Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Butt/Probed: Carry On Subbing

Today's news headlines!
"Butt Is Open For Hong Kong Return" - The Sun
"Wikileaks: Spies Probed Tory Alan Duncan" - The Daily Mirror
Cause bumming is funny.

The Death Of Camp: Groundhog Gay

One of the problems of reading gay journalism and the gay press for a few years is it starts to feel like Groundhog Day.
The same arguments and the same articles keep coming around again and again and again.
But while you feel trapped in this realm of endless repetition, the journalist you're reading is convinced his tired words and old cliches are saying something breathtakingly bold and new.
There's a piece in The Guardian today announcing 'The Death Of Camp - Effeminate gay men are an increasingly rare sight now the 'straight-acting' are in the ascendency'.
The author, Kevin Troughton, doesn't like "camp" or "effeminate gay men".
Thankfully they're a dying breed.
Ding-dong the witches are dead.
Most of the gay men he knows are "straight-acting", he says proudly.
Many gay men fancy "masculine" men, he proffers as proof of some paradigm shift.
As if Quentin Crisp et al hadn't been saying the same thing way back in the last century.
Troughton thinks he has discovered a new "masculine gay man... now he's mainstream, confident and critical of the camp-it-up gay scene".
Good for him. Grrr!
He seems unaware that you could regularly read silly articles arguing just this in Gay News in the 1970s.
"If only gay men could be less gay what a wonderful world it would be..."
Writers are always announcing the death or the end of something.
In Septemper in The Sunday times Camille Paglia announced 'The Death Of Sex'.
It sounds good, dramatic, daring.
But like Francis Fukuyama's The End Of History, it's usually just wishful thinking.
And hearing of "The Death Of Camp" just sounds like history repeating.
Self-loathing masquerading as critique.

Hate Crimes: The Only Way Is Up

Be interesting to see how the media report this just released by The Press Association;
'12% surge in hate crimes revealed'
"More than 50,000 hate crimes were reported across England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year."
The latest figures - the first to be made public - show there were 4,805 motivated by sexual orientation.
Figures for 2008 showed 4,300 motivated by sexual orientation.
A rise of more than 10% is pretty worrying, but there is a big but...
The straight press almost always translate figures like these into headlines announcing an increase in anti-gay violence and/or other hate crimes.*
For years the stock answer from gay talking heads when asked about these year-on-year rises (which have happened for as long as Fagburn can remember) is to sigh and say this is a rise in "reports" of anti-gay crime, not incidents.
They argue all it means is that victims are more willing to report them to the police, and the police are more inclined (and sympathetic) to report them as such.
This is certainly true, but what if an increased gay visibility and confidence has meant anti-gay attacks are actually on the increase as well?
It's an unknown that would make for an interesting - and important - study.

* NB These new figures are for all "hate crimes", not just violent attacks; The ACPO definition of a Homophobic Incident: "Any incident which is perceived to be homophobic (i.e. motivated by animosity towards those people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) by the victim or any other person."
These include, for example, verbal abuse, graffiti and damage to a car parked near a gay club.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Tatler: Bachelors, Eligible & Confirmed

Fagburn is not an avid reader of top peoples' magazine Tatler, so thanks to Guido Fawkes for drawing my attention to their list, Top Ten Eligible Bachelors 2010.
In at Number 8 is Christopher Myers.
"Close friend of Foreign Secretary William Hague. Ask for a double, not two singles. Good calves."
Guido waspishly comments about this eligible bachelor; "Presumably going for the Lifetime Achievement Award..."

Ann Widdecombe: A Friend Of Dorothy?

I'm not sure what to say.

Language: Real Gay Men Don't Go Dogging

Fagburn has written before about his delight at the quaint language employed by The Daily Telegraph when they are writing about gay men.
It's the only British newspaper that still regularly uses the word "homosexual".
It was at it again over the weekend; "Sir Beville Stanier, nephew of the late Sir John Miller who was in charge of the Royal household, claims he has been plagued by homosexual men who use his land for sex."
It also appeared to coin a new term, used in its headline to this non-story*, and in the text; 'Tory grandee calls police after gay doggers target estate'
This perhaps suggests that Telegraph readers are expected to be familiar with "doggers" and "dogging", but not their nearest gay equivalents "cruisers" and "cruising".
Journalists find the latter rather confusing, recently we had Rosie Boycott talking about "cottaging on Hampstead Heath" in The Observer.
Such innocence masquerading as experience can be forgiven in straight journalists.
It gives gay men a good laugh, if nothing else.
But what should gay men make of a gay publication that's just as ignorant of gay culture and confused by the gay lexicon?
Step forward one Jonny Payne, who in the Pink Paper today writes a story titled; 'Conservative landowner tackles gay dogging'

Daily Telegraph: House Of Commons Turned Into Gay Club

The Daily Telegraph runs a short item on its politics pages today; 'Commons Speaker John Bercow hosts a gay party'
"John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has stepped up his campaign to "modernise" Parliament.
"Bercow, who resigned from the Conservative front bench in 2002 after defying a three-line whip and voting for Labour's bill to allow homosexuals to adopt, is throwing a party in the state rooms at Speaker's House.
"It will celebrate the launch of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network for Parliament. How did they manage without one?"
What a silly, smug and pointless little piece.
You can almost hear the Torygraph's more Colonel Blimpish readers guffawing in the gentlemans' clubs of west London and snorting in the saloon bars of middle England.
"Whatever next!"

Wikileaks 2: Alan Duncan & William Hague - Oops!

"The leaked US diplomatic cables reveal a particular intelligence interest in Alan Duncan, at the time shadow minister for prisons. Duncan, a former oil trader who is now international development minister, is gay. He once shared a London flat with William Hague, who has felt obliged to deny public speculation about his own sexuality.
"A 22 January 2010 cable was signed off by Elizabeth Pitterle, head of intelligence operations. She thanked the London embassy for its intelligence on Duncan's "friendship with ... William Hague", saying it was "particularly insightful and exceptionally well timed, as analysts are preparing finished products on the Conservative leadership for senior policymakers".
"The cable called for further intelligence on "Duncan's relationship with Conservative party leader David Cameron and William Hague", and asked:"What role would Duncan play if the Conservatives form a government? What are Duncan's political ambitions?"

