Thursday, July 30, 2015

Steve Grand Is Perfect; Jerusalem Pride Stabbing; Gay Sex, UK Prime Minister, and KGB Agents

Steve Grand Is Perfect

Well I'm sure Steve Grand's not perfect. No one is perfect. Not even me. However, I wanted to post something about this because I see it happen all the time with gay artists of any kind and I've stopped linking to web sites like Queerty because of it... unless I'm looking for pure clickbait. 

This article I'm linking to is interesting because I think of Steve Grand as the talented young openly gay artist I wish I'd seen around twenty years ago in the 90's. He's the ultimate inspiration. When I discuss him with other gay men we all agree that he's one of the best we've seen in ages. I have never once heard a negative comment about him. He's almost too good to be true, and I'm not talking about his looks. I'm talking about his music, the way he's worked so hard to get where he is, and how he continues to move forward all the time. So I completely agree with him in this case...on every single count. 

Steve Grand wants us all to know he’s more than just a guy in a skimpy bathing suit.
He sings, writes songs, is good to his fans, is a staunch LGBTI activist and ‘a colorful, complex, deeply flawed, ever-evolving young man.’

Grand, who gained Internet fame when his video All-American Boy went viral, has been all over gay sites in recent days – including Gay Star News – because of an interview he did with Underwearnewsbriefs.com in which he defended his wearing of bikini briefs.

But he’s not happy about all the fuss over his skivvies.

‘I usually let things like this pass without speaking up about it. For two years I’ve trudged through it all with a smile, so hopefully I’ll get a pass for speaking up on my behalf this time,’ he wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday (29 July) evening.

‘It would be nice if any other aspect of my life/work as an artist/advocate got a fraction of the press I get for wearing a bathing suit by gay media.

You can read the rest here. Of course they try to explain themselves, because I'm linking to the gay clickbait media and they need butter for their bread. I don't mind clickbait. I love it sometimes. I understand how important it is to gain a readership through clickbait. But all the time is getting really tired for me with gay presses. And I think Steve Grand deserves a little more respect than what he's been getting. 

Jerusalem Pride Stabbing

I hate to be a downer on a Friday, but this is distressing. Six people were reported stabbed at Jerusalem Pride.

The incident happened on the corners of Sokolov and Keren Hayesod streets, with the victims evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah University Medical Center in the capital’s Ein Kerem neighborhood.

The attacker is allegedly an ultra-orthadox, so once again religion and violence go hand in hand against gays.

The rest is here.  

Gay Sex, UK Prime Minister, and KGB Agents

This sounds like something from General Hospital back in the day.  UK Prime Minister David Cameron was under the impression that KGB agents tried to recruit him when he was 19 years old, but the story gets more involved.

He first told the story in 2006 on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

‘I traveled on the Trans-Siberian railway… and then met a great friend in Moscow,’ he said. ‘We went down to the Black Sea and were on the beach in Yalta.

‘These two Russians who spoke perfect English sort of turned up on the beach, which was mainly reserved for foreign tourists, and took us out to dinner, and interrogated us in a very friendly way about life in England and politics.’

But it turns out it wasn’t KGB agents, Russian author Gennay Solokov claims secret service sources have told him that there was no bid to recruit Cameron. And in fact, they were just a couple of gay men looking for sex.

There's more here. There's just something about the whole thing that leaves me wondering...

But what a great story line for a gay romance.


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The Interesting Case of Erotic Romance vs Porn Fiction by Ryan Field

The Interesting Case of Erotic Romance vs Porn by Ryan Field

I won't be linking to anything today because I've been wanting to write this post for some time. A conversation I had on Twitter earlier today prompted me to get moving on it and stop putting it off. I've mentioned the topic before, but I don't think I've gone into any detailed explanations. And I think it's important to do this sometimes so readers understand what often motivates authors who write erotic romance...or even erotica. We don't do these things by accident. Also, let me make it clear this is my opinion and it's what works for me as an author, and I feel this way about all erotic romance, not just gay erotic romance. If you don't agree with me, I respect your right to do that.

Way back when in the earlier days of the Internet, when I subtitled the blog with this...A quiet blog that discusses LGBT issues, fiction, publishing, pop culture, and happily ever after romance books with naughty guys who always have strong stories...I didn't do it by accident. I wanted to make a point of stating that there is a big difference between erotic romance and fiction that's considered "porn." "Strong Stories." I'm not going to try to define porn here because even SCOTUS hasn't done that yet, but the one definition of erotic romance I've always seen is that erotic romance is a book or story that contains sex and has a story line. A strong story line. In other words, if you take the sex out of any erotic romance the story should still be able to stand on its own. In most cases erotic romance authors work even harder with their story lines to offset the sex. Yes, there are books out there with just sex. They often call them erotic romance. I don't. And neither do most of the erotic publishers or authors I know. The story is still the main focus.

For me, the sex in an erotic romance should move the *story* forward. I never thought of my stories as moving the sex forward. And I've gone to great lengths at certain times to prove this with my own books.

In book 2 of the Chase series, Chase of a Dream, I purposely...not by accident...released two distinctly different versions to the public with the intention of showing that an erotic romance can stand alone without the detailed sex scenes. Here's a link to the version that I labeled "Unabridged." That version contains the original sex scenes. As you can see from the cover below I even stated that clearly, on the cover, so there wouldn't be any mistakes. Of course a few people made the mistake and I quickly exchanged the books for them so they could get what they wanted without have to go through a third party.


