Issue 256: Jeremy Pope, Anthony Bowens, John Rechy, Têtu, Frank Ocean, Jason Vario, Tigger Redd, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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Left &

LGBT media is less white than ever, but it's still not enough.

How is black joy a form of resistance? "These emerging voices are on the front lines of Black, queer, and HIV literary activsm. They give us life, get to know them."

Over a billion people are living under homophobic British laws as Commonwealth Day is celebrated.

Why left-wing economics is not the answer to right-wing populism.

Shot at, beaten, starved: The child refugees who will stop at nothing to reach Europe.

What I’m really thinking: The gay Christian.

Get to know the new pronouns: They, theirs, and them.


Trump’s deliberate corruption of reality-based governing. “We’re seeing a broad White House effort to corrode the very ideal of reality-based governing, something that includes not just a discrediting of institutions such as the CBO but also the weakening of the influence of science and data over agency decision-making and the deliberate misuse of our democracy’s institutional processes to prop up Trump’s lies about his popular support and political opponents.”

Trump fires forty-six US attorneys after Fox's Sean Hannity commands he "purge" Obama-era appointees.

Schadenfreude time! Vile Lucian Wintrich, founder of Twinks for Trump, claims he was assaulted at the White House in a homophobic attack - by a Fox reporter.

Federal court rules discrimination against gay workers is not prohibited.

Hundreds demonstrate at Texas capitol – but "bathroom bill" still advances.

Texas bill would fine men $100 for masturbating.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh boycotts St. Patrick's Day parade after OutVets, a group of gay veterans, was denied the opportunity to participate...

...And surprise! The parade backs down and allows the veterans to march.

I shouldn’t be here. "The shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub claimed 49 lives and altered countless others. Nine months later, the tragedy still shapes three of those most deeply affected: two survivors and the brother of the youngest victim, Akyra Murray. Their names are Tiara, Patience, and Alex, and they are at once isolated by the individual nature of their suffering and deeply drawn to the only other people who remotely understand: each other."

Why Trump’s Muslim ban could be a death sentence for many LGBTs.

LA Pride is replacing the parade with a protest march.

Three men have been charged with hate crimes in the shooting of transgender woman Deeniquia Dodds.

LGBT community centre vandalised, staff member assaulted in Washington DC.

Orlando businessman Barry Miller is starting a scholarship fund for gay students to honour Pulse nightclub victims.

Why Rachel Maddow's dogged reporting may take Trump down. "The out MSNBC host provides a guide to the details emerging about Russia's interference in the presidential election — and the Trump campaign's possible collusion."

Trump is running an empty government. "He thinks refusing to hire people streamlines the government. But it’s backfiring."

Trump loves to bash China. He's also trademarking new businesses there. "China has approved 38 trademarks — including one for escort services."

What is Trump hiding in his tax returns?

Trump supports mass incarceration. This chart shows why that may not matter.

The world's largest AIDS organisation just flushed millions down the toilet.

Democrats to re-introduce LGBT Equality Act in Congress.

Betsy DeVos' holy war. "Her appointment as education secretary marks the crowning achievement of the Christian right's campaign to infiltrate America's secular institutions."

Homophobic evangelical nuts are raising money to make their own films - because Disney has "been overrun by gay people".

Republicans want to take away your PrEP.

A new bill would allow employers to see your genetic information — unless you pay a fine.

The abominable legacy of gay-conversion therapy. "Joseph Nicolosi, one of the pioneers of the practice, died last week. But his contribution to the field of psychology lives on."

Former Governor Pat McCrory is whining about HB2 making him unemployable. "People are reluctant to hire me, because, ‘oh my gosh, he’s a bigot’."

CANADA  Why is suicide on the rise among teenage girls.


Oliver Tetlow murder: Mother’s emotional plea a year after her son was gunned down in a Harlesden street.

Thomas Sleigh grabbed a flight attendant's genitals and demanded "are you gay?" He faces ten years in jail.

Police hunt man for "homophobic and racist" attack on the London Underground.

Ugandan woman faces deportation by the Home Office because they don’t believe she is a lesbian.

David Simms - the vile Hockey executive let off with "disgusting gays" joke - has a history of anti-gay slurs.

Vile right wing bigot Katie Hopkins forced to pay huge six-figure bill after losing libel case.

Russian billionaires exposed as the villains who close the historic gay bar The Black Cap.

The Terrence Higgins Trust and London Friend have launched a new counselling service for gay men struggling with drugs and chemsex.

Gay Brighton couple have opened up about their experience of being foster parents for more than two decades.

Why lack of pension equality for same-sex couples is sexual discrimination.

Transport for London admits liability over Croydon tram crash.

48 Hours on Clapham High Street, in pictures.

David Harewood: Samuel L Jackson is my hero. But he’s wrong about us British actors. "You don’t have to be a ‘brother’ to play African American roles. In fact, sometimes it helps that we can unshackle ourselves from the burden of US racial history."

The Brexit fanatics are at the helm, but don’t despair - this is not over. "The future seems bleak but with EU negotiations and a great reform bill still to come, there are many pitfalls for a reckless prime minister."

Britain is in chaos – and now the Tories may destroy the union. "David Cameron warned us an Ed Miliband government would lead to chronic instability – but the former prime minister’s legacy leaves the country teetering on the edge of collapse."

Female immigrants explain what shocked them most about Britain. "I see so many different things here in London – people screaming and retching on the street, with their blue hair and alcohol."

What it's like to be a resettled Syrian refugee. "The Batous family describe their warm welcome after they were moved from Turkey to Gedling in Nottinghamshire."

"We must not fail": Manchester Guardian reacts to outbreak of second world war. (September 1939)

NORTHERN IRELAND  Majority of politicians now support marriage equality.


ITALY  Venice could vanish underwater within a century.

SPAIN  Town fills local square with rainbow flags in support of allegedly battered gay couple.

SAUDI ARABIA  Police arrest about 35 Pakistanis (allegedly killing two), including many trans women, during a raid in Riyadh that disrupted a ceremony in which members of the Pakistani transgender community choose their gurus.

TUNISIA  Two young men, aged 20 and 21, jailed for eight months for homosexuality.

TUNISIA  Two months in jail for two men (aged 19 and 25) "for behaving like women".

ZIMBABWE  Here's a heartening report from The Rainbow 263 Film Festival, the culmination of a "Queer University" week. Attendees watched gay-themed international films, including the Oscar-winning Moonlight.

SOUTH AFRIC Why is South Africa still so anti-black, so many years after apartheid? "Afrophobic violence against black ‘outsiders’ has its roots in the system’s continuing, spectacular failure to deliver economic justice."

AUSTRALIA  Getting away with murder: police culture, gay hate, and Sydney's shame. "Former police officer turned true crime author Duncan McNab reflects on the bad old days of NSW police force culture of the 70s and 80s."

Médecins Sans

What hospitals waste. "The nation’s health care tab is sky-high. We’re tracking down the reasons. First stop: A look at all the perfectly good stuff hospitals throw away."

Should traditional Chinese medicine be used to treat HIV?

Clinical providers must do more to educate people on viral suppression.

Getting PrEP on the cheap.

What LED lights are doing to our sleep. "In towns and cities across the world, the colour of night is changing. Traditional yellow sodium street lights are steadily being replaced by white LED lamps. The new lights use less energy, dramatically cutting carbon emissions and saving money. But not everybody is happy."


Transgender athlete Lauren Jeska jailed for Alexander Stadium stabbings, which came amid a dispute over her eligibility to compete as a female.

Pro wrestler Anthony Bowens comes out.

Former NFL quarterback Kordell Stewart has been awarded $3 million in a lawsuit against a man who claimed they were in a gay relationship together.

Louisville football player Maurice Burkley says gays shouldn’t kiss in public, apologises immediately.

Texas college football recruits split with having gay or trans teammate.

But is it relevant to ask straight athletes if they will accept a gay teammate?

This gay high school wrestler found strength in his sport after facing harassment.

Art +

How the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art - the world's first LGBT art museum - built a collection that spans centuries.

The art of Nina Chanel Abney, in pictures.

Seven things you (probably) didn't know about Salvador Dalí.


...Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie clarifies transgender comments as backlash grows. "Author reiterates her support for transgender people, but says it would be ‘disingenuous’ not to acknowledge differences."

Publishers chased Katie Hopkins and Milo Yiannopoulos. But hate doesn’t sell.

Fascinating, monstrous, intriguing, and unflinching — a recommended quartet of books.

29th Annual Lambda Literary Award finalists announced.

How James Baldwin's return to America inspires us against Trump. "The writer left out of frustration with a racist country, but the reason he returned reveals the hope he still had as a black gay American."

REVIEW  No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies, edited by E. Patrick Johnson. "Published several months after the white drag performer Jeffree Star unveiled his new liquid lipstick by the same name. Regardless of whether or not it was premeditated, Johnson’s new anthology performed the intellectual snatch to end all intellectual snatches. Eschewing capitalism and anti-Blackness, Johnson reclaimed four words that should be never be sold for $18.00 a vial, but exchanged freely between queens of color."

REVIEW  Who Killed Piet Barol?, by Richard Mason. "This is an engaging novel that spins a fantastical tale. Its imaginative scope is broad. It succeeds at being colonial literature written from a post-colonial viewpoint."

REVIEW  Blacklight. A Kind of Justice, by Renee James. "James’ triumph here — and it’s an important one — is writing a detailed, positive, and mature trans character into the pages of a crime novel."

REVIEW  A Natural, by Ross Raisin. "This subtle story of a bullied sportsman in denial about his sexuality is a winner."

INTERVIEW  Talking to Ross Raisin.

READ  An excerpt from John Rechy’s After the Blue Hour.

How a dictionary writer defines English.

Têtu, the French gay magazine that launched in 1995 before collapsing in 2015, is back.

On the rag - the week's gay weeklies.

Here's the latest instalment of Zulu, the comic from Alverne Ball following the life of 16-year-old Lazarus Jones, who becomes possessed by the spirit of warrior king Shaka Zulu while visiting South Africa.

At Night

On Letters From Young Gay Men, the new play that features "real-life correspondence between queer youth and older mentors trying to offer perspective on growing up gay in America."

On Come From Away, the rousing 9/11 musical you could not have predicted.

How The View UpStairs recalls the forgotten gay disco inferno that killed thirty-two. "In June 1973, an act of arson that torched the UpStairs Lounge in the French Quarter of New Orleans killed 32 people. A new play revisits an overlooked tragedy."

REVIEW  The View UpStairs, where the ‘70s gay bar of your dreams is alive.

REVIEW  The View UpStairs. "A fabulous cross between Norma Desmond and Eartha Kitt, Willie channels a vintage camp that is all too rare nowadays."

REVIEW  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? "Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill are both superb as they trade insults and toy vindictively with their guests in a first-rate revival of an astonishing play."

REVIEW  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? "A high-wire showdown, [a] fine production."


Want to fight Trump? See Moonlight and more LGBT films.

Films to watch that satisfy your new Moonlight obsession.

Behind the Asian awakening happening in film. "An unprecedented amount of LGBT art and activism is coming out of China, Taiwan, and Singapore."

Did Hollywood sabotage my marriage? "For one writer, watching When We Rise drove home the fact that in her formative years, film and television never represented the possibility of lifelong love between women."

INTERVIEW  Talking to Nathan Lane about standing up to Trump, losing friends to Aids and falling apart at his wedding.

Cherchez la femme: Fourteen to watch at the French film festival. And here's trailers for It’s Only the End of the World, "a stunning slow burn. Louis, an acclaimed gay playwright in his mid-30s, returns to his estranged family to try to tell them he is dying of a terminal illness, but instead is thrown back into the pressure cooker of tension, anxiety and resentment that caused him to leave them 12 years ago". And Monsieur Chocolat, which stars French royalty Omar Sy as the Afro-Cuban performance artist Rafael Padilla: the first famous black clown.

Is Terrence Malick ahead of his time or out of date? "Film-lovers held their breath when the director returned from a 20-year hiatus. But as his output increased, so did the catcalls. Music drama Song to Song is his last chance to save his reputation."

You've Got Mail: the forgotten world of 90s movie websites. "Shonky graphics, confusing menus, weird picture galleries … the film websites from the internet’s early days haven’t aged well. So why are they still there?"

WATCH  Perpetual, a short film by Anthony Gomez.

WATCH  Being 17 (trailer)...


Logo's Fire Island contributes to gay America's moral decline. Why "trashy reality television is the last thing the LGBT community needs at this point in history..."

...Or, should we just stop complaining about LGBT characters on television? "Television is not meant to be a pure representation of reality; it is purposely designed to fictionalize and to entertain."

WATCH  Saturday Night Live spoofs Fire Island with brilliant "affluent lesbian" version, Cherry Grove.

Freshman drama The Breaks - an intimate look at the hip-hop world in 1990 - takes on homophobia and suicide when J. Mic is outed by another rapper.

REVIEW  Dropping The Soap. "This 10-episode comedic look into the melodrama of US soap operas – both on and off the screen – may have a few rough edges, but with heart humour and some good guest stars, it’s pretty fun."

How American Bandstand kept the secret that its teen stars were gay.

Underground is the history lesson America (and Ben Carson) needs. "Now in its second season, the underground railroad drama is a slick yet complex look at one of the least examined stories of the antebellum south."

Casting JonBenét's director Kitty Green on our obsession with the murder of a child pageant queen.

Give it up, Carrie: How Homeland went from startling TV to one giant shrug. "It’s been through bad times before, but right now Homeland is like watching the world’s most mundane CCTV feed. Can Carrie and Saul burst back into life?"

The Shield at fifteen. Series creator Shawn Ryan on the groundbreaking cop show's legacy.

Rewatching Deadwoodstill the most extraordinary, rootin' tootin' TV ever. "The profound, profane wild west masterpiece returns to our screens this week, and its tumbleweed pleasures certainly stand the test of time."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The thrilling, brilliant birth of TV as art. "Sunnydale had an embarrassment of riches – and there’s been no television as funny, moving or world-saving since. Buffy remains in a league of her own."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: How the show influenced modern entertainment.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Dominique Tipper about The Expanse.

"Previously On": The great art of speed-watching hit TV. "Is it possible to keep up with all the watercooler TV using only the recaps? We try to work out why Tom Hardy is rocking a Jamiroquai hat, why Carrie Mathison has moved to New York – and why the world of pottery is so sexy."

When good TV goes bad: Why X Factor lost its way with One Direction. "Once, tales of ordinary folk achieving stardom enthralled the nation. But smooshing its contestants into reluctant boybands revealed its true cynicism."

Gays of our lives: Your latest from gay soapland.

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Ugh. An American Idol runner-up, La’Porsha Renae (who last year announced that she disagrees with the “homosexual lifestyle”) now says she “chose to be heterosexual after being homosexual for 2 years.”

LISTEN  New Frank Ocean - Chanel.

Why doesn’t everyone rap in scouse? How British hip-hop broke free of London. "Aystar, Bugzy Malone and Levelz are some of the names that have helped the UK scene flourish. The biggest regional talents explain why each city has its own voice."

Joni Sledge, of the group Sister Sledge, is dead. She was 60.

Red Light

Second Fridays at the Seattle Eagle, in pictures.

BelAmi files infringement suit against website owner.

Helix gives BelAmi a run for its money with twink orgy starring Sean Ford, Corbin Colby, Blake Mitchell, Joey Mills, and Wes Campbell.

Behind-the-scenes with Jason Vario (aka Kiern Duecan) and more. Much more of Vario here.

On Peter De Rome, the grandfather of gay porn.

WATCH  Go to the bathhouse with Tigger Redd!


Because you were to embarassed to ask: How risky is it to be choked during sex?

Prisoners on sex in prison.

We're all having less sex than people were twenty years ago.

The founder of Hollywood's most elite sex club is unhappy. "He bought a mansion and filled it with debauchery. It still isn't enough."


Spud you don’t like: have potatoes had their chips? "We still eat plenty of crisps, hash browns and smiley faces, but sales of the unadulterated vegetable have fallen. If only you could microwave it..."


Designer Zac Posen is the latest to refuse dressing the Trump family.

Nike's new athletic hijab makes a political statement, whether it wants to or not.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Why airlines need more female pilots to take to the skies. "The number of women working as pilots in the UK is shockingly low. We ask five what must be done to encourage more girls to consider flying as a career, how they got their start and what they love about the job."

Texas company hopes Dallas-to-Houston train line is bound for glory. "In an age when passenger rail is severely limited across the US, Texas Central aims to succeed where public efforts have struggled – but it faces local resistance."


Internet warriors: inside the dark world of online haters. "Why do people vent such toxic opinions online? Filmmaker Kyrre Lien spent three years travelling the world to find out who these anonymous ‘internet warriors’ are and why they do it."

Grindr has launched its own range of gay emojis.

Can .art domain give the art business an online boost? "Arts institutions now have the option of a new internet suffix which aims to offer greater intelligibility and authenticity and maybe help the art market."

How the internet found a better way than illegible squiggles to prove you're not a robot.


Going underground: Inside the world of the mole-catchers. "A bitter battle is raging within the mole-catching community over the kindest way to carry out their deadly work."

The week in wildlife, in pictures.


White people shit that black people (not so) secretly love.

And finally, Walter tells the men of Atlanta to get a room; Andrew talks about dating. In bed. Naked; Davey Wavey finds himself in a sling (for the first time, allegedly); and Rogue "Marbie" Scott struggles with public transport...

Issue 256: 08-14 March 2017
On the cover: The View Upstairs.

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