Chaz Bono Hub

Gay Iconography: What Is It About Cher?


The phrase "gay icon" gets tossed around a lot, but what does that really mean? Welcome to Gay Iconography, a new feature where we present a proposed iconic figure or character and then ask you to weigh in with your thoughts. 

I started thinking about this feature back in June last year when I first read that Cher would be headlining New York City's Pride Dance On the Pier. Now, while of course I appreciated Cher and could easily sing along to many of her hits, I didn't really consider myself a "Cher person," per se. I didn't own any albums, I couldn't recite her IMDB page from memory and I can barely do a decent approximation of that thing she does with her tongue.

Still, Cher performing on the pier called to me like a big, gay siren song. I couldn't resist the urge to buy tickets. Of course I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to see an icon, especially surrounded by my people.

That's what got me thinking. What is it about these (mostly straight, mostly white) female figures that resonates so strongly with gay men? It's obvious why we would laud figures like Harvey Milk and Bayard Rustin; it's less immediately clear why we gravitate toward the likes of Cher, Bette and Barbra. Then there's a whole slew of people who don't necessarily fit the same Judy/Liza/Cher mold, but are adored by the gay community anyway. Who gets to decide the definition of gay icon?

Well, we do. After all, our interest in these people says just as much (if not more) about us than it does about them. These are conversation starters, and it's been amazing to see some really interesting discussion take place in the comments.

So, in that spirit, let's start the new year talking about the one who first inspired this feature, someone that Liza Minnelli once said was a bigger icon than Barbra Streisand and herself. Let's talk about Cher.

Get in the spirit with just a few Cher clips, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Cher Talks About the 'Amazing' DOMA Ruling: VIDEO


Cher joined the Today show yesterday in her leopard print pajamas to talk about her performance on The Voice, whether her Farewell Tour was indeed her farewell tour, what she does on her time off, the DOMA ruling, Chaz's transition, and her love life.

Said Cher of the DOMA ruling:

"I thought it was amazing. It should never have been a law. It should never have been anything. It shouldn't have been a thought. It shouldn't have been a passing thought."

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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LGBT Celebrities Speak Out for Obama: VIDEO


Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Chaz Bono, George Takei, Zachary Quinto, Wanda Sykes, and Billie Jean King speak out about Obama's LGBT accomplishments and what it means to them in a new video for the campaign.


And remember, get out and vote!

Continue reading "LGBT Celebrities Speak Out for Obama: VIDEO" »

Cher Makes Surprise Appearance at GLAAD Awards to Honor Chaz: VIDEO


Cher made a surprise appearance at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles to honor Chaz with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

Said Cher:

"I'm here because Chaz has the most courage of almost anyone I know. The other day I was having a big meltdown - like you do - and Chaz was saying are you going to come to the thing, and I went God, you know, Chaz, I'm not doing well right now. And she, or he - what? it's 42 years - and he texted me and said 'I've turned into a very understanding smart man, you can call on me.' And so that made me feel so good...(to Chaz) You are the most courageous person I know."

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

For a full list of the awards, click here.


Continue reading "Cher Makes Surprise Appearance at GLAAD Awards to Honor Chaz: VIDEO" »

Fox Psychiatrist On Newt Gingrich: Infidelity A Sign Of Awesomeness

Picture 23South Carolina's big primary is today, and Newt Gingrich is the most talked about man in America. He's been up, he's been down, and then he was up and then down and now up again, and the caprices of fate have given some Newtwatchers cognitive whiplash.

Dr. Keith Ablow is the most recent and obvious example. He's a pop psychiatrist on retainer with FOX News, and so devoted is he to to unraveling the mysteries of the human mind that one of his three tattoos features hands prying open a man's skull. One week ago, before his reason was destroyed by presidential politics, Dr. Ablow published a brief, rather murky essay at entitled "America is drunk," in which he opined:

My theory is that Americans are on a flight from reality. Faced with painful facts—including the precarious state of the economy, the gathering storm represented by militant Muslims, in general, and Iran, in particular, the crumbling state of marriage in this country, the fact that our borders are being overrun, and the fact that our health care insurance system is in shambles (to name just a smattering of the troubles we desperately need to address)—we as a nation are drinking, drugging, gambling, smoking, Facebooking, YouTubing, Marijuaning, Kardashianing, Adderalling, Bono-ing (as in thinking of Chaz’s sad flight from reality as good), Prozacking, Twittering, and Sexting ourselves into oblivion.

