Issue 254: Rashawn Brazell, My-King Johnson, Pierre et Gilles, Peter Polites, Moonlight, When We Rise, Jason Vario, and more...

the week's
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Left &

Let’s stop shaming black men. "Fifty percent of black gay men may become HIV-positive in their lifetime, but the cause is not what you think."

To stop paedophiles, we need to help them. But no one wants to hear that. "Our society is struggling to protect children, older people and disabled people. This is not just a crisis of care. This is a crisis of of human values."

What is the future of news? Bleak, probably. "A professional fact-checker explains why our fake news problem isn't going away."

Why facts don't change our minds. "The psychology behind our limitations of reason."

INTERVIEW  "Muslims need to reform their minds": Talking to Tariq Ramadan. "The academic believes Islam and the west shouldn’t be at odds, but was banned from the US and slated in the Sun. Isis hates him, too – so why is he still dogged by controversy?"


Pulse victims are threatening to sue over Univision’s dramatic reenactment of the massacre.

At least seven transgender women have now been killed in 2017. The latest victims include Tiara Lashaytheboss Richmond, and Chyna Doll Dupree (above), and 18-year-old Jaquarrius Holland. Richmond was shot to death on Chicago’s south side, whilst Dupree, a drag performer who identified as a transgender woman, was shot in New Orleans. Holland was shot dead in Louisiana.

Two gay men attacked in Key West by a drunk man who used gay slurs and told them, "You live in Trump country now."

Suspect arraigned in gruesome 2005 cold case murder of gay Brooklyn teen Rashawn Brazell.

Remembering Rashawn.

Man refused entry to the US because of his gay apps; customs officials read profiles on Scruff and BBRT (Bareback Real Time).

Taking stock of prison rape in the Trump era. "One stormy July morning in 2013, 17-year-old R.W. awoke to use the bathroom and found himself stuck in the throes of an American nightmare. Then an inmate at the Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell, Florida, R.W. claims he was attacked by at least six of his fellow prisoners who choked him, cut him with pieces of barbed wire, and raped him with a mop handle. It was part of a ritual known as a 'test of heart,' a violent tradition some inmates say is common in Florida correctional facilities."

The unspoken horror of incarcerated LGBT people.

Vile bigot Rush Limbaugh says Moonlight won Best Picture Oscar because it is a "twofer" about a "gay black guy".

Milo Yiannopoulos still has alt-right fans. Here's how they reacted to his downfall.

On the Milo bus with the lost boys of America’s new right. "What happens when a movement of gamers recognizes they’re not players, but pawns?"

America’s love affair with immoral and mediocre-ass white men will be its downfall.

Out New York Times columnis Charles Blow responds to DeVos's insane comment on historically black colleges.

Betsy DeVos says HBCUs are pioneers of school choice. She is a f**king idiot. You know this. But still.

A candidate for Arizona Governor has revealed all the details of his sex life to avoid scandal.

A Texas judge is suing the Social Security Administration – because he refuses to watch a training video about LGBT issues.

Tennessee has declared war on same-sex families: Inside the legislation that would eradicate nearly all rights for LGBT couples.

Trump's despicable plan to turn LGBTs against muslims.

Trump vilifies immigrants and claims he's a civil rights champion.

Seven times (so far) Trump and his cabinet lied about their plans for LGBT equality.

Trump claims he’s accomplished "almost everything" he set out to already.

Angry white men: The sociologist who studied Trump's base before Trump. "Michael Kimmel, one of the world’s foremost experts on masculinity, examines its role in men’s adherence to – and departure from – far-right movements."

Empathy for Trump voters? No, thanks.

Kellyanne Conway is white as f**k.

Efforts to repeal North Carolina’s HB2 have stalled once again.

Anti-transgender bathroom hysteria, explained.

George W Bush: A welcome return. "A polarising president, Mr Bush sounds a lot better out of office than in it. His swipe at Donald Trump’s brand of populism may mark a turning point for Republicans. We hope so."

The National Organization for Marriage may be collapsing before our eyes.

Is Colorado's homeless surge tied to marijuana legalization? "An 8% rise in homelessness has fueled speculation over whether legalization boosted the numbers of displaced in America’s unofficial legal cannabis capital."

Downward spiral: How addiction decimated a Wyoming family. "The state’s suicide rate is three times the national average and 16% of its people experience alcoholism or addiction. Alex’s family are the faces behind the figures."

CANADA  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's latest photo breaks the internet (again).


Nearly one in three British people believe being gay is a choice.

Brexit may leave holes in UK equality laws.

Three arrested after police drug raids on London gay clubs.

Nazi homophobe Sean Creighton jailed on terror and hate crime charges.

Gay Afghans facing deportation told to "pretend to be straight".

The 1930s London gay members' club raided by police. "Caravan Club, once billed as the capital’s greatest bohemian rendezvous, recreated for National Trust and National Archives Queer City project."

Tabloids are still spreading a basic falsehood about HIV.

Working-class desertion of Labour started before Corbyn.

The mystery over male Black Death victims found buried hand in hand at a plague burial ground in London.


ITALY  Gay couple legally recognised for the first time as parents of surrogate babies.

SLOVENIA  Same-sex marriage is now legal.

TUNISIA  New coalition fights for LGBT rights.

ARGENTINA  UN to assess discrimination against LGBT people.

Venezuela’s economic crisis is so dire that most people have lost an average of 19 pounds.

KENYA  On the run from persecution: How Kenya became a haven for LGBT refugees. (Image)

KENYA  Valentine’s Day attack injures four gay men in Nairobi slum.

TANZANIA  Plan to publish "list of gays" is abandoned.

UGANDA  Artist Vincent Kyabayinze's view of state-sponsored homophobia.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO  LGBT equality activist Jason Jones has filed a suit to overturn colonial-era anti-gay laws.

JAMAICA  Growing up gay in the Caribbean, I was in constant survival mode. "On an island where everything from pop music to the church demonises your sexuality, you police your every move." (Image)

JAMAICA  The island's largest newspaper has endorsed the constitutional challenge against the country’s anti-gay “buggery law.”

INDIA  Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil - first royal prince to come out publicly as gay - has called on the country’s government to scrap laws criminalising homosexuality.

INDONESIA  Why the sudden spike in LGBT hatred. "While other Asian countries make progress on LGBT rights, an unexpected wave of bigotry and anger broke out in Indonesia last year."

PHILIPPINES  Bodies every night: Documenting the brutal drug war.

AUSTRALIA  A 16-year-old boy led a chilling extortion ring targeting Grindr users.


This is My-King Johnson (stats: 17-year-old, 6'4" and 225 pounds), NCAA's first out football scholarship player. Is he the "organic" gay athlete we’ve been waiting for?

And this black gay college athlete from the South has found nothing but love and support.

This stereotype about gays in sport has been confirmed by a study.

NFL quarterback Kordell Stewart files $4.5 million lawsuit against man who claimed he was in the closet.

Amar’e Stoudemire on having a gay teammate: "I’m going to shower across the street".

INTERVIEW  Talking to Ian Thorpe about bullying, depression and athletes' mental health.

Art +

Library of the printed web: The guy who makes art out of the internet.

La vie en rose: Forty years of Pierre et Gilles, in pictures.
The art of Liam Donnelly, in pictures.

Adman – Warhol Before Pop, the new exhibition celebrating Warhol’s early career in the world of advertising.

Artist Joshua Smith's miniature worlds, in pictures.

Architect Ricardo Bofill turned a dilapidated cement factory into a home. In pictures.


The fight to save the house of James Baldwin.

Groundbreaking gay Iraq veteran James Wharton on his new book Something for the Weekend: Life in the Chemsex Underworld.

Queer, working-class noir: Debut novelist on Australian narcissism and suburban masculinity. "Peter Polites is part of a group of western Sydney writers from diverse backgrounds who are shaking up Australian literature."

The working class has its own cultural identity – and we must see it on the page. "Stories are a key support for each person’s identity, so it’s vital we defend those going unheard and unread – or leave a void to be filled by the far right."

REVIEW  Anybody, by Ari Banias. "A voice with the ability to transverse assumed boundaries and identities."

REVIEW  Heartsnare: Book One of the Umbraverse, by Steven B. Williams. "Rarely does a story about monsters and unknown creatures blend a horrifying and unconventional world with verisimilitude... Heartsnare, accomplishes this feat and leaves you waiting in anticipation for Book Two."

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

At Night

Black, gay, and burlesque: Watch a clip from Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe.

San Francisco's most famous Asian drag family hazed me hard.


RASHAWN’S DESIRE: The Untold Story Of Rashawn Brazell, a documentary that examines the story behind the 2005 murder of 19-year-old Rashawn Brazell, needs funding.

Hollywood's forgotten gay romance. "Making Love was revolutionary in its normalizing representation of gay people. Now, those who dared to bring a love story about two men to all corners of America in 1982 reveal to BuzzFeed News how they quietly made history."

Don't forget Moonlight made history. "The media has allowed an embarrassing mix-up to distract from a triumph: an LGBT film with an all-black cast won Best Picture at the Oscars."

Moonlight: The Oscars mix-up matters because this night was always about racial bias.

Moonlight may win Oscars, but out actors still lose.

Moonlight's writer-director Barry Jenkins shares secrets from the most suspenseful scene.

Even when white people finally get it right, they still get it wrong.

Eighteen celebrities and industry leaders explain how to come out in Hollywood.

Why black gay filmmaker Marlon Riggs matters now.

Ten pitch-perfect examples of “yeah... that’s some white people shit” in Get Out.

Get Out is a horror film about benevolent racism. It's spine-chilling.

What does Hollywood's next chapter look like? "In an era of increasingly political awards speeches and an industry seemingly under fire from Washington, what's next for the city of stars?"

Does the classic hero narrative have an inherent liberal bias?

How Robert Evans changed movies for ever – and for the better. "With The Godfather and Chinatown, Robert Evans revolutionised the movie industry. Now, Simon McBurney is staging the mogul’s scandalous memoir, The Kid Stays in the Picture. They talk about art, life and America."

REVIEW  Mildred Pierce. "The definitive Joan Crawford film, which manages to take the issues of women seriously, while also being the hyperbolic pageant of backstabbing, high emotion and crime that’s made it beloved by gay audiences for decades."

REVIEW  Bromance. "Despite a weak ending, Bromance does a good job of exploring how little close friends may know about one another, and the hidden secrets that can hide underneath."

WATCH  Akron (trailer - check out the KAOS review here); Kiki, Love to Love (trailer); Dropping The Soap (trailer); Bromance (trailer).


On Time: The Kalief Browder Story, the new six-part documentary about Kalief Browder, the boy from the Bronx who spent three years awaiting trial on Rikers Island — two of them in solitary confinement — for allegedly stealing a backpack. He killed himself at 22-years-of-age, two years after his release.

From gay rights to Black Lives Matter: Why network TV suddenly got serious. "Shows such as When We Rise and Shots Fired are introducing social issues into a schedule filled with escapism but can the Big Four ever take on premium cable?"

When We Rise: A love letter to LGBT activism. "How Dustin Lance Black, a group of queer and trans folks, and a bevy of A-list actors made a groundbreaking miniseries that’s a love letter to San Francisco, a journey through 40 years of LGBT struggles, and a contemporary call to arms."

When We Rise Why it's must-see TV.

When We Rise shows how we are stronger together. "Creator Dustin Lance Black warned against the 'myopia of the LGBT movement' in discussing lessons from the first episode of the miniseries."

When We Rise ratings disappoint. "The groundbreaking ABC miniseries pulled in nearly 3 million viewers, but more people tuned in to sitcoms and police procedurals."

INTERVIEW  Talking to Dustin Lance Black about making America hopeful again.

Girls' Lena Dunham donates $US50,000 to Detroit LGBT youth centre - and urges her five million Twitter followers to match it.

Do we need a Twin Peaks revival when TV is so much weirder now?

Doubt's cancellation is a cruel and ill-timed blow to trans visibility.

Obama loves it, Trump called it racist: why Black-ish is TV's most divisive show. "It has divided presidential opinion with its treatment of race, but Kenya Barris’s series is redefining modern comedy by balancing issues and laughs."

This Country: perfect, horrifying TV for anyone who grew up in a village. "Funny, desperate and spot on, the new BBC comedy about life in a tiny town connects with me in a way no other could. What a terrific achievement."

INTERVIEW  Talking to Jessica Lange about fame, feuds & the feminine mystique.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Ezra Edelman about making his epic documentary OJ: Made in America.

When good TV goes bad: How teen fave Dawson’s Creek lost its paddle. "A Sunday morning staple in the late 90s, it didn’t start veering off course until Joey was involved in a mugging that was never mentioned again."

Gays of our lives: Your latest from gay soapland.

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney on ten songs that shaped his life.

Was George Michael's mansion used to film gay porn? Apparently so.

Sinead O’Connor is sorry for saying that Arsenio Hall gave drugs to Prince.

Red Light

Why libraries need to archive porn.

Billy Santoro is now involved in the deranged Michael Lucas war over Josh Moore, because of course.

Jason Vario (formerly Kiern Duecan) is back as a cop.


Why HIV-positive people have the best orgasms.

Masturbation matters: Fifteen better ways to get off.

Seven ways to cope with a depressed partner.

Médecins Sans

Good news for people who want to live as long as possible.

This is why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study...

...And why everything you thought you knew about health was a lie.

The new vaccine therapy helping people live free of the virus - without the help of daily drugs.

Third person to acquire HIV on PrEP is an anomaly.

Another leading HIV organisation endorses Undetectable = Untransmittable.

The 12 most dangerous superbugs, ranked by the WHO.

Boffins have discovered what causes bipolar disorder.

The case for going to bed at 2:30 am.

A gay man's diary of deprivation. Seamus Kirst on his harrowing journey through anorexia and bulimia.

A veg (or five) too far: Why ten portions a day is way too much to ask.


Is the search for a zero-calorie artificial sweetener hopeless? On the hunt for the perfect sugar.


Vintage black male glamour, in pictures (December 2016).


WATCH  Officer Czezre Adams on what it's like to be a black gay cop.

Male business executives are "less likely to hire" gay employees.

What I’m really thinking: The trans employee.


How technology gets us hooked. "From a young age, humans love to press buttons that light up and make a noise. The thrill of positive feedback lies at the heart of addiction to gambling, games, and social media."

Grindr now has an official poet.

The new threat to Net Neutrality.

Memory editing technology will give us perfect recall and let us alter memories at will.


Australia's summer heat hints at worse to come.

Boffins warn there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.


That viral video of tigers chasing a drone is actually just from a slaughter farm.

Should Finland's wolves be culled? "Europe’s wolf population is on the rise – and in Finland, their future hangs in the balance. Are they a threat to humans, or should they be protected?"

Don’t be fooled by the pretty box: Find out the horror behind your egg. "The mass murder of male chicks and trimming of females’ beaks are standard practice in factory farming. Consumers must say no to these anachronisms."

Seal hugs plushie toy version of itself.

The week in wildlife, in pictures.


The lure of tall buildings: A guide to the risky but lucrative world of rooftoppers.

And finally, Rogue "Marbie" Scott's in trouble with the Feds; confessions of the hot guy; Davey Wavey gets naked with Sean Ford and Blake Mitchell; and Qaadir and the lesbians.

Issue 254: 22-28 February 2017
On the cover: Rashawn Brazell.

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