Monday, 31 January 2011

Fagburn: A Day Off

Fagburn is taking the day off to go charity shopping in Bexhill with his friend, Elvina.

See you tomorrow.


Royal Wedding: At Last... Someone Cares

They're going to ruin it for everyone!

The Gay Press: Off The Shelf?

Most UK and US media loved the story about the single US store that covered up the copy of US magazine with Elton and David and child on their front cover.
Even The Daily Mail sensed; 'Outrage as picture of Elton John's baby is covered with shield by U.S. supermarket to 'protect children'
Can't happen here!
Whoops, looks like everyone forgot there is a campaign group in the UK dedicated to hiding away gay magazines - and any gay imagery - behind a similar "family shield", and who ultimately want it all to be "Off the shelf".
The Front Page Campaign - currently getting some lovely uncritical/unthinking coverage in The Guardian and elsewhere.
Hail the new Puritans!
Be interesting to find out if any journalist on a gay magazine rises from their slumber and notices that some people are working towards their demise...

Please read this: Feminists Against Censorship

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Elton John & David Furnish: The Abbreviated Interview

The conversation rarely strays from the touchstone and hearth of gay. It’s not assertive or proselytising, it’s not defensive or a performance, it is just the foundation of who they are together. I defy anyone not to be 40% camper around them. Homosexuality isn’t contagious, but it is infectious...

“All the stuff they write, it’s such crap! That we’ve had a designer in to do the nursery — nonsense. That there are half a dozen nannies — we have one nanny. That we’ve spent thousands on clothes and toys. Rubbish — all you need is a couple of Babygros and a lot of muslin. Friends are being really great, giving us hand-me-down stuff.”

The Sunday Times photographer is here, and Elton and David go to hair and make-up.
Returning suited and polished, they stand together and smile, and despite the art and the setting, it is what’s familiar that you notice. A married couple, fond and awkward, posing for a snap.

• AA Gill profiles proud new parents, Elton John and David Furnish, for The Sunday Times, 'And Then There Were Three'
They are promoting their new film, Gnomeo & Juliet; "It’s an animated retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but told by garden gnomes."

The One Show: With Gilbert & George

Pure class.

I missed this programme on Wednesday - thanks to The Observer for the tip-off.
Watch it here.

Thought For The Day: Jonathan Knight

"Apparently the pre-requisite to being a gay public figure is to appear on the cover of a magazine with the caption ‘I am gay’. I apologize for not doing so if this is what was expected! My belief is that you live your life by example, and not by a caption on a magazine."

Jonathan Knight, Ex-New Kid On The Block, posting on the NKOTB blog; after being inadvertedly "outed" (or not) by ex-beard girlfriend Tiffany on a US talkshow. Via Entertainment Weekly.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Evan Davis: Tits & Ass

Regular readers may know that Fagburn is quite the fan of Evan Davis - or "Tinsel Tits" as we understand his BBC colleagues call him.
We know not why...
Anyway, we like the way Evans's queeny giggling manner counters John Humphry's curt grumpiness on Radio 4's Today programme.
"Did it sound gay?" Evan asked The Times last year. "I don’t know what a gay Today programme would sound like. I hope it doesn’t sound gay. But does it sound not gay? I hope not. I mean, there is maybe the odd silly, slightly frivolous, campy sort of moment, and they more likely to come from me than perhaps from John.”
Mr Davis is such a big star in Radio 4 Land he's got his own show, too.
He must mean a lot to the BBC TV bods as well, as it's also broadcast on the BBC TV News channel.
Fagburn has just been listening in to the first in the new series.
It was Evan Davis asking people about economics and grown-up stuff, so to be honest Fagburn only understood bits of it.
But surely the name of the show is someone having a little giggle at Evan's expense?
The Bottom Line.

