Month: May 2015

Police Break Up Gay Rally in Moscow; Ian Reisner Made the New York Times; Ricky Martin’s Dating Challenges

Police Break Up Gay Rally in Moscow

Remember when many of us refused to support the Olympics in Russia because of the way LGBT people are being treated there? At the time, gay men like Johnny Weir thought we should separate sports from politics, and he supported the Russian Olympics…in the lamest way possible. They even sent a delegation to Russia with some very well known sports names in order to prove some kind of point. Well, they proved nothing and it should have been boycotted. Here’s what’s still happening in Russia to LGBT people.

Police broke up an unsanctioned gay rights rally in central Moscow on Saturday, detaining around 20 people, including anti-gay campaigners who attacked the activists. 

The campaigners had requested permission to hold a gay pride parade today, but Moscow authorities blocked the request for the tenth year in a row – an annual ritual that has come to symbolize Russian authorities’ hostility to public expressions of support for gay rights. 
A 2013 law against gay “propaganda” also sparked an outcry among Russian rights activists and in the West. But partly reflecting the influence of the Orthodox church, many Russians back the law or have negative feelings toward gays.
Ian Reisner Made The New York Times
Yes, this is the same Ian Reisner I posted about yesterday, and several times in the past. Evidently, the New York Times thought this was newsworthy, too. And, there’s more to the story I didn’t see in gay presses.
“In the interest of transparency, I gave Senator Cruz a $2,700 check to show my support for his work on behalf of Israel,” Mr. Reisner said in a statement he provided after The Times learned of the donation from two people with direct knowledge of it. “When I realized his donation could be misconstrued as supporting his anti-gay marriage agenda, I asked for the money back. Senator Cruz’s office gave the money back, and I have no intention of giving any money to any politicians who aren’t in support of L.G.B.T. issues.”
And it gets even worse.
Yet the anger at the hoteliers has been fierce and unrelenting. Mr. Reisner is under great pressure from angry residents in the Fire Island Pines who want him to divest of his interest in the commercial property there. In early May, Eric von Kuersteiner, a businessman on Fire Island who previously owned the properties in the harbor, even approached Mr. Reisner offering to buy him out for somewhere in the ballpark of $2 million.
It’s a more in-depth article, and gives far more information than anything you will read in a gay press.
Ricky Martin’s Dating Challenges
You know, it’s Ricky Martin. He can talk about anything he wants and I’ll listen. In this piece he discusses a few of the dating challenges he’s faced as a single dad. 

“We’re all men. It’s in our DNA to go for it,” he told The Sun. “But I have two boys and I cannot bring different men every day into my house.” 

Martin split from longtime boyfriend, Carlos Gonzalez Abella, in 2014. Still, he remains hopeful he’ll tie the knot one day, saying he loves “the romanticism” of a wedding and that a marriage certificate “is important.” 

The top priority in his next relationship, he added, is a deep, personal connection. 

“I like to have a conversation, looking into someone’s eyes and finding out their sense of humor,” he told the publication. “I’m not saying you have to be an Adonis, but you have to connect.”

Again, it’s Ricky Martin. Do I have to say anything else? The man could have twelve toes and eat crackers in bed and I doubt anyone would fault him for that 🙂 
The rest is here. 

The Rainbow Detective Agency: On Fleek


Bachelorette Contestants Homophobic? Ian Reisner and Ted Cruz; Lesbian Catfishing Married Gay Man

Bachelorette Contestants Homophobic?

I’ve never seen this show, or The Bachelor. I’m not a huge fan of reality TV because it’s all staged and there’s very little reality associated with it…unless the reality is a homophobic content. You know the kind of comments that people make like, “That’s so Gay.” Evidently, because they think gay is so funny…or whatever.  

Cue the disappointment. And the outrage.

It turns out Clint Arlis and JJ Lane, the two straight Bachelorette contestants who claimed they’d fallen in love with each other while taping the ABC reality show, were only “doing it for the cameras” and that “nothing gay ever happened.”


You can read more here. On Twitter there’s a hashtag that I love…#thatssostraight. People on Twitter have taken to using it whenever they see this kind of passive aggressive homophobia. I’ve done it more than a few times because I see this kind of thing almost two or three times every single day.

