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Way back in August of 1995, I was asked by one of my best friends to write a column for the gay paper he worked at.  Although I was doing stand-up at the time, my act was filled with celebrity gossip, so I banged out a column quickly and swore it was a one-shot deal…

hollyban good“Billy shows much enthusiasm but is lacking in some areas of writing skill.  He completes his written assignment very quickly and should be encouraged to take more time to strive for neatness and better penmanship.” – The assessment from my 10th grade Honors English teacher.  True to form, throughout the 18 years of writing this column, I’ve never missed a deadline.  My handwriting is still messy, but all I do is type.  And unlike the kids today, I can read and write in cursive.

Way back in August of 1995, I was asked by one of my best friends to write a column for the gay hollywood strippaper he worked at.  Although I was doing stand-up at the time, my act was filled with celebrity gossip, so I banged out a column quickly and swore it was a one-shot deal.  Three columns later, I got a call from another gay paper asking if they could pick up the syndication rights.  And that, dear reader, is how the Billy Masters empire was born.

But, I know you don’t care about ancient history.  You want new stories.  And yet the big story these days is old news to my faithful readers – Wentworth Miller coming out of the closet.  Up until now, he’s always denied being gay – most blatantly in this quote: “I’m not gay, but that rumor can’t be killed.  I’d like to have a girlfriend and family.  But I haven’t met the right one yet.”  And I’d like to sleep with Brad Pitt, but he hasn’t knocked on my door yet!  I believe Went made this quote around the time he was squiring Luke MacFarlane all over Hollywood…but that’s another story.  The point is, he’s out now.  And he did it to make a statement.  He was invited to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in Russia, and here is how he responded:  “As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes.  However, as a gay man, I must decline.  I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government”.  Well, I certainly didn’t know that he’s got some Russian in him – among other ethnicities, I’m sure.  Another article referred to him as a “British actor”.  Turns out he was born to American citizens and didn’t move to the States until he was a year old.  Lord knows what other revelations are coming.

Russia’s anti-gay legislation has also sparked much discussion about the upcoming 2014 Olympics in Sochi.  While bans and demonstrations are being considered, skater Johnny Weir has a completely different approach.  He not only plans to attend and compete, he plans to be as flamboyant as ever.  “If it takes me getting arrested for people to pay attention and for people to lobby against this law, then I’m willing to take it.”  I’m sure Weir’s willingness to “take it” will not come as a surprise to many.

An interesting conversation was captured between WWE wrestler Darren Young and a cameraman from TMZ.  The “reporter” (and I use that term loosely) asked if he thought a wrestler could come out as gay and still be successful.  Young smiled and answered, “Absolutely – look at me.  I’m a WWE superstar and, to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now – I’m gay and I’m happy….very happy.”  That says it all – he’s Young, gay, and happy!

Ever since ex-porn star Nick Gruber returned to New York, he’s been plagued with drama.  Not that having Calvin Klein as your ex (or current) beau would lend itself to a drama-free life, but this is really getting ridiculous.  The latest incident happened at the très chic “Ascension” party on Fire Island.  Apparently Nick was with some friends and “somehow” stumbled into the private tent of entre-porn-eur Michael Lucas, who is also no shrinking violet in the drama department (but he’s so smart and sexy, I accept it).  According to witnesses, Nick was pushing people away from him saying, “Keep your hands away from me.  I’m straight!”  Lucas went over to him and asked why he was being so rude.  Nick replied, “I am straight and I don’t want any gay people to touch me.” Lucas took that as a cue to have him ejected.  Nick pulled the old “don’t you know who I am” routine.  Lucas, rolling his eyes (and, surely, pursing his lips), said, “I don’t know, and I don’t even want to know who you think you are.”  Within moments, security arrived and literally dragged Gruber out of the party at such speed that his feet never touched the ground.  E-mails subsequently exchanged between the two have made their way online, and I’m sure you can find them easily…if you’re that interested.  While you’re online, you should also check out Nick’s body of work and the recent riveting interview he gave our bon ami Michael Musto.  They’re all on BillyMasters.com.

Our “Ask Billy” question also tackles one of our old favorites.  Henry in Dallas asks: “I heard that Simon Rex is making a comeback.  Doing what?”

Simon – and his sizeable appendage – is being used to hawk mascara!!  The commercial for Benefit Cosmetics has women ogling men with large bulges, and when they unzip (or, in Simon’s case, lower his Speedo), out pops a tube of mascara.  Although he’s clearly trading on his gay porn past (while channeling his “Dirt Nasty” rapper persona), it’s nice to know he’s working – and looking so good, as you’ll see on BillyMasters.com.

When mascara really does plump and lengthen, it’s time for me to go shopping and end yet another column.  While I hate being abrupt, I must wrap up not only this column but also another year.  So let me quickly remind you, as I have every week for the past 18 years, that you can keep up with my comings and going at www.BillyMasters.com, the site that’s got nothing to hide.  If you’ve got a question, send it Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before my next anniversary.  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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