Thursday, August 22, 2019

Billy Porter on How Pose Turned Around His Career as an 'Out, Black, Gay Actor'

Billy Porter is experiencing a career breakthrough at 49.

The Broadway veteran and Tony Award winner was at a low before being cast in FX’s Pose, in which he plays Pray Tell, the outspoken and outrageous emcee of the New York City house balls the ’80s-set show centers on. The series features the largest cast of transgender actors and LGBTQ actors in television history.

“I really had a hard time as an out, black, gay actor making any headway. I wasn’t having a great time living up to the heteronormative masculinity standard to get the straight male work,” he tells PEOPLE. “So I wasn’t really working in film and television. And it was just frustrating, you know? It was just frustrating to sort of feel ignored and feel dismissed, and dismissed for even the flamboyant things.”

He adds, “So to have this come around and to have it come around in this way is really profound and really special, and I do not take it lightly.” After netting a Golden Globe nomination for his work in Pose, Porter, who married his husband Adam Smith in 2017, now finds himself in the running for this year’s outstanding lead actor in a drama series Emmy Award.

Pioneering Report Exposes Global Reach of So-Called Conversion Therapy

A groundbreaking report released by OutRight Action International today exposes the global reach of so-called conversion therapy. Drawing on data from survey results with almost 500 respondents from 80 countries, and in-depth interviews with experts and survivors from more than a dozen countries, the report overwhelmingly shows that so-called conversion therapy efforts occur across the world and are predominantly promoted and perpetrated by people acting in the name of religion or pseudo-healthcare, often instigated by family pressure.

“Conversion therapy” is the most widely used term to describe practices attempting to change, suppress, or divert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It is also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities. The practices vary due to religious, cultural, or traditional contexts and range from overtly physically violent, such as electroshock or “corrective rape”, to psychologically abusive, such as isolation or psychiatric hospitalization, or more subtle forms of talk therapy or group therapy. Practices can also be religiously based, including extensive prayer, fasting and spiritual rituals. But regardless of the form they take or the name attributed, so-called conversion therapy practices are not a recognized form of therapy and certainly do not result in conversion. In fact, such practices cause deep, lasting trauma that affects every realm of life.

OutRight’s study found that:

•The main perpetrators and advocates of "conversion therapy" are people acting in the name of religion or pseudo-healthcare, with LGBTIQ individuals often coerced or pressured by family.

•A third of the people who responded to this study who experienced so-called conversion therapy sought it out themselves.

•While they may vary due to religious, cultural, or traditional norms and contexts, “conversion therapy” practices never work; instead, they cause deep, lasting trauma.

•Persistence of “conversion therapy” is directly related to societal beliefs about LGBTIQ people and the degree to which our lives are deemed unacceptable within families, faiths, and societies at large.

•Respondents from 80 countries showed that “conversion therapy” occurs in all regions of the world.

George Barasa, a survivor of conversion therapy from Kenya, reflects, “Conversion therapy is not a single event – it is a process of continued degradation and assault on the core of who you are. There are often repeated violations in the form of psychological and sometimes physical abuse… It is not one instance – it is a continued sense of rejection. The pressure is enormous.”

Maria Sjödin, Deputy Director of Outright Action International, comments, “Our report paints a chilling picture of the global prevalence of these barbaric practices which constitute cis-gender, heteronormative indoctrination. So-called conversion therapy efforts hinge on the belief that cis-gender heterosexuality is the norm, and gender identities beyond the binary and/or same-sex attraction not only fall outside the norm, but have to be changed, if need be by brutal, inhuman force, through practices which have been recognized to be tantamount to torture by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

Strides have been taken to raise awareness and even outlaw such practices in parts of the US, Latin America, Europe, and Australia. However, to date, only four countries have an outright ban on so-called conversion therapy.

