Good Christian belle

Gay ally Kristin Chenoweth talks about her new country music CD (she adores Dolly!), queers … and the right way to be a Christian

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO KRISTIN | The performer has conquered stage, recording, TV … and uniting gay rights with her faith.

Kristin Chenoweth doesn’t get miffed very easily. But when she does, watch out. Last year, after Newsweek published a commentary on the inability of gay actors to play straight roles, she wrote an extensive letter to the magazine, calling the article “horrendously homophobic.”

But Chenoweth’s allegiance to the gay community goes back to growing up in Oklahoma — a place she returned to for her latest album, Some Lessons Learned, the first of four where the opera-trainer singer fully embraces her country roots.

We had lots to talk about when we caught up with Chenoweth, on a dinner break from shooting her upcoming series, Good Christian Belles. She discussed her history of dating gay men, her opinion on Michele Bachmann’s support of gay conversion clinics … and being a little bit wicked.

— Chris Azzopardi

………………………..

Dallas Voice: Your character’s name on Good Christian Belles is Cockburn — Carlene Cockburn. Chenoweth: I can’t wait for my family to hear that one. Are you kidding? I was like, “Wait a minute…!” But I just think the most important thing for me as an actress, because of the lines that come out of my mouth, is to just have to speak them and keep going, because they’re so funny and her name is so funny and the whole thing is just so great. I love it.

Does your character have anything in common with April Rhodes, who you play on Glee? Probably not on paper, but they’re both pretty outlandish people. Carlene, though, is the antithesis of April.

You grew up in Oklahoma, so country music is your roots. How is your new album a reflection of that? It’s so funny, because I get asked, “Why a country album now?” But that’s how it all began for me. Of course, why would anyone know that? It’s not something I’ve been talking about a lot, but it’s the music I grew up listening to. One of my biggest influences is Dolly Parton, and when you look at the history of songs in musical theater and in country, they’re both usually great storytellers.

I know just how lucky I am to do this kind of music. Getting to go to Nashville and sing this music that feels like home to me was a real gift, and one that I don’t take lightly.

The song “What Would Dolly Do?” reminds me a lot of Dolly herself. I co-wrote that. [Producer] Bob Ezrin asked, “Who’s had the biggest influence on you country music-wise?” I said, “Dolly, without question.” And he said, “How would she approach it? Let’s think: What would Dolly do?” I said, “Bob, why aren’t we writing that song?”

There’s something about her that I feel very attuned to. There’s only one Dolly. I’m not comparing myself, but I’m just saying her spirit and the way she looks at life is pretty similar to me. And the cover I did of hers [“Change”] is actually a very emotional thing and it reminded me — of course, how could I ever forget? — what an amazing songwriter she is. You know, I didn’t do a lot of covers. I did two covers, one of Carrie [Underwood] and one of Dolly’s, and I just love both of them. I love their music, I love their spirit — everything they stand for.

It makes total sense, because, to me, both you and Dolly epitomize happiness. Oh my god, thank you. That’s the biggest compliment you could give me.

So, being so happy… what pisses you off? Oh, gosh! I don’t really get mad that often. But I’m not going to lie: When I do, there’s a quiet that comes over me that is a little like whoa, and that happens when I don’t feel other people are prepared or doing their job or pulling their weight. I come from a family where my dad came from nothing and worked hard to get where he is, and he said, “Work hard, play hard, Kris,” and I guess that’s kind of been my motto in life. So when I see people squandering opportunities or having a sense of entitlement, that really makes me crazy. Because I don’t understand it. It’s not a world I get.

One thing that does make you upset is homophobic people. I don’t like that, you’re right.

Your letter in response to that Newsweek column said it all. Why was it important to address your feelings on that issue? To be honest, I wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen. I was on Broadway doing Promises, Promises, and I read the article and I actually thought it was pretty irresponsible. I’m not even talking about whether a person agrees with being gay or not, I’m talking about artistry and gay

actors trying to play straight. It just made me mad, because I thought, “Well, I’ve played a prostitute, does that mean I am one? No.” I just thought it was a little bit of a bullying thing, and I honestly prayed about it — no kidding, I prayed about it.