Stephen Green: Outed As A Wifebeater & Worse

Christian Voice's Stephen Green's ex-wife Caroline talks to the Daily Mail today and claims he used to beat her and their sons.
"Whenever I watch him on TV spouting verses from the Bible, or see him quoted in a news­paper, it turns my stomach,’ she says. ‘I’ve decided to tell the truth about him now because the people who support him financially and morally should know what he is really like.’"
This news will come as a complete shock to anyone who hadn't always suspected Stephen Green is a psychotic cunt.
"He even framed our marriage vows — he always put particular emphasis on my promise to obey him — and hung them over our bed. He believed there was no such thing as marital rape and for years I’d been reluctant to have sex with him, but he said it was my duty and was angry if I refused him.
"But the beating was the last straw. It ­convinced me I had to divorce him."
The couple had been married for 22 years - Caroline said he began to change for the even worse around 1992 when he wrote his anti-gay tract, The Sexual Dead-End.
He left the Conservative Family Campaign in 1994, and set up Christian Voice - a one-man band where he had no-one to point out how bonkers his ideas had become.
He also moved the family to a mobile home on a small-holding in Wales, in order to remove them from the "evil" influences of urban life.
"First, he told us the Bible decreed we should work the land before rebuilding the house. He used the kids as child labour. They had to plant seeds, ­cultivate crops and ­harvest them. They had very little free time."
Caroline says Green became "hyper-manic"; "For years he’d been ­controlling, spiteful and self-righteous. But later he became delusional and completely uncontrollable."
She finally left him in 2006, after her brother loaned her money so she could escape with the children.
They later divorced - which is against biblical teaching incidentally - and Stephen Green last year married a ­Kenyan woman 25 years younger he'd met at some fruitloop Pentecostal meeting.
"When I see my ex-husband on television quoting the Bible, I think: “Please let this all end”.
"If people were able to know the real Stephen Green, my hope is that at last it will."
And now it's revealed that Stephen Green is an even more loathsome excuse for a human being than we previously thought, will the Daily Mail stop asking him for his comments about morality?

Egypt: Queen Of Denial?

"Suave and smooth, Gamal Mubarak would seem ideally qualified to steer Egypt through political and economic turmoil while retaining the trust and friendship of the West. Only a few months ago he was seen as “the best hope for Egyptian democracy”.
"Today, his very name is toxic. Although he has been poised for power and swiftly embraced the cause of the poor and the disaffected, two fatal flaws disqualify him from office: his name and the opposition of the powerful Egyptian Army. No one in Egypt will stomach the hereditary succession of another pharaoh, as President Mubarak, his father, is known, and the army has no time for a civilian who has not demonstrated an understanding of military power.
"To his many Western friends and former banker colleagues, Gamal is affability itself, ferociously intelligent, well-informed, a clear analyst, a man who embraces Western standards with a shrewd understanding of image and public relations. Egyptians, however, see a man aloof from their daily lives, cocooned by privilege, the beneficiary of nepotism, wealth and inherited influence...
"A few years ago it was also rumoured, improbably, that he was gay, a slur [sic] with resonance among the Islamist faithful. He married in 2007, at the age of 44."

The Times wonders if President Mubarak could hand over power to his son, Gamal.

• Read Robert Fisk on the new Arab revolts in Egypt and the Middle East, plus other essays on the current crises, via ZNet.

The Bulls: No Room For Jesus

A Daily Telegraph reporter bravely goes to visit the B&B of convicted bigots Mr and Mrs Bull down in Cornwall.
"Britain’s most reviled landlady is perched on the edge of her creamy sofa with its plump duck egg blue cushions and lovely matching pouffe. Did I say pouffe? No offence. To anyone. I meant, of course, footstool."
Oh dear...
Hazelmary Bull says she's found some recent online bookings extremely upsetting.
“Name: Jesus Christ; Address: Heaven; Special Dietary Requirements: You disgust me and all decent folk, you foul, foul beings. I hope you go bankrupt as a result of this. You are both vile specimens of humanity and you will go to hell.”

Gay Dad Watch: Now Ewan McGregor's Got One

It really is the gay cliche of 2011 - and it's still only January.
Ewan McGregor plays a bloke who finds out his dad is as gay as a lorry in new movie, The Beginners, released this summer.
The gay dad is played by Christopher Plummer - though judging by the trailer he's so fruity even Helen Keller would have guessed.
Today it's the turn of The Times to run loads of articles about gay dads; 'The Struggle To Be Gay Parents In The UK' and 'We Used The Same Surrogacy Clinc As Elton John'

Phone Hacking: An Aid To Outing?

