Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dumb*ss of the Week

He made me do it. I didn't want to; I wanted to love him like others did; or at least feel that connection, that surge of electricity when he spoke. I wanted to think we had a chance, a moment, our time in space to feel the love in the air. I hoped for so much, yet nothing changed. That's why the dumbass of the week is....


He looks pretty small, doesn't he.

When you don't fight, and when everyone else has taken the spotlight, and when you betray your base of faith-lovers, well, you're not very bright. It's different now, because now we're in a Great Recession, and the Republicans, more than ever, think they own the world. They will give into nothing but themselves, and you just gave into that. We are not held hostage to their demands; but you are. Ironically, we are now held hostage to you. So shape up, grow a pear, or leave the job to someone who is up to the challenge.

--david toussaint (

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dumbass of the WEEK

Well, well, well, I just couldn't take it any longer. Everytime it opens up its mouth something comes out, something a normal, intelligent, caring human being would toss into the trash. It has no brain, no morals, no insight, no philosophy; worse, it's proud of this.

But last week, it outdid itself, again. We cultural elitists didn't think that was possible--I mean, wha'ts left?--but there it went again, going after the First Lady over healthy food and fighting obesity (apparently, that's a bad thing, an Anti-American cause, a (wink, wink) "socialist" cause). Ah, yes, its wisdom in spades. All is bad that isn't it. It has all the answers, and only answers to itself. And when it doubt, it says no.

So the dumbass of the week is everyone's favorite non-entity,

Sarah Palin.

I pushed her as far right as possible.

Here's what it said about Michelle Obama's nutrition "kick." No, this isn't an SNL skit; it just reads (try it out loud, Palin) that way.

I want to see your Fat Ass all the way from Alaska!

Sarah (rhymes with "Smile"), we know that you're only platform are the ones you walk on. You have no solutions, no ideas other than attacking everyone else and hoping God intervenes (sadly, he'd have to should you ever be in power). You are a true dumbass. And, when you think about it, I don't even think you'd refudiate that title.

Since I'm racked with guilt for making you look at her, I thought I'd leave you with another smart ass.

Feel better?  It's the big things that help.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Patron MADONNA Saint Sunday

Saints, like many good things, are often a group effort. This week, instead of picking out a certain person for Madonna-hood, I had to go for the whole nine yards, the kit and the caboodle, in short, the Big Picture. So the Patron Saint Sunday award goes to the movie...


The movie tells the story of "outed" CIA agent Valerie Plame, who's husband, Joe Wilson, wrote a New York Times op-ed piece that exosed lies from the White House about Nigeria, WMDs, and invading Iraq. It's a wonderful reminder of the horrors of the Bush years. More than that, it's a testament to the power of movie-making as social tool, to the spirit of democracy, and to the American Values we fight for every day.

Thanks to Naomi Watts, Sean ("You gotta give 'em hope") Penn, and director Doug Liman. Of course, a big thanks to real-life married couple Plame and Wilson for their fight and their story and their courage.

And keep this movie in mind next time someone tells you how to think.

--david toussaint

Saturday, November 20, 2010

DumBA*S of the Week

Ah, who to pick? So many to choose from: There's that Flip-Flopper Cindy McCain, along with Flop-Flibber hubby John (my god, let's hope they don't-Flip F*** at home). There's the endless vile of Sarah Palin (you know, she's a given each week, but, quite frankly, I can't bear the thought of staring at a photo of her; and, of course, there's Glenn Beck and his cute anti-Semitism (and we haven't even hit the new House and Senate members).

So who'd I'd choose....

That lovely family man, Tony Perkins. Apparently, the sage thinks gays in the military are going to result in the return of the draft. (Um, Tony, that only happens in those Colt porn flicks you watch at home.) Here's what the wise one had to say this week...Man oh Man if only those guys would come to my home!

It looks as if Mr. Perkins is still desperately seeking to outdo the original Psycho!

Frankly, I think the guy on the left looks less harmless.

Okay, since you were all so good about reading up on a dumbass, I think I should leave you with a really smart...


and life is good again...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My latest GayWeddings.Com Blog

Hey, been writing these for a while now. Thought it might be a good time to post one :)

Gay Teens on Weddings

I think it's fascinating that young gay people think about this kind of stuff. This would have been all Greek, or Latin, to me.


Oh, yeah, I'm also an etiquette columnist for "Zeus." The second issue should be out within the next two weeks.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Patron Madonna Saint Monday

Because he's the smartest man in politics and he's not in politics. Because he's the most hated man in America because he's the most correct man in America. Because he wrote about the crimes of Bush before it was safe to do so. Because he speaks without pretension or arrogance or vanity. And because so few writers can do that. And because this was a particularly loathsome week for Dumb#sses, it seemed a good time to remind the world of the smart ones. And because of that and so much more, the Patron Madonna Saint Monday is....

Paul Krugman

Take a bow, Paul.
--david toussaint

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dumb#SS of the Week...

And the winner is...

As usual, the competition was rock hard.  But I think the award goes to none other than Tucker Carlson.

Not only does he look like a Pee-Wee Herman wanna-be, but he spends his valuable time imitating Keith Olbermann. Um, Tucker, I think the tie, and your butt, is a bit too tight. Here's the link.

Can anyone explain why this is cute, funny, responsible, helpful, and NOT against the law?


I don't know about you, but I'm tuckered out from this idiot. Let's get some actual journalists back in the game.

--david toussaint

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Patron Saint Sunday!

Named after the Saint Madonna, of course.

