Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Travel Tips: Morocco

The Guardian.

As ever, just because a country has laws against homosexuality, it doesn't mean they are routinely enforced.

The shocking case of Ray Cole and Jamal Wald Nass was an exception, not the rule.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Peter Tatchell: Dear Me

From the Express Diary - not available online. Thanks to S. x

Here's Saint Peter's Twitter home page - see if you can count how many photos of himself he's tweeted recently.

Tom Tomorrow: The Right-Wing House Of Fear

Tom Tomorrow, The Daily Kos.

Marriage: What Would Elvis Do?

While many businesses in Las Vegas are welcoming the advent of marriage equality, some chapels are refusing to perform gay weddings, KLAS-TV reports. [Link to video, btw!]

After calls to approximately 15 wedding chapels, KLAS discovered "several" are refusing to perform gay weddings. The Elvis Wedding Chapel, which performs traditional weddings and those performed by Elvis impersonators, is one of those chapels. A representative from the business would not answer the door for the KLAS reporter and appeared hostile. The owner of the Vegas Wed Chapel would appear on camera and stated marrying gay couples would make her a hypocrite since she's a born-again Christian; she claimed the same-sex couples she's turned down have been understanding.

Since Nevada bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, these chapels could face misdemeanor charges for denying services to gays. As Tod Story of the ACLU points out, chapels are not exempt from the law, as churches or synagogues would be, because they're for-profit businesses.

If you have five hours to spare, Fagburn could bore you to death with his theories about Elvis's somewhat confused sexuality.

Richard Coles Watch: Rev It Up

'I feel very much like the poor man’s Stephen Fry...'

Daily Telegraph. 

She's everywhere right now, isn't she?

Thank 'god'.

PS You should know by now that our rev is one of the funniest people on Twitter. Today he RT-ed this adorable photo of his younger self butching it up on a barge. Bless!

Cartoon Of The Day: Jesus Christ!

Martin Rowson for The Guardian. 

And the runner-up... Adams in the Telegraph.

'God is not afraid of new things' - Pope Francis.

New!!? You should read the Bible, dude, there's loads of bummers in it.

BTW Fagburn has to confess he's not very interested in this story, but it's always nice to have another excuse to laugh at the sheer silliness of the Catholic church.

Worst Avatar Of All Time: The Independent

Off that Twitter.

Because they really love The Gays...


PS Don't forget to vote for Dennis Nilsen in the Independent On Sunday's Rainbow List.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Stephen Gately: A Strange And Troubling Estate

BOYZONE star Stephen Gately’s family are to hire a private investigator for a fresh probe into his death.

The move comes as they battle his husband Andrew Cowles over the singer’s £1.5million estate.

Stephen, 33, died five years ago in Majorca.

His brother Tony, 32, told The Sun on Sunday they still have unanswered questions five years after the tragedy.

They are also embroiled in a dispute over how the star’s £1.5million estate is divided up.

Stephen was discovered slumped on a sofa while on holiday in Majorca with husband Andrew Cowles, 36.

Officials ruled that Gately had been killed by an undetected heart condition.

But bus driver Tony said: “Only two people really know what went on the night he died.

“They are his husband Andrew and a Bulgarian guy, Georgi, who was invited to their apartment. Neither of them have fully explained to me what happened.

“We are looking at getting a private investigator once his estate is settled.” ...

The Sun Sunday.

Only at the end do readers learn; 'Andrew could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.'

Might it not have been an idea to wait until he had been?

Might be an idea for the Mail to keep out of this.

Asifa Lahore: Revelations

The Observer.

Using the Dewani trial as a hook seems a bit off/odd, but this video is amusing.

Oh, you may remember Asifa from this BBC3 censorship farce back in March.

The Guardian call Club Kali's promoter 'Rita' - her name is Ritu. Oops!

PS Anni Dewani murderer dies in prison - now this is a conspiracy theory waiting to happen.

It Ain't Half Hot Mum: Repeat To Fade

Repeat fees can play a big part in an actor’s salary. How do you feel about the BBC refusing to repeat Perry and Croft’s wartime sitcom, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum?

It was one of the most popular shows on television and I don’t understand the decision. Now, people can swear on television – which we never did – and you’re seemingly allowed to tell any homophobic joke you want, et cetera. Yet because Windsor Davies’s character called us a “bunch of poofs” and Michael Bates, who was born in India, dressed up as an Indian, the BBC won’t repeat it. It’s sad. The writers, Jimmy Perry and David Croft, tried everything they could to get the BBC to repeat it but to no avail.

