Podcast: “Will & Grace” Finale; New Documentary On The Life Of Sir Ian McKellen “Playing The Part;” MGM Resorts Releases Gender-Flipped Love Songs

In this week’s podcast:

• MGM Resorts released a new collection of wedding songs for LGBTs from Kesha, Bob Dylan and more.

• The finale of Will & Grace aired this week with some surprise couplings.

• A new documentary of the life and legacy of Sir Ian McKellen – Playing The Part.

• Natti Vogel’s new music video “Brown Rice” starring Matthew Wilkas explores the pressures of Instagram fame

• Maryland’s state legislature moves closer to banning so-called “conversion therapy.”

• Anchorage, Alaska, says “no” to transgender discrimination.

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report.

If you enjoy catching up on LGBTQ headlines in 15 minutes with The Randy Report podcast, please share it with your friends.

I like to think of my newsmagazine podcast as “the 60 Minutes of gay news” – only shorter.

Podcast: Bermuda Repeals Marriage Equality; Out US Olympians Celebrate Opening Ceremonies; Sir Ian McKellen Remarks On Kevin Spacey’s Late-Life Coming Out

In this week’s podcast:

• Bermuda becomes the first country in the world to repeal marriage equality

• The 2018 Winter Olympics open as the U.S. celebrates our first two out male athletes to compete at a Winter Games

• Sir Ian McKellen finds Kevin Spacey late-life coming out “distasteful”

• Plus, out singers Matt Zarley & Jeb Havens cover Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband”

Podcast: Out Olympians Not Happy With VP Mike Pence; 2 More Men Allege Sexual Assault By Porn Actor

In this week’s podcast:

• Olympic slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy isn’t keen on Vice President Mike Pence leading the US delegation at the 2018 Winter Olympics

• Sir Ian McKellen celebrates the 30th anniversary of his coming out

• Two more men have come out accusing porn actor Topher DiMaggio of sexual assault. Is this a case of “he said/he said?”

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Note: If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, here are just a few of the resources available to help.
The Anti-Violence Project
The Human Rights Campaign

News Round-Up: November 8, 2017

Out Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy is having Aruba moments

Some news items you might have missed:

• Out Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy (above) is having an Aruba moment. #jealous

• I usually think of Wednesday as “Hump Day” (“Hunk Day” works, too). But kenneth-in-the-212 celebrates “Wrestling Wednesdays.” Hit the link for lots of wrestlers in their singlets.

• Disney Channel has pulled TV series Andi Mack in Africa due to a featured coming-out story.

• Sir Ian McKellen would rather be remembered for his LGBT activism than his acting. I’m betting it will be for both.

• Sixteen-year-old Jordan Marin-Doan set fire to his adoptive gay dads’ house hoping to land a prison cell next to his biological dad. One of his adoptive dads died helping the rest of his family escape the fire.

• Anti-gay marriage county clerk Kim Davis is running for reelection in Kentucky after costing her state over $200,000 in legal fees for not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

• And how about one more from gorgeous Gus Kenworthy? This is from a photo shoot for Gio Magazine.

Short Film: Ian McKellen On Growing Up Gay And Coming Out

In this compelling short film (directed by Joe Stephenson for Tate Britain’s new Queer British Art exhibit), Scott Chambers gives an emotional performance evoking the feelings of a young Ian McKellen, as the acclaimed actor narrates his account of growing up in a time when there was no possibility of being out as a young gay man.

“Gay people, homosexuals, conducted their lives as secretly as possible. There was nobody who was out. Nobody.”

“Part of the reason I proselytize, talk about being gay, is because I don’t want today’s children not to enjoy their sexuality, be aware of it, think about it, puzzle about it, discuss it, have it out in the open, because of course it’s central to what you are.”

Watch below:

Sir Ian McKellen Becomes Emotional Reading Touching Coming Out Letter

Sir Ian McKellen’s reading of a coming out letter is captivating in it’s authenticity and joy.

