Whenever I see something global I try to share it because I think we're all fighting the same battle everywhere.
Last Friday (13 October), a young gay man, 26, was assaulted in the Madrid subway.
He was returning home when an older man carrying a child insulted and kicked him before getting off the train. The association in defense of the group of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (LGTBi) Arcópoli revealed the incident.
More here. And, the LGBT hate crime rate is much higher than you would expect.
Dolly Parton Supports Marriage Equality In Australia
I've always thought Dolly Parton was one of the brightest women in show business. You can just tell the moment she starts to speak. And I'm glad to see that she's on the right side of history, too.
‘Why can’t they be as miserable as us heterosexuals in their marriages?’ she told ABC News Breakfast.
You can read this one here. For those who don't know, Australia is going to be voting on whether or not to legalize same sex marriage. I'm not fond of this kind of voting process, but at least they're working on it. I'd rather have same sex marriage decided by the courts, not the people. However, I'm also curious to see the outcome, and to see whether or not people in Australia actually do support same sex marriage.
Same Sex Marriage In Australia Could Be Legal This Year
Here's more about what's going on in Australia. It's interesting because they're doing this with some kind of postal survey vote. I've never seen anything quite like it before.
With government insiders believing the ‘yes’ vote could be over 60%, there have been early talks on how and when to implement a bill.
Federal Brisbane MP Trevor Evans has said he is willing to keep politicians working until the vote happens.
The survey results are revealed on 15 November.
The problem is that even if the majority want same sex marriage, the vote is not legally binding and there's still more to do. According to this, if the vast majority of people vote yes, the House of Representatives will support a bill. However, isn't it interesting that the right to marry legally for every single LGBT person...the right to be considered equal...in Australia will be decided by mostly straight people.
I just hope the majority vote yes. November 15 is not that far off.
This is so offensive and hurtful I have trouble putting it into words. And I'm a writer who has had thousands of comments and reviews on Goodreads. So I'm not that easily offended. I can't believe someone would even think of doing it. But there you are.
The answer: You don’t — not if you’re the creative team at HalloweenCostumes.com, anyway. The website has come under considerable fire for featuring the “Anne Frank costume for girls,” along with the piping white-hot sales copy that goes a little something like this:
Perez Hilton Allegedly Shames Renee Zellweger For Not Having Kids
This one sounds as bad as it is. Evidently, Hilton doesn't like the fact that Zellweger has been supporting her boyfriend financially, and he even goes so far as to mention the fact that Zellweger doesn't have kids.
He continues, “I expect you to take care of you! That care of your business! I’m here to support you emotionally, spiritually, romantically, but I ain’t here to support you financially.”
Hilton then went on to insinuate that the reason Zellweger doesn’t mind financially supporting her boyfriend is because she doesn’t have children to fulfill her. The implication, of course, is that taking care of a grown man fills the deep and ever-present void she feels from being childless.
I don't watch Megyn Kelly. I never did, and I have no plans to start now. But this article talks about her low ratings, and a few other things regarding her most recent TV show.
Despite landing a major interview with Harvey Weinstein accuser Lauren Sivan last Monday, Megyn Kelly has not been able to pull herself out of the disastrous ratings slump that has been plaguing her since the show premiered less than a month ago. Here's the rest of it. They mention that Kelly was offered 23 million dollars a year to join the network, and you just have to shake your head and wonder about THAT one. I could have told them. Pay me a million dollars a year and you'll never have to worry about this again.
There's nothing fun about getting older. I don't care what those annoying people on TV news shows say about the joys of aging. This sux.
Most men have wondered, at one point or another, whether it's possible for their penises to shrink. While this sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, unfortunately, this fear does have some truth to it. While it's not really possible for penises to gradually shrink inch by inch, it's true that due to age and lifestyle choices, your penis could potentially lose the ability to maintain a consistent level of tumescence. You can check this out here. It's actually a good, interesting piece. And there is some encouragement at the end. Although, like most articles of its kind, they fail to mention that a hot 25 year old does wonders for an erection, too. Condoms For Small Penises I don't know much about this so I'm only linking. The standard condom size has been set at 6.69 inches for some time now, but no longer. After studies have found that the average American man’s erect penis is about an inch shorter, at 5.57 inches, one U.S. company has lobbied the FDA to change its mandate on how long condoms should be. Here's the rest. Penis Enlargement Horror Stories This one is scary, because a lot of men worry about their penis size. And some will even go to extremes, which could be dangerous. Disgraced Miami plastic surgeon Mark Schreiber pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of practicing medicine without a license, which the Miami Herald reports were just the tip of an iceberg of horrific plastic surgery botch-jobs stretching back to 1988. One of the most terrifying anecdotes revealed in Schreiber's trial was the story of a man who came to the doctor to help fix an already botched penis surgery, which Schreiber didn't exactly help. You can read this one here. There is a first hand account of what happened to one patient's penis.
