Ellen's Patrick Bristow is still acting out for laughs

By Jeff Walsh

A year before Ellen told a crowded airport of people that she was gay on her hit TV series, Patrick Bristow was out in real life and as Ellen's friend Peter on the show. His character even exchanged wedding vows with his same-sex partner long before Ellen would merit a parental advisory for merely having a girlfriend.

Financial guru revisits his coming out book in new book

By Jeff Walsh

Andrew Tobias is one of the leading financial writers of our day. Many of his books, such as "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need" and "My Vast Fortune" have been praised by critics for both their insight into investing and finance as well as their writing style, which is conversational and fun.

Jonathan Harvey does a "Beautiful Thing" for gay youth

By Jeff Walsh

Gay adolescence has never been more beautifully captured on film than in Beautiful Thing. The 1995 British film about gay teens Jamie and Ste has given a new generation of queer teens a mushy boy-boy romance with a lush soundtrack and (gasp!) a happy ending.

Oddly enough, the play may have never been written if Beautiful Thing playwright Jonathan Harvey didn't have acne as a teenager.

On NBC's "Frasier," openly gay Butler plays it straight

By Jeff Walsh

On the award-winning series Frasier, Dan Butler drips with testosterone as the very heterosexual sports jock Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe. The role pits Bulldog against the more fey, sensitive radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane.

The NBC series won the hotly contested 9 p.m. Thursday seat left warm due to Seinfeld's departure last season.

Steve Schalchlin writes and sings in the key of life

By Jeff Walsh

Steve Schalchlin radiates an honesty when you see him perform. When he tours, he tells the stories of his life, and what led him to write the songs he composed for "The Last Session," a musical about an HIV-positive singer who reunites with his bandmates to record one last album.

Rufus Wainwright is out, with an impressive debut

By Jeff Walsh

On his debut, self-titled album, Rufus Wainwright's piano-laden songs of love and loss are brilliantly executed. When I first heard it, it didn't fit into any typical genre. It had a timeless quality to it, as any good music should. The words and music were on their own poetic and beautiful, and only improved when intertwined.

I had become aware of Wainwright in a backward fashion. I first read a few mini-interviews with him in the national gay press when his album was released. So, I did know his sexuality going into my first listen of the album. But, I didn't listen for the "gay parts", as I am sometimes wont to do. Yes, he talks about boys when pronouns are specified, but it is very much in the background, with the phrasings and melodies being far more interesting to me. I honestly still can't tell you where he mentions boys, as I've never bothered to dissect the songs. In concert, he recently mentioned one of the songs was about River Phoenix, but without him mentioning it I'm not sure I would ever have gleaned the inspiration.

I can't even tell you what his CD itself looks like, because as soon as I received it in the mail I immediately put it in the stereo, and it has never found its way back out, over a month later.

Gay politico David Mixner talks about Clinton, Congress and controversy

By Jeff Walsh

David Mixner and President Clinton were born three days apart. Both dreamed of serving their country, but there was one difference between the two men. Mixner is gay, Clinton (quite obviously) is not.

In his brutally-honest and fascinating book "Stranger Among Friends," Mixner chronicles his life in politics. He was responsible for organizing the largest march to protest the Vietnam War, and has been active through the time he was a high-ranking openly gay advisor to then-Governor Clinton in the 1992 campaign.

Chad's World to hit the Internet this month

By Jeff Walsh

Former teen actor Brock Pierce, whom you might remember from his starring role in First Kid (which also starred Sinbad as the security guard protecting the President's son), is moving from in front of the camera to behind the scenes as the producer for Chad's World.

Chad's World can potentially change the cultural landscape for queer teens online, moving us beyond the printed pages (not that we at Oasis think there's a problem with that medium, mind you) to target marketed television shows. Episodes of the show, which come out every two weeks, will be available as large downloads or streaming video. They will also be available for purchase on DVD, CD-ROM and video tape.

It's not just an oxymoron anymore...

New Eric Marcus book explores the hidden world of queer relationships

By Jeff Walsh

I remember reading Eric Marcus' book The Male Couple Guide when I first came out of the closet back in the early 90s. Well, I remember the first chapter which, as I recall, was entitled "Finding a Man."

I never read anything past the first chapter of that book, because I had never "found a man." There seemed to be little point in continuing the relationship journey of the book if my own life was endlessly trapped in the wicked loop of the first 22 pages.

"Jocks" aims to bring hope and support to gay athletes

By Jeff Walsh

Let's clear things up right at the beginning. I'm not a jock. Never liked sports, never got the point and don't think I'm missing anything. I work out a few times a week at the gym Out Magazine called "ground zero for the San Francisco gay-body high society" in its most recent issue. I hate working out, and not just because I'm surrounded by hunky models who seem as though they're enjoying what I find torturous. It just never clicked with me.

But Dan Woog and sports click -- big time. He's a high school soccer coach, freelance journalist and the author of the recent Alyson book: "Jocks: True Stories of America's Gay Male Athletes."

Tim Miller explores his body of work in new book

By Jeff Walsh

Tim Miller was the first naked man I saw after moving to San Francisco from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. in June 1996. Two days after I had arrived, he was performing his show "Fruit Cocktail" for a one-week run. I didn't yet have my own apartment or a job, so I was trying to be frugal, but I knew I had to see him.

