Please allow me to pitch an article, a very favorable article, written about a longtime fixture on the New York City entertainment scene. He's a sharp, witty, insightful journalist. And he's an under-appreciated activist who pitched in to help his gay community during the pitch black dark days of the AIDS crisis. He wasn't just all about nocturnal hobnobbing with celebrities for his newspaper column reports. I cannot believe that Michael Musto has never been honored by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
I was born and raised in South Central L.A., attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, and started my professional broadcast career in that city after I graduated. While I was an entertainment contributor on Milwaukee's ABC affiliate, I started doing movie junkets, most of which were held in New York City. When I interviewed Dustin Hoffman about 1982's TOOTSIE, a journalist who looked like Gandalf from LORD OF THE RINGS came into the room, sat and watched our interview. He was the late Arthur Bell, a respected gay columnist for THE VILLAGE VOICE. His column was called "Bell Tells." He pulled me aside after the interview, told me I needed to get out of Milwaukee and move to New York, and he included some of my banter with Hoffman in his cover story about the TOOTSIE star. That mention got me noticed by a TV exec in New York City When Arthur Bell retired from the newspaper, Michael Musto filled that space in THE VILLAGE VOICE with a new column called "La Dolce Musto." It picked up where "Bell Tells" left off with the addition of Musto's unique style and voice. I got to New York in 1985. I started at WPIX TV/Channel 11. Musto was one of the first people I interviewed in studio. He was out, proud, fabulous, festive, smart as whip and a wonderful guest. In my off-duty hours, I would see Michael Musto (occasionally in drag or nearly in drag) at the clubs. He wasn't just partying. He'd get onstage, take the microphone and urge the practice of safe sex. He handed out condoms to clubbers in those days when TV stations (like PIX 11) were timid about getting safe sex messages on the air.
Mike is no longer with THE VILLAGE VOICE but he's still writing and he's still a voice for the gay community. There is a great article about him that I'd like to recommend to you.
If you're on the GLAAD team, consider showing Michael Musto some love at next year's event. He deserves it. He was helping the gay community before the lead actors in some of this year's GLAAD nominees were even born.