Issue 248: Obama, Trump, Streep, Hamilton, Moonlight, Caster Semenya, Austin Armacost, Zebra Katz, Sean Zevran, and more...

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Left &

Guess which country is the worst in the world for transgender people.

Why the celebrities who spurn and mock Trump could be our last, best hope. "From Meryl to Hamilton to SNL, artists and entertainers are loudly resisting the President-Elect. And it's driving him nuts."

Christian think-tank claims Christians are the most persecuted religious group.

Most people are bad at arguing. These two techniques will make you better.


Transgender woman Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow in South Dakota has become the second trans murder victim of 2017.

Transgender man Sean Ryan Hake has become the third trans murder victim of 2017 after being shot and killed by a police officer in Pennsylvania.

Did gay club owner Sayvon Zabar know his killer?

Meet 21-year-old Jay Franzone. He gave up gay sex for a whole year in order to qualify as a blood donor.

Judy Shepard (mother of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard) has called for the Senate to reject Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, who blocked a hate crime law named in honour of her son.

Cory Booker will break with tradition by testifying against Sessions in what he says is a "call to conscience."

California has banned state-funded and state-sponsored travel to North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kansas, because of their anti-LGBT laws.

State Department apologises for 1950s homophobic witch hunt.

HIV activist Jeff Sheehy becomes San Francisco's newest Supervisor.

The queerest cities in America.

More Americans than ever — especially millennials — say they're part of the LGBT community.

President Obama cried at his farewell address and throughout his presidency. It is a sign of his greatness, not his weakness.

President Obama’s subtle warning to working-class Trump voters: You played yourselves.

The Obamas changed how the world sees black families. That’s their legacy.

Barack Obama's original sin: America's post-racial illusion. "Barack Obama’s refusal to use his position as president to intervene on behalf of African Americans is a stain on his record many activists will never forget."

INTERVIEW  Talking to President Obama's advisor (and LGBT ally) Valerie Jarrett.

This week in the Resistance: From Selma to Stonewall.

BuzzFeed was wrong to publish the Trump rumours. Here's why.

The deep state goes to war with President-Elect, using unverified claims, as Democrats cheer. "There is a real danger here that this maneuver can harshly backfire, to the great benefit of Trump and to the great detriment of those who want to oppose him."

On Trump's chilling press conference performance: "Those are not features of the leader of a free democracy. They are the behaviors of despots."

Trump's laughable press conference, condensed.

The term “fake news” has already lost its meaning. "Trump's defiant use of the term is a measure of how quickly it's been co-opted and repurposed."

Trump’s Defence Secretary won't say if he supports gays in the military.

Meryl Streep blasts Trump in Golden Globes Speech. "There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life."

And Trump comes for "Hillary Flunky" Meryl Streep, because of course.

This is very scary. "In the past few weeks, some of America's oldest and closest allies in Europe have begun to fear that Trump's White House may not just neglect them, which has happened often enough in the past, but actually seek to undermine them and their institutions. The link between Trump, his senior counselor and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and Breitbart News, the website Bannon was running until he went to work for Trump, is what worries them most. Flush from its success in the United States, Breitbart now seeks to monetize anti-immigration and racist sentiment in Europe, too, promoting it, selling it and using it to elect populist politicians who are just as skeptical of NATO as Trump, and who will do their best to destroy the European Union as well. First up are Germany and France, where Breitbart has announced, in advance of imminent German and French elections, that it intends to open new German- and French-language websites. The worldview of these future sites can be predicted: Breitbart has produced gushing coverage of the National Front, the radical right-wing French political party that is openly funded by Russian money and that advocates, among other things, the end of NATO and a French withdrawal from the European Union."

In crucial ways, Trump is the second coming of George W. Bush. "Tax cuts, big government, and financial regulation — everything old is new again."

Vile wingnut (and former congresswoman) Michele Bachmann wants Trump to reverse the "evil gay agenda".

Why defunding planned parenthood is unconscionable.

Last week we heard how obscene alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos was named LGBTQ Nation’s 2016 Person of the Year. Turns out fellow trolls hijacked the poll to get him there.

Milo Yiannopoulos peddles hate. It’s not censorship to refuse to publish it. "Defenders of free speech are misguided in championing his cause. Reasoned debate will never arise from his utterances – and others will be scared into silence."

