Emmy nominations: What’s gay about ’em

TRuPaulhe Emmy Award nominations were revealed this morning, and once again there are several nomination of particular interest to the gay community.

Once again Transparent — the Amazon Studios series about a male-to-female trans woman who transitions late in life (and starring last year’s Emmy winner Jeffrey Tambor) — is nominated for outstanding comedy series, along with Tambor (lead actor), Judith Light and Gaby Hoffman (supporting actress), Bradley Whitford (guest actor) and Melora Hardin (guest actress). Creator Jill Solloway, who won for writing last year, is nominated again this year as best director of a comedy series. Transparent will compete against some other gay faves: The Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, HBO’s Veep and ABC’s Modern Family.

Leading actress in a comedy series is a powerhouse category this year. Last year’s winner Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Veep) is up against  out actress Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), Laurie Metcalf (Getting On), Tracee Ellis Ross (Blackish) and Ellie Kemper (Kimmy Schmidt). Tituss Burgess from Kimmy Schmidt is nominated as supporting actor in a comedy as Kimmy’s flamboyant roommate.

Burgess will be up against Louie Anderson, who gives an amazing cross-dressing performance as Zach Galifianakis’ mom in FX’s Baskets. Andre Braugher, who plays a stiff but gay police captain on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, is also nominated, as are Keegan-Michael Key in the now-canceled variety series Key & Peele; previous winners Ty Burrell from Modern Family and Tony Hale from Veep; and Matt Walsh from Veep. In addition to the Transparent women, supporting actress in a comedy includes out actress Kate McKinnon for her many roles (especially Hillary Clinton) on Saturday Night Live.

Downtown Abbey and Game of Thrones are the big contenders in drama series (both are former winners). Tatiana Maslany, who plays a number of clones (including one transgender) on Orphan Black, is up for leading actress against Taraji P. Henson in the very gay Empire and Viola Davis in the equally gay How to Get Away with Murder.

Limited series is full of interesting contenders as well, with the Ryan Murphy-produced The People vs. O.J. Simpson going against the second iteration of American Crime, which this season was about a gay teen. Courtney B. Vance and Cuba Gooding Jr. are both up for leading actor for People Vs., playing Johnnie Cochrane and Simpson. Out actress Sarah Paulson is nominated as leading actress in the same for playing prosecutor Marcia Clark. Sterling K. Brown, David Schwimmer and John Travolta are up for supporting actor. Paulson is also up for supporting actress for the latest American Horror Story: Hotel.

RuPaul’s Drag Race finally made it into the final list, with RuPaul up for best reality show host. She’s up against Jane Lynch for Hollywood Game Night, and others. Gaycation with Ellen Page is up for best non-fiction series.

You can see the full list here. The winners will be announced in September.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas drag stars gather to show we are #OrlandoStrong

Cassie_SparkleThe events in Dallas over the past few days have led many to use the hashtag #DallasStrong. But most of us still haven’t forgot about the massacre last month at Pulse Nightclub — the largest mass murder shooting in modern U.S. history. And despite our own tragedy, Dallas’ LGBT community is still focused on helping out those 100 victims. So on Sunday, a special event called Drag Star Divas for Orlando will gather more than a dozen of the top drag entertainers in North Texas — among them RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants Alyssa Edwards and Kennedy Davenport, pageant champion Asia O’Hara, Dallas Voice columnist Cassie Nova and many more: Krystal Summers, Lalya LaRue, Edna Jean Robinson, Jenna Skyy, Valerie Lohr, Kelexis Davenport, Raquel Blake, Kandy Cayne, Plastique Tiara and Athena O’Hara.

The extravaganza will be at the Rose Room from 6–9:30 p.m. and all proceeds will benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida. A $5 entrance donation is requested, but give as much as you can to let Orlando know we’re there for them. You can RSVP here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Anti-smoking PSA with Drag Racers

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RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants Shangela, Manilla Luzon, Trixie Mattel and Tammie Brown have teamed up for a public service announcement explaining the dangers of smoking. And, because it’s targeted to the gay community, it appeals more to vanity than health. Hey, whatever gets you off tobacco. Enjoy.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Drag Race’ stars featured in Jane Badler music video

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Pandora Boxx, far right, and Morgan McMichaels, far left, appear in a new video by Jane Badler, center, for “Black Silk Stockings.’

