Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Exotic, Jessie Gender, Olly Alexander, Russell T. Davies, Christopher Bollen, Alice Hoagland, Sonequa Martin-Green, and More: #GAYNRD DAILY

SINFUL Russell T. Davies, the creator of the new UK drama It’s a Sin, talked about the importance of casting gay actors in gay roles in an interview with Radio Times. “I’m not being woke about this,” said Davies, “but I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, I am casting them to act as a lover, or an enemy, or someone on drugs or a criminal or a saint… they are not there to ‘act gay’ because ‘acting gay’ is a bunch of codes for a performance. It’s about authenticity, the taste of 2020.”

“You wouldn’t cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair, you wouldn’t black someone up,” Davies added. “Authenticity is leading us to joyous places.”

TWEET OF THE DAY “I’m glad we all agree that poetry was the best part of Inauguration, now please fund the humanities.”

ICYMI Years and Years’ Olly Alexander’s (above) powerful acoustic cover of the Pet Shop Boys version of the eponymous song debuted Friday.

It’s a Sin premiered tonight Channel 4 in the UK and will be in the US on HBO Max later this year.

IN MORE YEARS news: Alexander also revealed that he scrapped an entire album’s worth of songs for the band when the coronavirus pandemic hit last spring. Speaking to NME this week about his starring role in Russell T Davies’ new Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, Alexander said that appearing on the show influenced how the new album will sound. “The pandemic happened and I went back to square one and just wanted to make a lot of upbeat, euphoric dance tunes,” Alexander told NME, revealing that he had an entire album’s worth of songs ready to go that he then discarded.

“That’s what I’ve been focused on the majority of 2020 doing,” he added of work on the new album. “Definitely the show had an impact on that. Although I don’t think it’s going to sound ’80s, I’m trying to channel that energy and dancefloor transcendence.”

Photo above: Olly Alexander in Russell T Davies’ ‘It’s A Sin’. Credit: Channel 4

BERNIE MEME YOU HAVEN’T SEEN Berntron by Dan Schkade.

BOOK BRO recommends Christopher Bollen’s A Beautiful Crime now out in paperback.

Photo above: A Beautiful Crime’s author Christopher Bollen

The Seattle Times says, “What makes the crime in Bollen’s stylish new novel so beautiful is that the perps’ plan works out even better than they’d hoped — at least for a while,” wrote Washington Post reviewer Dennis Drabelle of A Beautiful Crime last year. In a plot that sounds very Patricia Highsmith-influenced, the tale focuses on two young New Yorkers and co-conspirators determined to carry out a fraudulent plan including some questionable silver and a crumbling palazzo in Venice, Italy. At a time when we can’t visit Venice ourselves, Drabelle suggests, “you might want to settle for a few cuticle-biting hours” with this book.

Order it here.

TWEET OF THE DAY TOO “Whatever dude, I boned your mom” is my go to response now when I start losing an argument with my 14y/o son.

END OF AN ERA The Standard hotel on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood is scheduled to close Friday, 22 years after opening with the financial support of such stars as Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Benicio del Toro.

YAIO YO Two horny bros by @usa_kotobuki

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE Yeah that sounds like too much work.

REST IN PEACE Alice Hoagland, the mother of gay 9/11 hero and rugby player Mark Bingham, died last month at the age of 71 but the news of her death broke this week.

According to the Associate Press: “Hoagland, a former flight attendant who became a safety activist while carrying on her son’s athletic legacy, died Dec. 22 in her sleep at her home in Los Gallos, California, after battling Addison’s disease, according to longtime family friend Amanda Mark. International Gay Rugby – an organisational that traces its roots to one team in London in 1995 and now consists of about 90 clubs in more than 20 countries (including New Zealand) on five continents – held Hoagland in such esteem that one of the prizes at its biennial Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, or the Bingham Cup, is called the Hoagland Cup.”


DAMN REFRESHING “You know what the hell you’re talking about, and that’s pretty damn refreshing,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., when he got a chance at the mic at Pete Buttigieg’s hearing to be Transportation Secretary on Thursday. According to NPR: “As transportation secretary, Buttigieg would bring some star power to a post that can be low profile. ‘Mayor Pete’ shot to national attention as one of Biden’s many rivals for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential race. The Norwegian-speaking Rhodes scholar and Harvard University graduate served as an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve and was deployed to Afghanistan. He didn’t clinch a spot on the presidential ticket, but he did earn name recognition — and, now, a Cabinet nomination.

If confirmed, as Wicker expects, Buttigieg will be the first openly gay Cabinet member.

”In his confirmation hearing, Buttigieg vowed to enforce safety standards, push for major infrastructure investments and take action on climate change. Climate would have to be a “central feature” of any infrastructure package under the Biden administration, the former mayor said, arguing that there’s a “unique window of opportunity” for investing in infrastructure while also combating global warming. Buttigieg also said that U.S. transportation policy has been too “auto-centric” and that policy needs to ensure that motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians can coexist on roads.

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – DECEMBER 16: Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks after he was nominated to be Transportation Secretary by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden during a news conference at Biden’s transition headquarters on December 16, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images)
COMIC-CON KOREA looks like a blast if this promotional art by by Scarlet Steel is indication. Comic-Con Korea is is scheduled to occur August 19-22 in Seoul, South Korea.
FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE with Richard Heinze chillin’ in Santorini, Greece.


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CLAWING FOR ATTENTION #ICYMI Joe Exotic cried that he was too innocent and too gay for Trump to pardon after having a limo waiting when he though he was going to be the day before. The Los Angele Times: “Team Exotic was reportedly so confident about the Netflix docuseries star being pardoned by former President Donald Trump that he had a limo parked near his Fort Worth prison and elaborate plans to be whisked away for a medical evaluation and pampering. This, after the embattled zoo operator, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, mounted one of the most high-profile campaigns to receive a pardon. Exotic was sorely disappointed Wednesday when he was excluded from the list of pardons and commutations that came during Trump’s final hours in office. Exotic, convicted in April 2019 on federal charges of animal cruelty and attempting to hire a hitman to kill rival Carole Baskin, had choice words for the former POTUS and his son Don Jr. But it was too little, too late.”

It’s likely Exotic would have been singing a different tune had he been pardoned or had his sentence commuted. He lapped praise on Trump for months to curry favor with the twice-impeached leader and Don Jr., the latter of whom believed Exotic’s 22-year sentence was “aggressive.” The imprisoned star’s team has been running a noisy campaign in the meantime, and Exotic has so far served about a year’s time. “If I have ever looked up to anyone it would be you,” the convicted felon wrote to Trump last September in his 257-page pardon application. “Not because I need you to save my life but because you stand for what you beleive [sic] no matter what anyone thinks.”

THE RACIAL DOUBLE STANDARD that Star Trek: Discovery fans have about Captain Michael Burnham is the hot take of Jessie Gender’s latest episode. Gender says, “Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green has been one of the most controversial character in all of modern Star Trek. So let’s break down why she’s been so controversial and the racism that may be at the heart of it.

All of Star Trek: Discovery season 3 is streaming on CBS All Access now.

PARTING SHOT The poor thing.