EXCLUSIVE: Amarillo rapper Adair Lion reflects on the 3 days since his ‘Gay is Okay’ went viral

It's easy to see why some might suspect — or hope — that Lion is gay himself. He's not, but he said some of the hateful comments he's received in response to the video have helped him to understand what life might be like if he were.

“It’s been phenomenal.”

That’s how Amarillo-based rapper and straight ally Adair Lion described the last three days, since his new video “Gay is Okay” exploded on YouTube and beyond.

“I did figure on a large reaction,” Lion told Instant Tea on Friday. “It’s cool to see the YouTube bar on the video be green [indicating likes].”

But while everyone from the Huffington Post to Perez Hilton has posted the video, underground sites that have shown his previous work aren’t touching this one. These are the sites that he felt had his back. Now, he said, they’ve shied away.

—  Rich Lopez

GBM News posts its top gay celebrities of color

CNN anchor tops GBM News' list.

Over the weekend, GBM News executive editor Nathan James posted his top 15 gay celebs of color. His list started as a response to  MSN’s Wonderwall listing of its top queer celebs wielding the most influence, but was also noticeably lacking in its diverse demographics (save for Perez Hilton, who is of Cuban descent).

James’ list introduces some gay celebs people might not immediately consider such as singer Tracy Chapman at No. 8 or CNN anchor Don Lemon at the top of the list. But I’m not really sure how he figures in Noah’s Arc alum Darryl Stephens’ guest stint on Private Practice at No. 11 as influential or RuPaul’s relatively low ranking at No. 7. While he does include George Takei in the mix, his list lacks any Latinos. That begs the question: Where is Ricky Martin?  From James on GBM News:

One of the “interesting” things about their list, was that there wasn’t a single gay celebrity of color on it. I bethought myself to rectify that oversight by creating and publishing my own list of the 15 most powerful gay celebrities of color. The response I got from that piece was, by far, the most overwhelming public reaction to any article I’d ever written up to that time. Some applauded my choices, others vehemently disagreed with them, and still others asked why their own personal choices missed the cut. Well, this year, I’m at it again, with a completely new list that’s sure to provoke more debate and stir more passionate discussion.  Submitted for your approval, here are my picks for the fifteen most powerful gay celebrities for 2012!

Of course, these lists are all subjective, but James thankfully adds to the conversation of who gays and lesbians may see as influential within the community.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Perez Hilton did Dallas Friday night with Richard Curtin, Jenna Skyy and a Kardashian

While I was making the Big D BearDance rounds downstairs, celeb blogger Perez Hilton made an appearance upstairs at Station 4 Friday night touting Ty Ku spirits and hanging out with the bears and drag queens. Khloe Kardashian even stopped by. I did find these pics online. Hilton Twit-pic-ed himself and Kardash with a drag queen and Jenna Skyy posted a pic of her with Hilton.

Richard Curtin even snagged him for a rather poignant and enlightening interview on Hilton’s new outlook on life and blogging — whilst in the bathroom. See more after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

TBRU 17: Big D BearDance tonight at S4

Beef on the dancefloor

Former Soup Dragons leader Sean Dickson went from hipster waif to muscle bear DJ and brings his psychedelic house style tonight to the Big D BearDance. Taking on a more club ready moniker, HiFi Sean is used to a Dallas crowd, but more so when he was with his 90s alt-rocker band playing with the likes of The Flaming Lips and INXS. Now he plays to a far different crowd, but he’s ready to “give the bears a new experience.” The dance party is a fundraiser for area charities, but also the highlight club event of the weekend. DJ Rob opens the evening.

On a random note, Perez Hilton will make an appearance tonight signing autographs in the Granite Bar and shifting over later to the Rose Room.

DEETS: Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. BearDance.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Could this be Madonna’s new single?

