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April 2005 - Posts

April 30, 2005 11:25 AM

I'm getting tipsy

Happy second annual Trans Day of Pride.

Celebrate with a beer! Syndicated queer media writer Gwendolyn Ann Smith has come up with a new drinking game based on the cliches of well-intentioned trans movies. "The set-up: A number of friends, a beverage of choice, and a transgender documentary. The last ingredient should not be that difficult to acquire, given that you can likely find one on the various Discovery channels every few days," she writes. Some excerpts follow.

"Take one drink if...
"A transwoman is shown putting on make-up or fixing her hair, or if as transman is shown shaving or slicking back his hair. If they show two transfolks in one shot, take two drinks.

"A transwoman is shown doing a stereotypically feminine action, like shopping in the mall, or a transman is shown doing something stereotypically masculine, such as playing a sport.

"Old photographs are used to try and show that a transperson used to visually fit into their birth gender.

"Anyone uses the phrase 'a man trapped in a woman's body,' or vice versa.

"Undergarments are shown. Make it two [drinks] if they happen to be a gaff or a binder."

Hic.

April 29, 2005 10:18 AM

An award for a slimeball

Today, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is in Philadelphia, where he'll be given the queer Equality Forum's 10th Annual International Role Model Award. American morons: Here's a look at Jean Chretien's real gay legacy.

April 29, 2005 10:14 AM

Where the boys are

Just posted another presentation made to the House of Commons Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, this one from the LGBT lobby group, Egale. Awfully lawyerly in tone, but thorough.

For those looking for concrete help with the legalities of their sex life, here's my bathhouse do's and don'ts list, a more current report on the subcommittee's doings, and a look at gay found-ins and the next step in the courts.

April 28, 2005 12:11 PM

The homosexual agenda? It's literacy

Alabama State Representative Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle and his proposed legislation would ban public school libraries from buying new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

The news report reads: "Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is."

Allen is quoted as saying: "I don't look at it as censorship. I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."

The story continues: "Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker's novel 'The Color Purple' has lesbian characters....

"[I]n book after book, Allen reads what he calls the 'homosexual agenda,' and he's alarmed. 'It's not healthy for America, it doesn't fit what we stand for,'" says Allen. "'And they will do whatever it takes to reach their goal.'"

April 28, 2005 9:37 AM

Crabby docs and killer dykes

The May Out magazine notes that the U.S. version of "Queer As Folk" is in its fifth and final year (and my surprise exposes me as a non-watcher -- that thing is still on?). Reporter Christine Champagne writes that "the groundbreaking series filled a gaping void in our popular-culture landscape, becoming the first gay-centric show on television."

More: "It's not like we hadn't seen gays on television prior to 'Queer As Folk's' debut. In fact, in the 1960s gay characters began popping up on prime-time television in guest-starring roles, although we were generally portrayed in a negative light back then. In 1974, 'Police Woman' took flack from gay activists for a story line about murderous lesbians, and that same year 'Marcus Welby, MD' raised the ire of gay protesters when Dr. Welby (Robert Young) scolded a patient struggling with his sexual identity.

"Finally, in 1977, substantial progress was made in gay visibility on television when Jodie Dallas of 'Soap' (played by Billy Crystal) became the first gay male character to be integrated as a regular into a popular weekly show." I loved 'Soap,' by the by, and Jodie was a particularly great character (though I was more taken by the extraterrestrial abduction theme).

Back to Out: "The first gay character to be a series regular was actually that of Peter Panama (Vincent Schiavelli) on 1972's 'The Corner Bar,' but given the show's brief run, the character wasn't able to make much of an impact.

"It wasn't until 20 years later that Ellen DeGeneres made television history, playing the first openly gay lead character on a television series when her alter ego, Ellen Morgan, burst out of the closet on 'Ellen,' paving the way for gay best buddies Will Truman (Eric McCormack) and Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) to make a splash on 'Will & Grace' in 1998.

