Saturday, May 31, 2014

June Official Gay Pride Month; Michael Arden Out Actor On Charlie Sheen Show; Jim Parsons on Sheldon

June Official Gay Pride Month

The President has officially dedicated the month of June to Gay Pride. With that, a call to end all  discrimination in the US followed.

 'Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month,' he said.

‘I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.'

You can read more here.

I never thought I would see a US president do that in my lifetime.

Please don't comment with politics on this one. It's not a political issue up for discussion it's a declaration by the President. I don't get into politics on the blog, and please don't mistake me for Dr. Phil. Someone did that recently on Facebook and he'll think twice before he does it again (smile).

Michael Arden Out Actor On Charlie Sheen Show

It's getting harder to post about positive topics lately. But I think this type of piece is interesting just for the sheer fact that it talks about an openly gay actor on a TV sitcom...or rather another openly gay actor.

Actor Michael Arden plays a gay character on Anger Management where Charlie Sheen is his anger management therapist.

'I get to play a gay character which I love and get to be a guy who is bit of an asshole, a self-centered asshole,' Arden tells Gay Star News.

 'I get to exercise that part of my make-up at work then my boyfriend doesn't have to deal with it at home.'

You can read more here. Arden's boyfriend is best known for Smash and they both work on different coasts.

I haven't seen Anger Management, but I'm going to make a point to see it now. I'm curious about Arden's role, and I've always had this minor gay for you crush on Charlie Sheen. It's the bad boy thing.

Jim Parsons on Sheldon

I've been amazed at how huge The Big Bang sitcom has become in the last year. Tony is a dedicated fan and records so many episodes it fills up my DVR to the limit sometimes. Jim Parsons, who plays the emotionless Sheldon on the show, recently talked about his character.

‘I was 33 when I started the show and I'd never done anything in the public eye before. But I do feel I had a decent handle on who I was when all the s**t hit the fan, in the best of ways,’ he told Metro.

There's more here.  I thought he was in his late twenties. You can also see Parsons in the HBO feature film this month about AIDS in the early years, in The Normal Heart.




Friday, May 30, 2014

BEA 2014; Futuristic Condoms; Maya Angelou Sex Work History

BEA 2014



This article states that floor traffic has been heavy at BEA 2014, and it's the most active, the most popular, and the best BEA ever to hit the face of the planet. I almost expected to read that a choir of literary agents stood up and sang Let It Go. This information also comes from the VP of Publishing Strategy at St. Martin's Press. I've heard other versions.

The one thing that remains consistent from everything I've read and everything I hear from people at BEA this year is the Amazon-Hachette dispute is a big part of conversation. James Patterson offered a few interesting words:

When Patterson was announced for the award, he received a standing ovation for the support he has shown independents with his million-dollar grants. A second ovation at the end of his talk came for his remarks, which opened with, “Hi, I’m Jeff Bezos.” He added, “All we can ask of people is that they try to do the right thing, the best thing.”
 
But according to Patterson, it also means taking a stand. “There is an evolution, revolution going on and it affects everybody,” he noted. “Every publisher is feeling a great deal of pain and stress. I’d like the press to think about this: publishers are not terribly profitable.” If publishers don’t make money, he said, they won’t be able to support good literature.
 
Once again, Amazon must be doing something right. I'm still rooting for publishers. I really am. I just wish that kind of thinking would go away. Steve Jobs wouldn't have been slamming Bezos with snark and telling us something we already know. Jobs would have been eating him for breakfast.
 
You can read more here.
 
Actually, I've been doing searches for interesting things to share about BEA 2014. I've asked people I know who are there to let me know if anything interesting happens. But since nothing earth shattering seems to be happening at the biggest publishing event of the year and at the most exciting time in the history of publishing, I won't bore readers anymore with future posts about BEA until next year.
 
You would think just one publisher, just one, would grand stand in at least one hugely significant way with a major announcement that really means something to readers and authors. Something about the future of publishing that would rock everyone sideways. Like maybe lowering the prices of digital books because they literally cost a fraction to produce compared to print books.
 
Futuristic Condoms
 
At least someone is worrying about the future, the future of penis caps that is. There's a guy who invented a new scaled down version of the condom that he thinks will improve sex. It's a cap for the tip (head) of the penis. I'm not sure if it comes in different sizes, though.
 
California native Charlie Powell claims to have invented a new kind of condom that he is calling the "Galactic Cap." Instead of a latex sheath covering the full length of the penis, Powell's condom encases only the tip. That way, semen is trapped without dulling sexual sensation, according to Powell.

Just one problem: It may not be as good as conventional condoms at stoping STIs.

This invention was spawned through a competition sponsored by Bill Gates and his wife. But the guy didn't win any funding from Gates and now he's turning to crowdfunding at indiegogo. Of course I have about a million questions about this penis cap. But I'll refrain for now.

There's more here, with a video and a more in-depth explanation of how the penis cap is actually used. It's very well presented and interesting.

The comment thread is a real gem this time.

Maya Angelou Sex Work History

Ever since news broke about the death of Maya Angelou there have been hashtags, articles, and so many things trending it's hard to keep up with them. But according to this next article no one has bothered to mention that Maya Angelou was a sex worker. It is by no means a negative article, and it in no way, shape, or form judges or slams Angelou. If anything, it supports what Angelou spoke about openly.

We can, once again, boil it down to respectability politics and stigma. I am angry about it. I find myself ruminating, considering, wondering: If her work had been talked about as much as her dancing with James Baldwin or even her considerable, commanding and lovely height of six feet, what would the sex work community look like today? If we had talked about her wonderful compassion for sex workers, how she never looked down on them, and her refusal to be intimidated by invasive and obnoxious questioning about her sex working past, what would sex workers around the world be saying today in memory of her life?

There's even a quote about this from Maya Angelou. Angelou spoke about her past openly and never hid it from anyone.

It's a good article about respectability politics and how the facts are often distorted in one way or another after someone dies. 

There's more here.






 






 
 

Straight-Gay Marriage Modern Family; FREE Excerpt; Advertorials Suck; Hot Cop of Castro Street

Straight-Gay Marriage

This article brings a whole new conversation to the table with marriage equality. It's not about same sex marriage. It's about a straight person marrying a gay person. And it's being promoted by the two actors who play a gay couple on Modern Family.

I don't watch Modern Family, but I think I'm getting this right with regard to the characters. The guy who plays "Cam" in gayface, Eric Stonestreet, and his acting partner who plays "Mitch," Jesse Tyler Ferguson, talked about straight-gay marriage on Jimmy Kimmel's late night talk show.
 
Our course this was also a "spoof" public announcement.
 
 Said Stonestreet in a spoof Public Service Announcement:
 
'We're proud to advocate the latest frontier in marriage equality: the union between one straight person ... ' Finishing his sentence Ferguson said: '... to one gay person. Straight-gay marriage.'

