Friday, November 28, 2003


Voice of the beehive


In a shocking move to retro, Coronation Street has resurrected three of its old characters, Bet, Liz and Jim. They've also sent them all to Blackpool - Corrie always gets a little bit crazy in Blackpool, and these episodes have not disappointed. Maybe Bet and Liz could get a jobs as drag queens at Funny Girls - they've both got the look off pat.


Blow me




While in America I bought two gay-themed superhero comics, the Rawhide Kid and The Green Lantern (which was written by Judd from MTV's The Real World). The Rawhide Kid is set in the "wild west", although the kid seems to have stepped right out of current day Christopher Street. He dresses well, has an endless supply of camp one-liners and likes giving people makeovers. However, with that said, he's the fastest gun in the west and always wins a fight. He may be a queen but he's no sissy. The Green Lantern on the other hand isn't gay (sadly) but has a gay assistant who is the subject of a hate crime. This is all tackled in a more worthy after-school special kind of way which is wonderful, but all the same, I was still hoping for a little shallow superhero-on-superhero action.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Where I work has a policy about parking - you buy a pass and then yo can park in any of the free spaces. Last year though, too many passes were sold, and as a result, people started parking anywhere - particularly driving up onto grass, which looked awful, especially in winter when the grass got ruined. This year, the problem has gotten worse. Nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Now people don't even bother looking for a space, they just park anywhere that's convenient for them. It's driving me mad. And it's driving me mad that's it's driving me mad if you know what I mean. I've written formal letters of complaint, I've stormed into the security office demanding that something is done. But nothing changes. At best they put measly notes on cars telling them not to park there again. Can anyone suggest any (legal) solutions to this?

On a better note, the women in my department all went out for a meal and then announced on Monday morning that I'd been voted the best-dressed male in the department. Although, that's not really saying that much - if you saw some of the fashion choices of my colleagues, you'd know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

From http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/10885.htm

November 16, 2003 -- Two Maryland high school girls who locked lips in school to protest homophobia are paying a big price: two-day suspensions. Senior Katherine Pecore and junior Stephanie Haaser staged their kiss in the middle of lunch at River Hill HS in Clarksville over a week ago. "It wasn't an affection thing. It was really just a statement," said Pecore, 17.

Haaser's English teacher had asked his students to perform a "nonconformist act" as part of a section on Transcendentalist authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Most students opted for little indiscretions - eating cereal at lunch, for example, or calling teachers by their first names. But Haaser, 17, cooked up something bigger.

The two girls climbed on top of a lunch table and shouted, "End homophobia now!" Then the girls, both of whom describe themselves as heterosexual, made out. Estimates for the length of the kiss range from 10 to 15 seconds. "It was full on," Pecore said. "It was intense."

There was stunned silence in the crowded cafeteria at first. But soon staff and students at River Hill could talk about little else. Both girls, who are top students, were quickly suspended.

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You can email the guy who suspended them, Scott Pfeifer at spfeifer@hcpss.org. He claims "There is no policy against kissing in the cafeteria. I'm confident I made the right decision. Anybody who would stand up and do a disruptive act, I would treat them the same way." The fact that it happened to be two girls "is totally meaningless to me." From http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A42718-2003Nov14?language=printer



Monday, November 17, 2003

Say what you like about this Labour government but for whatever reason, their track record on gay equality has been good - the removal of the ban on gay people in the armed forces, the equalisation of the age of consent to 16 and now, the last day of Clause 28. Clause 28 was a particularly spiteful bit of legislation introduced in the late 1980s by Maggie's conservatives which intended to prevent the "promotion of homosexuality by local education authorities". It was a badly worded and homophobic law and backfired on the conservatives quite badly by providing a focus around which gay rights activists could organise themselves and unite.

Scotland dumped the clause a couple of years ago - despite millionairre Brian Souter's "Keep The Clause" campaign. Souter financed a huge vote across Scotland, although received a very low number of actual responses and missed out large numbers of the population because he was relying on an out-of-date electoral register - a lot of his own money down the drain that could have been put to much better use if donated to a children's charity. Souter's "Keep the Clause" website was one which I parodied with my own "Kill the Clause" site. Souter's site also backfired somewhat in that its messageboards became over-run with insane homophobic bigots who threatened violence to people (one guy actually lost his job over his postings) and revealed many of the Keep the Clause supporters to be TOTAL PSYCHOS. The site eventually had to be closed down because it got out of control and became a disgrace to the people who were running it.

Poor old dead Baroness Young and Lord Longford (two of the craziest homophobes in the House of Lords) will be turning in theirs graves tomorrow when the Clause is finally consigned to the scrap heap (except in Kent where they've drafted their own version of it). Still, after tomorrow, the UK will be a better place. Seeya Clause, don't wanna be ya.

