By The Gay UK, Nov 24 2014 01:33PM

London Live, the capital’s TV channel, interviewed entrepreneur and gay rights campaigner Ivan Massow on its lunchtime show the Headline Interview.

Ivan Massow On London Live
Ivan Massow On London Live

The gay rights activist and entrepeneur Ivan Massow, 47, exclusively announced that he was standing for London Mayor in 2015. Ivan unsuccessfully ran for London Mayor 2003 as an independent candidate, but today announced that he was standing on behalf of the Conservative party. The former head of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, was once a political adviser to William Hague but left the Conservative Party over section 28 in 2000 and defected to Labour. Ivan recalls his memories of Margaret Thatcher, his argument with Tracey Emin and discusses his four key policies: devolution, transport, housing and a introducing a London card.

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Speaking about why he decided to run as mayor Ivan said, 'Why I’ve got involved this time and what really drove me and rattle my cage, which was watching the devolution debate on television, seeing it all unfold with Scotland and hearing this vilification of London and realising, thinking to myself its great being in London, and I love being a Londoner – but it’s not that great here. We have incredibly expensive accommodation, incredibly expensive travel and food – it’s costly to be here. People travel for maybe an hour to get to work with a sweatshop of the United Kingdom producing vast amounts of money that pay for hospitals and schools all around the country. To hear this thing coming at us all the time made me want to get involved and do something about it.'

The Headline Interview, London Live - Freeview 8, YouView 8, Sky 117 and Virgin 159

By The Gay UK, Nov 24 2014 12:28PM

Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen announce today that the seventh Take That studio album will be called 'III'. The band also unveiled the album artwork, track-listing and are due to have their first single ‘These Days' played on radios across the nation tomorrow morning for the first time.

‘III’ marks another poignant moment in the band's legacy as a newly created three-piece and will be released through Polydor Records on December 1st. The single ‘These Days’ will be released on November 23rd.

This is the first time Take That have written and recorded as a three and with that new dynamic has come a new sound; this time around choosing an eclectic mix of producers to work on the album: Greg Kurstin (Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence, Lykke Li - I Never Learn, Katy Perry - Prism), John Shanks (Take That- Beautiful World, The Circus), Stuart Price (Take That - Progress, Madonna - Confessions on a Dance Floor, The Killers - Day & Age) and Jeff Lynne (ELO, Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie, Regina Spektor - Far, Tom Petty - Into The Great Wide Open, Travelling Wilburys - Travelling Wilburys Vol.1).

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The guys started writing tracks for this album at the beginning of the year with the blessing of Jason Orange who announced in a statement on Wednesday 24th September that after almost twenty-five years he was leaving the band. He went on to say that they had his 'full support and encouragement to continue on with what is to be another chapter for the band'. 'III' is scheduled to be completed at the end of next week, with the majority of the recording being done at the band’s own studios and Abbey Road Studios.

The first single ‘These Days’ was produced by Greg Kurstin and features all three members of the band on vocal duty. It’s a nod to the sound that defined their early years, an out-and-out feel good pop smash that isn’t like anything they’ve produced since the 2006 reunion. From the '70s-esque electric guitar riff to a chorus you’ll be singing before the song ends you could be forgiven for thinking it’s still the height of summer; but this song shows just one element from the new album, which incorporates a mix of styles and sounds influenced by their last three LPs.

The last time Take That released an album was in 2010, when they were a five piece: Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams. Their album 'Progress' became the fastest selling album of the century and the second fastest selling album of all time - shifting more than 235,000 copies in just one day. They also sold out eight Wembley Stadiums in 2011 on The Progress Tour (the most ever played in a row since it was built and re-built) and played to almost two and a half million people that year.

Take That have had eight Number One albums, 15 Number One singles, sold over 30 million albums, won six Ivor Novellos, eight BRITs and sold over seven million concert tickets in their lifetime.

'III' Track listing:


These Days

Let In The Sun

If You Want It



Higher Than Higher

I Like It

Give You My Love


Into The Wild


Get Ready For It


These Days

Let In The Sun

If You Want It



Higher Than Higher

I Like It

Give You My Love


Into The Wild


Get Ready For It



Do It For All For Love

By The Gay UK, Nov 24 2014 11:27AM

After numerous complaints online, the Ass Hunter game has been removed from Google Play.

It is unclear at this point whether Google itself removed the offensive game, which sees gay men hunted and killed, or if the game makers themselves: Jay, Phil and Graphics by Stef, have removed the game.

The game Ass Hunter is a very basic shooting game where the player clothed in green safari outfit and holding a shotgun, moves around the screen shooting ‘gays’ - depicted here as naked men with waving tackle!

You could be mistaken into thinking that the game is just another war game with men shooting other men, however the developers almost comical homophobic description explains that you are indeed hunting gays here.

‘Play and do not be gay!’

‘Legendary game, where you are hunter and your mission is to kill gays as much as you can.’

‘Gays may be hidden in bushes and unexpectedly catch you.’

‘Remember! When they catch you they will do with you whatever they want ;)’

The game is still widely available on other gaming sites such as and

Google does not comment on indivdual apps, but the app has been taken down.

By The Gay UK, Nov 24 2014 10:26AM

The Google Play store is receiving online criticism for allowing a game to be sold that lets players hunt gays and kill them.

Ass Hunter Game
Ass Hunter Game

The game Ass Hunter is a very basic shooting game where the player clothed in green safari outfit and holding a shotgun, moves around the screen shooting ‘gays’ - depicted here as naked men with waving tackle!

You could be mistaken into thinking that the game is just another war game with men shooting other men, however the developers almost comical homophobic description explains that you are indeed hunting gays here.

‘Play and do not be gay!’

‘Legendary game, where you are hunter and your mission is to kill gays as much as you can.’

‘Gays may be hidden in bushes and unexpectedly catch you.’

‘Remember! When they catch you they will do with you whatever they want ;)’

The ‘whatever they want’ turns out to be a rape of the hunter of he loses a life. BarryDennen12 on YouTube has very kindly provided his walk through of the game.

Of course not everyone thinks this game is legendary leaving one star reviews on Google Play Store.

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‘Homophobic filth A disgusting piece of trash Google you should be ashamed to have even published this.’ - Fifi Anderson

‘Abhorrent app This abhorrent app is disgusting. I too downloadabled so I could rate and report it. Google should remove this game immediately.’ - Ron Gowans-Savage

The Google Play store has now removed the game, and Google have been approached for comment on the game.

By The Gay UK, Nov 23 2014 06:29PM

Okay.. this is a little excitng, even if it is a spoof...

Master of the wank, Zac Efron apparently loves to get his freak on, with madam palm and her five lovely daughters. The 27-year-old tells James Franco, who is playing the part of an presenter in an interview, for Franco's new film, The Interview that he enjoys it even without touching himself.

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He also admitted that he fiddles with the twiddle whilst driving, but it's okay, because he drives an automatic, 'I can drive with my hands and masturbate with my knees,' he boasts.

According to EOnline:

Efron sat down for an “interview” with James Franco in character as Dave Skylark, the talk show host who Franco plays in The Interview, his new comedy co-starring Seth Rogen. In theaters [sic] on Christmas Day, the film revolves around the CIA recruiting Dave Skylark and his producer (Rogen) to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

By The Gay UK, Nov 23 2014 04:56PM

One of the very first things you learn from this enchanting wee documentary is that when you are growing up gay in a Southern Baptist family in a small North Carolina town you worship both God and Dolly Parton in equal measure.


Handsome identical twins Gary and Larry Lane, now in their mid 30's, got as far away as they could from their childhood homes when their family struggled to come to terms with the fact that they are both gay. Now they are living the lives they always wanted in West Hollywood, these inseparable brothers are desperate to fulfill their long-held dream. They want to present Dolly Parton with a movie script they have written for her based on her life story, and they also want their families to finally accept them for who they are.

This film then is of their road trip in a RV christened 'Joleen' right across the country to Pigeon Forge Tennessee where Dolly is scheduled to appear in person at her famous theme park and where they are planning to get the script into her hands. They also hope that once their family see the finished documentary it will help them appreciate the fullness of the rather wonderful lives they have shaped for themselves.

Before the start of the journey they persuade a few of their LA celebrity friends to read through the script and give them advice and any tips. They include Oscar Winning Scriptwriter Dustin Lance Black, and actors Leslie Jordan, Chad Allen & Beth Grant. None of them are immune to the boys infectious charm and boundless good humour.

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On the road with Gary's boyfriend Mike doing most of the driving, the twins spend a lot of time verbalising about how childhood and in particular the rejection by their mother when at aged 25 they finally came out to her. She would not believe them and tried to make them swear on the Bible that they were not gay, and when they refused, she fell apart. Even now none of the rest of the family or their neighbors know. Such treatment would have devastated most people but not these good natured resilient twins who are still determined to be accepted regardless how long it takes them.

The rest of the trip seems to be spending time with other people who also worship at the shrine of 'Saint' Dolly and who are so excited to give testimony with such fervor on camera as to how she has enriched all their lives. And when the boys arrive at their destination actually manage to get a brief meeting with Dolly herself, she is so welcoming and graciously accepts the script, they feel like they have died and gone heaven.

Whether the script was any good, and whether Dolly liked it at all is really irrelevant. What makes this film so endearing is the twins unshakable faith in themselves and the people they love. And Miss Dolly Parton, who I would chose over God any day.

By The Gay UK, Nov 23 2014 03:46PM

There's a new breed of actors out there who aren't afraid to be out in Hollywood and beyond, despite the damage that coming out as gay can still have on a gay person's career, even in 2014.

Here are just some of the hot actors under the age of 40, who've come out. Listed A-Z by first name. We have tried our hardest to confirm all these actor's sexualities by various online sources. If we are wrong about someone, we are sorry, and will remove their listing here.

Andrew Hayden-Smith

Born: 5th November 1983, Gateshead, England, UK.

Best Known For: Byker Grove, Doctor Who.

Came out in 2005 in an interview with a magazine.

Andrew is an actor best known for his role as Jake Simmonds in Doctor Who and is set to star in a new drama comissioned by Channel 4 called Cucumber from Queer As Folk writer, Russell T Davies.

Antony Cotton

Born: 5th August 1975, Bury, Greater Manchester, England, UK.

Best Known For: Queer As Folk and Coronation Street.

Came out in 2009 on Digital Spy.

Antony burst onto the scene in 1999 in the raunchy no bars held UK version of Queer As Folk as the campy Alexander Perry, he also had a brief cameo in Absolutely Fabulous as Eddie's assistant Damian. Now Antony works full time on the UK's longest running TV soap, Coronation Street, in which he first appeared in 2003.

Bobby Cole Norris

Born: Unknown.

Best Known For: The Only Way Is Essex.

First appearing in series 4 of the reality TV giant TOWIE, Bobby Cole Norris was one of the first out stars of the series. In 2014 it was reported that he was dating co-star Harry Derbidge however the relationship ended when Harry was alledgedly caught cheating on Bobby.

Brenton Thwaites

Born: 10th August 1989, Cairns, Queensland, Austraila

Best Known For: In cast of Home And Away and playing the prince in Malecifient.

Came out (sort of) 2014 in MSN interview

Brewnton Thwaites made quite a splash in the news in 2014, when in an interview with MSN he made hints that he is bisexual. A fan asked the question which 'three things you look for in a partner,' Thwaite responded, 'male or female? They’re very different.'

Chris Colfer

Born: 27th May 1990, Clovis California, USA

Best Known For: Playing Kurt Hummel in smash hit television series Glee.

Actor, singer, author, model and producer, Chris Colfer can do just about anything. Best known for his role as the gay kid in Glee, Colfer lives with his boyfriend in Los Angeles.

Cheyenne Jackson

Born:12th July 1975, Spolane, Washington, USA.

Best Known For: his role in United 93.

Came out in 2008 during an interview with The Advocate.

Cheyenne's rugged good looks have won him a legion of fans. His most notable film was the blockbuster United 93, which detailed the tragic events on September 11th 2001, when flight 93, along with 3 other jet liners were hijacked and used as weapons against the US homeland. Cheyenne is also an accomplished singer and Broadway star, having released two albums. He also stars in Love Is Strange in 2014.

Charlie David

Born: 9th August 1980, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Best Known For: His sexy role in gay horror series: Dante's Cove.

Since his role on the series Dante's Cove Charlie has become a film producer and director including titles such as I'm A Porn Star and I'm A Stripper. In 2012 TheGayUK interviewed Charlie along with Elvira The Mistress Of Darkness for their Halloween Special edition.

Danyl Johnson

Born: 17th June 1982, Arborfield, Berkshire, England, UK

Best Known For: Appearing in X FACTOR 2009. He finished fourth.

Came out as bisexual in 2009 in UK's national press, fearing a kiss and tell expose.

Danyl was one of the most popular contestants on the 2009 series of X Factor UK. He managed to anger Whitney Houston though after he sang her previously unreleased track of I Didn't Know My Own Strength.

David Burtka

Born: 29th May 1975, Dearborn, Michigan, USA.

Best Known For: Appearing in West Wing, How I Met Your Mother and being husband to Neil Patrick Harris.

According to his husband, David gave up being an actor to become a professional chef. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Pasadena in summer 2009 and afterward began running a Los Angeles catering company, Gourmet M.D. David and NPH have two children tonight.

Harry Debidge

Born: Unknown

Best Known For: Reality TV

Harry appeared in series 1-3 of TOWIE and then from 12 onwards. He briefly dated Bobby Cole Norris.

Jim Verraros

Born: 8th February 1983, Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA

Best Known For: American Idol and Eating Out

Came out in 2003 with The Advocate

Jim appeared in the first season of American Idol and has appeared in a number of gay movies including, Eating Out, Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild.

Jonathan Bennett

Born: 10th June 1981, Rossford, Ohio, USA

Best Known For: Mean Girls

Jonathan played Aaron Samuels in one of the ultimate gay cult films, Mean Girls. He appeared in the US version of Dancing With The Stars, three months before he lost his father to brain cancer. He told the Toledo Blade newspaper: "This was his favorite show on television, and when he was sick in hospice the only show he wanted to watch was Dancing with the Stars because he said this show made him feel good. So I’m doing this performance not just for myself but for my father because I know how badly he loved the show and how thrilled he would be that I'm on it. I’m also doing this dance for my mother because she passed away a year before that and they both were huge fans of the show."

Jonathan Groff

Born: 26th March 1985

Best Known For: Looking and Frozen.

Came out in 2009 during the National Equality March in Washington.

Jonathan Groff came out as gay in 2009. He was rumoured to have dated Zachary Quinto from September 2012, until July 2013. He now stars in Looking, along with Russell Tovey and he recently leant his voice for the part of Kristoff Bjorgman in the Disney hit Frozen. He also starred in The Normal Heart.

Kieron Richardson

Born: 12th January 1986, Eccles, Greater Manchester, England, UK

Best Known For: Hollyoaks

Came out in 2010 September, during an interview with This Morning.

Kieron is best known for his role as Ste Hay in the Channel 4 television series Hollyoaks. In 2014 he will make history by playing the first gay character in a British soap to contract HIV, to highlight the growing issue of new HIV Infections in gay and bisexual men.

He also hosts a radio show on the World's largest gay radio station Gaydio.

Lance Bass

Born: 4th May 1979, Laurel, Mississippi, USA

Best Known For: NSYNC

Came out in 2006 for an interview with People Magazine.

Since leaving NSYNC Lance has become a force to be reckoned with, he is now a television producer, author, songwriter, and presenter. He came out as gay in 2006 during an interview with People magazine. He has appeared in a number of films including: Robot Chicken, Tropic Thunder and Zoolander.

Lucas Cruikshank

Born: 29th August 1993

Best Known For: YouTube Celebrity

Came out in 2013 on a video posted on YouTube.

Luke Macfarlane

Born: 19th January 1980, London, Ontario, Canada

Best Known For: Brothers and Sisters.

Came out in 2008 during an interview with The Globe And Mail

He currently plays the lead role of Jason Howell in the Canadian sitcom Satisfaction.

Matt Bomer

Born: 11th October 1977, Webster Groves, Greater St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Best Known For: Magic Mike

Came out in 2012 In a speech for his Steve Chase Humanitarian Award, thanking his husband and their children.

Emmy nominated actor, Matt made his television debut in Guilding Light in 2001. He starred alongside Jodie Foster in the 2005 thriller Flightplan. He is married to publicist Simon Halls and the pair have three children together.

Matt Dallas

Born: 21st October 1982, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Best Known For: Kyle XY

Came out in 2013, Via a tweet announcing his engagemnt to Blue Hamilton.

Matt Dallas is known for his no bellybutton character Kyle in Kyle XY.

Maulik Navin Pancholy

Born: 18th January 1974, Kissimmee, Florida, USA

Best Known For: Weeds, 30 Rock

Came out in 2013, in an interview with Out Magazine.

Michael Urie

Born: 8th August 1980

Best Known For: Ugly Betty

Came out in 2010 during an interview with The Advocate.

Michael Urie came to the public's attention with his fabulously camp character Marc in Ugly Betty. He has since become a playwright and touring actor.

Randy Harrison

Born: 2nd November 1977

Best Known For: Queer As Folk (US)

Randy played the part of Justin Taylor, a gay teen, in the hit US Queer As Folk television series. We're not quite sure how he's done it, but despite being nearly 40, he still looks like a teenager.

Ronnie Kroell

Born: 1st February 1983, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Best Known For: Make Me A Supermodel

Came out at the age of 15 after his mum found him kissing a boyfriend.

Russell Tovey
Russell Tovey

Born: 14th November 1981, Billericay, Essex, England, UK

Best Known For: The History Boys, Looking, Pride

Scott Evans

Born: 21st September 1983,

Best Known For: One Life To Love, Younger brother to Chris Evans.

Scott also starred in the campy comedy Confessions of a Shopaholic

Sean Maher

Born: 16th April 1975, Pleasantville, New York, USA

Best Known For: Firefly and Serenity

Came out in 2011

Simon Woods

Born: 1980

Best Known For: Pride & Prejudice, Cranford and Rome.

According to Wikipedia In 2009, he was reported to be in a relationship with Burberry designer Christopher Bailey. On 31 August 2012 it was reported that Woods and Bailey had become engaged[5], and they are married by 2014.

Tom Lenk

Born: 16th June 1976, Camarillo, California, USA

Best Known For: Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel

Troye Sivan

Born: 5th June 1995, Johannesburg, South Africa

Best Known For: Internet Celebrity, XMEN

Came out in 2010 via YouTube Video.

In 2014 Troye released his debut single Happy Little Pill.

Will Young

Born: 20th January 1979, Wokingham, Berkshire, England, UK

Best Known For: Pop Idol

Came out in 2002 after a tabloid newspaper was preparing to out him.

Probably one of the most successful artists to come away from a reality TV show, Pop Idol. He won against Gareth Gates. After his win, Will appeared in many films including the blockbuster Mrs. Hendersons Boys.

Zachary Quinto
Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto

Born: 2nd June 1977, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Best Known For: Heroes and Star Trek

Came out in October 2010 in New York Magazine.

Zachary Quinto is probably one of the most famous gay actors under 40 in Hollywood having secured the role of Spock in the Star Trek franchise of films. Before that he play Sylar in the paranormal television series Heroes.

By The Gay UK, Nov 23 2014 11:53AM

Are We Born Gay Or Is It A Choice? If It Is A Choice, Isn’t That Ok?

Credit: DavityDave Via Flickr
Credit: DavityDave Via Flickr

It’s an age old question that has been asked time and time again; is being gay a case of nature of nurture? Are we really born this way or do we choose to be gay? My personal belief is that we were born this way, baby, but I’ll accept people’s right to hold a different view.

Drawing on my own personal experience, I knew from around five years old that I was different to other boys. I didn’t know what gay was at that age, but I did know that I wanted to marry a man when I grew up.

On that basis I would say that for me it has definitely been a case a nature rather than nurture. I didn’t choose to be gay; it has always felt like a natural part of who I am. Anyway, if I had a choice about my sexuality I probably would have chosen to be heterosexual as life would have been a lot easier!

Something I’ve always found fascinating is when someone asks me when I became gay, as if I simply woke up one day and thought ‘yeah I feel a bit poofy today so I’m going to be gay’. Perhaps they really mean to ask about when I came out rather than when I became gay, or maybe the question should be about when I realised I am gay, but I tend to answer by asking them when they became straight.

In the past I have met men who say they are straight but choose to have sex with men. On one particular occasion I had a sexual encounter with one such man, who I didn’t know was married. As he was getting ready to leave he took his wedding ring out of his pocket, put it on his finger and bluntly told me that he “wasn’t like” me. It was around that time I started to think more about the question of whether sexuality is a choice.

