Issue 193: Brontez Purnell, Frank Ocean, Ken Dahl, Diego Lauzen, Shrien Dewani, hazing, sex slaves, voodoo, Twin Peaks, and more...


the week's
news
& pop
culture,
with a
gay
bias.


| ponder on this |

Five things gay men should stop doing now.

They died in the closet.

Where getting married can get a same-sex couple fired.

Thirty-seven percent of Americans say homosexuality is wrong. What about the rest of the world?

Eleven ways race isn't real.

The problem with Raven-Symoné picking and choosing her identity.

Our bullying corporations are the new enemy within. "The demands of business dominate our politicians and embed inequality. It’s a full-blown assault on democracy."


Oil prices are plummeting. Here's why that's a big deal.

The plane that fell from the sky. Buzz Bissinger 1981 article about the story of TWA Flight 841.

| america |

"Four would hold him down, two would stand guard... the seventh penetrated him". Details emerge of the football team hazing ritual at New Jersey's Sayreville War Memorial High School.

Three Hungarian men who lured three young gay men to work as "sex slaves" for up to twenty hours a day in New York and Miami face human trafficking charges. Above left, ringleaders Viktor Berki, and Andras Janos Vass.

It's game over for gay marriage opponents. These dodos need to find a new obsession. "There will soon be 30 US states with full marriage equality. Time to stop worrying whether or not nice lesbians get to hold the hand of their dying life partners."

African Americans say businesses should not be allowed to deny services to same-sex couples who are getting married, despite most still opposing marriage equality.

State Senator Kelvin Atkinson (above, right) marries boyfriend Sherwood Howard in Nevada.


Gay Ohio teen Cooper Robar crowned homecoming queen.

Cyndi Lauper supports True Colors shelter for homeless gay youth in the Bronx.

Gay-friendly retirement homes in Philadelphia hailed as "national model".

Seven gay heroes honoured with plaques in Chicago's Legacy Walk.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has granted gay Ugandan activist Nikilas Mawanda asylum.

Texas news station tweets out gay porn instead of the traffic report.

Joseph Nicholson, the pioneering gay journalist, is dead. He was 71. "Nicholson, often cited as the first openly gay reporter at a big-city daily, covered high-profile court cases, international affairs, and gay and AIDS issues".

This is 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr.. He is the latest black teenager to be shot dead by a police officer.

Michael Brown jury: Putting a value on a black life in the United States.


Black teens are twenty-one times more likely to be shot by cops than white teens.

So, how do we stop cops beating and killing?


In America, voters don't pick their politicians. Politicians pick their voters.

Detroit, with a forty percent poverty rate, is now shutting off water to residents who can’t pay their bill.

H.L. Mencken on the 1904 Baltimore Fire. "As the city editor of the Baltimore Herald, Mencken directed coverage of the 1904 fire that destroyed the city’s downtown. His account is almost as epic as the fire itself."

A brief history of Louisiana voodoo.

| europe |

United Kingdom: HIV diagnoses among gay men hit record high, despite overall decline.

United Kingdom: Middle class Britons "sixty percent more likely" to identify as gay.

United Kingdom: "Revenge porn" - like sharing naked photos of your ex online - could lead to fourteen years in jail.

United Kingdom: The Church of England’s marriage equality split is as entrenched as ever.

United Kingdom: Two rootless, soulless parties have cleared the way for UKIP. "British politics has become a careerists’ playground, creating disillusionment that charlatans can exploit."

United Kingdom: Rightwing UKIP leader Nigel Farage calls for migrants with HIV to be banned from the UK.


England: Gay activists protest British preacher Paul Shinners who backed Ugandan's anti-gay legislation.

England: Police in Sean Rigg death in custody case get away with murder.

England: The iconic gay pub Royal Vauxhall Tavern - one of London's oldest - has been sold.

England: An in depth look at London's new Tube train. (Don't get too excited, it's not due until 2022.)

England: London university disbands anti-gay rugby club.

Ireland: Poll suggests landslide victory in upcoming marriage equality referendum.

Europe’s sea of death for migrants is a result of war and escalating inequality.

Denmark: Lego ends partnership with Shell after greenpeace video goes viral.

France: Hundreds of thousands rally against gay equality in Paris, Bordeaux.

Italy: Several mayors to defy Interior Minister’s block on overseas same-sex marriages.

Montenegro's second ever Pride to be held in secret, after sixty people were injured at last year's march.

| latin america |

Jamaica: Ninety-one percent of Jamaicans want to keep the country's anti-gay laws.

Mexico's drug war is killing children.

Chile: The Senate votes in favour of legalising same sex unions throughout the entire country.

| africa |

Nigeria: Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama says the country’s government is “wrong” to be “punishing” gay Nigerians.

Chad: Amnesty International calls upon the President Idriss Deby to scrap an anti-gay bill that is currently passing through parliament.

South Africa: Soweto Pride, in pictures. More here.

South Africa: Shrien Dewani admits bisexuality and visiting male prostitutes as he denies killing wife.

South Africa: Is Shrien Dewani, or being bisexual, on trial?

South Africa: Dewani's millionaire lifestyle detailed as murder trial begins.

South Africa: Inside the whites-only town of Orania.

| asia |

India: 18-year-old shoots dead his boyfriend, after the boyfriend shoots the accused's mother.

Philippines: The mayor of Quezon City, Herbert Bautista, backs marriage equality.

North Korea: In pictures.

Taiwan: Thousands protest for marriage equality in Taipei.

Cambodia: This is Zaha Hadid's design for a wooden building for Cambodian genocide researchers.

Australia: An apology from Australia to the rest of the world is now warranted. "It almost feels as if the Enlightenment never reached our shores – and climate policy is but one victim of the malaise."

| art & design |

Dries Verhoeven - the artist who publicly projected Grindr chats "for art" - has ended his exhibition early following complaints and a protest.

If great architecture belongs to humanity, do we have a responsibility to save it in wartimes?

| word! |

Talking to Brontez Purnell about his new book The Cruising Diaries, silencing the critics, and the joys of writing about sex.

Book review: Nora Webster, by Colm Tóibín. An "astonishingly beautiful new novel."

Book review: Wilde in America: Oscar Wilde and the Invention of Modern Celebrity, by David M. Friedman.

Artist Evan Dahm has illustrated a new edition of L. Frank Baum's classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Why Americans and Brits spell words differently.

| shouting in the night |

Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical to open in San Francisco, before returning to New York.

Off-Broadway drag musical Pageant to close early.

| at the movies |

A closer, gayer look at Oscar's foreign film race.

Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Idris Elba has posted a video of his sweaty, shirtless workout for his next film, Bastille Day. God bless you, Idris.

And here's some pictures of Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, and Adam Rodriguez on the set of Magic Mike XXL. You're welcome.



DVD review: Boys. "A genuinely sweet and moving film, with some great cinematography and moments that are genuinely poignant and surprisingly smart."

Geoffrey Holder, the actor perhaps best known for his role as Baron Samedi in Live and Let Die, is dead. He was 84.

Watch the trailer for T.S. Slaughter's The Gays.

| the box |

Three times TV made it easier for gay people across America to come out.


The quirky allure of Twin Peaks: A digressive consideration of the popular new show, from 1990.

Twin Peaks: Should it have stayed wrapped in plastic?

The Affair is the best new show this autumn.

7th Heaven star Stephen Collins confesses on tape to being a child molester.

Freddie Smith, who plays gay character Sonny Kiriakis on NBC's daytime soap Days of Our Lives, injured in car accident.

The Only Way Is Essex's Charlie King comes out as gay live on TV.

Of course, fellow TOWIE gay Bobby Cole Norris has claimed he “always knew” that King was gay.

Graham Norton talks about his love for alcohol.

The Christian Institute has condemned a gay vicar storyline on Coronation Street as "detached from reality".

When will Looking's Russell Tovey go full frontal?

Behind-the-scenes of Looking season two, in pictures.

The underpaid grunts of TV talk show land. "The smiling, screaming audience on your favorite daytime show might not be so ecstatic after all."

Watch the first episode of Go-Go Boy Interrupted; and Ellen's DJ, dancer and former So You Think You Can Dance contestant Stephen "tWitch" Boss undergo a full body wax live.

DVD review: Batman – The Complete TV series. "Make no mistake: this 60s cult classic is one of the most enjoyable TV shows of all time. KERPOW! Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo sock their way through Day-Glo fistfights with the wackiest collection of polyester-clad villains ever."

T.V. review: Doctor Who - Mummy on the Orient Express. "An old-school monster story manages to feel amazingly fresh."

Some idiot has gone and put the crap music from new Doctor Who onto the original series.

Ten T.V. shows that are really creepy if you think about them too much.

| beats, rhymes & life |

Want a free, sixty-six track Frank Ocean mixtape? The Lonny Breaux Collection is waiting for you.


Exploring Ken Dahl.


Videos: Ken Dahl - Sweat; New York based singer/songwriter Nick Deutsch chronicles the heartbreak he felt in the aftermath of a breakup with his boyfriend in new video Run; Matt Zarley - I Just Knew; drag diva group Atlanta's Royals cover Bang Bang; and Daniel Franzese struggles to get rid of last night's hook-up.

| sex |

I was a male escort for six months. This is my story.

Goggle joyfully at David McIntosh's leaked, full frontal nudes. They don't disappoint.

More behind-the-scenes pictures from that spectacular threesome starring boyfriends Diego Lauzen and Wagner Vittoria, with bodybuilder Flex. Guess what? The aftershow chill out turned into an orgy with boss Tim.

It's hard to quantify just how beautiful Ken Ott is in the otherwise lamentable GayHoopla. Snap him up please, Randy Blue! More pictures here.

| betta work! |

Robots really are coming for your job, and there's nothing you can do about it. "The US supreme court ruled that corporations are people. And now the corporations want to replace people with robots. Guess who wins."


| body, mind & soul |



Ebola: The nightmare scenario that keeps scientists up at night.

Ebola: There is a simple lesson in this outbreak, and we need to learn it.

Boffins have, for the first time, grown a human penis in a lab.

The latex nappy that aims to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

The legalisation of marijuana could reduce alcoholism.

Is hoping to die at 75 a bad idea?

The gay men "saving themselves" for marriage.


Are lace front beards a new trend for men?

| hell's kitchen |

2015's oncoming coffee crisis.

Why are lattes associated with liberals?

Dunkin’ Donuts is back in the UK. But is it filling the hole?

Supermarkets aren’t dying, and that’s a good thing...

...On the other hand, the supermarkets’ business model "is as broken as that of banking". They're on the way out.

Why eating well is too expensive for many of us.

| zoo |

Gay flamingos adopt chick after it was abandoned by its parents.

Chickens have gotten ridiculously large since the 1950s.


| planet earth |

Earth from space, as seen by astronaut Alex Gerst. In pictures.

Our planet is warming faster than we realised.

| inside the spaceship |

A community application to buy the new .gay domain name has failed, meaning "any legitimate use of the name by individuals, businesses, and organizations associated with the LGBTQ community will likely be drowned in a sea of sex".

The amazing progress of LEDs, in one chart.


What your phone’s battery life before you finally charge it says about you.

Exaggeration is the official language of the internet. "The digital ecosystem that gave rise to click-bait headlines is working its magic on the rest of us. Something about the way the online world has coagulated around social networks that subconsciously convert everyday conversation into a form of entertainment – with a follower count providing a running score – is turning us into click-bait people. Perform, entertain, exaggerate. All oversteer and oversell, all the time."

Dangerous new crimes are emerging with technology, but we can prevent them.

| and whilst you're thinking about that, think about this... |

Nine questions about Comic Con you were too embarrassed to ask.

Everything gay at New York Comic Con...

...And New York Comic Con, in pictures.

Thirteen depressingly accurate signs of the times.

And finally, Rogue "Marbie" Scott discusses his forthcoming literary debut; Jacob talks to "young pretty boy" Rion; Andrew talks Grindr; and Qaadir is let down by a drag queen...

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