James Baldwin Very Gay Author, and "I Am Not Your Negro"; The Milo Yiannopoulos Berkeley Speech; Rob Mallard From Coronation Street Is Gay

James Baldwin Very Gay Author, and “I Am Not Your Negro”

I’ve posted about James Baldwin as the author of one of my favorite books of all time, Giovanni’s Room, several times over the years. He’s a huge part of gay culture.

Now there’s a new documentary out about James Baldwin titled, I Am Not Your Negro, and I can’t help but wonder if they are trying to play down the fact that he was gay. Or maybe they don’t think it’s important enough to mention, with respect to gay culture. Very few mainstream articles and reviews even mention that he was gay.

In any event, I went all over the Internet to find this article in The Advocate that actually does mention the fact that Baldwin was gay. And, it’s in the title.

James Baldwin (1924-1987) was prolific author and social critic. His works include novels (“Another Country” and “Giovanni’s Room”), poems, plays (“The Amen Corner”) and essays (“The Fire Next Time,” “The Devil Finds Work” and “Notes of a Native Son”). He was also a passionate and eloquent public speaker, appearing frequently on televised debates and on talk shows like “The Dick Cavett Show.”

“He was probably one of the biggest authors of his generation, black or white” Peck says. “He was an important witness to the Civil Rights movement. He was gay. He was an intellectual. He had an immense celebrity. He was friends with people like Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne and Nina Simone.”

You can read the rest here. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it for many reasons, and one of those reasons has to do with the fact that Baldwin is a huge part of gay culture and that he influenced millions of gay readers.

The Milo Yiannopoulos Berkeley Speech

Here’s a part of recent gay culture that I’m tempted to ignore, but won’t. It’s happening right now, and it’s news. Please forgive me if I spell his name wrong sometimes.

This article is all about what happened at Berkeley, and Milo. I’d rather not go into detail. I’m just not personally fond of pundits who exploit for attention or personal gain, gay or straight.

32-year-old Yiannopoulos goes to great lengths to brand himself as a sort of “free-speech fundamentalist” locked in fierce battle with “political correctness.”

On Facebook, he touts himself as “the most fabulous supervillain on the Internet.”

You can can read more about this here. I think the discussion in the comment section is as interesting as anything I’ve seen so far. You’ll want to check that out, too.

Rob Mallard From Coronation Street Is Gay

It seems another male celebrity, Rob Mallard, recently came out as gay. I’m not playing that down either. I think it’s wonderful. Here’s part of what he said…

“I never planned to keep it quiet that I was gay. The only concern I had at first was if I’m with a female character, will an audience who knows I’m gay in real life believe it? But that was just my own fears because I do believe they will,” the 25-year-old actor said.

He’s adorable and it’s a great article, and you can find it here. And there’s a place where you can follow him on Twitter to show support. I just did.








New Release

Imperfect

Anti-Gay Display, Hate, Philadelphia Mummers; Colton Haynes Is Brilliant With This; Classic Gay Literature

Anti-Gay Display, Hate, Philadelphia Mummers

You know, there’s such a thing as being too PC, which I think everyone who reads this blog knows I can’t stand. And then there’s the opposite which is being an outright piece of shit bigot, which I can’t stand as much as being too PC. This report falls under the category of piece of shit bigot.

I purposely took this from an outside source and not from a Philadelphia news source because I want it to come from a more objective POV, and the Mummers parade in Philadelphia is a huge event most local media outlets might not want to offend. In other words, it’s being reported locally, but it’s being treated with great care. The recent gay Philly bashing story received a lot more coverage.

According to Philadelphia TV station WCAU, the 116th Annual Mummers Day Parade was led by a group of drag queens, symbolizing the folk tradition’s recent efforts to become more inclusive of marginalized groups, including people of color and LGBT residents. Historically populated by straight white people, the Mummers Day Parade has been referred to as “Philadelphia’s version of Mardi Gras,” according to the station. \

But during Friday’s parade, a gay man walking his family dog through Philadelphia’s City Center was allegedly punched in the face, after several assailants hurled antigay slurs at the man and his dog. John Holtz told Philly.com he and a pair of friends were walking near Broad Street at approximately 2 p.m. Friday when they came across a group of Mummers, dressed in red, white, and blue, and with patriotic face paint. The 28-year-old chemist said the revelers appeared “very intoxicated” and were urinating in the alley. 

