The Tender Activist: King & Queens

By : Scottie Campbell
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Mom would tell it like she told all of her best stories, barely getting the words out through her laughter and sometimes joyful tears. She and Dad had been to see Carrie. Someone in their party grabbed someone’s arm just prior to Carrie’s hand reaching out of the grave causing that first someone to scream, which made the audience scream, all before the scream Brian De Palma intended but, not to worry, they all screamed then, too.

So I might have connected who the author was when I bought my first Stephen King book when I was 11, but I’m fairly certain it was the cover that drew me in. A silver front with a faceless boy’s head floating on it. The store was B. Dalton Bookstore in the Marquette Mall. That small mall and the McDonald’s down the street were our family’s touchstones to civilization while stationed in the frigid Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Can I tell you about the smell of that book? I cannot, because it smelled like nothing else. The scent of those dull, off-white, pulp pages can only be described in intangibles: raw potential and adventure; that whole store smelled that way.

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Hugh Hefner championed gay rights pre-Stonewall

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died from natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion, on Wednesday. He was 91.

A pioneer for the straight sexual liberation movement, Hefner was also one of the early advocates for gay rights tracing back to the 1950s.

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Functionally Literate to hold first LGBTQ-themed reading event

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In the great tradition of Paris is Burning, reading is fundamental—and the library is open. Well, in the great tradition of quality LGBTQ literature, at least, the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park is open for an exciting, first-of-its-kind event.

Functionally Literate, Burrow Press’ quarterly reading series that’s been pairing what it describes as “the best writers in Central Florida with visiting writers from all over the world” since 2012, will hold its first LGBTQ-themed event in the Orlando area Sept. 23. The event, free to the public, will feature authors S.J. Sindu and Kristen Arnett.

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Benita Roth explores the rise of the ACT UP/LA during the ’80s and ’90s in new book

By : Scottie Campbell
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Benita Roth is a professor of sociology, history and women’s studies at Binghamton University so it is unsurprising that The Life and Death of ACT UP/LA is academic and will primarily have a life as assigned reading in college courses. Dense and meticulously annotated, it makes for a cumbersome, though essential, read.

ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) was born in New York City in 1987 when Larry Kramer, disillusioned with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis he co-founded, challenged an audience to create a more effective organization. ACT UP/LA was formed in December of the same year and, unlike ACT UP/NY which is still in existence (albeit decidedly more quiet these days), lasted a decade until its remaining three members voted it out of existence.

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Chris Colfer to make directorial debut with ‘The Wishing Spell’ film

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Glee” star Chris Colfer will make his film directorial debut with “The Wishing Spell” for FOX, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps company will produce the big-screen film.

“The Wishing Spell” will be an adaptation of the first book in Colfer’s fantasy children’s book series, “The Land of Stories.” The six-part series focuses on twins, who after the loss of their father, find themselves magically transported into a world where fairy tale characters are real.

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Mother, transgender son write book about coping

By : Wire Report
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WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) — Donald Collins’ arms are covered with tattoos. Some have metaphorical meanings. The dandelion symbolizes resilience. The robin and the moth represent new beginnings.

Though only 24, he is an old pro at resilience and new beginnings. In his senior year at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Donald came out as transgender. Since then, as he progressed through his transition from female to male — which affected his body, his lifestyle, his name, his interactions with others — he and his mother struggled with their emotions and differing opinions about what was happening to his body and to their family dynamic.

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RuPaul covers Entertainment Weekly Pride issue

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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RuPaul is the cover girl for Entertainment Weekly’s Pride edition.

The issue chronicles Ru’s rise to stardom and examines the influence he’s had as the first drag queen to break mainstream.

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Caitlyn Jenner’s sequel ’20/20′ interview ratings decline

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Caitlyn Jenner’s catch up interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “20/20” didn’t have the same success as her first 2015 interview.

According to Deadline, Jenner’s follow up only raked in 4.2 million viewers and came in at number three for the 10 p.m. timeslot. A rerun of “Blue Bloods” on CBS came in at number one with 6.5 million viewers. A two-hour “Dateline” on NBC was number two with five million viewers. “Dateline” was also more popular with the 18-to-49 demographic than Jenner’s interview.

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Caitlyn Jenner reveals she underwent gender reassignment surgery

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of The National Gay Media Association
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Caitlyn Jenner has revealed she underwent gender reassignment surgery in January of this year in her new memoir, “The Secrets of My Life.”

According to Radar Online, Jenner, 67, writes that part of her decision to undergo surgery was due to probing questions from the public about her genitals. Jenner also says she was tired of tucking her penis in.

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Santa is gay and in an interracial relationship in new picture book

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Santa Claus will be gay and black in a new children’s book being released this fall.

Harper Design is publishing “Santa”s Husband” by Daniel Kibblesmith, a story about Santa Claus and his same-sex partner who fills in for him at malls, Time reports. The book is written in a similar parody to “Go the F**k to Sleep.” Kibbelsmith is also a staff writer for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and co-author of “How to Win at Everything.”

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‘Love is Love’ comic raises $165,000 for Pulse victims

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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“Love is Love,” a 144-page anthology comic book, has raised more than $165,000 for the victims of the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando, according to Washington Post.

The comic book, created by DC Comics and IDW Publishing, featured characters such as Superman, Harry Potter, Batwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Contributors included Patton Oswalt and Taran Killam. “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins penned the book’s forward.

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Paula Poundstone looks for happiness in her new book and on the road as her tour brings her to Florida

By : Jeremy Williams
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Paula Poundstone is what one would call an old-school standup comedian. She got her start at 19 doing open mic nights in Boston, then hopped on a bus and went city to city, examining the different comedy scenes in different regions of the country. Now after almost 40 years in the business, she is comedy royalty (she was named one of the top 100 comics of all time by Comedy Central), an accomplished writer (her new book, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness, comes out May 9) and extremely intelligent (she’s on NPR!).

Poundstone brings her witty, smart and hilarious standup to Florida with stops at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater March 10 and the Plaza Live in Orlando March 11; but before hitting the Sunshine State, Poundstone took a few minutes to talk with us about comedy, happiness and why she has so many cats.

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