Review for "King Cobra," Brent Corrigan and James Franco; Fabulous Las Vegas; Another Gay Proposal Video

Review for “King Cobra,” Brent Corrigan and James Franco

I think it’s important to mention that even though James Franco is a straight white male, he’s been associated with more “gay” projects than most openly gay actors in Hollywood. Whether or not he’s in the closet, or he doesn’t like labels, is beside the point. As far as we know he’s straight and white.

I don’t like labels either, however, gay isn’t a label. Gay is a culture. Like being black is a culture. Like being Asian is a culture. If you’re black or Asian and you deny your culture…for whatever reason…that never looks too great. It’s the same with being gay. Gay is not about sex.

Because there’s still so much shame associated with being gay (and there is), we usually understand and forgive closeted gay men. And rightly so. We understand their circumstances and we don’t force them to come out. However, if a closeted gay man pretending to be straight begins to exploit and profit from gay culture I think that’s a different thing altogether.

With that said, I finally got around to watching the movie Franco is associated with that’s titled, King Cobra. In short, it’s a film based on a true story about a mild, middle aged man with a taste for very young men who starts a gay porn production company in suburban Pennsylvania, discovers one of the most talked about gay porn stars of our time, and ultimately winds up brutally murdered. I think most people know the story already, so that’s not a spoiler.

Actually, I liked the film…as a film. I thought it was important to see for cultural reasons. I didn’t watch for entertainment this time. I wanted to see how the subject matter was treated, and how gay culture was handled. Even though it’s about gay porn, there weren’t that many sex scenes, and none were too graphic. It’s definitely not a romance. The film is strictly based on the events that transpired from the time porn producer, Bryan Kocis, discovered the film star, Brent Corrigan, to the time of Kocis’ murder. I don’t know much about the porn industry from experience so I can’t comment on that. But I didn’t see anything that was inaccurate, from a gay cultural POV. It wasn’t like Brokeback Mountain where I saw things that made me cringe.

However, there is a twist to this entire saga. And it’s been played out online since the film, King Cobra, was announced. The real life actor, Sean Paul Lockhart, who gained fame with the stage name, Brent Corrigan, in gay porn was not an active part of King Cobra. Even though he lived the entire story, he had nothing to do with the content of the film. And he’s been vocal about this. He even wrote this piece titled, Brent Corrigan: His Story, His Life…In His Own Words.

My name is Sean Paul Lockhart. Most know me as “Brent Corrigan.” You likely have never heard of me. Infamous and not famous at all, I have been referred to by many in the mainstream vein of the adult industry as “the Traci Lords of gay porn.” This is only one element of a salacious true-life tale of porn, money, murder and desperation. My past has played an integral role in my career as an adult star, producer and actor in LGBT mainstream films. In July 2016 I was made aware of a film being made about me, my shameful underage stint in porn, and the murder of Cobra Video owner Bryan Kocis. Spearheading the project (as producer and star) was actor James Franco.

You can read that in its entirety here. It’s a long piece and goes into a lot more detail about the story itself, and about how Lockhart feels about his life story being told this way. He plans to write his own memoir, which he also discusses in the piece.

If you’re going to watch King Cobra, I highly suggest you read the piece written by Lockhart…the real Brent Corrigan. I think you’ll find a few things more than interesting. As a viewer with limited knowledge of the porn industry, and limited knowledge about the story, I can’t say I didn’t like King Cobra. But I can only recommend it along with the link to Corrigan’s story above.

The one thing I totally agree with most, in a broad general sense, in Corrigan’s piece is this: “we don’t need Hollywood mocking us.”

And…here are a few related links that might make you think twice.

This one is rich. I’m openly gay and I don’t think it’s cheap to say that. I’m proud of it, as well I should be.

Garrett Clayton will not discuss his sexual orientation.

Clayton — who portrays gay porn star Brent Corrigan in the new film King Cobra — said he preferred a “veil” of privacy regarding his own identity in an interview with Out magazine published online Monday.

In fact, Clayton considered discussion of his sexuality “cheap,” and he grouped it alongside topics like an actor’s diet or accessories.

And there’s this, from the same article…

Despite its subject matter, there are no out lead actors in King Cobra, which also features Christian Slater, Keegan Allen, and James Franco as players in the gay-porn industry.

Here’s one about why Franco feels the need to do all this…gay stuff…

Vague sexual identity aside, Franco told Rolling Stone in March that his interest in queer cinema was a reaction to the production of “straight, heteronormative stories ad nauseam” in everything from film to TV commercials. “I think it’s healthy to make work that disrupts and questions that, and shows alternative narratives,” he added.

…because there are no other gay artists out there.

Fabulous Las Vegas

I’ve never been to Vegas, and I’m starting to think I’ve missed something important.

Yes, there are people who have never been to Las Vegas–or at least not in a while. With the plethora of great choices, every Las Vegas first-timer needs a guide to the best and brightest. Want to try the casinos, shows, and nightlife but don’t know where to start? Just walking down Las Vegas Boulevard the first time presents a lot of opportunities for intense experiences, and the first-time visitor may not always know where to turn.

You can read more here. It looks thorough to me. This is one of the reasons why I continue to link to all the gay presses as much as possible. This article is coming from a gay cultural POV.

Another Gay Proposal Video

I like these things. I don’t care how cheesy they get. I love them and I want to see them continue. And that’s because we weren’t allowed to do this kind of thing for so long, I hope they never end.

You’re hardbitten, gritty; a real S.O.B. You don’t have time for another wedding proposal video — not one day after The Man shoves his capitalist version of love down your throat in the form of Valentine’s Day.

But then you see Gregory Gaige drop to his knee and propose to boyfriend Craig Moss at Disneyland. Watching them in their matching Mickey Mouse caps, you feel dizzy and swoony, because your creaky heart has opened yet again. For good this time?

There’s more here, with a nice photo. And this is another reason why I link mostly to gay presses. You don’t see this in the mainstream too often.

Cage James
by Ryan Field

Customer Review:  “Well written and clever!”