"As far as we had come in the late 1990s, there was still not one television series featuring gay characters in all of the primary roles. Then in 2000 came the history-making 'Queer As Folk,' which was based on the British television series of the same name.... [It] pioneered the depiction of gays not just as sidekicks to straight people but as the main characters on an American television series." Champagne writes that it exhilarated gay viewers, and gave straights their first understandings of gay culture. And of gay sex, too.

April 27, 2005 10:52 AM

On Samuel Delany

The gay (or bisexual?) Samuel Delany's first book-length sci-fi novel was 1962's "The Jewels of Aptor." It's a quest tale, starring a poet, a couple of sailors and assorted gods, their clerics, and servants... a philsophical treatise with swords and a post-holocaust scenario that drags in a few places -- it was written by a university student for students. But a satisfying read, nonetheless.

"The Jewels of Aptor" also includes more black characters than had previously appeared in a single sci fi work -- I mean as main characters. Delany was one of the few, if not the only, published black sci-fi writer of the time.

Some of the lovely language presages Delany's future lyricism. His later work is more poetry than prose -- a hard read (but this is not a criticism). Seth McEvoy, in the 1984 literary analysis and proto biography "Samuel R. Delany," wonders whether Delany's dyslexia led to the author's singular obsessions with text and words. Delany's newer books force readers to fill in blanks, to work at understanding in the same way he has to, as someone with a reading disability.

"The Jewels of Aptor" was initially published in a double edition, paired back to back (and upside down) with "Second Ending" by James White (a novelette about the declining mental health of the last man on earth, and about his worried robotic servants).

McEvoy writes that these double books were seen by some as filler produced by hacks: insiders assumed Delany was the pseudonym of a house writer, and so although the novel was seen as a good work, the name of Delany received no credit for the work at the time because it was thought fictional.

If you want the credit you deserve in this world, you hafta make a racket.

April 26, 2005 9:42 AM

Who are you, who, who

Old news for some, but for me, it's this morning's fun little discovery: I didn't realize that the guy who brought cult fave Doctor Who back to television (on CBC TV on Tuesday nights), Russell T. Davies, is also the creator of the original Brit "Queer As Folk" -- and many Doctor Who references were melded into those scripts.

There's apparently a discussion group for queer fans, here.

April 26, 2005 8:49 AM

C is for cookie

It sez here that Sesame Street's Cookie Monster is going on a diet. The beloved blue shag carpet is a bad role model for obese kids, dontcha know. Mr. Monster's signature tune will become: "A cookie is sometimes food." (There is as yet no word on the secondary uses of cookies.) And the Sesame roadway website now features a really, really, really, really fun game called "Toss a Salad with Cookie Monster."

But what of The Count's obsessive compulsive disorder? What of Oscar's explicit approval of anti-social behaviour? And Elmo strikes me as the sort of guileless youngster who speaks to strangers. Get on it, people.

April 25, 2005 10:17 AM

Trans-gressions

Spoiler alert: This post reveals an essential plot element in the hyper-violent 2005 theatrical release, Sin City.

A few weeks ago, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) put out a press release trashing episodes in the animated series' "The Simpsons" and "South Park."

On "The Simpsons," Marge's detective work helped call off a lesbian wedding to a golfer who was really a man, posing as a dyke to play women's golf. Wrote GLAAD: "Members of the transgender community saw two reasons to be upset: Male-to-female pro-golfer Mianne Bagger has been kept from pursuing her career in the U.S. because both the LPGA and the USGA have added a 'female at birth' clause. Second, the 'reveal' of Veronica reinforces a dangerous myth that transgender people are trying to deceive or trick us."

I watched the episode, and I submit that Veronica was not intended to be seen as trans.

Here's GLAAD's review of the "South Park" episode: "Mr. Garrison, long depicted as a deeply closeted gay man, wants to be made 'well' and undergoes an extremely graphic (even for 'South Park') 'vaginoplasty' to make him a woman. The new Mrs. Garrison still has the trademark bald head and glasses, but now flamboyantly minces around in Capri pants, anxiously awaiting her first period.

"Mr. Garrison's transformation opens the floodgates for Kyle to have surgery to become a tall African American so he can play basketball, and Kyle's father surgically becomes the dolphin he's always wanted to be. Seriously. By the end of the episode, each is made to look foolish for their decisions. Mrs. Garrison even confronts her surgeon with the line, 'You made me into a freak…and I want you to change me back!' The doctor says later, 'I should have told you that the surgery was cosmetic only.'"

