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Perez Hilton and LA’s LBGT Community

Over at KCET, Japhy Grant writes about a recent run-in with gossip blogger Perez Hilton at a West Hollywood GYM Bar dodgeball game. At first glance, the piece may seem like celebrity namedropping, but a full read gives interesting insights on Hilton’s tenuous place in LA’s LBGT community.

Perez and I go way back. We were friends in college, though that friendship took a turn for the worse after I penned a 2006 Salon article entitled “Perez Hilton’s Gay Witch Hunt” in which I accused him of being a “Savonarola in a pink pants suit” after he made the claim that drawing fake semen on Clay Aiken’s face made him a civil rights advocate….

But Perez has changed, I’m told: Something about being affected by all the gay bullying news and promising to be a kinder and gentler Perez. At least that’s what I got from skimming through the YouTube clip of him on Ellen.

And now, he’s playing dodgeball. His Rainbow Brite hairstyle is now a basic walnut, his outfit so subdued I don’t even recall it. He’s even registered under his real name: Mario Lavandeira.

It’s a bit like that moment when the Grinch goes down to Whoville and the Who’s of WeHo are dubious. There’s a general sense of “What is he doing here?” That’s not unearned. As Perez, Mario has not been a positive force for the gay community and despite his repentance, many are wary.

Hilton is apparently in Grant’s dodgeball league. Something tells us this won’t be the only thing we read between these two this summer.

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