Is Calling Him "Daddy" Perverse? News Anchor and Homophobic Colleague; A SEXY Gay Nature Lover

Is Calling Him “Daddy” Perverse?

I’m no expert on this one so I’m just linking this time. No comments.

A woman overheard a gay men talking about his “daddy” at a party and didn’t understand what he meant, so she’s written a letter to gay advice columnist Hank Scott asking him to explain.

“I was at a party the other night and overheard two gay men in their early 30s talking about the boyfriend of one of them,” her letter begins. “One guy said to the other: ‘So how’s the relationship going with daddy?’ Apparently he was referring to the other guy’s boyfriend, who was at the party and appeared to be in his mid-50s!”

They do go on to explain this, and they do it well. They make a point of stating this has absolutely nothing to do with pedophilia. Even I knew that.

You can read the rest here.

News Anchor and Homophobic Colleague

Here’s a story about an Australian news personality who allegedly made a repulsive homophobic speech, and his colleague called him out for it in public.

 Not that the speech is defensible in any way. In it, he referred to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper as the “Sydney Morning Homosexual” and then claims the Liberal Party is “basically a gay club.”

“I don’t mind that they are gay,” he adds. “I just wish, like Hadrian, they would build a wall. ”

To give a sense of exactly what kind of event this was, a ring-wing cartoonist made the following “joke”:

“I can’t stand Muslims… [but] they are not all bad, they do chuck pillow-biters off buildings.”

You can check this out here, and watch the video. It’s an interesting debate. And there are comments below it. I just always wonder if these things are staged.

A SEXY Gay Nature Lover

Here’s one that will make you smile. And it’s SFW. There’s nothing pervy about it.

Plenty, and hilariously so. As Laura slowly drives in the park and films him, Matthew is suddenly awash in massive tongues and Buffalo fur as the animals reach their heads inside the car for the park-approved slices of bread Matthew feeds them. His squeals of horror and delight have to be seen to be believed.

Here’s a link to the video…and those expected comments.

New Release


Another London Gay Bar Closing; Nate Berkus and Husband Get TV Show; Pennsylvania Gay Bar Closes

Another London Gay Bar Closing

The Richmond Arms, a gay bar in London, is set to shutter its doors on April 23. This isn’t the first gay bar closing in London, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

In an emotional announcement, the staff of the Richmond Arms in southwest London wrote: ‘It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that we will be closing ours doors for good on Saturday 23rd of April 2016.

‘This place is so close to many of us, we have laughed and cried here together for over 30 years.

I know that feeling very well. We’ve lost several long time gay bars here in New Hope, PA in the last decade and it leaves a huge hole in the gay culture of an area. Every time I drive by a place that’s now a bank where a gay bar called The Prelude used to be, I find it amazing that banker people are now parking in the same place where I used to lose my underwear in someone’s back seat.

You can read more here. 

Nate Berkus and Husband Get TV Show

Designer, Nate Berkus, and his husband, Jeremiah Brent, are getting their own TV show on TLC.

The show, to be called Married to Design: Nate & Jeremiah, will air on TCL which in the past has been home to such shows as 19 Kids and Counting and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

‘Design isn’t just what we do for a living, it’s what we do on our weekends,’ says Berkus. ‘So this show is perfect. We get to have all the fun and the homeowner gets rescued from a money pit that is consuming them. They’re lost. We’re not. We know where to save, where to spend, where to shop … it’s what we love most.’ 

I think this might be a good one. I’ve always enjoyed Berkus on HSN…and boy does he have great sheets!!

Here’s the rest.  

Pennsylvania Gay Bar Closes

Here’s another example of how times are changing for gay men, and gay culture. And this particular gay bar has been around for 50 years. That’s an institution for the gay men who live in that area.

The long-running Altland’s Ranch in York County, PA, suddenly closed its doors last week, with a representative for the owner saying the bar and restaurant’s demise was due to a downturn in customer numbers.

I’m not familiar with this bar. York County, PA is miles away from Bucks County, PA. They’re down near Maryland, and we’re on the 95 corridor in between New York and Philadelphia.

I’m starting to think that the only gay venues that will survive are those located in tourist areas like Key West or Provincetown.

You can check that out here. The announcement was made, ironically, via Facebook. It’s ironic because one of the biggest reasons gay bars have been closing is the Internet.

The Rainbow Detective Agency Rancho Mirage

In Print and E-book

The Arrangement


Ripped His Heart Out and Ate It; Gay Manchester Bar Shutters; Christian Bakers Lose

Ripped His Heart Out and Ate It

In order to prove that he wasn’t gay, a man ripped out another man’s heart…and he ate it, taking gay shame to a completely new level. 

This is about as disturbing as it gets:

When police arrested Chimboza on 10 June, they found him chewing raw flesh and that Manoma’s neck had been ‘half-eaten’. 

He added his chest had a gaping hole in the left side. Chimboza then claimed he did it ‘show him that I am not a moffie [gay]’.

And then, this:

‘I do not know why I ate it and I accept my actions were wrong and exceeded the boundaries of self-defence,’ he said, in an apology to the court.

You can read the rest here, where there’s a photo of the man who ate the other guy’s heart. It’s too creepy to comment further.

Gay Manchester Bar Shutters

The other day on facebook I had a conversation with someone who was surprised to hear that gay bars have been closing down for quite some time. I’ve been reading about it and seeing it happen first hand for years, and this particular gay bar in the UK shuttering its doors doesn’t shock me. At one time here in New Hope, PA, we had three very successful gay bars going. There were so many patrons no one was in competition. In the past ten years we’ve lost two and the last one is hanging on to what’s left of the gay bar trade in the surrounding NY and Philadelphia area.

Steven Wiseman, insolvency practitioner for Inquesta, has been appointed liquidator of SDB bars who took over Eden Bar in 2012. 

He said the bar had experienced a general downfall in trade and has seen even more decline after it was ‘virtually marooned’ by an adjacent building site. 