This is only one of two gay hate incidents that allegedly happened at this parade. The other one allegedly involved mocking Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner in a huge public display during the parade. They are calling this parody. There are photos and I saw a news clip on local Philadelphia news last night.

You can read more here.

What I find interesting is that it would be very simple to do a vicious, mocking parody of the idiotic Philadelphia Mummers parade itself. In fact, too easy. I would bet the people throwing gay slurs and doing gay parody that day only get out of their pajamas and sweat pants once a year to DO the Mummers parade.  

Colton Haynes Is Brilliant With This

I’m not even familiar with Colton Haynes and I already love this more than most things I’ve read lately. Evidently, someone on social media made a comment about his past gay life and he gave the most clever response ever.

In other words, it really shouldn’t matter anymore. And by him responding this way he’s setting the path for others to follow. And I think there are a lot more like him out there based on what I’ve seen on social media.

You can check this out here. 

Classic Gay Literature

I’ve had the “what is classic gay literature” discussion with friends before and we don’t always agree on everything, but we always agree on at least two books:

 Dancer From The Dance by Andrew Holleran

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

James Baldwin’s 1956 magnum opus follows David, an American living in Paris, as he navigates through his homosexual desires and the frustrations that come with them, particularly his feelings for an Italian bartender named Giovanni. Years after its publication, Baldwin revealed that when he first turned in the manuscript to his publisher, they told him to burn it, warning him that the themes of homosexuality would alienate readers. Baldwin chose to publish it anyway and the book went on to be considered one of the best LGBTQ novels ever written.

You can read the rest of the books they consider classics, here. They look interesting and there are two I haven’t read yet.

I’d like to add one more: The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren. For me that is the ultimate gay classic. And, you can get it in digital (e-book) now on Amazon. I added it to my digital library over a year ago.  

When A Man Loves A Man


Glendora Hill Series


Library Without Books; Matt Bomer on American Horror; Justin Theroux’s Bulge; Hugh Howey’s Shitty Basket; Giovanni’s Room; Michael Sam Sacks Johnny Football;

Library Without Books

This past Sunday night Tony and I had dinner with two older gay couples, all of whom worked as professors in colleges. The topic turned to e-books at one point, and as usual, with this topic, I just kept my mouth shut and listened. I’ve learned to do that when I’m with people who don’t really know what they’re talking about. All of these former professors claimed that e-books were a passing trend and nothing could ever replace the print book. And I think this next article to which I’m linking about a Florida college that just opened a library with ONLY e-books validates the point that e-books are not going to disappear.

A fully digital library is among the futuristic features of Florida Polytechnic University’s striking dome-shaped building, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

“It’s a boldly relevant decision to go forward without books,” said Kathryn Miller, the university’s director of libraries.

It’s also interesting to note that they consider this a bold move…when many of us have been reading nothing but digital content for years now. But more than that, the article treats e-books as if they aren’t really books by claiming this is a library without books. Last I heard, e-books are just as much books as any print book.

You can read more here.


Matt Bomer on American Horror

I think I’ve already admitted I’m a huge fan of American Horror Story, and now the newest season where they’ll be concentrating on carny people titled, Freak show, will be even more enticing because Matt Bomer will be in it. Producer, Ryan Murphy, practically begged Bomer to do this.

 ‘I try to get him to do everything for me,’ Murphy tells Entertainment Weekly.

 ‘I sent him a text that said, ‘First right of refusal, here’s the role.’ Murphy, also the creator of Glee, has not revealed details of the role except to say:

‘It’s very…warped.’

It goes on to mention that Bomer will be in at least one episode. I want to know why Ryan Murphy isn’t begging Trevor Donovan to be in his TV shows, too. Donovan’s not gay, but he’s been a huge friend to the LGBTI community, he’s excellent at whatever he does, and he certainly would draw a few good ratings. But I digress.

You can read more about that here.