Hurt hate speech peddler Milo Yiannopoulos by mocking his idiocy. "The best response to serial irritant Milo Yiannopoulos is not be enraged but to leave his new book on the shelf."

Republican lawmaker Gordon Klingenschmitt wants to ban gay teachers because they set a "bad example".

Vile gay billionaire (and Trump adviser) Peter Thiel doesn't have a problem with homophobic Mike Pence: "People know too many gay people."

Burst your bubble: five conservative articles to read in this 'peak Trump' week. "As the inauguration approaches, conservative writers have been in elegiac mood, discussing the crisis of the Christian right and the end of US hegemony."

A divided empire: What the urban-rural split means for the future of America. "Cities have long been the backbone of the Democratic party, and rural regions the heartland of Republicanism – yet Donald Trump’s election has exposed these divides like never before. Will US metropolises increasingly turn into city-states?"

Trump is remarkably unpopular. "He won. He’s taking office. But most people don’t like him."

Vile "pharma-bro" Martin Shkreli has been suspended from Twitter for harassing a Teen Vogue writer. Shrek Shkreli "rose to infamy in 2016 for hiking the price of an AIDS medication by 5,000 percent."

A child rape victim on why society should be more empathetic to paedophiles.

Living in a poor neighbourhood changes everything about your life.

The vain, counterproductive myth that there’s no way most Americans can be racist.

Young black men again faced highest rate of US police killings in 2016. "The Counted project points to continuing racial disparities, with black males aged 15-34 nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed."

The black family in the age of mass incarceration. "American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal-justice system that’s left the U.S. with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they've failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report “The Negro Family” tragically helped create this system, it's time to reclaim his original intent." (October 2015)

The tumultuous life and lonely death of Marion Barry’s only son. "He had access to the highest heights of Washington society. It wasn’t enough."

The mysterious death of a Muslim marine recruit. "Raheel Siddiqui was a young Muslim who dreamed of becoming a Marine. At twenty, he started basic training at Parris Island, where barking drill sergeants transform callow recruits into elite killing machines. Less than two weeks after he arrived, Siddiqui suffered a mysterious and fatal fall. The Marine Corps says he committed suicide, but some think more sinister forces led to his death."

Murder on Union Hill Road. "In April 2016, eight family members were slain in their homes in Ohio. Nine months later, the killer or killers are still on the loose, and the town has all but forgotten the crimes."

Many mass shooters have a history of domestic violence. It's time to pay attention.

The Black Dahlia: Los Angeles' most famous unsolved murder. "As the 70th anniversary of the Black Dahlia murder approaches the public fascination with Elizabeth Short and her grisly unsolved death hasn't dimmed."

Matt Redman, one of the cofounders of AIDS Project Los Angeles, is dead. He was 66.

CANADA  Justin Trudeau has promised to house trans inmates based on gender identity.


Gay clubbers claim they were kicked out of Uber cab because of "gay stuff".

LGBT History Month organisers have been forced to defend an event involving Julie Bindel. The feminist has previously said, "I don’t have a problem with men disposing of their genitals, but it does not make them women, in the same way that shoving a bit of vacuum hose down your 501s does not make you a man.”

Three arrested after Manchester AIDS memorial is desecrated by vandals.

The NHS spent an absurd amount of money fighting HIV prevention drug PrEP.

The Tories have voted to block compulsory LGBT-inclusive sex education.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is showing how left populism fails.

Three teenagers jailed for 37 years for killing 17-year-old Myron Yarde.

UK banks have a racial discrimination problem. It’s time they admitted it.

Hey commuters, stop whining about the 2017 strikes. "Unless you think your daily commute is more important than someone else's livelihood."

"Is this what the west is really like?" How it felt to leave China for Britain. "Desperate to find somewhere she could live and work as she wished, Xiaolu Guo moved from Beijing to London in 2002. But from the weather to the language and the people, nothing was as she expected."

The Brexit resistance: ‘It’s getting bigger all the time’. "Many pro-Europeans around Britain believe there is still a chance to fight the result of the EU referendum. So what do they think they can achieve?"


The psychological toll of volunteering at a refugee camp. "I would cry very often. I couldn't control my emotions."