The fact that we are doing this as a culture is the single most ominous psychological trend we have ever faced. I am not exaggerating. [Emphasis added.]

But now Dr. Ablow's changed his mind about the marriage thing, at least when it comes to Newt Gingrich. In an article published yesterday -- just five days after he declared the "crumbling state of marriage in our culture" a harbinger of the "single most ominous psychological trend we have ever faced" -- Dr. Ablow explained that Newt Gingrich's infidelities make him more qualified for the presidency than his competitors:

I want to be coldly analytical, not moralize, here. I want to tell you what Mr. Gingrich’s behavior could mean for the country, not for the future of his current marriage. So, here’s what one interested in making America stronger can reasonably conclude—psychologically—from Mr. Gingrich’s behavior during his three marriages:

1) Three women have met Mr. Gingrich and been so moved by his emotional energy and intellect that they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with him.

2) Two of these women felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married.

3 ) One of them felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married for the second time, was not exactly her equal in the looks department and had a wife (Marianne) who wanted to make his life without her as painful as possible.

Conclusion: When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.

4) Two women—Mr. Gingrich’s first two wives—have sat down with him while he delivered to them incredibly painful truths: that he no longer loved them as he did before, that he had fallen in love with other women and that he needed to follow his heart, despite the great price he would pay financially and the risk he would be taking with his reputation.

Conclusion: I can only hope Mr. Gingrich will be as direct and unsparing with the Congress, the American people and our allies. If this nation must now move with conviction in the direction of its heart, Newt Gingrich is obviously no stranger to that journey.

... So, as far as I can tell, judging from the psychological data, we have only one real risk to America from his marital history if Newt Gingrich were to become president: We would need to worry that another nation, perhaps a little younger than ours, would be so taken by Mr. Gingrich that it would seduce him into marrying it and becoming its president. And I think that is exceedingly unlikely.

He goes on and on, but his message can be summed up as: 1) Newt Gingrich is awesome; and 2) therefore Newt's divorces must reflect his awesomeness; and 3) since even the Newt's divorces reflect his awesomeness, then 4) Newt Gingrich must be awesome. Dr. Ablow's just begging the question, and as a psychiatrist he ought to know it. If Newt had been a faithful husband, Dr. Ablow would be just as keen to interpret his fidelity as a valid qualification for the presidency. And if Newt was asexual, Dr. Ablow would be praising the man's monastic devotion to work. With this kind of reasoning, literally nothing could falsify Dr. Ablow's initial assumption.

One could look at the questionable grammar of Dr. Ablow's screeds (as in the first line of the second excerpt) or their wonky formatting (such as Dr. Ablow's switch from a bullet point format to an evidence/conclusion format midway through the above list) and conclude that he's a bit of an idiot. Except it's not just him. In South Carolina, a lot of people are thinking this way -- if the polls have it right, the trad-fam-loving Republicans of South Carolina are about to hand Newt Gingrich an enormous victory. It's Saturday, January 21st, one month into the primaries, and everyone's a little mad.


Chaz Bono Proposes To Girlfriend

WATCH HERE as Chaz Bono proposes to girlriend Jennifer Elia atop Seattle's Space Needle. (Sorry I couldn't embed the vid. That function's disabled.)

Chaz has a new special, Being Chaz, airing tonight on OWN. From People:

The one-hour special ... documents the couple's good times and their bad times, like when Bono faced backlash for being the first transgender contestant to compete on Dancing [With The Stars].

"People feel so angry that Chaz is entering their television," a tearful Elia says in another clip ... "People who make change get shot, and I don't think that's worth it. ... This is insane. It's not worth doing a show if you're going to get shot."


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