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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters

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"My father sees one color—green. That is all he cares about."—Eric Trump defends his father against cries of racism. It's hard to make Donald Jr. look like the smart one, but there you have it. With sons like them...

In a rarity, I open this column with some sad news. I can think of nothing more important than sharing that Bob Smith has passed away. It is incredible for me to imagine that anyone reading this column does not know who Bob Smith is. ( I use the present tense because his presence shall always be felt. ) The Barbara Walters School of Journalism ( founded sometime shortly after The Crusades ) dictates that we always should explain who a subject is. In 1988, Bob Smith founded Funny Gay Males alongside fellow comics Jaffe Cohen and Danny McWilliams. These days, it's taken for granted that one can be an openly gay performer. Not only was it not easy in 1988, it was pretty much impossible for a comedian. Unlike actors, comedians are fairly transparent and draw on their personal lives for material. For a gay man, this was an insurmountable obstacle. Many tried prior to Bob, Jaffe and Danny, but they were really the first to take their acts out of gay bars and into mainstream comedy clubs.

Bob went on to surpass that landmark with one he didn't have to share with anyone. On July 13, 1994, he became the first openly gay comedian to perform on The Tonight Show. In time, writing became the focus of his talents. He wrote several books, my favorite being the provocative Remembrance of Things I Forgot. Writing took on more importance in 2010 when he stepped away from performing. His speech was becoming slurred and he often found it difficult to correctly time a punchline. He may not have been able to do it onstage, but his timing was as sharp as ever when writing about his diagnosis: "Lou Gehrig's Disease? I don't even like baseball!" Although his physical condition deteriorated drastically, his mind never lost its sharp edge. We continued to drop each other notes. It was important for me to let him know his place in history. Without his talent and bravery, there would likely not be a generation of queer artists in every field. And, I daresay, there may not be a Billy Masters. Rest in peace, Bob.

Openly gay skater Adam Rippon was not pleased when he learned that the head of the U.S. delegation for the Olympics would be the vice president: "You mean Mike Pence? The same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?" Rippon made his thoughts on meeting Mr. Waiting in the Wings quite clear, saying, "If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren't a friend of a gay person but that they think that they're sick." The vice president responded to the comment—via a spokesperson ( as all men of character do ). "[Rippon's] accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang."

Conservatives are turning on one of their own because of his "gay film roles." The person in question is "actor" ( and we use that term loosely ) Antonio Sabato Jr. Apparently, he is entering politics—as failed performers do. The "gay film roles" in question are the 2003 film "Testosterone" where he plays a gay Argentinean ( and shows all—as you can see on ); Deadly Skies, a made-for-TV flick about a gay Air Force pilot who is drummed out of the military because of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"; and "Codename Wolverine"—which apparently has no connection with Codename: Foxfire, which starred my pal, Sheryl Lee Ralph. Wolverine shows Antonio wrestling in his underwear. Sabato is apparently running for Congress in California, and his Republican opponent calls these flicks "pornography"—which tells me that, unlike most congressmen, Jeffrey Burum has little experience with pornography: "[Antonio's] behavior is inconsistent with anything I would want from a congressional leader." Which begs the question—what about the president? For his part, Sabato said, "That was a different part in my life, but as actors, we do roles that are pushing the envelope. You want to show off your acting ability, and you want to test your chops. And that's what I did." What doesn't get mentioned much is that Sabato was a spokesperson for AnastasiaDate—an online dating site which hooked up U.S. men with desperate Eastern European women. I believe the profile for Melania69 has already been deleted.

If you know anything about me, you know I hate hypocrisy. I understand people who make decisions I wouldn't make. I can even admire them for standing up for an unpopular point of view. So when Timothée Chalamet ( from Call Me by Your Name and Lady Bird ) signed on to appear in Woody Allen's upcoming A Rainy Day in New York, I thought it was a brave ( and smart ) choice. Obviously, issues about Allen are nothing new. But Chalamet made the decision—good for him. That was, until the politically correct people got on his ass. Now he's backpedaled. "This year has changed the way I see and feel about so many things," he began. He added, "I do not want to profit from my work on the film, and to that end, I am going to donate my entire salary to three charities: TIME'S UP, The LGBT Center in New York, and RAINN," which stands for Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. You know what, Timmy—you don't get to have it both ways. Keep your money and grow a pair.

When Antonio Sabato Jr. is once again relevant, it's definitely time to end yet another column. If nothing else, it gives us the opportunity to show you his naughty bits on—the site that never discriminates ( unless you're looking for Eastern European ladies—we don't do that ). If you have a question, send it along to and I promise to get back to you before Mike Pence spends a night in the Olympic Village. Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.

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