Viral Videos Going Gay.

March 16, 2013

Viral Videos Going Gay

By Chris Huqueriza

The rise of videos going viral has become a successful marketing tool for the LGBT community. During the month of March, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden endorsed marriage equality through a “viral” video while LGBT organizations and regular people have showed their LGBT support.

“It can’t be determined which videos will be success as there’s too much quantity,” Marriage Equality USA’s Social Media Director Tom Watson told 429Magazine.

“But the videos of celebrities are very important. These videos help us understand that we have straight allies and that they are relatable.”

In 2012, Zach Wahls’ video speaking on behalf of his mothers had a successful response while Shane Bitney Crone’s “It Could Happen To You” shed light on the lack of rights for gay couples and inspired a documentary.

Watson noted the video of two gay dads upstaged by their loving son, and the “GetUP! Action for Australia” marriage equality video was the most successful with over one million views.

“There’s no formula for a good viral, but the successful ones are when it’s raw and presents real people – people that you can relate to,” said Watson.

They are not only working for specific causes or campaigns. Lesbian student Kirsten Bledsoe asked actress Mila Kunis to be her prom date, holding a 6-pack of Blue Moon in her video, while a fraternity in Boston supported their transgender brother and his gender reassignment surgery in a fundraising video.

There have also been many organizations that have promoted their ideologies on marriage equality, such as AllOut and the Coalition for Equal Marriage (CEM). Allout and CEM received over 300,000 views for their videos.

The opposite can happen, however, like when a teenager’s anti-marriage equality rap received national attention.

Watson notes two ways to combat such ads.

“We can either give them additional attention as they become their worst enemy and show the extremes of their embarrassing bigotry,” said Watson. “The other approach is spoofing by combating with our own humor.”

The “Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends” video became a notable “spoof” as they took a humorous stance on marriage equality. The video has received over four million views and multiple responses from straight men, lesbians and straight girls.

Another example is “The ultimate anti-gay marriage ad” which overly dramatizes some of the more ridiculous arguments about how gay marriage will lead to the destruction of heterosexual unions.

Undoubtedly, the video medium has become the paramount means of communicating in today’s modern, fast-paced world where information is disseminated quickly and with ease through the Internet. Getting a video to go viral might not be easy, but it helps bring attention to a cause and a goal.



Nebraska Takes No Decisive Action On Three LGBT-Related Bills

March 16, 2013


Nebraska Takes No Decisive Action On Three LGBT-Related Bills

The Nebraska Unicameral Legislature held hearings for three bills regarding LGBT issues on Thursday, but made no decisive action for any of them.

Opposition for the LGBT bills bickered during the extensive questions by Senator Ernie Chambers. One opponent claimed the Senator was stalling the time for the opposition testimony and filibustered the bills. 

Chairman Brad Ashford threatened to clear the room after the ruckus.

The three bills seek to create legislation barring discrimination regarding adoption  and workforce policies on the basis of sexual orientation, and would provide for two unmarried adults to jointly adopt.

Senator Danielle Howard introduced LB485, which will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workforce. Senator Sara Conrad introduced LB380, which would allow gay couples and any other unmarried adults to adopt a child. Senator Jeremy Nordquist introduced LB385, which would allow anyone to become a foster parent regardless of sexual orientation or marriage qualifications.

“We need to remove all forms of discrimination,” Nebraska Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Ashford, who signed and supported the bills, told 429Magazine. “The Government shouldn’t be discriminating the LGBT community and we need all forms of adopted parents.”

“Employment decisions should not be based on classifications of who someone is or who somebody loves,” Conrad said to Nebraska’s Fremont Tribune. “It should be based on merit and how qualified someone is to do a job.”

“Forward Equality supports LB380, which provides adoption for all unmarried couples including gay couples,” Forward Equality’s Founder Mika Covington told 429Magazine. “Nebraska prohibits any unmarried couples and gay couples from adopting and we need to work on that.”

Covington personally created a petition for the adoption bill that gained 1,000 signatures, which will be delivered electronically at the hearings.

Opposition to the legislation came from Family First as well as the Nebraska Family Council stating that sexual orientation is not a protective right as they see it as a lifestyle and that LGBT people have enough employment opportunities. 

“This bill comes in direct conflict with freedom of speech and religious freedom,” said Nebraska Family Council’s Executive Director Al Riskowski in a press release. 

“I firmly believe it is poor public policy, but it is hard to be heard from a policy prospective because the hearings get so socially charged. It’s hard to make your case without people saying you’re hateful and bigoted.”

Nebraska laws prohibit discrimination based on disability, age, pregnancy, race and gender but have yet to include sexual orientation. 

 “It’s a basic freedom for everyone to work,” Ashford said regarding the anti-discrimination bill. “And to be denied employment, we need to protect those people.”

“Against the opposition, we just continue to focus on the bill and what’s best for the children,” said Covington.


Original Catwoman Receives The GLEH Lifetime Achievement Award

March 9, 2013


Original Catwoman Receives The GLEH Lifetime Achievement Award

By Chris Huqueriza

Actress Julie Newmar, made famous by portraying the original Catwoman in the Batman franchise,  has lived an illustrious career. dot429 interviews the icon, who yesterday, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH) organization.

At the age of 15, Newmar was a prima ballerina for the Los Angeles Opera. She’s danced in such iconic films as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the Band Wagon, and won a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Marriage-Go-Round. Her trademark 37-inch legs were at one time insured for $1 million. While Newmar has appeared in notable 60s shows like Bewitched, Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, it’s her role as Catwoman in the 1966 show Batman that she is best known for.

Newmar is still jovially energetic and cracking jokes as she prepares for her 80th birthday later this year. Not fazed by her iconic status, she is very down-to-earth, with a vigorous laugh.

She’s humble as she discusses the award she’s soon to receive. “I have to see what it feels like. Is it sparkly? Is it heavy? Do I have to hide it? We’ll see. Maybe show up in my birthday suit? Which one? There’s so many to choose from,” Newmar jokes.

Newmar was honored on Sunday, January 13th, at the Jim Henson Lot in Hollywood, where guests were invited to the showing of the 70th Golden Globe Awards. The event  benefited GLEH’s Comprehensive Housing Care Program, a nationally recognized aging in place model for LGBT seniors.

“It’s a notable building [GLEH’s headquarters], tall and straight, for people who only have social security,” Newmar adds, as the organization for LGBT seniors impresses her. “It’s a very loving community that takes care of their well-being.”

GLEH’s mission is to “improve the life experience of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) seniors by developing affordable housing, providing comprehensive care, and ensuring through advocacy and education a brighter future for the LGBT elder community.”

Newmar’s commitment to the LGBT cause was inspired by a personal connection – her brother, Dr. John Newmeyer, is gay.

“He has a twisted political position to a better degree that influences me,” Newmar said of her brother. John Newmeyer graduated from Harvard with a degree in Physics and has written a number of essays, articles, and three books.  “I ask him questions. He likes that. It always works..”

Her brother also encouraged her to take the role of Catwoman in the 1966 Batman series, which has attracted a large fanbase, including many fans from the LGBT community. She became the model-muse for Designer Thierry Mugler’s 20-year couture collection in Paris and was celebrated in the 1995 drag queen-inspired film ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.’

While she was the first actress to play Catwoman, she doesn’t have an opinion on the actresses who followed in her footsteps – a list that most recently includes Michelle Pfieffer, Halle Berry, and Anne Hathaway. She says that the franchise now belongs to Warner Brothers so it’s not up to her. She is still flattered to be looked upon as the ideal Catwoman by many ‘Batman’ fans.

“When you’re the best, you’re the best. I can’t help it,” Newmar jokes.

When I asked her what her fondest memory is from playing Catwoman,, she  mentions an early episode with a young James Brolin.

“He is a wonderful actor – very tall and most agreeable. I got to ride in the front seat with him,” Newmar said. In the episode, her character disguises herself as an 80-year-old wealthy recluse looking to steal two Stradivarius violins. She remembers appreciating being able to play something different than her usual type. She jokes about feeling up other members of the cast dressed as that older woman.

“Sometimes, it’s nice to be at a certain age because it is. You can pretty much do what you please and not be afraid,” said Newmar.

When asked about what’s next for her, it seems she’ll continue to focus on the simple things in life. She is a notable businesswoman, holding three U.S. patents in womenswear, and running her own real estate business. She likes to create things, and updates her blog regularly, as she’s very opinionated. She lives lightly enough, enjoying comfort, good food, and an impressive social calendar that keeps her busy.

“Everyone’s on Facebook. I’m on Facebook. Most of the time, 40% of people disagree with you,” Newmar laughs.

Looking back at her career as she prepares to accept GLEH’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Newmar believes the biggest victories for any person are to be found in the little, everyday things in life.

“It’s a huge achievement just showing up and not always being late. It concerns everyone. You don’t get there in time, you could get fired,” Newmar said..

She then remembers it’s time for dinner, and she doesn’t want to be late for that.

A Marvelous Summer!

February 24, 2011

Looks like we’re going to have a marvelous summer for 2011. Okay, that pun was definitely intended but superhero films are all the rage and Marvel Comics is completely dominating over DC comics’ properties. As a Marvel zombie, we have the tri-fecta of gold: Thor (May 4), X-Men: First Class (June 3), and Captain America (July 22) up against DC Comics’ Green Lantern this summer.