His name had somehow etched in my mind as I was coming out, after seeing a picture of him in some New York newspaper, probably the Village Voice. He was performing "My Queer Body" in the city the week I was planning to drive into town and see a show. I already had tickets to see Larry Kramer's "The Destiny of Me" and I didn't think my straight friend would handle going from an AIDS drama to a naked performance artist in the space of two hours.

Bawer 'steals Jesus' back from fundamentalists in new book

By Jeff Walsh

When I heard Bruce Bawer was coming to town as part of his book tour, I immediately knew I wanted to attend. Partly because I had enjoyed his controversial book, A Place At The Table, which was released a few years ago, and partly because I expected controversy.

Since A Place At The Table was released in 1993, Bawer's name is constantly brought up in the gay press. He's against gay pride, sex-negative, conservative, assimilationist, you name it.

Walking to the Metropolitan Community Church, my view of how he was perceived was confirmed when people walking behind me referred to Bawer as being part of the Gang of Four, which refers to four recent outspoken "critics" of certain aspects of gay culture. (Michelangelo Signorile, Gabriel Rotello and Larry Kramer being the other three, I suppose).

I admit, I expected there to be some sort of scene during his question and answer period. The pastor of the church said members of Sex Panic! were in attendance, but just sat quietly and didn't say anything.

Bawer, on tour promoting "Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity," delivered his book reading from the pulpit of the church as he explained his motivation for writing the book, which explains how religion has gotten so far off-track in this country.

Blue Period set to deliver product this month

By Jeff Walsh

Blue Period is about to launch onto the music scene this month with their first al-bum, Product. The San Francisco band describes its sound as glittery hard rock meets dark arty pop.

The band is fronted by Adrian Roberts, a 29-year-old self-described omnisexual gender-morphed tranny freak. Swirly Rat Jr., the 35-year-old bass player for the band is also queer. The rest of the band consist of Matt Chaikin, 35, on drums; PF, 29, electronics; and Christopher Hogan, 26, guitar.

Controversial author predicts demise of gay culture

By Jeff Walsh

With the release of The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture, Daniel Harris stirred up a lot of arguments within the gay community. The book tracks the assimilation of the gay culture by straight culture, and lists drag and the gay aesthetic as some of the likely casualties of assimilation.

Harris, 40, of Brooklyn, N.Y., recently spoke to Oasis about his book and what many of its messages mean to the queer youth community.

Warren delivers character-rich gay youth novel

By Jeff Walsh, Oasis Editor

With the release of her new book "Billy's Boy" this month, Patricia Nell Warren writes the third novel in the series that began with "The Front Runner" in 1973. "The Front Runner," about a long distance runner who is outed on his way to the Olympics, has sold over 10 million copies to date, and may be turned into a film in the near future.

Gay comic writes book, opens doors

By Jeff Walsh

Bob Smith seems ordinary.

His politics are poignant, but not scathing. His comedy routine is hilarious, but not over the top. And in his new book, Openly Bob, he writes about being in a committed relationship and bird watching -- nothing that will give Pat Robertson any fuel for the fire.

He's Out!

Former Umpire Talks About Gay Life in Baseball and Beyond

By Christopher Ott

One Saturday in 1970, 18-year-old Dave Pallone sat watching a baseball game on TV. A shoulder injury had put a premature end to his dream of being a pitcher, but Boston Red Sox announcer Curt Gowdy asked a question that caught his attention: "How would you like to be an umpire?" Gowdy was talking about the Umpire Development Program in Florida, and after Dave Pallone called to find out more about it, he suddenly knew what he wanted to do.

Wilson Cruz: Angel in America

When Oasis last talked to Wilson Cruz two years ago, he mentioned that My So-Called Life wouldn't be the last we'd see of him.

And, in passing, he mentioned how much he would like to perform in a Broadway play, among his list of other career goals.

Well, audiences are about to see a whole new side of Cruz as the HIV-positive drag queen Angel in the La Jolla, Calif. cast of Rent (which will tour, starting in Los Angeles). He dropped the weight My So-Called Life made him gain to look younger for the show, shaved the goatee you may have seen and, in his own words, is "pretty damned beautiful" in women's clothes. (The cast hasn't taken publicity photos yet, so we can't show you the results).

Anthony Rapp: Rent-able role model

By Jeff Walsh

Rent has changed the lives of many of its audience members. Its messages of hope and life-affirming spirit are felt and remembered by everyone who has ever attended the show.

Anthony Rapp, the only openly queer cast member, serves as the narrator for the rock musical. Prior to Rent, he starred in such successful movies as Adventures in Babysitting, Dazed and Confused, Twister (look fast!), but Rent has occupied his life since he performed as Mark in the 1994 Theater Workshop version of Rent. He also has the difficult task of portraying the character most associated with Jonathan Larson, the show's creator who died the night before the first public preview Off-Broadway.

Starting a new ecosystem in the age of AIDS

By Jeff Walsh

In the opening shot of David Lynch's movie "Blue Velvet," an idyllic suburban home is descended upon by the camera. Warm, rich colors of green grass, a white picket fence and a happy Technicolor couple fill the screen. The camera never stops descending, though. As it continues down, it goes into the soil and thousands upon thousands of screeching bugs fill the screen, leaving the viewer with the sense that things are never as simple as they appear on the surface.

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