Latin flair

comedy
MUY FUNNY | Dan Guerrero works for laughs while being gay and Latino in his one-man show.

Before he could write ‘¡Gaytino!,’ Dan Guerrero first had to find his roots

rich lopez  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Growing up gay and Latino can be a tough hand to play. In a culture that revels in religion and machismo — hell, the word “machismo” is Latino — coming out poses pitfalls.

But Dan Guerrero lucked out. With some artsy upbringing by a musician dad and a not-so-practicing Catholic background, Guerrero’s closet was easy to open. In fact, it was harder for him just to be Hispanic.

“Los Angeles never made me feel like I was good enough,” he says. “I fell in love with musicals in junior high. I wanted to hear Julie Andrews in Camelot! Who gives a rat’s ass about mariachi?”

His dad might have given one. He was famed musician Lala Guerrero, the father of Chicano music who popularized the Pachuco sound in the 1940s (the beats most associated with Zoot suits and swing dancing). While Guerrero appreciated his father’s legacy, he established his own identity by moving to New York to become an actor. That didn’t work out so much, but becoming an agent did.

“It was kind of by accident, but I ended up being an agent for 15 years,” he says. “I got into producing and I loved it.”

Although he stepped away from performing, Guerrero finds himself back onstage Friday and Saturday at the Latino Cultural Center with ¡Gaytino! The autobiographical one-man show is part comedy, part cabaret, with Guerrero recounting in lyrics and punch lines his experiences growing up gay and Latino, life with father … and having to rediscover his roots after moving back to L.A.

“The main reason I did the show is, I wanted to know more about my dad and my best friend. I was already fabulous,” he laughs. “So I don’t think of this as my story. I wanted to embrace his legacy and celebrate him and our lives, but also tell of being a born-again Hispanic.”

In L.A., Guerrero rediscovered his heritage. While still working in entertainment, he noticed a lack of Latinos behind the scenes. He started a column in Dramalogue to change that, interviewing actors like Jimmy Smits and Salma Hayek and producing shows that spoke to Latin audiences.

And then came ¡Gaytino!

“Well, the word itself hit me first so I trademarked it. Then it was madness as I set about writing it,” he says.

When the show debuted in 2005, Guerrero hadn’t performed in 35 years. He was a different man, no longer a young buck with nothing to lose and untarnished optimism. He was a behind-the-scenes producer and casting agent. He was — gasp! — older.

“I remember thinking, ‘What am I gonna do? What if I forget my lines?’ I’m an old codger,” he says. “But I got onstage and it was like I had did it the day before. Performing is just part of who I am.”

With his successful day job (he once repped a young Sarah Jessica Parker), a healthy relationship (32 years this November) and irons in many other fires, why bother with the daunting task of writing a show and carrying it alone?

“It still feels like I’m breaking into show business. At least when you’ve been around as long as I have, you can get the main cheese by phone,” he answers. “But really, I had something I wanted to say and I love doing it. I’ve been lucky to stay in the game this long but it’s not by accident; it’s all been by design.”

What he loves isn’t just doing his show, but how it pushes positive gay Latino images. He’s dedicated this chapter in his life to that. Guerrero now feels parental toward the younger generation — maybe because he has no children of his own.

“I do feel a responsibility and not just to younger people, but to all,” he says. “For ¡Gaytino!, I first want them entertained, but I hope audiences will leave more educated about some Chicano culture and history and Gaytino history.”

……………………………………

QUEER CLIP: ‘BEGINNERS’

screen

 

Beginners is such a dreadfully forgettable and generic title for what is the year’s most engaging and heartfelt comedy, you feel like boycotting a review until the distributor gives it a title it deserves.

Certainly the movie itself — a quirky, humane and fantastical reverie about the nature of love and family, with Ewan McGregor as a doleful graphic artist who, six months after his mother dies, learns his 75-year-old dad (Christopher Plummer) is gay and wants to date — charts its own course (defiantly, respectfully, beautifully), navigating the minefield of relationships from lovers to parent/child with simple emotions. It’s not a movie that would presume to answer the Big Questions (when do you know you’ve met the right one? And if they aren’t, how much does that matter anyway?); it’s comfortable observing that we’re all in the same boat, and doing our best is good enough.

McGregor’s placid befuddlement over how he should react to things around him — both his father’s coming out and a flighty but delightful French actress (Melanie Laurent) who tries to pull him out of his shell — is one of the most understated and soulful performances of his career. (His relationship with Arthur, his father’s quasi-psychic Jack Russell, is winsome and winning without veering into Turner & Hooch idiocy.) But Plummer owns the film.

Plummer, best known for his blustery, villainous characters (even the heroic ones, like Capt. Von Trapp and Mike Wallace), exudes an aura of wonder and discovery as the septuagenarian with the hot younger boyfriend (Goran Visnjic, both exasperating as cuddly). As he learns about house music at a time when his contemporaries crave Lawrence Welk, you’re wowed by how the performance seethes with the lifeforce of someone coming out and into his own. His energy is almost shaming.