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I don’t think we choose our sexuality. It’s a part of who we are as human beings. Some people are gay, some are straight, and some are bi. I also believe sexuality can be a spectrum rather than people fitting into set boxes, but I don’t believe sexuality to be a choice. I do however believe that we can choose whether to embrace our sexuality or not, and whether to live the lifestyle. For example, the married man I once had an encounter with was probably gay or bisexual, but was choosing to live a closeted life and have sexual encounters with men on the side.

I am gay but the only choice I have made regarding my sexuality is to embrace it and allow myself to be who I am. I know it’s not easy for everyone to do that and I’m all too aware of how difficult and confusing it can be when realising you are gay and deciding whether to tell people. I will also accept people’s right to believe that their sexuality is a choice. Just because I hold the view that I do, it doesn’t mean that I am right. Whatever your view is, the most important thing is that you feel able to embrace who you are and live happily as a gay person. That’s a choice we can all make.

by Daniel Browne

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Book Extracts: It's Okay To Be Gay

By The Gay UK, Nov 23 2014 10:31AM

Rarely does an artist evoke a reaction like the one Dolly receives. I told a number of people I was going to interview Dolly and young and old alike knew exactly who I was talking about. You see she’s an artist who transcends demographics, she’s loved by all and sundry. This is fact. Having recently finished a sell out World tour, headlined at Glastonbury and become one of just a handful of women to top 100 million world wide record sales, a number of journalists were invited to a press conference with the star, here is what we learnt. Dolly is an unstoppable, loveable and relatable force of nature and she’s one of the nicest ‘town tramps’ we know.

Your connection to the gay community is strong and undeniable, is there a song or album over the years that you’ve heard from your gay fans they particularly connect with?

Oh, I think a lot of my fans relate to different songs, a lot of them like Light Of A Blue Morning, it’s a very uplifting song, it’s really a song of overcoming different things, but I think they just relate to my songs just in general. Hopefully, I think, they relate to me more than any particular song, although, at some point, I would like to do a dance record and I have several songs that are targeted towards the gay community, like a fun little song called Just A Wee Bit Gay, it’s a great little dance tune. I do write a lot of songs along those lines for people that are different and unusual and for people that are, you know, just themselves.

I have a lot of those good positive uplifting songs and hopefully eventually I will get (them) out there.

Can you update us on Doggie Parton?

YESSS! ...We gotta call with the main people with the government and they told us that the true owners did come forward. They had reported the dog missing. It was a language barrier. I think they were from another country and they got the dog back. Everybody feels good about it. I do not get to take her home, I was looking forward to it. I was going to rename her Glassie because of Glastonbury. I was gonna say Glassie comes home, but they want her and they feel good about that and I have been very instrumental in making sure that the dog is taken care of all the way through. So now they have her back. She’s 15 years-old, they thought at one time she was seven, but she’s 15, so everyone’s happy that she’s back where she belongs. I’m a little sad, because I was looking forward to taking her home, but I’m glad she’s back where she belongs.

On your newest album Blue Smoke, Lay Your Hands On Me and Miss You Miss Me are great songs about strength and comfort, can you talk about the background of those and what you would say to kids who are feeling broken or rejected?

Lay Your Hands On Me, I just always loved that song and when I first heard it years ago it just sounded like a gospel song ‘cause I grew up in the church where people did, you know, lay hands on just to pray for the sick or just to make you feel better as a spiritual thing. So I just thought it’d make a good song to turn into a gospel song - just having a conversation with God. I asked Jon Bon Jovi and Richie if they’d reconsider reworking it and working it into a gospel tune and they were willing to do that and it’s actually one of my favourites and as far as the Miss You Miss Me track I actually had a niece who was going through a divorce and my little grand niece who was part of that whole divorce, was feeling like she didn’t quite understand why there were such problems between her Mum and her Dad and that’s what inspired that particular song. I just think that so many children get caught up in the divorce and children are left to be made to feel like they’ve done something wrong when two grown people, even if they can’t get along should be more considerate where the children are concerned.

You mentioned being disappointed about not being able to take Doggie Parton home with you, do you think you’ll get a new dog to adopt from the Happy Landing Shelter?

Well, no, I don’t believe we’re looking, I have a big responsibility at home. My heart went out to this particular dog, because of the way, it was like it was meant to be somehow. It was just so touching to me, that she got lost there at the festival where we were. I would definitely want to make sure when we all became aware, that this dog was lost and found. It just really broke our hearts, that someone could abandon it, but I’m not looking to adopt another dog. This one was the one I was definitely going to make sure she was okay, no matter what. I would have not been able to take her had they not found the owner, because she was not in great health. They thought it would have traumatised her. So I guess God knows what he’s doing. Everything is back in order and I’m thankful that everyone played their part and I was not going to drop the ball nor the dog... (laughs)

We heard that you shipped your buses from Australia to Europe for this tour, what prompted you to do that?

Well, because I love living on the bus. We’ve been on tour so many times through the years, I found that I just love living on the bus as opposed to going in and out of hotels. I can always keep all of my things on the bus so we have two buses running all the time on these tours. If we have to fly from point A to point B we have one of the buses, which are almost identical; that are stocked almost the same way, so it just gives me a feeling of being home all the time. I can scatter my stuff and I don’t have to carry all that luggage in and out of hotels. I’m just a gypsy this is my caravan (Laughs).

Is there a significant difference between overseas’ audiences and American audiences? Perhaps in the way they react or respond to certain songs?

Yeah, I think the main difference is in America they’re great, I mean I love all my audiences and they’re all wonderful. But in America they know they’re going to get to see you because you’re there all the time. The main difference is when we’re overseas, you don’t get to come that often and they really, really go out of their way to let you know how much they love you, how happy they are to see you and if they don’t see you again they remember that they appreciated you being there. So there’s an excitement that you can’t hardly describe. It's really just the time and the space I suppose. ‘I don’t know when I’ll see you again so let’s just make the absolute most of it’ and that’s how I respond to them. I try to give them everything I possibly can, incase I don’t get chance to come back for years and years or ever... But they’re a wonderful audience and we just love them all. Don’t take nothing from my American audience though... Them also!

How would you, Dolly Parton, get over a heartbreak?

Laughs... The way everybody else does. You have to let time heal all wounds. I’m one of those people - I wound easy, but I heal fast. I always thought that a broken heart is like a broken bone. I wrote about that in a song. It’s like a broken heart is like a broken wing, it must have its time to mend. It's like any other injury. Usually a terrible, terrible heart ache takes about a year to really heal, but some of us can heal a little faster. You just gotta look at it like an injury and just try to think positive, try to live above it, try to live beyond it. But you gotta wallow in that sorrow while it lasts - You can’t out run it, you got to roll with the sorrow too.

How have you sustained an abundant positive energy for almost five decades of your career?

I have a good attitude. I love my work. I think it’s important that people be busy, stay busy, try to be creative and I don’t think the years matter so much if you really make yourself busy. Of course you see yourself getting older, you notice little things as the years go by, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop. You just need to take care of those things as they come along. But keep a good attitude above everything else. I just keep myself creative and busy. I have good doctors - good makeup - and a good attitude and whatever it takes to keep myself looking better and better. That’s what I’m gonna try and do from now on...

You just performed Jolene at the Glastonbury Festival, 40 years after its release in 1974. How does it make you feel that this song is still so recognised?

Well, Jolene, a lot of people don’t realise is the song that is recorded more than any other song, by other artists throughout the world. I still enjoy singing it. It makes me feel great. I think it’s just so easy to sing. It’s got that bouncy little feeling. I think a lot of people relate to it. So I’m very proud of Jolene. I’m glad that people are still liking it.

Any future plans for touring after this summer? Working on any new music?

I’m gonna take off for a little while, I’m doing my life story as a musical. I’m also doing my life story as a movie, which also has a lot of music in it. I may possibly do some television, and some producing so I’ve got a lot of business stuff in mind, but I do not plan to do any more touring in the near future. We’ve done this world tour and we’re winding that up pretty soon, I’m sure as years go by we’ll be doing other things, but for now I’m gonna concentrate more on the business end of things and the creative stuff like the musical, the movies and the TV.

You talk about the movie business and you had a part in From Hollywood To Dollywood, but we’ve not seen you in a movie since Joyful Noise, is acting something you’re likely to get back into?

Well, only if I get good scripts. I’m not opposed to it. I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to do, but I do hope to do some more movies. I would like to do, as I mentioned, some TV things as well. Maybe some TV movies. If I get a great script for a movie, I'm certainly not opposed to do it. Always looking for a good script though!

We’d like to know how it felt to perform to a staggering 100,000 people at Glastonbury at this point in your career?
We’d like to know how it felt to perform to a staggering 100,000 people at Glastonbury at this point in your career?

Well, there were a lot of people there. It was a sea of people, but to me I enjoyed it. It didn’t scare me. I’ve worked in front of a lot of people before - and that was a lot of people, but to me I look at those fans, and I just love them all. There can be 100,000 or 10,000 and I’ll just play to them all the same... But looking out, I have to say, at Glastonbury, it was more people than I’ve ever seen at one time. We had a really good time. They seemed to enjoy it. Got a lot of great, positive press, I was really shocked and surprised we did as well as we did! I wasn’t expecting anything other than just to go out and do my show, but it’s turned into something really special and it makes me feel real good that they accepted me that well.

You’re about to go Platinum with your Cracker Barrel exclusive: An Evening With Dolly Parton, how does it feel to still be putting out a Platinum album?

Well, you know, anything good that happens to me I’m just grateful for it. I don’t care how old I get. Any little award I get or any kind of acknowledgement, the fact that people still love my music, and the fact that I still want to do it. I always said that I’d still be doing my music, even if I had to sell it out the top of my car... So it makes me feel good, and my relationship with Cracker Barrel has been great. We make a great team.

You said that the town tramp was a fashion inspiration for you, and you’ve been such a fashion icon for many people, what is it about the town tramp you like so much and are there any fashion icons today that you’re excited about?

Well, I actually love anything that glitters and shines. I love a lot of colour and close fitting clothes. I always say I buy my clothes two sizes too small and then I have them taken in... I just love my clothes to fit me good and that was the thing about the town tramp - she had a lot of colour, a lot of flare. She showed her legs, she showed her boobs, she showed her waist line, she had her nails, she had her hair all piled up, she was just really beautiful - and that’s the way I felt inside. I’m not a natural beauty, so I have to kinda paint n’ powder and put it all on, so that the way I dress kinda fits the way I feel. I’ve always been very comfortable with that, it honestly is the truth that I patented my look after that, because I was impressed. To me that was what beauty was. And that just fits my style. and I still love the flare and the gaud.