The interwebs are gaga already over this “leaked” clip of what could be Madonna’s new single, “Give Me All Your Love” on WAT.tv. This seems pretty early considering her album is set for a spring release, but perhaps, things are getting done quicker than planned. Which could be good news for Madge fans in anticipation for some new material. Plus, there’s been talk that she’ll be next year’s halftime performer at Super Bowl XLVI and maybe she just wants some new material by then.

In this song, she reliably delivers her straight up pop and while it may not be as challenging as previous work, it’s completely Madonna and that’s all anybody wants, right?

What do you think? Listen after the jump.

UPDATE: The original leak had been removed since last night, but Perez Hilton had the song in full on his site.

—  Rich Lopez

A&F wants no part of ‘Jersey Shore’

It’s hard not to smile with appreciation to read a story about product un-placement of the level we read here. Turns out Abercrombie & Fitch — that clothing brand that sells sex about as blatantly as one of the girls along Harry Hines — has standards … and they don’t include the cast of Jersey Shore. Lots of businesses pay TV shows and movies to feature their labels in the show (it’s not a coincidence that the judges on American Idol are always drinking Coke on the dais) but A&F so disapproves of the message sent by Snooki, The Situation and their cliche (not aspirational, A&F says), that they are willing to pay MTV not to let them wear their clothes.

This gives me an idea: Why not blackmail closeted gay celebs not to review their movies and CDs and run their interviews in the gay media? I’m not even talking about Dallas Voice — this is something that could keep Perez Hilton in faux fur and Twinkies until the next millennium. After all, if folks will willingly pay you off not to associate yourself with them, why not take advantage of it? (It might even extend to dating, though I haven’t worked that through.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Concert Notice: k.d. Lang does Dallas this October

I found on k.d. Lang’s website that she recently confirmed a date on her tour for Dallas. Lang and her band, The Siss Boom Bang, will play the Meyerson Symphony Center, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m.  The show is presented by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and tickets are $40–$100 and on sale now.

I’ve actually been wondering what’s up with Lady Lang lately. Her next album, Sing It Loud, drops April 12. The single “I Confess,” though is already out and her new video for the song premiered like a couple of hours ago on Perez Hilton, but you can check it here. She sounds like she’s getting a little Johnny Cash on us and it sounds quite all right.

—  Rich Lopez

TBRU XVI: With TBRU and SXSW going on, we did a little wondering if they were combined

I took advantage of the very little time I had on my hands today to ponder the weekend. While I have credentials waiting for me to catch the Perez Hilton showcase at South By Southwest in Austin, I also feel inclined to stick around here to cover Texas Bear Round Up XVI. What to do? But then I started thinking, what if these two had a baby and merged into some big music bearfest ( preferably right here in town)? What bands would play? Heck, most of the indie bands at South By are grizzled, bearded gents minus the girth, so half the battle is done.

Yes, this is how I think — and subsequently, this is what I came up with.

Grizzly Bear — Yes, it’s obvious, but you can’t go far with stumbling onto a band nowadays without the word “bear” in it. Trust me. But GB seems to be the only one with gay members and lyrics geared toward the gay ear. Loving!

The Growlers — This California band is performing at SXSW but we think a certain app would be more than happy to sponsor this show. Besides, how can you not love some good surf rock, especially if it’s titled “Gay Thoughts.”

More after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Clay Aiken performs tonight at Verizon Theatre

Clay Aiken went from ‘American Idol’ to gay icon — and more

It should come as no surprise that singer Clay Aiken would be a gentleman. With his Southern twang and clean-cut persona, he’s both personable and professional in an interview. But the kid is also pretty slick.

“Not many people can deal with the scrutiny of bullshit.”

Whoa — did Clay Aiken just drop the “S” word? The remark comes on the heels of a question about his much blogged-about new relationship with Jeff Walters, a local actor with recent parts in such shows as Uptown Players’ Closer to Heaven and Ohlook’s The Rocky Horror Show. Perez Hilton and many others (our own Instant Tea blog even got in on the action) were quick to highlight the guys’ night out on the town, complete with pics at Theatre Three and the Gaylord. What soon followed were pics of Walters from Grindr and his work as an underwear model.