Maria Sjödin, Deputy Director of Outright Action International, continues, “We welcome the efforts of a handful of governments around the world to ban so-called conversion therapy, and urge governments in other countries highlighted in this report to take similar steps to safeguard their LGBTIQ citizens from these harmful practices. At the same time, it is clear that the demand for “conversion therapy” will only diminish when social, family, and religious condemnation of LGBTIQ lives ceases, and LGBTIQ people are free to live their lives with access to their full human rights. As such, we look forward to working across civil society, states and multilateral organizations to not only ban "conversion therapy", but continually seek ways to ensure the sustainable, and genuine inclusion, acceptance and safeguarding of the human rights of LGBTIQ people.”

National Civil Rights Organization Opposes Efforts to Gut Civil Rights Protections Under the Affordable Care Act

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a comment opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed rule to limit civil rights protections in health care under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. The proposed rule, which was issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, seeks to undo policies that extended civil rights protections to the disabled, elderly, women, members of the LGBTQ community, and those who have had abortions. If implemented, the proposed rule would make it harder for aggrieved citizens, including racial and ethnic minorities, to bring civil lawsuits against health care entities that advance discriminatory practices and policies. It would also eliminate agency investigation of activities that have a discriminatory effect on the basis of sex.

“We cannot lose the progress gained under the prior Administration in our efforts to rid the healthcare system of discriminatory practices that impact vulnerable communities. We’ll use every tool in our arsenal to fight for the preservation of existing protections in the Affordable Care Act so that marginalized communities, including low-income communities of color, have equal access to affordable healthcare,” said Dariely Rodriguez, Director of the Economic Justice Project at The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

In its comment, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law highlighted the inherent inequities that would result from the proposed rule. Specifically, the Lawyers’ Committee noted that the proposed rule would allow only some members of protected classes to bring disparate impact claims, while prohibiting people of color and those discriminated against on the basis of sex from doing so. The comment also highlighted that the proposed rule interpreted certain provisions of Section 1557 in a way that renders it meaningless, in violation of clearly established rules of statutory interpretation.

If finalized, the proposed rule will eliminate critical tools for people of color, including those with intersectional identities (i.e., women of color and people of color with disabilities) who are especially vulnerable to discrimination in the healthcare system in direct contravention of the ACA’s clear intent of eliminating discrimination in health care. The Department is expected to issue its Final Rule in the coming months.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The 2019 Ally Awards is almost sold out. Get your tickets now!

Summer is winding down, school's almost back in session, and One Colorado’s 8th Annual Ally Awards is nearly here!

Join them to honor an incredible slate of awardees at the 2019 Ally Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver.

And the Ally Awards go to…

former Colorado Attorney General, Cynthia H. Coffman
former Colorado Speaker of the House, Crisanta Duran
UCHealth Integrated Transgender Program

And the Lifetime Achievement Award goes to...

Lockheed Martin engineer and transgender activist, Christine Bland

Out On DVD/VOD: Drive Me Home

On DVD & VOD September 24, Drive Me Home follows Antonio and Agostino, who grew up together in a small town in Sicily, where they dreamt of living a different life, somewhere, anywhere, else. 

Now 30-year-olds, they both live abroad but lost touch with each other years ago. When Antonio discovers that the house he grew up in, which has been empty for a long time, is about to be sold at auction, he decides to leave and reconnect with his childhood friend. But their lives have changed a lot. Old conflicts and new revelations bring them through Europe on a truck journey that will change their lives forever...

Friday, August 16, 2019

Are You Gay With Something To Say? Bloggers Wanted For Denver's Best Gay Blog!

Are you a new or experienced writer or blogger? Do you want to be? Or maybe you're just some gay guy with something to say? Well, what better forum for you than MileHighGayGuy?

MileHighGayGuy is looking for regular and guest bloggers to write about local news and events, do music and movie reviews, or write opinion or feature pieces from a gay perspective.

These are unpaid positions but offer the opportunity to be published in Colorado's Best Gay Blog (2010, 2011, 2012 OUTstanding Awards, Denver 2012 #WebAwards), expand your audience and gain valuable experience. There's also swag available in the form of free movie and concert tickets, music, books and other cool stuff.