Nick Brown MP, former Labour chief whip, is quoted in The Independent today as saying he feels certain his telephone landline was being crudely tapped around the time he was outed by The News Of The World in 1998.
"I picked up a landline telephone very quickly… to make another call straight away.
“And the line clicked and then I heard my last conversation played back to me, which was quite eerie. I got on to British Telecom straight away… They said the line showed every signs of having been intercepted manually, not through scanners. It was an amateurish attempt involving the physical intervention of the line with a recording device.”
Interesting - did illegal phone taps and hacking play a part in the outing of other public figures by the tabloids, such as Stephen Gately's in The Sun back when Andy Coulson was editor in 1999?
Of course, the Murdoch press don't need to tap gay mens' phones.
As Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes found out in 2006, they can just go through your bins, dig out an old phone bill and blackmail you by saying they have proof you phoned a gay chat line.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Hunx And His Punx: Too Young To Be In Love

At last, some good news!
Fagburn's most favourite band du jour, Hunx And His Punx, have announced that their new album, Too Young to Be In Love, will be released on March 29th.
Fagburn was rather fond of the title Hunx once threatened; Hairdresser's Blues.
You can listen to an MP3 of the opening track, Lovers Lane here - AYOR! My computer went a bit mental after playing it, tis lovely though.
Watch the beyond amazing video for the amazing Hunx single, Cruising, here - it's from Gay Singles, Fagburn's album of the year 2010, by the way.
Have a great weekend!

Glee Wars: "Fuck You, Kings Of Leon!"

"Fuck you, Kings Of Leon. They are self-centred assholes and they missed the big picture."
Glee creator Ryan Murphy in Hollywood Reporter after Kings Of Leon refused to allow one of their songs to be covered on the show.

"Dear Ryan Murphy, let it go. See a therapist, get a manicure, buy a new bra. Zip your lip and focus on educating seven year-olds how to say fuck."
Kings Of Leon drummer, Nathan Followill, on Twitter.

"That's a homophobe badly in need of some education, I'm all for manicures, don't wear a bra. Would guess most gay dudes don't. It's telling that Nathan can reduce a group of people to a mean-spirited cliché, in a time where young gay men are killing themselves all over the country because of hatred like this.
"That said, I would love to sit down with Nathan or any member of Kings and Leon [sic], and tell them how on Glee we actually love their music, and support their artistry… but cannot condone or even laugh at their clear disdain of gay people."
Ryan Murphy to Perez Hilton.

"I'm sorry for anyone that misconstrued my comments as homophobic or misogynistic. I'm so not that kind of person. I really do apologise."
Nathan Followill on Twitter.

"This whole Glee thing is a shock to us. It's gotten out of hand. At the time of the request, we hadn't even seen the show. It came at the end of that record cycle, and we were over promoting. This was never meant as a slap in the face to Glee."
Kings Of Leon singer, Caleb Followill.

"Glee is great. Kings Of Leon are shit."

Hate Crime: Should The Bible Be Banned?

Almost all of the papers today have gone with the story about two men in Derby being arrested and charged with incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation - and say it's the first case of its kind (Fagburn isn't 100% sure about this - more later).
The men have been charged with distributing a leaflet, 'The Death Penalty?' - which called for gay men to be executed - outside Derby's Jamia Mosque last July, and also with posting leaflets through peoples' letterboxes.
They are due to appear in court on February 14th*, and could face seven years in prison.
Fagburn is at best ambivalent about "incitement to hatred" laws, admittedly this leaflet apparently went further and was an incitement to violence - and murder.
But then there is a best-selling book in this country, with a copy in most homes, which also clearly calls for gay men to be executed; The Holy Bible.
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them." (Leviticus 20 13 KJB).
I wonder if anyone will be arrested for distributing this vile and hate-filled book?

• Cartoon by Glenn McCoy.

UPDATE: Three more men have been charged - all five men are due to appear in court on February 14th.

