Friday, June 29, 2007

To Be Delivered By Bike Messenger

I spotted the Oracle of Randomocity working the corner of Crack and Ho, where she stuck her head into my taxi to reveal that this week's winner of Swag Tuesday is fellow New Yorker, Croft, the 104th commenter, who gets Cyclizen, the new novel by Jim Provenzano. Croft sez: "I'd like to thank the academy, and, wait, I wasn't finished, stop playing!!!" Publicists: if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

RELATED: Since y'all were so enamored with Patricio, Cyclizen's cover model, here's his MySpace page. You're welcome.


PlanetOut To Shed Adult Division

Is PlanetOut beginning to dismantle? In a self-reported story posted on the Advocate's site, PlanetOut Partners has announced it is selling its adult publishing division, SpecPub, as it attempts to stem the hemorrhage of red ink. SpecPub comprises four gay adult magazines: Unzipped, [2] Magazine, Men Magazine, and Freshmen. PlanetOut is revamping Advocate, with a planned redesign set to launch in September.

The company's primary lender has set June 30th as the date by which the company must raise $7M to meet its obligations, with another $8M due by August 31st. PlanetOut's stock price climbed modestly today, at the moment it's at $1.37 vs. yesterday's close of $1.15. RSVP Cruises, which the company has blamed for a portion of its woes, is said to be back on track to meet revenue forecasts.

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Shelter Kitteh Iz In Yer Sink....

....stalking yer lunch.


Poofter Top Ten

Speaking of London Pride, today the UK Guardian lists their ten favorite songs about being gay:

1 Jet Boy, Jet Girl, Elton Motello
2 Michael, Franz Ferdinand
3 Homosapien, Pete Shelley
4 Can You Forgive Her?, Pet Shop Boys
5 BD Woman's Blues, Lucille Bogan
6 Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover, Sophie B Hawkins
7 The Man That I Am With My Man, The Hidden Cameras
8 Breathing Fear, Kitchens of Distinction
9 What Makes a Man a Man, Marc Almond
10 I Was Born This Way, Carl Bean

What, no I Am What I Am? Still, it's a great list. And I love Kitchens Of Distinction.


Kleenex, Xerox, Gaydar?

England-based Qsoft Consulting, owner of the gay dating site, has filed a trademark infringement suit in Delaware, claiming they own the word "gaydar" after another company began using a similar domain name for their own gay and lesbian dating site. Qsoft's suit also contends that TDTong Ltd. violated the "Can Spam Act" by sending unsolicted messages to users of's chat rooms.

This is sort of a reverse on the situation faced by products such as Kleenex or Xerox, who famously fought (some would say unsuccessfully) to keep their brand names from becoming generic terms for all similar products. Trademark lawyers say Qsoft will have a difficult time proving their case, saying "gaydar" is already a generic term.

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Isaiah Washington: It's Because I'm Black

Fired Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington is pulling out his race card, now claiming that he was canned from the hit show because he's black. Saying, "Someone heard the booming voice of a black man and got really scared and that was the beginning of the end for me," Washington says the real reason he got fired is because he refused to act like a "submissive black."

Washington: "My mistake was believing that I would get the support from my network and all of my cast mates across the board. My mistake was believing I could correct a wrong with honesty and sincerity. My mistake was thinking black people get second chances. I was wrong on all fronts." He adds, "I had a person in human resources tell me after this thing played out that `some people' were afraid of me around the studio. I asked her why, because I'm a 6-foot-1, black man with dark skin and who doesn't go around saying `Yessah, massa sir' and `No sir, massa' to everyone?"

No, Isaiah. You got fired for being a prick on live national television.

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London Police Thwart Car Bomb
Attempt Near Gay Pride Route

The day before London Pride, today British police were tipped off about a suspicious car parked on Haymarket Street (in London's West End) along the route of the gay Pride parade. Inside a Mercedes they found gas containers and a large number of nails, unnerving Londoners who plan to attend tomorrow's event. Police described the bomb as similar to those used by Iraqi insurgents. The bomb was defused and the area cordoned off, with nearby subway stations closed.

The car was first came to the attention of ambulance workers at 1am, when they noticed it filling with smoke as they treated an ill patron of the nearby Tiger Tiger nightclub. Witnesses say they had noticed the car being driven erratically before it crashed into garbage cans, with the driver escaping on foot.

