Issue 258: Jacen Zhu, Tigger Redd, Rico Pruitt, Gilbert Baker, Skin Deep the Series, Todrick Hall, Daniel Shoneye, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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Left &

Former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies declares: "Gay people are better and cleverer and more imaginative than anyone else.”

RuPaul decries bachelorette parties who go to gay clubs. “People who live in the mainstream and the status quo think that everyone else is there to serve them."

If we don't fight it, social conservatism will defeat political correctness"White self-interest still rules and the left must keep waging the battles it is deemed to have already won."

The left mustn’t get hung up over language orthodoxy – we must be welcoming.

Weaponise! ​The meaning of 2017’s political buzzword"Sex, the NHS, Brexit, loose tal​k – all have been ​described as ​‘weaponised’​. But what is the effect on the public when ​language is constantly on a war footing?"

Rachel Dolezal’s pick-your-race policy works brilliantly – as long as you’re white"Dolezal’s idea that we all ‘write our own stories’ is easy for her to say. In reality, the racial fluidity she preaches is a one-way street."

Bullying black nerds for being "different" is a form of anti-blackness.

Robbie talks about being mixed race, and why the gay community is so obsessed with putting people in boxes.

No, wealth isn’t created at the top. It is merely devoured there"Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook ... a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry."

The myth of the lone wolf terrorist"In recent years, references to such attacks have become inescapable. But this lazy term obscures the real nature of the threat against us."

"I ached to fit in but just didn’t": Life with hippy parents"Hippy culture is back – but in the form of five-star glamping, and meditation apps. Guardian readers share their experiences of growing up with the originals."


Young people are less likely to know a lesbian or gay person than older generations.

Nineteen reasons it's better to be gay in LA than NYC.

Andrew Nesbitt, a Wisconsin man who was the victim of a brutal hate crime in 2011, has been found stabbed to death in his apartment, on his birthday.

Gay men are being targeted in “lewdness” stings at Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Court decision suggests heterosexuality is a gender stereotype.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has declared 12th June 12 "Orlando United Day," to celebrate and remember the lives of the forty-nine people murdered last year at Pulse nightclub.

Top law official disbarred over homophobic harassment campaign.

North Carolina has already lost billions of dollars in business since its anti-LGBT House Bill 2 passed. Here's the new numbers on what it's cost...

...Meanwhile, Governor Roy Cooper signs the HB2 repeal deal into law. But it's not a repeal.

Texas Republicans are pushing an "avalanche" of anti-LGBT bills.

Here's some excerpts from married Republican senator (and Trump affiliate) Ralph Shortey's texts with an underage boy: “I’m gonna f**k you like a good little boy if you keep calling me daddy,” Shortey wrote. After a text from the teen referenced bareback sex - and his “man pu**y” - Shortey corrected the teen, “Boy pu**y, baby boy.”

“Anything you say anymore about a gay is a gay slur,” according to Republican senator Ralph Watts.

"Death by a thousand cuts." How LGBT equality is fading under Trump.

Trump resistance groups to lead NYC Pride parade.

Trump covertly dismantles Obama-era LGBT protections.

Trump administration omits LGBT people from 2020 census. So, what does that mean for us?

The real reason there won’t be questions about LGBT people in the 2020 census.

Who would go after LGBT elders? The Trump administration.

Corporate America picks up the equality mantle during Trump years.

Trump and Pence meet with thirty white men to discuss pregnancy and maternity care.

Fox & Friends in the henhouse: How Trump's beloved show wields power"The president and the Fox News morning show have built a symbiotic relationship: the program defends Trump as it helps set his agenda."

Trevor Noah destroys lying Ivanka Trump for her new White House position.

"They" is now part of the Associated Press stylebook.

Study links LGBT-accepting campuses with lower risk of sexual assault.

Gilbert Baker, who created the rainbow flag, is dead. He was 65.

George Weinberg, the man who coined the word "homophobia", is dead. He was 86.

Daniel Booth, aka New York drag legend "Sweetie", is dead. He was 51.

This is 22-year-old Davey Mark Jimmerson. He died in his cell in Oklahoma County Jail after he was denied medical aid, his family claims.

New York City is officially closing the infamously troubled Rikers Island jail.

Disabled, or just desperate? "Rural Americans turn to disability as jobs dry up."

White flight followed factory jobs out of Gary, Indiana. Black people didn't have a choice"Residents who know the ugliness of racial politics all too well blame automation, not immigrants, for the destruction and despair that Trump promised to fix."

How 1,600 people went missing from our public lands without a trace"When 18-year-old Joe Keller vanished from a dude ranch in Colorado's Rio Grande National Forest, he joined the ranks of those missing on public land. No official tally exists, but their numbers are growing. And when an initial search turns up nothing, who'll keep looking?"