Pandora Boxx and Morgan McMichael, two drag queens who gained international recognition with their Season 2 stints on RuPaul’s Drag Race, both appear in the music video for Jane Badler‘s song, “Black Silk Stockings (Tracy Young Remix),” Badler’s cover of the song by Italian punk band Krisma. Badler’s son, actor/producer Harry Hains, also makes an appearance as the DJ.

In a recent blog on her webpage, Badler explained that she started singing the song in her concerts at the suggestionof band member Matt Thomas. “It became a hit at all my shows so I decided to do a cover version with the wonderful LA producer Jeff Bova, which now resides on iTunes. Brad LeBeau from ProMotion suggested I do a dance remix with the famous producer and DJ Tracy Young. I was so excited about the mix I decided to collaborate with Jesse Davey — my go-to man for all my music videos. We came up with the crazy concept of a woman doing extreme plastic surgery to maintain her position as queen of the dancing robots.”

Watch the video below.

—  Tammye Nash

Happy birthday Alyssa!

AlyssaOut North Texas cover girl and RuPaul’s Drag Race/reality TV star Alyssa Edwards is celebrating her birthday this month, and you can join in the fun by heading to The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave., on Saturday night when Dannee Phann Productions presents “One Night in Bangkok: Alyssa’s Birthday.”

The party will feature — in addition to Alyssa, of course — Bible Girl, Gia Gunn, Laganja Estranja, Nicole O’Hara Munro, Unshante DeFoxx, Raquel Blake, “G”Licious G and Jada Fox.

Doors open at 9 p.m., the show starts at midnight and there will be a meet-and-greet photo shoot after the show.

Tickets are $125 for a VIP table for three, $10 general admission for those age 21 and up and $25 general admission for those ages 18-25. Reserving a table for three — without the VIP placement and perks — is $25. Buy your tickets in advance here.

And while you are at the Brick, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2016 Out North Texas, with Alyssa on the cover, and read our interview with her on Page 6.

And by the way, Happy birthday Alyssa, from your friends here at Dallas Voice and Out North Texas! We love you!

—  Tammye Nash

Drag Racer Pearl releases signature fragrance. You’ll never guess the name

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 11.19.17 AMHow would you like to smell like a drag queen? No, not mascara, Ponds and gin, but a perfume designed by a drag queen to reflect her unique aesthetic. So far, no alumna of RuPaul’s Drag Race has yet marketed a signature cologne … until now. And the queen with the sense for scents? Pearl.

So, if you’re Pearl, what do you call your new fragrance. Well, she came up with a doozy: Flazeda, Say it with me again: Flazeda.

Yes, the made-up word that Ru mocked her for on last season’s RPDR — Pearl’s portmanteau malaprop, a mashup of blase and “la-de-dah,” we assume — has now been embraced as her defining moment.

The cologne comes out officially on July 15 (priced: $124 for a 50 ml bottle), but you can pre-order it now here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 6 premiere

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For devotees of RuPaul’s Drag Race, one of the joys of each new season is discovering the hot new term of the year: “Eleganza extravaganza” and “hunty” are memorable one that played out for a season then wafted into the ether. But in addition to “fishy,” which has lingered (the way fish do), the word for the 6th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which kicks off tonight, is “sickening.” And for fans, that’s just what it is.

Ru is back, of course, as are judges Michelle Visage and Santino Rice, but there are some shakeups: New members of the Pit Crew for one (brought to you by Scruff, no less!) and a “divided” season premiere that may become the standard for future reality competition shows. Divided how, you ask? Well, only half of the 14 queens on this season compete in the season opener; the remaining half-dozen-plus won’t show up until Episode 2 next week. Which means your chances of being cut — and the focus on you — are twice what they usually are. No coasting, girls … you gotta work it from out the gates.

For fans (including yours truly), it’s a boon to spend more quality time with each queen early in the season and establish favorites, whether it Adore (bitchy but delightful) or Ben DeLaCreme, and the competitions are just as intense as ever. Best yet is guest judge Adam Lambert (sporting some sexy whiskers).

The season premiere conflicts with the premiere tonight also of Dallas, but that’s the great thing about cable — you can always DVR one or catch the replay a few hours later. Whichever you do, figure out a way to watch both … and as Ru would say, don’t f*** it up.

And read about former contestant Alyssa Edwards in this week’s issue of Dallas Voice.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones