Wednesday, October 19, 2011

TOM RAGU: Are You Ready to Be "Tickled Pink"?

Are You Ready to Be “Tickled Pink”?

Is Tom Ragu “The Busiest Man in Comedy“? Perhaps there’s nobody better to ask than Mr. Ragu himself. He tells me, “Well, I just like to keep busy, because if I don't, I'll eat a loaf of bread while watching ‘The View‘ with Pete Ragú, my cute little BFF. I love him so much.” For those inquiring minds out there, Pete Ragu is Tom’s unyieldingly loyal pooch. The woofy New York City native (Tom, not Pete…) wears two hats-- and sometimes three, but please don‘t ask me where he wears that THIRD one… In addition to plying his trade as furry funnyman, Ragu is also a producer, being the creator and host of the weekly “Tom Ragu Comedy Revue“ on Monday nights at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. More recently, he has brought us “Tom Ragú Presents: Sorry, We're Funny.”, a traveling comedy/variety show which promises to showcase lots of new and unsung performers. Ragu has a knack for discovering new talent, as you may have guessed: Just when you think that you’ve discovered the “last comic standing” in The Naked City, Tom will find another one to tickle your funny bone… or, tickle any body part you wish. On the subject of tickling, also on Ragu’s lineup is “Tickled Pink”, a variety show which is part of The Fresh Fruit Festival this month. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25th in New York City. Tom and I met to discuss life, laughs, and lasagna…

JR: Hi Tom! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me! Now, in addition to “The Tom Ragú Comedy Revue”, your bi-weekly comedy shows at New York City‘s legendary Stonewall Inn, you have created "Tom Ragú Presents: Sorry, We're Funny." - a new traveling comedy and variety show that, according to the press release, “un-apologetically features some of New York and New Jersey’s best comics, variety acts, and misfits…” What are some of the surprises you have in store for us with this endeavor?

TR: I really wanted to start a show that was more than just a lineup of comics. I've been dying to "hit the road" for a long time now and I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to produce that show I've been longing to do: Comedians. Performance artists. Musical artists. Drag Queens. Poets. Jugglers. A clown. But I needed a name. One fine day, I was walking around in Chelsea - well, actually, Ninth Avenue because overweight comedians with mother issues are not allowed to walk along Eighth Avenue with the rest of the Skinny Bitches - and I saw a shopkeeper switch his sign in the window from "Come in, We're Open" to "Sorry, We're Closed" .. and I thought "That's it! That's the new name!" and "Tom Ragú Presents: Sorry, We're Funny" was born. Our first show is at NYC's Laugh Lounge. Our second show is in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Our third show will be on Long Island, New York. I'll be getting around. Try and act surprised.

I will! What can you tell us about “Tickled Pink“?

TR: "Tom Ragú Presents: Ticked Pink" - October 25th at The Workshop Theater - is going to be a fabulous celebration of all things Gay! Or do the kids say 'Queer' now? Have we taken that word back yet?

Anyhow, this show is what happens when you mix part drag queen, part gay comedian, add a leather person and a gay rapper, with a producer with too many shows, a gay hip-hop artist, a dash of a lesbian comedian, a Queen with a ukulele and a member of The Imperial Court of New York - then add alcohol and SHAKE! The result: one fabulous show - part of The Fresh Fruit Festival, which supports the LGBTQ arts. It's either going to be really good or really bad! Your readers should check it out to see which!

I agree! Now, you and I both know that sometimes a stand-up comedian can go on stage and the audience just doesn’t, shall we say, “feel it”. As a performer, you must have had a moment of two like that in your history of performing. Or maybe not… But anyway, how does a comedian get through it?

TR: I think that every single performer has - whether one is a comic, an actor, a dancer, or whatever one's passion - gone through performing their little heart out, and then the audience just didn't get it. I certainly know that it has happened to me a number of times. It really feels horrible. The only way I can describe it is how you would feel if someone told you that you had an ugly baby. Horrible! But I really do believe that all of those times have certainly made me stronger as a performer. And that's how you get through it. Knowing that in a year or two, it will all be different.

JR: It seems like we live in an unshockable society. Nothing really raises an eyebrow nowadays in the news. That said, are there any topics that you WON’T touch in your performances?

TR: There are things that are inherently funny across the board. And there are things that are never funny. For me, I don't think that death, despair, human suffering, or disease are funny. Oh, and anything too vulgar and tasteless. I like to leave the vulgarity and tastelessness to certain husband and husband comedy teams that shall remain nameless. As they should be. Oh, snap!

JR: (Laughs) In your opinion, who are some of the “unsung heroes” of the world of comedy?

TR: There are literally thousands and thousands of young people who are so incredibly talented and funny, and the majority of them will never see the light of day. They get railroaded through the clubs into doing the "bringer" scene - which is doing shows sponsored by the clubs in which one is required to "bring" people. It gets very old very fast. I did two "bringer" shows in my life, and then I looked around, and I saw that everyone else in the room was making money. The Manger was making money; the Booker was making money; the club owner was making money; the waitstaff was making money; even the host of the show was making money. So I decided to create my own opportunities. If you let them, these big comedy clubs will have new comics in the "bringer" cycle for years. These young people have no idea that there is a whole world out there, and that nothing will happen for you if one doesn't create their own opportunities.

JR: How true. Now, on to more serious subjects. Reportedly, the powers that be are making a new “prequel” of “Sex and the City” for TV. Do you plan on watching it when it comes out?

TR: (Laughs) No, I am spending my time watching "The Playboy Club" and the re-launch of "Charlie's Angels" ... Wait. What? They cancelled those shows? Oh, damn. Now what will I do with myself? I guess I'll have to go back to "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant."

If you had to pick one of the following events to go to, which one would it be (Sorry, feigning illness is NOT an option!):
1. A dinner party (with cocktails!) with the cast of “The Real Housewives of (pick a city…) ”,
2. A book signing party (with cocktails!) with Alexis Stewart (daughter of Martha), who has a new tell-all book called “Martha Dearest”… no, the title is actually “Learning to Live Here”,
3. A “Motivational Seminar (with cocktails!)” with Gayle King,
4. A sneak preview of the upcoming Liberace movie (with cocktails!), or…
5. The Michael Jackson doctor murder trial (No cocktails, but there might be propofol available…)

TR: I'd love to have some face-time with Gayle King because she is a Pop Culture Junkie like me! Moreover, I'd love to know if Oprah snores while she sleeps, and if Gayle nudges her or if she just moves to the other room! That's right, I said it. I am tired of pretending that those two are not a couple. Anyhow, I do think that I have to go with a sneak-preview of the new Liberace flick - for no other reason than to see the on-screen kiss between Matt Damon & Michael Douglas, and watching Matt Damon trying not to vomit in his mouth at the mere thought!

JR: You took the vomit… uh, I mean the words, right out of my mouth! Now, I’m gonna get personal: A few years ago, I was dining out with my family and I ordered the vegetable lasagna. It came out with tomato sauce, not the white sauce (bechamel) that the dish is traditionally served with. I wanted to speak to the chef. My mother was enraged-- she turned as red as the tomato sauce-- and asked me how dare I question the chef … and how dare I “embarrass” her like that? She still brings up that incident ten years later. So, because I know you are such a great cook, I have to ask the final, most serious question of all: Is it ever OK to put tomato sauce on vegetable lasagna?

TR: I would be enraged too. I am enraged right now! Not because you wanted to add marinara sauce to vegetarian lasagna (!) but because you have decided to ask me about it!!! You know that I am so busy producing 45 shows and raising my child, I mean dog, Pete Ragú. Why the heck are you asking me about lasagna? Go find Mario Batali somewhere with his stupid orange crocs, and leave me the hell alone!

Are we done? There is a fantastic all-you-can-eat Chinese Buffet right around the corner, and I'm starving.

Starving for laughter? Join hosts Jed Ryan and Tom Ragú as they present the different, the unique and the misunderstood in "Tom Ragú Presents: Tickled Pink" - a comedy & variety show featuring some of NY & NJ's best comics, musical acts and misfits.
 Admission: $12.00 (includes a beverage)
 Scheduled to appear: Ben Lerman, Tom Ragú, Lester Greene, Bone Intell, Juan Pablo, Chanelle Futrell, Jay Edwards, Sunshine Richard McLean, and Witti Repartee.
 Tuesday, October 25, 2011
 Showtime: 9:30pm
 at The Workshop Theatre
 312 West 36th Street, NYC
 Visit for more info!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

FUN WITH DICK AND DUANE (AKA: "Testosterone: A Love Story")

(Photos: Dick and Duane... THEN!)
(AKA: “Testosterone: A Love Story“)

Picture it: New York City, 1981. While cruising down pre-Guiliani 42nd Street, you’re tempted by the idea of skipping the nightly adult bookstore hookup and instead seeing the cult-classic-to-be ”Mommie Dearest”… or maybe you’ll catch John Waters’ “Polyester“-- in Odorama! That is, if you have any money left over for a $3 movie ticket: The average rent on an apartment in Manhattan was just starting to reach the $300-a-month mark, and there was even a rumor that a subway token was going up to a dollar.

That was the same year, incidentally, that Lady Diana Spencer married Charles, Prince of Wales, on the other side of the Atlantic. But Stateside, a more enduring union was developing at that same moment: New Jersey teenagers Richie Cohen and Duane Tragis met, fell in love, got married with rings from a gumball machine, and became lifelong partners both personally and creatively. Fast forward to 2011. Cohen and Tragis, better known to their legions of fans and stalkers alike as Dick and Duane, are busier (and buffer!) than ever. They may have traded their Dippity-Do hair gel and “Frankie Says Relax” T-shirts for buzz cuts and protein shakes, but they’re just as dedicated to each other. And, as the only “husband and husband comedy team” in history, they’re just as dedicated to making you laugh. On their website,, you’ll find links to their YouTube videos, their blog, and photos of the couple throughout their three-decade relationship. The newest pictures of the two of them, in (almost) all of their hirsute glory, are guaranteed to arouse some carnal desires. WOOF! Dick and Duane have a new show coming up, a 30-year anniversary stage celebration called “Never Too Much”, at New York City‘s Laurie Beechman Theater in post-Guiliani Times Square. While the show was named after the song of the same name by Luther Vandross, the duo warn us that this WON’T be two hours of silly love songs or sickeningly sweet anecdotes. Their press release teases: “These boys just want to get down & dirty in their irreverently risqué way. Bring your trench coats for that vintage XXX porn theater vibe.” NOW we’re talkin’! The hunky twosome spoke to me about their new show and about life in their own two-king monarchy:

(Photos: Dick and Duane: NOW!)
So, boys, congratulations on the new show! What are some of the surprises we can expect in “Never Too Much“?

D&D: Thanks, Jed! Well, if I reveal any of the surprises, then potential audience members won't be surprised. But I will say that we won't be holding back a thing. "Never Too Much" is our song, but this is not a sentimental show. It's going to be a little political, a little raunchy, and very silly. Just like we are in real life. Only, in real life, we aren't on a stage with bright lights.

JR: Is this the kind of show you can bring your mother to? Put another way, just how raunchy does it get?

D&D: Well, we would bring our mothers, but that's because they've become desensitized after years and years of our blue humor. But I don't know about anybody else's mother. Oh, what the hell. Sure, bring your mothers!

JR: Or, bring your Daddies! (Ahem!) Now, Dick and Duane have a very big following on Facebook. I notice how you two often (affectionately, I presume…) refer to each other as “The Monkey” and “The Ape“. Say more, say more…
D&D: Is a "big following" a euphemism for a big ass? (Laughs) The Ape does like to shake his. OK, Richie (Dick) was nicknamed "Monkey" at around age two by his father, who said that Richie's face resembled one. And Duane is this big, hairy, muscley, kind of dim guy who, when he runs, kind of looks like a character from “Planet of the Apes“. Plus, his arms are very long. So, that's how he got that name. We would eventually like to start an Ape Community, to compete with the Bear Community. Like the NFL and AFL. Or something…

JR: That’s a “Planet of the Apes” guaranteed to give me a “Rise”! Get it?… Oh, that was a BAD one! I‘d better leave the humor to you two… So, at one of your recent New York City performances, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were the target of a lot of your jokes. Why the Olsen twins?

D&D: Well, they were the subject of one of our pieces, where we do them throughout their lives, at age 4, 17, 61 and 97. We've always been drawn to the untalented as a source of humor, and they don't really come less talented than the Twins. Well, true, now they have all those reality show "stars" who are worse. But in the 80s, nobody could beat the Olsens for bad acting. And we love that.

JR: If you were stuck in an elevator and HAD to pick one of the following famous people to be trapped with, who would it be: Anthony Weiner, Chaz Bono, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, or Michelle Bachmann?

D&D: That's a bizarre assortment! Definitely Chaz Bono. And he could bring along his mother, what's-her-name…

JR: I dunno. While we’re on the subject of overexposed media whores: What do you think of that 61-year old lifeguard on Long Island who supposedly got fired for not wearing a Speedo? He said something to the effect of “No man over the age of 50 should be allowed to wear a Speedo?” What would you say to this dork?

D&D: We hadn't heard about that, but I guess we would just drop our pants and say something like, "Dude!! WTF, man?!"

JR: I’ll join you for that! While we’re on the subject of dropping pants: My boyfriend and I just celebrated our one year man-niversary. For a lot of gay male couples, that’s a big landmark-- the equivalent of 15 years in a heterosexual marriage. What are some of the tips you can give us so that we can reach the 30-year mark like Dick and Duane have?

D&D: Well, first of all, congratulations! But I think one year is the same in any relationship. Straight people break up, too. But as far as tips...just be honest with your feelings at all times. No, wait… I guess that could lead to constant bitching and nagging. Hmmm... I guess we don't really have any tips. And we don't want to give anybody the wrong advice and open ourselves up to a potential lawsuit.

JR: (Laughs) And now, a very serious question: Boxers, briefs, jock, or commando?

D&D: Duane switches around all the time...boxers, jock, bikini briefs, commando… Dick is always in bikini briefs. Except at the desk, when he's on-line looking at porn.

JR: Hmmm…that’s a very enticing visual indeed! While we’re on the subject: You two obviously spend a lot of time at the gym. What’s your funniest gym story? We all have one!

D&D: We have funny stories every day at the gym! If you follow our Facebook page-- I assume you'll put a link here because you're good at that stuff, Jed!-- you can read about our daily gym misadventures. Today, we wrote about the guy we saw in the locker room last night and how we couldn't figure out why we knew him. Did we have sex with him? Is he a Facebook friend? Does he work at some store we frequent? Have we seen him on X-Tube? And then, we both realized that we actually knew him from right there....from the locker room, where we'd seen him before. Duh!

JR: I think I know that guy! So, what else do Dick and Duane have in store for the upcoming year?

D&D:We're finally going to get to work on our long-awaited web series, once our 30th anniversary show is completed on Oct. 20th. We can't wait to get started!

JR: I can’t wait! Now, the last time we spoke, you told me that you had a cat named Eve Plumb. Now, in the case Eve could not fulfill her duties as a pet, would the next cat be named "Geri Reischl"? (Geri Reischl is the talented actress who replaced Eve during the "Brady Bunch Variety Hour" and was unfairly labeled from then on as "the Fake Jan Brady".)

D&D: (Laughs) No, you got that a little mixed-up. We have a cat named Dawn whom we named after the TV-movie "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" starring Eve Plumb! But definitely, we'd consider Fake Jan (and of course, we knew who she was!) as a replacement should Dawn decide to sit out the web series.

JR: Gotcha!!!

Here cum the grooms! (Ahem…) You can see Dick and Duane at The Will Clark Show at Pieces (8 Christopher Street, NYC) on Wednesday October 12th, at 8PM. “Never Too Much: The 30th Anniversary Show” is Thursday, October 20 at 7:00PM at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42 Street (downstairs from the West Bank Café, just west of Ninth Avenue), NYC. Reservations required; call 212-695-6909. $12.00 admission plus $15.00 food or beverage minimum.

Visit for more. You can also visit the happy husbands on Facebook at!

Saturday, October 8, 2011



In the HBO series “Hung”, blandly attractive actor Thomas Jane plays Ray Drecker: a divorced, middle-aged high school basketball coach with a house that’s just burned down and two kids who require child support. It seems like the only thing Ray has in his favor is that he’s, well… “hung”. What’s a broke guy with a big dick supposed to do? Become a male hooker, of course! Using his friend Tanya (Jane Adams) as his “pimp”, he sells his sexual services to lonely women. Reviews for the “Hung” were initially mixed (One critic questioned the plausibility of women in working-class Detroit being willing to pay for sex. I have to admit that I’m inclined to agree, despite being a fan of the show…). However, the series was apparently popular enough to be renewed for a second season. Despite the fact that HBO is not averse to full frontal male nudity (Remember “Oz“?) and that Ray Drecker’s big dick is the main character in the show, we never see Jane‘s penis on the screen-- even though “Hung” features a good amount of simulated sex. When asked if his well-endowed character would ever consider selling his services to male clients, Mr. Jane responded, “I've always said that the year that Ray ends up with a penis in his mouth is the last year of the show.” That remark apparently struck some members of the gay media as being homophobic, although Jane was no doubt speaking from the perspective of his totally hetero character Ray. (Trivia: “Hung” is not the first film where Jane plays a male prostitute. What others were there? The answer’s at the bottom…)
In a recent interview with the "L.A. Times", 42-year old Jane (who has appeared in a lot of movies, ranging from indies to the big budget “The Punisher” in 2004) revealed that he’s apparently had real-life experience with being a rentboy. It was back when he was a hungry, struggling actor… and his clients, not surprisingly, were Jacks rather than Jills. Jane stated, “Hey, you grow up as an artist in a big city, as James Dean said, you're going to have one arm tied behind your back if you don't accept people's sexual flavors… You know, when I was a kid out here in L.A., I was homeless, I didn't have any money and I was living in my car. I was 18. I wasn't averse to going down to Santa Monica Boulevard and letting a guy buy me a sandwich. Know what I mean?"

Yes, Thomas, we do. And we won’t hold it against you! Later on in the interview, Jane went on to speak about whether being gay or straight is a choice, and his answer may raise a few eyebrows: "I'll tell you what -- it's not a choice until you're open enough to experience both male and female sexuality… Until you've tasted the food, you don't know whether you'll like it or not, as my mom always said." Well, I for one have always believed that everyone should have a wide variety on their plate. And make it a BIG plate too!!!

(Answer to trivia: Thomas Jane played a hustler in the independent flicks “I Love You Forever, Tonight” in 1992 and “The Velocity of Gary [Not His Real Name]” in 1999.)

JAY EDWARDS: Your Cub For All Seasons

(Photos of Jay by Edward Lindquist)
JAY EDWARDS: Your Cub For All Seasons!
The Stonewall Inn, in New York City’s colorful Greenwich Village, is considered to be the birthplace of the modern gay liberation movement after being the site of the famous Stonewall Riots in June 1969. Forty-two years later, in June 2011, Stonewall held its first-ever “Mr. Stonewall Bear Contest”. Actor/musician/model Mike Fass, AKA “Drummerbear”, won the Title of Mr. Stonewall Bear 2011, and 22-year old Jay Edwards won Mr. Stonewall Cub 2011. Raised in Virginia and now living in Connecticut, Edwards spends a lot of time in New York City. The 5’10”, 315 lb. Bear could be seen shaking his ample charms with The Boys of BEAR-lesque to raise money for charity one night, and hanging out at New York’s woofy hangout Rockbar the next. A member of the NYC Metrobears, the young cub hopes to use his Title and his creative talents to unite the gay community in a unique way. He wants to create and perform cabaret- and variety show-style events that can not only be enjoyed by his fellow Bears and the guys who love them, but also for twinks, Leathermen, lesbians, drag queens, … in short, our entire community and our straight allies. Over pizza in New York’s Greenwich Village (Where else?), Jay spoke to me about his upcoming Title year. Jay was born in 1989, the year when singer Debbie Gibson reached her height of popularity, and Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” and Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” were big hits. Throughout our interview, I was continuously impressed by the depth of knowledge and intellect displayed by a guy who just became the legal drinking age not too long ago…

JR: Congratulations on winning the Title of Mr. Stonewall Cub 2011. What specific goals and/or endeavors do you have in mind for the year?

JE: As a Titleholder, you have many responsibilities: one of them being to make a name for yourself . Also, you are expected to raise money for charity-- for a cause that you feel confident about. In addition to getting MY name out there, I also want more Bears of color out there to come out and be seen. There aren’t too many other Black Bear Titleholders around. I don’t really know any others around the country! I also want to raise money for Sylvia’s Place, which is an emergency 90-day shelter for homeless queer youth. In distinction to The Ali Forney Center (another resource for homeless queer youth), Sylvia’s Place will “take you in” right away-- whereas with The Ali Forney Center, it’s a little more work to get in. Ali Forney is a long term shelter. From what I understand, you have to apply to get in there. Sylvia’s Place does a lot of work, and they are struggling. Sylvia’s Place will take you in right away, even in the middle of the night-- if you are running away from someone who is trying to make you do something you don’t want to do, for example; or if you’ve been kicked out; or you’re running away from home and you’re in a strange city. One of the things with queer youth is that when they “come out“, they get “put out”. For a lot of them, New York City looks like so much fun. They only see the Pride Parade on TV, for example. They don’t know that when you come here, it’s a totally different ballgame. It’s not that easy. You can make it anywhere, but it’s work. And, like I said, I want my name out there. One of the things about being a Titleholder is that you should be getting your name out there… or you’ll be like “Mr. WHO?”! Your Title reign is only for a year. I’m young and I have a lot of energy for it.

JR: Sounds great! Now, in your opinion, what makes a “Bear” a “Bear”? As a Titleholder, you are going to be looked upon as a role model, and you’ll have to explain what a “Bear” is to people who may not be familiar with our lexicon.

JE: You may be a hairy person, but I think that what makes a “Bear” a “Bear” is the attitude. I believe that a Bear is someone who is nice, but also has that “viciousness” about them, like a wild bear on a hunt. A bear can be just as vicious as a lion or a tiger, but he also has a heart too. Whether you’re a Chub, or a Muscle Bear, or somewhere in between, to be a Bear you have to believe that you ARE one. It has to be because of what you DO, not just because everyone else that looks like you calls themselves a “Bear“. (Laughs) The whole point of life is to be your own person. Even if you “label” yourself, you’re still your own person regardless. I am a Bear, and a Black Bear. I am a bunch of things, but at the end of the day I am still me… which is basically a nice person with a pretty filthy mouth!

JR: (Laughs) We can all be thankful for that. I won’t object!  Now, do you think that some people get bogged down by labels like “Chubby Bear”, “Muscle Bear”, “Otter”, etc… Do we get too focused on the terminology?

JE: Some people do get tied up in the terminology, but I think that if you want to call yourself a “Muscle Bear”, for example, then that’s fine. Whether you are a Muscle Bear or Chub, you’re a Bear regardless. Accept what you are. I feel like a lot of Chub Bears see the Muscle Bears, and they get down on themselves because of that. They want to be that. But it doesn’t matter whether you are a Chub Bear or Muscle Bear, or whether you go from being one to the other. Just learn to be what you are, and take that feeling with you everywhere you go and just live with that. I’m a big Chub Bear, and I don’t care whether I would be perceived as a Chub Bear or a Muscle Bear. I’m still a Bear regardless. I feel I can compete with either. But, I don’t TRY to compete. I just have that attention, that thing that I can be seen having and be known for. No matter what you call yourself, you’re still your own person at the end of the day.

JR: How true! Now, you mentioned before that there seems to be a real void in terms of men of color who call themselves Bears. Why is that?

JE: I think that with the Bear community, pretty much all that we have seen has been very Caucasian-oriented. It’s been mostly white people with a few black people in there. There are Caucasian bears who are accepting of other Bears, but then there are others who are like, “What are you doing? This is OUR territory.” Rather than say, “Fuck it, I’m still gonna stick around.”, they just take a back seat and let themselves be brought down. When I first came in, that’s how I felt, and I spoke with Heriberto (Heriberto Oquendo, Jr., Mr. Metrocub NYC 2011). He gave me one of the best insights: No matter where you go, there are always gonna be people who don’t want you in their area, but don’t let that push you away. I don’t know much about the Leather community, but from what I have seen, there are a lot more men of color in the Leather community: all races, colors, and shapes are there. In the Bear community, maybe one day it will be like that.


(Photos of Jay by Adam Woomer.)
JR: I hope so. I think a lot of Caucasian guys may have fetishes about men of other races (Hispanic, black, Asian, etc…) … I am making sure I distinguish between “preference”, which just means that you are attracted to someone of another race; and “fetish”, which implies that you’re objectifying the object of your desire.

