Author : Gregg Shapiro

  • Ty Herndon ‘extremely happy’ to finally live an authentic life

    National Coming Out Day is in October, but two country music artists waited until late November to share their good news. Ty Herndon was the first one out of the gate on Nov. 20, followed shortly thereafter on the same day by Billy Gilman, who cited Herndon’s announcement as an inspiration to him. Today, both artists are working to redefine their careers, and each has chosen to do so as an openl.... Read More
  • Billy Gilman adds his voice to gay country artists’ ranks

    National Coming Out Day is in October, but two country music artists waited until late November to share their good news. Ty Herndon was the first one out of the gate on Nov. 20, followed shortly thereafter on the same day by Billy Gilman, who cited Herndon’s announcement as an inspiration to him. The two artists come from different generations of country music. Herndon, a country chart-topper i.... Read More
  • Cerebral palsy is part of this gay comedian’s act

    Greg Walloch is a hilarious guy. A first-rate storyteller with a sharp sense of humor, Walloch is an author whose work appears in a variety of publications and anthologies. But he’s probably best known for his performances as a monologist and comedian.  Walloch is openly gay and has cerebral palsy. He frequently references both in his work, most notably in About to Eat Cake, a narrative he told.... Read More
  • Mary Lambert opens heart in debut album

    Mary Lambert is nothing if not grateful for her newfound popularity. The lesbian singer/songwriter swiftly rose to fame after being featured on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ groundbreaking gay rights single “Same Love” in 2012.  This year, Lambert’s journey continued with the release of the new single “Secrets” and her first full-length album Heart On My Sleeve on Oct. 14. I spoke with.... Read More
  • Cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy in a category of his own

    Jackson Galaxy, author and host of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell, is the definition of a cat whisperer. Since the show premiered in 2011, the cat behaviorist has come to the aid of many cat owners, assisting them in working out various cat-astrophes and bringing harmony to homes with sparring feline frenemies. Galaxy’s new book Catification, written with feline environment designer Kate B.... Read More
  • Patrik-Ian Polk flies in new directions with ‘Blackbird’

    If you’ve ever seen any of director Patrik-Ian Polk’s work, you know one thing for certain: Polk is a master of the ensemble cast. Beginning with Punks and continuing through Noah’s Arc (both the movie and the TV series), as well as The Skinny, Polk has a knack for creating characters who are smart, sincere and sensitive. With Blackbird, Polk steps out of his comfort zone as a screenwr.... Read More
  • ‘Gilligan’s Island’ star Dawn Wells answers the question: What Would Mary Ann Do?

    As the title suggests, What Would Mary Ann Do?, by Dawn Wells with Steve Stinson, is a book of advice. Wells, who played the wholesome, naïve Mary Ann in the classic 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, subtitled the book A Good Girl’s Guide To Life, and it’s a subtitle that refers to both Wells and Mary Ann. Wells offers suggestions for living through the eyes of the actress as well as the c.... Read More
  • Gay comedian Gabe Liedman plays a gay comedian in BFF Jenny Slate’s breakout film

    The quirky abortion rom-com Obvious Child is about a single stand-up comedian named Donna (the amazing Jenny Slate), who gets pregnant after a one-night stand with Max (Jake Lacy) and decides to have an abortion — on Valentine’s Day. But it’s not just the offbeat situation that’s behind this indie flick’s rave reviews. It’s the authentic relationships between Donna, Nellie (grown-up .... Read More
  • Hudson plans to ‘Jenniferize’ Chicago Pride Festival audience

    Jennifer Hudson’s story is the stuff of legends. The Chicago native’s meteoric rise from American Idol competitor to Oscar-winning actress is a once-in-a-generation story. We knew she could sing, but when she stole the movie Dreamgirls from Beyoncé, she entered the stratosphere. Personal tragedies (the murder of family members) and triumphs (remarkable weight loss) followed. Hudson has persev.... Read More
  • ‘Normal Heart’ beats with outrage

    A long time in the making (Barbra Streisand held up the screen rights for years), the movie adaptation of Larry Kramer’s difficult early AIDS-era play The Normal Heart finally premiered May 25 on HBO. It was a fitting start for the Memorial Day Weekend, as there are so many friends, family and loved ones who must not be forgotten. The Normal Heart opens in 1981 with the arrival of Ned Weeks (.... Read More