In this messy week, some people did nice things. Good things. Things to talk about, celebrate, even make us, dare we say it, proud? I had lots of people to think about, but my pick for Patron Saint Sunday is none other than Anderson (Android) Cooper.

Not only is he so hot you want to take him out of his closet and wear him for at least a day, he busted the chops of some very stupid people. First there was that dolt Clint McCance Oy Gay Hate, but even more impressive was his attack on the 200 million dollar a day Obamumbai myth supported by none other than everyone's favorite Mad Hatter Michelle Bachmann.

Watch The Coop Here

The Coop in Action

So, thanks, Coop, for keeping them honest. And if you ever want to dump that boyfriend of yours eh, seen better, I'll be sure to make an honest man out of you.

--david toussaint

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dumb*SS of the Week 11/5/10

Yep, it's GAY people. According to several reports, gays voted more Republican than EVER!!! Yay; as that wonder of words Perez Hilton tells us, it's Obama's fault--he's rubber they're glue.....

Here's his link.
Perez REALLY Cares

(No, he really does; honest; he won't even bully people anymore; you know, unless he gets paid to show naked photos).

Okay, dudes, here's the problem. First, Perez et al have a point about Obama; a strong one. But they refuse to do their homework before throwing sand in his face. Barack Obama has actually done more for gay people than ANY OTHER PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY.

Wow, imagine that!!!! I mean, Ann Coulter must have made that up, right?

To quote my friend Farhad, President Obama "passed a hate crimes law that for the first time includes hate crimes against homosexuals. Obama also extended family leave to include gay and lesbians. In the past year and a half, President Obama used his powers to expand federal rights and benefits for gays and lesbians, targeting one government restriction after another in an attempt to change public policy while avoiding a confrontation with Republicans and opponents of gay rights....

Remember, too, that President Bush's (that would be W.) administration wouldn't sign a UN Resolution de-criminalizing homosexuality around the world (the Obama Admins signed it within 3 months of the Presidency).

Okay, not exactly a repeal of DADT or the end of DOMA, but it's probably worth mentioning, right pinky pinkos? And here's the rub: The Republicans have an anti-GAY agenda. To put it in simpler terms, they don't like you. They don't want you to get married, they don't want you to have AIDS funding; many of them would much prefer you end your pesky little insignificant lives.

So you can piss and moan about Obama, but if you think the New House and Emboldened Senate are here to help you, you should probably start getting all your news from Perez Hilton. At least you FEEL better.

--david toussaint

Who Will Win Patron Sunday Saint? Stay Tuned....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tricks and Treats

I've written three columns on gay porn, and I'm placing them all in this blog. The first man, Curtis Hutchinson, is retired, and has left his porn name, Dean Phoenix, in the dust.

Dean Phoenix Rising It's a fascinating story.

I'm sure he'll turn his shoulder, however, if you call him by Dean.

Like all the guys I interviewed, Curtis was sweet and gracious, and didn't ask for special treatment.

Second on my list was Reese Rideout, he speaks like he works; hard, forceful, fun, and unforgettable. He'd be my choice for guest at a dinner party. And if he wanted to squash me with those legs, I wouldn't complain.

Reese's Piece: Rideout the Storm with Randy Blue's Biggest Star: Friday night must be fun at his house!

Finally, I interviewed Chris Rockway, who's the hottest straight gay porn star in the country.

American Booty: Chris Rockway and the Evolution of Gay Porn: And they say porn stars are dumb...

Although, look at that too long and you might go blind.

Rockway talked and talked and talked; not something we expect of our porn stars :) He was a delight. I wish all these men well, I hope you like the columns, and I hope that you stay well.

David Toussaint

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sinners and Saints 10/15/10

As for sinners, boy, what a week, what a month, what a year, what a world....

There were so many to choose from, but I think this schmuck gets the prize.


And with apologies like his, who needs bullies?

As for saint, I'm happy to say we had a lot of those too. But after all the wreckage of the week, this one man stands out for his courage and his words and his honesty, and his ability to, somehow, say everything that needed to be said.


Joel Burns, you are my hero.

David Toussaint

Saturday, July 31, 2010

fascistbook (Kimmie's Edition)

A couple of weeks later and I still get tons of comments on this column. Facebook has gotten so big (and, has, apparently, caused a lot of privacy problems), that everyone seems to want to read about it.

Now, as it approaches 5 million users, who knows what's going to happen. All I know is that we're addicted. We were a drinking nation, then Prozac Nation, and now, Facebook Nation.

Take a shot,

You might also be curious to know that I get an email from a gay high school student asking if he could make a protest page. I said yes, and he posted one. You can click on that here.

Thanks again for all your support,

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"In the name of..." Fourth Of July Edition

"Pride (In the Name of Love)" is a song I never understood till years after it came out. I thought it was just another hokey U2 tune, until someone pointed out it was about Martin Luther King.

Misunderstanding what we are proud of, or forgetting while we are proud, was the inspiration behind my latest column, "In the name of...".

I'm always surprised (and pleased) when straight people read my column and say, "you know, this is how it is in the straight world, too." I don't really think of gay vs. straight, and I think most issues are universal. There are particulars, of course, but human foibles and human folly and human wonderment is all the same.

So, be proud. I know that I am. Enjoy the fireworks, yours, your friends', or the ones in your heart.

David Toussaint

PS: I miss Farrah :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Virginia Lee: Five Questions for a Cancer Survivor

South of Eden

Photo: Patty Carreras

Tennessee writer Virginia Lee opens up on Memphis, Dolly, and surviving cancer, in one of the most amazing responses to five "simple" questions. The lady needs no more introduction.

