Koh Masaki was Japan's foremost gay porn star when he died one month ago today. "It must have taken him a lot of courage to decide to live in Japan. I've realized that recently," Masaki said, about his partner, Tenten, a model and Chinese expatriate that he met on a train home from a Lady Gaga concert. They were talking to the photographer Keiichi Nitta for a recent video series profiling gay couples for Vice Japan. In the video, Masaki, soft-spoken and with a close-cropped beard circling his angular face, never talks explicitly about his work in adult film, but his many fans would have had no trouble recognizing [...]
Ahhhhh, they found the real-life Sebastian Flyte, who was Evelyn Waugh's loooooooover.
Rawhide, a leather bar on Eighth Avenue that's as old as I am, closed this weekend. It's been open since 1979, and its exit seemed like the latest in a parade of gay ghosts. They're building condos at St. Vincent's hospital these days. Gay newspapers and magazines have withered and folded until almost all that's left is a party picture of Michael Musto and a flyer about go-go boys. There aren't any gay bookstores in Manhattan anymore (for now?). Now that it's all gone, the city is primed for a nostalgic luxuriation in old-school Castro District gayness, which is why a plan recently proposed to me seemed so [...]
"Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, a longtime opponent of same-sex marriage, said on Friday he now believes gays have a right to marry after learning two years ago that his son is gay." —If every elected Republican with gay family or staff makes Rob Portman's journey, the supposedly partisan issue of people getting fair access to the rights and financial advantages of marriage would go away pretty quickly, wouldn't it?
Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Google, Chevron, Disney, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Oracle, KB Home, Yahoo, Qualcomm, Hilton, Oracle, eBay, Charles Schwab, Clorox, Adobe, Oracle … it seems like a lot of the world's top companies are based in California, including more than half of the NASDAQ technology index. But Texas Governor Rick Perry is the kind of man who knows things in his heart, and he won't let any fancy coastal-elite numbers and facts get in the way of what God tells Rick Perry in the dead of night.
How "Baby It's Cold Outside" Became America's Secular Christmas Anthem, Despite People Claiming It's About Date Rape
Betty Garrett and Red Skelton, reversing roles in the song's 1948 Hollywood premiere.
This Christmastime, last Christmastime and for many holiday seasons past, writers and commenters of the Internet have gathered to argue over the holiday classic "Baby It's Cold Outside." The conversations and accusations are rarely about the song's merits as a Tin Pan Alley jazz-pop composition. Instead, we wonder if the playful exchange of the man and woman is actually the loaded conversation before a sinister date rape. Or is the whole song just a harmless relic of a bygone time when "The answer is No" meant not "No," but "maybe just a half a drink more," [...]
Have you been following the recent travails of New York Times art critic Ken Johnson? It is probably coming soon, for an unhappy non-resolution, to a public editor near you. The long and short of it is that there is a petition calling for his head, or at least an ear. In short, he's gone in against "identity-based" art shows—exhibitions of ladies and the black folks and what have you—as an “evil whose necessity would disappear in a more equitable world." (This is exceedingly contrary to the position held by his colleague Holland Cotter, who has often supported this sort of exhibition.) Here is a very good [...]
Is it too cynical to suggest that if Pier Paolo Pasolini were alive today he would have mellowed to such an extent that he would be making rom-coms with titles like Mussolini's Gay Island? Probably. Had he survived I bet he'd be making short clips for Italian Funny or Die.
"Clemson University researchers studied an issue raised in a recent news column that suggested an 'out' actor cannot convincingly play a heterosexual because knowing someone is gay will bias perceptions of his or her performance. Researchers discovered that although knowing an actor is gay significantly affected ratings of his masculinity, there was no significant effect on ratings of his acting performance."
Right now a bunch of Republican fundraisers are telling their kids to be more gay.
"Cardinal O'Brien has been accused of committing 'inappropriate acts' in his relations with three priests and one former priest from the diocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, British newspaper The Observer reported Sunday. O'Brien has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights." —Britain's top Catholic cardinal is skipping the papal election because of new revelations that he tried to bone four different priests. I wonder if reporters laugh when typing this stuff the way I laugh when reading it.