Did you ever keep in touch with the town tramp? Does she know how much she inspired you?

Oh absolutely not. I knew her name, but I would never ever ever use it. I didn’t know if her folks knew that she was the town tramp! I don’t even know if she knew she was the town tramp! That’s just the way everybody saw her, she probably wasn’t a tramp! She may have been very much like me, just somebody who wanted to be more...

They always say less is more, I always thought that was the biggest crock I ever heard. More is more, Less is less... (Laughs...) I want more!

What did you think about all that nonsense about whether you were miming or not at Glastonbury?

Oh you know what, every-time I go on tour I hear that. I just like people to come and watch what I do and then you tell me what you think... But they say that about every artist. I’m not getting into that. I’m there, I’m Dolly and I’m singing. Someone’s always gotta have something negative to say, so I just roll with the punches.

You’ve been crossing over into pop for decades. How do you straddle the country music image where the media portrays them as this kind of conservative, right wing, anti-Obama, anti-abortion... Verses liberal left-wing Hollywood - how do you straddle that line and how do you suggest other artists to do the same?

Well, I don’t usually get into any of the political stuff, I’ve been Dolly all the way through, people know who I am. They know that I’m very open and loving of all people. Accepting of all things. I’m an American girl, I’ve got the freedom to do whatever, and I’ve always been blessed with that. So I just write my songs, I just do my thing and say what I say and either people accept it or don’t. I’ve been around so long people just kinda think of me as a family member and I think they know I’m not out to do any harm, nor to get too political on anything. I’m just a living human being, trying to do the best I can.

This interview was taken from our fifth issue available from iTunes and Android.

Dolly’s new album Blue Smoke is out now.

By The Gay UK, Nov 23 2014 10:10AM

Writer Chris Jones first came across this artist on Facebook, he was a friend of a friend on there and the posts sparked his curiosity. This guy survived on what we’d call pound store food and lived to write a best selling book on the subject - being a starving artist suddenly takes on a new aspect.

Credit: Julien Vallette
Credit: Julien Vallette

What I’ve liked about Jonathan's career is that he has pushed and continues to push boundaries, whatever they are, wherever they are.

I managed to catchup with this hirsute Canadian recently to chat about the past, the present and the future:

CJ: How would you describe what you do? Whats your “job description”? Your work seems to cover so many areas - it’d be interesting to see how you describe yourself?

JL: Oh God. This is only the first question. And I have no idea what to answer. Well, okay. Breathe, Jonathan. How do I describe myself? An artist, for sure. Visual artist, to be more precise. Visual because I work with images. I started out as a video artist. Then added photography to my practice. Performance art. Painting. And finally, writing. Come to think of it, I am a multi-disciplinary artist. Which means that although I have an undying love for video, I'll use whatever medium is necessary to better express my emotion or idea.

Although I define myself as an artist first and foremost, it's still my second job. My sideline, for now. Because I sadly can't live off my art. The good news is that my daily job is related somewhat to my passion. I work as a content researcher for a music television channel. It's like the equivalent of MTV. But French-Canadian. I work there forty hours a week. And make art at night and during the weekend. I've actually been working in TV for ten years now. Before I did a bachelors in Fin Arts, I did a Bachelors in Communications.

CJ: You’ve written books, produced thought provoking artworks in every conceivable medium, created films - whats your favourite area to work in?

JL: I always say that my favourite medium is video. I just love developing an idea. Shooting it. Editing it. And making something that will make people emote. That said, even since I signed my first book deal, I've been developing a passion for writing. I mean, I've always done a lot of it. At work, for example, I am the person in charge of writing the voice overs for the show I'm working on. I wrote all the screenplays to my videos. So when I did write the cookbook, it all came out naturally. In a week. It was then that I discovered that not only did I like writing, but it was natural for me. Almost necessary. That's why I decided recently to start writing erotic short stories.

CJ: Describe your artwork? What drives you and inspires you?

JL: I’m not sure how I would describe my artwork. I'd need to ask others. To see what they think of it. How they view it. It's also difficult for me to put all my artwork together in the same category. My video work is more personal. It explores part of my identity. And deconstructs it with archives of my childhood. Trying to understand how I became the person that I am today. How my scars make me who I am.

So I guess what originally inspired me in making art was trying to understand myself better. I thought, and still think, that in doing so, I would understand the world around me a bit better. I started out doing work about my identity. Being gay. I used video art to try and understand when it was that my father stopped loving me. That my identity became something that disgusted him. I used performance art to materialise all those moments where I was tormented at school. Where I was the victim of intimidation. And in reliving those situations, I would try to take back the power that was stolen from me.

When it comes to painting, and the same goes for the t-shirt, tote bags and buttons I create, it's just about shape, colour, design. I don't paint as much as I would like. Because I don't have a studio. And I live in one. So when I paint it's because I got a specific commission from one of my clients. They told me what they want, and I paint according to that. I don't have as much space for being creative. But it doesn't matter. It makes me relax. I don't have to think about that message or this message. I just paint.

