Mighty Real: The New Gay Workout Anthems Playlist


[Please note that some of the visuals in the videos are NSFW – Not Safe for Work. YouTube usually requires a login before those who are over 18 can view them, but we can’t promise this will be the case. Some of the selections are Rated PG-13 due to language and imagery.]

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about working out to LGBTQ-inclusive anthems that puts a lil’ extra pep in my elliptical hyper-step.

Living by a gay-owned gym staffed by fab music lovers who know their stuff doesn’t hurt—but when you have your own playlist, you can take all your fab on the road, or stick it in your headphones and jog it out.

Need some suggestions? Thought you’d never ask.

The tracks below have either been co-opted by gay folks or penned and performed by them (mostly the latter). You’ll find some classics and discover some newbies.

Big Freedia – Azz Everywhere http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbR5wPpoOiw

In the words of George Clinton, “Free your mind and your ass will follow.” This track’s less about your bootie and more about your free spirited shaking of said behind. And that’s right Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the TwerkMaster General, Big Freedia. Girlfriend brings the party on “Overdrive. Overdrive! Overdrive! When you take a ride!” Everything Big Freedia touches is dope. As the Queen Diva of New Orleans Sissy Bounce, she’s spent many years crafting her tracks and performance/recording skills to be at the top of the “bands that make you dance.” You don’t listen to this song—you DO THIS song. Don’t worry, she rocks it like a drill instructor all along the way—you won’t get lost, Boo.

September – Cry for You (Remix) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf1kcbFzWyI

A regular club and Pride performer, September works that Swedish pop thing in a sweet, coy little way. Interesting tidbit—the riff’s from Bronski Beat’s track “Smalltown Boy” (different playlist for a different day, but an absolutely riveting track about the struggles of coming out. September seems all coquettish, but the song’s saying in essence, “Eff off, Dear.” It’s not like she didn’t try. Mm-hm. She really tried. It’s just time to go. And you can shout that along with her at the top of your lungs in 3…2…

Sylvester: You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG2ixYJ79iE

You’d be surprised how many college kids aren’t aware of this track. The song used to be utilized as a joke in TV movies or films to wink-nudge at the audience that so and so character, vibe or environment is queer. (No.) Sandra Bernhard reclaimed the beauty of this track in-community by recording her rendition of it, as well as performing a shelarious routine declaring her love for Sylvester and coming up in his era. This is a song about freedom and authenticity—and the bass line, riff, and chorus just won’t quit.

Manila Luzon — “Hot Couture” official music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gdbbHr1d2A

Consider this to be your water break or cool-down song, as it’s a bit more mellow. Sickenly scrumptious hook and lyrics about dressing yourself up in your own love. It’s a delight to watch Manila Luzon (and Mini-Manila Luzon) pay tribute to fashion *as* function and looking fierce doing it. The little storyline involving baby Luzon in the video is a bit of a misty-eyed sitch, and it’s something they didn’t have to add to a song that’s focused on fashion. Love. It.

Madonna – Don’t Stop (Smegster Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VSZIVCJ5ow

From all reports and regardless of past bisexual dalliances, Madonna is “Madonna-Sexual” and Super-Ego-centric–she’s been both loving and loathsome to queer folks including for whatever reasons, her out gay brother (sigh). Still, she’s family and her work keeps the emphasis on the “fun” part of dysfunctional (maybe not so much lately?). Anyway—in itself, “Don’t Stop” from “Bedtime Stories” is anthemic, but needs a little HI-NRG to keep your BPMs and heart rate up and healthy. We aim to please, so here you go. Can’t call this track a “refix,” as the original’s pretty damn delicious.

Hilary Duff – With Love (Rhv Vs. Dave Aude Club Mix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZJE_xSC9pc

Hillary Duff’s kept a pretty even keel and steered clear of cray cray ex-child star drama. (No drag queen harassment or trolling tweets in sight). In fact, Ms. Duff’s set aside some “sweet time” to create some Think Before You Speak gay-ally PSAs (thanks guuurl).  As for this particular remix, the positive affirmations in the lyrics are undeniable. “Tell me I’m wrong, that I’m coming on way too strong. Don’t think I’ll be crushed. Just do it with love. Love, love, love!” We are divas—do we not bleed? Proceed with caution. Just do it with love.

George Michael – Outside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwZAYdHcDtU Because George made the absolute best out of a terrible arrest, “Outside” makes today’s list. Never one to shy away from social commentary, this song’s about adventure and its subtext flirts with how Michael himself got popped for it. Albeit risky, he certainly went on an “adventure.” This track’s about play in its every connotation, finding the strength to collect yourself and sally forth again and again, and moving your body-body at the party-party.

The Bird and the Bee – Fcking Boyfriend (Peaches remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAcqkX7O0Q

Are you asking him or telling him? Eh, same thing. “When you laid down with me, you never slept that night?” Come on. Poetry. Sheer electro-poetry bliss. Work it out.

Flawless (Go to the City) George Michael & The Ones (Mike’s Ultra Clean Extended Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYcTlot5evY

Shout it with me: “You’ve got to go to the city!”

Call it what you will—a coming out anthem, a runway ready hit for the children, or absolutely flawless. Here’s yet another track with, like, triply-lovely significance. The track was inspired by  a fantastic movie of the same name and it is indeed “Flawless.” The Ones are at the very least exceedingly queer-friendly (what? Like everyone has to present a card at the border? I’m not walkin’ around with a queer-counting clipboard), and George Michael’s “Flawless” is encouraging a dear friend (or perhaps his younger self) to leave a drab humdrum town and get out…for good. “Well you’ve got to think of somethin’, ’cause your job pays you nothing. But you’ve got the things God gave ya, so the music may yet be your savior…you’ve got to go to the city.” The Ones chime in “Like perfection. Like no other. Flawless. Absolutely flawless.” Mmm. Quelle motivational!