The last post on Facebook, posted on January 7, saw Eden announce the bar being ‘off for a facelift’ until early February before there was silence on all social media channels. 

That’s basically the same announcement I’ve seen each time another gay bar shutters. I’m not being cynical about this; just realistic. If I had my way no gay bar would ever close down. But there are logical reasons. One, the gay bar was THE only place where gay people would meet. The Internet changed all that, and it began years ago.

You can read the rest here. 

Christian Bakers Lose

I’ve posted about this several times before, and I wanted to follow up with this information. The Oregon bakery that refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple based on their religious convictions was recently informed they may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines.

The exact amount of compensation will be determined in a hearing on 10 March, but the couple could receive up to $75,000 (£49,650, €65,550) per person from the shop owners, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) announced. 

The couple wanted to celebrate their wedding with a cake from Sweet Cakes by Melissa, but the co-owner of the bakery, Aaron Klein, refused to sell it to them when he found out it would be for their wedding. 

According to Bowman, Klein cited religious belief as reasons for his refusal and called their upcoming marriage an ‘abomination unto the lord’. 

What I find most interesting, from personal experience, is that gay owned and operated businesses have been supplying their services to the straight mainstream world since the beginning of time…literally. I know a florist who has done more weddings than he can count. Not once did he ever refuse a customer because of his religious or social convictions.

You can read the rest here. There’s some history about the whole debacle you might not know.

The Rainbow Detective Agency




Free Gay Excerpt; Gay Semiotics; Male Full Frontal Nudity on TV; Rapper Big Dipper

Gay Semiotics

Semiotics basically means a study of communication and behavior through elements that might include symbolic references…like the symbolic handkerchief deal in gay culture. I took a grad course once about communication and literature that was so complicated the professor admittedly didn’t even get all the time. In this case, however, they’re talking about gay subculture in the 1970’s, and the distinct ways gay people defined themselves in what really was the first time in gay culture people were actually open about it.

Photographer Hal Fisher was especially interested in these newfound gay signifiers, and as part of his 1977 publication Gay Semiotics, he provided detailed itemized descriptions of the gay experience in San Francisco at the time. Note the very early use of the term “basic gay,” though we’re guessing he didn’t mean it quite the same way.

Of course this was before my time and what’s been dubbed as the pre-aids era in gay culture. I have older friends who still talk about it all the time and I always feel as if I’ve missed a huge event. 

An earring in the right lobe may suggest that the wearer prefers to play the passive role during sexual activity. Conversely, an earring in the left lobe may signify active behavior on the part of the wearer. Unlike the other signifiers, however, Right/Left placement of the earring is not always indicative of Passive/Active tendencies on the part of the wearer. Furthermore, the earring or stud is often adopted by non-homosexual men, thus making the earring the most subtle of homosexual signifiers.

I honestly don’t know about any of these signs and symbols. They died out in the 90’s in most parts of gay culture.

You can read the rest of them here. There’s a link to the book with a price tag of $500, which I don’t get completely. I’ve posted about used books of mine selling on Amazon for $50 and upward, money I obviously never get because the books are used. I’ve also seen my books on E-bay for these ridiculous prices, too. Maybe there’s something with used books about gay culture. I’m not sure about that. But you can check that out with the link, too.

Male Full Frontal Nudity on TV

I’ve posted many times about the double standards on TV and in films with full frontal nudity in general. I’ve posted each time I noticed a glimpse of male full frontal nudity on TV. It’s all in the archives with a simple search. And evidently I’m not the only one who wants to see more male full frontal nudity on TV. The creator of Queer as Folk recently said this:

There is not enough male frontal nudity on TV. You’re far more likely to see a naked woman than a naked man. It’s only [seen as] rude because the rest of television is rather tame — it doesn’t actually talk about sex and our bodies and how we feel about them. I’m not out to shock.”

Here’s the link, with a photo of Charlie Hunnam. Last night while Tony and I were watching the season finale of American Horror: Freak Show, we were waiting to see if Dandy would be killed off with full frontal nudity. He was in his underpants.

Rapper Big Dipper

There’s a web series called Big Dipper’s World where big guys are celebrated, often in what sounds like interesting ways. I’ve never seen it and can’t comment. But it looks like fun and the comments all sound encouraging.

Or as the bubbly queer rapper succinctly puts it in episode one:

“Feel your oats. Feel your body. Feel your friends. Just walk around and let everybody have it.”

I’m all for anything that can help remove body stereotypes and improve the quality of life for gay men with respect to body image. I’ve been starving since high school and it becomes a mind set you simply can’t get rid of no matter how hard you try. You’re gay; you’re expected to be thin. If you’re not, God help you. 

You can check out a sample video here. 

Chase of a Lifetime

Free Gay Excerpt

Here’s an excerpt from an upcoming book I’m re-releasing with a new title, Meadows Are Not Forever.

