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Openly Gay Former NFL Player David Kopay Remembers His Scandalous Coming Out, Celebrates Michael Sam: VIDEO

DavidKopay

In 1975, David Kopay became the first NFL player, current or former, to come out publicly in the Washington Star. It was a stunning moment for sports, and he later revealed even more--including a one night stand with former Redskin player Jerry Smith--in his memoir, The David Kopay Story. Now, nearly forty years later, Kopay is one of many who are welcoming Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL, with open (but concerned) arms. 

The Hollywood Reporter recently wrote about Kopay's experience:

"I was desperate," he says. "I was totally, 'What am I going to do with my life? Can I make a difference?' " He'd hoped his tale...would encourage other pro athletes to come out. But years turned to decades and few had followed suit. Meeting Sam, the gifted defensive end who shattered the last civil rights hurdle in pro sports when he kissed his boyfriend after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in May, came as more than just a passing thrill. It was the culmination of a life's work.

One need only consider current attitudes toward gays in sports -- when a celebratory kiss between men can result in an uproar -- to grasp just how shocking Kopay's admission was for the 1970s. And yet somehow his remarkable story has faded over the years. According to columnist Will Leitch, founding editor of Deadspin, that largely is due to Kopay being eons ahead of his time. "I think it was honestly too early," says Leitch. "It was 1975. In four years, Al Pacino would be making Cruising. People were not ready for an NFL player being gay at all."

DavidKopay2And neither were Kopay's family and friends. Married at the time, he got divorced and was excommunicated by his Catholic mother; she left him with the kind parting words, "I created you and I can kill you." Kopay moved to San Francisco, rubbing shoulders with Harvey Milk and living with Armistead Maupin, then to Los Angeles where he has lived since.

Kopay swims laps daily at nearby Occidental College, regularly hits the Rose Bowl flea market and enjoys attending NFL alumni games and serving as honorary ambassador to the Gay Games. He lives alone, his garage lined with memory boards filled with photos of debauched days spent in New Orleans. Whenever he speaks of past loves, they are invariably of the unrequited kind.

It is understandable then that Sam's decision to kiss his boyfriend after receiving his draft call would dredge up proud but conflicted emotions for Kopay.

"I was a bit unnerved," Kopay admits of watching Sam plant a passionate smooch on boyfriend Vito Cammisano, the pair later smearing cake on each other's faces. "I'm old school, you know? Certainly I felt he had a right to kiss his boyfriend and I was really glad he did. But I was not so happy with the cake in the face. It was a little bit over the top. I just worried about him like, 'Oh, what's the fuss that this is going to cause?'"

Hopefully relatively little, and Kopay seems to admit that he is of a different era. He also took the first, and perhaps bravest step of all.

"I think it was the first brick removed from the wall of homophobia," says Cyd Zeigler, the co-founder of Outsports.com. "When Kopay came out, the gay community was just beginning to find its identity. For a portion that didn't associate with the stereotypical gay identity, Dave's honesty was life-changing. I'm sure it saved lives."

Check out an interview with Kopay, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Males Choose Ellen Degeneres As Favorite Celebrity Product Endorser In New Survey

A new survey conducted by brand expert Jeetendr Sehdev found that gay men between the ages of 18 and 54 favor celebrity endorsers who are smart, female, and mature, all qualities possessed by Ellen DeGeneres, who topped the list. Her Cover Girl ads in particular were chosen as the demographic's favorite of the past year.

EllenDegeneresAround 3,000 participants were polled for the survey, and while Ellen was far and away the top-rated celebrity, other contenders included Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock and, rather surprisingly, Johnny Depp.

Variety reports:

Advertisers are increasingly eager to attract this consumer demographic. In 2013, Witeck Communications and Harris Interactive estimated that LGBT adults are armed with buying power of about $800 billion and would soon exceed 16 million in number.

Widespread popularity is one attribute that doesn’t seem to be a major factor for this demo’s approval, as Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Hillary Clinton, Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum were identified as this group’s least admired celebrities.

The survey entailed asking gay males to name the three celebrities they most and least admired. Results were then assigned an index number and converted to a 100-pt scale, helping illustrate how these chosen celebs stack up against each other.

Respondents were also asked about their admiration for openly gay celebs. The top five were Degeneres, Jane Lynch, Rosie O'Donnell, Tim Gunn, and Cynthia Nixon while the lowest scores went to Ricky Martin, Portia De Rossi, Adam Lambert, Zachary Quinto, and Lance Bass. 

Head over to Variety for more statistical breakdowns and infographics.


Neil Patrick Harris is the New Face of Heineken Light: VIDEO

NPHBeer

Neil Patrick Harris's list of accomplishments is a mile long. Tony winner, Emmy winner, proud papa, adoring husband, award show host extraordinaire, and...beer endorser? That's right, NPH is now the official spokesperson for Heineken Light, and in the brew's new ad he just wants a taste.

HuffPost reports that Heineken Light is "counting on Harris to 'find clever and humorous ways' to bring the Heineken Light taste experience to life for television audiences." 

Check out the suit-and-tied Mr. Harris, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Tom Daley Tops Attitude Magazine's Hot 100 List, Poses For Cover

Daley

The new issue of Attitude magazine finds Tom Daley slightly more clothed than usual, opting for jeans rather than a speedo. Still, the superstar diver is burning up the cover. His dashing good looks were not the focus of his interview, though it does happen to coincide with the release of Attitude's Hot 100 List, upon which Daley is sitting pretty at number one.

Attitude reports:

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted for me in Attitude’s HOT 100 – it means the world,” said Tom following the announcement at Attitude’s exclusive HOT 100 party in central London.

Though one could admire Daley for his impressive diving technique, or his six-pack, he is also a role model for young LGBT people around the globe.

In his first ever gay press interview, the 20-year-old Olympic diver talks about how he balances his rigorous training schedule with his relationship with American screenwriter Dustin Lance Black – and also discusses coming out in a YouTube video last December.

“If the video helped anyone going through something similar, then that’s great,” Daley says. “I filmed that video because I wanted to tell people in my own words.”

After saying that “everyone should have the right to marry the person they love”, the London 2012 bronze medallist reveals that he sees himself getting married one day. “Family is something that has always been really important to me and yes, at some point I would love to marry and have kids,” he says.

Congrats Tom!


Line-Up For NewFest, New York's Biggest LGBT Film Festival, Announced: VIDEO

NewFestIn late June, Outfest, in partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, announced the lineup for New York City's largest and most esteemed LGBT film festival, NewFest! Running from July 24th through July 29th, the nearly week-long event will consist of sixteen narrative and five documentary features.

Write the organizers:

Lesli Klainberg, Film Society of Lincoln Center's Executive Director said, “This marks the fourth year of having NewFest at the Film Society and we couldn’t be happier to continue our collaboration with Outfest. LGBT films and filmmakers are a vital part of cinema worldwide, and we are thrilled to offer this showcase on our screens each year.”

“In the year following spectacular LGBT civil rights advances across the country, the dynamic and fresh slate of 2014 NewFest films decisively demonstrates that artists and storytellers lead the charge in creating social change,” said Kristin Pepe (KP), Outfest’s Director of Programming.

NewFest's goal is to support "diverse film communities and voices from around the world," and the lineup for this year's festival has international entries from Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Israel, and several other countries, as well as films focused on the experiences of lesbian, gay, and transgender characters. 

FuturoThe opening night film, Futuro Beach, is a joint Brazilian and German production:

"When Brazilian lifeguard Donato fails to save a swimmer from drowning, he seeks out the victim’s friend Konrad, a handsome German biker. The two men begin a passionate affair, and Donato soon decides to follow Konrad to Berlin. Years later, their seemingly peaceful life is threatened by a visitor from Donato’s past. Director Karim Aïnouz...delivers a visually stunning, emotionally resonant tale about three men struggling across oceans of love, loss, and heartache."

GerontophiliaAnd the closing night slot is filled by legendary filmmaker Bruce LaBruce's Gerontophilia:

"Lake refuses to feel shame about his unquenchable appetite for older men. The handsome teen defiantly signs up as an orderly at a local nursing home and quickly falls for Mr. Peabody, a charming, flirtatious soul with one last wish. Forget everything you know about filmmaker Bruce LaBruce: in what is easily his most romantic work to date, he dares us to look beyond fetish to embrace the beauty of all stages of life."

NewFest tickets will go on sale on July 10th. For more information, visit the NewFest website.

And check out the trailers for Futuro Beach (not in English) and Gerontophilia, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Short Film '420' Celebrates The HomoStoner Lifestyle: VIDEO

Homostoners

Jacob Brown's new short film "420" is straightforward, sexy, and psychedelic. A prolonged, lip-lock-filled toking session, the movie aims to promote respect and acknowledgement of a hybrid cultural niche: that of the 'homostoner'. One part homosexual, one part stoner, both parts woozy fun, the film is a fantasia acted out by a real-life couple.

Brown's Vimeo descriptions reads:

In the past few years, mainstream America has warmed to two formerly taboo trends: gay rights and marijuana. New York boyfriends Carlos Santolalla and John Tuite sit at the intersection of the two––their shared Instagram handle @jarlos420 is a showcase of their homostoner lifestyle. This video celebrates 420 and homoeroticism. “It’s about how weed can act as an aphrodisiac,” Santolalla explains. “A fantasy about when ‘lemme hit that’ becomes ‘lemme hit that.’”

Enjoy the short film, AFTER THE JUMP...

(Warning: work-unfriendly)

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