"Longings and Desires"
, a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome
on Sep 20, 2014 -
Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.
"In reconsidering the metrosexual, we must first distinguish between the metrosexual’s imagined and actual properties. Like hipsterism, metrosexuality is an insult more readily slung than substantiated. According to canon, David Beckham is the ur-metro. Although Beckham initially goes unmentioned in the word’s first printing (in 1994), the word’s progenitor, Mark Simpson, introduced American readers to metrosexuality through the British football star in 2002, when he called Beckham a "screaming, shrieking, flaming, freaking metrosexual…famous for wearing sarongs and pink nail polish and panties…and posing naked and oiled up on the cover of Esquire.
" " - Johannah King-Slutzky for The Awl on the 'Metrosexual' situation a decade later
posted by The Whelk
on Sep 2, 2014 -
To Straight and Back: My Life as an Ex-Ex-Gay Man Afterward people began emailing and Facebooking me, telling me stories that were very much like those of my friend in the Portland coffee shop, “I wanted to be like you and your wife; you were held up as poster children. And I hated myself because I couldn’t be you.” That really rocked me. I hadn’t realized all this while I was preaching the ex-gay gospel. I’d been shielded from it. Previously
posted by ThePinkSuperhero
on Jun 20, 2014 -
Les Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride
is a collection of found photographs by film-maker Sébastien Lifshitz
showing (mostly anonymous) gay couples together in the early years of the 20th century. 'He found most of his collection in the US and western Europe, but none in the UK: “Maybe the British think such photographs have no value, or are too private to sell.”
'. In 2012, Lifshitz released Les Invisibles
, a related documentary exploring the lives of 11 gay and lesbian individuals over the age of 70. [more inside]
posted by dng
on Jun 17, 2014 -
"We’ve run off at the mouth, said things we shouldn’t have said. We’ve run around like a peacock all over the platform. We have said things because we were playing to the home team, and they all liked our act. On this issue, nobody likes our act, except the redneck factor." That was Pastor Greg Belser
speaking at the Southern Baptist Convention's first ever conference on human sexuality
currently being held in Nashville. As promising as those remarks are, however, Slate notes that the SBC still has a long way to go
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI
on Apr 23, 2014 -
[Eleven] days ago, The New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog published an essay by Michael Specter titled “What Young Gay Men Don’t Know About Aids,
” in which Specter points to the increase of “unprotected anal intercourse among gay men,” claims that “the rates of HIV infection will surely follow,” and then identifies the cause of this shift as the ignorance of my generation, who weren’t around to see the AIDS epidemic for themselves. The piece is a call to arms of sort, stating the need for increased public funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, and concludes by quoting Larry Kramer’s famous 1983 warning, “1,112 and Counting.” It’s a familiar argument—one that, in my lifetime, I have heard repeated ad nauseam and, I fear, largely misses what AIDS means to me and many other young gay men.
posted by Blasdelb
on Dec 9, 2013 -
In the Shadows.
The healthcare and human rights challenges of the LGBT populations of Malawi -- where homosexuality is outlawed. Via
posted by zarq
on Oct 28, 2013 -
In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer
( 2 3 4 5
), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton
and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Jul 4, 2013 -
Master Bedroom, Extra Closet: The Truth About Gay Marriage
"In the fight for marriage rights, gay activists have (smartly) put forward couples who embody a familiar form of unity... But not all gay unions are built on the straight model, particularly when it comes to the issue of monogamy... The gay rights movement has made a calculated decision to highlight the similarities, not the differences, between straight and gay love on the road to marriage equality."
posted by andoatnp
on Jun 20, 2013 -
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatised parents.” The world’s oldest and largest ‘ex-gay’ organisation, Exodus International
, is finally shutting down
a year after deciding it was wrong.
posted by Mezentian
on Jun 20, 2013 -
No, if we thought there might perhaps, just maybe, be even a little safe psuedo-subversion of the straightironing with a secondary character, if we thought there might be some hints of homosexual dalliance on the side, or at least a little homoerotic tension to be shipped or slashed with a flighty sprite, a Renaissance Robin to his Batman, that avenue is closed off pretty quickly. NO! shouts the Slash Nazi. NO SLASH FOR YOU! NO SLASH FOR YOU! -- Hal Duncan is not impressed by the way Leonardo Da Vinci's sexuality is handled
in the new Starz/BBC Da Vinci's Demons
television series and is impressively rude in saying so. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on May 7, 2013 -
I got to go to the Macklemore concert on Friday night. If you want to hear about how that went, ask me, seriously, I want to talk about it until I die. The whole thing was great; but the best part was when Macklemore sang “Same Love.” Augustana’s gym was filled to the ceiling with 5,000 people, mostly aged 18-25, and decked out in thrift store gear (American flag bro-tanks, neon Nikes, MC Hammer pants. My Cowboy boyfriend wore Cowboy boots…not ironically….). The arena was brimming with excitement and adrenaline during every song, but when he started to play “Same Love,” the place about collapsed. Why? While the song is popular everywhere, no one, maybe not even Macklemore, feels its true tension like we do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
If you’re not familiar, here’s the song.
