Poll shows rising support for same-sex marriage

More than 80 per cent, after undecideds excluded, would vote Yes in referendum

 Support for the introduction of same-sex marriage is rising steadily, with a majority supporting the move, the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll has found.

Asked how they would vote in the planned referendum on the issue, 71 per cent said they would vote in favour, 17 per cent that they would vote No, 9 per cent had no opinion and 3 per cent refused to respond.
When undecided voters or those who refused to respond are excluded, the Yes figure rises to 81 per cent with 19 per cent on the No side.
  • ‘I wrote about the ramifications of a ruling the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland made on the Derek Mooney show Mooney Goes Wild, where a discussion on marriage equality took place.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne BAI ruling on marriage equality comments stifles ongoing debate
  • Marriage Equality: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has said that it has not issued any direction requiring that broadcasters must automatically ‘balance’ a discussion with an opposing view. Photograph: GettyBroadcasters not told to ‘balance’ everything - BAI says
  • Irish Times Poll Full Coverage
That shows an increase since the last poll in October, when the figure, excluding undecided voters and those who refused to answer, was 76 per cent for Yes to 24 per cent for No. Back in November 2012, the margin was still closer, with 64 per cent Yes and 36 per cent No. The referendum is to be held next April or May.
In party terms, Labour voters are the most strongly in support of the move, with 80 per cent saying they will vote Yes, just 9 per cent No and 11 per cent undecided or refusing to respond. Support among Sinn Féin voters is almost as strong, but supporters of Independents and smaller parties, as well as Fine Gael voters, are a little less enthusiastic.
Fianna Fáil voters are the least supportive of the move, with 60 per cent saying they will vote Yes, 26 per cent No and 14 per cent undecided.
In class terms there is almost equal support for same-sex marriage across the spectrum, with middle class voters marginally more in favour than working class voters.
However, farmers are significantly less enthusiastic, with 46 per cent in favour, 33 per cent against and 21 per cent undecided.

There is also a marked difference between the sexes, with women more likely than men to say they will vote Yes. 

67 percent of Irish will vote in favor of gay marriage in 2015

DUBLIN — Ireland has become the first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote, sweeping aside the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church in a resounding victory Saturday for the gay rights movement and placing the country at the vanguard of social change.

With ballots from 34 out of the 43 voting areas counted, the vote was almost two to one in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. All but one of the districts that were counted voted yes, and it appeared to be statistically impossible for opposition votes to overcome the ayes.

Turnout was large — more than 60 percent of the 3.2 million people eligible to vote cast ballots. Government officials, advocates and even those who had argued against the measure said that the outcome was a resounding endorsement of the constitutional amendment.

The vote is also the latest chapter in a sharpening global cultural clash. Same-sex marriage is surging in the West, legal in 19 nations before the Irish vote and 37 American states, but almost always because of legislative or legal action. At the same time, gay rights are under renewed attack in Russia, in parts of Africa and from Islamic extremists, most notably the Islamic State.

The results in Ireland, announced on Saturday, showed wide and deep support for a measure that had dominated public discourse and dinner-table conversation, particularly in the months before the lead-up to the vote on Friday. Supporters celebrated in gatherings and on the streets, with the rainbow colors of the gay rights movement and Yes vote buttons conspicuously on display.

Surprising many who had predicted a generational divide, the support cut across age and gender, geography and income, early results showed.

With early vote counts suggesting a comfortable victory, crowds began to fill a courtyard of Dublin Castle, a government complex that was once the epicenter of British rule. By late morning, the leader of the opposition, David Quinn, director of the Iona Institute, conceded the outcome on Twitter: “Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done.”

For older activists, the moment marked a profound evolution of their country. For the world, it suggested how far the gay rights movement has come, to make such a significant step in a country with a storied history as a religious stronghold.

“Throughout my youth, adolescence and young adulthood, it was a criminal offense to be gay,” said David Norris, a 70-year-old Irish senator and longtime activist.

He said he had faced “total isolation” as a young man.

“There was silence on the subject,” he said. “It wasn’t mentioned in the newspapers, it wasn’t mentioned in the broadcast media. Then there was a fear of criminal prosecution, of being involuntarily placed in a lunatic asylum, losing your job, being socially destroyed. It was a terrible situation.”
The referendum changes Ireland’s Constitution so that civil marriage between two people is now legal “without distinction as to their sex.” It requires ratification by both houses of the Irish Parliament and the president. Though that is a formality, the date when gay and lesbian couples can marry will be determined in that process.

There was support for the measure across the political spectrum, including from Prime Minister Enda Kenny of the center-right Fine Gael party, and his Labour coalition partner, which had pushed for the referendum. Sinn Fein, an opposition party, also expressed support.

Many placed the results in a national context, saying it pointed not only to change but also to the compassion and tolerance of the Irish people.

Alex White, the government’s minister for communications, said: “This didn’t change Ireland — it confirmed the change. We can no longer be regarded as the authoritarian state we once might have been perceived to be. This marks the true separation of church and state.”

Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, said “There are two Irelands, the elite Ireland and the hidden Ireland. And today the hidden Ireland spoke.”

Gay rights activists around the world had said a victory would be an important milestone.

“I think this is a moment that rebrands Ireland to a lot of folks around the world as a country not stuck in tradition but that has an inclusive tradition,” said Ty Cobb, the international director of the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based advocacy group.

Late in the campaign, four Catholic bishops urged parishioners to vote against the measure. But as ballot boxes were opened one by one, and paper yes and no votes stacked up in front of counters at long tables in a cavernous hall, optimism among referendum supporters grew.

Campaigning on both sides of the debate has been underway for months, with posters, billboards and commercials. One opposition commercial said, “You should be able to have reservations about gay marriage without being called a homophobe,” while a commercial supporting same-sex marriage featured young people encouraging their parents to vote.

Thousands are believed to have returned to Ireland to take part in the vote; plane tickets from London Friday night sold out.

Leaders on both sides tried to strike a conciliatory note, though they said some issues remain to be sorted out, from rules on surrogacy to the ability of religious groups to hew to their views.

“The personal stories of people’s own testimonies, as to their difficulties growing up being gay certainly struck a chord with people,” said Jim Walsh, an Irish senator who opposed the marriage referendum, during a television interview.

“I would like today to not get back into the arguments that we had during the campaign but to wish them well,” he said. “But I think that going forward we will need to address issues which are going to arise.”

In a news release, the Iona Institute congratulated the yes side for “a very professional campaign that in truth began long before the official campaign started.”

But it also said “we will continue to affirm the importance of the biological ties and of motherhood and fatherhood” and urged the government to “address the concerns voters on the No side have about the implications for freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.”

Nick O’Connell, 42, who comes from a rural area in County Kilkenny in the Irish Midlands, was cradling a celebratory drink in a Dublin bar, the Back Lounge. He said he had been too afraid to come out as gay until his mid 20s.

“Today I’m thinking of all those young people over the years who were bullied and committed suicide because of their sexuality. This vote was for them, too.”

He added: “This is different from other countries because it was the people who gave it to us, not a legislature.”

At Dublin Castle, onlookers carried rainbow colored umbrellas, feather boas and pins, along with T-shirts with Yes Equality written on them.