1.) What's the Best Thing About Living in Memphis?

The best things for me are being in close proximity to my family history, the Mississippi River and the culture. Memphis is never boring. It’s a city of extremes in many ways, but also one filled with vibrancy and promise if you approach it with the right attitude. If I must choose one aspect of Memphis that always thrills me and makes me happy? I’d have to go with the cultural and artistic diversity. Memphis is far more than Blues, Elvis and the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For example, there’s been a professional theater here for forty years, Playhouse on the Square. There are actors, designers and technicians working all over the world who’ve been affiliated with POTS at some point in their careers. Even the late, great Michael Jeter did Godspell there back in the day. That still makes me all kinds of happy.

2.) What does the Bible mean to you?

I consider the Bible a construct of man. It’s a great work of literature and has many valid morality tales. However, because it is a construct of man, I do not look at it as anything other than an important literary and philosophical text. This will shock many people because my late father was an Episcopal priest by trade, and pretty good at it too. Alas, to my perception, my dad’s hypocritical behavior and that of the Diocese of North Carolina when my mother and I were seeking help during my bout with uterine cancer when we lost everything, has pretty much destroyed any confidence I had in organized religion. I am, without question, a person of Faith who believes in a Higher Power, but letting a book, any book, be in charge of my belief system is illogical. It’s particularly illogical when one looks at such in an objective manner. The major religions of the world follow and teach the same basic tenets. To my mind, the flavor of religion isn’t as important as Faith and Compassion for your fellow humans.

3.) What Could Barack Obama learn from the residents of Memphis?

We need help. If you don’t live out East there’s virtually no healthcare unless you are a child. The grocery stores available nearest low-income residents are inadequately stocked with healthful, affordable foods of decent quality. There’s a lot of rage and despair among the economically disenfranchised, and it’s been at crisis level for years. Those who’ve been poor all their lives have little or no hope of getting out of that economic trap. Those who are newly poor live in terror of never regaining what they lost due to unemployment or, as in the case of my elderly mother and myself, ill health. Mr. Obama is the man I voted for, as did many of my voting neighbors, but thus far my faith in his ability to actually do anything for the poor, the aged, those drowning in school loans that they cannot pay back because there are no jobs, the unemployed, the arts and so on, is pretty well gone. He needs to be Franklin D. Roosevelt and create real work programs for real people. We are that desperate. Even those who are managing to keep their heads above water are terrified most of the time. One thing that would make a huge difference for the economy and many individuals would be to forgive student loans for people with loans more than five years old. Another thing would be to make the process for getting help in emergency medical situations easier. My mother and I lost everything we owned because she became ill and then I did. In this state of no income tax the help is even more minimal than elsewhere.

4.) Is Dolly Parton good or bad for Tennessee?

Miss Dolly is awesome for Tennessee! In fact, she’s great for this country and everywhere. The woman is a genius. She has created an unforgettable, unmistakable character in her uber-country, bosomy, tacky persona. It’s a character that dates back to the beginnings of theater (and originally depicted by men, of course), but brought into our current era and culture. Minnie Pearl was not dissimilar in some ways, but Miss Dolly? Beyond that persona is her great skill as a songwriter. The woman is prolific! Even if she isn’t the greatest singer in the world, and she’s the first one to tell you that, her songwriting is amazing. I have the utmost regard for her as a songwriter, and really, she’s not a bad actor either. She’s limited in her roles because of her country accent and physicality, but she has the mind and instincts of a good actor. Given the proper role, script and director, I think she could astonish people.

5.) What type of cancer did/do you have and how are you coping with it?

I had uterine cancer. As to coping? Well, that’s entailed.

Menstrual cycles for me were never regular, and in my late teens I had my first bout of extreme bleeding. I was sure I was dying, but my fears were pooh-poohed. The pattern of extreme bleeding continued for decades. It waned a bit when I lost weight in my late 20s, but that didn’t last long and by the time I was 30 it was in full force again. My normal would have laid many women flat out and pretty much every man I’ve ever known too. What I’ve learned in the years since the cancer diagnosis, however, is that my normal is far more common and untreated than I ever imagined.

My mother had a health crisis that nearly killed her in the summer of 2000. I left graduate school to care for her full-time and was grateful I was free to make that choice. By the time I got her well enough to be safe to leave at home on her own so I could work, and I had a job waiting for me at a government agency here in Memphis (we were living in Mississippi at the time), I had begun a bout of extreme bleeding that did not stop.

Because of this bleeding and the hours’ long commute, I realized it would be unreasonable to take that job. I would need at least three changes of clothing every day to ensure I would be properly clad in unsoiled clothes. I was getting weaker and more anemic by the day and thus was not a terribly safe driver.

The logical thing would have been for me to have gotten medical treatment, but I had no money, no insurance, and if I’m being brutally honest, I was still blaming myself for having been raped years before. My low self-esteem was exacerbated by the psychological ramifications of the near constant bleeding and hormones in play. I felt I was being deservedly punished for past sins, which I know now was ridiculous, but at the time that was what I believed.

Finally, in March of 2003, I collapsed in the parking lot of my mother’s doctor’s office. All at once I was surrounded by medical personnel and they got me into a wheelchair and into the clinic. They tested my blood, and my hematocrit level was 12. Normal is over 30 for menstruating women. I was told that I was in danger of dying at any moment, and they sent me to the hospital in an ambulance.