From The Guardian's The US Embassy Cables
I've posted the cable in full in the comments section below - intriguingly it's dated January 2010.
Amusingly as Foreign Secretary, Mr Hague has to try and clean up after the wonderful shitstorm unleashed by the latest Wikileaks leaks.
Mr Duncan has been demoted to Minister for Paperclips after a few gaffes unbecoming a multi-millionaire - though did step back into the limelight to defend his friend hague over those terrible gay rumours about him and Chris Myers.
There is a retrospectively interesting - and amusing - profile of Duncan from The Independent in 1997 when he was gaff-prone press agent to Hague here. "One member of the Shadow Cabinet described Duncan's latest political standing in lavatorial language: "Margaret Thatcher said `every Tory leader should have a Willie'; our leader has a prick."
"...He was President of the Oxford Union in the Thatcherites' annus mirabilis of 1979, and he got to know William Hague on return visits to Oxford. The two hit it off instantly, and Hague became a kind of camp-follower. He shared a flat in Battersea with Duncan, and, like his mentor, became a graduate trainee at Shell Oil. Their paths diverged, but they remained close. When Duncan bought a house close to Parliament in Gayfere Street, Hague moved in. His monthly rent was a case of champagne..."
A kind of camp-follower, eh...

Update: In a blog for The Daily Telegraph, Cristina Odone argues the American intelligence services are mainly interested in Alan Duncan just because he's gay, "a Cold War relic [they] seem incapable of ditching."

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Wikileaks: Manning Of The Year

Great to see Bradley Manning was behind many of today's leaked documents on Wikileaks.
Full coverage on The Guardian's The US Embassy Cables.
There's no point going on Wikileaks website right now - it's been disabled by a hacking attack.
Bradley Manning is Fagburn's Man of the Year.
Here's how he did it;
"I would come in with music on a CD-RW labelled with something like 'Lady Gaga' … erase the music … then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing ... [I] listened and lip-synched to Lady Gaga's Telephone while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history."
Coverage of this queer hero in the UK gay press thus far - zero.
These new leaks will almost certainly see more attempts at character assassination of Manning, as an out, proud and angry gay man it's not too hard to predict what many of these will zoom in on.
Witness what's happened to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Fagburn say "Free Bradley Manning!"

The Bradley Manning Support Network “It is a privilege to join the campaign to support Bradley Manning for his courage and integrity in serving his country by helping make the government accountable to its citizens, and to inform the world of what its people should know” Noam Chomsky

The Daily Telegraph ran a profile of Manning on Monday; "Manning was alleged to have told Lamo that he had found "incredible, awful things that belonged in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, DC". He was also said to have boasted that he had used blank CDs to download classified information while pretending to be listening to Lady Gaga..."

Michael Gove: Friend As Foe

The Observer profiles education secretary, Michael Gove today.
Of course what profiler could resist mentioning that Gove once shacked up with two notorious homosexuals?
"He attacked homophobia long before that became mainstream Tory thinking and flat-shared for a while with [Nicholas] Boles, whom Gove met while playing a priest in a film directed by a mutual friend, an early glimpse of the unexpected cultural hinterland he still cultivates, and the financier Ivan Massow, both openly gay."
And yes, Mr Gove has been very good on the gay stuff - here is an item on Gay Pride and gay rights for Newsnight back in 1993, back when we were still battling Section 28 and an unequal age of consent - policies his party doggedly adhered to.
Here he rails against homophobia in The Times in 2003.
I could have chosen many other examples.
And, since you're wondering, although Michael Gove is not the world's most masculine man, I get the feeling he's not gay (and he is married) and would have come out if he was.
This week Michael Gove's government released a white paper, The Importance Of Teaching.
It has been criticised as "a hotch potch" combining plans to create an elite of independent schools with populist nonsense like bringing in soldiers to teach.
But it did stress the importance of tackling anti-gay bullying.
Michael Gove said;
"Homophobic bullying is on the rise in our schools, and homophobic terms are increasingly used towards gay students and straight students in a way that seeks to undermine the tolerance that we have built up over the past 15 years. We therefore need to work with organisations such as Stonewall and the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and to shine the light on schools such as St George’s Church of England school, which has done a fantastic job in tackling homophobic bullying. This requires work not only by school leaders but by political leaders and all of society to tackle a growing prejudice that is scarring our tolerant society.”
This is a new paradox for progressives; that someone like Mr Gove can be so supportive of lesbians and gay men, and yet otherwise be such a right-wing shitbag.
Truly, we live in strange and mysterious times.

Coronation Street: The Outsider

Tony Warren, the creator of Coronation Street and one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, gives a rare interview with Radio Times to mark the soap's golden jubilee.
Of course magazines are always boasting they have "a rare interview" with someone, but Mr Warren is admirably self-publicity-shy and this one really is.
It's been picked up elsewhere mainly by Tony talking about how Corrie's success led to his own battle with the booze and a lost decade or more, which is well-known.
"Once I went to Amsterdam to get away from it, put on the television and there was Ena Sharples with Dutch subtitles. I put my foot through the screen. After Coronation Street, what do you do for an encore? I had a drink while I thought about it, and one turned into a million."
More interesting for Fagburn is the feeling that only a gay man could have created Coronation Street.
"I was the outsider – but, you see, the outsider sees more, the outsider hears more, the outsider has to do that to survive. And that's what qualified me to write Coronation Street."
But Warren says it was a battle from day one; "In those days, if you were going to work in television and you were gay, you had to be three times as good as anyone else," he says, fire in his voice. "The first Coronation Street writing team contained some of the biggest homophobes I've ever met. I remember getting to my feet in a story conference and saying: 'Gentlemen, I have sat here for two-and-a-half hours and listened to three poof jokes, a storyline dismissed as poofy and an actor described as 'useless for us as he's a poof'. As a matter of fact, he isn't. But I would point out that I am one, and without a poof none of you would be in work today.'"
The struggle continued. In spite of Warren's influence, Weatherfield didn't get its first gay resident until Todd Grimshaw appeared in in 2003; "I campaigned for years and years with subsequent producers to no avail. But I never theorise – I thought that it would all work itself out."