Writer/director Mike Mills’ semi-autobiographical film suffers only being underlit and over too quickly. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to spend more time with these folks.

—Arnold Wayne Jones

Rating: Four and half stars
Now playing at Landmark’s Magnolia Theatre.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 10, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 04.29.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Lesley Gore turns 65 on Monday. Much has changed in music since singer Lesley Gore recorded her biggest hit “It’s My Party” back in 1963. But maybe it was Gore who “changed” the most. The iconic singer came out as lesbian in 2005 and stated she knew in her late teens that she was attracted to women. Now we have to go back and listen to all her lyrics again.

……………………………….

THIS WEEK

Uranus, newly in Aries, cranks up spontaneous individualism and assertion. The sun is in Taurus, semi-square to Uranus provoking a lot of stubbornness. Don’t challenge others with an uppity, obstinate attitude; look for creative new ways to show loyalty and resilience.

………………………………

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Life’s tough blows have been piling up, but don’t let it give you piles. Much as people depend on the solid, reliable you, you need to be able to let it out and lean on someone else.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Your friends are only human. Don’t take disappointments to heart. Cutting off communications is a big mistake, but so is over-talking the problem. A short break may be best.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Your friends’ ideas fare too much from the heart, not enough from the brains. Going along with them could hurt your rep and your wallet. Thank them for their ideas and change the subject.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
In your ideal relationship you’re the star married to your agent or manager. That means you can’t always be the boss! Arguments are normal but listening remains more important than speaking.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Novel sex techniques are a blast but require some safety. They also open up a lot of suppressed feelings. How well do you know your partner? Just be sure that he or she can be trusted.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
You and your mate have a great time exploring kinky new fun. Anything from silk scarf bondage to cattle prods is open to testing. Slow, careful and easy is the best approach, at first anyway.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
You are part of a team and everyone else is as important as you. As much as your special talents do contribute to the team, cultivate humility as one of those talents.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Argue about movie, art, sports, anything fun or creative; you’re sure to find amazing new ideas. Keep your mind and ears open and respectful of other notions. Be polite with the idiots.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Livening up your home life should be a fun creative challenge, not a painful economic one. Unleash your dark side in planning changes, but not in how you treat housemates.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Criticism of family, housemates or your community is surprising in its harshness. If you can’t be kind, give your loved ones a break and look for schmucks who deserve your wrath.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Financial surprises work your nerves. You need a break. Try something new and different even if it’s just a quiet stroll in a park or country road you’ve never trod before.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
The cost of living force some choices in how you unwind. Look ahead 10 years and imagine what friendships, talents and skills you’d like to have developed through your hobbies.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Virginia official: the next TSA agent patting you down could be a horny homo

Blender Verdon Coleman passed this gem of elected official homophobia on to us for your infotainment. Eugene Delgaudio an elected official on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in Virginia and he is thinking really hard about the TSA pat down enhancements and sexual arousal.

A widely distributed e-mail written by Delgaudio for the Public Advocate about TSA, claims the pat downs are part of a “Homosexual Agenda.” And he criticizes TSA’s non-discrimination hiring policy.

“It’s the federal employee’s version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights… That means the next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down’ could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission,” Delgaudio wrote.

…Part of his official role on the Board of Supervisors includes representing the county in the Dulles Area Transportation Association.

In his other role as President of the wingnut Public Advocate of the United States organization, I assume he and The Peter are comparing notes about this topic.  Delgaudio receives bonus points for being the subject of a post by barista Alvin McEwen earlier this year, “‘Men hand-in-hand skipping down to adoption centers to ‘pick out’ a little boy for themselves’.”

BTW, check out the comments accompanying the news article. My fave:

Our “agenda” is to recruit at least 50 folks each…5 more and I can get the 60″ HDTV! :)

BONUS HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA UPDATE: Look at this choice email Delgaudio is sending out.

From: Eugene Delgaudio

Sent: Nov 29, 2010 5:06 PM

To: ————-

Subject: Lame Duck Session Is This Week!

Dear —,

The Radical Homosexuals are cheerleading as their allies in Congress begin the “Lame Duck” session of Congress this week.

As you know, they want to ram through their entire agenda from the Gay Bill of Special Rights to the Homosexual Classrooms Act.

Now is the time to stand up for the family and make your voice heard!

I’ve prepared a petition for you to sign.  But also, if you can, please make an emergency contribution of 0, , or even just to aid Public Advocate in this fight.

If you missed my recent email outlining what is at stake in the “Lame Duck” session, please read it below.

Thank you,

Eugene Delgaudio

His insane email is below the fold.
Fighting the Homosexual Agenda is priority number one (as opposed to say, the economy, roads and bridges, etc.) for this turd.

