“Biggest Loser” back to DFW to cast new season

The Biggest Loser seems to spend a lot of time looking for contestants in Dallas. I don’t know exactly what that means about us, but it does give people an opportunity to get on TV and get fit. The new casting session will take place at Gilley’s in the Cedars area this Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You have to be ready to lose at least 85 lbs., but if you do, you could win the $250,000 prize (and maybe befriend one of those  sexually ambiguous but undeniably hot trainers). To pre-register and for more details, go here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

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

Casting under way for Season 4 of ‘Drag Race’

The bodies that Raja walked over while clawing her way to the top of RuPaul’s Drag Race aren’t even cold, and already the team is looking for more contestants for Season 4, which will begin airing in early 2012.

World of Wonder and Logo have begun their nationwide search for America’s next drag superstar — a title that, this year, came with a $75,000 cash prize and a lifetime supply of cosmetics. And since only the returning Shangela was on deck to represent Texas in Season 3, it’s about time we added some Lone Star glam to the mix.

If you want to lip-sync for your life, send an email to DragRace4Casting@gmail.com. And don’t fuck it up.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

FEEDBACK: Why I’m supporting Kunkle

Why I’m supporting Kunkle

Thank you for the in-depth expose on the three major mayoral candidates (“Decision in Dallas,” Dallas Voice, April 8).

While there are different opinions regarding the candidates, David Kunkle is my personal choice. I have watched him closely over the last several years and was so impressed with his style of leadership and soft-spoken manner when he was police chief. He went all over this city, listening and getting feedback from not only the GLBT community, but everywhere.

Additionally, he is effective. He may not be the flashiest or most dynamic of the candidates, but he’s a keen thinker and avid reader focused on real world solutions on what works and what doesn’t.

He also appreciates the eclectic aspects of Dallas. That’s an important place to be in my mind, so that we can attract not only Fortune 500 companies but also the small businessman/woman and the budding creative entrepreneurs who want to live in our city.

I don’t know that I necessarily want another CEO as mayor. We hear all the time that government should be run like a business. I think it should not be. Contrary to popular belief today, government is not a business.

Municipal government needs an experienced and competent administrator. In addition to serving as Dallas police chief, David Kunkle also has experience serving as the assistant city manager of Arlington, which will provide him with a skill set from day one that will no doubt serve him well as mayor.

Ron Natinsky and Mike Rawlings both are pleasant gentlemen and they each bring their own “skill set” to the table and there are good people supporting them. But I’m going to be casting my ballot for David Kunkle.

Jay Narey
Dallas

—  John Wright

It’s not too late to let everyone know how fabulous you are: ‘A List’ still seeking Dallas cast members

When The A List New York debuted on Logo last fall, I asked my partner, “Honey, are we A list?” “In Dallas?” he asked. “Yes.” “No, honey. We’re not. But we know them.”

He thought, like I did, that to be on the real A list, you have a to have a last name that begins with Nasher or Hamon or even Goss. I’ve met those folks, but I’m not them. Not even close.

The good news is, you don’t need to be them to get on Logo — this is basic cable, after all. And gay, at that.

Casting for The A List Dallas started last December, but apparently the producers are still looking for more fabulous Texans to round out their cast, and so the deadline for applying was extended to this Friday. That gives you two days to show America why you should be the Next Top Model Gay, Texas-style.

There are some criteria. Producers are scoping out a new or long-term gay male couple with “fabulous job, hot friends” who live an A list lifestyle (that’s defined as “home/car/parties/career” — that’s pretty low bar; without two of those, you’d probably be homeless). Another casting spot is open for a “single gay Republican” who is dating and open about his conservative beliefs. He’s also expected to have a fabulous job and hot friends. Guess that leaves me out, though I did vote for Reagan!

Finally, here’s a game-changer: A woman — the “Paris Hilton of Dallas!” And not necessarily a lesbian. Yep, they are looking for a ‘hag. All are expected to be “20s to 30s.” Does the age you put on your Grindr profile count?

If you think you’d like to be one of these, have at it! Send your resume (a photo and brief bio to Info.Atomic@mac.com ASAP). We’d love to see you on TV!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Crock 8: Casting activist judgment against Peter’s flawed propositions

Our opposition is at war, friends! And we’re not just talking about the usual wars against fact, credible science, and gay people’s lives and loves. No, no — actual fighting is going on. The Liberty Counsel is sniping at the Alliance Defense Fund. WorldNetDaily is dropping Ann Coulter. And “pro-family” folks like Peter LaBarbera are simply apoplectic that Glenn Beck, someone who they assumed was a lock-solid ally, have come out and said that marriage equality is no big deal.