“If you’d like, I’ll show you a few tricks from my act,” Harold said.
Cade shrugged.  He didn’t even know the guy.  But he didn’t have anything better to do.  And there was something about Harold’s sinewy good looks that made his heart beat a little faster than normal.  “Sure, I’d like that.  I’ll bet you’re very good.”
Harold dropped the sheers in the grass and said, “I’ll be right back.  I have a few things in the truck.  Don’t move.”
When he was gone, Cade looked down for his swim trunks so he could get dressed before Harold returned.  But they weren’t on the grass next to his lounge chair.  They weren’t behind the chair and they weren’t under the chair.  Cade was certain he’d set them down nearby when he’d removed them; just in case he had to put them on again fast.  But by the time he turned to see if he’d left them on the table near the pool, he saw big strong Harold loping down the back lawn carrying a small leather travel bag.
Cade smoothed out the towel and made sure his private parts were well covered.  He didn’t want Harold to get the wrong impression.  Even though he’d suspected that Harold might have been flirting with him, he couldn’t always trust his own instincts when it came to these things.  Meadow said Cade was like all the gay men she knew: he tended to think all good looking young guys were gay, or had the potential to be gay.  And it was getting harder to tell these days.  Cade had been wrong more than once and he didn’t want Harold Smith to think he was trying to seduce him.  Something like that in Salem County, New Jersey could cause a scandal that would linger for years to come.  The Catholic boy with red hair and freckles who was always running after the priests and used to bake cakes for the summer carnival at the Catholic Church once made a pass at a straight guy.  The rumors began and his family wound up moving to Delaware in the middle of the school year, never to be heard from again.
Harold sat down at the bottom of Cade’s lounge chair and set the black leather case on the grass.  He unzipped it and pulled out a deck of cards.  “I’ll just do a few really simple tricks right now.  I don’t want to bore you to death.”  Then he moved his thigh toward Cade and shuffled the cards right on his leg.
When his knee brushed against Cade’s naked calf, Cade felt something stir between his legs.  Thankfully by then Cade was old enough to know how to control his feelings.  So he gazed down and watched how Harold handled the deck of cards, with the skill and grace of a true card shark.  The cards fluttered; his large nimble fingers did a dance.
Harold spread the cards out in a fan on the chair and told Cade to choose one.  Cade picked one from the center and Harold told him to memorize it, concentrate on it, and then put it back into the deck face down so he couldn’t see it.  Harold shuffled the deck again and cut it three ways.  He spread the cards into a fan again and concentrated on them for a second.  And when he pulled a card from the center and turned it over, it was the exact same card Cade had chosen.
“How did you do that?”  Cade asked.  He couldn’t stop staring at the card.  He even forgot he was naked.  The towel slid down his leg and exposed his naked hip.
“Practice,” Harold said.  “Magic is a skill you learn and practice over and over until you get it right.  It’s all illusion.”  His voice sounded even smoother now, as if he were about to do the six o’clock news.
“Do it again.”  Cade rubbed his palms together.  He’d always been attracted to these things.  Show him a circus tent with a side show and his heart started beating faster.  If there was a monkey and a bearded lady, he’d pay anything to see them.
Harold repeated the same trick six times, and each time he found the exact card Cade had picked from the deck.  Then he showed Cade a few more card tricks that left Cade’s mouth half open and his palm against his chest.  And while Harold worked his magic, he often spoke as if he were on stage speaking to an audience, with a deep, smooth announcer’s voice.  Harold had one of those well-trained, silky voices, with a deep natural resonance that made Cade’s eyelids grow heavy.  If he hadn’t been a magician, he could have been a host on one of those soft late night radio shows Meadow always liked to listen to when she couldn’t get to sleep.  He’d have made a fortune selling used cars to gay men and straight women.
“Show me how to do a trick,” Cade said.  He spoke too fast and had to catch his breath.
Harold smiled; he waved the fan of cards.  “Oh, I don’t know,” he said.  “This is an old art and you can’t just learn it in a few minutes.  You have to study and practice for years.”
Cade knew Meadow would love this card trick.  And it would torture her not to know how to do it.  And the guys at the condo would love it even more.  “Oh, please,” he said.  He moved forward and didn’t notice the towel slide down another inch, exposing his entire naked right side.  “Just show me the most basic card trick you know.  I’m good with cards.  I play poker all the time with my best friend, Meadow.”  He usually lost.  But he didn’t mention this…or that they played poker with Oreo cookies instead of chips.
Harold sent him a long, slow glance.  He lowered his voice to a stage whisper and said, “I’ll show you a trick that’s very easy.  But you have to promise you’ll never tell anyone where you learned it.  It’s one of the oldest card tricks there is.  And it’s considered very sacred with all magicians.  If anyone knew I was even thinking about telling you how to do this, they’d banish me from the profession.”
Cade’s eyes opened wider; his lips parted.  He thought it was so special the way Harold was so willing to take him into his confidence.  Cade felt so honored and so thankful he leaned forward and pressed his palm to his heart.  “I promise.  I’ll never tell anyone.  You can trust me, Harold. I’ll take this to my grave.”
Harold nodded.  Then he shuffled the cards and said, “I’ll do the trick once, and then I’ll show you something you’ll never forget.”
“Oh, thank you,” Cade said.  He’d never been so flattered in his life.  “You have no idea how much this means to me.  You’re a great guy.”  And here he thought he wouldn’t have anyone to talk to in Salem County.  He couldn’t wait to tell Meadow about Harold, his new friend, only he’d leave out the part about being caught naked.  She could turn something perfectly innocent into something naughty.
 Harold shuffled the cards again, and then he spread them out into a fan.  “Now you pick just one card.  Look at it, and then put it right back into the deck face down.  And remember the card you chose.”
Cade smiled.  He picked a card toward on right side of the fan this time, thinking he’d mix things up a little and make it more difficult for Harold.  He pulled the card out, hid it in his curved palm, and gazed down at the queen of hearts.  Then he turned the card over very slowly so Harold couldn’t see what it was and slid it back into the left side of the fan.
“Okay,” Harold said.  “I want you to look into my eyes and repeat these words with me: out of the darkness comes light and beauty; out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder.  And you have to concentrate on the card you chose.  This trick is about as magical as it gets.  I think you’ll love it. I can’t wait to see what you think.”
Cade blinked.  “Magic words?”
Harold set his jaw.  “I’m serious,” he said.  “If you’re not interested in saying the magic words, we don’t have to do this.”
Cade felt a thump I his stomach.  He hadn’t meant to sound skeptical.  “I didn’t mean anything.  I’ll say the magic words.  Don’t worry.  I was just a little surprised, is all. I’m not familiar with magic.”
“And you have to look deep into my eyes while you say the words,” Harold said.
Cade nodded; his eyes widened.  “I will.  I promise.”  This was getting really exciting now.  He couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.
“Do you remember the card you picked?”  Harold asked.
“Yes.  I remember it.”
“Okay,” Harold said.  “Now look into my eyes and repeat the magic words with me.  And concentrate hard on the card you picked.  You’ll be rewarded very well for this.”
Cade looked into his eyes; his chest caved in and he felt every muscle in his body relax.  This was one of the most exciting things he’d done in a long time.  When Harold nodded, they both said, “Out of the darkness comes light and beauty; out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder.
Harold said, “Repeat it with me one more time.”
So they did it again.
When they were finished, Harold shuffled the cards one more time and spread them out in a fan.  He held up the jack of diamonds and asked, “Is this the card you picked?”
Cade felt a pull in his stomach.  It was the first time Harold had been wrong.  He smiled and tilted his head.  “I’m sorry, no it’s not.”
Harold made a face; his eyebrows furrowed.  He chose another.  “Is this the card?”
Cade glanced at the three of clubs and said, “Nope.  Sorry.”  This wasn’t going well at all.  Poor Harold Smith. 
On his third try, Harold chose the ace of spades.
Cade shrugged.  “I’m sorry, that’s not the right card either.  Maybe I did something wrong this time.  Maybe we should do it again.  It’s probably my fault.  I tend to mix things up sometimes.”  The expression on Harold’s handsome face had fallen by then.  Cade hated to see anyone in distress that way, especially someone so adorable.  “Maybe I didn’t concentrate hard enough on the card.”
Harold closed his eyes and squinted.  “No, that’s not it.  I’ve had this happen before.  I’ll figure it out.”  He rubbed his jaw and concentrated for a moment.  He repeated, “Out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder, out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder, out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder.”
Cade gaped at him.  He’d never seen anyone concentrate so hard on anything.  From the way he was squinting, it looked downright painful.
Then Harold opened his eyes slowly.  He lifted his right hand and snapped his fingers.  “I think I know what happened.  Sometimes the energy gets mixed up with different frequencies on hot days like this.  Sometimes the card winds up somewhere else other than inside the deck.”
It sure was hot that day.  Cade leaned forward.  “Where do you think the card went?”
Harold smiled.  He pointed to the towel over Cade’s private parts and said, “Spread your legs a little for me.”
Cade blinked again.  Spread my legs?
Harold nodded.  “Just spread them a little.  It’s okay.  Sometimes these things happen and there’s no need to get nervous.”
Cade spread his legs and looked down at his lap.  Harold’s large hand slid up beneath the white towel and stopped between Cade’s legs.  Cade felt Harold’s knuckles brush the inside of his right thigh.
Harold remained still for a moment.  He lingered, with his knuckles against Cade’s bare skin.  He closed his eyes and said, “Out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder.”
   Cade’s eyes bugged as Harold’s hand slide out from beneath the towel. He almost fell sideways when Harold pulled a single playing card out from between his legs and smiled.

