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End Times Update 5/22: John Mulaney, Billy Porter, and UFOs

One clone's perspective on pop culture.

Each week one of Popdust's disposable clones — grown in a vault deep beneath the Mojave desert — is exposed to the outside world through a relentless feed of news, pop culture, and social media.

The arduous process accelerates their dissolution back into an amorphous clone slurry. But before they go, they leave behind a document of what they've absorbed and what they've learned — a time capsule preserving a single moment in the slow-motion collapse of civilization. We call these, End Times Updates...

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Evan Peters as Dahmer

Once again, Evan Peters is slated to make millions of people question their attraction to a serial killer.

The angsty teens who loved Peters as emo ghost Tate Langdon in Season 1 of American Horror Story are now adults, and 34-year-old Peters is taking on a new role as Jeffrey Dahmer. Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan will collaborate on the show, which is slated to be a 10-episode Netflix series called Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

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CULTURE

Dwyane Wade Opens Up About Parenting a Transgender Child

The NBA star visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show to share his experience raising a teen in the LGBTQ+ community.

Dwyane Wade might be best known for his work on the court, but he's also gaining popularity for being a stellar ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

The NBA star caused a buzz late last year when he began referring to his 12-year-old child with she/her pronouns. During a recent visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote his new ESPN documentary, Wade spoke further about his experience as the father of a transgender teen.

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"Me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we're proud allies as well," Wade explained. "We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously, so when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it's our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can."

Wade explained that when his child—who was assigned male at birth and originally named Zion—decided to go by Zaya and use she/her pronouns, he and Union wanted to do everything they could to educate themselves on transgender identities and gender fluidity. He said Union reached out to the cast of Pose, the FX show that focuses on LGBTQA POC in New York City. "We're just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self," Wade added.

By speaking publicly about Zaya's identity and the experience of parenting a trans child, Wade and Union serve as heartwarming examples of genuine unconditional love. Last year, the American Medical Association referred to violence against transgender people as an "epidemic"; especially in the current climate instilled by an often anti-trans administration. It's worth noting that black trans women are killed at especially alarming rates. Parenting queer and trans children might be confusing and require some adjusting, but Wade is showing the world the difference that a loving heart and s willingness to learn can make.

CULTURE

Vulture Dehumanizes Drag Queens with Random Ranking

Unfortunately, New York Magazine overlooked the depth of those underneath the makeup, even dwindling some down to a footnote.

Bianca Del Rio giving some much needed side-eye.

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When New York Magazine began releasing photos of international drag sensations, many fans were excited to read profiles on the artistic geniuses.

Unfortunately, Vulture's coverage reminded many that a RuPaul's Drag Race bubble exists and not everyone respects the Queens for the artists they are. Instead of treating the magazine's cover stars like those prior, the publication ranked the performers, classifying them as either Top Tier or Bottom Tier. The reductive representation offered no further insight on the fascinating queens—who they are beyond surface level accomplishments or individual placements on the show. While Drag Race is a launchpad for hundreds of queens, Vulture failed to appreciate the profundity of the new generation of Instagram and reality TV celebrities.

The lives of drag performers tend to be disregarded, with fans favoring the spectacle and on-stage characters. This is a reminder that queens embody a type of expression that both embraces and rejects gender to cultivate a new narrative and understanding of personhood. Drag culture is a celebration of self and the ability we have to truly be ourselves. Unfortunately, Vulture overlooked the depth of those underneath the makeup, even dwindling some down to a dehumanizing footnote.

Queens photographed for the publication reacted swiftly, taking to Twitter to criticize the written content and the photos' lighting.

Although Martin Schoeller is known for his up close, unedited style, the article did not match the quality of the photos. Willam Belli (of Drag Race and television fame) called out the journalistic integrity of Vulture's editors, claiming none of the subjects were informed they would be ranked.

If journalists bothered to look beyond the accessible information on a drag queen's career, each artist's influence on our cultural consciousness would be more recognized. In turn, they could become championed members of our society, surpassing Pride coverage and queer-oriented events (ahem Met Gala). Uplifting their stories year round (outside of the reality show format) would increase the number of pivotal voices allowed to transform our culture. If it wasn't obvious enough, these entertainers have contributed to a shift in Western society and impacted younger generations for good: Gen Y and Z are more inclusive and expressive than past generations, which will inform the future, with or without journalistic appreciation. Vulture should know better.

TV

The Best Moments from the 2019 Tonys

James Corden celebrated the Tony Awards winners of 2019, from newcomers like "Hadestown" to revived classics like "Oklahoma!"

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

A female director finally won.

New York City (the superior city) beat out Hollywood last night—proving theater is superior entertainment. Rachel Chavkin, the only female director on Broadway right now, won Best Direction for Hadestown and made sure no one will forget it. She proclaimed that the lack of diversity in the industry is "not a pipeline issue. It is a failure of imagination by a field whose job is to imagine the way the world could be. So let's do it." Brava.

Rachel Chavkin Wins Best Direction Of A Musical At The 2019 Tony Awards www.youtube.com

Hadestown Awareness

Speaking of Hadestown, the show's 14 nominations resulted in 5 wins and exposure for those who had yet to hear about the phenomenal show. The performance of "Wait for Me" piqued the interest of many who had never seen something like it before. Let's just say ticket sales are now booming.