LGBT discrimination class actions against federal government merge.


MPs unanimously pass bill to repeal one of the UK’s last anti-gay laws.

This is 23-year-old Gerald Matovu. He's the drug dealer who supplied Grindr serial killer Stephen Port, who murdered Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor.

Court increases "unduly lenient" sentence for homophobic thugs who attacked Brighton gay couple. 18-year-old Gage Vye-Parminter and 19-year-old Matthew Howes received just five years each for the horrific attack, but this has now been increased to seven years.

Stonewall auctions luxury holiday to St Lucia - where gays are imprisoned.

Another Soho gay bar closes: Are you to blame?

Revenge porn offenders could leak your sex pics with no prospect of jail time.

Gay Star News website Tweets racist meme, immediately apologises.

How the Metropolitan Police's 696 form discriminates against grime artists"Matt Hancock warns that controversial risk-assessment may damage London’s night-time economy and stifle young musicians."

Beyond the blade: The truth about knife crime in Britain"Teenage knife crime is a tabloid obsession, blamed on feral youth running riot in our cities. But the reality is much more complex – and we cannot save lives if we do not understand it."

Music education is now only for the white and the wealthy.

Ten questions you always wanted to ask an off-licence owner.


The trauma of facing deportation"Hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country."

Police rescue gay couple from mob of youths.

18-year-old Jonas Correia dos Santos has become the third gay man to be killed in the eastern state of Alagoas this year.

A runaway crisis: Activists aid the shanty towns the state has left behind. "Despite the president’s ‘zero poverty’ pledge, a third of the country lives below the line – spurring action from a team who grew up in the towns themselves."

The happiest country in the world? I'm not so sure.

Muslim parents campaign to have gay preschool teacher removed.

Enabling Act becomes law (March 1933) "Full powers given to the Hitler government. The President’s functions will be limited, laws promulgated by decree, the electoral system may be altered by decree, and the budget settled by decree."

The Foreign Ministry doesn't want its citizens being homophobic whilst on holiday in other countries.

Moscow's big move: Is this the biggest urban demolition project ever? "In the most extensive Russian resettlement project in half a century, a full 10% of Moscow’s housing is set to be torn down and 1.6 million people moved as the city’s ‘Khrushchevka’ flats are destroyed. But residents won’t go easily."

Islamic State posts photos of man being executed for being gay.

"Everything we built for 20 years, gone in a blink" – life in the ruins of Aleppo"The rebel-held east of the Syrian city was devastated by years of bombing, first by the government alone then bolstered by Russian forces. Ruth Maclean travelled to Aleppo to hear how the district’s few remaining residents survive."

A river of rubbish: The ugly secret threatening China's most beautiful city"An ‘international tourism destination of peerless beauty’ say the slogans hanging in the streets of Guilin, but one of the scenic city’s rivers has recently been home to sewage and garbage. In a country where environmentalists are charged with anti-government espionage, will the authorities intervene?"

Constitutional Court hears landmark marriage equality case.

On the rise of HIV among Taiwan’s gay men.

LGBT students to be protected from homophobic bullying for the first time.

24-year-old Michael John Kight faces trial for allegedly using Grindr to ask someone to abduct an underage boy with him for sex.

Sandwich shop claims "poof" menu wasn’t meant to offend anyone.

Former opposition leader Mark Latham sacked from TV network after calling school kid "gay".

Looking back, and angry: What drives Pauline Hanson's voters"One Nation voters are richer, more urban and more liberal than you might expect. But they are profoundly nostalgic, display an unusual gloom and share a vehemently anti-government streak."

Médecins Sans Frontières

Eleven things you need to know about HIV.

Boffins promise humanity is “one step closer” to a vaccine for HIV.

Can a positive outlook lower your viral load?

HIV: How a long-term survivor ended up taking 30 pills a day.


Fight between two male volleyball stars ends with a kiss.

College volleyball team in North Carolina is a melting pot with three gay athletes, including Michael Tyler (14).

The first Tel Aviv Games are bringing LGBT athletes to Israel.

Gay personal trainer Michael Pavano (boyfriend of pro wrestler Anthony Bowens) on using his passion to break down barriers with straight men.

A gay gymnast's struggle to come out to his college coach.

Kick It Out releases great short film on homophobia featuring LGBT soccer fans.

Black Italian boxer’s erased history resurfaces in new documentary, The Duce’s Boxer.

ESPN has seen the future of TV and they’re not really into it.
"As more fans cut the cord and go mobile, the network is busy protecting its cable-TV money machine."

Art +

Against the law: The LGBT artists branded criminals"Fifty years after homosexuality was decriminalised, the Tate’s Queer British Art show explores a history of refuge and rebellion."

Inside New Scotland Yard: A neoclassical riverside pile with en suite liveried loos"Goodbye fortresses, hello bijou policing. The Met’s new £58m HQ has an art deco facade, a reflecting pool – and toilets patterned in squad car livery."


A prince and a farm boy fall in love in Promised Land, a new children's book by Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris.

Santa will be in a gay, interracial relationship in a new picture book by Daniel Kibblesmith.

Comic book featuring Harry Potter and Batman raises $165k for Orlando victims.

Social issues YA novels can be terrible. The Hate U Give is a stunning exception.

Dystopian dreams: How feminist science fiction predicted the future"From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, feminist science fiction writers have imagined other ways of living that prompt us to ask, could we do things differently?"

Kingdom Come: A Fantasia, by Timothy Liu. "In Liu’s newest collection, he unwinds and unwounds the past. The poet writes, 'There are people who are so wounded that everything has to serve as a kind of proof, whether they are or are not loved.'”

The War on Sex, edited by David M. Halperin and Trevor Hoppe. "We are living through a little-discussed assault on sexual freedoms that is pioneering new, subtle, and insidious methods of social control: this is the disturbing and difficult-to-refute thesis of The War on Sex."

Lesbian journalist sues queer publication over age discrimination.

Know the ledge: the best hip-hop autobiographies"The tiny literary genre has only a few entries but the most accomplished rap memoirs offer insight into worlds that are unimaginable to most."

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.

On the rag - the week's gay weeklies. 24th March here. 31st March here.

At Night

When every day is Groundhog Day"Danny Rubin wrote the beloved movie and, 24 years later, the musical. In between, he lived it."

The secret alchemy of stage lighting.


The new CHIPS movie brings back "gay panic".

Rape fantasy Elle isn’t a five-star masterpiece – it’s sick"Paul Verhoeven’s new film is basking in critical adoration, but by suggesting that women long to be raped it’s a slap in the face for survivors."

Why does watching modern sci-fi hurt my head? "As films such as Life and Arrival groan under the weight of microhydraulics, astral protozoa or the space-time continuum, swaths of the audience are being left behind."

Paramount looks to Disney model to recover after string of flops.

The ten greatest second world war films you haven't seen.

The Tired Old Queen At The Movies takes on a Libeled Lady.

Pushing Dead (KAOS at Flare 2017). "It's a good movie. It's a good, solid cast. It's funny. And I'm glad it was the last film I saw at this year's Flare. We went out on a high."

1:54. "Good performances and a devoted desire to look at incredibly important topics can’t hide the fact that 1:54 is too contrived for its own good, where the desire to make a statement overtakes the truth of the situation."

A Little Lust. "Although the moments of very light comedy and the darker dramatic moments sometimes clash, A Little Lust is largely a fun look at teen love, coming out, parents coming to terms with having a gay son, and love for a pop star."

Centre of My World. "Despite the teen romance and family drama rubbing awkwardly beside one another, and a tendency to rush things that really ought not be rushed, Centre Of My World is a sweet and charming gay teen romance, that also keeps you intrigued about the dark family secrets in Phil’s life."


Why gay bars are already mourning Drag Race Mondays.

Michelle Visage, Detox aren't happy that homophobic, transphobic Wendy Williams has been hired to host a live Drag Race viewing party. “Since then, other former Drag Race stars have started to register their unease with having Williams be a part of the franchise.”

On the queens of RuPaul's Drag Race season nine.

RuPaul's Drag Race: Season nine debut on VH1 nets show's biggest audience ever.

Now West Hollywood’s most famous gay bar, The Abbey, gets a reality series.

Doctor Who gets the show's first openly gay companion.

Idris Elba: "If I'm going to watch TV it wouldn't be a period drama, put it that way." "Since The Wire, the actor has fought against being stereotyped. Now he’s tackling the UK’s diversity problem with a BBC takeover."

Alexander Skarsgard's not so little guy pops up in Big Little Lies.

Down in the hole"The Wire, HBO’s series about cops and the drug trade in Baltimore, inspires deep cult loyalty and critical plaudits. What makes it so much more than just good TV?"

Why US TV is so obsessed with spin-offs.

When good TV goes bad: How Buffy the Vampire Slayer started to suck"Banter, wit, action, feminism, pop-culture quips and warmth – the Sunnydale Slayer saga had it all. Then, all of a sudden, its blood curdled."

Where shows go to die and then don't – why we should all celebrate Channel 5's birthday"The channel that gave us comedy budgies, Keith Chegwin naked and Touch the Truck is turning 20. But it hasn’t all been bad – and these days Five’s even making money."

