Gaywatch: The gayest music videos of the ’80s Part One 1980-1984

Tim Parks Media Ho

Being a “child” of the ’80s and having them be my formative years were truly something almost indescribable. Yet, if I were to try to describe how it felt to be that lonely gay boy, longing for acceptance, I would summarize the feeling with three letters: MTV.

Everyday I was barraged with a wealth of imagery that spoke to some part of myself I was not ready to reconcile, until I turned 15, and then it was game on, like Donkey Kong or even Frogger, as I made my way across the highway of life, trying not to get squashed while doing so.

There are indelible visuals seared into my mind, and when I watch VH-1 Classics (damn, I’m old) and catch them, I get a very tingly sensation that does not require a visit to the free clinic, ok?

Its a sense memory of the very first time (when I was like a…

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Hollywood: Celebrity Pranksters

Hollywood: Celebrity Pranksters
By Tim Parks
As a lifelong prankster, I absolutely love when April Fool’s Day rolls around; it’s a time of year that I am fully subscribed should be extended to a whole month rather than one measly day.
Ever since I was a kid and got my April Fools on by putting spiders in my parents slippers – of course that was practicing safe joking as the arachnids were rubber- to when I grew older, the glee that I relished at a joke gone over well proved every bit as satisfying.
Whether it was smashing up Junior Mints and placing them in my nephew’s underwear – not when he was wearing them, as this isn’t an episode of  Touched By An Uncle on Lifetime – taken from his overnight bag and forging a note explaining that he had an accident. And from the amount of faux poo, it looked more like he was an accident victim.
Somehow the tides have slightly turned and the joke’s been on me more often than not, as of late. The best example is having a live chicken tossed into the shower with me, but come April Fool’s Day vengeance will be mine and more bitter than sweet, ok?
As a pop culture kind of guy, I will definitely be looking towards celebrities for guidance as they have a proven track record for getting the better of their peers via pranks. But, trust me I will not be aiming my sights on Justin Bieber for help, especially in the area of how best to egg a house. No, I’ll just wait until he self-destructs and or comes out with his own line of feminine hygiene products before I pay him any more attention.

I’ll Take Pranksters for $100, Alex.


Chances are if you were a cast member of Ocean’s Eleven and any of its sequels, then you know your way around a joke, like Lindsay Lohan’s lips know their way around, um, a cigarette. Yes, that was the analogy I was looking for. The ring leader of this game of one upmanship is George Clooney and while filming was underway on Ocean’s Twelve in Italy, he drafted a memo to the Italian crew that they were not to look Brad Pitt directly in the eyes during filming and signed it from Pitt. Oh man, that is almost on par with the one that he tells his girlfriends that he wants a long term commitment.
Speaking of commitments, Pitt sought his revenge by telling Italian reporters that he would get married once Clooney was able to marry his boyfriend -oh you crazy hets! Co-star Matt Damon made it a comic three-way by confirming to said media that they had been on Clooney’s ass, err, case to make it right by his boyfriend and walk down the aisle.
Johnny Depp literally caused a stink when he employed the services of a remote controlled fart machine on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Ironically, his co-star Penelope Cruz had already caught wind of this brand of shenanigans on the set of their movie Blow, during which time Depp would utilize his brand of crop dusting during dramatic scenes. She probably figured one of the crew had indulged in one too many cups of Nespresso.
Ashton Kutcher is regarded as a jokester of the highest order…remember that time he married Demi Moore? What a caution! Or more than likely, it is because of his update of TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes that was called Punk’d and had the Two and a Half Men star pulling stunts on his celebrity friends. In the annals of the show, one of the most infamous jokes occurred during the first season and involved Justin Timberlake.
JT was lead to believe that the tax man was taking his possessions and appeared quite choked up by the humiliating experience – perhaps it inspired his hit song title “Cry Me A River?” At any rate, the pop star/actor admitted later that he was very lovestoned at the time of filming. Well, that’s just high-larious.


The good looking actor with a penchant for pranks got its evolution with the man with the baby blues, Paul Newman. Usually the jokes were part of knocking his director down a few pegs for not using his input during filming. Case in point, when his Slap Shot director George Roy Hill refused to buy drinks for the crew, he faked a tragic car accident with the actor playing possum behind the wheel.
Surprisingly, you would have thought that after having Newman sawing his desk in half during filming on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and his car in half during The Sting that ol Georgie would have gone on Wheel of Fortune and bought a clue. Newman was pranksta gangsta!
Poor Jimmy Kimmel must be a bottom, because he is always the butt of the joke. When then-girlfriend Sarah Silverman appeared on his late night chat show in a video she made, she announced to Kimmel that “I’m f#$%ing Matt Damon.”

The talk show host and the actor have been engaged in a faux feud since the show’s inception, Kimmel was notorious for ending his show with, “I want to apologize to Matt Damon. We ran out of time.” He even filmed the parody response to Silverman’s “disclosure” that he was, in fact, giving it to Ben Affleck in retaliation.
The Joke’s On You!
Unfortunately for Kimmel, even his wedding day isn’t sacred as was evident in Gabourey Sidibe’s entrance to his nuptials, during which she wore a wedding dress, in order to steal the spotlight away from his bride Molly McNearney. Isn’t that precious?
The red carpet conjures up a lot of images of glitz and glamour, but there can sometimes be a darker hue to that fabled stretch of textile.


When Tom Cruise was attending the London premiere of War of the Worlds in 2005, members of Britain’s Channel Four show called Balls of Steel conducted an interview with Cruise and used a fake microphone. Now how could that go wrong? In terms of comedy it went right, as the microphone proved to be a squirt gun in disguise and Tom took a shot of the wet stuff to the face. Surprisingly, he did not enjoy it like one would think and chided the men calling them “jerks.” Real mature, Tom.


Sacha Baron Cohen is known for his offbeat, and sometimes off-putting, sense of humor. At the 2012 Academy Awards, Cohen attended decked out as his upcoming movie character The Dictator. First clue for E! Live From The Red Carpet host Ryan Seacrest that something was amiss was that the actor was holding an urn. Seacrest should have asked himself who he was wearing, after Cohen “accidentally” spilled the contents of the urn on the diminutive media mogul. Dude, it could have been worse; he could have been promoting Bruno!
And it doesn’t matter how much “talent” you exude in Tinsel Town, you can fall prey to pranks from regular folks. Kim Kardashian found herself at the receiving, ahem, end of a flour bomb at The London Hotel in West Hollywood whilst promoting her perfume True Reflection. The act was reportedly a protest from PETA against the actress’ wearing of fur. Um, that’s just mean, she is Armenian after all.

Wow, I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas from the stars as to my April Fool’s Day retaliation, but which one to pick? Hmm, sawing a car in half seems like a lot of physical labor and homo don’t play that and flour seems like it would be difficult to get out of clothing. Oh well, I’m sure I can think of something of equal effectiveness. Ok, I’m out of here, as it’s hard to rub my hands together like an evil genius and type at the same time. Happy April Fool’s Day, kids.

Hollywood: Celebrity Nosh and Slosh Edition

Hollywood: Celebrity Nosh and Slosh Edition

By Tim Parks

Celebrities have a long and storied love affair with sharing their penchant for culinary creations via cookbooks, while others have taken their passion for the grape into the realm of public consciousness with their own brand of wines.
But for every Julia Child or Francis Ford Coppola-like success in these ventures, there are bound to be a few missteps along the way. Take for example, Carnie Wilson’s Diet Staples Cookbook that chronicled her meal choices, post-gastric bypass surgery – postage stamp sized Cornish game hens, anyone? Why not wash it down with Lindsay Lohan’s Swill? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Still, they sold better than Judy Garland’s Pills For Every Meal cookbook from back in the day.
But fear not, there are some new offerings on the immediate horizon and are currently on the shelves to whet your appetite and quench your palette.
Eat Up.


Everyone’s favorite macrobiotic woman, Gwyneth Paltrow, is back on the food scene with It’s All Good after unleashing the previous how-to-cook efforts My Father’s Daughter and Notes From My Kitchen Table, as well as the healthy lifestyle website
In her newest tome, Paltrow lets us in on the elimination diet, which does not consist of eating nothing but roughage. Rather, it’s to treat what may ail you and consists of the following: “no coffee, no alcohol, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no shellfish, no deepwater fish, no potatoes, no tomatoes, no bell pepper, no eggplant, no corn, no wheat, no meat, no soy, nothing processed at all.”
If that’s her equation of things being all good, I shudder to think of what she would term as bad.
For an actor that made a big gay splash with his role in The Devil Wears Prada, it’s surprising that Stanley Tucci has the rather pedestrian titled cookbook The Tucci Cookbook. I mean would The Devil Eats Pasta really have been that big of a stretch? Plus, he also starred in some foodie flicks, like Julie & Julia and Big Night, so that gives him some sort of street/kitchen cred.

His Italian heritage is the true star of this show, with Tucci highlighting that “most of the world eats to live, but Italians live to eat.” Hopefully if he ever cooks any of these Italian recipes that are compiled from both sides of his lineage for Meryl Streep, he’ll make sure to serve it at a non-glacial pace, lest she go all Miranda Priestly on his ass.
Sometimes the term celebrity gets applied to those folks who, let’s face it, really aren’t. Here are two such examples of reality stars who should have dairy-centric cookbooks called Milkin’ It.
First up is Kate Gosselin, formerly of both husband Jon Gosselin and their reality TV show, Jon & Kate Plus 8. Her Love Is in the Mix is a collection of recipes centered around catering to her large brood, whether it’s appetizers or decadent desserts. Ironically, there isn’t one called “Failed Marriage,” which consists of a d-bag husband baked with Ed Hardy T-shirts and sprinkled with regret.

Real Housewives of New Jersey controversy lightning rod Teresa Giudice is a three-time over New York Times Bestseller with her previous cookbooks, all of which manage to throw a variation of the word fabulous into their titles. So, you could have knocked me over with a flipped table, err, I mean feather when her newest incarnation was named Fabulicious!
This time around the embroiled-in- fraud- indictment- and- facing- possible- jail time- reality star is focusing on the joys of outdoor grilling. Yes that pun was intended, OK? Her Smoking Hot Backyard Recipes steer away from her usual Italian-themed fare, in favor of featuring 70 recipes that run the gamut from the perfect meat rub – no comment – to off-the-grill side dishes. And who knows, if the Bravo star ends up serving time perhaps she will continue to publish on the inside and we can all look forward to Fabu Prison Cookin’ in the future.
Even politicos with the last name of Romney literally get into the mix, I mean when you make a run at the White House and lose, what else are ya gonna do? Bake some comfort food and stuff it down your gullet at The Romney Family Table! Rest assured, there are recipes for buffalo right wings with a red dipping sauce and humble pie.
Glug, glug, glug

As if Hollywood power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt didn’t have enough on their respective plates – or rather in their cup runneth over wine glasses – with a large brood to attend to and movies to be, made, they have recently added vinters to their resumes.
Their Miraval Rose is produced on their meager 150 acre vineyard at their ramshackle $60 million South of France estate Chateau Miraval – insert eye rolling and sarcasm here – and the initial 6,000-bottle run sold out within five hours. Uh oh, that means that their six children better get to steppin’, those grapes ain’t gonna stomp themselves. Isn’t child labor why people have large families?
Given that she was in rehab by the time she was 14, it seems a little surprising that Drew Barrymore has started up her own brand of wines; even more surprising is that her Barrymore Pinot Grigio brand was “created to honor her family.” Um, most of them were raging alcoholics, so I’m not sure why she didn’t name the wine Barrymore Irony. But a big thumbs up to her, as a portion of the proceeds go to charity.

Apparently Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie was a big fan of the ’80s prime time soap Falcon Crest, seeing as her wine is named Ferguson Crest. But rather than partnering up with Lorenzo Lamas on the venture, Fergie Ferg has enlisted the help of her father to create a 2010 Syrah, a red wine that has hints of black pepper, graphite – which gives it a rocky flavor, I suppose – cassis and chocolate.
Her signature brand Fergalicious is a blended red wine, which combines Cabernet sauvignon, syrah, Grenache and merlot with a spicy and fruity bouquet; to quote her song of the same name it sounds t-t-t-t-t-tasty, tasty.
Someone else from the Real Housewives franchise, Bethenny Frankel, has turned her Skinny Girl Cocktails brands of alcohol, including tequila, cosmos and mojitos, into a bonafide success – too bad the same can’t be said for her struggling self-titled talk show.
Now, she has launched a bevy, or a Bethenny, of low calorie wines including a Prosecco that is described as “a bubbly mix of light and crisp, of sass and class.” Sounds just like the lady herself, well, mostly.
Richard Gere has launched a Tuscan Wine Label, which like the Jolie-Pitts, is named after a property he owns. In this case, that would be Bedford Post and is produced by the exclusive brand of Brunello and Tenuta San Filippo di Montalcino.
All I know is that he should have named it after himself, seeing as he is aging just like a fine wine.

So, there you have a perfect way to have a nosh or a slosh like a celebrity; and if you are feeling extra brave in your mealtime decisions by all means check out rapper 2Chain’s cookbook The B.O.A.T.S II, which includes a recipe for “Me Time Sauce.” And I will leave you with that little bit of food for thought.

Gaywatch: Oh, the horror part deux!

Just in time for Halloween.

Tim Parks Media Ho

Gaywatch: Oh, the horror part deux!

                                      By Tim Parks

Ever since horror movies have slipped into the collective consciousness of pop culture society, like a well worn pair of pants, gay audiences have had a big predilection with the images on the screen; the erotic appeal of a dead man asking if he can suck your…blood, werewolves sprouting unwanted thatches of hair and the misunderstood Frankenstein Monster being chased by torch wielding villagers simply because he is “different” – how could that not resonate with us?

Here’s a taste of such instances over the years.

                                           Universal Appeal

Horror films first became a movie dietary supplement in the 1930’s, when Universal unleashed a slew on onscreen monsters that gay audiences could draw an eerie parallel with.  There is the aforementioned Frankenstein Monster, who just wanted to be loved, yet ended up being feared because of…

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Hollywood: I Want My Gay TV

Hollywood: I Want My Gay TV

By Tim Parks



This past TV season audiences were left with The Hollywood Rainbow Massacre, which is akin to killing a unicorn, when a multitude of shows with LGBT characters faced the ratings axe. 

Those that did not survive the chopping block were The New Normal, Partners, Happy Endings, Go On, Malibu Country, Smash, Don’t Trust The B—-, Southland, 90210, Smash and Emily Owens, M.D. 

With these cancellations went depictions of gays as expecting parents (The New Normal), the straight/gay dichotomy (Partners), a regular example of being gay (Happy Endings), Lily Tomlin on prime time (Malibu Country) and a musical based on Marilyn Monroe (Smash); well, four out of five ain’t bad.

And, it’s a good thing that marriage for us is now recognized as legal, seeing as a survey conducted by The Hollywood Reporter in November of last year showed that gay TV characters actually swayed some voters to the historically unprecedented support of gay marriage. Call it “The Cam Effect,” if you will, because everyone loves Eric Stonestreet on Modern Family.

So what does the upcoming Fall TV season hold for “our kind” in this wake of these exits in what was a record breaking season for gays on the tube? 


Class of 2013


NBC’s Sean Saves The World features former Jack McFarland and Will & Grace standout Sean Hayes. It may have to live up to its title, as far as being one of the only new kids on an otherwise empty gayborhood block this year. Represent mister sister!

The openly gay actor will be a single dad with a 14-year-old daughter Ellie (Samantha Isler) and a difficult new boss Max, played by Reno 911’s Lt. Dangle (Thomas Lennon). I wonder if his casual Friday outfit will consist of a pair of short shorts? And as any self-effacing gay has to have a gal pal, look for his former Smash co-star Megan Hilty in that role. 

But, the casting that made me do a gay gasp was the inclusion of everyone’s favorite new girl in town Linda Lavin, formerly of Mel’s Diner on Alice, as Sean’s mother.

Who knows, maybe his former co-stars Megan Mullally, Debra Messing and Eric McCormack will drop by? If not it will be Just Jack.  

ABC’s Super Fun Night has one presumed to be a lesbian character, in the guise of Marika (Lauren Ash) who is described as having an athletic streak and a big interest in her female friends. Nope, she sounds totally straight…on opposite day! The writers will reportedly flesh out her tendencies and make her a full-fledged lesbian.


The sitcom stars Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect scene stealer Rebel Wilson as Kimmie a lawyer with a penchant going out on the town, instead of her usual Friday night practice of staying in and singing songs from Wicked. Both sound like a gay ole time, if you ask me. 

There are two confirmed lesbians on the summer show Mistresses. Sally (Victoria Mussett) and Alex (Shannyn Sossamon) will be with us until the end of September and possibly into a second season. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Fox not only features the adorkable Andy Samberg, but it also has something new to the LGBT TV landscape. Andre Braugher will portray an openly gay police captain and his love life will be explored on the show. Sounds like a case of cops and throbbers waiting to happen.


Look for frequent Chelsea Lately round table regular, and substitute for Ms. Handler if you’re nasty, Ross Matthews to helm his very own chat show called Hello Ross. The E! show will be tackling all-things pop culture with both celebrities and fans chiming in on the subject matter.

There will be a new half joining the cast of Two and a Half Men, as they are adding a bisexual character. Amber Tamblyn will be introduced as Jenny, the long lost illegitimate daughter of the late Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen), who is a chip off the old block in the loving the ladies department. 


Familiar Faces



 It’s no surprise that young Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) would have become a fruit fly in high school on The Carrie Diaries with her having a gay friend Walt (Brandon Dooling).

Speaking of the teen set, The Middle’s Brad (Brock Ciarlelli) will continue to skirt the fact that he’s a gay homosexual. Let’s look at the signs that point down the Yellow Brick Road, young friend of Dorothy – you’re flamboyant, love theater, enjoy tap dancing and are on the high school wrestling team.

Meanwhile at TV’s gayest learning institute, McKinley High, will not only be dealing with the loss of Finn (Cory Montheith), but some other familiar faces will not be returning to Glee, including bisexual Cheerio Brittany S. Pierce (Heather Morris). Boo and that accompanying sound you hear is me turning off my TV for the fifth season, even if the show will still showcase and showtune Kurt (Chris Colfer), Blaine (Darren Criss), Santana (Naya Rivera) and Unique (Alex Newell). Look for Adam Lambert to drop by this season as a guest star. 


Our community is certainly no stranger to drama with a capital D. Revenge‘s Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann), who went bisexual last year and ended up in jail during the season’s cliffhanger, will still be there when the show returns. The actor recently teased that his character may go through a “slutty phase,” let’s just hope he has a stockpile of soap to drop for the prison showers. 

Another soapy ABC drama Scandal features a President whose having an affair and also employs a Gay Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry), no wonder the show has that title, a politician partaking in sexual shenanigans…shocking!  

The Good Wife is a virtual cornucopia of diversity with the three, count ’em three, representations of the rainbow; there’s bisexual  Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi), lesbian Lana Delaney (Jill Flint) and Y Chromosome gay Owen Cavanaugh (Dallas Roberts).

Grey’s Anatomy literal resident lesbian doctors Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), will be dealing of the aftereffects of last season’s drama caused by Arizona’s infidelity and how Callie will deal with it in the professional workplace. Here’s a hint, she’s none too pleased and will voice her displeasure at the hospital about how she feels.

NBC’s sophomore drama, Chicago Fire, is not only has easy-on-the-eyes firefighters (I’m talking to you, Taylor Kinney), but it also features lesbian paramedic Leslie Shay (Lauren German) and her ex-girlfriend Clarice (Sheri Appleby).


Downton Abbey has become a staple among gay viewers, so it’s not surprising that the series features Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier), the valet with a penchant for blackmail. During season 4, he will be single and ready to mingle with a new person from his past, who he will groom to do his bidding. 

Over on the flip side are comedy’s most venerable power bottoms, err power couple, Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) who will more than likely tie the knot this season on Modern Family. Suburgatory’s resident gaysian guidance counselor Mr. Wolfe (Rex Lee) is reportedly being reduced to a possible guest star status for the third season, there isn’t any word if the same fate will befall his boyfriend Chef Alan (Evan Arnold).


The World Wide Interweb


Whatever This Is features Dylan Marron as Ari, a hasn’t-figured-it-all-out variety of gay in the Kickstarter funded web series. He and his friend Sam (Hunter Canning) are lowly production assistants on a Real Housewives-esque type show. Sounds like he has some things figured out, as I hear the gays love those shows.  


So while there may not be a wealth of new gays on TV this season, there are some other shows that definitely have a certain gay curb appeal. 

Keep an eye out for NBC’s About A Boy, Growing Up Fisher starring Parker Posey and Dracula stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the titular bloodsucker, ‘nuff said. CBS’ Hostages stars everyone’s favorite former wallflower Toni Collette and hottie Dylan McDermott. And just remember kids, gay is where you find it.  

Full Release: August

Full Release: August

By Tim Parks


Sarah Bareilles

The Blessed Unrest


Sarah Bareilles returns with her third CD and the first single, “Brave” is very indicative of the style of songwriting that she became famous for with her 2007 hit “Love Song,” full of yearning for someone special.

“Chasing The Sun” stays on that melodic road, as does “Manhattan” and the Motown-inspired “Little Black Dress,” with Bareilles being accompanied by her trusty companion, the piano. Out Now.     

Ivy Levan

Introducing The Dame


Musical introductions are in order, Ivy Levan meet my readers and vice versa. The 26-year-old singer lets us know on the track “Money” that “what you see is what you get and you ain’t seen nothing yet.” But what you hear is an artist in command of a retro sound.

This flavor fleshes out the remainder of her self-proclaimed Arkansas “swamp-hop” debut EP, and girlfriend has some pipes on her and spitfire attitude to spare. Out Now  


One True Thing


The one true thing about Tylan is that she approaches songwriting much in the same vein as Adele, by turning her pain into treasured gold. The Girlyman band member is branching out as a solo artist for the first time and the results are haunting songs such as “Over The Rhine” and “Fool Me Again.” 

Each song drips with emotional resonance that traverses a tumultuous landscape. Out Now.




Everyone’s favorite Steel Magnolia, Olympia Dukakis, proves she loves her onscreen partner Brenda Fricker more than her luggage, as is illustrated by the fact that she breaks her out of her nursing home to begin a trek to be legally married in Canada. 

Dukakis’ role as Stella is a rip-roaring character is right in line with other feisty dames in her acting wheelhouse, while Fricker’s role as Dot embodies a more reluctant traveler aspect of the two. Along for the ride is Prentice (Ryan Doucette), a young hitchhiker who wants to chuck off the shackles of small town life in favor of becoming a dancer.  Out Now  

The Place Beyond The Pines


With two handsome actors for one price, The Place Beyond The Pines is a bargain at half the price for the eye candy set. Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling headline this crime drama, which has Gosling revving his engines as a stunt motorcyclist who resorts to robbing banks as way to be the breadwinner for his girlfriend and their newborn child.

This activity comes into sharp focus for a go-getting rookie cop (Cooper), who is treading the precarious thin blue line of dealing with a police department being overseen by a corrupt detective. The movie also stars Ray Liotta and Eva Mendes. Out August 6. 

The Great Gatsby


While author F. Scott Fitzgerald and the man who directed Moulin Rouge may seem like an unlikely behind-the-screen couple; Baz Luhrmann manages to add his own brand of cinematic magic to the classic novel. 

The Aussie director re-teams with his Romeo + Juliet star Leonardo DiCaprio for The Great Gatsby, which chronicles a time of decadence in New York City during the summer of 1922 and the pursuit of the American Dream. It’s only vicariously for Midwestern transplant Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), who is drawn into the world of Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) and Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). Out August 27.     



Eating My Feelings

Mark Brennan Rosenberg


Are you craving a good laugh? Then dive right into the pages of Eating My Feelings, a collection of essays that highlight the off kilter world of  author Mark Rosenberg’s struggles with his fluctuating battle of the bulge during his 1980s childhood and life as a gay man in the 2000s . 

He showcases his affinity for finding solace in both food and pop culture; with the latter finding him learning life lessons from Melrose Place, such as how to bribe counselors at fat camp in his younger years, serves up both laughs and heartbreak. Out August 6.  

Back In The Saddle To Fit

Darryl Ewing 


If you fall into the generational category of being a boomer or near the last part of the alphabet as an x, then Darryl Ewing is here to offer 10 steps to reclaiming athletic fitness for the busy professional. With Back In The Saddle To Fit, Ewing addresses the all-to easy to fall into sections of our lives that constitute career, home and family and how to balance them with much-needed exercise.

The plan only requites 3.5 percent of your time every week, further achieving a more active, less stressed out lifestyle with the “60/40 Proposition” of how to supplement your nutritional needs as well. Out Now. 

It’s Not Who I Am

Kylie Rae


Author Kylie Rae’s non-fiction account of living a false life as a man highlights the title of her memoir, It’s Not Who I Am. Her journey through gender is nothing short of heroic, as she undergoes multiple sex change procedures to get to the place she always knew would feel like home as a woman.

With her candor and experience on the subject matter, Rae hopes to enlighten readers about what the experience of being transgender is truly like. Out Now.

Hollywood: Celebrity Pet Causes

Hollywood: Celebrity Pet Causes

By Tim Parks

Sometimes I like animals more than people, but not in a farmer/sheep kind of way. I live with four dogs, two birds and three chickens and enjoy the unconditional love that pets provide; even if the chickens prove to be more aloof than the rest of the menagerie. Here’s a ladder poultry, get over yourselves.

There are plenty of Tinsel Town denizens that put their literal celebrity to good use by highlighting the plights of many animals by supporting pet causes. Whether it’s by publicly pampering their pets  or raising awareness against cruelty to our mostly four-legged friends, stars shine in this capacity.


While there is nothing funny about animal rights and famous folks and their furry friends, I thought I’d take a less Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA commercial route. Seriously, if they don’t want people to change the channel, dispense with the sad music in favor of playing Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine,” seeing as the animals will be rescued.  Just sayin’.

Animal Planet  


Betty White has long been a staunch supporter of the Morris Animal Foundation, for over forty years to be exact. The foundation has raised over $70 million towards health studies of dogs, cats, horses and other wildlife critters, including White’s favorite the sea otter. My guess would have been the minx, since she roomed with the sassy Blanche on The Golden Girls.

Ellen DeGeneres  has used her afternoon gab fest to profile the rights of animals and was even named Woman of the Year by PETA in 2009. She advocates the importance of adopting pets from shelters and cruelty free living for animals. Thus far she has not opened a beaver sanctuary in her home.


Long after actress Tippi Hedren was terrorized by The Birds, and Alfred Hitchcock pawing at her on the set of the movie,  she founded the Shambla Preserve in 1983. The sanctuary is designed to help over 50 exotic big cats, including African lions, Siberian tigers, leopards and cougars, which makes sense since her daughter Melanie Griffith is older than hubby Antonio Banderas.

Ke$ha has gone on record for her distaste of the clubbing of baby seals in Eastern Canada, so don’t be expecting to see her headlining the event Bash at Club Seal anytime soon. Yeah, I’m pretty much going to hell for that one.

Nashville actress Hayden Panetierre has a strong resolve for ending the slaughter of whales and dolphins. She seems to be taking a page out of her acting past as Claire the indestructible cheerleader on Heroes – save the whales, save the world!

Hilary Swank not only the former spokesperson for Iams Home for the Holidays campaign and has also partnered up with the Romanian-based foundation Four Paws, which connects rescue dogs with disabled and institutionalized people; she has been involved in horse rescue. I’m surprised it wasn’t  horse dentistry given her big ‘ol choppers.


Kristen Bell, who will be headlining the upcoming Veronica Mars movie, advocates for better conditions for pregnant pigs. She got the idea to champion the cause after seeing the message in a spider web that said “Some Pigs Need Your Help!” Thanks Charlotte.  Image

Alec Baldwin is all about the plight of the penguins, which is why he is seen in public dressing like them in his always-at-the-ready tux.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a great catsby with his co-sponsoring work with Save The Tigers Now, which highlights opposition to keeping big cats as pets. I would think that would just fall under the category of common sense – can you imagine the litter box?

English actor Stephen Fry doesn’t want there to be a lonely pachyderm on the planet, as is clearly illustrated by his involvement with Elephant Dating, a service that pairs contributors with their very own Asian elephant to support or “date” for a year. Hopefully, they are not paired up online, if human behavior has taught us anything then the elephants may be inclined to lie about their weight.


When Sigourney Weaver starred in the movie Gorillas in the Mist, she became an activist for protecting gorillas and other primates and was named honorary chair of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. It’s a good thing that she didn’t find the same soft spot in her heart for her Alien co-stars, because on Earth everyone can hear you scream!


Vampire Diaries hottie Ian Somerhalder is not only pretty to look at – swoon – but, he helped to clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Somerhalder….oil, now where was I? He also started his own foundation to educate kids today about the importance of animals and the environment.

Former Price Is Right host Bob Barker always told audiences at the end of every show to have their animals spayed and neutered. In 1994, he spearheaded DJ&T Foundation, which puts its emphasis on further conveying that message to the masses. Man, that made my balls hurt just writing it.