Melvyn played Gunner 'Gloria' Beaumont, a drag performer in a soldiers' concert party stationed in India and Burma during World War II, in the bafflingly popular BBC TV 70s sitcom.

He has a passion for show business and always dresses up as famous film stars during the concert party shows, especially as Ginger Rogers. Gloria is an enormous coward. He is known throughout the company as being camp if not homosexual. This is seen in one of the episodes where Rangi says "Bombadier Beaumont is...." and makes the limp wrist gesture symbolic throughout Britain as meaning gay. Muhammad says "Bombadier Beaumont is Flyswat???". To which Ramzan goes "(STRING OF URDU/HINDI) Homosexual". To which Rangi says "Stop being such clever dicky." Wiki.

And that's what passed for top comedy back then - and may explain why it's not repeated these days.

Even on Dave.

James Wharton: Poster Boy

James Wharton, the poster boy for the Army's changing stance towards homosexuality during 10 years of service as an openly gay man...

Independent On Sunday.

He's the gay soldier that got gaymarried* - who claims he was rescued by Prince Harry.

And a joyless anti-sex prude to boot.

The poster boy for the heteronormative gay right, more like.

*Sadly now divorced. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Cartoon Time: Holy Crap

Kal for The Economist.

Catholic Synod: Pope Francis setback on gay policy - BBC News.

Arthur Russell: He Is Now Appreciated

There is a short appreciation of Arthur Russell in The Guardian Guide today.
Thought I'd let you know...

Evan Davis: Tinsel Tits No More

Evan Davis takes issue with Jeremy Paxman, his Newsnight predecessor, who witheringly noted that the current affairs programme is now made by 13-year-olds. “I mean, they are shockingly young, but I put them more at 15 to 20-year-olds,” says Davis. “Still, they love their politics and they just know the answers to everything.”

By the way, while Evan wisely saw that he would have Mandrake to answer to if he had dispensed – in the manner of Robert Peston – with a tie when he presented Newsnight, what has not so far been acknowledged is that the affable 52-year-old broadcaster also took the line of least resistance on his collection of rings.

“I used to wear them, too, but now they have gone,” he told me at the launch of the new Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London. “I don’t mind, though. The whole lot of them were only £5 from a shop on Kensington High Street.”

Julian Clary: Innuendo No More

'You just go as far as you can with the double entendre and the single entendre and the expectancy of the audience that there’s filth. Maybe I’ve tired of double entendres a bit — who’d have thought? It was a revelation that the audience will go with you if you change direction a bit.'

Mr Clary is promoting his new innuendo-free London cabaret shows.

Thought For The Day: Graham Norton

'The only thing that makes me sad - and Alan Carr is sort of like this too - is that the most stick you get is from gay people.

'It’s always been the same, that there’s this sort of weird self-loathing in the gay community…

'But it’s heartbreaking, because you hear these people say ‘Oh he’s so camp and terrible', and you’re thinking, 'Oh god, you are completely unaware that you’re camp too!'

'There was a very sweet documentary once, and these little gay boys in Brighton were talking about how much they hated me, and it was heartbreaking because they were me.'

Friday, 17 October 2014

Groundhog Gay: Damian Barr

New Statesman.

Every other month since the dawn of gay time someone has written an article asking this.

There is nothing interesting left to say about the subject - as Mr Barr shows.

And why is the New Statesman publishing this?

It's basically Damian Barr pushing his 250 page love letter to Margaret Thatcher, Maggie & Me.

Next week in the NS: Andrew Pierce asks is drag sexist.

PS I do like DB presenting Front Row, though. *balance*

Tim Hauser: 1941-2014

From the Continental Baths to Top Of The Pops...

Ray Cole: I'm Still Waiting

Respect where it's due, this interview with Ray Cole by Patrick Strudwick does foreground the plight of his Moroccan lover, Jamal Wald Nass - released two days later, but pending an appeal - a man all but invisible in most other accounts

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Gays In The News: Cashpoint Confusion

Manchester Evening News.

Sounds quite understandable.

Word Of The Day: Queer-Baiting

If I see another article in a publication oriented towards gay men proclaiming how hot Nick Jonas is, I might scream. I get it, he’s packed on some muscle mass since the last time he was relevant—and it’s always nice to have eye candy—but his recent appearances at gay clubs in New York seem a little disingenuous.

