Month: January 2014

Russian Actor Sued; Pink Poodle Attack; Free Gay Excerpt

Russian Actor Sued

When I posted about Russian sitcom actor, Ivan Okhlobystin, calling for gays to be burned alive, I had a feeling there would be some kind of follow up coming soon. In this case the actor is now being sued by a gay activist in Russia, Nikolay Bayev. Bayev seems to want justice more than money. He’s asking for Okhlobystin to apologize and for what basically amounts to around $900 US dollars.

Okhlobystin made the comments during a speech to fans in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk in December – also adding that he wanted ‘faggots’ stripped of their voting rights because they are a ‘psychical anomaly.’

You can read more here.

What really shocks me the most is the way any sane person can ask for any group to be burned alive knowing what happened during the Holocaust.

Pink Poodle Attack

Evidently, a gay couple was out walking their pink poodle and they were attacked by a man with a crowbar. And now the man’s wife has been found guilty in connection with the attack because she lied to police and said her husband was hiding in Target, and she continued to change her story. Her attorney claims she lied because she couldn’t live without this gem of a husband. She now faces up to 20 years in prison.

 David Beltier, the 26-year-old victim, was with his boyfriend Jeremy Mark walking their pink poodle ‘Beauty’ when he was hit.

 After the attack, according to KATU, he said he was lucky to be alive.

You can read more here.

I’m surprised the poodle was so calm during the attack…unless I’m not getting the full story. We have two poodles and one is far more aggressive than the other and his bite is far worse than his bark. I have seen him go after people for just looking at me the wrong way.

Free Gay Excerpt

When you write genre fiction it’s different from the way other mainstream fiction writers work because you have a readership that tends to expect and want more books a year. And sometimes writers get busy working on current projects and they don’t always talk about all their books in as much depth as they should. So I’m posting this excerpt from When Harry Met Sal, today because it’s one of the books I didn’t talk about too much. It’s also a good example of the kind of parody I used to do more often but have strayed away from doing because it seems to ruffle so many feathers. The interesting thing is that the main association with my book and the film, When Harry Met Sally, is the parody of the title. The rest of the book is completely different from the film and you can see this just from reading the blurb. One main character is a professional poker player and the other is a semi-famous interior designer. There’s also a pet pig in the story, a quirky old housekeeper, and a few more surprises I won’t get into now. But my point is that even though the title is a parody, the book is very little like the film.

You can find it here, and here. This book does not have tons of reviews on Amazon. In fact, the one review it has reads like a fake review from a bully who just wanted to slam me and the book for their own self-pleasure and to harm my book sales back in 2010. I wouldn’t have discussed this back then, but I don’t feel awkward talking about it now. And we all know by now how often this happens on Amazon. Unfortunately there’s nothing an honest author can do about it. I could pay for twenty or more good reviews to balance that one out like other sleazebag authors do. But in the end I think most readers know that reviews like this aren’t real and no one really pays attention to them anymore. If you want to read a good cross-section of reviews for this book, check out this link at Goodreads.com. All the GR reviews I believe are honest and real, the good and the bad. I know a lot of authors have complained about goodreads, but so far I’ve never had any issues there and I’ve always thought my reviews were accurate.

Excerpt…from original manuscript in raw form:

Chapter One

 

It seemed like the entire university was packing to leave on the day Harry and Sal first met.

Harry was loading his little red mini cooper on a warm Sunday afternoon in June of 2004. He’d just graduated and he was driving to New York to start a new life. The Stanford campus…a sprawling example of Californiaarchitectural design, with magnificent Spanish style buildings and modern masterpieces intermingled on neat little roads lined with lush palm trees…rocked with a sense of excitement and urgency that day. Harry was double checking his bicycle. It was attached to one of those roof racks where the bike stood up straight and looked as if it was being held in place by a pair of invisible hands. When he lifted his arms up to make sure the bike was secure, his red T-shirt rode up and exposed the small of his naked back. He had a deep, natural arch that curved in. His jeans were loose and fell low on his hips and you could see the waistband of his white briefs. A small silver convertible slowed down and a good looking guy with thick blond hair leaned forward to check out his body.

Harry’s boyfriend, Mark, moved closer and gave the blond guy a dirty look. Then he lowered his eyebrows, put his hand on Harry’s ass, and squeezed it a few times so the guy would get the hint and move on.

The guy in the convertible shrugged and hit the gas, and Harry jerked forward and said, “What are you doing, man?” His arms were still up high; his flat stomach was pressed against the window. And Mark’s hand was still on his ass.

Mark smiled. “I’m letting that guy know that you’re with me,” he said. “He was staring at you and he was licking his lips.” He stood straight and squared his broad shoulders. Mark was a football player and he lifted weights daily.