Gladys Horton - 1945-2011

Lead singer, The Marvelettes.
Too Many Fish In The Sea.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Nick Grimshaw: Pixie Dust

Here's a lovely story the increasingly useless Fagburn missed, shamelessly lifted from the current issue of Private Eye.
'"More than just good friends" squealed the Daily Mail over the thrilling news that heriditary celebrity Pixie Geldof and Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw had been been spotted "looking cosy as they linked arms" while walking on Primrose Hill. "It's not the first time the ever-so-trendy couple have been romantically linked," the paper wittered.
'Hmm. That would be the Nick Grimshaw who, asked which TV stars he fancied in a recent Heat interview, replied "Steve Jones - Hubba hubba, growl! Also Bear Grylls."
'A few hours after publication the report on the Mail website was subtly amended to be about how Geldof had a nice coat instead.'

Gay Lessons: A Daily Mail Fantasy

There's nothing like the conflation of children and homosexuality to send a bigot bonkers, as any student of Section 28 will tell you.
The Daily Mail have been writing some award-winning nonsense this week - 'Gay messages built into school maths lessons for children as young as FOUR'
Really? Do go on...
"Young children are to be taught about homosexuality in their maths, geography, science and English lessons, it has emerged.
"As part of a Government-backed drive to ‘celebrate the gay community’, maths problems could be introduced that involve gay characters.
"In geography classes, students will be asked why homosexuals move from the countryside to cities – and words such as ‘outing’ and ‘pride’, will be used in language classes.
"The lesson plans are designed to raise awareness about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual issues and, in theory, could be used for children as young as four."
Don't you just love that "in theory"?
Later on we learn; "Although the lesson plans are not compulsory, they are backed by the Department for Education and will be available for schools to download from the Schools Out website... A Department for Education spokesman added: ‘These are optional teaching materials.'"
(The Mail story is in fact a twisted version cribbed from this item in The Daily Telegraph).
Richard Drax, a Tory MP wrote on his blog; "I would have thought raising educational standards and teaching our children to read, write and add up is far more important than imposing questionable sexual standards on those too young to understand their equality czars." (He has since withdrawn the comment and apologised).
Predictably all this has sent the ever madder Mail columnist Melanie Phillips into apoplexy; "Here’s a question ­shortly coming to an examination ­paper near you. What have mathematics, geography or science to do with homosexuality?
"Nothing at all, you say? Zero marks for you, then.
"For, mad as this may seem, schoolchildren are to be bombarded with homosexual references in maths, geography and ­science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda."
Yes, it does sound mad. Will Sturgeon at The Media Blog notes; "Almost every line of Phillips' article includes a ludicrous non-sequitor, a selective choice of supporting arguments, an unsourced or ubstantiated claim or a piece of wild speculation and scaremongering dressed up as fact."
All that has actually happened is that the Group, School's OUT, has announced that they are working on a series of online lesson plans on LGBT-related issues, and some "suggestions" have been made.
The "examples" cited above are really just fantasies of the Daily Mail's imagining.
Zero marks for you, Daily Mail - must try harder.

• Melanie Phillip's - apropos of nothing - added to her feature;
"The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has paid £100,000 for a report into how efforts to boost Britain’s coastal fish stocks would affect minority communities including the Chinese, ­homosexuals and Welsh speakers."
Her source? A story in the Mail On Sunday; 'Equality madness: Government spends £30m to discover whether preserving fish stocks harms ethnic Chinese, or hovercraft discriminate against gays'
This is all - put simply - lies.

• There's another Mail gay scare story running at the moment; "30,000 pupils branded as bigots. Teachers log 'racist' and 'homophobic' jibes in playground squabbles, even at nursery."
Hugh Muir did a good demolition of that one in The Guardian on Tuesday.

UPDATE: A great passionate comment piece on all this by Johann Hari in The Independent on Friday; 'Why Is it Wrong to Protect Gay Children?'

Dancing On Ice: Walking On Thin Ice

This week's big news story: A simpleton wearing a bright purple leotard who appears in a show about ice skating has said something that may or may not have been homophobic.

Queerty: Oops!

'Not Every Gay Teen Who Dies Is A Bullycide Victim. So Why Do We Rush To Claim Them?' - Queerty, January 24th.

'Lance Lundsten, Gay 18-Year-Old High Schooler, Takes His Life' - Queerty, January 18th.

David Kato:

Ugandan gay activist, beaten to death.
With a terrible irony, David gave a talk at Oxford University last year called 'A Matter Of Life And Death: The Struggle For Ugandan Gay Rights'.
What a world, what a world...

