Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

Ask A Gay Man

April 14, 2007

William Sledd isn’t your average YouTube star. His posts are funny, but he’s not an aspiring comedian. He’s not a stripper, although he has put up video of himself dancing in American Apparel underwear. And he’s not an editing nerd, re-cutting scary movies into slapstick comedies. He’s a gay 23-year-old manager at the Gap in Paducah, Ky., and he is YouTube’s resident fashion advisor.
His video blog, “Ask a Gay Man: Fashion Edition,” has become the fourth-most subscribed-to blog on YouTube.
“I mean, pretty much ever since I was growing up I was interested in fashion,” Sledd said by telephone from his home. “And it’s not like designer couture that I’m obsessed with. It’s more about people dressing correctly. It just really bothers me when people look like crap.”
He invites viewers to e-mail him fashion questions like “What colors can I wear with black if I have fair skin?” and “How do I tell my friend to stop wearing overalls?”
Sledd has a baby face and a stylish sideswept haircut (he once filmed himself getting highlights). His style leans toward preppy, and he’s not afraid to rock a pink dress shirt or polo shirt on occasion. In his almost weekly posts he instructs his 45,000 subscribers and millions of viewers on the perils of high-waisted mom jeans and carpenter pants for men who aren’t carpenters and the glory of Chanel black nail polish and V-neck sweaters for guys. He loathes Crocs (those clunky plastic clogs that come in neon colors) and loved houndstooth for last fall. He’s anti-leggings (unless you somehow have the fashion smarts to pull them off) and pro-man bag.
Sledd started video blogging six months ago after watching a lonelygirl15 video.
“I saw hers and I was like, ‘I could so do that,’ ” he said. It also helped that he had recently purchased an iMac with a video camera built in. “That iMac changed my life.”
Since September, Sledd has posted 34 videos to YouTube, gradually picking up subscribers. He became an official YouTube celebrity in November when the site featured his eighth video on its homepage. That installment, “Ask a Gay Man: Denim Edition,” has been watched more than 2 million times and quickly pushed Sledd’s subscribers into the tens of thousands.
Like the “Queer Eye” guys or Jay Manuel from “America’s Next Top Model,” Sledd’s persona is playfully catty and a little bossy. And like all great YouTubers, his videos seem off the cuff, but they actually require thought and work. The “Denim Edition” video is just 4 1/2 minutes long, but it took Sledd four hours to shoot and edit it.
“I try to spend a lot of time editing,” he said. “Now with all the subscribers it’s a lot of pressure, but I try to make good videos. I look at it as something for the greater good.”
Now Sledd is preparing to move from Internet superstardom to the real thing. He’s already met with people from the recently “Queer Eye”-less Bravo a few times and has more meetings planned.
“It was totally nuts,” he said. “Now I’m sitting in meetings with the vice president of Bravo while everybody talks about me in third person. They have a lot of great ideas, but everything is still in development, and it’s hard to know what the final product will be.”
Sledd doesn’t have an agent but has signed a contract with NBC.
“There is a ton of interest for him,” a spokesperson for the company said. “We receive a lot of publicity calls, and a lot of people want to talk to him. He’s really sparked a lot of interest nationally.”
In the meantime, “Ask a Gay Man: Fashion Edition” was recently nominated for best series in the first YouTube awards. It lost to the comedy series “Ask a Ninja,” but before the results were in Sledd made a video critiquing his fellow nominees’ style.
“Simple question: What’s up with all the black?” asked Sledd, while reviewing “Ask A Ninja’s” wardrobe. “It’s so drab. If I was a ninja…. ” The clip jump-cut to Sledd with a pink sheet over his head.
“I don’t think there are enough pink ninjas in the world,” he said.
from The Los Angeles Times

