Issue 227: Eric Sambisa, DeRay Mckesson, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Tom Daley, Derrick Gordon, Colton Haynes, Odell Beckham Jr., and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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left & found

An open letter to the privileged gays of the world for 2016...

...And resolutions all gay men should consider.

On redefining what it means to be a gay black man.

Bisexuality is on the rise...

...and so is polyamory - at least, in the US.

On the thirty-nine Commonwealth countries that still have anti-gay laws on their books.

Whatever happened to the metrosexual man?

news - america

26-year-old Andras Janos Vass has been sentenced to eleven years in prison for operating a sex slave ring out of New York City and Miami. All of the victims were gay Hungarian men.

This is 30-year-old Joshua Adam Sisson. He was shot dead by San Diego police following a domestic dispute, during which he allegedly held a large kitchen knife to his boyfriend's throat. He is also the third person to be shot dead by Officer Richard Butera in as many years.

This is 41-year-old Michael D. Smith. He was convicted on hate crime charges after threatening to “shoot up” his gym if it didn’t get rid of gay members - he also charged at a man on a treadmill who he thought might be gay.

On the physical and psychological isolation of Palm Springs' HIV-positive retirees.

On DeRay Mckesson. "After a year spent in the eye of a storm of protests across America, the activist talks about the new civil-rights movement he helped launch, the conspiracy theories he’s inspired, and that blue vest."

Anti-gay Scott lively is on trial for crimes against humanity - and he's begging for cash.

Why Donald Trump's new campaign ad should terrify you. "This should be a wake-up call: racism, bigotry and sexism are alive and well, and Trump could get elected by stoking that hate. We better start taking him seriously."

Stanford University announces "boot camp" for gay business leaders.

There were only fourteen days in all of 2015 when police didn't kill anyone.

Insane. Invisible. In danger. "How $100 million in cuts created chaos in Florida’s mental hospitals."

Life and death in a troubled teen boot camp. "A tragic accident exposes the dangers of an out-of-control billion-dollar industry."

The life and times of Strider Wolf. "When he was 2, Strider was severely beaten by his mother’s boyfriend. Today, at 6, Strider lives with his grandparents in rural Maine, in and out of poverty, trying to make it."

When a kid kills his longtime abuser, who's the victim?

How do you forgive a murderer? "On the night of June 17 2015, a gunman opened fire in a church basement in Charleston. Nine people died. Five survived. Survivors and families tell their stories of faith and forgiveness."

Satan in Poughkeepsie. "In 1966, Anton LaVey introduced the world to the Church of Satan. The 1980s saw a 'Satanic Panic' in the form of abuse charges brought against child-care workers and suburban parents. Today, the author joins a group of Satanists for afternoon tea at the church’s global headquarters in a 'bland New York college town.'"

The college romance that led to murder. "Thirty years ago, Elizabeth Haysom and Jens Soering fell in love as freshman at the University of Virginia. It was the same year Haysom’s parents were brutally murdered. Each says the other committed the crime."

An IM infatuation turns to romance. Then the truth came out. "He was an 18 year old Marine bound for Iraq. She was a high school senior in West Virginia. They grew intimate over IM. His dad also started contacting her. No one was who they claimed to be and it led to a murder."

American horror story: The Cecil Hotel. "She was a Canadian student whose travels brought her to the cheap hotel on Skid Row. The only clue in her disappearance was a strange elevator video in which she peeks and then gestures with her hands down an unseen hallway."

The deputy who disappeared. "Jon Aujay went for a desert run in 1998 and never returned. A member of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, he seemed to have evaporated into the hot blue sky. Theories, suspicions, hunches—they’ve all been far more plentiful than actual clues in the search to discover his fate."

New York's faded playground: can Coney Island recapture lost glories? "Coney Island has long struggled to beat the seasonal exodus and reinvent itself as a year-round resort. Could the unexpected popularity of its New Year’s Eve parties kickstart the transformation of one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods?"

