Friday, 29 August 2014

Fagburn: I'm Not Here

See you real soon.

Rufus Wainwright: The Greatest Love Of All

The Canadian-American singer-songwriter turns out to be a relaxed interviewee who is a master of the efficient one-liner (“What advice would I give to my younger self? Work on your abs”). He positively enjoys talking to groups, playing up to his audience for shock effect, remarking variously that the fad for selfies means that fans’ mobile phones should come with “deodorant sticks”, that he is fortunate not to have a huge gay following because “gay men have terrible taste in music” and that he is grateful to have recently fathered a daughter rather than a son because he would “hate to be attracted” to a son.

What? You can’t say that. I’m not even sure you can think it. “I don’t think it would happen,” he laughs in response, explaining that it’s just that “when I’m old and he is 35 and gorgeous... Well, he would probably look like me. And I would be like, ‘Oh my God! I’m falling in love with myself!’”

Rufus Wainwright is interviewed by The Times.


LGBTory: Eh?

My heads hurtz!!!

BNP Youth: Facist Bastard!

The leader of the BNP youth party has told of his nightmare first year at university – during which he has been constantly abused and even SPAT on because of his views.

Jack Renshaw, 19, joined the right-wing movement when he was just 15 and was elected youth liaison officer earlier this year.

He created a controversial recruitment video for the group which slammed “militant homosexuals” – and even hit out at the mum of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence...

“People know me after the BNP video. I had a lot of trouble when I walked through Manchester, people shouted crap at me.

“It was when I was going about my daily life. People would call me a facist bastard and I’ve been called a Nazi – I always get called that. But I don’t mind."

The teenager – who wants to bring back National Service – claims he has since been spat at while in his home town of Blackpool and abused in Manchester.

But he did admit his first year as a student had forced him to socialise with gay students – even if they did “get on his nerves”.

In an exclusive interview with student newspaper The Tab, he said: “I’m not a big one for meeting new people.

“I’m not a big party person, I don’t really enjoy parties, people I socialise with tend to be people I’ve known for years, I stay in touch with people I’ve known from school and college.

“I had ethnic minority flatmates and some homosexuals, but they weren’t militant homosexuals, they don’t feel the need to make everybody know they’re homosexual.

“I’ve met plenty of homosexuals that I get on with and friends with and reason I get on with them is because they’re normal – militant homosexuality I cannot deal with, it gets on my nerves.' ...

From the news agency

You recall young Master Jack was having problems with his gay dog last month. 

With thanks to Hope Not Hate - who list what else Renshaw's been doing at university - for the tip-off. x

The Sun: Rage Against The Dying Of The Light

'More like a paraffin lamp in a brothel, than a Sun'

How the Morning Star summed up The Sun after Rupert Murdoch had bought it and revamped it in 1969.

Taken from a fascinating episode of The Reunion where ex-staffers discuss the good/bad old days at the Currant Bun.

All in hilarious; 'Weren't me, guv, honest' mode.

Much on its notorious homophobia in the 80s - though the paper's known homophobes-in-chief, Murdoch and then editor, Kelvin MacKenzie, were sadly unavailable for comment.

• Listen on BBC iPlayer. For more on the sorry, sordid saga of Murdoch's Sun read Peter Chippindale and Chris Horries' Stick It Up Your Punter! - probably the most revealing (and funniest) book ever written about British journalism.

Britney Spears: She Loves Her Homosexual Fans

David LeCours met the Womanizer hitmaker before her concert in Las Vegas last week (ends24Aug14) and he handed her a letter thanking her for helping him come to terms with his sexuality and giving him the courage to tell his family and friends.

On Tuesday (26Aug14), a heartwarming letter of reply, written by Spears, arrived at LeCours' home.

The singer wrote, "I was so happy to receive your letter. I was very happy to hear about how courageous you've been about being openly gay. I've always been told as long as you know in your heart that's what matter most (sic)...

"I try to follow my heart and dreams every day of my life and I think that's why I am where I am today. It means so much to me to have a fan like you who takes the time to sit and write me such a touching letter. Your letter was both touching and sincere. I wish you nothing but the best in the future and hope you keep smiling. Shine bright always, Britney Spears."

LeCours adds on, "I honestly have no words at all....' [Sadly, this proves untrue]... 'I just want to thank you so much for taking the time to write me back and being such an amazing inspiration to me. You mean more than anything to me and it means more than you know for responding to me. Thank you so much, I love you."