I didn't see "South Park," but that last line says it all: it sounds to me like a story about internalized homophobia, and not about being trans. Surely internalized homophobia is an issue that can be addressed on television?

In the press release, Damon Romine (GLAAD's new entertainment media director) wrote: "Even I had to re-watch the episodes to fully grasp why transgender people would be upset." Indeed.

I'm not pooh-poohing trans issues or trans people (I can't believe I'd need to write this, but some folks love to misinterpret). But come on: both the episodes in question were about other things, not trans-trashing.

Which brings me to Frank Miller's stylish but intensely violent movie, Sin City.

In one of the comic book-based vignettes, a male serial rapist and killer of little girls has his penis shot off by a vengeful cop. The evil one survives, and returns years later. Scientists have regrown his penis, but the side effects include bright yellow skin, a strong body odour of rot and vomit, and sticky-outie ears.

All this from getting a penis? I can't wait to read that GLAAD press release.

April 24, 2005 11:49 AM

Maybe if they imprinted the words 'no homos' onto crackers? Then we could all be subliminally seduced

The weekend National Post brings not one, but two full page anti-same-sex marriage ads.

Ontario's Ken Campbell, who you might say is "well known" to the province's homosexualists, continues apace with his endless and endlessly entertaining anti-gay ad campaign. In production values and text font, in its overwhelming amount of text and impossible logic, it resembles the front page of the newspaper published by the Communist Party of Canada, Marxist-Leninist.

This ad calls for Prime Minister Paul Martin's impeachment because he favours gay marriage.

One good thing. I was happy to read, in very small print at the very bottom, a note reading: "Ken has recently overcome two attacks on 'freedom of speech' and 'freedom of religion' in Canada from 'gay activists' who filed complaints to the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the BC Human Rights Tribunal over a full-page ad Ken published in a national newspaper in response to the Supreme Court decision in Vriend [that decision required that sexual orientation protections be added to the Alberta human rights code]. The headline to that ad read 'Supreme Court has no business imposing 'bathhouse morality' on the churches and in the living rooms of the nation.' Both complaints were dismissed."

That kind of attempt to stifle the opposition is no doubt why Focus on the Family's full-page ad includes the sentence: "We believe it's healthy to have an exchange of opinions, and we believe diversity makes our country richer." The diversity line is too funny.

I originally thought it pathetic that the religious right feels a need to plead for its right to speak. But now having visited their site, I see this is part of a full-fledged martyrdom campaign (though I still do think that gays filing human rights complaints against religious folk is a stupid and offensive maneouvre).

In the ad, the text overlapping the large pic of a nuclear family reads: "We try to be open-minded..." And yet, not.

April 23, 2005 10:06 AM

Too sexy for the printed page

The Ryerson Review of Journalism has an interesting piece on the evils of the "hyper-sexualized" major gay media in Canada. There are some interesting things here, but this piece could have been so much more... it actually ends up sounding rather prissy and right-wing, instead of approaching the topic in a way that's more truly engaged with the community. But I'm biased: I was interviewed for the piece, and my comments not judged to be useful enough to be included (grin). I do have concerns about representation in the gay media (and longtime readers will have already checked out this analysis, written for Press Pass Q -- click on the "commentary" section; this analysis is based not on the idea that sex or sexy is bad, but that internalized homophobia might be skewing visual portraits away from real intimacy).

Ryerson reporter Maya Saibil writes: "I became aware of how obsessed gay media are with sex when a salacious headline was tacked on to a profile I wrote for Xtra this past October. The story was about an Aboriginal woman and the challenges she had overcome in her life. The headline was 'I'm a slut.' And while my subject did say that and I included it in my story, her sluttiness was not the focus of the piece."

A few thoughts: racism has completely desexualized Native people, and to play on the fact of a Native woman's sexual nature might well be a good thing that smashed a stereotype. And another: boring headlines make many community newspapers the most tedious reads of all time. I've just read too many headlines like "Activist has worked hard" and "Lesbian speaks out."

What do regular readers of the queer media think of the quality of what's out there?


ADDENDUM 10:35 am: Okay, the sentence about the de-sexualization of Natives was a smart ass point, but it avoids the reporter's thesis. Sigh. "Hypersexualized" gay papers do it to everyone. Should black men be hypersexualized when racism has turned them into being perceived as mindless sex machines? I'd say yes, because the alternative is to sexualize everyone but black men -- which is just as awful (no sex for you!).

April 22, 2005 11:36 AM

Yay, a homosexual fungus

I know how important it is for some to prove that homosexuality is "natural" by pointing to same-sex sexual behaviour in the animal kingdom. But why stop there? Even now, fearless scientists are reporting that "a deadly fungus that mates only with members of the same sex is still able to reproduce."

The story on the vavoomy sex life of Cryptococcus neoformans is in the Washington Times: "The findings suggest for the first time that the fungus has developed a novel type of sexual cycle, allowing sexual reproduction between members of the same mating type," said Dr. Joseph Heitman, one of the study investigators.

He added: "That ability might confer an advantage for the fungus because patients infected with it predominantly harbor a single mating type, reducing the possibility of normal fungal sexual reproduction."

As for me, you've doubtless heard that there is a spider that eats its mate -- thus providing a great "natural" rationale for me to go and pick up breakfast.

April 22, 2005 10:49 AM

A word from the Other Side

I tried for many days, but Oples is no longer a pope-free zone. Here's our second pope-related story of the week, in which the April 13 edition of The Onion reports on John-Paul's reaction to the afterlife: "Heaven Less Opulent than Vatican, Reports Disappointed Pope." Oh, and this is actually on The Onion's site: "The Onion® is not intended for readers under 18 years of age." Please encourage a youngster to visit.


NOTE: I was travelling and off-line yesterday.

April 20, 2005 9:25 AM

What's the next queer war?

Until quite recently, I would have said that the next queer war was this:
To free Martha Stewart!

But Martha is now out.... of jail. For my take on the next queer war, click here.

April 19, 2005 11:41 AM

Who's in charge?

Imagine if, instead of reacting helter skelter to the religious right, we set our own agenda. More here, in the new category, Orations.


ADDENDUM, posted at 14:57: Here come da Pope.

April 18, 2005 10:49 AM

Happy birthday, dear Charter

Today's cliche is: Laws make us do what's legal, not what's right.

I'm thinking of George Hislop, one of the grand old geezers of Canada's gay rights movement, and yesterday's 20th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms' equality clause. That's Section 15, the one that guaranteed that "every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability."

Sexual orientation was added later, by the courts. In fact, every single federal gay equality measure was mandated by the courts. The weekend Globe and Mail featured an anniversary analysis (which I could not find online) which states that the Supreme Court of Canada at first embraced Section 15, then more recently began to panic and backtrack on decisions when conservatives everywhere began to say that judge-made law was overwhelming the will of the people. (Er, justices are appointed by the government of the day, which implies some ideological common ground, but I guess that adds too many layers of complexity.)

All this brings me back to what's legal, and what's right. The federal government is appealing a lower court decision granting a retroactive same-sex survivor pension to the widow Hislop. Nearing 80, George is still working in order to get by financially in Canada's most expensive city, Toronto. He got a patronage job sitting on some sort of municipal panel that hears monthly from landowners seeking permission to build patios. It's not enough, of course: In truth, George survives through the kindness of friends.

Gay men and lesbians who lost partners after Jan. 1, 1998, now get Canadian Pension Plan survivor benefits. But the lovers of those who died earlier are out of luck, because the federal government picked a cut-off date that doesn't include them. Like George.

When last I checked, about 400 oldsters were signed up for a class-action suit against the feds; I expect there are fewer now, because they keep dying.

George argues that the feds should have picked a different date for the cut-off: that anyone should be covered whose spouse died after April 1985 -- because that's when the equality-for-all guarantee came into affect in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The problem with the argument is that sexual orientation was deliberately omitted from the list of protected groups at that time. Homos were not considered equal on purpose. Sexual orientation wasn't read in by the courts until much later. But George says that doesn't matter: a promise of equality is just that.