The saving of Stuy Town: has corporate greed in New York been dealt a blow? "The near-mythical Stuyvesant Town apartment complex was once a haven for middle-income New Yorkers, until corporate landlords hiked up the rent. A new deal pledges to stop the bleeding – but is it too late for Manhattan’s middle class?"

Art in the time of gentrification: Can NYC's culture be saved from its economy?

Out from under. "One family fights to win their house back in the Wayne County foreclosure auction after being scammed by a sub-subprime entrepreneur."

How to destroy an American family. "The Straters’ lives have been devastated by relentless cyberattacks. And there’s nothing they can do about it."

How the gun control debate ignores black lives.

Watch | President Obama's emotional gun reform announcement...

news - uk

LGBT equality activist Phyll Opoku-Gyimah - founder of UK Black Pride and a trustee of Stonewall - has turned down an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), the award for public service, contributions to the arts and sciences, and work and with charitable and welfare organizations. She said, “I don’t believe in empire. I don’t believe in, and actively resist, colonialism and its toxic and enduring legacy in the Commonwealth, where — among many other injustices — LGBTQI people are still being persecuted, tortured and even killed because of sodomy laws, including in Ghana, where I am from, that were put in place by British imperialists.”

Gay man defends drag queen from homophobic abuse on the London Underground.

Do we not bleed? Inside the Stephen Lawrence trial. "The murder of a black teenager by a gang of white youths in 1993 was the case that sickened a nation, exposed the racism at the heart of a British institution and shaped the future of the legal system. But it took nearly 20 years and a tiny speck of forensic evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice in the criminal trial of the decade."

Northern Ireland | Labour's homophobic election ad.

Northern Ireland | Will Belfast ever have a Berlin Wall moment and tear down its 'peace walls'? "Permanent walls were built to separate Catholic and Protestant districts of Belfast in the 1970s, and the city is still scarred by almost 100 of them. Defensive architecture, it turns out, is easier to build than tear down."

news - europe

Russia | It's now legal to steal a gay bar in Putin's Russia.

Italy | Pope Francis has expand on his remarks about LGBT people: "God loves all his creatures."

Italy | Rome won't be rebuilt in a day: the challenge of city centre restoration. "The Italian capital has a logistical nightmare: juggling ambitious restoration projects at the Colosseum and the Porta Maggiore basilica with trying to run and update the city – and all without a mayor. Can it cope?"

news - latin america

Guyana | Is President David Granger in favour of decriminalising homosexuality? “I am prepared to respect the rights of any adult to indulge in any practice which is not harmful to others,” he says.

The war on drugs is literally killing Mexico.

news - africa

South Africa | Why students have turned on their parents’ generation. "When a black South African student threw a bucket of excrement over a statue of Cecil Rhodes, it kicked off a protest movement that is shattering the way the country sees its past."

Tunisia | Six male students sentenced to three years in prison for homosexuality - and subsequently released whilst they appeal - have spoken out about their treatment during their ordeal. “I refused to be subjected to an anal test in the doctor’s office,” one 19-year-old said, “so I was badly beaten and was tortured physically and mentally. Finally I agreed [to having the anal test].”

Malawi | This is 26-year-old Eric Sambisa. After coming out on New Year's Day, he demanded the government either kill LGBT people or grant them full equality...

Nigeria | Reported human rights violations affecting the LGBT community surged sixty-four percent in 2015, compared to 2014.

Nigeria | One young gay man's story of attempts by priests and witch doctors to "cure" him.

Comoros | The bizarre scheme to transform a remote island into the new Dubai. "In recent years, the market for passports and citizenship has become massive. One of the poorest nations in the world tried to cash in. Was this an ingenious way to raise money or simply a case of a country selling its soul?"

news - middle-east

Syria | 15-year-old boy thrown to his death by ISIS for being gay.

news - asia

Fiji | Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama wants gay couples to move to Finland.

art + design

Tear Sheets, a new exhibition by artist Pacifico Silano at The Camera Club of New York.