USA 2,014 years old; Joey Stefano; Tim Tebow on ESPN

USA 2,014 Years Old

Evidently, there are some people in the US who think the US is 2,014 years old. I wish I had something more to start out 2014, but so far this seems to be as good as it gets. (Unless you’d rather I link to Joe Konrath’s predictions on publishing again 🙂 I’m personally going to be making a few announcements later this year, as writer, so I can move forward. For the time being, I still have two contracted books in the Glendora Hill series to finish, I’m enjoying writing them more than anything I’ve done before, and I’ll be indie publishing even more fiction this year. I’ll also post more on wedding plans Tony and I have for later this month. We’re booked to go to Vermont, and the place looks great. I’ll post links soon.

In any event…

According to Twitter, more than a few people believe that the United States was formed 2014 years ago, and that New Year’s Day is America’s birthday. There is so much about this idea that doesn’t make sense.

In an update, it turns out a lot of people were joking around. But it does remind me of a few mock interviews I saw during recent important political elections where reporters went out on the streets, asked people who was running for office, and asked basic general information about the candidates. The answers were surprising. A few people thought Sarah Palin was running for vice-President on the Obama ticket. I’m not joking about that.

This bothers me for more than one reason. These are the same people we have signing up for jury duty, and it seems to be getting worse as time passes. I wouldn’t want them as a jury of my peers.

You can read more here.

Joey Stefano

I don’t think I’ve ever linked to this before in previous posts about Joey Stefano. And it comes with an adult content warning, so it’s NSFW. But it’s an interesting article about Stefano, with NSFW photos, and I wanted to add it to my own list of links that I’ve posted about him previously. If you don’t know who Joey Stefano is, and how much he influenced gay male culture in the late 1980’s and 90’s, you can read more about him here. I tried to do a search on the upcoming film about Stefano’s life that’s being produced by Chad Darnell, but couldn’t find anything newer than last summer so I don’t know what’s up with that.

Immaculate Heart Cemetery in Marcus Hook would seem an unlikely resting place for a power-bottom porn star, but this is indeed where Chester native Joey Stefano, né Nicholas Iacona Jr., lays in perpetual sleep. His final resting place bears no headstone, making his presence in the cemetery derelict if not absent.

You can read more here.

Tim Tebow on ESPN

I find Tim Tebow interesting for several reasons, one of which is he seems to attract a certain amount of attention for no apparent reason. Or at least more attention than other professional sports figures in the US. I’m not the only one who feels this way, because now he has a TV show on ESPN that I would imagine is going to be successful.

 According to ESPN, Tebow’s primary role will be as an analyst for SEC Nation, the network’s traveling pregame show that will originate from a different SEC campus each week beginning Aug. 28, 2014.

The article goes on to mention that Tebow didn’t attract much interest in the NFL. But I think the fact remains that he does attract attention in the mainstream and he’s become a regular name in anything pop culture related.

You can read more here.

Free:Littlest Christmas Tree; Gay New Hope; Tranny Word

Date Drug New Hope

Tony pointed this one out to me early this morning. Evidently, there was a date drugger at a gay bar in New Hope, PA (where I live) and security cameras captured his image in what looks to me like a gay bar on the outskirts of town called, The Raven. (Been there many times.) There was also an alleged credit card/identity theft fraud incident. According to this article, both victim and suspect went back to the victim’s residence…where they were “socializing.”

“Drugged Acquaintance Date – Theft & Credit Card Fraud

“An adult male victim met the pictured male suspect at a known gay bar at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, 11-22-2013. Victim invited the suspect to his residence to continue socializing. When victim uses the bathroom, the suspect “freshens” the victim’s alcoholic beverage, whereupon the victim loses consciousness for approx. 5 hours. Victim awaken nauseous to find the suspect has stolen his wallet, $150 USC, assorted credit cards, and 2 out of sequence blank bank checks.

I love the way they call it “socializing.” So proper and neat (smile).

You can read more here.

Free: The Littlest Christmas Tree

My holiday novella, The Littlest Christmas Tree, is now up for free at the following venues. I don’t have all the links, but I’ll update as they come in.

Here’s a link to the blurb, and a short excerpt. The novella is 21,000 words in length.

I’m doing this as a little holiday present for readers who always remain faithful all year long. This is the second book in the Second Chance series and I’ll be putting future titles in the series up throughout 2014 for .99.

On Smashwords.

Update: On

At Rainbow Book Reviews: Link

Update #2…The book will be up on Amazon for .99. I wish I could have done this for free, but Amazon will not allow this unless I sign an exclusive for three months and then the book will only be up for free on Amazon for five days, and I can’t put it up for free anywhere else without breach of contract with Amazon. Here’s the Amazon link. Why am I disclosing this? I think readers should know.

Tranny Word

When I spotted this article I was prepared to take a completely different approach to it. But after I read it I couldn’t ignore this even if I tried. It’s an interview with a Brooklyn drag performer, Babes Trust, and one of the most interesting things in the interview I read is how Trust thinks of the word “Tranny.”

This is the question about Tranny as a word:

Some transgender people are critical of drag performers using the word “tranny.” What are your thoughts about it?

Here’s how Babes Trust answered:

I have issues around this wider idea of community; such as the gay “community,” the trans “community” — we are not a generalized generic community or binary. Although we share some basic values, we are many different communities with varying values, speech, meanings, codes and languages.

Tranny means different things to different people. Do I know some people who feel more comfortable with explaining their gender and sexuality as “tranny”? Yes. Its that okay?

By one “community” effectively silencing and oppressing another to “not say” certain words or be so untrusting of people that you believe that everything comes from a place of violence, is sad.

If someone identifies as “tranny,” the people who attack the term as offensive are oppressing the people who have a valid claim over the term.

I agree with Trust, and I find people like that not only oppressive, but bullies.

The reason I find this so interesting is that I once came across a comment thread on romance book review web site best known for its incivility where someone went berserk in a politically correct rampage about how offensive the word “Tranny” is, and frankly I didn’t get that at the time and I still don’t get it now. In full disclosure, ever since then I’ve been terrified to use the word myself for fear of being politically incorrect…or offending someone without realizing it.

However, the word “Tranny” is one I’ve heard all my life in certain LGBT circles, and I’ve never heard it used in a derogatory way. So my point with this is I think Babes Trust makes a highly valid point in being so candid, and those who think they know it all about gay culture don’t even get the tip of what gay culture is really all about. And the only thing that really offends me most as a gay man is when people who aren’t gay start telling me how to be gay.

You can read more of the interview here. Babes Trust is no one’s fool, and it’s been a long time since I’ve read such sharp, intelligent answers. It also shows how Brooklyn is up and coming as its own hot spot.

What’s A Gay Otter? GRL 2013; Gay Marriage NJ

What’s A Gay Otter?

If you’ve never heard the term “Otter” before with respect to gay culture, don’t worry about it. I didn’t even know what it was until recently. I asked Tony what it was; he didn’t know. And at a small dinner party recently I asked  a table of eight filled with LGBT people and none of them knew. Everyone knew the term “Bear,” but not Otter.

And that’s because Otter is actually a term that’s part of Bear sub-culture. Urban Dictionary describes Otter this way:

A fuzzy adorable sexually aggressive and playful sex object that is highly sought after.
For those who don’t know what a gay Bear is, the link below has a good explanation. And it also mentions Otter as a sub-culture.
It’s titled A Handy Guide to All Gay Men
The gay world is often represented as some sort of monolithic whole that has the same culture. That is a lie. It is actually broken down into a handful of substrata to which each gay belongs. Here they are.
Here’s what they say about Bears:
Body Type
: Large, hairy, often with facial hair
Description: The bigger, generally older subset of the population is new but increasingly popular both in the community and pop culture. They have their own social calendar that is well populated with events to support the flannel-clad butch lifestyle of beards and beer guts.
The article goes on to mention other categories of gay men, but I’m not actually certain where I would fit. If I had to go by the process of elimination and be totally honest I’d probably be what they consider an “Art Fag.”
You can read more here. It’s also interesting because in all the categories and sub-categories they mention brief descriptions, and one description is top or bottom. All state bottom. So for those who think top or bottom isn’t a big thing in gay culture…or it shouldn’t be a big thing in gay fiction…you might want to double check to see if the information you have about gay culture is accurate.
As a side note, when I was in college, before I met Tony, I met a nice-looking thin guy at The Roxy. We went back to his apartment and to my surprise he removed all his clothes the minute we walked inside. The first thing I noticed was that he had fuzz all over his body. Fuzz on his chest, legs, arms, back, and neck. He even had fuzz at the tops of his shoulders and his knuckles. Just fuzz. So when he asked me if I wanted anything, I smiled and replied, “I think I left the lights on in my car.” And I got out of there as fast as I could, as politely as I could. I guess he would have been considered an Otter.
GRL 2013
An author friend I’ve known since the early days of e-publishing when I first started writing for the now defunct e-publisher, attended Gay Rom Lit 2013 (GRL), in Atlanta this past weekend and he’s doing a two part blog post series on the events and all things book related pertaining to GRL. His name is Jon Michaelsen and I’ve read and reviewed his gay mystery/suspense books a few times here on the blog.

