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

Saturday DADT Open Thread: Senate votes no on DREAM, yes on DADT. Next steps…

NOTE: New Blend content is below this post, which will be on top during proceedings today.


The Senate started the session at 9am this morning; you can watch the live feed here. Currently Jeff Sessions, the first the speak today, is arguing against the DREAM Act.

FINGERS. CROSSED.

NOTE FROM PAM: You can also join the live chat hosted by Joe Sudbay of Americablog that is up top now as well.

11:30 AM ET: Cloture motion on the DREAM Act falls, 55-41. 60 needed. NC’s Kay Hagan voted NO on DREAM Act.

11:45: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell passes major Senate vote. On to the vote for repeal. Then the Prez and Mullen and Gates have to sign off.

A reminder from SLDN:

WHY SERVICE MEMBERS MAY STILL BE DISCHARGED EVEN AFTER A SUCCESSFUL SENATE VOTE AND PRESIDENTIAL BILL SIGNING / SERVICE MEMBERS WILL REMAIN VULNERABLE

PRESIDENTIAL BILL SIGNING:

? Even after a successful U.S. Senate vote and after the President signs the bill, service members will remain at risk for investigation and discharge. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will still be the law until 60 days after the Commander-in-Chief, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs certify repeal can happen. Read SLDN’s warnings to service members: www.sldn.org/StillAtRisk.

WHAT IS CERTIFICATION:

? The President would transmit to the congressional Armed Services Committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:

o (A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.

o (B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).

o (C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.

? “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will still be the law at this point. Service members will still be discharged. Read SLDN’s warnings: www.sldn.org/StillAtRisk.

REPEAL EFFECTIVE 60 DAYS AFTER CERTIFICATION TRANSMITTAL:

? After the President transmits written certification to the congressional Armed Services Committees, full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be effective 60 days later.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Weekend warriors: Senate forces us to watch C-Span on a Saturday

All reports indicate that the Senate version of the real deal DADT repeal vote (already passed in the House) will come this Saturday:

Reid files for cloture on DADT tonight (wonky but important) [AmericaBlog Gay]



Reid Files Cloture On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell And DREAM, Schedules Cloture Votes For Saturday [Wonk Room]

Hey, kid who only wants two front teeth for Christmas: Maybe also keep some place on your list for sixty principled eyes ayes!




Good As You

—  admin

WATCH: Harry Reid Announces Vote on ‘DADT’ for Saturday

Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has filed cloture on 'DADT' repeal and the DREAM act, with a vote planned for Saturday. Reid has apparently filled the tree, which prevents any amendments to the measures.

Watch Reid announce it, AFTER THE JUMP

Check out our earlier reports HERE….

(clip via wonk room)



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Saturday Open Thread…miscellany plus Rachel on KO, and a grave injustice for Oscar Grant

It’s an open thread, chat away…here are some things I’ve been Facebooking and Tweeting about since yesterday:

The benign:

* I finally finished paying off my Subaru Outback! (Yes it’s a stereotypical lesbian household – both of us have Subarus)

* WTF happened to Fall in the Triangle? @durhamncalert “FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 8 AM EST SUNDAY.” http://s3z.us/cm.htm. The Good News: we broke out the flannel sheets…nice and toasty. The Bad News: the furbabies got me out of bed to feed them. Brrr.

The hardcore:

* Lesbian ‘Corrective Rape’ Victim has her day in Court.

This is the face of South African lesbian who was beaten and raped for five hours by a man who told her he wanted to “turn her into a woman”.  This is the face of a warrior who despite all odds, trauma, and police victimization, found her way to Court today by public transportation, to testify against her brutal attacker, who remained free on bail  to in essence board the same bus. The Police were simply not willing to give this young woman a ride to the Court. A spokesperson for Millicent Gaika contacted us back in April and we have been shedding light on the plight of Lesbian “corrective rape” in South Africa ever since.  Today was Millicent Gaika’s day in court.

* Cop Johannes Mehserle receives 2 years w/credit for time served for shooting Oscar Grant, an unarmed, subdued man, at point blank range. (San Francisco Bay View) The judge tossed out gun enhancement charge.

Today we had a gross miscarriage of justice. Judge Robert Perry threw out the gun enhancement clause that could have added 10 years and then gave Johannes Mehserle a sentence of two years with credit for 292 days for time served. Football star Plexico Burris did more time shooting himself than Mehserle. Michael Vick did more time [for dog fighting] than Mehserle.

* Rachel Maddow on the suspension of Keith Olbermann. “On cable news and cable not-news”:


Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Join HRC at the Rally to Restore Sanity This Saturday

We hope that many of you will be spending this last weekend before the critical elections volunteering for pro-equality candidates. By election day, HRC will have more than thirty staff working on elections in 18 states, supplementing the efforts of thousands of HRC members who are actively volunteering for pro-equality candidates.

However, if you’re planning to be in Washington, D.C. on October 30 for the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies, please join us that Saturday from 8-11 at HRC headquarters. Grab some coffee and refreshments while you help us make calls to get out the vote for priority candidates.  At the HRC Building, we’ll also provide the opportunity for you to make signs for the rally and meet other progressive and equality-minded folks before heading down to the Mall.

SPECIAL SECTION TICKETS:  HRC has been offered a limited number of reserved section tickets by the rally organizers. These tickets are for a reserved section that is closer to the stage.  Please RSVP at  www.hrc.org/rallytorestoresanity and we can provide you with information on how to pick up your tickets at our pre-rally event at the HRC building this Saturday.

Event details are below:
Saturday, Oct. 30 2010
8am-11am at HRC Headquarters
1640 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
www.hrc.org/rallytorestoresanity

The rallies will be held from 12 p.m.-3 p.m on the National Mall. Visit the website for  more information on the rallies.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

One Of These 2 Jane Lynchs Will Rescue Saturday Night Live From Itself

Glee's Jane Lynch, who was just immortalized in wax at Madam Toussad, will host one of Saturday Night Live's first episodes this fall. There needs to be a "Delicious Dish" sketch or we're not watching.


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Queerty

—  John Wright