On Just Me and Allah: A Queer Muslim Photo Project.

A team of architects want to reconstruct the Colossus of Rhodes, one Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

London, a pilgrimage: Gustave Doré's historic visions of the capital city. "In 1869, French artist Gustave Doré began an extraordinary collaboration with the British journalist Blanchard Jerrold. Together, over four years, they produced a landmark account of the deprivation and squalor of mid-Victorian London."


The AIDS Activist Project: Portraits & Stories, 1989–1998, a new photography book by Bill Bytsura documenting the people behind the AIDS activist movement.

Why ebook authors may be an endangered species.

Why ESPN is shutting down Grantland, the longform sports journalism site.

On the rag, a weekly look at the free gay 'zines. Friday 1st here, and Friday 8th here.

shouting at night

Talking to artist Felix Bernstein about Bieber Bathos Elegy, his new musical at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

When 8-year-old Ethan fulfilled his dream of becoming a drag queen.

Watch | Kemal Jewel's The Vogue Ball Tango...

picture house

On VIVA: An Irish director, Cuban drag queens, and the Oscars short list.

Finn and Poe's romance "not canon", actor John Boyega says, breaking gay fans' hearts everywhere.

The secret history of 2015's best gay movies.

Behind the scenes of the controversial Stonewall film.

Film vs. digital: the most contentious debate in the film world, explained.

Hollywood Hunks Laid Bare: 1980s-1990s, in pictures.

Burt Reynolds isn't broke, but he's got a few regrets.

Review | 4th Man Out. "A sleeper delight... A thoroughly ingratiating, touchingly heartfelt comedy."

Watch | Get a taste of VIVA; Fair Haven; 4th Man Out; and Desert Migration; with these trailers...

the box

The problem with Colton Haynes not quite coming out.

Why American Horror Story: Hotel is a bloody gay mess.

Homophobia is not entertainment. Channel 5 should be ashamed. "Winston McKenzie’s comments should have disqualified him from Celebrity Big Brother. Instead, like Tyson Fury, he’s celebrated on television."

The end of Girls tells us a lot about how TV cancellations are changing.

Gays of our lives: The latest news from your favourite LGBT characters in soap.

Watch | New web-series The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo.

beats, rhymes & life

Why so many gay men are mourning Natalie Cole's death.

Da art of storytellin' (a prequel). "Memories of Outkast and Grandmas and black Southern love."

The Miseducation is overrated: A wakeup call to my teenage self.

The best hip-hop tracks of 2015.

The new Negro (October 1997). “Missy (Misdemeanor) Elliott, the twenty-five-year-old hip-hop performer who is energetically redefining the boundaries of rap music, is a singer, a songwriter, an arranger, a producer, and a talent scout. Six months ago, few people outside the music industry had heard of her; six months from now, it will be necessary to pretend that you’ve known about Missy Elliott for years.”

The desert blues. "In 2001, two unlikely friends created a music festival in Mali that drew the likes of Bono and Robert Plant. Then radical Islam tore them apart."

The key's to Enya's kingdom. On "Enya-nomics".


Why did Derrick Gordon make history and then suddenly shun the spotlight? "What happened after the first openly gay player in Division I men’s basketball came out."

The curious case of Odell Beckham Jr. and some gay slurs.

Odell Beckham Jr. and the dangers of heteronormativity in the NFL.

The Samoan pipeline. "How does a tiny island, 5,000 miles from the U.S. mainland, produce so many professional football players?"

American football is too dangerous, and it should be abolished.

Still life. On October 17, 1973, John McClamrock was paralyzed playing high school football. Doctors doubted he would make it through the night. But he and his mother refused to give up—for more than three decades.

Watch | In the gym with Harry Aikines-Areety...

red light district

Mario Romo (aka Sean Cody’s Francisco) has been charged with murdering his wealthy lover, Texas retiree Jake Clyde Merendino.

