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A Trip to Vienna For The Glamorous and Gargantuan Life Ball AIDS Benefit: Towleroad Abroad

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It’s one thing to hear about Life Ball, the enormous charity extravaganza that takes over Vienna annually to raise support for HIV/AIDS charities, but it’s quite another to experience it first hand. The over-the-top affair, including palatial parties and star-studded spectacles, attracts all sorts of guests, from the fabulous to the fringe.

Above all, Life Ball, organized by AIDS LIFE, is dedicated to supporting organizations that work with people who are HIV-positive or have AIDS. The annual event is the largest AIDS charity event in Europe. Its massive impact is fueled by the scale, grandeur and, yes, at times, rowdiness of the party that draws in the big names, big crowds and, most importantly, big dollars. In 2014, for example, Life Ball raised 2.3 million euros from tickets, drink sales, an auction and other events. (For more on Life Ball’s charitable impact, see our post here.)

We joined a small army of media, celebrities and drag queens venturing to Vienna last weekend to witness all of the Life Ball Austrian adventure for ourselves. Although we’re still recovering from a fab 48 hours in the capital city, we’ve got plenty of highlights to share.

The hills are alive with the sound of YAS GAWD, AFTER THE JUMP

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Belle Goes to 'WeHo' in Todrick Hall's New Brilliant 'Beauty and the Beast' Musical Parody: VIDEO

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Set around West Hollywood's gay downtown and its numerous businesses, Todrick Hall's parody of "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast stars YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger wandering the Santa Monica strip as the Disney princess in search of aspirations beyond her "little town."

RuPaul, Daniel Franzese, Ross Mathews, Lance Bass, Frankie Grande, and many others including Hall himself take the parts of the townspeople in Beauty and the Beat Boots, one of Hall's best parodies yet.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

And don't miss Hall's mash-up of more than 70 Beyoncé songs in four minutes, or his other musical parodies like CinderoncéThe Wizard of Aahs, and Mean Boyz.

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25 Famous Men Who Brought Muscles, Mustaches, and More to Instagram This Week — PHOTOS

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Scissor Sister Jake Shears and his dog needed some scissors, and Looking's Raul Castillo hung 10 outside of San Francisco with 'Looking' creator Michael Lannan and actor John Johnson.

Murray Bartlett, Joe Manganiello, Russell Tovey, Jonathan Groff, Matthew Camp, Aaron Schock, Alex Minsky, Dan Osborne, Robbie Rogers, Frankie J Grande, Derek Theler, Harry Shum Jr, Chris Salvatore, Michael Sam, Brad Goreski, Nick Jonas, Harry Judd, Tom Daley, Tim Schou, Daniel Franzese, Steve Grand, Ronnie Kroell, and Ty Herndon brought their game to Instagram this week.

Find out which GOP politician was spending time with a dance music diva, who was getting drunk on grape juice, and how many mustaches were being rocked for Movember,
AFTER THE JUMP...

Surfs up. At Ocean Beach with @michaellannan and John Johnson this morning. Good times

A photo posted by Raúl Castillo (@officialraulcastillo) on Nov 11, 2014 at 1:24pm PST

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Ariana Grande Ditched Catholicism for Her Gay Brother Frankie

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(via instagram)

Pop princess Ariana Grande has a big "Problem" with the Catholic church's intolerance regarding gays, specifically when it comes to her out brother (and recent Big Brother cast member), Frankie Grande. In a recent interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Grande said that "when my brother was told that God didn’t love him I was like, ‘OK, that’s not cool'."

The Grande siblings have since traded in their rosaries for Kabbalah bracelets. They discovered their new spiritual practice (which famously includes other diva believers like Madonna and Britney) a few years back when checking out a Kabbalah center that had just opened near their home in Florida. Now the singer says it's the key to her success and sense of well-being. “Since then, my life has unfolded in a really beautiful way," she said. "I think that it has a lot to do with the tools I’ve learned through Kabbalah, I really do."

Grande has come to her older half-brother's defense before, notably when he was attacked by Internet trolls over his bad-boy role on Big Brother back in August. Frankie, a singer and showman in his own right, is set to make his Broadway debut next month as he joins the cast of the 80s jukebox musical Rock of Ages


BB 16's Frankie Grande Claims Gay Men Have 'Genetic Predisposition' But Lesbians 'Choose To Become Lesbians': VIDEO

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"Big Brother 16" house guest Frankie Grande, who has received a great deal of press for his many cuddle sessions with apparently heterosexual competitors and his revelation that he's pop star Ariana Grande's half-brother, recently took it upon himself to inform everyone about why gay people are the way they are. Is it a choice? Is it biology? Frankie seems to have all the answers.

Grande2At first he tells his housemates that gay men have a "genetic predisposition towards being attracted to other men. There's genetic markers in your blood, there's pheromone receptors in your nose...However, I believe society can change you. It depends on how you've been raised." Certainly a problematic perspective, though he clarifies somewhat when he states that society can make one "choose to go against their genetic markers," presumably speaking about the constant homophobic pressures around us.

Things get really hairy, though, when Frankie delves into the mysteries of gay women.

Crushable reports:

That theory, which he’s pontificating on to a room full of reality TV contestants who don’t know any better... apparently only applies to gay men. Only they are born with this mythical predisposition — women never are.

“Any lesbians choose to become lesbians later in life. Women who have been with man after man after man after man choose to become a lesbian later in life. Gay men it doesn’t work so much that way. It’s usually they’re like ‘oh okay, no I’m gay.’”

Truly incredible stuff, Frankie. The most disturbing part? The housemates, and, it seems, Frankie himself, have deemed him resident LGBTQ expert. They hang on to every last word as though it is indisputable. 

"Nature versus nurture is a very highly debated subject, even within my own community," he says. I'm not sure what community you are representing, Mr. Grande, but one where only scorned women "become" lesbians is not the community of which I count myself a part.

Watch the full discussion, AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Cliff Lipson/CBS]

Continue reading "BB 16's Frankie Grande Claims Gay Men Have 'Genetic Predisposition' But Lesbians 'Choose To Become Lesbians': VIDEO" »


Ariana Grande Defends Gay Brother Frankie, Destroys Homophobic Troll On Instagram: VIDEO

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The pop songstress came to the defense of her gay brother, Frankie Grande, currently a contestant on Big Brother 16, when someone commented on a photo of Frankie on Instagram, calling him, "that homo":

“That ‘homo’ is the fiercest, most incredible, funniest, most intelligent, kind hearted and most LOVED person on the face of the planet! he also cleaned up his game and told the truth to everybody in the house WHICH by the way, nobody else on the show has done. so i don’t give a flying fuck if or when he comes home!!! he is incredible and i am SO proud!!!! oh and also ‘that homo’ gets more ass than you’ll ever get in your life. k miss thing?”

Snap. Watch Ariana's latest music video, "Break Free", AFTER THE JUMP...

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