Instasnap.

I’ve been following folks without abandon on Instagram lately. Here’s a picture of Tom Holland (the latest Spider-man, among other things) foaming at the mouth. He seems bewildered by the acts of shaving.

Fake.

Photo from Instagram.

In case you can’t tell, that’s 1980’s pop sensation Taylor Dayne in the middle of the photograph. She’s had some work done and her lips are very shiny and taut, but that’s her. This photo was taken at the Trump New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-lago. Notice no one in the photo, or the background of the photo for that matter, is wearing a mask. It’s part of the tradition of the Trumps hosting a Coronavirus Super Spreader Event. Taylor will probably have a GoFundMe page by the end of the month asking for her fans to help out with her medical bills.

I haven’t figured out if Taylor Dayne was a paid participant at this MAGA Brouhaha or if she paid the $1,000 fine to go as a guest. Reports vary. Also at the party was Terri Nunn of the musical group “Berlin”, probably best known for their song from the “Top Gun” soundtrack. I have confirmed that Terri Nunn did perform at the event. She sang the famous “Take My Breath Away” at a Coronavirus Super Spreader Event where there’s a really good chance that at least some of the population will be on ventilators by the end of the month. You can’t make the depth of this irony up. The fact that a group named “Berlin” was at a MAGA event is just the cherry on top of this pile of idiocy.

Both Ms. Dayne and Ms. Nunn make a living appearing at LGBTQ+ Pride Events across the world. Folks from all spectrums of the rainbow cram the streets to watch both of these women perform on makeshift stages wrapped in alcohol company logos to hear them croak out their tracks from 30+ years ago to a DAT Tape (I know “DAT Tape” is redundant) being pumped through very large speakers, as folks much younger than their songs gyrate with their abs and other assorted body parts poking through glitter-fied body suits. As a former member of the Radio Corporate Machine, I can safely say that I know Ms. Dayne and Ms. Nunn make a decent amount of cash to appear, but they talk about that being secondary because they’re really there for the LGBTQ+ fans. The check that could buy a car is just secondary to their cause, their purpose, their mission. They sing and perform from the heart.

Except they don’t. Because anyone with a heart or love for the LGBTQ+ community would not be paying to attend or being paid to perform at a Trump New Year’s Eve party at Mar-A-Lago with a bunch of maskless, ghoulish future corpses at a MAGA Super Spreader Event.

Look, back before Trumpism replaced decent Republican behavior I could easily see both sides of the political spectrum. Any human being with a decent moral foundation doesn’t profess their love for the LGBTQ+ community and then start accepting money from or paying money to Trumpists to go to a party in the middle of a global pandemic that has killed 1.84M people world wide, with over 350K of those deaths taking place right here in the United States.

I sincerely hope Taylor Dayne and Terri Nunn will both be overlooked by Pride Committees when we’re allowed to have such events again, because their professions of love and support of the LGBTQ+ community are weak. They’re not there to support the cause, they’re there to collect a paycheck. Nothing more, nothing less. There are artists much more caring and giving to the LGBTQ+ community worthy of our attention. Taylor and Terri are fakes.

Shame on both of them. And don’t support their impending GoFundMe campaigns. They obviously both have the money.

Todd!

I’ve been watching clips of the revival of “One Day At A Time”, which premiered back in 2017 and was canceled after four seasons (three on Netflix, one of Pop!) in December. The show is really good. I don’t know why the show was canceled, but I look forward to catching up on the seasons.

Todd Grinnell plays Schneider. In this incarnation he owns the building. Admittedly, Todd is quite feast for the eyes. Enjoy!

Menz.

Kylie Minogue’s new album “DISCO” dropped this week and I’m just starting to listen to it on Apple Music.

We must always whet our appetite with this video before listening to new music from Kylie.

Because I am way gay, here’s a bunch of men dancing to “Get Outta My Way”. I have my favorite of the bunch.

Out.

I didn’t make this graphic.

Today is National Coming Out Day. Today is the day the LGBTQ+ community encourages support for those coming to terms with their sexuality. As I said on Facebook earlier today:

Today is National Coming Out Day. A LOT has changed since I came out in the mid 1980s, and the vast majority of it has been great progress for the community. Let’s keep that momentum moving forward and let’s respect the individual experience each member of the community has with their coming out process. We don’t all do it the same way or at the same pace.

Even though I came out in the mid 1980s when the AIDS epidemic was nearing full swing and there wasn’t a bunch of letters together (I think it might have been around the start of “GLB”), I didn’t have it too bad. Last night I was watching an episode of “V: The Series” (from 1984) and remember thinking on its original run that Duncan Regher was hot.

