Tag Archives: Emmy Awards

Happy Birthday, Leslie Jordan

29 Apr

LJordanToday I want to celebrate a person who makes the world more delightful by his presence. Fifty-eight years ago today, Leslie Jordan was born in Chattanooga, TN. Growing up small — his adult height is 4’11” — and effeminate in the South was no picnic, so he learned to use humor to cope. With a personality and sense of joy far larger than he looks, he eventually burst free and moved to Hollywood where he began his very successful career.

Jordan is notable for being openly gay since he got started, something pretty unusual in the early 80s. He’s also been happy to portray gay characters, preferring to have fun with a role than worry about stereotyping. By being himself, he’s made a wonderful success based on integrity as well as talent, thus opening the door for LGBT youth to see themselves represented in the media.

As with many, my first encounter with Jordan was in his Emmy-winning role as Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace. As Karen Walker’s charming, co-dependent nemesis, he was one of the brightest spots on the series. He and Karen traded barbs in an amazing style; one of my favorite lines is this greeting:

Why Karen Walker! I thought I smelled gin…and regret.

Jordan amazed and amused me again when my husband and I saw Sordid Lives, one of our favorite films. His turn as Brother Boy is a testament to the challenges of being true oneself. That he manages to make the character strong rather than pathetic is a testament to Jordan’s talent (and perhaps his love of Tammy Wynette).  If you have not seen Sordid Lives, I strongly urge you to rent it from the Netflix. It also stars Olivia Newton-John and Delta Burke.

I was fortunate enough to see his delightful one-man show, Like A Dog On Linoleum, in Atlanta a few years ago. I laughed ’til I cried and then had a chance to meet him in person. He is gracious and witty with or without a script.

In his many wonderful performances, his autobiography (and second one-man show) My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, and his willingness to be honestly and unabashedly himself, Leslie Jordan has made the world a better place. Happy Birthday, Leslie, and thank you!

Jane Lynch and Visibility

19 Sep

Cheers to Jane Lynch

While it is true that we don’t watch much television in our home, we actually did try to watch the Emmys last night. What motivated us to watch the show was that Modern Family received many nominations (the one show we do watch every Wednesday) and that openly gay Jane Lynch was hosting.

I have loved Jane Lynch since she starred in the Christopher Guest mocumentary, Best in Show.  I also loved her in the unfortunately very short lived Love Spring International, which was brilliantly done. While hosting the Emmys, Lynch made reference to her being lesbian no less than three times.  This is a huge deal and I was exceedingly proud of her. Any other host of any other award show is always presumed to be heterosexual, regardless if this is an accurate presumption or not.  Lynch’s openly talking about herself and her wife increases the visibility of the LGBT community and says to the millions of viewers that we are here, we look like and act like the rest of the population of the world, which I hope makes it much more difficult to continue to marginalize us.

Points to Lynch for showing great social courage and integrity for not only hosting the Emmys but putting herself out there for all to see. I also had to tip my hat to Ms. Lynch for her wit and calling out the Teahaddists:

Yesterday, my daughter had a tea party with her little friends, and it was so cute. They complained about taxes, called Obama a Communist, and wondered how the Latina kid got in.

For me, that was probably the best part of the entire show. However, I do worry some that Lynch revealed secrets about the Gay Agenda on national television.

Not only did Lynch help to show the world that us LGBT folk are just like everyone else, well perhaps we are a bit better dressed and a bit more witty, but the fact that Modern Family, picked up so many awards also helps to show fear-based bigots that we cannot and will not be as easily marginalized as we once were.  In an interview after the Emmys, Ty Burell, who won Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, said this:

…it feels very very good to be on a show that seems to be changing a lot of minds … it’s a great thing to peripherally go to events and talk to family and have people talk about the characters the same way they talk about other characters.

Julie Bowen, who won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, added:

To me, it’s absurd that it is an issue, but in that it is an issue, I’m glad that we’re helping to change minds.

These are the heterosexual allies we need!  Lynch and the cast of Modern Family help to show that LGBT people  really we are just like all other human beings.  We come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors, and religious backgrounds.

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