If I find out this song’s about Andrew Ridgely I will start crying tears of joy, right there on the elliptical stair-stepper. I swear before Yeezus I will.

Cazwell – Ice Cream Truck (Dee Jay Tatto Club Mix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jr3okGlL4A

Brazilian-born and NYC bred, Cazwell is a prolific, hella-experienced rapper-producer, and his label’s got this naughty habit of populating his videos with eyefuls of scantily-clad models. Unheard of! Sure…anyway, the original video is cute, camp and somewhat ironic contraposed with the visual hotness you see here, but his remix amps things up just a notch or two. Qué sabor….

Extra Fun, Funny Goodies, & More Diva Tributes:

RuPaul – Jealous Of My Boogie (Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLemKdmoris

Looking So F*kin’ Good – RuPaul & DJ ShyBoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBG5R_EJ0SM

Depeche Mode – People are People Remix – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi5uWsI9G6g

Lady GaGa – Bad Romance (David Guetta Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_OkDzkSuvQ

Latrice Royale & Manila Luzon — The Chop (Official Music Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlHzdXFCJ-c

Willam & Rhea Litré in “Let’s Have a KaiKai” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfWeBYd7rkQ

Whitney Houston – It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSOWUwRFwi0

Scissor Sisters – Filthy / Gorgeous http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4RcBZy2jZA

Ru Paul – Workout http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUjUF0mFJ9A

XELLE featuring Mimi Imfurst “Queen” Official Music Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLqW6n29TYE

WERQIN’ GIRL” Music Video by Shangela Laquifa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hArTHxRpKmM

Alyssa Edwards : Drop Dead Gorgeous (B. Ames Mix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOC_VGuc6Sc

Donna Summer – Last Dance (long version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW-3Hp1EVdQ [Tempo changes at 1:30]

Willow Smith – Whip My Hair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymKLymvwD2U

Stardust Vs Madonna – Dance & Sing / Music Sounds Better With You Mashup (White Label Mix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVZrCWNT-yA

Sahara Davenport (with Gomi)– Go Off (Official Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KziZUnSYRRA

The Ones – Flawless Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_e5oYqNRSM


George Michael – (Funny and funky) Go to the City Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgGDcn46aW8

“’Cause you’re beautiful. Like no other.”


Listen / work out to all these songs at once by clicking this playlist link.



Enough cardio for now, but we’ll bring you more. There will always be more.

Fave workout selections, anyone? (Heteronormative tracks, albums and playlists welcome.)

Doubling Up: Ellen DeGeneres to Host Oscars for 2014 Academy Awards

RT@Dannyboy0713: I totally hope @TheEllenShow gets every celebrity in the ballroom to dance when she hosts The Oscars @TheAcademy

And The Winner Is…

Because Twitter announcements count as official (well…until they don’t…), Twitter scooped most folks on this first: Ellen DeGeneres announced her delight to be returning as the emcee for the Oscars ceremony next year, on behalf of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts Sciences.

DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Finding Nemo”), in the customary “Aw shucks wink-wink” way we know and adore, shared this joyful tweet on her Twitter page:

It’s official: I’m hosting the #Oscars! I’d like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra.

The broadcast’s executive producers (Craig Zadan and Neil Meron) cosigned her “squee” on Twitter, tweeting:

Neil Meron @neilmeron welcome back to the Oscar stage, Ellen…we can’t wait to start working with you! @theellenshow @theacademy @craigzadan

And they love Ms. Ellen so much, they went from pitch to decision in a mere 48 hours’ time.

“I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. “We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”

According to the organization’s CEO Dawn Hudson, “Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience. She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”


All This Funny Business

According to Variety magazine, “’The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ has won 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons. Though DeGeneres’ show airs on NBC owned-and-operated stations, she has a history with Oscar broadcaster ABC, with her landmark sitcom ‘Ellen’ having run there from 1994-98. In 1997, DeGeneres won the Peabody Award and a writing Emmy for the episode in which her character came out as a gay woman, with 46 million viewers watching.

“Over the last eight years, the 2007 Oscars hosted by DeGeneres stands as the top rated in both adults 18-49 (14.1 rating/33 share) and women 25-54 (19.2/40).”

Since coming out in 1997, though Ellen shared myriad challenges she faced because of her public declaration, she’s a master at the art of the “Reboot and Rally.” These days, you feel like she’s never missed a beat.

You always get the sense that even while Ellen’s ribbing you, she’s laughing with—not at—you, and you’re never on the arse-end of even her snarkiest inside jokes. Ellen saves more observational or cutting humor for political issues.

Case in point: remember when she riffed on fatphobia? Ellen quipped:

“Now [Abercrombie & Fitch] actually have a double zero. What are we aspiring to? ‘Honey, do these jeans make my butt look invisible in this?‘”

Crafting jokes, skits, comedic sets and punchlines in such a way is living a rarefied air and artistry we don’t see quite enough of. Too, though reading and shade has its place in queer culture, this type of kidding around is based on finding and digging into flaws, and adding salt to wounds (real, perceived or straight-up made up).

In other words, the origin and intent of reading/shade/the dozens, however creative, is more degrading.

