‘The Outs’ Creator Adam Goldman Talks Queer Storytelling on the Internet

Here’s a good article from Esquire about Adam Goldman and the second season of The Outs. I haven’t written too much about The Outs, even though it is the series that originally got me hooked into the world of web series in 2012.

I found season one deeply satisfying. I found season two perhaps even more satisfying. The characters felt deeper in many ways and, perhaps naively, I was not expecting Jack and Paul (Hunter Canning and Tommy Heleringer) to be the emotional center, the real beating heart, of the series, even though these two were always my favorite characters.

It’s elegantly written, wryly funny, deathly serious and intelligent. Goldman’s intelligence shines through in every scene. It’s worth a watch on Vimeo for that alone. (But Canning and Heleringer are just lovely!)

Source: ‘The Outs’ Creator Adam Goldman Talks Queer Storytelling on the Internet

In and ‘Outs’

Now, you know I’m biased when it comes to my gay web series’, so this feels a bit like I’m cheating, but…. The first episode of the second season of The Outs is out today and, I’m happy to report, it’s just as good as the previous season.

Adam Goldman and his  tribe of lovelies — Hunter Canning, Tommy Heleringer, Sasha Winters — are back; and delightful guest stars, such as Alan Cumming and Phillip Taratula will be popping up in later episodes. We get Welcome to Night Vale’s Cecil Baldwin in this episode.

It was quite delightful to check back in on these characters this morning and it’s great to see that Goldman is still working in top form. No one writes a perfectly formed gay, barbed epigram quite like Goldman.

Episodes of the second season of The Outs will be released weekly, beginning today, on Vimeo on Demand. The trailer’s above. Highly recommended.

PS — The first time I wrote about this show was back in 2012. Can it be that long ago? Oy.

Emmy Nods for EastSiders

Congrats to the EastSiders crew for their Daytime Emmy Award nominations. The second series, which debuted in October, was nominated in the new category of Outstanding Digital Drama Series. Van Hansis was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Digital Drama for his role as Thom. This is his fourth Daytime Emmy nomination, having been a contender three times for his portrayal of Luke Snyder on As The World Turns.

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Series creator/director/producer/co-star Kit Williamson may have had the best reaction, as evidenced by this Instagram post.

I’m glad that NATAS has seen sense and created the digital drama series categories. As we continue to uncouple “television”  from the “television set,” it’s important that we continue to recognize new ways to deliver content.

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Van Hansis and Kit Williamson in season two of EastSiders.

The content, though, stays the same. Well, let me reframe that thought. Most “entertainment” on traditional television stinks. Much of the best content is coming fast and furious in new delivery methods — EastSiders on Vimeo, House of Cards on Netflix, Transparent on Amazon — and I think while the death knell for traditional broadcast and cable networks has not yet sounded, the plans for the coffin may be being drawn up.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen EastSiders, what is the matter with you? Watch it now.

Finally, here’s some Daytime Emmy trivia for you. Who was the first daytime performer recognized with an Emmy? That would be All My Children’s Mary Fickett in 1972 in a special daytime category at the primetime Emmys. Fickett played AMC matriarch Ruth Brent Martin for nearly 30 years.

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Fickett in the early years of All My Children.

However, the first person to take home a daytime statue for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama was Elizabeth Hubbard in 1974 for her portrayal of Dr. Althea Davis on The Doctors. Hubbard won an additional Daytime Emmy in 1976 for portraying First Lady Edith Wilson in an NBC special, but astonishingly — and despite eight additional nominations in the category — she never won for her quarter-century of assaying one of daytime’s greatest roles: Lucinda Walsh on As The World Turns.

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Hubbard as Lucinda Walsh, one of the all-time greats.

Hubbard played Van Hansis’ grandmother on ATWT. She’s nominated again this year as Outstanding Actress in a Digital Drama, for her role in Anacostia, the web series co-written and co-produced by Martha Byrne, who played Hubbard’s daughter and Hansis’ mother on As The World Turns.

You can use all that next time you play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon!

Limping One’s Way to Glory

“I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like to be young and desired,” writes Ryan O’Connell in a genius new essay on Thought Catalog.

He continues, “I, for once, would just like to be used and objectified.” Oh, Ryan, honey. Me, too!

Anyone who has ever had body issues, self-esteem issues or simply wasn’t pleased with what they saw staring back at them in the mirror — excluding bad hair days, beautiful people (and you know who you are) — needs to read this piece. He sums up so well what so many of us have been thinking.

The gay media is terrible — let me rephrase — is TERRIBLE at portraying “the other.” If you are not a ripped, muscly, hairless white boy in the tried and true Tab Hunter tradition, well, fuggedaboutit. Heaven forbid if you are overweight or over 40 or you have an overbite or you limp.

Of course, it’s not just the media. Have you ever been to a gay bar? 

The queer community is quick to be indignant so long as we can be indignant standing alongside some impossibly chiseled Ken doll. O’Connell again:

I know it’s embarrassing to admit all of this. Like, “Forget about my professional achievements and my cool brain. Just tell me I have a nice ass and that you’d like to come on my face!!!!” But TBH it’s how I feel a lot of the time.