Frankly, and feel free to call me crazy, I don't completely get why this is a "spoof." I didn't even know anyone used the word "spoof" anymore.  For those of you who may not be aware of this, straight-gay marriages are not all that uncommon and I see no reason to "spoof" about it. I've known gay men who are happily married to straight women. I've known gay women who are happily married to straight men.  And yes, I've even known a straight man who was happily married to a gay man. I don't know what any of these people do in their bedrooms and that's none of my business. All I know is they are, and have been, happily married for a very long time. I see no reason to laugh at them. And this is one reason why I don't watch Modern Family.

You can read more here.

Advertorials Suck

I've posted about advertorials in the hopes that I might be able to show a small segment of readers how to spot them. They are basically paid advertisements that are designed to look like real articles and news stories, geared toward misleading the general public. This is one I spotted this morning on AOL news.

It's titled like this, to resemble a news item:

Have Scientists Discovered the ‘Magic Bullet’ for Healthy Weight Loss?

Here are the first few lines...

(Boston) – With all the controversy surrounding today’s most popular diets, it’s no wonder more and more consumers are looking for safer, healthier, ‘enjoyable’ alternatives.

The growing number of these health conscious consumers has paved the way for new, innovative ways we think about our health – specifically, our weight.

The Breakthrough That Has the Industry Buzzing

New research has uncovered something surprising: emerging science suggests that combining a probiotic with a fat burning component can help improve digestive health and promote healthy weight loss – smart.

This isn't news or journalism. What does "New research" mean? Nothing. This is a paid advertisement designed to dupe people into thinking it's news.

You can check the rest out here. I have no idea how this product works, but I do know, for a fact, the best way to lose weight is about as simple as life gets: Eat Less. 

Hot Cop of Castro Street

That's not the title of a new m/m romance. It would be a great title, but it's actually a real story and there is a real hot cop of Castro Street. Evidently, this cop works in San Francisco and Armistead Maupin of the old time Tales of the City fame recently posted about the cop on Facebook. (I've noticed how older celebs tend to lean more toward Facebook than Twitter...just an observation.)

'Well, I finally got to see him in person,' Maupin writes on a Facebook post accompanied by a photo he snapped of the cutest cop since Kent McCord on TV's Adam 12.

Maupin shares their exchange: 'I told him he had become something of celebrity on the web to which he replied with a sly smile: “So I’m told.” He graciously consented to a picture then sent us on our way with: “You guys have a nice day.”

Sounds like Maupin went out on a mission to track him down.

You can read more and check out a photo of the hot cop here. He's every bit as hot as they say he is. But then I have rarely seen a cop I've found unattractive.

FREE Excerpt

I just submitted a short to German Publisher, Bruno Gmunder. It's one several stories I've submitted this year in between my regular contracted books and indie projects. I like working with them. I like the books they produce. I like the editor and the process.

The excerpt below is a never before published version of the one I just submitted...Jersey Jacks. Just for clarification, the word Jacks does NOT have an apostrophe for a specific reason, which should make the storyline more obvious. And, this is the unedited raw version.


Hardy Johnson wore beige slacks and white cotton shirts with button down collars to work. He had a different necktie for each day of the month and his shoe color always matched his belt. Sometimes he wore a suit jacket, depending on his mood or the time of the year. And he always wore a more conservative suit for important meetings that required a less casual look.

            At the boxy concrete and glass suburban insurance building where Hardy worked from nine to five forty hours a week, his co-workers would smile at him when he passed. He would return each smile and exchange casual comments about the weather, something significant happening in the office, or joke around about something involving current affairs. When he arrived in the morning the unmarried young woman who sat behind the reception desk on his floor often smiled a little too long and batted her eyelashes a little too fast. The married guy in his early forties in the small office next to Hardy’s would pat his paunch and joke around about how Hardy’s looks wouldn’t last forever, especially after he turned thirty.

            Hardy would smile evenly at the receptionist and laugh along with the married guy, and then he would go into his office and work without giving any of them a second thought.

            After work, he usually went to a gym not far from his condo. He would change into loose baggy shorts, a comfortable T-shirt, and cross-training shoes that would work for weight lifting and cardio machines. He preferred to keep things simple and he always focused on specific parts of his body. His intention was not to become a hulking body builder with bulging muscles in his arms, legs, and back. He was twenty-eight years old and he wanted to maintain his thirty inch waist, but without becoming obsessed with those washboard abs so many other men at his gym seemed to crave.     

            He wasn't the type of gay man who could be identified easily, which is why the young woman at his office often flirted with him and told him he looked like a blond male actor on a popular TV show. He wasn’t in the closet either. His family and good friends all knew he was gay. At the office he said nothing about his sexuality because he didn’t think it was anyone’s business.         

            For the most part, Hardy knew other people considered him mild-mannered, polite, and easy to get along with. He wasn’t too aggressive or shy. He kept his two bedroom condo neat and clean but no one was afraid to sit on his sofa and just relax. When good friends and family members asked why someone like him was still single, he would just shrug and tell them he wasn’t looking for a permanent relationship yet. It wasn’t a lie, at least not completely. He just couldn’t go into detail with friends and family about what he needed in a relationship, which wasn’t always easy to find. In fact, it was so personal and so complicated sometimes he didn’t always understand it himself.

            On a warm Friday night in early June, he returned from the gym and listened to his voice mail. After that, he stripped out of his shorts and T-shirt, went into the bathroom, and lathered his body with depilatory cream. He did this once a week, every Friday, and he didn’t have that much body hair in the first place. The hair remover only took a few minutes to work that night, and he stepped into the shower to rinse his entire body until it was silky and smooth.

            After he dried himself off, he walked naked to his bed and turned on the TV to watch one of his favorite home renovation shows on the Home Channel. He didn’t eat dinner on Friday nights because he didn’t want that full stomach feeling for what he was about to do later that night. They were talking about a mid-century modern home on TV and he climbed slowly onto the bed and rested his head on a small throw pillow. He always napped before he went out on a Friday or Saturday night, partly because it was still too early to go out and partly because he knew he wouldn’t be home until three or four the next morning.

            As the soft voices coming from the TV talked about real hardwood floors as opposed to laminate floors, and a woman with a soothing British accent discussed them with a cute young guy, Hardy closed his eyes and drifted to sleep thinking about how smooth and clean he felt all over.

            When he woke three hours later he sat up in bed and reached for the TV remote. The clock on the cable box read eleven, which meant he’d slept longer than he’d planned. He switched the TV off to avoid the eleven o’clock news saga of murder and crime, climbed out of bed, and loped back to the bathroom to get ready for the night.

            After he shaved his face and styled his short blond hair, he went into the walk-in closet off the master bathroom to choose his outfit for the night. He had a basic idea and it didn’t take long to pull a pair black workout pants off the top shelf. The tight white V-neck T-shirt with the deep scoop at the chest wasn’t hard to find either. He put the V-neck on first, and then turned to a large basket where he kept all his underwear.   

            It took a few minutes to decide between the black see-through boxer briefs or the tight raspberry briefs with the thick leathery waistband. He tried both on a few times and checked them out in a full length mirror on the back of his closet door. The black see-through pair made him feel sexy and dangerous, but there was something about the raspberry pair that really made his heart beat faster. The raspberry briefs with the thick leathery waistband weren’t boxers and they weren’t bikinis. They fell somewhere in between and he worried they might be too conservative. But as he turned and saw how they hugged his ass and made it round out and bubble, he finally put the black see-through briefs back into the basket and turned toward the back of the closet where he kept his shoes lined neatly in double rows.

            This was always the hardest part: choosing shoes. His more dangerous side leaned toward the black leather army or work boots. He had over a dozen pairs in various designs. When he tried on a pair with side zippers and looked in the mirror they just didn’t seem to work with the raspberry briefs. So he went for a simple pair of black high top sneakers he normally would have worn anywhere during the day with shorts or jeans.

            After that, he fastened thick black leather bracelets to each wrist, a thicker black leather choker collar to his neck, and he wrapped a black leather cock ring around his dick and balls. He didn’t wear the cock ring to enhance anything; he wore it for effect and because it made him feel so different.  

            In order to get out of his condo building without calling any attention to himself, he put on his black sweat pants and a plain black leather jacket. That night he didn’t run into anyone he knew and the moment he sat down behind the steering wheel of his brand new blue mini-cooper he removed the jacket before he even started the engine. As he slipped the car into gear, he glanced down and smiled at the way half of his bulging chest muscles popped through the low-cut white V-neck.

            He drove about twenty-five miles east to an older building in a northern New Jersey town not far from New York City. It was so close to the Holland Tunnel he had to watch the road with care so he wouldn’t make the wrong turn and wind up in New York. When he reached his destination, he turned left and drove down a narrow alleyway that led him to a small parking lot at the back of the old brick building. There were no signs or neon lights in this neighborhood. Except for a few small grocery stores and bars, this was a low end residential neighborhood with unkempt row homes and crestfallen apartment buildings that had been around since World War II.

            As he climbed out of the car and headed toward the building, he shoved his hands into his pockets and kept his head down. He glanced around the parking lot a few times and noticed there were more cars there than usual and his heart started beating faster again. This wasn’t a nightclub or a formal gathering place, at least not in the usual way. This place was a private club for men only called Jersey Jacks that he’d joined. The fact that there was no apostrophe in Jacks was highly significant. He’d found this place through someone he’d met casually for sex on Craigslist a year earlier and he’d been going there almost every weekend since. In fact, the only way to discover Jersey Jacks was through word of mouth, and always in a very discreet way.
 
Chase of a Dream














Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gay Marriage Continues; BEA 2014

Gay Marriage Continues

I think this is one of the best articles I've read that talks about how gay marriage is gaining strength everywhere thanks to last June's SCOTUS ruling.

"With each one, it becomes harder for states to argue that these bans should be upheld, and it becomes harder for courts to uphold them," says Camilla Taylor, marriage project director at Lambda Legal, one of several gay rights groups juggling multiple court cases. "No court wants to be the one court that got it wrong and upheld the discrimination."

It becomes a legal issue, not a religious or moral issue, which is exactly what it should be.

You can read more here.

This comment is interesting:

"The test of success is not whether you win every single ruling in every single court," says Evan Wolfson, who launched the advocacy group Freedom to Marry in 2003. "The test is whether you have the right answers, whether you have a critical mass of victories and whether you are conveying to the judges and justices that the country is ready."

BEA 2014



Here are a few links for what's happening at this year's BEA (Book Expo America) in New York. This one is about debuts and breakouts. It also talks about advances, which many authors have been wondering about for the past few years.

One title where the advance became an early story is Matthew Thomas’s We Are Not Ourselves. Simon & Schuster’s Marysue Rucci plugged the debut novel, which she had acquired for a rumored seven figures at the 2013 London Book Fair, on the panel. While Rucci did discuss the author’s appealing rags-to-riches backstory—he worked on the novel for a decade and was living in a one bedroom apartment with his wife and twins when he sold the book in a splashy deal—she focused on the work itself. Calling the novel, about three generations of an Irish American family, “transcendent” and “one of the most beautiful and moving” books she has “ever read.”

It's hard to comment on that without reading the book. But seven figures? And frankly, most writers have rags-to-riches stories, at least most of the writers I know do. I wish I could get more excited about this.

This next article is a little odd, too. There's this guy who comes from old money who decided to live like the common folk live. I guess because he was tired of money and he wanted to struggle like everyone else...like those who don't have the choice?

He tells Show Daily: “I wanted to write a comedy about money. I think it’s one of the few taboos left, and it’s an important subject. The decisions people make about money are really philosophical choices that affect lots of things.”

He traveled the world, went from terrible job to job, and returned to write a book about private clubs. He took a sabbatical from old money...I guess.  He allegedly writes about the private clubs of the most elite where they don't even talk about money openly. I guess he's trying to market this to those who don't have mortgages, and those who don't have to deal with finding affordable health insurance?

In any event, this is what he plans to do at BEA:

“As for Book Expo, I intend to eat up the whole place.”

No comment. It might be the best book ever written, or that ever will be written. I just hope he's figured out a way to "eat up" the vipers on Amazon and Goodreads.

Now this article talks about something interesting for a change. I've mentioned my brother (the gay one) who lives in New York and in this building, which is only blocks from the Javits Center where BEA is held. The article talks about the High Line, which isn't far from the Javits Center. I was there a few times recently with Tony and my brother and loved it. The photo above was taken by me and the high line is not far from there.

Step outdoors and you’ll see a massive construction project unfolding in the new district known as Hudson Yards. It embraces 360 acres, stretching north to 43rd Street and extending from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River, but its beating heart is the rail yards that wrap around the northern end of the High Line. Michael Bloomberg called this patch of real estate, which is twice as big as Rockefeller Center, Manhattan’s “last frontier.”

 And, of course, here's a BEA related article about those big old meanies, Amazon. It mentions the recent issues between Hachette and Amazon, and questions whether or not anyone will ever be able to compete with Amazon.

Research conducted in March by the Codex Group found that in the month Amazon's share of new book unit purchases was 41%, dominating 65% of all online new book units, print and digital. The company achieved that percentage by not only being the largest channel for e-books, where it had a 67% market share in March, but also by having a commanding slice of the sale of print books online, where its share in March was estimated at 64%.