We’ve already covered the first scuffle. The second one is really too much of a “man bites dog” story to get into right now. So let’s move on to the third: LaBarbera v. Beck. In order to support his cause and lash out against Beck, Pete has issued a list of eight reasons why “Glenn Beck is not just wrong — but has it completely LaBabsbackwards regarding the escalating threat that homosexual activism, culminating in court-imposed “gay marriage,” poses to America’s children and our First Amendment liberties.” We shall now respond.

Pete is in red block quotes, followed by our refutations in standard text:

1) Just as reported homosexual Judge Vaughn Walker overruled the expressed will of California voters (twice expressed) against “same-sex marriage,” federalized homosexual “marriage” would override the documented will of the people in the 31 states that have already voted — some by huge margins — to preserve marriage in the law as what it is: between one man and one woman.

Alright, it’s become like a broken record, but our opposition refuses to listen. So let’s repeat: Voting on minority rights was never a right that the far-right should have ever had. That is what history tells us. That is what courts are increasingly determining. And it is eventually what all fair-minded courts, both of public law and public opinion, will see and say. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 1

2) Legalized homosexual “marriage” will force businessmen and -women to subsidize homosexual relationships even if they rightly believe that those relationships are immoral and deviant. That is un-American, anti-freedom, and just plain wrong. A businessman who provides marital benefits to his employees could not choose which “marriages” (normal or counterfeit-”gay”) merit company support and which do not — even if he strongly disagrees with homosexual ‘unions’ as a violation of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, to quote our Declaration of Independence. If the business owner denied benefits only to “same-sex married” employees, it would invite a lawsuit. You cannot be free and simultaneously forced by the State to use your hard-earned money to reward people practicing bad behavior.

So wait, what about now? Business owners hold all kinds of faith-based personal convictions related to marriage. Some might find infidelity to be abominable. Others might frown upon divorce and remarriage. There still exist objections to interfaith unions. Or interracial marriages. Or marriages where the female is allowed to work outside the home. Or anything, really. Religious people’s marital condemnations do not begin and end with the ‘mos. So the only way that Pete’s logic would have any sort of validity is if current convicted/conflicted business owners were legally able to pick and choose whose marriages are worthy of honor based on nothing more than their personally held biblical interepretations. But they’re not. And they won’t be. Because they shouldn’t be. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 2

3) Legalized homosexual “marriage” paves the way for even greater pro-homosexuality indoctrination in the nation’s schools than we are already seeing under the mandate of ”sexual orientation nondiscrimination.” Wherever marriage and “civil rights” are taught, homosexual “marriage” would have to be validated because it would be the law of the land (or the individual state). Say Johnny Pupil, a first-grader, asks his teacher: “When I grow up, could I marry a man or a woman?” The teacher — if honoring the State’s newfound “constitutional right” (and so as not to be accused of discrimination) — would have to answer “Either one, Johnny.” Corrupting children’s innocence and redefining morality in the name of “tolerance” and newfangled “rights” directly undermines parental authority. It also turns America’s schools into Pro-Homosexual Propaganda Centers – an evil on a par with legalizing the killing of innocent, unborn children in the womb in the name of “choice” and “reproductive rights.

Acceptance is taught in schools not because marriage exists, but rather because LGBT people exist! The only way for “pro-family” folks to change that reality is to rid the world of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender population. Hopefully that’s not in anyone’s plans.

Plus, in terms of potential marriage conversations: How anti-intellectual is it to suggest that there is any one, specific stock conversation to be had? A teacher who despises marriage, might say, “Get a puppy instead, kid.” A teacher who’d rather not give life advice could say, “Do your work, Johnny!” A discrete teacher, either pro- or anti-LGBT, might say, “I have my personal opinions on that subject, but I will leave it to your parents.” And yes, a teacher who relies on empirical law might give an answer revolving around the allowances afforded by state and civil governments (home and abroad). There are as many possibilities as there are teachers. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 3

4) And let’s not forget homosexual-”married” teachers. If “gay marriage” is legalized, public school parents would be barred from preventing proudly partnered homosexuals from teaching their kids. (And there could be lawsuits against private schools by homosexual teachers suing for marital discrimination.) Picture a lesbian teacher putting the photo of her and her female parter — or maybe the celebratory photo of them kissing after their “marriage” ceremony — on her desk in front of the class. Teachers are important role models for our children – and all over the country, they talk about their married and family life with their students. However, if all “marriages” are equal, whatever is OK for normally-married teachers to do could not be challenged when perversely-”married” homosexual teachers do it. Hence legal “gay marriage” would be used to normalize homosexual relationships to children.

