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Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014

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"I think coming out...is really about coming out as your authentic self, coming out as the person you always knew you were but no one else may have known, and now you're sharing that honestly with people for the first time."

2014faces2Such is how Rodrigo Lehtinen, the trans son of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, explained to CBS Miami last month what it meant for him to now be open about who he is.

It's as simple as that, whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or some fluid combination of any of them. But it's certainly an act of courage in a world where LGBTQ people face obstacles in marriage, employment, and even basic acceptance. In many places, the status of being 'out' about one's sexual orientation or gender identity is dangerous, even life-threatening.

In 2014 thousands, perhaps millions of people came out all over the world. They all made a difference. The folks featured here are just a few who happened to make a big difference and caught our eye on Towleroad this year. Some are well-known, some are little-known: the CEO of the largest corporation in the world, an NFL player, a Kenyan literary figure, fashion models, the foreign minister of a Baltic state, country singers, Mormon pop stars, a few of the stars of your favorite television shows, and unknowns from the world of YouTube.

When it comes to coming out, 2014 was certainly the year of the athlete.

Of the 80 people on our list this year, more than 1/3 come from the sports world — football, baseball, boxing, tennis, long distance running, hurling, basketball, rowing, and diving. Many of these athletes are making a name for themselves in college sports, many in conservative places. Twenty-one come from the entertainment world. And they are from all over the world — Japan, Peru, Ireland, Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Finland, Canada, Spain, Chile, and more... Also, the leader of a company worth more than all the world's airlines combined, worth more than the entire Russian stock market.

It's quite an impressive group of folks. We're proud of all of you. By choosing to come out as L, G, B, T, queer, or whatever label your sexual orientation or gender identity is telling you is yours, you've made life easier for all those who haven't come out yet, and all those who are currently struggling for their civil and human rights.

Please enjoy reading their stories. And share this post with your friends, family, and anyone in the closet to whom you'd like to offer a bit of courage or support.

 

Read on, AFTER THE JUMP...

Contributions to this post were made earlier this year by Kyler Geoffroy, Sean Mandell, Joseph Ehrman-Dupre, Steve Pep, Brian Sloan, Daniel Villareal, Anthony Costello, Jim Redmond, Charles Pulliam-Moore, Christian Walters, John Wright, and Jake Folsom.

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Continue reading "Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014" »


Gay Murder Mystery 'Kiss Me Kill Me' Gets Greenlight Following Successful Kickstarter: VIDEO

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Actor Gale Harold [pictured] is going to star in a new movie, and it’ll be his first gay role since he played Brian Kinney in Queer as Folk.

HaroldOn Monday it was announced that murder mystery film ‘Kiss Me, Kill Me’ has been green lit. Casper Andreas (“Going Down in LA-LA Land”) will direct, and David Michael Barrett (“Such Good People”) is screenwriter.

The announcement was made following the film reaching its Kickstarter goal yesterday, and it will go into production this December. If you still want to give to the project, follow the above link and contribute to a stretch goal. Screenwriter Barrett says that, while the initial goal has been met, the team is hoping for an additional $25,000 to “significantly raise the quality of the production.” 

Director Andreas thanks fans, who were active in their Internet campaigning for the film. Says Andreas:

The huge success of this campaign is a reminder how important movies with LGBT content are to audiences…Hollywood is not producing these sort of films, and we would not be able to do it without the fans.

Gale Harold isn’t the only super hunk appearing in the film. Van Hansis, of “As the World Turns,” and Logo’s “Eastsiders,” also stars. Rounding out the cast will be: Willam Belli (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), Kit Williamson (“Eastsiders,” “Mad Men”), Yolonda Ross (“Go For Sisters”), Tom Lenk (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Brianna Brown (“Devious Maids”), Jonathan Lisecki (“Gayby”), Michael Maize (“True Blood”), Craig Robert Young (“NCIS: Los Angeles”), Jackie Monahan (“Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”). Andreas’ past collaborators Matthew Ludwinski and Allison Lane (“Going Down in LA-LA Land”) will also appear.