“I’m too hyper to talk,” one woman wrapped in a rainbow flag said.

But for many the mood was subdued, because much of the celebrating had come the night before.

“Even yesterday there was just a weird sense of optimism across Dublin,” said Colum O’Hara, a 28-year-old in public relations at an advertising firm. “Last night felt like Christmas Eve.”

“It’s a great day for Ireland,” he added.

TRAVEL: Madrid

Madrid, the bustling cosmopolitan capital of Spain, offers a breathtaking journey through time with its impressive monuments, palaces, fountains, religious houses and city squares. The city’s architecture is a pastiche of styles and eras; traces of the old Arab and medieval cities remain, mixed in with structures built during the time of the Hapsburgs, Bourbons and King Charles III, known as the “bricklayer king.”

The Cuchilleros Arch is the most famous of nine gates into Madrid’s main square, Plaza Mayor. It connects to La Cava de San Miguel, a street full of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a wide range of Spanish culinary delights (see sidebar).

Tapas, small appetizer portions of various dishes, is a staple in Spanish cuisine. The locals, known as Madrileños, dine late and commonly have these small plates after work to tide them over until a 10 or 11pm dinner.

The Pride Festival on Plaza de España.

There are many tapas spots to choose from in the old town, in the Sol, La Latina, Plaza de Santa Ana, Cava Baja, Cava Alta and Plaza Mayor areas. There are a handful of great gay-owned and -friendly restaurants throughout the city, such as Carmencita and Divina la Cocina, in the Chueca neighbourhood; Arroceria Gala and Paelleria Vallenciana, in Puerta del Sol; and Gula Gula, on the Gran Via, to list a few favourites.

After a late-night meal, the vibrant club and nightlife scene awakens; the strumming of Spanish guitars echoes in side streets as Euro-pop builds inside the heaving clubs.


The main gay neighbourhoods are Chueca, in the old quarter, and Barrio, located in the centre just off Gran Via. The majority of gay venues are situated in the maze of small streets around Plaza Chueca and onward toward Gran Via. The area around Metro Lavapiés also has a cluster of clubs and restaurants.
Outdoor cafés are great for people watching.

A number of gay-owned and -friendly bars, cafés, restaurants, boutique shops, clubs and clothing stores are located in both areas. Same-sex kissing and handholding are common sights in these neighbourhoods, and in the city in general.

Gran Vía and Paseo de la Castellana are two of Madrid’s most famous streets and offer an unparalleled shopping experience, with Gran Vía known for its antique shops and charming cafés. Paseo de la Castellana is the place to go for deluxe hotels, art galleries and specialty boutiques.


Madrid Gay Pride, or Orgullo in Spanish, is one of the largest Pride celebrations in Europe. It features a massive Saturday parade (this year it takes place on June 30) from Puerta de Alcalá to Plaza de España. Participants and viewers along the two-kilometre route number about 1.5 million people each year. Most of the Pride parties and celebrations are held in the Chueca neighbourhood, a short walk from the city centre. The Pride Festival, on the leafy Plaza de España, starts after the parade, from about 6pm onward; the Plaza Chueca street parties attract as many as 300,000 people.

The Madrid Card is a great option for visitors who want to take in the major tourist attractions. It offers free entrance to more than 50 museums, the Discover Madrid walking tours (organized by the tourist board), the Teleférico cable car, the Real Madrid museum tour, a number of shows, and discounts in various restaurants and shops. Visit madridcard.com for more information.
Plaza de Cibeles and City Hall.

The Golden Triangle of Art consists of three world-renowned museums that are home to some of Spain’s most famous works of art: Museo del Prado, Spain’s main art museum, which houses some of Europe’s finest paintings and sculptures, including works by Spanish artists Velázquez and Francisco de Goya; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain’s museum of 20th-century art, known for its collections of Pablo Picasso (most famously Guernica) and Salvador Dalí; and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which fills in the gaps left by the other two.

Getting around

Madrid is a walker’s city, so be sure to allow plenty of time for strolling. The Metro is big, cheap (1.50 euros per single trip; day passes available) and efficient. English is the second language on the signs and maps are free at the ticket booths. The Metro closes overnight, with most stations opening at 6am. Some stations, such as Puerta del Sol, open at 5am, with commuter lines for the airport or Atocha Station intercity trains. Local buses are also a good option; they operate from approximately 6am–11:30pm and run in special lanes on the city’s main streets. White-and-red-striped taxis run day and night; look for the city crest and a licence number on the side. If the green light is on, the car is available.

Getting there
Madrid's nightlife starts late.

More than a dozen airlines service Madrid out of Toronto, including non-stop flights on Air Canada and Lufthansa and one- and two-stop flights through US and European cities. Madrid’s Barajas Airport is about seven miles east of the city. The airport is connected by Metro Madrid Line 8 to the city, with stations at the terminal buildings. It takes about 50 minutes and less than $5 to reach the Chueca station, with two line changes.


Cuchilleros Arch
Neptune Fountain
Teatro Real
Puerta del Sol
Puerta de Alcalá
Plaza de Oriente
Plaza Mayor
Royal Palace of El Pardo


While in Madrid, sample these tasty Spanish dishes:

Tortillitas de camarones: shrimp fritters made with chickpea flour
Spicy chorizo sausage and cheese tortillas: delicious hot or cold
Costillas: barbecued mini-ribs
Ceviche: fish/seafood marinated in lime juice
Artichoke-rice croquetas with manchego cheese
Prawn croquetas with béchamel
Cocido: chickpea stew
Torrijas: fried bread with honey or sugar


Bars & Clubs
Bears Bar
Griffin’s Dance Club

Hostal Puerta del Sol
Petit Palace Ducal Chueca

Restaurants & Cafés
Divina la Cocina

Saunas & Sex Clubs
Sauna Octopus
Sauna Paraiso
Madrid boys with their dog.