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Rupert Everett: Advertisements For Himself

Professional posh gay Rupert Everett has joined The Times writing a column for the Saturday edition.
We are now in week two - both columns were Rupert Everett writing about Rupert Everett and his fabulous lifestyle.
How very interesting.
"I must pay the council £10,000 for the pleasure of having scaffolding all over my flat for five months (with the sole purpose, it transpires, of painting some windows and replacing 27 tiles on the roof. A huge panelled staircase is seriously in need of repair but the budget for that was cancelled!). Not only must I pay for alternative accommodation but I must also pay more tax as our country scavenges a few more bob out of me to keep the war going and the banks afloat.
“I want benefits for being single. And what about all the tax I pay for being a f***ing queen in showbusiness?!”
Yes dear.

Bad Science: Bad Stonewall Survey

In his Bad Science column in The Guardian the great Ben Goldacre pulls apart Stonewall's hole-filled survey that they claimed shows lesbians and gay men are coming out over 20 years earlier.
"I thought I'd already covered all the ways that a survey could get things wrong, but this one brought something new."
Fagburn believes the age people are coming out at has dropped dramatically - but thought this survey was just plain daft.
Here's why.

Alan Partridge: "A Fairly Robust Hatred Of The Gay Community"

"I will be the first person to throw my hands up and say in the past, circa 1983, I developed a fairly robust hatred of the gay community - but that was before I met Dale Winton. And I realised I had absolutely nothing to worry about. The man was a perfect gentleman. I actually spent three days at The Earls Court Boatshow with Dale Winton... and Paul O'Grady and Noel Edmonds - he's not gay but you get the picture.
"You know if you told me 25 years ago that I would be talking about rigid inflatable holes with Dale Winton I would probably have spat at you.
"Do you know any jokes about gays?"

From the hilarious internet-only Alan Partridge's Mid-Morning Matters, Episode 4.
Shame this return to comedy form is pushing some pissy lager...

Flexisexuality: Full Shocking Story And Steamy Pics!

The Daily Mail has discovered a new word - flexisexual.
"First there was that infamous on-stage kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears.
"Then Katy Perry sang that she kissed a girl and she liked it.
"Now a new word has been coined for the growing number of straight women who flirt with bisexuality... flexisexual.
"It refers to people who have a sexual preference but refuse to be bound by it.
"And it seems heterosexual women in their 30s and 40s are leading the trend..."
It's accompanied by the above titillating photo of Madonna and Britney getting it on.
In fact the whole piece is titillating, presumably intentionally.
It confirms a theory advanced by the excellent blog Tabloid Watch that while the Mail likes to come across as prudish, it's also extremely prurient, printing "shocking" sex stories in detail, and knowing that readers love this stuff and they bring a heck of a lot of traffic to the Mail's website.

Dolly Parton: Can It Get Any Better?

Now I don't care about you, but Fagburn is getting a bit bored with celebrities queueing up to make an It Gets Better video and saying how much they love The Gays.
It's getting close to hysterical, Dianabollocks.
But here's Dolly Parton talking to Larry King yesterday about how much she loves the gays.
Come on - it's Dolly fucking Parton!
Much love.

UPDATE: OMG!! Fagburn's most favourite Pop star, Justin Bieber, has made an It Gets Better video. Adorable.

Friday, 26 November 2010

GT: Because Soft Porn Makes The World Go Round

Good to see GT fighting back against all the accusations they've dumbed down.
Well done.

Things I've Done Before I Die

Last night I saw The Drums.
It was packed with gays.
Can't see what they see in them myself.
I went and saw the Walter Potter exhibition at The Museum Of Everything before.
So that's two things off my Things To Do Before I Die list done.
A great day.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

International: Activism As Imperialism

A quite brilliant piece has been posted on The Guardian's Comment Is Free today;
'Fear lies behind gay hate - A culture clash fuelled by fear is at the heart of homophobia in non-western countries – but gay rights groups must share blame' by Diamond Walid.
Please read it - and think about it.
Certain gay campaigners should remember the Hippocratic oath; "First, do no harm."
Tragically, if you read the readers' comments you will see that even many people who claim to be on the liberal left are incapable of independent thought.
Maybe you've been brainwashed, too?

Daily Mail: Ever Been In A Riot, Girl?

Brilliant front page on The Daily Mail today.
Am I alone in wishing it said "Rage of the Riot Girls"?
Or Riot Grrrls.
Or, more in keeping with The Daily Mail's housestyle and sensibilities, should the headline be; "Ladies! Please!"
And it's hilarious it's tied in with the banner asking "So who IS the Mail's inspirational woman of the year?"
One of these angry young women, one hopes.
Anyway, Fagburn say; "More of this sort of thing!"

Here Is Today's Schnooze: Being Boring

Fagburn isn't sure what he finds more boring.
Articles about gay men and sport - here's one from The Times about Gareth Thomas.
Or articles about gay men and religion - here's one of many from The Guardian about the schism in the Anglican Church.
I just wish journalists would get real on these two beyond tedious topics.
Gay men can't and don't do sport - apart from diving and ice skating and they're not really sports, just competitive gaiety.
Let's be honest: Gareth Thomas isn't really gay. He's a freak of nature or has turned funny after getting a blow to the head or something.
The Church of England should accept openly gay bishops because almost all its clergy are gay men.
Face facts God-botherers: The Church Of England is Britain's biggest gay club.
Thank you.

Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson 1955-2010

Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson - musician, artist, a kind and great man.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Fagburn Say: Have A Nice Day

Not much to comment on today - apart from this country and the world getting even worse and that.
Things are so thin that The Times has even resorted to ye olde gay filler - "gay" animals in a zoo.
Okay - technically - "gay" birds in a zoo; ''Gays protest after German zoo separates same-sex vulture couple'.
These stories are always written as comedy ("Ho ho ho. Imagine that..."), but Fagburn thinks this one is more of a romance and a tragedy.
Anyway, Fagburn is off to Bexhill in a bit - going to see my most favourite band, The Fall, in my most favourite building, the De La Warr Pavilion.
Going up early as my friend Jack told me Bexhill is paradise for charity shopping, my most favourite occupation.
Should be a great day.
Hope you enjoy yours.

The Independent: French Letters To The Editor

Fagburn thought there was much sense being talked (written?) on the Pope and condoms hoo-hah in The Independent's letters page today - especially the last one.

