Issue 257: Rico Pruitt, Brandon Karson, Anthony Bowens, Josette Simon, RuPaul, Michael K. Williams, BFI Flare, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

 photo strip post a 10 Jan 2017_zps7ksvqdtn.png

Left &

Standing on the right side of history. "Doing what's right means opposing a person who represents all that's wrong."

When it comes to gentrification, LGBT people are both victim and perpetrator. "The role queer people—and especially white queers—play in the history of urban inequality is thorny, to say the least."

Whatever happened to camp – does it still exist?

"Political correctness" has no meaning. That's the main appeal.

How to talk to people you hate about politics.

Black men seen as larger and more threatening than similarly sized white men, according to the American Psychological Association.

This is your brain on terrorism. "Why sensationalized terrorism coverage makes us overreact to risk."

The controversy over Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and trans women, explained.

What would happen in the hours and minutes after a US-China war started?

You're more likely to be hit by a meteor than win the lotto jackpot. "Governments rely on lottery sales for a steady revenue stream, which some criticize as a tax on the poor. The majority of players have below-average incomes and spend a lot of that income on games that give very slim chances of a significant payout. You're way more likely to win an Oscar or get crushed my a meteor than to hit a lottery jackpot."


Hasidic man caged for four years for role in group beating of gay black man in Brooklyn; Taj Patterson was left blind in one eye.

James Wesley Howell, the man arrested heading to LA Pride with explosives and ammo, to stand trial.

Orlando Pulse massacre survivors and families to sue terrorist’s wife and employer.

This is 38-year-old Alphonza Watson, the eighth trans woman to be killed this year.

T-Mobile under fire as gay man’s husband dies amid 911 "ghost call" issues.

Second fire in a week at vacant gay bathhouse.

Michael Hance, the NYPD officer who made headlines for twerking at a gay pride parade has died of 9/11-related cancer. He was 44.

27-year-old "Patch" has become the first known legally agender person in the US. Patch will be mononymous – known only by a first name, with no surname.

Marine Corps nude photo sharing scandal expands to include gay porn sites.

North Carolina given deadline to repeal anti-trans bill or lose six years of sporting events.

Still trying to portray Trump as an LGBT advocate? Here are some facts.

A Native American tribe in Oklahoma just approved same-sex marriage.

Leaked documents show Mormon Church control of anti-gay marriage campaign.

Let them eat cake! Pastor claims Christians can "cure" homosexuals by baking them cake.

Ultra-conservative Christian law firm claims gay people are building an "army" to challenge Trump.

Oklahoma politician George Faught has said on record that rape and incest are “the will of God”.

Senator Joel Ford responds to homophobia accusations with a pooping dog GIF.

Republican senator - and Trump surrogate - Ralph Shortey arrested for soliciting sex with underage boy...

...And - surprise! - he has resigned.

Here's another randy politician come undone: R. Scott Silverthorne, former mayor of Fairfax City, is in jail awaiting sentencing. Silverthorne was arrested after he provided methamphetamine to an undercover detective in exchange for what he thought would be permission to participate in an orgy with other men.

Here's one of the good guys. Virginia Governor has vetoed anti-LGBT "licence to discriminate" bills.

Utah just repealed one of its anti-gay laws.

Reports of people being fired for having HIV likely to rise under Trump.

Vile: Parents, kids shout "go back to mexico" at elementary school robotics team.

Trump's new travel ban is targeting LGBT people. "Imagine being a lesbian in Syria or a trans person in Libya, and trying to escape to America. Then picture Donald Trump slamming the door in your face."

On Steve Bannon's sad, desperate crusade. "These are Bannon's purest impulses and juvenile hypotheses wrung into a bucket and left to ferment."

Trump's strategic methods for undoing abortion rights and marriage equality.

Trump gives haters a prominent spot at the United Nations.

Trumpcare could bring HIV roaring back.

Amazing: Just 3% of Trump voters regret their vote.

Trump is $1B "poorer" in latest Forbes ranking.

Trump has lost the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board. "If he doesn't show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he's a fake President.” And this: “The President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle.”