I was in the hospital for less than 48 hours. During that time I went through several uncomfortable medical procedures and was pretty well traumatized. They kicked me to the curb when my hematocrit levels hit 19.

The aftercare I had was crappy at best, but I stuck to the same doctor until November 2005. She refused to get me another endometrial biopsy because I had no money. She told me to get Medicaid and left me with the impression that it was easy to do, and so I went through that months-long process only to be refused because they did not believe I was eligible for SSI. In Mississippi, I was told that the Medicaid people are literally not allowed to speak to you if you have not been approved for SSI first.
In a panic, we tried to get my uncle to help us get back to Memphis, where I had a better shot of getting care, but he flatly refused. He did offer to buy us plane tickets to NC so my siblings could help us. Then he dithered, hemmed, and hawed, and after I sent an exasperated note to my friend B., B. came through and bought us plane tickets and I knew I had a chance to get help once back in NC.

In a nutshell, we gave up everything we owned to go to NC. The day we left Mississippi we left my elderly cats at the shelter because my uncle was late coming to get us and so we missed the appointment I’d made with a vet to have them put to sleep with us there. I still have nightmares about leaving those kitties to an unknown fate and I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive my uncle for being such a recalcitrant asshole that day.

The bleeding I experienced was not just heavy menstrual bleeding. Besides a constant flow of blood, I had huge clots spewing out of me. It was a Stephen King nightmare. There were times when I got to the bathroom and the mere action of sitting on the toilet would send clots as big as my fist shooting across the floor. It was horrific.

Unfortunately, there are thousands upon thousands women experiencing what I did every day in this country. I’ve been astonished how many women have told me that they or their sister or best friend or co-worker are having or had similar experiences to mine. It’s terrifying, really.

So, I sent a note to relatives, my siblings, begging for help. The result of my letter was one from my siblings, saying we were not welcome or wanted and that if we dared show up at any of their doors that they would have us forcibly removed by the authorities.

At that point, I’d been bleeding heavily for five or more years, my mother was non-ambulatory and chronically ill, I’d just murdered/abandoned my kitties, and we’d already left everything we owned behind and were homeless. We had nowhere to go in NC and we had no idea what was wrong with me.

We got on that plane anyhow. Upon arriving at RDU, we immediately went to the emergency room at Rex Hospital where I was told my hematocrits were 17. They had likely been that or lower for several years by that point.I was immediately given whole blood, and after hormones to stop the bleeding didn’t work and 8 units later of red cells, my blood levels were deemed okay for surgery. A lovely cardiologist was brought in to check my heart to see if I could withstand the radical hysterectomy I needed, and after the all clear from him, I was operated on less than 48 hours after my arrival in North Carolina.

The surgery was very traumatic for my doctors, and then I didn’t want to wake up in the recovery room. Once they finally got me awake, my kind, older male doctor, told me they’d found an 8.5 cm tumor in my uterus and that cancer was 2/3 or more through the uterine wall, but somehow did not seem to have penetrated it. As a precaution, after getting advice from a gynecological oncologist at Duke, they’d removed every female internal organ I had. The man telling me this actually had tears in his eyes. He and my lady doctor were quietly furious over what had happened to me here in Memphis and they were determined to make sure I had care.

After having been in the hospital a week, I was booted because, of course, I had no money or insurance. It was then I found out that if I were an immigrant, illegal even, that I could have had emergency Medicaid. But because I was a born US citizen, I would have to jump through hoops and such to get any help. I was over that, of course, after what I went through in Mississippi, and later on, after I jumped through those hoops, I was rejected for help because, essentially, my college education meant that I was more than capable of taking care of myself and the cancer had been removed and so I was shit out of luck.

We were homeless again after my release from the hospital. The medical staff, however, couldn’t release me unless I had a place to go. I found a motel in Durham, where they’d arranged for me to undergo radiation at Duke, that was in an area with which I was somewhat familiar and that had special rates for Duke patients. The staff at the hospital took up a collection and we had enough cash to pay for five nights. My friend, B., contributed some and we had some money of our own come in and my uncle even helped some.

We stayed at the creepy motel for six weeks. The night we arrived I fell, busting open my incision, and I ended up going by ambulance to the ER @ Duke, which was very traumatic and painful. I was terrified as I’d never had major surgery before and had no idea if my guts were going to come spilling out or not. I was in the ER for thirteen hours (appx.) and the next morning I got back to the motel where my mother was hungry and thirsty and a bit freaked out.

We found a place to live in federally subsidized housing for the elderly in downtown Durham. It was rife with roaches. The walls were not connected to the floors or ceilings. Spiders descended from the beamed rafters. The noise was incessant and terrible and I was freaking out all the time because I’d become hyper-sensitive to noise during my illness, something I later found out is not uncommon.

I began experiencing instant chemical menopause while my incision finished healing and the symptoms were brutal. The menopausal symptoms were temporarily interrupted while I underwent 25 pelvic radiation treatments at Duke.

There’s more, much more, but this gives you an idea of what I went through.

--Virginia Lee

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Bad to Death" (Miss Priss Edition)

Snotty Chearleader of the Week

Glee whiz, it's Ryan Murphy.

My last column, "Bad to Death", comes with a nice postscript.

I saw "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" on Monday night and thought it was terrific. I've also heard good things about "Toy Story 17,000," so here's hoping.

The Illegal Wedding Fair was lots of fun, and I even sold a few bucks.

Remember, never take me seriously unless I'm joking.

