Organist Cameron Carpenter to meet with LGBT adolescents

By : Krista DiTucci
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On Feb. 27, world-renowned organist Cameron Carpenter will meet with members of Blake High School’s LGBT youth club Common Grounds for a lecture/demonstration at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

Carpenter will be meeting with 25 student members of Common Grounds to discuss his music, career and the International Touring Organ. He will then entertain students with a brief performance of the touring organ. Carpenter’s appearance is in conjunction with his concert later in the evening at the Straz Center.

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Did Aaron Carter just come out as Chris Crocker’s new beau?

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tampa native and late 90s heartthrob Aaron Carter is burning up the gossip mill after some posts on Instagram that allude to his alleged coming out and possible relationship with ex-YouTuber-turned-porn-star Chris Crocker.

You might mostly likely remember Carter as the pre-teen performer who was Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter’s little brother. You might remember Crocker as the “leave Britney alone” kid from YouTube during Britney Spears 2007 meltdown.

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Rock legend Melissa Etheridge talks about the importance of legalizing marijuana and starting her own label

By : Jeremy Williams
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Melissa Etheridge has been a very public face to many groups who needed a voice. She showed young girls that a woman can rock as hard, if not harder, than the good ol’ boys of the music industry. She proved that being openly gay was not an instant death sentence to a career in music. She exclaimed, “I am more than a disease!” (she was so inspiring that India.Arie penned her hit song “I Am Not My Hair” about Etheridge after seeing her perform at the 2005 Grammy Awards bald from chemotherapy) after a cancer diagnosis, and her following treatment that brought her back stronger and healthier than ever.

Now, after nearly 25 years in the public eye, Etheridge has taken up another cause: legalizing cannabis.

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Adam Lambert joins the cast of FOX’s “Rocky Horror” remake

By : Jeremy Williams
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Fresh off being named the biggest 2015 moneymaker of all the American Idol alumni and getting a spot in the Universal Studio’s Mardi Gras concert series, Adam Lambert has signed onto FOX’s Rocky Horror Picture Show remake.

“I grew up watching Rocky Horror, but could never imagine that I would be part of this new vision. Rocky Horror always made me feel like it was okay to celebrate my weirdness. Hallelujah, bless my soul! I love that old time rock-n-roll,” Lambert said, according to Entertainment Weekly.

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2015 A to Z: Pop Culture Year in Review

By : Kirk Hartlage
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Last year was indeed a – forgive us – a watermark year for the LGBT community. Groundbreaking changes saw incredible advances in equality, which are reflected in the shows we watch, the products we buy and even how manufacturers sell said products to us. But despite the outpouring of rainbow-festooned support, not everyone is allowed access to the message that we gays and lesbians are still here, we’re still queer, and as far as marrying who we want, you better get used to it.

Take, for example, the child of one of those alleged “Million Moms.” The young boy or girl who just wants to play with a Barbie dolls, enjoy some colorful snack chips, or needs some type of pain or cold and flu relief. Heaven forbid if they want to multi-task their lunch with education, thanks to the alphabet-shaped noodles in their cup. No, now that the companies that make these products have demonstrated their dedication to diversity – be it in their 2015 marketing or philanthropic efforts – organizations like One Million Moms, the American Family Association and other conservative zealots have provided their right-wing parents a whole new list of businesses to avoid.

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We could be heroes: David Bowie, 1947-2016

By : Billy Manes
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Thought we had a good trip. Overnight, pop-cultural legend – seriously, he did everything from acting to writing to performance art and especially making music – David Bowie died after a quiet 18-month battle with cancer. Gonna break character here and say that this particular editor has been up all night crying about the news, because a world without Bowie is actually a world without a sun or a moon in some manner, at least for me. I haven’t slept all night, nor have many of those out there, the young dudes, the kooks, the moonage daydreamers. Losing one of our generation’s largest, most intelligent influences is no small pill. Our sympathies, of course, lie with his family. Our feelings, however, lie on the ground in shards.

For those who don’t know of Bowie’s influence, his declarations of open- (or bi-) sexuality in the ’70s helped to break down stereotypes and blur the colors that we currently embrace as our spinning swirl of humanity. His embracing of androgyny was the reason we had a Culture Club, a Duran Duran or even a new-wave movement at all. He freed suburbanite children from their khakis and painted honesty on their faces instead. It is no overstatement to say that Bowie’s absence from this world is huge or that his presence while he was here was as phenomenal as the “Starman” we came to embrace. There are plenty of eulogies out there, riding through transoms as the sun rises on Jan. 11, so we’ll keep ours short.

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Adam Lambert to take Universal Studios Orlando stage during Mardi Gras

By : Staff Report
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Adam Lambert is among the 14 acts announced by Universal Orlando Resort to perform during the theme park’s annual Mardi Gras celebration.

On select nights from Feb. 6 through April 16, Universal Studios will convert the theme park into the French Quarter complete with a Mardi Gras parade, performances and Cajun cuisine from the Big Easy.

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There’ll be angels singing, “Our day has come.” Terri Binion’s simple (and amazing) syrup makes us cry at the holidays

By : Billy Manes
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There are a lot of stellar things we could say about local singer-songwriter Terri Binion, but she generally sings far better than our speaking cadence.

Last year, Binion filmed a video for a new song, “Goin’ to California.” This writer was there; he cried.

You see, Binion’s story is one of grace and patience, love and disappointment. Her wife, Tracy Irwin, passed in 2011 under dramatically terrible circumstances. The two were legally wed, but said marriage was not recognized in Florida. The legal battle was terrible by all accounts. (You can read said accounts here). Binion was not treated fairly. Still, she has soldiered on in the sweetest way you’d ever notice, and she has made a new record about her love and her loss. She’s running a Kickstarter campaign for her new album (and doing quite well, deservedly) called The Day after the Night Before and will be on WPRK 91.5 FM at 4 p.m. today with Julie Norris’ “Front Porch Radio” talkabout. Click through to watch “Goin’ to California” and tune in Norris’ show here. Try not to cry. We dare you.

All we want for Christmas is Steve Grand, really

By : Billy Manes
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Everybody’s favorite “All-American Boy” Steve Grand has pulled a Mariah and covered “All I Want for Christmas is You.” There’s a thinkpiece in here somewhere, surely, but ever since we met Steve Grand at Come Out With Pride, we’ve stopped thinking.

Anyway, because we’ve removed our pants, Grand is seen in the video grizzling the gristle of a beardy boy who may or may not be the person that we are angry with for stealing our Christmas present. THAT’S WHAT WE WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS!

Check out the hotness after the jump: 

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Sam Smith gets new tattoo to celebrate marriage equality

By : Jeremy Williams
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Grammy-award winning and openly gay singer Sam Smith is sharing his new ink, a tattoo that celebrates marriage equality, with his six million followers.

Smith posted pictures of the new tattoos – four in total – on Instagram Dec. 8. One, on his left ring finger, is the equal sign used as a symbol for equality during the fight for same-sex marriage.

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Stephen Sondheim among 17 recipients to be honored by President Obama

By : Jeremy Williams
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Stephen Sondheim is one of 17 individuals being presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to a press release by the White House.

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Obama first U.S. president to pose for the cover of LGBT publication

By : Jeremy Williams
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ObamaOutCoverBarack Obama has become the first sitting U.S. president to be photographed for the cover of an LGBT publication.

Obama was named by Out Magazine as the LGBT “Ally of the Year” for the annual Out100 list. He appears on the cover with the headline, “Our President. Ally. Hero. Icon.”

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