Looking at him today I don’t know why I thought that, he’s not really my type. It probably had to do with the hormones of a 16 year old.

Many years ago I wrote a blog entry about coming out, and you can see it here.

Kaye.

For years, decades even, my husband has belched out the words “Kaye Ballard!” whenever we’ve spent time reminiscing about shows we watched as kids. His bark of “Kaye Ballard!” was in reference to “The Mothers-In-Law”, starring Kaye along with Eve Arden on the NBC show that was actually owned and produced by Desi Arnaz, and was co-owned by Proctor and Gamble. NBC didn’t make a lot of money from “The Mothers-In-Law” back in the day and therefore it was cancelled after two seasons and it’s not really talked about that much. Written by the same folks that wrote “I Love Lucy”, it has a very formula farcical feel that seems slightly out of whack from a 1960s sitcom that’s the same age as me, but when you’re in the right frame of mind, it’s a fun show to watch. I knew some about Kaye Ballard; I knew the name, I vaguely remembered the show, I remember her doing things on The Muppet Show and maybe Match Game, and I knew she could sing.

Earl and I just finished watching the entire series of “The Mothers-In-Law” on Amazon Prime this week. I’ve mentioned this a few times on the blog since the beginning of the pandemic.

Kaye Ballard chews through the scenery of “The Mothers-In-Law” in a way that’s hard to describe. Demonstrative? Oh, yeah. Loud? Yep. Boisterous? You bet.

What a freakin’ delight. She’s a hoot and a half.

After watching Kaye do her thing and finishing up the entire series I’ve been reading and watching interviews with Ms. Ballard via the Internet. A brilliant vocalist, she has an amazing voice that was featured on many an album and Broadway show. Kaye passed at age 93 in 2019. From every interview I’ve watched over the past few days, she was a delight, completely honest and forthright, and a good ol’ Show Business broad. They don’t make them like her anymore and we are all at a loss without Kaye Ballard no longer on this Earth. She never married. Who cares? People speculate. It was a different time. She lived her life honestly and completely and shared what she wanted to share and I hope I feel as much vivaciousness as she showed right up through the last interview in the last years of her life.

The third to last episode of “The Mothers-In-Law” features a scene with Kaye and Eve Arden with Don Rickles. Don is ad-libbing from the script during the scene and Kaye and Eve lose it a bit, something you didn’t really see in 1960s sitcoms. It was a delight to watch the other night and if you have Amazon Prime, you should watch it.

I can’t help but wonder if anyone will be writing in this manner in 50 years about the likes of the folks on television today. Will some middle aged gay man pine about Debra Messing that was I’ve been amused by Kaye Ballard’s antics these past few weeks? Doubtful. They don’t make them like that anymore and we’ve lost a great deal of class because of it.

I’m looking forward to spending time listening to Kaye’s albums and enjoying a few moments of what was.

I’ve hinted to my husband that we might have to watch a few episodes of “The Doris Day Show” where Kaye played Doris’ neighbor and owner of an Italian restaurant.

If it’s not on Amazon Prime? “Rats”.

Mean?

BURBANK, CA – MAY 24: Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, May 24, 2016 in Burbank, CA. (Photo by Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)

So word on the street is the persona of Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show may not be an accurate portrayal of her demeanor off stage. Stories of not allowing the consumption of meat by her employees, or not allowing them to look her in the eye, or just being rather mean when not in stage are peppering the Intertubes left and right. Honestly, these stories have been circulating for years, but recent tweets from the likes of Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson reinforcing these believes have helped propel them to new heights.

First of all, can we talk about the whole “you can’t look me in the eye” thing? What sort of weirdo does this? If this is true about anyone, they should probably be avoided at all costs. It takes a certain amount of some sort of psychosis to tell people they can’t look you in the eye. That’s just stupid.

That being said, are we really surprised to find out that Ellen on stage is different from Ellen off stage? I just take it for granted that most famous people are this way. Earl and I were in the audience of a talk show a couple of decades ago and the show host was quite crabby during commercial breaks and refused to sign any autographs or meet any of the audience members after the show. What you saw on television, a bubbly, happy, sing-songy personality, was nothing like what we saw during the break. I’m surprised this host allowed the audience to witness this stuff without signing an NDA.

I’ve read and heard stories like this for literally decades. Years ago I was chatting with a fellow “Bewitched” fan online, who was invited to a “Hollywood Party” with one of the folks from the set of “Bewitched” and he said he met someone that was quite crabby, or as he put it, “she didn’t really turn the world on with her smile that night”.

Everyone has a bad day, right?