Part of the Letters Live event, which celebrates correspondence via letter writing, the reading is taken from Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. The letter is written from the perspective of the character of Michael Tolliver after learning his parents have joined Anita Bryant’s hate campaign against LGBTs in the 1970s.

From The Independent:

The letter is obviously very personal for Sir Ian, himself gay, and he gets a little choked up when it comes to the wonderful line: “If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life.”

Powerful and moving. Watch Sir Ian at this link (I couldn’t overcome the “autoplay” setting of the video for embedding here). It’s really worth the watching.

Here is the letter as written by Maupin:

Dear Mama,

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write you and Papa I realize I’m not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be OK, if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child.

I have friends who think I’m foolish to write this letter. I hope they’re wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who love and trust them less than mine do. I hope especially that you’ll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you. I wouldn’t have written, I guess, if you hadn’t told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant.

I’m sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief — rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes.

No, Mama, I wasn’t “recruited.” No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, “You’re all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You’re not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends — all kinds of friends — who don’t give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it.”

But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don’t consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being.

These aren’t radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it’s all right for you to like me, too.

I know what you must be thinking now. You’re asking yourself: What did we do wrong? How did we let this happen? Which one of us made him that way?

I can’t answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don’t care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life.

I know I can’t tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it’s not.

It’s not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It’s not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It’s not judging your neighbor, except when he’s crass or unkind.

Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength.

It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it.

There’s not much else I can say, except that I’m the same Michael you’ve always known. You just know me better now. I have never consciously done anything to hurt you. I never will.

Please don’t feel you have to answer this right away. It’s enough for me to know that I no longer have to lie to the people who taught me to value truth.

Mary Ann sends her love.

Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane.

Your loving son,

Sir Ian McKellen: Concerns About Underrepresented Minorities In Studio Movies Are “A Legitmate Complaint”

Sir Ian McKellen says he “sympathizes” with minorities who feel underrepresented in studio movies

Openly gay Sir Ian McKellen was asked his thoughts about the current brouhaha regarding the lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Award nominations.

Via The Press Association:

“I think you have to live in Hollywood where the Oscars means so much more than they do elsewhere to understand why people’s feelings are running so high, and the fact that black people feel underrepresented in studio movies and big movies. Well, it’s what women thought for a long time. It’s what gay people like myself still think. And it’s a legitimate complaint and the Oscars has become the focus of those worries. So I sympathize.”

Patrick Stewart Gives Lessons In Kissing To Conan O’Brien

Patrick Stewart and bestie Sir Ian McKellen recently shared a kiss on the red carpet for the premier of McKellen’s latest film, Mr. Holmes.

Last night, chatting up the 75-year-old actor, Conan O’Brien brought the kissing episode up.

Said Stewart, “Ian isn’t the only one. I don’t want you to think I am a one-man guy!”

Opening the door to more specific possibilities, Stewart asked O’Brien, “Do you want to try it out? You were looking at me in a way that I recognize.”

And Stewart moved in for the kill 🙂

O’Brien was feeling the moment, afterwards saying, “That was fantastic! I felt passion. you’re an iconic actor, a great man, and we kissed, and I felt like you suddenly accepted me as your better!”

O’Brien added, “Who says it should be unacceptable for heterosexual men to kiss each other on the lips. I say it should be commonplace!”

Sir Ian McKellen Explains Acting

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Sir Ian McKellen Explains How To ActWell THIS explains it!Posted by The Casting Exchange on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I’d never seen this before.

Brilliant. Sometimes – just sometimes – it can be this simple.

And just to hear the wisdom in Sir Ian’s voice makes it that much more magical.

Sir Ian McKellan Teaches Cookie Monster To “Resist”

From the clip description:

You shall not pass! Please resist!The word resist means to control yourself and stop yourself from doing something you really want to do, though that’s not a word that Cookie Monster really understands. Ian McKellen demonstrates.

How fab that we have had Sesame Street and all the amazing celebrities who drop by to teach kids on so many levels. It really is charming.