And by the way, I’m a big fan of the magazine, which is why I was so bummed. But I think that they felt bad and hopefully there’s been some discussion about it and some learning, because that’s what we’re here to do on this Earth, to learn our purpose. Well, one of my purposes in this life — since I’m a believer and a Christian — is to help people realize that not every Christian thinks that being gay is a sin.

To reinforce your point, you made out with your Promises, Promises co-star Sean Hayes at the Tonys last year. It might’ve been a little jibe. It might’ve been a little one! Ha!

What was it like to make out with a gay man? Was that your first time? Well, let’s face it, my high school boyfriend is gay, so I don’t think it’s my first time making out with gay men! I bet a lot of women don’t even know they’ve done it! And Sean Hayes is just a darn good kisser, what can I say?

Wait, so you dated a gay man in high school? Yeah, and I’m like, “Well, that’s why we were such a great couple!” He didn’t pleasure me in any way but he helped me pick out my prom dress!

Was he one of the first gay people you knew in Oklahoma? Yeah. I want to tell you something I know about myself: When I was in the second or third grade, I first heard the word “dyke,” and it was in reference to a girl in our school who was very, very tomboyish. I didn’t really understand what the word was, but I knew I didn’t like the way it was said. And for some reason I’ve always been drawn to the person that was alone, and I don’t mean to make me sound like I’m Mother Teresa, because I’m not. But I’ve always been drawn to people who felt left out or different, and maybe it’s because, I too, felt different and unique. People would not think this of me, because there’s this perception of me that, “Oh, life’s been perfect and things have come so easily.”

But let’s face it: My speaking voice is very interesting. Yes, I was a cheerleader but I also wanted to do all the plays, I was in renaissance choir, and, I too, felt a little bit like an outsider. I was always drawn to people who felt that way, too. And sure, some of them were gay and I never did understand — I guess the word is fear.

God made us all equal. He made me short, he made someone gay, he made someone tall — whatever it is, it’s not a sin; it’s how we’re made. And that’s the way I feel about it. It flies in the face of a lot of what Christians believe, but as I’m finding out there’s a lot of Christian people who think the same as me. So that’s my deal, and I think we should not be careful of the unknown but rather accepting and loving of it.

As someone who’s Christian and supports the gay community, how do you feel about the pray-away-the-gay program that Michele Bachmann supports? [Long pause] You know what, you can have your opinion. One of the great things about being in this country is we get to freely say what we believe. I just don’t happen to agree with that. Though I like the “pray” part!

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

THE NOONER: Arlington pastor who believes Antichrist is gay endorses Perry’s day of prayer

Your lunchtime quickie from Instant Tea:

• Dwight McKissic, Arlington pastor who says the Antichrist will be gay, endorses Rick Perry’s day of prayer.

• Transgender woman fatally shot in Washington, D.C.

• Ghana minister orders arrest of all gays.

• Gay “barbarians” glitter-bomb Marcus Bachmann’s “ex-gay” clinic.

• Students sue Minnesota school district over policy requiring staff to remain neutral on sexual orientation.

—  John Wright

News: Virginia, Henry Cavill, TSA, Michele Bachmann, Hubble

Road Marines set date of MAY 31 for completion of 'DADT' repeal training.

Spiral RoadHubble shows off beautiful new shot of spiral galaxy.

RoadThe hat toss is the real killer here.

RoadVirginia House panel kills non-discrimination bill: "Opponents of the bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond), argue that there is little evidence gay state workers face discrimination and that the governor's executive directive provides sufficient protections. Proponents note that without a change in law, employees cannot sue if they have faced discrimination." Idaho non-discrimination bill won't get hearing.

RoadTrial of Lawrence King's killer, Brandon McInerney, delayed again: "I'm really shocked that the judge has allowed it to drag on for so long. It frustrates us. It tears on us emotionally. We'd like to see things finally get resolved so we can get some closure and justice for our son," said King's father, Greg King.

RoadAdam Lambert and the guy he denies is his new boyfriend arrive at LAX together.

RoadJoseph Gordon-Levitt turns the big 3-0.

Quincy RoadAn 18-year-old Alabama frat brother tells his "it gets better" story to We Are The Youth.

