Issue 246: Orlando Cruz, Bibe Kalalu, vodou, Micah Brandt, Moonlight, Malachi Kirby, Atlanta, Westworld, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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Left &

The last taboo. "Why pop culture just can’t deal with black male sexuality."

Fourteen LGBT heroes who saved the day. Above, Tori Johnson, the Lindt Chocolate Café manager who in 2014 gave his life trying to save the lives of other hostages taken during a 16-hour siege in Sydney.

Human rights group Witness has warned of the videos of attacks on LGBT people trending on social media sites.

Why so many gay men say "sissy" is a hurtful slur.

Children’s behaviour is not impacted by parents sexual orientation, study finds.

Politics has gone wrong. Is digital technology to blame? "In the age of Brexit and Trump we shout at each other across a gulf of understanding, not thinking that machines rather than people could be at fault."

Is political blackness still relevant today?

The rise of Betches: "Our audience is narcissistic – and self-aware." "How did three young women turn their snarky Instagram posts and celeb-gossip blogs into a successful global brand? Meet the meme girls who speak the language of millennials."


Christine Leinonen's son - Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen (above right, with his boyfriend Juan Ramon Guerrero, who was also killed) - was murdered at Pulse Orlando. She's trying to prevent similar tragedies.

On Obama's quiet mission to export gay equality overseas.

How the 2016 election has exposed racism in the gay community.

In the era of Trump, LGBT people notched two huge victories.

Grotesque gay Trump supporter (and billionaire) Peter Thiel lashes out at The Advocate. Like master, like pet...

...Still, at least Thiel has apologised (round of applause!) for attacking diversity and branding rape "belated regret".

Trump's expression says it all. Pass the sick bucket...

...A sentiment shared by at least one one Trump supporter. Rabid Christian activist Theodore Shoebat wants Trump executed for "holding up that faggot flag".

And speaking of disgusting white faggots, here's the latest from Milo Yiannopoulos. He's taking his attack on the trans community on tour.

Inside a Donald Trump rally: good people in a feedback loop of paranoia and hate. "Trump’s crowd is full of honest and decent people – but the Republican’s invective has a chilling effect on fans of his one-man show."

This is the hollowed-out heart of America: pain, rage and Donald Trump. "[Trump] can behave as badly as he likes yet millions... still vote for him. The decline of my part of Ohio shows why."

This is Tyrone Tappler. He planned an event called The Room: A Journey to Hell, in which a “Christian” haunted house was to depict the Pulse nightclub massacre.

Mormon Church launches gay "advice" website despite claiming not to have any gay members.

The Mormon church: Oppressed or oppressor?

Kansas rainbow house defaced with anti-gay graffiti and bullet holes.

North Carolina demands PayPal give back wooden bowl after boycott over anti-LGBT law.

Relatives of gay man who passed away seek to evict his partner of fifty-five years.

On the increasing segregation in American school systems.

The chameleon. "The Spanish police believed he was a missing American teen. So, seemingly, did the Texas family who had lost him three years prior. Who they had actually found was Frédéric Bourdin, was a 23-year-old Frenchman on the run." (August 2008)

The writer who was too strong to live. On Jennifer Frey, a sportswriting prodigy who drank herself to death.

Whirl. "For 60 years, the weekly Evening Whirl attacked the drug lords, whoring preachers, and hypocritical bourgeoisie of St. Louis’ black community, sometimes in rhyming Iambic couplets." (November 2006)

Street car plunge, 46 drowned. The "worst tragedy in the history of the city" (and the one Boston completely forgot).

CANADA  Lucas Medina and his husband Chad Craig launch Five/Fourteen, a service that finds LGBT foster children welcoming homes, the first of its kind in Canada.


On the experiences of LGBT asylum seekers in UK detention centres.

Russian embassy mocks Westerners as "gay pigs".

Manchester lord mayor subjected to homophobic abuse at Justin Bieber gig.

This is 19-year-old Ziggy Worrell-Owusu. He was stabbed to death in East London, the tenth London teenager to be stabbed to death in 2016.

Let's get our gentrification story straight. "Much rage against change that makes neighbourhoods more posh is contradictory and misses the point."

How Essex became London's dumping ground. "The decision to re-bury 3,000 skeletons from the old Bedlam hospital at a cemetery in Essex is nothing new. From dead bodies to sewage, factories to holiday homes for the underclass, Essex has long been a receptacle for what genteel London finds too dirty."

