls like boys who like boys,' I haven't asked enough questions or heard enough to really understand the psychology behind it. I know of certain relationships such Holmes and Watson that might have a kernel of truth to them within the actual writing, but then others I'm less sure about. Like what's called 'Wincest,' a romantic relationship between the Winchester brothers on Supernatural."
The Hollywood Reporter also reports that Danny, an openly gay character on the show, will be getting a love interest this season. Check out a clip of the scene in question via The Hollywood Reporter AFTER THE JUMP...
I also have a feeling this GIF might be making the rounds today.
Ford, who has never marched in Pride’s signature parade and who voted two weeks ago against funding the festival, received tepid applause upon his noon arrival... Fewer than five of the dozens of spectators in attendance appeared to jeer him...
The mayor also attended the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia flag-raising events this year and last... Ford plans to skip the parade for the third consecutive year to continue his tradition of spending the Canada Day weekend at his family’s Muskoka cottage...
Ford is a conservative who opposes same-sex marriage. In a video in which he appears to be smoking crack cocaine, he also appears to use an anti-gay slur to describe federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. Ford denies that a video exists and that he uses crack.
Ford was unpopular with the gay community even before he became mayor. As a city councillor, he said it was “disgusting” that council was awarding a $5,000 grant to a group making a video about coming out of the closet. He also argued that only gays and drug users get infected with HIV. And he wondered, in a council speech, whether a transgender person is “a guy dressed up like a girl or a girl dressed up like a guy.”
The 44-year-old mayor is the first mayor to regularly snub involvement in Toronto's Pride parade. He also has a long history of racist and anti-gay comments, drug-related scandals and charges of violence.