Harry sighed. “Well you can let go now. He’s gone.” When they first started dating two years earlier, Mark’s possessive nature made him laugh. But now he only forced a smile and tried hard not to roll his eyes at Mark’s childish behavior.

A few minutes later, the bike was secure and Harry was ready to leave. He leaned forward and kissed Mike good-bye. The tiny car was filled with boxes and suitcases and books. The back end loped down and you couldn’t see out the rear window. He grabbed Mike’s bicep and kissed him on the lips. “I’ll call you later from the road,” he said. “Be good.” He hated long good-byes and he didn’t want to drag this out longer than necessary.

But Mike grabbed Harry by the shoulders and put his massive arms around his waist. He pulled him close, shoved his tongue into his mouth, and kissed him hard. Then he said, “I want more than just a peck on the lips. I’m not going to see you for a while.”

Harry gently ran his fingers up Mark’s arm and said, “I just feel weird kissing this way out in public, is all. It’s kind of tacky.” It wasn’t because he was gay. If he’d been straight he would have felt the same way about kissing a woman in public. The campus was mobbed; they were in front of Branner Hall.  People were carrying foot lockers, loading cars, and dragging suitcases all around them. He didn’t want to put on a show.

 But that didn’t stop Mark. He was one of those overly affectionate types that loved to hug and grope in public. When they were alone, he barely touched him. But for some reason that Harry couldn’t understand, Mark couldn’t wait to feel him up in public.

He slipped his large hand down the back of Harry’s jeans and squeezed his flesh so hard Harry bit his bottom lip and rolled his eyes. “I don’t give a damn,” Mark said. “I’m going to get one more handful of that hot ass before you leave and I don’t care who is watching.”

Harry didn’t pull away. Mark was good with his hands. He knew where to put them and how to use them. So Harry put his arms around Mark’s shoulders and kissed him again. While they kissed, a couple of guys passing on bicycles slowed down; an older man in a seersucker blazer almost tripped on his own feet. But when Mark tried to put his other huge hand down Harry’s pants, the button popped open and the zipper went down. Harry stepped back fast and Mark’s hand slid out. He pulled up his pants and fastened them, hoping no one was watching.

Then he pulled his car keys out of his pocket and crossed to the other side of the car. “I’ll call you later,” he said. “And I’ll see you in New York in a couple of months.” He’d already rented a studio apartment on East 24th Street in Manhattan. Harry was starting graduate school in the fall. His undergraduate degree was in fine art, and he’d been accepted into a graduate program at a New Yorkschool to study interior design. Mark was moving east in late August to start law school in Connecticut. He could have gone back with Harry, but he was from San Francisco and he had a summer internship lined up with his father’s law firm.

When Harry got into the car and switched the engine, Mark tapped the roof hard and shouted. “Drive safe, baby.”

He pulled away from the curb and threw his arm out the window. While he waved, he looked into the side mirror and saw Mark standing in the middle of the street. He was grinning and nodding his head up and down. His strong legs were spread wide and his right arm was up. He didn’t wave; he just lifted his palm and held it there. Harry hit the gas pedal and sighed so loud that it sounded as if a huge stone had been lifted off his back.

After that, he drove to The Fire Truck House to say good-bye to a very good friend. Her name was Marla and they’d both been fine art majors. He’d met her on the first day of class four years earlier, and they’d been best friends since then. She was standing in front of the building waving her arms. Her newest boyfriend was standing next to her. Harry had heard about him, but he hadn’t officially met him yet because she’d only been dating him for two weeks.

The Fire Truck House was a cream colored gem, with a red tiled roof, that dated back to l904, where Harry had spent a great deal of time in the LGBT community resource center. He’d already said good-bye to Marla a hundred times, but he wanted to hug her again just once more.

He parked slantwise and jumped out of the car. Marla loped toward him and threw her arms around his shoulders. Her long blond hair fell over her shoulders in thick clumps, and her black camisole hung from her thin body. She hugged him hard and said, “I’m going to miss you so much.”

Then she stepped back and stood beside a swarthy young guy with short, black hair and large, dark sunglasses. He was wearing a tight black T-shirt and loose fitting jeans that look about an inch too long. His black leather shoes were shiny and pointed. There was a heavy gold wristwatch on his left arm that looked out of place for someone so young. Marla grabbed the guy’s arm and said, “This is Sal Sorentino. Sal, this is Harry Beckham.”

Harry tilted his head and extended his arm. He shook his hand and said, “It’s nice to meet you, Sal.” He noticed a black leather suitcase beside him. His torso was long and lanky and his forearms were covered with an even layer of black hair.

