Issue 253: Yusaf Mack, Stefano Brizzi, About Him, Tigger Red, Kris Evans, Micah Brandt, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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Left &

Homophobia costs countries up to $100 billion a year.

So you want to be an artist? Then let the pros show you how it's done. "DBC Pierre wrote in a fever, Frank Turner dabbled in thrash and Nikki Amuka-Bird jumped off a cliff. Artists reveal how they got to the top – and how you can too."


Why do so many people sympathise with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer? "He killed at least 17 young men between 1978 and 1991. Many of these men were African-American or Hispanic, and most were picked up in or around gay bars. But people still want to look for the good in him."

HIV infection rate falls after two decades of stagnation...

...Suicide attempts by gay teenagers are down too, by seven percent.

Her son was lynched for being gay. Now her fight for justice is at risk from Trump. "Matthew Shepard’s murder in Wyoming in 1998 spurred his mother Judy to get the law changed but Trump’s election means "'my plan got blown to smithereens.'"

Bash back: Boxer (and sometime porn star) Yusaf Mack beats down a homophobic Twitter troll at the barber shop.

22-year-old Conor Kennedy - grandson of Robert F Kennedy - spared jail over bar fight with homophobes.

High school basketball team sends strong message against hate with these t-shirts.

A veteran cop suing the St. Louis police department was told to "tone down his gayness" if he wanted a promotion.

How LGBT politicians are winning elections in conservative areas of America. Above, Samuel Park.

Being black, gay and Republican isn't easy, whines according to Anthony “Rek” LeCounte.

Vile alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos caught on camera advocating paedophilia...

...and finds himself disinvited from speaking at the American Conservative Union's annual CPac conference...

...and forced to resign from Breitbart News.

The rise and fall of Milo Yiannopoulos – how a shallow actor played the bad guy for money. "Like Donald Trump, Yiannopoulos grew out of a grotesque convergence of politics and the internet, and thrived by turning hate speech into showbusiness."

Alleged rapist Julian Assange defends paedophile advocate Milo Yiannopoulos.

Milo Yiannopoulos and the myth of the gay paedophile. "The journalist’s comments suggest gay men enjoy sex with children — an idea that has been widely debunked."

Milo Yiannopoulos’s enablers deserve contempt – and must be confronted.

Conservatives are using the old "gay friend" trick to try to pacify LGBT advocates. Don't fall for it.

4chan: The skeleton key to the rise of Trump. "4chan value system, like Trump’s ideology, is obsessed with masculine competition (and the subsequent humiliation when the competition is lost). Note the terms 4chan invented, now so popular among grade schoolers everywhere: 'fail' and 'win', 'alpha' males and 'beta cucks'. This system is defined by its childlike innocence, that is to say, the inventor’s inexperience with any sort of 'IRL' romantic interaction. And like Trump, since these men wear their insecurities on their sleeve, they fling these insults in wild rabid bursts at everyone else. Trump the loser, the outsider, the hot mess, the pathetic joke, embodies this duality."

Trump’s dangerous delusions about Islam. "The president and his advisers paint Muslims as enemies of modernity. The neglected history of an age of Middle Eastern liberalism proves them wrong."

Democrats raise questions about Trump’s mental health.

Trump family’s lifestyle costing US taxpayers "hundreds of millions of dollars."

America's new heroin addicts. "More Americans now die from drugs than from guns or in car accidents, and increasingly, the victims are young, white and middle class." (November 2016)

The man with no name. "When an anonymous Mexican man was taken to an American hospital after a car crash, a 16-year quest began. Lying in a persistent vegetative state, he became a source of hope for thousands of families looking for lost loved ones."


The life and crimes of "cannibal cop killer" Stefano Brizzi. "The Italian invited a policeman to his London flat for a chemsex party, strangled him, chopped him up and, inspired by Breaking Bad, tried to dissolve him in acid."

Five thugs hospitalise gay couple on London train.