Draining the swamp: Trump appoints a fifth Goldman Sachs executive to serve in his administration.

Ivanka Trump to get West Wing office as role expands. "The first daughter will not, however, become a government employee, raising ethics questions."

24 hours in a Detroit ER: On the frontline of America's healthcare debate. "Henry Ford hospital is one of the busiest in Michigan, and with many patients on Medicare and Medicaid it stands to be impacted greatly by an Obamacare repeal. As the debate rages, one doctor remains the calm at the center of the storm."

Can D.C's homeless live in discarded subway cars? "Visionary architect Arthur Cotton Moore’s latest idea: an affordable housing project built out of old Metro cars."

Why the white middle class is dying faster, explained. "The complicated collapse of middle-aged white Americans."

This whole Oregon town is up for sale for $3.8m.

Into the woods: How one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years. "At the age of 20, Christopher Knight parked his car on a remote trail in Maine and walked away with only the most basic supplies. He had no plan. His chief motivation was to avoid contact with people. This is his story."


Seventeen police officers face questions over their bungled investigation of Grindr serial killer Stephen Port.

Liverpool's oldest gay club - the Curzon - reopens.

AIDS charity exposes huge government cuts to HIV support.

Same-sex couples shun option of religious weddings.

The day after the attack in Westminster, in pictures.

"White working class": The label that seeks to divide and rule. "The white working class and the minority-ethnic working class aren’t enemies: they are companions in a fight against economic inequality."

What do we mean when we say "white working class"? "A new report says that the term – now favoured political shorthand – is employed for divisive purposes by the left and the right. So does it have a use, or does it simply turn poorer Britons into ‘moon specimens’?"

London is now "cheaper than New York or Tokyo" after pound's Brexit plunge.

This is what the beginning of gentrification looks like. "Meeting the residents of the Notting Hill estate earmarked for destruction."

NORTHERN IRELAND  On the UK's "most remote" gay bar, Central Bar, in Strabane.


IRELAND  How the LGBT community came together to fight for abortion rights.

IRELAND  Fire brigade called after man suffers "penis strangulation" from a ring.

GERMANY  50,000 gay men to receive compensation for Nazi-era criminal records.

GERMANY  New law proposes huge fines for social media hate speech.

RUSSIA  Yet another Putin critic has been found murdered. Funny that...

ARGENTINA  Buenos Aires subway station named after gay activist Carlos Jauregui.

ETHIOPIAN  Life in a refugee camp is even worse when you're gay.

NIGERIA  Court issues arrest warrant for a man accused of running a gay bar.

GHANA Two men were arrested, forced to pose naked and publicly humiliated because they had gay sex.

Living with volcanoes on Cape Verde, in pictures.

TUNISIA  Filmmaker, student jailed on gay-sex charges.

PHILIPPINES  Erratic President Duterte backtracks on support for marriage equality.

CHINA  A ghost city in the sand comes to life. "Mountains have been flattened and villages bulldozed to build Lanzhou New Area in China’s wild west. Four years ago Tom Phillips met empty streets and an eerie hush, but now he finds this improbable desert mirage finally filling up."

Is it too late to save Hong Kong from Beijing’s authoritarian grasp? "When Britain handed over control to China in 1997, Hong Kong was a beacon of freewheeling prosperity – but in recent years Beijing’s grip has tightened. Is there any hope for the city’s radical pro-democracy movement?"

JAPAN  The city of Iruma has become the first in the world to elect a trans man - 25-year-old Tomoya Hosoda - to public office.

AUSTRALIA  "Gay panic" defense abolished in Queensland.

AUSTRALIA  Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, in pictures. More pictures of debauchery here.

AUSTRALIA  Regulars stopped going to this man’s cafe after finding out he is gay.

AUSTRALIA  Razor gangs: Eerie mugshots paint picture of Sydney's criminal past.

Médecins Sans Frontières

Ibuprofen linked to cardiac arrest risk.

From hot chocolate to pre-packed salads: The surprising sources of salt.

Colorectal cancer rates are on the rise in younger people.