Pope Benedict's statement about condoms has been taken out of context ("Catholics weigh significance of Pope's words on condom use", 22 November).
What people need to realise is what he essentially said is that as a male prostitute is already planning on engaging in amoral sexual activity, the sin is not in the use of the condom, but in the act itself. Fornication is still fornication and adultery is still adultery.
He also said that using a condom when you know you are infected with Aids can be an important first step in realising that sex holds the power of life and death and that you have to be responsible for the lives and health and human dignity of others.
This does not indicate that the Catholic Church now supports condoms or any form of contraception. The Pope was not even speaking on behalf of the Church, or making decisions about the official position of the Church; he was being interviewed by a newspaper.
Though raised as a Catholic, I can agree that the Church's attitude to preventing the increase of Aids and HIV is a "muddled and unrealistic approach". But if the Pope says he can understand the justification behind use of condoms in some circumstances then he too is allowed to hold personal opinions and even struggle with his own relationship to Catholic teaching.

Emilie Lamplough
Trowbridge, Wiltshire

The Pope's statement on legitimate use of condoms is no surprise to anybody familiar with the source which sets out the Church's teaching on contraception, Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae, to which nothing has since been added.
Paragraphs 14 and 15 are relevant. What the Church disapproves of (however controversially) is the contraceptive intention. It accepts therapeutic means to cure organic diseases even when they may have a contraceptive effect. The use of condoms within marriage to prevent transmission of HIV is against neither the letter nor the spirit of the encyclical.
The problem has been that local clerics are fearful of any statement on their part that is less than wholesale condemnation of contraception. They fear retribution from the Vatican. They also fear the media's headline. Let us hope that anybody pronouncing on this subject in future will take the trouble to study what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

Rev Bernard O'Connor OSA
St Augustine's, London W6

How would the Pope's teaching on condoms deal with this situation: a married couple have got through a difficult period in their marriage during which the husband has become infected with Aids and the wife can no longer have children for reasons of age or illness?
Is it permitted for them to use condoms to protect the wife's health while resuming marital relations? Underlying this is the problem, is sex without the possibility of conception a good thing? My view is in the affirmative, where neither party is making use of the other.
Is the Vatican moving cautiously in that direction? If so, how many centuries will it take to reach a satisfying Christian response to the needs of modern life?

Rev Ainslie Walton

As a humanist, I find it pathetic that a good section of the world should hang on the words of a man with no special claim to wisdom. To greet with joy a small crack in papal ignorance and superstition seems a small step forward, when scientists and health workers are struggling to reduce a mountain of misery.
When will these old and celibate clerics wake up to the reality that sex is not a sin but a joyful human pleasure? It is not simply a chore to increase the world's population.

Pete Parkins

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Storyville: Mandelson - The Real PM?

I really don't think I can be arsed to watch this BBC4 fly-on-the-wall documentary about Peter Mandelson tonight.
Or possibly ever.

Alan Bennett: Yes, Again!

Lovely interview with Alan Bennett by Simon Hattenstone in The Guardian - one of the best I've ever read with him.
A lot of it centres around how much Bennett has changed since coming out fully in Untold Stories in 2005.
Despite saying his life view is "not cheerful", he seems quite contented now, and it seems to have affected his work as well.
Hattenstone - but of course - ends by saying he's a national treasure, half-joking I guess.
'Great, I say, perhaps we'll stop thinking of you as a national treasure now, and more as a dirty old man. His thin lips part and he laughs that totally joyous laugh again. "Hahahahaha! "Well, that's good. Yes, dirty old man. I don't mind that. No. Quite happy with that."

Richard Littlejohn: Gay Men Are Paedophiles

Richard Littlejohn has equated gay men with paedophiles in his rubbish Daily Mail column today.
"When I went to Sunday school, a million years ago, we were taught to love our neighbour.
"I don’t recall ever being told that we should take an ‘eye for an eye’ literally. Or that the punishment for homosexuality was death.
"Aged six, we didn’t even know what homosexuality was, even though we’d been warned to steer clear of that chap who was always hanging round the swimming pool..."
Nice one.

The Independent & The Guardian: That Stupid Club

After Pink News' 'Pope argues that rent boys could use condoms as first step in moralisation', the second really stupid and inappropriate headline of the week comes from The Independent.
''The kids are all right? Not according to the lesbian lobby''
Are The Independent's subs not aware that "the gay lobby" and "the lesbian lobby do not exist?
They're propaganda terms used by right-wing journalists and campaigners.
The article - about The Kids Are All Right - is pretty silly too;
"It has been billed by critics and fans as a Hollywood lesbian lifestyle movie with genuine mainstream appeal. But the Kids Are All Right is certainly not all right with one group – lesbians."
Well, I'm sure some lesbians do, but is this universal?
Are they going to start a lobby group?
The journalist Arifa Akbar quotes just three people - all academics - who spout academic-sounding cliches; "There is a recurring pattern of male sexual access to the lesbian body in visual culture narratives of lesbian motherhood... It raises the question of which narratives featuring lesbians become mainstreamed and why."
You could programme a computer to come up with drivel like that.
It's disheartening the regard some journalists show to academics, particularly the "queer theory" variety; most of them are charlatans; pseudo-intellectual post modern/structuralist nonsense machines.
They're quoted like they represent the last word on something, or as if they represent some kind of consensus.
They don't.
There was a piece on The Guardian's Comment Is Free last week by one Jasbir Puara, 'In The Wake of It Gets Better'.
It reads like a fifth-form essay, so Fagburn was stunned to learn; "Jasbir Puar is associate professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University."
If it was a student essay I'd've marked it "Epic fail".
It really was just the biggest bunch of Dave Spart crap.
"[Dan] Savage embodies the spirit of a coming-of-age success story. He is able-bodied, monied, confident, well-travelled, suitably partnered and betrays no trace of abjection or shame. His message translates to: Come out, move to the city, travel to Paris, adopt a kid, pay your taxes, demand representation. But how useful is it to imagine troubled gay youth might master their injury and turn blame and guilt into transgression, triumph, and all-American success?"
I love the idea of dismissing what someone says because they're able-bodied - or negating Dan Savage's It Gets Better message as he doesn't look shamed and may have been on holiday to Paris - it's almost too hilarious for words.
And so it goes on in similar vein, dropping in quotes from other pseudo-radical twerps.
You could go through the blog line by line pointing out all the crater-sized holes in her arguments, but life's too short for Fagburn to bother.
Noam Chomsky's phrase "Manufacturing consent" is well-known.
Puar's piece brought to mind another lesser-known phrase of Professor Chomsky's.
Feigning dissent.
Can we have less of these stupid "clever people" in the media, please?

