How British Gay Men Used To Talk: A short film featuring Polari, the cult language of UK homosexuals derived from theatre and circus slang, popularized in the 1960s by the camp radio characters Julian and Sandy. Need a dictionary? Or a translated Polari scene from Velvet Goldmine?
Alexander Chee asks: Future Queer: Where is Gay America going next?
A remarkably balanced, for 1964, Life Magazine feature article on homosexuality in America. “A secret world grows open and bolder. Society is forced to look at it—and try to understand it.”
Schumacher's Batman Forever uses the same tropes as Hitchcock's Strangers On A Train to code both Batman and Robin and Riddler And Two-Face as rival gay protagonists
"What was striking about the recent film The Imitation Game wasn't just the incredible story of Alan Turing, the man who helped the Allies win the Second World War by cracking Germany's Enigma code, only to find himself chemically castrated for being gay. It was the epilogue that informed us that the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act, criminalising homosexual activity, led to 49,000 gay men being convicted of gross indecency in the UK. If you subtract Turing and Oscar Wilde from that total, that’s 48,998 stories that still haven't been told." Why is television still ignoring gay lives? – Matt Cain for The Independent. [more inside]
Writer/Actor Justin Elizabeth Sayre hosts The Meeting Of The International Order Of Sodomites - a monthly show honoring LGBTQ figures and idols. The Meeting includes a signature segment "The Rulings Of The Board" featuring Justin as Chairman delivering a caustic and revealing monologue on current issues in gay culture and politics - highlights include "Rufus Wainwright Is An Idiot." "Returning Shame To Gay Culture." "The New Hanky Code." "Resetting The Gay Agenda." "The 20-year Olds Hate Us." and oh so many more. (NSFW language) [more inside]
"Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Long Suicide of Montgomery Clift" by Anne Helen Petersen for Vanity Fair. (Warning: graphic description of car accident in the link.) [more inside]
83 year old Chicano author John Rechy (City Of Night, The Sexual Outlaw, Rushes) talks to Lambda Literary about gay assimilation, being mistaken for white, melding truth and fiction, the post-Stonewall peroid, and hating the word 'queer.'
The Light-Blue Puppy is a visually extraordinary India Ink-animated Soviet musical children's cartoon made in 1976, only recently translated into English. It tells the tale of a small, sad puppy who has been rejected by his peers for his unusual color, but nevertheless manages to find his way in the world (with some help from a few other colorful characters, of course). On its surface it appears to be a cute, cleverly-animated story with a simple message of tolerance. [more inside]
To be gay, Christian and black in Harlem West African asylum seekers face a new kind of discrimination in the US
"Flaunting themselves on Instagram, they are also all proudly and openly gay ... But at the same time, they all look fairly heteronormative: hunky, sporty, the kind of guy who would call himself “masc & musc” in a hook-up app and would never take a photo of himself at Drag Brunch. And all are careful to avoid appearing like they are doing this just to get laid. By showing that, they would be revealing that they are vulnerable and have needs, and an #Instastud can never look unsatisfied with his life." Meet The #Instastuds - The Cut looks at the gays on instragram who really want to you look at them and how they live. Contains a link to a discussion of “Fire Island Pines, Polaroids 1975 to 1983” at Salon. (NSFW, nudity)
"The Sound of Stigma: An essay by Mark S. King—an AIDS advocate, an author and a blogger living with HIV since 1985—on why HIV stigma among gay men persists."
What Does D-Day, MLK JR and Tennessee Williams have in common? NO, not that D-Day. The other D-Day. [more inside]
Political Identification: communist"Dear Bloody Red Heart, Always remember that information is power, and functions as such." [more inside]
Your problem: I have recently started seeing a communist woman, and I really like her, but my problem is that I still have overwhelmingly strong feelings for the communist woman I had a thing with in the summer, and who has gone to fight the good fight in other lands. Should I tell the comrade I’m currently seeing about my divided affections? As we are not yet in full communism, I fear I may not have enough to go round… From: Bloody Red Heart"
The county where no one's gay. The 2010 Census of Franklin County Mississippi shows no same sex couples. (pdf). CNN videographer Brandon Ancil and human rights columnist John D. Sutter tried to determine if the census was wrong, and see if they could find gay men and women willing to speak about "what keeps them hidden." Video
Men in Saris: Mumbai's new lavani dancers Lavani is a folk dance, traditionally performed by women for men. The popularity of Bin Baykancha Tamasha (or Performance Without Women) and other female-impersonation groups in Mumbai suggests that the city may slowly be getting comfortable with flamboyant expressions of male sexuality.
The Homosexual Atom Bomb
Such absurd equations show how homosexuality became a floating signifier, associated with whatever political tendency one most disliked. Rather than representing a certain group of people, it represented everything that was wrong—whatever that meant. America’s Red Scare bled into its Lavender Scare; the Soviets associated homosexuality with capitalism and fascism. But empty as it was, the political use of the trope of homosexuality had a devastating effect on real people from both countries."Homosexuality Is Stalin's Atom Bomb to Destroy America" is on display at the Winkleman Gallery in NYC. [more inside]
When sex means reproduction, certain proclivities may simply not be part of cultural models of sexuality: "Barry and Bonnie Hewlett had been studying the Aka and Ngandu people of central Africa for many years before they began to specifically study the groups' sexuality... [T]he Hewletts conclude, "Homosexuality and masturbation are rare or nonexistent [in these two cultures], not because they are frowned upon or punished, but because they are not part of the cultural models of sexuality in either ethnic group."" [more inside]
“Commitment vows are very powerful, even in a cynical era when people aren't afraid of getting divorced,”
Families in Flux:"As household arrangements take new directions, scientists attempt to sort out the social effects" [more inside]
"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
But the reason I do this is because I love you, whoever you are, and I want to share my situation so that you can know further truth: I am gay. I am Mormon. I am married to a woman. I am happy every single day. My life is filled with joy. I have a wonderful sex life. And I’ve been married for ten years, and plan to be married for decades more to come to the woman of my dreams.
“I believe I owe the gay community an apology.” -- Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, considered by some to be the father of modern psychiatry, recants a poorly conceived 2003 investigation that supported the use of so-called reparative therapy to “cure” homosexuality for people strongly motivated to change.
Mass Effect 3’s gay male love scenes (the game lets the player determine the main character's sexual orientation) have already triggered a battle between YouTubers. (At the time of the main link's posting, it was 1,320 dislikes versus 292 likes. As of now, it's 1,857 dislikes vs. 1,078 likes.) Gamespot hopes that ME3 ushers in a "a more mature form of interactive storytelling."
In 1962, the Mansfield (Ohio) Police Department stationed officers armed with a movie camera behind a two-way mirror in a public restroom known for its "cruisy" atmosphere. With the help of the footage shot, dozens of men were arrested, prosecuted, and convicted on sodomy charges, which at the time carried mandatory minimum sentences of a year in prison. In 2007, the original surveillance footage was obtained by filmmaker William E. Jones. He's screened the unedited 56 minute film as Tearoom at festivals and museums the world over, providing a clandestine look at the scrutiny small-town Midwestern gay men faced in the 1960's. [warning: explicit, NSFW material lies beyond most links] [more inside]
Chaim Levin appeared in a video as part of the It Gets Better project (previously). A staff reporter for the Jewish Press criticised Chaim (referred to as "Dovid") in an op-ed; Chaim's response led to threats against the paper, which has now supported Chaim and declared that it "won't be silenced". [more inside]
The Invention of the Heterosexual: In a new book, author Hanne Blank explains the surprisingly short history of the concepts of hetero- and homosexuality. [more inside]
The Story of a Suicide: a fantastic array of updates about Tyler Clementi’s death (Previously on MeFi) and Dharun Ravi’s trial.
The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. - Justice Anthony KennedyJohn Geddes Lawrence, the defendant in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional across the country, died on Nov. 20, according to an obituary posted by R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. He was 68. [more inside]
Sucks To Be A Straight Guy. Stepping away from the microphone, Jesse Thorn interviews Dan Savage, advice columnist of Savage Love.
Though the posters and trailers promise quality performances, Clint Eastwood's biopic J. Edgar seems intent on skirting certain issues in the former FBI director's personal life. The JEH Foundation is already denying the "rumors" louder than ever, but so far there's little indication that they've got anything to fear beyond a little hand-holding. QUEERTY asks: if Clint Eastwood is cool with homos, why is he freaking out about J. Edgar not being a gay movie? Despite the tame promos, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black insists that the gay subplot makes up "about a third" of the story. Meanwhile, an upcoming memoir by former Hollywood pimpster Scotty Bowers is rumored to contain a firsthand account of a gay weekend getaway with Hoover and company.
Someone claiming to be an attorney is attempting to scrub the Internet of "private, obscene, lewd and pornographic photographs" of Colton Haynes, the star of MTV's new series Teen Wolf. Turns out, however, that the photos are neither private, nor obscene, nor porographic: they were part of a playful photo-spread published by XY Magazine in March of 2006. Or as Queerty so elegantly puts it, "XY Boytoy All Grown Up & Having Legal Regrets Now That He's On MTV." Markedly different, they point out, than when Real World star Dustin Zito tried to scrub out his gay porn past.
With the official repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" less than a month away, members of the military can expect to see a new gay-themed magazine available at military exchange stores on Sept. 20 which is also the day that the repeal of DADT goes into effect and it is the day that a new gay-themed magazine will be available at military exchange stores. This particular issue will be free and will feature a photo spread of a number of active duty military personnel.
The last man to have been imprisoned in a concentration camp for being homosexual under the Nazis has died, his obituary is more interesting than that sounds.
Berkeley rapper Lil' B announced at Coachella he is doing "the most controversial thing in hip-hop". He's releasing an album titled I'm Gay. Only he's not gay. Well, not gay in the gay way. He's gay in the really happy way. Lil' B informed MTV News that he's "taking the initial steps to break barriers" between the hip-hop community and homosexuals. He has received death threats as a result of his message. GLAAD remains skeptical about the rapper's motives.
The Douglass Blvd. Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky has voted to stop signing marriage licenses until gay marriage is legalized by the state.
(NSFW) BUTT magazine (previously, previouslier) has undergone a huge redesign this year and asked readers to submit reviews of their sexual encounters. They don't always go well. [more inside]
Bishop Jim Swilley of Conyers, Georgia's megachurch Church In The Now has announced to his congregation that he is gay. He was moved to make the announcement after the recent national coverage of gay suicides. Queerty has more details and video reports, including video of the sermon where he made the announcement. [more inside]
Out and Proud - Gay and lesbian personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force talk about their lives. In his 30-year career with the army, Wood has attended conferences with officers from American services. The notable difference is that Wood can stand alongside his partner of seven years, Gerald Johnstone, and introduce him as such.
"An Interview with [Gay Porn Company] Bel Ami's George Duroy" [Warning: Pictures of shirtless gay porn actors.]
You might remember the intolerant Oklahoma State Representative, Sally Kern, who claimed that homosexuals are a bigger threat to our nation than terrorists. Well, she’s up for reelection this year and what has to be one of her biggest nightmares is happening – she is being challenged for her seat by a transgendered person. [more inside]
Fans know him as Tonéx. His eccentric style and vertiginous high notes helped make him one of the most acclaimed praise singers of the past decade, and, for a time, one of the most successful. ... This past September, the television host known as Lexi broadcast an interview [Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3] with Tonéx on the Word Network, a gospel channel, in which he made his clearest public statements about his sexual orientation. He is, within the church world, the first high-profile gospel singer in history to come out of the closet. Within hours, he started to realize what he had done. His relationship with the mainstream gospel industry was effectively over.From a fascinating article in the most recent New Yorker [abstract only]. This podcast [freely accessible] with the author of the article, Kelefah Sanneh, delves into the rarely discussed "secret" in the black church that many gospel musicians have been and are gay. Sanneh touches on the stories of both James Cleveland, the creator of the modern gospel sound who died of AIDS in 1991, and one of his backup singers, Carl Bean, who became famous for the 70s disco hit "I Was Born This Way." One contemporary preacher and gospel singer that Sanneh discusses in relation to Tonéx is Donnie McClurkin, a man made infamous during the Obama campaign for railing against homosexuals in Southern Black churches. McClurkin has admitted to engaging in homosexual acts for 20 years but does not identify as gay and believes a strong Christian faith can deliver a person from the "sin" of homosexuality. He recently delivered a sermon directed at young black homosexuals in the church, specifically calling out Tonéx. [McClurkin sermon Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3]
On Writing Gay Characters : Megan Rose Gedris.at Squidoo talks about common mistakes and preceptions to avoid when writing LGBT characters.
1969: The Year of Gay Liberation is an online exhibit of the New York Public Library focusing on the radical gay rights movements of the late sixties and early seventies, focusing on the organizations The Mattachine Society of New York, Daughters of Bilitis, Gay News, Gay Liberation Front, Radicalesbians, Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries and the Gay Activists Alliance, and the events of the Stonewall Riot and Christopher Street Liberation Day. This is but one part of the NYPL's fine LGBT collection, which includes, among other things, resources for teens, AIDS/HIV collections, and digital collections on ACT UP, Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen, Bessie Bonehill, Gertrude Stein, Gran Fury, Julian Eltinge, Richard Wandel and Walt Whitman.
Do you know what the Lutherans are doing this week? The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is talking about sex at their bi-annual assembly and they decided that blessings on gay marriage and the rosterering of leaders in same-gender relationships are A OK. [more inside]
Alan Turing, one of the men responsible for computers as we know them today, was persecuted by the British government for being a homosexual. [more inside]