I’m white and working class. I’m sick of Brexiters saying they speak for me. "Are we salt of the earth yeomen, or skiving thickos milking the system? Politicians use us as cover for their own bigotry then ignore us the rest of the time."

The reality of being black in today’s Britain. "David Olusoga grew up amid racism in Britain in the 70s and 80s. Now, in a groundbreaking new book and TV series, he argues that the story of black Britons, from Afro-Roman times to the present, is key to showing the depth of their Britishness. And, while we exult in black Britons’ success in culture, fashion and sport, discrimination still blights their lives."

Empire shaped the world. There is an abyss at the heart of dishonest history textbooks. "Nearly 90,000 Indian soldiers laid down their lives for Britain in the second world war, yet the scale of that sacrifice – and the troubled history of the imperial project – is barely recognised."

How Britain’s black miners are reclaiming their place in history. "Thousands of black miners worked in Britain’s pits from the 1950s onward – and a new project has discovered that while racism was accepted above ground, deep underground there was no divide."

SCOTLAND  The Scottish government has announced that men convicted of consensual gay sex when it was illegal will receive a full pardon.

SCOTLAND  Luxury hotel loses five-star status after owner brags about "no poofs" policy.

NORTHERN IRELAND  First Minister Arlene Foster vows to keep blocking marriage equality.

NORTHERN IRELAND  Born-again Christian bakers lose court appeal in "gay cake" row.

GIBRALTAR  Same-sex marriage approved on the British Overseas Territory on Spain’s south coast.


Russia loses seat on UN Human Rights Council.

Three African nations have now blocked homophobic pastor Steven Anderson.

NIGERIA  The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act has made a bad situation much worse for the beleaguered LGBT community, Human Rights Watch reports.

UGANDA  Meet Bibe Kalalu, a former chief of the Barega tribe in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now he's an LGBT activist. Here he is with members of the Angels Refugee Support Group (below), the safe space for gay refugees he founded in 2009.

HAITI  Queer Haitians find a refuge in Vodou. "Feared and denigrated by members of other faiths, Haitian Vodou is a far cry from the zombie-raising cult of a thousand horror films — and it’s also the only welcoming place for many LGBT Haitians."

GRENADA  U.S. troops invade following the killing of left-wing Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. (November 1983)

TAIWAN  Tens of thousands turn out for Taipei Pride. In pictures.

INDONESIA  The noose is tightening around the necks of LGBT people.


Daily Beast, Nico Hines still silent on outing gay Olympians eleven weeks later.

Boxer Orlando Cruz has vowed he is “ready” to be the first out gay man to become the boxing world champion.

Could Hong Kong become first city in Asia to host Gay Games?

Coming-out advice from nine LGBT college athletes.

Only eight percent of British football fans have a problem with a gay player on their team.

Blindsided: The Jerry Joseph basketball scandal. "Jerry Joseph was a basketball dream: six feet five and built like LeBron. Then the rumors started — and suddenly the 16-year-old golden boy was more illusion than dream." (June 2011)

Guerdwich Montimere, the kid who wasn't there. "A 16-year-old named Jerry Joseph, a basketball player at Permian High School of Friday Night Lights fame, has been found out as an impostor. Joseph isn't really a Haitian orphan, and the tales he has spun for an eager town are lies; he's really a 22-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, named Guerdwich Montimere." (May 2012)

On Last Chance U, the college that gives young players a final route to the NFL. "When film-makers went to the sleepy town of Scooba in Mississippi they expected their documentary to be about gifted athletes, but the Netflix series, Last Chance U, is about education, class, success and the American dream."

The NFL is stumbling, but will it recover? "Television ratings are down in America’s most popular league. And poor play, cable cutters and player protests have all been blamed."

Art +

Gay X-Men founding member Iceman is getting his own Marvel comic series.

Magic in an instant: the afterlife of Polaroid. "In our digital world, the instant camera still holds a special place in people’s hearts."

Day of the Dead parade in Austin, Texas, in pictures.

The Swiss National Bodybuilding Championship, in pictures.


REVIEW  Clinch, by Martin Holmén. "An immersive read, but not an entirely satisfying one."

REVIEW  At Danceteria and Other Stories, by Philip Dean Walker. "Queer 1980s nostalgia... you’re going to want to make a meal of."

REVIEW  Drag Teen, by Jeffery Self. "There were plenty laughing-out-loud absurd moments... his journey was worth the ride."

REVIEW  The Photographer’s Truth, by Ralph Josiah Bardsley.

