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Since 2011, Old Dogs & New Tricks has been one of the web’s more popular gay offerings. The “dramedy” follows the mad adventures of four gay men living in the enclave of West Hollywood California.

The series has amassed quite a following throughout its first two seasons, and for season 3, the guys all turned 50 in a town where 30 is considered over the hill. Undaunted, they continued to look for love in all the wrong places, just like their younger counterparts.

Celebrate their 10th anniversary with this behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Old Dogs & New Tricks' Pilot, with series creator/star Leon Acord and exec-producer/director Arvin Bautista! Buy or rent Old Dogs & New Tricks on digital from Amazon Prime Video:


Old Dogs & New Trick 10th Anniversary Special! youtu.be

As a result, Old Dogs earned overwhelmingly positive, especially among many older gay men who say the show speaks to them. And, as the acclaim spread to mainstream Hollywood circles, the series attracted a star-studded list of celebrity guest cameos, including Kathryn Leigh Scott who is best known for her role as Maggie Evans on the classic TV series Dark Shadows.

“Kathryn Leigh Scott appears in our season 3 finale,” Acord said. “She was such a pleasure to work with. She is so down to earth and a total pro. Her performance is amazing, so true and moving. I can’t wait for folks to see it.”

Scott plays Lily Anne, mom to Al “Muscles” Carter (Jeffrey Patrick Olson), who needs some motherly advice while going through a personal crisis. As a Dark Shadows fan, Olson said working with Scott was a delight.

“The scenes with her were so real and tangible and show how we all turn back into little boys and girls, falling into family patterns once that threshold is crossed,” Olson said. “I can’t wait to see them.”

This wasn’t the first time the two actors met. “We actually have a mutual friend and after the casting announcement we all went out on a double date in Beverly Hills for happy hour,” Olson said. “She is elegant, poised and considerate. We formed a fast comfortability with each other which of course helped our onscreen relationship with each other as mother [and] son.”

Other season 3 guest stars included Rutanya Alda, beloved by gay audiences for her role as Carol Ann in Mommie Dearest.

“I loved working on the set because everyone was so friendly and supportive,” Alda said. “They were well organized and the crew had all worked together before so they were all in sync. Leon wears many hats, as writer, actor and producer. He is supportive and happy to have people there — he was lovely to work with.”

I

t’s a mutual admiration society.

“Rutanya is amazing,” Acord said. “Not only did she fly herself out and put herself up to do our show, but apparently she put a lot of work into her character before she even arrived. I think her fans will love seeing her in such a change-of-pace role.”

Acord promised the third season, which also features comedy icon Mo Gaffney, will delight viewers. “If season two was a soufflé, season 3 is a rich, sweet pound cake,” he said. “Episodes run a little longer. The season is very story driven, and delves into the guy’s professional lives as well as their love lives.”

Plot twists, including a sex tape scandal, a gay divorce, a surprisingly new partnership, a professional comeback and a financial crisis, will keep viewers coming back for more.

“I hate to use the word blessed, because it’s used way too much,” Acord said. “But that’s exactly how I feel.”Get the winning gay sitcom here.

Old Dogs & New Tricks Reunion! youtu.be

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How to talk about transgender issues

So how do we talk about transgender issues (even if you're not transgender)? There are three main things to remember when discussing transgender issues today, so before getting into the meat and potatoes of it all, let's keep these things in mind:

  1. It is not a political discussion, it is a human rights discussion.
  2. There is a rich history rooted in transgender rights that must be considered when discussing these issues.
  3. Humanization should always be at the forefront of the conversation.

Before going into any conversation, no matter who it's with, try to keep these things in mind before you say something that may be inappropriate, misguided, or just plain wrong. Even those with the best intentions can mess up; remember that it is always ok to admit when you do not know something or when you are wrong. That being said, let's get into it.

sign with a 'friendly for all genders' image showing a person in a wheelchair, and a person with half a dress and pants on.

Transgender bathroom bills

commons.wikimedia.org

So whether you choose to become a transgender activist or if you just want to be a better ally, this easy talking point will generally keep you in line and on the safe side of conversations while still putting forth the effort to encourage and better represent transgender rights.

Easy, all-around approach: This will work for almost all transgender issues and expand on the previous three rules; firstly, trans issues are not a debate. When discussing with someone, do not indulge in hypotheticals and always remember that transgender people are the exact same as anyone else, with the exact same feelings. Keeping this in mind, let's use the bathroom bill as an example. When discussing this issue, one should humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation. How does one employ this, though? Here is an example of how the conversation may go.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restroom, they will rape my daughters.

So this statement is clearly based on reactionary conversation perpetuated by anti-transgender ideals. This means that the person probably has a misconception of the history and oppression of transgender people. They also show concern for their family, which is a step towards humanization, despite the misconception. Here would be an appropriate response that helps to humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation.

Person 2: I don't want men in the women's restroom, either, which is why we need to make sure people who identify as women are using the women's restroom. There has never been a documented case where a transgender person has raped either a man or woman in a public restroom. And by forcing people to use a restroom that does not match their gender identity, it is promoting violence, as there is a strong history of physical violence against transgender people.

By only saying about three sentences, you are able to do the previous steps while discussing the issue in a civil manner without opening it up to debate. The key to this is to keep it short and sweet, stating both the truth and an ally's stance to support the transgender community. It's critical to make sure that what you say is backed with confidence, though, which is why this second approach is more encouraged as it gives the person speaking more confidence in their opinion.

gif of a man in a suit talking about number 1. Number 1 GIF by PragerU Giphy

The second approach: backed by facts and history, is the exact same as before, but this approach leaves the other person with more questions about their stance and gives them something to consider. Before going into this approach, however, it is important to keep in mind that you are not debating the existence of trans people, nor are you trying to change someone's mind. That is not the goal; the goal is simply to get your opinion across in a way that honors both the trans community and their ideas. Let's take the same example as before but add the new sentiments.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restrooms, they will rape my daughters.

Person 2: There has never been a documented case of a transgender person raping anyone in a public restroom, and the only published cases of such were proven to be false. Further, when people say things like this, they are perpetuating violence against transgender people, which has historically (and still does) oppressed and insight further physical violence against them. And honestly, the most common reason there is this stance is because the person typically does not know a trans person and may not even know a person who does know a trans person. But the truth is, they probably do. The probability is more likely that the transgender people around them are just not comfortable enough in the environment to come out and speak up about their gender identity. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it is quite sad that some people's opinion does not invite civil discussion but instead incites violence.

This approach is more confrontational, which requires more confidence when using it in a conversation, but it still holds true to all of the previous rules and sentiments. It adds truth based on history, which is an important aspect of trans rights as it reminds people of where we were/ where we are currently with human rights. These ideas can be transferred to most all trans issues and will honor the transgender movement and your allyship. The last thing to keep in mind is the person or reason you are standing up for/with trans rights. The passion -the compassion will shine through in conversation if you keep your reasoning close to heart. Whether it is because of a transgender friend, family member, or just because of your moral values, if you put your emotions into your reasoning, it will create more compelling statements, especially if the statement is well versed with the facts.

Tips to Remember When Discussing Transgender Issues

  1. Transgender issues are not political, they are human rights issues
  2. There is a rich history behind transgender issues
  3. Humanize transgender people through our words and ideas and don't forget to include:
    • 3(b). The facts
    • 3(c).The confidence
    • 3(d). The inspiration behind the support for transgender rights

10 LGBTQ+ Movies on Amazon Prime You Need to Watch

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Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime

LGBTQ+ Movies on Amazon Prime


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Transgender Sign in Pride Parade



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