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Michael Musto

10 Things Every Gay Male Needs To Do—Now!

10 Things Every Gay Male Needs To Do—Now!

judging you

Also: Bianca Del Rio reveals who should win Drag Race

Let's not even waste time with an introduction. Yes, it's that urgent. Let me just quickly say that this list is partly based on satire and hyperbole, so please take it in that kind of spirit, and if it doesn't apply to you in the slightest, even as a joke, simply forward it to someone it might be relevant for. Here's your agenda for today:

1. Don't make a bitchy remark for a full 24 hours. As I suggested, if you wouldn't ever imagine doing such a thing anyway, then you're fine, but if you just might, then make this into some sort of Jim Carrey movie-type premise and bite your tongue every time something wicked is about to come out of your mouth. See if it ends up feeling cathartic--or if it just hurts. (I don't have to listen to my own instructions, by the way. That should have been in the intro somewhere.)

2. Buy a dirt cheap outfit, wherever dirt cheap outfits are sold. (Just ask around, I guess.) Come on, ignore your higher fashion aspirations just for now and get something comfortable, affordable, and even downright unattractive to parade around in. See if you can develop enough affinity for the ensemble from hell to make it utterly beautiful in your eyes. And wear it all day, until everyone else loves it too. Tomorrow you can go back to the overspending.

3. Name your 10 favorite movie stars based on character alone. Don't let hotness factor into it at all.

4. Go alone to a lesbian bar. Get to know what it might be like to be one of the few members of your gender in a room. Take in the weird sensation of being the minority, the underdog, and quite possibly the undervalued. And while you're there, get to know some lesbians.

5. Do something "not gay." In other words, don't just go with the gay crowd to gay places and gay events while talking a gay talk. Maybe try a predominantly hetero resort for a weekend? Have dinner with your straight friends? Go to Olive Garden? (I would have added 'lol" there, but another rule is to keep a maximum on those.)

6. Don't go to a Broadway show, just this once. If you must see theater, try to find some obscure British drama about WWI or a musical adaptation of a foreign film you avoided for years. If you feel like you absolutely have to see a movie, hunt down a sequel to a film you hated or maybe there's a biopic about some military figure you never heard of. And if you have a sudden craving for binge watching, find out whatever the newest answer to Duck Dynasty is. Tape your eyes open and watch the whole season. It'll be character building--sort of like wearing that ugly outfit. In fact, you should wear it to the movie.

7. Try not using any gay lingo. Come on, hons, purge it from your vocabu-tary. I know I recently wrote about the glories of gayspeak and how it often connects people and keeps history going in funny and/or touching ways. But just for a day, try not saying "gurl," "fierce," "Please!" "Miss Thing," or "whatevs." It will force you to expand your palette, and in the process, it will give all those terms some beauty rest. OK, sugar?

8. Take your collectibles out of mothballs and actually enjoy them for a day. Whatever tchotchkes you have piled up in boxes should be freed for a limited time of enjoyment--for their sake and for your yours--before you return them to their embalmed state. Appreciate your cherished objets as more than just mementos or investments. Or just donate them to a museum already.

9. Drop your gay grudges. Whatever slight has been irritating you for so many years can ultimately be let go when you finally toss the grudge to the curb--and unlike those times when you namedrop, don't pick it up again.

10. Work out at home today. Just in case the gym is about showing off, competing, or cruising, let's just pump some weights alone and see if self improvement is the sole agenda here. (Or, in my case, don't work out anywhere.)

Oh, and stop screaming that you're offended by this list and it has nothing to do with the way you run your life, so I should STFU. I said it was satirical. Besides, I also said to can the bitchiness.

judging you


One more thing you need to do is calm yourself and keep reading my marvelous column, thank you. I hear Tony winner Frank Langella wants to star in a revival of the absurdist comedy Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You In the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad--in the lead role of Madame Rosepettle, played in the movie by Rosalind Russell! If he does this, I'm sure he'll have yet another Tony to hang--but in what category?

At an insubstantial Broadway comedy not long ago, the woman behind me leaned in to me and asked, "What have you heard about this show?" I couldn't believe she was talking to me, but maybe it was because I had just given her a nice mention in New York magazine. It was Barbara Walters!

Another TV icon, Roseanne, helped me step in it when I innocently tweeted that I wouldn't rest until she became President. (Her only half-joking 2012 campaign was the subject of a documentary that played the Tribeca Film Festival recently.) Out came people saying I should be ashamed of myself because Roseanne is transphobic and has said some awful things on the subject. I let them all fight among themselves while I stepped off to the side to try to educate myself.

By the way, at a party for that very documentary, Roseanne said to me, "You've lost, like, 200 pounds since I last saw you!" Do you wonder why I love this woman? (But still, trying to educate myself.)

I attempted to make levity out of another scandal when I suggested to a top drag queen that she parody the alleged Bill Cosby situation by doing a cover version of "Crazy In Love." In the video, she can be handed a cup of dubious coffee and sing, "Took a sip and I'm lazy right now." But she didn't bite! Drag queens are truly losing their minds these days.

But Bianca Del Rio certainly isn't. When I asked last season's winner of RuPaul's Drag Race-- who is set to crown the new tiara wearer on June 1 -- who she feels should be the new winner, her response was spot on: "Without a doubt...Hillary Clinton!"

Kelli OHara, Brian Stokes-Mitchell, Allyson Tucker

Kelli O'Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell & Allyson Tucker


On to the winner of a Tony: Broadway leading man and Actors Fund chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell was the honoree at last week's gala luncheon for New Dramatists, a vital organization which fosters up-and-coming playwrights. The Marriott Marquis event brought out a dazzling array of Tony nominees and other stars of this season, who showered Mitchell with praise, after stopping to chat with yours truly, of course. Here's what they told me: Laura Michelle Kelly said it's difficult to die onstage every night in Finding Neverland, the hit musical about Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie becoming captivated by her character and her passel of kids. "It's the hardest thing," Kelly confided. "Every time I do it, it's like I'm doing it for the first time. I want people to feel hope at the other side. That's what I've experienced."

Brian d'Arcy James's character in the wacky musical Something Rotten doesn't die; in fact, isn't he the one who roots all the insanity? "It in the traditional vein of the leading man," he answered, "but he's a little wild himself and can go off the rails." Brian told me he's also got an exciting movie coming out called Spotlight, in which he plays one of four people who won a Pulitzer for doing an investigative Boston Globe column called "Spotlight," which they wrote as a team. One of the joys of it, he said, was getting to come on the set and tell one of his costars, Michael Keaton, how brilliant he was in Birdman.

I asked six-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara if Anna in The King and I is the singing-est role she's done so far. "It's one of the least, I think," she said. "It was written for a non singer [Gertrude Lawrence], It's about an octave range. Last year, I did The Bridges of Madison County and sang 12 to 14 songs of an operatic nature. This is a fun play with music."

Someone who has to sing, dance, and anchor a hit adaptation, An American in Paris star Robert Fairchild told me, "I find myself thinking, This is the role Gene Kelly created. I'm the next in line who's gotten to fill these shoes. But it's so great that we're not doing the same exact thing as the movie. We're doing our own version as a tribute."

As for what's challenging about his responsibilities, the New York City Ballet dancer turned Broadway star said, "I've never done eight shows a week before. I know how to take care of my body as a dancer, but as an actor/singer, to make sure everything works as it should and to know what to do when has been a learning curve, and a fun, challenging one."

The same show's Max von Essen (who's also Tony nominated) told me about his character: "He's part of a family that takes on so much and is not afraid to take risks. They work for the resistance, funnel money to the resistance, and they hide a young Jewish girl." On a lighter note, does he ever slip and sing Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" instead of his big number, "Stairway To Paradise?" "No," he said, smiling, "that's not something that's ever going to happen."

And finally, I asked the charming and talented honoree Brian Stokes Mitchell, what his best attribute is as a performer. "Can't we start with an easier question?" he laughed before answering that he loves his work and is a dedicated, hard worker. "I was taught by the best," he told me. "Chita Rivera was an artistic and spiritual mentor when we did Kiss of the Spider Woman. She never phoned it in. Anyone who's watched her with eyes open doesn't need to sit down and get advice. You learn so much by observing her greatness." Oh, that's another thing all you people need to do right now--go see Chita Rivera!

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Michael Musto