• There is a memorial vigil for David Kato tomorrow, Friday 28th January, 10.30-12.30am, outside the Uganda High Commission, 58-59 Trafalgar Square, London.

Elton John's Baby: Cover Up

Fagburn loved this story about an American store, Harps, covering up the cover of the US Weekly issue starring Elton John, David Furnish and their baby.
Sadly they've now caved into the gay lobby and announced it only happened in one store and the aptly named "family shields" have now been removed.
It's political correctness gone mental!

Moral Maze: Whose Rights?

There's been much ink spilled over the last week debating whether gay rights should trump Christian "rights" (ie bigotry).
Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times announced dramatically; 'This Is, Indeed, A Rosa Parks Moment' (If you can get past the paywall, there's also a video interview with Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy).
Radio 4's Moral Maze had an enjoyable heated debate on this vexed question yesterday.
Sadly the hilarious right-wing nutjob, Melanie Phillips, wasn't on - here's a predictably barking piece in The Daily Mail; 'Yes, gays have often been the victims of prejudice. But they now risk becoming the new McCarthyites' - but we did get Britain's best known ex-gay, Michael Portillo.

Back Soon...

Sorry I've been away, been feeling a bit down in the dumps - and didn't want to take my bad times out on others.
Back later...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Bulls 2: In Bed With The Devil

"I think if two gay men want a weekend in Cornwall, and have booked a room in a B&B, and haven't read the website which talks about the owners' prejudices (which they would call "beliefs"), they should probably be allowed to have it. Personally, I'm not sure that my top choice of host would be someone who thought I was going to hell. I also think that if you have very strong feelings about other people's sexual behaviour, then you should probably choose a business that doesn't focus quite so heavily on beds."

Christina Patterson, The Independent's Saturday columnist in probably Fagburn's favourite comment piece on the whole gay B&B hoopla.

The Bulls: A Sense Of Perspective

"No one has tied me to a stake and set light to me yet, so we have to put this in perspective."

Hazelmary Bull loses all sense of perspective in a fawning Daily Mail profile; 'The Christian hotelier found guilty of gay bias looks set to lose her home and asks: So who's really being persecuted?'

Thoughts For The Day: Hans-Christian Raabe.

"The media and the gay movement portray the homosexual lifestyle as happy, healthy and fulfilled. However, the homosexual lifestyle is associated with a large number of very serious physical and emotional health consequences."
"A high proportion of homosexual men engage in a destructive lifestyle, for example contracting HIV/Aids or other STIs, and develop addictions to drugs or alcohol.
"There is a higher burden of depression, [and] attempted or completed suicide among the 'gay population'..."
"While the majority of homosexuals are not involved in paedophilia, it is of grave concern that there is a disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles and an overlap between the gay movement and the movement to make paedophilia acceptable."

Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, the Conservative's new drugs adviser, quoted in The Observer.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Andy Coulson: Don't Call Us

As Andy Coulson finally quits as David Cameron's communications chief, Fagburn remembers another problem Mr Coulson had involving mobile phones back when he was the editor of The News Of The World.
When he was at The Sun arguably Coulson's biggest gay scalp was the outing of Stephen Gately in 1999.
Lest we forget, Mr Coulson's job used to be ruining lives for a living.
How very ironic that he went to work for this life-destroying Tory government.
Good riddance, Mr Rubbish.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Don Kirshner: 1934-2011

Thank you for The Monkees etc etc etc.

Gay Teens: The Revolution Is Being Televised

Entertainment Weekly gives over its cover story to 'Gay Teens On TV - How a bold new class of young gay characters on shows like Glee is changing hearts and minds & Hollywood'
"Gay teens are suddenly popping up in major roles all over television, with Glee’s popular pairing of Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss) leading the way.
"How did gay teens go from marginalized outcasts and goofy sidekicks to some of the highest profile — and most beloved — characters on the likes of 90210, Pretty Little Liars, and Skins? And more importantly, how is this affecting real-life teens still facing the daily high-school realities of bullying, discrimination, and ignorance?
"The new issue of Entertainment Weekly investigates the history of gay teens on TV — from the angsty Rickie on My So-Called Life to sensitive-soul Jack on Dawson’s Creek to the slew of groundbreaking characters on Degrassi. We talk to the producers who fought for such progress, the actors who held the career-defining roles, and the activists who cheer recent advances — but are still pushing for more..."
This very subject inspired the first ever post on Fagburn in April last year, First Post, Last Betty, incidentally.
I don't think anything else shows so clearly the profound cultural shift that we are witnessing.
I've said it before and I'll say it again; Fagburn looks forward to the day when we'll look back at this and wonder what all the fuss was about.
And isn't that EW cover shot of Kurt and Blaine just adorable?

