The Road to Here

Most of my friends have been together over 20 years. They are couples. Some live together. With one exception they are not married. While supporting gay marriage, they are not inclined to want to participate. They don't feel the need.

The evolution of a cause is interesting. I was at first, all in favor of using another term for marriage as long as the rights and benefits were the same. My homework revealed that "marriage" was a legal contract, not a social contract. And through the centuries marriage meant different things to different societies. For example, in the 11th century marriage was about securing an economic or political advantage. One look at the TV show The Borgias will support that notion. If you have been watching Downton Abbey, you also know that marriage could be eternally binding, and we don't mean that in a good way.  It's important to remember that in many cultures, today, marriage is a pre-arranged affair, having little to do with love.

And then Andrew Sullivan spoke up: "You can have as many debates about gay marriage as you want, and over the last 22 years of campaigning for it, I’ve had my share. You can debate theology, and the divide between church and state, the issue of procreation, the red herring of polygamy, and on and on. But what it all really comes down to is the primary institution of love. The small percentage of people who are gay or lesbian were born, as all humans are, with the capacity to love and the need to be loved. These things, above everything, are what make life worth living. And unlike every other minority, almost all of us grew up among and part of the majority, in families where the highest form of that love was between our parents in marriage. To feel you will never know that, never feel that, is to experience a deep psychic wound that takes years to recover from. It is to become psychologically homeless. Which is why, I think, the concept of “coming out” is not quite right. It should really be called “coming home.”

It changed my mind. Sullivan argued that anything less than "marriage" was to remind gays and lesbians that they were less—a simple and cogent argument.

It is a day to celebrate. If like me, you have some malcontent friends, going on about Clinton or yesterdays ruling on Voter Rights, ask them to take a break, for a day. This is historic, this is big, it doesn't happen very often and one should really be IN THE MOMENT.



"Get over yourself..

You are completely delusional, there is no point in talking to someone that messed up and narrow-minded. Clearly you are so invested in 'gay culture' (your version of it) that you dont even know what the real world looks like any more.

You keep saying im avoiding gay culture then dont define what it is, even though ive already said i dont avoid it, only the club culture. As i said this magasine has it wrong, but no less wrong than you." —JUSTME, perpetual commentator

JustMe is probably like you and me. On occasion he feels the need to comment on a post found on a popular gay blog. Initially, comments address the story at hand, and then rather quickly dissolve into a tirade of personal attacks. Like a boxer, the writer retreats to his corner for a time, to read the follow-up comments, and then returns with a right upper cut to the jaw, wham! Take that you ignoramus. And it can go on and on...

There was a time, years ago back in the time when trees were turned into paper and paper made magazines, that people would write a "letter to the editor". A gay magazine might receive on a good month, a hundred letters. Hand or type written, these letters would express some feeling about a story in a recent issue and they would, after a little help from an editor, be published.

INTER(RE)ACTIVE Then came the Internet and everything changed. Magazines essentially went the way of the dinosaur, saving hundreds of trees. Born in this era was something with the unpleasant name of a blog, a contraction of the words web log. They were journals, diaries, notes on one's existence, favoring images and texts that allowed one into the mind of the writer. A handsome 36-year-old named Andy Towle wrote one such blog, Towleroad, which emerged in 2003. It began like most blogs as a diary of Andy's life featuring short videos (shot by Andy) and observations on his life. For example, in November 2003, Mr Towle was discussing his first encounter with the drink, Absinthe, even giving direction on how to prepare the drink. Another entry shows Mr Towle being kissed by a rather attractive young man. It was personal.

In 2005, David Hauslaib started Queerty.  A market watch report from 2005 tells us: Queerty is published by 21-year-old David Hauslaib. He also owns, self-described as a "big bag of rumors" about celebrities and show business in New York. A flurry of gay and lesbian blogs would soon follow. For the casual reader information was now available and packaged in short Entertainment Weekly bites that invited a conversation with the reader, something magazines didn't really do. What few suspected about this phenomenon was that everyone wanted in on the act. A blog took work, a lot of work: daily scouring of the news and Internet for tiny morsels of gay-related information. Once presented, a comments column would allow readers to voice their opinions. And this is where the trouble started. A blogger could be held responsible for their words, they were the author of the blog, that was a given. Comments on the other were anonymous, shielded by secrecy, and apparently, everyone had something to say. It wasn't just gay blogs, political blogs in particular would begin with a responsible topic only to conclude in a cavalcade of bitch fights, no one really listening, just opining. Somehow, in our delusional minds, we must have thought gay men might be nicer, after all, we were all in this fight for freedom and equality together, holding hands at vigils and lighting our united candles together.

Which is not to say that all intelligent conversation has been lost, it hasn't, it's just hard to discern. And unfortunately, people get personal. JustMe and LittleKiwi on Towleroad managed to go over forty comments on one story alone, usually about each other. And this was a fairly innocuous story about a new gay magazine called HelloMr.

In retrospect, magazines required effort, one had to actually lick a stamp and pray to get their opinion published, now it's all clicks and hide, and one can be as nasty as words will allow.

And we wouldn't change a thing. The fact is, this is who we are. We are exceptionally critical as a cultural group. We sharpen our tongues on a wide variety of subjects, sociological, political, sexual. Gay blogs and the Internet have revealed much. Never has there been a time in history when communication was so vast and expedient. We know more of the mind of a gay man or woman than ever before, not only through the thoughtful, often entertaining world of gay bloggers, but their audience. Just as know more about the intimacies of the sexual life of a person as revealed in cam websites such as cam4 and chaturbate. But we should be cautioned just as an appearance on one of those websites will reveal us, so too, do our comments on gay blogs.




Time to Get Festive

Screen shot 2013-06-14 at 3.32.41 PM
It's summertime and Outfest has arrived. Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world to audiences of nearly a million, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers and protected more than 20,000 LGBT films and videos. Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival is eleven days of world-class films, discussions and parties.

It is also a great opportunity to mingle with like-minded individuals and see many films that may not get wide release. The Opening Night festivities are always a glamourous event with a red carpet arrival of celebrities, filmmakers and people of interest. Opening night is held at the venerable Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The Ford Theatre hosts the closing night screening while the Directors Guild of America (DGA) is host to most of the screenings.

Rudy de la Mor Dies at 73


Irvine, CA — Chicago (and worldwide) cabaret favorite, Rudy de la Mor, died at Kaiser Hospital in Irvine, Calif. on March 5. Rudy played to packed houses at Gentry for more than 20 years. He was 73.

Craig D. Goldsmith, a fellow entertainer, posted on Facebook, "A great many tears will be shed for the loss that we feel right now. A great amount of joy must also be spread to have known someone so special! Also to know that his was a life well lived and lived well!"

A classically trained pianist, de la Mor was a child prodigy who performed with the Orange County Symphony Orchestra and the Denver Symphony Orchestra. He was discovered by the late vaudeville a, film and television star, Jimmy Durante. As Durante's protégé, de la Mor became close friends with a number of stars of the era, such as Martha Raye, Alice Faye, Christine Jorgenson and others.

It was Martha Raye who was the impetus for the outrageous hats and sequined attire that became his trademark. After catching one of de la Mor's early sets as a cabaret performer, she suggested that he focus on the comedic aspects of his act.

"What's more, she suggested that I wear some of the curtains my mother might have had and change hats all night long," de la Mor reported on his website.

He was known for his interaction with his audience and had the phenomenal ability to remember the name of everybody in the room in which he was performing. He was a favorite in LGBT clubs and performed on a number of straight and gay cruises. He had planned to take part on a cruise March 9.

On Feb. 5, he posted on his official Facebook page, "To all my dear friends: Thank you all so much for your kindness and support as I slowly recover from my illness. Your thoughts and prayers have given me strength and encouragement. I shall see you soon!! Woooosh! Love Rudy."

-Rick Karlin

UPDATE: Rudy de la Mor, died at Kaiser Hospital in Irvine, Calif., not at a New Orange Hills facility in Orange, Calif. as previously reported.

"Homosexuality is an enigma"

Oh girl, how things have changed! A few notes about this torrid documentary narrated by the late Mike Wallace, who seems to be enjoying himself a little too much. The psychiatrist in this film is Charles W. Socarides, who was an American psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, physician, educator, and author. He spent his life claiming to have the "cure" for homosexuality, which apparently did work very well for his own family as his son, Richard, a highly public Democratic political strategist and commentator, is openly gay.

The Other Side

The Other Side, a piano bar in Los Angeles that has catered to the gay community for over 40 years in Silverlake, CA., is set to close to this month. A friendly, musical place where the bartenders were sweet (as opposed to the west side's Abbey where drinks are always served with attitude) Jane Cantillon is just wrapping up production of her documentary, "The Other Side, a Queer History," and now is shooting an ending she wishes she didn't have to. The bar's demise mirrors Silverlake's waning status as a gay community. "The gay population slowly, quietly migrated to the West Side, to unincorporated West Hollywood, where the Sheriff's department wasn't as cruel or harsh," she says. Her film features many men recounting LAPD raids, where a stray look or a hand on the shoulder would be willfully misinterpreted as a lewd and lascivious act by vice cops looking to shut down an undesirable gathering place. And yes, the clientele could be dangerously close to retirement age, but despite all evidence to the contrary, old gay men need a social life too. Pianos bars and this quaint piano bar itself, fulfilled many social aspects that are quickly disappearing. A recent trip to Palm Springs, speaking of retirement age, provided a glimpse into the future: at local gay bars, people would be engaged with their cell phones, not one another, as they sat outside Hunters and cruised via Grindr. It is apparently more interesting to engage with an entity on an app, whose photo is most likely ten years old, than have to face the prospect of actually dealing with, wait, here it comes, personality. Which is why the demise of The Other Side is even more poignant, it really does signal the end of an era, a time when we sat around a piano singing the Broadway hits in unison with our fellow musical gay loving brothers and sisters.

Advertising's a Pitch


AMC's new original series The Pitch offers viewers an intense, gripping, never-before-seen glimpse inside America’s top ad agencies. Each week two agencies compete to win a new client the only way they can: by going head-to-head in a cutthroat, winner-takes-all showdown, a presentation known as The Pitch. With only seven days to prepare, the pressure to perform is intense. The whining, the brainstorming, the blue-sky thinking: it’s all here as the teams work around the clock and pray for the moment of inspiration that will win them the job and keep their companies alive. The drama is real, the stakes are high, and the clock is ticking. From the producers of Project Runway, Undercover Boss. And that's just the press release.


"It's only fair to say that in the two episodes that have aired,

agencies have gotten it wrong, twice."


Last night's episode featured two agencies, SK+G and The Ad Store pitching to WM (Waste Management) as they try to recreate the image for the company that is not just about trash. SK+G is a Las Vegas agency known for their Vegas clients (nearly every major hotel, how does that work?) and looking to break out into things less hospitality and more, in this case, waste. The AD Store is an agency founded by Peter Cappelli, whose client have included JetBlue, GoDaddy, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Zappos. Advertising is curious profession: creating unique persuasions for people to buy things.


What the Pitch has going for it, is the essential ingredient: drama. The SK+G agency fulfilled that, as it appears to be an agency with TWO creative heads, which just can't help but butting them.


As we are introduced to Peter Cappelli, he seems affable, slightly worn with a rich nicotine-based baritone. As we watch Peter work in his office, one can't help but notice the rather attractive guy at the computer, Steven. As the Ad Store creates its pitch we are witness to the working relationships of the people involved, and then, without a beat, Peter tell us that Steven is his boyfriend of fifteen years. We are immediately taken into their home, where cocktails and a very warm relationship are revealed.


The Ad Store does not get the account. Clients seem to be dazzled by anything that hints at social media, so it could only be that SK+G got the account because they introduced Waste Management to the concept of a QR reader (Quick Response Code: one of those black pattern codes that takes one to a website in a jiffy). In the pilot episode, an obscure rapper was plucked from anonymity, given his 25 seconds of fame and sent home. They also won. It's only fair to say that in the two episodes that have aired, agencies have gotten it wrong, twice.

But, it was nice to meet Peter and  Steven, a lovely couple, a talented couple, winners.


Coalition for Equal Rights Short and "straight" to the point message

Many gay men think that gay marriage is, ah, a sideshow, claiming that we should call it "the bond", the "union", the "partnership" instead of marriage. That pregnant little word "marriage" carries a lot of weight, emotionally and politically. Leave it the the Brits to remind us that while we can fight for our country—we can die for our country, we cannot marry. Directed by Mike Buonaiuto, award winning director of short films and commercials, he has created a poignant reminder for the Coalition for Equal Marriage in England, that though we serve, we do not share some basic rights. The short film stars James Knight, from London’s West End and rising screen-star Lew Smart. For more information on the cause and the film, click here



WANKS FOR THE MEMORY Exhibitionism and Voyeurism abound on the website, as we get to peek into the world of what men and women do in private. Cam4 is a public website where anyone, if they want, can get naked and be seen, for free! There are men, women, she males, party people, couples, pros and every conceivable form of sexuality you can imagine, and that's just for starters. Every "member" is given a little introductory window, which is usually an image of whatever stage of nudity they are at. A little flag to the right presents what country they are from, so if you are fond of Italian men you can quickly look for the green white and red flag. Never has learning the flags of the world been easier! One's sexuality is also listed in the perfunctory, straight and gay and the neo-novel, "bicurious", which is means, anyone can take a look. Cammers can block potential stalkers with a quick click and there is a chat feature where one can type directly to the cammer and bark your particular demands ("Show us your hole!"). Many, many cammers are there to chat, as a stationary cam remains focused on a tank top, a hint of designer underwear or a formidable lower lip. Some leave their cam on as they sleep, wrestle with dark dreams or discreetly fondle themselves with what appears to be abandon. Some shower, inserts enemas, pull and tug at their foreskins or wildly exercise to the latest Lady Gaga tune in the background. It's all here. Needless to say, not everyone is on cam, the world is evenly divided between those who stroke and those who look.

And yet, not much happens.


Masturbation, as we have discovered, can take hours. Many cammers will slowly, slowly, slowly pull of their Australian designer underwear after many hours of scratching and tugging while a bevy of patient voyeurs persistently type for more (Show!"). The more viewers one has, the sooner you are put at the head of the list or the web page and it is not uncommon for as many as 2000 people to be focused on one particular cammer. And, if you are signed up with you can "tip" your imaginary lover with some imaginary money, or something like that. The young, of course, are the worst, as they instinctively understand their place in this visual world of sexual fantasy. Many, who presumably would like to be strippers, practice their art with a full show, often signing off abruptly as dance before an attentive public only to leave without notice. Some, though surprisingly not many, actually do culminate in orgasm. Generally, "edging" seems to be the most ubiquitous activity, and if you have a few hours to spend watching things go up and down, this may be the site for you. For some, it may drive you into the arms of sites like xtube for the simple ability to fast forward and rewind.

What does do, quite well, is remind us that men from all around the world are horny and to some extent, happy to show their prowess. And this may be the most interesting aspect of this site: it is international, so one is given access to an array of bodies and penises. Short, long, light, dark, cut, uncut, twisted, purple, brown, pink, polka dotted, fat, thin, soft or erected, they are all here. This may be the greatest sexual anthropological tool ever invented. Here are some of the more interesting findings: most men in the world are uncut (by many reports circumcised men are 10-15% of the population), the average male penis is actually fairly big. Latin men abound, Asian men will surprise you (cancel THAT myth); there are few black men. It is fairly divided 50/50 between straight men/gay men, and the "bicurious" tend to be under thirty. Most men do not shave or even trim their public hair. Cockrings are not universally popular. Some men have two holes in the head of their penieses. Some men are fond of inserting plastic devices into their bums. The general age is somewhere in the 30s and for the most part, men are fairly fit, though many a large man has been known to attract a lot of viewers, as have little people (dwarfs), cripples and people taken to wearing Halloweeen costumes early. It has even been reported that some have witnessed an enema spray.

This is not just martymachlia for a mere twenty years ago this kind of exhibitionism/voyeurism would have been nearly impossible. This is nothing less than a window, a glimpse into the rooms of people enjoying themselves, doing what they have always done, but now it can be seen by many.

