Portraits

At a mere 26 years of age, bex* has managed to rack up quite a résumé. A graphic artist, filmmaker, photographer and clothing designer, bex* moved from the Northwest to our fair city five years ago to attend Temple University, with a dual major in film and media arts and visual anthropology and an LGBT studies minor, primarily focusing on multi- and cross-cultural transgender and gender-variant populations and experiences. A 2009 Leeway grant recipient, bex*’s short film, “Meditation on Intelligibility,” will be screened as part of the Change in Motion film program March 17 at The Rotunda, moderated by yours truly. We took a moment to talk with the wunderkind, who says simply, “I like to study people and make movies about them.”

I was tempted to hold off on doing this interview until we got a little closer to Earth Day, but then I figured, if your mother was dying, would you wait until Mother’s Day to help her? I think not.

Many of you know, or have heard of, Stephen Glassman. As the chair of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, he has been a staunch defender of civil rights for our community and all others facing discrimination. He’s also an accomplished architect, previously serving for five years as civic-design commissioner in Baltimore. He’s an Ivy League graduate and the first openly gay individual ever to receive an appointment subject to Senate confirmation to a Pennsylvania board or commission. All common knowledge. But did you know he also played a potential love interest for Dr. Frasier Crane on the TV hit “Frasier”?

We all know the term “Friend of Dorothy” (if you don’t, shame on you. Learn your gay history!), but this week’s interview isn’t just a friend of Dorothy — he is Dorothy. Well, not Dorothy Parker, but the gal who played the other Dorothy, the venerable LGBT icon Judy Garland. Since 1991, Tommy Femia has appeared as Ms. Garland in almost every New York City nightclub (including an ongoing 20-year run at Don’t Tell Mama), to Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park to multiple venues across the nation. His credits include “The Montel Williams Show,” “The Facts of Life,” “One Day at a Time,” two off-Broadway shows, Drama Desk Award-winners “Whoop-Dee-Doo!” “I Will Come Back!” and “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” and he’s served as emcee at the celebrated revue La Cage Aux Folles. The six-time winner of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs Award for Outstanding Impersonation is currently in our part of the world to rehearse for his latest show, “Norma Doesmen,” opening in March at the Abingdon Theatre in New York.

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