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Madonna On Grindr, The LGBT Community and Her 'Rebel Heart': Towleroad Interview

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BY BOBBY HANKINSON

Today, Madonna drops her thirteenth studio album and, frankly, her best work in at least 15 years. The full Rebel Heart experience is a genre-spanning affair, as bold and uncompromising as its iconic star.

M_rebelheartThe record will no doubt stir some debate in social circles, as it has in a smattering of early reviews. Will you fall into the camp that loves strummers like “Devil Pray” and “Rebel Heart”? Is lead single “Living For Love” throwaway pop bombast or Madonna’s best single since “Hung Up”? Are you charmed by the plucky “Body Shop” or do you find the metaphor instantly tiresome? Folks seem to agree that Rebel Heart is one of Madonna’s strongest 21st-century outputs, but which tracks are highlights and which are skippable seems to differ from listener to listener. Sonically, the diversity could be attributed to the bevy of collaborators who helped craft the sound of Rebel Heart. Hit-makers like Avicii, Kanye West and Diplo appear throughout the liner notes, each leaving their imprint among the collection of tracks.

It’s the lyrical content that keeps the whole affair feeling cohesive, with Madonna at her most personal at its center. She’s opening up about lost love, she’s discussing the price of prominence and reflecting back on one of the most notable careers in pop music history. Of course, this is still Madonna, so there’s plenty of sex, religious imagery and Queen of Pop posturing to go around, but throughout the far-flung ideas that make Rebel Heart so worthy of study, Madonna’s resilient spirit permeates each moment.

We had the chance to talk to her Madgesty last night along with several other journalists. She graciously entertained questions about the album, those leaks, and how she’s seen the gay community change around her.

See highlights of what she had to say at the roundtable conversation, AFTER THE JUMP

 

And don't miss our other Madonna feature up today: 26 Moments That Make Madonna The Most Pro-Gay Pop Ally of All Time.

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Right-wing Columnist Cal Thomas Preparing His Family For 'End Times' Following Gay Marriage Ruling: LISTEN

Conservative columnist Cal Thomas has said that same-sex marriage is a sign of “end times,” reports Huffington Post.

Speaking in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile, Thomas said the Supreme Court is likely to vote in favor of marriage equality and that there is not much he can do about it “because “everything is right on schedule.” Earlier today, the high court announced it would hear arguments in four same-sex marriage cases April 28. 

Before speaking with Signorile, Thomas had just moderated a panel on the threat to “religious freedom” that included Dana Loesch and Tony Perkins, the leader of listed hate group the Family Research Council.

Thomas“If you read the Scriptures, as I do, in both testaments all of these things are forecast in prophesies, in the book of Daniel and what Jesus and Paul said, so I'm not worried about it.

I say everything is right on schedule. I’m trying to shore up my own family first and, hopefully, that will be an example to other people… If you look at not only what Jesus said, but Paul the Apostle, about what things would be like in the end times, people will be lovers of lies rather than the truth. They will elevate things that are called abomination in scripture to normality… All of the prophesies up to the final ones have come true. And that’s why I say that everything is right on schedule.”

In 2012, Thomas said that Rachel Maddow was the best argument for her parents to use contraception.

Listen to the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Towleroad Interview: 'Looking' Creator Michael Lannan

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(instagram raul castillo)

BY BOBBY HANKINSON

If you were hooked on HBO's dramedy Looking by the end of its first season, you should be excited for its return, Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern. The first few episodes of the sophomore season build on the rich character study established last year and have a fresh, playful ease.

Of course, you still can't compare the San Francisco-based show to some faster moving fare, like ABC's breakneck How To Get Away With Murder. Looking has maintained the leisurely pace and subtle sensibilities that endeared it to fans of director Andrew Haigh's Weekend -- and may have turned off some viewers that gave up on the show before last season's high-water mark, episode five, "Looking For the Future."

A bit more unburdened from the early expectations the show faced before its premiere, everything about season two feels more confident. Looking's commitment to its characters continues to bear fruit this year, extending from the excellent chemistry between the show's primary trio -- Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett) -- to stand-out secondary characters like Doris (Lauren Weedman) and new addition Eddie (Daniel Franzese).

We spoke to Looking creator Michael Lannan about working on the show and what to expect from season two.

Mlannan

Towleroad: There’s been an overwhelming amount of response to the show since it was first announced. What’s surprised you most about the reaction the show’s received?

Michael Lannan: I think it’s been really awesome and surprising to see how many people have written about it. There’s been such an incredible positive reaction that it resonated with people. I think there were many people who didn't like the show who also wrote about it, and that’s awesome too, because the worst is people not having any opinion about you. It’s been really awesome. It feels like we touched on something that’s very personal to a lot of people. One of our executives at HBO was like, 'Wow, people really take this show personally in a way that most shows aren’t taken,' which I think is really exciting. It feels like we’ve touched on something that matters and is sensitive to people, and that’s cool. I love that.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

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American Idol Contestant Josh Davalia Transitions To Jaidah Christina

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American Idol season 12 contestant Josh "JDA" Davalia was out and proud during his run on the show and made it to the Las Vegas semi-finals. Josh has been successful in more ways than one since the end of his time on the show. First, he landed a dream job singing at Chicago’s biggest Trans-friendly nightclub. And second, Josh has successfully transitioned to Jaidah Christina.

In an interview with TheTVPage.com, she talks about the transition process, her life on and after American Idol, and what it was like to come out to her family. Ironically enough, the one person in her family who appeared to have a problem with her transition was her gay uncle. However, she's receiving support from the rest of her family and has found a man whom she was able to come out to about being trans, and a year later they're still together.

The interview is beautiful and worth taking the time to read.


TLC's 'My Husband's Not Gay' Documents Gay Mormon Men Dating Women To 'Overcome' Their Sexuality: VIDEO

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TLC will air a documentary on January 1st about gay Mormon men in Salt Lake City who are married to women.

The men claim to use their faith in god to overcome anything that goes against their religious beliefs. Featuring three married couples and one bachelor, one of the men says he has “chosen an alternative to an alternative lifestyle.” Another participant helpfully explains “I’m interested in men, I’m just not interested in men.”

Some of the wives are delusional.

Watch a trailer for the TLC special, AFTER THE JUMP...

Mormon leaders recently reiterated the church's opposition to homosexuality.

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Duck Dynasty Star Isn't Quite Sure If You Choose To Be Gay, But He's Trying to Figure it Out: VIDEO

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Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson is studying the Bible in a quest to figure out if being gay is a choice.

Willie’s dad Phil got into some serious hot water a year ago when he attacked gay “sinners” who are going to hell. In an interview with GQ, Robertson senior also oddly said “we never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell.” Phil later defended his views but claimed that although he's a homophobe, gay people "need to know that I love them".

Speaking with Larry King, junior Robertson said that he doesn’t agree with everything his old man said in the interview because “we love everybody.” Her also helpfully pointed out that there are many, many gay people in the entertainment world.

Asked if he believes that being gay is a choice, young Willie said:

“Larry, I’m trying to figure that out right now. I really am since the controversy and since I know all these people — and if the thought is ‘I’m born this way.’

“I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out myself through the passages, because I always have to look to the scriptures to see what’s there and then I put it up against people — put my time in, so I’ve spent time with people.

“I’m not the judge. God’s going to be the judge, so it’s not my job to convince people to change their lives — it’s really through Jesus. If I just introduce them to Jesus, he’ll do that.”

Willie didn’t elaborate on when he made the decision to be heterosexual.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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