Dear Pro-family American,

After such an inspiring victory on Election Day, I want to keep the celebration going as much as you do.

But a very real threat looms.

You see, none of the newly-elected congressmen and senators will take office until next year.

That means that until January the same anti-family, pro-homosexual Congress will be at the beck and call of Barack Obama, the most pro-homosexual president in American history.

And they are coming back in early November for a “Lame Duck” session to pass as much garbage as possible before the newly-elected congressmen and senators are sworn in…

Even worse, with Election Night behind them, the fence-sitters you and I have kept in line for so long know that they won’t have to face us again for 2, 4, and some even 6 years.

Because of that, they are now bolder than ever … while you and I are at our weakest having given our all last month.

And of course the Homosexual Lobby, ever eager to pounce upon our weakness, is preparing a massive onslaught devised to ram through every aspect of their radical agenda, from…

*** The Gay Bill of Special Rights will force schools and churches to hire and prevent them from firing open homosexuals.  Men dressed as women will have the “right” to share bathrooms with young girls and those who disagree will face lawsuits, even prosecution; to,

*** The repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act will eliminate the legal protection we’ve established for those states that reject Homosexual “marriages” by codifying traditional marriage into law; to,

*** The Homosexual Classrooms Act will create pro-homosexual indoctrination classes designed to eradicate traditional values in the next generation of American students; to,

*** The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell forcing      our soldiers to share foxholes, bunks and even showers with open homosexuals.  The U.S. military, once representative of the best in America will degrade into a social experiment of homosexual activism; to,

*** The Homosexual Adoption Bill will force private religious adoption agencies to allow homosexual “couples” to adopt young boys and girls into their homosexual “family.”

The Homosexual Lobby knows that it is harder to repeal a bill than to keep it from passing.

So even though they’re facing losses in the new Congress, the Radical Homosexuals know if they can ram through the Homosexual Agenda now, they will have won.

I have to be honest with you, my friend.

Every gain we made on Election Night will mean nothing if they succeed in this “Lame Duck” scheme.

You see, they only have to win once.

You and I, on the other hand, must keep defeating their radical schemes over and over again.

The fact is, this so-called “Lame Duck” session of Congress could be the biggest disaster the family has seen in years.

And I’m afraid to admit it but… if you and I are unable to defeat the Homosexual Lobby’s schemes in the next 4-5 weeks, the fight for the family will be set back decades.

And that is why the celebration must end.

You and I cannot be lured into a false sense of security.

We must be ready for this fight.

Harry Reid’s own spokesman even let it slip that the Homosexual Lobby has plans to bring Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell back up for a vote in the “Lame Duck” Congress.

Can you imagine everything else the pro-homosexual politicians have up their sleeve?

They think you and I have already declared “Mission Accomplished” and that we aren’t prepared.

They think they will roll right over us.

And as much as my faith tells me not to worry, I’m afraid they might be right.

The Homosexual Lobby has hatched scheme after scheme in their endless attempt to ram through their agenda.

It’s taken every last bit of Public Advocate’s resources to fend off their advances.

That’s why I was so thankful for the last minute support I received last month right before the election.

Without that help, Public Advocate would have been helpless in the run up to that historic election.

But I have to confess.  I got so carried away exposing pro-homosexual politicians and defending advocates for the family that I spent more than I should have.

And the coming “Lame Duck” session of Congress may very well be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

But we do have one advantage on our side.

Pro-family Americans held the Homosexual Lobby’s allies in Congress accountable on election night.  They’d be lying to you if they said they didn’t take notice.

You and I need to make it clear that November 2nd, 2010 will happen again and again until they stand up for the Family.

That’s why I need your help again.

I’ve prepared a petition for you to sign stating your opposition to the Homosexual Agenda and letting your congressman and senators know we’re still watching.

But in addition to your signed petition, I’m really hoping you will be able to send as generous a contribution as you can.

In fact I’m counting on it.

Fighting the Homosexual Lobby is not cheap.

And with their aggressive attacks and dirty tactics it can become downright expensive.

So along with your signed petition will you send a generous contribution of , , , 0 or more?

You and I must show those in Congress we mean business.

We need to show them even though they won’t face the voters for 2, 4, or even 6 years, we’re still watching and we will remember.

So please, submit your petition and send your most generous contribution right away.

Thanks in advance for continuing the fight.

Sincerely,

Eugene Delgaudio

President

Public Advocate of the U.S.

P.S. The time for celebration has ended — a very real threat still looms overhead.  You see, none of the newly-elected congressmen and senators will take office until January.

Until then, the same anti-family, pro-homosexual Congress will be at the beck and call of Barack Obama, the most pro-homosexual president in American history.

You and I need to make it clear that November 2nd, 2010 will happen again and again until they stand up for the Family.

I’ve prepared a petition for you to sign but in addition I hope you will send a generous contribution of , , , 0 or more.  Thanks so much!

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