POLAND  How haters helped this couple gain permission to marry in Portugal.

RUSSIA  64% of all HIV infections in Europe are now recorded in Russia.

RUSSIA  Parliament considers law from the author of the so-called "gay propaganda" law, to make domestic violence legal.

KYRGYZTAN  Same sex marriage ban goes ahead, but "gay propaganda" proposal delayed.

ITALY  Bologna opens first centre for LGBT refugees.

BRAZIL  Trail of slaughter in prisons shocks Brazilians as gang war explodes. "‘Brazil is getting out of control’ warns police investigator after a series of horrific massacres by rival drug gangs sweeps the country’s penitentiaries."

VENEZUELA  The fifth minimum wage hike in a year shows an economy collapsing, a tailspin of epic proportions.

Letter From Zimbabwe. "Moud Goba is a project manager at Micro Rainbow International. Originally from Zimbabwe, she helps fellow LGBT refugees find safe shelter in the U.K. This is her story."

NIGERIA  Nearly three-quarters of LGBT Nigerians have suffered abuse.

NIGERIA  The viral “comedy sketch” encouraging sexual assault against gay men.

CAMEROON  Thugs attack two young men accused of being homosexual.

KENYA  Advocacy group is seeking a halt to abusive anal testing.

SOMALIA  Terror group Al Shabaab have executed a man and a 15-year-old boy after they were allegedly seen having sex.

The conflict in South Sudan, explained.

AUSTRALIA  One Nation party candidate dropped for homophobic comments.

AUSTRALIA  Human Rights Watch report card gives Australia a fail for offshore detention.


Football Association chairman Greg Clarke wants a mass coming out of gay players.

Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya marries her girlfriend.

The concussion diaries: One high school football player’s secret struggle with CTE. "Zac Easter knew what was happening to him. He knew why. And he knew that it was only going to get worse. So he decided to write it all down—to let the world know what football had done to him, what he'd done to his body and his brain for the game he loved. And then he shot himself."

Art +

Thirty years of art in reaction to AIDS.

Nasty Women art exhibit aims at taking power back from Trump. "A collection of pieces from more than 700 artists celebrates femininity and strength in the face of adversity."

Unquotable Trump, artist R. Sikoryak’s "comic" take on Trump.

Pompidou Centre: A 70s French radical that’s never gone out of fashion. "The much-loved Paris landmark was designed in the 1970s by two young unknowns – Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. On the eve of its 40th birthday, they recall the sheer joy and bravado – and the struggle – of creating it."


On new book Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? "Pioneering director Kathleen Collins also wrote smart, provocative stories. Read them now."

On Heavy Metal Africa: Life, Passion, and Heavy Metal in the Forgotten Continent, the new book documenting the flourishing heavy metal scenes throughout the continent.

On The Dark Star Trilogy, Marlon James' African Game of Thrones.

REVIEW  This is a Dance Movie!, by Tim Jones-Yelvington. "The collection as a whole speaks to any reader unafraid of a revealing dive into sexual deviancy, fickle intimacy, and evasive amour. Conservative minds will be inclined to avoid this frank little bible of lascivious treasures ripe for reading and re-reading – but they’d only be avoiding a reflection they know exists."

REVIEW  The Complete Works of Pat Parker, edited by Julie R. Enszer. "In this time of resurgent political engagement, Pat Parker’s hard truths, clarity, passion, and vision remain relevant and needed to take on the challenges of our still new century."

REVIEW  A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment, by John Preston. "In some ways the sound and fury of this story, now becomes a distant tempest in a teapot to the contemporary LGBT millennial reader."

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

At Night

On Fellow Travelers, the new opera that brings the lamentable Lavender Scare to life.

London theatregoers face paying £200 to see Broadway hit Hamilton, which opens in November.

Cash-strapped theatres must answer difficult questions. "As funding for the arts looks increasingly uncertain, the challenge for theatres is to find the right financial model to secure their future."

REVIEW  The Twentieth Century Way. "Tom Jacobson’s two-hander takes a situation heavy with dramatic promise – the entrapment of gay men in 1914 America – and sacrifices it to metatheatre."


Sony Pictures Classics has bought the worldwide rights to the film adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name, in which Armie Hammer stars as a 24-year old American scholar spending the summer of 1983 in Northern Italy, where he attracts the attention of a 17-year-old Jewish-American boy, played by Timothee Chalamet.