Child carer told not to tell parents she is gay incase they thought she was a paedophile.

Black and mixed race people in London more likely to be Tasered. "Figures show 40% of cases where stun guns used since 2014 involved people of black or mixed white and black ethnicities."

The London safe house call for male domestic abuse victims.

Pub chain drops plan to buy Britain’s oldest LGBT venue, Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

Olympic legacy: photographing the Lea Valley, in pictures.

London Ends: The city's forgotten neighbourhoods, in pictures.


IRELAND  Will Leo Varadkar be the country's first openly gay Prime Minister?

FINLAND  Parliament votes down efforts to reverse marriage equality.

ITALY  Francesco Spano, head of anti-discrimination office UNAR, resigns following a "gay sex club" exposé.

UKRAINE  What life looks like for people living in Chernobyl's nuclear exclusion zone.

TURKEY  In Istanbul, Mr. Gay Syria fears for his life. "A year ago, Syrian activists based in Berlin organized a Mr. Gay Syria contest in Istanbul. But, with anti-gay hate crime on the rise in Turkey, they now fear for the winner's safety."

Venezuela’s days of upheaval.

NIGERIA  "The exorcism was over in 15 minutes but nothing changed." On LGBT life in Nigeria.

GAMBIA  New President Adama Barrow has apparently shunned his predecessor’s anti-gay stance.

ZIMBABWE  Just like Putin, President Mugabe admires Trump too.

SOUTH AFRICA  Two lecturers at Durban college suspended for refusing to teach gay student.

TANZANIA  Officials want to publish the names of gay people and "arrest them all."

CHINA  Why China is building islands in the South China Sea.

MALAYSIA  Federal authorities openly endorse harmful gay conversion therapy.

JAPAN  Top housing website helping LGBT people find a home.

AUSTRALIA  Artist Sean Coyle's work memorialising the forgotten stories of murder and violence against gay men.

AUSTRALIA  Vile One Nation Party parliamentary candidate racist, homophobic rants exposed.

AUSTRALIA  Climate scepticism is a far-right badge of honour – even in sweltering Australia.


Former NBA star Tim Hardaway's journey from LGBT pariah to advocate.

Basketball star claims she was bullied for being straight in "98% gay" sport.

Taking a hit: Are US athletes' rights being eroded? "A bill before the Illinois state senate suggests a push to take away retired athletes’ healthcare rights – a distressing sign for those who care about labor rights in sport."

Team GB sprint God Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, in pictures.

Art +

Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980, a new exhibition at MCA Denver, until May.

On photographer Roger Mayne pictures of 50s and 60s Britain.

Twenty years of Richard Sandler's street photography, in pictures.

The art of Felix D'Eon, in pictures.


The fire this time – the legacy of James Baldwin. "His work fell foul of civil-rights-era binary racial and sexual politics but, as a new film shows, now Baldwin’s ideas are used to explain everything from Trump to Black Lives Matter."

Author Philip Pullman on why his new books will remain critical of religious attacks on LGBT people.

Roxanne Gay not going back to Simon & Schuster after Milo Yiannopoulos episode. “In canceling Milo’s book contract, Simon & Schuster made a business decision the same way they made a business decision when they decided to publish that man in the first place. When his comments about pedophilia/pederasty came to light, Simon & Schuster realized it would cost them more money to do business with Milo than he could earn for them. They did not finally “do the right thing” and now we know where their threshold, pun intended, lies.”

INTERVIEW  Talking to Edouard Louis about the violence of growing up gay and poor in a neglected French village.

The Ladybird phenomenon: the publishing craze that's still flying. "The Books for Grown Ups series is worth nearly £30m – so it’s no wonder that retro books for ‘kids’ have spread to other publishers. Now, serious subjects are getting the toilet-book treatment, too."

