West Hollywood Hub

Country Star Billy Gilman on Coming Out: 'I'm Not Gonna Lie. I Was Pretty Scared' — VIDEO


Out country singer Billy Gilman made an appearance this week at the opening of West Hollywood's Flaming Saddles, the city's first country-western bar, and spoke with PerezTV about the reactions he received after coming out of the closet last November:

"It was overwhelming. What really threw me back were the emails we got by the droves of young people in middle America, kind of nervous at finding their own voice because it's so conservative saying 'oh thank you we have a voice to guide us.' It just really took me back. The response has been unbelievable which I'm very grateful for, because it's important."

Gilman also talked about what spurred him to come out:

"I met my partner and my best friend and it just wasn't necessary for it to be hidden anymore...I'm not gonna lie. I was pretty scared. My parents are very conservative. It was as if nothing happened. Or mattered. Because we come form a place of love. Seeing that situation, I want to provide any kind of solace and respect and drive for any child that doesn't have that situation because there are plenty that don't have what I had...Hopefully I can provide that to other kids and be a voice for them."

Gilman also talked about what he has coming in the way of entertainment for 2015.


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Police on the Hunt for 3 Men Involved in Possible Anti-gay Hate Crime on West Hollywood Man: VIDEO


Police in West Hollywood are searching for three men accused of committing a potential hate crime that left a 31-year-old gay man with a large gash to his head, ABC 7 reports:

Don Brooks told Eyewitness News he was crossing the street at 2:45 a.m. Tuesday with friends when a group of men in a car drove by and began shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.

He said three men got out of a white Audi Q4. The two parties exchanged words and the men then jumped him. The assault took place near Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. 

"[The suspects were] just shouting things at me, racial slurs, homophobic slurs," Brooks said. "They charged me. It gets a little blurry from there, but I was definitely rushed and pushed." 

Brooks claims the suspects ran from the scene and left him injured on the sidewalk.

Brooks"I fell to the ground, hit the back of my head and then they left me laying there bleeding. Luckily, I wasn't robbed. They just did what they did and I think they saw that maybe I was bleeding and then they freaked out and left," Brooks said. 

Brooks says he blacked out after the hard fall. When he came to, he managed to dial 911 on his cell phone and help arrived. He says he was targeted because he is gay. 

"They saw me crossing, they saw that I was gay, and they wanted to just feel manly, or whatever," Brooks said.

Brooks was admitted to a hospital, where he receied four staples to his scalp. Police are asking anyone with information to call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Watch an ABC 7 report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Out Country Star Billy Gilman to Be Honored at Opening of WeHo's First Gay Country-Western 'Saloon'


Country singer Billy Gilman, who came out back in November and was featured on our "85 Most Powerful Comings Outs of 2014" list, is set to be honored later this month at the opening of Flaming Saddles Saloon, West Hollywood's first country-western themed bar.

SaddlesCo-owners Jacqui Squatriglia and Chris Barnes, who also own the Flaming Saddles Saloon location in Hell's Kitchen, will be opening the 6,000 square feet saloon at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Larrabee. 

Said Barnes:

“Country-western music has historically been the soundtrack to people’s lives and has always had a huge LGBT fan base, as evidenced by watching our patrons mouthing the words to their favorite country tunes while bartenders are busy kicking up their heels atop the bar.”

Gilman will be joined on opening night by West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico, who will present a City proclamation to commemorate the event. Dancing bartenders will also be included in the celebration, which will benefit the work of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. 

For more info, visit the Flaming Saddles website here.

Hollywood Chick-Fil-A Franchise Holds LGBT Youth Fundraiser - VIDEO


A Chick-Fil-A franchise in Hollywood, California held a fundraiser last weekend with the national gay youth group Campus Pride to help raise funds to combat bullying, reports LOGO TV.

Chick-Fil-A has faced the wrath of LGBT activists in recent years following the revelation that anti-gay CEO Dan Cathay has been funding homophobic groups and activists including the anti-gay listed hate group Family Research Council. Dancathy

During Saturday’s fundraiser an unspecified percent of sales went to Campus Pride’s campaign to raise money for an anonymous $10,000 matching grant. A table was also set up with pamphlets about Campus Pride and the anti-bullying organization Stand Up Foundation.

Of the event, Campus Pride director Shane Windmeyer said:

“We’re not going to turn away anyone who wants to be an ally and help us fundraise. Activism is dirty work. It’s work that some people don’t always agree on the journey or the past and today we were just trying to be positive, to move forward and to do things that are common ground issues.”

Watch a Young Turks report on Cathy's anti-gay comments, AFTER THE JUMP...

And don't forget to check out the 10 Businesses To Avoid This Holiday Season If You Care About LGBT Rights.

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Duke Mason Announces His Run For West Hollywood City Council

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With the posting of a video on his YouTube channel, Duke Mason has officially thrown his hat in the ring for a West Hollywood City Council seat. In the new clip, Mason, the openly gay son of singer Belinda Carlisle, points to the increase in the city's rental prices (which are driving out many of the people who initially helped shape West Hollywood's identity) as just one of the motivating forces behind his run.

Says Mason in the video:

"I am grateful to be a resident of West Hollywood. We should celebrate our city's legacy. But we also need to return to our roots and use that activist spirit to build for ourselves, for our future and for the next generation. We're still West Hollywood: the same West Hollywood with the audacity to stand up, to speak out and to fight for what we believe in. We are good but we can be great again. We can be proud again."

Mason first filed papers for a possible run in July.

You can contribute to the campaign on his official website here.

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City of West Hollywood Incorporates Rainbow Into its New Flag


Following the removal of the Gay Pride flag from the roof of West Hollywood City Hall last month amid a firestorm of criticism, the city has voted to incorporate rainbow colors into its new flag, the L.A. Times reports:

“This has been a very exciting debate,” said Mayor Pro Tem John D’Amico, who is gay. “I think flying a rainbow flag at City Hall is perhaps not as interesting as flying the City of West Hollywood adopted flag that has the rainbow on it. There’s a pedigree there, there’s a history.”

The rainbow flag was removed in January after an earlier unanimous vote by the council to maintain the city’s practice of displaying only the United States, California and city flags on public facilities. At one meeting, Councilman John Duran, who is gay, said the city “belongs to all of us” and is "not just a city of gay men."

More than 40% of West Hollywood’s residents identify themselves as gay or lesbian, according to city surveys, and four of the five council members are gay men.


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