The Cast Of Hadestown Performs "Wait For Me" At The 2019 Tony Awards www.youtube.com

A Taylor Mac Appearance

His outfit alone was delightful enough to be a marvelous moment, but Mac outdid himself. Mac introduced his play, Gary, A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, lighting up the room with a smile while explaining the horrifying premise.

Playwright Taylor Mac Shines As He Describes Gary: A Sequel To Titus Andronicus At The 2019 Tony … www.youtube.com

Billy Porter Owns Every Red Carpet

best moments tonys 2019 billy porter

Enough said.

Elaine May is Marvelous

The six decade career-actress spoke humbly, noting, "I've never won a nomination for acting before." The 87-year-old not only gave away her character's ending in The Waverly Gallery, but cracked a few jokes along the way. The short and sweet speech was a perfect moment for the icon. Bless her.

Elaine May Wins Best Leading Actress In A Play At The 2019 Tony Awards www.youtube.com

Being Reminded Oklahoma! Is a Great Musical

Oklahoma! is definitely benefitting from the comeback of yeehaw culture. Between Ali Stoker's heartfelt speech and the fun, catchy performance, the cast proved Oklahoma! earned its Best Revival Tony.

Ali Stroker Wins Best Featured Actress In A Musical At The 2019 Tony Awards www.youtube.com


The Cast Of Oklahoma! Performs "I Cain't Say No/ Oklahoma" At The 2019 Tony Awards www.youtube.com

TV

7 Films and TV Shows to Celebrate Pride Month

Queer representation means more than just a queer character plopped in a plot line.

Pride month is here and Drag Race is over, and unfortunately, it's hard to find many other shows for queer people by queer people. Supporting and celebrating pride month isn't just buying a rainbow shirt from Target; it's buying directly from queer artists and giving back to the culture. With representation more important than ever, these TV shows and films place queer characters right in the center where they belong. Here are some to look out for and catch up on.

Now Apocalypse (Starz)

Gregg Araki, known for his great contributions to the New Queer Cinema Movement, is at it again with this bizarre new show. Avan Jogia (of Victorious and Twisted fame) stars as Ulysses, a gay man who has disturbing, premonitory dreams that the world is ending. Ulysses's romantic and platonic relationships are explored with consideration for sexuality and fame in Los Angeles. Now Apocalypse takes LGBTQIA representation to the absurd and it couldn't be more fun. All episodes are now available for streaming on Starz.

Pose (FX)

Ryan Murphy's latest phenomenon is back for its second season on June 10th. The show centers on POC queer, cis and trans men and women as they navigate different NYC scenes and find purpose through the African American and Latinx ball culture. The show also investigates each character's place in society during the AIDs crisis, reclaiming the narrative and the hysteria of the era. If you're not caught up yet, the FX show is now on Netflix.

Rocketman

Executive produced by Elton John himself, Rocketman was released last weekend to a surprisingly solid first weekend. Bohemian Rhapsody's fill-in director, Dexter Fletcher, captures the life of a queer icon. Besides Rocketman being the first major Hollywood studio production to show a gay sex scene, the film does what Bohemian Rhapsody wanted to do but Queen would not allow: put a global icon's sexuality on display, explore the creative depths of a genius, and feature a lead actor that actually sings. Sing along and enjoy the breadth of great performances and direction.

Queer Eye (Netflix)

Ok, this is an obvious one, but season 3 only premiered in March! If you haven't already watched the fantastic makeovers and heart-warming stories that have come out of the reboot, you're missing out. Celebrate love and life by embracing those who are transformed by the Fab Five. While you're at it, preorder Tan France's book, Naturally Tan: A Memoir.


Euphoria (HBO)

Not many know what this show is actually about, but the trailer seems to center on the complicated lives of youth today. Sexual and gender identities are at the forefront of conversation today, especially from adolescents aware of their pertinence in a way previous generations were not. LGBTQ activist and trans woman, Hunter Shafer, will star as a trans girl who befriends Zendaya's character and their relationship potentially becomes something more. Down the rabbit hole viewers will go! Premiering on June 16th, Euphoria gives everyone a reason to keep their HBO subscription.


Booksmart

White feminism aside, Booksmart is an important film because of its lesbian representation. Beanie Feldstein, break-out star of Lady Bird, explained how important her co-star's character is to her and society, "For me in my life, it is a part of who I am but it is not at all my defining feature. It doesn't mean I don't love my girlfriend, it's just part of who I am. And [the character]'s the same way. To see that in Amy and how beautifully Kaitlyn plays her and how beautifully Katie [Silberman, screenwriter] and Olivia [Wilde, director] crafted her, it's gonna change a lot of people's lives." Booksmart is still in theaters nationwide.


One Day at A Time (Netflix, for now)

The 70s sitcom reboot came with reevaluations. The showrunners, Kellet and Royce, decided to change the two daughters to a daughter and son. One of the main characters, the daughter Elena, did not start off as a gay character. It wasn't until Royce's real-life daughter came out that he realized he needed to tell this story. His writer's room invested their own experiences to shape a character and an on-going storyline that provided insight into a coming-out story and its realities in a fresh, familial context. It's done beautifully and truthfully. While Netflix has canceled the show, the creators are fighting to revive it on another platform or channel. #SaveODAT!