As newly svelte singer Jennifer Hudson plans to hit Atlanta on Wednesday for book signings of “I Got This,” she remembers back to the love she got from gay Atlanta before she was skinny and even before she went national on “American Idol.”
“Atlanta is like a second home,” the singer tells the AJC.
She frequently sang at gay clubs in Atlanta, where she was fully embraced even before she auditioned for “Idol.”
If you didn’t catch her belting out that now-famous voice at a local gay haunt way back before her 2003 audition at the Georgia Dome for Simon and the gang, or if it’s just been too darn long since she blew you away with an Oscar-winning performance in “Dreamgirls,” you get two shots on Wednesday: the Kennesaw Weight Watchers at 2 p.m. and Buckhead Barnes & Noble at 7 p.m.
“I Got This” is a memoir of sorts, mostly about her weight loss, including Simon Cowell telling her to lose weight, the producers of “Dreamgirls” asking her to gain 20 pounds, and an embarrassing photoshop thinning for her first album. But for a memoir, there’s hardly any “Idol” dish and absolutely no reference to the infamous murders of her mother, brother and nephew. In addition to the book, Hudson will play Winnie Mandela in the upcoming major feature film.
The list of finalists for one of Georgia’s most prestigious awards for fiction includes gay Atlanta writer and editor Collin Kelley. His recently released “Remain in the Light” is among the 10 best novels by a Georgia writer released in the last two years, according to the overseers of the Townsend Prize.
Originally released as an e-book and now available in hard-copy, “Remain in the Light” is Kelley’s second novel. Already a critically acclaimed mystery that suspense fans won’t want to miss, the story has not only the “excellence and originality in language” and “human insight” that the Townsend jury is looking for, it also includes shadowy secrets in the dark underbelly of 1930s Paris and a clandestine gay lover.
“In 1968, Irène Laureux’s husband was murdered during the Paris student and worker riots. Thirty years later, she is still on the hunt for the man who knows how and why Jean-Louis died – his secret lover, Frederick Dubois.”
The Townsend Prize won’t be announced until April 26, but Kelley, who is also a published poet, an organizer of the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival and the editor of Atlanta Intown newspaper, will be busy until then. Georgia Center for the Book hosts his launch party for “Remain the Light” on Jan. 31 at Decatur Library.
Now this is a Help Wanted ad we can get behind: If you know how to strut your stuff, got the look to back it up and don’t mind putting your junk out there for public ogling, there’s a job waiting for you on Sunday. Think of it as your own little way of celebrating the MLK holiday.
The Adult Entertainment Division of Meak Productions, Inc. is currently seeking Gay/Bisexual Male Exotic Dancers, Adult Models and/or Go-Go Dancers OF ALL RACES to perform for an upcoming event this MLK Weekend (Sunday Night).
We URGENTLY Need Caucasian, Latin & Asian Male performers who are attractive, Athletic - Muscular Build, must be at least 18 years of age and older, and located in or around Metro Atlanta, Ga. Amateurs are welcomed - Those with Industry Experience is a PLUS! Get a Flat-Rate pay plus tips.
Oh, the tips. If you look like the Halloween hottie bartender above or the Santa Speedo Run stud to the side, expect that the tips will bankroll your summer vacay. Hurry, though. The event – part of the Rockstars Production and Lions Den holiday weekend lineup – is Sunday at Club Europe. View the full ad here; go here to submit your application.
Rocket Man and parttime Atlantan Elton John dives into the publishing pool with “Love Is The Cure,” a call to action on AIDS and personal reflections on the disease to benefit his AIDS Foundation.
Subtitled “Ending the Global AIDS Epidemic,” the book will include the pop star’s thoughts on why more is not being done to cure the disease. It will also include his personal chronicle of the pandemic through his memories of friends whose lives were cut short by AIDS, including Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
The legendary singer who came out as gay before it was considered safe to do so and has raised millions through the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He tells the Associated Press that AIDS “is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers.”
The book is due out in July.
Photo by Matt Sayles/AP
If you’ve never watched Donald Trump’s trumped-up “Apprentice” franchise or its ratings-whore “Celebrity” rendition, the new season may be a good time for gay fans to start. Clay Aiken, George Takei, Aubrey O’Day and Lisa Lampanelli are on board for the Feb. 12. premiere.
NBC announced the cast on Wednesday, and it’s your usual mishmash of personalities from Victoria Gotti and Arsenio Hall to Tia Carerre, Lou Ferrigno, Cheryl Tiegs and Adam Carolla.
The list of 18 goes on and on, but suffice it to say that, in our opinion, the show was in sore need of some gay appeal. Enter singer Aiken and – hopefully for producers – his throng of loyal followers, as well as “Star Trek” alum and out actor Takei with his corresponding trekky fanbase.