And Now, Your Host…

Ellen’s first Oscars hosting gig took place in 2007. In a tongue-in-cheek self-released press statement Ellen added:

“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm….”

Laugh on, Ms. E. Laugh on.

Click below to watch 5 of Ellen’s Best Award Show Moments:


The 86th Annual Academy Awards takes place on March 2, 2014. So is Ellen the right woman for the job, or what?


Grok These, Please: Queer Slam Poems and Creative Poetry Videos


Praising and Raising our Work: On Mindshare and Memory

Riveting. Emo. Uplifting. Heartbreaking. Heart-opening. Poetry heals, helps and heartens all who encounter its majesty, power, artistry.

When a poem is passed from hand to hand, eye to eye, heart to heart, soul to soul, the bearer and the receiver are forever changed.

Writer Neil Hilborn’s touching performance in his slam poem “OCD” has recently gone viral, bringing to mind the many LGBTQIA poets and creatives in our midst with their own stories of love and life.

Slam poems and artistic poetry performance videos dovetail so nicely into the framework of social media, aka “Short Attention Span Theater.” All the while, the popularity of such creatives and their efforts debunk the myth that we’re all becoming bots, drones and distracted Internet denizens who can do nothing but lower the bar when it comes to being entertained. As we praise the art, we raise the art.

Queerly Speaking: Queerious Poems & Artistic Feats

There are many queer artists of late who’ve come to shine brightly, find their audiences and clock hundreds of thousands of views for sharing their feelings, style, art, writing and messages in video form—and thank goodness for them. With each new word experienced, we’re reminded to walk through this life: chin up, spirits high, feet facing forward.

Women of the World Poetry Slam winner Denice Frohman’s “Dear Straight People” video is one of the many gorgeous works capturing our imaginations. Garnering clicks, attention, ongoing #lolz and serious praise, Frohman’s hard-hitting truths hammer out insightful words of witticism and encourage laughs of recognition. Here are but a few gems encapsulated in a handful of minutes:

“Sexuality and gender…? Two different things. Combined in many different ways. If you mismatch your socks, you understand.”

“Dear Hip Hop: why are you fascinated with discovering gay rappers? Gay people rap. Just like gay people ride bikes and eat tofu.”

“Dear straight bullies, you’re right: we don’t have the same values. You kill everything that’s different. I preserve it.”

Words cascade like waterfalls. Prosaic glitter and poetic license, new beats and audio treats make their way towards all who have ears to hear, fingers to snap, hands to clap, and believing hearts to respond.

Visit the links below to watch these and so much more: it’s compelling, queer-powered poetry in motion.

Denice Frohman

“Dear Straight People” (WOWPS 2013)





Tanya Davis

“How to Be Alone”




Shane Koyczan

“Pork Chop” from the To This Day Project


Shanita Jackson and Dakota Oder 

“Civil Rights”


Noah St. John 

“Noah St. John Performs at Queeriosity 2010”


Stayceyann Chin

“Feminist or a Womanist”


Andrea Gibson

The Jewelry Store



To watch all of these videos as a playlist, please click the link below.


Mindshare & Memory: Slam Poems & Creative Poetry Videos


“One of Us?” Not As Much…On Fatboy Slim’s Queer Behavior

“The most ironic thing is that most of what we do was invented by black, gay Americans in the first place.”

– Fatboy Slim, on EDM / House Music

Fatboy Slim: Queer…or Just European?

Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) is not one to dither around or dilly-dally when it comes to sonic expansiveness and creative perception. While serving as producer, writer or DJ, Fatboy “Jack-of-All-Genres” Slim happily bounces from genre to genre to suit each new mood, project or opportunity. His range of landscapes at-play include Independent Pop, British Hip Hop and House, Big Beat and Dance music, naturally.

Born Quentin Cook, this UK underground boy gone massive came from punk rock beginnings and scruffy indie aesthetics before heading away to college in Brighton, then segueing into club and DJ culture.

Cook enjoyed a brief stint as the bassist for UK alt-pop outfit The Housemartins and experienced his first dash of fame during the band’s “Happy Hour” phase. Soon enough, Cook worked his way back to clubbing and DJ’ing, finally gaining a critical mass of attention and fans with his production and mashup skills, and eventually coming into his own with the fame and success of the hypnotic tracks “Praise You” and “The Rockafeller Skank.”

Some lads hear it more than others, but the “Is He Gay or Just European?” trope prevails in a culture where a metrosexual is a term the British media coined to describe a distinctly European look, sensibility and sexual fluidity (often but not always attached to disposable income and class). Such themes include but are not limited to: effeminate fashion, unisex/asexual presentation and (ahem) sexual experimentation or fluidity. The fact that all metrosexual men are “straight” is of course hogwash. Too–more and more, youth culture refuses to “pick a team” or define themselves by any label whatsoever.

So now, we have the news that Fatboy Slim is a regular Pride entertainer, a staunch LGBTQ advocate, and has ‘experimented with’ men sexually.

If you’d hear it from Cook himself, it’s N.B.D., but perhaps of some interest: back in 2004, Fatboy Slim told the press, “Well, everyone’s had one try-out experience, haven’t they?”

On his relationship with wife Zoe Bell, Fatboy Slim went on, “Me and Zoe have always been convinced [our son is] gay anyway.”

The fact that such goings on were mostly laughed off and minimized typifies the sexual fluidity that is our shared human experience. In less of a “bi-chic” moment and more of a “yeah, that happened” moment, Cook’s language wasn’t quite politically correct but his sentiment speaks to a nonchalance that reveals how natural and fluid sexuality is.