Yep. I get it. Most of us, I would imagine, get it. It’s admitting that we get it; that’s the rub. In this essay and in his hilarious new book, I’m Special, O’Connell tells us all what it was like for him to grow up gay and with cerebral palsy and how excruciating — and really, sometimes hilariously funny — that could be.

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Gee, somebody left this poor crippled child to fend for himself in the back yard.

Again, I get it. I was born with they call a “congenital anomaly,” which sounds better than “birth defect” or “club foot,” which sounds positively medieval and gross. The doctors were always quick to point out that it was “environmental” rather than “genetic,” so no one would worry that a horn or tail might start growing at any minute. No, let’s just blame Mom and her screwed up uterus; that’s better.

I had a lot of surgeries and wore weird shoes on bars that held my feet in strange positions and a lot of other random treatments, but basically I was pronounced “cured” by about age five and all of the problems I’ve had in the intervening four decades — knee problems, ankle problems, sprains, stiffness, pain — are all, according to doctors, so much better than if I had never had anything done at all. And while this may be true, the fact of the matter is that the surgeries were a mask. They made my foot look like a normal foot (20 paces is everything!) but they didn’t make it function like a normal foot.

(I also learned early on to hide my limp, which will probably lead to hip problems or something as I age. When I’m tired or have been walking a long way or simply forget, I get, “Oh, why are you limping?” Since that answer involves a whole can of worms, my stock answer is, “War wound.” There are those occasional annoying souls that insist on a follow-up. “Which one?” Crimean or Peloponnesian are my stock answers. Sometimes I thrown in Boer. It usually never satisfies them but it does shut them up.)

Like O’Connell, I also found love when I didn’t think it possible and found that someone could love me warts and scars and crappy knees and belly and all, which is something that I never really ever conceived of. (For the record, some of that is dramatic license. I don’t have warts.) Today, nearly a decade and a half after finding him, I still stand in front of the mirror and wish that I was taller or slimmer (nearly always) or that my hair hadn’t gone grey when I was in my 20s or that my stupid leg wasn’t hurting bad this morning so I could elegantly descend the stairs spouting witticisms like I was a character in a Noël Coward play instead of ungracefully clomping down like an ogre.

It’s probably all in my head, but, hey, that’s where all body issues live. What I have learned over time is that I don’t dwell on them quite so much as I used to. For much of my young adulthood they crippled me — emotionally — because I knew I couldn’t be perfect and therefore I shouldn’t put myself out there because I would just get rejected anyway and if a guy didn’t reject me, what in the hell was wrong with him?

I’m well over all of that but it doesn’t mean that being physically different doesn’t suck. It does and it never goes away. Acknowledging it and just living your life are the keys, I suppose.

I think Ryan O’Connell is my new Spirit Animal.

Kudos, Van

Someone has bestowed one of the coveted Groovy Awards for Web Series Excellence on EastSiders star, Van Hansis for his portrayal of Thom in the second season of the series. Van was named, Grooviest Actor in a Drama. I just can’t argue with that. At all.

Van Hansis as Thom opposite Kit Williamson in EastSiders.

This is the second time this trophy (?) has been lain at Mr. Hansis’ feet. Read all about it here.

What I’ve said on the subject. Twice.

2015 in Posts

It didn’t really surprise me that you decided to read what you read in 2015 on this blog. It pretty much follows a pattern that’s been set over the last several years. I am, however, strangely fascinated by certain posts that have incredible sticking power, year after year.

Here’s the Top 10 List, starting with the most-read post. (And thanks, by the way, to the tens of thousands — I can’t believe I’m not making that up — of readers. I am truly blown away.)

1. Return to Silver Lake: Long-Awaited Arrival of EastSiders Season 2 Does Not Disappoint, Sept. 2015
2. Verdict on EastSiders Season 2: Most Assuredly the Best of the Lot, Oct. 2015
blog-eastsidersFar and away the most read stories this year were my reviews of the second season of Kit Williamson’s great web series, EastSiders. I’m glad they were and I hope they drove at least a couple of people to the Vimeo site to watch. At the end of these six episodes I am so much more impressed with these folks than I ever thought possible.

 

3. Congrats, Freddie Smith, DOOL, on Emmy Wins, Inclusion, April 2015
blog-freddiemmmyJust a short piece on Freddie’s well-deserved win at the Daytime Emmy’s this year. My DOOL WilSon fans don’t disappoint! I found the investment of the actors in this storyline so important and Freddie, in particular, embraced Sonny from the jump. It’s a shame it’s not there any longer.

 

 

4. Finnish Soap’s Gay Storyline Finds International Fans Thanks to YouTube, January 2013
blog-salatutThis one slays me. It was written three years ago and was the most-read story in 2013 and 2014. For 2015, it got knocked down a couple of pegs. If you search “Finnish soap” and “gay” or “gay storyline,” this comes up in the top two or three results. I didn’t think of it then, but I should have tagged the show’s title, too. Oh, well. Live and learn!