Shopping & Services
Juan, Por Dios!
Different Life Book/Sex Shop

Tags: madrid, spain

President Obama, Gay Marriage, and a Thank You to Mom

273779-obama-champions-womens-rights-at-barnard-commencement-its-tough-out-thAfter arguing for the morality and legality of marriage recognition for gays, President Obama spoke to the graduating class at Barnard. Barnard is a small, private, liberal arts college situated across the street from Columbia University, with which it has been affiliated since 1900. But, Barnard is notable for another reason: its students are all women.
Some of the more craven members of the political classes saw the President's speech as outright pandering to the women's vote. Though no one can blame the Obama re-election campaign for reminding women voters that the Republican Party of 2012 is hostile to everything from reproductive choice to contraception to equality, the man who stopped by Morningside Heights this week was more professor than president, weaving an historical narrative that linked the women's rights movement to his unprecedented, brave, and important statement on marriage recognition. In short, the President used Mother's Day weekend to say thank you to those women -- from Margeret Sanger to Bella Abzug to Shirley Chisholm to Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- who fought civil rights battles on behalf of women. Without them, and the legal precedents they shaped, the gay rights movement would be decades behind where it is today.
The women's rights movement was not simply a fight for sexual liberation against the bonds imposed by a patriarchial and Puritanical culture. It was also a movement that established the right of personal sexual privacy. Social and cultural historians are more equipped to discuss the interaction and parallel lives of the women's and gay movements and the expansion of sexual freedom. Today, I would like to discuss the legal story.
In the Nineteenth Century, women had few rights: they could not vote (something they still could not do two decades into the next century), own property, or even sever ties from an abusive husband. They had few, if any, sexual rights at all. It made sense, then, that the women's movement started as a quest for sexual freedom, the most important of which was birth control. According to Professor Nan Hunter, Margaret Sanger transformed birth control into a social movement. She developed the legal strategy against contraception bans as both a health care issue (physicians need to be able to prescribe these tools to women to protect women's health) and an anti-obscenity crusade (states used obscenity rules to prevent doctors and others from even discussing issues of family planning).
Margaret-sanger-1-sizedIn 1916, Ms. Sanger opened the country's first birth control clinic in the Brownsville section in Brooklyn. An overwhelmingly black neighborhood today, Brownsville in 1916 was largely Jewish, always radical, poor, and crime-ridden (the infamous Jewish crime syndicate, Murder, Inc., started in Brownsville). Ms. Sanger's clinic catered to all comers, but Sanger made a particular plea to the poor: "Mothers," she announced, "Can you afford to have a large family? Do you want any more children? If not, why do you have to have them? ... Safe, harmless information can be obtained by trained nurses. ... All mothers welcome." In 9 days, 464 women visited the clinic; on day 10, police arrested Ms. Sanger for violating New York's obscenity laws.
Obscenity laws banned conduct and certain speech that was contrary to public morals. But, in addition to being statist and oppressive, they were discriminatory: New York's law, for example, included one small exception for physicians to discuss and provide contraceptives to prevent or cure "disease," but the provision had always been interpreted to apply only to condom use to prevent venereal diseases that affected men. Ms. Sanger challenged the constitutionality of the statute and though her conviction was affirmed by the state's highest court, she did secure a broader definition of "disease" that would allow physicians to protect women's health through birth control (People v. Sanger (N.Y. 1918)).
Where Ms. Sanger sought broader access to birth control through the doctors' exception, other advocates wanted to lift the cloud of obscenity from birth control entirely. They challenged Connecticut's contraception ban three times, losing in 1943 (Tileston v. Ullman) and in 1961 (Poe v. Ullman), and finally winning a great victory in Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965. in Poe, Justice Harlan dissented, noting that the problem with the Connecticut law was that the state was "intruding upon the most intimate details of the marital relation." Married women, however, should have full control over "the private use of their marital intimacy." In Griswold, Justices Douglas and Ginsburg took two different routes to the same conclusion: there is a certain special privacy in marriage that the state cannot penetrate. And, in Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972), after a medical professional was convicted of violating Massachusetts' anti-contraception law by lecturing on it and giving an unmarried woman a sample birth control device, the Supreme Court extended this right to sexual privacy from married to unmarried individuals.
By the time Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) were decided, the principle of individual sexual privacy was an essential part of what it meant to be a free person. Roe and Casey are complex and deserve their own discussion; but, suffice it to say, Casey reminded us that women have a substantive due process right to make their own intimate decisions.
A successful fight for gay equality and honor hinges on these decisions. The successful fight against obscenity laws that prevented us from talking about homosexuality in public and that banned gay groups from organizing and gathering in public relied on the battles women waged against those same obscenity laws since Ms. Sanger. The successful fight against anti-sodomy laws relied on sexual privacy principles and the liberty interest in being free to make your own intimate sexual decisions. The successful repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" relied on the argument that private, Constitutionally protected behavior could never be inconsistent with honorable military service. Future success in securing workplace non-discrimination protections for gays and lesbians will assume the privacy and liberty principles of Griswold, Eisenstadt, and Casey to argue that one's private sexual identity could never be a reason to lose your job.
And, perhaps most importantly, a successful argument for marriage recognition hinges on the legal foundation of sexual liberty that the women's movement has worked hard to secure. There are undoubtedly additional steps to take, but a world where women can be forced to have children because it is obscene to talk about vaginas, reproduction, and abortion also is a world where police can arrest a gay man for making love to his partner in the privacy of his own home. A world where a woman cannot initiate divorce proceedings because divorce is immoral also is a world where a lesbian cannot visit her same-sex partner in the hospital because their relationship is immoral. And, a world where a woman cannot choose her reproductive destiny is a world where a gay man cannot choose his destiny to love, be loved, and bring new life into the world.
In a week where we are supposed to thank our mothers for the sacrifices they made to raise us into the men and women we are today, do not forget that we owe further thanks to the mothers of our civil rights struggle. Their sacrifices -- and their legal accomplishments -- have made this extraordinary time possible. 


For all of you out there that said ‘There’s no way that THAT pencil dick belongs to CHRIS BROWN, y’all,’ here it is, proven in all its glory, that Easy Breezy Brown is packing light.

God hates people-beaters, Chris. The proof is in the pudding. Your penis is the proof.

I know you guys were all dying to know what it looked like, especially after his recent ‘abuse’ photo was released. Y’all were probably thinking, ‘Heck yes, the only thing hotter than this douchebag’s lips has got to be his wayward penis,’ so guys? Here it is. A picture of his penis, which was said to be taken for a girlfriend’s pleasure, and was also said to be leaked by Chris himself, though his rep vehemently denies it.

I mean, I’d deny it too, a penis that skinny. Laws yes.

Jump in for the extremely NSFW (and large) photo of Chris Brown’s magic stick and dangly bits.

Чисто гола снимка на Крис Браун се появи в Интернет
На нея певецът показва мъжкото си "достойнство", снимайки се фронтално с телефона си пред огледало.

Снимката се появи в Мрежата само седмица, след като нови фотографии на пребитата от него Риана излязоха наяве и изглежда, че е направена скоро, тъй като на нея певецът е с неотдавна изрусената си коса.

"Странно как някой пуска тези снимки, точно преди да издам албума си", жалва се Крис в социалната мрежа Twitter, като по-късно изтри поста си.

Новият му албум, наречен F.A.M.E. излиза на 22-ри март. Настоящият му сингъл "Look At Me Now" в момента е на 24 позиция в Billboard Hot 100 и на 5-та в класацията за R & B и Hip-Hop песни.

Travel companies ‘need to do more to be gay-friendly

Although plenty of travel companies now advertise themselves as being gay-friendly, a survey shows that many need to do more to justify the claim.

Out Now Consulting compiled a survey of 8,000 LGBT people in the UK and 30,000 globally and says that there is often a gulf between the claims made by travel companies and the experiences gay travellers have.

The research will be launched on Wednesday at the World Travel Market, with full results to be published in January.

Ian Johnson, chief executive of Out Now Consulting, said: “These days, suddenly everyone wants to be ‘gay friendly’ and frankly, that has made today’s LGBT consumers extremely wary of the bona-fides of the welcome being extended.

“Even the phrase ‘gay friendly’ is pretty hackneyed and does absolutely nothing to rescue a holiday that can be ruined when a stay feels far less than welcoming for a lesbian couple because of their experience at check-in, or for two gay men when ordering room service to the honeymoon suite.

“The number one factor that LGBT travellers hope for when they travel away from home is an equal and genuine welcome, which means that travel providers need to improve their communications and behaviours.