All my best,
David Toussaint

Now, THAT'S a postscript.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Bully Pulpit (Cake-Cutting Edition)

My new column, The Bully Pulpit, is a long time in the making; since childhood, to be exact. I wrote it up after I had lunch with Carson Kressley, and he suggested the idea. My initial reaction was, YOU should be writing this, as he has such a wonderful way of expressing his individuality.

Anyway, he got me to thinking, and after all the stuff with the girl in Springfield, Massachusetts, it seemed like a good idea. How do you survive something like this and not write about it? Or do something about it? Then, I think the next day, there was another article in the New York Times, Phoebe Prince, documenting the tragedy.

I don't remember when I started writing the column, but it seemed to take forever. What doesn't surprise me are all the readers' comments I received saying they'd had a very similar childhood. Tragic, huh. What a lot of people don't realize about writing is that, when you do write about something personal, it becomes less personal after publication, because 99.9 percent of the time a million other people have experienced something similar.

On an ironic note, now I've written a gay and lesbian wedding book and live in place where the only bullies are internal ones.

I'll be speaking at the Illegal Wedding Fair on June 6. It should be fun.

Take care of yourself, and each other. And keep your eyes open.

All my best,
David Toussaint

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Particular Penis

My last column, Mo-Bro, was written awhile back but I've not had a chance to post it until now.

You see, My Particular Penis was in Miami for almost a month, doing what penises so often do: lying in the sun, hitting the beach, thinking for me.

I hope that you like Mo-Bro. The man it was based on has not read it, and, ironically, has a new girlfriend who's madly in love with him, and who's gorgeous. It seems she feels the same way about him. I'm thrilled for both of them.

That particular bathing suit belongs to my friend Rusty, who was kind enough to loan it to me. I grew very fond of it and even took it to SoBe. 
It had a good time.

Well, that's all for new. It's tired and time to get some work done.


Ah, good times. Good Penises.

David Toussaint

Monday, March 29, 2010

Past, Tense

Bye Bye David

Dave at 18 ("Bye Bye Birdie," Onstage Theater, Walnut Creek, California.

It's not that these pictures are so old that it's scary; it's that it's my real hair in the photos. I remember going to class the day after one performance and some chick saying to her friend, "Oh My God*, he really has a pompadour."

*OMG was not used back then.

I bring up my past because someone interviewed me for their Reincarnation Blog. And 18 was another life ago. I didn't much care for most of it, and my heart was broken so many times that year. Oddly, the girl who played Kim in the show had a crush on me, as someone in the chorus informed me. She was beautiful and a wonderful singer. I sooooooooo wanted to be straight, because I thought it would be so cool if the two "stars" were dating. But it wasn't meant to be. Her name was Laura--don't know what happened to her; she's probably on Facebook :)

In Latin America News, Gay Like You interviewed me about being, well, gay like me. The gentleman who runs the blog is from Peru, and I told him about one of my first boyfriends in New York, Willie, who was a Peruvian flight attendant-slash-hustler. Curiously, that part of the interview was left out. I loved Willie. He wanted to be a model, and he could have been. We kept in touch for a long time, and I think he put away the hustling shoes for permanent wings.

All for now.

"Give me evidence of its brilliance."--Madonna, "Future Lovers"

you're in the book,
--David Toussaint

Saturday, March 20, 2010

DR(an)T (Did "Dancing with the Stars" Twist the Ankle?)

Welcome to DR(an)T.
Photo: "Bachelor" Jake Pavelka warms up before his DWTS debut Monday night.

As DWTS starts its 10th season Monday Night, I'm not going to be watching. I wrote up a short piece as to my thoughts on the show. Enjoy (and hey, catch up on your reading...that's what I'm gonna do).

How Dancing with the Stars Twisted Its Ankle, by David Toussaint...

The success of “Dancing with the Stars” rests in its perfectly balanced title. TV audiences love to watch professional dancers, and they love to watch stars. Combining the two was genius. I first checked out the show in 2007, the season that Marie Osmond fainted, and was instantly hooked. Watching Donny’s famous sister dance as a wind-up doll wasn’t why I kept coming back, and I never would have tuned in to a show in which Susan Lucci read poetry or Mario Lopez debated global warming. The dancers rooted the storyline, and served as the straight man to their celebrity partner’s frequent pratfalls, sometimes glorious triumphs.

In the few years since, the show has lost its equal footing. The ratings are still great (DWTS has always been a top ten hit), but the fun factor’s slipped. Part of the problem was inevitable: Since the program features many of the same dancers each season, after five years those dancers are more recognizable than half the “stars.” Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas, and Derek Hough, just to name a few, are famous in their own right, and it’s embarrassing to watch them play second banana to a former “Maxim” model.

The other problem feeds the first: DWTS is no longer about “stars”; it’s about celebrity and popularity. Viewers’ votes count for half the scores, and while that’s necessary for ratings and surprise, it’s become a joke. With few exceptions, most notably Brooke Burke, Season 8’s winner (DWTS is on twice a year, hence the disparity between seasons and years aired), the best dancers now just get bumped off early or lose to whoever’s got a stronger text-coordinated voting drive.

Last season we saw Mya lose to Donny Osmond; before that Gilles Marini lost to gymnast Shawn Johnson. Gilles and Mya could have careers as dancers, while Donny and Shawn were adorable fan favorites. I missed Emmitt Smith’s win over Mario Lopez, but I don’t think I have to remind you which of the two went on to star in “A Chorus Line” on Broadway. Other exceptional dancer-stars, like Sabrina Bryan in 2007, got voted off early for no apparent reason other than that viewers were annoyed by their personalities, or talent.

The three judges could help matters by scoring every star equally, not on the “most improved” rating scale they too frequently practice. To avoid the endless, discussion-board arguments over dance training, the producers should set a firm, stated rule as to how much experience stars are allowed. Last year, Executive Producer Conrad Green said he’d welcome Paula Abdul as a guest, despite her long career as a dancer/choreographer. He cited her lack of ballroom training as sufficient. By that standard, Mikhail Baryshnikov would be eligible. (When former “Hairspray” star Marissa Jaret Winokur competed, no one questioned her Tony Award-winning turn as an overweight girl who’s such a fantastic dancer she makes it big on a local dance program.)

There’s a marked difference between a star and a celebrity, and the latter approach is a turn off, literally. While I’m not expecting Streisand or Streep to take guest spins, half the “stars” are famous for either modeling topless (Burke and last season’s Joanna Krupa), their own reality TV shows (rejected bachelorette Melissa Rycroft), or scandal (indicted Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s appearance was shameless).

They do have other resources: This past summer I interviewed Olympic champion Greg Louganis about his tireless, and highly publicized, efforts to appear on the program. Despite five gold medals and two books, the Greatest Diver in the World has been turned down repeatedly. The openly gay athlete has been told that he has either “too much dance experience,” or not enough “star power.” Apparently, Winokur didn’t suffer either one of those problems. Since Lance Bass, the only openly gay star to appear on the show, surfaced right after gay rights groups complained that the program discriminated against out dancers, I suspect that DeLay’s appearance wasn’t the first political choice.

Rejected Star: Not Enough Fame.

Season Ten, which premieres on March 22, pairs Shannen Doherty, Pamela Anderson, and Buzz Aldrin as real stars amid a lot of people you need wouldn’t notice unless you bumped into them on Dmitry Chaplin’s arm. Not surprisingly, the biggest attraction this season is realty star crash Kate Gosselin, who’s out-performing even the New Bachelor, Jake Pavelka, in the pre-publicity buzz. (In yet another sad trend, Pavelka and Rycroft were recruited immediately after their respective “Bachelor” shows’ finales, making DWTS seem like just another ABC cross-over marketing ploy.)

DWTS was never intended to be anything more than an exuberant talent contest, and a chance to watch some of your favorite entertainers strut their stuff. What many of us liked about the show was that it was a viable alternative to the mean-spirited themes of “Idol,” “Survivor,” and, yes, Gosselin’s own “Kate Plus 8.” That smart premise has been replaced by online sites that bash contestants and invent rumors about stars made famous because they’re booked, a voting standard that wouldn’t hold up in any middle school, and the inevitable disappointment of knowing that the best dancer you see on March 22 will more than likely be gone before the Mirror Ball trophy finds its winner.

<<<<"DWTS" brightest star.
You're in the book.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"The Funny Pit"

Enter At Your Own Risk...

My blog had to go on vacation as I've spent the past month chasing down freelance checks. Exhausting work, this getting what is owed to you. I wrote a column for EDGE, called "The Funny Pit."

The Funny Pit

I hope that you enjoy it. I saw "The Blind Side" the night before the Oscars. Oy. Sandra Bullock is such a fine actor, and that was such a bad movie.

Regardless, I strongly suggest you see Bruno if you missed it.

Good news on the book front: "Toussaint!" is now available on Mac and Blackberry; the Kindle App is free, so you only pay the $9.99 price. Check it out.

"Toussaint!" on Mac and Blackberry!

Okay, off to gym. Will blog more soon. It's been an exhausting month.

And remember, you're in the book.
                                                                 David Toussaint

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"How to Write a Fire," by David Toussaint (DIRECTOR'S CUT)

Just thought I would post my new column, "'How to Write a Fire,'" by David Toussaint."

 (gay people make the mainstream tongue-tied)

"How to Write a Fire," by David Toussaint

I've been meaning to write this story for a couple of years, but never felt the time was right. As I wrote in the column, I no longer have the same fears I used to; don't care what people think. And many of my fears are gone. The important things matter. Health, happiness, my friends, my dog, my loves.

And I've realized that, if you don't stand up for what you believe in, you might as well grab a mud hut and settle down.

I also have the original New York Times Business Section Article, HERE!

Alas, "The Striking Similarities Between the Chelsea Boy and the Conde Nast Girl" is gone. The site that published it, Outsider Inc., vanished awhile back and removed all content. But, as you can imagine, it was quite scandalous (lol).

The actual "Bride's" gay and lesbian wedding article, "Outward Bound," is not on-line. Perhaps I'll frame my printed copy :)

All my best,

PS: They really are in the book!
David Toussaint

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Up in the Scare--LOADED with Extras!

I finished "Up in the Scare" the night before the special election in Masachusetts. I had a hunch the Playboy Bunny was going to win, and that was a whole different ball of wax--one I didn't want to touch yet. Oy gay, what a way to start off the new decade. Not him, of course, but this one....

Doy Vay.

We, the idiots, are responsible for somehow not thinking healthcare is a good, American ideal, but those, the "leaders" are the ones who have to convince, fight, get their fingers in the dirt, not the manicurist's office. I've not seen Obama do anything "leader-like" in the entire year. Yes, I'm thrilled he replaced gWb, and, yes, I will vote for him over a doofus G.O.P. (God of Profit), but he's the Professor to Hillary's Mary Ann, or Ginger, or the Howells. So, yes, I'm also angry. You don't bring together two parties; you lead one party, and allow the other to follow, or lose.