Gays of our lives: Your latest from gay soapland.

Why soap operas love a whodunnit.

After Eden: The other reality TV shows that nobody watched"Channel 4’s survival show Eden went off the air without telling its stars – but it’s just the latest in a series of embarrassing reality TV flops, featuring fake astronauts and an orangutan tug-of-war."


Here's the first episodes of Skin Deep the Series, Shadows and TRADE; plus new episodes of Steam Room Stories and About Justin.

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Rapper Mousey Baby - real name James Thomas - charged in homophobic slashing outside New York chicken shop.

Gay rapper Makonnen explains why he didn’t come out earlier.

Why the TLC comeback matters so much.

Pet Shop Boys – ten of the best"Beneath the bright pop surface, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe’s long career of anthemic dance music fizzes with personal reflections, political ideas and cultural references."

The innovations that changed music videos.

Here's the video for Bipolar Sunshine's Are You Happy?

Here's the video for They Say, by The Digital Wild.

Here's the video for Capture, from Baloji.

Todrick Hall destroys the internet with new videos featuring RuPaul, Bob the Drag Queen, Willam and Alaska.

Red Light

Markie More promises to donate $250 from each scene to a Gay-Straight Alliance network.

Kyle Dean released from jail into his mother’s custody.

Helix boys Corbin Colby, Aiden Garcia and Logan Cross (oh, and deranged Trump supporter Brad Chase) do it.

Peter Le has sold his PeterFever site to ZBuckz.

Blatino Oasis, in pictures.

Orlando's sexiest party, Erotica, in pictures.

The Sword's fifty most popular gay porn stars. (Warning: It's really the top fifty white porn stars. Also Cody Cummings is on this list, and Sean Zevran isn't. Really.)

Tigger Redd, Liam Riley and Bishop Black open up.


Filipino power couple Francis Libiran and Christian Mark Jacobs get married.

The natural disadvantage same-sex relationships face.
"We're not inherently bad at pairing off — we just get a late start at understanding love and attraction."

How queer people of colour are combating sexual racism.

"I'm not into Asians." On the the importance of challenging casual racism.


Nigerian judge rules that Coca-Cola is "poisonous".

Nestlé is changing the Kit Kat recipe and people are outraged.


Gucci appropriates LGBT culture for "Queercore" shoes.

How Nike trainers became the latest unlikely symbol of revolt"A pair of Air Max 95s have become a mark of dissent in Russia. They join brollies, hoodies and rubber gloves as surprising tools of protest."

How streetwear restyled the world – from hip-hop to Supreme and Palace"New ‘drops’ by streetwear brands have teens queuing around the block in New York and London. It’s no wonder high fashion has it eyes on the ‘hypebeast’ scene."

Men’s fashion microtrend: How to wear jewellery.

Daniel Shoneye models Nasty Pig. You're welcome.


Subway accused of exploiting "apprentice" sandwich artists.

An interview with the Uber driver who had enough.

Inside Alabama’s auto jobs boom: Cheap wages, little training, crushed limbs"The South’s manufacturing renaissance comes with a heavy price."

How long until the UK has a fully automated workforce?


The African Transdiverse community has launched online magazine Queerstion.

Snoops may soon be able to buy your browsing history. Thank the US Congress.

Rotten Apple refuses to say how much money from "charity" red iPhone will go to fight AIDS.

Grindr turns eight. Now what?

How the sharing economy can support LGBT seniors.

Instagram starts to censor "sensitive content" - like topless selfies. Or bottomless ones, even.

Why Twitter is in an uproar about the latest change to Twitter.

Twitter explores subscription-based option for first time.


Dairy is scary. The public are waking up to the darkest part of farming"The photo of calves in cramped pens will shock many, and with so many non-dairy alternatives now, consumers have a choice."

Gay penguin couple caught trying to steal other couples’ eggs.

Alien intelligence: the extraordinary minds of octopuses and other cephalopods"After a startling encounter with a cuttlefish, Australian philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith set out to explore the mysterious lives of cephalopods. He was left asking: why do such smart creatures live such a short time?"

Behind the scenes at London zoo, in pictures.

Desperately wanted: Python hunters to tackle Florida's unwelcome intruder"Since Burmese pythons found their way into the wild in the 80s, they have decimated native wildlife. Now 150,000 could be lurking in the state’s waterways."

The week in wildlife, in pictures.


The rise of "YouTube voice" and why vloggers want it to stop.

Speaking of which, Walter discusses Rico Pruitt's move into porn (I don't agree with him); Ben talks about being black and gay; Rogue "Marbie" Scott struggles; and Davey Wavey exposes the truth!

Issue 258: 24-31 March 2017
On the cover: Jacen Zhu.

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