More Americans say they're in pain. It’s a fascinating and disturbing medical mystery.

How running towards HIV can save your life.

Charlie Sheen claims there are more HIV-positive stars in Hollywood.

If you’re just not a morning person, science says you may never be.


Too little, too late: Seven months on from the Rio Games, vile Daily Beast hack Nico Hines has apologised for outing gay athletes.

Pro wrestler Anthony Bowens and his boyfriend Mike Pavano talk about what makes them click.

Teen gay rodeo cowboy Josh Goyne ignores death threats: “The gay cowboy will never be silenced.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association to continue with pro-LGBT stance.

Four out gay divers compete at NCAA postseason meet in Virginia.

Floyd Mayweather's ex-personal chef claims her sexuality played a part in her firing. "I don't think he's ever looked at me past as just a gay person or a lesbian."

Colin Kaepernick and the history of blackballing in sports. "The free-agent quarterback isn’t the first professional athlete to find himself denied the opportunity to play for expressing his political beliefs."

Tiger Woods opens up on racial slurs that drove his desire for dominance.

Art +

On Kings & Queens In Their Castles, Tom Atwood's portraits of the many, many ways to be queer. Above, actors Doug Spearman and Marc Anthony Samuel in their Los Angeles home.

Hermoso, the new photo book by Ernest Montgomery, in pictures. There's a video, too. Watch:

Bad typography has ruined more than just the Oscars. "How graphic design can shape award shows, elections, and your medicine cabinet."


Is writer’s block a real thing, or just a figment of the imagination? "Diagnosing yourself as having writer’s block, rather than just not currently writing, will make matters worse."

Dames, detectives and dope: why we still love hardboiled crime. "As political corruption, violence and gender politics gain fresh relevance, pulp noir is attracting new voices and audiences, giving the gumshoe a 21st-century reboot."

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

REVIEW  Breakup/Breakdown, by Charles Jensen. "A short, quiet, and personal collection, one that in its straightforward simplicity offers many delights. For anyone who has experienced love and heartbreak, they will find this chapbook a worthwhile read."

REVIEW  Babybel Wax Bodysuit, by Eric Kostiuk Williams. "'We’re livin’ in a science-fiction present, kiddos!' Williams warns us, and his tales of self-commodification vs. defense of self-identity, along with illustrations of KKK members astride a Trump-headed snail, couldn’t be more apt."

This is Sidney Keys III. He started Books N Bros, a book club for boys. "We read books and African American literature because every time I go to the library at my school, there aren’t many African American literature books there."

Seventeen times Trump failed at spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

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.

At Night

Does theatre matter? "Whilst there's clearly increased diversity on stage, that is not reflected in the audiences, still mainly white, upper middle class, middle aged and older."

On the revival of La Cage aux Folles. "Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s 1983 musical has been revived once more. The show struck an important, rarely acknowledged blow for equality."

REVIEW  Yank! "Gay love story is an ode to courage under fire."

INTERVIEW  Talking to Josette Simon. "'One of the things that happens to powerful women is that people feel in control by reducing them to something dishonourable. The one thing about Cleopatra that you hear all the time is that she’s this sexual creature. They reduce her to a nymphomaniac, a strumpet.'"


Eleven records Moonlight broke at the Oscars.

When will lesbian films have their Moonlight moment?

What people in interracial relationships have to say about watching Get Out.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Daniel Kaluuya about Samuel L Jackson’s criticisms, playing "normal dudes" and why he didn’t watch any creepy films in order to prep for his breakout role.

Why TIME: The Kalief Browder Story is the real horror story you should be watching.

Imagine if all our childhood TV favourites went "dark and gritty". "Power Rangers is getting a Hollywood makeover, with more adult themes, primary colours removed and a 12A certificate. But why stop there?"

Is big-budget television threatening cinema?

What Feud misses about Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and the art of movies. "Feud fails to see that the pure, masklike totality of Crawford’s performances was made not of pieces or interpretations but of a seemingly whole being who visually sings through the screen. Crawford’s opaque fullness of presence — a way of performing that’s distinct from theatrical interpretation — is the very essence of the art of the cinema. It’s exactly what Feud misses."