With that said, here's another link the to version of Chase of a Dream that I released *without* sex scenes. I repeat, no explicit sex scenes. A PG rated gay romance. It was a matter of revising the unabridged version of about 7,000 words. That's all. 7,000 words of sex were removed. The entire book is about 60,000 words. So you see where I'm going with that. If an erotic romance with explicit sex scenes only has 7,000 words of sex in it, there must be a storyline somewhere. More important, I didn't consider this self-censoring because I wanted both versions out there so readers could decide which one they preferred. I wanted the readers to make their own choices. It was double the work, but I still think it was worth the time, effort, and expense to publish it both ways. As far as I know, no other erotic romance out there has been released with and without the sex scenes in two different versions.

Here's the cover of Chase of a Dream without sex scenes. Again, as you can see I made this clear to the reader by stating "Abridged version does not contain strong erotic scenes." There were still a few people who didn't see that and I quickly exchanged the book for them. In most cases, ironically, where there was a discrepancy, the people who accidentally made the mistake wanted the version with sex.



And to take this just one step further, when I got the rights back from a book that was released about five years ago titled The Bachelor, I revised it completely, changed the cover, and then re-released it with a new title, Meadows Are Not Forever. That book always bothered me because I didn't like what the publisher wanted with it. So I indie pubbed it myself and I think I improved it. The MOST significant thing with that book is that this time I did self-censor, admittedly, and I did it for a reason. I wanted that book to be out there *without* sex scenes because I never thought the story line needed the sex scenes. And I'm no prude, trust me. I just wanted that book to be a sweet little romance that talked about gay relationships where sex can be more of a problem than a solution. Here's a link to that one.


One book reviewer almost made me cry when he wrote this:


This is the first book by Ryan Field I've read, and I have to say I'm very pleasantly surprised. In Meadows Are Not Forever he introduced us to a young man on the cusp of leaving the young stud age and moving into the mature, adult age because, gasp, he's learning there is more to life than just SEX. I know, for some of you it maybe hard to believe, but it's true! And like many of us when we made that transition he learns what is really important in life.

This reviewer has no idea how much that meant to me. He "got it" and I never had to explain a thing and didn't have to go into detail about sex scenes. That almost never happens. 

What prompted me to write this post was a comment I saw on a tweet earlier today about erotic romance. It was done in jest and there was no harm intended. Someone said something to the effect of "That book has too much sex for me," and then they joked about it in a friendly way. However, my reply was that you can always skip the sex scenes and there's still a strong story line...or should be a story line. In fact, I could take each one of any of my books or stories, now in the hundreds, and revise them without sex at all and they could still stand on their own. When writers who understand what erotic romance is, and they've been doing it long enough, they are always thinking and planning ahead to make sure the story line is always more important than the sex scenes. I personally think the sex does, indeed, add to the stories and move them along...I also think it creates another level of reality in a world of fantasy that's often necessary. I like to write sex scenes and read them. But the truth is they aren't always needed. I know there are people who disagree with that, and I'm fine with that. However, that's why I wanted to prove, instead of just talking about it blindly, that an erotic romance can stand alone without the sex scenes.

And if these books and stories can't stand alone without the sex they aren't erotic romances as far as I'm concerned. I'm not judging them, not by any means. I don't care if an author wants to just write sex scenes and make them the story line. I think that's wonderful and more power to them. But that's just not how it works for me with erotic romance. I'm sure this won't end the debate of erotic romance vs porn in fiction, however, at least I explained what motivates me when I either add, or remove, sex scenes from a book.

But most important, if there's a strong story line readers can always skip the sex scenes in an erotic romance and still enjoy the book...or least they should be able to do that. The story should always come first. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Groups Urge Pope to Meet with LGBTI People; Steve Grand's "Gay" Swimwear; Colin Farrell Best Man At Brother's Gay Wedding

Groups Urge Pope to Meet with LGBTI People

This is always so hard for me, because I was raised Catholic, went to 12 years of Catholic school, and I know how the Church works with regard to things like this. It is what it is and logic has very little to do with it.

I also understand why these groups want to meet with the Pope.

Nearly 30 groups and individuals, led by GLAAD and DignityUSA, have sent a letter to the leader of the Catholic Church urging him to do so and explaining that there is ‘institutionalized discrimination against LGBT people and families.’

The letter explains that the church’s teachings and pastoral practices have resulted in ‘a compelling pastoral need’ for ‘great healing and reconciliation.’

The letter is signed by GLAAD’s President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis and DignityUSA’s Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke. It is endorsed by 28 additional organizations and people and was mailed directly to Pope Francis earlier this month.

Even if they do meet with him I'm not sure much will change. Look at how the Catholic church views divorce and you'll see what I mean. Women still aren't allowed to become priests. Nuns are treated as second class citizens. And please don't comment about how they grant Papal annulments. I'm all too familiar with that as well. I even filled one out for a family member who paid thousands of dollars and waited almost four years to get a Papal annulment.

You can read the rest here.

I think it's wonderful these groups want to meet with the Pope. I just hate to see good people let down.

Steve Grand's "Gay" Swimwear

I didn't even know this had happened. Evidently, there were comments made about Steve Grand wearing "gay" swimwear.