“So that LGBT people can enjoy what every other customer has taken for granted for years: the chance to simply be themselves on their vacation. It seems obvious that when we go on holidays we all want to relax and feel comfortable.

“The industry needs to lift its game on the staff training front if it is going to deliver on the promises being made to LGBT travellers.

“The message to the travel industry is clear. It‘s no longer good enough to tick an equality box, fly a rainbow flag or join an LGBT trade association because that’s not going to deliver the level of experience that today’s LGBT customers want.

“Improvements need to be made.”

Mr Johnson added the UK LGBT travel market has remained resilient despite the economic downturn. He said that it is now worth £5.1 billion annually, compared to £4.9 billion in 2007-2008.

Top ten desired destinations over the next three years:

1. USA
2. Australia
3. France
4. Italy
5. Spain
6. Canada
7. Germany
8. New Zealand
9. Greece
10. Ireland

Top 10 European Cities:

1. Paris
2. Amsterdam
3. Rome
4. Barcelona
5. Berlin
6. London
7. Venice
8. Madrid
9. Prague
10. Vienna

Top 10 North American Cities:

1. New York City
2. San Francisco
3. LA/West Hollywood
4. Las Vegas
5. Miami
6. Chicago
7. Vancouver
8. Toronto
8. Washington DC
10. Key West and the Florida Keys

Elton John concert paid for by EU development funds

The European Union is investigating why its development funds were used to pay for an Elton John concert in Italy last year.

John performed for thousands of people at the Piedigrotta festival in Naples in September 2009.

At least £509,000 of EU funds were said to have been used to pay for his concert.

EU spokesman Tom van Lierop told Associated Press today that the EU Commission wants “to know as quickly as possible” why the money was used for the performance.

The funds are normally used to boost the economies of poorer EU countries.

Dario Scalabrini, who was involved in organising the protest, argued: “This money was given for the marketing of the city, and that is what we did. Just consider the number of people who stayed in Naples because of the concert.”

pink news

T.R. Knight and Mark Cornelson Part Ways

T.R. Knight and Mark Cornelson. They were the very first couple we included in our first gay celebrity boyfriends feature, but sadly as a couple they are no more. At least that's what is being reported by New York Daily News' gossip blog Gatecrasher.

"Just weeks after he said he wanted to adopt a child, the former "Grey's Anatomy" star, 36, reportedly asked 20-year-old Mark Cornelsen to move out of the apartment they shared. "It just came to a natural end, no hard feelings," says a friend. "They still care about each other very much."

The way the item was worded it sounds like Knight might have been the one to break things off. At any rate it is sad news.

In happier times.

Gay Sex Scenes That Made Movie History

Once upon a time, there were no gay and lesbian sections in the video stores, no queer film festivals, no debates over whether or not showing gay men having sex was good for the gay community's image. There were definitely no major theatrical releases of big-budget films in which gay men had sex, and certainly no one ever dreamed a film like that could ever be nominated for an Oscar.

Here, AfterElton.com takes a look back at the most important and groundbreaking gay male sex scenes in films. These are films that for the most part had a major American theatrical release, even if it was of limited scope, with a few groundbreaking foreign, art house and GLBT film festival movies included as well. These criteria are admittedly somewhat subjective, so if you feel we've missed a film that broke new ground with its use of sex between men, let us know.

The Golden Age

In the mid-'80s a kind of sea change hit American theaters. Far from being art house and gay film festival exceptions, foreign films with gay male protagonists and overt depictions of gay male sexuality began filling theaters in cities across the United States, earning rave reviews and doing well at the box office.

This "golden age" had its roots in the post-Code, post-Stonewall days of the '60s, when a number of films with gay male sex scenes were made. And prior to the late '80s, when the AIDS epidemic and the changing political scene sent many gay films back into the film festival closet, we saw a high watermark in terms of gay sex on screen.

Another Country (1984)
The two lovers at the center of this lyrical and ultimately unsettling film are not shown in an explicit sex scene. Instead, their own delicately constructed romance is interwoven with the discovery of a sexual encounter between two other boys at the same British boarding school in the 1930s, and its aftermath.

While Another Country is loosely based on the Guy Burgess spy case that was more accurately recounted in John Schlesinger's 1983 BBC film An Englishman Abroad, it's primarily the love story of Burgess, played by a painfully young Rupert Everett, and James Harcourt, played by a dewy-lipped, even younger Cary Elwes. The film was shot at Cambridge, Oxford and Princess Diana's childhood home, Althorp Hall, because Eton, which Burgess attended, refused permission.

Rupert Everett (left) and Cary Elwes

The sexual encounter between the two boys is intercut with Bennett's dreamy glances at Harcourt during a school assembly, and ultimately with one gentle cuddle in the moonlight, during which Bennett presses a kiss into Harcourt's hair. However romantic the relationship is, it doesn't protect them from the heightened scrutiny on homosexual experimentation among the students resulting from the suicide of one of the boys discovered having sex in a gymnasium changing room.

Another Country opened in the United States to critical acclaim and was nominated for a Golden Palm at Cannes in 1984. Most significantly, it marked the beginning of what became a golden age of gay male films, many British, which appeared in the next few years. (1984 also marked the commercial release of Italy's Ernesto, which was made in 1979 and had a film festival run in 1980.)

Guy/James - James is brave
Uploaded by 123lucyfur. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

"New York Times" Interview Raises Issue of Zachary Quinto's Sexual Orientation

In a sign that the traditional media is continuing to move away from the idea that asking celebrities about their sexual orientation is somehow offlimits, the New York Times published an interview today with Zachary Quinto that broached the topic. About Quinto, who is starring in the upcoming revival of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, the Times notes that ..."the blogosphere is rife with speculation about his sexuality, no doubt fueled by his support for gay rights and organizations like the Trevor Project. He prefers not to feed that rumor mill with either substantiation or dismissal. He speaks passionately about gay marriage, about “don’t ask, don’t tell” and about the recent wave of gay bullying and suicides.

Quinto addresses the topic with the Times by saying only:

The fact that these things are such hot-button issues right now, socially and politically, I would much rather talk about that than talk about who I sleep with. I would love to be a voice in this maelstrom of chaos and obsessive celebrity infatuation that says, ‘Let’s talk about something that matters."

The article ends by noting of Quinto:

That sense of social accountability is a quality Mr. Quinto shares with Louis, who rails against the hatred lurking beneath the surface of so-called tolerance. “To return to the theater is one thing,” he said. “But to return to the theater doing a play of this import and resonance — it’s beyond thrilling.”

Here is Quinto's "It Gets Better" video which has helped fuel speculation about his sexual orientation.

Greek gays rally against discrimination

AFP - Three thousand Greeks gays and lesbians marched through the centre of Athens on Saturday to demonstrate gay pride and protest against discrimination.

"We're everywhere" declared the banner at the head of the parade.

In a city that has recently seen more protests against the Greek government's austerity measures, another banner proclaimed: "Fighting discrimination and the economic crisis is the same battle!"

The country approved a form of civil unions in 2008 especially for homosexuals, but the gay community has been seeking the approval of full gay marriages.

Moscow Pride 'a success', gay activists say

A ten-minute flashmob in Moscow last weekend has been hailed as the first successful Pride parade in the city.

Gay rights activists were denied permission to hold a Pride by city officials for the fifth year running but 30 marchers were able to outwit police and security forces.

They marched down a main street in the city centre on Saturday May 29th carrying a 20-metre rainbow flag and placards in Russian and English calling for gay rights and an end to homophobia.

This is the first time a Pride event in Moscow has proceeded without violence or arrests.

Calling it a "guerrilla-style hit-and-run" Pride, British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell described how organisers fed police false information about where the march would take place.

He said: "All morning the Gay Pride organisers fed the police a steady stream of false information, via blogs and websites, concerning the location of the parade.

"They suggested that it would take place outside the EU Commission's offices. As a result, the police put the whole area in total lockdown, closing nearby streets and metro stations in bid to prevent protesters assembling there."

He added: "The Russian gay activists have won a big political and morale victory. They staged their Gay Pride march, despite it being banned by the mayor and the judges, and despite the draconian efforts by the police and FSB security services to prevent it from taking place."

Principal organiser Nikolai Alekseev, said: "Though the March was short – it happened. All the Russian media reported that for the first time in five years, the gay parade took place in Moscow without being arrested by the police and assaulted by protesters."

Moscow City Hall banned the latest march citing reasons of security, although Mr Alekseev told PinkNews.co.uk last week that the decision was "purely political" and had nothing to do with safety.

Moscow's mayor Yuri Luzhkov has consistently refused permission for the march and has called gays and lesbians"satanic" in the past.

In May 2006, more than 120 people were arrested and in 2007, Mr Tatchell was severely beaten by neo-Nazis. Last year, marchers accused police of brutality.

Mr Alekseev and other activists expect that by the time next year's Pride parade is held, the ban will have been lifted.

They are awaiting a European Court of Human Rights judgment on the case, which is expected this summer.

Ricky Martin honoured by AIDS research gala

Ricky Martin has been honoured at an AIDS research event.

In one of his first public appearance since coming out, Martin attended a gala for amfAR's Aids research in New York City last night.

The Livin' La Vida Loca singer was honoured for philanthropic contributions he has made to the cause through his foundation.

Other attendees were gay icons were Cyndi Lauper and hostess Kylie Minogue.

Minogue said Martin was "embracing and living life".

After refusing to answer questions about his sexuality for years, the father to twin boys came out in March.

He posted a message on his website which said: "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

Review: "Redwoods" is a Gay Romance That's Worth Getting Lost In

Two people weary from life meet unexpectedly and, even though they only know each other for a couple of days, discover a mind-blowing love that Changes Everything. But one of them has unbreakable commitments elsewhere — forcing him to ask, "Do I dare pursue this mind-blowing love, even if it means hurting other people?"

It's the plot of Bridges of Madison County and Nights in Rodanthe, right?

It's also the basic plot of a charming new gay movie, Redwoods, released last month on DVD.

Everett feels stifled with Miles, the man with whom he is raising an autistic son. But then Miles and their son go away for a week, and Everett meets Chase, a traveling novelist in town to research a book.

And so begins a brief, bittersweet love affair that will echo throughout the ages.

Look, if you simply can't buy this premise of "soul-mates," of love-at-first-sight, you won't like this movie. And truthfully? I don't buy this premise either, not in real life, where I think "infatuation" is completely different from "true love," which is something that grows slowly over time.

But for some reason, I can suspend my disbelief long enough to buy it on movie screens — or at least I bought it here — even despite a wildly over-the-top ending. This is a fantasy, pure and simple, and it is exactly as ridiculous as the two movies I mentioned above.

It helps that the two leads, Matthew Montgomery (Chase) and Brendan Bradley (Everett), do a wonderful job of selling all this. Bradley, who is reportedly straight in real life, has an appealingly vulnerable quality to him — exactly what the role requires. And Montgomery, who is openly gay and well-known in indie gay film, is certainly my idea of a handsome stranger who would force me to Question Everything.

Brendan Bradley and Matthew Montgomery

Keep in mind that Redwoods is a micro-budget indie gay movie, surely made on a shoestring. As such, the synth-heavy music is occasionally distracting, the story flags for a bit, and the dialogue is sometimes a little clunky (especially toward the end when they discuss Chase's novel their relationship).

That said, this is night-and-day better than most similarly-budgeted projects: the script is solid, the acting is remarkably good (and consistent; unlike a lot of these micro-budget movies, there are no painfully wooden supporting players). And — I know this sounds like a small thing, but it's not — the lighting, which is so often "off" in these indie gay movies, looks professionally done.

Better still, the movie takes great advantage of the redwood forests where it is set. Too many low-budget movies are set in the front room of the director's house, and they feel weirdly claustrophobic. This movie took the exact opposite approach — small budget, but big scope — and it absolutely paid off.

Mostly, I appreciate that, more and more, we live in an age where gay movies don't have to always be angsty and depressing, or preachy and pointed. There are no closeted boyfriends in Redwoods, no disapproving parents to come out to.

This a pure cheese, a frothy romance — a gay guilty pleasure! And in my book, that makes this the most revolutionary gay film I've seen in quite some time.


Why Is White Collar's Matthew Bomer's Sexuality Such a Secret?

White Collar's Matt Bomer Is a Proud Out Gay Man Who Doesn't 'Care' About the Rumors He's a Gay


The USA Network has a certain prescription for its shows: Psych, Monk, Royal Pains, and Burn Notice all are drama-comedies with romance mixed in. They're com-rom-drams? Rom-dramedies? And for the most part, they all have a gay-ish element: On Psych, the completely hetero friendship between Gus and Sean is mixed in with bromance jokes; Burn Notice's Jeffrey Donovan is like a cable network James Bond (and we all know how gay that makes him). And new this season is White Collar, a show that follows the same USA composite: Cute lead character involved solving problems (crimes, as most of USA's shows do). And White Collar also has the gay-ish element: The leading man, Matthew Bomer's Neal Caffrey, is cute and savvy and sexually confident. But we didn't know just how much White Collar went gay. Just two episodes into the series, and we learn its headlining actor is a 'mo.


Earlier this week, the gossip blogger known for making that "faggot" remark claimed Bomer is openly gay, and in a relationship with Simon Halls (pictured, on right), the chief executive of public relations firm PMK/HBH, one of the largest and most powerful PR firms in all the land. (You might have heard their name back when PMK's then-CEO Pat Kingsley, Tom Cruise's one-time publicist, made a sport out of shooting down gay rumors.) The item was picked up by the blog Boy Culture and the kids on gossip forum Data Lounge.

Bomer, whose past credits include standard soap opera stints and a regular gig on Tru Calling, is not being outed by his own camp; the website AfterElton asked Bomer's publicist about the situation, and she replied, "No comment," and "We don't comment on any of our client's personal lives." (That's a lie. PMK regularly shoots down rumors about client Jennifer Aniston's pregnancy, as just one example.)


But then there's the evidence. Namely, photos of Bomer and another gent (not Halls) in major make-out mode. (That's him in the red.)

For his part, Halls is openly gay. He and PMK co-chief Stephen Huvane, who is also gay (and a looker), exercise a level of power that, it would not be an exaggeration to say, can literally make or break someone's Hollywood career. They represent clients like Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Neil Patrick Harris. Stephen's brother, Kevin Huvane, is also in the business: He's the manager agent of folks like — yup! — Jennifer Aniston. There are plentiful stories about Halls and Huvane treating Hollywood as their own fiefdom; more often than not, they are true.

So while it's pretty exciting to see a couple of gay men wielding so much influence in an industry where being gay is still a scarlet letter for actors, it's also a little frightening to see what happens when they try to use that power to shut down reports that impact them personally. Halls's camp wasn't successful in getting the gay celeb blogger to remove the item, but Boy Culture did take down the photos by "kind request." The blog Greg In Hollywood removed the photos, because "the photo is several years old and since the actor is out and in a committed relationship, I’ve decided to take it down. The request was made very politely by Bomer through friends."


But the Internet never deletes anything. The photos of Bomer kissing another fella are regularly available to anyone with a few minutes and interest to find it. And it's ridiculous to think that getting them yanked from a couple gay blogs will delete it from anyone's memory.

We can understand the position Bomer is in: He's been openly gay for much of his career, at least inside the industry, but now he's headlining a nearly-guaranteed-to-be-blockbuster series on USA, in a role that requires (female) viewers to lust after him. We won't jump to conclusions, but if history is any indicator, USA's executives (and those at parent NBC Universal) won't be too thrilled with Bomer's sexuality making headlines.

To which we say: Too late.

Or maybe Halls is just unhappy seeing the Internet flooded with pics of his current beau getting randy with another man?

UPDATE: Sean Akers, Web designer to the gay stars (read: Zachary Quinto), who says he is a friend of Bomer, writes Queerty: "Matt Bomer is an out actor. He is dating Simon Halls. They have kids. And these pics are 9 years old. It is drudging up his past to reveal something that isn't a secret. Posting these pics only serves to hurt Matt's family. He is not hiding, but this kind of post is exactly why so many gay actors do hide. In a world where this shouldn't matter, it still does. As his friend, I am thinking of his kids and his relationship. I am thinking about how people in a community that should respect Matt for being open about his sexuality are being turned against him. He didn't ask you people to take down the pics. Simon Halls and PMK had nothing to do with it. It was me who asked. As Matt's friend. Matt is the kindest person I know. He is genuine and he works very hard on his career and on his relationships. His family is his priority. And the post and the pics sadden me."

It's a nice sentiment, but here's the rub: As a high-profile television actor, Bomer sells his personal life as much as his acting skills. This is the arrangement celebrities agree to when they join the Hollywood elite. Ask George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, and even Jon Gosselin. Or Rosie, Ellen, and Neil. Substantial paydays and the perks of celebrity are joined by prying eyes who want to know about your intimate lives. And especially because Bomer is an out actor, as Akers notes, he should understand his private life carries an asterisk. Our coverage is not the reason actors stay in the closet; they stay in the closet to avoid being labeled gay by the mainstream entertainment press. Us? We want to celebrate famous gay folks (who aren't assholes)! We report on the romances and break-ups of TR Knight and Adam Lambert and Rosie O'Donnell. Welcome to the fold, Bomer. We're happy to add you to the list of out and proud gay men with mainstream acting gigs. Surely you'll be accepting a GLAAD award this time next year then?

Mr Gay China Beauty Pageant Closed

The press releases sounded promising: “The Mr Gay China competition is much more than a beauty contest. While physical beauty will be part of the judges’ considerations, it is a young man’s character and personality that will make a difference in the selection."

The winner will be chosen by the audience at the event, whom they believe will be the best representative of gay China, among the final three candidates who are selected by the judges

Although homosexuality was officially considered a mental illness until as recently as 2001, gay events in China have been neutrally, if not positively, covered by local media in recent years.

Co-organiser and Managing Director Ben Zhang was recently quoted in media reports as saying that mainstream media will not be invited to the pageant as he is concerned that overexposure might result in “unnecessary difficulties.

And then:

BEIJING -- Police shut down what would have been China's first-ever gay pageant on Friday an hour before it was set to begin, highlighting the enduring sensitivity surrounding homosexuality and the struggle by gays to find mainstream acceptance.

Organizers said they were not surprised when eight police officers turned up at the upscale club in central Beijing where the pageant, featuring a fashion show and a host in drag, was set to take place.

"They said the content, meaning homosexuality, there's nothing wrong with that, but you did not do things according to procedures," Ben Zhang said. Police told him he needed official approval for events that included performances, in this case a stage show.

"I kind of saw that coming," Zhang said.

Chinese police frequently cite procedural reasons for closing down gatherings that are deemed to be politically sensitive. Though the pageant did not have any overt political agenda, similar events in the past - such as a parade during the Shanghai Pride Festival last year - have been blocked by authorities.


Interview magazine's 20 Gorgeous people

zac efron, celebrity, goregous, colin
One of the great things about magazines (and blogs) is the hauteur of lists.

The last week of any year will find everyone scrambling to put together their list of significant events, people, deaths, and stories. Interview magazine, which was started in 1969 by Andy Warhol and Gerald Melanga has always been dedicated to celebrity. So it is no surprise that that the magazine doesn’t just make the claim for the year, BUT THE LAST DECADE! It would seem so subjective, but that is what an opinion is—so who is the sexiest person the last decade? Looking like a child with some Tyrone Power DNA, it is Zac Efron. Others include Chance Crawford, Ashley Greene, Colin Farrell, Kate Moss, Ryan Phillippe and a bevy of other young beauties. The beauty of lists is that undoubtedly someone will disagree, that said, the Interview list does seem hell-bent on youth, which assuredly is no guarantee of being gorgeous.

Which Bi-ish Actor Has an Escort for a Boyfriend?


BLIND ITEMS — "We have heard from a friend of this gay male escort that the escort is claiming to be involved in a romantic relationship with this Television and Film actor (whose sexuality remains ambiguous). The escort has been snapped with the star before, and even gone to events with him, but is claiming to have been in a relationship, one that is on and off. Not Chace Crawford." [BuzzFoto]

(Note: Accompanying photos do not indicate any relationship to the report.)

What's Your Excuse for Being on Queerty This Christmas?


Hey, you there? What are you doing on the world wide web on such an important religious — or, according to other religions, pagan — holiday? Well so long as you're here, you might as well talk amongst yourselves. Tell Queerty: How are you spending Christmas? Are you with family, friends, partners? Is this Christmas better than last year? What did you get — and give — this holiday season? And most importantly: Were you good or naughty this year? Honest answers only!

Or instead, you can debate whether or not Rudolph is a big 'mo.

(Photo: Michael Breyette)


Ultra Nate - Automatic

Ultra Nate - Automatic
I like this video...

“Eating Out 3” Makes for a Mostly Unsatisfying Meal

A movie franchise is like a shark. For it to stay alive, it has to move forward. It’s a lesson that the Eating Out franchise would do well to learn.

I liked 2004’s Eating Out a lot. The campy gay sex farce was downright revolutionary coming after decades of earnest, angsty coming out dramas (and two years before Another Gay Movie).

2006’s Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds wasn’t as successful, but it wasn’t a disaster.

But Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat, now playing in limited release, is the weakest entry in the series so far. It’s not that parts of it aren’t funny. It’s just that the movie takes absolutely no chances, choosing instead to change a few details and repeat what came before in the first two movies.

Q. Allan Brocka, the creator of Logo’s Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in all the World and writer and director of Eating Out and the producer of Eating Out 2, doesn’t appear to have been involved at all this time around, and it shows.

The movie quickly kills off the main character from the first two movies, Kyle (American Idol’s Jim Verraros), replacing him with Casey (Daniel Skelton), a wide-eyed gay innocent who takes one look at the slutty things going on during the opening credits and says, “I’m gonna love this town!”

Rebekah Kochan is back as the foul-mouthed Tiffani “the slut with the mouth of shit.”

Casey and Rebekah team up and soon meet the sizzling hot Zack (Chris Salvatore), smarting over having just been dumped by his boyfriend, Lionel (The Janice Dickinson’s Modeling Agency’s John Stallings).

John Stallings (center)

Casey thinks Zack is out of his league, but Rebekah talks him into inventing a fake online profile, using photos of her hot ex, Ryan, under the (accurate) assumption that people are often more honest with strangers than they are with people they know.

Naturally, Zack falls in love with the non-existent guy who has Casey’s personality but who looks like Ryan. Then the real Ryan turns up back in town and, well, complications ensue.

It’s a clever premise, and there are some nice moments along the way. Daniel Skelton has a goofy, appealing charm, and Leslie Jordan has a nice cameo where he warns that “having sex with someone else to get over a break-up never works. Never.”

Leslie Jordan (left) and Mink Stole

There’re plenty of funny, and well-deserved, pokes at the gay community, as when a character logs online and is instantly bombarded with dozens of people wanting to “PNP!” Indeed, the film’s satire of the gay community’s online hook-up culture is the best part of the film.

And when clueless, self-centered Rebekah doesn’t know what “LGBT” means or how to pronounce “Matthew Shepard,” it’s hard not to laugh.

Still, too many jokes fall flat. Rebekah singing “Cum-baya” at a funeral instead of “Kumbaya” (“someone’s horny my Lord, cum-baya…”) was just sort of embarrassing. And the line “Blow job for your thoughts?” probably read funnier on the page.

Basically, the film suffers from Bad Gay Film-itis: uneven pacing, sometimes wooden acting even in the lead roles, and waaaaay too much talking.

In fact, the movie makes a big mistake by wrapping its “mistaken identity” storyline up too quickly. This results in a long middle section where the characters … talk.

And talk and talk and talk.

Then after another pivotal plot point, there’s still more talking. Not even two scenes of full-frontal male nudity can make all this talk not seem boring.

Chris Salvatore (left) and Daniel Skelton

But the biggest problem may be that we’ve seen this movie before, in the first two entries. There’s even one scene where Rebekah tries to get straight-guy Ryan turned on enough to have sex with guys that’s virtually the same as happened in Eating Out. This might have been intended as an homage, but it comes across as a repeat.

There is a fresh and funny sex comedy to be made in 2009. This isn’t it.

Watch the teaser trailer for Eating Out 3:


Wes (Partner of Danny Roberts)

The Real World: New Orleans’ Danny Roberts(who recently topped our Top 15 Favorite Gay Reality Stars poll) first met his partner Wes in college at the University of Georgia. They were both closeted, so their brief affair was hush-hush.

“Fast forward 10 years and I’m living in New York City and out with friends for my birthday,” Danny tells AfterElton.com. “Guess who approaches me and asks if I remember him? Yep, there’s Wes. My reply was, ‘Of course, you’re the sexy Puerto Rican from college!’ So we started dating casually, but eventually I had to move to Atlanta for a job. The decision was made for Wes to join me so we’ve been living together since. I guess you can call it all fate!”

Danny Roberts (left) and partner Wes

The couple has been together – “in some fashion on another,” Danny says – for two years now.

“We’re both getting used to living in the South,” Danny says. “It’s a real first for Wes and practically new for me after being away for ten years. It’s culture shock at its best! We both have a similar temperament and world-view so it’s a good match. I would say our number one love that we both enjoy more than anything is travel. We soon leave for Central America to see the Mayan ruins, which is a life-long dream of mine.”

Are there kids in the couple’s future? “He’s very anxious to start a family,” Danny says, “but I just want a dog! You have to start somewhere, right?”


Liveblogging "One Life To Live": The mystery of Brian Joseph McElhane

Okay, what the hell is going on here? Cristian and Layla are throwing around a book called How To Tell Your Parents You're Gay by Brian Joseph McElhane (and it looks to play a part in a sitcom-esque classic "misunderstanding" today).

There's just one problem ... Brian Joseph McElhane doesn't exist.

If you Google him, the only thing you'll get is Ed's Daytime Drive-by from yesterday. Which means either TPTB on the show used "Random Author Name Generator" ... or something weird is going on. Hmm...

Anyway, join us for the fun, as Oliver hopefully will come out to Kyle, and refresh for updates.

2:05PM EST: Carlotta picks up "the book" and reads the title out loud, then slowly looks at Cristian. Cris says "mommy, wait". How cute is it that Cris calls her "mommy". Awww!

Cole is about to be shot in the back of the head by the surfer-dude blond cop. Somehow I think he'll be stopped. Rachel has been put on the stand by That Bitch Tea Delgado, and is paying the price. She brings up her hooker/drug addict past. Stay classy, Tea.

2:10PM EST: This stuff with Carlotta is cute, even if the whole "gay misunderstanding" schtick is as old as the hills. She tells Cristian that she loves him even though he's gay, and that she accepts it, and that he doesn't have to hide it anymore. She talks about noticing "the signs", and a bemused Layla pitches in with "because of all the time he spends at the gym?", and Carlotta agrees and says "and all the trouble he has with women". Cris is flummoxed, and tries to get Layla to vouch for his heterosexuality.

2:20PM EST: Has Dorian always been this shrill-sounding? All I hear is "Kaw! Kaw! Kaw!"

The blond surfer-dude cop is shot by John, and as a dazed Cole is led out of his cell, Oliver swoops in to check on the fallen cop.

Layla reluctantly tells Carlotta that "The Book" is for a friend of theirs, and that Cristian is not gay. There's talk of how accepting Carlotta is even with being a church lady, but the only thing I could think was "that other actress quit over this?

2:25PM EST: Tea has completely destroyed Rachel on the stand, and as Rachel runs out of the courtroom, Nora gets in Tea's face and asks how she could do that. Tea yells "I did it for my client!", at which point Matthew points at her and screams "You're fired!" I'm liking this kid more and more.

2:40PM EST: I love that Oliver is focusing on Police Cop business, and he and John head on out together to capture the bad guys.

Layla and Cristian laugh off what happened with his mom, and then talk about giving "The Book" to Oliver. Layla commends him for going into a bookstore and buying "The Book" for him, which is something a lot of straight guys might be too uncomfortable to do. Cristian admits that two guys at the bookstore actually slipped him their phone numbers, prompting Layla to call him "gay catnip".

2:45PM EST: Tea drives Nora over the edge, and Nora delivers a hot slap across her face. The judge holds Nora in contempt, and for good measure holds Tea in contempt as well. Ha!

Oliver and John approach the mayor's office, and John reminds Oliver that they have to play this by "The Book". So, they're going to tell the mayor's parents that he's gay? I'm confused.

2:55PM EST: Matthew is mad at himself and mad at Tea, but since Tea has been put in a cell with Nora, he should probably be worried about the both of them.

Oliver and John bust into the mayor's office with guns blazing, but he's nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, The Russian mobster shows up at Todd's house ready to shut him up ... permanently.

And once again, Layla shoots down Cristian's not-too-subtle desire to be with her. Poor Cristian. But hey, he still has those two numbers!


Soap star: 'Coronation Street needs more gay characters'..

A Coronation Street actor has said the soap needs more gay characters.

Antony Cotton, who is openly gay, plays the camp Sean Tully in the ITV soap.

According to Holy Soap, the former Queer As Folk star said: "The story goes that one in person in ten is gay. We've got 70 people in ours [Coronation Street] so there should be seven gay characters at least.

"Especially as Weatherfield is the gayest place on the planet as far as female characters are concerned! It's the campest show on TV at times."

On portrayals of gay characters on TV, he said: "The more there are, the more people are not going to seek representation.

"You can associate with one type and say that's who I'm similar to, and not that person, but it's not a problem because there are two different portrayals."

Stonewall estimates that between six and nine per cent of the population is gay.

Coronation Street did not have any gay activity until 2003, despite its massive gay fanbase.

Gay men and lesbians more likely to seek treatment for mental health and substance abuse..

Gay men and lesbians are around twice as likely as their straight counterparts to seek treatment for mental health issues and drug and alcohol abuse, a study has suggested.

The research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), surveyed more than 2,000 California residents.

It found that 48.5 per cent of gays, lesbians and bisexuals had accessed treatment in the last year, compared with 22.5 per cent of straight people.

Lesbian and bisexual women were the most likely to seek treatment, which researchers said was unsurprising as women use health services more than men.

Heterosexual men had the lowest rates of treatment.

Researcher Susan Cochran said: "It is well known that health services utilisation is greater among women generally. Here we have shown that minority sexual orientation is also an important consideration. Lesbians and bisexual women appear to be approximately twice as likely as heterosexual women to report having received recent treatment for mental health or substance use disorders."

"The pervasive and historically rooted societal pathologising of homosexuality may contribute to this propensity for treatment by construing homosexuality and issues associated with it as mental health problems," she added.

Obama-Hope and History

As a candidate Obama promised us a lot; as president he’s delivered very little -- and many gay people are getting impatient. Does the outcry unmask this president’s indifference, or reveal our own impotence as a movement?
By Michael Joseph Gross
From The Advocate September 2009
Hope and History

He looked like a hero, and that was the problem. Barack Obama seemed almost reckless with the truth, implausibly idealistic -- and (though we might not have said this out loud) we worried that America wasn’t “ready for a black president.”

After eight years of George W. Bush, we were sick of being excluded, sick of being hated. Hillary Clinton seemed the safer choice. We knew that she knew how power worked, and we wanted someone who could win. Moreover, many gay leaders -- the men and women with money and influence, whose success was built on cunning -- looked at her and saw themselves: making her way by wile, unafraid to sacrifice integrity when the game demands it.

But truth will out, and many placed their bets on Barack Obama, and when he took the lead in the primaries, he won over most of the rest. He talked to us -- and about us -- more, and more explicitly, than any nominee before him. And not just when he had to. Not just at Human Rights Campaign dinners. At black churches, in his stump speech, on the night he was elected: He said the word that every major candidate before him had found every excuse not to say. He named us. He said gay.

After his election Obama named someone else. The world’s most influential Protestant minister, Rick Warren, who campaigned against gay marriage, was asked to give the inauguration’s invocation. Obama tried to quell outrage and concern by restating his commitment to be “a fierce advocate of equality for gay and lesbian Americans.” And during his first months in office, while he worked with Congress on the economic stimulus package and the wars, and laid groundwork for legislation to protect the environment and reform health care, we were on our best behavior, waiting for him to reveal his plans to keep his promises to us.

Momentum for gay equality kept building -- in the courts, in legislatures, and in culture. Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine legalized gay marriage -- which was, significantly, also endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Dick Cheney too announced his support for marriage equality, as did top Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, who managed John McCain’s presidential campaign. Polls showed clear majorities supporting repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” even among conservatives and churchgoers -- constituencies that had long been in favor of the antigay military policy. Still, through all of this, one word was conspicuously absent from the president’s vocabulary.

The hero was a player after all.

Gavin Creel Doesn’t Just Break The Fourth Wall (He Smashes It to Bits!)

Ask any actor: stage performances don’t always translate well on television.

But when Gavin Creel, the star of the new revival of the 1967 musical Hair, took the stage to perform the song “Hair” at this year’s Tony Awards, it was instantly clear why his explosive, trippy performance, with its subtle hint of bisexuality, had been nominated for an award.

Before you knew it, Creel and his fellow cast members had broken the fourth wall, jumping off the stage and dancing out into the audience. Creel even got to serenade Anne Hathaway.

“The ‘Hair’ number just rocked,” Creel admits. “I was really proud of the show and how we came off on the Tonys.”

Now Creel, who was also nominated for a Tony for his Broadway debut in 2002’s Thoroughly Modern Millie, is getting more intimate still, with a performance later this month at Joe’s Pub in New York. It’s his first concert since coming out publicly earlier this year, and Creel promises a night of emotional honesty unlike any performance he’s ever given before.

Recently, we chatted with Creel about that breathtaking Tony performance, how his life has changed since coming out as an actor, and his desire to have the first number one single where a guy sings about his love for another guy.

AfterElton.com: So I’ve been listening to your 2006 CD GoodTimeNation and really liking it. I was expecting showtunes, but it’s not. Some of it is very pop. Do you see yourself as a pop star?
Gavin Creel:
That would be a dream-come-true. I want to tour and play an auditorium and have it packed with people who know my songs. I don't need to play arenas. I wouldn't turn it down if I got that famous, but I want to be as much of a musician as I am an actor. I want to do both. And be a theater actor. I love the theater. That's where my heart is. I love the way I've been embraced by the musical theater community.

The projects that I've picked, and been able to do, have been really varied in a beautiful way. Going from being in the 20s [in Thoroughly Modern Milly] to Classic Contemporary [in La Cage aux Folles] to being a chimney sweep [in Mary Poppins] to being a hippie [in Hair] is kind of a bizarre group of dudes. All the while, I've always had a desire to sing and compose myself, getting closer and closer to being able to stand in front of an audience and expose who I am through my music.

Stars and Their Gay Brothers!

Christopher Ciccone (Brother of Madonna)

They seemed so close! Madonna’s gay brother Christopher, one of her five siblings, didn’t just decorate her homes and her concert stages; he also acted as her back-up dancer, assistant, and personal stylist. He’s prominently featured in the 1991 documentary Truth or Dare.

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

These days? Not so close, not since Christopher published last year’s negative tell-all, Life With My Sister Madonna. Christopher claimed that he and his sis are estranged because of then-hubby Guy Ritchie’s “homophobic” views and wrote a book — about her — to "define myself and separate from my sister at last." But frankly, the very existence of this book makes the explanation from the Madonna camp sound far more plausible: that Christopher is a drug-addicted leech who his famous sis finally decided to stop supporting.