The gays hate him, and rightly so. Fuck DOMA, just don't fuck each other, dudes. Because, well, as a strong, smart, African-American who has a dream, I don't understand why you'd expect or want equal rights. Deal with it as I have not.

On top of everything else wrong with Obama's approach, here's another thing he forgot to do. The day after the new Penthouse Pet, Scott Brown, won, Glenn Beck made a comment saying their could be a dead intern. We are so accustomed to the blabbering idiots who rant and rave and bellow (forgive the blatant "South Pacific" rip-off), that we don't even bother to say how horrific that comment was. Beck, in a sideways fashion, accused Brown, of possible murder.
Now, if Obie Won had a brain, as well as a heart and courage and maybe some Friends of Dorothy, he would have lambasted Beck's words, saying "America will not tolerate our new senator being threatened by the bigots of the media."

Um, to quote Keanu Reeves in anything, "duh."

This way, Mr. President, you've lambasted the RIGHT for attacking someone on the RIGHT. It's not political science, Barack, it's political. (Oh, and also, it would be the right thing to do.)

Meanwhile, there was the whole Supreme Court thing---who will Walmart pick for Pres????

So another column done for now.

In the meantime, folks, let's learn from the Gods of Profit and steal their playbook. Here's how it goes. Scott Brown posed "nude" for Cosmo. Cosmo is not unlike Playgirl, and 80 perecent of Playgirl models are gay. I've slept with two, I've seen them in porn, I've seen them serving drinks in gay bars. If that's true, and 10 percent of all men are gay, then there's a 90 percent chance that the new Hustler Pin-Up is actually a gay hustler.

You heard it was a rumor, while I heard it was true. (Oh, and by the way, it's a known fact that gay men love to dress up in uniform. I think we're at 98 percent now.)

I hope you enjoyed the column. Someone recently asked me how I figure out the beginnings, since they tie into the ends. I simply explained the "Completion Backward Principle" as performed by my favorite group, The Tubes. Check them out sometime. They are wonderful.

I can't think of a better note to end on....

And remember,
You're in the book.
David Toussaint

Monday, January 18, 2010

Going Home Again with Denise Fraga--Five Flashback Questions

Sentimental Journey

In a different life, one in which popular meant straight and gay went unmentioned, I used to hang out at Denise's house, hanging out with her brother, and her wonderful, sweet family. They were cool but wonderful, like the Brady Bunch, had they been cool but wonderful. And Mexican. I loved their home; it existed in a place near where I lived, that didn't seem bigoted or self-conscious or conservative or caring about labels. We all partied, went to concerts, swam in the pool late at night, and, most of all, grooved to music. I've not been back in more than 20 years, but now Denise is a big-time singer, Bay Area adult, and, yeah, groovy chick. I thought it would be fun to ask Denise about that time and about now, in just five questions. If I'm off-key, well, she still makes me a bit nervous.

Denise Fraga

Occupation: Singer

Five Questions:

I fled California; you stayed. What do you love about your home state?
I love the Bay Area; more specifically, San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. I love the diversity of it and the bohemian vibe of it too. I lived in the Central Valley for a few years when I first took off to college and it just felt too "backwards" for me, or perhaps I should say too conservative. Once I started school in SF, I knew I had found my home. I love that the wine country is nearby, the mountains are nearby, the ocean is right here and more importantly, my family is nearby. There's a lot of great culture here too. Everything from artsy fartsy to very urban. I can go to a museum, a jazz concert, the symphony, a rock concert, see a friend perform at a dive club and see a friend's work at a small art gallery all in one month - or week!

I remember you bobbing to Led Zeppelin and The Who. Who are your musical influences now?
Oh yes, I think my blood is made up of music notes rather than hemoglobin. These days I've been listening to an eclectic internet station and have been exposed to many different groups that I otherwise would not have heard on terrestrial radio. I love Porcupine Tree (prog rock), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (dirgy, shoe gazer type rock), Thievery Corporation (electronica), Iron and Wine (folk). Oh, and I cannot forget Radiohead.

When did you start realizing you had a lot of gay friends?
I didn't think I had met my first gay friends until I started performing in musicals through community theater, which was during the mid 80's (my early 20's). But to be honest with you, I had no inkling that you were gay until I heard about you coming out at a much later date. And it also dawned on me many years later that a few guys I knew at De La Salle (high school) had to have been gay as well, but I just didn't have a "gaydar" back then. I now have many gay friends, both male and female.

What Song Best Represents Your Childhood?
Oh good lord, what song best represents my childhood? There simply isn't one. However, there is a band that truly represents my childhood, and I think you know who they are. THE BEATLES!!!!

If you could dedicated a song to Barack Obama, what would it be and why?
The song that first popped into my head was "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye and then I started thinking about the entire album. The entire album should be considered as it is a concept album. Here we have a man who's communicating to us, not as a iconic pop star to his fans but as an equal asking us to stop and look around us. Look what we're doing to our environment, to our brothers and sisters, to each other. We need to stop destroying ourselves and each other and start loving and caring instead. Yes, that was a very 60's way of thinking, but I believe that President Obama is in his own way saying the same thing. He is very accessible, he doesn't put himself above us and he wants to have open communication with us. Both of these men seem to be very introspective and that is one of the things that I really like and appreciated about the President. He's very thoughtful and isn't a knee-jerk like some of our past presidents and many of our politicians.