David Laws: Expressway To Your Heart

Exciting news!
The Daily Express has found a gay man they like.
"DAVID Laws, who has the dubious honour of being the shortest-serving Cabinet minister of modern times, showed appalling judgment when he broke the rules to claim parliamentary allowances to rent a property from his gay lover."
I'm betting there's a "but"...
"But yesterday the former chief secretary to the Treasury demonstrated how sharp a political mind has been lost to the government."
Laws is creeping back into public life, if you haven't noticed.
He took his time out to write a book about the birth pangs of the Coalition government, 22 Days In May, which shows his pleasure that the Lib Dems formed a coalition with the Tories and not Labour.
We've always known David Laws was well to the Right of the Lib Dems on economics - which is why the Express adore him.
"Almost alone among senior coalition figures David Laws acknowledged that middle income earners are suffering disproportionately from the efforts to cut the deficit and called for their taxes to be cut before the next election. When you take into account taxes, national insurance contributions, pensions and student loan repayments, said Mr Laws, many middle-income earners are facing marginal tax rates of almost 50 per cent..."
Mr Laws is of course something of an expert in how the well-off can screw more money out of the state.

Update: The Daily Telegraph love Laws too - 'An early return to the frontline for David Laws. Telegraph View: The Liberal Democrat who resigned six months ago should be hastened back into the Government.'

One Direction: Lovers In The Backseat

'One Direction are snuggling on the backseat now? That's just taking the mick'

"Are Matt Cardle and One Direction attempting to out-cute each other in order to win votes or something?
"First, there were the puppies. Aww!
"Then Matt kidnapped cuddled a baby. Double aww!
"And now the One Direction boys have tweeted this pic of Liam and Zain snuggling in the back of a car. Triple aww! We think... but man, we're confused!
"We know some teenaged boys (not like that) and in our experience, they don't much like cuddling each other. They tend to be a bit stinky and phobic of all touchy-feelyness. With this in mind, we're deeply suspicious of this touching and touchy image.
"And then there's the worrying fact that we're not sure whether we want to tuck them into bed in a motherly way or something more... intimate. Frankly that's not a quandary we feel entirely comfortable with."

Fagburn's most favourite tabloid journalists, the Mirror's wonderfully cynical and saucy 3AM "Girls", see through the (possible) PR and say all that needs to be said. Funny.
And if you're wondering how this might pan out, over on The Sun's website today Westlife's Kian interviews band member Mark and ends with sweetly asking him when he's going to get married... ie to his boyfriend.
Sometimes I forget how fast the world is changing.

Monday, 22 November 2010

The Pope & Condoms: A Lot Of Cock

Of all the reams of nonsense written about the Pope and condoms, Fagburn thought this essay on the BBC News website by National Catholic Reporter's John L Allen was the most illuminating; 'Why condom comments are no earthquake in Catholic teaching'
Allen argues that the Pope's words have been "sexed up" by the media, and explains why they mean little and change nothing.
Nobody seems to have found out if Pope Benedict actually said/meant "a male prostitute" - but according to Catholic teaching a male prostitute could wear a condom all along because homosex can't be procreation, which means it's wrong full-stop, and HOMOSEXUALS ARE ALL GOING TO BURN IN HELL anyway.

• Cartoon by Peter Brookes in The Times.

Update: From BBC News "Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said he had personally asked the Pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine.
"He told me 'No'," Fr Lombardi said. "The problem is this... It's the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship."
"This is if you're a woman, a man, or a transsexual," he added.

Panorama Investigation: Religious Nutters Are Religious And Nutty Shock

There is great vexation today about tonight's Panorama programme, British Schools, Islamic Rules.
According to The Daily Mail; "Children in Britain are being taught brutal Sharia law punishments, including how to hack off a criminal’s hand or foot.
"So-called ‘weekend schools’ for Muslim pupils as young as six also teach that the penalty for gay sex is execution and that ‘Zionists’ are plotting to take over the world for the Jews..."
"For acts of ‘sodomy’, children are told that the penalty is death and it states a difference of opinion whether this should be done by stoning, or burning with fire, or throwing over a cliff."
Next week Panorama will expose a book that is used in almost all schools in the UK that says gay men should be put to death - the Bible.
[Please insert your own joke about Daily Mail readers getting angry about racist, homophobic religious nutters who demand a return to capital punishment here]

Attitude: The Tissues Issue

First rule of gay publishing: Put the word "SEX" on the cover and you'll see sales rise and rise.
It's circulation Viagra.
Or crack or something.
I'll find the appropriate metaphor later.
Attitude started this trend and now it seems every month some gay magazine has done its own "Sex Issue" - or "Naked Issue" or "Porn Issue".
I call them the Tissues Issues.
I pride myself on not being a prude, and think part of the point of the gay press is to celebrate homosex and gay desire, but am I the only gay man in Christendom who finds these things a turn-off and is less likely to buy a fag mag's "Sex Issue"?

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Alan Bennett: A National Treasure?

There is a profile of Alan Bennett in The Sunday Times titled The National's Treasure.
It's a double-ended pun as the feature's written by Nicholas Hytner, the director of the National Theatre, who's directed seven of Bennett's plays.
The two men discuss their working relationship in Alan Bennett and The Habit of Art on More4 on Saturday.
Profiles of Alan Bennett seem dutybound to describe him as "a national treasure" these days - a cliche quite freely applied to other people.
"It's a funny bit of cookery," Peter York told The Guardian last year. "You need durability, you need to be fairly mature [he thinks 50 and above is about right] and you need to have a basic craft or skill."
According to The Guardian, York thinks the real national treasures are fairly mid-market performers who have been around for so long you feel they must have hidden depths ("June Whitfield, for instance") and those, such as Judi Dench and David Attenborough, "who have always been at the top of their game and you're just glad they're there. 'Don't die yet!' That's what that's about."
The Observer today is asking readers; "Help us find Britain's National Treasures".
"What connects union firebrand Arthur Scargill, maverick musician Mark E Smith and comedy actress June Whitfield..."
I bet Alan Bennett wins that one, he's one of those gay men the nation seems to treasure.
Elton John gets called a national treasure a lot, often with the explainer that he's "the Queen Mum of Pop", which I think may mean we're all suposed to like him.
And much of the recent hooha about Stephen Fry was arguably because a "national treasure" like him isn't supposed to touch on tricky topics - a bit like the Queen talking about politics.
Which you could argue it was.
Alan Bennett has said he hates his national treasure status.
Which seems to be confirmed in the Sunday Times piece.
'He pleads with those who talk about him to the press to blow his cover,' writes Hytner. '“Tell them I’m a cunt, love.”'