Marvel Comics needs to do way better with its LGBT representation.

On the rag, your weekly look at the free gay 'zines.


On Moonlight's record-breaking debut - the biggest per location average of 2016.

Moonlight star Trevante Rhodes on the importance of telling black gay stories.

Christian Slater and James Franco got "competitive" over their King Cobra gay sex scenes.

Jack O’Connell to play fashion designer Alexander McQueen in new movie.

Cruise and Hanks: From golden boys to wasted talents. "The two Toms are the last 80s superstars still able to open a movie on their name alone. But movies such as Inferno and Jack Reacher confirm their descent into dependability."

On the set of Apocalypse Now. "It was the middle of the day in the steamy Philippine jungle and the sun was merciless. Director Francis Ford Coppola, dressed in rumpled white Mao pajamas, was slowly making his way upriver in a motor launch." (June 1977)

The Shining has lost its shine – Kubrick was slumming it in a genre he despised. "The director’s horror masterpiece deserves its cult status, but now after its motifs have been quoted endlessly for years, its thrills have worn thin."

Eleven scary, streamable foreign films to broaden your horror movie horizons.

An abbess in high-heeled shoes, by Truman Capote. On Marilyn Monroe. (October 1980)

After The Maltese Falcon: How film noir took flight. "Ushering in an uneasy world of femmes fatales and shady sleuths, The Maltese Falcon marked the beginnings of film noir. Seventy-five years on, how can this genre speak to our times?"

On Tim Burton and the myth of the lone genius. "We like to believe that great artists follow their muse, not the crowd – but far more radical and original work is produced when they listen and collaborate."

How the rise of Pixar killed family-friendly horror. "From The Goonies and Gremlins to TV classics Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, watching kids deal with the supernatural used to be a thing. I used journalism to investigate the genre's early-2000s death."

WATCH  Here's the trailer for Kiki, Love to Love.


On Atlanta's excruciating indictment of white allies. "Craig plays the role of every single white ally that ever got too comfortable with black folk and forgot he was still the 'man'."

And this: Meet Craig, Atlanta's hyper-woke, white guilt martyr.

Why is TV so obsessed with Catholicism? "From Tony Soprano’s moral agonies to Lost’s island purgatory, the drama of sin and damnation fits the small screen perfectly. Now The Young Pope takes a startlingly strange look inside the Vatican."

On sexism in Westworld: "A nude man lies silently at Logan’s side, stroking his arm and chest, as Logan busies himself more directly with two women. And… that’s it. If this is the closest we’ll come to seeing a male host engage in sexual activity with a guest (or the closest we’ll come to seeing two men having sex at all), I’ll be disappointed in Westworld, in which the female hosts are rarely depicted as anything but sex objects. It’s as if anything that doesn’t directly conform to the heterosexual male gaze is an afterthought, which is especially ironic considering this is supposed to be a place where guests can live out their every fantasy."

Westworld’s boring orgy reminds us that joyless sex has become HBO’s specialty...

...But filming said orgy sure was a lot of hard work.

Westworld suggests prolonged exposure to immersive technology changes people for the worse.

Black Mirror's fifth episode, Men Against Fire, is a warning from the past about our future. "When empathy is a bug, not a feature, who do we blame?"

INTERVIEW  Talking to Malachi Kirby about his role in Black Mirror.

WATCH  An interview with Malachi Kirby.

How South Park changed television.

The day Doctor Who changed face – and transformed TV for ever. "It is 50 years since fans watched in shock as the beloved Time Lord regenerated for the very first time – a gamble that enabled the show to still be with us today."

Knight Rider and the most rebooted TV shows ever. "The talking car is making a comeback, but given the history of bringing back old small-screen stories, should KITT be left in the garage?"

On Rentaghostthe spooky kids show that is much bleaker than you remember. "Rewatching Bob Block’s 70s kids’ sitcom reveals some surprisingly scary themes at work."

The 90s sitcoms that should never be rebooted. "From Will & Grace to Fuller House and Girl Meets World, reboots are all the rage – but we can think of a few shows that should be on TV’s ‘do not resuscitate’ list."

Bare jokes: How People Just Do Nothing made sitcoms funny again. "In an age of bleak comedy that barely makes you snigger, one show has been keeping up the lost art of making people laugh – the hilarious, half-witted pirate radio mockumentary. Now, finally, the BBC are throwing their weight behind it."

Gays of our lives: All the latest news from gay soapland!