Is this something we can or should ignore?

Being that Fatboy Slim’s son’s still of a tender age, Cook may be keeping laser-point specifics of his son’s life private and deflecting the concept of queering personal life or relationships. However last year, Cook told Pink News UK his that supporting equal marriage is a ‘no brainer’ and revealed, “I talk about the issue with my son.”

Cook, who’s done much education and advocacy work for local young artists in his hometown, once performed at the Terrace Bar of the House of Commons to support even more community-based music initiatives for youth. By having done so, could he be, however subconsciously, helping to open the minds of UK lawmakers to queer culture, sexually fluid living and LGBTQ art and iconography?

Time will tell.

Meanwhile, are Fatboy Slim’s remarks about his own ‘sexual experimentation’ dismissive…or “normal?”

In essence, you cannot un-queer yourself, culturally or sexually. What’s definitive here is that Cook is decidedly an ally. And for the time being, the rest is none of our “B.I.-IZ-NESS.”

Have a nosh on the concept while you nod your head to Fatboy Slim’s video, “Weapon of Choice” feat. Christopher Walken.  (Yes, Hunty’s: come back and share your thoughts with us after the jump-off.)



“Would You Rather…?” And Other Random Comedy Hijinks With Billy on the Street

Meet Billy on the Street.

While minding your own business strolling down the streets of New York City, would you rather:

A) Get “Quizzed in the Face.”

B) Subject yourself to a“Lesbian Lightning Round” game with a pack of wild lesbians for cash or prizes.

C) List sex moves in front of Mr. Rogers.

D) Fight in public about Denzel Washington.

E) Watch Billy Eichner humiliate Will Ferrell.


….for a dollar. Hurry up—quick, dammit! Choose your final answer.


[Insert your answer here.]


Do you accept that as your final answer?

Sorry, no! You’re wrong.


Guess what—there is no right answer!


Get At Me, Billy: Cray Cray Gay Videos

Something wicked this way comes: it’s Billy on the Street, a different kind of game show featuring your host, Billy Eichner (Bob’s Burgers, Upright Citizens Brigade).

Billy on the Street will shove his microphone directly in your face, scream out questions, random facts or celebrity’s names, chase you as you flee from him, run toward you like a freight train, or just plain scream.

And this ain’t no “Cash Cab” or “Price is Right.”

Quizzically queer himself, Billy loves spouting off occasional gay dude jokes with no real punchlines, and his show’s all about silly spectacle, gay-centric chaotic confusion and the comedy of the awkward.

This show is all about smart-ass #LOLZ for smarties, “Makin’ dreams come true” courtesy of FUSE TV, a US-based cable outlet.

“Do you like FUSE?” Eichner asks impromptu contestant “Mr. Singh. “They play, like, five-hour long blocks of Rihanna videos. You’ll love it!”

For those of you playing the home game, as you can tell by now, nothing and no one is sacred here.

Should you dare to answer Billy’s questions correctly and win, you may or may not get a prize valued at around a dollar.* Then, Eichner will immediately run away from you or shoo you away with an accompanying “Thank you—bye now,” “Get the f—out of here,” or other such quickly-pummeled pleasantries.

Should you happen to answer incorrectly and lose, you’ll experience public humiliation (be forced to wear chicken suits or wear sandwich boards telling people how idiotic you are). So either way, the viewers always win.

(*In all fairness, sometimes Billy will reward you with a honkin’ huge chunk of cash—as in a hundred dollars or more, or prize equivalent. However, that too is random.)

Give the People What They Want: Manic-Comedic Fire Drills

Moreover, Billy’s improv antics, random celebrity sightings and occasional cattiness have earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination. For going on four whole seasons, Eichner’s been annoying folks just trying to get to work or take in a solo tour of New York in peace, while he amuses the rest of us.

His persona? It’s pure-grade a-hole. The absolute nerve…!

Billy Eichner will find you and eff with you. It will be filmed for posterity and guffaws. You will become Internet-infamous for less than 15 minutes, and the world will laugh at you. It’s just a matter of time.

FUSE, iTunes, Funny or Die and YouTube jointly host clips and full episodes of the Billy on the Street series.

Take a shot at a random interaction with Billy @BILLYEICHNER, tweet your aggro quiz questions to #BILLYONTHESTREET, or click here to visit him at YouTube.

#FTW! Watch Billy quiz a gay man in the face: just how much do you know about vaginas? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN70ur7-Q7A



Success Fit For a Queen: Queen Latifah’s New Talk Show & LGBT-Ally Strides

RT ‏@FlavorUnitEnt | Are you ready?? “@IAMQUEENLATIFAH-“I really think there’s space in daytime TV for a whole bunch of fun, some amazing music, and some heart.”

– A recent tweet from Queen Latifah’s promotions crew

When Queen Latifah walks, she’s always walking on the red carpet. Cheerful, elegant and reflective, she can also turn on a Hip Hop Head “mean mug” glance in a heartbeat. She’s a strong, gorgeous, proud—and many say Same Gender Loving—woman of color making great moves in this world.

Queen Latifah’s been spotted out and about over time with  rumored girlfriends (http://www.eurweb.com/2012/05/queen-latifah-lesbian-girlfriend-photo-galler), is often noticed partying in lesbian clubs, and made her first high-profile public appearance at last year’s  Long Beach Pride (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/queen-latifah-did-not-come-out-pride_n_1529566.html).