Nonetheless, there is an important question to be answered about whether social acceptance can be backdated. The federal government is arguing that it must be allowed to decide when to make people eligible for benefits. Retroactive rights are an important issue that Parliament, and society, must tackle. I wish that meant politicians were grown-up enough to orchestrate a real debate, but they are not. They endlessly rely on the courts to make tough decisions for them.

But I don't understand why the need for a court ruling means that George Hislop -- and hundreds of other gay seniors -- are one bad day away from living in the streets. George never had a big-money job; his partner Ron Shearer supported them both so George could be a full-time gay activist, speaking out for us at a time when hatred and violence against the "sickos" were endemic.

Politicians are pigs. Yes, they need to safeguard the legal rights of government, and think through the ramifications of their actions. But their real job is to look after people. And the way to do that is to say: we're appealing this ruling because it's important to work out the issues. But we're going to give you the money you need to live out your golden years so you don't have to worry about eating cat food.


NOTE: A chunk of this this is taken from a piece I originally wrote a year ago. And I'm still pissed off.

April 17, 2005 10:10 AM

On anagrams

Ah, anagrams. Lovely, if you have a couple of hours to dig through the hundreds of solutions offered. Still, I bite the bullet for you, Opinionated Lesbians all (even if "merely" honorary!), and present a modicum of entertainment: "A Dab Einstein In Pool," "A Dab Pieties Inn Loon," A Bad Leonine Into Sip," "A Bad Penile In Ion Sot." Enough said.

April 16, 2005 11:08 AM

If an extraneous girl's a beard, what's a boy?

From the May issue of Girlfriends mag: "Did anyone else spot sport columnist Ted Casablanca's insinuation that Jennifer Aniston's taste for the ladies caused her breakup with Brad Pitt? The E! maven predicts that her 'manic drive for anybody butch who wears a bra' will land 'Slippery Polly,' as Casablanca coded her, in another arranged marriage."

Speaking of which, I've been a big fan of the National Enquirer in the past. Back in 2003, I really thought that the fun, bitchy soul of the queer media had been lost. Back then, a newly out Rosie O'Donnell could be found on the cover of the Enquirer, eyes bugging out and mouth open and screeching. Hi-larious.

Divas, too. Regulars like Anna Nicole Smith (who battled the bulge with regular vacuum-suction), Oprah (who battled the bulge with her, er, best girl friend), and Winona (marked for her alleged past as a serial shoplifter banned from Barney’s in L.A.!).

Here was the agony of celebrity life, the next generation of Liza Minnellis (and by the way, Liz Taylor was battling skin cancer).

The Enquirer even tracked our trends. As Laura Innes "commits full-time to her girlfriend" on the TV show ER, the hetero actor had adopted a child off-screen. "The adoption of Mia coincides with a hot trend among many real-life lesbians -- adopting a Chinese baby. Each year, 4,000 to 5,000 Chinese orphans find new families in the US, with 30 percent of the babies going to single mothers." In fact, the Enquirer was just a smidgen behind -- by the time that saw print, the babies were Haitian.

The gay connection with the Enquirer went way back. For years, the paper traded on homophobia for its stories. And that's why we read it in the bad ole days -- for an inkling of who was gay, desperately seeking glimpses of ourselves.

There were also mean-spirited rumours that the Enquirer used to blackmail gay stars, sparing them potentially career-ending gossip in exchange for talk that could hurt the careers of their friends and tricks. But that changed over time.

Only two years ago, the reportage played on shock value, yes, but not on homophobia at its nastiest. And there were homo features every week -- talk about normalizing gay lives!

The gayest thing about the mainstream was the entertainment trash-talk the dailies picked up from the Enquirer. Unless there was an "issue" -- Catholic high school student Marc Hall's banned prom date, boy-on-boy marriage court cases -- we just didn't see consistent gay coverage. We did in the Enquirer.