Ian Reisner and Ted Cruz

Now they’ve found out that the wealthy gay hotelier, Ian Reisner, donated money to Ted Cruz. For some reason, it feels as if Reisner is being targeted.

Afterwards, Reisner claimed the dinner wasn’t a fundraiser and that he didn’t give Cruz any money, telling New York magazine: “There were no checks given. It was nothing like that.”

Well, it turns out that was a bunch of Bologna with a capital B.

The New York Times has just learned that Reisner wrote a personal check to Mr. Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign in the amount of $2,700, the maximum allowed by law, right around the time the dinner took place.

The rest is here, with the entire history of this Ian Reisner situation. I would never donate money to Ted Cruz, however, I’m not all that fond of the way some are taking such pleasure in all this. Could it be that the liberal gay press is targeting a gay conservative? I don’t know enough about it to answer that question, but I have seen that done before. 

I have a feeling Reisner will respond to this and I’ll be posting about it yet again before next week is over.

Lesbian Catfishing Married Gay Man

I don’t know what to make of this one either. A young guy named David Messerschmitt who is married to a woman hooked up with someone through a Craigslist ad, thinking it was a hot gay man. Unfortunately, Messerschmitt found out he’d been catfished by two young gay women when he met them at a Washington D. C. hotel.

Gallmon entered Messerschmitt’s room at the unnamed hotel and attempted to rob him. We’d say “that’s when things went wrong,” but this whole mess was clearly wrong from the very beginning.
The young woman claims that Messerschmitt trapped her in the room, triggering a previous trauma from a past assault.

At least that’s the argument she’s using in court to try and explain how she came to stab Messerschmitt seven times in the abdomen, groin and heart, killing him.

She made it out of the room with $40 cash and Messerschmitt’s metro card, and walked hand-in-hand with Johnson to a bus stop. Housekeeping found Messerschmitt’s body the next day, his arms bound in rainbow-colored zip ties.

The rest is here. I know I say this all the time, but I think it shows how many more gay people there are out there posing as straight. And it goes without saying how dangerous online hook ups can be.

The Rainbow Detective Agency: On Fleek

Trevor Donovan on The Backlot; Renee Richards on Bruce Jenner; Gay Pornsters Wearing Protective Goggles; Is Brad Pitt Bisexual?

Trevor Donovan on The Backlot

When I wrote the character of Luis in very first Virgin Billionaire book, I wanted him to have a safe place to go for when everything in the world started to crumble around him…that one perfect place where nothing could ever hurt him. So I did what I thought was real at the time, for a young gay man. I gave him a favorite web site that I’d loosely modeled after the real web site of Elisa Rolle, only the focus in the book was more about the artistic photos of male models, not books or reviews. In this case, there was some erotica, but the photos on the web site in the book were not always meant to be sexual. The focus was on the art and the escapism.

So when I find photo shoots like this one that Trevor Donovan did on The Backlot, I like to share with readers. I think this would be something that Luis would have loved in The Virgin Billionaire.  And I wrote The Virgin Billionaire long before I ever saw any of Donovan’s photo shoots anywhere.

Trevor Donovan has been a favorite here on TheBacklot ever since he played adorable (and sexy) Teddy Montgomery on the 2008-2013 reboot of 90210. Since then he’s made appearances on various series like The Client List and Melissa & Joey, but this weekend he heads west along with Bill Paxton, Ray Liotta and Brendan Fraser for the History Channel’s much-anticipated Texas Rising. The mini-series is directed by two-time Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission) and Donovan plays “Kit Acklin” a “wise-ass and expert horseman whose chivalry and equestrian skills are matched only by his gun-fighting prowess.”

You can get there from here. There’s a whole collection of some of the most artistic male art I’ve seen in a while. My own personal thoughts about what makes photos like this art is that I don’t see an agenda there. I just see the male form. In other words, when Nick Jonas poses for any photo shoot, even though it’s great, I always feel as if there’s an agenda behind what he’s doing that’s geared toward nothing but pure clickbait…like cheap wine in an expensive bottle. I don’t get that feeling with this photo shoot Donovan did. …And…the comments are adorable.

