Category Archives: News

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This week, a number of major stories dominating the headlines concerned the LGBT community. Qulture staffers, Antonio Garcia and myself met to ruminate over those stories. The stories include: the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on Marriage Equality; GLSEN’s LGBT harassment report; and Zachary Quinto’s thoughts on the gay community and PREP (in Out Magzine’s 100 issue). As well as the HRC’s Equality Index; a lesbian couple’s wedding nightmare; and husbands, Scott and Daniel Wall-Desousa receiving retaliation from the Florida DMV for changing their drivers licenses.

Our opinions on these issues may shock you. And if they do, please leave a comment below to join the conversation.

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Does Makeup Make The Man

B Scott Before and After Makeup

B Scott Before and After Makeup

In 2006, BET broadcast the 3rd season of its reality series, College Hill, and undraped its first ever openly gay personality, Ray Cunningham. Since that season BET has featured Miss Lawrence, from the Real Housewives of Atlanta, on Rip The Runway, but has lacked in airing more out talent. This year the network hired B. Scott to host the televised 106 and Park Pre-show of the 13th annual BET Awards.

Before taping started, BET asked the fashion columnist to put together a potential ensemble to wear. B. Scott requested Chris Brown’s stylist and instead BET asked B. Scott to work with their in-house stylists.

“After a few weeks of sending over mood boards and going over approved looks, we decided on a few options,” said Scott. “All of which were generally more masculine than what I would wear if I were able to decide on my own: blazers, long-sleeved dress shirts, black pants, and loafers.”

“We didn’t know at the time that Los Angeles would be in the middle of a record heat wave, and the options we selected just weren’t weather appropriate. The day before the show I spoke with BET’s style team and we agreed that it was okay to have a more weather appropriate ensemble option.”

The agreed upon ensemble was a sleeveless and button-down, long, black shirt and flowly black pants. A man or a woman could wear the outfit; it is a genderless look.

“Not only was it agreed upon among the stylists, I met with a producer of the show the night before and showed her the ensemble. She said it was acceptable and requested I send over a picture so that she could forward it to whomever she needed to. The picture of the complete outfit was sent over and everything was fine.”

But everything was not fine. After interviewing A.J. Calloway live, Scott said he was “yanked backstage” and told his “look from head to toe wasn’t acceptable.”

“I was returned to my trailer and forced to change into one of the other outfits while other producers waited outside. I changed quickly and returned to set, only to be told that I had been replaced by Adrienne Bailon and wouldn’t be going on at all.”

So what happened between the look being approved and the start of taping?

B. Scott, equally known for his gender bending look and entertaining YouTube videos, has had guest spots on various television shows such as Extra, Hair Battle Spectacular, DTLA, and even BET’s 106 and Park, where he appeared twice and in full gender bender mode. Was it the straightened hair, or the smoky eye makeup, or the high heels that had Scott yanked off air? Eventually, Scott was asked to return on-camera, in the approved and more masculine look: a navy blazer, dark dress shirt, blue slim pants, black loafers, and sans maquillage.

BET issued an official apology via the Associated Press and said:

“BET Networks embraces global diversity in all its forms and seeks to maintain an inclusive workforce and a culture that values all perspectives and backgrounds. The incident with B. Scott was a singular one with a series of unfortunate miscommunications from both parties. We regret any unintentional offense to B. Scott and anyone within the LGBT community and we seek to continue embracing all gender expressions.”

In response to BET’s statement, B. Scott said, “I want a real apology from BET. This was a not a mutual misunderstanding or miscommunication. I pride myself on being very professional.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that the fashion columnist has suffered professionally due to his appearance. Scott was asked to step down as a columnist from the website, Concrete Loop, when fans left hundreds of derogatory and negative comments. Most recently, Scott left the FoxxHole, the uncensored radio station, due to an exclusitory environment.

Will BET lose viewers over this wardrobe malfunction? Some loyal Love Muffins, the handle for B. Scott fans, have already started boycotting.

A fan on Scott’s website said, “[BET’s] actions were uncalled for and their poor choices are a reflection of why many of us choose to no longer support the network.”

Another fan said, “I pray Deborah Lee [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET] is made to step down, as this is unacceptable.”

Lee, who has been at BET for 28 years, has been criticized in the past for the network’s less than positive programming and portrayal of young Black people. The juxtaposition of negative portrayals of young Black people and B. Scott is interesting on many levels because B. Scott, a young Black man, is known for his inspirational advice that he provides on his website and on various guest columns. One solution to this problem would be for BET to invite Scott to appear on 106 and Park and have Lee or another network executive to better explain the last minute yank on B. Scott’s ponytail and quickly before the incident morphs into a Paula Deen-outpouring.