If interested, shoot an email over to Drew Wilson at And if you've got column or story ideas to pitch, this is the place to do it.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Andres Cladera Talks 'Rusalka'

The stars of Rusalka come to life this Saturday, August 17th at the Strings Music Pavilion.

Click this link to hear what Andres Cladera, Artistic Director of Opera Steamboat, has to say about them!

Project Worthmore’s 7th Annual ‘Our Neighbors, Ourselves’ Art Gallery & Fundraiser

The seventh annual ‘Our Neighbors, Ourselves’ art gallery and fundraiser takes place on Friday, September 13th at the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace. The evening will feature artwork from dozens of visual artists, a silent auction, as well as live music from Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa and his band, Grande Orquesta Navarre.

This event will be juried by Ronald Otsuka, who formerly served as the Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art with the Denver Art Museum from 1973 to 2014.

Art will be available for purchase on the night of the event, and all proceeds of the evening will go to support Project Worthmore – a nonprofit that provides direct programs and services to the local refugee community, including English classes, a five-chair dental clinic, and a refugee training farm, among others.

Le Voyage Dans La Lune in Denver

Inspired by the early silent film movement LuneAseas brings an immersive vintage performance experience to the McNichols Building Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m. This reinterpretation of George Melies’ “Le Voyage Dans La Lune”, blends live music, shadow casting, modern dance, theatre, video, and, illusionary costumestry into an immersive performance experience. Mixed with memories of first hand experiences with domestic violence Le Voyage Dans La Lune follows the fate of a little girl who is witness to the abuse of her mother. Her imagination takes her on the verge of reality on an adventure to the moon and beyond. Enjoy live music performances while fusing movement by seasoned performance artists.

Additionally, LuneAseas will be offering a donation-based movement workshop from 2:30-4 p.m. on Aug. 16 at the McNichols Civic Center Building. This workshop gives participants a first hand experience on our creative process, while learning creative problem solving, team building, trust, and creating themselves. This is open to any age and ability, with advanced registration only.

Le Voyage Dans la Lune is supported by Denver Arts & Venues Cultural Partner Program. For more information on LuneAseas visit

The Wonderful Music of Oz: Defy gravity and ease on down the yellow brick road!

Follow the yellow brick road to a musical journey over the rainbow with The Wonderful Music of Oz at the Lone Tree Arts Center on Saturday, October 12! 

L. Frank Baum’s classic novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, took the world by storm in 1900 and has inspired storytellers and composers on Broadway with Wicked and The Wiz, in Hollywood with The Wizard of Oz, and radio with “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Relive all the wonderful music of Oz based on the original tale in one magical concert event, with Scott Coulter (One Hand, One Heart: 100 Years of Bernstein) and other Broadway vocalists.

OUT on DVD/VOD: All Male, All Nude: Johnsons

Breaking Glass Pictures and OUTshine Film Festival are proud to announce the World Premiere of the alluring documentary All Male, All Nude: Johnsons, sequel to the beloved documentary All Male, All Nude from director Gerald McCullouch. All Male, All Nude: Johnsons will premiere on Sunday, September 15 at 6:30PM at the Gateway Theater. A pre-reception for VIP guests will begin at 5PM at the Modern Sixties Wine Lounge next to The Classic Gateway. An exclusive catered VIP afterparty at Johnsons, complete with open bar where guests are welcome to mingle with the chiseled centerpieces of the film, will follow the premiere. Finally, guests will be front and center to a special performance by acclaimed NYC musician Corey TuT performing songs from the film's soundtrack.

Journey into the unique world of male stripping at a small gay strip club located in America’s Second Gayest City per capita in this follow up to the popular 2017 feature documentary All Male, All Nude.

All Male, All Nude: Johnsons is set in Florida’s newest gay strip club, Johnsons, located in Wilton Manors, Florida and new home to the creator and owner of Johnsons - Matt Colunga, an award-winning body builder, who has been in the male entertainment industry for 23 years and was introduced in the first film.