Renee Richards on Bruce Jenner

I think Renee Richards was one of the first brave souls of the past who had the guts to come out as transgender in the 1970’s. And it wasn’t easy back then, not by any means.

Now Richards is 80 years old and she’s commenting on Bruce Jenner.

‘You have to realize that somebody who is an entertainer, or even like with Bruce Jenner – a person like that can have a sex change and be just as accepted as an entertainer or a TV star or something like that afterwards,’ Richards, now 80, tells GQ in a rare interview.

Richards won the right to compete in the 1977 US Open and although she lost in the first round in singles, she made it to the finals of the women’s doubles. She later went on to coach Martina Navratilova in the early 1980s.

Then she returned to ophthalmology and practiced in New York City and it is in that kind of situation where she says being transgender is more difficult.

‘When I came back to practice after being so notorious, I couldn’t ever be a frivolous, entertainment-type, public kind of character,’ she says. ‘I mean, I had to be the same confidence-engendering… I’m operating on people’s eyes; I’m operating on their kid’s eyes. I mean, you better be some kind of a transsexual to do that! Otherwise you’re not gonna have much of a practice. It’s a whole different thing than being an entertainer.’

Jenner has beneftted from not only public understanding but from better understanding within the medical community which initially turned Richards away.

You can check out the rest here. I think she makes several valid points.

Gay Pornsters Wearing Protective Goggles

In a highly questionable attempt to stop the spread of HIV, the state of California is trying to force porn stars…not just gay…to wear protective eye gear…goggles…during shoots. Also, producers would be forced to pay for medical exams and hepatitis B vaccines. Most are claiming that if this goes through it will drive the adult entertainment industry out of the state.

‘These are regulations designed for medical settings, and are unworkable on an adult film set – or even a Hollywood film set,’ said Diane Duke, the CEO of the Free Speech coalition.

While the limits would not just be on gay porn, Duke says her organization and other groups wants to see the proposed regulation be amended after consulting with performers, production houses and public health officials.

This way, she says, this will ‘protect adult film performers without stigmatizing and shutting down an entire industry’.

You can read more here. It’s hard to comment on this one because there are several gray areas, however, if California does this who is to stop other states from doing it as well. And how many other ways can something like this mushroom? Nothing with porn and free speech is ever a clear cut case.

Is Brad Pitt Bisexual?

I’m always careful with things like this because there’s no proof, and it’s all alleged. In the same respect, it’s interesting in a hard to explain way.

One of the lower end tabloids best known for sensationalized, questionable reporting claims Brad Pitt is bisexual.

Hollywood insider Hesham ‘Sham’ Ibrahim makes the unsubstantiated claims the actor has a history of bisexuality that goes back at least 10 years.

‘I don’t want to define Brad Pitt’s sexuality, but whatever it is, he’s into guys,’ he told Star magazine.

The rest is here. Frankly, I think unsubstantiated is the key word here. I love poker, and as it stands I would NOT bet on this hand.

However, even if Pitt is bisexual, what difference does it really make? He’s always been supportive of the LGBT community, he’s never done or said anything to exploit the LGBT community, and in this case I think he has a right to his privacy. 

The Virgin Billionaire

Underwear Model Dad Bods; Tatum O’Neal Dates Women; Hot Photos of Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis; What Gay Life Was Like Years Ago

Underwear Model Dad Bods

I was going to post about BEA (Book Expo America) but since that is so freaking boring, and so heteronormative, this article caught my eye instead. It’s focused on what advertisements would look like if they used dad bods instead of photo shopped bodies of perfect, muscular young men. And I think it’s interesting because I’ve not only been seeing a lot of this lately, I also think people are getting tired of seeing the same old images of men in ads. People like a balance. I run four to five miles a day, and lift weights, but I do that for healthy reasons. What I get physically from running and working out is only something a little extra. I don’t even like having my photo taken, so the body image for me is the least of it all.

In any event, here’s what it’s about:

Summer 2015’s hottest men’s health trend is apparently doughnuts, pizza and beer.

But we have a feeling the dad bod craze was always a bit of a nonstarter.

The folks over at Distractify seem to feel differently, though. They reimagined some iconic underwear advertisements with dad bods replacing the hard-won gym bods.

