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Gay Iconography: Pee-Wee's Big Holiday Adventure

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If there’s a case to be made for nurture versus nature, I’d have to cop to Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special playing at least a small role in my personal little gay development. The primetime special, initially aired December 1988, is some of the greatest — and gayest — holiday TV of all time. Now, as of this week, the special (along with the rest of the Pee-Wee’s Playhouse series) is available on Netflix to delight a whole new generation.

For a children’s program, it was an incredibly unique world, blending retrofuturist glitz with absurdist humor, a richly diverse cast, and a touch of morality. “I’m just trying to illustrate that it's okay to be different — not that it's good, not that it's bad, but that it's all right,” Reubens told Rolling Stone about the series. “I’m trying to tell kids to have a good time and to encourage them to be creative and to question things.”

Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, written by Paul Reubens and John Paragon, follows Pee-Wee (Reubens) as he preps the playhouse for the holidays. The special doesn’t find Pee-Wee visited by ghosts of Christmas past, present or future, but it does feature more gay icons than the last three New Now Next Awards combined. There are appearances from Annette Funicello, Grace Jones, k.d. lang, Dinah Shore, Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg, Cher, and many more alongside playhouse regulars like Laurence Fishburne (Cowboy Curtis) and S. Epatha Merkerson as Reba.

Don your gay apparel and relax with some of our favorite clips, AFTER THE JUMP

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Spanish Television Host Sandra Barneda Comes Out On Air: VIDEO

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Spanish author and television personality Sandra Barneda revealed that she's in a relationship with another woman on one of her shows Wednesday reports On Top MagazineBarneda is a co-host on the Telecinco political show Un Tiempo Nuevo (A New Time) and talk show Hable Con Ellas (Talk With Women), on which gay Spanish actress and Miss Spain 2013 Patricia Yurena has appeared before.

On Wednesday's show Barneda was asked to answer questions posed to beauty pageant contestants. José Corbacho, a Spanish comedian dressed in drag, asked Barneda "If there was a nuclear holocaust, what couple, man and woman, would you choose to preserve and multiply the human species?" Barneda delivered a cheeky answer.

Said Barneda:

"My partner, who is a woman and I won't tell you her name, and the most handsome and fertile guy on Earth."

Barneda is the first Spanish television host to come out, and former Hable Con Ellas guest Patricia Yurena came out earlier this year on Instagram as the first openly gay active national beauty queen.

Watch the Spanish language segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' RECAP - 'Orphans' [Spoilers]

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 If this was American Sob Story: Freak Show, tonight's episode would have been stupendous. However, tonight's exposition-heavy hour (and then some) fell far short in the whole 'horror' department, with nary a scare to be found. Instead, we heard lots of back story, lots of history.

As a self-contained arc for two-time AHS character Pepper (Naomi Grossman), it was an excellent showcase, making Pepper one of the purest (and most tragic) figures ever on this show. Grossman's performance pushed through all the prosthetics to deliver something raw and relatable, even without her character's ability to articulate her feelings. But as a fall finale, there was much to be desired. Yes, besides the excellent Pepper story, we did move a few major pieces into places, but nothing too surprising.

Let's dig into the details, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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What To Watch This Week on TV: The End of 'Colbert,' 'White Collar'

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Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

— Where do you go after you’ve interviewed Smaug? Say goodbye to The Colbert Report Thursday at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on Comedy Central. He may be leaving the conservative character behind, but the charismatic Colbert will take over for Letterman in 2015, sans schtick.

Goodbye, White Collar; hello, Real WorldAFTER THE JUMP ...

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FRC Radio Host Craig James Isn't Sure About Executing Gays, But He's All For Dying To Deny Them Equal Rights

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Craig James, a former TV football analyst, is fond of saying he was fired by Fox Sports merely because of his views against same-sex marriage. 

But it's beginning to seem more likely that Fox Sports let James go because he's a total wingnut with a variety of extremist anti-gay views, which he only began to publicly articulate in 2012 during a failed campaign for US Senate in Texas.  

Those views have come much more into focus during James' current tenure as a radio host for the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group. 

The most recent example was Friday, when James spoke with a caller to FRC's "Washington Watch" program.  

Right Wing Watch reports: 

“I want to say something very horrific, a solution, and I think it’s the right solution,” said the caller, who said his name was Phillip. “We pray for the homosexuals, we’ve prayed for our enemies but at the same time when they try to force us to go against God, I think that’s where they cross the line and we should pass laws to execute them when they have judges to go against our businesses.”

And here's James' response: 

"Thank you Phillip. You know what, that part there, I don’t know about the executing, but I do know that we have to be bold and firm and much stronger. God doesn’t tell us and calls us that we have to be timid and to stand for our straight — our beliefs. I’m doing a course right now in seminary and it’s the history of the early church and it’s fascinating, there’s been lots and lots and lots of men and women who have died for their Christian beliefs since the beginning and now we are in a time in this country and in this world where we must be bold and stand for God and His truths." 

In other words, James isn't sure about executing gay people, but he's all for dying to stop them from getting equal rights.

Is there a difference? 

It sounds like James, a one-time NFL running back, would probably do whatever it takes to win — but I suspect the outcome of this struggle will be similar to that of his Senate campaign, when he ended up with 4 percent of the vote.  

Listen to the audio, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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UK's Risque Gay Drama 'Cucumber' Gets a Phallic-filled Teaser Trailer: VIDEO

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Queer as Folk creator Russell T. Davies has a new gay drama set to air on Channel 4 next year that is reportedly so risqué it "wouldn't get past an American network." And now a teaser for the show has been released online that is sure to get all the stateside prudes sweating.

Towleroad's Jim Redmond wrote back in August about Cucumber and its tie-in shows:

Franklin_FoxSet to be aired next year, Cucumber looks at gay life across different generations and stars Vincent Franklin as a 46-year old man going through a relationship break-up, and Freddie Fox as a young object of his desires.

Cucumber will be broadcast alongside a sister show, Banana and a related web series called Tofu. According to Davies, the titles for the three shows came from a scientific study on the erection:

"It divided the hard-on into four categories, from soft to hard. One, tofu. Two, peeled banana. Three, banana. And four, cucumber. Right there and then, I knew I had my drama," said Davies.

Watch the phallic-filled teaser, AFTER THE JUMP...

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