Lucky Dogs


Speaking of canines, there are plenty of celebs that pamper their pooches. Take Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump, for instance. She has elevated her Pomeranian Giggy to star status. The pooch is not only featured on the Bravo hit series, but he also has upwards of 67,000 followers on Twitter. Can Lisa Vanderpump adopt me?

Mariah Carey had a nice romantic bubble bath with her dog Jill E. Beans on Valentine’s Day. She felt the dog deserved it after she made its ears bleed hitting all those high notes.

When you’re Oprah Winfrey’s Springer Spaniels Sunny and Lauren, you get introduced to the world on your famous mistress’ talk show, circa 2010. However, she almost didn’t get to keep the pups, as she chose one of her Oprah’s Favorite Things episode to do so.

Fur is redrum

A lot of stars are opposed to the wearing of fur and have even posed buck nekkid in ad campaigns for PETA.

Charlize Theron made the statement of “If you wouldn’t wear your dog, please don’t wear any fur” for the watchdog group. To show her support, she gave up fur after the movie Monster commenced filming in 2003.


Khloe Kardashian shed her clothes, and inhibitions, to showcase her desire to rather go naked than wear fur. It caused quite the scandal amongst the Armenian community, as they are known to wear fur, or body hair, as it were.

Sharon Osbourne didn’t doff her favorite frock in order to get her point across outside the trendy boutique Intermix, she held a sign stating that she will not shop at the establishment until they go fur-free. Her stance was going very well until Ozzy showed up and bit the head off of a bat.


So, hopefully by giving examples of the good that celebrities can do by using their name and stature to put the spotlight on animal activism, perhaps you may be so inclined to start your own campaign. Hmm, now what animal is most associated with our community? Yes, you can go ahead and start a Bear Aware Campaign today. Oh, and you’re welcome.

Bill Hardt Takes Pride In His Work

Bill Hardt Takes Pride In His Work

By Tim Parks



To say that Bill Hardt takes pride in his work is almost an understatement, seeing as his company Bill Hardt Presents is the backbone of putting the party into Pride, year in and year out since 1997.

With four events over the official gayest weekend during San Diego’s calendar year, including The Pride Ball, Circuit Daze, Fete Accompli and The Zoo Party, there is a wealth of preparation that goes into putting on these annual events, which revelers have come to expect and anticipate throughout the year.

So, how do these parties come together without a hitch? The Rage Monthly went to the man himself to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on producing this popular component of Pride weekend.


What was the genesis for the Pride parties?


In 1996, the San Diego Zoological Society approached me to look at producing the San Diego Pride Parties, as the previous promoter had challenges continuing on with the events.

After careful consideration, I agreed to produce the 1997 San Diego Zoo Party. Once word hit the streets, the San Diego Pride Committee engaged a conversation with me to see if I would be interested in producing the entire weekend’s events, since I was already going to produce the Zoo Party. I agreed and began producing the Official San Diego Pride Parties in 1997.



What would you say is the mission statement of Bill Hardt Presents?


To produce the best events possible for the gay community in mainstream venues, so my brothers and sisters can celebrate the beauty of themselves as publicly as possible, while having a really good time!


How much preparation goes into putting the parties on?


I pretty much plan all year long. On any current year, since all the talent is in town, I start discussing the next year’s celebrations with the DJs. It makes the planning so much easier.

The venues in San Diego are the tricky things that take most of the time. With so many venues closing, changing ownerships or board members, it is a constant process of running down who is in charge and who is interested in our business. That process takes all year long!



And what is the most rewarding aspect of doing so?


The smiles and our joy on the faces of the patrons who attend the parties. Many of my patrons have been coming every year since 1997. So it is a reunion for some of them. It is the best gift ever to see my brothers and sisters dance, hug, kiss and smile at one another all weekend long. That is my reward.


How have you seen the events, especially the Zoo Party, change over the years?


The Zoo Party is very consistent. I think that is why people love it so much. It is something they can completely count on in the ever changing world and economic climate.

The Zoo Party is not a regular circuit style event. I always tell people, it is more like a backyard party with a few thousand of your closest friends and a really good DJ. I think that is why we have not seen it change very much over the years.

The patrons like it the way  it is, and like my Grandmama always said, if it ain’t broke ….


Where would you like to see them, in say, five years time?


 Well, I am just grateful that the parties have stayed consistent in these challenging economic times. So I will just say that in the next five years I hope to be providing the same quality events that people will want to come to, and be grateful for that.


You and your company have donated money to the community over the years…how did you go about selecting the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative as the charity to benefit from the 15% donation in 2008?


 I have a few people in San Diego that I look up to and greatly respect their opinions on all sorts of things. I went to one of those very people in 2008 and asked him his opinion of where I should donate my money that year.

He told me about the HIV Funding Collaborative and all the good they were doing in the community, and that the monies actually reached the recipients in need through services. I did some research on my own through back channels, and liked very much what I heard. That was enough for me. I awarded them my donation.


What would you say has been the biggest highlight for you regarding the Pride Parties over the years?


 In all the years I have been producing the events, there has only been one year where my son has attended. He is gay too, and does not mind me stating this in print.

Year after year I get to watch people celebrate themselves with people that are important to them and the joy it fills their souls with. That one year, I got to celebrate the beauty of me and my son together and dance at the zoo party. Seeing my son smile and the pride in his eyes, well, it just doesn’t get better than that.



And what can party goers look forward to this year?


 I think the most exciting things about this year are the are the new addition of the House of Blues to our closing party line up. It is out first time at this venue and the city seems to be responding very well to it, as the ticket pre-sales are very strong.

But I dare say the thing I am most excited about is our return to the San Diego Hall of Champions. We held the event there in 2010 and it was amazing. The venue is electric. Because of changes at the Hall of Champions and a new regime in place, we were able to open the door to discussions again and after much cajoling, I was able to contract with them.

Rosabel had been originally scheduled to play the closing party this year. When I told them about the lineup change in venues, they got so excited about playing the Hall of Champions again, they cancelled a Saturday night event they had in another city and moved to the Saturday night DJ position at Hall of Champions. We are all so excited to be back at the Hall of Champions and be able to offer this back to our community for the Pride lineup. It is going to be epic! 


For ticket information, log onto


Rage Recommends

Rage Recommends

By Tim Parks

Hear This:


Play My F**kn Remix

Sir Ari Gold



Openly gay musician Sir Ari Gold returns with a bit of attitude on his sixth CD, Play My F**kn Remix. The title has its roots in the line from the Jennifer Lopez song “Play,” when she tells the DJ to play her motherf**king song. That sentiment goes along perfectly with Gold’s commanding nature of being called sir; especially on the first single “Play My Record,” where it is demanded lyrically that the DJ better do as he is told. Sir, yes, sir! And listeners would also be wise to give into its infectious beats on the track. 

The remainder of the  remix retrospective disc is a  literal mixture of his well-known  songs, such as “Where The Music Takes You” and “Love Will Take Over,” which comprise his 13-year-old music catalog and also features previously released efforts. Out Now.



Pet Shop Boys



With over 70 million records sold and 28 years in the music business, The Pet Shop Boys are in an interesting place in their careers. They recently left their Parlophone label and have started up their own, x2, through Kobalt Label Services and their 12th album, Electric, finds the Boys going back to their dance floor roots.

The first single, “Axis,” is indicative of the CD’s title, in that it features few words, just the synthesized beats that have made them fan favorites, lo these many years. The second single, “Vocal,” highlights Neil Tennant’s distinctive singing style, fused together with Chris Lowe’s mastery of the keyboards as it crescendos into a dance floor anthem. The track “Thursday” is a definite throwback song that could have been a song that was left off their very first CD, Please, and is a nice reminder of the nature of this full circle project. Out July 16.


The Way I Am

Colton Ford



Former porn star Colton Ford is back in front of the microphone for his third CD, which highlights the nuances that make up the man behind the moniker. Ford has enlisted producers, such as NERVO who has worked with Britney Spears and Kesha, on this latest project that is a combination of dance, pop, funk and even a little jazz thrown in for good measure. 

The dance portion of the CD features “First in Line (Shadow of the Night),” and “Let Me Live Again,” his Billboard hit from earlier this year. The track, “Realize,” sounds like something that Seal would sing in its vocalizations that sound reminiscent of the artist formerly known as Mr. Heidi Klum, while “Get To You” harkens back to the kicking it old school sounds of The Dazz Band. Out Now. 


Watch This:


In The Family 



In The Family tackles the subject matter of sexual orientation and race relations against the backdrop of “family values” in the Southern portion of our country.  When Joey (portrayed by the film’s writer and director Patrick Wang) loses his partner Cody (Trevor St. John), he must find the strength to raise their young son Chip (Sebastian Banes) on his own.

He faces a complication in that endeavor, since the six-year-old was willed to Cody’s sister, and the resulting scenario results in a legal battle for custody of his child. The ensuing plotline highlights a fair assessment of conservative America’s stance on homosexuality. Out Now.


The House I Live In



The makers of the documentary The House I Live In train their camera lens on the U.S.’s war on drugs during a 40 year period; chronicling the government’s concentrated effort of attempting to eradicate drug use and distribution from the days of the Nixon administration to the present.

The Sundance Film Festival  Grand Prize Winner focuses on stories from those in the trenches, including drug dealers, those who have lost loved ones to addiction and judges and jailers in a series of revealing interviews. Out July 2.





While it’s no Downton Abbey, the fictional Beecham House for Retired Musicians does feature one of its stars, Maggie Smith, and a slew of other British actors, including her Harry Potter co-star Michael Gambon. The residents, including four opera singers are prepping for the Verdi Gala, an annual event that is about to have an unexpected plus one in the guise of a new resident and old friend Jean (Smith). 

Quartet also marks the debut of Dustin Hoffman in a directing capacity. Out Now.