Which do you prefer?

 You can check out the images here. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure it will catch on everywhere. In all honesty, I don’t think I’d put a dad bod on the cover of a gay romance novel. But as I mentioned, the balance is important.

Tatum O’Neal Dates Women

I’m not sure how we should react to this. I guess everyone will react differently. However, my initial reaction was…big deal. She dates women. And I like Tatum O’Neal, always did. 

 Proving that it’s never too late to be true to yourself, even for a precocious former child star, Tatum O’Neal has announced that she’s now dating women.

“I like women,” O’Neal tells People magazine. “I definitely have been dating mostly women recently.” The now 51-year-old actress avoids labeling her orientation and only says, “I’m not one or the other.”

Maybe it’s a good thing that my initial reaction was big deal. It could mean we’re moving toward a place where labeling isn’t as necessary as it once was, which in turn removes the shame we’ve all lived with for so long. That can’t be a bad thing. I can still recall when it was insulting as ask a guy if he was gay. Not so much anymore.

You can read more here.

Hot Photos of Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis

This is one of those multi-link articles from Queerty where they mention more than one topic. Part of it is about a photo shoot Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis did.

It’s another score for Gryffindor! More photos from Attitude magazine’s cover shoot with a barely-clad Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis have been released.

But if you really want to get to the most important part of this article, scroll down and read what Sir Ian McKellen has to say about what life was like for gays years ago. This blew me away.


Sir Ian McKellen once had a crush on his Vicious costar Derek Jacobi. “Yes, I did fancy Derek, but I didn’t act on it, God, no,” he reveals. “It was illegal, remember. I do get on my high horse about it, because it was so difficult. There were no gay clubs you could go to. No gay bars, no gay newspaper, nothing. What there was was a bit sleazy, I suspect. One of the reasons I became an actor was that you could meet gay people. Even then everything was difficult. When you went to America they asked, “Are you now, or have you ever been, homosexual?” I lied on the form. It was a different world.’

You can see all this here. I never knew a time like that, and I think it’s fascinating to think about how gay men before me lived and survived.

 

Underwear Model Dad Bods; Tatum O’Neal Dates Women; Hot Photos of Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis; What Gay Life Was Like Years Ago

Underwear Model Dad Bods

I was going to post about BEA (Book Expo America) but since that is so freaking boring, and so heteronormative, this article caught my eye instead. It’s focused on what advertisements would look like if they used dad bods instead of photo shopped bodies of perfect, muscular young men. And I think it’s interesting because I’ve not only been seeing a lot of this lately, I also think people are getting tired of seeing the same old images of men in ads. People like a balance. I run four to five miles a day, and lift weights, but I do that for healthy reasons. What I get physically from running and working out is only something a little extra. I don’t even like having my photo taken, so the body image for me is the least of it all.

In any event, here’s what it’s about:

Summer 2015’s hottest men’s health trend is apparently doughnuts, pizza and beer.

But we have a feeling the dad bod craze was always a bit of a nonstarter.

The folks over at Distractify seem to feel differently, though. They reimagined some iconic underwear advertisements with dad bods replacing the hard-won gym bods.

Which do you prefer?

 You can check out the images here. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure it will catch on everywhere. In all honesty, I don’t think I’d put a dad bod on the cover of a gay romance novel. But as I mentioned, the balance is important.

Tatum O’Neal Dates Women

I’m not sure how we should react to this. I guess everyone will react differently. However, my initial reaction was…big deal. She dates women. And I like Tatum O’Neal, always did. 

 Proving that it’s never too late to be true to yourself, even for a precocious former child star, Tatum O’Neal has announced that she’s now dating women.

“I like women,” O’Neal tells People magazine. “I definitely have been dating mostly women recently.” The now 51-year-old actress avoids labeling her orientation and only says, “I’m not one or the other.”

Maybe it’s a good thing that my initial reaction was big deal. It could mean we’re moving toward a place where labeling isn’t as necessary as it once was, which in turn removes the shame we’ve all lived with for so long. That can’t be a bad thing. I can still recall when it was insulting as ask a guy if he was gay. Not so much anymore.