That's beautiful, Britney, I'm welling up here...

PS Subs, you're supposed to edit out the notes to subs, btw. 

Hysterical Gay Comment Of The Day: Brangelina

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got married last weekend at their magical fairy castle in France. Mazel tov! I would hate to deny anyone their happiness and tell them they can’t get married when they’re in love. Oh wait, except that is exactly what the federal government tells countless gay couples every day by refusing to recognize their rights to get married. Angie and Brad spoke out in support of gay marriage many times and even vowed they wouldn’t say their marriage vows until everyone could. Guess what, Mr. and Mrs. Pitt, not everyone can get married, so how good is your promise?

Satire gets bitch-slapped to death.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Донбасс: В Солидарности

Peter Tatchell serves imperialism!*
Queerty serve imperialism!**
Down with AmeriKKKa!
Down with fascism!
Down with NATO!
Down with homonationalism!
Down with queer quislings!
All peoples have the right to self-determination and self-defence!

* In any conflict Saint Peter can always be relied upon to do his bit to help the West's propaganda campaign.
** By running a homophobic smear story!

How Not To React When Your Child Tells You That He's Gay: Really Awful

Since this video was posted on YouTube on Wednesday it has, as they say, gone viral.
Over 750,000 views now and counting.
Every gay website and blog I've seen today has run it.
It shows an American Christian mom disowning her 19/20 year-old son, Daniel, because he's gay, telling him to move out of their home, and then his dad appears and attacks him.
It originally appeared on Reddit, posted by Rythymnight who says he is Daniel's boyfriend.
It's awful.
Really awful
It's also awful that there have been so many anti-gay horror stories in the gay media recently that have turned out to be hoaxes, I wondered if this one was really real.
I've recorded a dozen of these that have been run as fact and then corrected as fictions, everything from faked 'gaybashings' to teen suicides that never actually happened.
Hard to believe some (gay) people are so sick.
This one does look real, and not staged, but why was the boy filming all of it, why was he filming it in the first place, why don't we see anyone's face, and if his mother says she's known Daniel was gay since he was a little boy why is she only turning against him now?
I feel pretty shitty for being sceptical about this - things like this certainly happen - but can you blame me with the gay media's past record?

Update: The Advocate claim to have been in contact with an aunt of Daniel's who confirms the video's authenticity.

Update 2: And here's Daniel Pierce's Facebook page.

Joe Gauthreaux: Bye Felicia!

What larks!

Cliff/Rotherham: Bad News

So South Yorkshire police did everything it could to stop the Times reporting the Rotherham sex abuse scandal, yet this month the very same force had been "working with a media outlet" to publicise a raid on Cliff Richard's house. What's the lesson from this? That the media is only tolerated if it can help get a celebrity conviction?

The mishandling of the Cliff operation can't even be put down to a rush for justice. It was a full 18 months ago that we remember police sources starting to brief journalists that they had Cliff Richard in their sights. Hacks had even started checking out Heathrow whenever Cliff entered the country, to see if anything was happening. So, it's unlikely this raid was done on a whim.

What started out sounding like over-eager gossip is now looking more like the police's attempt to get the media to help build the case. With the BBC's coverage of the Cliff Richard raid, they may have got their wish. But all they've managed to succeed in doing so far is making us feel bad for a man who released Livin' Doll and lends his house to Tony Blair.

And that's truly unforgivable.

Popbitch, Silly Season Gets Serious - thanks for joining the dots. x

One celebrity scalp is clearly worth more than 1,400 working-class girls.

From the Battle of Orgeave to Hillsborough and now this shitstorm, this gang of crooks called South Yorkshire Police should be locked up.

Sandy Wilson: 1924-2014

He celebrated the success of The Boy Friend by redecorating his kitchen and was seemingly nonchalant about the royalties that rolled in. “I’ve always appreciated a good vodka martini. Now I can afford to buy as many as I can drink.” Within three years of its first performance, the musical had made him so financially secure that he was advised he need never work again. Yet in 1964 Divorce Me Darling!, his sequel to The Boy Friend, received its premiere. It was, however, less triumphant, with the journalist Bernard Levin (who would later join The Times) calling it “relentlessly incomprehensible”.

Wilson, a stocky man often dressed immaculately in Savile Row suits, had an eccentric side. For a time he sported a droopy moustache modelled on one he had seen in a Van Gogh picture “because I thought it went rather well with a hat I had bought”. When not working he would venture abroad or swap recipes among his circle of gastronomic friends (he was a talented cook). A gay man, for decades he enjoyed a bachelor lifestyle but was later joined in his South Kensington flat by a partner, Chak Yui, who survives him.

International News: How Very Interesting

An advert featuring an image of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing has sparked widespread complaint in Kazakhstan.

The poster – which features the two of the region’s most prominent 19th century cultural figures – is designed to promote a gay club in Almaty, one of the most liberal cities in Central Asia. The club, Studio 69, sits at the corner of streets named after Pushkin and Kurmangazy...

A Chilean sailor has announced he is gay in an unprecedented public declaration that he hopes will bring change to the socially conservative South American country.

Mauricio Ruiz, 24, said he made the disclosure to dispel myths that gay people can't be effective members of Chile's armed forces...

The Independent.

August is the height of The Silly Season - that summer time when the amount of real news hits an annual low.

Though you might have noticed there's rather a lot of really awful and important things going on in the world right now (Private Eye have called it The Killy Season).

So how do newspapers pad out their pages? With trivia (Pregnant panda not pregnant), tittle-tattle (Non-entity in CBB meltdown), endless lists (11 Things You Already Knew About Kate Bush), pretending a nothing is 'a thing' (Legroom Rage!), nicking stuff off the internet (6 funniest tweets about #GBBO) etc etc etc...

Alternatively they just run gay-related wire stories, seemingly picked at random, that are of no real interest to their readers.

Poster for gay club in Kazakstahn is controversial!

Gay man in Chile comes out!

One is clearly a bad thing, the other is clearly a good thing.

But whilst I'd love to think this was a sign of how much The Guardian and The Independent want to tell people what's going down in the international LGBT community, it's not.

It's so lazy and patronising it suggests the exact opposite; they don't really care about us. 

Tom Daley: Missing In Action

There were disappointed faces all round when Olympian Tom Daley left Clare Balding high and dry after pulling out of her debut BT Sport chat show last min.

The diver and telly fave, 20, had been booked months in advance as her star guest for the first ever recording of the programme on Tuesday.

The reason for Tom’s absence on The Clare Balding Show, which airs tomorrow, hasn’t been revealed and emails to the youngster’s reps went unanswered.

But it comes after Tom has been enjoying a well earned break in Berlin with boyfriend Dustin Lance Black, 40, after winning a gold and a silver medal at Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games earlier this month.

Tom had been widely advertised as a main attraction and a big draw for potential audience members, but cancelled the appearance last week – rescheduling for October.

Swimmer Chris Mears had to step in as replacement.

Oh Tom, what have you done now?

What could you and Lance have possibly found to distract you in sleepy old Berlin town?

I knew this would happen - you're about to do a full-on Justin 'Good boy gone bad' Bieber, aren't you?

He's led you astray!

It'll probably be heroin next.

Then the leaked sex tape.

There is clearly nothing else for it... 


The ageing svengali casts his evil voodoo spell again!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Daily Star: Ban The Bum

IT'S not just people doing the Ice Bucket Challenge that are chilling themselves for charity - this brave teenager raised hundreds of pounds for charity by stripping naked on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Respect to that paragon of decorum and good taste the Star for pixelating this young man's bum.

On other pages, endless ads for proprietor Richard Desmond's 'adult TV channels'.

Love Is Strange: Stranger Still

Love is Strange is an intermittently wonderful new film about an ageing Manhattan couple who get hitched almost 40 years into their relationship, only for their suddenly straitened circumstances to force them to live apart for the first time. It’s a gentle and perceptive comedy-drama, so it’s rather a shock to find that the US ratings board, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), has given it an R rating.

Short of the dreaded NC-17, which prohibits anyone under that age from seeing a film, this is the severest classification a movie can receive in the US. The R denotes that a picture contains material unsuitable for the under-17s, but stops short of banning that audience. Children can still be accompanied to an R movie by an adult, as I first discovered when I watched the violent horror-comedy Scream 2 in New York accompanied by the sound of a child several rows behind me begging his mother for more Reese’s Pieces.

The MPAA’s ratings website insists that several instances of profanity in Love Is Strange have earned the film its rating. But a likelier reason must be that its main characters are both men. They are played by two seasoned performers, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. These actors are not required to enjoy anything more passionate on screen than a peck on the cheek and a cosy (but fully clothed) cuddle. But it is precisely the undemonstrative normality of their relationship that seems to have inflamed the notoriously prickly and conservative ratings board...