I was never an avid viewer of Ellen’s talk show. I’d catch clips here and there as they were force-fed over airport television or something, but other than that, I knew she danced a bit, told some jokes, and then did fluffy interviews with fluffy people. I’ve heard that lately she’s taken her games to a new level, dousing with water and flames or flinging them out of a slingshot or something but I figured that’s just what the American public wants in 2020. I did see her clips with the old lady from Houston who drank Listerine but someone revealed that was a stage hand doing an imitation of an old lady that drank Listerine and I lost interest.

If Ellen is as awful as they say she is then don’t work for her. I know I won’t. I won’t watch her show either, but like her or not, we have more gay people on television today because she was gay on television in the late 1990s. She was probably too gay at the time and so was I but we all survived it.

I won’t be cranky, though, and you can look me in the eye.

Freeze Frame.

Cable didn’t come to my parents’ house until after I graduated high school and was off to college. Short version, my parents’ did not have cable when I lived at home. However, my grandfather had a huge satellite dish in the field next to his house and with the right amount of voodoo we could tune in MTV by whipping the satellite dish around to face the right position in the sky. This was before the days of scrambling the signal so that you had to pay for it. You just grabbed it as the signal blanketed the planet. I once landed on a Russian satellite and heard some screeching noises that nearly blew up the television but I’ll save that for another blog entry.

It was 1983 when Tracey Ullman came out with “They Don’t Know”, a remake of the Kirsty MacColl song from the late 1970s. It was unique on Top 40 radio, reminding us all from the brashness of the “Wall of Sound”, er, sound, from the 1960s. It’s a great track all around.

My grandparents were on one of their month-long trips across the country when I was in their house after school watching MTV, after whipping the satellite dish around trying to find the signal. The first few frames of Tracey’s video for “They Don’t Know” literally took my breath away.

I was a sophomore in high school, already kinda sure of which way my life would be headed as far as a life partner, but after seeing this man bang on the chimes I suddenly had absolutely no doubt that I was 100% certified gay beef.

The sight of this man literally took my breath away. All of sudden everything fell into place and life made sense. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, but I knew someday I would snuggle up next to a man and be very happy.

Of course, hormonal lust was fueling my attraction to this particular guy banging on the chimes, my taste would vary quite a bit to this first gasp of losing my breath, but I knew from that very moment, who and what I was and destined to be.

All because I whipped around a satellite dish in the right direction.

Pride.

For the past couple of years I have marched in Chicago’s Gay Pride parade (is it officially called LGBTQ+ Parade now?) with the NGPA, or National Gay Pilots Association. Even though I don’t fly for the airlines, the NGPA is welcoming of us pilots that like to fly “low and slow” and marching with this group has been very empowering for me.

Earlier today I remarked on Twitter that when I was a young gay lad I felt being gay was something that was not compatible with being a pilot. This was mostly due to my internal homophobia, as while I was out of the closet at a relatively young age for the time (the mid 1980s), I still saw being gay as a “less than”. I figured you couldn’t be a “less than” to become a pilot.

Clearly I was wrong.

I started seeking out the NGPA in the late 1990s and early 2000s when I first started thinking seriously of becoming an airline pilot, but I was still get a solid foothold on my career and finances and all that, so it wasn’t until the early 2010s that I was able to take to the skies. I became a member of the NGPA as soon as I passed my student pilot medical.

Since traditional Pride Celebrations have been cancelled all over the country, the NGPA decided to have a virtual Pride celebration on Zoom, and the festivities took place today. It was really well done; Ongina from RuPaul’s Drag Race is an honorary member of the NGPA Family and she performed, as well as a couple of other members doing the same, interspersed with videos made for the event, contributions from a few airlines, and commentary and information from the President and Vice-President of the organization. We also raised $20K during the event, furthering the coffers that fund the multitude of NGPA Scholarships that are awarded annually.

Aside from the pandemic, this year’s Pride festivities have focused on activism, with focus on and all of the other struggles our society faces today. I am proud to be a member of the National Gay Pilots Association. And with the timber and tone of this year’s Pride, I feel more compelled than ever to do my part in getting the country back on course and recognize the value ALL of us bring to the equation. Not since the AIDS crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s have I felt the urge to contribute to the activism needed to make things better.

After the NGPA event wrapped up, Earl and I watched the Pride Celebration on Chicago’s ABC 7. The news media here in The Windy City usually gives live coverage of the Pride Parade and associated events; ABC 7 broadcasted a special today, and it was very well done.

I’m happy to see technology used in such a positive way.

Happy Pride, everyone! Let’s keep using this momentum to make the world a better place for all!

There Is Hope.

I totally didn’t see this coming: “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation”.

The vote was 6-3.

There is hope for 2020. Click the screen cap for the link to the NPR coverage.

Courtesy of NPR.