JE: You’re allowed to have your own preferences and fetishes, but all you need to remember is: You’re not Jean Claude Van Dam or whoever the hell there is! (Laughs) Who the hell are you to sit there and be like, “I don’t want you because you’re ‘this’ or ‘that’…!” Remember, one of these days your ass is gonna get up to that age where everything is gonna get old and sag, and nobody is really gonna want you… and you might not even be able to get them back with money! (Laughs) I know a lot of men who have fetishes for big men. You have your chasers who just want to have a big man. One of the things I said on Facebook was, “I’m no one’s fetish!” I never was and I never will be. I refuse to be that person who you want because you want to lay on my fat, rub my fat, and feel my fat. My fat is a part of me. I am human! I think I have to remind them that I’m as regular as the next person. But if you’re OK with being someone’s fetish and that’s your thing, then do it. I think that if you have a fetish for a specific thing, then that’s kind of sad… because that fetish that you’re going for may not want you nine times out of ten! It has to be mutual.

JR: What was it like growing up in the South?

JE: The South has been called upon as being very racist. But the South is not really racist. I feel that coming up North, it has been more racist than anything. In the South, everyone just kind of loves one another. Up here, everyone is much more “picky”, and I have to make sure that I “have this“, or that I‘m “on top“ or “the best”. Down there it‘s not really about who‘s “the best“; it‘s more of like living in the moment. There are things that I miss about the South. But, I wouldn‘t want to live there now at this point of my life-- it‘s too damn slow for me!

JR: I agree! So, who is your Bear role model?

JE: I have numerous Bear role models. One of them is, of course, my Daddy Bear Mike Fass (AKA Drummerbear, Mr. Stonewall Bear 2011). I also admire Richard “Sunshine” McLean, Mr. Metrobear NYC 2011, my fellow performer with The Boys of BEARlesque. He’s big like I am, and he stepped out of the box; Everyone sees Bears as being manly and masculine, but there’s also that feminine side to him. He’s shown that by breaking out and doing “Bear drag“, and he went forward and just didn’t give a shit. This is the same man who was on stage stuffing food down his throat and didn‘t give a damn. It made for a good damn performance!

JR: He’s also the same guy who will go out partying wearing his Mr. Metrobear sash and a wig and a tiara. It’s not just “drag”, it‘s renegade drag, it’s genderfucking…

JE: Right! Another role model is Heriberto Oquendo Jr., being a Latino Bear. He’s one of the first Bears I really spoke to kind of regularly. He gave me good advice about what to do and what not to do. One of the things I have been offered to do a few times to do is Bear porn. I am not against it, but I just question what it could do for me. With those kind of things, I have gone to him for insight. One of the other people I admire was not even a Bear: Sparkle Southerland. She was the MC of The Boys of BEARlesque, “Queen of the Bears“. She’s a drag queen and I am a Black Bear, so we were both “different”. Being more experienced, she knows how to handle things. I give Sparkle one clear Title: “Reality Check”. She’s very honest.

JR: She’d agree with you!

JE: What you don’t want to hear is what she’ll tell you. I think that you’re lucky to find people like that.

JR: Thanks so much, Jay!

You can contact Jay Edwards at or visit his Facebook page at

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SETH ROGEN: Bear Laid Bare

SETH ROGEN: Bear Laid Bare

Fuzzy actor Seth Rogen has been praised for his comedic talents in movies like “The 40 Year Old Virgin“ and “Knocked Up“, and he‘s also a writer and producer in the film biz. He can now officially add “Bear Sex Symbol” to his resume. On a visit to Conan O’Brien‘s show, the host presented Rogen with a flash of a nude drawing (censored for TV) of his guest-- one of a collection created by artist Christopher Schultz. Years ago, most A-list actors would have distanced themselves as much as possible from any dish that he was a desire of homosexual lust. But like his friend Kevin Smith, Rogen seems to embrace his image as a bear icon. "I'm a muse in the creative community of the bear-loving world," he says.