Richard Wilson: One Foot In The Closet

"Right now he is relieved to have a stretch of time at home in London again. "Since I've stopped doing Merlin I've got my social life back," he says, before adding with a twinkle in his eye: "It's nice to be back in the pool, as it were."
"Wilson lives alone and famously refuses to discuss his private life. He quickly shuts down a follow-up question about his "pool" remark with a well-rehearsed: "I'm not seeing anyone special.""

Richard Wilson, having his privacy respected (sort of) by The Independent On Sunday..

The Pope & Condoms: Did "A Male Prostitute" Pass His Lips?

Hold the bit of the front page that hasn't got a picture of Prince William and Kate on!
His Holiness the Pope has said something slightly less stupid and offensive than he usually does.
Using condoms might be okay in certain circumstances after all.
Blimey! He'll be telling us the Earth revolves around the Sun next.
Hang on though - what did Pope Benedict actually say?

Peter Seewald: Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?
Pope Benedict: She [!] of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.

BBC News quotes the relevant section at length - and here's the actual rambling quote from the Pope that everyone's misquoting;
"There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.
"That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality."
Fagburn has only seen The Independent On Sunday (and heard BBC Radio 4) point out the semantic stew in the above quote;
"Last night there was some confusion about the precise meaning of the Pope's words, not least concerning the example he used. In the English, German and French versions the phrase "a male prostitute" is used, but in the Italian translation, the words "una prostituta", meaning a female prostitute, is given."
It does seem odd that he'd specify a male prostitute.
Perhaps he's realised that two men using a condom during bumsex doesn't lessen the chances of them making a baby?
Let us pray for clarification from Pope Benedict on this whole "male or female prostitute" business later today.
I for one am positively gripped.

Business News: Lawyers Chase Army Fuckers

A sobering story on the business pages of the Independent On Sunday.
"Two lawyers who chased people over illegally copied porn films and computer games are to appear before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for trying to use their positions of trust to take "unfair advantage of other persons".
"Davenport Lyons partners David Gore and Brian Millar allegedly sent more than 6,000 letters to web users threatening legal action in what critics called a "bounty hunter" operation...
"The watchdog's statement to the tribunal named a German client of the firm which owns the copyright on a gay porn film called Army Fuckers. A letter of claim from Davenport Lyons regarding the film has been seen by The IoS."

Thought For The Day: John Waters

“Who wants to be an outsider for 40 years? The word ‘outsider’ now is ruined. It doesn’t mean what it used to mean. People didn’t want to be outsiders. It was a dirty word. You wanted to fit in. These days, no one wants to fit in. Everybody believes that they’re unique and that they’re an outsider. So to me, the final humour of it all was to be the establishment!”

John Waters, The Sunday Times.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Guardian: Who Killed Gareth Williams? Dunno

'When the bagged body of an MI6 agent was found in a bathtub, speculation went into overdrive. Was it suicide? Murder? A professional hit, or a sexual game gone wrong?'
And why does The Guardian's graphic show him in a sniper rifle's crosshair when he wasn't shot?
So many questions - none of which are answered in a long feature in today's Guardian.
Journalists Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy have put in a lot of work on this, but are still none the wiser.
Can they even be certain that Gareth Williams was gay?
Not really.
"Detectives had been quietly investigating whether Gareth Williams was gay. They had canvassed witnesses in the Vauxhall Cross village of gay clubs and bars, a short walk from Alderney Street. They had also studied Williams's computers and reading matter, his journals, magazines and computer cache. Despite outright denials from his family, detectives were privately certain that Gareth was gay, although they had been unable to find trace of any sexual encounters. They had also come to believe that his sexual orientation was not central to the inquiry (although his sexual preferences might be). There was no evidence of Williams paying for escorts, buying S&M equipment, using porn or drugs of any kind. "This man didn't really even drink," one frustrated detective said.
"The police felt they were being hurried along by other parties, keen for the scandal to go away. "Someone, somewhere, who has access to case material, is saying, 'He's queer and asked for it', rather than waiting for the outcome of the case," one veteran detective said..."
And no, still nobody knows how he died, never mind why.
But a new-ish lead is added to the conspiracy;
"He had been liaising again with counterparts at the NSA, who were part of an effort to create an American cyber defence policy, to prevent the siphoning off of secret or commercially sensitive data or a military style assault on defence or civil systems. Its importance was alluded to last month in a speech by home secretary Theresa May, in which she identified cyber crime as among the pre-eminent future threats facing the UK. A cyber crimes specialist who knew Williams revealed that at the time of his death he was researching British vulnerability to Russian, Turkish and Chinese gangs: "He was already on top of it."
"Rogue individuals and nation states, Islamist terror groups and radical loners, extortionists and organised criminals – these were just some of those Williams had observed, investigated, disrupted and provoked. Any one of them was capable of reciprocating, lethally."
So, erm, it could be any of these?
Or none of them.
How's about answering your own question; "Was it suicide? Murder? A professional hit, or a sexual game gone wrong?"
"Back at the Yard, Operation Finlayson detectives were looking at a vast range of potential threats, but still had few clues, no accomplices or even a plausible denouement for a man whose personal and professional inclinations were to camouflage everything he did."

Bishop Gene Robinson: 10 Fascinating-ish Facts

1. His parents gave him a girl’s name, Vicky Jean, after his father, Victor and his mother, Imogene. He toyed with changing it. “It’s a terrible way to grow up. A Boy named Sue — I am like the living reality of that.”

