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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters

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"He called me a fag 'cause I was wearing a scarf! Then he shoved my sister and I got behind him and I choked him out—put him to sleep."—Jeremy Renner lets people know he ain't putting up with any crap when it comes to those gay rumors. I was kinda excited when he said he choked the guy—until I realized he was behind him!

I really hate going to tapings of TV shows. That probably sounds surprising from someone who lives in Hollywood and loves television. But more than anything else, I hate sitting around ... and there's lots of that at a taping. Aside from award shows (which don't count), I can only think of two tapings I've gone to in my 15 years in California. One was when Madonna was on Will & Grace because ... well, it was Madonna. And the other was an episode of Reba. I wish I could give you a good reason for going to that one, but I just loves me my Reba. And, don't forget, she is the sixth lady of country (behind Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and I believe one of those Mandrell sisters). I vowed that Reba episode would be my swan song—once you interrupt a taping and end up on the blooper reel, you're done.

And yet, there I was at Dancing with the Stars last week. With several friends on the show, I wanted to be supportive. Plus, I'm on the East Coast for the next few weeks. There's a good chance that one (or all) of them will be voted off by then! My first surprise of the night was bumping into Chi Chi La Rue and Doug Jeffries at the VIP check-in. (La Rue is friends with Bruno Tonioli.) Before the show starts, the judges and hosts are introduced to the audience. The person who generated the loudest applause was Bruno! Girlfriend knows how to work it.

I'm not accusing anyone of cheating, but I must tell you that the audience is encouraged to cheer more for certain stars than others. For instance, before William Levy's dance, we were instructed to be up on our feet and really get into his salsa (something I didn't need prompting for). I don't recall anyone asking us to get excited about Melissa Gilbert Brinkman Boxleitner.

I love watching how "celebrities" treat fans. Some are great, some try to avoid them, but most fall in between. I am surprised, nay shocked, to say that the most personable participant was Derek Hough. Everyone I've shared this information with is surprised—I guess people expect him to be a little aloof and cocky. (They might be thinking of Ryan Seacrest, who I hear has a little ... well, never mind.) Derek was lovely to everyone who went up to him. Of course, my beloved Sherri Shepherd is just a girl who can't say no and was everyone's best friend by the end of the night. And I was impressed to see that sexy Levy remained remarkably composed and gracious when two girls ran down to the dance floor during a commercial to take a photo with him. Where, oh where, was security?

Did you hear about the dramatic week poor little Gavin Creel had? After signing some autographs for fans, he realized he had given one of them his iPad. How? He explained on Twitter: "2 that sweet man who asked 4 my autograph: remember how I used my iPad as a hard surface under your program while I signed? U still have it and I would really like it back...please don't make me sad." I'm sure the giddy guy (yes, I'm making an assumption that a guy who wants Gavin Creel's autograph is gay) was so elated after the meeting, he probably didn't realize it either. The next day, Gavin Tweeted again: "Still wanna hear from the man I accidentally gave my freakin' iPad to last night. Would be real nice if he would give it back." Alan Cumming jumped in with a different tone: "I'm mad as hell. Let's shame the guy who took Gavin Creel's iPad as he was giving him an autograph to return it. Twitter Power, people!" Somehow this went from Gavin mistakenly handing a guy his iPad to an armed robbery! All is now right with the world, judging from Creel's follow-up: "a) I love Alan Cumming b) I so appreciate everyone's support during my iPad debacle c) I'm going to tweet another tweet in 39 seconds.... My iPad hath been returned!!!!!! 2 the sweet man who made my day asking 4 an autograph & made my year by returning my iPad after babysitting it 4 a couple days: thank you!!!" Awww. I'm a sucker for anyone who can use the word "hath" correctly in a sentence! Just for that, I would have returned the iPad—after cloning the disk, of course.

This is one of those stories that will upset those of you who believe we should always support the LGBT community. The problem with blind devotion is sometimes you're blind to other issues. A transgender woman fought the organizers of the Miss Canada Universe pageant for the right to compete. On one hand, good for her—she stood up for herself and succeeded. But I'm conflicted. I kinda think that it's great for any community to get to honor their own. But if we fight for this inclusion, it has to work both ways. Would we be OK with genetically born females competing in a Miss Transgender Pageant? I'd hate that. Although no white actor has won an NAACP Award, four white performers have been nominated. Why? Why can't people of color have their own award? And where will it end? Would Michael Phelps be allowed to compete in the Special Olympics even though he's not "special?" (Well, he's kinda special...)

Speaking of the Olympics, openly gay Aussie diver Matthew Mitcham just scored perfect 10s from all seven judges at a trial for the upcoming London Olympics. Congrats.

When Broadway stars are giving away iPads (it's only fair with the prices some shows charge), I hath come to the end of yet another column. As luck would have it, I'm in NYC this week catching up on some of the latest shows. So be sure to check out and I'll let you know if anyone hands me an iPad. If you've got a question, feel free to e-mail me at and I promise to get back to you before I check out the genitalia of some Olympic hopefuls! So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.

Note: The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Windy City Times.

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Billy Masters 2018-06-12 - "I'm gonna say one thing—'Fuck Trump!' It's no longer 'Down with Trump,' it's 'Fuck Trump!'"—Robert De Niro takes the Tonys ( and CBS ...

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Billy Masters 2018-05-29 - "You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."—I came across this quote during my ...

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Billy Masters 2018-05-16 - Things are really ramping up for the royal wedding. The big news last week was that while William will be Harry's best man, ...


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