Bradley Manning: Five To One

It's worth noting that as The Guardian are official media partners with WikiLeaks - publishing The US Embassy Cables and Afghanistan: The War Logs in the UK - how little coverage they've given to the plight of Bradley Manning.
According to The Guardian's own search engine, the paper has mentioned Wikileaks 1,942 times, Julian Assange 452 times, and Bradley Manning just 92 times*.
Well, they've just remembered him again - though in a piece that appears online in CiF, and not in the print edition.
In The lonely battle against solitary confinement, James Ridgeway and Jane Cassela argue "The punitive incarceration of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning is cruel, certainly, but far from unusual in the US".
I'm sure this will come as a great comfort to Bradley.

Bradley Manning Support Network

*However compare this to mentions of queer hero Bradley Manning on Pink News and Pink Paper - zero. Shameful!

Baroness Warsi: Acceptable Forms Of Bigotry

The dreadful Sayeeda Warsi - Conservative Party chairman [sic] - has leaked to The Daily Telegraph a speech she's giving later today.
"Islamophobia has "passed the dinner-table test" and is seen by many as normal and uncontroversial, Baroness Warsi will say in a speech on Thursday," they report.
"The minister without portfolio will also warn that describing Muslims as either “moderate” or “extremist” fosters growing prejudice.
"Lady Warsi, the first Muslim woman to attend Cabinet, has pledged to use her position to wage an “ongoing battle against bigotry”.
Warsi is something of an expert on bigotry, of course.
She's been spearheading the Tories attacks on gay equalities legislation.
And in the 2005 election used homophobic scaremongering in her election leaflets; "Labour has scrapped Section 28 which was introduced by the Conservatives to stop schools promoting alternative sexual lifestyles such as homosexuality to children as young as seven years old... now schools are allowed and do promote homosexuality and other alternative sexual lifestyles to your children.
"Labour reduced the age of consent for homosexuality from 18 to 16 allowing school children to be propositioned for homosexual relationships."
Warsi told the 2009 Conservative Party Conference; "anti-Muslim hatred is Britain’s last remaining socially acceptable form of bigotry."
The last but one, it would seem.

Iran Stoning: What's Going On?

The reporting of the apparent case of two young Iranian men sentenced to death by stoning for allegedly raping a male youth has often been predictably unreliable (though noticably more cautious than before) - with some gay media playing down the rape charge.
Towleroad framed their report as 'Iranian Men to be Stoned to Death for Gay Sex'
But the charge is not "gay sex", it is "male rape" [This page has been deleted by Towleroad].
On Gay Middle East Paul Canning and Dan Littauer try and sift through the hysteria, stupid cliches and propaganda to find out what we can know - and explain why we can know so little; it is not even 100% certain that the case actually exists.
How can we be sure of anything about a case when we do not even know the mens' names?
Canning and Littauer note a Catch 22 in Iranian prosecutions for homosexual acts;
"As noted yesterday, the Iranian government, as reported by Human Rights Watch, maintains in response to international pressure regarding reported executions of homosexuals that they mostly involve “individuals [who] have been charged for forcible sodomy or rape”.
"But as noted yesterday by Soheila Vahdati, an independent human rights defender based in San Francisco: “They [the Iranian government] don’t differentiate between rape and homosexual acts."
And furthermore, they quote Hossein Alizadeh, Regional Coordinator for IGLHRC’s Middle East and North Africa Program;
“Iran has an impenetrable and opaque criminal justice system that makes knowing what is really happening inside the country impossible.”
One thing does seem grimly certain and undisputed;
"At this stage it is, however, believed that all sources concur on the fact of a death sentence."
A great crime.

