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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters

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"It's not hard to act in a movie I direct because there are fewer people to argue with."—Barbra Streisand at the Tribeca Film Festival. What? Barbra? Argue? Never!

It was recently the 20th anniversary of Ellen's coming out—both as a person and as a character on her sitcom. As I watched the retrospectives, a thought came to me—why did Ellen come out? I don't believe the character was conceived as gay. It wasn't a storyline that was planned. Back then, I remember people saying, "Well, it's obvious Ellen Morgan is gay—look how she dresses." Or, "Ellen DeGeneres can only play gay—did you see Mr. Wrong?" Aside from the many good things that came from DeGeneres' coming out, I wonder if part of that legacy is also perpetuating the stereotype that gay actors can only play gay roles.

A documentary about Whitney Houston just opened at the Tribeca Film Festival and asks a poignant question—Whitney: Can I Be Me? ( It airs on Showtime this summer. ) According to reports, the doc implies that Whitney "had a secret love affair with best friend and assistant, Robyn Crawford." Not true—it was never a secret! One of Whitney's stylists says, "I don't think she was gay. I think she was bisexual." Bobby Brown agrees. He said in his autobiography that he believes Whitney was bisexual and that her family kept her from living with "the woman." Bobby added, "I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney's life, Whitney would still be alive today." When asked if Whitney and Robyn's relationship was sexual, he said, "I know." On the other side, there's Whitney's mom, Cissy Houston, telling Oprah it absolutely would have bothered her if her daughter were gay. So what do you do if you're Whitney? She married Bobby, and Robyn wasn't happy. Allegedly, Houston bought Robyn a new Porsche that was delivered on the day of the wedding—that kept her quiet through the ceremony! For a few years, all three co-existed somewhat peacefully. Eventually, Robyn completely backed off. People say that's when Whitney's life went to hell in a handbasket ... which sounds mighty uncomfortable.

Whitney's funeral really pissed off Aretha Franklin. Aretha was asked to sing at the ceremony, but she skipped it because she was "suffering from swollen feet" and had to rest for a concert at Radio City Music Hall that night. What we don't know is if anyone told Dionne Warwick? Maybe Aretha thought one of Warwick's Psychic Friends would mention it. But at the funeral, Warwick announced, "One that loves her dearly, that we happen to also love dearly. She is as much family to us as anyone could ever be. Please, Miss Aretha Franklin." People started applauding, and Warwick sat down. Then she bounced back up. "Ree's not here. But she IS here. Always. She loved Whitney as if she were born to her. She is her godmother and...." She was then interrupted—probably by someone who knew that Darlene Love was actually Whitney's godmother.

Why am I rehashing a story that was pretty well hashed when it happened in 2012? Because Aretha believes that Dionne knew she wasn't at the funeral and purposely tried to make her look bad. How do we know this? Because Aretha sent a three-page fax to the Associated Press. Yes, a FAX. Just picture Auntie Ree sitting there, feeding paper into a fax machine with one hand, and hot wings into her mouth with the other! The first thing she wanted to clear up with the AP was this godmother crap. "Franklin said she first met Houston when Houston was a child—and she was far too busy to be anyone's godmother." Look, she was BUSY! As to Dionne, Franklin said, "She blatantly lied on me ... fully well knowing what she was doing." What stirred this up was when the ladies both found themselves on the red carpet at a screening of Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, also at the Tribeca Film Festival. According to Franklin, Dionne said, "Give me a hug." Franklin replied, "Oh, hell no. You couldn't be serious." When the AP asked if she wanted an apology, Aretha said, "I don't care about her apology. At this point it isn't about an apology—it's about libel. We've never been friends and I don't think that Dionne has ever liked me." In other words, walk on by, bitch.

In our "Ask Billy" question this week, Roger in Delaware asked: "What do you know about that hot gay bobsled guy? Saw his nude photo and love him. Is he single?"

I am sure Olympian Simon Dunn really wants to be referred to as "that hot gay bobsled guy." But I suppose there are worse things to be called. Dunn is Australian, retired at the ripe old age of 29, and has a penchant for posing in various stages of undress, to the delight of his social-media followers. Apparently, this is a practice he follows in his private life as well, judging from the photo that leaked. He addressed the controversy online, expressing embarrassment ( although he certainly has nothing to be embarrassed about ), and apologizing to his family and friends. Part of his statement implies he's single: "I guess the silver lining is I can just link people to Tumblr next time they ask for such pictures. And remember boys no matter how hot he is don't send nudes." What? If hot guys didn't send nudes, I'd have nothing to share with you on .

When "Simon Says" not to send nudes, it's definitely time to end yet another column. Riddle me this, Bobsled Boy: If someone online wanted to hook up and DIDN'T send you nude photos, would you meet them? Ponder that while checking out—the site that's not shy. If you have a question, send it along to and I promise to get back to you before I get a complaint from Aretha—by fax! Until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.

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