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

March 12, 2019

British Writer Gillian Freeman Writer of “Leather Boys” Who Chronicled Nazi Germany ‘Free Spirits’ Dead At 89

Image result for leather boys
 Movie "Leather Boys' 1964

Harrison Smith

Washington Post

Gillian Freeman, a British writer whose precise, richly detailed historical novels chronicled free spirits in Edwardian England and Nazi Germany, and who ventured outside the mainstream to write a pioneering study of pornography and a landmark work of gay literature, died Feb. 23 at a hospital in London. She was 89.
The cause was complications from dementia, said her husband, Edward Thorpe.
Ms. Freeman was working as a secretary for novelist Louis Golding when she began writing her first book, “The Liberty Man” (1955), about a middle-class schoolteacher and a cockney sailor whose love affair is stifled by the British class system.
She went on to write scripts for television, radio and an early Robert Altman film; scenarios for Royal Ballet choreographer Kenneth MacMillan; and about a dozen more novels, often featuring undercurrents of romance and mystery, with protagonists who are outcasts by virtue of their religion, class or sexuality. Raised in a liberal, middle-class London family, Ms. Freeman was no outsider. But she had a strong sympathy for those who were and an imagination that enabled her to craft fully realized characters such as Dick and Reggie, the gay, motorcycle-riding protagonists of “The Leather Boys” (1961).
The novel was commissioned by her literary agent turned publisher, Anthony Blond, who was bisexual. “Anthony said to her, ‘I would like a Romeo and Romeo story about simple young men, working-class young men,’ ” Thorpe said in a phone interview. “It was rather like the two guys in ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ which she preceded by about 40 years.”

Gillian Freeman wrote “The Leather Boys” before homosexuality was decriminalized in Britain. (ANL/REX/Shutterstock) 

“The Leather Boys” was published six years before homosexuality was decriminalized in England and was part of a wave of boundary-breaking gay novels that included works by Christopher Isherwood, Mary Renault and (posthumously) E.M. Forster.
It “played a vital part in liberalizing British attitudes to homosexuality,” novelist Michael Arditti wrote in the foreword to the 2014 reissue of “The Leather Boys.”
Ms. Freeman released the book under a pseudonym, Eliot George, inverting the nom de plum that Mary Ann Evans used to publish “Middlemarch.” She used her own name while serving as screenwriter for a 1964 film adaptation drawn from “the novel by Eliot George.”

Directed by Sidney J. Furie, the movie featured actress Rita Tushingham and tweaked the novel’s plot, keeping Reggie’s unhappy marriage but having him spurn the advances of a gay biker, now named Pete. “The playing is exceptionally real, lines overlapping, almost improvised,” wrote Washington Post film critic Richard L. Coe. “Understatement has made this story meaningful; overstatement would have made it merely sensational.” 

Ms. Freeman went on to survey the state of modern pornography in “The Undergrowth of Literature” (1967), which drew from magazines like Woman’s Own and Man’s Story to examine “the particular fantasies people need to get through life,” her husband said.
And she wrote two major novels set in Nazi Germany, including “The Alabaster Egg” (1970), about a Jewish woman’s tragic romance, and “Nazi Lady: The Diaries of Elisabeth von Stahlenberg, 1933-1948” (1978), which originally omitted Ms. Freeman’s name from the cover.
Appearing to be an authentic Nazi diary, the novel chronicled the daily life of a woman who marries an employee of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, meets Adolf Hitler and espouses the necessity of accepting “a certain amount of violence to achieve peaceful ends.” Ms. Freeman’s identity as author was soon revealed by the Evening Standard, but by then, the book had already fooled plenty of readers. 

According to the Telegraph, Blond wrote in a memoir that historian and conservative politician Alan Clark declared the novel “indisputably genuine . . . a contemporary document of the highest importance to social historians of the epoch.” American publishers, meanwhile, offered to double their advance if “von Stahlenberg” would agree to a book tour.
Gillian Freeman was born in London on Dec. 5, 1929. Her mother was a homemaker, and her father was a physician turned dentist, who encouraged 5-year-old Gillian’s writing efforts by clipping together her handwritten stories about dogs and fairies.
She received a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy, with honors, from the University of Reading in 1951. After moving to London, she worked as a copywriter, East End schoolteacher and newspaper reporter before being hired by Golding, one of her father’s dental patients. 