Again, this notion has nothing to do with marriage! LGBT teachers are already teaching your kids, America. And if an appropriate reason arises, he or she very well might acknowledge a special person in his or her life, the same way that a heterosexual teacher might (although these sorts of personal discussions, gay or straight, are typically rare). The variable here is not whether or not the union is legally binding — gay and straight teachers choose to or to not marry for any number of reasons. The variable at play is the teacher’s personal comfort level. Both ‘mo and ‘ro teachers, now or in an America with 50 state marriage equality, make the personal choice to or to not acknowledge their life, love, and personal dealings.

And no, public school parents will not be given a smorgasbord of teacher options based on where they fall on the Kinsey scale. We didn’t even realize that social conservatives of 2010 were still seeking that Briggs-ian option.
LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 4

5) In homosexual-”marriage” states, school textbooks will be re-written to validate homosexual “marriages” as the real deal — and the winning “gay marriage” would be portrayed as a genuine civil rights achievement. Thus, not only will impressionable minds be corrupted by propaganda that falsely affirms that sexual perversion and marriage are compatible, they will also be taught that to oppose this concept is to stand against “civil rights.” Christians must not be naive on this point: even very young students would be taught that those who fought the “gay” civil rights movement — culminating in its greatest prize, “marriage equality” — are the modern-day equivalents of Americans who fought against racial reconciliation and true civil rights. (Interestingly, polls show that African Americans oppose homosexual “marriage” by wider margins than whites.) The law is a teacher and unfortunately the lesson here is that Americans of faith who agree with God against homosexual “marriage” are small-minded, intolerant bigots who “hate gay people.” That misguided ”lesson” will be drilled into young minds in the name of tolerance.

Schools again? Really? Oy.

Look, the marriage debate is already part of civil rights history. Right now. Unchangeably so. Students from here to whenever will learn about this overwrought civil rights fight. And while social conservatives love the “they’ll treat us like bigots” victimization meme, the reality is that most archivists and historians will instead focus on the merits of the messaging itself. And if these same social conservatives are scared about what kind of take-home a fair presentation of that messaging weighing the arguments of both the “marriage protectors” and their targets might drive into kids’ brains, then they really need to ask themselves why they have this fear. We don’t have it. Why do they?

Now, they would surely blame gay indoctrination. But please! We live in a very conservative America. Many of us on the side of peace and fairness have felt secure in our message for decades, long before public polling was even approaching gay favorability. We’ve felt this security even in our darkest hours. It is a safe generalization to say that we on the side of LGBT rights believe in our cause and its historical staying power. So why doesn’t our opposition? And again, the correct answer is not “the homosexual agenda made it that way.” America has heard both side’s would-be,could-be teachable moments, and the obstacles were certainly on our side. If we’ve succeeded, it’s because we have merit.

If gay-unfriendly Christian parents want to drive home an anti-LGBT message, then they have the right to do that in their homes. Even in their home schools. But in America’s public schools, the message is going to be based on the laws, landmarks (both pro- and anti-), and the players, just as every other single debate is now. The mind will be made up on a personal level, but the evidential folder will be made up with facts. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 5

6) This is perhaps the most sinister by-product of legalizing homosexual “marriage”: it becomes a very effective and practical tool in the further demonization and denigration of traditional religion in the USA. If the struggle for homosexual “marriage” (“gay civil rights”) is a noble one — and predominantly religiously-motivated opponents are somehow the modern equivalent of the KKK, then something is rotten in traditional religion itself — especially Bible-believing Christianity, which clearly condemns homosexual practice as sinful.

Already, “gay” activists are not shy about equating Christian-based opposition to homosexuality with “bigotry, hatred and homophobia” — i.e., irrational prejudice. If they succeed in persuading the State (through activist judges) to declare “same-sex marriage” a “constitutional right,” then the next step is to lobby government to eradicate any favored status to real man-woman marriage (and, by extension, biblical Christianity) in the public square. Admittedly, this is already happening through leftist groups like the ACLU, but State-enforced “gay marriage” would provide one more powerful tool to push old-fashioned religion to the curb — and indoctrinate children — in the name of “tolerance” and “progress.

First off: Pro-equality people of faith have lived their entire lives in an America that tells them that their staunch belief in LGBT parity is wrong. Anti-equality people of faith have had a long, long, long run of seeing their personal faith condemnations govern public policy. When that changes, and our civil policy is free from everyone’s personal faith, we will all be better off.