In 1999, a nail bomb exploded in the Admiral Duncan Pub, a gay bar, killing three and injuring 73. Even more worrying, next week is the second anniversary of London's July 7th bus and subway bombing which killed 52. As they scour the city for more suspicious vehicles, London police are making no speculations that the car bomb may have been intended for tomorrow's massive gay pride crowds that will pack nearby Picadilly Circus.

London Pride organizers say tomorrow's parade will go on.

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Morning View - Benjamin Hotel

Originally the Hotel Beverly, the Hotel Benjamin was built in 1927 by famed architect Emery Roth, the man responsible for dozens of Beaux Arts buildings in Manhattan. The hotel fell into disrepair for many years but reopened in 1999 as part of Denihan Hospitality Group, and is now named for DHG's founder, Benjamin Denihan. Trivia: Back when it was the Hotel Beverly, the building gained fame when it was featured in a Georgia O'Keefe painting. O'Keefe lived across the street.


Jodie Foster Gives Big To Trevor Project

The Trevor Project, the nation's only 24/7 suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth, has just received the largest donation in its history from actress Jodie Foster. The Trevor Project is in the middle of a fundraising campaign aimed to support the opening of two new call centers.

Foster made the donation in the name of the late Oscar winner and Trevor Project co-founder Randy Stone, who produced Foster's first film, Little Man Tate. Stone, who died in February of heart disease, was described by Foster as her "dearest friend."

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Montreal Pride Back On

Montreal's Pride parade is back on, rescued by a new community group called Celebrations LGBTA Montreal. (The "A" in their LGBTA stands for "amis".) Montreal Pride is now scheduled for July 28th & 29th. In May, Divers/Cité (the group that has put on the parade in the past) backed out, citing wishes to focus on their gay cultural festival which takes place in August.

Divers/Cité ran their first parade in 1993, with only 5000 attendees, growing attendance to over 1.2 million by 2003. However, in recent years Divers/Cité has faced increasing discord among participating merchants and decided this year to drop their most expensive event, the parade.

Those critical of the commercialization of Pride events, the corporate logos, the greasy food arcades, etc., should note that many (if not most) Pride organizations struggle mightily to stay afloat from year to year. As we marvel at the exploding size of the events and the crowds, we should be mindful that as the attendance grows, so do the costs: security, permits, and insurance. The list of major Pride events that almost didn't happen this year (Seattle, Montreal, etc.) serves as a sobering reminder that like freedom, Pride isn't free.

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Beverly Sills Near Death

Legendary opera diva and gay icon Beverly Sills, 78, is reported to be near death from lung cancer. Sills is in a Manhattan hospital with her daughter at her side. While she retired from performing in 1980, Sills has continued to be a force on the NYC opera scene, becoming the chair of the Metropolitan Opera in 2002. Like many of you, I best remember Beverly Sills from her funny, self-deprecating performances on the Carol Burnett Show. Even though I remain no fan of opera, I adore Beverly Sills. Best wishes, Bubbles.

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Just Asking

From a blind item in today's Page Six column: "Just asking: Which members of the State Assembly are in trouble with their gay children because they voted no on the same-sex marriage bill? A Queens member was chewed out by her lesbian daughter, and a Brooklyn member was tongue-lashed by his fashion designer son."

Does anybody know who these legislators are? I'm wondering if the Brooklyn member is Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), whom you may recall said, "If we authorize gay marriage in the state of New York, those who want to live and love incestuously will be five steps closer to achieving their goals as well."

Please contact me if you know the identity of the legislators mentioned in this blind item.

RELATED: Read my friend Little David's open letter to Assemblyman Hikind.

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Dubya: More Pointless Hate

Our ignoble leader is threatening to veto the federal budget for Washington, DC unless a provision is reinserted to prevent DC from using any of the money for its domestic partners registry. Most of the money to operate the District of Columbia comes from local taxes but about 25% comes from a $120M federal appropriation. When the Democrats took over Congress last year, they removed the domestic partners restriction from DC's federal budget.

The White House issued this statement: "The Administration strongly opposes the bill’s exclusion of a longstanding provision that disallows the use of Federal funds to register unmarried, cohabitating couples in the District, to enable them to qualify for benefits on the same basis as legally married couples. Under Federal law, legal marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Federal tax dollars are not used to extend employment benefits to domestic partners of Federal employees, and D.C. should not enjoy an exception to this rule." HRC's Joe Solmonese responded: "With his popularity at an all time low, this President has yet again dipped his cup into the well of anti-gay bigotry."

