Thursday, March 3, 2016

The New Faces of LGBT

Well, I was born in 1958 and didn't realize that I was Gay until I was around 6 years old.  I didn't KNOW that I was Gay, because I had no concept of what Gay was.  All I know is that I liked this boy named John D. in 1st grade.  I wanted to look at him and be around him.

When I was in 5th Grade, I learned that Judy Garland had died.  I liked Judy at that time and didn't know what a great Gay Icon she was, but I knew a great entertainer had died. Of course, when I was older, I worshiped Judy.
I used to play her Carnegie Hall album in my college dorm room.  I also knew that the guy next door was Gay and that he would appreciate hearing it too.

 As I grew up, I found out about other Gay icons such as Marilyn Monroe.  She didn't have the same impact on me as Judy did, but I came to realize the impact she had on other young Gay men.  It wasn't until I was much older that I appreciated her more.  Films like "Some Like It Hot" solidified my belief that Marilyn and Gay men went hand in hand.

Fast forward to 2016.  The greatest day for me in a Gay man's life was the Supreme Court Decision on Same Sex Marriage.  I understand that not all Gay men want to get married, but for me, it was a day of liberation and acceptance.  I wish that this day had come sooner.  It is a landmark day in history.

Today, Gay men have so many people to look up to and admire and feel a kinship with.  As more and more men came out of the closet, so did Gay Celebrities.  The coming out of so many Gay Celebrities  has brought so much more acceptance and allies.

With movies like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", "Philadelphia", "The Band Played On", "Milk", "My Beautiful Laundrette", "Parting Glances", "Brokeback Mountain" and most recently, "The Normal Heart", Gay love and Gay marriage has come into the mainstream of our consciousness.  I could never have imagined these films being made when I was young.
It's not only the movies that have changed, but so many forms of media: TV, Internet, Blogs, etc.

One couple that has really touched my heart is Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka.  Neil is an extremely talented man.  From his hosting appearances on the Tony Awards to his starring in the Broadway production of "Hedwig And The Angry Inch", he has put Gay front and center.

Neil Patrick Harris opened the 65th Annual Tony Awards with a song titled, "It's Not Just For Gays Anymore".  And he won the 2014 Tony Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.

I recently watched Oprah's interview with Neil and David for her "Oprah's Next Chapter" series.  Neil and David invited Oprah into their home and showed her a small slice of their lives as a couple and parents to twins.  You can find the interview (Part 1) on YouTube here:  YouTube.

Not only have the movies and TV brought Same Sex Marriage to the front and center, but so has the Internet.  YouTube stars such as Tyler Oakley, Joey Graceffa, Shane Dawson, Michael Buckley and so many have made a huge impact on LGBT awareness on all fronts.

Tyler Oakley                                                                                                            Noah Galvin
So, I must say that we have come so far.  I'm always excited to see new projects come to life.

One new TV show that is based on Dan Savage's life is "The Real O'Neals" on ABC. It premiered on March 2, 2012.  It tells the story of a supposedly normal Catholic family that turns out to be far from normal. The Gay character Kenny, played by Noah Galvin is hilarious.  He comes OUT in the first episode at the Catholic Bingo organized by his mother who is played by, Martha Plimpton and all hell beaks loose.

One last show that I'd like to talk about is an original series on Hulu called "Difficult People".  It stars Billy Eichner who is the comedian that runs up to people in New York City and screams at them with funny questions and sometimes a celebrity at his side.The series was created by Julie Klausner, who stars alongside Billy Eichner as two struggling and jaded New York comedians. It premiered on August 5, 2015.

I'm looking forward to the future of all types of media that will be coming along.  It's a wonderful world!

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