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Los Angeles Pride: A video tour

Being a polysemic word, Pride means something noticeably different between members of the LGBT community. Whether it is getting the masses to sign a human rights petition, dressing in drag as a cultural protest, being able to safely hold hands with a loved one in public, or donning a colorful ensemble, these acts represent Pride. L.A. Pride is a smorgasbord of the above times twenty. It is the largest gathering of the LGBT community in Southern California.

The most attended event during the 2013 L.A. Pride Celebration was the parade, where more than a hundred organizations walked. The Pride festival, immediately following, held in beautiful West Hollywood Park, featured live entertainment on multiple stages, headline performances, various dance venues, and thousands of people. A nice addition to Pride this year was Momentum, a large-scale light and interactive installation in collaboration with ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Impact Stories, The Mazer Lesbian Archives, The Lavender Effect, and The Colors of Compassion. Momentum was curated by INSTALL:WeHo, a queer art non-profit, .

In the video tour, I ask, “What is L.A. Pride?,” and hope to answer the question.

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Interview with Actor/Writer Tishuan Scott

The 20th annual SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, recently wrapped up, showing hundreds of independent and Hollywood movies and from all the movies presented, one stood out – The Retrieval, directed by Chris Eska and starring Tishuan Scott.

I talked to Tishuan about his role in the film and its media comparisons to Quentin Tarantino’s Django.

In The Retrieval, based in 1864, a 13-year-old black boy is sent north by a gang of bounty hunters, lead by a vicious white man, to retrieve a wanted man, Nate, played possessedly by Tishuan.

“Horror King” Bill Oberst Jr. (of Grindhouse, Machete, and Death Valley) plays the head of the bounty hunter gang and his portrayal is as terrifying as it is quietly brilliant.

The film follows Nate and Will (Ashton Sanders) as they walk North and navigate the complexities of survival and self-interest.

Together the cast of talented actors create a powerful work that sits as a document of life during the Civil War. Sitting, watching the movie, at no point was I pulled out of the movie. The movie, written and directed by Chris Eska, was in the Narrative Feature category, with Short Term 12, William and the Windmill, and Burma.

At SXSW, Tishuan won Special Jury Recognition for Acting in The Retrieval.

The supporting cast includes: Keston John, Bill Oberst Jr., Christine Horn, and Alfonso Freeman.

Click on the interview to learn more about this amazing new project and for more information on The Retrieval go to the website, TheRetrieval.com. The film, however will be at the Phoenix Film Festival and the Langston Hughes Film Festival in Seattle.

Also if you liked Django or any of the above mentioned movies, check out some of these below:

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Reading at West Hollywood Library

West Hollywood Library Grand Opening & Dedication

West Hollywood Library (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood)

Recently I read from For Colored Boys at the West Hollywood Library with Antonio Brown and Jonathan Kidd (contributors to the anthology), and actor Jorge Ortiz. I edited and posted the reading on YouTube; please watch the videos and comment. I will be reading again at the West Hollywood Library during  the City of West Hollywood’s ‘One City/One Pride’ Festival in June.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Question and Answer Session

Stay tuned for more information on the West Hollywood Library reading in June.

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Interview: DJ Dainjazone Talks Trap and LMFAO

DJ Dainjazone Set in Vegas

It isn’t that far back that house and hip hop music sipped from different drinking fountains. But since music genres constantly experiment with the lights off, new subgenres are being birth into the word, and faster than Mitt Romney can argue against Planned Parenthood. Trap, with its proud papas like Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, and house, with its producers like David Guetta and Deadmau5, conceived a new microgenre, trap house. In trap house “the streets” meets electronic beats. DJ Dainjazone is on a mission to make trap house the dubstep of 2013. Back in August, he released a mixtape, Bottle Rats in the Trap, to pay homage to people who steal drinks from bottle buyers in the club. He played a snippet of it for party-goers at Pacha Nightclub in Salou, Spain.

“I never expect crowds to go crazy for trap,” said DJ Dainjazone. “Because it’s new all around; well in the club scene, not to DJs.”

He plans to spin trap around the world. In an interview he talked more about the genre and his experience being electro-rap duo, LMFAO’s Tour DJ.

You’re touring with Party Rock Crew. Has that experience impacted your DJ-ing?

Absolutely. I’ve learned a lot. It’s also made a bigger name for me. To be associated with Party Rock is a big thing. I started out this year doing well for myself, but once I jumped on tour with the guys, it really took off to another level.

Last week you were in Japan, China, Portland, and Hollywood. Have you reflected on the experience?

For every tour it’s the same show. That doesn’t mean that it’s boring or to be taken for granted, but I really reflect on the fans, especially in Japan. They were respectful. Usually people go crazy in between songs. They’re such a polite group of people. They would be quiet until the next song or until we came back out for the “Sexy and I know It,” encore. When we did Mexico, it was my first time there, those fans were crazy. They had never seen us before. I don’t know how often artists go through Mexico [as of recent], but they showed a lot love. That definitely stood out compared to a lot of the countries we’ve been to.

What gets you more hyped, the music you’re playing, crowd reaction, or visual production?

I don’t see much of the visual production because I’m on the other side, but it definitely is the fans. When the fans react, it makes you feel good. It empowers you and definitely makes your job easier.

In between the tour you’ve been doing your own gigs. Are the experiences different spinning for Party Rock Crew versus your own gig?

They are very different. With Party Rock, we have dancers, hype men; it’s a show. When I do something with Red Foo, it’s a show. You compare that with what I do, by myself, they’re like two different animals. I do what I can. I entertain and keep people dancing.

Tell me about B.R.I.T.T1.5, which is being released this week?

B.R.I.T.T 1 was a mix of multiple genres. In 1.5 it’s all trap house, trap, and hip hop. It’s a limited delivery. That style is more popular now. I think it’s going to do well.

What’s your creative process like?

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Azari and III Rocked Sónar On Tour Concert

MUSIC: Live Show Review

How I first heard Azari and III is indicative of their sound, which can be best described as dance music cut into fine lines of disco synthesized euphoria, to be snorted in generous doses. At a downtown L.A. party, SummerTramp (where brown-meets-white meets all the colors of the rainbow in swimwear), a DJ played a song that I’d never heard. I had to add it to my iTunes library. While continuing to dance, I held up my smart phone, to capture the song and identify the artist. Ten seconds later, Hungry for the Power by Azari and III appeared on the music app. Everyone at the party went crazy. The experience was recreated, with more smoke and flashing lights, when the band came on at 12am, Saturday, November 10, as part of the Sónar On Tour Concert.

The preceding band, Die Antwoord (who unabashedly dissed Mother Monster, Lady Gaga in their music video, Fatty Boom Boom) woke up the crowd, while Azari and III took the crowd on a rave binge at the Shrine Expo Center. The vocalists Cedric Gasiada (aka Starving Yet Full) and Fritz Helder ran on the stage and sung, “I’m hungry for the power,” and their movements matched the lyrics. They were animalistic, dramatic, and nuanced; an effect that was appreciated. The worst thing that can happen going to a dance music concert, is watching an entertainer who cannot entertain.

Everyone in front of me, in the standing room only space, who hadn’t been dancing to Die Antwoord, rocked out with the Cedric and Fritz. The other band members: Dinamo Azari and Alixander III were behind turntables, serving the crowd the classic house beats they needed to hear. Azari and III is an amalgamation of Dinamo’s last name and the three I’s after Alixander. The group’s goal is to create art and it was accomplished. They are a band with a future-sound and a fashion forward look. The wild intensity created by the energetic four-some, was extended and visualized through Pfadfinderei, an internationally renowned design collective. Dolphins, cut flowers, music video clips, and unrecognizable words flashed behind the band and were interrupted by rainbow-colored Emergency Broadcast System slides. The visuals served as a fifth band member, heightening the concert experience.

Into the third song, Indigo, Cedric asked the crowd, “Are you possessed?” As I looked around the mob of people, I could tell everyone was literally possessed, dancing away, uninhibited. Whatever the source of that possession is open to question, but Azari and III’s music genius is not. Nine songs later the crowd was hungry for more.

Azari & III

Azari & III (Photo credit: evasèe)

After leaving SummerTramp, I downloaded the song, Hungry for the Power, and realized I had more music from the band. I had their song, Stay Here, which was a super-collaboration with English dance band, Friendly Fires. I even had songs they remixed: Little Boots’ Shake, Sam Sparro’s I Wish I Never Met You, MNDR’s #1 in Heaven, Uffie’s Difficult, and Sunday Girl’s Self Control.

The line up at the Sónar On Tour Concert also included: DJ Nic Fanciulli, DJ Paul Kalkbrenner, and DJ Seth Troxler. The concert attracted: college students, club kids, drag queens, musicians, L.A.’s fashion elite as well as Kat Von D, Dita Von Teese, and Rose McGowan. L.A. was the last leg in the tour schedule. Some concertgoers had not heard of Azari and III, but became instant fans. Azari is hungry for your love and your love they will have, one city, one song, one remix, at a time.

To listen to Azari and III check out their YouTube Channel @ AzariandiiiOfficial and to buy their music go to iTunes now.

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