The Daily Mail: A Load Of Arse

''Too Much For TV: This Morning hits rock bottom as Louie Spence removes hair from men's bare buttocks live on the show'
The Daily Mail was so appalled by the spectacle of five men getting their cracks waxed by Mr Spence that today they are running five photos of the session on their online version.
Watch it here.
The fun had only just started.
That evening over on Channel 4 the first episode of The Joy Of Teen Sex showed us a girl having a vajazzle, a boy getting a prince albert put in, and young Calvin learnt how to overcome his fear of losing his anal virginity ("I want you to wrap your hand into a little anus...")
Kids today!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Skins: Male To Female

NY Magazine lists The 30 Differences Between the American and British Skins.
The most striking difference - which they mention, but don't highlight - is that sexy dancer Maxxie is now a lesbian cheerleader, Tea.
It's rumoured that the character in the US series was originally listed as a gay Latino boy, Teo, but morphed somewhere in the production process.
The US Christian group Parents' Television Council has dubbed MTV's remake - which debuted on Monday - "the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen."
Excellent praise.

Gay Dads: Some Advice For Elton John

"If I have one piece of advice for Elton John and his husband it would be this: If you think all your money will protect your son from prejudice, then think again. One day some kid will say to your son, 'I don't like you because your dad's gay'. That will hurt. A lot."

The Sun surprises us with two quite moving interviews with a gay dad and his son, Steve and Matt Williams.
Yup, Gay Dads is shaping up to be the gay story/press cliche of 2011...

Daily Mail: Mr & Mr Smith

'Isn't that romantic, George, dear? Mr and Mr Smith would like the bridal suite.'
The Daily Mail cartoonist, Mac.
Interesting that for once gay men aren't caricatured as effete pansies, but big hulking brutes scaring those nice tiny Christians...

Edit: I've replaced the original image with a higher definition scan taken from the blog Angry Mob, who points out Mac appears to have drawn a swastika tattoo on one of the mens' forearms - nice touch!

Jonathan Ross: Sons & Daughters

"If your son asks for a Hannah Montana MP3 player, you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption before he brings his… erm… partner home."

Jonathan Ross, BBC Radio 2, May 2009

How would you feel if your daughters brought a woman home?
"My eldest daughter is gay, so that's a question which I've dealt with on a regular basis already, which is, providing it's a nice woman, I'm thrilled. I've got no problems at all, obviously.
"I think that's pretty much out there - she talks about it on her Twitter feed. As any dad, really, I love my kids regardless of who they are, what they do, and I would love them if they were in trouble, I would love them if they were going through difficulties.
"Certainly, their sexuality is a, really none of my business and b; certainly none of my concern. I just want them to be good, happy, stable people and so far, all three of them seem to be that."

Jonathan Ross, Gaydar Radio, January 2010.

Russell T Davies: Touch Wood

"It’s like — you know, I could get on my soapbox and say how important it is to be, but it’s not a soapbox. It’s just simply who I am is a gay man in the world, given opportunities to write on all sorts of networks, which I’m immensely grateful for, and so it’s not like — it’s not like I include gay characters because it’s my duty or anything. It’s just my nature.
"It’s simply second-nature for me to do that. It would be rather odd if I didn’t do that. And I’ve been very lucky. I think you are very lucky when you are the man who created Queer as Folk because not many people ever dare stop you, having done that. I think, if you were a new writer, people could say “Let’s with a gayness.” But, actually, seriously, the world has moved on. That doesn’t happen anymore.
"I mean, this programming Captain Jack as great, big, swaggering bisexual lead character, people don’t blink about that anymore. Certainly, no one at Starz ever even raised an eyebrow. That’s last year, you know. It’s like — it’s just been healthy and progressive. And I think the bigger an audience you can get, you know — we want a brand-new audience on Starz. We want to increase the audience on BBC One. We must sell this to 57 countries, and they can all see that on the screen, and that’s got to be good."

The mighty Russell T Davies during a panel debate at the US Television Critics Association

OK Magazine: Elton John's Baby

But what would Stephen Green say?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Bulls: What Part Of Equality Don't You Understand?

"Much is said about 'equality and diversity' but it seems some people are more equal than others."