“I’ll save you the trouble of asking and not answer,” Aiken laughs with that underlying tone that he’s tight-lipped about his personal life.

Read the entire article here.

—  Rich Lopez

Feat of Clay

DAPPER DUDE  |  Clay Aiken doesn’t spill the beans much on his personal life, but talks up his activism work with LGBT organizations because he takes them and the work they do very personally.

Clay Aiken went from ‘American Idol’ to gay icon — and more

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

It should come as no surprise that singer Clay Aiken would be a gentleman. With his Southern twang and clean-cut persona, he’s both personable and professional in an interview. But the kid is also pretty slick.

“Not many people can deal with the scrutiny of bullshit.”

Whoa — did Clay Aiken just drop the “S” word? The remark comes on the heels of a question about his much blogged-about new relationship with Jeff Walters, a local actor with recent parts in such shows as Uptown Players’ Closer to Heaven and Ohlook’s The Rocky Horror Show. Perez Hilton and many others (our own Instant Tea blog even got in on the action) were quick to highlight the guys’ night out on the town, complete with pics at Theatre Three and the Gaylord. What soon followed were pics of Walters from Grindr and his work as an underwear model.

“I’ll save you the trouble of asking and not answer,” Aiken laughs with that underlying tone that he’s tight-lipped about his personal life.

Fair enough. There is much more to Aiken, after all, than mere gossip fodder, as he’s proven with his staunch activism for the welfare of children and youth. His service with the National Inclusion Project (formerly the Bubel/Aiken Foundation) and UNICEF has been notable, but his work with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) may have his most personal vested interest at heart.

“I think that I chose to work with GLSEN more vocally than other equality organizations because it hits home more,” he says. “All the organizations are incredible, but I got picked on growing up as a kid. For being a nerd, for being gay before I knew I even was. And I still get picked on. Being a celebrity doesn’t protect you and it can be worse when it’s more public.”

Aiken says that without any sign of whining. He focuses less on what people are saying about him (there is a lot out there that’s not-so-nice, starting when he was still an American Idol contestant) and is more interested in directing his attention to anti-bullying causes and making schools safe.

“I understand that mission from my personal standpoint. From the scars,” he chuckles. “But as a former teacher, I want to be sure schools are safe places for kids.”

Interestingly, as a fairly new dad (his son is 2 now), Aiken says his passion didn’t necessarily grow from parenthood. Instead, he says he’d like to think he was always that passionate. But having a son did add a perspective that he thinks might be missing in today’s LGBT parents.

“Well, it’s one thing to protect yourself, but an entirely different thing to protect your child,” he says. “I understand that if my son is gay, I want him to have rights and protections. I think that idea is somewhat lacking within the community. It’s easy to forget that the rights we’re fighting for are for another generation.”

Aiken hesitates to liken the struggle for equal rights for LGBT citizens now with the civil rights movement of Black America in the ‘60s, but he connected with the idea that then, people were working and fighting for rights so that generation’s children didn’t have to. Aiken encourages that thought for LGBT parents.

“We don’t have as many opportunities to look at it that way,” he says. “The generation before us may not have been able to get married and we may in this lifetime, but as a father now, I want to make sure and set up a future for my son.”

Lest we forget, Aiken is first and foremost a musician and singer. He’ll remind North Texas of that as his tour stops at Verizon Theatre on Tuesday in support of his fifth full-length studio release, Tried and True. He recorded old-school tunes from the ‘50s and ’60s, putting his indelible vocal stamp on classics like “Mack the Knife” and

“Unchained Melody.” Ironically, Aiken doesn’t listen much to any music. He’s more of a news junkie.

“I really don’t. I listen to NPR and watch CNN,” he admits. “I love top 40 stuff like Katy Perry and Gaga when it’s on in the car, but I guess I’m kind of a music-less musician.”

Highly doubtful.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 4, 2011.

—  John Wright