Friday, November 14, 2003

One of my favourite films of all-time is The Boys in the Band - a pre-Stonewall drunken bitch-fest which has lines like "Well, he has an interesting face and body but it turns me right off because he can't talk intelligently about art, who could love someone like that? I could and you could, that's who, Mary she's gorgeous! etc" You get the idea.



At the end of the play, practically all of the characters hate each other after experiencing various revelationary moments. There's a lot of shouting and crying. You wonder what's going to happen to all of them.

Well, Mart Crowley has written a sequel - "The Men from the Boys" - set in the present-day, the cast assemble for one more party (this time a memorial to one of their number who has died.) They're older but no more wiser - the sniping still flows. And there are three younger "hot" men who the original characters can fight over, ogle, spend too much money on, not get their queer politics and ultimately be disappointed by. Still, it's nice to see that Harold and Emory are still no top form. Hurrah.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

When I was younger I was into those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books - they were for geeky kids who liked Dungeons and Dragons, but didn't have enough social skills to have the requisite number of friends to get a game going. Choose Your Own Adventure books let the reader make various choices at different stages in the narrative e.g. "If you want to fight the dragon go to page 45, use the gold key - go to 65 or cast a spell - 53." As an alternative to computer games, I whiled away hours with these books - by favourites were the ones by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone - with titles like Citadel of Chaos and House of Hell, they allowed teenage introverts like myself to get lost in alternative universes were they had control and could beat up their enemies - probably not too healthy really).



While in New York, I stumbled across a new series of Choose Your Own Adventure books, this time with a gay twist (everything has a gay twist nowadays). Escape From Fire Island has you fighting zombie drag queens while attempting to save your slutty friend Jose. The only other book in the series is called "Night of a Thousand Boyfriends" (which is a bit excessive admittedly) although apparently others are planned including Quest for Streisand and Journey to the Bottom of Ben Affleck.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Visiting New York, with the lovely Dan who knows all the best places to go to. Am typing this in an Easy internet cafe, sitting next to Edith Massey's twin brother Crazy McCrazy.

It's been a while since I've been here and I'm always interested in the subtle shifts that have occurred since my last trip. At the Virgin Megastore and a few other places you now pay by swiping your own card and writing your signature on an electronic screen. Flatbread is everywhere - you can't get normal bread anymore. I've seen the future and it's a "denim bar".



My new favourite film is Die Mommie Die - a Charles Busch masterpiece, where he parodies all of those old Joan Crawford/Bette Davis movies with such skill that it actually transcends parody and becomes a new genre all in itself. Jason Priestly also plays a bisexual gigolo, so it's worth seeing for that alone.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy descended onto British shores last night (well for people who have UK Living anyhow). Having heard about this programme, I already had issues with it - the whole "gay men as fashion gurus" adds fuel to a certain sterotype. Why couldn't the gay guys be helping the straight guy to fix his car, read a map or do better at sports?

Still, once you accept that it is all about the stereotypes (and at least they're a notch up from the gay man as paedophile (I wonder how many extra google hits typing that word'll get me - be gone before I drop a house on you), gay man as communist threat and gay man as violent killer), you can let your IQ wander off somewhere and laugh at the bitchy asides and camp humour. There are also a number of "top tips" for male grooming - work the hair wax in from the back and use a comb to trim over-long eyebrows...

Mark Simpson wrote an article last week pointing out that NOT all gay men have good taste anyway - Elton John, Dale Winton, Boy George and Graham Norton were among those named and shamed. Incidentally - Boy George's gaydar profile is allegedly here. I'm impressed at his vocabulary at least.

So, going into Kilroy/Trisha mode... Are you a gay man? Do you have good/bad taste? Please share your story with us here.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I have been troubled by tiny white spots on my face for some years, which don't respond to picking or squeezing. They are pretty much unnoticeable except to me (I am my harshest critic). I once mentioned them to my doctor who told me there was nothing I could do about them. However, I did a bit of google research and found out that they are called milia and they are small deposits of oil that get trapped under the skin. I then tried to find someone locally who would remove them. A number of websites claimed to do such a thing, although the first I phoned told me that they don't take men (!) The second booked me an appointment for Saturday morning.

I was first subjected to a facial, which meant lying down under a duvet and having a woman rub different smelly things into my face. This took a long time and she said things like "We're now going to exfoliate, cleanse and tone the skin." Afterwards, she ran a machine which gave an electrical charge to my face. I didn't feel much. Then she pulled out a big needle and proceeded to poke holes in me so she could extract the milia. It came out as little white lumps which she showed me. She couldn't get all of them, as some are too deep, but I was encouraged to purchase a Clarins product which may help them rise to the surface.
Afterwards my face had a number of large angry swollen red areas which have since gone down. Although admittedly, she has done a better job than I would have - who knew there was an art to squeezing spots?