Jared Louis Velazquez (aka Next Door Ebony's Tyce Jax) has been arrested for beating, choking and biting his boyfriend during a late-night brawl.

Former “gay for pay” model Bryan Silva arrested after stand-off with police in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Titan Men to release Cauke for President, a parody treatment for former Congressman Aaron Schock.

Jasper Robinson, the porn actor known for his work with the likes of Helix Studios and CockyBoys, is dead. He was 21.

Dimitri Kane, the porn actor known for his work with Next Door Studios and, is dead. He was 20.

Zac Stevens, the porn actor known for his work with Helix Studios and, is dead. He was 25.

ghetto romance

Open relationships and the "NSA" myth.

Military couple Christian and Shayne Alarid's dream Hawaii wedding.

DLB + TD forever.

Watch | Wicked dancer Josh Daniel Green gets a surprise curtain call proposal.

rag trade

Jaden Smith is the new face of Louis Vuitton womenswear.

Exploring the demise of skhothane, the controversial subculture destroyed by the media.

Knickers pedler Diesel gets sexy.

hell's kitchen

We need the truth about alcohol – it should be labelled, just like food.

Campbell’s Soup, the definitive canned food company in American history, is to start labelling genetically modified ingredients in their products.

The supermarkets' guilty secret about unsold food.

One day at Panda Express - or how a fast food joint does business.

A trip to Taiwan’s magic noodle mountain.

The best and worst nutritional advice from around the world.

médecins sans frontières

Sixteen HIV advocates to watch in 2016.

Straight outta time: Can a blockbuster help end a black HIV crisis?

PrEP "as safe as aspirin".

New drinking guidelines released by the UK’s chief medical officers warn there is no safe level of drinking.

The special, toxic relationship between gays and smoking.

Unless you're a heroin addict, you probably don't need to detox. Here's why.

Tom Daley advocates squeezing lemon juice all over his naked body and licking it off. (That's what I got from this video, anyway.)

betta work!

Women at work (April 1974). Interviews with a receptionist, a factory worker, and others about life on the job.

The cop at the end of the world. "Neale McShane’s jurisdiction in the Australian Outback is roughly the size of the United Kingdom. He patrols it alone."

Watch | On being gay and a cop: Dennis Rudder's story...

I own 50% of this company!

Barneys department store returns to its roots.

planes, trains & automobiles

Can airlines make money? "For decades, airlines failed to turn a profit despite having a monopoly on the sky. This year they’re expected to make billions. Here’s why."

If roads are gridlocked in rush hour, what happens when disaster strikes?

The art of the Stockholm metro, in pictures.

inside the spaceship

The fall of Microsoft, in one chart.

Twitter bans homophobic abuse.

The ten stages of gay Facebook friending.

User behaviour. "Websites and apps are designed for compulsion, even addiction. Should the net be regulated like drugs or casinos?"

There's a new invite only gay hook-up app...

...Oh, and that dating site for white people? It's racist, no matter how it's justified.

Terrifying: Apple has bought Emotient, a company whose technology can read facial expressions: “The company’s technology has primarily been used by advertisers, doctors, and retailers, though it’s not clear what Apple plans to do with it.”

With this "mirage of a marketplace", Uber is taking its customers for a ride. "Rather than just match buyers with sellers, the company’s opaque algorithm tampers with the rules of supply and demand."

The newcomers to the Periodic Table.

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

And finally, Walter on his favourite subject; Andrew asks, black and homophobic? The Baddie Twinz make New Year resolutions; and Qaadir...

See you kids next week - it's been emotional! Zee Jai

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Issue 227: 01-10 January 2016
On the cover: Floyd and Dean, pictured in The AIDS Activist Project: Portraits & Stories, 1989–1998, the new photography book by Bill Bytsura.



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"You know, we might just as well not have
bothered to come. The whole thing's been ridiculous."

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Hot guys said...

That "Gays of our lives" screenshot is EVERYTHING! ^_^

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