INTERVIEW  Talking to Peter Ahlén about his film, Mørke Rum (Perpetual).

Hollywood is offering more opportunities to trans actors — white trans actors.

The Matrix reboot no one asked for is coming.

What killed the romcom? It was Love, Actually. "Richard Curtis’s sexist, saccharine turkey is being recooked at a time when TV romance is far superior. May it teach filmmakers to aim higher."

Can Hollywood fight back against Netflix? "In the age of streaming and smartphones, cinema’s power of immersion is more precious than ever."

Does Netflix changing its rating system matter? No, because people are still awful. "Star ratings are out and thumbs going up and down are in – yet deciding whether to watch London has Fallen should still be a personal decision."

REVIEW  Body Electric (KAOS at Flare 2017). "An incredible achievement... hands down the best film at this year's Flare."

REVIEW  Jesús (KAOS at Flare 2017). "A gruelling drama-thriller that builds to a devastating climax... [it] will haunt you for a long time afterwards."

REVIEW  Taekwondo. "Entertaining and shot through with a growing sense of sexual tension – as well as a decent smattering of full frontal nudity... a fun little film."

REVIEW  Moonlight (KAOS at Flare 2017). "I found Ashton Sanders' (as the teenage Chiron) the most powerful [performance]. At times his performance is so raw it's almost impossible to look at him."

REVIEW  Centre Of My World. "A sweet and charming gay teen romance, that also keeps you intrigued."

REVIEW  Jewel's Catch One (KAOS at Flare 2017). "[Jewel is] an inspiration, and a beacon of hope. She's something to believe in."

REVIEW  Shadow & Act (KAOS at Flare 2017). "A series of shorts... 'that compel you to know yourself, live freely and speak the truth to power.'"

REVIEW  Multiple Maniacs. "Still not a movie for the easily shocked, but this bizarre, queer, middle finger to nearly everything is oddly mesmerising, and looks great on this new release."


RuPaul’s Drag Race queens attacked in Los Angeles.

JJ Abrams’s production company Bad Robot and World of Wonder to produce a half-hour dramedy based on RuPaul’s life in New York City in the 1980s.

RuPaul got married.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Michael K. Williams about his role as a gay veteran living with HIV in When We Rise.

Twenty-two LGBT TV shows killed by low ratings.

Bates Motel main character has first gay kiss – and he’s been at it for years.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Brandon Karson, About Him.

Rico Pruitt lashes out at About Him star Brandon Karson ("We don't communicate, we not cool. I don't know what's up with him") and About Him producer Signal 23...

Shots Fired aims to be American Crime or The Wire. It doesn’t get there. "The new limited series is a handsomely directed, nicely acted, overly complex mess."

Shots Fired explores police brutality in a whole new way. "The first episode opens with a now painfully familiar scenario: A small-town cop has shot an unarmed teenager. One major difference? The cop is black, and the dead teen is white. But before the small North Carolina town has a chance to grapple with the incident, the neglected murder of an African-American teen is brought to light, opening wounds that threaten to tear the community apart."

Must-suffer TV. "Shots Fired, American Crime, and the challenge of making grim, issue-driven shows that are somehow still fun to watch."

Scandi noir is dead. "As European broadcasters team up to create ever more silly fusion cop shows, a beloved genre has gone from thriller to bland filler in just six years."

Doctor Who returns for a tenth series. In pictures.

Is there a secret reason for the return of all these classic Doctor Who creations? "Older versions of the Doctor’s foes and gadgets seem to be cropping up in the new series – but why?"

When good TV goes bad: how Lost got lost - and then found its way again. "Pointless polar bears and boring flashbacks drove viewers away in their millions. It took an episode so bad it changed mainstream TV for ever to get it back on track."

Which forgotten 80s movie stars deserve a television comeback? "Police Academy star Steve Guttenberg is joining the next season of The Rock’s HBO comedy Ballers but he should be joined by these other era-defining stars."

How historical dramas limit UK black actors.

Is saying the N-word still the final frontier of taboo on television? "The Carmichael Show surprised many with news that it will use the word six times in an episode, but as other showrunners push for its usage attitudes may be changing."

Can The Big Bang Theory learn from past TV spin-offs?

The mockumentary needs to die for British comedy to survive.

There's a new webseries in town: Butch & Nellie Take the Rap Game, from Conor Fetting-Smith.

Gays of our lives: Your latest from gay soapland.

WATCH  Here's the trailer for I'm Fine, a new gay comedy series from LGBT streaming service Dekkoo.

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Stormzy rages at NME after being featured on its front cover without his permission.

LISTEN  Asante Phenix's new EP, Hi Tech // Lo Life is here.

WATCH  Here's the video for Seeds from Teengirl Fantasy - and Khalif Jones, the artist formally known as Le1f.

WATCH  Here's the video for Wirecutters, from Portland's Maarquii.

WATCH  Here's the video for Jussie Smollett's F.U.W.

Red Light

The case against Matthew Rush - which arose after he was forced to defend himself against a violent ex-boyfriend - has been dismissed.

About Him star Rico Pruitt breaks the internet with bareback gay porn debut. In pictures. Some more shots here.

An open letter to Rico Pruitt. "Months ago, the announcement was made that the breakout star from one of the most popular and prodigious LGBT web series, About Him, was departing the franchise to embark upon a solo career with promises of a 'much anticipated' project. A snippet [was released] of Rico Pruitt [sic] new work, featuring him in a cum-drinking, raw butt-fucking, semen-swallowing porn scene. I was indeed dumbstruck!"

74-year-old Calvin Klein gets a new boy toy - and he's a twin with a porn past.

Gay porn star Kayden Gray isn't happy about being objectified by people who watch gay porn. is shuttering its San Francisco sex dungeon. "The world's largest fetish film company is moving out of the Armory, marking the end of an era for adult film and sex-positive culture in California."

HustlaBall Tel Aviv 2017, in pictures.

Bel Ami Gods Kris Evans and Miguel Estevez do it.

Bodybuilder Gabriel Lunna and Klein Kerr do it.

White Party, Palm Springs, in pictures.


Employers discriminate against candidates with "gay voice".

How to treat bartenders, according to bartenders.

How to treat taxi drivers, according to taxi drivers.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Uber’s toxic culture of rule breaking, explained.

An incredible visualisation of the world's shipping routes.

Listen to the clouds: Live feeds from flight radio.


Rotten Apple drops AIDS charity branding for its red iPhone to appease China.

Grindr's most important new emoji is a little blue pill.

Mass Effect Andromeda, a multi-million-pound video game series, now features multiple gay sex scenes.

Why won’t YouTube and Google consider moderators to tackle online hate?

YouTube's LGBT restrictions are about more than views.

...Like these nineteen videos YouTube is hiding from kids.

What YouTube says about it all.

Why the right is dominating YouTube.

Noise-cancelling headphones: The secret survival tool for modern life.


The climate change battle dividing Trump’s America. "Climate change denial and energy conspiracy are high on the president’s agenda, but US scientists are fighting back."


Can we know what animals are thinking? "The inner lives of other species may be a lot richer than science once thought."

How ivory-sniffing dogs are running down poachers across Africa.

Gwyneth Paltrow thinks octopuses are too smart to eat. "Octopus are too smart to be food. They have more neurons in their brains than we do. I had to stop eating them because I was so freaked out by it. They can escape from sea world and shit by unscrewing drains and going out to sea."

London's pigeon problem has a simple solution: a hawk.

The week in wildlife – in pictures.

WATCH  Here's a time-lapse video of a tadpole dividing.


Ten questions you always wanted to ask identical twins.

Finally, Walter ponders on what makes a black man "masculine"; Jack and Ben on asexuality; Rogue "Marbie" Scott totters along to BFI Flare; and Qaadir finds himself... troubled.

Issue 257: 15-23 March 2017
On the cover: Rico Pruitt.

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