Ms. Freeman married Thorpe, a ballet critic and novelist, in 1955. They later co-wrote “Ballet Genius” (1988), which featured profiles of 20 leading dancers. By then, Ms. Freeman had written scenarios for MacMillan’s ballets “Isadora” and “Mayerling,” which depicted a suicide pact between Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and his mistress.
In addition to her husband, survivors include two daughters, actresses Harriet Thorpe and Matilda Thorpe; and five grandchildren.
Ms. Freeman’s other works included the screenplay for Altman’s “That Cold Day in the Park” (1969), based on a thriller by Richard Miles, and her novel “An Easter Egg Hunt” (1981), about a 17-year-old girl’s disappearance at a boarding school during World War I.
Her “Nazi Lady” continued to bedevil inattentive readers in recent years. When Canongate published “The Secret Annexe” (2004), an anthology of war diarists edited by Irene and Alan Taylor, the book included an excerpt from the diary of Elisabeth von Stahlenberg.

Harrison Smith
Harrison Smith is a reporter on The Washington Post's obituaries desk. Since joining the obituaries section in 2015, he has profiled big-game hunters, fallen dictators and Olympic champions. He sometimes covers the living as well, and previously co-founded the South Side Weekly, a community newspaper in Chicago. 

September 13, 2017

Secular Temple of Oscar Wilde Open in NYC

 Oscar Wilder, writer, thinker and gay. Convicted of indecency

The asecular temple devoted to Oscar Wilde opened in the basement of a New York church on Tuesday, crammed with devotional style religious art to honour a trailblazer of gay rights.
Those involved in the project said it had been 20 years in the making but with transgender rights under threat from President Donald Trump’s administration and gays feeling more discrimination, it was more timely than ever.
Conceived by artists David McDermott and Peter McGough at The Church of the Village, the space will be open to members of the public five days a week and available for private ceremonies, including weddings. 
Wilde, the Irish wit and playwright, was convicted of gross indecency, sentenced in 1895 to two years hard labour, most of which he served in Reading.
"He invoked all of us to rebel, that it was the inherent quality of human beings to be rebellious, to move society, to be individual," said curator Alison Gingeras, who organised the project.
 The secular temple devoted to Oscar Wilde which was opened to the public in the basement of the Church of the Village in New York 
McDermott said the temple was a place "free of religious doctrine, honouring a watershed historical figure who pioneered the long struggle for equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender peoples."
Pastor Jeff Wells welcomed the collaboration, saying the installation "fits so deeply into the ethos of this congregation, which we call radically inclusive."
The church, which has a strong LGBTQ contingent, is located in the heart of Greenwich Village near the Stonewall Inn, a landmark of the gay rights movement in the United States.
"The Oscar Wilde Temple" transforms a basement chapel, which will continue to serve as a place of worship for deaf congregants on Sundays, back to 1882-83, the time of Wilde’s lecture tour to America.

The secular temple devoted to the Irish wit and playwright is crammed with devotional style religious art to honour the trailblazer of gay rights CREDIT: AFP
The centrepiece is an altar built around a more than four-foot (1.2-meter) statute of Wilde, carved out of wood but made to resemble marble, and on the pedestal below, his prisoner number at Reading jail.
Wilde wrote the "Ballad of Reading Gaol" under the pseudonym of that number, C33, after fleeing in exile and disgrace to France.
On the walls, hang seven oil and gold leaf canvases on linen based on newspaper coverage of his trial and imprisonment, and inspired by the Stations of the Cross paintings at the cathedral in Avranches, France.
All proceeds from private events and donations to the Temple will go to support LGBTQ youth at risk of homelessness.
"We hope that this temple is a place that is really used," said Gingeras. It will remain open until December 2 before moving to London.
McDermott and McGough, who have collaborated as artists since 1980, began their careers by living as if it were 1890, taking electricity and gas out of their apartment, and wearing starched collars.


January 27, 2017

MouthButtMilo and More than just Gay, Fighter Roxane Gay

 It’s impossible to adequately articulate how much Gay is the antithesis of Milo. Milo rose to fame as the pretty gay male hater of all things gay, of women, of people of color. He was promoted on the pages of Breitbart news–the extremist website of which President Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who on January 26 told the press to stop talking and stop reporting, is CEO.
Bannon, who has also made documentaries for Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann and equated Planned Parenthood with the Holocaust, also said "birth control makes women unattractive and crazy," said women who feel they’ve been attacked online should just "log off" and said in a radio interview in 2011 that progressives don’t like conservative women because they aren’t "dykes." Milo was built by Bannon and Bannon’s protégé is a self-described white nationalist.

{By the Author:JANUARY 2017: Once more from a hospital bed I’ve been watching the eight years of the hard work of the Obama Administration being gutted by President Trump. My anger is wide-ranging, like that of the three million Women’s March participants. But it is also specific to me and the millions of other Americans fight cancer or other diseases who are about to have their health insurance taken away for no reason other than the Republicans hated Obama and Hillary and still do.}
Last year Yiannopoulos alleged that lesbians had the highest incidence of domestic violence of all couples in an article titled "Attack of the Killer Lesbians!" Another article "Lesbian Bridezillas Bully Bridal Shop Owner Over Religious Beliefs," took the side of shop owners refusing to serve a lesbian couple.
Milo was Bannon’s golden boy. There was no one off limits in his screeds, but Milo’s favorite targets were women (especially lesbians) and people of color (especially anyone Muslim). His writing is transphobic and xenophobic and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. College groups protested him speaking on their campuses while college administrators insisted free speech was at issue.
Currently Milo is on his "Dangerous Faggot" tour, which has brought the "Alt-Right" slithering out, even on college campuses. On Jan. 3, students at the University of California, Berkeley, tried to have Milo banned from appearing. But on Jan. 26, UC Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said Milo had the right to speak on campus at a Feb. 1 event organized by the Berkeley College Republicans.
Yes, Republicans–even the so-called moderates–love Milo because they can point to him as a gay man they "know." They can embrace his virulent misogyny because he’s gay. They can say he’s not a racist because he claims to have sex with black men. They think they can even say the word f*ggot because Milo does.
It has often seemed that there is no one to stand up to Milo. Those of us who have stood up to him on social media have gotten hounded by his many trolls. Those who have written about him have received threats, too.
All of which is what makes Roxane Gay stand out like a supershero from a Marvel graphic novel. She stood up. Bigly.
In these days of The Resistance to President Trump, women are leading the protests. Our protests are taking myriad forms. On Jan. 26 award-winning writer Roxane Gay showed us what democracy–and intersectional feminism–looks like when she withdrew her upcoming book from Simon & Schuster.m
The best-selling author and New York Times columnist announced she will no longer publish her book with Simon & Schuster specifically and only because they had signed Milo Yiannopolous.
In a statement given to BuzzFeed News, Gay explained, "I was supposed to turn the book in this month and I kept thinking about how egregious it is to give someone like Milo a platform for his blunt, inelegant hate and provocation. I just couldn’t bring myself to turn the book in. My editor emailed me last week and I kept staring at that email in my inbox and finally over the weekend I asked my agent to pull the book."
Gay appeared at Indiana University Jan. 25 to a crowd so huge, there were hundreds in an over-flow room. There she explained she could not normalize racism. Gay also revealed–and this is both shocking and utterly unsurprising given who is now president–that Milo’s $250,000 advance is more than the advances for her first five books.
In her statement Gay said she was not calling for censorship, she was making her own statement, which, as she had said in her tweet, she could actually afford to do.
"Milo has every right to say what he wants to say, however distasteful I and many others find it to be. He doesn’t have a right to have a book published by a major publisher but he has, in some bizarre twist of fate, been afforded that privilege. So be it."
Emphasizing that as a well-known and popular writer (and, I would add, much beloved), Gay said she is in a "fortunate enough" position to withdraw her book. "I recognize that other writers aren’t and understand that completely," she added.
Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy responded to S&S authors with a letter in which she said in part, "First and foremost, I want to make clear that we do not support or condone, nor will we publish, hate speech," BuzzFeed News reported. "Not from our authors. Not in our books. Not at out imprints. Not from our employees and not in our workplace."
According to Reidy, the decision to publish "Dangerous" was an "editorially independent" one made without the "involvement or knowledge of our other publishers." The book was pitched as an "examination of the issues of political correctness and free speech," Reidy said in the letter.
Reidy explained, "The imprint believed that an articulate discussion of these issues, coming from an unconventional source like Mr. Yiannopoulos, could become an incisive commentary on today’s social discourse that would sit well within its scope and mission, which is to publish works for a conservative audience.” We will need more brave people like her in the coming weeks, months and years. We will need people willing to put everything on the line. We will need people to remind those who can’t stand up that there are heroes walking among us and that their voices can propel us forward.
Gay is the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska. She has a PhD and teaches at Purdue University. She writes so much it’s hard to keep up with her work.
Gay said she was "putting my money where my mouth is."
Last summer, Gay and poet Yona Harvey were announced as writers for Marvel Comics World of Wakanda, a spin-off from the company's Black Panther title, making her the first black woman to be a lead writer for Marvel.
Roxane Gay is a boss. She fends off haters with aplomb. She makes time to send consoling tweets to women in the hospital and responds to aspiring writers and talks about the movies she loves (you’d be surprised).
And whether Simon & Schuster knows it or not, Gay’s made a statement about them that many of us will not soon forget. 

Victoria A. Brownworth is an award-winning journalist, editor and writer and the author and editor of nearly 30 books. She has won the NLGJA and the Society of Professional Journalists awards, the Lambda Literary Award and has been nominated for the Scripps-Howard Award, RFK Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She won the 2013 SPJ Award for Enterprise Reporting. She is a regular contributor to The Advocate and SheWired, a blogger for Huffington Post and A Room of Her Own, senior politics reporter and contributing editor for Curve magazine, contributing editor for Lambda Literary Review and a columnist for San Francisco Bay Area Reporter. Her reporting and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, Village Voice, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, Ms Magazine, Diva and Slate. Her book, Coming Out of Cancer: Writings from the Lesbian Cancer Epidemic won the Lambda Literary Award, From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth won the 2012 Moonbeam Award for cultural & historical fiction. Her new novel, Ordinary Mayhem, won the IPPY Award for fiction and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery. Her book Erasure: Silencing Lesbians and her next novel, Sleep So Deep, will both be published in fall 2017. @VABVOX

This portion of Victoria’s writing  and the entire post on Curve Magazine. As always tittle and editing by adamfoxie blog

October 17, 2015

Only Out Jamaican Writer Describes Growing Up in a Homophobic Country

Out gay Jamaican writer Marlon James

Marlon James has become the first Jamaican to win the Man Booker fiction prize for “A Brief History of Seven Killings.”
James, 35, said he had to leave his homeland just to be able to do simple things: “You might want to walk down the street and hold somebody’s hand one day. When you grow up in a homophobic country, you’re sitting on a time bomb.”
Before coming to the States and taking a job at Macalaster College in Minnesota in 2007, he recalls living in fear. 
“I was so convinced that my voice outed me as a fag that I had stopped speaking to people I didn’t know,” he wrote in an essay in the New York Times. “The silence left a mark, threw my whole body into a slouch, with a concave chest, as if trying to absorb impact.”
“I bought myself protection by cursing, locking my lisp behind gritted teeth, folding away my limp wrist and drawing 36-double-D girls for art class. I took a copy of Penthouse to school to score cool points, but the other boys called me ‘batty boy’ anyway — every day, five days a week. To save my older, cooler brother, I pretended we weren’t related.”
In addition to Seven Killings, James is the author of John Crow’s Devil and The Book of Night Women
He hopes the award will draw attention to the robust literary scene in his homeland.
“There’s this whole universe of really spunky creativity that’s happening,” he said. “I hope it brings more attention to what’s coming out of Jamaica and the Caribbean.”
The novel is based on an imagined oral history of a 1976 attempt to kill reggae singer Bob Marley. It focuses on a group of young men who burst into Marley’s home with automatic weapons before a peace concert — an event Marley survived.
The 668-page book deftly captures the language and life of the Caribbean, and James says he hopes more Caribbean writers will follow in his footsteps.

“Jamaica has a really really rich literary tradition, it is kind of surreal being the first and I hope I’m not the last and I don’t think I will be,” James said.
The openly gay writer has spoken at length about growing up in a homophobic country, a topic he also included in the book.
“It was very important to me that there were gay characters in the book – to reflect the gayness and hypocrisy in Jamaica,” he told The Independent.
Although it’s clear the 44-year-old author holds his country in esteem, he now lives in Minneapolis.

“You might want to walk down the street and hold somebody’s hand one day. When you grow up in a homophobic country, you’re sitting on a timebomb,” he said.
Jamaica still has anti-sodomy laws on the books, dating back to 1864. The country’s “Offenses Against the Person Act” make such actions punishable by imprisonment or 10 years hard labor. In a 2014 report by Human Rights Watch, more than half of LGBT people surveyed had been the victim of a violent crime.
James said his father inspired him to begin writing, although he did give it up for a time after one book was rejected more than 70 times.

The 47-year-old prize has previously gone to writers Salman Rushdie, Hilary Mantel, Margaret Atwood and J.M. Coetzee. It comes with a $76,000 reward.
“A Brief History of Seven Killings” is his third novel.

August 29, 2015

Pope Francis Backs Opposed LGBT Children’s Book Writer in Italy

Pope Francis has expressed solidarity to an Italian author and LGBT activist whose work
was recently banned by the conservative mayor of Venice over its purported seditious
content in favour of gay rights. Francesca Pardi said she has received a written reply
from the pontiff
to a letter she sent earlier this summer, complaining about the continuous attacks she
received from hard-line Catholics. The writer had become a target of campaigners
against same-sex-marriage, after she created an independent publishing house
 printing children's books that also depict gay couples.
Earlier this summer, several of her titles – including the award-winning book Piccolo Uovo (Little Egg), the tale of a lonely egg who meets straight and gay animal couples in its quest for a family – were listed among 49 publications ordered for removal from public libraries by Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who said they corrupted the local youth. After an international outcry the list was reduced to two books, the subversive Piccolo Uovo being one of them.

In June, Pardi – who has four children with her partner, Maria Silvia Fiengo – wrote to the Pope to denounce what she said was a hate campaign launched against her family by Catholic associations. She also attached a copy of Piccolo Uovo, inviting Francis to read it. The Argentinian pontiff replied with a letter in his named written by Peter B Wells, the assessor for general affairs at the Vatican secretariat of state.

"His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings that prompted it, hoping for an always more productive activity in the service of young generations and the spread of true human and Christian values," the letter read. It also contained Francis' personal blessing to Pardi and her partner. Pardi published its contents on Facebook, causing a stir in Italy.

"I was very touched by it," Pardi told IBTimes UK. She explained that the letter was not supportive of gay rights but nevertheless marked an important change in the Church attitude towards homosexuals. "Obviously he [Francis] doesn't agree with homosexuality and if he ever was to make such an opening he would never do so in a private letter to me!" she said. "However, only to consider me as an interlocutor worth respect is a tremendous step forward. I read it as an opening towards people and dialogue, a message of tolerance.”

Later, the Vatican said the Pontiff's secretariat routinely replied to mail, adding that under no circumstances was the letter received by Pardi intended to endorse behaviours inconsistent with Catholic teachings.

Piccolo Uovo
The cover of award-winning children's book Piccolo Uovo, by Francesca Pardi

The letter came as the Pope faces a revolt from the conservative fringes of the Catholic Church over his open stance towards gay people. Five cardinals and more than 100 bishops were among the signatories of a worldwide petition urging the pontiff to clearly voice his and the Vatican’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis letter to LGBT author
The envelope of a letter sent by Pope Francis to writer Francesc
“This prayerful petition asks Pope Francis to clear up the moral confusion that’s been spreading against Natural and Divine Law,” said John Ritchie, director of Tradition Family Property Student Action group.

  Francis expressed approval for gay marriage but has steered the Holy See in the direction of a more tolerant position, maintaining that homosexuals should be integrated and not marginalized with his famous "who am I to judge?"
The letter also fueled Italy's heated debate over gay rights ignited by a recent
government pledge to introduce a law on civil unions. The Mediterranean country
is currently the only
one in western Europe not to have any such regulation and thus considering same-sex marriage illegal. 
Umberto Bacchi

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