Sal didn’t remove his sunglasses. He didn’t smile. He shook Harry’s hand and said, “You too, buddy.” His voice was deep, with a hoarse, raspy quality.

Marla smiled at Sal and grabbed Harry’s arm. She pulled him to the other side of the car and said, “I have a small favor to ask.” She lowered her eyes and pouted.

Harry’s eyebrows went up. He knew her well enough to know that her tone suggested that she wanted a really big favor, not a small one. He smiled. “What now?”

“Sal needs a ride to New York,” she said. “He got a call this morning about a job offer. He just graduated with a degree in Math, and this is a good offer.”

“Why doesn’t he fly?”

She shrugged. “He can’t afford it. He worked his way through school, and he has a ton of student loans to pay off. He was planning on staying out here and getting a job, and then this offer came up out of the blue. I offered to loan him the money for the air fair, and he flatly refused. He has a lot of pride and he won’t take hand outs.”

Harry looked over at Sal. He was standing there quietly, with his hands in his pockets and his head pointed down. The thought of driving cross country with a total stranger in the car made his stomach turn a few times. And if Mark found out that he was traveling with a strange guy, Mark would lose his mind. “I don’t know,” Harry said. “It could be awkward. I don’t even know the guy. And this car is so small.”

“He can pay for half the gas,” she said. Then she reached for his hand and smiled. “He’s a nice guy, and he’s too stubborn to take any money from me. Besides, you’ll have company all the way to New York. I hate the idea of you driving all that way alone.”

Harry had always admired that kind of pride. He wouldn’t have taken money from anyone either. So he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’ll do it. But Mark can’t find out about this. He’ll really freak out.”

Marla took a deep breath and frowned. She’d never been a huge fan of Mark’s. She didn’t like the way he took control of Harry’s life, and she didn’t like the way Harry let him do it. “What Mark doesn’t know, won’t hurt him,” she said. Then she lifted her arm and shouted to Sal, “You’re going to New York today.”

Sal lifted his head, but he didn’t smile. Then he reached down for his bag and loped toward the car. He walked on the balls of his feet, with a light, carefree bounce. He crossed toward them and said, “Thanks, buddy. I really appreciated this. I’ll pay for half the gas, too.”

Harry waved his arm and said, “Don’t worry about it. I was going to pay for the gas anyway.”

But Sal lifted his sunglasses and looked him in the eye. “I insist,” he said. “It’s the least I can do. You’re doing me a huge favor, and I really appreciate it, man.”

Harry nodded and said, “That sounds fair. And you can help with the driving, too.”

While Harry found a place in the back seat for Sal’s suitcase, Marla put her arms around Sal’s shoulders and kissed him good-bye. It was a fast kiss, without much passion, and nothing like the sexy scene that Mark had created back at Branner Hall. Then she stepped away from him and hugged Harry again. “I’ll see you in the fall,” she said. She was moving to Los Angeles that week to start a new job as an assistant art director with a film company. And she was planning a visit to New York in October.

And as they pulled away, she shouted, “Call me.”

When Harry looked into the side mirror, he saw her standing with her elbow in her hand and two fingers pressed to her lips. He sighed and said, “I’m going to miss her most of all. I don’t know what I’m going to do in New York without her.”

Sal shrugged his shoulders and adjusted his seatbelt. Then he spread his legs wider and slapped Harry on the thigh. He smiled and said, “She’s great. I’m gonna miss her, too.”

Harry’s eyes opened wide, and he looked to the right without moving his head. Sal had slapped him hard; it stung and he wanted to rub his thigh. But he bit the inside of his mouth and said, “If you want to listen to music, feel free to put on anything you want.”

Sal lifted his arms and yawned. “Naw,” he said. “I like the quiet.” Then he adjusted his seat to a backward slant and rested his head against the leather. He was still wearing the dark glasses, so you couldn’t see if his eyes were open or closed.


Kirk Cameron on Gay Marriage; Gay Men and Lesbians and Tyler Curry

Kirk Cameron on Gay Marriage

Former childhood sitcom star, Kirk Cameron, recently commented on facebook about how the Grammy Awards glorified gay marriage and how it was an “assault on the traditional family.”

The post was, undoubtedly, a means of self-promotion for the 43-year-old’s newest flick, “Mercy Rule,” which co-stars his wife and is apparently about “family, faith and baseball.” Self-promotion drenched in homophobia, that is.

Cameron was not the only one to voice his condemnation of the Grammys’ mass wedding. Other conservatives took to Twitter, freaking out over the same-sex marriages taking place on live primetime television.

You can read Cameron’s full FB update here, and also a few other comments from people who didn’t find him enlightening or relevant.