Politics apparently continued over the winter holidays. What did that crafty Barack Obama do while the rest of us were worshiping the Baby Jesus or whatever? He is suggesting that America allow Chuck Hagel to be the Secretary of Defense, that's what! Who would let Chuck Hagel do something as important as overseeing the continued American defeat in Afghanistan, when he has controversial opinions about The Gays and Israel?
But, like all cabinet battles, the controversy around Chuck Hagel is both a) limited to Politico reporters/editors and the people who actually read the Politico, and b) not really about the Defense Department but actually about right-wing Christians who hate gays [...]
Here is a long look at the state gay marriage votes last month, and how all four were won. The successful tactic in the field was personal appeal and one-on-one conversation: the majority of people are conflicted fence-sitters, who are likely struggling between concepts of fairness and the values they've grown up with. And it's safe to say it worked: "In Minnesota, 20 percent of Mitt Romney's supporters voted against the gay-marriage ban; in Maryland, 25 percent of Republicans voted to legalize gay marriage." And what now?
In the weeks since Election Day, the same-sex marriage campaigners have been conducting follow-up research, debriefing, and planning their next steps. [...]
Happy 70th birthday to Calvin Klein, who shares the day with Indira Gandhi and Allison Janney and other spiritual notables. Klein is proof—like some other very rich people in New York City who are of the exact same age—that life, and the expenditures of great sums of money, really does begin at 70. Having sold the company "Calvin Klein" almost exactly ten years ago, he has spent the last ten years really coming into his own: buying a monstrous Hamptons estate, then tearing it down; taking up with an extremely young lover, then having the young lover promise to write a tell-all about it, after breaking it off [...]
"Times sure have changed since the days when gay people referred to themselves as 'friends of Dorothy,' signaling their icon Judy Garland's role in 'The Wizard of Oz.' It was a code phrase, a necessary thing for gays, who had to live an underground existence, meeting in shady clubs in the nastier parts of town, braving police raids and gangs of gay bashers."
"Most public health people think that the ends justify the means" is how Florida International University's Bill Darrow explains why it was okay for Randy Shilts' publisher to completely over-bake the idea of Gaëtan Dugas being the "Patient Zero" of HIV. Everyone at the time knew this wasn't possibly a true idea, that one handsome flight attendant was responsible for hopping around the globe, spreading HIV. Yet the idea stuck. And apparently everyone is okay with it, and besides, he was dead anyway by 1984, and couldn't sue for libel. But anyway, that's actually not really how public health people think? Public health policy people are level-headed and statistics-oriented. [...]
Michelle Shocked had a following in the 1990s for her leftist lo-fi folk music, but now she's an old bigoted religious fanatic. This is fairly well known—she's basically Victoria Jackson—but booking agencies were still putting her in clubs until Sunday night in San Francisco, when she went into an anti-gay rant at Yoshi's Supper Club.
"When they stop Prop. 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back," Shocked told the crowd at Yoshi's in San Francisco, before many of them reportedly walked out. "You are going to leave here and tell people, 'Michelle Shocked [...]
For the first time since the Middle Ages, the bishop of Rome is quitting rather than let God decide when it's time for a new pope. Let's celebrate the remarkable career of Joseph Benedict, a lowly Nazi who somehow ended up presiding over the Catholic Church's global sex-abuse coverup and its 21st century jihad against gay people.
The Pope's leadership of 1.2 billion Catholics has been beset by child sexual abuse crises that tarnished the Church, one address in which he upset Muslims and a scandal over the leaking of his private papers by his personal butler.
What's the pope up to, this Christmas? Oh, just rallying the world's other intolerant religious leaders against the global menace of gay people registering at Macy's. Nothing says "Peace on Earth and good will towards men" like a yuletide jihad against same-sex marriage—because if there's anything the story of Christ's birth teaches us, it's to stigmatize and then attack people who lack legal and societal protections.
Pope Benedict on Friday signaled the Vatican was ready to forge alliances with other religions against gay marriage, saying the family was threatened "to its foundations" by attempts to change its "true structure."
The pope's latest denunciation of gay marriage came in [...]
The Rachel Aviv story in the New Yorker (behind the paywall) about homeless New York City gay and transgender young people is… hard to describe! Calling it "brutal" would seem too much like enjoying the misfortunes of others as a reader. It's a very thoughtful piece, and not exploitative, which seems like a difficult trick.