From 42-year-old Matt, to 26-year-old Alexander, who spends his days dressed as Spider-Man creating early memories for children at kid parties and spends his nights stripping down to his G-String for gay men, to single fathers and young men putting themselves through college with their stripping income, to entertainers in the adult film world - the men who compose the heart of Johnsons are diverse, unique and captivating.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Gerald McCullouch (Daddy, the BearCity franchise, CSI). McCullouch has spent over 10 years uncovering the world of male stripping with this second Cinéma Vérité feature length documentary. Best known for his 10 seasons as “Bobby Dawson” on CSI and his critically acclaimed performances as “Roger” in the Bear City franchise McCullouch recently guest starred on FBI, Tyler Perry’s The Haves And The Have Nots and will appear in an upcoming Netflix series.

Do You Want To Reach Denver's Gay Community? Advertise With Denver's Best Gay Blog!

Do you want to advertise to Denver’s gay community? Of course you do, it’s the 7th largest in the United States! And the best way to reach them is with MileHighGayGuy – Colorado’s Best Gay Blog.

Just click the Advertising page or email to get started today.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Are You Gay With Something To Say? Bloggers Wanted For Denver's Best Gay Blog!

Are you a new or experienced writer or blogger? Do you want to be? Or maybe you're just some gay guy with something to say? Well, what better forum for you than MileHighGayGuy?

MileHighGayGuy is looking for regular and guest bloggers to write about local news and events, do music and movie reviews, or write opinion or feature pieces from a gay perspective.

These are unpaid positions but offer the opportunity to be published in Colorado's Best Gay Blog (2010, 2011, 2012 OUTstanding Awards, Denver 2012 #WebAwards), expand your audience and gain valuable experience. There's also swag available in the form of free movie and concert tickets, music, books and other cool stuff.

If interested, shoot an email over to Drew Wilson at And if you've got column or story ideas to pitch, this is the place to do it.

OUT on TV: Styling Hollywood

Styling Hollywood is a series following celebrity stylist Jason Bolden and his interior designer husband Adair Curtis as they run their lifestyle company JSN STUDIO while balancing marriage and life’s ups and downs. With their talented crew of colorful employees, watch as they curate "Black Girl Magic" for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Eve, and Ava DuVernay (just to name a few).

Styling Hollywood is produced by Kingdom Reign Entertainment and ITV America.  Carlos King, David George and Jordana Hochman serve as executive producers with Angela Rae Berg serving as executive producer and showrunner.

Styling Hollywood: Season 1 launches globally on Netflix August 30, 2019.

Books: Here Is What You Do

A yacht races to outrun a tsunami. A young man jailed on a drug charge forms a relationship with his cellmate that is both loving and savage. A teen raised by his out-and-proud father, a Turkish immigrant, is displaced after violence fractures his life, forever altering his sense of time and memory. A wistful mother escapes her reality and regret by losing herself in the miniature worlds she finds at the edge of the woods.

Perfect for readers of Carmen Maria Machado, Garth Greenwell, and A.M. Homes, Here Is What You Do is a powerful, timely short story collection by a vital new voice in queer fiction. Dennis’s debut is a bravura work of muscularly robust prose that captures the primal need, desire, cruelty, and promise of people trying to connect with, and consume, each other. The stories’ complex themes—trauma, addiction, the prison system, queer identity, isolation and crushing loneliness, validation, and everything in between—are tackled with an unfailing eye for human drives and frailties.

Dennis’s characters have immense psychological depth and each story drills toward their darkest emotional centers, resulting in moving prose that embraces vulnerability and grit. “In Motel Rooms” sees a fictionalized Coretta Scott King stalked and harassed by the FBI and considering the costs of her life with her husband, who is lifted up as a hero by the public, but still painfully human behind closed doors. In “Nettles,” a married couple moves out of the city and buys a rural slaughterhouse. But the strange, unnameable tension with their religious neighbors quickly escalates, and the couple struggles to retain their shaky facade of domesticity.

By turns heartrending and hopeful, Here Is What You Do refuses to shy away from the harsh realities of the flaws and saving graces that make us human.