She’s making the press rounds to share fantastic professional news: “The Queen’s” new daytime TV talk show will begin airing on Sept. 16 and is co-produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who recently made headlines yet again for their frankness regarding open relationships.

In this world, when you’re an entertainer, news bytes such as these make front page news hand-in-hand. Still, unlike Will and Jada, Queen Latifah isn’t fazed: she’s keeping her personal life out of the spotlight, no matter what we think we know about it.

During a recent press junket, Latifah told THR, “I don’t feel the need to discuss my private life on this show or on any show. There’s the part of my life that the public and I share together. And there’s the part that’s mine to keep for myself. And that’s mine. For me.”

Encouraging self-love, self-acceptance, optimal nutrition (with her Jenny Craig low-pressure “Ideal Size” campaigns), and self-care with a stylish flair, Latifah’s less of a guru and more of a “Can-Do.” (“She did it, I can too.”

One thing’s for sure: her private life is private, and to know there’s an ally in our midst who got her start in Hip Hop (whatever her sexual orientation and preference) and builds a bridge across many cultures in such a way is definitely a good thing.

Find out more about Queen Latifah’s new show how at http://queenlatifah.com, and click here to watch her chat with THR at YouTube. ()

All hail the Queen! Send your congrats and big-ups to Queen Latifah @IAMQUEENLATIFAH.

Queer Indie Comedy Revolution

Stand Out National Queer Comedy Search

Queeriously Funny: Let’s Start A Comedy Riot

There’s funny as in “funny…” and funny as in “Ha-ha!” Like Lady Gaga said, “Thank God and the Gays” we get to have both, Mary. Queers can “do funny” like (snaps fingers) nobody’s business. Making being “funny” funny is a straight-up Survival 101 tactic, and LGBTQ folks are living, breathing comedy maestros.

Stand Out: The National Queer Comedy Search is looking for the best of the best in “LGBT-owned and operated” jokes, routines, comedy skits, standups, funny performers and all-rounder smart-alecks of LGBTQ comedy.

Reviewing the submissions now, Stand Out just wrapped up its inaugural queer comedy search, and final contestants will each vie for a shot at winning over of $2,000 and a featured article in The Advocate magazine. Top-headlining performances will be hosted by Queer Comedy at Zanies in the heart of Chicago (thought by many to be the standup capital of the United States).

Laugh Queen, Laugh

From an OutLoud Chicago post:

“Presented by OutLoud Chicago, Absolut Vodka, Sidetrack The Video Bar and The Advocate Magazine, Stand Out strives to find the best in queer and queer-friendly comedy from all across the country, giving comedians national exposure and ending with a live competition for over $2,000 and a feature story in The Advocate.”

Though The Advocate’s always been a forerunner in covering queer comedy news, in the last few months, the leading gay publication has been promoting Gaysayer, their new LGBTQ-inclusive comedy Twitter stream, pumping out queer (and allies’) comedy tweets like clockwork. You don’t have to be queer to play @Gaysayer, but you’d better make it funny to get retweet-able attention.

Care for a sample and a chuckle? Check out a few of Gaysayer’s greatest RT’s.

Retweets (RT’s) shared via @Gaysayer:

RT ‏@michelleisawolf “Cool, yeah, keep calling yourself the LONE Ranger like I’m not right here” – Tonto.

RT  ‏@mkpaulsen I love wearing tight tshirts in dangerous areas, or as I call it “Anderson Coopering”. #StevieTV

RT ‏@LesbianLounge I am totally ready for the Lindsay Lohan/Amanda Bynes remake of “Thelma & Louise”.

RT @Zackblows Anderson Cooper’s nickname is “the silver fox” which is also what Betty White calls her vagina. #StevieTV

RT  ‏@jamismithcomic I just made decisions about my own vagina in honor of Wendy Davis.

RT  ‏@Jefflawrencenyc Anderson Cooper finally admitted he was gay. That’s the only thing he ever said that wasn’t news. @Gaysayer

RT ‏@HeyJeffreyJay I knew I had to lose weight when I grew out of my fat pants and had to start wearing my old skirts. #TransProblems

RT  @jamismithcomic I keep bumping into women at this crowded parade and calling it sex later on the phone with my friends.

RT  ‏@JasonBerlin The Greeks had a word for gay athletes. It was “athletes.”

RT @louisvirtel I imagine Britney Spears has perfect Comic Sans handwriting.

RT @RubinReport #PopeFrancis won’t judge gay people. I knew when he said, “Hey Jesus Heyyyy! at his first mass it was a good sign.

RT @kellyoxford Can I use Grindr to find a gay man to tell me if my outfit is okay?

Tee-hee! Visit here to tweet along with Gaysayer. (https://twitter.com/gaysayer) No guarantees, but they’re known to RT the sharpest barbs and wittiest quips they discover.

Are you a queer comedian, or do you want to be one? Psyche yourself up for next year’s contest by checking out the info here (http://www.advocate.com/comedy/2013/07/02/do-you-stand-out-were-searching-best-queer-comedy). Good luck…and stay gay!

Your move, funny people….

The Politics of (Drag) Dancing: RuPaul’s Girls Go Mainstream

On Drag In Public


“It’s not personal; it’s drag.”

– Ms. Alyssa Edwards


“I get my makeup tips from RuPaul,” says Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the current matriarch of Baltimore, Maryland. “I watch his ‘Drag Race’ show in freeze frame so I can get good tips.”