RoadParliament House gay nightclub in Orlando getting million-dollar renovation. "In a tangled financial web best described by a Houston lawyer as a 'complicated situation,' the Parliament House's foreclosure and its debt with Compass Bank of Alabama is expected to be resolved within the next two weeks."

RoadFOX News replaces audio in CPAC straw poll segment. Calls it "mistake".

RoadEdmonton soldier jailed for anti-gay attack: "An Edmonton soldier who bragged on Facebook that he had 'Superman-punched' a gay man on the dance floor of a city nightclub has been put behind bars. Cpl. Michael Tscherkassow, 25, was sentenced to 12 months in jail Tuesday in provincial court after earlier being convicted of aggravated assault."

RoadGeorgia's Gay-Straight Alliances to gather for summit this weekend.

RoadKellan Lutz launching line of jeans.

Cavill RoadHenry Cavill discusses suiting up for Superman.

RoadTSA Agents stole $ 160,000 from checked bags: "Perad and Webb would screen bags looking for loot, then swipe the cash once the luggage was opened in a private screening room, sources said. The men will be charged with grand larceny, possession of stolen property and official misconduct."

RoadMichelle Bachmann still working birther angle.

RoadJustin Timberlake's role as singing booger on The Cleveland Show is apparently still intact.

RoadLog Cabin Republicans to seek equal protections for LGBT service members: “The one claim in our lawsuit that we did not win was a claim for a violation of the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution. The judge dismissed that claim in our case early on, based on existing 9thCircuit precedent. We are, on behalf of Log Cabin, appealing that ruling and trying to obtain a change in the law so that this would be considered a protected class of individuals, protected by the Equal Protection Clause.”


Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

Bring it on — Michele Bachmann mulls 2012 presidential bid

Minnesotans of the 6th district like to send this woman back as comic relief – it certainly can’t be for her skills as a legislator. Praise, be — we need Michele Bachmann in the 2012 Presidential Clown Car! The batsh*ttery and entertainment level will make the GOP primaries a must-cover event.

Michele Bachmann, yes, Michele Bachmann is considering a presidential run, according to several of her aides who suddenly started talking about this with Minnesota reporters.

In fact, the Iowa native (Waterloo) will travel to her home state later this month to talk against the massive spending of you-know-who at a fundraiser for the Iowans for Tax Relief PAC in Des Moines.

Bachmann, now starting her third House term, has proven a media magnet like her like-minded fellow Republican conservative Sarah Palin; both are often quoted, often derisively. This fall Bachmann was targeted by numerous prominent Democrats but proved adept at raising both many dollars and votes.

…And even if Bachmann’s purported pondering does not result in presidential primary competetion with pal Palin in 2012, it will raise Bachmann’s national profile, not normally an easy thing to do for a representative from just any Sixth Congressional District.

Here’s a Blend rewind of some of Michele’s finest moments.

* Michele Bachmann: don’t pay taxes if ObamaCare passes

* Video break: Michele Bachmann – “Sex Clinics” In Schools Will Result From Health Care Reform

* The Stupid continues: Michele Bachmann says health care reform is unconstitutional

* Bush face hugger Michele Bachmann: no interest in kissing Obama at SOTU

* But was there Bachmann tongue?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Watch: GOP Audience Gasps as Michelle Bachmann Tells Them She Was Once a Democrat, Worked for Jimmy Carter

Bachmann

At a speech to Michigan Republicans in Troy on Tuesday, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) elicited gasps from the audience as she told them she was once a Democrat.

Michelle Bachmann says she was a "fair-minded Democrat" who worked on Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign (and danced at his inaugural ball before she read a "snotty" novel by Gore Vidal that she perceived as mocking the Founding Fathers.

"And as a reasonable, decent, fair-minded person who happened to be a Democrat, I thought, 'You know what? What he's writing about, this mocking of people that I revere, and the country that I love, and that I would lay my life down to defend — just like every one of you in this room would, and as many of you in this room have when you wore the uniform of this great country — I knew that that was not representative of my country."

"And at that point I put the book down and I laughed. I was riding a train. I looked out the window and I said, 'You know what? I think I must be a Republican. I don't think I'm a Democrat.'"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Fake Michele Bachmann Is Chillaxin’

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Rep. Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann Signs Resolution Condemning Judge Walker


(Via – Good As You)

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright