An oral history of "Longtime Companion." The first major release movie to deal with the AIDS epidemic, 1990's Longtime Companion focuses on a group of gay friends in New York City, revisiting them one day per year starting in 1981. Bruce Davison won a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. [more inside]
The Walrus has published an article entitled "Dr. Shock: How an apartheid-era psychiatrist went from torturing gay soldiers in South Africa to sexually abusing patients in Alberta." "Dr. Shock" is Aubrey Levin, a psychiatrist currently serving a five-year prison term for sexual assault on three male patients. Prior to arriving in Canada, Levin was a colonel and psychiatrist for the apartheid-era South African Defence Force (SADF), which used drugs, electric shock torture and forcible gender reassignment surgery in "attempts to cure homosexual conscripts." [more inside]
Sexual-Preference Cakes We Are Willing to Build (a parody in light of the recent ruling in Colorado that Masterpiece Cakeshop discriminated against two men by refusing to sell them a wedding cake.)
Thirty two years ago this weekend, Bobbi Campbell and his partner, Bobby Hilliard appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine, most notable because the two men, embracing, were living with AIDS. [more inside]
"In 1979, a gay rights activist, communist and Angeleno named Harry Hay — a founder of a neo-pagan countercultural movement called the Radical Faeries — urged gay men to ‘‘throw off the ugly green frog skin of hetero-imitation.’’ Instead of fighting for the rights that straights had, like marriage and adoption, the faeries believed that to be gay was to possess a unique nature and a special destiny apart from straight people, and that this destiny would reach its full flowering in the wilds of rural America. " -- Out Of The Woods, After decades of semi-secrecy, a commune for L.G.B.T.Q. nonconformists has slowly begun to join the mainstream, by Alex Halberstadt for New York Times Magazine
"At Pyramid, die-hard leather clones inhaled amyl nitrate with nuclear goths and industrial transvestites."
"Pajubá is one of the many queer anti-languages of the world. People study them in 'Lavender Linguistics'. It's hard to study those languages because their usefulness vanishes if they are not secret anymore. Pajubá is a moving target, evolving so rapidly that it can't be documented." — Pajubá: The secret language of Brazilian trans women [via mefi projects]
Six people have been stabbed at Jerusalem's Pride Parade following threats from both a Haredi man just released from prison for a similar knife attack at the 2005 Jersusalem Pride parade, and from Lehava, a right-wing Jewish supremacy organization that also held a protest away from the LGBTQ parade route. These knife attacks are unfortunately not the first time LGBTQ Jews have been killed by other Jews; there was a gun attack on the Tel Aviv LGBTQ youth center in 2009 (previously). [more inside]
Most people are familiar with the handkerchief code, which uses different colors of bandannas[NSFW: sexual language] to signal coded messages between queer people. Mostly the province of gay men in the 1970s, today femmes of all gender identities are bringing flagging back in a new movement known as "femme flagging", a way to use style to fight heteronormativity and invisibility in the queer community. While most femmes "finger flag" with nail polish, Queer Fat Femme offers a few more suggestions as well as some conversation starters in the event you see someone else femme flagging.
"Lovato's song, on the other hand, is all about desire. She wants the girl because she wants the girl. Her perspective is that of a newbie, but that doesn’t make her a tourist; when she says 'Even if they judge / Fuck it,' she's going through the same process most every queer person has had to go through. Mostly, though, the song is about pop music's favorite topic: being attracted to someone hot." Demi Lovato's 'Cool for the Summer': The Next Great Gay Anthem?, Spencer Kornhaber for The Atlantic [more inside]
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?
"He sent me long emails about how I was a tool of the devil. I pictured him with two computer screens open — one for looking up scripture, and another to Mapquest the location of his next bathroom rendezvous. We were never going to have the cool kind of gay dad." Why I Answered My Dad's Gay Sex Ad by Aussa Lorens
The Seven Minutes In 2000 When The Clinton White House Considered Endorsing Marriage Equality (SL Longform Buzzfeed)
Evan Young is 18 years old, and the valedictorian at his high school in Colorado. Evan was barred from making his valedictory speech, and stripped of his title, when his principal learned that Evan planned to mention the fact that he was gay, in a speech centered around the idea that you must learn to respect people even if you disagree with them. Although he was never allowed to give that speech, and although his school outed him to his parents, Evan did get his chance to speak, at a fundraising event for OutBoulder.
Three years after Beauty and the Beat, Todrick Hall takes Belle to the gayborhood, where she runs into RuPaul, Lance Bass, Frankie Grande, and many others.
Self-described "butch queen" and gleeful gender-nonconformist AB SOTO brings the sparkly with his new song and video Cha Cha Bitch. It's got a beat; you can dance to it.
Larry Kramer’s The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart: A Novel (previously) is now on the shelves. [more inside]
According to his Twitter profile, Dr. Chuck Tingle is an erotic author and Tae Kwon Do grandmaster. He has a PhD from DeVry University in holistic massage. [more inside]
The Ghost Of Grindr "On Wednesday Michael Musto has an item in his column that reads “We’ve all met someone online with attractive photos who then shows up at your door looking like something from Night of the Living Dead, but rumors are growing amongst app-happy gays of a real life ‘ghost trick’ who shows up at your apartment via Grindr, then vanishes into thin air (shady!). I don’t know what to think of this urban legend-y tale, but shaken witnesses are sticking by their stories, and police have been involved in a few incidents, so be careful out there, boys (and ghouls).”
An Idaho State Senator, Paul Shepherd, has called on the state to impeach federal judges who struck down the state's anti-SSM law. One mistake, though. He forgot to renew the domain for his re-election campaign, and now a gay nerd has taken it over.
How do Mennonites handle gay people in their congregation? Depends on the church. This is the story of the Allegheny Mennonite Conference, as they debated what to do about Hyattsville Mennonite Church--let them back into the conference, remove them from it, or dissolve the conference altogether. Hyattsville had been previously disciplined for accepting gay and lesbian members, which they have been doing for decades. [more inside]
New documentary Tab Hunter Confidential is the story of the squeaky-clean 1950s teen idol whose career was nearly wrecked by gay rumours broken by the notorious Confidential magazine. Rumours that happened to be true. [more inside]
"In their youthful days, they took each other as companions for life, and... this union, no less sacred to them than the tie of marriage, has subsisted, in uninterrupted harmony, for forty years, during which they have shared each other’s occupations and pleasures and works of charity while in health, and watched over each other tenderly in sickness."
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.”
The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources. [more inside]
Last night at the Oscars, Patricia Arquette, after making an impassioned statement about wage equity for women during her speech, said, backstage, "The truth is: even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are applied that really do affect women," she mused. "And it's time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we've all fought for to fight for us now." [more inside]
Writer John Reed remembers growing up as a kid in New York in the 1970s, when his mother, artist Judy Rifka, was friends with queer artists like Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat and David Wojnarowicz, under the lurking presence of AIDS.
One year later, has Michael Sam been frozen out of the NFL?
When I was a kid, I always outsmarted myself in multiple-choice tests. I'd always get it wrong because I over-thought the question every time. In my adult life I've learned that the most obvious answer is generally the right one. The answer to the question I've posed to so many - Why is Michael Sam not with an NFL team? - is also likely the most obvious one: because he's openly gay. Defensive ends with the same size and the same speed - yet with less production in college and the NFL preseason - are in the NFL and Sam is not because he's gay and he just won't stop being gay.
"Realizing you were gay/bi" - Anecdotes shared via Twitter to Mallory Ortberg (The Toast, @mallelis) about realizing the first time that you were gay or bisexual. This is a Storify piece assembled by AKATheReader (@akaTheReader).
Russia and Qatar World Cups are 'insane' due to homophobia, says Robbie Rogers. Soccer/Football's first openly gay player, RR has things on his mind. Will Klinsmann come around? On Mefi Previously.
When the Supreme Court of the State of California ruled for marriage equality in 2008, we seized the opportunity. Having founded the Japanese American National Museum (I’m still a trustee on the Board there), we wanted to have our wedding there, in the “Democracy Forum” building. It was, after all, democracy that made our formal union possible. And Brad too had embraced Buddhism by now, so it could be a Buddhist wedding. We chose Rev. Briones of the Nishi Hongwanji Temple to be our officiant because he personifies Buddhism’s diversity, being that he’s a Mexican American Buddhist minister.[more inside]
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]
The FDA has announced it is lifting the lifetime ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men (Reuters), and will allow donation by men who have not had sex with other men in the previous twelve months (NYT). [more inside]
On August 21, a federal judge in Florida ruled that that the state's ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional, but the ruling was stayed until January 5. Although the state Attorney General appealed the ruling and asked for a further stay, both the 11th circuit, and os of last night the Supreme Court have denied the appeal, and Florida will become the 36th marriage equality state on January 6th. [more inside]
Snapshots of LGBT life in Midcentury America Coursey of the ONE national gay and lesbian archives at the University of southern California libraries.
"I am extremely grateful that Major League Baseball has always judged me on my work and nothing else"In a "very quiet and understated way", 29-year veteran MLB umpire Dale Scott has become the first active official in any of the major US sports to come out as gay.
With only 4 more episodes before the end of the first season, now is the perfect time to catch up on the web series Carmilla, a modern take on the 1872 Gothic novella that launched a thousand lesbian vampire ships. [more inside]
After complaints and boycotts over the limited options it gave for users to describe their gender and sexuality, internet dating site OKCupid has begun testing a far more inclusive self-identification system. [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]
"...there is no 'gay exception' to our U.S. Constitution's guarantees of liberty and equality for all, including the freedom to celebrate love, commitment, and family with the person of one's choice in marriage."
"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]
"And yes, I get that sexuality is fluid and all of that, but honestly, can't they just do it and get it over with? Either that, or shut up about it." Are Sherlock and Watson Gonna Bone, or What? [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.'