Q&A: Kevin Simmons of YouTube’s The Skorpion Show

(L-R) Co-Hosts Makael Mclendon and Kevin Simmons of The Skorpion Show.

Co-hosts Makael Mclendon and Kevin Simmons of “The Skorpion Show.”

The Skorpion Show has been online since 2008. What inspired you produce it?
It wasn’t inspiration that started The Skorpion Show. I used Youtube as a creative platform while I was job-seeking. I think more inspiration came along the way once I noticed the show was catching was on via social media on Myspace, and blogs posting some of our videos. Read more »

OPINION: We Need More Diverse Representations of LGBTQ Life on TV

Jussie & Yazz (Jamal and Hakeem Lyon) from the hit FOX show Empire

Jussie & Yazz (Jamal and Hakeem Lyon) from the hit FOX show Empire

Next week, Fox’s megahit show Empire returns, and my black gay friends are more excited for its arrival than they are warmer Philly weather. “It’s gonna be the only time we see one of us not in drag,” one of them said. “It’s one of the few times I like how we’re portrayed.”

I tried to find a counter to that point, but this was one of the first times I had to sit and contemplate. How many black and Latino LGBTQ characters are there on television? According to this recent GLADD character list, not many. Of all the major channels on both broadcast and cable, there are fewer than 20 roles — and most are not major characters. Read more »

Mimi Imfurst on Life After RuPaul’s Drag Race

Image provided by Mimi Imfurst. Photography by Jamin Ruhren.

Image provided by Mimi Imfurst. Photography by Jamin Ruhren.

It’s been a while. How’s life been, girl?
Busy busy busy! Between finishing up this album and producing the upcoming Divas of Drag Tour, mamma’s got a full plate! But I wouldn’t have it any other way — I love the work I do. I love creating both art and opportunities.

While maintaining a busy performance schedule, how were you able to juggle recording this album with true commitment?
I’ve been hard at work writing and recording The Fire over the last year. It was important to get the right songs and that each one was done right. I didn’t want an album with one or two singles and a bunch of filler. Every song has to be good. Patience has paid off, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s been a lot of long days and a very busy schedule — but I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Read more »

OPINION: Let’s Have a Frank Chat About Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner on the ESPY Awards.

Caitlyn Jenner on the ESPY Awards.

Earlier this week, it was announced that transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner will be speaking at Penn on February 17th.

The now-sold-out event will feature Jenner and writer Buzz Bissinger in a conversation about her life post-transition and the causes she continues to advocate for. This news was met with harsh criticism and some offensive remarks in the comments section of our Facebook and Instagram pages. Read more »

OPINION: Can Lady Gaga Make a Full Comeback?

Lady Gaga during her "Born This Way" era.

Lady Gaga during her “Born This Way” era.

I have always been a fan of Lady Gaga. Okay, not always – but I believe in her talent.

In an era where pop stars can barely hold a note, she belts them effortlessly while playing the piano, dancing, and experimenting.

But 29-year old Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is at a crossroads in her career. The openly bisexual superstar reached new heights with albums like The Fame and Born This Way, but also gave us the tragic Artflop … I mean Artpop. Read more »

Cloud Atlas Director Talks Gender

Lana Wachowski stunned many fans several years ago when she made her gender transition. As one-half of the successful Hollywood team that created The Matrix trilogy and mostly recently Cloud Atlas, Wachowski has only recently told her own story, about struggling with her gender since she was a child and contemplating suicide as a teen. Now at a very charming 47, she took to the stage at a recent HRC event in San Francisco on Saturday to accept the Visibility Award with grace and no shortage of humor.

“Everyone one of us, every person here, every human life represents a negotiation between public and private identity, ” she said. “For me, that negotiation took a more literal form.”

Check it out:

WATCH: The New Normal

Glee‘s Ryan Murphy’s at it again. This fall season, he’s debuting a new show – The New Normal – about two gay men who are having a child with a surrogate mom. The show stars Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells, the Tony Award winner who starred in Book of Mormon on Broadway. Ellen Barkin also plays a hilarious grandmother with quite the silver tongue.

One Million Moms has already criticized the show for its friendly portrayal of gay dads. And an affiliate in Utah refuses to air the series, saying it would offend Mormon audiences.

The series debuts on Sept. 11.

Click here to watch the pilot before it airs on NBC.

My Gay Sitcom Life

Illustration by Kale Halperin

My parents sent me a postcard with a single line in my mother’s impeccable penmanship; it read, “Spending your inheritance! XOXO, Cliff & Clair.” My parents are on vacation. Again. They vacation a lot these days‚ a new development, as we couldn’t afford vacations growing up.

Things sure do change.

Cliff and Clair, I should note, are not really my parents’ names – you might recognize them as the Huxtables from The Cosby Show. But that’s what my brothers and I started calling them after they became globe-trotting ballers, ordering both the surf and the turf. This is what happens when you no longer have to put three boys through private school. They sacrificed a lot to give us a Cosby life without Cosby funds. We were a black family with caviar taste and a Mrs. Paul’s budget, weirdos wherever we found ourselves.

For me, turning on the television set as a kid and finding a family like the Huxtables was a revelation. They laughed with each other. They danced. They loved. They were anomalies, though in my mind we were the Huxtables. And, I guess if I had to pick, I was Denise, the weirdest of the weirdos, ready for my own spinoff.

Read more »

Ren Faire’s Best in Costume

Last weekend (Aug. 12), the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire welcomed revelers from the LGBT community – many from Philly – during the official Gay Day. Produced by Suzi Nash (you may also know her as the karaoke hostess with the mostess at Sisters every Thursday) and the Stimulus family, the event was also supported by quite a few local organizations, including the William Way, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund and The Attic Youth Center.

As guests turned back time to enjoy some merriment (and jousting) on the 35-acre village at Mt. Hope Estate (hello, winery!), Nash also held a costume contest.

“Van Nguyen was our costume winner,” says Nash. And while many guests showed off their creative wardrobes from throughout the region, this Philly denizen walked away with top honors and a bottle of cheer.

 

Nash and Nguyen (courtesy of The Nash Experience)

 

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