You can read more here.

Hot Photos of Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis

This is one of those multi-link articles from Queerty where they mention more than one topic. Part of it is about a photo shoot Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis did.

It’s another score for Gryffindor! More photos from Attitude magazine’s cover shoot with a barely-clad Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis have been released.

But if you really want to get to the most important part of this article, scroll down and read what Sir Ian McKellen has to say about what life was like for gays years ago. This blew me away.


Sir Ian McKellen once had a crush on his Vicious costar Derek Jacobi. “Yes, I did fancy Derek, but I didn’t act on it, God, no,” he reveals. “It was illegal, remember. I do get on my high horse about it, because it was so difficult. There were no gay clubs you could go to. No gay bars, no gay newspaper, nothing. What there was was a bit sleazy, I suspect. One of the reasons I became an actor was that you could meet gay people. Even then everything was difficult. When you went to America they asked, “Are you now, or have you ever been, homosexual?” I lied on the form. It was a different world.’

You can see all this here. I never knew a time like that, and I think it’s fascinating to think about how gay men before me lived and survived.

 

E-book Piracy In 2015; Who Are the E-book Pirates; Exposing E-book Pirate Web Sites

E-book Piracy In 2015

I haven’t posted about this topic in years, literally. Part of that is because I just gave up, and part is because some e-book piracy web sites have been taken down and I’ve even heard cases where e-book pirates have been prosecuted. I don’t have links to any of that so I can’t confirm it, but as far as I know those who still pirate e-books are breaking the law, they are taking a huge chance at getting caught, and a lot of authors are following them secretly so they can expose them.

With a simple search the most recent piece I found on the topic of e-book piracy was from The Digital Reader. Most people familiar with e-publishing are familiar with this site. I follow him on twitter and I’ve always found his pieces short, simple and factual.

This time he’s talking about piracy and google.

Piracy is endemic to almost every retail site which sells digital content. Some sites such as Amazon routinely (and sometimes aggressively) police their catalog for pirated content, while others have a more laissez-faire attitude.
 
Google definitely falls into the latter category. The ad network is allowing large-scale commercial ebook piracy to infest Google Play Books.

Update: I have published a second installment. And Google has responded.

I HIGHLY urge you to read this article, here. The thing I found most fascinating was that some book pirates aren’t just sharing anymore. They are SELLING e-books they’ve stolen, and at much lower prices. And they’re attacking indie authors, too. I don’t even want to begin to think about the e-books I’ve written that have been pirated. I used to be willing to turn a blind eye on the culprits who just shared. I understood, at the time, e-books are not a tangible item. But when I find out they are making money on indie authors and on publishers I find myself thinking a lot differently.

Who Are the E-book Pirates?

Now I’m linking to another web site that talked about e-book piracy in April. And I’m finding out a lot of new things I didn’t even know…or realize. I had absolutely no idea this WTF-ery was going on.

Pirate sites pose as legitimate on-line booksellers and sometimes as a kind of Netflix for readers. They charge a monthly fee to members, giving them the right to download multiple books, all of which were pirated in the first place. Yield for the author: Many new readers perhaps, but no money.

And mystery novelists may be more vulnerable than writers in other categories. An independent bookseller recently told me that her customers are more likely to read mysteries on an e-reader because they are not the sort of books—like nonfiction, for instance—that people want to keep and reread. If, as mystery writers, we are more likely to sell e-books, we are more all the more vulnerable to Captain Hook.

You can read all of this, here. It also tells you who is trying to stop it and how authors can fight back.

Exposing a Book Pirating Web Site

And this next article comes from a web site that’s caused a lot of controversy over the last two or three years because it focuses on bully practices in publishing. I’ve linked to them before, but had no idea they were also exposing book pirate sites, too. I found this, again, through a simple search.

We received an email today about this book pirating website.  Several authors told us they were able to remove their books successfully without anything affecting their computers.  Others, who tried to download free books to test the site told us that this is a phishing website.  Therefore we have removed the link.  We want everyone to be aware that there are many sites like these on the internet and to be extremely careful when you find one.

You can read the rest of that here.