We could at least admire the MPAA’s honesty if it admitted that Love is Strange has been guilty of “excessive normalising of a loving homosexual relationship with no punishment or prolonged unhappiness for either party”. Mainstream cinema has tended to like its gay characters either tormented (Brokeback Mountain), comical (The Birdcage), dead (Milk) or dying (Philadelphia). The couple in Love is Strange fall into none of those categories. Except for an instance of homophobia that forces one of them into unemployment, their sexuality passes without mention. It is only the MPAA that has made it an issue. The BBFC has gone for the slightly softer option of a 15 rating, again because of a few instances of strong language, though this also feels a tad harsh. I don’t recall the air turning blue when I saw Love is Strange at the Berlin Film Festival back in February.

Well, yes and no.

The idea that the MPAA or the BBFC took umbrage at the humdrum normality of the gay relationship in Love Is Strange - ie how closely it approximates to a sexless mundane straight marriage - something argued by several gay journalists, is just plain daft.

An inversion of what is the culturally acceptable invert, if you will.

Conversely, as we've seen with Modern Family, conservatives like these de-gayed and rather dull gay men.

Or, as David Cameron famously put it at the 2011 Tory Party Conference; 'I don't support gay marriage despite being a Conservative, I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative.'

Crying HOMOPHOBIA! here is surely an over-reaction to an over-reaction. 

PS Ryan wrote a feature in the last Sunday Telegraph about being miffed that he and his boyfriend weren't asked to buy some romantic red roses by a flower-seller in a restaurant at a Croatian holiday resort.

Again, whilst the woman seemingly not considering that they might be a couple could be thought of as a heterosexist assumption, but it's probably pushing it a bit to label it HOMOPHOBIA!

Owen Jones: The Establishment

The Guardian today publish an exclusive extract from our Owen's latest book, The Establishment, about how the political, social and business elites have a stranglehold on the country.

Sounds good, Jonesy. 

Thankfully, it seems Penguin are not going with the original front cover quote from that ridiculous berk Russell Brand, a man with the political acumen of the Chuckle Brothers, who dubbed OJ; 'Our generation's Orwell'!

This is about 

In his weekly Guardian column, Owen writes; 'The confines of acceptable political opinion are narrow and zealously guarded, and those presented as outsiders are actually the establishment in undiluted form.'

How true, Owen, how true...

PS Did 38% of Guardian journalists go to Oxbridge? Were half of leading newspaper journalists privately educated? Press Gazette.

Some people are so childish...

PS Is Ed Miliband protecting and courting Owen Jones? Dan Hodges' Telegraph blog.

Update: Statistics should provoke Britain's media into prolonged period of self-reflection. They probably won't, since 54% of top 100 media professionals went to private schools, Owen writes in Thursday's Guardian.

Owen neglects to mention that the new Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission's report also says that 47% of newspaper columnists went to Oxbridge.

Manchester Pride: Call For A Public Meeting

So it's come to this...
In 2003, Manchester Pride took over the running of what had been primarily a successful fundraising event for LGBT and HIV/AIDS charities in the Manchester area since the late 1980s.

Manchester is among the most unique of Pride events in that it culminates in a four-day celebration after a month of "Fringe" events.

In recent years though, the focus has moved from a community-led and focused event with an emphasis on fundraising to a more commercial event where charity donations have fallen over the last three years. Indeed this year the ticket cost was stated as contributing towards the delivery of the event with no donation to the Community Fund. LGBT and HIV/AIDS charities have suffered from this decrease in funding from Manchester's primary fundraising event. Charities that benefited in the past from Pride donations have seen increased demands on resources and massive decreases in funding.

There have been concerns at every level about how Manchester Pride is now run - excessive ticket prices, spiralling costs, lack of financial support, right of way issues, disability access issues, lack of transparency and openness from organisers, lack of opportunity for community groups to get more involved, exclusion of those most in need or support. The list goes on.

We now ask for a public meeting with Manchester Pride, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police to discuss and hopefully resolve the issues mentioned above. Manchester Pride should be an event run by our LGBT community for the LGBT community and not by a board of unelected trustees that has no true community representation.

Doctor Who: One In A Million

Several complaints have been made to the TV watchdog Ofcom over the gay kiss on Doctor Who.

