Arts & Entertainment
3 min

Pop culture roundup: Chaz Bono, Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, Madonna

DISCO SUCKS REDUX. Seems some people can't take camp from an out 'mo.

Chaz Bono is in the midst of a two-part intensive interview with Entertainment Tonight regarding his decision to transition (which he publicly announced back in June 2009).

“I believe that gender is something between your ears not between your legs,” Chaz tells ET. “It was just a long process of being comfortable enough to do something about it. I was turning 40 and I thought it’s now or never. I want to still feel vibrant and be able to enjoy my life in a male body and not wait until I am an old man.”

Regarding his move to engage the public during his process, Chaz explains, “[I’m] trying to use my life experience to educate people. I feel more like myself more than I ever felt. I feel happier and more confident. I used to live most of my life in my head because I was so uncomfortable in my body. The most important thing about this for me is that my outsides are finally starting to match my insides.”

Chaz, who has already penned two memoirs (1998’s Family Outing and 2002’s The End of Innocence), recently received a whopping six-figures from Dutton for another tell-all. The autobiography should hit shelves in 2011.

American Idol alum Adam Lambert just released the cover of his much-anticipated debut album, For Your Entertainment (scheduled to drop Mon, Nov 23). The image, a slickly styled glam-rock self-portrait, has drawn fire from the straight and narrow.

Says Mark Lorenz from Manolith.com (an online “men’s lifestyle” rag): “If the album cover is any indication, the album comes with a unicorn you can ride on and glitter you can sprinkle from the rooftops.” It’s as if, Lorenz scoffs, “David Bowie had sex with a Photoshop retoucher… who then had sex with the cover of a Poison album.”

Over at Pophangover.com under the headline “Is Adam Lambert’s CD Cover Art the Ugliest of All Time?” Jillian Madison writes, “In a word: Yes. ‘For Your Entertainment?’ You can say that again. He looks like a cheap intergalactic hooker. Do you think they Photoshopped his skin enough? And does Debbie Gibson know he stole her old glove from the ‘Foolish Beat’ video?”

Thankfully, Lambert, is unfazed. As he notes on Twitter, “Thank you to those who appreciate and understand that the album cover is deliberately campy. It’s an homage to the past. It IS ridiculous.” He continues: “For those that don’t get it: Oh, well… glad to have gotten your attention.” He ends with, “Androgyny. Rock ’n’ roll.”

In other news, Academy and Writers Guild of America award-winning homo writer Dustin Lance Black — of Milk, Pedro and Big Love fame — was recently barred from participating in a sexuality roundtable discussion at Michigan’s Hope College. As campus newspaper, The Anchor, reports, Hope College released the following reasoning: “Black’s advocacy would be too strong for the campus,” and “Black would ‘polarize’ the campus.” Also rumoured to be at stake? Donor funding.

In an interview with local paper, the Holland Sentinel, Richard Frost, dean of students, further defends the quashed invitation: “From past experience, strongly-opinionated speakers usually don’t further academic discussions about gay, lesbian or transgender issues.” Huh? Frost continues: “We are willing to do these things, but for the college to do this, we have to be sure it’s educational.” Last time I checked, critical thinking was educational.

Hope, however, has approved Black as a guest speaker in a college screenwriting class. Says Frost: “They have a class that deals with screenwriting, and so there’s a natural tie in what [Black] would talk about in terms of the process. That would be an appropriate thing to talk about.”

Students are livid. “The administration is censoring academic discussion of one of the great social issues of our time,” one wrote to Queerty.com. “Sounds like the dark ages to me.”

Lastly, Lady Gaga recently engaged in some airtime with Elvis Duran and his NY-based Z100FM morning show. The pop princess, who dished on her experiences with Madonna, Kanye, Beyoncé and Yoko, had this to say about her active mobilization around queer rights: “I know what I’m talking about. All my friends are gay. It’s never wrong to love.”

On Nov 23 Gaga drops her latest, The Fame Monster, a re-release of The Fame plus eight new tracks, one of which features Beyoncé. Additionally, The Fame Monster comes with some ego-induced swag, including a lock of Gaga’s hair.