Showing posts with label Gay Issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Issues. Show all posts

August 12, 2016

Meryl Streep Gay Icon and Streep Tease

Meryl Streep is laughing her signature laugh. You know it: Sometimes light and airy, sometimes a surge of boisterous euphoria that carries well into the next question — but always unmistakably Meryl.

Cinema’s grand dame cracks one of her warm, famous chortles during our recent interview, while entertaining the idea that her latest chameleonic role, as real-life opera diva Florence Foster Jenkins in the movie of the same name, could once again spur drag queens to emulate another one of her queer-loved characters. Then she laughs again as she fondly remembers locking lips with Allison Janney in 2002’s The Hours. Meanwhile, the mere mention of 1992’s Death Becomes Her Meryl unleashing a hearty roar. Another laugh, too, when she ponders how sexting and Snapchat are related.

Gay audiences know this laugh because they know Meryl Streep. They also know her compassion for LGBT issues, both as an extension of her queer-inclusive acting repertoire and more explicitly, when, during her Golden Globe acceptance speech in 2004, she slammed then-president George W. Bush by condemning his anti-gay marriage stance. They’ve learned the art of shade from her sharp, searing tongue in The Devil Wears Prada, and they live for all the campy one-liners in Death Becomes Her. And during Angels in America, HBO’s 2003 watershed miniseries about the AIDS crisis, they wept.

Now, Streep, 67, sheds her skin once again to portray Jenkins, one of the worst singers in the world. In the poignant dramedy Florence Foster Jenkins from Stephen Frears, director of The Queen, the esteemed once-in-a-lifetime luminary plays a wannabe opera singer with a voice so hysterically appalling her loyal husband (Hugh Grant) bribes critics into letting her think she can sing.

Here, during this rare and revealing one-on-one conversation with Streep, the three-time Academy Award winner and record holder for most Oscar nominations discusses why she regards Angels in America as one of the most important LGBT-themed films she’s done and how she feels about gay men performing Meryl monologues. And looking ahead, is the biopic queen ready to consider her own story becoming a feature-length film in the future? Streep laughs at the very thought, of course, but she’s not kidding when she says, “I hope I fade into oblivion.”

Dallas Voice: You’ve given the gay community a breadth of greatness over the last four decades. When you look back at your gay roles, which has been the most important to you?  Streep: Oh, gosh. To me, I mean, Angels is such an important piece of history, and I felt really lucky to be part of that because I don’t think there was anything like it before. It really felt like being at the Democratic National Convention in the moment that Hillary shattered the glass ceiling — a big deal. The Hours was important, too. And of course I got to kiss Allison Janney, which was a perk!

Don’t tell Emma Thompson, who famously tongue-kissed you and gave you an orgasm in Angels.  Yeah, right! The Hours was nothing like that!

I remember Emma talking about that kiss in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. She’s very proud of it. She said she learned that “you have to use tongues even if you’re not a lesbian.”  Oh yeah, you really do. [Laughs]

When you look back at that moment, how does your takeaway from that kissing scene compare to Emma’s?  It’s just, you can’t take the baby from the bathwater. You can’t. It’s just the whole thing of it — that [orgasm scene] was just like the culmination of it. But what [screenwriter Tony Kushner] was doing was for a really mainstream HBO audience at that point — just groundbreaking. That hadn’t been on television. Movies, yes. But not television. So it was very cool.

Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins in the film, FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS by Paramount Pictures, Pathé and BBC FilmsYou knew you were a gay icon by2012, when you found out about Streep Tease — gay men taking on Meryl monologues in West Hollywood. Did you ever get a chance to see it?  I didn’t. We went immediately to London to shoot something else.

How do you feel about watching other people — gay men, for instance — do Meryl?  I love it when they do other people! I don’t know. I’m sure it would tickle me, but I’m just not — I don’t have a distance on myself yet that I probably should have. It’s like when my kids imitate me. I laugh but I kind of don’t like it.

Do they imitate you often?  Oh my god, yes. Endlessly. Especially when I answer the phone and they can tell that it’s [me pretending to be], like, a Jamaican operator or something, because I sort of start talking in the accent of the person I’m talking to. Oh, they’re merciless.

Do you feel a connection to the LGBT community?  I just can’t remember when LGBT people were not in my life. You know, gosh. My piano teachers when I was 11 and 12 were two gay men in a little town in New Jersey who had a collection of Mexican art and piñatas and silver lantern covers, and their house was wonderful, not like anybody else’s house in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. And yeah, I came of age when everything was kind of opening up and that’s a good time, right like now.

This film harkens back to the ’40s when communities were kind of cloaked and undercover, and yet in Greenwich Village and just communities of people in the artistic world, they were always embracing of people, every kind. That freedom — very staid people were drawn to that world because of its imagination and exoticism and willingness to embrace life in a different way.

How do you think the message of Florence — doing something you love because you love it and not because of what other people think — will resonate with the LGBT community?  Well, to the extent that anybody tells you that you can’t be a certain way or you shouldn’t be a certain way. You know, I think the limits other people put on you are the least valuable. A child announces who they are and people who encourage them are the ones to be around… and you have to get rid of everybody else who doesn’t help! I feel that way about everything, but certainly LGBT audiences will understand that.

In 1979, when you played a lesbian in Manhattan, being LGBT wasn’t cool. Why did you take on a role that might’ve been deemed “too much” during that time period?  I didn’t think of it that way. I mean, I was coming to movies sort of sideways from the theater. I got an early movie and I thought, “Well, this is a one-off; they’ll never ask me again.” I was fine with that. I was happy in the theater. And in the theater I had lots of gay friends and my longtime collaborator Roy Helland is gay. I’ve grown up with gay people and been in love with gay people.

Romantic love?  Oh no, not that kind!

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 14: Actress Meryl Streep attends 'The Iron Lady' Photocall during of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival at the Grand Hyatt on February 14, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.I mean, I know women who’ve had gay boyfriends and gay husbands.  No, no. Well… not that I know of!

If you were to play another lesbian role, who would be your dream co-star?  Oh, well, someone younger, clearly. [Laughs]

But who? I mean, you and Sandra Bullock have already had practice making out at the 2010 Critics Choice Movie Awards.  Yeah! That was famous. But I don’t know! I can’t pick! There are so many. One thing I think is, there are so many young talented actresses and actors. I grew up in a time when people emerged — like, there were a handful of people. Now, there’s like 35, 40 people who are just beyond talented, and because of the opening up of long-form television and all the other platforms — webisodes and things like that — I think there are more opportunities for people to demonstrate their talent. There are so many talented people.

And streaming — I heard you say you’re learning about it.  Getting on that, yes. Not really. Somebody told me that I Snapchatted but I don’t know how to Snapchat and I thought it was the thing that you do when you’re sexting sort of and then you want it to be erased. I didn’t know what they were talking about!

It’s very confusing out there, Meryl. Stay in your bubble.  OK, fine! [Laughs]

Emily Blunt said she’s interested in doing another Devil Wears Prada if everybody else returns. Would you be interested in doing a sequel?  In theory. But the heart sinks until you read the script. It’s like, somebody said [they want a] Mamma Mia 2! and it just … ack! I thought, Gram-Mamma Mia!? Really? No. So it would depend on the script; the script is everything. If somebody has the imagination and wit to apply and has an interesting story, yeah, sure. But absent that, no.

Your gay fans wouldn’t mind, I’ll tell you that … as long there’s a solid script, of course.  No, I wouldn’t mind either if the script were good.

Your Death Becomes Her co-star Isabella Rossellini said that she didn’t know she was making what became a gay cult film until after some market research. When did you realize Death Becomes Her would become a gay cult classic?  I knew when I met the writer!  When I met Martin [Donovan], I thought, “OK, here we go.” And then [when I sang] my first number, I thought, “Oh, all right, I’ll see this in a club somewhere.” I mean, with lines like, “Now a warning?!”  I mean, come on! It was so much fun, and it’s sort of a documentary on aging in Los Angeles now, it seems to me.

For years you’ve been playing real-life people: Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, now Florence Foster Jenkins. If one day there’s a Meryl Streep biopic, what do you hope it captures about your life and career?  I hope that doesn’t happen! You know, I treasure my life and the fact that it’s not on Facebook, and I really love my solitude and privacy — all these old-fashioned concepts. In a job where I’m with hundreds of people all the time and going on these press things, I just really love to get away and not be in the chattering world. That’s really important to me. So, I hope I fade into oblivion.

We rode in from the airport and Roy — my hair and makeup guy — pointed out the Will Rogers museum here in L.A. that’s closing and I said, “Why?” He said because nobody knows who he was and nobody cares, and there was no more central figure in his time that could sort of translate the best of the wit and charm of his era. So, you know, then it’s over. He’s gone. Nobody cares.

And you’re OK with that happening to you?  Yeah, I’m fine with that! I seriously feel like you can only speak to your moment, and right now your work should reflect it. Your work has to just be important right now. And in 10 years if it looks obsolete or like you were overdoing it, that’s fine, because for that time you were.

— Chris Azzopardi

March 2, 2015

How Gay came to be Gays


The word “gay” seems to have its origins around the 12th century in England, derived from the Old French word ‘gai’, which in turn was probably derived from a Germanic word, though that isn’t completely known.  The word’s original meaning meant something to the effect of “joyful”, “carefree”, “full of mirth”, or “bright and showy”.
However, around the early parts of the 17th century, the word began to be associated with immorality.  By the mid 17th century, according to an Oxford dictionary definition at the time, the meaning of the word had changed to mean  “addicted to pleasures and dissipations.  Often euphemistically: Of loose and immoral life”.  This is an extension of one of the original meanings of “carefree”, meaning more or less uninhibited.
Fast-forward to the 19th century and the word gay referred to a woman who was a prostitute and a gay man was someone who slept with a lot of women, often prostitutes.  Sort of ironical that today a gay man doesn’t sleep with women.   Also at this time, the phrase “gay it” meant to have sex.
With these new definitions, the original meanings of “carefree”, “joyful”, and “bright and showy” were still around; so the word was not exclusively used to refer to prostitutes or a promiscuous man.  Those were just accepted definitions, along with the other meanings of the word.
Around the 1920s and 1930s, however, the word started to have a new meaning.  In terms of the sexual meaning of the word, a “gay man” no longer just meant a man who had sex with a lot of women, but now started to refer to men who had sex with other men.  There was also another word “gey cat” at this time which meant a homosexual boy.
By 1955, the word gay now officially acquired the new added definition of meaning homosexual males.  Gay men themselves seem to have been behind the driving thrust for this new definition as they felt (and most still do), that “homosexual” is much too clinical sounding and is often thought of as offensive among gay people due to sounding like a disorder.  As such, it was common amongst themselves to refer to one another as “gay” decades before this was a commonly known definition (reportedly homosexual men were calling one another gay as early as the 1920s).  At this time, homosexual women were referred to as lesbians, not gay.  Although women could still be called gay if they were prostitutes as that meaning had not yet 100% disappeared.
Since then, gay, meaning homosexual male, has steadily driven out all the other definitions that have floated about through time and of course also has gradually begun supplementing the word ‘lesbian’ as referring to women who are homosexual.
Not satisfied with simply changing its definition once a century, as early as the 1980s a new definition for the word gay started popping up among American youth where now something gay could either mean a homosexual or something that is “lame” or “stupid” or the like.  This new definition was originally almost exclusively meant as an insulting term, derogatorily referencing homosexuals.
However, according to a report done by the BBC, most children are still using the word to mean “lame”, but now with having nothing to do with sexuality of any sort and also not generally meant as an insulting term against homosexuals.  
Now it is used more to the effect of just saying, for instance, “That movie was gay” as in stupid, but having nothing to do with homosexuality in their minds and not generally directed at people (thus not supposedly meant to be offensive to the gay community).  Whereas the origins of this new “lame” or “stupid” definition were most definitely meant to be insulting and were primarily directed at people.
The abstract noun ‘gaiety’ has somehow largely steered clear of having any sort of sexual connotation as with the word “gay”.  It still keeps its definition as meaning something to the effect of “festive”.Male homosexuality was illegal in Britain until the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967.  Because even mentioning someone was a homosexual was so offensive at the time in England, people who were thought to be gay were referred to as “sporty” with girls and “artistic” for boys.
Bringing Up Baby in 1938 was the first film to use the word gay to mean homosexual.  Cary Grant, in one scene, ended up having to wear a lady’s feathery robe.  When another character asks about why he is wearing that, he responds an ad-libbed line “Because I just went gay”. 
At the time, mainstream audiences didn’t get the reference so the line was thought popularly to have meant something to the effect of “I just decided to be carefree.

February 28, 2015

“My Best Gay friend” is Got to go… Yesterday!


