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A Longtime 'Glee' Character Came Out as Transgender on Last Night's Episode: VIDEO

Glee

In its final season, Glee still has a few revelations up its sleeve.

In an emotional announcement during last night's episode, one of its longtime characters decided to take a brave step and come out to a couple of other people at McKinley about his identification as transgender and his decision to transition:

"I've felt like this my whole life. Growing up I was really confused....No matter what I did I never felt at home in my own skin. I never felt like my body fit who I was on the inside....I don't regret the things I've been through because they made me the person I am today - a person strong enough to go through with this transition. I gotta do it for my own piece of mind. I've got to get my body in alignment with how I see myself."

Watch the emotional announcement [SPOILERS], AFTER THE JUMP...

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

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With only one episode left this season, American Horror Story: Freak Show has started to resolve its many plotlines with, predictably, a fairly high body count. Now, granted, a few of these characters and conflicts have only just been introduced, but that's par for the course on this show, where it feels like each week more and more crazy gets added to the mix.

Still, at least we're getting some resolution. In that regard, there was a lot of satisfaction to be found in tonight's installment, "Show Stoppers." If you've been waiting for some of these characters to get their comeuppance, you're in luck.

Find out who bit the dust and share your thoughts, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Their Husbands Aren't 'Gay,' So Let's Stop Acting Like They Are

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The Interplay is a special biweekly series exploring the intersections of sex, pop culture, and current events.

BY CHARLES PULLIAM-MOORE

Last Sunday TLC invited us into the homes and lives of married Mormon men who, despite being in committed relationships with women, still felt sexual desires for other men. Taken at face value “My Husband’s Not Gay” is exactly the kind of contemporary sideshow attraction that TLC specializes in. As casual viewers we’re meant to poke fun at the documentary’s subjects and to decry TLC’s morally questionable exploitation of them. Having watched the show, however, there’s a much more interesting story being told about the complexities of modern relationships and broader cultural difference.

The joke built into the special is eye-rollingly simple, if a bit heartbreaking: here’s a group of men living in denial about who they really are; ain’t that funny? If we accept the show’s central premise as being true, then sure, there’s potential for some dark humor at the couples’ expense. When you really stop and think about it, though, there’s a degree of truth to the show’s title. These men aren’t gay, at least not socially.

Not a day goes by that someone somewhere makes the valid, though cliched, point that there is no real “X-community.” The idea is that queer people come from too diverse a set of backgrounds to simply lump together. In terms of political correctness, that’s all true.

But in our day-to-day interactions we all participate in various activities that compose a larger LGBTQ or queer culture. You there, sir or madam who’s reading this post? Congratulations; you’re creating queer culture. Everything from the music that we listen to to the legal happenings we follow is a part of of a group subculture that we, as non-straight people, are a part of.

It’s important to point out, though, that the LGBTQ community is about more than not being heteronormatively straight. Similarly, the gay community, culture, and identity cannot be reduced to gay men not wanting to have sex with women. Gays and lesbians who choose to remain celibate in accordance with Catholic beliefs, for example, shouldn’t be denied right to their identities simply because they choose not to have sex with others of the same sex. The husbands of “My Husband’s Not Gay” are up front about their urges, but they’re also fundamentally removed from the gay culture and community in a way that’s worth thinking about.

These families’ lives are built around the teachings of the Mormon Church that require certain behaviors that the typical gay man would find untenable. Unlike many popular examples of cultures that forbid homosexuality, the families here deal with the elephant in the room in an open way that comes across as both endearing and, for lack of a better term, weird.

These men are able to openly discuss their thoughts and desires with their wives and each other. If we think about these men as self-identified homosexuals, rather than gay men, who have chosen to abstain for religious reasons, then there’s a novelty to seeing them discuss their thoughts frankly.  As off putting as the the documentary’s premise may be to you or I, it isn’t fair to write off their entire way of living simply because we can’t imagine ourselves in their situations.

To be clear, there are many things about “My Husband’s Not Gay” that are problematic and made all the worse by TLC’s decision not to contextualize some of its content. Though none of the Mormon characters explicitly endorsed reparative therapy during the course of the first episode, three have been directly linked to the practice in their personal lives. Other plot elements such as the sliding danger scale and the implicit pathologization of same-sex attraction also deserve a more appropriate counterbalance that TLC could have easily provided.

That all being said, “My Husband’s Not Gay” profiles a group of families united in their faith that have somehow managed to carve out a curious, but valid cultural niche for themselves. Though we may not agree with their beliefs, the documentary is an opportunity for us to learn across our differences and perhaps come to understand that certain similarities don’t always equal sameness.


New Diversity Initiative From British Channel 4 Tackles Need For LGBT Minority Representation In Television

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A new diversity charter put into effect by the British Channel 4 will require that the channel become significantly more diverse in both its staffing and programming by 2020. Going forward scripting shows that air on Channel four will have to prominently feature characters that are women, Black, Asian, minority, or other ethnicity (BAME) according to the organization’s new diversity guidelines.

20 percent of Channel 4’s staff will be required to be BAME and 6 percent of its workforce will have to be LGBT identified. The new guidelines are a part of a larger effort to ensure that Channel 4 more accurately reflects “the experiences of under-represented groups” in Britain, whose population is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of ethnic background, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The new rules also call for similar boosts in on-screen characters and staff who are differently abled.

Executives who are currently in position to make hires and craft casts to meet the new guidelines will be held accountable for their compliance. The annual bonuses to company executives are now tied directly to their efforts at maintaining Channel 4’s diversity standards.

The new initiative was drafted by Oona King, a former member of Parliament under the British Labour Party who now serves as Channel 4’s head of diversity. King championed the proposal after seeing that the numbers of women and minorities working in British television had plummeted in the past five years, despite other pushes for diversity. According to King, other plans had failed primarily because there were little to no financial incentives (or repercussions) in place.

“It will be a black mark against that person,” said Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham. “It is positive action, not positive discrimination.”


Naomi Campbell On Support For The LGBT Community: 'If It Wasn't For Gay Men I Wouldn't Exist' - VIDEO

Naomi

Supermodel Naomi Campbell recently spoke with GLAAD about her upcoming role on the show Empire, which prominently features a gay storyline, and, more broadly, about why she supports the LGBT community. Referring to her recent appearance at GLAAD's media awards and questions she received on the red carpet as to why she was there, Campbell responded, "Why shouldn't I be here? I was...if it wasn't for gay men I wouldn't exist. Hair, make-up, designer, photographer, stylist, manicure, hair-dresser, I mean, I just wouldn't exist. I owe my life to gay men. And it's just what I've grown up with. It's my family."

Speaking about the character Jamal on Empire, who is gay, Campbell commented, "I think Jamal's character is so important. And it will hopefully bring a lot of people out."

Watch Campbell's interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Campbell will make her first appearance on Empire on January 21st. 

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Matt Bomer to Play Montgomery Clift in HBO Biopic

Matt Bomer and Montgomery Clift

Montgomery Clift was a prolific film actor in the '50s who starred in classic films like The Heiress, Red River, From Here to Eternity and Judgment at Nuremberg, and was a close friend of Elizabeth Taylor before his death from a heart attack in 1965 at the age of 45. He was also a tormented, closeted gay man, a fact that was unknown until a pair of posthumous biographies were released in the '70s.

HBO will be releasing a biopic of the star titled Monty Clift, starring Matt Bomer from The Normal Heart and the upcoming Magic Mike: XXL. The biopic is still in pre-production and is scheduled to air later this year.


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