The show will also see gay-friendly comedian and self-proclaimed “ballsy bitch” Lampanelli, whose chosen charity is Gay Men’s Health Crisis. O’Day is appearing on the show to raise money for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Eduction Network. Singer and LGBT ally Deborah Gibson is also a contestant.
The best news for Claymates? Several members of this season’s cast hint that Aiken is one to watch for the win.
Sticking my dick in a guy’s mouth makes me gay. That’s what I’m going talk about. It is very aggressive and can be offensive, but I try to break down barriers by hitting you over the head with it. Interestingly, it has worked in Tennessee, which is a very homophobic climate. The formula works. Objectifying men, they connected with it. I don’t meander about. I come out and say I’m gay and punch you in the face with it. I don’t come off as weak, and it works.
Well, there you go. Once a married father of three, Depp’s brand of in-your-face humor landed him a slot on the Sundance Channel’s “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.” He’s also performed at Atlanta’s Laughing Skull Lounge in Midtown (video).
If you’re among the fans who believes the best “Project Runway” days are behind us, “Project Runway: All Stars” hits Bravo on Thursday to relive it with a few Atlantans, gay contenders and favorites of seasons past who get a second chance to win it all.
Among the dreamers getting their hopes up again (photo) are talkative Atlanta designer Anthony Williams and edgy SCAD grad April Johnston, each of whom lasted well into their season of the “All Stars” mother series.
Perhaps more exciting from a design perspective are the returns of gay designers Rami Kashou, Austin Scarlett, Jerrell Scott and Mondo Guerra, who several fans think were robbed of better rankings in their first go-rounds. We’ll also get to see the likes of finalists Mila, Austin and Kenley, as well as missed-it-by-that-much finishers Sweet P, Kara and Michael Costello. For dramatic purposes, the very un-all-starry likes of Elisa and Gordana will bring more personality than talent. Who? Exactly.
Regulars for the Bravo show premiering on Thursday at 9 p.m. include not Michael Kors, Isaac Mizrahi; not Nina Garcia, Georgina Chapman; not Heidi Klum, Angela Lindvall; and not Tim Gunn, Joanna Coles.
Face it. You spent the weekend recovering from a New Year’s Eve hangover and searching out a helping of black-eyed peas. Not the ladies of the new My Sister’s Room.
The new owners of the East Atlanta lesbian hangout pulled out their hammers and got to work. Yes, lesbians .. hammers … construction. They’ve got a remake to finish in time for the Re Grand Opening on Saturday.
Co-owner Jennifer Maguire—aka Chase Daniels, who last month announced the purchase of the joint with partner Jami Siden—on Wednesday offered a sneak peek of the new billiards room via Twitter and Facebook (photo). Think darts, pool tables and sports memorabilia.
After the opening celebration on Saturday, it’s a full schedule of events: The sports bar opens on Jan. 14 with God-des & She and Bedlam returns with its crazy gay monthly parties on Jan. 21. Halycon is scheduled for Feb. 4.
Staying safe in Midtown can be a challenge for any gay. A tough economy now mixed with a holiday time of year made for nightlife partying brings out the criminals looking for easy prey. Good thing, then, that the rules of staying safe are similar to those you use to cruise.
Lt. Brent Schierbaum (photo), the gay cop who oversees the Atlanta Police Department’s Community Liaison Unit and reports to another gay cop, offered his tips to staying safe this holiday season in a video interview with Midtown Patch. Schierbaum has marched with other LGBT officers in the Atlanta Pride parade and defended the agency during a public forum after the botched Eagle raid.
The takeaway from Schierbaum’s tips? The same rules you should employ for better cruising: Don’t flash your bling, always take a wingman (or wingwoman), avoid poorly lit areas, trust your instincts, react if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, and have a sober friend help make smart choices for your drunk ass.
Perhaps you’ve considered hiring yourself out as a condom tester. Sorry, stud. The reality of crash-testing rubbers is more shower caps and shoe cozies and less naked than you’re thinking, but we still can’t help but find fascinating this peak into the lengths your condom can go.
For AIDS Awareness Month, LifeStyles condoms invites us into a testing facility to show how safe their products are. Nice to know, but this Mr. Science Guy take is just plain funny, too.
Air inflation to three-feet by one-foot (photo), vibrating metal dildo wheels, water balloon games and “electronic testing” – ouch! – look more like party tricks than any situation we’d want to put our penises. Sounds more like what happens in one of gay Atlanta’s contests at the Easter Drag Races with the Armorettes. Those queens know how to blow up some condoms.
In the end, though, it’s great to have your peace of mind with a side of giggle and an extra helping of agog.