Trailer For Upcoming Hulu Series ‘Love, Victor’

Get ready for all the feels with the official trailer for Hulu’s upcoming dramedy series Love, Victor, a spin-off of the groundbreaking feature film LOVE, SIMON.

Synopsis: Set in the world of the 2018 groundbreaking film Love, Simon which was inspired by Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the series follows Victor, a new student at Creekwood High School on his own journey of self-discovery, facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city and exploring his sexual orientation. When it all seems too much, he reaches out to Simon to help him navigate the ups and downs of high school.

The series stars Michael Cimino (Anabelle Comes Home), Ana Ortiz (Whiskey Cavalier, Ugly Betty), James Martinez (One Day at a Time), and Isabella Ferreira (Orange is the New Black).

I loved the 2018 film, which was the first mainstream studio movie to feature a teen gay as the lead character. Critics praised the film leading to a 91% Fresh rating at movie fan site Rotten Tomatoes.

In addition to being a critical success, the film (which cost $17 million to make) grossed over $66 million worldwide.

The full 10-episode season will premiere on June 19 on Hulu.

Podcast: NYC Pride’s Big 2020 Plans, Uganda, Albania, Daytime Emmys, PrEP

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• Prosecutors in Uganda have dropped charges against 19 LGBTQ people held in jail for 49 days

• A ‘once every two months’ injectable version of PrEP has shown very positive results in clinical trials

• Albania bans so-called ‘conversion therapy’

• NYC Pride has announced a huge 50th anniversary Pride television special featuring Billy Porter, Dan Levy, Janelle Monae, and more.

• The 2020 Daytime Emmy nominations are out with big love for LGBTQ actors and shows

Here’s the link to my recent interview with the Emmy Award-winning creators of the Amazon series ‘After Forever’

• Out singer/songwriter Clinton John’s new single “Cry” taps into those frustrating times when you realize you’re really not over that lost love. Link to download “Cry.”

All that in this episode of The Randy Report.

News Round-Up: May 15, 2020

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Alexis (above) made me laugh with his observation, “I used to smile in all my mirror selfies…. now I just have to raise my eyebrows.” Life in the pandemic era LOL. Follow him here.

EW: VH1 will broadcast the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Friday, May 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, in what will be its most technically challenging finale yet. The episode will feature the remaining queens competing in a revolutionary lip-sync for the crown and a $10,000 prize.

MetroWeekly: NYC Pride has announced a 50th-anniversary broadcast special on Sunday, June 28, featuring Dan Levy, Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, and a host of other celebrities and LGBTQ activists. The special replaces the annual Pride March, which was canceled last month due to COVID-19.

KIT212: Kenneth’s round-up of the what’s what in local LGBTQ publications includes BTL’s cover story on Broadway icon Patti LuPone.

NY Post: A new study found men are less likely to wear face masks because they’re ‘not cool’ and ‘a sign of weakness.’ Ironically, men appear to be more severely impacted by the virus. In places such as China, Italy, Spain, and New York City, men have died from COVID-19 at far higher rates than women did.

South China Morning Post: Researchers at the University of Hong Kong, led by Professor Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, recently found that blood plasma from coronavirus survivors could kill 99 percent of the virus in patients still fighting Covid-19 because they contain the necessary antibodies to fight the infection.

New Music: Seven-time Grammy Award-winner Toni Braxton is ready to kick off the summer vibes with her sizzling new track “Dance,” remixed by legendary dance producer Dave Audé.

“Instead of being sad about a relationship not working out,” Toni Braxton explains, “you decide to dance your troubles away in the club or alone at home. It’s just about moving forward from a negative situation, whether that’s a relationship, your job or something else holding you back.”

The remix for “Dance” comes on the heels of her recently released single “Do It,” which scored the highest radio chart debut of her solo career with record-breaking adds on impact, and is currently closing in on Top 10 at Urban AC.

News Round-Up: March 30, 2020

Ryan Worley of the Chippendales (photo: Noel Photo Studios)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Ryan Worley of the Chippendales (above) says he’s missing performing in the long-running Las Vegas production asking, “Who wants to save a horse?” #RideACowboy

The Advocate: According to a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of anti-LGBTQ hate groups is continuing to rise. In 2018, there were 49 groups classified as an LGBTQ hate group. In 2019, that number increased 43 percent to 70 anti-LBTQ hate groups.

Entertainment Weekly: Andy Cohen will continue to host Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, coronavirus be damned. Bravo announced Monday that new episodes of the late-night talk show will begin airing Monday at 11 p.m. ET direct from Cohen’s New York City apartment via video chats with his guests.

NowThis: Watch the hilarious way sportscasters are passing the time while they’re out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic by calling play-by-play of daily tasks.

