TV

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Atlanta’s “Top Designer” takes on a new challenge, and helps you spruce up your home

Atlanta's Big Daddy of design Kerry Howard

Atlanta’s “Big Daddy” of design is bursting out of the local scene and returning to television as part of a new design show on HGTV.

Kerry “Big Daddy” Howard first came to the attention of the design world in 2008 as part of the second season of Bravo’s short-lived “Top Design” competition reality show. At the time he was living in Cumming, Ga., and struggling to establish his company. He survived in part by doing small budget jobs, often acting as the “gay best friend” for women redecorating their homes. But things have changed.

“We have come a long way,” Howard says with a smile.

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From Chaz to ‘Glee’ to ‘Modern Family,’ fall TV packed with LGBT

While gay and lesbian characters are increasingly visible on TV, the biggest news of upcoming fall fare is the rare addition of a transgender person — a household name, to boot — on one of the most mainstream programs of them all.

Chaz Bono competes in the new season of “Dancing With the Stars,” airing Mondays and Tuesdays starting Sept. 19 on ABC. Bono was known to millions as Chastity before undergoing surgery to become a man.

Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment media for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, says the inclusion of Bono is a tremendous step forward, especially since there tend to be few transgender characters on the tube.

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Lesbian sex gets the K-Y treatment

Well, well, well.

We've all been seeing those cute K-Y Brand Intense commercials with a man and a woman together sitting on a bed proclaiming how the lubricant makes the Big O so much more, ah, intense.

Now K-Y is going after a demographic that will definitely enjoy the attention.

A new ad featured on Shewired.com shows two women — actual lesbians, or actors portraying lesbians — talking about what makes their relationship work.

Communication, says one.

And this new K-Y Intense, the other says.

Absolutely.

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Change.org petition aims to out Bert and Ernie

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie

Some 1,200 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling for PBS and the makers of children's show “Sesame Street” to let perennial roommates Bert and Ernie marry. The petition, created by Lair Scott, was posted two days ago. A Facebook page created for the cause has 400 fans.

The petition reads:

In this horrific age of LGBT kids taking their own lives, they need to know that they ARE BEAUTIFUL and their lives are worth living. Aside from those that are committing suicide, the bullies that facilitate these tragedies need to learn that homophobia is NOT okay. They need to know that acceptance of their fellow human beings would indeed plant a seed of peace that will reverberate throughout the world. We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful. Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives.

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Gay parallels to ‘Sister Wives’ family’s challenge of Utah bigamy law?

Brown family sues Utah over bigamy laws

Gay marriage opponents have long used the ridiculous argument that allowing gay marriage opens up the legal system to all kinds of marriages — including polygamous marriages in which one man is married to several women.

Today marks a strange twist in that logic as the lawyer for Kody Brown and his four wives, stars of TLC's polygamy reality series “Sister Wives,” announced that the Browns plans to sue the state of Utah over its bigamy law, which goes beyond criminalizing multiple marriage licenses and actually prohibits married people from purporting to marry another person, or live with another person in a marriage-like way.

Here's how the ALCU sums it up:

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A peek into Atlanta’s lesbian life may be headed to Oxygen

Traxx Girls to get reality tv show?

DJ M is a prominent nightlife promoter in Atlanta’s lesbian scene. Her Traxx Girls parties typically attract hundreds if not thousands of women who love women to see the likes of Fantasia, Amber Rose, the Real Housewives of Atlanta and, at the 2010 Atlanta Black Gay Pride celebration, Nicki Minaj, who rocked the house and happily autographed many women’s breasts.

It’s at these parties where friends Deborah, who once dated R&B star Omarion; Suga, one of Atlanta’s top exotic dancers at Kamal’s 21 Adult Emporium; Lisa Cunningham, a video producer who does work for Traxx Girls as well as her own projects including music videos; Jaimee Balenciaga of the renowned Balenciaga ball family; and the renowned Glenn Twins, models and aspiring actresses, come together for socializing — and perhaps some intense exchanges that make for great TV.

At least that’s what the women hope. For about five years, they have been filming their exploits and shopping the show — named “My Secret Society” — to networks.

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Meeting Margaret Cho: Diva inspires gay man’s cancer fight

Margaret Cho and Bryan Raybon

Those who doubt that laughter is the best medicine probably haven’t met Bryan Raybon.

My good friend, 32, who this past February was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, is assistant clinical director for Atlanta-based Positive Impact — and an otherwise vital young man.

Bryan’s illness surfaced innocuously enough late last year, when he began a new workout regimen with a trainer. Ensuing fatigue, nausea and a small bump in his groin area were initially diagnosed as a hernia.

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TLC’s ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ pageant prince brings me back to my childhood

Brock Ritter web story Toddlers and Tiaras

Channel surfing at home the other night, I convinced my friends to turn from Nancy Grace's Tot Mom marathon for a brief visit with the families of TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras."

Truth be told, I love the show, and I've been known to host my own private Netflix marathons of crazy moms and Red-Bulled pageant preschoolers prancing around on stage between temper tantrums.

The other night, though, something special happened when we met Brock Ritter, a spritely 7-year-old boy who, according to his loving mother, had shown interest in pageants since he was two.

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TLC’s spinoff series ‘Say Yes To the Dress: Bridesmaids’ decks out a lesbian wedding in Atlanta

TLC's

When I ask Yolanda Mahoney how she met her fiancée, she asks if I want the long version or the short one. I tell her to give me the version she tells at parties. The story begins with her previous relationship of four years, which ended on her birthday.

“Which was really bad timing,” says Mahoney. “But it needed to happen, we both knew it. So I was just taking some time to myself after that, and I’m out at this WNBA game, and I meet this softball player who invites me to go to her championship game, but it’s on a Sunday at seven in the morning…”

“Wait,” I interrupt. “This story involves the WNBA and lesbian softball players?”

“Yes,” she replies. “Why?”

“No, go on. This may be the most lesbian story ever told.”

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‘The Daily Show’ takes on fake lesbian bloggers

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Last night's “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” took on the recent controversy of two straight men posing as lesbian bloggers. If you haven't heard anything about it, our Dyana Bagby has a fantastic take on the story.

“The Daily Show” has covered LGBT issues extensively recently, even creating a new, and apparently regular, segment called “We're here. We're queer. Get Newsed to it” to house its LGBT coverage.

Stewart also highlights the ongoing battle in New York state over marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Check out the segment below: