More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
The GLAAD Wrap: Gayby Opens, Beth Ditto Memoir Released, and Secret Life of the American Teenager Ending
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) Writer-director Jonathan Lisecki’s critically acclaimed film Gayby is being released in limited theaters this weekend. The comedic tale centers on two best friends Matt, who works at a comic book store, and yoga instructor Jenn as they decide to have a baby. Even though Matt is gay, they decide to conceive the old-fashioned way. Their lack of success causes them to hilariously try multiple times even though neither of them wants to perform the act. Meanwhile, their gay friends Jamie and Nelson at times revel in their misery but are also supportive of the process. Check out a trailer for the film below, and look for the film at a theater near you.
2) The upcoming fifth season of ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager will be the teen drama’s last. The show contains numerous LGBT characters, and will begin airing its final 12 episodes in March. The show about unexpected teen pregnancies and how people deal with them will have aired in excess of 120 episodes by the series finale. These LGBT-inclusive episodes, along with Pretty Little Liars, helped shoot ABC Family toward the top of GLAAD’s Network Responsibility Index report in recent years.
3) Lesbian singer-songwriter AG released her new EP, titled The Beatles, this week. In the set, AG covers the only six songs by the legendary band that are not owned by Sony Music. Instead, Round Hill Music recently acquired the rights to the catalogue. As a solo artist AG was never forced to hide her identity. “Don't try and be the next anybody," she says. "Try and be the first you. However you define that—offering your honest, unique perspective is the greatest gift you can give to the world.” The set features covers of “She Loves You” and “I Wanna Be Your Man,” which you can check out a music video for below. Check out the EP on iTunes.
4) Out Grammy-nominated vocalist and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello released Pour une Âme Souveraine (For a Sovereign Soul): A Dedication to Nina Simone this week. She was inspired to record this album after performing at a tribute concert for the late singer-songwriter earlier this year. Meshell previously contributed a seductive cover of “Two Doors Down” to Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton in 2003. Her new set contains 14 songs and spans the entire career of the “High Priestess of Soul” from the late ‘50s to the early ‘70s. Of course, no tribute to Nina Simone would be complete without “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “Feeling Good,” which Meshell reinvents with a heavy bass. Check out the album on iTunes.
5) On Tuesday, October 30th The Beacon Theatre in New York City will host Freedom to Love Now! A Concert for Marriage Equality. Sponsors BOOM For Equality and Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman) recently announced the addition of Beth Orton, Sam Amidon, and the recently reunited Cibo Matto to an already star-studded lineup. Previously announced acts include the recently married Rufus Wainwright, fun., They Might Be Giants, and John Cameron Mitchell. Proceeds will support Freedom to Marry, and will directly effect the marriage campaigns in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, and Washington. Click here to find out more information. You can purchase tickets here.
6) Beth Ditto literally wrote the book this time around. This week saw the release of her long-awaited memoir Coal to Diamonds. In the memoir, Ditto chronicles her upbringing in Arkansas, including confusion about her biological father and sexual abuse by her uncle. She shares the excitement of her move to Olympia, Washington where she found punk rock and vegetarianism. Ditto does not keep it secret that she believes that sexism keeps her band Gossip from greater success in the United States, and she details her thoughts on feminism. Check out the book on Amazon or find a local bookstore to support here.
7) Bent-Con, which GLAAD previously wrote about, is right around the corner. This LGBTQ (self-proclaimed) geek event is now in its third year, and will be bigger than ever. Now over two days long, Bent-Con will take place at the Marriott in Burbank, CA from November 30th through December 2nd. Talent includes Anne Rice’s son, author Christopher Rice, along with creator and writer Jane Espenson, among many others. Bent-Con, which is a non-profit, launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to better advertise the event, provide scholarships for attendees with lower income from across the world, and larger meeting spaces. Check out the kickstarter page here and a video from the creators of Bent-Con below.