The British science fiction drama came under fire after Madame Vastra and her wife Jenny locked lips in front of 7 million viewers in the UK.

Angry viewers decided to write to Ofcom as they felt the kiss was ‘inappropriate’ to have on before 9pm, the watershed in the UK. The watchdog received six complaints...

How many times!!?

If over seven million people watched the programme, then only six people complaining is statistically insignificant.

It's actually less than one in a million.

Given those odds, a monkey could have dialled Ofcom by mistake.


Further, some people will be offended and complain about anything.

Just take a look at Twitter, it won't take a minute to find someone who's OUTRAGED and DISGUSTED by any gaiety on TV, or, say, the sandwich they just bought for lunch.

Only a provincial pearl-clutching prissy panic-mongerer would think this non-story is newsworthy.

But that's Gay Star News for you - it's like a gay Daily Mail written by naff 12 year-olds.

Update: Ofcom responds; We don't give a fuck about this either

'Having assessed the complaints, we can confirm that they do not raise issues warranting further investigation.

'Our rules do not discriminate between scenes featuring opposite sex and same sex couples.'

Update 2: Compare this OUTRAGE to the 600 people complained to the BBC about that baked alaska thing on Great British Bake Off!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Huffpost Gay Voices: Double Whopper Doublethink

I'm really getting tired of companies, politicians, donors and other entities using their support of LGBT rights -- something much easier to do these days -- as a way to pose as progressive, often as a PR move to blunt criticism of a bad record or even nefarious actions. And it's time that LGBT activists stop letting them get away with it. At this point, many of these entities need us more than we need them. Let's demand more.

The latest is Burger King, which only weeks ago unveiled "The Proud Whopper" to support LGBT pride -- receiving accolades from many LGBT activists -- but now isfleeing to Canada, buying up Tim Hortons, following other American companies engaged in so-called tax inversions, all to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Who cares if Burger King wraps its Whopper in the rainbow if the company is hurting the American economy, American taxpayers and American workers, including LGBT workers?

Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large, Huffpost Gay Voices.

You'd have thought this is just stating the extremely obvious, if we consider ourselves moral agents, not mere gay consumers.

Within the ideological framework of the gay media Signorile seems to be making a radical statement, though it should be as banal a truism as saying slavery is bad.

But Huffpost Gay Voices has continually acted like an over-excited cheerleader whenever a big business announces some crappy pro-gay PR stunt.

Note the 'Proud Whopper' link in the above goes to a story on USA Today, ignoring Huffington Post's knicker-wetting over this tokenistic total non-event - the rainbow wrappers were used in one store over one weekend, the press release went global - Burger King Supports LGBT Rights With 'Proud Whopper' And 'Be Your Way' Campaign.

You also get a photo gallery celebrating 25 LGBT-friendly products and companies; including such saintly megacorps as Gap, General Mills, General Motors, Safeway and Starbucks.

Please accept our sincerest hypocrisy etc.

Happy shopping!

Kate Bush: Tonight's Setlist In Full

By @Mumbler3
Fagburn will be liveblogging tonight's show and streaming footage filmed on my iPad on my YouTube channel.

Update: Neil Tennant arrives at the Hammersmith Apollo! I dunno, but Neil looks kinda different since Loxfest...

ITV News via Phil Robinson

Update 2: Oooh, she's here again! Gays explode. 'Wow! Unbelievable! A triumphant return!' etc etc.

Modern Family: Conservative Family Values

The show is a significant one for more reasons than simply audience numbers and critical acclaim. Created by Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, the team behind Frasier, it’s a show that is pushing television boundaries and, in its own quiet way, changing political viewpoints. Right wing conservatives, including Mitt Romney and his wife, are said to be fans and, in a recent survey, Republicans ranked the show third in a list of their top 15 shows, while Democrats didn’t rank it at all. All rather surprising, given the inclusion of a gay couple with a baby as one of the family units.

“This is probably a little overwrought, but I do actually think the writers are making the world a better place,” Burrell says earnestly. “It’s one of my favourite things about the show. I love it when I talk to conservatives and they’re describing all three couples, and they never mention that one of them is gay. That’s the brilliance of the writing. In a completely unaggressive, apolitical way, they are showing this couple as completely normal dealing with ordinary stuff. The banality of it is the most revolutionary thing.