The month in soaps. "Vehicular nastiness in Emmerdale and Corrie, and poisoned sandwiches in Hollyoaks."

WATCH  Here's the latest episodes of Willology; Fallacies; Steel River; Street Behavior; GayTerns; the trailer for Raising Eli;

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Cakes Da Killa speaks. “I just read that the supply of estrogen for trans women is low,” says Cakes. “That’s not pushed to the forefront [of] the gay agenda. I hate that phrase. Whatever people assume is the ‘gay agenda’ is just gay white males.” He pauses to sip his drink. “They’re at the front of the lunch line; I’m just in the back having a tequila.”

Is 2016 the beginning of the end for Drake?

Pete Burns, the British musician and reality show star, is dead. He was 57.

WATCH  Blood Orange - I Know; Freaky Boiz - Make It Hot; Leo Kalyan - Fucked Up; Matt Palmer does Britney; and the latest episode of The GrooveOUT.

Red Light

Missing performer Baptiste Garcia found.

Bel Ami rebrands KinkyAngels website as FRESHMEN.NET.

Bel Ami models pose for Paper magazine.

Micah Brandt stars as Uhura in's Star Trek: A Gay XXX Parody.

Behind-the-scenes with Micah Brandt, and more.

Behind-the-scenes with Brent Everett.

WATCH  Here's the trailer for Star Trek: A Gay XXX Parody.


Twenty-five scary hook-ups that happen to gay men.

Médecins Sans

PRO 140 is "the closet thing to a cure that we could possibly have right now" - according to Charlie Sheen.

Truvada isn't the only player in town when it comes to PrEP. London's 56 Dean Street clinic proved it.

Is this enema the next PrEP?

"Patient zero" Gaétan Dugas was not the source of the HIV/Aids outbreak, boffins decide. "New technique allows reconstruction of route by which HIV/Aids arrived in North America, confirming Dugas was not the source of subsequent pandemic."

Our bodies are mostly bacteria. A new book reveals this crucial, invisible world.

How much excessive noise actually messes with your health.

Why being an introvert may be better for your mental health.


The banana as we know it is in imminent danger. "A genetic clone, the Cavendish banana that stocks supermarket shelves could easily be wiped out by disease. Science offers hope of a sustainable approach."

Why tinned soup is going down the pan.


British retailer Jacamo has apologised for its “real man” campaign.

Queer Fashion Week, in pictures.

WATCH  Andrew Christian's sex zombies.


The fetishisation of work is making us miserable. Let’s learn to live again. "Long hours and poor pay are wreaking havoc on our lives. Rather than fixating on growth, if we restructured the working week it would allow people to flourish."

Servant tourism: how TV made us fetishise "below stairs" culture. "British stately homes and hotels are cashing in on our fascination with scullery maids and butlers. Is it because we love Sunday night drama, or do we just want to understand the jobs our ancestors did?"

French priests to work on building sites and factories. (October 1965)

Planes, Trains
& Automobiles

The costly gridlock. How can we keep our cities moving?

The MTA in New York is producing 1,300 new subway signs for the return of W train.

How to build a subway.

London Underground vs. Moscow Metro.


Grindr moves to stop the pushing of illegal drugs.

Airbnb makes users sign anti-discrimination pledge after string of "no gays" incidents.

Airbnb faces worldwide opposition. It plans a movement to rise up in its defence.

Twitter kills Vine to cut costs.

You may not have understood Vine, but its demise is a huge cultural loss. "Insular, youth-driven, and iconoclastic, Vine’s end is devastating for black social media."

Twitter says it's serious about fixing its toxic troll problem.

Dear technology, please could you stop being so needy. "TV dramas such as Black Mirror and Westworld might be scaring us with a dystopian vision of technology, but the real problem is that Facebook is too chirpy, fitness apps fuss over our food intake, and our browsers bombard us with targeted ads."


WATCH  This 4K video from the International Space Station.
The world is on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020.

Why it's the worst of times for the butterfly.

A death in Yellowstone. "A hiker was found dead in Yellowstone National Park... based on a preliminary investigation, 'an adult female grizzly and at least one cub were present' at the hiker's death, and that, if found, bears involved in human fatalities are generally euthanized." (April 2012)

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

On Dr Young’s Ideal Rectal Dilators.

WATCH Walter on Ahmad Love; the Baddie Twinz consider a job offer; Rogue "Marbie" Scott gets his hair did; and clowning around with Andrew.
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