News Round-Up: July 23, 2021

Josue de la Vegas

Some news items you might have missed:

Instinct Magazine: RuPaul’s Drag Race is returning to Las Vegas, bringing six sexy Pit Crew members with it. And for the most part, it’ll be a totally new cast of sexy men (above). Check them out at the link.

Out Music: Belgian pop superstar Max Colombie, (aka Oscar and the Wolf) unveils his brand-new single and music video “Oliver.

The sultry single serves up a tropical beat and shimmering synths as Colombie’s sensual voice draws us further into his poolside dreamworld.

Washington Blade:  Louisiana lawmakers failed to override Gov. John Bel Edwards’ (D) veto last month of a bill that would have barred trans girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.

Family Equality: This short two-minute video, released in advance of Parents Day on Sunday, offers a lighthearted but thorough explanation of the discrimination, bias, and disproportionate financial outlays same-sex couples can face on their journey to parenthood.

Outsports: The Olympics always drive huge LGBTQ viewership. Here are 8 events at the Tokyo Olympics likely to be popular with LGBTQ viewers.

Deadline: Billy Porter’s directorial debut for Orion Pictures – What If? – will star Black transgender actress Eva Reign in the upcoming high school rom-com.

Emmy Nominations: POSE Star Mj Rodriguez Makes History

Mj Rodriguez of POSE
Mj Rodriguez of POSE
Mj Rodriguez of POSE (via Instagram)

Mj Rodriguez made history today as she was honored with an Emmy Award nomination for her role as ‘Blanca’ on the acclaimed FX series POSE.

Receiving a nod for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Rodriguez becomes the first trans actress to be recognized in a lead acting category.

Series co-creator Steven Canals celebrated the news on Twitter:

The third and final season of POSE garnered a total of 9 nominations this morning including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Billy Porter.

This is Porter’s 3rd nomination having previously made history himself when he took home the Emmy For Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role of ‘Pray Tell’ in 2019.

The series has been a trailblazer from the get-go by featuring the largest trans cast in TV history. And yet, until now, none of the trans female cast members had been recognized by the Emmys.

“Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez’s Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series is a breakthrough for transgender women in Hollywood, and a long-overdue recognition for her groundbreaking performance over the past three seasons of POSE,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

“Additionally, the show’s nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as Billy Porter’s third nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, mark a historic show that undoubtedly raised the bar for trans representation on television and changed the way viewers around the world understand the trans community.


In additional LGBTQ Emmy news, RuPaul’s Drag Race was honored with 9 nominations including Outstanding Competition Program and Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program for Mama Ru. Plus, two nods for RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked including Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.

Netflix’s Queer Eye garnered 6 nominations including Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program as well as Outstanding Structured Reality Program.

And Randy Rainbow received his 3rd nomination for Best Short Form Variety Series. He won in 2019.

GLAAD has assembled a complete list of LGBTQ nominations here.

You can see the full list of 2021 Emmy Award nominations here. The 73rd Annual Emmy Awards will air live on CBS Sunday, September 19.

Check Out Billy Porter As ‘Fab G’ In Teaser For ‘Cinderella’

Billy Porter is 'The Fab G' in upcoming Amazon Prime Video reboot of 'Cinderella'
Billy Porter in ‘Cinderella’ (screen capture)

Check out this early teaser for the upcoming Amazon Prime Video reboot of “Cinderella,” set to premiere on September 3, 2021.

The new take on the familiar fable stars Camila Cabello as the ‘cinder girl’ herself and Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter as her fairy god-person, “the Fab G.”

When the casting of Porter was first announced, the POSE star told CBS News in March 2020, “Magic has no gender – we are presenting this character as genderless. At least that’s how I’m playing it. And it’s really powerful.”


Free Screening Of HIV Doc ‘5B’ Hosted By Billy Porter

Join Billy Porter for a free viewing of the acclaimed documentary 5B followed by a chat with
Join Billy Porter for a free viewing of the acclaimed documentary '5B' followed by a chat with health experts about the effects and parallels of the AIDS and COVID pandemics
Tony/Emmy/Grammy Award winner Billy Porter

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the first AIDS diagnosis, the world remains caught in the grips of another frightening health epidemic – COVID.

Today, June 24, from 6:00-8:30PM EST, activist and actor Billy Porter – who just recently shared his own HIV diagnosis with the world – will join Michael Sneed, Johnson & Johnson’s EVP of Global Cultural Affairs (which in addition to helping the world fight COVID, is currently working on a HIV vaccine) for a free special screening of the award-winning documentary 5B

The acclaimed documentary chronicles the stories of the heroic nurses who risked their lives to found the World’s first AIDS Ward.

Following the screening, Porter will chat with 5B nurse Alison Moëd Paolercio, and author Rebecca Love RN to discuss the disproportionate toll that epidemics and pandemics take on at-risk communities, the parallels between the HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 crises, and the role of nurses in driving healthcare change.

People can register here for the webinar.

Not able to join the event? Visit 5Bfilm.com to find out where to stream the movie and, after the event, view the archived fireside chat at https://nursing.jnj.com/5B-fireside-chat-with-billy-porter.

Here’s the official trailer for 5B:

Watch: Gorgeous Gala Celebration ‘MisCast21’

Logo image for MisCast21

Logo image for MisCast21

Michael and I loved this year’s installment of MisCast, the annual fundraiser for MCC Theater (Manhattan Class Company).

The annual gala celebration features artists performing songs from roles in which they wouldn’t traditionally be cast.

Performances in MisCast21 in order of appearance:

RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY performing THOSE MAGIC CHANGES from GREASE
MELISSA BARRERA and LESLIE GRACE performing WHAT YOU OWN from RENT
CHEYENNE JACKSON performing IF I WERE A BELL from GUYS AND DOLLS
JAI’LEN JOSEY performing OUT THERE from THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
ROBIN DE JESÚS performing NOTHING from A CHORUS LINE
PATRICK WILSON performing THINK OF ME from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
LACHANZE performing WAIT FOR IT from HAMILTON
ANNALEIGH ASHFORD performing MISTER MISTOFFELEES from CATS
KELLY MARIE TRAN performing YOU AND ME (BUT MOSTLY ME) from THE BOOK OF MORMON
BILLY PORTER performing DIVA’S LAMENT from SPAMALOT
AARON TVEIT and GAVIN CREEL performing IN HIS EYES from JEKYLL AND HYDE
KELLI O’HARA performing BEAUTIFUL CITY from GODSPELL
IDINA MENZEL performing MORNING GLOW from PIPPIN

Broadway stars Billy Porter, Kelli O'Hara and Robin DeJesus
Broadway stars Billy Porter, Kelli O’Hara and Robin DeJesus

Funds raised from Miscast21 help MCC Theater produce new work Off-Broadway and support its Youth Company and in-school partnerships that serve New York City public high school students as well as MCC’s literary development work with emerging playwrights.

Hit the play button and enjoy. One thing I’ll say about the pandemic – it’s really helped artists to get really skilled at sharing their gifts in these virtual galas.