Recently I've been very much inspired by sex. That's why I started writing erotic short stories. I am also doing a Polaroid series on the communality of sexuality and the desexualization of the erection. I find sex so fascinating. And complex. It's part of who I am. Of all of us.

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CJ: I first found out about you via your Dollar Store book “Surviving with a Handful of Change” - describe the process behind this. Why did you write it? Any plans for a follow up? Any plans for a UK release?

JL: A few years ago, I went back to school. I had been working in TV for a couple of years. Doing crazy hours. And I felt that I lost myself. I lost my creativity. So I decided to do another bachelors degree. This time, in Fine Art. During that time, I was on a Loans and Bursary program. Living alone in an apartment. Working a few hours a week at the University art gallery. Making almost minimum wage. I was poor. Dirt poor. So poor that I didn't have a choice but to eat Dollar Store food. Because I didn't want to eat stuff right out of the can, I decided to think back to all the recipes I did with my mom and grandmom. And make them with cheaper food. I of course had to replace eggs, milk, cheese, butter because there are no refrigerated aisles at those stores.

Jonathan Lemiuex
Jonathan Lemiuex

Anyways, so I compiled all my recipes. One day, I was talking to a friend of mine. Saying that I wanted to self-publish a cookbook describing my experience. He put me in contact with his friend that worked at a publishing house. They got interested right away. And the rest is history. I was lucky enough for the Quebec media to be overly interested in the book. And was also lucky enough to have an interview with the Canadian Press. Which then got me coverage all over Canada and a bit in the states. Which is who you heard of my book. Because I did an interview on a Toronto morning show.

I don't think there will be a follow up. If there is one, it won't be a cookbook. It will be something different. Sadly, there won't be any UK release. The book was never translated in English, for starters. That's something that baffles me after all the press that I got. And even if it had been translated, you guys in the UK have different dollar store that us. Come to think of it, do you even have a one pound store in the UK?

CJ: Your IMDB page lists the films you’ve been involved with, any plans for more, and if so, what can you tell us about them?

JL: At this moment, (RE)TRACE, my second to last video, is being presented at Image + Nation, Montreal's LGBT Film Festival which is also Canada's oldest LGBT Film Festival. It's also in competition at the Face à Face Film Festival in Saint-Étienne, France. It was actually shown at the BFI in London at the beginning of the year. I was very happy about that. Mostly because I love UK.

The last video I created is called Moratory. It was just accepted into distribution at Vidéographe, my Montreal distributer that now has four of my videos. I also have two videos distributed by Vtape in Toronto.

Both of these videos centre around my childhood and the relation with my father, and are illustrated with video archives of me and my family.

I have no idea what will be my next video. Interestingly, in Moratory, in the end, I say that I have no idea what will be the subject of my next video. I still don't. I'm putting a hold on that medium for the moment.

Jonathan Lemiuex
Jonathan Lemiuex

CJ: You seem to travel a lot, how enjoyable do you find this? Any favourite countries?

JL: I’ve been traveling a lot this past year. The reason for that is that my boyfriend is French. So I went to see his family. I also have a lot of friends in Europe. And I got invited to a wedding in San Francisco.

I love traveling. It's one of my favourite things. Even if I hate going through customs and being searched like a terrorist because of my beard. I'd enjoy it more if the agents were sexy. And wore tight pants revealing big... Sorry, I digress.

I haven't seen every country in the world. Evidently. But as of today, I would have to day that my favourite countries are Australia, Switzerland and UK. And I'm not saying this because this is a UK magazine. I just love your country. People are always nice to me. The food is great. And the accent is so hot it makes me weak in the knees. I love everything about it. And I always enjoy myself. I've been to Manchester and loved it. Been to Bath, beautiful. And London. London is my second home. I adore it. I came to London in 2003 for two months. By myself. And I had a blast. London was the place where I came out. I owe a lot to that trip. Changed my life.

Credit: Adrian Lourie For Meat Magazine
Credit: Adrian Lourie For Meat Magazine

CJ: You have a high social media profile - is this an enjoyable part of your work?

JL: I try to be as present as I can on social media. Without being there too much.

I like social media because I can share news with friends and acquaintances from around the world. It's also a great platform for me to sell my art. I Sold around eighty t-shirts and hundred bags on Facebook and Instagram. Which helped finance part of my artist residency in New York last fall.

I do enjoy that part of my work. I've always liked the marketing part of the art work. But one aways needs to be careful. There is a lot of negativity and stupidness on those platforms.

For now, it's a great way for me to show my work. Because my website is crap and haven't been updated in years. It's on my to-do list.

CJ: What other projects are you working on? What can your Youtube and Facebook fans look forward to next?

JL: I haven't been active on Youtube and Vimeo for a while. Mostly because I can't show my work on the web if it's being shown in festivals.

At the moment, I am writing my first novel in french. Hopefully, if/when it gets picked up, it can be translated in english. I am also thinking about my third erotic short story (as the second just came out). I'd love to write a dozen of them and publish a collection on Amazon.

And like I mentioned before, I am currently working on two Polaroid projects that revolves around sexuality.

I always have a thousand project in the works. Might be that by the time this article is published, I will be developing other projects.

by Chris Jones

Catch Jonathan on the following sites:


Instagram: johnnimagni


Jonathan’s bookshop:

Web feed



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