Once again I’d like to state I have no issues with Cameron’s movie, his self-indulgence, or his blatant self-promotion at my expense and the expense of millions of other gay people around the world. And that’s more than he can say about my recent marriage to Tony.

But I wish him luck. Because even as I write this post the “traditional” family is changing and evolving constantly. Men are staying home and women are going out to work. People are divorcing and re-marrying and now ex-wives and ex-husbands are dealing with each other as family on a daily basis with 50/50 custody, and so are their new spouses.

It must be terrible to be Cameron and to be so unwilling to accept natural changes in society.

Gay Men and Lesbians

In this next Huff Po article by someone I’ve never heard of, Tyler Curry, it gets into this so-called vast ocean between gay men and lesbians, as if all gay men and all lesbians never come together. First, I think this is just another example of how Huff Po seems to give the wrong people a platform. Second, even though Curry thinks this is the truth I don’t and I’m also talking from experience…first hand experience.

It’s not because lesbians prefer acoustic rock, and gay men require the thumping beat of a disco queen. Nor is it because there is any real issue of substance that keeps our brunch tables mutually exclusive. Simply, gay men and lesbians feel isolated from one another because we are two completely different animals who are forced to share the same cage.

When I evaluate my close circle of friends and allies, I’m ashamed to say it’s hard to think of one lesbian who I can call when I need her. Sure, I know many wonderful gay women who I would love to ring up for a coffee date or share cocktails and laughs, but for some reason, there’s a quiet division that has kept these platonic boy-girl dates from happening.

Before I get into anything else, I’d like to comment that when Tony was hospitalized and I needed friends and support my two best lesbian friends, Sue and Joanne, were there for me. They even asked if I needed money because they knew I probably hadn’t even thought about going to the bank. I didn’t need anything but their emotional support and they gave it to me willingly.

With that said, I think Curry’s post comes from a place of immaturity and from the mind set of a younger gay man who is only concerned about what shirt he’s going to wear to the disco next Saturday night. And that’s about as simple and plain as it gets, and not all that unusual. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s talking about because he hasn’t experienced enough of life yet to know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong. I have known many lesbians in my life, we’ve always been close, and we’ve never actually experienced this vast “ocean” between us. Of course there are cultural differences. I’m not saying there aren’t. But to put up a post like that in public makes me wonder how silly Curry is going to feel about ten years from now after he’s experienced a little life in a general sense.

You can read more here.

He does save himself at the end with this comment:

Fortunately, as the gay community continues to develop, and our identities feel more defined, we just might discover there is no better friend a person can have than his or her twin brother or sister.

I just wish he wouldn’t include me in that statement because I have evolved, and so have many gay men and lesbians I know. I think what he should have written is that as he and his friends continue to develop, etc…

One more reason why it’s important to make broad generalizations with care. And also one more example of how different the LGBTI community can be. I think there would be a larger ocean between Curry and me as gay men.

Wedding Pics; Phineas Swann; "The State of Marriage" Film

Wedding Pics; Phineas Swann; “The State of Marriage” Film

Those who follow this blog know I don’t usually post too much personal info, and rarely any photos. But I’ve been posting about gay marriage since I began this blog about six years ago and I would be highly remiss if I didn’t at least post a few photos of my own marriage…and talk about a few points I think might interest a few people.

First, when Tony asked me in December what I wanted to do as far as wedding plans go I said I wanted to keep everything very simple and quiet. Even though the significance of getting legally married trumps almost anything for me, I still didn’t want to make a huge thing of it because we have been together for twenty-one years. So Tony found an inn in Northern Vermont called Phineas Swann that looked perfect. And it was perfect. They have a wedding package, the rooms are wonderful, the town of Montgomery, Vermont is magical, Phineas Swann is pet friendly, and I could go on forever about how great the entire wedding was thanks to the town of Montgomery, VT and the owners of the Phineas Swann Inn…Lynn and Darren. After a long seven hour drive up there on Monday in constant snow…with two dogs…they made us feel welcome, and never took the reason why we were there in the first place for granted. So if you are straight or gay and you’re looking for the absolute perfect place to get married quietly, I would highly (five star) recommend Phineas Swann in Montgomery, VT. (And I swear I did not get a discount to plug them this way.) Tony and I have stayed in many inns and B&Bs on Cape Cod and none could compare to how wonderful these people are at Phineas Swann. They left nothing out, from rose petals on the bed to chocolate covered strawberries near the fireplace.

Even though we wanted a quiet, simple wedding, we wound up being part of a documentary on same sex marriage completely by sheer accident. Film producer, Jeff Kaufman, from Floating world Pictures was looking for a place to shoot a few scenes in Vermont, with Vermont Supreme Court Justice, Beth Robinson, and he chose Phineas Swann at random and it just happened to be the week we were getting married. When Lynn from Phineas Swann called us a few weeks ago and told us Jeff Kaufman wanted to film us we did hesitate for a moment, but when we found out Vermont Supreme Court Justice, Beth Robinson, would actually be performing the marriage ceremony we agreed immediately. Robinson was one of the first to help legalize civil unions in the country and that in itself was an honor. The documentary, “The State of Marriage,” is equally important to same sex marriage and Tony and I both decided we wanted to be part of making history in our own small way. I’m also huge believer in fate, and the fact that none of this was planned made it even more significant…and emotional. There was a time back in 2007 when I truly did think Tony was going to die and we would never get the chance to marry legally. In those darkest hours that I find hard to even describe I never would have dreamed we would have a wedding like this. When you’re sitting in an ICU in the hospital nothing really makes much sense.

But make no mistake about it. The main focus at all times was the wedding. Beth Robinson made this clear during the ceremony, and Jeff Kaufman respected it and he was nothing but gracious. The crew were some of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. And oddly enough, though we were a little nervous about being filmed that way, once the ceremony began and Beth Robinson started speaking, it was as if the film crew wasn’t even in the room. There was so much emotion I had to really work hard to hold it together. I’m usually a very stoic person, but this time the emotions were running wild.

I will post more information about “The State of Marriage” documentary in the future as I get it. From what I gather one main focus will be on Beth Robinson and all she’s done for LGBTI people and equality. Other than that, it really was a nice quiet little wedding in comfortable surroundings in one of the most beautiful places in the US. Even going to the town clerk and getting the marriage license was a great experience. And it’s something Tony and I will both remember for many years to come, with love.

Here are a few photos, taken by Darren on my iPad. One of the perks we got for agreeing to be in the film was a video of the ceremony, which I don’t have yet.

 
During the actual ceremony, with Beth Robinson and the owners of Phineas Swann, Lynn and Darren.

 
After the ceremony, with Beth Robinson, cutting the cake.

 
Me trying not to tower over Beth Robinson and Tony

 
Talking to the guys in the film crew about our vows.

 
Filming during the ceremony that I didn’t even realize was happening until I saw this photo.

 
A very tired red poodle sleeping in our room at Phineas Swann after a very long drive.
 
A flower arrangement sent from an old friend, Literary agent Harvey Klinger, who has always been very supportive of us.  

Consultation with Christine Pride; AIDS Discrimination

Consultation with Christine Pride

I’m not sure this would be for genre authors, but it might work for them, too. Christine Pride is an experienced editor with Random House and Hyperion who has edited eight NYT bestsellers. I found out about this consultation on an author blog, Nathan Bransford, and I thought I’d share it in case anyone is interested. I’ll comment below.

Pride mentions this:

I’m offering a limited number of one hour Skype or phone sessions from February 10th to February 15th. This is your chance to have one-on-one time with an industry veteran to get individualized advice, information and answers.

The consultation fee is $200. And I think if you have $200 to invest in your writing career with a publishing professional it certainly couldn’t hurt. But on the other hand, you don’t find $200 dollars in the street every day and there are many authors making that in digital publishing on their own right now without investing a dime in advice from consultations. They’re spending their money and time in marketing and promotion.

So while I don’t think it could hurt anyone to do something like this, it’s probably not something I would ever do. But this one falls into the category of what’s not right for me might be right for you.

You can read more here.

AIDS Discrimination

We don’t hear about this sort of thing all the time, but it is still happening and I think it’s important to make people aware that it’s happening. A gay worker in the UK was allegedly asked by his employer if he has AIDS. The boss also used other offensive gay pejoratives I won’t repeat here.

A gay British worker has spoken out after his boss asked ‘Do you have AIDS?’ when he was ill.

Jack Howell, 36, said he was ‘mortified’ after boss Peter Chambers made the comment when he had come out of a toilet looking pale and sweating.

At a tribunal hearing yesterday (28 January), Chambers admitted it was ‘inappropriate’ but said it was part of ‘office banter’.

You can read more here.

The worker does have a condition called Raynaud’s Phenomenon, but because he’s gay his boss allegedly decided to stereotype him.

I know this kind of thing happens more often than not, and most of the time we don’t hear about it because the workers are too mortified to speak up.

Stars Famous for Penis; Gay History Russia

Stars Famous for Penis

I’m doing most of my posting from a tablet from Monday to Wednesday this week, so please excuse the changes in font and style.