It even had credibility. Who broke the story that American Taliban John Walker Lindh’s homophobia may have driven him to reject permissive Western society? The Enquirer, in a January 2002 piece that revealed that the convicted traitor's dad got divorced when he fell in love with another man. Few other outlets picked it up. But give it a little time, and the legitimacy of such reporting seeped in. The Oct. 7 Time of that same year confirmed the dad's gayness, and also revealed Lindh junior's eventual gay relationship with a Pakistani businessman. It was good stuff, but written so gawd awful boringly.

The National Enquirer had it all. Agony, ecstasy, fun. And with a gay twist. Until now.

I must say I'm disappointed by the April 18 "bigger, bolder, better" Enquirer. That mag's "feel" has changed. Anna Nicole Smith has a new column (she dropped out of school very young, and dictates it to someone who can spell), but.... It just feels hetero. Less sheer joy of gossip, more average families' far too real lives. Tain't why I buy the Enquirer. And the new Q section has no gay content -- it's written for housewives. Again, for house-wifery talk, I'll buy a mag that does it better.

If the Enquirer has its fingers on the pulse of mainstream America, this new conservative version of "hot gossip, true crime" and, lord help us, "real life," marks the beginnings of an even worse backlash aimed right at us.

April 15, 2005 12:31 PM

What feminism has done for me

Call it true equality: I've finally received my first "female problem" spam. I could overcome "frustrating menopausal symptoms with a FRE[E] SAMPLE of Hormone Balancing Formula with Bone Support." Wait! There's more!

I'll also receive " a FRE[E] Hollywood Spa Bucket... includes a carefully crafted all-[n]atural beechwood comb that neither creates static nor tears hair. The soothing terrycloth and [n]atural loofah pad are known for their exfoliating abilities. The full-sized boar bristle nail and foot brush softens in water and is completely non-abrasive, allowing for serious deep cleaning. All presented in a beautiful beechwood bucket. And all FRE[E] with your FRE[E] SAMPLE of Hormone Balancing Formula with Bone Support."

Just the thought of those boar bristles is getting me all excited.

April 15, 2005 12:29 PM

Silly old bear

Winnie the Pooh is a great big 'mo. Hey, why not? Every other kiddie character is. More here.

April 14, 2005 10:24 AM

Why lesbians get hideous haircuts

Rosie O'Donnell speaks in the March 10 Boston Bay Windows newspaper:
"I did it [got the new 'do] as a 'fuck you' [to the company I was fighting with over my magazine]. 'You think you can scare me with your corporate [law] suit? C'mere. You don't know what I've lived through. Watch this. I'll shave my fuckin' hair off. Want to call me a dyke? I'll be a bigger dyke than you could ever see.'"

April 14, 2005 10:21 AM

Catsup

Er, catch-up: Further proving that many lucky leprechauns believe in same-sex marriage, a Conservative Party amendment defining marriage exclusively as a union between and a man a woman was defeated in Canada's House of Commons on Tuesday.

The vote was 164 to 132. Thirty-four of the ruling Liberals voted with the bad guys.

The same-sex marriage act, Bill C-38, will have its second reading (of an eventual three) next week sometime. Unless there's an election, your scribe feels obliged to type. Election hysteria has hit the media...


And apologies for yesterday: I was traveling back home from St. Catharines, Ontario, and a fun discussion on how to deal with the religious right.

April 12, 2005 11:24 AM

I don't

There might be a vote on same-sex marriage today in the House of Commons. There might not. The opposition Conservatives are threatening a filibuster. The opposition Bloc Quebecois just wants to force an election call.

All together now:
Marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage.

Sick of it yet?

April 11, 2005 11:04 AM

Me me me

A reminder that I'll be speaking at the annual general meeting of the St. Catharines, Ontario, chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays). That's at 7pm on Tuesday, April 12, at the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara, 223 Church St.

April 11, 2005 10:59 AM

Hold your nose, mark an X

How much corruption can we swallow? How do you balance dignity and queer rights with the allegations of millions of misdirected dollars the federal Liberal Party has showered on its friends? Gomery Inquiry testimony is terrifying gay and lesbian activists, who are already beginning to rationalize the need for everyone to ignore their revulsion and keep casting ballots for the Liberals. After all, we have a minority government, and an election call forced by opposition parties makes sense. But the timing also guarantees a Conservative victory -- and this gang of  nasties have tried their darnedest to set gays against visible and religious minorities in the last few months. Things can only get worse.