 

5. Kiss Me, Kill Me, Watch Me, September 2015
blog-kmkmA quick review of the David Michael Barrett-penned, Casper Andreas-directed gay noir film, which I thought was a terrific watch and said so. I hope those who have seen it around the country on the festival circuit think so too. It premiered at Chicago’s Reeling LGBT film festival the same week as EastSiders season two landed, both starring Kit Williamson and Van Hansis.

 

6. Thanks, Petteri Paavola, April 2015
blog-petteriSee #4. This was a short piece referencing that piece when actor Petteri Paavola, who figures prominently in the LGBT storyline on the Finnish sudser Salatut Elämät decided to take a sabbatical from the show. It cracks me up that now if you Google him, this piece ranks on page one of the results (at least in the English results)!

 

 

7. The Hourglass is Empty: Why Killing Will Horton Ends Days for Me, October 2015
blog-guyWhen Days of our Lives stupidly killed off legacy character Will Horton it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. It was bad enough to erase a culturally very important LBGT storyline off the map, but to monkey with the legacy of the show? No. I quit watching. Many readers felt the same. This late-in-the-year piece is still pulling in readers who, one assumes given the comments, are also still ticked-off at the direction of the show.

 

8. Hasta Luego, Mr. Smith, August 2015
blog-freddieA quick thanks to Freddie Smith when he left Days of our Lives. He was the best performer on daytime since Van Hansis in my estimation and his exceptional talent is sorely missed.

 

 

9. High School Same-Sex Couple is Prom-Bound Internet Sensation, June 2013
blog-promkidsThese guys are nearly out of college now, I think! However, this one keeps bubbling up. I looked to see if it got the most views around prom time, but no, people are searching for this year-round. Another example of the lightning fast changes happening on the social landscape. This was NEWS — in all caps — two years ago. Today, not really. As it should be.

 

10. Just Us Guys, Just a Little Bit Meta, May 2015
blog-justusA riff on Chris Lilly’s web program about a teenager and his gay dad shot as a vlog. I liked the premise and I liked the leads (Scott Hislop and Skyler Seymour) and said so — though in the first iteration I misspelled Hislop’s name and was appropriately shamed. I fixed my mistake as I was boarding a plane, which was a comedy show all it’s own!

 

Other things of Note
Three pieces in the top twenty focused on LGBT issues in daytime drama and were written in prior years:
11. Like Sands Through the Gay Hourglass — Ticked Off at American Dramas. Again, Nov. 2012
12. I, Do: The WilSon Wedding, Playing the Long Game and Celebrating the Zeitgeist, April 2014
19. More Sands Through the Gay Hourglass — Revisiting and Revising, June 2013
And one piece focused on LBGT issues on pay television, namely between HBO’s Looking and Showtime’s Shameless, which, I think, is the best thing going:
17. Shamelessly Looking for Something Else: Real Talk About Pay TV Gays, March 2015
I also liked, Love Songs (in the Key of Gallagher): Wrenching Coda to Another Perfect, Discordant, Improbable Season of TV’s Best Show, April 2015, but it didn’t get much play. That’s fine. I’m happy with base hits.

Where Are You?

Here’s a map of where my readers came from in 2015:

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  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. Brazil
  7. Russia
  8. Netherlands
  9. Australia
  10. Ireland

Finland came in at #12, obviously wanting to find out if the rest of the world was still following “Elias’ Story” on Salatut Elämät!

There were also:

22 visits from Romania
15 visits from Puerto Rico, which, last time I looked was not a separate country, but….
15 visits from Iraq
  2 visits from China
and one visit each from 27 other countries including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Krygystan and Cambodia.

I am certain that if anyone would have told me when I started this blog on a whim in 2012 that I would have readers in 111 countries and would have met so many interesting people — so many of whom have had amazing, insightful, extraordinary things to say — I would have told them that they were utterly nuts.

Thanks for this visits. Keep on reading. And if you do like something, please like it or share it or comment on it so that I know you’re out there! All the best for 2016 and beyond!

This Troll Again? Kim Davis reflects on her role in marriage debate 

Source: Kim Davis reflects on her role in same-sex marriage debate – LGBTQ Nation

“How ironic that God would use a person like me, who failed so miserably at marriage in the world, to defend it now,” Davis said Tuesday. “The Lord picks the unlikely source to convey the message.”

Yeah, well, “ironic” is not the word I’d use. “Typical” is more to the point. It’s always that way with haters. Hate me because I’m gay? Wait long enough and someone will catch you trolling for trade in the men’s room. Hate people for using Federal assistance? Look closely at who’s skimming off the top of the money pile. Shame adulterers? Look who just got exposed for having an affair.

God didn’t use you, sweetie. What happened was you used “God” to not do your job. And Kentucky’s new governor, who wants to take clerks’ names off of marriage licenses, is just abetting you and your particular brand of zealotry.

Remember this face, friends. This is the face of true intolerance and hate. Well, you say, she looks just like every other regular, ignorant, white woman in America. That’s right. Be on the lookout. And don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

H/T LGBTQ Nation