Here’s a list of stars who have become well known for their penises. Most have other talents, too, so don’t sell them short, so to speak. The first is Michael Fassbender.
He’s thirty-six years old today, and if you’re anything like me and the rest of the population (whether female or otherwise), when anyone mentions his name, a giant image of a penis flashes into your brain. Even if you haven’t seen Shame, the move where he so memorably and full frontally and prolong…edly displays his saucy man-bits, you’ve heard enough and full frontally and prolong…edly displays his saucy man-bits, you’ve heard enough about it by now that your brain does most of the work on its own. Michael Fassbender

http://www.crushable.com/2013/04/02/entertainment/michael-fassbender-penis-celebrities-famous-for-nudity/

Gay History Russia

With all the content floating around about gay hate and anti-gay laws in Russia these days, I’ve been curious about what gay history in Russia has been like, and how gays were treated. This next article goes into detail, and mentions many things I never knew.

Medieval Russia was apparently very tolerant of homosexuality. There is evidence of homosexual love in some of the lives of the saints from Kievan Rus dating to the 11th century. Homosexual acts were treated as a sin by the Orthodox Church, but there were no legal sanctions against them at the time, and even churchmen seemed perturbed by homosexuality only in the monasteries. Foreign visitors to Muscovite Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries repeatedly express their amazement at the open displays of homosexual affection among men of every class. Sigismund von Heberstein, Adam Olearius, Juraj Krizhanich, and George Turberville all write about the prevalence of homosexuality in Russia in their travel and memoir literature. The 19th century historian Sergei Soloviev writes that “nowhere, either in the Orient or in the West, was this vile, unnatural sin taken as lightly as in Russia.”

It’s long, but fascinating. You can read more here.

Gay Journalist Beaten; Liberace’s Lover Facing Jail Time

Gay Journalist Beaten

A young gay journalist living in Manhattan, Randy Gener, was found with his head bashed in on January 18th and now they are looking into whether or not it was a hate crime. The journalist is still alive, in stable condition, but can’t answer questions. I would imagine he suffered enough head trauma to alter his memory as well. But that’s just speculation.

When police arrived, the victim was lying in a pool of his blood with his head bashed in. According to Eyewitness News Live, a local ABC station, Gener was transported to hospital where he underwent brain surgery.

He’s reported for The New York Times and New York Daily News.

You can read more here.

Living within almost equal distance between New York City and Philadelphia, I always find New York to be the safer of the two cities. But these days you just can’t take anything for granted at all.

Liberace’s Lover Facing Jail Time

In the past year or so a good deal was written about Scott Thorson, who was once Liberace’s long term lover and the focus of an HBO film starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra. I’ve posted about it here.

He was sentenced to eight to 20 years in a Nevada jail yesterday (23 January) for failing a string of drug test while on probation for burglary and identity theft convictions.

My only comment is generalized. Whenever you see a very young man of limited means with a much older man of unlimited means, there’s almost always a little back story and the least of it is pure love. The film, Behind the Candelabra, about Liberace and Thorson’s relationship seemed to portray Liberace as the powerful, cold-hearted older lover and Thorson as the innocent young victim who was cut off without a dime when Liberace got tired of him. And now Thorson, many years later, is going to jail for some very serious offenses. Time tells all.

You can read more here. There’s a photo of Thorson as he looks now. He’s old now, but strikes a remarkable resemblance to Liberace, probably thanks to the plastic surgery he underwent, allegedly at Liberace’s request.

Goldie Hawn Sorry to Gays; Lance Bass on Bachelor Star

Goldie Hawn Sorry to Gays

A photo tweeted by Goldie Hawn evidently started a minor firestorm because it was a pic of Hawn with anti-gay Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan. Hawn had no idea he was anti-gay, and she not only apologized but also admitted the photo should cause controversy.

Hawn, who deleted the tweet and apologized to a number of her Twitter followers, called Jonathan’s anti-gay actions “very fear-based” and “full of hatred.”

“It breaks my heart because I have my own personal feelings about this,” Hawn said. “This is man’s inhumanity to man of the first order.”

It’s an honest mistake anyone could have made. And, I’ve read a few of Goldie Hawn’s books and loved each one. Her auto-bio was one of the most candid I’ve ever read, and she writes with an honest voice and you always feel that she’s keeping it real.

You can read more here.

Lance Bass on Bachelor Star

A few weeks ago star of TV show, The Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis, made a few comments about not having gays on The Bachelor that disgruntled many people. He thought having gays on the show would be too much, and used the word “pervert.” Immediately following this, he made a huge apology to the world and explained that he often uses the wrong words when translating to English, he has gay friends, he supports gays, and he did not communicate his thoughts as well as he should have.

Lance Bass was asked about Galavis and he responded this way:

‘I don’t hate him at all,’ Bass told the Associated Press this week. ‘I still think he’s cute.’

