Issue 233: Josh Dixon, Mapplethorpe, Eric Underwood, Jeremy Meeks, RuPaul, Check It, Tony Warren, Yusaf Mack, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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Left & Found

The trouble with straight people coopting queer culture.

Why Steve Grand says haters target "young, good-looking, white" gay men.

Steve Grand is right — we do love to hate young, good-looking, white gay men. Because they're kinda the worst. "They sit unfairly at the top of a hierarchy within a minority, mindlessly exerting their influence while ignorant or indifferent to the world around them, the history before them, and the harm they cause."

To black men who’ve survived sexual assault: We must speak.

Half of all black gay men will get HIV in their lifetime.

Is the LGBT movement in chaos? "Lack of a singular vision for LGBT rights isn’t a cause for despair, especially when competing visions drive innovation."

How discrimination-related stress effects LGBT lives.

LGBT microaggressions that make our blood boil.

How gay men learned to stop worrying and love semen.

Can we compare the civil rights and LGBT movements?

Fifteen old-timey names for "gay".


This (above left) is 48-year-old Martin Blackwell, who police say poured boiling water on a sleeping gay couple, 23-year-old Anthony Gooden, and 21-year-old Marquez Tolbert. He is facing eighty years in jail.

Elliot Morales, standing trial for the 2013 hate crime murder of gay man Mark Carson in New York's West Village, has produced a former partner - who happens to be trans - to prove that Carson's murder wasn't a hate crime.

Meet Terrance "Terry" Williams. He is on death row for murdering his alleged rapist.

Transgender woman allegedly raped in Stonewall Inn bathroom.

Six AIDS activists arrested over State Capitol occupation.

Christopher Soto, the poet on a mission to end queer youth homelessness.

"Hot felon" (and one time KAOS THEORY cover star) Jeremy Meeks is a free man.

San Francisco Pride names Black Lives Matter as Grand Marshal.

Five things we learned from The Advocate cover story on DeRay Mckesson.

Why are more and more LGBTs moving to red states?

On dealing with LGBT Republicans.

How Nancy Reagan turned down Rock Hudson’s plea for help nine weeks before he died. "Rock Hudson was desperately trying to get treatment for AIDS in France in 1985. Much of that story has been told, but one part hasn’t: After a simple plea came in for White House help to get Hudson transferred to another hospital, First Lady Nancy Reagan turned down the request."

What do LGBT voters owe Hillary?

Virgina Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoes anti-gay "religious liberty" bill.

Oklahoma’s twenty-seven pieces of anti-LGBT legislation have all been quashed.

North Carolina lawmakers introduce, pass through two houses and get signed by the governor a bill striking down all existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances across the state. The whole process took a single day.

The New York Times and Facebook join the chorus of voices against North Carolina's House Bill 2, which targets transgender people and rescinds LGBT protections statewide. Dow Chemical, PayPal, and American Airlines think it sucks, too...

...And entertainment behemoth Lionsgate has canceled a TV shoot there over the new law. But Governor Pat McCrory thinks it's all "political correctness gone amok".

Disney, Marvel threaten to boycott Georgia over anti-gay bill.

How corporate boycotts have become a key weapon in the fight for LGBT equality.

Mississippi adoption ban struck down - but the state is also one vote and one signature away from enacting what may be the strictest anti-LGBT law yet.

"Religious freedom" laws are just hate, plain and simple.

Is the Deep South growing in its acceptance of LGBT equality?

Phoenix Pride, in pictures.

CANADA  Justin Trudeau posthumously pardons Everett George Klippert, who was jailed in the 1960s for being gay...

...But Trudeau still has a lot to prove on LGBT equality.


Marco Bulmer-Rizzi's husband David died in January, after falling during their Australian honeymoon. Then the airport tried to confiscate David's ashes.

NHS England shelves plans for PrEP.

So, why is the NHS abandoning it?

National Union of Students LGBT+ Officer Robbie Young blames “cis gay men” for increasing “misogyny, transphobia, racism and biphobia”...

...While Stonewall hits back, criticising the NUS for their loopy resolution to do away with gay men’s reps.

Who was Jean Charles de Menezes? "The European court of human rights will rule on whether Met officers should have faced charges over Brazilian’s death in 2005. Here’s his story."