' [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 11, 2013 -
How Ellen DeGeneres Helped Change The Conversation About Gays
"Ellen DeGeneres is ... almost a litmus test of where we have been as a society," [Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin] says. "When she first came out and really put the issue of same-sex partnerships on people's agendas, and I mean people who really wouldn't have thought about it, I think the country was still in a very different state."
From her first stand-up performance on national TV in the US
in 1986, the same year that the Supreme Court ruled that states have right to enforce code of sexual behavior
, to 2008, when Ellen married Portia de Rossi
, after California's Supreme Court ruled a previous ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional, Ellen's public life has mirrored the broader shift towards accepting homosexuality. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Mar 26, 2013 -
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]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Feb 28, 2013 -
Study Finds Epigenetics, Not Genetics, Underlies Homosexuality:
Epigenetics – how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches, called epi-marks – appears to be a critical and overlooked factor contributing to the long-standing puzzle of why homosexuality occurs.
In the current study, researchers from the Working Group on Intragenomic Conflict at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) integrated evolutionary theory with recent advances in the molecular regulation of gene expression and androgen-dependent sexual development to produce a biological and mathematical model that delineates the role of epigenetics in homosexuality.
posted by aleph
on Dec 12, 2012 -
"The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters."
The Mormon Church
has launched a new initiative
that encourages compassion towards the LGBT community
posted by dephlogisticated
on Dec 7, 2012 -
However long it takes for a real victory to be certified—no matter what happens on Election Day, it will be too early to unfurl a "Mission Accomplished" banner—the once ragtag march of lovers has acquired an air of inevitability. Edith Eyde's prophecy is almost fulfilled: gays are more or less regular folk. All the same, many who came out during the Stonewall era are wondering what will be lost as the community sheds its pariah status. They are baffled by the latter-day cult of marriage and the military—emblems of Eisenhower's America that the Stonewall generation joyfully rejected. The gay world is confronting a question with which Jews, African-Americans, and other marginalized groups have long been familiar: the price of assimilation.
—Love on the March
by Alex Ross. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 7, 2012 -
"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]
posted by zarq
on Oct 17, 2012 -
"The Most Important Gay Porn Film Ever Made?"
[NSFW Warning: Pictures of a naked guy, no sex or penis shown.]
"Dawson's 20 Load Weekend
redefined bareback porn and the men who appear in such porn. It influenced subsequent videos and expanded the availability of bareback films. It depicted a prevailing truth about gay sexual behavior "post-AIDS" and arguably encouraged risky sexual adventure-seeking. It led to the saturation of bareback porn online, making unprotected sex normative to whomever might be watching. To dismiss this film, to minimize its social and cultural impact, would be to demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of gay sexuality today."
posted by andoatnp
on Aug 16, 2012 -
I Woke Up Gay (SLYT): In the small town of Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, seven years ago, a 19-stone rugby-playing ladies man and bank clerk Chris Birch snapped his neck while larking around doing somersaults and backflips with his friends. As the tabloids excitedly revealed a while ago, he suffered a massive stroke and woke up as a completely different person -- a person who happened to be gay. [more inside]
posted by gertzedek
on Apr 18, 2012 -
The two largest groups that provide ex-gay counseling are Exodus International, a nondenominational Christian organization, and NARTH, its secular counterpart. If Exodus is the spirit of the ex-gay movement, NARTH is the brain. The organizations share many members, and Exodus parrots the developmental theories about same-sex attractions espoused by NARTH. Together with the late Charles Socarides, a psychiatrist who led the opposition to declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness, Nicolosi formed NARTH in 1992 as a 'scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality.' By 1998, the group was holding an annual conference, publishing its own journal, and training hundreds of psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. Nicolosi remains NARTH’s most visible advocate.
[...] When I first reach Nicolosi on the phone, he says he remembers me well and that he is surprised that I 'went in the gay direction. You really seemed to get it.'
Gabriel Arana talks about his experiences with attempting to change his sexual orientation: My So-Called Ex-Gay Life.
posted by shakespeherian
on Apr 11, 2012 -