Personally, I couldn’t care less what Juan Pablo Galavis looks like. But I don’t hate him either. Although he has a great deal to learn about many things, I do think his apology was sincere. At least I hope it was. Many others make gay hate comments and they stand by them.

You can read more here. Photo is in the public domain.

Seven Famous Penises; Museum Penis; Penis Facts

Seven Famous Penises

There’s been a lot written out there about penises, but much hasn’t been publicized well. So I thought I would start to focus on the topic once in a while, for both educational and recreational reasons.
 

Here’s an article that talks about the seven most famous penises in history. I know that might sound a little self-indulgent on my part. But it’s not every day you come across a list like that and I thought I would share.

 

The penis. So well-known, yet so enigmatic. For many women, the human penis remains one of life’s eternal mysteries. When we here at The Frisky Labs aren’t sitting around talking about our vaginas, we sit around talking about men’s penises. How do they work? Why do they look like that? What is the deal? We may not have answers, but we do have a lot of questions. In the spirit of better understanding this elusive member of the male anatomy, we bring you some of the most notorious phalluses in human history.

 

You can read the article in full, here. http://www.thefrisky.com/2008-12-14/seven-famous-penises-in-history/ A few names might surprise you.

 

Museum Penis

 

In keeping with today’s theme of all things penis, this next article discusses penises at the American Museum of Natural History.

 

 It will make you feel like a kid again, if only because all the nudity will lower your maturity level significantly. Seriously, the place puts more dick in your face than a glory hole on Christopher Street. It really seems to emphasize the “natural” over the “history.” Here, we collect every single penis exhibited in the entire museum. You’re welcome.

 

 
 
Penis Facts

 

I think some of the things in his article are very interesting. It’s a list of facts about the penis that’s more academic than naughty.

 

Here’s one:

 

The word “penis” is from the Latin meaning “tail.” The plural of penis is penises or penes. The word “phallus” is sometimes used to mean “penis,” but traditionally it is used to describe images or symbols of the penis.

 

You can read the rest here, which will be followed very soon with a penis quiz.

 

A Fool’s Opinion on HIV; Coke Bans Gay

A Fool’s Opinion on HIV

I hadn’t planned on posting anything too exciting today because I’m getting ready for the road trip to Vermont to get married, and it’s cold as freak here. But when I saw this absolutely idiotic, self-indulgent piece of garbage in Huff Po about people with HIV I had to at least post a few comments that might disabuse the person who wrote it of a few misconceptions that seem to be based on inexperience. And he doesn’t just mention people with HIV. He even gets into people with cancer and other serious illnesses. Maybe I’m a little overly sensitive to these things right now because I’ve been following the ongoing emotional health crisis with authors TJ Klune and Eric Arvin. Not to mention a serious health issue I’m dealing with right now with a family member that started around the day after Christmas. But then again, I don’t really think I’d feel that differently if these issues weren’t happening all around me.

The author of the article to which I’m linking is Mike Alvear. It states he’s written a few books, near his byline. I haven’t read them, nor do I plan to read them in the near future. I also know nothing about him other than what he wrote in this article, which basically states he’s sick and tired of hearing people with HIV, or anyone with any serious health issue, talk about how their disease helped make them better people.

If I hear one more HIV-positive man tell me he’s “grateful” for the disease because it made him a more peaceful, loving, open, honest person, I’m going to scream. Those afflicted by disease, any disease, whether it’s cancer or HIV, have taken a pernicious slide toward rationalizing their conditions as something “necessary” for them to achieve some kind of enlightenment.

I’ve been lucky enough in life to have avoided anything major with my health, but I knock on wood when I say that and I’m grateful for THAT all the time. I know what it’s like to see people around me lose their good health and in a matter of moments entire lives change in ways people never expected. And yes, that’s life. Sooner or later we are, indeed, all going to deal with one thing or another. However, I have also seen, first hand, how people have changed and evolved for the better because of their illnesses, and how they have become more enlightened and more peaceful, as a result of their health issues. Sometimes it takes a while to reach that point after diagnosis, but I have seen it happen more often than not. And this has nothing to do with minimizing something as serious as HIV or cancer. This is about learning how to live with, and deal with, something that has the potential to change you forever. And if someone tells me he or she is grateful for the disease because it helped take them closer to self-actualization, I’m thrilled for them.

In the article Alvear does mention a personal tragedy, and he had me wondering at that point…hoping there would be something more to the article than just negativity and this selfish, privileged inexperienced voice lacking empathy. But even with his own intense disclosure, the article continued to devolve to the point where if I did have a serious health issue and I did feel as if I’d become more enlightened because of it I would feel pretty awful by the end of the article.

