Issue 208: The Check It, Cucumber, Russell Tovey, Jussie Smollett, Shaun Ross, Diego Lauzen, Dirk Shafer, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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left & found

Why black history still hasn't paved the way for black transgender people.

Looking actor Russell Tovey has become the latest victim of the faux outrage of a Twitter storm, when a quote from a Guardian interview was taken out of context. Disappointingly, sites like Towleroad led with misleading headlines like "'I thank my dad' for not letting me become 'really effeminate'."

Feeling Russell Tovey: "Over the years, [Russell Tovey] crafted the man he wanted to be. We can debate the validity of the reasons why he did it, and yes, he absolutely could have expressed himself better on the topic. You don't always know how people are going to perceive your comments. Sometimes that perception is very different than what you intended. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt... I, for one, am willing to cut the guy some slack."

Why do so many gay men struggle with intimacy?

Lifestyles of the gay and not so famous. "This whole gay lifestyle thing sounds so decadent and hedonistic and sinful, like a two thousand calorie dessert and here I am gay and living my boring little life, paying my children's college bills, remaining faithfully married to my husband and taking out the trash. Clearly, I have missed out on the lifestyle I was entitled to."

A boy among men. "What happens when you throw a teenager into an adult prison? Guess." (Image)

Attica’s ghosts. "A savage beating, a culture beyond repair."

A male model’s journey to the edge and back. "How a pimply Canadian farmboy rose to conquer the runways of Paris and Milan, then fell into a downward spiral of days-long drug trips, perpetual partying and a very public breakdown."

Will we ever see Studio 54 again? "It might be true that the rich and infamous don’t dance like the high and crazy ’70s and ’80s. They’re still dancing, though cautiously as they wonder who’s watching them."

The fearless black cowboy of the wild, wild west. "From shootouts on horseback to hitchhiking toward a place called Dodge, if ever a life was tailor-made for the movies, it was that of the one-time slave known as Deadwood Dick."

news from america

Most Americans now support marriage equality.

Why did gay activist Kevin Hoover fake his own kidnapping on Facebook?

This is 16-year-old Ash Haffner, a transgender boy who committed suicide on Thursday after years of bullying.

Getting to know the real Matthew Shepard. "Shepard's father and the director of a new documentary talk about why it's important that we remember him."

Most LGBT people in San Francisco experience violence.

Thrive Youth Center, one of the nation's few homeless shelters specifically for LGBT youth, has opened in San Antonio.

California attorney files ballot measure calling for the execution of all gays.

Gordon Fox - Rhode Island’s first openly gay legislative leader - pleads guilty to charges of bribery, wire fraud, and filing a false tax return. He faces at least three years in prison.

Christian TV host claims he once convinced a man to renounce his homosexuality – by offering him baseball tickets.

Psychology Today magazine removes ads for ex-gay therapy.

Obama's new executive action protecting some immigrants from deportation does little for the LGBT community.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to boycott anti-gay St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The words of Walt Whitman are to adorn the New York City AIDS Memorial.

Watch Hollywood screenwriter and gay equality activist Dustin Lance Black's speech in favour marriage equality.

Brother from another mother. "Key and Peele try to make comedic sense of America’s confusions about race. Their secret? 'Really, there’s no actual strategy.'"

Read the full, shocking Department of Justice report on racism in the Ferguson PD.

Why the New York subway is getting worse.

news from europe

United Kingdom | Gay asylum seekers need our help.

England | PC Anthony Taylor, a 30-year-old married man with the Greater Manchester Police, has been sacked for having sex with another man while on duty after they met via gay social media app.

England | Transport for London criticised for "rainbow bus" ties to Stagecoach, whose founder Sir Brian Souter led a campaign to keep Section 28.

England | Labour’s Lord Cashman slams Tories for ruling out an LGBT rights envoy.

England | Ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor denies rent-boy ring allegations.

England | Opposition leader Ed Miliband vows Labour will bring in "Turing's Law" to pardon convicted gay men.

England | This is 27-year-old Kyle Casson. He is using his mother as a surrogate to have a baby.

England | Meet 20-year-old Nathan Thursfield. He has spent over £40,000 on cosmetic surgery to make himself look like his idol Katie Price.

England | LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow secures government funding.

England | "They need a humour injection," long-time east Londoners say of Hackney hipsters. "The unfiltered voices of long-time Hackney locals are notably absent amid endless articles on the area’s latest gastropub or gelateria. Rosie Spinks’ Three Course Story project set out to redress the balance."

England | The gates close for the last time on Tottenham Court Road Tube station's old entrance. The station is a key gateway to one of London's gay quarters, Soho.

England | The ghost Tesco stores.

Latvia | A group of "no-homo" activists is trying to kill off EuroPride 2015, due to be held in Riga.

Slovenia has become the first central European country to legalise marriage equality.

Kygyzstan | How to protest the Russia-style anti-gay bill.

news from africa

Uganda | Nine gay youth are on the run after being chased by a mob. Does anyone care?

Uganda | The Anti-Homosexuality Act is back on the table - but things are different this time.

Kenya | Two men charged in alleged gay porn ring.

Kenya | George Gachara, the filmmaker who made banned gay documentary Stories of Our Lives, will not go to prison after all.

Morocco | Two men jailed for gay sex.

Tanzania | Thirty-two witchdoctors arrested as part of efforts to halt the killings of albinos.

The killers of Swaziland. "Some fifteen years ago in this African kingdom, two serial killers were hard at work. Just one of them was human."

news from
the middle east

Egypt | Seven arrested for gay sex.

Syria | More pictures emerge of another gay man thrown to his death by ISIS.

How to take action against the Islamic State terror campaign targeting the LGBT community.

news from asia

Thailand | Meet Joke, Bell and Art. The three men have become the world's first three-way same-sex marriage.

Japan | The education ministry issues a document to schools requiring educational institutions to give attention and support to LGBT students.

Australia | 23-year-old Corey Draper used Grindr to rob gay men. He's now been jailed for at least 17 months.

Australia | Biggest crowds in years turn out to watch the 2015 Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

art & design

Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art's secret gay art collection.

Photographer Magnus Arrevad's pictures of male burlesque performers from around the world.

Photographer Randy R. Potts' pictures of the gay bars Of conservative West Texas.

Photojournalist Hasse Persson's photos from inside Studio 54.

Hans Haacke’s Gift Horse : The subversive sculpture on the fourth plinth is a dark horse. In pictures.

Designs for a new bridge across London's River Thames unveiled.


Five works by Langston Hughes everyone should know.

Review | James Baldwin: The Last Interview and Other Conversations, by James Baldwin. "The greatest contribution of this volume of interviews may in fact not be any of the actual conversations recorded in its pages. Rather, it may be the way that Troupe’s highly descriptive introduction invites us into the most private space of all: the house where Baldwin, one of the most important writers of the twentieth century, lived his final days."

John R. Gordon's writer's diary: Some weasel words to watch.

How The New York Times gets made in 2015.

Are health and fitness magazines for men only for straight people?

shouting in the night

Marcus Collins pulls out of new UK Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat just hours before his first performance on opening night, and announces split from boyfriend Robin Windsor.

Talking to Beautiful Thing director Nikolai Foster.

Review | Gods and Monsters. "Excellent; well paced, dark, sexy and tragic."

Review | Bathhouse: The Musical. "Balls to the wall camp. Don’t take your parents. Don’t take a first date. Do take a bunch of your best mates, drink responsibly and let Bathhouse touch your thigh in the nicest possible way."

at the movies

Meet The Check It, America's only documented all-gay gang, and the subject of a new film by Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor. They have spent three years documenting the group of approximately 200 African-American teens in Washington D.C., and are seeking help to complete their film.

BFI Flare - London's annual LGBT film festival - has announced 2015's line-up. Blackbird - the film starring Julian Walker and Mo'Nique, and based on the novel by Larry Duplechan - promises to be a highlight. As usual, KAOS will be in attendance. Check out my reviews from previous festivals.

Bollywood’s first gay franchise has remade classic romance movie posters - with a gay couple.

Watch a deleted scene from Back To The Future, in which Marty McFly worries that feeling up his mother will make him gay.

Some Hollywood extras suffer, but others are rolling in it. "It’s quite possible to make six figures standing around on a movie set – if you have a union card."

Review | Futuro Beach. "A film about displacement and identity, love and its costs. Its considerable satisfactions, though, come mainly from the way the story is told, which spells nothing out, and in fact is so reticent that the viewer is constantly drawn into the creation of meaning. This is a poetic approach, to be sure, but it is entirely nonchalant and unstudied; and it extends to the understated beauty of the visuals, where the contrast between the bright colors of Brazil and muted hues of Berlin is its own drama."

Review | Love Is Strange. "A slow burn of a movie with charm, wit and honesty to burn. It may take its time but it will leave an indelible mark on your soul with its honest depiction of the everyday nature of having a partner."

Review | The Way He Looks. "One of the best gay-themed teen romances ever, with a genuinely sweet story wrapped in the acting talent and directorial flare to take it above the ordinary."

Review | Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine. "It is wrenching but never exploitive. It is impressively skeptical of the same mission that it takes on its shoulders: to make something positive from a senseless crime without diminishing its senselessness. This film doesn't just revisit an atrocity, it moves through it, and finds meaning in it."

Looking back at Paris Is Burning, and its enduring legacy.

Watch A First Time For Everything, a short film from OvaDa Rainbow.

Dirk Shafer, who wrote, directed and starred in the 1995 mockumentary Man of the Year, is dead. He was 46. Shafer was Playgirl's 1992 "Man of the Year" - and then he came out as gay, the subject he parodied in Man of the Year.

Dirk Shafer tributes: Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack tweeted, “Lost a good man today. #DirkShafer dear pal and awesome trainer for 17 years. Sending love to his family and so many friends. Be at peace, D.” Noah's Arc's Wilson Cruz wrote, “I just hugged you a few days ago and you looked so happy and well. I’ll miss your face, your energy, and your positive spirit. Thank you for all of your encouragement and the laughs, sweet man. I’ll never forget it or you.” And Queer As Folk’s Peter Paige said: “Just wrecked. Loved Dirk. A good, kind man with a smile and a hug for everyone. RIP, my friend.” Peter Marc Jacobson, who is the co-creator of The Nanny and Fran Drescher’s ex-husband, described Dirk as “a kind wonderful talented man.”

Albert Maysles, the filmmaker, is dead. He was 88. Maysles is best remembered for his documentary Grey Gardens (1975).

the box

Is your favourite TV show queerbaiting you?

Is Thomas Roberts being groomed as America's first openly gay network news anchor?

Help fund Coffee House Chronicles, a web series from Writer-director Stewart Wade (the man behind feature films like Coffee Date and Such Good People) which "explores the ways that gay, bi, and transgender people connect in today’s world."

Empire actor Jussie Smollett declines to comment on his sexuality after co-star Malik Yoba outs him as gay. Rumour has it Smollett is currently seeing The Read guest co-host, actor and YouTube personality Dustin Ross, above.

Empire's Jussie Smollett was adorable in The Mighty Ducks.

Empire continues to surge ahead in the ratings. Above, Bryshere Grey.

Brian Grazer on the Empire phenomenon: "We’re all just shocked by it."

Thirty-five things you didn’t know about Girls.

The pop culture phenomenon that is RuPaul's Drag Race, explained.

Paul Narita (actor Christopher Sean) comes out in Japanese on Days of Our Lives.

The Bold and the Beautiful returns to UK with new YouTube channel.

Gays of our lives: A round-up of everything gay in soap.

EastEnders to introduce first transgender character.

The Fosters features same-sex kiss between two 13-year-old boys.

Teen Wolf to introduce two new gay characters.

Will Lost In Space ever get its props? "[This] vision of a totally ill-prepared family blasting into space with a demented egomaniac along for the ride is intrinsically subversive, when compared to more militaristic (or professionalized) views of space exploration. Basically, Lost in Space is the apotheosis of camp — and it's a gloriously weird vision of our future among the stars."

The networks are giving more play to minority actors this pilot season.

Judge Judy Sheindlin has extended her contract with CBS to host Judge Judy through the 2019-20 season.

Review | CSI: Cyber. "This feels like a particularly tired exercise... there are some talented people here cast adrift in an utterly tired setting, of which little positive can be said."

Don't miss the latest episodes of Finding Me the Series and Triangle; and check out the teaser for the return of Real Eyes Realize Real Lies...

Comedian and country singer Trevor Moore sings about what happened when the gays got married.

Reality TV fodder Austin Armacost gets naked for Attitude magazine.