First, there was My Best Friend's Weddingthen came Sex and the City and, of course, Will & Grace. Jump ahead a few years, and it's even cropped up in Lena Dunham's Girls. The trope is officially and stubbornly solidified in pop culture.
It's the Gay Best Friend — the paradigmatic relationship between gay man and a straight woman — that has swept thoroughly through our culture, becoming a classic character on screens and in real life. It's a rise that is possible in part because of an increasingly accepting society, one that's open to visibility for gay men, validates their orientation and recognizes their contributions. 
But it's exactly that positive progress that makes one thing clear today: The Gay Best Friend has got to go. In an era when marriage equality is sweeping the nation and acceptance is on the rise, it's a dated stereotype that, ultimately, does more harm than good. That's why it's time to replace the nonsensical "Gay Best Friend" with a more accurate term: friend.
The root of the problem: "Stereotypes are a classification system that makes the world feel more manageable," says Liz Margolies, founder and executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network. And people cling to them when something is unknown or threatening — there's a reason it's called homophobia, after all. 
There may be another reason the Gay Best Friend stereotype was so enthusiastically embraced across culture: women's desire for a non-threatening male presence in their lives. "Straight women often have a desire for safe and intimate relationships, and gay men offer exactly that without the fear of intimacy necessarily kicking in," psychologist Megan De Beyer told Mic.
In fact, a 2013 study of 88 straight women and 58 gay men found that the two sides trusted each other's dating advice more than straight women trusted straight men or gay men trusted straight men or lesbians, the Atlantic reported. This is because, the researchers suggest, the two groups share an attraction to men but aren't competing for mates, according to the Atlantic.
The appeal may also be connected to a void women feel. De Beyer added that it's common to hear "complaints from straight women about straight men who cannot engage on all levels and are difficult to communicate with, whereas they feel with gay men it's all just simple, fun and easy." 
"Straight women often have a desire for safe and intimate relationships, and gay men offer exactly that."
All style and sass: What's problematic is the assumption that gay men are always "simple, fun and easy," not to mention "fabulous." The Gay Best Friend trope relies on reductive stereotypes of gay men's interests, habits, behaviors and demeanors, many of which are positioned as useful complements to women's needs. 
Pop culture and the media are rife with illogical depictions of gay men as great shoppers, style gurus, endless fonts of sassy bons mots and sympathetic, insightful advisers. Those qualities may accurately describe some gay men (and also some toy poodles); but clearly the whole is not rightfully represented. Where are the fashion-backward gays, the dishonest sneaky queer men, the ones that have no humor whatsoever? Gay men, like any other humans, have a diverse array of personality traits that can't be neatly summed up in one "type."
Moreover, the "Gay Best Friend" inherently marginalizes gay men into a sidekick role, always in the service of someone more important. With a very specific function to fulfill, the Gay Best Friend is rarely allowed to deviate from his allocated role. In films like As Good As It Gets and TV series like Gossip Girl, the G.B.F. added a dose of snappy humor; in Mean Girls and Sex And The City, he doled out advice on fashion and sex — witty insights, of course, being the only sex-related action a G.B.F. gets on-screen, his own sex life being of no importance.

Just an accessory: That's because the Gay Best Friend is treated not so much as a person as an accessory, an object to be possessed. This is epitomized by the language around the term: "My Gay Best Friend" or "My Gay." As BuzzFeed recently noted, "Sure, it sounds cute at first — 'My gays.' It doesn't even sound malicious. You're just showing the world how accepting you are because you have a gay BFF. But you see, a human being can't be 'yours.'"
Being reduced to stereotypes for others' use, of course, is a problem faced by many minorities. Consider the "token minority best friend defense," as the New Republic phrased it in 2011. Wearing a friendship like a badge, valued more for what it represents to others than to the individual friend themselves, devalues the relationship to a merely functional level. A wholly imbalanced situation, it barely resembles a friendship between two equals.
And in an age when gay men (not to mention gay women) are finally being seen as people deserving of equal rights and equal treatment — and when having a friend who's gay means they're just, well, your friend — the G.B.F. trope doesn't apply. 
Wearing a friendship like a badge devalues the relationship to a merely functional level. 
Throwing out the term: Unpacking and disassembling society's view of Gay Best Friends can come, in part, from embracing real friendships rather than "token" ones, something that's already happening. 
"More LGBT people are simply integrated into the lives of all people as friends and family," says Cathy Renna, a media activist and LGBT community PR guru. "We will continue to battle homophobia and sexism and racism for a long time to come, but I would like to think we have made progress beyond the patronizing 'I have a gay friend so I must be OK with it' statement." 
In the meantime, progress is happening on the mainstream culture front, Girls' Elijah notwithstanding. When it comes to more nuanced representations, HBO's San Francisco-based Looking features characters across the gay milieu and adds new, authentic representations weekly. Hank on Sirens, played by Kevin Daniels, is a rounded and interesting character, sexual orientation aside. How to Get Away With MurderGlee and other shows include gay men not hemmed in by G.B.F. stereotypes.
ABC's Happy Endings confronted the G.B.F. storyline head-on in 2011, with protagonist Penny's pursuit of a stereotypical one to replace her actual gay best friend, Max, who is cynical, sports-loving and not at all sassy. The movie GBF, released in 2013, is entirely dedicated to highlighting young women’s bizarre pursuit of a picture-perfect specimen of gay arm candy.

Pop culture is getting there. But additionally, there's an argument to be made that aspects of the gay community itself can help change perceptions further. Gay organizations and queer magazines have a duty to showcase fewer six-packed stallions and glittered dancing queens, featuring more "real" men across all possible media. It's time for the fantasy to combine forces with reality: actual men of all ages, races and sexual variations that come with or without hair, fat, makeup and fashion opinions. 
"The LGBT community could very easily — and increasingly is — be better represented in our culture in two ways: more diversity and more depth," Renna says. Progress is evident with magazines like Amsterdam-based Butt, Australia's Hello Mr. and New York's Spank Art Mag, which actively promote more nuanced images of gay men.
Individuals like film director and porn model/actor Damien Moreau are using their work to represent male sexuality in non-cliched ways, including in pornography. Moreau insists on the gay community taking on an anti-stereotype movement, telling Mic, "We as a community need to educate ourselves more on what the acronym LGBTIQ actually means. It's more than a string of letters." 
What it comes down to is the abandonment of stereotype images and cliched language on all sides in order to move away from any reductive stereotypes, encourage less discrimination and place friendship and gay men satisfactorily aside from prejudice and cliche. The good news is that we’re already well on our way — the "Gay Best Friend" feels as outdated as last year's accessory. 

Daniel Scheffler's avatar image By Daniel Scheffler

February 8, 2015

My Gay Uncles


When I talk about my downtown life as a kid, people ask how old I am. Growing up in New York City in the 70s was more like being an urchin of the 30s than a silver spoon of the 80s. I'm more likely to share recollections with a 70-year old—playing stoop, jumping off the piers—than to wax fondly upon the boy bands, cocaine, and angular sports cars of Ronald Reagan's second term.
At 7 or 8, I ran around the city on my own—torn jeans and army cap—and I wasn't unusual. We were wild, when wildness in New York City was still a refuge for freedom. The city was different. There were still neighborhoods, and people were—has the phrase fallen out of usage?—responsible citizens.
It wasn't all niceness. There was the constant street talk, the "Let me see your wallet," the hustling and jostling for position on the sidewalk, physically, mentally, financially. It was a tough city. If you said yes at every corner, you'd be buying fireworks four times a mile. And if the fireworks guys didn't ask everyone, they'd never sell anything. In the West Village, where I went to school (PS41) and where most of my friends lived, there were offers and inquiries; the grown men in the Meat Market. The West Village was a live gay emancipation, a surge of repressed sexual energy, not all positive, and our frail sexual identities, pre-teen, answered with ignorance.
One kid, from his window on the fourth floor, shot at gay men with his bb gun. Sometimes he'd target men who were just walking by, and sometimes in the evening, he'd target the couples—across the highway—making out, or doing more than that, on the pier. On his walk home from school, he'd shout "AIDS" to thwart their advances. I was with him, later, with other laughing 13 year olds, when he went on the offensive with this tactic: walking up behind gay men and shouting out the death warrant, unprovoked.
This would have been around 1981 or 82, way before anyone knew how much we would have to regret. My mother was still in the throes of her art star years, and her friends, many of them now cultural history—Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, David Wojnarowicz—were artists and people way more than they were club-goers and hedonists, even if our reactionary culture prefers to remember differently. Recently, as we talked about how these men would drop by her studio, my mother said to me, "they were just really nice guys," which is unexpectedly banal, but true. My brother and I—he's eight years younger than me—would be hanging around in the studio when they visited, and they were warm, gift-bearing uncles. T-shirts, CDs, records. Stuff, cool stuff. The "dark side," which my mother also says was there—Haring with his boys scene and Wojnarowicz with his hustler past—but my brother and I never saw it.
Looking back on this time, well before a societal acceptance or even tolerance of gay marriage and same-sex parents, I wonder if these young men weren't starving for some of that normal family stuff the rest of us take for granted. They would walk into the studio smiling, and my brother and I would share with them our latest discoveries: Glen Baxter, paint ball guns, or "No Anchovies Please" by the J. Giles band.
Tommy Jones and Joe Fawbush were the most stable couple I knew. They made perfect sense. They were adoring of each other, loved the same people, and had the same commitment to the arts. I first met Joe as someone who was working for Brooke Alexander, my mother's art dealer. The Alexanders were the counterpoint couple: rich, white, and Hamptons cookie-cut with a razor. Joe would move on to open his own gallery, and my mother probably should have gone with him right from the start, but she was loyal to Brooke. She might have shown with Joe anyway, eventually, if Joe, like everyone else, hadn't gotten sick.
Tommy was by the loft all the time; on his Tribeca rounds. But Joe came by too, sometimes with Tommy and sometimes on his own. Maybe around 1984, my brother and I embarked upon the assembly of a close-out rowing machine purchased by my mother. It was a hellacious task, and totally self-imposed. The thing had sat in a corner of the loft for four or five months. Joe wandered in, I believe it was a Saturday morning, and he was dressed casually, not his usual suit. He plunked down with us on the paint-splotched floor—my mother went back to whatever artist thing she was doing—and he joined the undertaking. The rowing machine. With my kids, I have this experience all the time—dad assembles—but I don't remember it being a common part of childhood in Tribeca. Tommy arrived about an hour into the fabrication, and about an hour after that, the four of us had finished.
I don't know when Joe contracted HIV, but I heard and overheard and gleaned the updates on his health. In 1993 or 94, shortly after I graduated from college, I saw him walking toward me on Grand Street, just outside his gallery. I was a full-fledged young man by then, no longer a kid, or even a teen. He was smiling at me broadly, and he looked great. He'd always been a bit heavy, twenty pounds or so of softness, and from a distance I would have guessed he'd taken up running. When I was closer, though, I saw the lesions on his neck. It was the first time I'd wanted to hug someone who had AIDS. That was the last time I saw him.
In 2013, Cynthia Carr came out with her biography of David Wojnarowicz. The biography was full of the old East Village, the old Tribeca, things I 'd experienced. But I had an emotional response that was separate from who I was as I came of age. When I think about Ronald Reagan or Ed Koch, I wonder why we don't remember them first for their denial of the AIDS crisis. However tremendously stupid and monstrous, their efforts to obstruct funding to AIDS research and treatment cost the lives of, seemingly, a whole generation. My mother's friends, my father's friends, my future mentors, and role models. The art world, as if a pale shadow of personal loss, retracted, and shrank from its own daring.
I'm not in touch with many of my childhood cronies. I try to picture them and I see us sitting in a line on the rear fender of a bus, riding off into adulthood. A few of them got in trouble here and there: the bully was in jail, I don't know if he's out. But most of the old city ragamuffins have turned respectable: a television producer; a commercial director; a photographer/ documentary journalist; a painter; a political consultant; a set designer; a writer/ professor. Of the seven I just named, six have kids, and it's not easy to reconcile the teens they were—heartless laughter and curbside taunts—with the people I see on Facebook; the grown men, the fathers with their tassled hair and shining children. These men, they look into the cameras of their computers, they lie in the grass, their sons and daughters clambering all over them. Their smiles are worn to felt, and the shouters of terminal diseases have receded into historical regret. We keep a tighter hold on our children; nobody's kids are running around by themselves. And we keep a tighter hold on our society. It’s almost inconceivable that we were so recently otherwise, that just a few years ago we were so overt with our repressions, so vocal with our hostilities.
John Reed is the author of A Still Small VoiceThe WholeSnowball's ChanceAll The World's A Grave: A New Play By William Shakespeareand Tales of WoeHe currently teaches in The New School's creative writing program.

January 22, 2015

Alex Reid Ex wife Divorced Him because she “Did Not want to be the man”

 I am posting about this particular scandal which will not impact any of our lives except the people involved because of the tragedy some in our community suffer which is being trapped in a life that we recognized as not ours. There are young guys/girls that spent all their youth trying to accomplish a dream, which ever that might be to then find themselves empty and figuring out now that they are “there’ they are really not.
The conflict between Alex Reid and Katie Price is for them to settled by silence by Alex or may be in court, which I doubt. However true or exaggerated Katie Price’s revelations might be, we can still see someone who has never appeared in pictures and in public to be living the life someone in his position might appeared to be living. 
Alex has admitted many of the things his ex wife reveals so I can only say I hope he finds not a person to make him happy but to find himself that he can know who he is and be proud of it, and best the best at it.

Alex Reid has led a colourful life

Katie Price made a shocking new dig at ex Alex Reid on Celebrity Big Brother last night, claiming she broke up with him because she "didn't want to be the man in the relationship."
The former glamour model was chatting to her housemates about past sexual experiences when she brought up her ex husband.
The star claimed she would often perform anal sex on her ex husband with a sex toy.
"I couldn't put enough up there," she admitted. "A lot of straight men like to have the pinkie up there, but Alex wanted it all.
"That's why I divorced him. Because I didn't want to be the man."
A little TMI for TV?

Alex Reid and Katie Price (Pic:Getty)
Alex Reid and Katie Price
Alex and Katie began dating in 2009, shortly after the star split with her former hubby Peter Andre.
The pair wed in Las Vegas the following year. But just 11 months into their marriage Pricey announced they had separated.
The star cited Alex's occasional cross-dressing as his female alter-ego Roxanne as a factor in the pair's split.

Alex Reid

Alex moved on to pastures new, and got sprogged up with former CBB winner Chantelle Houghton.
How the mighty fall.
A few days later Chantelle accused Alex of turning their house into a sex dungeon and contacting men for sex in a wild Twitter rant.  
Alex admitted to sleeping with men and prostitutes  
Alex also admitted to using sex toys on himself and nights in watching pornography with Chantelle.

So, exactly WHAT was the infamous “sex dungeon” like? Well, allow the man himself to explain…
“How can you turn an entire house into a sex dungeon? If I could do that, they’d put me on a property programme on TV. Since when does a couple of sex toys and some porn make a house a ‘sex dungeon’?”
 Alex as Roxanne
“I sat down and made it clear that I’d slept with men back in the day. But she still wanted to marry me. I’ve slept with prostitutes but that was a long time ago.”
Last year, Alex was left so confused about his cross-dressing he has visited a psychologist to “test” him.
Jordan’s ex told Gay Times: “I recently had top experts – forensic specialists – test me to see if I have gender identity issues.
“I never felt I did but I’ve been through rigorous tests by everybody to prove my innocence, which is ridiculous. The psychologists all said I’m fine and healthy.”
The colourful cage-fighter, 38, still has room in his life for alter-ego Roxanne. He says: “If my body is alpha male, then I have a finger-sized kinkiness which is Roxanne.”

Good to know.
 Alex as Roxanne    Then Katie released her autobiography and discussed her sex life with Alex in even more detail. She wrote: "Think of the most disturbing porn you could imagine, and times that by ten. Only then are you getting close to what I witnessed and what Alex wanted me to join in with.“By the time we split up his sleazy, sordid behaviour had left me feeling disturbed, vulnerable and frightened.”Well, she seemed pretty light-hearted about it when she spoke about it on CBB last night, so maybe she’s got over it now.    

November 11, 2014

Pope Francis Reassigns Anti gay Vocal Cardinal to Symbolic duties only


Pope Francis has reassigned a conservative American cardinal from a key post to one that is mostly symbolic.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading conservative, has been vocal in his criticism of the direction the Pope is leading the Catholic Church in.
Burke was one of the highest ranking Americans in the church hierarchy in his position on the Vatican’s supreme court. But he was reassigned to the position of Patron of the Order of Malta, the Vatican announced on Saturday. The National Catholic Reporter points out that Burke’s new post is a job that “has almost no responsibilities.”
The Vatican did not give a reason for the demotion.
The change, however, was not unexpected. Last month, Burke himself said he had been ousted from the Vatican’s high court.
Burke has been outspoken about his opposition to Pope Francis’ move toward more openness and inclusiveness of gays and lesbians.
“The Pope is not free to change the church’s teachings with regard to the immorality of homosexual acts or the insolubility of marriage or any other doctrine of the faith,” Burke told Buzzfeed recently.
When a recent draft report included a call for the church to be more welcoming to gays, Burke said the report “lacks a solid foundation in the sacred Scriptures.”
Subsequently, some of the language on the “gifts and qualities” that gay people can bring to the church was removed from the report.
The Pope has appointed moderates in several big dioceses, including in Chicago earlier this fall, and he’s removed some archconservatives from their posts.

June 23, 2014

ExGovernor implies Eric Cantor is gay and says southerners effeminate!


A note from the Publisher on ‘gay-dar.’For what is worth, before I give you the posting from Howell Williams from the Guardian,   let me just say that my gay-dar which usually operates on the very upper 90% has always picked Cantor as gay. I could explain why but that is not as important as to talk about people that do not know how I feel and  find they feel the same way. 
I have been waiting to write about it but was waiting for the main media even if it’s media in Europe to spell it out via a witness because I don’t write about personal feelings, only what I know as fact writing about Cantor’s sexuality would put me out of my own rules.

 Now that this rumor is reached Europe via a US governor (US media knows it but wont talk about it) it’s time to take a look at a Cantor as effeminate. Does it mean Gay? Many times is true but NOT always.  I could have just posted Howell’s lines about Gov. Brian Schweitzer and keep quiet but the subject is too dear to my heart to not say that I agree with the governor for the most part.

Keeping in mind what homophobia means, imagine someone who looks and sounds gay (generalizing since most gays are NOT effeminate)  you don’t know this because of that same reason.  Only the ones that look the part are made to carry the rainbow wether they are part of it or not. So imagine made to carry the banner when you are not gay. Would that not make you homophobic? In other words, afraid that gays are like you and you like them so you need to emphasize your so called manhood.  May be that is why the South is so homophobic because they suspect they might look the part. Anyone who is not afraid of being what they are can easily get the real information and find out it is possible that the butch best friend from NJ is probably the one who is gay. Knowledge is freedom even from homophobia.
Some politicians are just dogged by gay rumors. The voting public loves to get behind a salacious news story from time to time, especially when it involves a potentially closeted conservative who is on the record as anti-gay.
So it is no surprise that former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer made headlines last week when he said that Republican House majority leader Eric Cantor (who is withdrawing from his top slot) sets off his "gay-dar". While he didn't exactly come out and say that Cantor is gay, Schweitzer explained to the National Journal that "men in the South, they are a little effeminate".
He added:
They just have effeminate mannerisms. If you were just a regular person, you turned on the TV, and you saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say – and I'm fine with gay people, that's all right – but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think, so I don't know. Again, I couldn't care less. I'm accepting.
Schweitzer's comments dutifully made their way around the internet and cable TV, generating some jokes about effeminate southerners and probably derailing Schweitzer's long-shot hopes at representing the Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election.
Schweitzer himself has a certain flair for the dramatic: as governor, he vetoed numerous bills using a large, hot branding iron in the shape of the word 'VETO' to get his point across. His wink-and-nod at Cantor's sexuality could be read as just another attempt to grab national headlines by branding the former Republican leader a 'HOMO'.
But when I heard Schweitzer's remarks, I thought about the long legacy of effeminate southern men – and particularly the image of lisping, land-owning lads from days gone by.
That's right: As a scholar of gender and sexuality studies and American politics, and a gay man from the South, I think Schweitzer may have a point. For me, Schweitzer's comments recall populist criticisms of southern aristocrats from centuries ago. In fact, I think he might have hit the nail on the head.
Well, perhaps "head" is too strong a word: I have no doubt that Eric Cantor is a happily married man, and I'm sure that his wife and children will enjoy having him around the house now that he won't be around the House any more. I just mean that the figure of the effeminate southern man has a history that Schweitzer's comments accurately evoked.
In the early years of the Republic, much of the South was divided between the landholding, slave-owning lowcountry, and the more rural, hardscrabble upcountry. People in the upcountry tended to be deeply religious yeoman farmers and tradesmen, the ideal citizens of Thomas Jefferson's imaginings: pious, hardworking, and a little bit rough around the edges. There was always a tension between these "salt-of-the-earth" types and their lowcountry counterparts – who tended to be richer, more politically connected, and, well, a little bit dandy-ish.
Lowcountry men weren't officially gay, you see; the term "homosexual"wasn't actually coined until the late 19th century. But there was an unspoken sense among the hard-working upcountry folk that the lowcountry men just weren't quite manly enough. The institution of slavery played a big part in this, as men who needed to own other human beings to make a profit were viewed as not butch enough to do the work themselves.
Everyone from Adam Smith to Karl Marx agreed that, to be a man, hard work was required. Masculinity was – and still is – defined in part by one's ability to work. Slave owners' refusal to produce wealth with their own heads and hands made their virility somehow questionable. The image of the southern dandy with his silk hat and seersucker suit satisfied a populist imagination that viewed effete southern slave-owners with disdain.
Today, that effeminate southern dandy lives on, if in modified form. Cantor is only the most recent southern Republican to have his sexuality whispered about. Rumors have swirled around Texas Governor Rick Perry (which he's denied), despite his recent comments that being gay is like being an alcoholic: you can put the habit down if you try hard enough (spoken like someone who's in recovery). And South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has dealt with similar backbiting for years – most recently when a rival in the Republican primary called him "ambiguously gay" – despite hilariously-worded denials. Whether Perry or Graham are practicing homosexuals isn't the point: accusing them of being gay is part of a long history of questioning the virility – and thereby the abilities – of southern men in positions of power.
The truth is, the image of the southern elite is kinda gay, and Schweitzer's not a homophobe – he was just boning up on some good ol'-fashioned populist elite-hating. Good luck to him at besting Hillary, though – she's spent a lot of time with powerful southern men herself.

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