“I think if you turned around and asked that same conservative person how they felt about gay marriage, that probably hasn’t changed for them, but the seed has been planted none the less. It’s progress and it’s the coolest thing.”

Daily Telegraph interview with Ty Burrell, who plays 'cool dad', Phil Dunphy - and won an Emmy for it last night.

Have I got this right? A TV show that stars a heteronormative gay couple - 'married with child', clearly defined 'him and her' roles - is more popular with American Conservatives than Liberals? 

You amaze me!!

PS Modern Family won its fifth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series yesterday.

And The Normal Heart won the Emmy Award for Best Televsion Movie, somewhat predictably.

PPS Half a decade of Modern Family's upper-class fantasies, Mic.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Ramones: Sweet And Tender Hooligans

Morrissey has compiled the track-listing for the forthcoming Best of the Ramones CD/LP which is due for release by Sire-Rhino. Morrissey has also chosen the sleeve image (above). Morrissey is thankful to the Ramones management for this invitation.

Beautiful, though totally incongruous, sleeve photograph.

PS Of course, Steve Morrissey has always been a champion of the band. 

PS 'This would not have happened to the Teletubbies', from Morrissey's statement on his recent split with Harvest Records after one album. She's so barking and bitter these days, it's hard to know if La Mozz is being ironic or not.

Gay Porn: Straight Women

Porn for women has always had women’s sexuality - or perceived lack of it - as the punchline.

What turns women on, we are told, is men doing the ironing. Men taking the bins out. Men emptying the dishwasher. Maybe while shirtless.


The truth is far more interesting. Because, while 'lesbian porn' has long done a roaring trade among straight men, it seems a growing number of women are turning to man-on-man action to get them going. Indeed, there's an entire subculture of women who believe that, in the words of one online viewer, “there's nothing better than watching two handsome guys f******.” *

In a world where straight women from Judy Garland to the fictional Bridget Jones are painted as the gays' best friend, it's a little surprising...

Daily Telegraph.

No idea if this actually 'a thing' or not. Probably not.

* Fisting?

Truman Capote: Screaming

“For us, death is stronger than life, it pulls like a wind through the dark, all our cries burlesqued in joyless laughter; and with the garbage of liveliness stuffed down us until our guts burst bleeding green, we go screaming round the world, dying, in our rented rooms, nightmare hotels, eternal homes of the transient heart.”

He died today, but in 1984.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Richard Attenborough: 1923-2014

You wanted a recording of my voice, well here it is. What you want me to say is, 'I love you'. Well I don't. I hate you, you little slut...

PS Despite his fruitiness, his brother, David, is the gay one, apparently.

Cucumber: Homosexual Drama

Channel 4 are launching another homosexual-themed series that is likely to stir up controversy 15 years after gay drama Queer as Folk hit the airwaves.

Queer as Folk writer Russell T. Davies has created a new three-strand show that will be broadcast next year.

Cucumber marks a return to homosexual drama for Davies who apart from Queer as Folk and Bob & Rose was responsible for the revamp of Doctor Who although some fans and critics thought that the not always hidden gay themes in the sci-fi show were too much its audience of children.

Cucumber, described by Channel 4 boss Jay Hunt as 'channel-defining', tells the story of gay life across the generations and stars Vincent Franklin, who was PR Stewart Pearson in The Thick of It.

Franklin plays Henry Best, a 40-something gay man, who is splitting up from his boyfriend but is attracted to a younger man played by Freddie Fox, the son of Edward Fox, the actor.

Henry Best ends up sharing a house with a number of young men and in one episode shouts: 'We all live together in a great big gay house, being gay!'

After Cucumber has finished, viewers can switch to E4 for the second strand Banana while the third Tofu will be on the station's website and will tell the stories of 'ordinary people'.

Piers Wenger, Channel 4's head of drama, claimed that Cucumber was 'amazingly warm, incredibly funny and beautifully written.

'In a drama looking at the details of people's sex lives, whether gay or straight people, of course you are required to bust taboos or ask probing questions. There's no doubt people will find it challenging but it's asking intelligent questions in an original way.'
Daily Mail.

Is English your first language?

PS Oddly the Mail forgot to include this line from Jay Hunt; 'We wouldn't be Channel 4 if we weren't planning to lightly outrage the Daily Mail.'

Here's the blurb from Channel 4 - it will be broadcast in 'winter', they add helpfully.