Daniel von Bargen, the actor best known for his role as George’s lazy boss Mr. Kruger on Seinfeld, is dead. He was 64.

Barry Newbery, the veteran Doctor Who designer, is dead. He was 88.

beats, rhymes & life

Listen to what gets lost when an MP3 is made.

Lady Gaga's bodyguard chokes a fan.

How bungled tax bills and unlucky investments left the Blue boys bankrupt.

Talking to Simon Webbe about the new Blue album Colours.

Talking to Tokio Hotel frontman Bill Kaulitz.

Talking to Perfume Genius about singing scary songs for homosexuals.

Talking to Cazwell about hot guys, groupies, and his new underwear line.

Check out openly gay Matt Palmer's new seven track EP Stranger Than Fiction.

Don't miss Cakes Da Killa's new five track EP, #IMF.

Shamir to release his debut album, Ratchet, in May on XL Recordings.

Freaky Boiz looking as cute as ever.

Videos | Tokio Hotel - Love Who Loves You Back; Geo Louis - Him; Blue - King of the World; and Black Gatsby - In the Dark...


David McIntosh flaunts it in Miami.

KAOS obsession Diego Lauzen is now in a threeway relationship with husband Wagner Vittoria and Jonathan Best.

Talking about the death of porn stores with Karen Mason, owner of L.A.’s Circus of Books.

Randy Blue has become the latest studio to go bareback.

Talking to Armond Rizzo about taking his first 12-inch dick, and his dark days in the military.

Here’s what happened when I tried to hire Mick Lovell from pimp David Forest.

The worst set in the entire history of gay porn won't die!


The Gay Games and Outgames may merge in 2022.

Michael Sam says closeted gay players in NFL "want to protect their livelihood."

How gay baseball player Glenn Burke made Bryant Gumbel nervous.

Sierra Leone's top sprinter Jimmy Thoronka living homeless and hungry in London.

God, I miss that boy. "A Bay Area community mourns the tragic killing of high school basketball player Rodney Frazier Jr."

Sleepless nights and homesick hearts in the NBA. "Behind the multimillion-dollar contracts and game-time glory, four basketball pros open up about the private pitfalls of living out every kid’s playground fantasy."

st. elsewhere

The troubled history of the foreskin. "Common in the US, rare in Europe and now championed in Africa, male circumcision is hotly debated. Are the gains are worth the loss?"

Why testosterone is the drug of the future.

Boffins have identified the origins of two elusive HIV strains, shedding light on the virus' evolution.

Study shows no HIV transmissions between serodiscordant couples.

Could cannabis treat HIV?

Study: The typical erect penis is 5.1 inches.

ghetto romance

No sex, with strings attached. "A growing number of adults openly avow no interest in sexual contact. What happens when one of them falls for someone who wants to get laid?"

Zachary Quinto is not a huge fanatic of marriage, gay or straight.

Guys and plastic dolls. "A trio of unabashed “idollators” loudly and proudly share their love of silicone women with the world."

Why do Indian tops think they are better than bottoms?

Shaun Ross has a boyfriend!

hell's kitchen

McDonald's to ban chicken treated with human antibiotics...

...Why McDonald's new policy to cut the use of antibiotics in its chicken doesn't go far enough.

The company man. "Don Thompson was one of the most powerful executives in the nation. Now he’s cleaning out his desk. The remarkable rise and fall of McDonald’s CEO."

Fruits and vegetables poison more Americans than beef and chicken.

Nineteen common foods that will kill you.


Australia's secret koala cull - and why it's a good thing.

Weasel photographed riding on a woodpecker's back.

Animal pictures of the week. Above, "cats crowd the harbour on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one."

planet earth

America is at risk of a mega-drought future.

El Niño has arrived. Will it help make 2015 the hottest year on record?

Heart of Earth's inner core revealed.

"Fairy control" introduced to halt tiny doors in Somerset woods.

inside the spaceship

Facebook rolls out feature for users when they die.

Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links.

How to get a job at Facebook.

Why Samsung is warning customers about discussing personal information in front of their smart television set.

Ikea furniture will soon charge your phone wirelessly.

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

And finally, is Rogue "Marbie Scott" black enough? Plus, Andrew's strange fetishes; how homophobia sounds to normal people; and gay animal slang!

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Issue 208: 01 February - 07 March 2015
On the cover: The Check It.





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