NewNowNext: Singapore’s High Court has ruled against a challenge to the country’s law criminalizing gay sex, which punishes the act with up to two years in prison. Justice See Kee Oon rejected arguments against Section 377A of the penal code, which not only punishes men who have sex with other men, but also anyone who aids in or attempts to participate in, such an act.  Justice See argued the law “serves the purpose of safeguarding public morality by showing societal moral disapproval of male homosexual acts.”

Daily Beast: A new survey conducted by Ipsos provides some of the clearest evidence to date that the president’s attempts to paint a rosy picture about the coronavirus’ spread throughout the country are not resonating beyond a small segment of the populace with a small exception for those who say they’re getting their information from Fox News.

Buzzfeed: Click over for a collection of some of the best of gay Twitter including…

Wildly Diverse Characters Find Connection In New Series ‘Stranger Hearts’

Matt Moran as Billy in ‘Stranger Hearts’ (all images via Dekkoo)

Queer streaming platform Dekkoo will premiere its new drama series, Stranger Hearts, on Thursday, March 12.

Created by filmmaker Kevin James Thornton (“How To Get From Here To There”), the five-episode series follows three queer characters from vastly divergent backgrounds: Luka (played by Amo (MTV’s “The Real World” 2016), Billy (played by Matt Moran), and Andre (newcomer Qua Robertson Harper).

Andre, a shy, closeted African-American man, lives with his mother (played by Keisha Cunningham). After accidentally finding her son’s stash of gay porn, she makes sensitive attempts to connect with her son as he struggles with his burgeoning sexuality. Cunningham’s work throughout the series is especially nuanced and authentic.

Qua Robertson Harper as Andre in ‘Stranger Hearts’

Billy, a smooth-talking media mogul by day/leather bar aficionado by night, finds his life turned upside down when he’s faced with an unexpected health crisis.

And Luka is a gender-nonconforming photographer who finds himself down on his luck financially who decides to try online escorting in an attempt to make ends meet.

Amo as Luka in ‘Stranger Hearts’

Described by the network as “thoughtful, sexy and deeply heartfelt,” the new drama doesn’t rush to hit you over the head with scandalous, over-the-top scenes. Instead, the pace – while not slow – is pensive and precise. Thornton often allows his actors’ eyes or facial expressions to convey a moment’s plot point rather than verbose language.

Eventually, the three characters find themselves connected via work, family, or fate.

Make sure you reach the final episode as Thornton offers surprises, big and small, along the way.

 

As more and more queer content becomes available online, it’s refreshing that Stranger Hearts doesn’t opt for stereotypic, cookie-cutter characters.

All five episodes of the first season of Stranger Hearts will be available on Dekkoo beginning March 12th.  Dekkoo is available internationally via iTunes, Google Play, Xbox, AppleTV, Xfinity X1 and Roku. 

In the U.S. and U.K., Dekkoo is also available via Prime Channels.

Podcast: Gay Rom-Com For V-Day, Billy Porter On Sesame Street, HRC Ranks States On LGBTQ Life

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• A Kentucky high school is being sued for outing a queer teen

• Professional ice hockey player Zach Sullivan comes out

• The Human Rights Campaign issues its annual States Equality Index

• Freeform channel previews upcoming gay romantic comedy for Valentine’s Day “The Thing About Harry”

• Billy Porter is taking a stroll down Sesame Street

• LGBTQs and their allies score at the 2020 Grammy Awards

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Must-See TV: Powerful New DocuSeries ‘Visible: Out On Television’

Ellen DeGeneres (screen capture)

Apple TV+ will debut a powerful, new five-part documentary-series titled Visible: Out On Television on February 14 that will explore how the LGBTQ movement made its way onto the television landscape.

Executive produced by out actors Wanda Sykes and Wilson Cruz, the docu-series will feature archival footage as well as interviews with prominent players from the screen and LGBTQ movement.

Each hour-long episode will focus on a specific theme such as coming out in Hollywood, homophobia, invisibility and the evolution of LGBTQ characters on TV.

Wilson Cruz, Neil Patrick Harris, Andy Cohen

Narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, Lena Waithe, Janet Mock, Margaret Cho, and Asia Kate Dillon, Visible: Out On Television will also feature interviews with out actors and television personalities including Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Billy Porter, Rachel Maddow, Don Lemon, Andy Cohen and more.

The trailer opens with DeGeneres explaining how she wanted to come out on her 1990s sitcom and the effect that had on so many lives: “It became bigger than any of us ever anticipated.”

“The earliest representations were always people to be mocked,” recalls Cooper.