London's under-threat council estates, in pictures.

Nang, dekko and dupa: How is immigration changing language in the uk?

SCOTLAND Overtoun Bridge: Why have so many dogs killed themselves from the top of this Scottish landmark?

NORTHERN IRELAND 15-year-old teenager (and son of a same sex couple) demands his local Member of the National Assembly, Gordan Dunn, explain why he voted against the Freedom To Marry Measure.


FRANCE  The former home of James Baldwin is facing demolition.

BELGIUM  Meet 22-year-old Abdellah Bijat, the first Muslim man to be a finalist in Mr. Gay Man Belgium.

GERMANY  Bullet holes discovered in the Berlin Museum of LGBT History.

JAMAICA  The challenges of running a queer homeless shelter.

JAMAICA  On Kingston, a city born of "wickedness" and disaster. "When the devastating earthquake of 1692 ripped through Port Royal, aka the ‘richest and wickedest city in the world’, a very different Caribbean capital rose up in its place. But could Kingston’s rigid grid plan impose order after the chaos?"

SEYCHELLES  Island nation preparing to drop anti-gay laws.

COLOMBIA  The Constitutional Court votes in favour of legal marriage equality.

UGANDA  On the consequences of the country's anti-gay legislation.

NIGERIA  On the murder of Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi, who was killed by youths over his perceived sexual orientation, and relationship with a local government councilor.

SENEGAL  Mob of students at Dakar's Cheikh Anta Diop University go on homophobic rampage, threaten alleged gay men with death.

BOTSWANA  LGBT advocacy group Legabibo wins appeal court decision ordering the government to grant it official recognition.

MOZAMBIQUE  How enduring discrimination leaves gay men untreated for HIV.

Ten struggles queer people in the East know all too well.

INDIA  On homophobia.

INDIA  On life as one of the country's officially recognised third gender.

CHINA  LGBT content banned from television.

JAPAN  My sensual journey into the $90 million fake anime boyfriend market.

JAPAN  Tsunami debris: Five remarkable stories.

NORTH SENTINEL ISLAND  The last island of the savages. "A voyage to North Sentinel island, home to one of the last entirely isolated populations on Earth."


58-year-old Tom Swann and 21-year-old Guillermo Hernandez have become the first gay couple to marry inside a federal immigration center.

Simon McNorton and Justin Johnson’s beautiful wedding.

WATCH Master Seaman Francis Legare kisses his partner Corey Vautour after returning from a tour on the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Winnipeg.

Why am I attracted to younger men?

Thirty-nine sex toys for curious boys...

...And thirty-six fetishes to get acquainted with.


Did the St. Louis Rams draft Michael Sam to dodge an appearance on a HBO TV show?

Michael Sam: "People have told me I’m not gay enough, people have told me I’m not black enough."

Derrick Gordon becomes the first openly gay player to play in the NCAA Tournament.

You won't believe how Nike lost Steph to Under Armour. “The pitch meeting kicked off with one Nike official accidentally addressing Stephen as 'Steph-on.' ... It got worse from there. A PowerPoint slide featured Kevin Durant's name, presumably left on by accident, presumably residue from repurposed materials.”

Eighteen things straight men only do in basketball.

INTERVIEW  Talking to out gymnast Josh Dixon. In pictures.


James Franco explains his "gay obsession". “When I was studying at NYU, I took classes in critical studies, and one of my favourites was on queer cinema. We’ve told the straight, heteronormative stories ad nauseam by now, in our movies, our shows, our commercials – everywhere. I think it’s healthy to make work that disrupts and questions that, and shows alternative narratives. That’s what an artist should do.”

In Hollywood, straight white dudes are kinda the worst.

Violent gay protests at the Oscars: Could it happen again?

The gay performances the Oscars forgot. Above, Antonio Fargas, in Next Stop, Greenwich Village.

Even in the '40s, Oscar night in Hollywood sucked. "Show business has always been a little overnoisy, overdressed, overbrash. Actors are threatened people. Before films came along to make them rich they often had need of a desperate gaiety. Some of these qualities prolonged beyond a strict necessity have passed into the Hollywood mores and produced that very exhausting thing, the Hollywood manner,which is a chronic case of spurious excitement over absolutely nothing. Nevertheless, and for once in a lifetime, I have to admit that Academy Awards night is a good show and quite funny in spots, although I'll admire you if you can laugh at all of it." (March 1948)

Weekend achieves belated success in Italy, despite condemnation from the Roman Catholic Church.