I've heard gays say that all political parties are corrupt, so vote for the Liberals anyway. I expect to soon read that the millions lost to graft are but a drop in the bucket, barely a few pennies in each individual tax bill. And on and on.

In the United States, a substantial number of gay people voted for victorious incumbent Republican George Bush in November, agreeing that gay issues alone were not as important as fighting terrorism ( "Gays Explain why they voted for Bush"). I predict that here in Canada, many just won't vote at all. The whole corrupt cycle will repeat. I suppose that's what politicians want, in the end: as little participation as possible makes their job easier.

April 9, 2005 10:44 AM

My name is Eleanor B., and I am monogamous

Few things are as distasteful as the sight of a homosexual crowing from the rooftops that she or he is monogamous. More here.

April 8, 2005 8:41 AM

Is that a gun, or are you happy to see me?

There are few out cops. Toronto's Jackie O'Keefe is one of them, and she says she's not the enemy. In fact, she sees herself as taking activism to another level: "Being queer in a police culture could be considered a radical act." Oh, and O'Keefe says she hates donuts. My profile of Jackie is here.

It's part of the gay mag Fab's dyke issue.

April 7, 2005 6:22 PM

Maybe I'll just read

The PrideVision/OUTtv gang have issued an entire press release saying that it's not their fault -- it's the very naughty cable companies' fault. "The OUTtv launch originally scheduled for today has been delayed to April 12th due to technical problems from digital cable and satellite providers and not from the network," it sez here. "This launch extension will also give OUTtv more time to come to terms with Shaw Communications and Bell ExpressVu. Negotiations have been difficult and are at an impasse as both carriers are refusing to distribute OUTtv in an appropriate manner." Homophobic scandal, or stupid business decision? Or, er, smart business decision?

Other companies have fallen into line: "Agreements have been made with the remaining cable and satellite carriers including Rogers, Cogeco, Videotron and the independents. The CRTC is currently processing complaints submitted by OUTtv to assist in removing these impasses. Shaw and Bell ExpressVu are both required by law to carry OUTtv as a Category 1 programming service."

Apparently Shaw wants to keep charging more for gay TV -- $7 to $9 a month. And Bell ExpressVu is accused of protecting its own travel channel from OUTtv. The two companies together control almost 70 percent of Canada's digital subscribers.

April 7, 2005 10:22 AM

Lesbians really lust after men

When I subscribed to the biweekly French-language newsmagazine l'Actualite, the equivalent of Maclean's for Quebec, I was promised a bonus of two special issues. My freebies have just arrived, and one is a tourism guide to selected cities (including my own, Montreal). Okay.

The other is a guide to men's health. Because of course, all female subscribers will want a copy of this -- all women have men in their lives. Testicular exams, male meonopause, and on and drearily on.

Rogers Media: determined to pretend that all-women households don't exist.


PS: I'll mail this thing to whomever wants it. A quick Google search for +"men's health" will also give guys a good selection -- the BBC has a special section that's undoubtedly worthy.

April 6, 2005 12:15 PM

Martina versus the lesbians

Martina Navratilova allegedly considers TV shows like "The L Word" to be "depraved." That's the claim in documents filed to fight the tennis star's lawsuit against Do Tell Inc., the folks behind the Rainbow affinity credit card. Navratilova claims the company refused to stop using her image after she demanded they cease and desist. (Details here.)

The counterclaim, according to this reputable site, insists that "Navratilova objected to the Rainbow Card being associated with the cable television soap operas 'The L Word' and 'Queer as Folk' on the Showtime channel. In January, Navratilova allegedly told the top officers of Do Tell Inc. that she no longer approved of any association between the Rainbow Card and the Showtime programs. According to the defence answer, filed last week, Navratilova called the shows 'depraved' and said she believes 'The L Word' falsely represents lesbians."
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