Sunday Night At The London Palladium: Bona Hoofer

"Vada the bona lallies on the feelie," was, apart from a few "good mornings", my only welcome as I entered my new dressing room backstage at the London Palladium.

I would later learn that the greeting was in a theatrical patois called Polari and translates as: "Look at the kid with the lovely legs."

It was my first day at the world's most famous variety house.

I had never heard of Polari and I must confess not to a flush of fear but more a cynical sneer as I crossed the boundary between classical ballet and the commercial theatre.

The gobbledegook greeting confirmed my worst fears...

Live television changed my life. Being on stage in the first place is both scary and rewarding but knowing you have to be perfect, often with minimum rehearsal, for 20 million pairs of eyes, strips you to the core.

There is no second chance, you either hit it 100 per cent immediately or you are dead.

When your too-tight pants split, which they do often, or your partner hits the floor, there is nothing you can do but keep on smiling and bashing it out...

A sweet piece in The Sunday Express where Jeffrey Taylor remembers being a dancer on Sunday Night At The London Palladium in the 60s. 

Jeffrey is now a regular theatre reviewer for the Express.

Gay: OK

Gay OK? Well, it's certainly something to think about.

Update: The cast and crew of Coronation Street have made a video for Manchester Pride! Okay...

Sunday School: Come Thou With Us

Frankie Goes To Hollywood got banned for less - time to end the pro-Christian tyranny!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Guardian: Gay Shame

A triple-whammy for The Guardian here.

Because of their secret editorial ruling that gay men's faces can not be shown, this story - which is of fuck-all relevance to British readers - is illustrated by two men in silhouette behind a rainbow flag!

Fucking hopeless.

Bad Cop: Good Cop

Gay Star News think this - a cop saying some bad things about the gays - is a big story, but the shooting of an unarmed black man is a mere 'controversy'.

But hey, cops are 'hot'.

Unquestioning worship of state power? Gay Star News Loves!

PS Racists love GSN.

Television: Gay Bars

Vito Spatafore, The Sopranos.
When we talk about the so-called Golden Age of Television that we are presently living through, the common elements of the conversation are well-established: anguished middle-aged white men, their put-upon and much-despised wives, issues of sexual assault and debates about ultra-violence. But as I have been watching through “Friday Night Lights” for the first time, it struck me that some of these shows have another element in common: surprising encounters in gay bars...

In prestige television, gay bars act as a kind of portal: Straight characters step into them and are surprised by what they learn, not only about men they thought they knew, but about themselves. It is a measure of both the promise and limitations of the so-called Golden Age of Television that the treatment of gay men in homophobic organizations by “The Sopranos” did not prove quite as influential as James Gandolfini’s performance as the titular mobster.

Alyssa Rosenberg,

Update: We need more sex on (US network) TV, The Advocate.

David Sedaris: The Men That Got Away

It was a Friday night in mid-July, around nine o'clock, and Hugh and I were at the dinner table, eating this spaghetti he makes with sausage in it. We've been together for 23 years, and for some reason I waited until this moment to ask how many people he'd slept with before we became a couple.

Hugh looked at the ceiling, which is crisscrossed with beams, and, to my great consternation, spider webs. I'm vigilant, really I am, but out in the country there's no keeping up with them.

"So?" I said.

"I'm thinking," he told me.

I used to know how many people I'd slept with. After meeting Hugh, though, I took myself off the market and the figure faded from my memory. If I were to slog through all my old diaries I could certainly retrieve it. Twenty eight?

Thirty? Do I include those early gropings? They felt significant at the time, but does it qualify as sex if you never took your clothes off, or actually touched anything with your bare hands? I wanted to ask Hugh, but he was too busy counting. "Thirty two, thirty three..." 
I put down my fork. "You're not finished yet?"

"Shhh," he said. "You're making me lose track."

It shouldn't have surprised me. When you look like Hugh, all you have to do is leave the house and people will approach you, especially gay men, the dogs. His handsomeness was never my own personal opinion, rather, like the roundness of the Earth, something society generally agrees upon. Without my face to use as bait, I had to work a lot harder than he did. There are times, I'll admit it, when I had to beg. That said, some of Hugh's earlier choices seemed poorly thought out to me, especially once Aids came along. 
"Thirty five... thirty six."

Every man ticked off on his fingers was someone I'd been compared to at one point or another, not overtly – he's anything but cruel – but surely it happened. Someone kissed better than me. Someone had more stamina, a more seductive voice. I'm confident enough to compete against a dozen of his exes, but he was moving on to the population of a small town.

