‘The Americans’ Gets A Happy Ending — Kind Of

In ‘The Americans’ Series Finale, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Finally Get Their Happy Ending — Kind Of | ETonline.com, May 2018

I almost never find—or make—the time to write for my own site, but after six seasons of being a die-hard fan of The Americans, I knew I needed to step up and pay tribute to the series’ spectacular swan song. (I’d also broken my usual rule to interview Holly Taylor back in 2016.)

Plot twist: No one dies. In its last and biggest surprise, The Americans stages a bloodless coup in its final hour. And yet it’s somehow more tragic and heartbreaking than if they had perished.

Heart & Soul Man

Heart & Soul Man | Out Magazine
Cover Story, March 2016

Empire’s breakout star Jussie Smollett carries far more than a hit show on his shoulders—he’s also got the weight of the world to worry about.

“I have so much love inside that it pains me sometimes,” he says. “You end up finding yourself all-consumed by the issues of the world, and that’s something I don’t want to change about myself. So until the love of my life shows up, until I find my boo, I’m just going to be out, up in this piece, a lone ranger.”

We also went behind the scenes of his big moment on Ellen (and after), his response to being told it wasn’t the right time to talk Black Lives Matter, and what he learned from Mariah Carey (everything, of course). Oh, and if you still had any questions about his sexuality, he’s happy to spell it out for you.

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point | Out Magazine
Cover Story, March 2015

A year in the crazy fast lane with How to Get Away With Murder’s It boy, Jack Falahee.

I wrote a little more here about the challenge of interviewing an actor who is determined not to speak specifically about their own sexuality.

And the Columbia Journalism Review also interviewed me for a think-piece on when and how it’s okay to ask if someone is gay—inspired, at least in part, by this story.

How I created Uncharted, the first-ever Twitter soap opera

Last month I sat down for a long overdue lunch with jaybushman during which I learned I may have been a little too quiet (STOP LAUGHING) about something cool I did, long ago in the pre-Ice Age of the internet. 

Jay and I were catching up and talking about Hashtag Hamlet, the cool new project he’s got going on. I mentioned in passing that back in 2007 I’d spent a couple of months running a crazy thing called Uncharted, which I believe was probably the world’s first Twitter-based soap opera, a tie-in project for Showtime’s The L Word and its web site, OurChart.com.

Uncharted was probably the only thing I’ve done in my life that can truly be classified as “ahead of its time.” It was before Jay made Lizzie Bennet Diaries, before transmedia, or at least before I’d ever heard that term.

I’d had a Twitter account since January 2007 and was quickly very obsessed with how well it could be used for all kinds of storytelling. So along with an awesome tech-savvy colleague I knew from PlanetOut, Beth Callaghan, we dreamed up this online soap opera idea, and somehow in the summer of 2007 I actually got paid real money via Viacom to tell the story 10 girls and 1 guy and all their lesbian drama, as performed on Twitter.

The actual story is largely lost, in part because at some point someone else managed to claim @uncharted, and mostly because I got busy and never properly archived anything. According to the Wayback Machine (and confirmed by a small stash of text files I found on an old hard drive), here’s the first blog post we made about the series, which is mostly about how Twitter works:


Plot twist: No one cared.

Here is the actual first (FIRST!!!!) comment:


And a pretty typical early response (about as enthusiastic as it got):


The month before we launched, only 50,000 people were signed up on Twitter. So even though we had a major media sponsor and got some great press, there really wasn’t any viral lift to be lifted. People barely knew what to do with their own Twitter accounts, let alone almost a dozen fake ones. After about a month, Showtime understandably pulled the plug, we rolled up the proverbial rug and moved on.

Except it turns out one awesome person I now know totally cared, because Jay flipped his shit when he found out Uncharted was my baby. “THAT WAS YOU?!” he asked, more than once, in what has to be one of the most flattering accidental reveals I’ve ever been a part of.

In honor of Twitter’s 8th anniversary, and as a thanks to Jay for unintentionally paying me such a huge compliment, here’s the leading lady’s first tweet:


While the main account—which IIRC was largely used to RT everyone and maybe occasionally act as the chorus?—is now gone, I went back and created a list with all the other still-surviving character accounts. I’ll try to throw these into Storify in chronological order when I get a chance, but in the meantime, I assume by now you all know you can start at the end and read up. (Note: I think we created the “direct@“ phrasing in order to expose private interactions.)

Thanks to everyone (and especially to E) who during that one summer when I worked about 12 jobs, including running a dozen Twitter accounts, helped me stay sane and came up with some of these names and character details and never once told me it was a terrible idea to try something so ridiculous.

Originally published March 20, 2014.

Josh Hutcherson, Straight Talker

Josh Hutcherson, Straight Talker | Out Magazine
Cover Story, November 2013

On fame, his gay uncles’ legacy, and how the best thing for his ‘Hunger Games’ character might be a threesome

Josh’s quotes—including his matter-of-fact description of himself as “mostly straight”—were reported on by thousands of outlets, including People, a CBS This Morning segment and this viral Tumblr post, which garnered half a million likes or reblogs.

I also published additional outtakes from the interview, fielded questions from readers on my Tumblr and asked the questions during this behind-the-scenes video shoot.

Chris Pine: The Thinker

Chris Pine: The Thinker | Out Magazine
Cover Story, June/July 2013

Is Chris Pine too smart for his own good? Or just ours?

Many, many outtakes & extended thoughts were also posted:

Chris on having many flaws, the Avedonian photos taken of him for this shoot, and where he’d like to be at 40; on the (excellent) indie film People Like Us; on Kirk, Spock and Star Trek: Into Darkness; on Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan; on not talking about Tom Clancy’s terrible politics.

Full Q&A with Zachary Quinto about Chris.

Kenneth Branagh gushing about how Chris is, like Paul Newman, a character actor in a leading man’s body.

Zachary and Kenneth both contributing new adjectives to describe those blue, blue eyes.

And more thinky rambling from me about how Chris totally ruined the curvehow to interview smart people, how I almost killed this interview before it began, and some details either Chris or I got wrong and readers who corrected us.

Lost & Found

Lost & Found | Out Magazine
Cover Story, September 2012

Long before “It Gets Better,” there was “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a young adult novel that became a touchstone for a generation. Can the movie follow suit?

This story included actor Ezra Miller’s first interview in which he talked about being queer. (I wrote more about “coming out” interviews here.)

You can read my extended interviews and outtakes with Ezra MillerLogan Lerman and writer/director Stephen Chbosky. I also moderated a Q&A with Miller and Chbosky at a screening of the film co-hosted by OUT, Outfest & Lionsgate.

Read reactions and commentary from The Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post, The GuardianIndiewire and hundreds of other blogs.

Adam Levine Will Be Loved

Adam Levine Will Be Loved | Out Magazine
Cover Story, September 2011

The breakout star of NBC’s ‘The Voice’ wasn’t a contestant – it was its judge and Maroon 5’s front man. Here, the singer opens up about his natural exhibitionism, why his show trumps ‘Idol’, and how parents should react when a kid is queer.

Read reactions from Ryan Seacrest and “Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgowe to Levine’s comments.