The Gay Bar: Is it dying? - By June Thomas - Slate Magazine

EW8 When the New York State Senate voted 33-29 to approve same-sex marriage on Friday, June 24, gay and lesbian New Yorkers—and some straight supporters—knew the perfect place to celebrate: They headed to the Stonewall Inn, the gay bar where, 42 years earlier, the modern gay rights movement had been born. Amid the glorious chaos of fire-eaters, drag queens, and spontaneous proposals, older gay couples walked hand-in-hand admiring the scene. The jubilation at Stonewall and on the surrounding streets was a stirring celebration of progress. But I can't help wondering whether, as gay rights move forward, the gay bar—the place where it all began—may get left behind.

I rarely go to gay bars anymore. I've been in a happy relationship for 14 years with someone who rarely drinks. Bars are loud, they get going too late, and they're packed with kids half my age. They make me feel old. But I feel bad about abandoning them. I still remember the terrifying, giddy excitement of my first forays into gay pubs and clubs, the thrill of discovering other lesbians and gay men in all their beautiful, dreary, fabulous, sleazy variety. I learned how to dance to 15-minute techno remixes under spinning disco balls, how to appreciate tacky drag shows and to show proper respect for the heroines of the pool table. Gay bars are my cultural patrimony and my political heritage.
Read the entire article here:


Want to join the hate fest? There's an app for that!

YHuBoWFjxTDRuuw-250 Last month, The Apple iTunes Store approved and made available an application for the iPhone that invites users to join anti-gay and anti-choice campaigns, Jeremy Hooper of the popular blog reported. As Jeremy explains, social conservatives like Watergate Criminal Chuck Colson created the Manhattan Declaration, a set of anti-choice and anti-LGBT beliefs, to promote restrictions on women's choice and LGBT equality.

Stranger still is that Apple has given the little app a 4+ rating which means that they found nothing objectionable about the app.

The app asks users whether they agree with four statements on abortion and same-sex marriage and those who answer that they are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage are told that they are incorrect.

It also has links to read and sign up to the full declaration, which says that gay relationships are “immoral” and that same-sex marriages are equivalent to sanctioning incest.

The declaration says that signatories act out of “love and “concern for the comment good” rather than prejudice.

 A petition, which can be signed sends a message to Apple, that "I am joining with thousands of others in signing this letter to ask you to remove the Marriage Declaration application from the iTunes Store."

Gold's Gym Heavily Invested in Anti-Gay Politicians?

Golds gym
File under "who knew?" but this story is about one of our favorite gyms and its founder, Robert Rowling, who is a huge contributor to Karla Rove. Golds Gym founder, Robert Rowling is the owner of Omini Hotels and the Gold's Gym franchise. He is the recipient of the coveted Bush Pioneer award for giving large sums of money to Mr. Bush during his campaigns. This call to action is from the
Targeting: David Reiseman (Gold's Gym Public Relations)
Started by: Michael Jones

Robert Rowling, the CEO of TRT Holdings (the owners of Gold's Gym), is spending quite a bit of money this election cycle. Using both his corporate and personal bank accounts, Rowling has given upwards of $2 million to Karl Rove's new organization, American Crossroads. In turn, that money has been used to support some of the most virulently anti-gay politicians in the country.

These politicians include Nevada's Sharron Angle, who once said that gay people should be banned from adopting children and that homosexuality would lead to the downfall of the United States, and Roy Blunt, who wants to rewrite the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Meanwhile, Gold's Gym, a company which continues to make Robert Rowling a very rich man, markets and caters to LGBT customers. Should company executives really be giving money to candidates, from corporate accounts no less, who want to take away civil rights for LGBT Americans? Send Gold's Gym a message now, urging them to respond to Rowling's anti-gay political work.

Let Gold's Gym know that you expect better from their company, and that you're tired of corporate executives taking money from customers and spending it in order to elect anti-gay politicians.


1 in 5

Screen shot 2010-09-24 at 1.31.01 PM

CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV, and nearly half of them do not know it, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

Young men, and especially young black men, are least likely to know if they are infected with HIV, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We need to reinvigorate our response to preventing HIV among gay and bisexual men," Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said in a telephone interview.

"We can't allow HIV to continue its devastating toll among gay and bisexual men, and in particular, among young black men."

Mermin's comments echoed an AIDS policy rolled out in July by the White House that asked states and federal agencies to find ways to cut new HIV infections by 25 percent. [IDnN13274350]

Researchers at the CDC studied 8,153 men who have sex with men in 21 U.S. cities. The men were taking part in the 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System, which looked at prevalence and awareness of the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Overall, they found that 19 percent of gay men are infected with HIV.

The study found that 28 percent of gay black men infected with HIV, compared with 18 percent of Hispanic men and 16 percent of white men.

Black men in the study were also least likely to be aware of their infection, with 59 percent unaware of their infection compared with 46 percent of Hispanic men and 26 percent of white men.

Age also plays a role. Among 18 to 29-year-old men, 63 percent did not know they were infected with HIV, compared with 37 percent of men aged 30 and older, the team reported in the CDC's weekly report on death and disease.

The CDC recommends that gay and bisexual men of all ages get an HIV test each year, and men at highest risk -- those who have multiple sex partners or use drugs during sex -- get tested every three to six months.

"This alarming new data provides further evidence that prevention efforts for gay men have not been adequate to meet the growing epidemic and should be dramatically scaled up," said Carl Schmid of the nonprofit AIDS Institute.


Priestly Sex on Video

Another gay scandal has hit the Catholic Church in Italy after three priests were allegedly filmed having casual sex and visiting gay nightclubs.

Italian weekly news magazine Panorama said its undercover reporter filmed the three with the help of a gay accomplice.

It said it would not name the priests but said in a preview of the article that the footage would be published.

The magazine said: "By day they are regular priests, complete with dog collar, but, at night it's off with the cassock as they take their place as perfectly integrated members of the Italian capital's gay scene."

It added that the reporter saw the priests taking part in gay events and one was even filmed wearing his cassock during sex.

The magazine quoted one priest as saying that "98 per cent" of the priests he knew were gay.

The Roman Catholic Rome diocese said today that the article was designed to damage the church, but told priests not to live a "double life".

Catholic priests are required to be celibate and homosexuality is strictly forbidden, as the church regards it as "intrinsically disordered".

In March, it was claimed that a chorister had procured male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

The chorister, 29-year-old Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, was sacked after police heard him talking on a wiretap to Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness.

The curious video can be viewed here

Transgendered Event Tonight

LanaWachowski-Arianna-Andy "The problem is choice” - Neo

Not so for Matrix co-director Lana Wachowski, formerly known as Larry. Yesterday it was announced that the Wachowski's were set to direct a new film, CN9, a picture about a homosexual American soldier who falls in love with an Iraqi. Mentioned in the story was the fact that Larry had a sex change. There had been rumors, but like most news stories it faded. Here's the background story:

Shortly after the release of Matrix Reloaded, it was rumored that Larry Wachowski began to make small public appearances dressed as a woman, using the name Lana Wachowski. In his column, published May 30, 2003, David Poland said "Every indication I have says that Larry Wachowski is now in the process of changing his sex. Dressing in public like a woman, taking female hormones and yes, having a sex change operation." This was further supported by a March 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article on transgender people, which repeated that Larry Wachowski, "has changed his sex and is now living as Lana Wachowski. "The rumor was exacerbated by Larry Wachowski's reported penchant for cross-dressing, as reported by Rolling Stone.
In a 2007 interview Joel Silver, the producer of numerous Wachowski films, stated otherwise, saying that the rumors concerning Larry's sex change were "all untrue", further explaining, "they just don’t do interviews, so people make things up." Similar statements were made to Fox News by crew members working on the Speed Racer film, with one employee pointing out, "on the call sheets, it still says Larry."
As of March 2010, Wachowski is listed as Lana Wachowski on IMDb, with the note "as Larry Wachowski" for credits for prior movies.

The fact is there is much confusion about being transgendered. In an interview,  RuPaul talked about society's ambivalence to the differences in the people who embody these terms. "A friend of mine recently did the Oprah show about transgender youth," said RuPaul. "It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar."

For a better understanding of the transgender community, tonight in West Hollywood there is a panel discussion, "Women Demanding Change Now: The Dehumanization of Transexual Women through the Gay Male Hollywood Lens" starting at 7PM at Plummer Park. For more information on this event, please visit

It Doesn't Pay to Write for The Advocate?


An update on this story from the writer:

"Yesterday, I broke our sacred anti-first person Fishbowl code to write a nearly 800 word rant trashing The Advocate for taking over a year to pay me a measly $175 they owed me for freelance work. After sending Here Media, The Advocate's parent company, a link to the piece, I received this reply two hours later:"

Hi Matthew,

I have the pleasure to confirm that we are mailing out your $175.00 check today.

We actually contacted The Advocate but received, not without irony, a press release announcing the promotion of  two people within parent company Here Media.

Fishbowl LA is reporting that a writer who wrote a piece for The Advocate has not been paid in over a year for services rendered. The piece,  entitled, "Mommy the Gays are Coming" was published on the magazine's website. The writer, Matthew Fleischer, was to be paid $175 for both the writing and images for the article. The response from the magazine came from Director of Editorial Operations for Here Media, Michael Edwards:

"Our sales team, on all fronts, is reporting that 2010 will be a much better year. That said, we are working hard at catching up with all our valued freelancers and other vendors, and I know that you will be paid in the near future. We are making progress and look forward to fulfilling our obligation to you shortly. I wish I could give you a specific time line for payment, but I simply don't have the insight for when our Accounting team will be able to complete its catch-up task."

It is usually portentous when a magazine fails to pay its writers. In this instance, the writer seems to have been given the run around, though we suspect his resorting to publicity may just get him paid.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Survey

The Pentagon today sent out 400,000 surveys to service members for their opinions on the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy barring gay and lesbian personnel from serving openly. The survey includes questions about the impact the repeal might have on morale and readiness, and a service member's willingness to share quarters, bathrooms, and shower facilities with gay or lesbian service members.

The 200,000 active duty and 200,000 guard and reserve forces were chosen at random for the surveys, which were e-mailed and must be completed and returned by Aug. 15. A similar survey will be sent to the family members of service members around the first week in August.

Although the identity of all those who respond will remain confidential, there is a separate link within the survey for those gay or lesbian service members, who wish to provide additional comment without fear of being singled out and separated from the service as required by the existing law.

Once the surveys are completed and analyzed, the Pentagon has until Dec. 1 to come up with an implementation plan for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the open service of gay and lesbian service members.

You Are Not Alone in Thinking...

Many a time, while watching a Sarah Palin speech one scratched their head and asked, "what was that about?". Turns out, you are not alone. At a recent Palin speech in Turlock, California, the microphone was left on, after Palin left the podium. The reporters who were talking among themselves were unaware of the hot mic and picked up their reactions to the speech.

MinnPost - Braublog: Lavender 'outs' Lutheran pastor -- by crashing confidential support group

Mp_main_half_LavenderAntigayPastor212 Pastor Tom Brock isn’t the first clergyman to be outed as gay after condemning gay behavior. But Brock may be the first outed by a reporter who faked his way into a confidential 12-step program.

In a cover story published Friday that’s rocketing through the national gay press, Minneapolis-based Lavender magazine exposed the Minneapolis-based pastor’s struggles and desires as recounted to a support group for gay men “struggling with chastity.”

Lavender reporter John Townsend wrote that he was referred to the program, which met at a St. Anthony church, via a Catholic priest, James Livingston. Livingston, North Memorial Hospital’s chaplain, says Townsend — a veteran Lavender writer who has also freelanced for the Star Tribune — did not identify himself as a reporter.

“He looked me in the eye, we had a conversation about the importance of confidentiality, and we shook on it,” Livingston recalls.

Reporter sent to program 'undercover'
Lavender Media president and CEO Stephen Rocheford confirms Townsend was sent into the program “undercover.”

Brock — who appears six days a week on Christian radio station KKMS-AM — is a major “get” for the gay publication. Last year, Brock notoriously linked a tornado that struck the Minneapolis Convention Center and a nearby church to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)’s decision to accept homosexual relationships and ordain gay ministers in monogamous relationships. As the gay-oriented website Queerty put it, “Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock Blamed ELCA's Tornado on Homosexuality. Which, Uh, He Suffers From.”

But not everyone in the gay community thinks the ends justified Lavender’s means.

A blogger for the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association called the publication’s ethics “suspect.” Karl Reichert, a local publicist and former journalist, fears a far more widespread chilling effect on fellow gays who go to 12-step programs for chemical and other dependencies.

“In Minneapolis-St. Paul, we’re the land of 10,000 treatment programs; people go to these programs and trust they are truly anonymous,” Reichert says. “As someone who’s participated in a support group, it’s not fair to anyone in the group.”

Ironically, Rocheford is a recovering alcoholic of 27 years who attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings weekly. I asked the Lavender publisher: would he have printed Brock’s statements had the pastor confessed to sexuality struggles at Rocheford’s A.A. meeting? Presumably, the publisher’s fellow alcoholics would look dimly on anyone violating the sanctity of anonymity for any reason.

After a long pause, Rocheford says, “I’d have to think about it.”

Story continues at:


Prop 8 Closing Arguments LIVE

   Screen shot 2010-06-16 at 9.43.22 AM
The Advocate
,  is providing the most comprehensive, up-to-the-minute coverage of the closing arguments for the federal trial challenging California’s Proposition 8. is hosting real-time news updates, Advocate Sr. Editor Andrew Harmon Tweeting from the courthouse, and a live stream of the post-trial news conference with lead plaintiffs' attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, as well as attorneys defending the ballot measure.  

Olson, who co-leads the legal team representing two Calif. gay couples who sued after they were denied marriage licenses, will have 30 minutes to make his case before U.S. district judge Vaughn R. Walker starting at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

Go HERE for coverage

Too Close for Comfort?

Rejected Billboard 2 ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Two of the four billboards St. Pete Pride had planned on buying to promote its upcoming festival were rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor, prompting the organization to cancel its pending contract with the outdoor advertising giant.
One rejected billboard features a pair of men - shirtless, presumably at a beach - smiling for a photo with the caption "My family is fun."  The other billboard that was rejected features a pair of women lying down at the beach together - presumably in the moment before a kiss - with the caption, "My family is free."
In an email to Clear Channel Outdoor, St. Pete Pride Executive Director Chris Rudisill wrote, "the images that were not selected do not contain anything that is sexual, immoral, illegal or otherwise offensive in nature."
"I'm almost certain that you have had billboards in the market which display men and women in both friendly and romantic ways," he continued.  "I can't seem to understand where these images would be any different, except for the fact that they portray two men and two women, respectively."
St. Pete Pride is preparing to host its eighth annual festival to promote unity and a positive image of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people around Tampa Bay.

In past years, Clear Channel has edited St. Pete Pride's submitted messages, but this year, the organization says it submitted much-less controversial billboards.

Story continues here

Elton John at Rush Limbaugh Wedding!!!!

2EdOUS9V The world woke to today to the staggering news that Sir Elton John had performed last night at Rush Limbaugh's fourth wedding. The details have been sketchy but the facts appear to be that Elton was invited to perform, for the sum of $1 million dollars, at Limbaugh's wedding reception in Florida. This news was reported first at the ever vigilante Towleroad, where the shock was recorded with the usual overwhelming response of bitter vitriolic as old queens everywhere were said to be burning their Yellow Brick Road vinyl albums. Meanwhile, Camp Elton has not issued any statement regarding this apparent betrayal. This follows as only a day ago, the other Sir, Paul McCartney, outraged many battle-tested conservatives with comments regarding their former leader, George Bush: "It's a fantastic honor (for) the Gershwin family to give me this incredible award and for me to be awarded it by the Library of Congress. And in fact, after the last eight years, it's great to have a president who knows what a library is."Conservatives were quick to respond: "One, it shows no class. Two, it's ignorant," former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen told, noting that Bush's wife, Laura, is a librarian.

Elton John, who has performed at various places where he is not liked has recently offered this comment: "Music is, and always will be, a universal language, free from boundaries. It can and does inspire unity and builds bridges between people, and I will continue to play concerts anywhere in the world where I can encourage that unity."

Becoming Acceptable

2001-2010 Trend: Perceived Moral Acceptability of Gay/Lesbian Relations

In a recent Gallup Poll Americans' support for the moral acceptability of gay and lesbian relations crossed the symbolic 50% threshold in 2010. At the same time, the percentage calling these relations "morally wrong" dropped to 43%, the lowest in Gallup's decade-long trend. The report is a fascinating look into the minds of Americans, who can be quite contrary. For example, while acceptance is up the same May 3-6 Gallup poll finds the slight majority of Americans still against legalizing gay marriage; however, at 53%, the extent of that opposition is down slightly this year. The other great FACTOR— where does gay come from is still up for grabs as the poll reveals that Americans remain closely divided over the factors contributing to being gay. Currently, 37% say being gay is due to upbringing and environment while 36% say it is a trait one is born with. There still no explanation for the gay geese.

Read all the results of the poll here.

Why Stories Matter

Hollywood, listen up! No one is talking about your movies anymore. The peculiar fact of the matter is that films these days are hardly worth discussing.  What was the number one film last week?  Turns out, it was Shrek Forever After, but the film’s opening was down 41% from the previous year. High-ticket prices, especially for those 3D glasses, account for some of the drop, but that is not the entire story. It goes back to an old rivalry that has recently been resurrected: television.

 As AMC likes to put it: Stories matter here and they may be exactly what is so compelling about television, while movies drown in a pixilation of special effects and gimmicks.

Nurse Jackie, Breaking Bad, Lost, 24, House, Glee, all had storylines that are current, relevant and require no special effects: they tell stories. It may be that Hollywood thinks you must have special effects to justify that $25 outing at the movie theatre (including that $6 popcorn), but it is not what people are discussing. They are talking about TV shows where the stars are playing people who deal or take drugs and note to Hollywood, these are not cookie cutter good guys, these are complex individuals with major flaws, often dislikable (House especially) but their stories are unique and hold meaning for today’s audience.

Television may also be where the great acting is taking place, because on the big screen, it is special effects that really star in the movies. Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad and Hugh Laurie in House are just two examples of roles that require extraordinary acting skill to keep the audience intrigued, despite what appears to be on the surface, very unlikable characters. The same can be said of Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie and Toni Collette in United State of Tara—these are not simple characters; they are emotionally complex, taking us into places where audiences are rarely allowed to trespass.

It may come down to simple equations about both mediums, one which is only allowed two and a half hours to capture our attention and the others, drawn out over weeks and years in building character and storylines. But it is not an excuse for Hollywood, which after the release of Avatar, decided that special effects were the future. For people, stories matter, always.


Newsweek writer attempts defense of....

It is amazing that this guy has a job as a writer. Or is Ramin Setoodeh just slightly homophobic? The whole argument about whether gays can play straight is just too boring to comment on, but watching Ramin attempt to explain his recent article is fun. His explanation for Neil Patrick Harris being able to play straight for so long: we were introduced to him when we assumed he was straight. Oh dear. Boycott Newsweek? Who even reads it?

Idiot Logic

Huckabee3 WASHINGTON — Mike Huckabee, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, says the effort to allow gays and lesbians to marry is comparable to legalizing incest, polygamy and drug use.

Huckabee also told college journalists last week that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt. "Children are not puppies," he said.

Huckabee visited The College of New Jersey in Ewing, N.J., last Wednesday to speak to the Student Government Association. He also was interviewed by a campus news magazine, The Perspective, which published an article on Friday.

Huckabee told the interviewer that not every group's interests deserve to be accommodated, if their lifestyle is outside of what he called "the ideal."

"That would be like saying, well there's there are a lot of people who like to use drugs so let's go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, should we accommodate them?" he said, according to a transcript of the interview.

The 2008 presidential hopeful and former Arkansas governor also said that deciding which lifestyles should be accommodated and which ones should not creates a slippery slope.

"Why do you get to choose that two men are OK but one man and three women aren't OK?" he asked.

Huckabee added that his goal isn't to tell others how to live, but that the burden of proving that a gay marriage can be successful rests with the activists in favor of changing the law.

"I don't have to prove that marriage is a man and a woman in a relationship for life," he said. "They have to prove that two men can have an equally definable relationship called marriage, and somehow that that can mean the same thing."

Since the magazine published the interview, Huckabee's remarks have attracted considerable attention on the Web.

In a statement Tuesday, Huckabee said that while he believes what people do in their private lives is their business, "I do not believe we should change the traditional definition of marriage." He also said he thought the college magazine was sensationalizing his "well-known and hardly unusual views of same-sex marriage."

In response to a 1992 questionnaire from The Associated Press, Huckabee, then a Senate candidate in Arkansas, spelled out his opposition to homosexuality, saying it was crucial that the country not "legitimize immorality."

"I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle," he wrote, in response to a question about gays in the military.

He also advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, saying it was necessary to confine "carriers of this plague."

As governor, Huckabee supported an Arkansas policy that prevented same-sex couples from serving as foster parents. On gay marriage, he said in an interview, "Marriage has historically never meant anything other than a man and a woman. It has never meant two men, two women, a man and his pet, or a man and a whole herd of pets."

Anti-Gay Senator Arrested after Leaving Gay Bar

Roy Ashburn, who is the divorced father of four daughters, ran on a family-values platform and had voted against a bill to recognize out-of-state same sex marriages, hosted a Traditional Values Coalition rally in Bakersfield, and received a perfect score of 100% on the Capitol Resource Family Impact scorecard for never voting yes to any equality legislation, ever.

Gay couples in DC begin applying to marry

Gaywedding2Gay couples in Washington DC were expected to descend on the city hall today to apply for marriage licences after a same-sex marriage law came into power.

The law was signed by DC mayor Adrian Fenty in November and has passed a congressional review. The district follows five other states in allowing gay couples the right to marry.

Officials at the city hall prepared for the change by making marriage applications gender-neutral and registrars have been given new advice on officiating ceremonies.

Couple will not be able to marry until March 9th, due to a mandatory waiting period.

Opponents had attempted a last-minute appeal to block the law but this was declined by the US Supreme Court yesterday.

Chief Justice John Roberts did not address the legal issues involved but instead said that such decisions should be taken by local courts.

He also declined a request for a referendum on gay marriage.

Religious and ‘family’ groups are expected to continue their efforts to repeal the law.


California State Law: Cure Homosexuality?

Bizarre laws that were once written in an 1830s rush of old-fashioned political angst are nothing new. Many are laugh out loud funny, even. In Connecticut it's illegal to walk across the street on your hands. In Missouri it's against the law to buy yellow margarine. And in Alabama, it's illegal to sell sex toys. (Here's the scary part -- that law was actually UPHELD last year.)

But California may take the cake for having the most homophobic statute still on state books. As Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal notes, California state law technically includes a statute that calls on the State Department of Mental Health to investigate "the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including deviations conducive to sex crimes against children, and the causes and cures of homosexuality."

Yikes. And you thought Proposition 8 was the most anti-gay law in California. Time to give the California legislature a nudge to get this bizarre and out-dated law off of the books for good.

Assemblywoman Lowenthal has introduced a bill, with the blessing of Equality California, that would remove this law. Sure, the law isn't really being followed -- California's budget is enough shambles without having to worry about taxpayer money being wasted on research trying to cure homosexuality. But the fact that the law is there in the first place certainly sends the wrong message.

"Our codes are constantly updated, and the fact this language has survived this long is pretty amazing," Lowenthal said, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram. "We need to blot it out and make it clear we're moving forward as a society, not backward."

This should be one law that Republicans, Democrats, and Austrian Governors can get behind repealing. Although no word on whether the Knights of Columbus, Ron Prentice, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are organizing a statewide drive to keep the unenforced directive in place.

Sign the petition to get this law overturned here.


Explaining the Gay: A Swing and a Miss!

Everybody seems to be scratching their heads about homosexuals these days. For evolutionary theorists, the question is: Why? If homosexuality (at least male homosexuality) is largely heritable, as seems to be pretty well documented, how does the "gay gene" persist in human populations over evolutionary time? If gay men – pretty much by definition – take themselves out of the gene pool, why are their genes still in there splashing around?

The currently dominant theory turns on self-interest, as is the case with most current evolutionary thinking. Gay men, the theory posits, will be much more nurturing of their nieces and nephews than would heterosexual men (who would, after all, have their own kids to worry about). Thus, in increasing the reproductive potential of their nieces and nephews (by helping more of them survive to adulthood), a fraction of the man's DNA is carried forward to future generations.

To my way of thinking, this theory seems to be bending over backward to account for something that really needs no explanation. Human sexuality in pre-agricultural societies was likely to have been more about maintaining relationships than about basic reproduction itself. Don’t believe me? E. O. Wilson, the founding thinker of what’s come to be known as evolutionary psychology, wrote that homosexuality is “above all a form of bonding,” and that, like “the greater part of heterosexual behavior,” homosexuality is “a device that cements relationships” (1978, p. 144). This notion that human sexuality evolved to be more about establishing and maintaining relationships than just reproduction is something we explore in depth in Sex at Dawn.

Read story at:


Conversion Therapy

Lifeleadmain_309507s The British Independent has a fascinating story about story about the small but evangelical world of psychotherapists that believe they can "cure" homosexuality. Writer Patrick Strudwick went undercover to see what the"cure" is all about:

In Britain today therapists are trying to convert gay men and women to heterosexuality. I know this, because for several months I infiltrated this network of therapists and put myself – a happy, "out" gay man – through treatment.

According to a report by Professor Michael King of University College London, one in six UK psychiatrists and psychotherapists have sought to reduce or change a patient's sexual orientation. And with the help of the American conversion therapy movement, practitioners here, along with a clutch of international "conversion" organisations, are becoming co-ordinated and unified. They plan to gain credibility, university backing and government funding. In some cases, the NHS is even paying for the treatment.

This is despite the fact that homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – psychiatry's glossary of conditions – 36 years ago. And despite much evidence that such practices are damaging and ineffective.

Story continues here

Moscow mayor repeats claims of ’satanic’ gay Pride marches

The mayor of Moscow has repeated his claims that gay Pride marches are "satanic".

Yuri Luzhkov attacked gay-themed events in 2007 as "satanic" in 2007 and banned gay rights campaigners from holding such an event.

According to the Interfax news agency, he said last month: "For several years, Moscow has experience[d] unprecedented pressure to conduct a gay pride parade, which cannot be called anything but a Satanic act.

"We have prevented such a parade and we will not allow it in the future. Everyone needs to accept that as an axiom."

Luzhkov added: "It's high time that we stop propagating nonsense discussions about human rights, and bring to bear on them the full force and justice of the law."

Story continues here.


Air America to air no more

Maddowrtlblog Air America, the liberal talk-radio network that helped boost the careers of Al Franken and Rachel Maddow, said Thursday that it was declaring bankruptcy and going off the air.

The company, founded in 2004 and based in New York, strove to provide left-leaning commentary and call-in programs as an alternative to such popular conservative radio talkers as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage.

Its live programming will cease this afternoon, and the company plans to file for bankruptcy "to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business," wrote Air America Chairman Charlie Kireker in a statement to employees.

"The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America's business," Kireker wrote. "This past year has seen a 'perfect storm' in the media industry generally."

The Day Before Christmas

Queercure-288x300 Eminem has agreed to leave out the anti-gay songs in order to appear at the Wireless Festival in England. Mostly out of fear of protesters spoiling the concert, Outrage! spokeman David Allison said: "We have a condition that he does not use lyrics that encourage or incite hatred against gay people."
George Michael has a new documentary coming out, George Michael – Live in London. The documentary is filmed footage of a arena concert in 2008, which marked the end of this 25 Live Tour. Featured tracks include “Careless Whisper, “Freedom”, Faith”, “Everything She Wants” and “Amazing.”  The behind the scenes bonus documentary, “I’d Know Him A Mile Off” offers a inside look into Michael’s life on and off the stage. A preview can be seen here.

Gay entertainment websites are buzzing over the exclusion of a gay pairing in the trailer of the upcoming feature film Valentine's Day.The romantic comedy, set for a February 12 nationwide release, pairs five couples as they celebrate Valentine's Day in Los Angeles. Included in the mix is Bradley Cooper, whose gay character is reportedly in love with a closeted football player, performed by Eric Dane, dreamy Doctor McSteamy from ABC's Grey's Anatomy.

But the movie's trailer released Monday omits the film's inclusion of a gay storyline.

“Is it really impossible to market an ensemble romantic comedy to the masses with a gay couple in it?,” Ed Kennedy wrote at, a website devoted to male gay entertainment. “Could that really be considered a bad marketing move in Hollywood now?” Trailer can be viewed here.

Strange: A recent controversy surfaced suggesting that HP computers are racist. A video surfaced featuring two extremely bored employees who suggest that the video tracking of HP computers does not follow black people. You can view the video and judge here

 And from this: How deep does homophobia have to go before society, at large, admits that it is a serious problem?  Police in Queensland, Australia are investigating a man who allegedly paid a prostitute to rape his 15 year old son because he thought his son was homosexual.  According to reports, the man took the boy to a motel, gave a female prostitute $50.00 and told his son that he wanted to see a used condom to evidence that he was getting what he was paying for.

But for the father allegedly making yet another brilliant parenting decision, the incident would have remained unreported.  Police were tipped off about the rape when the father called the Child Protection Investigation Unit to inquire as to why they hadn’t investigated his son for “abusing” his younger brother,  After he inquired, he advised the the officer that he had attempted to fix the problem himself by taking the boy to a prostitute.

Rockhampton Magistrates Court’s investigation determined that enough evidence existed to substantiate the allegations against the father to send him to trial for the rape of his son.

And a merry Christmas to you.

Read All About It

BlindGossip – This A list actor has always dated the most beautiful girls in the world. These girls are his beards. He actually prefers skinny boys. His latest flame is a boy who was involved in a European scandal involving starlets, drugs and high class prostitution. Scandal Boy recently shipped out to Los Angeles so that he could be at the beck and call of our actor. (The suspects thus far are Leonardo, George Clooney, Joey Arias and Orlando Bloom, though one person wrote: "Didn’t Orlando Bloom paint his house black? A gay man wouldn’t do that."
6a00d8341c730253ef0120a75d7ba8970b-800wi Poor Andy Towle of Towleroad is taking heat for his non-stop reporting of neo-celebrity Adam Lambert, who stopped by the Jay Leno show. In one of the great non-stories of the day, Andy writes:  "Adam Lambert stopped in to Jay Leno for a moment last night and found himself under some creeping mistletoe." Irate readers have quickly replied: "Andy, it's your blog and you can do what you want with it, but you seem to have an obsession with someone who really isn't all that interesting. He goes to a gay bar, he's on TV and on and on and on. Enough already."
 Mitcham The Advocate is reporting that swimmer and cover boy Matthew Mitcham has topped the list of the 25 most influential gay and lesbian Australians. The list is compiled from nominations by the Australian public. One wonders how big the list is? The list also included pop star Sia and MTV personality Ruby Rose. We include this story mainly to post the picture of Mitcham, who is a top on any list.

Gay activists in Chicago celebrated a victory in removing the band Evil Incarnate from a multigroup show scheduled at the White Star Night Club this Saturday. The band’s songs include the antigay and racist track “Killer of Faggots.”
In a statement, the Gay Liberation Network hailed concert promoter Renato Brierio for agreeing to remove the neo-Nazi band from the bill.

Anderson Cooper comes out? Gawker reports:  "While Anderson Cooper was guest hosting Live with Regis and Kelly, Ripa said, "Anderson was just saying to me, 'I hope I come out.'" Whoa, that can't be true. Anderson loves his closet something fierce! Actually, the quote seems more like a Freudian slip. When guest Fergie walks onto the set, after a little bit of dancing and lip syncing with Ripa, she sits down and Kelly says, "Anderson, isn't this your dream? Anderson was just saying to me, 'I hope I come out—I hope Fergie comes out to dance with me, because I love to dance.'" Oopsie! She didn't mean to insinuate that, you know, Anderson Cooper is a man who likes men? No, she would never insinuate that. But she must be used to using "Anderson Cooper" and "comes out" in the same sentence, because it sure rolled off her tongue. (Listen people, blogs are like 24 hour news channels, they have to fill the void with something) Gawker has been relentless in its pursuit of Cooper and has filed a few reports about the alleged boyfriend of AC, Benjamin Maisani who is the co-owner of gay bar Eastern Bloc.

Cha Cha

The news from around the world today starts with: Twitter users are complaining about a debate on the BBC's website which asks 'Should homosexuals be executed?'. It appears on the Have Your Say debate boards.
Reaction is pouring in like static on a cashmere sweater as Out magazine's Gay 100 Albums of all time is being published everywhere. One listener wrote: "What about Songs From the Big Chair by Tears for Fears? Isn't 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World' about the homosexual agenda?"
Queerty announces that Tim Burton's upcoming flick, Alice in Wonderland is the gayest film of the next decade: "The story. A young girl traveling to a world of colorful characters, villains, helpful allies, questions of morality, and a giant fancy dinner party? This is practically the gay rights struggle — and every seven-year-old gay boy's dream world — packaged into a single big screen adventure." Nice!

A volcano in the Philippines is ready to blow! But it's beautiful.

 Popular blog Queercents, a site for gays who like coupons, is taking a break from publishing, but promises to come back, someday.

 Interesting story at afterelton called, "Coming Out" In Droves: Eleven Who Did in 2009. Not sure eleven is a drove, but the usual suspects are Adam Lambert, Chris Golfer (Glee), from the Broadway production of Hair, Calvin Creel, and singer Mika.

The Gist: Interview: GLAAD's Barrios on ABC & Lambert

Jarrett-barrios-2_web This is from The Gist, Michelangelo Signorile's website:
This is my full interview (clip below) on the show yesterday with Jarrett Barrios of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation regarding the widespread criticism of the group in its handling of the Adam Lambert/ABC controversy, which had GLAAD sending out statement after statement trying to counter reports that it backed ABC in banning Lambert from several shows. Barrios came into the studio to sit down with me and sincerely wanted to clear the air. He accepted responsibility for what happened and admitted that the group's first update after ABC banned Lambert from two more shows was problematic, attributing it to a lack of clarity. But I still believe the explanations given weren't adequate -- and judging from the callers to the show afterward, many people agree -- and that GLAAD is still not taking a forceful stand. Nor do I believe, as I told Barrios, that the decision by The View to book Lambert for a taped segment Thursday was a "partial victory," as he called it, since he's still banned from shows they had dumped him from.Overall I think GLAAD has a long way to go in explaining what happened here and also its larger mission. It is compromised by the fact that it takes money from ABC --something else we discussed -- and that it just doesn't seem to be at the forefront of controversies and defamation, more so focused on giving out awards and patting media on the back.
The interview can be heard here.


If that's what it means to be gay, I quit by Sky Gilbert

I am no longer gay. I quit. But that doesn't mean I don't still adore my pink high heels (and the questionable stains on them). In fact, my unrepentant love for those smelly old shoes has very much to do with why I am defecting and/or just resigning from the club.

No, it's not just because I'm old and tired (although I am); it's because the love that dare not speak its name is now shouting it out from the rooftops. Gay is everywhere and, paradoxically, gay is also over. But the new gay that is simultaneously invisible and ubiquitous is not the gay I once knew.

I think it was Modern Family that did it. I flicked on the TV – as I always do when I hear of a new sitcom with gay characters – and what a shock! Not only is the gay couple on the show completely accepted by their family as a whole, but there is nothing the least bit gay about them. They are a pair of nice, overweight, unattractive middle-class men obsessed with their adopted Asian daughter. I found myself searching for a camp moment, but I'm afraid neither of them is any nellier than the straight husband on the show.

But, like most mainstream entertainment, Modern Family is merely a symptom of what's really going on. For years, gay neo-con Andrew Sullivan (he's the only gay man you are likely to see on CNN, ever) has been telling us that being gay is all about being a good citizen. In fact, if you speak to the leaders of most gay and lesbian political groups about what it means to be gay today, they will probably answer using the words “love” or “family” or “caring.”

Well, the world of pretty rainbows, church on Sunday, monogamy, respectability and good citizenship is not the world I signed onto when I filled out my gay card.

How did this happen? Well, we live in a cyber-reality of Twitter, blogs and virtual sex. The great movements of the sixties – leftism, feminism, gay liberation and civil rights – are over. That doesn't mean we're done with class inequities, misogyny, racism or homophobia. But political correctness makes us think they're gone – and besides, we have the endlessly satisfying drug of technology to assuage any and all insecurities. Heck, these days no one interacts with anyone in the real world long enough to care about what goes on out there anyway.

In this contradictory era, there is a black U.S. president and yet police officers are still being accused of racial profiling. And Adam Lambert – the gayest American Idol contestant ever – was recently criticized by the gay community for wearing makeup and kissing a guy in his act. (Jennifer Vanasco, editor-in-chief of website, said Mr. Lambert tarnished the reputation of gays in the eyes of middle America, “who think gay life is exactly what he portrayed on the American Music Awards.”)

The contradictions of postmodern culture don't stop there. Though some real-life gay men are adopting Asian children, some are so pressed by the new, perfect, sanitized gay ideal that they end up drowning themselves in suicidal drugs and unsafe sex.

Here's my own personal solution. I reject the gay world. I have a new identity: I'm an ESP (pronounced ESPIE). That means effeminate sexual person. I'm committed to things that are no longer gay: alternative sexual and romantic relationships (promiscuity) and gender play (I prefer my women to act like men and my men to act like women). Don't worry, you can be a butch woman and still be an ESPIE – all you have to do is commit to gender-inappropriate behaviour of any kind and enjoy sex for pleasure alone (please don't do it – yawn – just to beget children).

Lately, Toronto's gay press has been bemoaning straight forecasts of what some have called “the premature death of Church Street.” One gay columnist says that, even if the condos drive the gays out of our neighbourhood, we will always have Church Street (sigh) in our hearts.

But it isn't just Church Street that's on the wane. When being gay is the same as being straight, there's no need for gay anything. Gay bars, books, gay magazines, gay newspapers – gay culture as we know it – will eventually disappear.

But, hey, I'm an ESPIE! So I don't care. And finally I can stop complaining.

Sky Gilbert is University Research Chair in Creative Writing and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. His latest poetry collection is A Nice Place to Visit.


The Final Hours at the Blade

Washingtonbladecover The Washington City Paper took an inside look at the last few hours of the Washington Blade as management told its staff that it was shutting down on Monday afternoon.The process started about 12:30 p.m., when movers arrived to evacuate boxes of personal and work-related items, and lasted through 3:30 p.m., the time designated for staffers to leave. Steve Cheverton a friend of those on staff, told the City Paper that he arrived at the Blade offices at the National Press Club with his Ford F-150 truck. “I know a lot of the employees, and I’ve supported them throughout, in all the gay pride marches and stuff like that,” he said. “I just think it’s really without integrity the way they did this. ... The least we can do is help these people take their stuff home.”Read the full story at the Washington City Paper.


Mike Alvear on the "gift" of HIV

"If I hear one more HIV+ man tell me he's "grateful" for the disease because it made him a more peaceful, loving, open, honest person I'm going to scream. Those afflicted by disease --whether it's cancer or HIV-- have taken a pernicious slide toward rationalizing their conditions as something "necessary" for them to achieve some kind of enlightenment. And we can lay that awful trend on the likes of Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra and that whole positive thinking guru crap that passes for spiritual insight."I don't want to be mean to my friends and acquaintances that have the burden of a terrible condition, but I just can't be silent anymore. I simply can't listen to anyone who tells me he's embraced the virus as a gift because it's made him a better person. Just last week an acquaintance said, 'HIV has given me a new life. I needed it to open my eyes to the joy of living. I'm emotionally stronger and I have a new sense of priorities.'"What a crock of caca. HIV as the path to God? The virus as your friend? This is the kind of fertilizer the fields of Ireland long for. Here's what I say to all my HIV+ friends: Don't be grateful; be angry. Don't carry the burden of trying to make HIV your friend. Like all friends, it'll expect you to be loyal and introduce it to your other friends. [snip] While HIV is not your friend, it isn't your enemy either. It just *is.* Learning to deal with it is an admirable accomplishment, but please, don't tell us it's a gift. Or that your grateful." - Author Mike Alvear, writing for the Bilerico Project.Labels: Bilerico, HIV, HomoQuotable, Mike Alvear


The Washington Blade Shuts Down

Incredibly sad and surprising news for the LBGT media world, not to mention the local media scene: The Washington Blade has been shut down. The LGBT publication's twitter feed first alerted us to what was going on just a little while ago: "Washington Blade, like all Window Media publications, is closing today. Thank you for your support. (Keep following us for developments.)" Sure enough, even the Blade's web site has been taken down.