Keeping up with the Times: The New York Times claws its way into the future. "The main goal is... to transform the Times’ digital subscriptions into the main engine of a billion-dollar business, one that could pay to put reporters on the ground in 174 countries even if (OK, when) the printing presses stop forever. To hit that mark, the Times is embarking on an ambitious plan inspired by the strategies of Netflix, Spotify, and HBO: invest heavily in a core offering... while continuously adding new online services and features... so that a subscription becomes indispensable to the lives of its existing subscribers and more attractive to future ones."

At Night

Torch Song Trilogy revived with Michael Urie.


The new film about the incredible story of Syrians competing to be Mr Gay Syria is in desperate need of funding.

The tragic lessons of cinema’s first gay love story.

Moonlight is a powerful affirmation for gay black men: we’re supposed to exist. "The whitewashed heterosexual culture I grew up in didn’t speak to me. But this film lays all the answers I needed in my childhood at my feet."

REVIEW  Moonlight. "Barry Jenkins’s Oscar-nominated coming-of-age film is a heartbreaking, uplifting, minor-key masterpiece."

Moonlight and the myth of the pathetic queer. "Black gay lives are fetishized and pitied in the new politically correct movie."

Moonlight shines at the UK box office.

Why I love Moonlight's Mahershala Ali.

INTERVIEW  Talking to the cast and crew of Teenage Kicks. (May 2016)

From 21 Jump Street to Baywatch and CHiPs: How Hollywood remade the remake. "The new wave of 80s TV remakes delights in an ironic self-awareness – but when every recognisable brand has been plundered, what next for Hollywood’s directors?"

These painted backdrops brought life to classic Hollywood scenes. (November 2016)

The fifteen best Bette Davis movie performances.

REVIEW  Mildred Pierce: The Criterion Collection. "Another example of the importance of preservation. Criterion’s new 4K restoration is primarily scanned from the original camera negative (1.33:1 aspect ratio). Scenes look stunning with impeccable sharpness and gray-scale uniformity highlighting the film noir stylized photography from cinematographer Ernest Haller."

REVIEW  The Crying Game: 25th Anniversary Edition. "It’s not surprising that a film that took on such contentious issues feels a little dated around the edges in some ways, and that its attitudes have now been supplanted, but thanks to its core of hope and dedication to the idea of unexpected bonds being able to change people, it’s still a good movie."

REVIEW  Call Me A Ghost. "As sexy and erotic – if not moreso – as you’d expect from porn, with a touch of the supernatural and meditation of sadness, along with real filmmaking skill, which help make it something a bit more."

WATCH  Call Me A Ghost (trailer).

WATCH  Counting For Thunder (trailer).


RuPaul’s Drag Race star Nicole Paige Brooks (aka Brian Christopher Pryor) arrested on drug possession charges.

WATCH  Kevin Keller's hot makeout session with local bad boy Joaquin on Riverdale.

REVIEW  When We Rise. "It sets out to be the comprehensive historical record of gay rights in America, but its unwieldy structure and clumsy writing make it more of a footnote."

Six times Doctor Who was almost cancelled - and how the world's longest-running sci-fi TV show survived. (November 2016)

Gays of our lives: Your latest from gay soapland.

On EastEnders' double-decker disaster.

Coronation Street's old set, abandoned and derelict, in pictures.

How the BBC makes wildlife films that look like Hollywood movies.

Big Little Lies: Kidman and Witherspoon shine in masterly twist on Desperate Housewives. "Bitchy mums, sexy dads, puppet sex and murder. What more could you want?"

Big Little Lies looks great. Its actors are superb. The script got lost on the way to set. "HBO’s new Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman miniseries has beautiful moments, let down by clunky words."

WATCH  Do not miss SLAYTV’s Other Boys NYC documentary series, which covers the experiences queer minority men living in New York.

WATCH  Here's the sizzling trailer for the second season of About Him. Brandon Karson and Rahim Brazil return to their roles as (respectively) Damien and cousin Kendall.

WATCH  Here's the trailer for Entercourse: Rocky Love Ballad, a short film that bridges the gap between the first and second season of Entercourse.