Michael B. Jordan "gay picture" sparks outpouring of vitriol.

INTERVIEW  Talking to filmmaker Kevin Rios about being queer, Cuban, and his biographical film Made Of Sugar.

On RainBRO, the queer high school flick seeking funding.

Beloved movies reimagined with gay characters.

We’ve hit peak lens flare. Here’s how it started.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Nineteen things that don't make sense in this nonsensical movie.

WATCH  Check It (trailer). The documentary premiers at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

WATCH  Take Me to the River (trailer); Seek McCartney, the trailer for China’s first gay-themed commercial film;

How Meryl Streep battled Dustin Hoffman, retooled her role, and won her first Oscar. "At 29, Meryl Streep was grieving for a dead lover, falling for her future husband, and starting work on Kramer vs. Kramer, the movie that would make her a star and sweep the 1980 Oscars."

River, with love and anger. "Somehow, River Phoenix’s reluctance to be a star only made him more famous. When he died outside an LA club in 1993, it only cemented his troubled legend." (March 1994)

Ricky Gervais, David Brent and the destruction of a comedy legacy.


Logo announces Gay For Play, a brand new game show created and hosted by RuPaul.

INTERVIEW Talking to RuPaul. "The drag supermodel of the world on how straight people steal from gay culture, meeting David Bowie, and why educating the youth is a waste of time."

On the new web series Dorian Gray.

INTERVIEW Talking to RuPaul's Drag Race's Dax ExclamationPoint and Laila McQueen after they sashayed away.

WATCH The scrumptious Kingsley reflects on the departures of Dax ExclamationPoint and Laila McQueen.

RuPaul's Drag Race: Ten unforgettable moments of herstory.

NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show takes on Bill Cosby with a complex, defiantly honest discussion.

Malcolm in the Middle's Stevie (Craig Lamar Traylor) is now a model and an aspiring tattoo artist.

Malachi Kirby signs up for the third season of Black Mirror.

New thriller Undercover the first BBC series to feature black actors in all of the leading roles.

Bosch: The networks don't make cop dramas like this Amazon show anymore.

The Path, Hulu’s new drama, is so slow it’s almost hypnotic. Someday that might make it great.

The twelve worst ever soap exits.

Tony Warren, the gay man who created Coronation Street, the world's longest-running soap, is dead. He was 79.

Tony Warren: Obituary.

Tony Warren: "His Corrie was like Under Milk Wood with fishwives. His chat smelled of Salford and he learned everything he knew from mouthy old women in pubs..."

Tony Warren: In Coronation Street, Warren created a hotpot of backchat and brilliant women. It’s a vision of quite astonishing truth.

The haunted twilight of Richard Simmons. "Two years ago, the flamboyant fitness guru abruptly disappeared from public life. Now, his closest friends, banished from his inner circle, have grown increasingly concerned. They worry that the pop-culture icon is being held against his will inside his Hollywood Hills mansion — with one suggesting more sinister notions are at play."

WATCH  The latest episode of About Him.

At Night

In praise of Bootycandy.

On Dream Boy, playwright Eric Rosen's new play about forbidden gay love in the rural South in the 1970s.

NEW  Disaster! comes to Broadway, spoofing 1970s disaster movies, to a soundtrack of ’70s hits like I Am Woman and Hot Stuff.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Robert Allan Ackerman about Blood, his new play about how thirty years ago medical companies in the US knowingly sold HIV-infected blood to Japan.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Kathy Griffin about the Kardashians, Donald Trump, and sexism in Hollywood.

Why don't they make shoes for black ballet dancers?

The story of Eric Underwood, Royal Ballet Soloist. "A glimpse of life as an African American dancer living in London."


How Robert Mapplethorpe's pictures changed culture forever.

On Sistaazhood, the Cape Town trans sex workers making art.

