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Cumming, Alan (b. 1965)  
 
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In February 2005 Cumming introduced Cumming The Fragrance, which is called "beyond gender." Cosmetics International Cosmetic Products Report states that the "fusion of basic, masculine notes with adventurous ones . . . makes it original." A line of other body-care products is planned.

While pursuing his many projects, Cumming has still found time to work for worthy causes. He serves on the Board of Directors of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and has taken part in many events on behalf of the organization. He is also a member of the Board of Advocates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Ambassadors Committee of Free Arts for Abused Children NYC, and the Honorary Advisory Board of Living Beyond Belief, an organization that encourages New York City high school students to become active in the fight against AIDS.

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In addition, he participates in numerous events for Bailey House, a New York organization that provides housing and other important services to people with HIV/AIDS. He has also done a comedy benefit for Beverly Hills's Trevor Project, whose goal is to promote tolerance for glbtq teens and whose national Trevor Helpline (866.4.U.TREVOR) provides round-the-clock suicide prevention services. He also served as the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the 2004 San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade.

Despite all these efforts, Cumming said that he "felt such a fraud for being publicly lauded" for his charity work. He therefore decided to take part in a project of the American Foundation for AIDS Research's TREAT Asia program by going on an eight-day fundraising walk on the Great Wall of China. The twenty-five walkers raised more than $275,000 and also learned about the cultural issues that complicate combating the disease in China.

In a 2001 interview Cumming stated, "I get bored quite easily. I like to do different things. I'd be horrified to think I was going to be doing the same thing all the time." With his many projects, both professional and charitable, it seems unlikely that he will fall prey to ennui any time soon.

When Barack Obama announced his intention to run for the Presidency, Cumming applied for American citizenship in hopes of being able to vote for him. He was naturalized in November 2008 but unfortunately did not realize his wish to cast a ballot for Obama because the paperwork for his case did not come through until a few days after the election. Despite his immediate disappointment, he expressed his desire to take part in the American political process in the future.

Linda Rapp

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   Related Entries
  
arts >> Overview:  British Television

Until recently, British television embraced lesbians and gays as Them rather than Us, but a more diversified and nuanced approach to all kinds of sexuality is likely to be the case in the future.

arts >> Overview:  Film Actors: Gay Male

Although few gay actors have been permitted the luxury of openness, many of them have challenged and helped reconfigure notions of masculinity and, to a lesser extent, of homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Stage Actors and Actresses

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual actors and actresses are among the elite of contemporary theater, but only recently have many come out publicly.

arts >> Cho, Margaret

Korean-American bisexual actress turned stand-up comedian Margaret Cho has become one of the most prominent Asian Americans in show business and in glbtq culture.

literature >> Coward, Sir Noël

Although Coward's plays are about heterosexual couples, they are written in the language and spirit of camp and reject traditional domestic values.

arts >> DeCaro, Frank

Funnyman Frank DeCaro has found success both in serious journalism as a fashion writer and editor and in comedy as a writer, performer, and radio talk show host.

literature >> Genet, Jean

Jean Genet's work has left a powerful legacy to post-modernity and remains a provocation to questions of gay identity.

literature >> Highsmith, Patricia

Acclaimed mystery writer Patricia Highsmith is the author of one explicitly lesbian novel, as well as the popular series featuring the amoral bisexual Tom Ripley.

literature >> Isherwood, Christopher

A major Anglo-American novelist and a pioneer in the gay liberation movement, Christopher Isherwood created gay characters whose homosexuality is a simple given, an integral part of the wholeness of personality and an emblem of their common humanity.

arts >> Kander, John (b. 1927) and Fred Ebb (1932?-2004)

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are the musical poets of the poymorphous perverse; their works glorify the creativity inherent in sexual ambivalence and celebrate unorthodox forms of political activism.

arts >> Lynch, Jane

Out lesbian actress Jane Lynch has forged a successful career on television, in movies, and on the stage, including some memorable turns portraying lesbian characters.

literature >> Shakespeare, William

As one of the key figures that western civilization has used to define itself, William Shakespeare stands in a complicated, fiercely contested relationship to homosexuality.

social sciences >> The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project, a Los Angeles-based educational organization, operates the only national 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hot line in the U.S. aimed at glbtq youth.


    Bibliography
   

Brantley, Ben. "Cutting Down Icons to Clay Feet." New York Times (July 25, 2002): E1.

"Conquering Mountains: Out Actor Alan Cumming Tells Us What It's Like to Hike the World's Most Momentous Monument--All in the Name of Charity." The Advocate (March 1, 2005): 38-39.

De Bertodano, Helena. "The Sting in 'Tommy's Tale.'" Sunday Telegraph (London) (March 30, 2003): 3.

"Following the February Launch of Cumming The Fragrance, Scottish Star of 'X-Men,' Alan Cumming Is Preparing for the Roll-out of a Body Care Line." Cosmetics International Cosmetic Reports 20.243 (April 2005): 13.

Gardner, Elysa. "'Design for Living' Still Delivers Sexy Shocks." USA Today (March 15, 2001): 6E.

Harrison, Eric. "'Anniversary Party' Lets Fine Cast Shine." Houston Chronicle (June 22, 2001): Houston, 1.

McQuaid, Peter. "The Artful Swinger." The Advocate (September 28, 1999): 59.

Painter Young, Jamie. "Don't Fence Him In." Back Stage West 8.24 (June 14, 2001): 5.

Walsh, John. "The Flying Scotsman." The Independent (London) (April 28, 2003): 2-3.

www.alancumming.com.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Cumming, Alan  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated December 12, 2011  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/cumming_a.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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