The recently married (Sorry, chasers!) 29-year old may be representing the new breed of Hollywood actors: a generation acknowledge and even appreciate their gay fan base. The nude drawings are from “Pinups”, a magazine of black and white erotica created by Christopher Schultz. “Pinups” describes itself as “a triannual publication that features one male nude pictorial per issue. There are no words-- just an exaggeration of the male classic centerfold. “ The drawings should delight those who freeze- framed Rogen’s bare butt in 2008‘s “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” or who were titillated by Rogen in his tighty whities at the end of “Pineapple Express“ that same year… although, as one blogger noted, “Seth Rogen’s gonna lose his bear cred if he keeps slimming down.” It’s unlikely that Rogen will ever show ALL of his superbad self in his upcoming movies: the dramedy “50/50” or “My Mother’s Curse”, where Rogen will co-star with Barbra Streisand (!). In the meantime, you can see the nekked pics here:

You can watch the video clip of of Rogen on Conan O’Brien’s show here:

"I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT": Sex and the City... With a Husband and Two Kids

Sex and the City… with a Husband and Two Kids

Why is Sarah Jessica Parker so popular among the gay boys? Maybe we relate to her so well because in “Sex and the City”, Parker’s iconic Carrie so often seems like a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. Those of you devotees who are waiting breathlessly for the next big screen incarnation of “Sex and the City” (like me!) won‘t have to go through withdrawal: In the new film “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, Carrie is back… and now she’s a wife and mother who also manages to have a successful career in the world of big business!

I’m joking. Of course, this movie isn’t a sequel, and Parker doesn’t play Carrie. “I Don’t Know How She Does It” is actually based on the 2002 novel by Allison Pearson. Parker (who, even when “disheveled” from multitasking, still looks as lovely as ever…) is Kate Reddy, a Sarah Jessica Parker-like Boston wife and mother of two small children who manages to play “Mama“ and still hold a demanding job as a finance executive. Kate is smart, energetic, and charismatic. However, one of unfortunate results of her demanding life is that she occasionally has a hard time meeting her own high standards. She feels “guilty” about not cooking something for her daughter’s bake sale, so she buys a pie and beats it up enough to make it look “homemade“. While her kind husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) gets ready for sex, Kate falls asleep… although later on, she is lying in bed awake, with an animated “to do list” swirling around above her head. Kate’s angst level only becomes higher when she takes on a big project requiring her to commute from Boston to New York City. While Parker‘s Kate may be suffering from stress with that commute, it allows us some nice footage of Ms. Parker strolling through the Big Apple, where she seems so “at home”.

Oh, but back to the plot: During the movie, we are treated to talking heads-style commentary from assorted characters in Kate’s life, both supportive (her best friend) and antagonistic (such as the well-to-do stay-at-home mom who judges Kate for working outside the home, and the snaky male co-worker who’s waiting for her to fall so that he can usurp some of her power.) We also get the gimmick of Parker doing voiceover is some of the scenes. Remind you of something?! Of course, underneath the showcase of Ms. Parker‘s idiosyncratic style of humor, there is a message behind this movie, clichéd as may be: Working mothers have a lot on their plate. It’s hardly a revolutionary discovery, but the movie indeed raises a few issues on the psychology of gender. Why is it, even after decades of so-called “enlightenment”, that the idea of a father going away on business would hardly raise an eyebrow, but the woman doing it is still is considered unusual? Can’t men play the parental role just as well while the mother is away? So much for equality between the sexes… What the audience should get from the movie (or from the real life situations of the millions of working women who may have inspired the film) is that women can succeed on their own terms, not having to succeed by being more “like men“. Look at it this way: Parker‘s Kate Reddy is a smart businesswoman, but there‘s also an affable and endearing quality about Kate that ingratiates her to her peers and prospective clients in the business world. You just can’t picture the same character being a male and succeeding by those terms. Similarly, you get an idea of Kate’s personal style for success by comparing her to her no-nonsense assistant (played by Olivia Munn), who may be effective in the business world but just doesn’t have Kate’s charisma, sense of humor, or warmth. Parker’s character is likeable even when her hair is flying all over the place and her clothes are stained. I can’t forgive the overly sweet, too-perfect tacked-on ending of “I Don‘t Know How She Does It“, but I can forgive when Kate tries to use sex to make up for the flaws in her marriage. Carrie Bradshaw would be proud!