DC established its domestic partners registry in 1992 but the Republican Congress blocked its enactment until 2002, after which it inserted the funding restriction - a meaningless move because only local funds are allocated to the registry. The federal funding restriction is merely toothless anti-gay propaganda, but that has never stopped this administration.

UPDATE: Today the House of Representatives voted to reattach the anti-gay wording to the DC appropriations bill.

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Poll: 77% Of Republicans Support ENDA

The Log Cabin Republicans have released the results of a poll they consponsored which appears to show broad support for gay rights among Republicans, including a 77% support for ENDA. According to the poll, 48% support the repeal of DADT, 43% support gay marriage or civil unions, and 55% agree with the statement "the Republican Party has spent too much time focusing on moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage and should instead be spending time focusing on economic issues such as taxes and government spending."

Anybody buying this? Seems like unbelievably good news.

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HomoQuotable - Michael Bussee

"Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families. Although we acted in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear and loss of faith that this message creates." - Former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, in a joint apology issued with two other former leaders of the ex-gay ministry. Box Turtle Bulletin has the story about the ex-ex-gay conference, as well as original video shot with each of the former Exodus leaders.

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Morning View - Waldorf-Astoria

Here's the Lexington Avenue entrance of the Waldorf-Astoria at 50th Street. (The grander entrance is on Park Avenue.) The residence for the American ambassador to the UN is on the 42nd floor. The Waldorf was originally located on the site where the Empire State Building was built. The first three times I visited NYC as an adult, I stayed at the Waldorf, a treat I could only afford because my sister was a Hilton executive (the Waldorf-Astoria is part of the Hilton chain.) A new Waldorf is planned for Disney World.


Open Thread Thursday

Who was your first gay crush? Did you act on it?


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Out 100 Poll

Out Magazine is soliciting names for its annual year-end Out 100 list of LGBT folks that have "inspired, intrigued, entertained, or taught us or otherwise captured our collective imagination over the past year." At the moment, I think I'm submitting Peter Tatchell, Daniel O'Donnell, and Sgt. Eric Alva. The final list will come out in the December 2007 issue.

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Prominent Queers Pile On
Clinton Bandwagon

Hillary Clinton's campaign has announced an LGBT steering committee comprised of an impressive roster of 65 prominent queers who will help her reach out to gay voters, a list the likes of which we've likely never seen before. Among those on the committee: NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former HRC head Elizabeth Birch, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Eldie Acheson.

The complete list:

  • Eldie Acheson, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General; founding director, Public Policy and Government Affairs, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • Roberta Achtenberg, former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
  • Toni Atkins, San Diego, CA, City Councilmember
  • Dr. Christopher Barley, activist, philanthropist
  • Greg Berlanti, creator/producer, TV series, "Brothers and Sisters"
  • Elizabeth Birch, former Executive Director, Human Rights Campaign
  • Mary Breslauer, former co-chair, Kerry-Edwards 2004 LGBT Steering Committee; communications consultant
  • Tonio Burgos, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus
  • Ilene Chaiken, creator/producer, Showtime series, "The L Word"
  • Rocco Claps, former LGBT Outreach Director, Democratic National Committee; Illinois LGBT activist
  • Bruce Cohen, Oscar-winning film producer
  • Roberta Conroy, member, National Leadership Council, Lambda Legal
  • Joan Darrah, retired U.S. Navy Captain
  • Q. Todd Dickinson, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Thomas Duane, New York State Senator
  • Ingrid Duran, board member, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
  • Steve Elmendorf, Deputy Campaign Manager, Kerry-Edwards 2004
  • Shelley Freeman, business leader, Los Angeles Police Commissioner
  • Ethan Geto, long-time gay rights advocate
  • John Gile, Executive Director, Project Angel Food
  • Emily Giske, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus
  • Deborah Glick, New York Assemblymember
  • Steven Goldstein, Chair, Garden State Equality
  • Chad Griffin, CEO, Chad Griffin Consulting, Inc.
  • Rebecca Haag, Executive Director, AIDS Action Council; Executive Director, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
  • Yashar Hedayat, businessman
  • Lisa Henderson, General Manager, Olivia Cruises
  • Stephen Herbits, businessman
  • Fred Hochberg, former Deputy then Acting Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration; -Dean of the Milano School for Management and Urban Policy, The New School
  • John Isa, board of directors and Business Council member, Human Rights Campaign
  • Gloria Johnson, board member, National Stonewall Democrats
  • Christine Kehoe, California State Senator
  • Keith Kerr, retired Colonel., U.S. Army; retired Brigadier General, California National Reserve
  • Kasey Kincaid, attorney, Iowa grassroots activist
  • Billie Jean King, sports legend and social pioneer
  • Sheila James Kuehl, California State Senator
  • Mark Kvare, board member, National Stonewall Democrats
  • Neel Lattimore, Special Advisor for Strategic Communications, Children's Defense Fund; former press secretary for the First Lady
  • Bruce Lehman, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks
  • Sue Lovell, Houston, TX, City Councilmember
  • Claire Lucas, chair, Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership Council; board member, National Stonewall Democrats
  • Linda Gray Murphy, board member, National Stonewall Democrats
  • Daniel O'Donnell, New York Assemblymember
  • Dixon Osburn, LGBT activist on "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy
  • Annise Parker, Houston, TX, City Controller
  • Catherine Pino, board member, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
  • Julian Potter, former Special Assistant to President as Liaison to the Gay and Lesbian
  • Christine Quinn, Speaker, New York City Council
  • Hilary Rosen, President,; media industry consultant
  • Peter Rosenstein, DC-based LGBT community activist
  • Mirian Saez, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus
  • Greg Sargent, attorney, New Hampshire LGBT activist
  • Jayne Baron Sherman, co-chair, In the Life Media; former board chair, Lambda Legal
  • Melissa Sklarz, Director, New York Trans Rights Organization; vice chair, National Stonewall Democrats
  • Paul M. Smith, board member, Lambda Legal; Attorney who successfully argued the landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas, establishing the right to privacy for gay Americans
  • Jeff Soref, former chair of the Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus; former co-chair, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • Laura Spanjian, board member, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund; board member, Equality California
  • Campbell Spencer, former National LGBT Outreach Director for the Democratic National Committee and Gore-Lieberman 2000
  • Rick Stafford, chair, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus; co-chair, National Stonewall Democrats
  • Jill Stauffer, board of directors, Human Rights Campaign
  • Sally Susman, business leader
  • Rev. Deborah Tammearu, Episcopal Priest, Diocese of New York
  • Matthew Titone, New York State Assemblymember
  • Jeffrey Tooke, board member, National Stonewall Democrats
  • Olive F. Watson, activist and philanthropist
  • Paula Redd Zeman, vice chair, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; vice chair, Black Democrats of Westchester
  • Bob Zuckerman, board member, National Stonewall Democrats
  • Jose Zuniga, retired U.S. Army Sergeant and former Soldier of the Year; Executive Director, International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care

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Lee Goes Legit

The NY Post has leaked the details of Spike Lee's new Broadway venture and it's a curious choice - a remake of the 1951 play Stalag 17, originally directed on Broadway by Jose Ferrer. It was made into a movie in 1954, winning multiple Oscars, including Best Actor for William Holden. Lee's version is expected to open some time next year with Clive Owen as lead. Trivia: Hogan's Heroes was supposedly based on Stalag 17, but Stalag's producers lost their infringement claim against the sitcom.

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I passed by the midtown Apple Store yesterday where people were already lined up for Friday's iPhone release. Some of them have been there since Monday. I'm trying to think of anything in the entire world worth waiting for five days in 90 degree weather. Maybe a winning lottery ticket. Suddenly I'm hoping for torrential thunderstorms. Maybe some hail. I am a terrible person.

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Towleroad: The "It" Blog

Andy Towle gets a nice mention in Newsweek this week, where Towleroad is named one of the five "It" blogs. Also mentioned: Perez Hilton, DailyKos, Deadspin, Cute Overload. Congrats, Andy!

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Grand Marshalls And Atheists

On Sunday I started my day at the Heritage of Pride press tent for the news conference with this year's grand marshalls: Rev. Troy Perry and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum. Facing an army of news cameras, they both spoke eloquently about gay rights and religious tolerance. At least, I presume they did, I couldn't hear a dang thing, despite being less than 10 feet away, thanks to the noise of passersby. At one point a reporter leaned over to me and asked, "What was that last thing she said?" I shrugged, "Something about aardvarks?" I did get to meet them both briefly afterwards and they were very gracious, but I didn't ask them to rehash their words.

Hours later, after the 20th or so religious group had passed us in the parade, I wondered aloud why there was no atheist contingent. What would our signs say? Would we be allowed to march in the religion section? What would our chant be? And more importantly, what about outfits? Suggestions appreciated.

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HRC Launches Blog

The Human Rights Campaign has launched a blog called Back Story, where you can find up-to-the-minute information about their various projects. Chris Johnson, Back Story's lead writer, has long been my primary contact at the HRC, tipping me off to the latest on what's going on with their efforts on behalf of hate crimes legislation, marriage equality, etc. Good luck, Chris, and welcome!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pier Dance 2007

This year's Pier Dance was a fantastic (if occasionally gruelling) exercise in trying to stay with your friends, as the crush of 5000 men continuously attempts to separate you. It was like being in that episode of Star Trek when they visit the planet where nobody ever dies. Definitely not for the claustrophobic. Still, I managed to hang onto the Farmboyz and the Thruple for the entire event, a first time victory for me.

DJs Larry Needham and Jonathan Porter totally knocked it out of the park, providing a lovely melange of (screaming diva-free) breezy, jazzy house and disco classics. Highlights: How Could I Love You More - M People, Everytime I Close My Eyes - Lustral, Red Letter Day - Pet Shop Boys, and my favorite 90's trance hit, Madagascar's You're Beautiful. That song has tremendous emotional resonance for me as it was the late DJ Neil Lewis' trademark song for my circle of friends. It wrecked me even before Neil died, now much more so. It was dark when You're Beautiful was played, rendering some cover for my tears.

I feel real good this evening
And I feel good for one reason
We're all here together
I love what you're doing to me
You're beautiful
The gay cheerleaders did a tumbling/acrobatics show around twilight, following a couple of hours later by headliner Idina Menzel, the Tony Award winning lead of Wicked. Nobody around us seemed to know who she was, although when I explained that she was married to Taye Diggs, that got their attention and they began scanning the crowd around the stage to see if he'd accompanied her. No such luck, apparently. Menzel delivered a rather rote two-song set, with little banter to the audience. The dance mix of Wicked's first act closer, Defying Gravity, was actually OK, especially considering the grievous track record of discofied showtunes.

The evening closed with Heritage of Pride's annual fireworks display over the Hudson River, fired from a barge just off the pier. To the accompaniment of Aaron Copeland's Fanfare For The Common Man and the Beatles' All You Need Is Love, thousands of gay men pulled their lovers and friends into tight, swaying groups. To crib from last year's Pier Dance post, "The fireworks began and we turned to face the Hudson, arms around each other, our faces illuminated by the rockets in the sky and the love we have for each other." Thanks again to all my friends for entirely perfect day. While I realize that five minutes of fireworks may not make the most compelling video, it will hold sentimental value to those who attended. And watch for the Farmboyz having a romantic moment a couple of minutes in.

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John Edwards Tours LA's Gay Center

(ABOVE: Curt Shepard, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Director of Government Relations; Lorri L. Jean, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer; Sen. John Edwards. PHOTO CREDIT: Gil Caan.)

John Edwards toured LA's gay community center today, interesting timing in light of his wife's pro-gay marriage comments yesterday. Edwards visited the facility's pharmacy, HIV clinic, and 24-bed shelter for homeless LGBT youth, where he met briefly with residents. During his visit, Lorri Jean, the center's CEO, begged the presidential candidate to reconsider his position on gay marriage, saying that most of the problems that brought people to the center were caused by a homphobic society. No word as to Edwards' response.

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Broadway Roundup

  • Tickets for the upcoming musical version of Young Frankenstein will be $120, a new plateau for regular seats. Casting has been announced: Dr. Frankenstein: Roger Bart (played in the movie by Gene Wilder), Elizabeth: Megan Mullally (Madeline Kahn), Inga: Sutton Foster (Terri Garr), Frau Blucher: Andrea Martin (Cloris Leachman).
  • Wicked leads last week's grosses at $1.4M. Xanadu appears to be struggling, with only $170,000, albeit in one of the smaller houses. Cheyenne Jackson will takeover as Sonny in Xanudu shortly.
  • Most houses will be dark next Wednesday for the July 4th holiday, but some will run their matinees.
  • Tommy Tune is collaborating with the guys that wrote the Jersey Boys book on a new musical about a cabaret duo that goes back in time and realize that the hit songs of the future have not yet been written.
  • Broadway World has a video of last week's Broadway Bares show, Myth Behavior, the annual almost-nude fundraiser by Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS. The clip is 30 minutes long, the Broadway Bares segment is in the second half. The show raised $740,000.
  • On Thursday, Spike Lee will announce the details on his upcoming theatrical project. I'm hoping for a Broadway version of School Daze.

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Gay Marriage Splits Edwards Household

"I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me. I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage. If he's pleasant to me on the street, if his children don't throw things in my yard, then I'm happy. It seems to me we're making issues of things that honestly don't matter." - Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, speaking to reporters after her keynote speech to San Francisco's Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club. Her husband responded by saying that he loves the way his wife always speaks her mind, but that he continues to only support civil unions for gay couples.

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NYC Pride 2007 Photos

Here's the first round of Pride pics, mostly on the political/activism tip. Above is NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn (in red). Mayor Bloomberg only marched a portion of the route with her and was gone before the parade hit the village. Senator Chuck Schumer marched the entire route, Senator Clinton did not appear at all. The bottom-most photo is of a group formed to protest the lengthy sentences given the "Jersey Four" (also called the "Newark Seven") - the lesbian "gang" imprisoned recently after their convictions for gang assault.

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From yesterday's Ask Metafilter: "Why are gay people so flamboyant? Maybe I'm just ignorant, but it's definitely a trend that rises beyond my scope of comprehension. I just spent the weekend as a volunteer medic for the SF Pride events, and it's a phenomenon that only really struck me when seen in its mass sprawl. It's something distinctively relegated to the gay community, in my experiences. I guess I'm just curious as to why gay culture seems to be defined and celebrated by flamboyance, extravagance, and eccentricity. In short, why do gay people act the way they do? Is it hormonal, adaptive-reactive, socially-constructed, etc.?"

Go read the responses, there are some thoughtful and thought-provoking answers.

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Morning View - Conjoined

Conjoined is a stainless steel sculpture by native New Yorker Roxy Paine, just added to his other two sculptures in Madison Square Park: Defunct and Erratic. The sculptures will be in the park until the end of the year.


Swag Tuesday

This week's Swag Tuesday prize is Cyclizen, the new novel from Jim Provenzano, author of PINS and Monkey Suits. Many of you know Provenzano from his decade of reporting gay sports news and from his articles in San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter, where he is an arts editor. The Cyclizen synopsis:
Kent R. Hyles, a 24-year-old jaded activist-emeritus, rides through Manhattan as a bike messenger, dodging more than traffic. Ness, his HIV-positive not-boyfriend, lures him to easier climes on the West Coast as he prepares to leave New York. Still recovering from a passionate affair with Eric Cleese, a popular activist and clone, Kent chooses the swift escape of traveling on wheels through the streets of the New York in the early 1990s, seeking random sexual encounters when not working or avoiding cab doors. Leaving New York would be easy, but he has a project, born of a chance meeting with a corporate underling, Michael Sheets, who's eager to learn how to sell AIDS philanthropy, and how to come out. Trading in information for the promise of a loft of money, the messenger learns how to use his skills for a conflicted idealism; theft for a cause.
"Juggling AIDS activism, corporate and individual greed, all through the travails of a bike messenger in search of love and belonging, Cyclizen is noteworthy for its fine characterization and poignant lyricism. Provenzano explores love and friendship with insight and nuance, marking his work as unique, vital and significant.” – Trebor Healey, author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning Through It Came Bright Colors. To win an autographed copy of Cyclizen, you need only comment on this post. Only your first comment counts, please leave your email address, contest ends at midnight Tuesday. Publicists: if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Get Huh!

Some of you may be aware of the occasional doomed campaign to institute an English-language gender-neutral pronoun. Previously failed contenders have included "shem", "herm" and (my personal favorite) "thon". The newest suggestion comes with the support of some transgendered folks, many of whom have long bristled over the pronouns that support the "binary gender paradigm."

The latest such pronoun comes from DeAnn DeLuna, who teaches literature at Johns Hopkins University. Her creation, "hu," would replace he, she, him, her and his. Because it's just one word, unlike an entire set of pronouns, DeLuna says its easier to use than other gender-neutral pronouns. And the word (pronounced "huh"), trips off the tongue easily.

Gender and pronouns have vexed language watchers for some time. At one point, the English language had no clear female pronoun, so it was a monumental shift when "she" emerged in the 12th century. In 2000, the American Dialect Society chose "she" as its Word of the Millennium.

Sorry, but I don't see anything revolutionary about "hu/huh". It's been the favored pronoun of native New York gay men for as long as I can remember. "I'm through with huh!" Here's a bit of NSFW substantiation of that, a house music track whose opening still slays me 14 years later.

Get Huh! (Download. Stream.)
Ride Committee featuring Roxy
E-Legal Records, 1993

UPDATE: Fixed the music links, sorry about that.

HomoQuotable - Daniel O'Donnell

"I want a license that all of you have; some of you have had it two or three times." New York State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell (D-Upper West Side), whose humorous and passionate speech to the Assembly last week is being credited with swaying enough legislators to make New York the second state (after California) to have a legislative body approve same-sex marriage.

O'Donnell (who is Rosie's brother) was the sponsor of the bill, but his speech still left a few Democrats unmoved, such as Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) who sarcastically suggested legislation to legalize incest. The state Senate did not consider their version of the bill before the current session ended on Thursday, thanks to Republican Majority Leader Joe Bruno, who has vowed he will never allow it to come to a vote. Should the bill ever clear the state Senate, a prospect that seems dim for the foreseeable future, Governor Spitzer has pledged to sign it into law.

The year is half-over, I think we should start a file on prospective nominees for 2007's Queer Of The Year. So far I'm thinking Peter Tatchell and Daniel O'Donnell.

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Love Live The Qeens

The four largest Pride events in North America (Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Toronto) took place yesterday under sunny skies, drawing over 3 million queer folks from all nations and representing all 31 genders . The NYC crowd was estimated at around 1 million and more than a few times we heard somebody say, "Is everybody in the WORLD gay?" Yesterday, it sure felt like it.

Heritage of Pride should be congratulated for turning in another seamless series of events, with no apparent glitches in crowd control, operations or safety. The eternal length of the parade (five hours? six hours?), that's another thing. But I guess if the issue is to too many people wanting to take part, that's a good problem to have.

I've got hundreds of photos to sort through and I'll winnow them down to a dozen or so and include them in a lengthier post about the day. Thanks to all who showed up to watch the parade with us. I met tons of great new folks, including a couple of heretofore mysterious but beloved JMG commenters. More on that later.

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Parade Rest

Sunday, 3pm, Christopher Street

Two twinks are waving at a boy on a passing Pride parade float and shouting to hear each other over the float's music.

Twink 1: He does not! He's very cute.

Twink 2: What are you talking about?

Twink 1: That was mean.

Twink 2: What was mean?

Twink 1: He does NOT have the face of a terrorist, I think he's very cute.

Twink 2: Dude, what have you been smoking? I said he had a place with a terrace.

Twink 1: Oh, ha, ha. You must think I'm on crack.

Twink 2: Aren't you?

Twink 1: It's early, baby. I'm resting.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

25th Annual Mermaid Parade

Today the Farmboyz and I schlepped out to Coney Island for the gayest not-really-gay event in NYC, the 25th Annual Mermaid Parade, the first time any of us had attended. The day started a little bit chilly with the giant clock (see below) facing Central Park reading 57 degrees. In June. But by the time we reached the beach, the temp was a pleasant 73 and we exited the D train to find the barricades across Surf Avenue had just been raised, giving us an immediate front row place (facing Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs) from which to watch the parade, a lucky thing too, because within 15 minutes the crowd was 15-deep behind us.

This year King Neptune was played by one of the Mythbusters dudes, a joke on the rumor that this will be the final Mermaid Parade due to the impending demolition of Astroland, which as of last week appears to have been given a one-year reprieve. Over a couple of hours we viewed topless mermaids, buttless mermen, and more than a few mertrannies. Very Mardi Gras At-The-Beach - I even caught a strand of beads. The highlight was the We Like Dick contingent (bottom right), headed by some guy named Dick. Really. We packed it in before the parade finished, mindful of tomorrow's much longer event.

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Gay Bomb: The Movie

Well, that didn't take long. Gay porn house Dark Alley has announced plans to produce a porn take on the Pentagon's recent "gay bomb" research.

Gay Bomb will take us into the future and the year 2012. George the Second has refused to step down as leader of the “free world,” and the nations of Europe have banded together to fight the new American military dictatorship. Desperate to fend off its attackers, the US launches the experimental “gay bomb,” designed to make the enemy forces drop their guns and turn fag. But the winds of fate blow in a different direction, and soon America is brought to its knees.
To its knees. Yuk, yuk. Rimshot! Wait, that's a different movie. Dark Alley says they'll begin work on Gay Bomb in November, right after they finish production of their impending classic, 20 Fist Weekend. Rimshot! Wait, that is the name of their movie. I love my people.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Gayest Corner On The Gayest Day

This Sunday I'll be shepherding my festive flock of fabulous - oh wait, I can't finish that alliteration - fabulous, um, strong gay men to the corner of Christopher and Gay Street to watch NYC's 38th annual Pride March. History has taught us that corner is nicely shaded, although Sunday's weather is predicted to be relatively mild, as has been the entire summer so far. Stop by and say hello if you're in the nabe, or join us if you don't want to watch the parade solo. Happy Pride, y'all. Get out there and be the gayest you can be.

They wish we were invisible.

We're NOT.

Let's DANCE!

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More Woes For Perez

Gossip blogger Perez Hilton has been dropped by his hosting company, due to their fear of being added to the multiple copyright infringement lawsuits he is currently fighting. The site was dark for a few days, but is back up now on a new service, although with limited functionality and without archives. Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff takes some cheap shots at Hilton's appearance, but makes some valid points about the usage of copyrighted photos, which most bloggers (including myself) do, although Hilton's fair use defense is very thinly supported. To my mind, drawing cocaine spots on Lindsey Lohan's nostrils is not "commentary".

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Gay Rape Hotline Set Up In SF

In a joint venture with the gay support group Community United Against Violence, San Francisco has unveiled a new campaign encouraging gay men to come forward and report rapes. With a hotline and a website, the groups hope to reduce the stigma and increase the reporting of the attacks, the majority of which take place in the Castro. In 2007, 18 cases have already been reported.

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Head over to for their list, The Gayest Moments In Music. I'm not crazy about their picking Village People's YMCA as their number one, but there's some great stuff on there. RuPaul's talk show, Madonna's kiss with Britney, and some seriously classic moments like Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) all make the list. I'd have to think a long time about it, but I'd probably put You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) as my number one. What's yours?

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Radical Homos Zap Speaker Quinn

Yesterday the activist group Radical Homosexual Agenda staged a protest at City Hall during the speech of openly lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, claiming that Quinn was the "civilian agent" of a new NYPD policy that subjects to arrest the members of any group of 49 persons or more that gathers without an approved NYPD permit. Activists claim this new rule was created in secret, with no public hearings and has no basis in statute. The hundreds of gays on hand loudly booed the protesters. Quinn is widely expected to succeed Michael Bloomberg as NYC mayor.

The protest came as City Hall was in the midst of their annual Celebration Of LGBT Rights, a peculiar time for a protest perhaps, but organizers claim that Quinn has made herself otherwise unavailable to discuss the new policy, which she apparently does not deny is partly her doing. After the protesters were removed by police to the cheers of the audience, Quinn told those remaining that she was willing to meet with anyone to discuss NYPD rules on assembly. On an NYPD-related note, for the first time in 16 years, Heritage of Pride will not stage its annual post-parade PrideFest, the NYPD having denied their request to relocate the event to Chelsea.

(via -

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shelter Kitty: Week Seven

Shelley Winters has discovered climbing and there is no height in my apartment that she has not scaled. I came home yesterday to find her crying on top of the cabinets over my kitchen sink, which I presume she got to by a counter to microwave to cabinet route. Her favorite perches are the back of my desk chair (but only when I'm typing) and the tires of my bike, which do not seem very comfortable. This morning she was having one of her usual freak-out romps and managed to pull the cable box down onto her head, after which she required lengthy consoling. She is becoming both increasingly wacky and increasingly snuggly, insisting on sleeping on me, a habit which I must break.


Eggs & Excrement At Jerusalem Pride

Jerusalem's Pride parade was this morning, where marchers encountered hundreds of Haredi, Israel's bizarre Ultra Othodox sect, who arrived with eggs and bags of human excrement to hurl. Just before the parade kicked off, police arrested a 32-year old man carrying a bomb which he said he'd planned to detonate near the parade to "scare people away." Two hundred Haredi were arrested by the 7000 police officers brought in from all over Israel to protect the marchers, who numbered only 1000. For the last week, the Heredi have been rioting in protest of Jerusalem Pride. Last year they succeeded in getting Jerusalem Pride cancelled entirely.

Remember your Israeli brothers and sisters when you enjoy Pride this weekend. The only thing being thrown here will be kisses. Count your blessings.

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