Bonus, Back in Kansas (Kinda) Question
I haven't seen you or your family since we were all high-school age, and we were all hanging out and getting stoned and being teenagers in the suburbs. If you could dedicate a song to those times, what would it be?
The Cars: "Good Times Roll." I was originally going to pick a Zep song, but this popped into my head and it was perfect!


--as is she. Thanks, Denise. I miss those days. Let's have an encore someday.

To find out more about Denise, check out Denise Fraga. And make sure you leave her a big tip on me.

I'm in the book.
David Toussaint

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Year in My View (An Annual Perennial), How To Be Really Gay (Three Pro 'Mos Give You the Scoop); Plus: Two "Ups" and Two "Nines" Make It an Unforgettable Year. MORE!

How To Be Really Gay
In Case You Didn't Already Know

Author Chris Beakey Interviews Me, Evan Wolfson, and Jeff McElhaney on Gay in 2010 (And we know!)
Gay in 2010

I love this particular ad of Jeff's. Very smart.

I'm very grateful to Chris for taking the time to put this piece together. He did a wonderful job with the three terribly high tenors.

I decided a while back never to do a Best Of... for a column, so last night I started to write one for this blog, because, well, you know, it's a blog. No one reads that damn things, but they're fun to do, like Crossword Puzzles or Latins. So for what it's worth....

The Year In My View

Best Film That I’ve Seen without Seeing “Hurt Locker” yet and despite the fact that George Clooney is the star: “Up in the Air.”

Worst Use of Under-Eyeliner: George Clooney, in “Up in the Air.”
Best Use of Under-Eyeliner: Lady GaGa.

Best Song That Was Actually Released in 2008 But Was a Single in 2009: “If U Seek Amy,” Britney Spears.

Worst Album by My Favorite Newish Group: "Humbug," Arctic Monkeys

Biggest Heartbreak: Farrah.

Worst Memorial: Ryan hitting on daughter Tatum at the funeral.

Keenest Observation: My mother telling me that Michael Jackson was a true genius and “you kids really missed out.” (Thanks, Mom, I hear that Madonna was interesting too; perhaps I’ll check her out one of these days.)

Best Film Based on My Junior High Black-Light Posters: “Avatar” (forget the 3-D, they should have supplied bongs).

Best Other Film That Wasn’t Really About Aliens: “District 9”

Worst Film with the Number 9 in the Title: “Nine”

Best Reason to Colonize Mars and Send People There with One Way Tickets But No Healthcare: Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, Maggie Gallagher, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Steele (list to be updated every five minutes; kind of like Twitter).

Biggest Role-Reversal Fantasy: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Favorite New Show: “FlashForward.” (But couldn’t they see that people wouldn’t be watching six months from now?)

Favorite Old Show: “Desperate Housewives” (admit it; it’s still good, and kudos to Dana Delaney, oh, but could the chick from "Soprano's" and then "Joey" please cut her hair?)

Best Concept Album: “Love Is the Answer,” Barbra Streisand

Best Concept Face: Madonna

Best Concept of Madonna's New Face: Sharon Stone's new face

Best Reason to Stop Watching TV Altogether: Tom Delay on “DWTS”

Film That Makes You Realize the Only Way You’re Gonna See Actual Dancing Is if You Watch “DWTS”: “Nine”

Best Reason to Keep the Studio Cold at All Times: Dmitry Chaplin’s nipples!

Favorite New Word I Still Don’t Really Understand: “Widget”

Favorite Moment: You know who you are, and you know where we were, and we sincerely hope they weren’t filming from the second floor.

Best Reason to Become a Porn Star: If that clip ever surfaces.

Favorite Compliment: “You could do porn with that.”

Best Reason to Keep Writing This List: Everything eventually turns to smut.

Best Reason to Colonize Mars and Send Movie Fans There: The people who loved “Paranormal Activity” and insisted I see it.

Best Bad Flick: “Orphan.”

Best Reason Never to Go See another New York Show, Unless I Get Reimbursed for the Two Hours and Time It Took to Write-up the Review: Theresa Rebeck’s “Our House”

“Carrie” Award for Worst Mother of the Year: Mo’Nique in “Precious”

Best Reason to Never Watch another Tony Acceptance Speech: Alice Ripley

Most Deserved Award (Male): Sean Penn, “Milk”

Most Deserved Award (Human): Meryl Streep, for “Whatever the F*** They Give It to Her For.”

Best Reason to Laugh: Lots of good, smart comedies this year: “Up,” “Julie & Julia,” “Up in the Air,” “Bruno.”

Best Reason to Laugh Even Harder: Gay rights groups condemning “Bruno.”
Best Reason to Be Sad: TV Comedy.

Worst Excuse for Laughter: “Funny People.”

Smartest Reason to Go From the Big Screen to the Small Screen: Jessica Lange in “Grey Gardens”

The Who Knew Award: Drew Barrymore, "Grey Gardens"

The Who Cares Award: Carrie Prejean ties with Dick Cheney.

The Hugh Grant Award for Most Consecutive Bad Films in a Row: Adam Sandler

Runner-Up: Nicole Kidman

Best Reason to Plug Your Ears: The Chris Rockway threesome clip
"Share, SHARE!"

Best Reason to Plug: Chris Rockway

Best Reason to Stop Listening to Music Critics: Grizzly Bear

Worst Reason to Name Your Band While Watching the Nature Channel: Grizzly Bear

Best Reason to Stop Listening to Me: This list

I'm in the book
David Toussaint