The dancers we lost to AIDS. "A San Francisco exhibition commemorates the huge impact of the AIDS epidemic on the dance community in the 1980s and 1990s." Above, Christopher Boatwright (1954-1997).

Vintage photos of drag queens.

NEW  Photographer Firooz Zahedi's My Elisabeth. "Zahedi met the leading Hollywood lady early in his career and photographed her from the age of 44 to the end of her life."

Meryl Meisler's fabulous photos of suburban life in the 1970s.

NEW  Queer and Puerto Rican 1980s New York is explored in Bacalaitos & Fireworks, by Arlene Gottfried.

The godmother of manga sex in Japan. "A recent UN report weighed into a debate that provokes intense controversy in Japan, by including manga in a list of content with violent pornography. The BBC's Yuko Kato went to meet one of Japan's leading female manga artists, Keiko Takemiya, seen as the woman who opened the floodgates to sexually explicit manga."


These journalists dedicated their lives to telling other people’s stories. what happens when no one wants to print their words anymore? "As newsrooms disappear, veteran reporters are being forced from the profession. That’s bad for journalism—and democracy."

The weight of James Arthur Baldwin. "Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah travels to James Baldwin's home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, and examines the impact of a writer whose legacy cannot be erased."

Thirty-seven inspirational quotes from LGBT writers.

Tom House: Tom of Finland in Los Angeles launch party, in pictures.

Lambda Literary Foundation snuffs out anti-trans scandal.

Ten amazing LGBT bookstores worthy of a road trip.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Garth Greenwell. "Cruising parks need to be written about with much more richness and nuance."

INTERVIEW  Talking to A. Igoni Barrett about his debut novel, Blackass, about "a normal young guy in Lagos, Nigeria — until one day, on the morning of a job interview, he wakes up to discover he's been transformed overnight. His black skin has somehow been turned white, with the exception of one thing: his black ass."

READ  An excerpt from Elliot Tiber's new memoir, After Woodstock.

The People v O.J. Simpson: Why his lawyers "played the race card".

The killing of Gus Hasford. "He came home from Vietnam, wrote the novel that became Full Metal Jacket, was nominated for an Oscar and riding high. Then he got thrown in jail for stockpiling stolen library books, started drinking, cut off his friends and fled to a remote Greek island. He never made it back." (June 1993)

Hollywood ending. "How a high-powered lawyer and a rough-edged private detective ended up at the center of the biggest, dirtiest scandal in Hollywood history." (July 2006)

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Why millennials don't go clubbing.

Meet rising LGBT singer Parson James.

INTERVIEW Talking to Diamanda Galás.

REVIEW  Pet Shop Boys - Super. "From smart studies of anxious millennials to compassionate portraits of unlikable politicians, the songs on the duo’s second album with producer Stuart Price are a celebration of camaraderie through music."

Pet Shop Boys pop report card: Their twelve albums graded.

Are house and techno thriving or stagnating?

Madonna has now become "toxic" figure for millennials. "Survey reveals the 57-year-old's latest on-stage antics have been deemed 'desparate' and 'embarrassing'."

Meet Juan Direcshon, the Mexican One Direction.

The changing face of the male pop star heartthrob.

Justin Bieber flaunts it or Clash...

...But fans in Las Vegas who paid $2,000 to meet Justin Bieber got a cardboard cutout instead.

Starboy Nathan - known for his hits Come Into My Room and Cold As Ice - facing jail after being convicted of money laundering.

The trials and tribulations of Tulisa, a woman with ideas above her station.

The horrifying details of what allegedly happened the night Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna.

The ballad of Fred and Yoko. "How one of the world's foremost Beatles collectors died homeless on the streets of Little Rock."

WATCH  Michael Kiwanuka - Black Man In A White World; Jordan Bratton - Frank; Troye Sivan - YOUTH; Eli Lieb, Steve Grand - Look Away; out Australian singer-songwriter Brendan Maclean's Hugs Not Drugs (Or Both); Alex Newell - Basically Over You (B.O.Y).

Red Light

Why is offline porn still a thing?

What did porn do to millennials?

The devil and John Holmes. "John Holmes was a porn star. Eddie Nash was a drug lord. Their association ended in one of the most brutal mass murders in the history of Los Angeles." (May 1989)

"I love trannies": Dawgpound model Yusaf Mack on his attraction to trans women.