When the mayor of a major U.S. City can share such easy-breezy chit-chat about RuPaul in the lifestyle section of the Sunday paper, you know something’s gone mainstream. In this case, it’s drag.

Drag goes back…way back. As a mainstay of Western theater since the 1600s,  prior to that, drag performativity appeared in religious and indigenous tribal cultures worldwide, since before we began thinking of drag in as we know it.

The word “drag,” once shortened stage directions for “dress resembling a girl,” (thanks, Shakespeare!) has in our lifetime transitioned from taboo to “fabu.” Since it was illegal for females to perform in historical productions, guys were forced to work in drag (just imagine their absolute creative freedom and luck!).

As for the words “drag queen,” those first appeared in print in 1941. Yet even then, drag queens weren’t akin to LGBT royalty, and the phrase had a much more pejorative, dismissive ring to it.

In our very recent history, doing drag and being a drag queen was anything but trendy. Gay men and transgender people rejected drag artists, feeling drag performers prompted too much attention toward LGBTQ folks who were trying hard to assimilate—much tin he same way we see butch lesbians and so-called “radical feminists” rejecting transgender individuals, tethered to the idea of cultural “scarcity,” and perpetuating the very fears they seek to squash.

Embracing drag is still relatively new, overall. Now, drag’s less of Maury Povich or Springer “otherness” experience, and more of an ANTM “teach me glamour” experience.

It’s happened gradually enough…as typically occurs on meeting drag queen royalty, first folks are shocked or disgusted, then they react strongly (positive or negative), then comes amusement, then finally, a combination of enchantment, deification and acceptance. All the while, these reactions weigh in on a wide spectrum of attraction. These artists are gorgeous, and even in “skag drag,” our culture is attracted to difference, yet hard-pressed to admit it.

Moving from hated to elated, the renowned drag artist RuPaul, had a similar popularity trajectory.

RuPaul wasn’t the first drag queen to rise to prominence (see: Sylvester, Warhol’s featured Factory drag queens, Divine, Lady Bunny, Miss Coco Peru, and many others). But, RuPaul was the first Drag Queen/Supermodel Glamazon to cross over. No one does drag quite like him, keeping it classy, enjoying multimedia international exposure, and educating as much as he entertains. He has yet to be displaced or overthrown.

While longtime drag queen artists such as The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been the most activism-driven queens, drag has long been an underground “phenom,” and has continued to influence and drive culture from the margins.

Drag royalty such as Chad Michaels and myriad impersonators doing Cher, Barbra, Liza, Diana and the like used to make most of their money in Vegas or resorts, in private shows for select celebs, or in underground or lower-profile LGBT clubs and bars.

Drag queen acceptance has finally become a part of our lexicon, with more and more Hollywood stars from Sally Jesse Raphael to anyone who’s made guest appearances on RuPaul’s various shows since the 90s continually co-signing, legitimizing drag in the mainstream.

We see this on a daily basis as Vanessa Williams and Solange Knowles light up their Twitter accounts, “Yes Miss Thing!’ing up the Internet and snagging queens to do their makeup for them. All the while, if Amanda Bynes even tries it with an anti-drag ding or a diss, her vitriol is shut down “with a quickness.”

So okay, UK Royals, you can have your royal baby. That’s all fine and well. We’ll keep our drag queen royalty and crown them happily—thanks ever so much.

Make Dat Money: Drag Is An Art And A Job

 “Scam money don’t make money, but freak money do.”

re:  “RT @LionsInMyHead: how do I make quick money Ru?”

– RuPaul’s recent tweet


Yes. Drag is popular entertainment, no doubt. Dressing up in drag is still, however, an entirely political act, onstage and off.

Queens such as Mykki Blanco, Heidi Glum and countless others continue to expose the horrible ritual of “drag-fag” bashing that’s still all too customary.

Though drag is often performed for laughs, drag changes lives. RuPaul’s Drag Race alone does indeed change the life course of formerly underground performers who might have have had very different realities. Though non-Drag Race performers have complained that RuPaul’s girls demand more money and steal their jobs, Drag Race’s popularity increases the value of drag art in general. If you’re listening closely, RuPaul continues to advise all drag performers to take advantage of this open door while it’s still open, warning us that the tides could change at any time, and likely will change.

Massive props are due to RuPaul, the ultimate drag mother, as before he created his “RuPaul’s Drag Race” empire and spinoffs (“Drag U,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” “Untucked,”), he insisted that all the girls on his show would never be the overall the butt of the joke for the program. Even his sisterly contemporary Lady Bunny said reality show producers approached her, forcing her drag sisters to be more bitchy and awful to one another than they would be in real life. (http://www.tgforum.com/wordpress/index.php/tvocalizers-lady-bunny)

RuPaul’s Story

As an actor, renowned drag queen, model, author, and recording artist, RuPaul rose to the ranks in the early 1990s as one of the first major drag queens to appear on mainstream TV and in movies, nabbing a major label deal with Tommy Boy Records. His chart-topping single “Supermodel of the World” just celebrated its 20th anniversary.

RuPaul’s career began where many queens’ careers remain: in underground clubs, gigging from town to town, not knowing where the next bit of money would come from. Though RuPaul jokes about tricking on a regular basis (he doesn’t profess this was his reality), sex work is common for many queens trying to pay the bills between gigs.

Not Just Cat Fights: Sisterly Drag Controversy

“You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don’t care! Just as long as you call me.” – RuPaul

Despite the ease and fluidity with which RuPaul moves back and forth between appearances in and out of drag, rigidity in drag community still exists. There’s still a solid line of demarcation between drag performers and transgender or transgender-appearing individuals.