It's hard to comment on it because Amazon must be doing something right. I truly wish big publishers would get their acts together and stop looking so backward and antiquated.

This last piece I'm linking to about BEA talks about two panels that discuss YA and Middle Grade books.

Ehrenhaft will share his enthusiasm for a debut novel by an author who has often been in a different spotlight. A member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a multi-Grammy winner, Cynthia Weil has written (along with Barry Mann, her writing partner and husband) such classic songs as “On Broadway,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” Set in 1963 Manhattan, her novel, I’m Glad I Did, tells of a young songwriter who must untangle a sinister web of hidden identities and dark secrets surrounding a legendary former nightclub singer.

Some of the titles look very interesting. I'm actually a huge fan of reading YA and Middle Grade crossovers. YA author Michael Northrope is one of my favorite authors. I've also read Nathan Bransford's first Middle Grade book and loved it because of the writing. The problem now is that there's so much competition out there with indie authors who are absolutely relentless in their quest to sell books. It's become a vicious nightmare for the honest author who is only trying to get his or her book our there to readers. I've seen some of these indie vipers and what they are capable of, and this also includes many authors with some of these sleazy start up digital presses who have a cult-like appeal. I've seen them tell their readers they have cancer and two days later claim is was all a huge mistake. Praise the Lord I've Had a Miracle! And the readers believe them...they do, indeed actually buy all of it. I've seen them flock together and work their readers to the point where I often wonder if what they do is legal.

At first I used to think that these bottom feeder indie authors would just disappear eventually. And actually most of them do vanish in time. But the problem is that when the old vipers disappear a whole new breed of aggressive snakes take their place it the cycle starts all over again.

I really feel for the new honest author out there...indie or trad pubbed...who has to learn how to deal with the ethical decisions that come up almost daily with book promotion. But even more important, I worry that we're losing a lot of good authors because they just don't want to deal with the subterfuge anymore.













Storme DeLarverie RIP; Russian Olympics: John Fennell; HBO Gay Drama "Open City" Follows Normal Heart

Storme DeLarverie RIP

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stonewall_Inn_1969.jpg


One of the pioneers of equality who helped us all achieve the rights we have today died on Saturday morning. Storme DeLarverie lived to be 93 years old and was 49 years old during the Stonewall Riots in 1969, an event that sparked what we now know as The Gay Liberation Movement.

When the police raided the bar her scuffle with them spurred patrons to fight back.

DeLarverie, dubbed by some ‘the gay community’s Rosa Parks,’ was born to a black mother and a white father in 1920 in New Orleans and in the 1950’s and 60’s was a drag king in a traveling drag show called the Jewel Box Revue.

In her later years she worked as a bouncer in bars well into her 70s.

You can read more here. For photo attribution click the photos.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gay_Liberation_Monument_(Manhattan)_-_01.JPG

Russian Olympics: John Fennell

An Olympic luger, John Fennell, came out to his teammates during the Russian Olympics in February, and recently came out in public during an interview with the Calgary Herald. It's actually a two fold interview because he talks about his fears during the Russian Olympics and his fears about coming out in a sports oriented macho world.

 ‘The thing that scared me the most is our Canadian Olympic Committee debriefing that said any information in Russia is subject to being seen by the government,’ Fennell said.

 ‘I didn’t travel with my phone or my computer when we went there, which was a testament to how nervous I was going in.

 ‘I was a basket case going to Russia.’

The piece also goes on to mention how Fennell struggled with coming out prior to the Olympics, and how he dated girls to cover his tracks.

There's more here.

HBO Gay Drama "Open City" Follows Normal Heart

The Normal Heart was so successful that HBO is now developing a new drama series that is set in the 1960's. It will be directed and produced by Adam Shankman best known for directing the film version of Hairspray and as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. I've never seen either, so I'm totally unfamiliar with him.

Open City is set also set in New York but in the late 1960s, nearly 20 years before The Normal Heart which is about the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Open will tell tell the story of characters from various corners of Manhattan who are navigating a cultural revolution at a time of great political turmoil.

It should be interesting to see how they do this. I still have a lot of good friends who are/were gay and around during the 1960's and I love listening to their stories...even when they repeat them a little too often (smile).

Frankly, I would have preferred another Queer as Folk series, but it's too soon to tell about this one. The retro/historical angle could be interesting. And none of the characters have to deal with condoms or safe sex.

You can read more about this here.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seth Rogen & Misogyny; Bianca Del Rio on Tranny Word

Seth Rogen & Misogyny

I'm purposely linking to different articles about this issue to show how the comment threads vary in opinion. The gist of it all is a Washington Post critic, Ann Hornaday, wrote an op-ed piece about the shootings in Santa Barbara and Elliot Rodger where she slammed pop cultural media (mainly the film entertainment industry) for possibly leaving misguided impressions on Elliot...and all of us. One of the films on which she focused was Judd Apatow's Neighbors starring Seth Rogen.

How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like “Neighbors” and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of “sex and fun and pleasure”? How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, “It’s not fair”?

Evidently, Seth Rogen read Hornaday's piece and he responded, and where else but on Twitter, the typical venue of the Hollywood privileged and elite.

Rogen tweeted this, among other things:

.@AnnHornaday how dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.

This one particular tweet has garnered a few heavy online discussions about misogyny, one of which seemed to think Rogen really missed the point altogether.

For the love of Judd Apatow movies, GIRLS ARE NOT A THING YOU GET. They're not the goody bag at the end of the frat party. It honestly feels like Rogen could not miss the point more if he were participating in some kind of point-missing contest.

According to NY Daily News, Judd Apatow retweeted all of Rogen's tweets.

As I said earlier, the comment threads with these articles are interesting to read.

My only comment is that the world is still run by straight, white, privileged men like Rogen and Apatow. That's just a fact. As far as I know it can't be disputed. They say what they want, do what they want, and even give us the content they want to give us. I would have thought Rogen had the capacity to respond in a more professional manner.

When Seth Rogen started doing the gay parodies I laughed along with him at first. I didn't think it was harmful. But it reached a point with the last one where I even posted that I think he should know when enough is enough. From my post...

 There's more here with a photo. I think it would be wiser for Rogen to focus more on those painful roles he's been taking on in recent years rather than focusing on drag as a straight man. If you don't believe me just try to sit through The Guilt Trip or This Is the End. A few wasted hours of my life I'll never get back.

Bianca Del Rio on Tranny Word

The tension with the tranny word debate continues to evolve. This time Bianca Del Rio of Rue Paul's Drag Race is going after transgender, Carmen Carrera.

"There’s all this madness about sh*t we can say and sh*t we can’t say, and I’m sure most of you saw on Twitter today that Ru was speaking her mind. And I think this is actual proof — I’m a man in a dress, and if it brings out straight people, black people, Asian people, then come and f*cking celebrate. It’s not that f*cking serious.

And let’s face it. We wouldn’t know who the fuck Carmen Carrera was if she didn’t f*cking get on Drag Race. Maybe she should take what’s left of her d*ck and stick it in her mouth and shut the f*ck up."
I think this is going to continue, and it may even devolve to a lower level than the most eloquent quote above.

You can read more here. This comment thread is interesting, too.

In full disclosure, I've never actually seen RuPaul's Drag Race, so I don't know either of them. But I don't use the word tranny either.









 





RIP Maya Angelou; Edward Snowden Interview; Gay Batman Interpretation

RIP Maya Angelou

When I reviewed Maya Angelou's most recent book in April of 2013, Mom & Me & Mom, I thought we still had more time with her. She still had so much to say. Unfortunately, Angelou passed away at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina today. (I did a check in several places and I don't think this is an Internet hoax.)

Angelou will be remembered for many great things because she did many great things. But for most I think her literary works will live on forever. I have a short list of books I have read in my lifetime and will continue to re-read over and over again, and her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is at the top of that short list.

She gained acclaim for her first book, her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," making her one of the first African-American women to write a best-seller. More Here.

The intensity of that book is impossible to describe. Unless you actually read it you'll never fully understand what I'm talking about.

CNN has listed most of her accomplishments in an abbreviated form.

In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in "The Blacks," an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
 
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
 
"I created myself," she has said. "I have taught myself so much."
 
Even though I was already a dedicated reader of Angelou's work, I gained a whole new respect for her in 2008 during the Democratic primary when she offered her support to Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama. This was at a time when everyone began to endorse Obama and it seemed like what all the cool kids on the proverbial block were doing. I admired Angelou's honesty and tenacity. And it wasn't just because I was supporting Hillary Clinton myself in that hugely contentious race. I liked what Angelou said about why she was supporting Clinton.
 
 
She is supporting Clinton despite her close friendship with television personality and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, a prominent backer of rival Democrat Barack Obama, the first black presidential hopeful with a real chance of reaching the White House.

Angelou is steadfast in her loyalty to Clinton. She said recently: 'I made up my mind 15 years ago that if she ever ran for office I'd be on her wagon. My only difficulty with Senator Obama is that I believe in going out with who I went in with.'
 
Maya Angelou left a long list of inspiring quotes. This is one of my favorites.
 
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mayaangelo383371.html#QworOkrGcwpKbim1.99
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mayaangelo383371.html#QworOkrGcwpKbim1.99
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mayaangelo383371.html#QworOkrGcwpKbim1.99
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
 
Here's an article The Wall Street Journal did on Angelou's personal life in her later years, including a few photos of where she lived. This is what she said when she moved to North Carolina:
 
 "I thought I was going to buy a nice little house," she says. "I'd wrap it around me in a poetic way, and I'd live a poetic existence. But then I thought, 'Wait a minute. If I moved from a 10-room house [in California] and into a three- or four-room house, then what am I telling myself? That I've been reduced?' I couldn't do that."
 
Now that's the kind of logic I understand, especially when Tony talks about "scaling back." Maya Angelou always seemed to be moving forward, not backward.
 
Edward Snowden Interview
 
Edward Snowden is talking now in the first interview he's done with a US TV network. One of the things he's saying is that he was a trained spy.
 
EDWARD SNOWDEN: "I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas - pretending to work in a job that I'm not." (Via NBC)

Evidently, NBC has spent months working on this interview in secret. The full one hour interview airs tonight on NBC.

You can read more here.

Gay Batman Interpretation

Batman is turning 75 years old and there's a highly entertaining gay interpretation out to celebrate what many have considered the gayest superhero of all time.

The ‘gay’ interpretation goes all the way back to 1954, when a psychiatrist claimed that the comic books were ‘homosexual fantasies’.

 The 1995 feature film Batman Forever, and especially its 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, both helmed by openly gay director Joel Schumacher, attracted attention for the homoerotic innuendos.

There is a list of comic photos and examples, and as far as I know all are real and this isn't actually a parody.

More here.

They're all funny, but I like this one the most.

Robin talking to Batman:

This is the first chance we've had to finish cataloguing these trophies since you returned! Gosh, Batman -- remember this leather thong?  It still has your teeth marks in it!

I wonder how Ben Affleck feels about this. Here's an interesting piece titled, Ben Affleck's Batman is so sad, it's sad.

With the recent photo release of the new Batsuit and Batmobile, a superhero fan frenzy has exploded across the web in anticipation of the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film. But extreme fans, like those of the Dave & Buster's Virginia Beach Instagram page (@dnbvabeach), noticed that Batman was looking a little sad. We think he was just having a bad day.

With the link above you can check out some photos that I think are, indeed, parody. I just don't get what they all have against Ben playing Batman.




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Amazon Acquires WHITE; California Killer Commentator Fired: Dr. Robi Ludwig

Amazon Acquires WHITE

I know that sounds a little peculiar. But Amazon really did just acquire the color white...as a background for photos.

Taking a photo against a white background? You may owe Amazon money.
That's right: the US Patent and Trademark Office just granted Amazon a patent for the totally unheard of process of photographing people against a white backdrop. And we thought copyright trolls couldn't get more brazen.

You can read more here, where they are trying to petition the US Patent Office.

I think that ship sailed. Amazon owns white backdrops and that's that.

There's also more about it here. I actually checked to see if this was a hoax but couldn't find anything at snopes stating it wasn't true.

California Killer Commentator Fired at Fox

On Sunday I posted about a commentator, Dr. Robi Ludwig, on the Fox TV show, Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro, speculating that the California killer, Elliot Rodger, who went on a violent rampage in Santa Barbara last week could have been "trying to fight against his homosexual impulses."

I thought, WOW, after I read the whole piece and all of her unfounded comments, and then I wrote this:

 A Fox News "analyst," Dr. Robi Ludwig, allegedly believes the young man who went on a horrific killing spree in California recently might have been struggling with "homosexual issues." The good Dr. Ludwig is allegedly a psychologist.  I did find this web site where you can read more about her. It only takes a moment at her web site to understand what she's all about.

Without thinking, I went on to state that I didn't see anyone calling for her resignation over this ridiculous speculation.

I was wrong about that.

Evidently, according to this article, she was fired from one of her jobs.

She sparked outrage after saying on Fox News that Elliot Rodger, who also killed himself, may have been fighting 'homosexual impulses.'

Ludwig has been fired as the lifestyle real estate correspondent for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, one of the top real estate firms in the US.

Coldwell Banker wrote in a statement on Facebook: 'Dr. Robi’s comments on the tragedy in Santa Barbara do not represent the opinions of Coldwell Banker. Therefore at this time we feel it best to part ways with her as our lifestyle real estate correspondent.'

As far as I know, she's still working at Fox.

There's more here.

I know this will once again bring up the topic of free speech. The most important point to remember is that Ludwig did, in fact, exercise her right to free speech when she made that speculation. She makes a great deal of money to appear on Fox. And now she has to own her words no matter what the consequences are. Responsibility goes hand in hand with free speech.

She did apologize. She issued a statement on Facebook and spelled the killer's name wrong twice...#ElliotRoger...with hashtags.

You can read more about that here.  












Gay Marriage Commentary; Mark Ruffalo's Gay Friend; Chase of a Lifetime Series by Ryan Field

Gay Marriage Commentary

In a piece titled, Did Christians Get Gay Marriage Right, Jay Michaelson gets into a few interesting/unusual comments about gay marriage, all marriage in general, and how marriage may or may not change now that gay marriage is becoming more accepted. 

And there are a few points that could be argued, if not completely disabused.

At the same time, there is some truth to the conservative claim that gay marriage is changing, not just expanding, marriage.  According to a 2013 study, about half of gay marriages surveyed (admittedly, the study was conducted in San Francisco) were not strictly monogamous.

I find that hard to believe, and the San Francisco comment was insulting. No one has ever asked me to participate in one of these studies, mainly because I couldn't be bothered doing one. That's right. I think studies like this are bullshit. And I'm in a monogamous marriage. Most of the gay men I know are in monogamous gay marriages and have been even before they could legally get married. I do know a few gay couples who have "open" relationships, but they tend to be so discreet about it I doubt they would ever admit anything in a survey. So I find that survey hard to believe, and I think the generalization is insulting. I also believe that if all the straight couples in the US were polled there would be just as many, if not more, non-monogamous marriages on record. If anything, I have never seen such a huge shift toward heteronormativity with gay couples since gay marriage has become legal in so many states...which is perfectly natural.

What would happen if gay non-monogamy—and I’ll include writer Dan Savage’s “monogamish” model, which involves extramarital sex once a year or so—actually starts to spread to straight people? Would open marriages, ’70s swinger parties, and perhaps even another era’s “arrangements” and “understandings” become more prevalent? Is non-monogamy one of the things same-sex marriage can teach straight ones, along with egalitarian chores and matching towel sets?

This comment made me smile. He makes it sound like cheating is contagious. Once again, this guy is only going by what he's read in a few hooded studies and he doesn't really know what he's talking about. This WTF concept that gay marriage is any less monogamous than straight marriage simply is not a fact...at least not for the most part; just like straight marriage.

The mainstream LGBT movement, meanwhile, still insists that neither of these futures will come to pass. Don’t worry, they say, we’re not out to smash anything. 

Who’s right?  Only time will tell.

If this guy knew anything about gay marriage from personal experience he would know that the fight for legalized same sex marriage has nothing to do with smashing or changing the concept of marriage. Straight married couples have been doing that for many years and gays had nothing to do with it. But even more important is the fact (and it is a fact because I'm living proof) that gay couples like Tony and me, and the hundreds of others I know, have been living "like" straight married people for many years without getting a hint of recognition. As far as I know, there were no studies done. In other words, we didn't need marriage to keep us together or to keep us monogamous. I don't know how to make that clearer. We've been doing THAT forever. We needed legal marriage to make us equal (and legal) in a variety of ways...and because it's just the right thing to do.

The thing I find most interesting is that so many people who don't understand gay marriage just don't get that for most of us the marriage certificate didn't change much for us because we've been "married" all this time without the legal rights and no one was paying attention to us.

You can read more here. Sorry if I ranted a little too much. But when I read this kind of academic-ish WTF-ery I just can't help saying something. And my comments come from experience, not books, surveys or studies.

Marriage is changing, and has been changing for the last 100 years in many ways. Gay marriage is part of that evolution, but not the most significant part by any means.

Mark Ruffalo's Gay Friend

When I posted my review of the film adaptation of The Normal Heart recently, I mentioned that I thought Mark Ruffalo basically commanded that cast with his portrayal of a passionate gay man fighting for equality. I haven't always felt that way about straight actors playing gayface. I've been disappointed with actors like Matt Damon who made ridiculous comments after they played gayface, and I'm getting a little sick of Seth Rogen camping it up in drag. But Mark Ruffalo, once again, has made a few excellent comments about his first gay friend in high school, and how difficult is was for that gay friend to come out to Ruffalo.

The Normal Heart's Mark Ruffalo remembers his best friend in high school being so agitated and upset for weeks because he had something difficult to tell him.

Ruffalo wondered if he had killed somebody.

He hadn't. It turns out he was gay.

 'I was 17 years old and my best friend came out to me with basically a declaration of love attached to it,' Ruffalo tells Queerty. 'I had to look into myself and ask myself “How do you feel about that and how does that sit with your values of equality?"'

It's a great piece, and it's short. It turns out that Mark Ruffalo is just as eloquent off screen as he is on. Matt Damon could take a few tips from him. And so far I haven't seen or heard one dumb interview about what it was like for a straight man to kiss a gay man.

More here.

Chase of a Lifetime Series by Ryan Field

I just released another book in the Chase series titled, Chase of a Holy Ghost, which is now the fourth book in the series. I like to post about these things for future reference, and also for anyone who might be interesting in checking out the books in the order they were published.

Even though each book is a stand alone and can be read separately (I don't like cliffhangers) many readers tell me they prefer to start from book number one and work their way through a series in order of publication dates. (I actually like to read books in a series at random, not in order of publication, because I enjoy reading the back story later sometimes.) I'm adding the Amazon links because I usually assume that's where most readers shop, but the books are being sold in many other places like allromanceebooks.com and Smashwords.com.



Chase of a Lifetime Book One
 



 Chase of a Dream
 
 
 


Chase of an Adventure
 
 
Amazon Link
 
 



Chase of a Holy Ghost
 
 
Amazon Link
 
 


Monday, May 26, 2014

Brendon Ayanbadejo Nude; Amazon vs Hatchette; Bill Maher Preaches

Brendon Ayanbadejo Nude

Long time NFL linebacker, Brendon Ayanbadejo, has always supported LGBTI rights. In fact, he's one of the few highly vocal straight male advocates.

Then, you’ll remember, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responded to Burns with the world’s best-ever letter to a lawmaker, which used the now famous phrase, “lustful cockmonster.”

Ayanbadejo and Kluwe appeared together at the GLAAD Awards in New York City this year, and Ayanbadejo has continued his strong support of equality.

He's been a strong civil rights supporter, and he's even posed nude for NoH8. You can check that all out here. I can't post the photo here, but there is one with the link.

You can read more about the NoH8 campaign here. If you haven't heard of it I think you'll find it interesting. It's also very easy to navigate the site.

Amazon vs Hatchette

When I titled this post originally I had the company names reversed...Hatchette vs Amazon. But then I changed that because traditionally the big publisher, in this case Hatchette, has always been the one in control, the ultimate gatekeeper, and the one who made the rules and expected everyone else to play by those rules. It's really more like Amazon vs Hatchette this time.

For those who don't know, there's been a rather petty disagreement between Hatchette and Amazon and for the first time that I've ever seen a big publisher has finally met his match. I'm not taking sides. I'm not important enough to do that. I'm just stating a fact. It's become somewhat of a stand off, and seems to be growing more intense as each day passes.

An ongoing standoff between Amazon and one of the leading New York publishers has intensified. The online retailer, which already had been slowing delivery on a wide range of Hachette titles, has removed pre-order buttons for such books as Connelly's "The Burning Room" and Rowling's "The Silkworm," a detective story she wrote under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

Previous changes had been more subtle. The listing for the paperback of J.D. Salinger's "Nine Stories" says delivery will take three to five weeks and offers "Similar items at a lower price," including a collection of Ernest Hemingway stories published by Scribner.

That's called playing hardball. And big publishers don't like it. They are used to getting what they want, and when they want it. If that weren't the case the publishing system wouldn't have been set up the way it is now. Can you think of any other industry that can get away with making payments four times a year the way publishers pay authors? Unfortunately, none of this is reader or consumer oriented and this pissing contest is just turning everyone off altogether. Both should be a little humbler.

Hatchette issued a statement. A publishing friend forwarded me a copy last week and of course I can't print the e-mail. But it basically stated that Hatchette is working on a solution. Yada, yada, yada...

James Patterson, a multi-million dollar Hatchette author, said this on social media:

"What I don't understand about this particular battle tactic is how it is in the best interest of Amazon customers," Patterson wrote. "It certainly doesn't appear to be in the best interest of authors."

At least someone mentioned readers. I was beginning to wonder. One more reason to show that authors are almost always reader oriented. I'm not too sure about publishers and book sellers sometimes.

There's more here.

Bill Maher Preaches

Entertainer/comedian, Bill Maher, recently made a few comments on the progress we've seen in the fight for equality. If you notice, I'm not labeling anyone. I'm just using the word equality. We really are all part of this.

Maher said this:

Last week, when the first gay football player got chosen in the NFL draft, a player named Don Jones tweeted, ‘OMG. Horrible,’” Maher continued. “As is his right, under the asshole clause in the Constitution. But the Dolphins fined him and threw him off the team until he underwent sensitivity training, which is when they calmly sit you down and they pin your eyes open like in A Clockwork Orange and make you watch the Bravo channel for 24 hours straight. I mean 24 hours gay.

“I mean, when you hear the Duck Dynasty guy going off on homosexuality, like he did again this week, why even listen? What do you think he was going to say — the Tonys are nothing without Neil Patrick Harris? Folks, we had a televised, celebrated interracial gay kiss during the NFL draft. The culture war is over, and we won!”

I'm not sure the war is over, or that we've won anything yet. And even though the Michael Sam kiss was historical to pop culture and sports culture, I hugely disagree that this means the culture battles are over. In some places they have only just begun. David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement said this:

“Sadly, Maher, as he often does, pronounced sentence before bothering to fully examine the overall issue,” Badash writes.

You can read more about both here, where there's a link to Badash's piece.

I agree with Badash. But I'm not going to slam Maher either. Maher's a comedian who has found a way to make millions of dollars preaching WTF-ery in a legal way, and he can't help what he says anymore than Phil Robertson can help slamming gays.







Getting Over a Breakup; Justin Beiber Donates to HIV; Young Republicans Split from GOP

Justin Beiber Donates to HIV

After watching The Normal Heart last night and seeing how hard it was back in the 1980's to get anyone with a voice and power to support anything AIDS related, it's interesting to see how so much has changed. A lot of this has to do with celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor who was one of the first to speak up about AIDS, and for a while the only one. Since then support has continued, with celebrities like Justin Beiber who recently donated $545,000 for AIDS research.

Organizers were floored by the offer and double-checked with Bieber to make sure he was serious about the donation, which he confirmed he was.

However Bieber couldn’t wait to take part in a lavish banquet that was part of the event and reportedly ordered a meal off the hotel’s kids menu before the banquet was served.

You can read more here, and please refrain from any negative Justin Beiber comments. Unless, of course, you plan to match Beiber's donation with either your time or money.

Getting Over a Breakup

I have a few friends getting over breakups right now and I thought I'd post about these five tips that might help. In some cases it's not the first breakup, but to be honest I'm not sure a first, second, or whatever the number is can be any better or worse. If anything, I think breakups are harder as we get older.

In any event, here's one of the five tips:

• Cry Baby, Cry! If you learned nothing else from breaking free from the closet, remember that bottled up emotions and pent up anxiety didn't make you gay; it only prevented you from being your true gay self. This is also true for pretending that your first same-sex breakup doesn't suck. Who are you kidding and pretending to be? That didn't work when you were in the closet so why should it work now that you're learning the ins and outs of LGBT relationships? Let those tears and emotions flow. Without the release of emotions, you'll walk into another damn closet with a whole new set of dark corners and hidden fears that will not serve you well. A whole string of guys broke my heart; the hot Brit, the suave Hollywood film guy and a slew of formerly straight divorced dads-with kids (in other words, men just like me). But every tear I shed made me stronger and allowed me to love with self-respect. I come first, they come second.

My only comment is that you should get it all out in the beginning. But don't keep harping about it forever. I had one friend who broke up with his partner of five years and we all felt terrible for him and we supported him every way we could. But after a year or two he didn't stop talking about it, complaining about it, and obsessing about it. It reached a point where he was difficult to be around. Don't become the person who never stops talking about his or her ex. Move forward.

You can read more here.

Young Republicans Split from GOP

The main reason I'm posting about this is because part of the reason why young Republicans are at odds with the GOP is gay marriage and other LGBTI issues. If I understand this correctly, the young Republicans (and gay Republicans) are fiscally conservative but socially liberal. But don't quote me on that. A lot of this is still evolving and no one is sure what to think at this point.

The group illustrates a growing generational divide in the GOP as younger Republicans increasingly break rank from the establishment on social issues. In Alabama, a college Republican group leader was nearly kicked out of the party for supporting gay marriage. The successful push to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota was backed by several prominent younger Republicans. And in Colorado, the spokesman for a group that pushed to legalize marijuana was a Republican activist. Perhaps only in opposing abortion are most young Republicans nationally as conservative socially as older members.

"We've grown up in a time where everything's much more open. We want to talk about more things," Tampa Bay Young Republicans president Anibal Cabrera said. "We're willing to listen to the other point of view. We're willing to have an opposite opinion."

You can read it in full here. The article goes on to mention how Republicans run the risk of losing these younger people if they don't begin to change their platform. It's an interesting article, especially if you've always believed in the strong political divide between Democrats and Republicans. I think most of us always think of it as more black white. Evidently, there are a lot of gray areas popping up for reasons I'm not sure I fully understand yet.


Chase of a Holy Ghost
 
at
 
Amazon


http://www.amazon.com/Chase-Holy-Ghost-Ryan-Field-ebook/dp/B00KJ0NREW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401126652&sr=8-1&keywords=chase+of+a+holy+ghost+by+ryan+field



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review: The Normal Heart

Review: The Normal Heart

There has been a lot written and said about Larry Kramer's play, The Normal Heart, since it was introduced in the 1980's. And the recent HBO film adaptation directed by Ryan Murphy, starring many well known names which include Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer, will have people talking about it once again for a long time.

The theme of the film revolves around the early days of AIDS...before it was recognized as an actual crisis, back when no one knew anything about it...or wanted to know anything about it. I was still very young and what I remember most was the lack of information we were getting. After, watching TNH for the first time as a film I understand more now about why we didn't get that information. I understand the obstacles. In this respect, the film held nothing back, and it even openly exposed the closeted gay mayor of NY at the time, Ed Koch. That I already knew through gay circles. But it was never disclosed in public. When Koch died a year or so ago, they did not even mention it once. There are still people who will argue the point for the sake of Koch's image.

And that's because anything gay related came with the stigma of shame, which in turn created men who were often filled with such self-loathing and doubt that hiding who they really were ruled their lives. We've all been there at one point...all gay men. A lot has changed since the early days of AIDS, but remnants of that shame still linger on as always. Films like TNH designed to educate and disabuse the myths help reduce the stigma for future generations of gay men, many of whom don't even realize what's happened.

In full disclosure I came to the film with mixed feelings about how Ryan Murphy would pull something like this off, so to speak. I couldn't help imagining Glee scenes where Matt Bomer was wearing a white suit tap dancing to Singing in the Rain. But what I found in Murphy's adaptation instead was the fastest two hours I've spent in years, and a film that handled one of the most serious issues of the twentieth century that held nothing back.

Matt Bomer has had a great deal of press with this film, and rightly so. He was excellent and after seeing him act in TNH I'm glad he won't be part of Fifty Shades of Grey. He's too good for it. Every performance in the film was excellent. But the one that stood out for me the most was Mark Ruffalo. He didn't even look like Mark Ruffalo. He became the character. He created the ultimate illusion every good actor strives for at least once in his/her career. And he did it so effortlessly.

Part of the storyline discussed the beginnings of ActUp and Gay Men's Health Crisis. I remember them as well, but didn't know the details. I did some work for an activist publication in Philadelphia called We The People, where I wrote for a newsletter in the early 1990's. I'm going to post the fiction I wrote about AIDS at the time very soon, never thinking that one day there would be HIV drugs and that HIV would become a chronic illness instead of a death sentence. Back then there didn't seem to be much hope, which is also something this film showed well. Though Murphy can be self-indulgent at times, he managed to break that mold with TNH.

The way gay marriage was handled will make you cry at times, especially knowing how far we've come and how little those in the past had in terms of basic equality. I just hope younger people watch this movie and see how it was back then. It may not be easy to fully grasp it all, but it's important to get the overall impression of how things were. Even the politics in TNH film was different. It isn't partisan. This time each and every political statement really happened right down to the way the President of the United States handled AIDS.

I think one of the things I found most interesting about TNH film is that the subject and the characters back then were on the fringes of society fighting for recognition in a very unfair environment. And here we are, almost forty years later, and it's a mainstream film millions watched on national television.


Matt Bomer Normal Heart; Something Nice; California Killer Gay?

Matt Bomer Normal Heart

Here's a more detailed piece about how Matt Bomer worked so hard to portray the character he'll be playing in tonight's HBO film that was based on Larry Kramer's play about AIDS and gay men in the early days, The Normal Heart.

'I felt a tremendous responsibility in playing this role, and part of it was creating that physical reality for the second half of the film,' he tells HIV-Plus Magazine in an interview posted Friday (23 May).

You can read all his comments here.

I'm interested in seeing how the film is done. The performances have all received excellent reviews from what I've read so far.

Something Nice



It's hard to title this part of the post because it was the last thing I expected to hear yesterday. As many of my blog readers know, I edited and published an anthology titled, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, last year. I worked with some of the most talented writers I've met in a long time and I think the overall theme of the anthology shows how women can sometimes be worked into gay romantic storylines in the most creative ways. One of the authors who was part of that book, Oleander Plume, sent me a nice e-mail to let me know what's been happening with her since we last touched base.

From my inbox:

It has officially been one year since I received my very first acceptance letter, from YOU! I'm still as happy about it today as I was then.

I wrote a blogpost about it:
http://oleanderplume.blogspot.com/2014/05/anniversary-of-sorts.html and I hope you don't mind that I posted a link to your blog.

The rest of the e-mail goes on to state how many other publications she's been part of since The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. And she thanked me for giving her the chance in that book. It's nice to know I helped someone move forward that way, especially such a dedicated writer. I still think every writer that contributed to that book will continue to move forward in very positive ways.

You can check out the post at the link above.

And a huge thanks one year later to Oleander Plume all the authors who contributed to that book. When I first started the project I wasn't sure what I would get...or if I would get anything from anyone. Getting the cover right even took weeks of going back and forth with the cover artist. I soon found out there are some very creative writers out there who know what they are doing.

California Killer Gay?

A Fox News "analyst," Dr. Robi Ludwig, allegedly believes the young man who went on a horrific killing spree in California recently might have been struggling with "homosexual issues." The good Dr. Ludwig is allegedly a psychologist.  I did find this web site where you can read more about her. It only takes a moment at her web site to understand what she's all about.

Dr. Robi Ludwig was a guest on the Fox News’ show Justice with Judge Jeanine and the psychologist wondered if the dead suspect was gay.

 'When I was first listening to him, I was like, "Oh, he’s angry with women for rejecting him,"' Ludwig said, according to The New Civil Rights Movement.

'And then I started to have a different idea: "Is this somebody who is trying to fight against his homosexual impulses?"'

 The psychologist added 'was he angry with women because they were taking away men from him?'

This happened on Fox News show, Justice with Judge Jeanine. She has one of the third rate shows on the network. She's on Fox all weekend because no one's home watching TV and no one else at Fox wanted to work on Memorial Day weekend.

In any event, what happened in California is probably one of the worst shootings we've seen in a while. I can't even imagine how painful it was for the families and the victims. And what really bothers me is that both Judge Jeanine and the good Dr. Ludwig would take something this serious and heartbreaking and spin it around to hurt even more people. And you don't hear anyone calling for their resignations.

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