‘I try not to pay too much attention. At some point in life it’s important to realize that no matter what you do, people are going to have something to say about it so you may as well do/wear what makes you happy.

‘I’ve seen a small number of gay men criticize my choice of swimwear for being immodest and ‘stereotypically gay.’

‘People are entitled to feel however they feel, but again, I wear what I wear for me and not for them; because it makes me feel good. I’m not looking for everyone’s approval all of the time.

‘There is a time and place for modesty, but, for me at least, a hot summer day in Chicago, on a boat with a bunch of other gay dudes is not one of them.

‘And frankly I don’t care what some may consider to be a gay stereotype or not, and anyone using that as some kind of jab is probably grappling with their own internalized homophobia. I wear what makes me happy.’

As usual, he replied like a gentleman and took the high road. There are very few fights worth fighting online unless you're willing to die for the cause.

The rest is here, with a photo of the swimwear they criticized. He looks good.

Colin Farrell Best Man At Brother's Gay Wedding

I've posted about Farrell and his openly gay brother, and this is only news for now. I hope that in five or ten years it won't be news anymore. Weddings will just be weddings, not gay weddings.

Colin Farrell will be be best man at his brother’s wedding next year once gay marriage legislation is passed.

The Hollywood actor also played best man at his older brother’s civil union ceremony in 2009, but said he regretted not coming back to Ireland to celebrate the gay marriage referendum, which was passed in May.

‘If I’m honest, selfishly I’m sick I wasn’t at home. It nearly took the joy out of it for me,’ he told the Irish Independent.

There's more here.    


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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Posting Photos of RL Friends on Facebook; Raven-Symone's Advice to Caitlyn Jenner; How Tom Cruise Helped Ian McKellen's Acting Career

Posting Photos of Friends on Facebook

I have a rule about all social media, not just facebook. If I'm going to post the photo of a real life friend...or anyone...I ask their permission first. I don't just do it without consent. It doesn't matter if it's a group standing in front of a restaurant or a small dinner party at home. I don't feel comfortable posting anyone's photo without getting permission. Why, you ask? Because your real life friends might value their privacy and not want their photo posted on your Timeline. Not everyone wants everyone to know what they are doing twenty-four hours a day. There are some people out there who prefer to hold on to whatever privacy they still have left.

I was curious about this and I wanted to know how other people think. Here's something interesting. 

Here is some good news, however. A study suggests that people who do this may be alienating themselves from those who might be called normal human beings. 

As CBS Washington reports, researchers from three British universities -- the University of Birmingham, University West of England, and the University of Edinburgh -- have concluded that frequent Facebook photo-posters "risk damaging real-life relationships."

Whatever you do, don't post photos of kids without consent from parents. Frankly, I would go berserk if I were a parent and someone posted my kid's photo on facebook or anywhere.

So when she spotted a friend of her ex-husband posting “literally hundreds of pictures” of her daughter, Elmuts said she expressed her displeasure and asked her to remove the photos. A confrontation ensued, after which the woman unfriended Elmuts on Facebook. 

Here's a page where there's a legal discussion about posting photos of friends on Facebook.  

If you do a simple search you'll find a lot more information out there. But for me the bottom line is short and sweet: just don't do it without asking for permission first. I had a family member once post images of me online at a family gathering and I didn't want those photos up. I asked her to take them down and she did. It wasn't an issue. But that was a family member. If you have to go to a real life friend and request that it could lead to a problem that could have been avoided.

Don't be that social guy who posts photos of everyone he ever knew in the universe without asking their permission first. And we all know someone who does this all the time in real life. I personally know one who has been posting photos of friends all week and I've been getting e-mails about it from more than half the people I know. They aren't too thrilled about it either.

Raven-Symone's Advice to Caitlyn Jenner

I've been reading more and more articles about how hugely ignored most transgender people are as compared to the privileged and elite transgender person that Caitlyn Jenner is. Some stories are downright painful to read when you see how some trans people suffer. I've seen other commentary about how many trans women don't really want Caitlyn being their spokesperson. I'm not knocking Caitlyn, and neither is anyone else. Her journey has brought the entire discussion out in the open and in many ways it paved the way for people like me writing blog posts about it. However, there are a few strong opinions out there about the way she's been doing it.

Raven-Symone said this:

‘When I came out, I didn’t go and go hardcore and be like, “I’m going to save the world for LGBT,”‘ The View co-host said on Monday’s episode of the talk show. 

‘You’ve got to learn it. You’ve got to learn it first, and she’s not, really.’

‘Beforehand, I was definitely repping the community, even when I wasn’t saying this is what I was. And I’m not faulting you because yes, we need you. It’s too fast, too soon.’


I found that here.

How Tom Cruise Helped Ian McKellen's Acting Career

Here's an interesting article about making the right career choices through gut instinct, but not knowing you're doing that at the time.

‘I got offered a part in Mission: Impossible II with Tom Cruise, but they wouldn’t let me see the whole script because I might have spilled the beans. I only got my scenes,’ McKellen tells People.com.

‘Well, I couldn’t judge from reading just those scenes what the script was like. So I said no. And my agent said, “You cant say no to working with Tom Cruise!” and I said, “I think I will.”‘
It’s a good thing he did.

‘The next day, Bryan Singer asked me to play Magneto and then Peter Jackson asked me to play Gandalf, and I said yes to both.’

