Ellen DeGeneres gets candid about being bullied after coming out

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ellen DeGeneres has become an LGBT icon but the talk show host faced bullying and depression before she became the positive, popular figure she is today.

DeGeneres, 59, revealed in an interview with Good Housekeeping that after coming out in 1997 she was faced with an onslaught of bullying that sent her into a depression.

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Matt Bomer gets candid about coming out to his family

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Matt Bomer opened up about coming out to his family and how keeping his gay identity a secret was pivotal in learning how to act, in an interview with Out.

Bomer, 39, revealed one of the ways he learned about acting was by “having secrets.”

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Russian violinist comes out in emotional YouTube video

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Russian violinist Artem Kolesov has come out as gay in a YouTube video that has since gone viral.

The 23-year-old musician filmed the video as part of the Russian “Children-404” project, in which teenagers share their stories related to LGBT issues. In order to protect their anonymity, participants hold a “Children-404” sign in front of their faces.

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Luke Evans talks being openly gay in Hollywood

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Luke Evans has opened up about what it’s like for him being openly gay in Hollywood.

In an interview with The Jackal, Evans says he tries to “keep my personal life and my private life separate.”

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Glenn Douglas Packard merges horror and coming out in his new slasher flick “Pitchfork”

By : Jeremy Williams
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Glenn Douglas Packard

Glenn Douglas Packard has been in the entertainment business for 25 years; as the GBF to Hulk Hogan’s daughter Brooke in VH-1’s reality-series Brooke Knows Best, as a performer in the music group twONEty in Europe during the boyband crazy of the early ‘00s and as a world-class dance choreographer to everyone from Usher and Pink to the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.

Packard has made a name for himself in many facets of pop culture, and now he is adding another to the list: film director. Packard took his story of growing up gay on a Michigan dairy farm and his coming out to his family and turned it into the new horror film Pitchfork.

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Watermark columnist Jason LeClerc releases second major book, turns perspective on its head

By : Billy Manes
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Tampa Bay-based writer, columnist and self-proclaimed “poet-economist” Jason Leclerc is no stranger to Watermark’s readership. He’s been brave enough – even lexicon-swirled-in-laughter enough – to make a strong argument for being a gay Republican, which is no easy task in these pages. In 2013, Leclerc released his first book, a collection of math and reflections in the mirrors of logic like few before it called, oddly, Momentitiousness. On Aug. 7, Leclerc’s follow-up tome Black Kettle hits the stores and the internet with a different tone. He’ll be doing some reading and mingling and signing among friends from his hometown and fans from all over.

One reading, Leclerc says, will be a story called “Baptizer.” (“I’ve read it a couple times since Pulse, and I weep,” he says. “I don’t know how selfish that sounds. In light of Pulse, I think you’ll get chills, because I wrote it three years before.”)

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Christian singer Trey Pearson comes out

By : Wire Report
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trey pearsonColumbus, Ohio (AP) — Christian rock star Trey Pearson has come out as gay in a magazine interview.

Pearson is the lead singer of Everyday Sunday. In a letter published online by Ohio-based (614) Magazine, Pearson writes that he has come to be able to admit to himself and his family that he’s gay even though he “never wanted to be.”

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Sordid Lives creator Del Shores wants the dating world to know that it is hard out there for a “minor gay celebrity” in his 50s

By : Jeremy Williams
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Few filmmakers write LGBT stories with equal parts humor and heart and even fewer are able to take that story to cult status, but one who seems to do it with ease is Del Shores, writer/director of the successful 2000 cult film Sordid Lives. Shores is heading to The Cuban Club in Ybor with his one man show, SINgularly SORDID, where he talks about politics, religion and returning to the dating world after getting divorced in his 50s. Tinder and Grindr and Scruff, oh my! Shores was gracious enough to speak with Watermark ahead of his Tampa Bay show about Oscar diversity, election coverage and a much talked about sequel in the Sordid franchise.

SINgularlySORDID is your one man show that you are bringing to Tampa. What can we expect to see from you?
I always consider myself a storyteller or a humorist: I observe, I sometimes steal from my own life and other people’s lives and talk about it on stage. This piece has become very personal, because I have gone through a divorce in my 50s and getting back into the dating scene has been crazy, so a lot of that is the SINgularly Sordid part of this. I just tell tales about Leslie Jordan and Dolly Parton and people I have had encounters with, good and bad. I love politics and controversy. My dad was a Southern Baptist preacher, so we’ll cover religion.

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Oscar and Tony-winner Joel Grey opens up about sexuality in new memoir

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – At a cafe the other day, Joel Grey was drawn to an item on the menu that was both confusing and intriguing.

He called over a waiter and asked: “What is this thing? The herbed goat cheese with chili flakes and pomegranate syrup?” The waiter was stumped. “OK, I’m going to take a chance,” said the Tony-and Oscar-winning actor.

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Parents join the conversation at 2016 Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Adam Manno
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From Tumblr to transgender trends, the leaders, teachers and students who attended the third annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit tackled a wide range of topics of interest to modern LGBT youth.

Co-sponsored by the City of Orlando in partnership with GLSEN, the Orlando Youth Alliance, and Zebra Coalition, O-YES is a collaborative workshop and panel-based conference aimed at empowering Orlando’s LGBTQIA+ community through dialogue and discourse.

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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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