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Interviews

(Bad) Moms know best

Posted: November 10th, 2017 | Interviews, Q Syndicate, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

“Are there gays in Michigan? They made it all the way there?” deadpanned Mila Kunis to native Michigander Kristen Bell, as if to jokingly say all the world’s queers migrated from her hometown of West Hollywood.

Bell, 37, seated next to Kunis, 34, at a hotel conference room in The Peninsula Chicago, replied plainly. “Well, yes.”

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In bed with Alan Cumming

By Chris Azzopardi

Alan Cumming is chill as can be in a hotel bed in Los Angeles, where he’s tugging on his crotch, illustrating to me the surprisingly flirty exchange he just had with tennis great and LGBT pioneer Billie Jean King.

“She just made a joke about my dick in the corridor,” Cumming said, amused. “I’m like, ‘Billie Jean!’”

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Sugar, spice and everything nice

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate Patti LaBelle dishes on ‘still standing’ thanks to the LGBT community, lip-syncing ‘divettes’ and Trump Is there a singer more real than Patti LaBelle? The 73-year-old legend of song (and shade) is a firehose of strong-minded opinions, and in an age that has some tight-lipped “divettes,” as LaBelle calls them, refraining from saying too much, the ever-honest LaBelle is, refreshingly, that rare freewheeler who revels in being blunt AF. […]

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How Todrick Hall found his yellow brick road

By Chris Azzopardi

Todrick Hall grew up in Plainview, Texas, with a dream to be “one of these black women who could sing all these crazy notes.” It is, after all, in his blood —his cousin is none other than “Dreamgirls” song slayer Jennifer Holliday.

But first, as a child, the aspiring soul singer found life in “The Little Mermaid,” replicating Ariel’s crimson hair with a red towel on his head and gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. Clasping a fork, he created a makeshift fishtail by binding his feet together with a water hose. Meanwhile, to channel another hero of his, Catwoman, he got his hands on some blue tape, nails and a jump rope, which doubled as his whip and tail.

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More with Michael Kimmel

Posted: June 23rd, 2017 | Featured, Interviews | 2 Comments

GSD columnist discusses contents of his first book By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor (Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series.) In the first of a two-part series, Gay San Diego “Life Beyond Therapy” columnist Michael Kimmel talked about how the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 has impacted married gay couples. Rowman & Littlefield released Kimmel’s first book, “The Gay Man’s Guide to Open and Monogamous Marriage,” on June 8.

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Gay for Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer

Posted: May 12th, 2017 | Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

“We’re serious bitches too,” said Amy Schumer, nearly in tears. The comic firecracker is seated next to national gay-loved treasure Goldie Hawn, and the screen icon has just made a touching revelation: She used to comfort men dying of AIDS.

Perhaps that isn’t the kind of heartwarming reveal you’d expect during a sit-down for their action-comedy, “Snatched,” but as this onscreen mom-daughter duo joke about a potential gay-themed sequel (the ladies already have several queer-centric working titles; for Schumer, the joke writes itself), it’s clear nothing is off topic. They’re just happy to be here speaking to gay press, which has Schumer “very elated.”

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Melissa Etheridge: ‘I’m still here’

Posted: April 28th, 2017 | Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

“You keep doing what you’re doing, you keep being out, you keep being beautiful,” Melissa Etheridge told me, as if to emphasize the present-day significance of simply being your queer self.

The Grammy-winning rock icon, whose coming out at the height of her career in the early ’90s paved the way for many in the LGBT community, knows the gravity mere visibility can have on the world.

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Billy Porter: In full bloom

By Chris Azzopardi | Q-Syndicate

Sociopolitical demonstrations have long been woven into various musical genres — even Katy Perry’s ironically shiny single, this year’s “Chained to the Rhythm,” like Simone’s “Mississippi Goddamn,” underscores continued minority suppression.

In 2013, singer and theater performer Billy Porter left his mark on socially-conscious art while originating the role of Lola, a drag queen who finds common ground with a shoemaker, in the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” which garnered the Pittsburgh native a Tony Award for Best Actor.

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Kathy Griffin to the rescue

Posted: March 31st, 2017 | Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

Of course Kathy Griffin’s manager asks if our conversation is being recorded — have you heard her talk?

Luckily, the celeb-skewering, gay-loving, Trump-hating comedienne’s filterless mouth moves at a meteoric pace, which is good news for anyone who wants to know her thoughts on basically everything: the practicality of celebrity activism, her idea for a “My Life on the D-List” spinoff and the surprising number of people she meets who say they’ve never encountered a gay person.

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LGBT on the links

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Features, Interviews, News, Sports & Fitness, Top Story | No Comments

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

The annual Kia Classic tennis tournament — March 20–26, at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad — is the closest San Diegans get to the LPGA tour, unless they take a trip to Palm Springs the following week for the ANA Inspiration championship (formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship), during Dinah Shore Weekend.

The 2017 Kia will feature 144 women golfers, including Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wei, Lexi Thompson, and the 2016 winner, Lydia Ko.

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All About Susan

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Features, Interviews, News, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

Maybe gay people are customarily compelled to thank Susan Sarandon for her longstanding advocacy, because that’s how I begin my frank, anything-goes conversation with the 70-year-old multi-hyphenate.

After all, no matter where you stand on Sarandon’s divisive decision to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the recent presidential election, we can all agree that the Oscar-winning actress has used her massive screen-icon prestige to aid in the advancement of LGBT rights.

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2-1-1 — a San Diego resource

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Interviews, Senior Matters | 2 Comments

By William E. Kelly | Senior Matters There is an invaluable nonprofit resource and information hub here in San Diego, that employs 72 call-takers who connect people to community, health and disaster services through a free, 24/7 stigma-free confidential phone service and a searchable online database. That resource is 2-1-1 San Diego. 2-1-1 is well known to service providing organizations but not to the same degree by all San Diegans.

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On top of his game

Posted: March 3rd, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

As one of the rare entrepreneurs in the country with a knack for weaving chocolate and caramel into savory dishes, Will Gustwiller accepted an invitation from the Food Network to be a contestant on a special episode of “Guy’s Chocolate Games” and ended up $16,000 richer because of it.

The segment was a spinoff of “Guy’s Grocery Games” hosted by Guy Fieri. Gustwiller was among four competitors vying to survive three elimination rounds of cooking for up to $20,000 in prize money. The episode was taped in November in Santa Rosa inside a closed set, replete with food-stocked aisles resembling a commercial grocery store.

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Making America hopeful again

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

With an emotionally resonant acceptance speech, Dustin Lance Black accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2009 for “Milk”, a powerful tribute to gay political hero Harvey Milk. Could an Emmy be next?

It’s possible, even if the 42-year-old Sacramento native is too modest to admit that his latest screen ambition, “When We Rise,” the accomplished filmmaker’s tremendous seven-part undertaking chronicling the progressive uprising of the 1960s and ’70s, is certainly golden statue-worthy.

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Transforming minds one truth at a time

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

For Ian Harvie, it’s not about earning the title of “first trans person in the world with a one-hour standup special” — though that’s a tag the FTM comedian can now claim — for him, he’s hopeful more trans comedians will walk through the door he swung open with “May the Best Cock Win,” airing on NBC’s digital network, SEESO.

“I’m so excited that a digital network like SEESO, an NBC-based company, has said ‘Yes’ to the first trans comic special, which will provide a pathway for others to come through,” said the Portland, Maine native.

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