Out's View from the GLAAD Awards Red Carpet
By Noah Michelson
And speaking of love, Lance Bass’ ex and former winner of The Amazing Race, Reichen Lehmkuhl, arrived with this sexy boyfriend of five months, Brazilian model, Rodiney Santiago. They couldn’t stop smiling at each other, so we couldn’t help but ask a few questions.
Out: How did this relationship come about?
Reichen Lehmkuhl: I was in Miami visiting my parents, and I was laid over at Miami airport. I went out that night and we met in South Beach. (Now, we are sure there is more to this story, but we’ll just leave it to our imaginations.)
What do you like the most about Rodiney?
He’s always happy. We’re always so busy, and he reminds me to keep it light, be happy, smile, and not to get down about things and take them too personally.
One Life to Live stars Brett Claywell (Kyle Lewis) and Scott Evans (Oliver Fish) are not taking things personally. One day before the GLAAD Awards it was announced that their characters were being written off the show. Last year the duo broke new ground when they did the first gay-sex scene on daytime.
Out: What are your thoughts on One Life to Live ending your storyline?
Brett Claywell: It was a journey we went on together this whole year, and we had no idea it was going to be received the way it was. I couldn’t have been more privileged to work with a better actor to figuratively and literally hold my hand through the whole process. There’s definitely going to be some sadness, but we really are proud of what we did. We’ve been boyfriends on screen, and now we get to just be brothers. If nothing else we told a great story and developed a new friendship.
What was it like doing the groundbreaking sex scene?
Scott Evans: We didn’t know when we were shooting it that it was the very first one. Then afterward we heard all about the breaking of new ground, and we thought it was pretty cool.
Why do you think presenting a storyline like this one is so important on daytime TV?
Scott Evans: You’re reaching an audience that you normally wouldn’t reach. These are people who may not be watching primetime TV or might not be so in to what is going on in modern times.
Brett Claywell: We’re glad to celebrate the telling of a truthful love story in every day households in the Midwest and the south, and that’s important.
Sigourney Weaver knows first-hand the influence presenting a truthful story can have on society. Last year she starred in Prayers for Bobby, a TV movie based on the true story of Mary Griffith, a mother who can’t accept her gay son, which leads to his suicide. GLAAD honored the movie with its Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series Award. Before the show Sigourney spoke with us.
Out: What would you say to parents who have trouble accepting their gay child?
Sigourney Weaver: You have to encourage your child to just to be who they are. You can’t encourage them to live a lie that is so destructive to them. The disconnect for me is when people say that this is a lifestyle choice, when every gay friend of mine says, “I knew when I was five.” It’s not easy to be gay, so believe me, if it were a choice -- but God bless them. It’s shocking for me in this day and age for families not to accept. That’s what I hope this movie can do -- at least open the doors for discussion.
But even with all of the big names in the room, it was the least unknown who stole the show, 10-year-old Will Phillips. The fifth grader who skipped fourth grade refused to say the pledge of allegiance because he realized that the LGBT community didn’t have the same rights as the rest of America. Wearing a suit and a pair of sneakers, Out schmoozed with Will.
Out: How do you feel tonight?
Will Phillips: I’m kind of overwhelmed -- but not in a bad way.
What’s it like living in West Fork, Ark. when you are so liberal?
We’re a small raft in a sea of red.
Is it any wonder he didn’t need the fourth grade?
When the evening was all said and done everyone took home some very heavy gift bags and GLAAD reinforced the work they’ve done for the past 25 years of promoting fair, accurate and inclusive representation of LGBT people in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
For a complete list of the winners, head here.
-- DUSTIN FITZHARRIS