Remembering Laramie

Loyola-university-new-orleans-laramie-project Last night across the country, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later was performed in commemoration of the death of Matthew Shepard, which was eleven years to the day of his murder. One of those performances was held at the Broad Stage Theatre in Santa Monica. A production mounted by the Gay Men’s Chorus and the Speak Theater Arts, this show featured some Hollywood talent with special guests Mary McCormack, Mary McDonnell, Sharon Lawrence, Charlotte Rae, Randi Driscoll and Bradley Whitford. The distinction of this production was the Gay Men’s Choir acting as a Greek Chorus of sorts. The production began with a swaying version of Wind, by the Sons of the Pioneers. What evolved in a three hour production was a hybrid musical and play, textured by great acting and punctuated by emotional moments from the Chorus. In reviewing the consequences of Matthew Shepards’ death, eleven years later, this epilogue addresses the question raised by 2004’s 20/20 newscast, which angled that the real reason behind the brutal murder was not homophobia but drugs and money; what role does a community have to remember and be responsible and where are we, as nation, eleven years later.

There is an awkward moment in life when the revelation that there is no truth is revealed: There is only interpretation, generally conceived within the will of one’s agenda. So imagine, a young Anne Frank becomes a spy for the Nazi army, the Holocaust simply never happened. The past is easy to rewrite because there a few living challenges, but not so in the case of Matthew Shepard.  In 2004, 20/20 turned a blind eye to the truth and suggested that the Matthew Shepard murders were prompted by drugs and money rather than sexual orientation. This is called negationism. The 20/20 revisionist theory is based on statements made by the girlfriend of convicted killer Aaron McKinney, who claimed that the attack was a result of heavy drug use, a robbery and a beating gone awry.  But in 1998 she told 20/20: "They just wanted to beat him bad enough to teach him a lesson, not to come on to straight people, and don’t be aggressive about it anymore.” The question then boils down to was McKinney homophobic and did it play a role in the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard? In a 2008 interview McKinney stated: “The night I did it, I did have hatred for homosexuals,' He goes on, according to the interview, to say that he still dislikes gays and that his perceptions about Shepard's sex life bolstered his belief that the killing was justified.

It should be noted that over the weekend, a gay man in Queens, NY was attacked by two men and yelled anti-gay slurs while he was in the store early Friday,” the AP reported. That man is currently in a coma.

The Diminishing Gay Return

Gaiety A recent trip to Washington D.C. and New York City revealed some interesting aspects to gay life: gay life has diminished. Gay life simply isn’t what it used to be and that may not be a bad thing…or is it?  Today’s march on Washington will make a little dent in the politics of gay equality or as Rep. Barney Frank said “The only thing they're going to be putting pressure on is the grass.”  It does give outlet for some people who are emotionally tied up in the politics, but to what degree it influences—we will have to wait and see.

My own belief is that culture and politics are mostly changed by art. Movies and television in particular have an enormous influence on young people. To that degree we have certainly been engaged in mainstream culture, though one wishes the stereotypes would someday end (Chris Colfer’s Kurt in Glee is a lovable but extremely stereotypical character). Movies and television reach millions and send out messages about the degree to which our American culture is willing to invite and accept being different. So while Kevin Walker’s relationship (in Brothers and Sisters) with the slightly annoying Scotty Wandell is a great step forward, their physical relationship has always seemed awkward and without flame.

But back to the tale of two cities.

On a tour to Arlington cemetery we met an older gentleman by the name of Bobby.  He was 69 years old, wore a toupee and the blackest eyeliner against his pale pink skin. He was alone. He sat down next to us and began a conversation. He seemed to know a lot about Arlington and invited us to watch the changing of the guard with him and he knew the exact place to stand for the best view. The changing of the guard is almost a tribute to Michael Jackson for surely they are doing the moonwalk with Bob Fosse like movements. It’s extremely serious and the young men in a tight face-off check each out each other, fixing their ties and fondling their guns. Bobby took us backstage so to speak afterwards and told us that they always have two men of equal height as to not create a distraction. That Bobby knew so much and was alone there in the great cemetery made one wonder: did he have a lover who was in the service or was he simply in love with the rugged good looks of the young men in the changing of the guard?

Back in DC at DuPont Circle was there another kind of changing of the guard. Using the iphone application Gay Cities we located a gay bar in an alley where four muscular boys in underwear were standing atop the bar, gently moving their hips and lowering their crotches into the faces of the people sitting at the bar. On a television screen located above the entrance, porn was looping, a soundless reminder of sex. The music was loud of course, so conversation was reduced to nods and occasional wonderment as a young dancer lowered his underwear to descry a perfect orb of muscular flesh. Not exactly relaxing.

New York City, just like I imagined it…tall buildings and everything. I used to live in New York City. It was the 80s and the decade began with Ronnie Reagan as president and the occasional report of a “gay cancer” showing up in gay men. This was a different NYC. There were the piers, still being haunted by men in shadows and Central Park was notorious for a lot of public sex.

Flash forward to 2009 and the village is essentially a straight haven of expensive cafes and endless gyms. The Greenwich Theatre, a landmark movie house on Greenwich Avenue is now an Eclipse Gym and Spa. Times Square, once home to The Gaiety, a midtown strip bar is gone. Closed in 2005, it opened in 1976 and for thirty years provided a fun outlet for the voyeur in all of us. Times Square now resembles a Main Street theme park only massively populated.

It is of little help for pine for the past. Change is inevitable and written into the DNA of life itself. As one grows older there is an expectation of elegance, a kind of Noel Cowardish desire to be surrounded by beauty, flowers and quaint music. Using that little iphone application once again, after a chic little dinner in the lower east side, we decided to visit at least one gay bar. The closest bar was something called The Cock. We were given free drink tickets and entered into a dark room with about four people. Signs everywhere screamed: sexual activity is not allowed. A DJ played music fit for a party of 40, a loud thumping mixture of grating sounds that allowed no interaction with the four other people, even if we wanted to. Fleeing into the balmy New York night one remembered Uncle Charlie’s on Greenwich, but that too is gone.

As someone who used to write travel articles for gay publications it should be noted that at some point and I think it was San Diego I gave up. SD had some great straight bars, chic, elegant, perfectly modern and sleek, and while we hunted for the legendary Hillcrest, all we found was a few bars that felt like the 80s, wooden, old and not particularly attractive.

This was true of Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City. Along the seashore in PV, there were magnificent bars with 50 foot Buddha’s and shimmering curtains. Maybe our gay radar is broken, but we went to Blue Chairs Hotel rooftop, and indeed it was it offseason, but it was tired.

In Mexico City, there was an enormous amount of public handholding by young gay people. But the bars, all packed into one street resembled fish aquariums with steamed windows and people literally being pushed to the edge of the windows.

Maybe these places are for the young with better tolerance for sound and surrounding. Visiting gay bars is a kind of nostalgia regardless. Most people interested in sex are at home retouching their photos and sending endless emails to strangers.

The Random

1. It's hard to take Sarah Palin seriously, when she speaks.
2. Is there one conspiracy theory that has been proven?
3. A congressman will present a resolution to Congress for Obama to apologize to Cambridge police, but no one has asked George Bush to apologize for starting a war with a lie. Strange.
4. There is a growing impatience with Barack Obama.
5. Weeks later, listening to Michael Jackson sing, "You Are Not Alone", can be devastating.
6. Bruno certainly came and went.
7. Does anyone know what the number one song in the country is?
8. When will a UFO become identified?  
9. Who decided the two day weekend?
10. Merce Cunningham is dead at 90.