Every week, the GLAAD Wrap brings you LGBT-related entertainment news highlights, fresh stuff to watch out for, and fun diversions to help you kick off the weekend.
1) Exposed, a 2013 documentary about Burlesque directed by New York underground artist Beth B, will be released in New York on March 14th. Accompanied with live performances by those burlesque artists included in the film, the release follows a long tour of film festivals, beginning with the film's premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. You can find out more about attending the theatrical release, as well as more information on the film and Beth B, here.
2) The documentary film To Be Takei has been picked up by Starz Digital Media, and will receive a theatrical release later this year. The film details the life of Star Trek actor and political activist George Takei, and premiered at Sundance this year. It includes interviews with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, among others. To Be Takei most recently screened as part of SXSW.
3) Yoruba Richen, director of the GLAAD Media Award nominated documentary The New Black, has been invited to give a TED Talk next week. The film follows African American community outreach leading up to the passage of marriage equality in Maryland, and was also a nominee for NAACP's Image Awards. Richen herself will also be honored at this year's Stonewall Community Foundation annual awards celebration. Her TED Talk is scheduled for March 18th, so look for it online next week!
4) Lifetime has announced that the sixth and final season of the GLAAD Media Award-winning show Drop Dead Diva will premiere March 23rd at 9pm. From out creator Josh Berman, Diva has included many LGBT-inclusive episodes over the years, including a 2013 episode currently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.
5) Season four of MTV's Awkward is getting ready for two new gay characters, portrayed by actors Monty Geer and Evan Crooks. The writers of the show, who are gay themselves, explain how they wanted to create characters "whose sexuality wasn't the most important thing in their lives." The new season premieres April 15th at 10pm E.T.
6) Openly gay director (and Oscar nominee) Lee Daniels is creating new Fox family drama Empire, which is centered around the head of a hip-hop record label and his family. The cast features actors with whom Daniels has previously worked, including Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, and Gabourey Sibide. No release date has yet been announced. Empire will mark Daniels' first foray into television.
7) Teen Wolf is getting two new lacrosse players for season four, and one of them is gay! Khylin Rhambo, known for his role as Dink Meeker on Ender's Game, will play the not-so-stereotypical gay character, Mason who could become a love interest for fellow lacrosse player Danny.
8) Jane Lynch, Beyoncé, and GLAAD's own president Sarah Kate Ellis have teamed up with Lifetime, The Girls Scouts of the USA, and LeanIn.org for a new campaign to Ban Bossy. The PSA project has a simple message: together we can encourage girls to lead. Check out Lynch and other celebrities voicing support for this important project here.
9) Transparent has been ordered by Amazon for more episodes following the premiere of its pilot episode earlier this year. Directed by Six Feet Under writer Jill Soloway, the show follows the story of a family as they help one of their parents transition. You can watch the pilot for Transparent on Amazon Prime here, and look out for new episodes later this year.
10) NBC has announced that Dana DeLorenzo and Kim Shaw will play an engaged lesbian couple on the new comedy pilot Two To Go. Following the friendship between Kurt, played by Michael Stahl-David, and Laura, played by Christine Woods, the show portrays the difficulties of balancing dating and friendship.
11) Adam Shankman, known for his role as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, is set to direct and choreograph Hair at the Hollywood Bowl. The musical set amongst a hippie tribe during the Vietnam War also features a bisexual love triangle. Ticket sales begin May 4th, and can be purchased here. The show will run from August 1st-3rd in Los Angeles.
12) The cast for MTV's new season of The Challenge has been announced, and features some of the famous LGBT cast members of past seasons of the Real World. This time contestants on the show will not compete in paris or teams, but for themselves. Among the notable LGBT contestants are Aneesa from The Real World: Chicago, Frank from The Real World: San Diego, and Preston from The Real World: New Orleans. The Challenge: Free Agents premieres April 10th at 10pm. Check out the trailer for this season below.
13) Steve Grand's debut album All-American Boy needs your help to finish production and secure radio play. The gay country singer first gained national attention last summer with the release of his single "All-American Boy" on YouTube, which has more than 2.8 million views. Grand actually met his $81k Kickstarter goal a mere 17 hours after launching his campaign, but is now using the additional funds he has raised to cover the costs of radio promotion and take his songs to a wider audience. You can preview "Back to California" (a song from the forthcoming album) below, or check it out on iTunse or Bandcamp.