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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2021-08-02

This article shared 586 times since Mon Aug 2, 2021
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"If you are fortunate enough to be in a relationship with a supportive family, in a country or place where living openly is pretty safe, I really would recommend it because it will only benefit you and your mental health. You'll probably perform better as well because you're not worried about it."—British Olympian Tom Bosworth discusses the advantages of being openly gay at the Games. I wish someone would discuss the advantages of being an openly gay single Olympian.

With wall-to-wall coverage, I'm coming across clips and highlights from the Olympics with alarming regularity. I was fascinated by the story of Fabio Fognini—an Italian tennis player. With every lost point, he'd scream "frocio." As someone who typically summers under the Tuscan sun, I recognized the polite term for "faggot." (I'm sure someone out there thinks I should say "the F-word," but fuck that.) After losing the game, Fabio explained the situation on social media: "The heat went to my head. Obviously I didn't want to offend anyone's sensibilities."

Tom Daley can finally tick "win an Olympic gold medal" off his "To Do" list. I'm sure he'd rather win it solo than as part of a syncro duo, but there's another week to go. How did he celebrate? He posted, "If you've been following me for a while, you'll know I'm a bit knitting obsessed. And I kept banging my medal, so what I decided to do was make a little case for my medal. Now my medal is not going to get scratched." Not only is he a gold-medal winner, he's also invented the knitted Olympic medal koozie. Take that, all of you who think Dustin Lance Black is the old one!

There's been lots of talk that Meghan McCain might compete on the next season of Dancing in the Stars (which is what Barbara Walters used to call it). Given her departure from The View, I suspect we'll be robbed of Meg's moving tribute to Fantasia during Disney Week. Other potential dancers include Countess Luann de Lesseps, LeAnn Rimes and even Fran Drescher—who is running for president of the Screen Actors Guild. If she's got too much on her plate, might I recommend outgoing SAG prez Gabrielle Carteris?

A celebrated duo is reuniting for what is being billed as their final shows together. "One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga" will play Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 3 and 5.

If you go to see Tony and Gaga, you'll likely need proof of a COVID vaccine. After all, you can't kill an American treasure—or Gaga, for that matter. You'll need that same proof when Broadway comes back. It's been announced that each of Broadway's 41 venues will require proof of vaccine … AND masks will be required. This is part of a landmark agreement between the Broadway League, Actors' Equity and the various other unions. An exception will be made for those 12 and younger, and those with either a medical condition or a "closely held religious belief." I can't wait to see how they carry out this mandate—especially at the Metropolitan Opera, which has a capacity of 3,500.

Despite having a healthy amount of skepticism that Broadway will resume performances in September, I'm willing to play along. One of the most anticipated revivals is of Richard Greenberg's play Take Me Out—about a star baseball player coming out of the closet. This revival will star Jesse Williams as the ballplayer in question. Fun fact—prior to his alleged assault on the streets of Chicago, Jussie Smollett was the front-runner to play that part. Williams will be joined by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and the show begins previews March 9, 2022.

A new national tour of the musical Hairspray is hitting the road. Even more exciting, the role of Edna will be played by drag diva Nina West (aka Andrew Levitt). The tour launches in Yakima, Washington on Nov. 12.

A recent story caught my eye about the Bryant family—as in Anita Bryant. As you know, Bryant came out against gay people and got a pie in the face in 1977—to which she good-heartedly quipped, "At least it's a fruit pie." As luck would have it, Anita's granddaughter happens to be a lesbian—a lesbian about to get married. Two problems: 1) Anita doesn't know her granddaughter is getting married, and B) She doesn't know said granddaughter is a lesbian! The granddaughter, Sarah Green, has said, "[Anita] wants a relationship with a person who doesn't exist because I'm not the person she wants me to be. I think I probably will eventually just call her and ask if she even wants an invitation, because I genuinely do not know how she would respond. I don't know if she would be offended if I didn't invite her...I just kind of feel bad for her. And I think as much as she hopes that I will figure things out and come back to God, I kind of hope that she'll figure things out." I'm curious—does anyone know where Anita stands on this issue today? I would hate to be held to the beliefs I expressed over 50 years ago (when I was two). After all, when Obama became president, he was opposed to gay marriage. I say, give Anita a chance to reveal herself. [Editor's note: Subsequent media articles noted that Bryant reportedly knows about her granddaughter's orientation and engagement.]

When I'm standing up for Anita Bryant, it's definitely time for me to add a little vodka to my orange juice and end yet another column. Who knows—maybe her stance could be blamed on spending so much time in the hot Florida sun. Speaking of which, I'm in Fort Lauderdale this week. But I'm still updating BillyMasters.com—the site that always shines. If you have a question—or an indecent proposal—send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Tom Daley pitches his knitted Olympic medal koozie on Shark Tank. Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


This article shared 586 times since Mon Aug 2, 2021
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