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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2013-03-06

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"He likes to get me on my back."—Ewan McGregor talks about his photo shoot with Bruce Weber for the Oscars edition of Vanity Fair. Double entendre intended, I'm sure.

Another year, another Academy Awards. Has it only been a year since the last Oscars? It seems longer. At the end of this year's Oscars, I felt like it had been a year since it started! Why is it impossible to bring this show in at three hours? I simply don't understand it. They cut more and more categories, and then add more and more rubbish. Coco Chanel always said, "Before you go out the door, take something off"—words I've lived by. This year, it seemed like the Academy added five things to compensate for every one thing they cut.

I had no problem with Seth MacFarlane. He certainly has a multitude of talents that make him a good host. But, decide if you're going to do a monologue, a filmed bit, a song OR a dance. Don't do them ALL. By the time Seth finished his intro, I expected to hear, "Thank you, and good night!" We were a half hour into the show and not a single award had been given out. And do you know whose fault it was? Neil Patrick Harris. Because NPH does so many things brilliantly (and, I daresay, more efficiently), everyone wants to try. In the end, one reporter hit the nail on the head—this was as if the Oscars were trying to be the Tonys.

There were some high points. Surely, Shirley Bassey saved the first half of the show from turning into a sleep aid by belting out a glorious "Goldfinger" to cap off an otherwise lackluster tribute to James Bond. Whenever Catherine Spartacus Douglas Zeta Jones hits the stage, you know she wants it so bad she can taste it. Jennifer Hudson always delivers. The "Les Miz" segment was fine (aside from a cacophony in the ensemble where nobody was together). Then there's Barbra and "The Way We Were." When someone called me from rehearsal to tell me what she was singing, I was ashamed of myself—of course that's what she'd do. I was embarrassed to have not figured it out. It was a lovely tribute to Marvin Hamlisch and all the others we've lost this year. I found it interesting that the "In Memoriam" montage started before she even came out ... because we wouldn't want anything to distract us from Babs.

In yet another example of how quickly the world is changing, an Emerson College sophomore has gotten some unexpected help in paying for transgender surgery. Donnie Collins is a member of Phi Alpha Tau. When he found out that student medical insurance would not cover "top surgery" (removal of his breasts), he reportedly sobbed in front of H&M in downtown Boston—which hits home for me because I, too, have cried in front of that very store.

His frat brothers decided then and there to help raise the money and set up an Indiegogo campaign (the direct link is on our website). In short order, the press began covering the story. As of this writing, they've raised more than $20,000—far exceeding their goal. The brothers have stated that all excess funds will be donated to the Jim Collins Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to people going through gender-reassignment surgery.

Chaz Bono is once again turning up on the small screen, but this time he ain't dancing. He'll be playing himself in the season premiere of ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Here's how Chaz describes the scene: "One of the characters is questioning the validity of his child being his because the kid doesn't share his hair color. The producers were looking for someone like me who doesn't have the same hair color as their parents. It's a funny scene." I guess you have to see it. Chaz hopes this is just the beginning of reviving his acting career. (He studied drama at NYU.) "I really want to play against type and let people see me as someone other than myself," he added.

This week's "Ask Billy" question come from Javier in New York: "I love Scandal and that hot-ass papi, Huck. What can you tell me about him? Any nude photos? I heard he was gay."

I first saw Guillermo Diaz in Just One Time, a movie that hit the gay film festivals back in 1999. Actually, I really first saw him the previous year in the eight-minute short that helped raise money for the feature film. (It was part of Boys Life 3, which also included Jason Gould's "Inside Out.") You can be forgiven for not recognizing Diaz—the hunky man today bears little resemblance to the adorable but slight youth from 15 years ago. In the intervening years, he's worked consistently in a variety of projects—from Stonewall and Party Girl, to Chappelle's Show and Weeds. Yes, he is gay and very open about it ... so open that he posed nude for Pinups magazine in 2010. When asked why he did the shoot (as it were), Guillermo said, "I love this photographer and it was a new and cool way to express myself." How Madonna of him. You can enjoy the fruits of his labors on BillyMasters.com .

When posing nude is considered passé, it's definitely time to end yet another column. You know who doesn't take nudity lightly? Jane Fonda. She thought MacFarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs" number was in bad taste: "Why not list all the penises we've seen?" I think Jane might be onto something. Of course, all those penises eventually turn up on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that caters to its members. If you have something you'd like me to look into, send a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before someone mistakes Cher for a dark-haired Chaz. So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.


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