Issue 267: Michael Johnson, Anthony Bowens, Insecure, Cakeboy, TaetheDoug, Bianca Del Rio, Rodrigo Alves, Kris Evans, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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Left &

Does gay porn have us rethinking masculinity? "A new study shows that gay porn is even driving how straight guys see themselves — and that’s a good thing."

Everything you’ve always wanted to ask a bisexual person but were always too scared.

This gay man spent a year undercover in the alt-right. Here’s his story.

Twenty-four "gay culture" Tweets that will hit way too close to home.

Is it wrong to call Trump a white supremacist? "When ESPN’s Jemele Hill tweeted that the president was a white supremacist, she created a storm that reached all the way to the White House. But was she wrong?"

What really happened in 2016, in seven charts.

Types of black privilege, ranked.

Talking to DaShawn Usher, founder of the Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI), a group of queer black activists in New York City.

Living with the myth of the big black cock. "Five African-American men on navigating the giant stereotype."

BlackOutUK's guide to black gay LA.

There’s a war for your attention. And you’re probably losing it.

The pursuit of loneliness: how I chose a life of solitude.


Four men have pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges for targeting gay men on Grindr, and assaulting them in home invasions.

College wrestler Michael Johnson - aka "Tiger Mandingo" - could now be paroled within 18 months, after unjustly being sentenced to thirty years in prison in a HIV criminalisation case.

Meet the bodybuilder who wants to become the first trans Mr. Olympia.

Memorial for Georgia Tech's Pride president descends into a riot; Scout Schultz was shot after wielding what police claim they saw as a knife.

Viral "hunky cop" Michael Hamill is under investigation for alleged anti-semitic Facebook posts.

This Trump supporter tried to get an undocumented girl deported. But the school expelled him instead.

Betsy DeVos rescinds campus rape guidelines in order to protect the accused.

These five football "stars" at Illinois's Christian-focused Wheaton College stand accused of kidnapping, beating, and attempting to sodomise a freshman.

Students stage mass protest after Kansas high school fails to punish transphobic football players.

Vile "Sassy Gay Republican" Alex Newman - and outspoken Obamacare critic - turns to crowdfunding after car accident.

Federal judge rules business turning away same-sex couples is like saying "whites only."

Kathy Griffin's neighbour, KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger, goes on sexist, homophobic tirade against her, branding her a “bald dyke” and a “fucking cunt...”

...And KB Home fails to condemn him.

John McCain tries to kill Trump's trans military ban...

...And OutServe-SLDN vows to kill it in court.

This report tells us why Trump is so afraid of Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Trump aides begin looking for the exits. "After a wave of high-profile White House departures this summer, staffers who remained are reaching out to headhunters to discuss their next moves."

Trump's quiet campaign against government workers.

Trump praises nonexistent country of Nambia in meeting with African leaders.

The UN was waiting for President Trump. Candidate Trump showed up instead.

The faces of the Zimbabwean delegation listening to Trump speak are the blackest thing that happened this week.

Steve Bell on Trump at the United Nations.

How Matt Drudge became the pipeline for Russian propaganda.

Jimmy Kimmel isn’t letting up, rages at Sen. Bill Cassidy and Obamacare repeal for a third night.

Is Obamacare finally safe? "The clock may finally have caught up with Republicans after nearly 10 months of failed repeal efforts."

Hepatitis A outbreak reaches San Diego and Los Angeles. "Sixteen people have been killed while hundreds more have contracted Hepatitis A in southern California."

STI transmissions increase among young gay and bisexual men.

Ensuring Ryan White and those like him won't be forgotten. "Thirty years after Ryan White's death, his mother underscores the importance of the newly dedicated Hemophilia Memorial Circle at the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco."

Hundreds gathered for dedication of the newly built hemophilia memorial at San Francisco's National AIDS Memorial, for those lost early in the epidemic.

Aetna revealed my status. "One gay, HIV-positive man tells his tale."

A gay couple had twins but only one of the babies is a US citizen.

Lesbian couple beat 5-year-old son with a hammer and duct-taped his eyes shut.

Deranged TV hosts, twin brothers David and Jason Benham, have a "secret plan" to end marriage equality.

The gay bar that died — then came back to life. "L.A.'s Roosterfish — which opened in the Jimmy Carter-era — left a huge void when it closed last year. But against all odds, it's coming back."

Gone baby gone. "In the wake of the housing crisis, a new breed of real estate investor is destroying America's cities."

Long read
The truth about New York’s legendary mole people. "Two decades after NYC sought to relocate its infamous tunnel-dwelling denizens, a years-long investigation reveals a few hardy souls still toiling and thriving beneath the city streets. They insist they wouldn’t live anywhere else." (October 2015)

From sex to alcohol, American teenagers are in no rush to grow up. "On average, American teens today are not growing up as fast as previous generations. Is that a good thing?"

We're at the end of white Christian America. What will that mean? "After accounting for eight out of 10 Americans in 1976, white Christians are now a minority, a study has found. The political implications could be profound."

Long read
The Lyman family’s holy siege of America. "A Manson-contemporary cult group rises out of a jug band, builds a fortress in the Boston ghetto, bullies control of a community newspaper, swallows a successful actor, fractures, splits for California, and attempts to describe to the reporter the enigma that is Mel Lyman." (December 1971)

A million tons of feces and an unbearable stench: life near industrial pig farms. "North Carolina’s hog industry has been the subject of litigation, investigation, legislation and regulation. But are its health and environmental risks finally getting too much?"

The story of an eyewitness. "Upon receipt of the first news of the earthquake, Collier's telegraphed to Mr. Jack London - who lives only forty miles from San Francisco - requesting him to go to the scene of the disaster and write the story of what he saw. Mr. London started at once, and he sent the following dramatic description of the tragic events he witnessed in the burning city." (May 1906)

Meet the man helping patients bring cheap hiv-preventing drugs to Canada.


Long read
The boy who killed – and the mother who tried to stop him. "His actions were labelled ‘pure evil’, and he is now serving 14 years for the murder of Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes. But his mother tells of years of trying and failing to get help that might have saved him – and his victim."

Drugs-binge junior doctor Thomas Jenkins asked a "13-year-old boy" to have unprotected sex on Grindr. Now he faces being struck off.

Stonewall, the charity named after the famous LGBT riot, disavows all violence.

Muslim radio host Maajid Nawaz slams caller who believes homosexuality should be punished with stoning.

McCain Oven Chips hits back at homophobic haters after featuring gay couple in TV ad.

Piers Morgan calls trans model Munroe Bergdorf a "creature" in ongoing racism row.

Uneducated doctors are "killing the transgender community."

"Human Ken doll" Rodrigo Alves detained by immigration police at Dubai Airport.

"Why I posted photos of Grenfell victim on social media."

Why are housing association flats lying empty when Grenfell survivors need them? "Properties owned by Kensington and Chelsea housing associations are being earmarked for redevelopment rather than providing much-needed homes."

Britain's 21st-century housing catastrophe bears an eerie resemblance to my childhood. "In the 1920s, Harry Leslie Smith was shunted from one cold, dirty, overcrowded hovel to the next, fleeing by night when his father could no longer pay the rent. Nearly a century on, little has changed for many working-class families."

Clarke Peters, the US star of The Wire has called for more opportunities for black British actors.

Encouraging working class actors to rise again. "From Dame Julie Walters to David Morrissey, many top showbusiness names have voiced concerns about a lack of working class actors. Now leading playwright Jim Cartwright is doing something to fix the problem."

Vile Tory MP Andrew Bridgen (who's previously been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault) and rightwing tabloid the Daily Mail launch sickening attack on memorial for executed gay men.

Boris Johnson is an insult to the nation. His plotting led to this horror show. "For the last two years, Britain has been held hostage by the Tories’ disastrous scheming. Now acrimony is erupting and Brexit looks ever more shambolic."

Long read
The inside story of Labour’s election shock. "When a snap election was called, a divided Labour sprang into action to defy predictions of a wipeout and upturn the political consensus. The key players tell Heather Stewart how it all happened."

Eight LGBT facts about Victorian England which will blow your mind.

Uber London: Uber deserved to lose its licence, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan. "Our city is a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship. That’s because it’s renowned as a place where everyone has to play by the same rules."

Uber London: obey the rules.

Uber London: The decision might be unpopular, but it’s the right one. "Uber is cheap, convenient and by and large safe, but it has serious flaws too. No company deserves a free pass just because it’s popular."

We felt so lucky to foster a young refugee. Don’t let Parsons Green tarnish a proud tradition. "Fostering a teenager from Syria has been a privilege and given us a new perspective on our lives. I hope this horrific attack does not deter future carers."

How death has changed over 100 years in Britain.

This is 26-year-old Darryl Rowe, a hairdresser from Edinburgh. He is to stand trial for deliberately infecting ten men with HIV by "tampering with condoms."

Northern Ireland
Support for marriage equality still high.


Gay deputy Florian Philippot quits the far-right Front National following internal fued.

Gay porn star-turned-spy who posed as IS supporter sentenced.

Die Partei, the satirical party gaining ground on social media. "Group that pledges to introduce cocaine on prescription has gathered more new Facebook fans than AfD or Merkel’s CDU."

Like it or not, the far right is heading for Germany’s Bundestag. "The AfD party has become increasingly nasty – and more popular too. That nationalists will have a voice in the German parliament once again is disturbing."

Firefighters extract man’s penis from centre hole of a gym dumbbell.

Roma LGBT people talk about the challenges of facing double discrimination.

Ana Brnabic, the country's first openly gay prime minister, has marched in Belgrade’s Pride parade for the first time.

One hundred gay and transgender people reportedly arrested and tortured.

Protest over twentieth homophobia-fueled murder.

Desperate LGBT refugees seek a way out, though it’s "suicidal."

The aftermath of the Mexico City earthquake, in pictures.

Judge approves "gay conversion therapy", sparking national outrage. "The ruling overturns a national psychology council decision in 1999 forbidding psychologists from offering treatments claiming to ‘cure’ gay people."

No business, no boozing, no casual sex: when Togo turned off the internet. "When young people started mobilising online against Togo’s president, the state switched off the internet. In the week that followed, people talked more, worked harder and had less sex – all of which proved bad news for the government."

How Venezuela went from a rich democracy to a dictatorship on the brink of collapse.

LGBT activists find new hope with the right to privacy recognised.

Twenty people have been arrested after they were accused of engaging in “homosexual activities.”

North Korea
Nine questions you were too embarrassed to ask.

House of Representatives approves LGBT rights bill on final reading.

Vile President Rodrigo Duterte asks human rights head if he's "gay or pedophile."

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has vowed to block Kuala Lumpur a planned gay festival.

This hilarious site lists all the valid reasons to vote No in the marriage equality ballot.

Marriage equality could prevent 3000 teen suicides a year, say leading mental health groups.

Young Aboriginal LGBT people are killing themselves. We need to protect them. "Realising I’m gay was almost too much to bear through my teenage years, writes NITV journalist and IndigenousX host Allan Clarke. We need to stand up to homophobia."

What it's like to grow up gay and Aboriginal. Above, gay Aboriginal model Casey Conway. (December 2015)

The 12-year-old boy fighting for the "right to marry Chris Hemsworth."

Student, who claims to be gay, heckled for speech opposing marriage equality.

Children’s entertainer sacked because "voting against same-sex marriage is homophobic."

Marriage equality support drops in wake of homophobic campaigning...

...And media bias: Lyle Shelton gets more media mentions than all three leading yes campaigners. "Analysis at odds with Australian Christian Lobby managing director’s claim that the no campaign is being silenced."

Vile bigot Margaret Court claims "there will be no Christmas" if marriage equality passes...

...Meanwhile Cottesloe Tennis Club in Perth, where she has been vice-patron for years, has now dumped the aging hate merchant.

The Australian Football League just came out for marriage equality...

...But TV host (and plastic surgery victim) Sam Newman has branded the AFL "whores" in a shocking on-air rant.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott head-butted by marriage equality supporter.

Vile far-right activists to rally at LGBT Holocaust memorial.

“Vote No” spelled out by a skywriting plane over the skies of Sydney...

...Whilst BUMSEX is spelled out in the barcode of a marriage equality ballot.

Here's why right now is the most critical part of the marriage equality survey.

Fourteen people every Australian's witnessed during the marriage equality debate.

Lesbian mum homophobically abused by midwife after 17-hour labour.

MP's fury over school 'do it in a dress' fundraiser helps raise $200,000. "Fundraiser aimed to raise $900 for girls’ education in Africa, but backlash led to more than $200,000 in donations."

Listen up, Australians: it’s time to turn down the volume. "Australians are often referred to as a laconic bunch. But let’s add another descriptor to our suite of national characteristics: loud as hell."

New Zealand
"I think that it's about love and it's about actually respecting people's right and in my view Australia needs to get on with it," says education minister Nikki Kaye.


Pro wrestler Anthony Bowens reveals how he met boyfriend Michael Pavano.

Aaron Hernandez's CTE diagnosis heightens the NFL's brain trauma crisis. "On Thursday it was revealed a 27-year-old with 44 career NFL games had the brain of a 67-year-old man. Will the league do anything about it?"

Washington had three gay players in its 1969 NFL training camp.

Wisconsin football fans took over the only gay bar in Provo, Utah.

Rugby legend Andrew Johns kisses teammate as he comes out for marriage equality.

Maria Sharapova’s feud with Serena Williams, explained.

Art +

The heartbreaking National Trust exhibition remembering gay men who paid the ultimate price.

Banksy pays tribute to Basquiat, as a his Barbican retrospective opens.

Dalí, Duchamp, Basquiat and beards: the best art of autumn 2017.

Talking to Stephen Barker, whose portraits show early AIDS activists, minus all the anger.

Talking to Duane Cramer, the photographer who wants to broaden and deepen the dimensions in which black men are seen.

Gin Wong, the LA architect who inspired The Jetsons, is dead. He was 94.

Five LA projects by modernist master Gin Wong.

Photographer Francis Meslet beautiful pictures of abandoned churches.


Hillary Clinton’s new book debuted to higher sales than any nonfiction hardcover since 2012.

Talking to Alan Hollinghurst. “I did have that sense that I was very fortunate in a way, coming along just as gay lit as a genre was really coming into its own, and finding there was this whole fascinating, unexplored world to write about. But then of course that was in the wake of gay liberation and various social and political changes; and then of course the great crisis of Aids was the second stage of that – it gave gay writing a new, unanticipated subject.”

How Nnedi Okorafor is changing the face of sci-fi. "With a Marvel comic under her belt and a novel being adapted for TV by HBO, the Nigerian-American writer is flying the flag for black, female geeks."

Learning What Love Means, by Mathieu Lindon. "The author and his confessions effervesce to the surface sleekly on every single page of the book with such skill that recognition only comes in hindsight, and it is only through hindsight that the most obvious claims and relationships become truly obvious."

Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, by Michael Ausiello. "Spoiler Alert is not an angry book. After you finish, you feel that it was wonderful that such a beautiful soul lived and that these two were able to find each other."

On Sheena C. Howard's new project, Encyclopedia of Black Comics.

Is "moist" the worst word in the English language?

Rolling Stone's out editor Jann Wenner puts it up for sale.

On the rag: your guide to the gay weeklies.

At Night

Charm. "The leading lady in Philip Dawkins’ Charm, which opened off-Broadway last night in a vibrant and totally captivating MCC Theater production, is inspired by the real life of Miss Gloria Allen, a trans icon who volunteered to teach etiquette, or charm, at Chicago’s LGBTQ community center."

Bullish. Gold horns and glitter beards in minotaur cabaret. "A crack cast of trans and gender-fluid actors deliver a playful and often moving version of the Greek myth."

Dead Club. Poe meets Lynch in a wickedly deviant disco riot. "The performers morph from party kids to Victorians to hipsters in Requardt & Rosenberg’s subversive, surreal spectacle of death and the afterlife."

Vogue mixed up Bob the Drag Queen and Shea Couleé and it was really awkward.


It’s lit! How film finally learned to light black skin. "In lighting, makeup and camera calibration, cinema has pandered to white skin for decades. Now, a new generation of film-makers are keen to ensure people of colour look as good on screen as they should."

Rotten Tomatoes, explained.

How LGBT people are used as punchlines in big Hollywood films.

On It, AIDS, homophobia, and ’80s nostalgia. "Stephen King’s 1986 novel has a gay sex scene that's been cut from the hit film because producers think today’s audiences couldn’t take it."

Strong Island is on Netflix. You should watch it now.

Against The Law. "A look back at one of Britain’s most infamous gay sex scandals."

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri "A wise, dark comedy about a broken world."

British cinema: shockingly white and male. "The UK film industry is full of talent – but the figures show its stories and perspectives are limited. It’s time for change."

The three-hour extended cut of Superman: The Movie is finally getting a home release.

Marlon Brando was my idol but he turned into a monster. He sabotaged my film. "Screenwriter Ron Hutchinson reveals the bizarre truth behind one of the Hollywood giant’s final films, The Island of Dr Moreau."

The Island of Dr. Moreau: The real story behind it is way more bonkers than the movie itself. (May 2015)

On the notorious, disastrous, fascinating The Island of Dr. Moreau. (August 2016)

The Island of Dr. Moreau: My year of flops case file #64.

Ten things you didn’t know about Jayne Mansfield.

B&B (trailer); Nise (trailer).


Controversial trans model Munroe Bergdorf hits back at vile Doctor Who Gareth Roberts writer over his transphobic Tweets.

Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp discuss their groundbreaking gay relationship Star Trek: Discovery.

Star Trek: Discovery’s showrunners on what to expect from the first Trek TV series in sixteen years.

The Prisoner at fifty, in pictures.

Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of The Prisoner with this cool retro poster.

Brandon Flynn, Justin Foley on Netflix’s Thirteen Reasons Why, has come out as gay.

Queer women win big at 2017 Emmys.

Emmy winner Lena Waithe wants to create a primetime show with a black lesbian lead.

In Insecure's bruising season two finale, it was so hard — and so necessary — to say goodbye. "The HBO comedy ended its second season with a structural shake-up and a devastating conclusion."

Insecure and the fiction of possibility. "The HBO show’s Season 2 finale takes a Sliding Doors approach to its characters’ lives—to masterful effect."

Insecure season finale recap: same ol' mistakes.

Roseanne reboot to feature gender fluid character. Rightwing loonies One Million Moms lose it.

People Just Do Nothing: every episode is more hilarious, and more harrowing. "The hit BBC mockumentary has stopped playing up Kurupt FM’s ineptitude and swapped it for something far sadder. It’s a brave move – and as Grindah, Chabuddy and co sink to new lows, this show soars ever higher."

Eastsiders announces third season premiere date and impressive guest stars.

The Deuce: Episode 2 recap. "If they were weirdly coy about the topic of pornography in last week’s pilot episode, they’re clearly intending to make up for lost time in the second installment, Show and Prove."

Looking back at Queer As Folk.

Bianca Del Rio has hit back at Paul O’Grady’s attack on RuPaul's Drag Race: "He’s bitter. He’ll die eventually – that’s my motto. Whenever anyone says anything really horrible or repulsive about me I sit back and say it’s ok, they’re going to die, one day they’ll die."

Will Young hits out at "insulting" obsession with Strictly Come Dancing same-sex partners.

Reality TV star Austin Armacost posts "brave" selfie and people are not impressed.

Here's the latest episodes of Climax, The Come Up, Love@FirstNight, and Steam Room Stories; and the trailer for new series Kingdom Heights.

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Pop music stans aren’t crazy, they’re having a conversation. "Pop fandom has historically been embodied by the screaming white girl. But the rise of queer men 'stanning' for pop divas signals the growing power of fan perspectives outside the straight white norm."

On Rod Stewart’s surprising slot in gay musical history.

Pablo Hernandez parodies Boys.

Talking to Marilyn Manson about the perils of being the lord of darkness: "Columbine destroyed my entire career."

Long read
The making and unmaking of Iggy Azalea. "Iggy’s fans have grown anxious, T.I. has professionally disowned her, and her critics want nothing to do with her after one too many offenses—the racist tweets, the blaccent, Twitter feuds — and not nearly enough good music."

Red Light

Twenty-seven dos and don'ts for Folsom Street Fair 2017.

Folsom Europe Berlin, in pictures.

Seattle Eagle's Dickslap, in pictures.

Thrive Tribe Foundation's Aduno party, in pictures.

LA's Gay Party Saturday, in pictures.

Talking to Ty Mitchell about drag, barebacking, the state of gay culture & the banality of porn.

Brent Everett launches $20,000 GoFundMe for underwear line.

Kris Evans "returns" to BelAmi.

Meet Yannis Paluan, the new Bel Ami boy.

Damien Kyle is having a Twitter fight with his boyfriend Paul Canon over a burrito.

Get to know TaeTheDoug.


Long read
The slutty resurgence of New York's underground gay sex parties. "The bottoms looked like they could melt into each other. They were facing each other and sighing, hands clasped for support as they each got nailed from behind. I’d been watching one who I guessed was in his late 20s rotate through the following pattern for about a half hour: He danced for two minutes or so, sucked dick for two minutes, got fucked for two minutes, then chatted for two minutes, over and over again. I didn’t see him come or put much effort into doing so; his jockstrap stayed intact and his hand didn’t so much as slip under it. I think I saw him get fucked at least ten times over the course of the night."

Twenty-four ways to plunge back into the joys of gay sex.

Five tips for preventing premature ejaculation.

Is there ever a "good" way to break up with someone?


Gay footballer Robbie Rogers is the new face of Target clothing.

Topher DiMaggio and Pablo Hernandez front the new Andrew Christian collection.


Anti-black hiring discrimination is as prevalent today as it was in 1989.

Educating the young about trade unions. "Mary Sawyer of Unite in Schools says that educating students about the vital role of unions in an increasingly casualised world of work is essential."

Médecins Sans Frontières

Is internet porn making young men impotent? "Thousands of men claim that porn addiction has led to erectile dysfunction – but many in the the medical community are skeptical."

Smokers with HIV far more likely to die of lung cancer.

When is there zero risk of transmitting HIV? "More leading health experts and organisations endorse 'Undetectable = Untransmittable.'"

I’m a doctor. Here’s what it’s like helping terminally ill patients end their lives.

Don’t overthink your exercise: just 2.5 hours per week of any kind could help you live longer.


We have no system to deal with escalating climate damages. It’s time to build one.

We know where the next big earthquakes will happen — but not when.


How do animals and birds manage in hurricanes?

The week in wildlife, in pictures.

Planes, Trains
& Automobiles

Meet the textiles team designing for the London Underground.

How Tube stations got their unusual names.

The black cab turns green as all-new electric London taxi launches.

QE2: The 50-year journey of a British style icon.

Cyclists vs anti-cyclists: the war of the roads is back on.


Here’s all the ugliest stuff you can find on the internet.

Finally, Walter discusses the problems of living in what he terms N-Ville; Tré Melvin hits out; Eddie enlists big Momma; and Riyadh meets with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom... 

Issue 267: 16-22 September 2017
On the cover: Insecure.

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