Jonas has a self-titled album coming out soon, and because the rise of One Direction and Justin Bieber has diminished his influence in the lucrative teen girl market, he needs to find a new group to promote his material. It looks like he’s found his audience: gay men.

His marketing team must be having a gay old time, if you’ll forgive the pun, because it’s a little too coincidental that Jonas has started popping up at gay clubs to take his shirt off, stripping down and emulating Mark Wahlberg for a photoshoot and tweeting “I love my gay fans,” around the release of the new album’s second single, “Jealous.” As a slight cynic, this doesn’t feel like a genuine way to attract fans—it feels like a marketing ploy.

Jonas isn’t the only high-profile act that capitalizes on the seemingly untapped mainstream market of gay men. The MTV show “Teen Wolf” has been working its werewolf-fueled magic in queer-baiting since the show premiered in 2011...

Conor Murphy, The Daily Cardinal.

Headline Of The Day: Evening Standard

Evening Standard.

Fagburn knows a few well-known gayers who were runners-up.

A list shall appear presently.

1. ...

Full disclosure: Cocaine is Fagburn's least favourite drug, it just makes rich boring people boring faster.

Oscar Wilde: Jailbait

The only known photograph of a working-class man Oscar Wilde took an interest in [Sic] has been unearthed in a search of Reading Prison archives.

The picture of Henry Bushnell was found by Prof Peter Stoneley, from the University of Reading, who carried out a study of Wilde's fellow prisoners.

He said the playwright had been "attracted to" Bushnell but details of their relationship were unknown.

Wilde was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for homosexuality in 1895.

In a letter the disgraced [Sic] playwright mentioned a "little dark-eyed chap", believed to be labourer Bushnell, who was jailed for theft 21 times between 1892 and 1911, said Prof Stoneley.

Most inmates were not photographed but, as a repeat offender, Bushnell was. There are seven mugshots of him in the archives of the recently closed Reading Prison...

You got good taste, Oscar!

Outstanding: Money Money Money

Hi Richard

In response to your questions I hope the following is useful. If you have any further requests please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Many thanks,


OUTstanding was founded in June 2013 by its sole shareholder Suki Sandhu who does not take a salary from the business. Suki set up OUTstanding after working in the executive recruitment business for 10 years - he continues to own and run recruitment company Audeliss as a separate enterprise.

A not for profit, member driven organisation, OUTstanding is committed to donating any profits made to its charity partners. Full details of these can be found on our FAQs page on the website.

OUTstanding exists to inform, inspire, connect and facilitate LGBT and straight ally business leaders at an executive level; founding corporate members include Google, IBM and Barclays and now includes the likes of BP, EY and BT.

On the 9th October 2014 it launched its annual Top 100 LGBT business leaders and, for the first time, the Top 20 straight allies to champion those spearheading the cause of executive diversity. See the full lists here.

Fine - but can you explain the strange correlation between your Top 100 LGBT business leaders and Top 20 Straight Allies and the corporate crooks who are paying you money?

Brighton: Kissing To Be Clever

When I arrived in Brighton as an 18-year-old, I expected to find some sort of queer paradise: the kind of place where rainbow flags lined the streets and poodles and gimps crawled interchangeably on leads in the hands of beautiful drag queens. Or, at least a bit more of that kind of stuff than what the urinals of a drab Doncaster shopping centre had to offer.

However, after a few weeks as a student in the city, the honeymoon was over. Paradise begins to look a bit less fabulous when your friend gets beaten up on his way home with another man. Brighton, like everywhere else, is home to bigots...

When I arrived at work on Monday morning and saw the lead story in the local paper – that two young women were told they’d be chucked out of Sainsbury’s if they continued to “display public signs of affection” – it stirred a familiar sickness in my gut.

Gay couple asked to leave Sainsbury's after a peck on the cheek, The Argus.

Still can't believe this happened in Brighton...

Oscar Wilde: 160 Today!

'All authority is quite degrading'

Happy birthday, you big fat Irish poof!

'A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. 
And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. 
Progress is the realisation of Utopias.'

Gay Marriage: Apes Next?

Thanks to our comrade in France, Jon. x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tweet/Tshirt Of The Day: No Masc

Want one!

Smoking: Still


Ban Boris Johnson in public places!

Fagburn says NO to dreary traffic wardens!