The Black Party, in pictures.

L.A. Leather Weekend, in pictures.

WATCH  Go BALLS DEEP into Bear Week in Provincetown.

Médecins Sans

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new, safer antiretroviral medication, Descovy.

It's not irresponsible to like bareback sex. And you can now get PrEP delivered to your door, on demand, to facilitate it.

Five reasons why TasP is the best HIV prevention method.

Thirty things you should know about HIV but were afraid to ask.

Six different ways gay and bi men can get HIV.

Why we shouldn't stop talking about being "undetectable".

LGBT people have more alcohol problems, but are more likely to get treatment.

Is porn addiction a real thing?

If you’re just not a morning person, science says you may never be. "Morning people and night owls are born that way. It's time we accepted that."

Late sleepers are tired of being discriminated against. And science has their back.


INTERVIEW  Talking to Pedro Algorta, the man who survived the 1972 plane crash in the Andes mountains by eating human flesh to stay alive.

Whole Foods withdraws insane pre-peeled, plastic-encased mandarins.

The improbable rise of the banana, America’s most popular fruit

Food companies pledge to move away from toxic BPA chemicals in cans.

Five wine crimes to avoid.


Twenty-one artists reimagine the black leather jacket to benefit The LGBT Center.

The 90s are back: How to get the look right.

The evolution of men's underwear.

Sweatpants in paradise. "The exciting world of immersive retail. (September 2010)

WATCH  Boxers or briefs? Gay dodgeball players expose themselves!

I Own 51% Of
This Company!

Why is hypocritical Apple happy to rake in a profit from countries where being gay can get you killed?

What’s happened since Target left. "One year after Target announced it would close all 133 locations in Canada, the decision continues to reverberate in the retail economy."

McDonald’s criticised for using fake graffiti tags in newly-refurbished Brixton branch.


Whales are starving – their stomachs full of our plastic waste.

I trained killer whales at SeaWorld for twelve years. Here’s why I quit.

Animal pictures of the week.

Planes, Trains
& Automobiles

The US once had more than 130 hijackings in four years. Here’s why they finally stopped.

The longest night. "One Easter Sunday, the Alaska Ranger — a fishing boat out of Dutch Harbor — went down in the Bering Sea, 6,000 feet deep and thirty-two degrees cold. Forty-seven people were on board, and nearly half of them would spend hours floating alone in the darkness, in water so frigid it can kill a man in minutes. Forty-two of them would be rescued. Here’s how."

The "Boaty McBoatface" vote makes me ashamed to be British.

Up and then down. "Ask a vertical-transportation-industry professional to recall an episode of an elevator in free fall — the cab plummeting in the shaftway, frayed rope ends trailing in the dark — and he will say that he can think of only one. That would be the Empire State Building incident of 1945, in which a B-25 bomber pilot made a wrong turn in the fog and crashed into the seventy-ninth floor, snapping the hoist and safety cables of two elevators. Both of them plunged to the bottom of the shaft."

Inside The

Four reasons why the internet is the worst thing to happen to humanity.

Apple rejects "Gay New York: 101 Can't-Miss Places" app for a second time.

Life and death in the app store. "As last year began, the app developer Pixite held its company retreat at a converted Old West movie set outside of Palm Springs. They spent a few days dreaming about the future while eating barbecue and sipping whisky in the sun. But 2015 was not a good year, and by last month the company’s dreams had narrowed to survival."

Instagram launches #VisibleMe, its first LGBT explore channel, spotlighting diverse, compelling stories from LGBT youth all around the world.

Deceased Facebook users will outnumber living ones within this century.

Why the Wingdings font exists.

I don't have a cellphone. You probably don't need one, either.

And Whilst You're
Thinking About
That, Think
About This...

The dead water parks at the heart of Disney World Florida.

Why stealing Lego may be the perfect crime.

And finally, Junior, Tochi, Kevin and Dammy on homophobia in London; Walter finds himself engulfed in a controversy; Andrew on religion; and story time with the Baddie Twinz!
See you kids next week - it's been emotional! Zee Jai

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Issue 233: 22 February - 10 April 2016
On the cover: The photography of Robert Mapplethorpe.



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