Attendees also got the opportunity to ask questions of the panel, which proved to be very focused on specific series penned by the authors and questions about future releases. I found it personally interesting when JP Bowie described while writing the books in his Portrait series of mystery and mayhem with protagonists Peter Brandon and Jeff Stevens, how secondary characters introduced later in the series grew larger than life and demanded their own series, thus Nick Fallon Investigations was created and now spans four wonderful novels.

You can read the first post in full, here. Since I don’t know much about GRL I found it to be a good, fast read that talks about books and publishing, which is what I’ve always been told these events revolve around. I haven’t seen many other articles about GRL yet, at least not with respect to books publishing. If anyone has any links, feel free to e-mail them to me.
Gay Marriage NJ
Last night, at midnight, Gay Marriage became legal in New Jersey. I saw on my local Philadelphia news channel that only one mile away from me, in Lambertville, NJ, gay couples were gathering at midnight to celebrate at the city hall where there was a big reception. Lambertville, like New Hope, PA, has a large LGBT community. I’m thrilled for them. But imagine the way it would feel to live in Pennsylvania, only one mile away from a state where gay marriage is legal, and not be considered equal.
This article discusses some of the confusion they are experiencing in NJ.

Several couples planned to marry minutes after the state began recognizing the unions. Yet other said they had not been able to get a license. New Jersey law requires that couples wait three days between obtaining a license and getting married.

“There’s a lot of mass confusion and it boils down to the fact that the state should have issued guidance a week ago,” said Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality.

We should all be so lucky to experience that brand of confusion.

Photo Here 


Review: Docudrama House of Versace by David Aria

Review: Docudrama House of Versace by David Aria

I read a book review by David Aria on a few weeks ago and really liked his style. So I contacted him and asked if he would be willing to write a guest post every now and then on pop culture or books…on any topic he wanted, with tie-ins to gay culture. This one talks about the docudrama, House of Versace. It’s interesting to read a gay man’s POV for a change, especially when it comes to gay culture. And I’m going to make a point of keeping this as an ongoing process.

“VO sace”…F …O….


By Aria David

It’s always difficult when commenting on a docudrama not to make cross commentary on the actual historical figure, and Lifetime’s latest cinematic atrocity House of Versace certainly doesn’t make things any easier. House of Versace premiered last week on the “for women” network, and I often wonder when looking at these films if the LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) puts out these films with the deliberate intention of being campy or if there is supposed to be a genuine presentation of pathos involved. I imagine one day there will be Internet followings of social shut-ins who exalt that sort of thing just as there are now for various other tropes.
This was also one of the few times that Lifetime has dipped its manicured toe into the gay pool but still manages to keep from getting wet by making the Versace story not about the great fashion icon himself but rather posing his sister Donatella as some sort of tragic heroine who lived in the oppressive shadow of a gay fashion legend. There are all sorts of contradictory points to this story that are really quite shockingly amazing… I write that with a sense sarcasm.
Our heroine does prevail over her own demons but she’s admonished in the process for essentially martyring herself for the good of her own family and saving her children from certain financial ruin with no help from her own husband who we never see do anything in the film other than complain like some nagging housewife of never spending enough time together. Interesting dichotomous role reversal but annoying nonetheless. Though like most things in the entertainment industry there’s a method to this madness: class warfare. The only real reason why a network as mainstream as Lifetime would ever dare reach beyond the common boundaries of middle class American and attempt portray anything to do with the European jet set elite boils down to a simply perception of pain.
Donatella Versace is about as far removed from the average American woman as anyone could be but in order for her to be seen as remotely sympathetic to LMN’s demographic audience she has to essentially suffer for her life of European decadence. It’s a tried and true formula the media has latched on to since late 90’s with the passing of Princess Diana (who is a subject we’ll get into later but for now); a beautiful wealthy woman lives a gilded life as wife and mother with maybe some part time occupation, is brought down tragically in or during her own “selfish” plight for independence. This is also evidenced in House’s predecessor Anna Nicole, which while the trailers seemed promising I couldn’t quite bring myself to watch as I’ve tactfully avoided Lifetime throughout much of my adult life.
What’s worse is that while most those stories tend to focus on the trappings of the heterosexual male dominated paradigm, Lifetime has the audacity to actually take on the gay male glitterati of the fashion world. While I’m sure that the story of the actual Donatella is far more compelling and interesting Lifetime’s Donatella is somewhat different. Left alone in in the wake of brother Gianni’s death to run an empire for the sake of her family’s survival she commits herself to managing a business that is half commercial economics and half artistic creativity she and is plunged into the lonely world of the working woman. Abandoned by the family that she fought to keep afloat, she’s eventually sabotaged by them and written off as a drug addict. It’s only after a brief stint in rehab that she’s able to miraculously overcome an entire life’s worth of drug usage and unbridled anger issues to calmly stand as head of a fashion house and produce a successful collection.
In reality while if any of this were remotely possibly in the time they give in the film Donatella’s resurrection of the Versace brand name wouldn’t have been due to any lacking in her creativity but rather subtle but specific process of a business model. It even stupidly states at the end of the film that the brand’s resurrection was facilitated by an endorsement of ready-to-wear and not an exclusive reliance on couture. All this aside its rather ironic that a network that’s supposedly devoted towards the plight of women actually glorifies their downfall for the cardinal sin of being ambitious and trying to have it all.
Which takes us to our next point of discussing some of the more idiotic anecdotes throughout the film. We’re presented with a Donatella who is haughtily confident which we could spend some time talking about LMN’s implied message that women shouldn’t have a sense of self worth? But, we can always write this down to maybe they were trying to depict her as what was known in 1970’s and 1980’s soap operas as the Bitch Goddess. Moving on though we notice that LMN’s Donatella is opportunistically homophobic (by that I mean slurs come out with the anger, you know the type) and she often lashes out at brother Gianni while they’re having one of their more passionate discussions with phrases and labels like “tired old queen” and denigrating him with the cliché pseudo-feminist argument of “you’ll never know what its like to be a REAL woman.” Because the people at Lifetime think that being gay and being a fashion designer of ladies’ apparel clearly translates to secretly wanting to be a woman?
Anyway, authentic Versace designs are not seen anywhere within the film with the exception to the occasional actual film footage of Princess Diana who the film likes to really drive the point home that the Versaces were basically BFFs with. Though the emphasis on Princess Di gives the accidental impression that the entire Versace line was reliant on her patronage. Which if it were anywhere near true it would’ve ensured the brand’s survival long after Gianni’s untimely passing; as everything the Princess touched in life turned to tear stained gold, especially regarding the sacred reliquary of her garments. Manolo and Jimmy certainly were able to capitalize on their associations with Di. The truth is that Diana while she might’ve had some social acquaintanceship with Versace and his milieu she wore only a select few of his gowns. She actually tended to favor British designer Catherine Walker, though some variety was introduced after her break from Prince Charles.
The film is also unintentionally comedic in several ways for example the dialogue in this film is hilarious to hear. The actors all speak in these weak muddled Italian accents and speak and argue with each other in broken English. As if they all have an unspoken code of agreement for using the lingua franca as opposed to the ease of the mother tongue with occasional terms of affection or curse words in actual Italian. While it probably would’ve looked equally ridiculous if the actors had used plain American English accents or possibly received English it still could’ve been written and executed better than how it was portrayed. Though it does contribute greatly to the camp factor.
The LMN’s proclivity for melodramatic kitsch never ceases to amaze/amuse me and this film is chalk filled with it. Just an example the utilizing of Italian opera is particularly hilarious as it tends to play during the most blatantly pathetic attempts at pathos scenes in the film. And whats even more hilarious is that they use the same operatic piece throughout the film and only a certain stanza of the aria which while I don’t personally understand Italian I can hear that the lyrics are singing something about a “donna tella”.
So who knows what the song is actually about or what opera it’s from but the fact that it’s Italian and that the one or two lyrics are about a “donna tella” obviously for contextual artistry it has to be thrown in there and played whenever a tear jerking scene comes up. While I must admit it is slightly beautiful when rendered in maybe one scene where Donatella walks off the runway and realizes her grief and solitude it is sort of a cheap trick on the director’s part. Opera really should only be used sparingly in films just enough so that the audience can establish a nexus between a story from old Europe with whatever modern plot they are witnessing. It helps them feel more cultured than they really are. More successful examples of this are Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, Cher in Moonstruck, and (okay, fine, just this once I’ll admit it) Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
More melodrama can be seen in a key point in the film where actress Gina Gershon (Donatella) really should be awarded for the most sashay shantay worthy fainting spell to ever be captured on a film reel. I honestly don’t think that Vivienne Leigh could’ve done it better herself.
Casting Gina Gershon as the fashion icon may or may not have been the best move on the film’s part. Specifically for the reason that previous to the film Gershon had done a satirical impersonation of Versace on the show Ugly Betty a show which is a light dramedy but a comedy more so. So I’m once again brought back full circle to my question of whether or not these films that LMN releases are really supposed to be taken in seriousness or if they’re made purely for nostalgic superfluous purposes. Gershon to her credit despite the fact that the plot and the premise of the film are just awful she gives an amazing performance. With regard to accepting the script as pure kitsch conjures images of all sorts of equally campy kitschy films of the 60’s and 70’s. Watching Gershon go through the whole film with all that pill popping and ass kicking in a blonde wig it’s almost like instead of channeling the fashion icon she’s channeled Pam Grier as Foxy Brown playing Jennifer North (Sharon Tate) in Valley of the Dolls. While Gershon’s performance is utterly amazing unto itself the decision to cast her without the comedic implication is still puzzling. Its almost would be like if they made a biopic of Bjork and cast Wynona Ryder as the lead. (brownie points to those who know what I’m talking about)
Iconic actress Raquel Welch unfortunately while she looks amazing for her age doesn’t really deliver anything noteworthy, however child actress Madison McAleer who plays Donatella’s young daughter Allegra probably give the best authentically dramatic performance of the whole cast. Which I’m not entirely sure if that’s sad or impressive. Nonetheless the girl gets my vote for best actress in drama this year.
To tie things off it seems that we’re entering a new era of Lifetime movies. It appears that the writers over there are finally moving on from those cheap and cheesy stories about the average American woman marrying the wrong guy and escaping with her life and children, or those awful stories about the women of real life court room drama to depicting the forlorn lives of women apart of what Christopher Hitchens once described as “the jet set trailer trash elite.”
While these films are so far appear to be benign and at times entertaining in the ironic sense the only thing that we as the viewer should be outraged about is their seeming justification of homophobia.The writer’s of House of Versace clearly think that homophobia is acceptable so long as it’s orchestrated by women towards gay men. The film’s Donatella is never apologetic for the string of homophobic slurs she hurls at Gianni and his boyfriend. Regardless of whether they were said in anger or not. She is never remorseful of the fact that the last thing she said to her brother was a condescending tone of “goplay with your boyfriend.” She never reconciles with her late brother’s boyfriend who she and her family ostracize after Gianni’s passing because they don’t consider him family. Tensions between the surviving Versaces and Antonio (Gianni’s boyfriend) are only aggravated further when its learned that like any two persons who are for all intents and purposes married Gianni remembered Atonio in his will.
The real life Donatella Versace has made public clarifications that while she respected her brother’s relationship she never cared for or got on with Antonio as a person. This distinction is never really made in the LMN film and it comes off that the Donatella didn’t respect the relationship for what it was. This is chiefly the stupidest part of the film as its kind of difficult to be homophobic and work in the fashion industry. The writer’s at Lifetime should realize the feminist movement and the gay rights movement has not come as far as it has only to subvert one another.
In closing the cheap tawdry nature of House of Versace really reminds of a scene in the filmNext Friday where an exchange between two characters asks the spelling the brand’s name in order to establish a sense of authenticity. And this cheap knock off made for TV movie is really just a commercial way of comforting the insecurities of suburban American housewives so that they don’t feel bad about living in the drug rattled world of the Euro-trash fashion elite.


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