What’s so particularly galling about this “gays threaten faith” canard is that historically, LGBT people and progressives have been a gagillion times better at protecting true religious freedom than have the socially conservative evangelicals who so staunchly oppose same-sex unions (and lower Manhattan mosques). We LGBT folk, sensitive to being unfairly stifled, tend to support true religious freedom even when it goes against our lives and loves! We’re not asking for the right to force churches to marry us. We’re not seeking to take Fred Phelps and family off the streets. We’re not asking anyone to stop sharing Leviticus interpretations over their shrimp dinner plates. We’re asking for the separation and mutual respect that is so needed in the U.S. But it has to be respect that goes both ways, and respect that deals honestly with the facts at hand. In this area, the anti-gay Christians are not playing fair. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 6

7) Legalized homosexual “marriage” has already been shown to hurt the adoption movement — that is, the wholesome and traditional adoption business that seeks to place children in stable homes with a mother and a father. In “gay marriage” states, adoption agencies that adhere to that time-test natural model of family will be forced by state bureaucracies to place children in homes that are motherless or fatherless by design. Will principled adoption agencies be forced to shut down as in Britain or like Catholic Charities in Massachusetts (the Catholic Church teaches that placing children in homosexual-led households is “gravely immoral”)?

If they take state and/or federal funding, then yes, groups like Catholic Charities might have to either choose to treat all citizens fairly under civil law, or they will have to make the choice — and it is a choice — to either stop or shift certain services to organizations that will treat everyone with civil parity. Period. End of story. No further discussion.

And again, you have to flip the script: What about pro-LGBT faith services that are unable to offer certain civil arrangements because of LGBT-hostile policies (which, in recent years, have been mega-financed by Catholic interests)? Why is it only an outrage when it’s civil bias that rules the day?!?! LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 7

8 ) Finally: yes, Glenn, the “gays” — read: driven and well-funded homosexual activists — will “come to get us,” in one important sense (see Beck’s comment to FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly). If history is a guide, homosexual activists will absolutely set their sights on demonizing churches that refuse to marry same-sex couples (a saccharine term I avoid; these are not normal “couples” but people practicing perversion together). Here Mr. Beck, reportedly a Mormon, displays astonishing naivete, particularly for someone in the conservative information business. Homosexual activists came after the Boy Scouts of America (a noble institution heavily supported by Mormon families) — and almost destroyed their right to define who they are as an organization. The poor Scouts came within a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court of being FORCED by the State to allow homosexual Scoutmasters. And after losing in court, the self-styled and appropriately designated ”queer” activist movement didn’t let up one bit. Instead, they continued their evil crusade against the Boy Scouts — fighting to boot them off of all public properties (in the name of tolerance and equality, of course) and generally working to poison the Scouts’ good name in the minds of Americans.

See # 6: No gay activist — NO.GAY.ACTIVIST! — is trying to force churches to marry gay couples. Individual congregants might be taking on that fight within their individual church body, which is where this conversation should take place. But no LGBT legal group or prominent voice is fighting for the ancillary religious ceremony component of marriage. The organized rights fight is 100% about civil marriage!

And the Boy Scouts matter is 100% different! The issue there is that the Scouts are regularly allowed to utilize public accommodations while disallowing gays, avowed atheists, and others. If churches tried the same thing, then there would be the same fight. Unapologetically so! But as long as the marriage matter continues to involve preachers simply wanting the right to only marry the couples that they choose, then there will be no controversy. Just like we currently support the right of faith leaders to refuse to marry atheists, an interfaith couple, members in bad standing, etc. THAT is a religious freedom — civil bias is not. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 8

Or as the historical record will remember the civil rights victories from Peter’s anti-LGBT career: LaBarbera: 0; Equality Won.

***

**SOURCE FOR ALL LABARBERA QUOTES: Why Glenn Beck Is Wrong — Legalizing Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Will Destroy Freedom [AFTAH]




Good As You

—  John Wright

‘Matrix’ Filmmakers Begin Casting Gay Iraqi War Romance

The Wachowskis, the siblings who directed The Matrix, have begun casting their latest project, CN9. There's still plenty of mystery surrounding it, as Cinematical notes:

Wachowskis  "Production Weekly took to Twitter to report that casting on the film has begun. There's not a wealth of information out there about CN9 — in fact, all we really know for sure at this point is that it's going to be a "hard-R war picture about a homosexual American soldier who falls in love with an Iraqi." But, before you assume it's just Brokeback Mountain set in the Middle East, consider that CN9 could stand for the ninth cranial nerve (it does in medical terminology), which is the nerve responsible for receiving information from the tongue, middle ear, and tonsils according to website Playlist. When you do that, the site suggests that it doesn't seem like a stretch to picture the filmmaking duo once again venturing into the world of strange alternate realities and sci-fi. Of course, people could be reading this totally wrong — CN9 might stand for something entirely different. That's the thing, at this point no one really knows."

On another note, can anybody fill us in on whether Larry Wachowski did indeed complete a male-to-female gender transition? The general info out there appears to still be unclear.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright