VIDEO: Lena Waithe drops trailer for new BET series, ‘Twenties’

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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Lena Waithe, the out lesbian woman of color who has been among those at the forefront in the struggle to bring more visibility and representation to the entertainment industry, is on a roll as 2019 comes to a close.

On the heels of an impressive opening weekend for her debut feature film, “Queen and Slim,” the Emmy-winner dropped the trailer for her upcoming television project on BET. Titled “Twenties,” it’s the first series in the network’s history to be centered on an LGBTQ character.

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Howard Cruse, pioneering gay cartoonist, dies at 75

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Howard Cruse (R) with future husband Ed Sedarbaum in younger years. Photo via Facebook.

Howard Cruse, a gay cartoonist whose groundbreaking underground comics were a strong influence on the succeeding generation of queer comic artists, has died.

Cruse first gained attention in the 1970s with his contributions to various underground publications, particularly for his series “Barefootz,” in which he included a supporting character named Headrack who was gay. In 1979, he became the first editor of “Gay Comix,” an anthology featuring comics by openly queer cartoonists, where he highlighted the work of lesbian artists like Roberta Gregory and Mary Wings. According to Cruse’s obituary in the New York Times, publisher Mike Kitchen says he had been adamant that women be given equal representation in the magazine from the very beginning.

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No romance for Finn and Poe in ‘Rise of Skywalker,’ say ‘Star Wars’ actors

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: John Boyega as Finn and Oscar Isaac as Poe. Image via Twitter.

Star Wars” fans hoping to see a romance between dashing fighter pilot Poe Dameron and heroic ex-stormtrooper Finn got some bad news today – it’s not going to happen.

At least, it won’t be happening in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” due to arrive in movie theaters on December 20, according to three people who should definitely know – actors Oscar Isaac and John Boyega, who play Poe and Finn, respectively, and the film’s director, J. J. Abrams.

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Netflix delivers trailer for RuPaul’s new show

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: RuPaul as Ruby Red in “AJ and the Queen,” photo via Netflix.

Netflix has dropped the official trailer for RuPaul’s new scripted series.

AJ and the Queen,” created by RuPaul with Michael Patrick King (“Sex and the City”), debuts on the streaming network in January, and although we’ve gotten a quick teaser trailer for it already, this is the first extended look we’ve been given to date.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ hosted by Nina West

By : Watermark Staff
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It’s the holidays and Watermark wants to gift you a pair of tickets to see some the most popular queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” this season!

“A Drag Queen Christmas” — hosted by Nina West and featuring Latrice Royal, Shuga Cain, Shea Coulee, William, Thorgy Thor, Lady Bunny and more singing seasonal classics and bringing that naughty holiday spirit — will be at The Plaza Live in Orlando Dec. 27 and the Straz Center in Tampa Dec. 29.

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Joseph Caldwell’s memoir ‘In the Shadow of the Bridge’ revisits 1980s New York, AIDS epidemic

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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New York was a different place in 1950, which is exactly why Joseph Caldwell loved it. The Milwaukee native, fresh from the Air Force and then 21, was finally ready to live openly as the young gay man he was. The city gave him that opportunity.

He found the home any New York-bound aspiring writer would want. It was an apartment “In the Shadow of the Bridge,” now the title of his memoir – which he saw published at age 91 this year.

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Saxophonist Dave Koz talks music, touring and the magic of Christmas

By : Lora Korpar
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Saxophonist Dave Koz is spreading the Christmas spirit this holiday season with a new album and his 22nd annual Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour.

The multiple Grammy-nominated, openly gay jazz artist has been in the music business for nearly 30 years, keeping busy not just with his music, but with radio shows, cruises, wine and more.

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Annette Bening says she is ‘proud’ of her transgender son

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Stephen Ira, image via Twitter.

Hollywood icon Annette Bening has spoken up about her feelings toward her transgender son.

Bening, who is known for keeping quiet about her personal life, opened up in an interview for AARP, when she brought up a book recently given to her by her son, Stephen Ira. In the novel, “Little Fish” by Casey Plett, a young transgender woman finds out, to her surprise, that her Mennonite grandfather might also have been trans.

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Billy Dee Williams says he sees himself as ‘feminine as well as masculine’

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Billy Dee Williams in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” screenshot via Twitter.

82-year-old actor Billy Dee Williams, known to millions of “Star Wars” fans for playing Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back,” has said that he sees himself as gender fluid – or at least that he sees himself as both masculine and feminine.

Williams, known for his charismatic good looks and suave demeanor, said in a lengthy interview with Esquire that the secret of being “cool” is simply to “be yourself.”

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Elton John blasts security guards with foul-mouthed rant over treatment of female fan

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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Singer and LGBTQ icon Elton John lashed out verbally at security guards from the stage of his concert in Perth, Australia on Dec. 1, hurling expletives at them over their treatment of a woman in the audience.

The Grammy, Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe winner was in the middle of a performance at HBF Park Stadium when he exploded into a tirade full of four-letter words after spotting two concert security staffers attempting to remove the female fan from the stadium.

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Same-sex couple wins Denmark’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Jakob Fauerby and Silas Holst on “Vild med dans.” (Photo by Henrik Ohsten/VildMedDans via Facebook)

In what seems to be fast becoming an international trend, Denmark’s version of “Dancing With the Stars” has made history by featuring a same-sex couple – and this time, they’re not only included, they’ve won the competition.

Jakob Fauerby, 42, and Silas Holst, 36, were paired together on the show – which is called “Vild med dans”- after Fauerby, an openly gay actor, decided he would ask to be paired with a man if he was selected for the show.

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After apology, Azealia Banks doubles down on homophobia

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Azealia Banks performing at Brixton Academy in London in 2012. (Photo by Tim Boddy, courtesy of Flickr)

In what might be described as a social media whirlwind over the last few days, controversial rapper Azealia Banks has apologized for one homophobic rant, before sending out a new one in a post that teased her retirement from music altogether.

It started in October, when the 28-year-old Banks posted a video on Instagram in which she called out queer singer Frank Ocean a “dumbass n****” for launching a club event called “PrEP+” and implied that gay men use the drug as an excuse for promiscuous behavior.

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