I was following this march all weekend because it's such a serious matter. What's been happening to gay people in Chechnya is unreal. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one piece about the grassroots Voices 4 Chechnya in any gay presses...yet. I saw articles about straight white Armie Hammer who is playing gay in a new movie with "homosexual" content. I saw promos for the awful Will and Grace remake. But nothing about this important march until I went out and did a search. Interesting.
In any event, it was all over Twitter this weekend...
It started at the historic Stonewall Inn and ended at Trump Tower. Hundreds of marchers gathered in Manhattan yesterday for a rally organized by grassroots group Voices 4 Chechnya. Their cause: to not only bring attention to ongoing reports of those being tormented for simply being gay in Chechnya, a country ruled over by Vladimir Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov, but to raise money and demand humanitarian visas for the victims. “Every day queer Chechens are rounded up, abducted, tortured, and killed,” the group said in a release announcing the march.
You can read the rest here. Now if we can get the gay presses on board, and get them to stop focusing on Hollywood things like Armie Hammer and Will and Grace, we might spread the word a little faster.
Matthew Shepard's Family
It's hard to believe it's been 19 years since Matthew Shepard was beaten, tied, and left for dead. His death not only sparked outrage, but a movement. And Matthew Shepard's family is still very much a part of this fight.
Still, despite this progress, Judy and Dennis Shepard are standing strong in the face of new threats to LGBTI individuals.
‘A collective grief and outrage has awakened among the LGBTQ+ community and its allies after endless decades of cruelty and exclusion,’ Judy Shepard writes for The Huffington Post. ‘We are now witness to that collective outrage surfacing in the mainstream today.’
"Michael's Thing" The Old Time NY Gay Magazine With No Heteronormative Spin
I never saw this magazine, however, it sounds as if it was important to gay culture in the 1970s. The article also mentions the HBO TV show, The Deuce, with James Franco, because the show is set in NY in the 1970s in Times Square. And gay culture was a big part of Times Square back then.
“Michael Giammetta published Michael’s Thing between 1970-2000 as a guide to cultural and social happenings of the GLTB community. It was the one of the main and most reliable sources of information. It also was a handy guide to the most important institutions of the early days of liberation, the gay bar. The covers of Michael’s Thing may have featured pretty boys almost in their all together but inside the focus was theater, dance, cabaret. They were all there, all the early voices of what would become queer culture. Freeman Gunter was an excellent critic. There are careers in the arts still going full force that began thanks to his taking notice of them. Here's the rest. What I find most interesting is that here's a magazine that was all about gay culture, without any heteronormative spin or opinion. In other words, no straight men or women coming from places of privilege telling us what it's like to be gay...or exploiting us for their personal gain. We seem to be losing more and more of that as each year passes.
I guess I'm kind of hooked on this topic right now. And there's actually a decent amount of information out there about it. I really don't know anything about it. I rarely ever do any drugs, not even prescription. For the past few years it's been called, "an up and coming topic of interest." From what I gather, it's a big part of gay culture these days. Some are even claiming that when they go to these parties and they get wasted on whatever drug it is that they are taking, they've been gang raped.
On Wiki they also refer to Chemsex as PNP or PnP, which means Party and Play.
The term PnP is commonly used by gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in North America, while chemsex is more associated with the gay scene in Britain and continental Europe.
The drug of choice is typically methamphetamine, known as tina or T, but other drugs are also used, such as mephedrone, GHB, and GBL.
There's more here. Can You Get Raped At A Chemsex Party? If you go to a Tupperware party in your new shirt from Saks and your Bonobos pants, and you get raped or gang banged, you have every right to press charges and nail the criminals who did that to you. You've been violated. You've been assaulted. You've been scarred for life. The theme of the party was Tupperware, and all you wanted to do was socialize with other people who were interested in buying Tupperware. However, if you willingly go to a chemsex party, and you remove all your clothes and take drugs in someone's basement knowing that the theme of this party is sex and drugs, the odds of you having sex are pretty strong. Otherwise why would you even be there? I know I wouldn't go to a chemsex party hoping to find good Tupperware canisters. It's all about sex and drugs. It's a chemsex party and everyone there is thinking about sex and drugs. So this is where the lines of consent come into play. This is an interesting article that discusses why men who get raped at chemsex parties avoid reporting it to the police. It's a difficult topic with gray areas, and it's not the same as other sexual assault cases. I'm not saying it's right. There's nothing right about rape. I'm only stating that it's different in this case.
Research also suggests that chemsex environments are blurring the lines of consent. Morris said: ‘Initially, I recognised that [the gay men appearing in the system] didn’t fit the typical profile of your generic person that commits a sexual offense.
‘It appears they didn’t target or groom their victim. In other words, it was situational: “We were all off our face together” or “someone did this to me last week so I can do this to them now.” There was no thinking or recognition that what they were doing was a sexual offense.’
Here's the rest.It goes into more detail. Evidently, some of these chemsex parties are streamed online, and viewers request certain sex acts.
There are comments, too.
Here's a piece that dates back a few years, but it talks about what really happens at Chemsex parties.
“This is a very deliberate act,” Bourne explained. “It’s not that you’ve gone out on a Friday night, you’ve taken some drugs, you’ve picked up a guy, you’ve gone home and had sex with him and you happen to still be high... What we’re talking about here is guys deliberately using these drugs to help facilitate sexual contact with another man, and often lots of men within group sex environments.”
Here's a link to IMDb about a documentary titled, Chemsex. I haven't seen it yet, but I will look for it. I guess I have to do a search on NetFlix for this one to show up.
In hidden basements, bedrooms and bars across London, "Chemsex" is a documentary that exposes frankly and intimately a dark side to modern gay life. Traversing an underworld of intravenous drug use and weekend-long sex parties, "Chemsex" tells the story of several men struggling to make it out of 'the scene' alive - and one health worker who has made it his mission to save them. While society looks the other way, this powerful and unflinching film uncovers a group of men battling with HIV, drug addiction and finding acceptance in a changing world.
You can check that out here. If you do a simple search you'll come up with a lot of information, including a link to a You Tube trailer. There are a few reviews out there, too, but I'm not linking to them because I think this is such a subjective topic I'd rather not listen to anyone else's review. I'd rather form my own opinions.
This article is true clickbait. They titled it to make the reader think that Alex Pettyfer had let himself go, but it's harmless material and I don't think it can hurt anyone.
Alex Pettyfer made hearts flutter and audiences succumb to the vapors with his star turn in 2012’s Magic Mike, but he apparently didn’t trade the chest press for repeated visits to a family-sized crate of Ding Dongs once filming wrapped.
Here's the rest. And if you're not jaded, there are photos, too. He's a nice looking guy and I'm sure he's very talented. You can't blame him for doing what he has to do to get attention in Hollywood. It seems to be the way things work there.
Innocent Gay Photos That Could Have Landed Guys In Jail
I'm just finishing up a new book about two young men (excerpt below) who meet and fall in love in the 1940s. I wrote my book in the first person, which I don't normally do, just to keep on track because things were so different back then. It was a totally different world.
This picture was taken inside a photo booth in 1953, during a time when police used to target gay and lesbian for being “sexual deviants.” Had these two young men been caught, they likely would have been arrested and thrown in jail. You can check this out here. FREE Gay Fiction Excerpt: BUDDY'S RAINBOW MOUNTAIN Here's an excerpt from my newest book, which will be for sale soon. It might become a series, but I'm not totally sure about that yet. I just wanted to write about something set in the 1940s, with real men who might have fallen in love with each other. And it wasn't all that easy to do. The word gay didn't even exist with respect to gay men. The only words to describe us were either pejoratives, or homosexual.
Buddy's Mountain we didn't feel the early stages of the Second World War until around
1940, and even then it wasn't as intense as the rest of the world. In our blameless
isolation, protected by the mountains of Western North Carolina and
our own quiet code of ethics, those of us who were too young to remember the
First World War listened closely to the radio for updates on the most recent
German invasions, while those who were old enough to remember shuddered and
looked the other way. I had no idea in the summer of 1940 I was about to lose more
innocence than I ever knew I had.
was also the year I graduated from high school and started working longer hours
in my family's general store. On Buddy's Mountain, Buddy's Mercantile was the
only retail establishment at that time where locals could shop for anything
from basic food staples to hammers. Women could buy fabric for curtains or
homemade dresses and men could fill their tanks with gas and buy fishing gear.
Children would stop in for penny candies on the way home from school. And
almost everyone on the mountain stopped in to use our telephone, which hung on
a wall in the back near a large round pickle barrel and a shelf filled with
canned goods. We were the kind of old time family owned and operated general
store that was beginning to vanish as each year passed, and my family, though
limited in number as we were, wanted to hold on to it for as long as we could.
was something coming that summer I hadn't anticipated, something I never could
have predicted in my wildest clichéd dreams. When my Aunt Matilda appeared from
the main house behind the mercantile one warm afternoon in late July and said, "Joe
Buddy, I can't find the tomatoes I left on the back porch last night," I
had no way to predict the magnitude of it all.
on my way to the barn to work on an old car I'd recently purchased with my
graduation money. I turned fast and said, "I haven't seen them. You know I
don't eat tomatoes." Everyone called me Joe Buddy back then and I embraced
it. It was short for Joseph Buddy Barnes. Buddy…my legal middle name…was
actually my mother's maiden name. I never knew her, though. I never knew my
father either. I was raised on Buddy's Mountain by my mother's two siblings,
Aunt Matilda and Aunt Ted. They were both Buddys, too, and neither of them ever
to wonder sometimes why Aunt Matilda never married. She knew the meaning of
discretion and spoke with a genteel southern accent, not a country drawl. She
wasn't a bad looking woman either, with thick red hair, a medium frame, and an
eye for simple, conservative fashion trends. She could cook and keep house
better than anyone I'd ever known. She'd even gone away to college and she'd
had a steady boyfriend for a while, whom she spoke about often later in life.
could, however, understand why Aunt Ted had never married. Times were different
and Aunt Ted was considered "peculiar" in those days. Although she
had a slim body and a soft delicate voice, she had broad shoulders, size 12
feet, long legs, and she shaved every morning. If she hadn't decided to start wearing
exaggerated, flamboyant women's clothes when she was in her early 20s, she
would have been my Uncle Ted. Aunt Ted
rarely ventured off the mountain and we all understood why. In her own isolated
world on Buddy's Mountain no one questioned her or threatened her. Everyone
considered her a harmless soul and treated her with a sense of respect she
wouldn't have found anywhere else at the time.
if you see anything unusual, Joe Buddy, let me know," Aunt Matilda said. "It's
the strangest thing. As I live and breathe, I know I set those tomatoes out on
the back porch last night for today's lunch. Your Aunt Ted is not going to like
this. She was planning on stuffed tomatoes for lunch today and you know how she
gets when things don't go just right. And what's even stranger is I went into
the barn early this morning and found a huge pile of messed up hay as if
someone had been sleeping there. I don't know what's been going on around here.
I'm starting to think this place is haunted."
her a backhanded wave and continued toward the barn. "Okay, if I see
anything I'll let you know." I really wasn't too concerned about tomatoes
or messed up hay that day, and Aunt Ted could eat a cheese sandwich for lunch
for all I cared. I'd recently purchased a 1930 Plymouth coupe and I wanted to
get it running perfectly that summer. It had been kept in a barn at a
neighboring farm for years and the blue exterior paint looked almost new. The
beige interior wasn't bad either. It's just that after years of not being
driven at all the engine needed work, and I wasn't totally sure about what I
you take care of the store this afternoon?" Aunt Matilda asked. "Your
Aunt Ted and I have a meeting with the church women today. We can't miss it,
and Aunt Ted made herself a brand new dress just for the occasion, white lace
and a hat with long white feathers to match. I'm afraid it's quite awful just
like most of her clothes, but she likes it and that's all that matters."
no problem," I said. "Just let me know when you're leaving. I'll be
right here working on the car." I knew Aunt Ted was working in the store
that morning. She usually worked most of the hours, without complaint. I couldn't
refuse the request. I still hadn't decided what I wanted to do with the rest of
my life and my aunts weren't pushing me to do anything yet. They told me that
as long as I continued to help out at the store and take care of things around
the house I didn't have to rush into anything.
Of course I knew it was their
way of letting me know they wanted me to take over the mercantile eventually.
And I wasn't sure I didn't want to do that. At the time, it was all I had ever
known, and in our small world on Buddy's Mountain it gave our family a certain
amount of prestige I never would have had anywhere else. I'd never been the
book leaning type, and I had to use all of my appendages to count change in the
store. I knew how to run the store because it's all I'd ever known, I knew how
to work on cars and machines without trying too hard, and I knew I could turn a
head or two with a smile and a wink just walking down the street in town. Aunt Ted
used to tell me that good looks wouldn't get me too far in life if I didn't
study in school, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go that far in life.
worked on the old car for about an hour and a half and finally reached a point
where it almost started to run smoothly when I tried turning over the engine a
few times. I knew I was getting close to getting that knock in the engine out.
It wasn't something I could explain or describe in words, but I was something I
knew in my gut. Even though it was the first time I'd ever worked on a car, I
had put together bicycles, and whenever Aunt Matilda's washing machine needed
fixing she called me first.
a rhyme and reason to fixing machines that always follows a pattern that's hard
to describe. It's as if one part fits into another, and then another, and when
all of those parts are moving correctly at the same time the machines work the
way they're supposed to work. As I grew older I realized that life's a lot like
that, too, but back then the only thing I knew about life was getting that car
running to perfection.
made a face and sighed the moment I heard Aunt Ted calling from the other side
of the mercantile. "Yoo-hoo, Joe Buddy, we're leaving for the church
meeting now. We need you in the store this instant, sweetie."
down my wrench and wiped my grease-stained hands on an old rag and said, "I'll
be right there, Aunt Ted." I'd lost track of time and didn't even realize
where the last hour and a half had gone. It felt as if I'd just started
working. When you're doing something you love, time can run away fast.
I headed out, I walked to a corner of the barn and took a good long pee. I
thought I heard something rustle, but I figured it was a mouse. I smiled the
whole time I peed because I knew Aunt Ted would have had a conniption fit if
she'd seen my peeing in the barn. As far as I knew, even though I'd never
actually asked outright, Aunt Ted had been born a man until she decided to be a
woman, and the ironic twist was that she always seemed to frown upon the things
With all the disturbing news trending about sexual harassment in Hollywood...and sexual harassment against women in general...we've heard very little about the sexual harassment that women do to men. And it happens all the time. I've experienced it personally. I find it just as revolting and disgusting as any woman feels when a man does it to her.
With that said, here's a painful story about a gay man who was sexually harassed by a woman.
A gay man has revealed how a sexual assault by a woman has driven him to the brink of suicide.
Frank McGowan, who is a Bafta-nominated filmmaker, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the attack two years ago.
There's more here.It's a topic that never gets any attention, and I think it's time we started talking about it more.
California's Protections For LGBTI Seniors
Tony and I have a condo in Palm Springs, CA, and our house is for sale here in New Hope. We don't have any set plan. We are totally winging this one. Our house could remain for sale for a long time so it's really no possible to make definite plans. But one of our options would be to move to Palm Springs full time, and I have to admit that this article makes it all the more appealing.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill last week protecting the state’s LGBTI seniors from discrimination in long-term care facilities.
Brown signed SB (Senate Bill) 219 into law on 4 October, Q Voice News reported.
Authored by state Senator Scott Wiener, an openly gay Democrat from San Francisco, SB 219 goes into effect on 1 January 2018.
I remember an older gay man here in New Hope who lost his partner/husband of 50 years. After his partner/husband died, he started to slow down and eventually he needed long term care. He was put in a heteronormative long term care facility because there are no long term care places for LGBTI people in this area. So even though he'd lived his entire life as a gay man, he was thrown into the most heteronormative situation possible, and he didn't last long. I think he lived there a few months before he passed away.
So that's why these protections are even more important for LGBTI seniors. It's bad enough that some of us lose our culture and everything we've ever known as we age, but at least we'll have some protections. You can read more of the details here.
Colton Haynes and World Mental Health Day
I happen to think Colton Haynes is a very strong, brave man. I follow him in Instagram and I often check out his Instagram stories. I see what he posts, and I see how difficult it is for him sometimes. I think he's a huge inspiration for all of us, just based on how he handles his own struggles from day to day.
And he's open about it, which is a lot more than most people can do.
‘I had been in bed crying/paralyzed for 3 wks with no explanation. My personal life & career were at an all time high.
‘I’ve talked about this before but I can’t stress enough how important it is to seek help when your feeling down or in your darkest moments.