Andy Cohen adds, “The truth is there was no LGBT presence on TV that I can remember.”

On the importance of seeing LGBTQ people on TV, iconic talk show queen Oprah Winfrey drops, “When you see images that are reflective of your own life, it is a reminder that your own life matters.”

And Lena Waithe shares this compelling epiphany, “I didn’t realize that I was the revolution that I was waiting for.”

Boom.

Visible: Out On Television premieres February 14 on Apple TV+.

Upcoming DocuSeries Explores Secret Life Of NFL’s Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez (image via screen capture/Netflix)

Netflix drops its official trailer for the upcoming docuseries Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.

The three-part documentary series takes a deep dive into what led to the fall and shocking death of former NFL superstar Aaron Hernandez.

Through interviews with longtime friends, teammates, and insiders, the series chronicles the tight end’s rise from early high school football years to becoming a 4th round draft choice for the New England Patriots and ultimately making it all the way to the Super Bowl.

But it all came to an end in 2013 when he was arrested and charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée.

In 2015, he was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. During his trial, he was also indicted for a 2012 double homicide but was eventually acquitted of the charges in 2017.

Shortly after his acquittal, he was found dead in his prison cell and his death was ruled a suicide.

An autopsy revealed he suffered from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries.

Days after his passing, Newsweek published an article suggesting the athlete’s motive for killing Lloyd was to hide his sexual orientation. Since then, there’s been much speculation about his sexuality.

Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, later penned a book, Unnecessary Roughness, claiming the footballer confessed he’d had homosexual relationships.

Additionally, Hernandez reportedly left a suicide note for his alleged prison lover, Kyle Kennedy, who he had requested to be his cellmate before he died.

Hernandez has already been the subject of a two-part Oxygen Network series, Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, in 2018, which explored his rumored bisexuality.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez premieres January 15 on Netflix.

GLAAD Report: Over 10% Of TV Series Regulars Are LGBTQ

More Americans are identifying as LGBTQ at a faster pace than ever before according to new report from Gallup

The 24th annual Where We Are on TV report from GLAAD shows a record-high of 10.2% of broadcast television series regulars (up from last year’s 8.8%) are LGBTQ.

And for the first time, there are more LGBTQ female characters (regular and recurring) than male. Fifty-three percent were women and 47 percent were men.

More stats:

• 52% of LGBTQ characters (regular and recurring) on broadcast television are people of color

• 48% of LGBTQ characters on cable are people of color

• 41% of LGBTQ characters on streaming platforms are people of color

• Across all platforms tracked (broadcast, cable, streaming), the total number of transgender characters increased to 38 from 26

• 9% of LGBTQ characters on broadcast television were Latinx, 22% were Black, and 8% were Asian Pacific Islander

• Netflix had the highest number of LGBTQ characters among streaming services, Showtime was the most LGBTQ-inclusive of cable networks, and the CW had the most LGBTQ characters on network television

GLAAD uses the data from the Where We Are on TV report in work throughout the year to advocate leaders in the TV industry to include more diverse and substantive LGBTQ representations that accelerate acceptance.

For more information, check out the full report from GLAAD here.

News Round-Up: August 20, 2019

InstaHunk Alex Abramov says the world is not enough - BUT it is such a perfect place to start!

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Alex Abramov (above) says “the world is not enough – but it is such a perfect place to start!”

Washington Blade: VH1 has ordered two more seasons of the Emmy Award-winning, dragtastic series, RuPaul’s Drag Race. We can definitely plan on seeing Season 12 of RPDR, as well as a fifth season of, All-Stars.

The Atlantic: Just weeks ago, Donald Trump told the media he supported “meaningful background checks” for gun purchases after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. But it appears he has called National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre to say he won’t pursue the issue, even though polls show Americans support the idea by 80+ support.

Vogue: A fan of Mayor Pete Buttigieg, designer Tom Ford reached out to offer some sartorial advice. While the White House hopeful demurred, Ford wasn’t upset. “Obviously he can’t wear my clothes. They’re too expensive, they’re wrong, they’re not made in America. And besides, whatever he’s doing is working. So does anyone need to fuck with it?”

Washington Post: You must read the latest essay from super-smart guy Michelangelo Signorile on Donald Trump’s devastating record on LGBTQ rights.

Out Music: We already know singer/songwriter Wrabel has the ‘magic’ touch when it comes to penning hit songs having written for major artists like Kesha, Pink, and the Backstreet Boys.

So its no surprise this soulful new pop bop from the talented music man, appropriately titled, “Magic,” is a fun, easy on the ears track.

And it’s definitely a departure from his more serious songs like “The Village” and “11 Blocks.” From his upcoming EP due out next month.