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Duets from beyond the grave: is this pop’s creepiest trend? "Biggie Smalls is to be resurrected for more posthumous couplings, this time to duet with his widow Faith Evans. Will this gimmick ever die?"

Chicago rapper CupcakKe comes to the aid of gay kid kicked out of home.

Passenger sitting next to Mykki Blanco phones police because he "wasn't comfortable" sitting next to the rapper.

Adele’s tribute to Beyoncé was a frank admission of privilege. I salute it. "Speaking at the Grammys, the white, working-class Londoner shattered the taboo of race and class with a display of solidarity."

REVIEW  Glenn Lewis - World Outside My Window. "[It] rarely rises above a languorous pace, but that is no bad thing... A polished, heartfelt collection of sincerely delivered RnB." (2013)

Red Light

Flava Works sues again for infringement.

Killian James fakes his own death.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Tigger Redd.

American Gods Sean Zevran and Micah Brandt do it.

Helix boy Gods Sean Ford and Corbin Colby do it.

HustlaBall Las Vegas 2017 VIP Party, in pictures.

Bel Ami announces Loving Kris, a whole month of Kris Evans’ scenes with veterans Jack Harrer, Vadim Farrell, Zac DeHaan, and newbie Miguel Estevez.

WATCH  Drama with the Helix boys.


This is Stefan-Pierre Tomlin, the most "swiped-right" man on dating app Tinder.

Médecins Sans

Black bones, gangrene and weeping: the unwelcome return of scurvy. "With cases of scurvy appearing in Sydney and Zimbabwe, Jonathan Lamb looks at the history of a disease that was once thought to belong to the past."


Tomato flavor is broken. Can it be fixed?

Custard creams no longer take the biscuit as sales crumble.

Fig chutney and jerk chicken: how supermarkets spoiled posh pizza. "Sales of premium pizzas are up by £20m, as the stores try to replicate the outlandish toppings found in trendy restaurants. But the experts aren’t convinced."



The sex workers who sell access to their real lives. "Social media is just the latest marketplace where sex is bought and sold. But a new generation of sex workers are finding their fans are interested in more than just their bodies."

How Uber treats women. "It's a strange, fascinating, and slightly horrifying story that deserves to be told."

One of San Francisco’s best restaurants hires as many ex-felons as it can.

Ten questions you always wanted to ask a nurse. "There are two things I really struggle with – washing penises and cleaning under fingernails. I might be a nurse, but I'm also a human being."

The scientific and personal benefits of quitting your job.

Driverless trucks: economic tsunami may swallow one of most common US jobs. "America is producing more than ever before, but it is doing so with fewer and fewer workers. Once trucks become automated, where will these jobs go?"

I Own 51% Of
This Company!

How did Iceland become the top online supermarket? "Store enjoys a surprise revival after taking Aldi and Lidl’s lead in offering cut-price luxury to lure in the middle classes."

The supermarket food gamble may be up.

The invisible credit card of the future. (December 2016)

Planes, Trains
& Automobiles

The Tunnel Boring Machines of the Northern Line Extension, in pictures.

A tube for cars? "The proposed CarTube supposedly reclaims streets for people by moving cars on to a underground network of automated routes. But do these transport ideas mean the ‘smart city’ is going backwards or forwards?"


YouTube to abandon unskippable 30-second ads.

A better way to manage your passwords, explained with a cartoon.


Why Romanians no longer love killing pigs. "People in Romania aren't buying and killing their own pigs any more, a fact the merchants at the Brănești pig fair can't escape."

An "Arctic" safari in the Scottish Highlands.

The week in wildlife, in pictures.


Hasbro axe the Monopoly Thimble.

And finally, Rogue "Marbie" Scott confesses to attempted murder; Jack and Ben on shacking up; Walter ponders on ethnic cleansing; and Davey Wavey confesses to a fetish.

Issue 253: 15-21 February 2017
On the cover: The cast of About Him: Freshman Year.

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