Bollywood actors call for a more "dignified" portrayal of LGBT characters.

The Pass (read the KAOS review here) and Moonlight nominated at BAFTAs 2017.

Moonlight wins Best Drama at Golden Globes...

...And it's also the year's best film, according to the National Society of Film Critics.

Atlanta dominated, Moonlight didn't, and film is still pretty white.

In London, Black Out UK is hosting an evening of performances, music, conversation, and connections to mark the UK release of Moonlight. The event takes place Sunday 12th February at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton.

Also in London, Moonlight will be screened at the Barbican Centre with the soundtrack performed live by the London Contemporary Orchestra.

WATCH  Moonlight author Tarell Alvin McCraney and other on Hollywood and HIV.

A new documentary is to chronicle the life and works of revolutionary psychoanalyst and post-colonial philosopher Frantz Fanon.

Nicole Kidman says people should support Trump.

Trump v Hollywood? Don't expect to see the culture war play out on screen. "Industry figures might march in protests or give critical speeches, but waging a crusade against the White House is not in the job description."

REVIEW  The Falls: Covenant Of Grace. "A fitting end to a strong, romantic gay trilogy."

REVIEW  Pitchfork. "A lot of love for horror and heart may have gone into making Pitchfork, but sadly the results are a movie with bland characters, a villain who’s not that scary, and an inability to decide whether it wants to make you laugh or not."

REVIEW  An Act of Love. "A sweet and ultimately uplifting documentary using one family’s story to explore the issues rocking various religious denominations surrounding LGBT issues."

Bigger than Texas: Giant at sixty.


Dustin Lance Black on the alt-right attacks on his new miniseries, When We Rise: "We'll get absolutely zero ratings".

REVIEW  When We Rise. "The Gus Van Sant-directed pilot for Dustin Lance Black's ABC miniseries about the gay rights movement is accessible more than confrontational — and all the more important for it."

RuPaul’s Drag Racer Mimi Imfurst has become the first American drag queen to perform in Cuba.

Celebrity Big Brother's Austin Armacost claims he’s asexual.

Behind the scenes of reality TV: 'You're a little bit daft to apply'. "Manipulation is rife on reality TV, with producers often lying to contestants, depriving them of sleep and exploiting weaknesses in the name of manufacturing drama."

Sky pulls Urban Myths episode featuring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's race swapping shows the limitations of white writers tackling black perspectives.

Yes, the producers of The Americans know their Cold War spy drama feels eerie today.

ABC picks up Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry's latest project, starring country star Reba McEntire.

A close read of The OA’s controversial ending.

TV can’t move for the living dead these days. Give up the ghosts! "Apparitions are so rife on our screens that they’ve become the ultimate cliche – lazy, obvious and smug. TV writers: bury your dead already."

How Superstore and The Good Place use production design to elevate the ordinary.

Riverdale is just the beginning, behold the rise of The CW's Archie Empire.

Hollyoaks to introduce the father of delicious twins Prince and Hunter.

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

INTERVIEW  Talking to Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel.

Eight actors who hated their own TV shows – and weren't afraid to say it.

WATCH  The latest episodes of Fallacies; Entercourse; About Justin; new web-series Climax; and a Willology special.

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Jennifer Holliday, Toby Keith, Jon Voight, 3 Doors Down to play Trump Inauguration concert.

George Michael was the kind of gay man we now whisper about. "The out icon was a sexual rebel, but he also had demons. It's OK to talk about them."

George Michael: Giant mural of "Saint" George erected in Sydney.

George Michael: Documentary about unreleased Trojan Souls album surfaces on YouTube.

Why pop’s future is black and British. (Image)

Sweet bitter blues. "American blues performers—purveyors of 'black music,' as it is known colloquially here — can find good work in Tokyo and its immediate environs... I couldn’t quite figure out why Japanese listeners had come to appreciate and savor the blues in the way that they seemed to — lavishly, devotedly. Blues is still an outlier genre in Japan, but it’s revered, topical, present."

Chris Brown v Soulja Boy: Taking the beef to the boxing ring. "It’s a modern tale of how a minor spat on Instagram can become a $1m boxing match between two of rap’s biggest egos, with boxing legends as their respective coaches. But Rocky it ain’t..."