And there you are. I hope I made a few of the right career choices this year, too, by finally turning a few things down that I wouldn't have turned down five years ago. Only time will tell. All I can say is that looking back in hindsight, there are a few things I should have turned down. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way.

You can read more here. 


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Scottish LGBTI Awards; Jindal Blocks Westboro; Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats; Review A Guy With Two Penises

Scottish LGBTI Awards

In case I never mentioned it, I link a lot to Gay Star News and I like the way they use LGBTI. The "I" means intersex. I welcome that addition and seriously praise it far more than that offensive "Q" word I see all the time.

In any event, for the first time ever there will be an awards event in Scotland for LGBTI people.

The very first Scottish LGBTI awards will take place on September 10, hosted by advocacy group Equality Network.

The awards will honour individuals and organizations who contributed to the progress and wellbeing of the LGBTI community over the last year.

This year is a historical one for progress in the country. In 1980 – 35 years ago – homosexuality was decriminalized in Scotland. It’s been 20 years since Scotland’s first Pride March.

Fifteen years have passed since Section 28, which raised the age of consent for gay people, was repealed.

You can read more here. In case you didn't know, the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn. I only know that because it's in my next book in The Rainbow Detective series, The Scottish Duke.

Jindal Blocks Westboro

The funerals for the victims of the Louisiana shootings will be held soon and Gov. Bobby Jindal had some interesting things to say to the Westboro Baptist Church.
 
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is prepared to do everything in his power to block the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting the funerals of the victims in the last week’s Lafayette movie theater shooting.

According to The Hill, he issued an executive order yesterday (25 July).

‘In times of grief and mourning, the rule of law is especially important to protect the rights of citizens when they are most vulnerable, and any effort to disrupt or interfere with a family’s ability to grieve following the loss of a loved one is a reprehensible act,’ the Republican wrote, according to The Hill.

‘Any action by any individual or group to in any way disrupt, interfere, or cause additional suffering during this time of mourning is unconscionable and morally reprehensible,’ the order continued.

There's more here. Finally, something I can agree on with Bobby Jindal. 

Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats

Evidently, Merkel's Christian Democrats are not in favor of gay marriage. 

The majority of members of chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party’s (CDU) Berlin faction oppose gay marriage, a poll has revealed.

It found 45% were against the German government opening marriage to same-sex couples, with 35% of members in support.

The poll, conducted to gauge member’s opinion on marriage throughout the country, also revealed that 3% deemed the question ‘not important’.

Berlin’s general secretary Kai Wegener, who announced the result today, said: ‘I believe this result will accelerate the debate on a national level.’

The result comes ten days after Merkel said she supported gay marriage, as long as it was not called marriage, in an interview with German Youtube star LeFloid.

Another example of why there's still a long way to go. It's actually kind of interesting to me because I've worked with several European publishers in the past and I've always been under the impression things were more open and liberal over there. I guess not in all cases.

I don't get the part where she supports gay marriage as long as it's not called marriage. What should we call it? She's a backward woman who is missing something important. The whole point behind "gay" marriage is we hope that someday it won't be "gay" marriage. It will just be "marriage."

The rest is here. 

Review for The Rainbow Detective Agency The Guy With Two Penises

I saw this review for one of the Rainbow Detective books and thought I'd share. I like reviews like this because they mention things that normally don't occur to me while I'm writing. I just do it and when someone makes comments like this I wonder sometimes how I managed to do it.

In any event, here's part of the review, below. You can read it in full here. There are a few other reviews, too.


What I miss in most gay-themed books is a realistic, tension-filled symphony and cacophony set up by two highly individualistic men. Proctor and Blair are such men. They are opposites who, whether or not either will admit it, are blessedly made for each other. And yet they seem always on the verge of breaking into splinters by the sheer tautness of their hold on each other. Their chemistry is freaking off the charts. Together they set off an electromagnetic charge that defies description. My kind of characters.



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Gay Slur Painted on NY Home: Dutch Singer Thinks Miley Cyrus Is A Fake

Gay Slur Painted on NY Home

This is one of the reasons Tony and I have security and cameras everywhere, and also why we specifically *chose* to live our lives in a place that's gay friendly with a larger gay population. Unfortunately, not every gay person does live in a place like this and they have to endure this kind of bigotry.

The home of a New York gay couple was vandalized with the slur ‘Jenner fags.’
According to WNYT.com, the graffiti was noticed by Lyle Houston on Thursday morning (23 July). He called partner John Mcenerney after discovering the damage to their Wynantskill home. Wynantskill is located approximately 8 miles from Albany.

‘You would think my initial gut reaction would be like, “oh my God, I fear for my life.” I kind of feel more sorry for the person that they felt it was necessary to try to destroy somebody’s house,’ Mcenerney said to WNYT.

You can read the rest here.


This doesn't just happen to gays either. I remember when my younger straight brother took an African American girl to his prom. The next morning the "N" word was painted all over my parents garage doors.

Dutch Singer Thinks Miley Cyrus Is a Fake

This is amusing. A Dutch singer, Loona, is calling out celebrities like Miley Cyrus for claiming they are bisexual. Loona allegedly thinks these celebrities are full of crap and only looking for publicity. Hey, gay is the new "black." It's getting the most publicity and who isn't trying to make money on that?