Publicly, RuPaul continues to make it crystal clear: he does drag for money, not for kicks, not for getting off. Traditionally, drag queens have staved off extended scrutiny or harassment with this through-line whether or not it’s true for them in private. Contemporary queens break even those taboos, playing with kai-kai (drag queen on drag queen) sexual role play much more (see: “Let’s have A Kai Kai” video). Even if such gender play’s done for titillation’s sake, it forces us examine and get rid of discriminatory ideology that makes little sense. It forces us to find drag queens doubly sexy.

Drag culture saw to blooming in the 70s, but it was much more exoticized. Though RuPaul himself began with a “genderfuck” aesthetic (playing with gender assumptions), his drag evolved into glam-specific artistry, and he demands that his drag mentees follow suit.

Genderfuck artists rarely make the cut as RuPaul’s Drag Race winners. (Winner Raja Gemini is an extremely high-glam model, hence was able to win with genderfuck presentation in tow).

Such glam-only strictness is a blessing and a curse in terms of drag performance. It took many years for drag queens to begin to accept transgender folks into the fold, since there’s a stigma surrounding doing drag for pleasure, rather than just for money, let alone even having sex in drag, or wanting to present as a woman. Thus, even in community, there’s a clinging to a “sissy for pay only” mythology. So even effeminate gay men cling to the elusive myth of butch superiority.

The issue here is not whether or not drag artists derive pleasure from the act, but has to do with defensiveness around it, not wanting to be confused with cross-dressers who are generally (at least in terms of the psychology field) straight men.

Drag performers themselves are still slowly warming up to the idea that there are trans performers among them—performers who are becoming more and more fearless about coming out as trans.

Regardless of the inner workings of drag art and commerce,  drag’s here to stay.

You’ll find a list below of some of the RuPaul’s queens (and others, non-affiliated) who have hit the big-time, including early drag queen forerunners enjoying newfound popularity.

Drag Queens Redux – New Royalty and Real-Life Residuals:

* Tyra Sanchez – Featured appearance, Spiritualized’s “Hey Jane” video

* Raven – Featured appearance in MDNR’s “Feed Me Diamonds” video

* Continued mainstream TV and film guest spots with Willam [spelling is correct, “Willam”] and Shangela

*Sharon Needles’ music collaboration with Ana Matronic (Scissor Sisters)

*Jinkx Monsoon’s off-Broadway success (“Hedwig,” “The Vaudevillians,” and more)

*Carmen Carerra’s trans-consciosuness raising appearances on “Cake Boss” and “What Would You Do?”

*Coco Montrese – Guest judge, “Toddlers and Tiaras”

*Alyssa Edwards’ new production deal (RuPaul producing)

*Latrice Royale’s redemptive story (escaping history of jail time, enduring popularity in spite of her confessed past)

*Newfound popularity for artists (many who are no longer with us) like Divine, Sylvester, Candy Darling, the “Paris Is Burning” cast,“Wigstock” the movie, Drag City DC

*Drag performers joining cisgender female trophy girls at awards shows for MTV,  Logo TV

*A brand new Battle of the Seasons U.S. Tour starring past Drag Race winners

*Popularity of YouTube celeb franchises like “Sh*t Girls Say,” Chris Crocker,” Gregory Gorgeous

*Celebrities like Jared Leto and James Franco, rocking cover spreads in drag to little or no controversy

*Continued drag inclusivity and exposure in international art exhibits, Vogue magazine cover shoots, music productions, mainstream art/fashion photography and so much more.

Now, there are even “spinoffs of the spinoffs” on YouTube, including popular drag webcasters CMaddoxBitch and the Throwinshade girls.

The list goes on and on: you would think these appearances are low rent. You’d be wrong: earning legit, non-club gig coin means these performers (including YouTubers) enjoy residuals, more mainstream attention, and a wider opportunity for promotion and distribution (read: income).

The biggest weave snatch of all has to do with RuPaul, informing people in all media outlets possible, all about the many Hollywood actresses (and yes, actors) who glue, tuck, primp, make up and doll up more than you’d ever know. The entertainment industry has always cashed in on selling dreams and creating illusions.

That’s why, even when it seems like it, the art of drag ain’t just no joke.

Don’t get it twisted: just like CMaddoxBitch says, the real winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, every single year, is RuPaul.

Have you ever dressed in drag yourself—you kings and queens, you? Why…or why not?

Transphobic Tragicomedy: Paris Lees Chats With Jonathan Ross

Are Transphobic Jokes Ever Funny? On Paris Lees’ Trans-Empowerment Chat

Have you seen the YouTube dialogue between Paris Lees and Jonathan Ross?

Have a look and check it out: it comes highly-recommended.

In the video created for META,  Lees calmly and compassionately extends a hand to Ross in regard to prior insensitive remarks he’d made about transgendered individuals. First, he’d made a “lady boy airline” joke, then he mishandled social media responses with yet another quip he thought was funny. (When a fellow tweeter called him out on Twitter, he’d answered, “Lighten up. Sir. Madam. Whatever,” prior to making a quick knee-jerk apology.)

As we walk through Lees’ and Ross’ shared and very public video chat, we do see Ross searching for understanding about as he finds ways to personalize what being trans* means. (Example: citing the fact that his daughter is gay – it’s closer to but somewhat wide of the mark).

Paris Lees talks him through the proper way to communicate with and about LGBTQ folks, and trans* folks in particular, from a place of agency, and from her own knowledge and lived experience. All the while, he’s allowed the space to, essentially, brain dump as he moves toward fully embodied accountability.

The fact that the conversation has to do with comedic comments and Ross’ impressions about them provides a teaching moment that could have easily become inflamed, but Lees’ focus in her advocacy work has to do with centeredness, harmony and education. She’s been quoted in the press as being desirous to advocate for others in encouraging ways, making activism relationship-focused, easy as ‘having a chat and a bit of tea,’ and more accessible than accusatory (paraphrased).

While Lees’ viewpoint doesn’t provide others any wiggle room or space for excuses, it puts people at ease who could become unwitting allies and widen the platform for advocacy work simply by correcting themselves in public.

Kudos to Paris and to Jonathan as well—not only for having this conversation, but for sharing it in a public medium.

By video’s end, one does get the feeling that Ross has left the conversation changed—or that, at least, he’ll do double-check before he pens and delivers his next barbs.

To find out more about UK trans* resources or Paris Lees’ advocacy and creative work (additionally, she’s the editor of META magazine), please visit the links below.

Paris Lees’ Trans Empowerment Recommendations

Paris Lees’ Advocacy Site, All About Trans

META Magazine

Paris Lees at YouTube

Trans Media Watch

The Gender Trust

Trans Media Action


To discover and learn more about trans culture in the UK, please visit Paris Lees’ official homepage – Note: website resources in this article were also sourced from Paris Lees’ official homepage – ParisLees.com.

When’s the last time you heard a transphobic joke, and what was it? How did you react?

Don’t Call It A Comeback: Lady Gaga + TLC = “Posh Life”

                                                “The world says we’re not brave until we bleed.”

– From “Posh Life”


It’s official: Lady (Godiva) Gaga is back on her horse, naked as the day she was born, and raring to go. So much so, she’s let her “Posh” go leaking all over the Internet.

Sounds naughty, doesn’t it? It’s not—it’s just posh.

‘Shoutout to My Homos:’ New Divas Demo Collab Mentions “Family”

Post-hip surgery and past-hiatus (if lawsuit drama, full-on nude V. magazine spreads, “Machete Kills” and podcasting piercings counts), The Divine Ms. Lady Gaga’s back and collaborating with TLC to celebrate dual album debuts.

“Posh Life,” co-written by Gaga and Dallas Austin with Austin producing, is a demo that’s already a done deal.

Damn, it’s good to be Gaga! Lest we forget, Lady Gaga began as a successful songwriter. Her “Posh Life” demo leaked mere hours after TLC’s Chilli and T-Boz announced Gaga and Dallas Austin among collaborators on an upcoming TLC greatest hits release. Ne-Yo and J. Cole are additional features.

The highly-anticipated return of TLC is already being met with much acclaim and buzz as they hit the festival circuit, promoting their upcoming VH1 biopic “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story” to drop alongside the album in October. Meanwhile, Gaga’s prepping for her new single release at this year’s  VMAs, with album-app combo ARTPOP scheduled for a November release.

TLC: First In Queer-Influenced Girl Power, Fashion & Fierceness

This divas’ collaboration makes sense. TLC had swag before Bieber and 90s Girl Power before Christina. Both acts earned multiple Grammys and other awards, clocking best-selling album records and highest-grossing tours.

TLC’s “No Scrubs,” “Waterfalls, “What About Your Friends” and” Red Light Special” empowered women to take charge from the bedroom to the boardroom. And Gaga? Scroll on back to

“Born This Way” in 2011 and her countless LGBTQ-empowerment speeches or publicity stunts for a  dose of self-love.

Too, they’re all hella fashion-forward women making sex-positive art.  TLC rocks a combination of R&B-influenced and queer-centric fashion (bespoke condom eye-wear promoting safe sex, butch-dyke hair tropes), pleather and light bondage fear, bold pattern combinations and tight, body-conscious glitter and glam). As for Gaga, we’ve got two more words for you: Jo Calderone.

 ‘Bout That Posh Life: Gaga Got Game

 Back to art-pop, R&B style: “Posh Life” takes the listener to church with soulful swagger. Gaga’s customary postmodern hat tip remains, as she plants shoutouts for queers and POC in the first verse:

“He just wanted something to eat /A place to love, a place to pray/In God we trust /And it’s okay/He said, “I’m black, Latin and gay/I went to them, they turned away.”

As Gaga growls and grinds through “Posh…,” she’s serving old school TLC as best as she can. Better than the real thing? That’s the beauty of a demo…it’s just a guide track.

What’s the song about, exactly: diversity, equality somehow embodied as posh? Who knows? Herein ies the charm of Lady Gaga. Self-admittedly, she’s so fascinated with the art and science of fame, fashionably posh living and perfect pop songs, when queers hear themselves reflected in her lyrics (Gasp! On the radio!), our response is primal and her tracks go viral. The messages are mixed, but this woman thanked “God and the gays” at an awards ceremony—so just dance!

Gaga’s version of the track’s got a light, sensual groove. Still, it would be ultra-pleasurable to hear a newly-reunited TLC bust these outwardly queer lyrics with their own twist.

TLC’s official Facebook page mourns the tragic death of former band mate Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who passed in 2002, while looking forward to brighter days. The group wrote: “Comin’ back with Lisa in our hearts…. We’re hard at work on new tracks and they’re gonna be some of our best ever.”

The “Crazy, Sexy Cool” movie trailer’s gorgeous and hypnotic. Have you seen it?