Watch a Kickstarter video on the film's cast and plot, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Murder Mystery 'Kiss Me Kill Me' Gets Greenlight Following Successful Kickstarter: VIDEO" »


Actor Van Hansis Talks About Being Gay

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The Fight asks EastSiders and As The World Turns star Van Hansis about why he wasn't out publicly until now:

I guess it was a combination of a lot of things—It was my first job, it was a different time back then in regards to LGBT stories being told—I mean, the Luke story was groundbreaking at the time. Now, I think every remaining soap has a gay storyline. I was completely green, fresh out of college, and honestly, I was scared.

Hansis is also asked if he has felt pressure to act differently "to fit into someone's preconceived notions:"

I think this is part of the reason I connect with a show like “Eastsiders” so much. It, along with so many other really remarkable shows—whether LGBT focused, or just including some really great LGBT characters- are changing the narrative on preconceived notions. While for decades LGBT characters in cinema could be the villain, victim, or asexual comedic relief—shows like what you have created have characters so well rounded that you can be all three, and so much more. As we all are, often in the same day.


Gay Web Series ‘Eastsiders’ Returns, Seeks Funding For Season 2 On Kickstarter: VIDEO

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Eastsiders, the popular web series that focuses on the aftermath of infidelity on a gay couple living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake (what some might term LA’s answer to Brooklyn), is back for a second season. Season 1 was picked up by LOGO Online but now the show’s creators are turning to Kickstarter for help getting things off the ground for the show's next chapter.

From creator and star Kit Williamson:

“I'm so excited to take the show back where it started: in the fans' hands, on Kickstarter. This is a very unique moment in time where audiences have the power to say what kind of stories they want to see told. We've been so lucky to have found an amazing community of viewers that have been with us from day one, and continues to grow every day. I hope they want to see more from us, because I am so excited to continue telling this story.”

Season 1 raked in the accolades, winning Best Web Drama at the 2013 LA Weekly Awards, Best Ensemble at the Indie Series Awards and a Satellite Award nomination. The show stars Van Hansis, who memorably played Luke of Luke and Noah (a.k.a. ‘Nuke’) on the daytime drama As The World Turns, and creator Williamson, who has appeared on Mad Men and on the New York stage in Talk Radio with Liev Schreiber.

Season 2 will see the return of memorable cast members such as John Halbach, Traci Lords, Sean Maher, Matthew McKelligon and Constance Wu along with the addition of new players such as Willam Belli, whom you will recall from Nip/Tuck, his RuPaul's Drag Race days and his role as one third of Detox. 

Check out the Kickstarter video, AFTER THE JUMP…

You can also visit the Kickstarter page and donate HERE.

And in case you missed season 1, you can watch episodes 1 & 2 HERE, episode 3 HERE, and episodes 4 & 5 HERE.

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PREMIERE: Episode 3 of Gay Web Series EastSiders' - VIDEO

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Last December we posted the first two episodes of EastSiders, a web series that follows a gay couple dealing with infidelity in Los Angeles and co-stars Van Hansis, the actor who played gay character Luke Snyder on As The World Turns, and Kit Williamson, known best for his stage work, including Talk Radio with Liev Schreiber. It has been described as "Girls with a bunch of gay guys."

The series was picked up by LOGO TV online where it will live and they are giving Towleroad readers a first look at the full third episode today before it also begins streaming there later this afternoon.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

And if you missed them, catch Episodes 1 and 2 HERE.

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Watch The First Episode Of Gay Web Series 'EastSiders:' VIDEO

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We'll have to wait untold months for HBO's gay comedy, and with season one of The Outs behind us, that's out for our viewing pleasure. Never fear, though, because there's still the new gay-themed web series EastSiders to get us through the winter months.

As Andy mentioned, the new project follows a gay couple dealing with infidelity in Los Angeles and co-stars Van Hansis, the actor who played gay character Luke Snyder on As The World Turns, and Kit Williams, known best for his stage work, including Talk Radio with Liev Schreiber. It has been described as "Girls with a bunch of gay guys."

Watch the first episode and describe it for yourself AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Watch The First Episode Of Gay Web Series 'EastSiders:' VIDEO" »


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