Singer Loona, whose last single Caliente was out on 5 June, was referring to Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus and Cara Delevingne during a broadcast on female bisexual celebrities for boulevard magazine Punkt 12 on German freeview channel RTL.

She described Stewart, who was in a relationship with her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson for at least two years, as being ‘more of a masculine type’, saying: ‘I could accept it [bisexuality] from her.’

In 2013, Loona admitted to faking being in a same-sex relationship with a German model for PR purposes; she now said she never expected the attention the relationship got, but couldn’t really believe Cyrus’ relationship was honest.

‘Miley Cyrus is a girl only looking for publicity,’ she said in the interview.
‘So I don’t believe her; and it’s definitely a PR stunt.’

Frankly, if I had to bet on this my money goes with Loona. I see so much fakery these days with some people that I only have to see a post or an update begin with "Weeee" and I go into cringe mode.  Oh wait, there's "Squeeee." I think it's amusing because most people know this and they just don't say anything. Most people are too polite.

And while Cyrus might be bisexual and all this hype might be sincere, I love this Loona for actually having the guts to speak up, call it out, and not care about what anyone thinks.

The rest is here. 

The comments are interesting.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Expansive Gay Rights Bill; China Won't Allow Gay Sitcom; Murder of Trans Woman Caught on Video

Expansive Gay Rights Bill

I'm backing off a little with excerpts and links to Queerty.com.  I don't have anything against Queerty, however, I've noticed a change since the marriage ruling. Instead of posting about the gay rights bill Democrats have been working on, they're posting about...Madonna. I just don't think Queerty is interested in representing all gay men anymore. They seem focused on a smaller more concentrated segment of gay male readers.

And there's nothing wrong with that. I think everyone knows I love cheesy clickbait as much as the next person. And, there are plenty of mainstream news outlets talking about the more important LGBT news items so it's not like I'm at a loss for free content.

In any event, Democrats have been working on an expansive gay rights bill that will protect against discrimination.

For gay-rights advocates, if there was any conceivable downside to their definitive victory  at the Supreme Court last month, it was the sense of finality that came with it. There was no equivocation, no qualifiers, no hedging in the Court’s decision. The right for same-sex couples to marry is now enshrined in the Constitution, culminating a decades-long battle that accelerated rapidly to a decisive victory in the last few years. They had won.

With their most important goal achieved, what more could they want? Quite a lot, it turns out.

“Despite how far we’ve come, we cannot mistake our progress for victory,” said Winnie Stachelberg, the executive vice president for the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank.

You can read the rest here.  

China Won't Allow Gay Sitcom

In foreign news, there's a gay sitcom called Rainbow Family in China, and the Chinese government allegedly won't allow it to air on TV. So they're streaming it.

 Rainbow Family focuses on Xie Kezan, a gay man in grad school who has yet to come out to his family. Joining him in the cast are Song Yi, Xie’s best friend and the thirstiest of straight girls, as well as a flamboyant roommate, Austin, and Austin’s freeloader ex-boyfriend.

Creators of the show list Will & Grace as a major inspiration in terms of design and script.   The sitcom is produced by Ling Jueding, the CEO of Chinese gay hookup app Zank.

You can see some of that here. 

Obviously, there's a lot of work to do globally, too. 

Murder of Trans Woman Caught on Video

I still like linking to Gay Star News in the UK because unlike Queerty, they seem to balance the news with cheap clickbait and serious items. The only problem with Gay Star is they have these weird plug-ins that don't work well with most browsers and I hate dealing with tech issues like that when I'm blogging.  I wish web site owners would plan for this and not assume anything.

But I digress. And I don't like to complain about free content either. They do a great overall job at Gay Star. Here's a story about a transgender woman who was murdered and it was caught on video.


A transgender woman was stabbed in the neck by someone in a car after being called over to talk.
The murder was captured by surveillance video from a local tattoo shop.

K.C. Haggard, 66, died from wounds suffered in the attack that occurred in the California city of Fresno early Thursday (23 July).

According to the local Fox affiliate, the graphic video of Haggard’s attack shows someone in the passenger seat stabbing her in the neck then the car driving off. The victim is then seen holding her neck as she stumbles down the sidewalk and tries to flag someone down for help.

She then collapses onto the sidewalk.

More about that here. 



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Friday, July 24, 2015

Can You Be Addicted to a Person? FREE Gay Book Excerpt; The Great Gay Movie; Boyfriend Experiment in Russia

Can You Be Addicted to a Person?

Yesterday on Twitter I saw someone mention something about being addicted to a person. I'm sure it was in jest, however, it made me stop and think if it's actually possible to be addicted to a person. I know people who are co-dependent. I think every married couple has a tendency to become that way over time. A family member was with his partner for almost 20 years and then they broke up but still remain business associates...a kind of co-dependency. But can you become *addicted* to a person?

I'm not sure that's possible. I follow people regularly on social media because I've either formed a bond with them, I respect them, they make me laugh, or just because there's something about them I really like. Sometimes they inspire me and they become muses. Especially on Twitter where you find yourself interacting with the same people who follow the same people. Maybe that's an addiction...or a form of addiction. Again, I'm not sure. In almost every single case it's more about respect and admiration. It's not even fandom. I think fandom is a completely different thing.

The reason I'm getting into this right now is because in the fifth book in The Rainbow Detective series, The Scottish Duke, one of the characters becomes "obsessed" with Proctor Gamble, (Proctor is one of the main characters in the series), and as the book progresses it becomes apparent this was not as much obsession as it was admiration, love, and great respect. I don't want to go any deeper because I would be dropping spoilers if I did. I just think it's interesting to speculate about whether or not we can actually become addicted to people...or not. I did a simple search and some think it is possible.

In any event, I've posted a free unpublished excerpt below from The Scottish Duke, where I get into the "obsession" part...that really isn't an obsession. It's a 45,000 word novel and I'll post more when I get closer to a release date. The first four books in the series are also being sold in a box set on Amazon and they are free with KU. Link, below.

The Great Gay Movie

This is being dubbed in some places as what could be "The Great Gay Movie." I've been reading about it for a while now and I'm curious. I agree to a certain extent with The Great Gay Movie part. I've seen a lot of good ones, but none I can call great...yet. It stars Julianne Moore.

With the impending release of Freeheld, a fact-based story about New Jersey police detective Laurel Hester (Moore) who is stricken with terminal lung cancer and tries to secure her pension for her partner (Ellen Page), an auto mechanic, before she dies. As an attorney who represents the couple, Steve Carrell looks to have found a role that combines his singular brand of comedy (The Office) with his capacity for hard-hitting drama (Foxcatcher earned him an Oscar nod earlier this year).

I don't know about great, but it sounds good. I like films like this set in New Jersey, partly because I'm from New Jersey and partly because it shows people that New Jersey is NOTHING like that reality show, The Jersey Shore The rest is here.

Boyfriend Experiment in Russia

I missed this one somehow. There was an experiment in Russia where two gay men walked around holding hands in public. It was filmed with a hidden camera. The results will make you wonder why people like Robbie Roberts still want to go there and support anything related to Russia.

A hidden camera captured an unyielding barrage of insults, slurs, skunk-eyed stares, and physical intimidation, culminating in one extremely tense confrontation.

To shed light on the reality of LGBT life in other hostile areas, Bird in Flight magazine decided to repeat the exercise in Kiev, Ukraine.

Things really didn’t go so well.

A group of neo-nazis or extreme-right men approaches the couple, asking them if they are patriots and getting aggressive.

You can read more here.  This is why I'm so adamant about NOT supporting Russia in anything. LGBT people in Russia deserve the same kind of support the US has given to people in other countries for treatment like this.

Free Gay Book Excerpt


After Proctor started his BMW, he entered the address where the detective wanted to meet him in West Hollywood in the GPS system. He knew he'd forget it if he didn't. It was a part of town with which he wasn't familiar and he'd never been to that particular apartment complex. In fact, there were many sections of Los Angeles with which Proctor had never been familiar because he'd moved to the west coast after he'd become a success. He knew the Hollywood Hills, he knew Holmby Hills, and he could find his way around Beverly Hills with a blindfold, but he'd never really become familiar with sections of the city like West Hollywood. He usually depended on Blair for things like this. Although Blair wasn't as familiar with Beverly Hills, he knew every last section of Los Angeles, from the docks to the smallest fish taco joint in West Hollywood.

His GPS led him to a dingy white stucco apartment complex that looked as if it had been built in the 1960's. It was the kind of place where someone either started out or wound up, a building where a young transient dreamer trying to break into show business would live with two or three roommates, or an older soul on government assistance who had discovered that most dreams don't come true after all. The way the unkempt curtains and old blinds hung lop-sided in the windows gave Proctor an empty feeling in his gut. All the front doors were this hideous shade of dark orange, the trim around each window in bright green, and the chain link fence surrounding the pool had rusted over in most places and no one seemed eager to keep it up. After Proctor's manager had run off with all his money and left him with practically nothing, this apartment complex was the worst of Proctor's nightmares and why he was still so determined to make The Rainbow Detective Agency work.

When he spotted the number of the apartment the detective had given him at the back end of the complex, he pulled into a parking space not far from the door and climbed out of the car. He glanced around and saw no one; just more dirty windows with bad blinds and crooked curtains, flanked by that awful bright green trim that reminded him of a cheap swimsuit he'd once worn for a lesser known designer. The same designer had been asking Proctor to model again and he'd been thinking about it seriously. Proctor still worked out and had the body of a man in his twenties, the cheap swimsuit line actually did get a great deal of exposure, and they were willing to pay him quite a bit of money. He'd told them he would think about it and get back, and he knew he had to do that soon.

He walked up to the orange door and knocked. A second or two later, a tall man with dark hair wearing a navy sport jacket and light slacks opened the door and looked Proctor up and down. As the man stared at him in the most unusual way, Proctor squared his back and said, "I'm Proctor Gamble. Are you Detective Schechter?"

"Ah, yes," the detective said. He stepped to the right so Proctor could enter. "Thank you for coming here on such short notice."

As Proctor entered and looked around, he found a forensic team examining various sections of the small apartment. Then he blinked and pressed his palm to his throat. When he saw his own image plastered on every single wall, everywhere he looked, he felt a chill throughout his entire body.
At first, he remained speechless, gaping at his own likeness, some photos splattered with blood. Then he took a breath and said, "I don't understand. What is all this?"

Detective Schechter escorted him to the other side of the small room, where a broken down table had been set up as a makeshift desk. On the table Proctor noticed an old fashioned desktop computer, with a huge monitor, a keyboard so old most of the letters weren't visible anymore, and an eight by ten framed photo of Proctor when he'd done a headshot for publicity about ten years ago.

"I was hoping you'd know more about this," Detective Schechter said. "Have you ever been here before?"

Proctor couldn't wait to get out of there. If there was any truth to the old saying "someone just walked cross my grave," he now knew what it was like to experience that. "Of course I've never been here before. Why on earth would I come here? I don't even know what all this is about."

Detective Schechter sent him a long, serious glance and leaned against a counter next to the makeshift desk. "I'm investigating the death of a best-selling writer known as E. Q. Montana. His real name was Elizabeth Stumpf. E. Q. wrote gay romance, with a pen name, and it seems that he based most of his characters on you."

Proctor's head started to pound. "He? I thought you said her name was Elizabeth."



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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hard Facts Penis Sizes; Oral Sex to the Finish; Sam Smith and Balenciaga

Hard Facts Penis Sizes

The results of a new study on penis sizes were published this past spring. I know how everyone likes to keep up to date with things like this so I'll get right to the details.

The researchers were super specific about which ones they included in this review. They only used studies where penis size was measured by a health professional, because…people lie. 

They also included only studies that had at least 50 participants who were all at least 17 years old. To be consistent, they looked only at studies where flaccid and erect penis length was measured from the root to the tip (apparently there are other ways of measuring?) and penis circumference (girth) was measured at base or mid-shaft. And only studies published in the English language were included. 

Studies were nixed if any participants could have had any congenital or acquired penis abnormality, erectile dysfunction, or if they were specifically seeking penis enlargement.

You can read more here. According to this study, the average penis size is under six inches in length. You can tweet that now.

Oral Sex to the Finish

I didn't want to use certain vulgar words in the title of this post, and I'm determined to keep it as clinical as possible, without getting too clinical. I think it's a topic gay men and women wonder about...and in some cases even worry about.

I'm talking about giving men oral sex to the finish. In other words, to swallow or not to swallow.

This is from Cosmo:

While a lot of guys find it incredibly erotic to watch a woman swallow their ejaculate, it doesn't increase the physical pleasure they experience. In fact, when the ending isn't so predictable — as swallowing can sometimes be — the encounter can be a lot more exciting.

One way to give him earth-shattering oral pleasure without having him come in your mouth is to finish him off manually.

You can finish the article here, pardon the pun. My only comment is that it depends on the person. By that I mean it depends on the person to whom you're giving oral sex. Sometimes you're into it, and sometimes not as much as you should be. Just don't ever fall for the old line, "I'll pull out in time." That's as good as saying "the check's in the mail."

Sam Smith and Balenciaga

Sam Smith has really lost a good deal of weight. As a result, he's been chosen as the new face for Balenciaga clothing.

He made the announcement on Twitter.

Smith, who has taken flack in the past — mostly from Howard Stern and internet trolls — for having a little more to love is getting into the high fashion spirit, sporting a slimmer physique and the kind of bored to the point of comatose expression that luxury campaigns are made of.

You can read the rest here. I'm not only a huge Sam Smith fan, but I love Balenciaga...even the men's cologne, and I don't love that many colognes. I've been wearing that for years. I liked Sam Smith before or after the weight reduction. And the only thing funny about people who fat-shame like Howard Stern is their dated comedy and the fact they haven't been able to keep up with the changes in the way society laughs nowadays.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gerontophilia: Gay Sex With an 80 Year Old; Gay Disney Princes; Ian McKellen Needed a Diagram to Make Out with a Straight Woman

Gerontophilia: Gay Sex With an 80 Year Old

The other night I found a gay film on Netflix by, Bruce LaBruce, titled Gerontophilia. In short, the storyline revolves around a very young, attractive twenty-something who has a fetish for older men...men well up to 80 years old and even beyond that. The young guy gets a job in a nursing home, falls deeply in love with one of the older residents, and they wind up playing strip poker by the middle of the film. I won't go any further because that would spoil things. However, there is sex between them and it's not covered up, so to speak. 

It's also not too explicit. So if you get too freaked out with sex scenes I don't think this will bother you. In fact, the movie has been dubbed...loosely...a gay Harold and Maude. The only thing this film lacks in comparison to Harold and Maude is the sophistication. The characters in Gerontophila are simple, average people with nothing to make them spectacular in any way. In fact, they drive such old beat up cars I had to pay extra attention to be sure the film wasn't set in the 1980's.

However, I loved it. It moved at a good pace, the characters were likeable, and I even waited until the end to give it five stars because it only had one star when I was searching for films earlier that night. Not only does this prove there's a huge subjective gap when it comes to reviews, it shows that there are a lot of people out there that don't know much about film making. Because even if you didn't like the content of this film, the film itself and the way it was produced is at least worthy of three stars. And unfortunately, there aren't many gay films I can say that about.

I think what I liked most is that is breaks ALL of the stereotypes. All of them. 

You can read more about it here on Wiki. I think they give the best overall descriptions. You can also read more about Bruce LaBruce there.

Frankly, if I ever wind up in a home in my old age I hope there's a young guy like this one willing to play strip poker with me.

Gay Disney Princes

Here's a good example of parody. This time it's parody of all kinds of things, from Disney Princes to Zombies.

Alan Hubbard is a portrait photographer working out of New Jersey who specializes in “princess and me” photo sessions. We won’t comment on the types of people we suspect patronize these services, suffice it to say everyone has their thing.

One of her more whimsical series is called “An Unexpected Royal Twist,” which, as you likely assumed, takes the classics and turns them on their heads. Things like zombie princesses or cheating spouses. As long as there’s no princess bat mitzvahs, we imagine Walt isn’t rolling over in his grave yet.

You can check out the photos here. They're really very harmless...unless, of course, you either have something against parody, don't know what it is, or you have no sense of humor.

Ian McKellen Needed a Diagram to Make Out with a Straight Woman

When Ian McKellen was younger it seems he needed help when it came to sex scenes with straight women.

I would need Xanax and vodka.

However, the first job I took as an actor after having come out was to play as resolute a heterosexual as I could find. 

All right, I played this part on film. And my first job was to appear to be having sex with Joanne Whalley-Kilmer in the marital bed. Well, this would’ve been a joyful scene for any straight actor to play. She’s extremely beautiful and a lovely person, and I didn’t know what to do with her. So I went to a friend, Edward Petherbridge, the actor, who knows about these things. And I said, Edward, I’ve got to do this love scene. Can you explain to me — can you draw me a little diagram? So he did. He gave me some stick figures…Showed me what was possible. So I’m now an expert on the missionary position, and everything went well.”

It doesn't get much better than that. However, I get that because whenever I write straight sex scenes in books I often wonder if this or that would really happen. I have some very excellent women friends on Twitter to thank for that. They keep me well-informed on heteronormative sex, the gender politics in straight relationships, and all the complications that go along with it. 

You can read the rest. That was only a truncated excerpt.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jake Shears In Bent; Drag Queens Banned From Gay Pride; Gay Men Forbidden From Acting Like Black Women

Jake Shears In Bent

I haven't seen a production of Bent, by Martin Sherman, in a while. It's a popular play about how the Nazis persecuted gay people during the pre-WWII and in 1980 it originally starred  Richard Gere and Ian McKellen. I'm also not sure if that launched Gere's career in films, or if he'd already done American Gigolo.

The play starred Ian McKellen in its original 1979 West End production, and Richard Gere in its original 1980 Broadway production. In 1989, Sean Mathias directed a revival of the play, performed as a one-night benefit for Stonewall, featuring Ian McKellen, Richard E Grant, Ian Charleson, and Ralph Fiennes. After receiving critical acclaim, Mathias directed a full run in 1990, with Ian McKellen, Paul Rhys, and Christopher Eccleston, which won the City Limits Award for Revival of the Year.

Jake Sheers is starring in this production in LA right now. He's best known for the stage musical adaptation of Tales of the City.

Here's an excerpt from a question and answer with Shears:

Queerty: How did the opportunity to appear in Bent come to you?
 
Jake Shears: They came to me. They asked if I was interested in reading for the part and doing the show. At first I just assumed that if anyone was asking me to be in their play that it must be a really shitty play. [Laughs] I didn’t even look at who or what it was. I just saw an email that asked if I was interested in reading for the role of Greta. I didn’t know the play, but I didn’t even see the title in the email. I just saw the name Greta. I ignored it and they wrote to me again and I finally realized what it was. I saw that Moises Kaufman was directing and I love his work so much. I worked on the part for a few days on my own then went in and read for it.

The questions, unfortunately, aren't the most fascinating. But the answers are excellent and it's worth the read just to learn more about a play that hasn't had much of a profile lately.

You can check the rest out here. 

Drag Queens Banned From Gay Pride

This is interesting. According to this article drag queens have been officially banned from Free Pride Glasgow for reasons that will make you wonder.

In a statement, organizers said: “After much discussion, the trans and non binary caucus decided not to have drag acts perform at the event. This does not mean that people of any gender can’t wear what they want to the event, we simply won’t be having any self-described drag acts perform at our Free Pride Event on the 22nd August.”

The statement continued: “The decision was taken by transgender individuals who were uncomfortable with having drag performances at the event. It was felt that it would make some of those who were transgender or questioning their gender uncomfortable.”

The organization went on to say drag queens make gender “into a joke” and that “transgender individuals do not feel as though their gender identity is a joke.”

“This can particularly difficult for those who are not out and still present as the gender they were assigned at birth,” organizers said.

There's more here. 


My only comment here is that I don't like it when people in the LGBT community turn on each other. In my entire life I have never once seen a drag queen slam a transgender person. I have never seen a drag queen discriminate or ban a transgender person. Never. In fact, drag queens will usually be the first to support any cause in the LGBT community. So this is starting to sound like more PC bullshit the rest of us are getting sick and tired of hearing. 

Gay Men Forbidden From Acting Like Black Women

I've never done drag. It's just never been on my proverbial bucket list, plus I'm six feet three inches tall. But if I did do it I've always thought I'd like to be Tina Turner...I like the look...the black mini skirt, black biker jacket, and big blond wig. I love Tina Turner.

I guess that's NOT an option anymore.

“White gay men often assert that they are ‘strong black women’ or have an ‘inner black woman,'” NUS continued, calling such behavior “unacceptable” and saying it “must be addressed.”

Therefore, it was officially decided, gay white men may no longer act like black women.

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According to its website, NUS is a group dedicated to making “a real difference to the lives of students.” The organization consists of 600 student union group across the U.K., representing the interests of more than seven million students.

There's more here.  



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