"Joanne the Scammer lives for drama. Branden Miller is just trying to live." Performer and comic Branden Miller is a quiet young man who collects fragrances. His comic persona Joanne The Scammer is a fur-wrapped con artist moving from one stolen credit card to another and a Twitter sensation. The Fader talked to Miller about racial indenity, growing up gay, sex work, the fragility of internet fame, and getting scammed.
Why I’ve Avoided Dressing More Femininely — Until Now All my life, I worried that wearing flamboyant clothes would mean putting a target on my back. But in the wake of the shooting at Pulse, I realized that I’ve been sacrificing a huge part of myself for a safety that was never guaranteed in the first place.
In April of 1975, Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan sought a green card for Mr. Sullivan, as Mr. Adams' husband. 41 years later, "the green card, granting Anthony permanent resident status in the United States, was issued on the 41st anniversary of his Boulder, Colorado marriage to Richard — a same-sex marriage that remained in the record and which was never invalidated by Colorado officials. "
What is it like to be queer in China? UNDP has just launched Being LGBTI in China – A National Survey on Social Attitudes towards Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression. With 30,000 respondents, the survey is the largest to date on the topic in China. [more inside]
In 2014, Provo, Utah-based rock band Neon Trees' lead singer Tyler Glenn's came out as gay and Mormon. At the time, he seemed optimistic in his ability to navigate both identities, reporting that he received positive messages from Mormon church leaders shortly after coming out. In 2015, he commented that the LDS church seemed to be changing for the better. But with the release of the single "Trash" from Tyler's new solo endeavor and Rolling Stone's related article, it appears that all has not been well in Zion. [more inside]
Previously on MeFi, a pair of then-graduate students, David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, uncovered that some highly-publicized research, claiming to show that brief conversations with gay canvassers could cause lasting changes in people's opinions on gay rights, was in fact fraudulent, and was based on fabricated data. However, whether or not there was in fact any grain of truth to that paper's claims remained to be seen. Recently, the same team that uncovered the fraud has published their own study, showing that canvassing can really be effective at durably increasing support for transgender rights. [more inside]
"Last week the Empire State Pride Agenda, one of the nation's largest LGBT advocacy groups, announced its closure. This came on the same day that staff members of Freedom to Marry finished packing up their cubicles, and a few weeks after cutbacks had been announced by other gay equality groups. For decades the LGBT movement has advocated for legal equality. The new LGBT movement should recognize that equality is necessary, but it is not enough." [more inside]
Mormon Church makes same-sex couples apostates, excludes children from blessings and baptism
More details in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Mormon Church Bleeding Members Over Gay Marriage
More details in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Mormon Church Bleeding Members Over Gay Marriage
Patrick Haggerty was a teenager in rural Dry Creek, Washington, in the late 1950s. He remembers the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay. [more inside]
Author and historian Bob Arnebeck writes about early American history and its Founding Fathers' "relationships with men beyond conventional propriety." Featured characters include war hero and Washington D.C planner Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the first inspector general of the US Army Baron Von Steuben , and Alexander Hamilton. Bonus: Revolutinary America's tolerance for homosexuality by Victoria A. Brownworth.
"The Disgustings" (12:12 ) is a short film starring Drew Droege and written, directed and starring Jordan Firstman. It's about two gay men living in Los Angeles who just happen to be completely, utterly awful. The Disgustings return in "Save The Date." (5:45)
With the Canadian election coming in under a month, it's time for some Super Gay Campaign Advice. (round 2)
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
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?
"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.
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]
"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."
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]
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.
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]
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.'
Last month, a video of a teenager coming out to his family went viral, (trigger warning), now viewed almost 6 million times. The young man who is disowned and abused in that video, Daniel Pierce, after receiving more than $90,000 in donations to live on his own, has now asked that donations be re-directed to Lost-N-Found Youth, a shelter in Georgia for LGBT Homeless Youth. Rolling Stone profiles The Forsaken: A Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Are Being Cast Out by Religious Families
It was just after dark when Michael Martin, 56, was walking back to his home in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood, after helping a friend move... That's when he was jumped by a group of 13-year-olds and kicked, punched, and choked unconscious. He's not alone. It turns out that New Orleans middle schoolers are beating the shit out of artists and gays.
Gay Men Draw Vaginas! But why? "It's neat to tease out all this convoluted psycho-sexual-cultural stuff through drawing," plus "Sometimes they turn into heated arguments about gay men's disrespect for women's bodies and gay male social power blah blah blah. Awesome." (In case you couldn't tell, this is in no way work-safe.)
30 Bisexual Women Discuss Their Long-Term Relationships With Men. Even though more people self-identify as bisexual than gay and lesbian, there is a widespread belief that those who identify as bi are either in a transitional stage or are lying to themselves or others.
On July 8, the Daily Mississippian published Sierra Mannie's Op-Ed, "Dear white gays", which was then picked up by Time Magazine, and has spurred discussion on whether white gay men are stealing the culture of black women.
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]
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]
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
BOYFRIEND TWIN - a tumblr documenting the curious pattern of gay men dating themselves.
Deviates, Inc is a tumblr devoted to exploring the visual culture of LGBT history ranging from Gilded Age drag queens, classic Hollywood lesbians, to militant gay activism.
Chad Sell is a comic artist and creator of the inept superhero Manta-Man and the no-nonsense Part-Time Ninja (among others) as well as a prolific illustrator of the queens of RuPaul's Drag Race.