Sure, DC has always had the upper hand with television versions of Superman and Wonder Woman while Marvel has the Hulk, but the landscape has changed. This would have been unheard of in the 1980s/1990s when their only properties were Howard the Duck and the Punisher battling against the Batman and Superman franchises.

But with the final installment of the Batman series in the 1990s (Batman and Robin), the superhero genre died. Why? Superhero films were treated like kiddy cartoon fare: unsophisticated, childish, and bombastic. The resurrection of the genre wouldn’t have come if it weren’t for the realistic and gritty X-Men franchise or the angsty Spiderman series of the 2000s. It only becomes ironic that the X-Men series have gone full circle with this year’s prequel/reboot. Maybe the Marvel films are more successful because of writer Stan Lee’s formula back in the 1960s: Relatable superheroes that act human and make mistakes like everyone else.

So what are the future projects? Well the admittedly premature reboot of Spiderman and the massive uptake of the Avengers. But they’ll be tangling with DC’s big guns (yet again) with the final Batman film by Christopher Nolan and the second reboot of Superman by Zack Snyder.

Insiders have already predicted the demise of the genre because of the overload. Comic Book Writer Mark Miller stated: “I think it’s going to be difficult is once you’ve done that thing of putting all those characters in one film… you know, its like having Harry Potter, James Bond and Spiderman all in one movie. I think what’ll be difficult then is to try and top that because people want to see it get bigger,” he explains. “I anticipate things starting to slow down round about 2014 and 2015. I think that’s when it will really start to flat line a bit and we’re going to see our first failures.”

Sure there are flops like the first Hulk, Daredevil, Elektra, and Catwoman but I don’t see the downfall happening like it did with Batman and Robin. The reason being because their fan base keep these movies alive.

The New Superman and Catwoman?

Film Snapshots: Best of 2010

February 19, 2011

I think it’s been over 6 months since I last posted something noteworthy. I apologize but life has been getting the better of me: new obstacles, new relationships, new solutions. Anyways, I never had the chance to post film reviews for the best of 2010.  But since everyone knows the films pretty well because of their acclaim during the awards season, I’ll acknowledge my favorites with simple snapshots. The pictures should scream ‘Nuff Said.’

Inception: THE Movie of 2010

August 6, 2010


I can honestly say with absolute conviction, that this movie is the summer blockbuster AND the movie of 2010. It’s an ambitious film that melds a heist film with a science fiction thriller. as the movie follows Dom Cobb, a dream extractor played by Leonardo Dicaprio, and his team as they enter the dream world to plant an idea. Conflict arises as Cobb’s dead wife, played by Marion Cotillard, further complicates their plan as she portrays a beautiful, yet tragic creature that can’t leave Cobb alone. Even for non sci-fi fans, their story of love will reel the audience in.

And with an impressive cast of thespians ranging from Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, and Tom Berenger, the film does wonders to emotionally invest you in their world while simultaneously confuse you of which scenes are reality or dreams. But like Nolan’s other films (The Batman movies, Memento, Prestige), they work in complex natures while still entertaining the audience. The film IS a maze with wonderful “mind-bending” special effects within an innovative story paired with an alluringly grand and epic score by Hans Zimmer. My mind is still astonished that we entered a dream within dream over four times.

Certainly the film will take multiple viewings to fully grasp the densities of the film. Which scenes are dreams or reality? Was the entire film a complete intricate dream within Cobb’s mind? Was Cobb stuck in his subconscious or free from his wife? Either way, the ending will leave you with more than one interpretation and more than one viewing will certainly do the trick. Again Thank you Mr. Nolan for an entertaining, mind-boggling ride.

My Rating: A+

Note: I loved the song, “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” they used for the kick. Not only is the song done by Edith Piaff, Marion Cotillard played her in La Vie En Rose, but the song is noteworthy for eerily portraying Cobb’s journey of no regrets. An excellent treat for movie-goers.

Clash Of The Titans Review.

April 13, 2010

I’m a fan of the Greek myths. I obsessed over the tales of Aphrodite, Hercules, and the fall of the Titans. The original Clash of the Titans was 80s cheese, but I enjoyed it as a child. With the new version, it was a bit of a letdown. And if it were viewed in 3-D, the whole movie would have been a mess. What are the negatives of the new version? Much of the acting was corny and some of the cinematography was confusing. Much of the details of the myths were skewered giving Hades a villainous role, minimal screen-time for the other gods, and a love introduction for the main characters which was highly unnecessary. My only positive was that Sam Worthington was pretty good, but he should have lost the crew cut if everyone else has long hair. My best advice would be to look for the 80s version with Harry Hamlin because it was a lot better.

My Rating: C-