As I said, I do know authors who have been following some of these secretive book pirates around for a while…and also following the readers who get their e-books from pirate sites. While I can’t go into detail, I can say that I have a feeling we’ll be seeing some readers being charged criminally in the future, and finding themselves facing steep legal fees they never saw coming. Some will be sued. It’s not a chance I would want to take.


Straight Acting Gay Men Left Out; Orgasm and Prostate Cancer; Madrid’s Hot Fetish Bar

Straight Acting Gay Men

Here’s an article that talks about an interesting topic, and yet misses the most important point associated with the topic, as if it doesn’t even exist. I’ll get into that in a second, but first let me show you what I’m talking about.

The gist of the piece focuses on the struggle many straight acting gay men face…or rather, if there actually is a struggle. It’s one of those meme things where guys leave quotes. In this case, it’s the “straight acting” guys giving their thoughts.

Here’s one:

Because I’m gay I get asked to do flamboyant things like dress as a girl. It bothers me that people fail to realize that not all gays are that way. Ignorance makes the world blind to reality.

There are others that follow the same voice and tone, here.

I believe the mainstream media has a lot to do with this. From books to films, they know how to exploit us well for monetary gain. Up until recently, most of the gay men we’ve seen portrayed in films and on TV have been the most flamboyant. I rarely ever found any I could personally identify with. There’s nothing wrong with being flamboyant, however, the gay male community is much too diverse to only show one type of gay man. I’d like to feel as if I’m being represented once in a while, too. But more than that, people tend to overlook the fact that gay men, are indeed, men.  And we identify as men.

I also believe that as the entire LGBT community gains more equality and it becomes more natural to come out of the closet, we’ll be seeing a huge show of gay men most people never even thought existed. In short: the gay men who act straight. Everyone says the Internet killed the gay bar. But I think it goes deeper than that sometimes. There is still a HUGE silent segment of the gay male community that has no interest in being segregated to a gay bar, living in a gay ghetto, or falling into the cliched stereotypes that have been forced down everyone’s throat since the 1960’s. And it’s going to take time for that to happen. Most of us still don’t even know that we’re being appropriated on a daily basis.

Of course you have to check out the comments.

And, just to reinforce this with an example here’s something that’s been happening. They want to give Dan Savage his own TV show. Personally, I find everything about Dan Savage annoying, from his politics to his views on religion. And I am not, and will never, submit to the kind of peer pressure that says I have to like or even agree with Dan Savage. I think he’s a douche who will do anything to get attention. But, Dan Savage is getting a TV show. That’s a reality. And that’s what I mean by how the media distorts things for many gay men. We are not, by any means, all like Dan Savage. 

Orgasm and Prostate Cancer

Evidently, having an orgasm a day will help keep you from getting prostate cancer.

32,000 men participated in the study over the course of 18 years, making it the largest research to date on male ejaculation (or at least the largest scientific study). Participants shared their monthly ejaculation practices between the ages of 20 and 29, and 40 and 49.

Of the 32,000 participants, 3,839 eventually developed prostate cancer. Interestingly, men who reported orgasming more than 21 times a month showed a 22% lower risk of developing problems.

I always have problems with these studies. They never seem to prove accurate over a long span of time. I know a lot of people who have had cancer and died from cancer. None of them ever smoked, got too much sun, or were exposed to chemicals. I’m not saying things like smoking are good for you, but so far no one has been able to isolate how or why we get cancer.


You can read the rest here.

Madrid’s Hot Fetish Bar

A lot of gay men I know go to Spain all the time…for a lot of fun. Ibiza seems to be the place of choice, however, this article talks about Madrid.

Odarko bills itself as “a benchmark in the international gay fetish scene.” Located in Madrid’s Callao gayborhood, the bar is known for its all-night fetish parties, elaborate laser lights, and house and electronic music spun by resident DJ Manuel Carranco. It’s a must-see for any gay, leather-loving traveler who finds himself passing through Madrid.

The rest is here. There are photos. Oh, are there photos. But all SFW. 

This is a big part of gay culture nowadays, but by no means the only part of gay culture. And it’s exactly what I was talking about earlier in this post. I also know a lot of gay men who would never, ever go to a bar like this, anywhere and at any time. And they live full, happy lives.  …Diversity.