Pigeon Forge native in NYC Gay Pride Parade

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by David Shuler
Staff Writer

KNOXVILLE – American Pride, a soon-to-be-launched television series featuring gay country music singers, has tapped Jamie Howard, Sevier County native, for help in promoting the new series.

Larry Dvoskin, the show’s creator, contacted Jamie after reading about him in the May 2005 issue of Out & About Newspaper hoping to get input for the production of American Pride. Dvoskin will appear in September in the local TV show Out & About Today on NewsChannel5+ to talk about gay country music.

Larry Dvoskin, a well-known songwriter/producer, can point to his past associations with the likes of Ricky Martin, David Bowie, Brandy, Fischerspooner, the Beach Boys, Medeski Martin and Wood, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Cheap Trick. His songs have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, and he has four number one hits and three Grammy nominations to his credit. On Larry’s invitation, Jamie went to New York City to participate in the 2005 Pride Parade.

American Pride, which is currently in the works, is involved in production negotiations with NBC, BRAVO, and Art and Entertainment Network (A&E.) The show looks to combine the musical competition of American Idol with a gay twist reminiscent of Queer Eye’s interface between gays and straights. Country music performers Wyonna Judd and Tanya Tucker have expressed interest in appearing on the show.

Jamie is currently discussing the possibility of his cousin, country music legend and gay icon, Dolly Parton, scheduling an appearance. Dvoskin and Howard feel that Dolly’s appearance on the show would send ratings over the top, and would give a virtual seal of approval for the program.

Jamie’s recent trip to New York City in June included an opportunity to march alongside Carson Kressley, star of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Jamie also used the march as an occasion as a chance to pass out literature for the Metropolitan Community Church .

New York City ’s Pride Week, running from June 19 through 26 this year, started with a kick-off rally spotlighting special guest author, Andrew Tobias, and hip-hop goddess, Taborah. Special events took place every day ending with the big Pride March on Saturday, June 26. This year’s March was the 36th annual event for New York City , with Calle Lorde, Pauline Park, and Andrew Tobias serving as the Grand Marshals.

Gay Pride Week got its start from the Stonewall riots, which occurred from June 27 to June 29, 1969 , outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village . The Stonewall riots are considered to be the origin of the modern-day GLBT rights movement.