2. Hugh Hefner made him realise he was a gayer. “What I do remember is at about age 12 or 13 being with a group of my friends and somehow they had acquired a Playboy magazine. They were clearly very excited by these photographs and they really weren’t doing anything for me. I thought, 'Oh my God, I think I’m different.' Almost simultaneously I realised that to say that was dangerous, possibly physically and certainly socially.”

3. Although now married to a man, Mark, he was married to a woman, Boo, for 13 years. “I loved her, I still love her.” They have two daughters.

4. He is a recovering alcoholic, just like George Bush.

5. Gene wears what he calls “my fundamentalist socks”. They are decorated with fish, a symbol of the early Church, and crosses.

6. Robinson is not a liberal theologically. "I am wildly conservative theologically.” He “absolutely full stop” believes in the bodily resurrection. “That seems like such a small miracle compared with the Creation, for instance.” And the Virgin Birth? “Why not? I believe in God’s power to do those things.” Nutter.

7. He would like to think "Jesus would have been arguing for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the life of the Church and in the life of the secular community... For 18½ centuries we had slavery and we used scripture to justify it... we have used scripture to subjugate and denigrate women... now we happen to be living in a time where we are trying to sort out whether we might have been similarly wrong about homosexuality.”

8. He has friends who think the Archbishop of Canterbury has been abducted by aliens. Not literally, mind.

9. Gene took up smoking when he was 40. "The most consciously self-destructive thing he has ever done. He tells me it is like a Persian carpet weaver, who deliberately puts a defect into every carpet he makes as an acknowledgement that only God is perfect."

10. He prefers Lady Gaga to Madonna.

All factoids gleaned from the Saturday Interview in The Times.

David Cameron: It Gets Worse

David Cameron, the prime minister chappie, has made one of those "It Gets Better" videos.
His was actually made for Stonewall's bandwagon-jumping "It Gets Better... Today" campaign.
He plugs the Tories new buzzwords - "fair" and "fairness" - ie the Tories don't believe in equality.
Just as intriguing is a word that Mr Cameron doesn't say - "gay".
"This is not the sort of country where we label people for being different," he says, incorrectly.
"Equality laws are fighting discrimination at work and in society," he adds, neglecting to mention that the Conservatives are in the process of dismantling them.
Anyway, Dave's got some advice to all the isolated young gays in UK plc; "Talk to someone about it."
Do you think they'd be watching your stupid fucking video if they had someone they could talk to about it?

Coronation Street: What's There To Smile About?

"Here’s the best bit of dialogue ever written. Someone asks Bet Lynch why she’s smiling. She says, “This isn’t a smile, it’s the lid on a scream.”
"I don’t even know who wrote that. Those gems – blinding gags, aching wisdom, sizzling insults – fly out of the screen five times a week on Coronation Street, too many, too fast, to catalogue. It’s the first show on which I remember noticing the written word; I’d watched, as a kid, happy with this world of matriarchs and milk stout – my grandmother ran a pub in Swansea called the Cornish Mount, so the Rovers seemed genuinely familiar – but then one day, on screen, some character with a broken heart said wistfully, “I was just building castles in the sky.” That wasn’t a cliché for me, because I was so young. It was new.
"It was honest. It was perfect. And that one little line forged a connection between me and Coronation Street that has lasted for decades, because that’s the moment when I actually thought: I love this. I also seem to remember that the character was beehived, smoking and drunk, so there’s a convincing argument to say that Coronation Street made me gay. If so, I love it all the more!"

Russell T Davies pays tribute to Coronation Street on its 50th birthday, The Times.

Friday, 19 November 2010

That's Gay: Fagburn Salutes The Magic Of Bryan Safi

"Gays hate it when people judge us, but there's nothing we love more than judging other people. We may not be on the Supreme Court but there's one place where we rule supreme - reality TV..."

Over on Current TV, Bryan Safi is currently into his third or something series of That's Gay - his ludicrously good comic critiques of (the representation of) The Gays on US TV.
As I'm not 100% sure what Current TV is or how you can watch it, you can catch up on Bryan's complete works here.
He funny. Enjoy!

Adoption Agency Closures: Doing The Math/s

Here's The Daily Mail today, returning to a favourite riff;
'Mixed-race adoption rules must be changed say ministers... but they duck fears over Christian discrimination'
"...the Coalition was silent about the rules that appear to be doing most to push down the number of children finding parents – the bar on adoption through Christian agencies that do not approve of gay rights."
"The number of children in care adopted by parents has dropped by 30 per cent since Labour’s Sexual Orientation Regulations brought homosexual equality rules into adoption law in 2007."
That's terrible.
But this drop clearly can not be blamed on the closure of Catholic adoption agencies.
Before the Sexual Orientation Regulations were passed it was estimated that; "The Catholic Church's agencies are said to handle 4%, or about 200, of all adoptions a year." (BBC News, January 23 2007))
On the day the law was introduced, five out of 11 of the Catholic-run agencies announced they were staying open and would comply with the law. (BBC News, January 1 2009)
In actual fact, only two agencies abandoned their adoption work - in addition, Catholic Care went to the courts to fight for its right to discriminate. (The Guardian, March 3 2010).
They lost in August and announced they are reconsidering their position. (The Guardian, August 19 2010). (Update: They say they are appealing the decision)
So two, perhaps three, out of the 11 Catholic agencies have stopped work on adoption.
As Catholic agencies were previously responsible for 4% of adoptions (200), a rough calculation would say these two/three agencies were probably responsible for less than 1% of UK adoptions.
Fagburn has the feeling the other 99% of adoption agencies may have been able to take up the shortfall.
Not to mention all the lesbian and gay couples who are now coming forward to adopt knowing they will no longer be discriminated against.

Daily Telegraph: The War Against Equality

In a leader today The Telegraph welcomes Theresa May's dropping of the duty to equality, and her potentially seismic semantic shift from talking about "equality" to "fairness".
It is worth quoting at length - not least because it sounds to Fagburn like an opening salvo.
"Speaking in a south London community centre this week, Theresa May argued that equality has become not a noble goal, but "a dirty word… associated with the worst forms of pointless political correctness and social engineering". Harriet Harman, take a bow.
"The Home Secretary was announcing her decision to scrap the clause in Miss Harman's Equality Act that placed a duty on all public bodies to take account of "the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage" at all times – so sweeping a requirement that it was labelled "socialism in one clause". This is welcome news: as Lynne Featherstone, a Lib Dem Home Office minister, told Parliament yesterday, "all the policy would have been was a bureaucratic box to tick… another form to fill in".
"We urge Mrs May to be similarly ruthless towards the other clauses that await her approval. These include the need for the public sector workforce, across 27,000 separate bodies, to be monitored in terms of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and disability, and the lifting of a ban on positive discrimination in recruitment."
And do you think the demands for overturning equality laws will stop there?
It looks like there is a new front opening in the Tories' war against equality - gay adoption...

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Equality Law: Now You're Just Being "Ridiculous"

The Tories class war continues apace.
'Fury as Theresa May scraps equality law' - The Daily Mirror.
"Home Secretary Theresa May was accused of a shocking attack on the poor yesterday after scrapping an equality law.
"Councils will no longer need to consider disadvantages and inequalities in their policy decisions."
Of course this has pleased those on the right.
'Theresa May will today scrap a ‘ridiculous’ Harriet Harman equality law dubbed ‘socialism in one clause’' - The Daily Mail
May's speech about ending "Harman's law" was "leaked" to the Mail.
Reading between the lines, more worryingly the Conservatives seem to be abandoning any commitment to equality - now they will talk of "fairness".
The Home Office press release announced;
"Controversial rules that would have forced all public bodies to focus spending and services on poorer areas at the expense of better-off communities were today scrapped."
But in a piece of spin as obvious as an iceberg it adds;
"The speech also underlined the government’s ongoing commitment to equality and fairness."
Really? Do go on...
"This included the Home Secretary announcing that a measure in the Freedom Bill will allow people who were prosecuted for having consensual gay sex at a time when this was illegal to apply to have their convictions deleted from criminal records."
May also said in her speech; "...we will give schools the power to take tough action to tackle bullying, including homophobic and transphobic bullying."
Verily, the Conservatives giveth and the Conservatives take away.
Even if they don't say how they will giveth in practical terms.
Would anyone fall for this?
"Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May has spoken out on a new equalities strategy, announcing that those harboring convictions for consensual gay sex should soon be able to apply to have their records cleared," Jamie Tabberer writes on PinkPaper.com.
"She added: “We will give schools the power to take tough action to tackle bullying, including homophobic and transphobic bullying."
"May will however scrap an inequality measure that would have called for public bodies to address class inequalities introduced by Harriet Harman, labeling it 'ridiculous'."
Pink News' headline reads; ''May scraps ‘ridiculous’ equality duty but promises new action on anti-gay bullying'
Ridiculous innit?

Julie Burchill: Burchill's Law

"I love Louie Spence, the queerly leering hero of the recent reality TV hit Pineapple Dance Studios. So I was irked by the kneejerk anti-American conservatism of the reported premise of his new show, wherein he will visit "redneck" towns in the USA, strike a pose and wait for "his sexuality and appearance" to stir up controversy.
This sounds woefully out of date. In the Glee-crazy US, the world's finest comic writer, David Sedaris, has remarked that on national signing tours he is often confronted with apparently redneck men who proudly push forward their fragrant adolescent sons and assure Mr Sedaris that they, too, are gay. If you want to make a point about contemporary prejudice against homosexuals, surely it would make a far more challenging show to go to a series of Muslim states and prance around in pantaloons? But of course, then the consequences would be no laughing matter."

Julie Burchill (Obviously), The Independent.

Godwin's Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

• Burchill's Law: As her newspaper column grows longer, the probability of Julie writing "Try doing that in a Muslim country!" approaches one.

Adoption: Sheila, Take A Walk

"The case-law shows that the right to manifest religious beliefs is a very weak right. It gives way to conflicting goals or values that society as a whole has decided are of importance and does so because they are (or should be) based on reason or evidence.
"We do not allow people to set fire to an abortion clinic, to carry out genital mutilation of young girls, or to massacre infidels, however sincere the religious beliefs that motivate such action, and however important they may be to the believer. Abraham would be very fortunate today to escape with a bindover for the binding, and attempted murder, of his son Isaac."
A Catholic adoption agency cannot refuse to consider placing a child with a gay couple if that is in the child’s best interests however much this may offend against religious beliefs. The law does not prevent people from believing that homosexual acts offend against the word of God. But if you offer a service to the public, it must be on terms that do not discriminate against people on grounds that society finds unacceptable."

David Pannick QC, 'Praise The Lord, But Don't Expect The Courts To Genuflect', The Times

• Sheila Matthews, a Christian adoption adviser dismissed from her job with Northamptonshire County Council for refusing to recommend same-sex couples as suitable parents, has lost her claim for religious discrimination.
'Homosexual practice is not God's will: What Christian paediatrician who lost job on adoption panel told tribunal', The Daily Mail (Obviously).

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Pink Pound: Exploding The Myth Of Gay Money

"If you believe what you read, "gays” (really just gay males) are a lucrative group, a “dream market” made up of high-income earners who demand nothing but the best. That’s a great image for a minority group to have, isn’t it?
Gay marketers, using unreliable data, relentlessly promoted the image of well-off, desirable gays (usually gay-male couples) all through the ’90s. It’s become a stereotype.
But it isn’t true. The overwhelming consensus of over 60 research papers on lesbian and gay incomes holds that gay men earn less than straight men..."

This site summarizes all the research on lesbian & gay economics in one convenient place. This site explodes the myth of gay money.

Canadian journalist Joe Clark has spent a year researching the facts behind the manufactured fallacies of the Pink Pound and the gay market.
His brilliant new data-packed website should be the last word on this subject - though sadly Fagburn fears it won't be.
This guy deserves an award.

Out 100: Out Demons Out!

A royal wedding in the offing, The Beatles on iTunes and Children On Need on Friday - truly these are wonderful times to be a fuckwit.
The rest of us must somehow struggle on.
I haven't found anything to write about in today's papers yet, so here's a photo I like of Chris Colfer from the new Out 100; the US magazine's annual list of the top 100 gaylebrities who they wanted to take photos of who returned their calls.

• The photograph above is part of a Stonewall riots themed session. Mr Colfer's own views on Judy Garland are not known.