Study: Enzyme key to flushing out hidden HIV

By : Staff Reports from the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes discovered that an enzyme called SMYD2 could be a new therapeutic target for flushing out the HIV that hides in infected individuals. Overcoming this latent virus remains the most significant obstacle to a cure, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, said in a press release.

While drug therapy allows people living with HIV to lead relatively normal lives, it also comes with adverse effects. In addition, patients must stay on the drugs for life to prevent the virus hiding in their body from reactivating. In the early stages of infection, HIV hides in viral reservoirs in a type of immune cells called T cells. This dormant, or latent, virus can then spontaneously reactivate and rekindle infection if drug therapy is stopped.

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Stephen Colbert’s Trump-Putin joke received more than 5,000 complaints

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Stephen Colbert’s sexually explicit gay joke about President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on his May 1 episode of “The Late Show” cracked up his studio audience, but home viewers didn’t find the joke as funny.

Politico reports that the FCC received 5,700 complaints about Colbert’s opening monologue joke calling Trump, “Vladimir Putin’s c-ck holster.” The joke sparked the social media campaign #FireColbert on Twitter.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Gay Jeopardy – the Gayest show on Earth

By : Danny Garcia
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“What is funny gay stereotypes played up to the highest level for our viewing pleasure?”

Gay Jeopardy is a parody on the more straight-laced Jeopardy. Hosted by the boozy old queen, Donald Diamonds (Bob Hay) and emceed by his partner Ricky Rhinestones (Stuart Nichols), the show welcomes the colorful trio: the glittered twink with dreams of stardom Xavier (Cody McNeeley), the fashion diva Aunderay (Domino Thomas) and the ultra-conservative Christian puppet show performer Ella May (Stan Madray).

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Lou Reed’s friends insist ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ wasn’t transphobic

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Canadian university has apologized for playing Lou Reed’s hit song “Walk on the Wild Side” at a campus event because the song has been accused of being transphobic. However, Reed’s friends think the situation is “stupid.”

The student association at the University of Guelph in Ontario posted a since-deleted apology on Facebook for playing the song at a recent event.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Shirley Gnome – Taking it Up The Notch

By : Rick Claggett
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Shirley Gnome, last year’s Patron’s Pick winner, returns with Taking It Up The Notch, her no holds barred one woman cabaret.

After a fun game of pull the string and see what falls out of her vagina, Gnome breaks out into stories and original songs that press the limits of what’s taboo with her inventive blend of comedy and biting social commentary.

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Watermark on the Fringe: #KanderAndEbb

By : Jeremy Williams
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#KanderAndEbb stars the accomplished Ryan G. Hinds, Kander and Ebb super-fan, performing a variety of songs from the Broadway duo that inspired him to be a performer. This is a powerful cabaret.

Between his rendition of songs from The Visit, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Chicago, and so on; Hinds regales the audience with tales of befriending the songwriters, as well as legends Liza Minelli and Chita Rivera.

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Watermark on the Fringe: John & Jen

By : Rick Claggett
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John & Jen stars Jon Jimenez and Mikaela Duffy as the title characters in the off-Broadway musical by Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald. The first act chronicles the relationship of two siblings; an introduction of sorts.

The show opens to an obviously strained relationship between the brother and sister, then takes you back to the beginning to walk you through the highs and lows of their collective upbringing. The two form a tight bond until Jen must break her promise to always protect John from their abusive father. It is a funny, heartwarming and emotional look at how two people handle the joys and heartbreaks of family.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Two Men Trapped in Women’s Bodies

By : Danny Garcia
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The Michael Wanzie classic, Two Men Trapped in Women’s Bodies, returns with the hysterical antics of Doug Ba’aser as Judy and Tommy Wooten as Marge. The show opens at the cemetery where the sons of two longtime friends mourn the mysterious passing of their mothers.

They make their way into the diner where the ladies spent a lot of their time and, through the discussing of their mutual maternal memory, Doug and Tommy transform themselves into the pair of liberal, boozing old ladies. Almost like a rougher-edged Orlando version of a Patsy and Edina from Absolutely Fabulous, but minus some of the absolutes and the fabs.

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Cait Brennan delivers on classic-sounding new album

By : Chris Gerard OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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If you’re gonna record at the legendary Argent Studios in Memphis and call the resulting album “Third” (an homage to the 1978 classic of the same name by power-pop heroes Big Star), you better have the goods to back it up.

Fortunately, up-and-coming singer/songwriter/musician Cait Brennan has delivered an album worthy of its historic birthplace. It has not been an easy road for Brennan, who’s transgender, and her life experience has provided rich material for compelling songwriting, although she certainly knows how to tell a story as well. “Third” is consistently entertaining from start to finish, a well-crafted retro-leaning collection of rockers and ballads that will never leave you bored.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Soap Opera – Sloppy Seconds

By : Benjamin Dupree
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You can always count on Central Florida vocal arts to give you Opera and musical theater mashed together like you’ve never seen them.

Don and Lakme are returning contestants on Divo, a Bachelor-esque reality show. Among the people vying for carnations are a closeted lesbian Viking attempting to “turn off” her thoughts for Lakme, your traditional gold digger, a made man on the run, a secretive man who has it in for Don, and Chamomile T who has a big (not so) secret of her own and is madly (see psychotically) in love with Don.

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French AIDS drama earns best reviews yet at Cannes Film fest

By : Wire Report
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(Image from YouTube.)

CANNES, France (AP) – 120 Beats Per Minute, a French AIDS drama with a full heart and a pounding rhythm, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival May 20 and quickly joined the shortlist of favorites for the festival’s coveted Palme d’Or prize.

Directed by Robin Campillo, the co-screenwriter of the Palme d’Or-winning film The Class, the movie centers on the activist group ACT UP in Paris in the 1990s during the AIDS crisis.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Judy Garland: Stuck in a Bear Trap with Nothing to Wear

By : Danny Garcia
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Mark Baratelli returns with his hysterical caricature of a doped-up Judy Garland in her later years in Judy Garland: Stuck in a Bear Trap with Nothing to Wear.

As the doors open to the Orange Venue (at least for our show) patrons step over an unconscious Judy to make their way to their seats. Once the show starts Judy wanders and stumbles around the stage, continuously wrapping herself up in what seems to be the world’s longest microphone cord, slur-singing familiar lyrics. A couple sitting directly in front of me, no more than five minutes into the show, get up to walk out and chased away by Judy, they were overheard saying they believed this was a “Judy Garland impersonation show.” Amateurs.

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