On Zebra Katz. "Katz’s insanely danceable music manifests itself in the form of thrilling energy, LGBTQ empowerment, and stunning visuals."

LISTEN  Zebra Katz - Hello Hi (Karaoke Tundra Remix).

LISTEN  New music from Wade Brown.

WATCH  Meet Pete Parkkonen, the yodeling sex god of Finland!

WATCH  Bipolar Sunshine and Gryffin - Whole Heart; and Zebra Katz - Hello Hi.

Red Light

Cybersocket Awards, winners.

Cybersocket Awards, in pictures.

Sean Zevran wins Gay Performer of the Year at Xbiz Award 2017.

Bareback gay porn studios overwhelmingly outnumber condom gay porn studios.

Falcon's Urban Spokes does not feature a single model of colour.

Corbin Colby’s increasing hotness is basically out of control.

Landon is back at Sean Cody.

Sumptuous Lars Norgaard is one of twenty brand new gay porn models making their debut at Bel Ami in January.

KAOS crush Trelino, and others, out in West Hollywood. In pictures.

WATCH  Talking to Deep Dicc.


Falling in love in wartime Iraq. "US Army interpreter Nayyef Hrebid and Iraqi soldier Btoo Allami fell in love at the height of the Iraq War. It was the start of a dangerous 12-year struggle to live together as a couple."

A third of British men who have sex with men have participated in chemsex.

This lesbian couple have hit back at the haters who said the "wrong one" got pregnant.

Twelve life lessons I learned from bottoming.

Thirteen reasons why you should be single.

Médecins Sans

What medical advances can we expect in 2017?

Why the fight for Obamacare is a fight for LGBT lives.

HIV is older than dinosaurs — over half a billion years old.

Is brain activity the key in stress link to heart disease?

How much good does not drinking for a month actually do?


Seven things in food to stay livid about in 2017.

Sugar, explained. "Sugar is the dietary villain of our day. But the science is complicated."

Who killed the great British curry house? "Why has Britain turned its back on its favourite food – and shut out the people needed to cook it?"

Sacrament. "Wine is an elixir, a miracle-worker and shapeshifter – no wonder even the most secular of us hold it sacred still." (May 2014)

Drink up. "The rise of really cheap wine." (May 2009)


Joe Jonas is the new face, crotch and ass of Guess underwear.


British unions must defend their right to strike – and become better at it. "Rightwingers exaggerate union power with a view to curbing it further. The modern, insecure workforce cannot afford to let that happen."

Robots will destroy our jobs – and we're not ready for it. "Two-thirds of Americans believe robots will soon perform most of the work done by humans but 80% also believe their jobs will be unaffected. Time to think again."

I Own 51% Of This Company!

The high-cost, high-risk world of modern pet care. "A wave of corporatization is hitting the veterinary industry, but does a one-size-fits-all approach work?"

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

A train driver talks about what it's like to run someone over.

The final flight of Martin McNally. "He hijacked a plane at Lambert — and nearly got away with $500,000. It would take years to return to St. Louis."


Former closeted police officer Geng Le created gay app with 27 million users.

IBM unveils rainbow logo in protest against anti-LGBT legislation.

Should I be worried about the WhatsApp encryption vulnerability?

Self-segregation: how a personalized world is dividing Americans. "Most people aren’t looking to self-segregate, but the abundance of choice made possible by technology, alongside military privatization, makes it too easy."

Why time management is ruining our lives. "All of our efforts to be more productive backfire – and only make us feel even busier and more stressed."


All the risks of climate change, in a single graph.

New candidate for the "missing element" in Earth's core.

Urbanisation signal detected in evolution. "A 'clear signal' of urbanisation has been identified in the evolution of organisms, which has implications for sustainability and human well-being."


The Ocean Art photography competition, winning images.

WATCH  Snow monkey attempts sex with deer in rare example of interspecies mating; and Langur monkeys grieve over a fake monkey.

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

And finally, Walter on his evolving position on people living with HIV; Andrew on... um, penis; Jack and Ben welcome 2017; and Chris and Aaron on sugar Daddy sex.

Issue 248: 7-13 January 2017
On the cover: Derrick Gordon.

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