Ask A Gay Man

Gay ‘Outings’ Sign Of Gossip Culture

November 16, 2006

GayWhen the comedian Bill Maher went on “Larry King Live” and alleged that some top Republican operatives were gay, it was too much detail for CNN, which edited the remarks out of later broadcasts and off the transcript on its Web site.
But the remarks couldn’t be edited out of cyberspace, where they remain available, along with virtually everything else these days.
Maher’s comments last week, and a series of recent coming-out announcements by Hollywood figures responding to persistent rumors, show just how much the Internet has changed the rumor mill, and consequently the process of “outing” celebrities.
Where anti-gay sentiment used to fuel these revelations, these days they are more likely to be merely a byproduct of a voracious Web-based gossip culture where no part of a celebrity’s life is off limits – or, in the case of politicians, an attempt by one side or the other to score political points.
Either way, the information, true or not, is out there for everyone to see.
“The reality is that the kinds of gossip and celebrity rumors that used to spread by phone, around the water cooler or over dinner are now ending up online where anyone can see them,” says Glennda Testone, senior director of media programs for GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “It doesn’t mean that they’re more credible, just that more people can see and spread them.”
In the recent political case, Maher was arguing that a number of “people who run the underpinnings of the Republican Party” are gay, even though they don’t support pro-gay positions. He said he wasn’t going to name names, but then began to.
Despite CNN’s actions to remove the remarks from circulation, several versions were available – including on Youtube.com, the repository of all events in our culture.
Many major gay rights groups oppose outing, saying it’s a personal choice and should remain so. But there is a difference of opinion when it comes to the idea of outing political figures perceived as harming gay interests.
“When someone is in a position of power and they are using that power to hurt gay people … it’s perfectly appropriate that they be outed,” says Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “We don’t do it, but we have no problem with it.”
Foreman notes that the type of “outing” happening these days shows, in one way, that social progress has been made. “The stigma around being gay is gradually diminishing,” he says. “At one point it was a huge scandal to say someone was gay.” Now, he says, what fuels “outings” is something else: “It’s not, ‘This person’s gay.’ It’s, ‘This person’s gay and can you believe what they’re doing with their power?'”
Or, in the case of the entertainment world, merely a prurient interest in every aspect of a celebrity’s life, from where they get their coffee to the results of their pregnancy tests to what baby clothes their kids are wearing.
“I don’t think it comes as a surprise to see gossipmongers speculating about celebrities’ sexual orientations,” says Testone, “particularly when there’s little about celebrities’ private lives that these folks don’t gossip and speculate about.” She adds that truth is often a casualty: “When it comes to some of these Web sites that thrive on celebrity gossip, the rumor is often all that’s needed.”
Rumors are what prompted three recent Hollywood figures to come out publicly, all to People magazine. The most recent was Neil Patrick Harris, the former title character of “Doogie Howser, M.D.” and now starring on the CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother.” Earlier this month he told People’s Web site he was gay, saying he was responding to “speculation and interest in my private life and relationships.”
A few weeks earlier it was “Grey’s Anatomy” actor T.R. Knight, who said he was addressing “any unnecessary rumors that might be out there.” Knight made it clear he would have preferred to keep his personal life private, and added he hoped “the fact that I’m gay isn’t the most interesting part of me.”
And before that it was Lance Bass, the former ‘N Sync star, telling People he’d decided to “speak my mind” because rumors about his sexuality were starting to affect his daily life.
While gay groups applaud anyone’s decision to come out, they are critical of the pressure on them by purveyors of gossip to do so.
“Celebrity outing can be very problematic,” says Damon Romine, entertainment media director of GLAAD. “While this kind of gossip and speculation about a celebrity’s orientation might lead some people to come out of the closet, it may drive others even further in.”
“Ultimately,” he added, “coming out is a personal process, one that ideally happens when celebrities make the decision not out of fear or intimidation but because they want the fuller, richer life that that openness provides.”
from The Mercury News

"Ask A Gay Man" On You Tube

November 15, 2006


Garibaldi Gay