Hazelmary Bull, convicted bigot.
Christian Couple May Appeal Against Verdict Over Bristol Gay Couple
Interesting use of a paraphrased quotation from Animal Farm - Fagburn isn't sure that a government introducing legislation to protect citizens from discrimination sounds like "an Orwellian nightmare".

Update: "The ruling by a judge in Bristol sealed the supremacy of gay rights over Christian belief under the Sexual Orientation Regulations pushed through by Tony Blair four years ago..." The Daily Mail, natch.

On Not Leaving The Building

It is Fagburn's birthday today.
He shall be back in a bit.
Fangyewverymuch etc.

London Underground: Advertising & Morality

"...What's more, moral judgments are inherent in TfL's advertising policy code. This has been used, either by TfL itself or its contractor CBS Outdoor, to reject or demand changes to a small number of advertisements in recent years.
"These include artwork for posters promoting a party at the O2 and the band Massive Attack, which had to be amended because elements of them resembled street art or graffiti. CBS Outdoor rejected a 16th century nude depiction of the goddess Venus used to advertise an exhibition at the Royal Society of Art, only to be over-ruled by TfL a few days later. A Gay Times poster marking the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality enjoyed no such reprieve: it was deemed to infringe the clause governing nudity and sexual depictions. Then there was the ticklish case of Nip/Tuck and the disappearing suspenders..."

The Guardian's Dave Hill blogs about London Underground's stance on acceptable ads - LU has done a deal with "legalised loan sharks"

Monday, 17 January 2011

Chris Colfer: Doing It For The Kids

Chris Colfer dedicates his Golden Globe Award to the kids;
"Most importantly to all the amazing kids that watch our show, the kids that our show celebrates too, who are constantly told 'no' by the people in their environments, by bullies in their school, that they can't be who they are or have what they want because of who they are. Well, screw that, kids!"
Watch it here.

The Sun: Handbags At Dawn

Sometimes even Fagburn likes The Sun...
It's Alex - "the cross-dressing cage-fighter" - who has to pack his handbags, incidentally.
Not Jordan, whatever she is.

PS Yup, there's still not much going on in the real world worth commenting on...

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Thought For The Day: Roger Helmer MEP

"Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex-change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to try to "turn" a consenting homosexual?"

Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for East Midlands, on Twitter.

Susannah York 1939-2011

Stonewall: "Gay-Friendly Employer Of 2011"

Congratulations to the Home Office for being named Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index Employer Of The Year 2011.
Yes, that's the same Home Office that keeps deporting LGBT asylum seekers.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: "I’m delighted the Home Office is being celebrated as an employer which supports the diversity of its staff. This Government will continue to do all it can to tackle discrimination and help make this country a more tolerant and fair place for everybody."
Irony died laughing.

Gareth Williams' Murder: Dying For His Art?

The surest sign of what a slow news week this has been is that the Sunday papers had to resort to digging up Gareth Williams.
''Spy in the bag' inquest delayed as police chase new leads', The Mail On Sunday announced in a headline that made the poor man sound like some sort of readymeal.
Though the Mail broke with tradition by not saying what these leads were - or without making some new ones up.
That was left to the Sunday Mirror with 'MI6 spy death could be bizarre art course accident'
"MI6 spy Gareth Williams – whose body was found naked in a padlocked bag – may have died while taking part in a bizarre experiment for an art project.
"Police now believe the codebreaker could have accidentally killed himself while doing research for a part-time art and fashion course after being set an assignment entitled Living Spaces."
And why not?
Fagburn did get a very strange email recently claiming that Mr Williams was taken out because he was a WikiLeaks-type whistleblower.
I'm only surprised none of the papers has gone with this one yet.
Or framed up an "eccentric" neighbour with a funny hairdo...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

WikiLeaks: Gay Saint/Queer Martyr

Ironic to see the New Statesman portray Julian Assange as Saint Sebastian on this week's front cover.
The gay saint/queer martyr in the Wikileaks saga is clearly Bradley Manning.
In an interview with John Pilger, Assange says;
"I'd never heard his name before it was published in the press...
"Cracking Bradley Manning is the first step. The aim clearly is to break him and force a confession that he somehow conspired with me to harm the national security of the United States."

• WikiLeaks fulfills pledge to support accused whistle-blower Bradley Manning - Bradley Manning Support Network

Update: Bradley Manning on his conditions in prison.