"Thirty eight, thirty nine…"

By what miracle had neither of us contacted Aids? How had we gotten away? I don't just mean later, when people knew to be safe, but back in the days when it didn't have a name and no one understood how it spread. One of the men Hugh had lived with – a professor he had in his first year of college – had died of it in the late 80s, and surely there were others, on both my side and his. Yet for some reason we'd escaped, had prospered, even. Now, here we were, the shadows lengthening, our spaghetti growing cold as he hit the half-hundred mark, then blithely sailed beyond it.

David Sedaris, pictured with Hugh Hamrick, from a selection of celeb recollections, The One That Got Away in Guardian Weekend.

PS Meet David Sedaris is currently on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra. Yowsah!

Brighton: Notorious Gay Dogging Site

Fagburn gets the impression no-one at the Daily Star has a clue what goes on at this 'notorious gay dogging site'.

Or, indeed, what the action looks like.

Oi! Gay men do not go dogging - FFS, we have some standards!

Further, the story is based not on how 'FAMILIES hit out at a council', but a story in the Argus yesterday where a gay man complained about the poor lighting down the Bushes.

The Daily Mail is also not happy - and Mail Online readers are MAD AS HELL! 

How disgusting, if my husband and I went for a quickie behind the bushes and got caught, they would throw away the key. etc etc.

But it's not all homophobes...

Joyless gayers for UKIP - YAY!

Co-op: When In Doubt Blame Paul Flowers

The Sun.

Wow! It's been literally three months since you've had a go at Paul Flowers.

Where have you been, lads?

For the record, Paul was a non-executive director of the Co-op and didn't actually make any financial decisions, so blaming him for the Co-op's current woes makes about as much sense as blaming Her Majesty The Queen for the recession.

His only crime still seems to be having way more fun than your readers do - and, unlike some journalists I could mention, he never tried to claim it back on expenses.

Fagburn remains as ever #TeamFlowers. x

Friday, 22 August 2014

Sam Smith: The New Normal

Sam Smith is a rarity in the pop world, and not in the way you might think. He's young, with a soulful voice beyond his years, but that really only makes him the male Adele. No, what makes Smith different is that he's openly gay at just 22 – rarer in contemporary culture than you might think.

More than that, Smith is an openly single gay man in pop culture [sic], which doesn't seem that surprising until you think of all those who came out before him. The Neil Patrick Harris and Matt Bomer types come out with secure partners, while the Jonathan Groffs and Zach Quintos generally keep their romantic lives very private. Not so for Smith; the young Brit is quite happy to spout his opinions about relationships and dating.

Unfortunately, those opinions have so far been poorly phrased at best, and boorishly wrongheaded at worst. The most recent of these involved Smith bashing dating and hookup apps like Grindr and Tinder, saying that they're "ruining romance" in a recent Metro interview. Smith found his current beau through more traditional means – so he wondered, why can't everyone else?

Your average 22-year-old gay guy shares plenty of half-formed opinions over brunch mimosas. But when Sam Smith dishes these hot takes out, he does them in an international media interview. If he wants to push forward on this path, he's certainly free to do so – but he should probably know what he's getting into first.

In May, after releasing the decidedly queer video for "Leave Your Lover" featuring a gay love triangle, Smith came out publicly. In an interview with Fader, Smith explained that his album In the Lonely Hour was about his unrequited love for another man, and described himself as "comfortable and happy" with his sexuality.

But then he continued: 'I’ve been treated as normal as anyone in my life; I’ve had no issues. I do know that some people have issues in life, but I haven’t, and it’s as normal as my right arm. I want to make it a normality because this is a non-issue.'

Today's show is brought to you by the word normal, folks. Used in a sentence: "Sam Smith desperately wants to be considered normal." ...

Kevin O'Keefe, The Wire.

Stephen Fry: More Fool You

Stephen's in serious danger of writing more 'autobiographies' than Katie Price.

Prepare yourself for a multi-media blitz around this come September.

And when I say 'Blitz', I mean 'Run for cover!'

Fagburn liked his last one where he wrote; 'Sorry, I've written about all this before.'

PS Haven't  heard a word about Stephen and his new young actor friend, Steven Webb, for a year.

Hope they're both okay.

If not, there's probably yet another volume of memoirs to milk out of it.