He also slams Oprah, Deepak, and even Lance Armstrong. I don’t think he’s lived long enough, or has gone through enough in life, to fully understand the magnitude of taking on a topic like this. He should stick to writing books on being a good bottom instead of topics that require sensitivity and emotion. This is just another example of how the wrong people get a platform sometimes. I have personally seen people in full blown AIDS. I know what happens each step of the way. I’ve also seen this with cancer, from beginning to end.

Alvear draws this “humble” conclusion:

Here’s what I say to all my HIV-positive friends: Don’t be grateful. Don’t carry the burden of trying to make HIV your friend. Like all friends, it’ll expect you to be loyal and introduce it to your other friends.

While HIV is not your friend, it isn’t your enemy either. It just is. Learning to deal with it is an admirable accomplishment, but please, don’t tell us it’s a gift, or that your grateful.

Here’s what I say to my HIV positive friends, or anyone in a health crisis: if you think being HIV positive has made you a more enlightened person, and this kind of gratitude helps you deal with your disease, you have all my support and more. There are NO words I can say to make it better, so the best I can do is support you no matter what that entails. If you’re grateful for your disease, I’m in no position to judge you or anyone else, and neither is Mike Alvear.

You can read more here.

The comment thread is interesting. Most people reacted the same way I did. My heart ached for some.

One person wrote this:

I agree with some of the statements he makes, but others make my blood boil,
Some concepts that are unrelatable to anyone but those that have had that experience are difficult to talk about..


For me, the key word in that comment is experience, something Alvear clearly lacks. Again, he should stick to books about being a bottom.

Coke Bans Gay

Coke has a new marketing plan in South Africa that includes sharing a virtual can of Coke on social media, but the word “gay” has been banned.

Should a user attempt to personalise the can with “gay” on the Share a Coke website, the error message will read: “Oops. Let’s pretend you didn’t just type that.”

 Other banned words include sex, fuck, homo and dyke. The website does not, however, ban the word “straight.”

Coke is a sponsor of the Russian Olympics and has made no comments on Russia’s anti-gay laws.

You can read more here.

Side note: I know far more people who drink bottled water than soda. And that trend seems to be continuing as each year passes.

Brian Boitano Project; Gay NFL Story; Gay Cat Disowned

Brian Boitano Project


I recently posted about Brian Boitano’s emotional coming out moment at The White House, here. Now he has a TV show on HGTV where he travels to Italy to find his roots and winds up buying an ancient house and renovating it.

From the HGTV web site:

On a recent vacation to the old country, Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano discovered his Italian family, and the town his relatives migrated from. He also discovered, and ultimately purchased an old family home in desperate need of repair. Now Brian is taking it upon himself to totally renovate the home as a summer villa for family and friends to enjoy, and we are there for the journey!]

I’ve been recording and watching it and I think I’ve seen four shows so far. It’s surprisingly good, the scenery is wonderful, it’s interesting if you like historic renovation projects, and Boitano comes off as very endearing, creative, and talented. I never followed figure skating all that much and I knew basically nothing about Boitano other than bits and pieces I heard or read on the news. But he’s really much more than a figure skater, and this show is one of the fastest half hours on TV. His renovation projects are also very different…kind of restoration hardware meets French/Italian industrial, without once harming the integrity of the old home he’s renovating. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s adorable.

You can read more here. Photo here.


Gay NFL Love Story

This is really one of those touching/pragmatic things you read about more these days. And I don’t think it’s going to be the last time we see or hear about something like this…with men and women. There’s a new documentary out about a relationship between pro football players, Jerry Smith and David Kopay. In many ways it sounds a lot like a real life M/M romance set in the 1970’s. Only without the happy ending.

Smith was a star on the team, and according to the film, A Football Life, he struggled with the closet throughout his career. While many teammates knew that he was gay, Smith never discussed his sexuality openly. Amazingly, Smith found a protector in Redskins coach Vince Lombardi, who had a gay brother. Lombardi, who was notoriously tough, made it clear to the team that he would not tolerate any homophobic outburst directed at gay players.

You can read more here. The article also mentions AIDS and a few other interesting facts.

Gay Cat Disowned

Here’s something that’s just pure ignorance. A woman in Nigeria disowned her cat because she noticed unnatural sexual attraction, which in this case is same sex behavior.

“By this, the cat has made a record as the first cat to be so publicly declared gay and disowned by its owner,” writer Donatus Nadi notes in the article. As for the cat’s disgruntled owner, she would only add, “Anybody interested in this gay cat can have it because I have no further use of it.”

The male cat…Bull…was known to make advances toward other male cats in the woman’s household.

You can read more here.