Kilgore: Trout

The act of dying 
is like hitch-hiking 
into a strange town 
late at night 
where it is cold 
& raining, 
& you are alone 

Kilgore Trout disappeared ten years ago today.

So it goes...

Thrilling Gay Poll Of the Day: Gay Star News

Gay Star News - who've just been told again by the Advertising Standards Authority to stop printing 'marketing communications' as news.

Do you hate your readers that much?

See also this harrowing story...

For god's sake CLOSE IT DOWN!

Outstanding: Not For Profit

Still trying to figure out how this works, and the point of it.

Apart from doing a pointless made-up List Of Top 100 Business Allies, and having a very expensive party where the winners pay to attend.

Oh, and the man behind it - Suki Sandhu - runs a city head-hunting agency.

No connection there!

I am sure they'll reply to my emails eventually...

[Edit: They have! And will reply tomorrow lunchtime].

PS Fagburn notes the deputy CEO of Outstanding is Joe Galliano - a former editor of Gay Times, where he was known affectionately by colleagues as Joe Galliarsehole. Hilariously thick, perhaps his greatest moment was commissioning a series called 'The Money Gym'. This was pulled at the last moment when it was pointed out this was a pyramid scheme.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch: Plus 84 Things We Love About Iceland

“He wasn’t someone who purposefully put himself in the way of things as a protest — he was just a great role model for anyone who’s different or feels different,” says Cumberbatch. “And it’s tragic because you look at every single trajectory in his life and understand completely why he was different, why he stuttered, why he was isolated in his work. [You also see] why he was useless with men in any form of relationship — because he’d never experienced the love he deserved. And yet, within that, this man invented the idea of mechanizing mathematics — of a computer. He conquered, through cryptography, the Enigma code, which means he saved millions of lives, and, even as his body was morphing, was doing work on how the environment causes cellular structures to change. I mean, God knows, he probably would be celebrated as someone like Bill Gates. Without the shadow of a doubt, he would be held as a totem of the modern world.”

Mere words can not begin to describe how bowel-crackingly awful this interview is...

Perhaps the final proof that going to a very fine private school can't stop you from being very, very thick.

I give up!

Israel: Protection

Here's what happened: In mid-July, an editor from the venerable LGBTQ magazine [The Advocate] responded to my story pitch and asked me to write an op-ed on pinkwashing and the 51-day attack on Gaza, which Israel dubbed Operation Protective Edge.

After submitting an article, I received a revised draft that included heavy political editing. I was told the article would be published if I agreed to these changes. The edits included the removal of the words "apartheid," "occupation" and "colonialism," and the addition of a sentence condemning Hamas.

I told the editors I did not agree with their changes, but given the importance of the piece being published, I would accept them on two conditions:

First, the sentence they inserted about Hamas had to be removed because in my mind, it seemed to equate Israel's massive bombardment of a besieged, occupied territory that eventually killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, with Palestinian resistance.

Second, that a quote from Holocaust survivor and Palestine rights activist Suzanne Weiss be added to the piece.

I thought it was particularly important to get a piece into The Advocate because on July 9, just two days after the Israeli attack on Gaza began, it published an article titled "Why LGBT People Around the World Need Israel," lauding the state as a supposed haven of gay rights.

"Unless we want the Middle East to turn into an absolute free-for-all controlled by extremists who want to kill us and turn women into their slaves, then we need to do everything we can to protect Israel and stand in solidarity in any way we can," the piece stated, as U.S.-supplied Israeli bombs fell on Gaza, wiping out entire families. "Not only is it in our interests, but Israel deserves it after all it has done for us," the article added.

I was informed that my amended draft would be sent to the editors and that I would have a response promptly. More than a month later, I was finally told my piece would not be published.

Please read this piece.

Israel and its supporters in the U.S. government and the corporate media would have us believe that this highly uneven conflict is justified because the only democratic society in the Middle East has the right to defend itself. The existence of some legal reforms for LGBT people in Israel is regularly touted while promoting this idea.

But while Israel has relationship recognition policies, and it allows gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve openly in the military, those things matter very little when we're talking about issues of war and occupation.

At the end of the day, promoting Israel as a gay paradise is ultimately just a publicity blitz. It's an effort by Israel to demonize and scapegoat Palestinians as backward and homophobic and to portray Israel as progressive and tolerant in order to justify the country's horrific tactics.