Justin Theroux’s Bulge

I will be the first to admit that I only started watching Leftovers because of the first few scenes with Justin Theroux. The man is gorgeous, every last fuzzy inch of him, including his bulge. But I’m glad I did continue to watch because the complicated plot keeps drawing you in more and more each week. You don’t always know where you are, or even where the story is going, but it all ties in eventually…for the most part. Best of all, you actually care about the characters. And…Amy Brenneman is in the show and I’ve always loved her.

In any event, Justin Theroux’s bulge can’t be ignored either. You don’t see them like that every day on TV.

But there is one thing the show definitely has going for it. Its star, Justin Theroux.

And more specifically, his crotch.

In last night’s episode we got backstory on many of the main players, but with Justin it was more like frontstory.

Justin Theroux’s part in this show is something I actually think m/m romance readers might enjoy. He’s the classic hero, the occasional bad boy, and the vulnerable good guy who cries when he’s faced with something ethical or moral. It really doesn’t get much better on TV these days. He really does own this character.

You can read more here, where they’ve put together a few images of Justin you’ll want to see.

Hugh Howey’s Shitty Basket

Now for something far less interesting than Justin Theroux, this next link is about Hugh Howey, eggs, and shitty baskets. I’m still not sure who died and who named Hugh Howey the spokesperson of publishing, but he certainly writes blog posts as if that’s who he is. I guess he doesn’t think there have been people around a long time before he came along. But you can’t blame a guy for being overly aggressive I guess, especially in this post titled, No More Shitty Baskets.

I’m not going to bother commenting on this link because I think it’s all pretty moot. The conclusions aren’t all that dramatic either. However, I do know that a lot of people who will be reading this might find it interesting. Especially those who are still thinking about self-publishing. Howey is a good example in that department…I think.

I just wish he’d lighten up on the metaphors and similes already.

I have no problem going all-in if a company is making decisions that I believe in and support. I can move my eggs with the press of a button. These calculations are vastly different when you own the rights to your eggs, and those eggs are digital.

After reading this one I had this weird craving for an Egg McMuffin. Here’s where you can read all this in full.

Giovanni’s Room

Remember when I posted about the oldest LGBTI book store in the US, Giovanni’s Room, in Philadelphia shuttering its doors last May because sales for print books have been down for a while? Well there’s been a recent announcement that the old space where the book store was will open as a thrift shop that will sell books, and all proceeds will go to raising money for AIDS.

Now, the nearly 9-year-old establishment will be preserving something much more significant – Giovanni’s Room, the iconic touchstone of the LGBT community and the country’s oldest LGBT bookstore. The organization has signed a two-year lease with the former Giovanni’s Room owner to open Philly AIDS Thrift store at Giovanni’s Room.

The store will have a soft opening in late September and open officially Oct. 10, in time for OutFest and National Coming Out Day. The iconic “Giovanni’s Room” signage will remain, the new leasers said.

“What can be more precious than Giovanni’s Room? What better thing to try and keep alive?” asked Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou, co-founder of the Philly AIDS Thrift and manager of the Queen Village store. She added that it was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

I couldn’t be happier to hear this. Actually, for the first time ever, possibly, someone is trying to preserve a little fraction of LGBTI history and gay culture. We don’t really see this happen anywhere, not even in pop culture. In the US if George Washington didn’t sleep there it’s not considered significant.

You can read more here. I’ll post photos in the fall after it’s opened.
 

Michael Sam Sacks Johnny Football

I’m not the biggest footfall fan, so I’m not even going to try to comment on this one. All I can say is that I don’t think they’re talking about anything dirty when they say Michael Sam “sacks” Johnny Football…whoever he may be. I’m gathering this is a football term….”sack.” And, Michael Sam did it to him.

‘If you’re going to sack Johnny, you’ve got to do that once,’ Sam said, as reported by ESPN.

The quarterback’s nickname is ‘Johnny Football.’

‘He’s a talented kid,’  Sam said to ESPN. ‘He isn’t called Johnny Football for nothing. It was fun getting to play against Manziel in an NFL game. I sacked him as both a junior and senior at Missouri.’

You can read more here. I just like reading about football players, especially when they’re sacking each other.

 

The Sheriff and the Outlaw
 
by Ryan Field