Gay Victims of Holocaust; Michael Urie on Gay TV Sex; Mark Ruffalo Wins Sag Award for Normal Heart

Gay Victims of Holocaust

I remember the first time I ever heard about gays and the Holocaust. Because my generation didn’t live through it I only know what most people know through media, films, and the most commercial books released. And I knew nothing about gays and the Holocaust until I read an article in the 1990’s about how gay people were treated. It’s something we don’t hear about often enough…mainly because the media’s history of covering up and downplaying anything gay related has always been so prevalent.

Human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, writes about it here:

‘We must exterminate these [homosexuals] root and branch…We can’t permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be entirely eliminated.’ 

With these chilling words, the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, set out the Nazi master plan for the sexual cleansing of the Aryan race. 

Heinz F was a care-free young German gay man in the early 1930s. He had no idea of what was about to happen. ‘I didn’t fully understand the situation,’ he admitted with pained regret. One morning, out of the blue, the police knocked on his door. ‘You are suspected of being a homosexual,’ they told him. ‘You are hereby under arrest.’ 

It’s a fascinating piece and the rest is here. I highly suggest reading it when you have a moment to spare.

In semiotic terms…signs and symbols representing something within a culture…the pink triangle is what the Nazis made homosexuals wear to distinguish them from heterosexuals. It’s become a significant symbol still worn today to show protest. You can read more here.

Michael Urie on Gay TV Sex

Openly gay actor, Michael Urie, spoke up about gay sex on TV. He has some fairly strong words.

‘I don’t think it’s overexposed. If gay sex on TV is too much for you, change the channel and don’t watch it, it’s not for you.’ 

Urie was asked about the topic by NewNowNext in light of Billy Crystal’s comments last week about gay scenes on TV today ‘going too far.’ 

Says Urie: ‘I think there is far too much football on TV. But I’m not going around saying they should take football off the air; I’m changing the channel.’

Even though I “get” where Urie is coming from, I think his argument is weak and it makes the rest of us look a little dumb. I guess he didn’t show up for debate practice in college on a regular basis. The problem with his argument is that you can’t compare sex to football and expect to be taken seriously…apples to oranges. There are a lot of people out there who think there’s already too much sex in general on TV…gay and straight. I’m not one of them, but in the same respect I don’t think it was the wisest move to compare sports to screwing. 

You can read the rest here. I’m not even commenting in Billy Crystal or what he said. It was gayface the made Billy Crystal a star. If it hadn’t been for Billy Crystal playing gayface early in his career in the TV show, Soap, he wouldn’t even be on the fucking map. For the record, his character on Soap was the MOST insulting gay clown and court jester stereotype ever to hit television.And yet at the time it was significant because there were NO gays on TV.

Mark Ruffalo Wins Sag Award for Normal Heart

To show that not all straight actors who play gay roles are atrocious, this announcement is something I believe is well-deserved…and so long overdue I’m ecstatic. Mark Ruffalo, who I think owned his part and took the entire film for himself, recently won a SAG Award for playing AIDS activist, Ned Weeks, in The Normal Heart. It’s one of the best portrayals I think I’ve ever seen.

Ruffalo played writer and AIDS activist Ned Weeks in the film based on the play by Larry Kramer. The character of Weeks is a fictionalized version of Kramer.

The award was accepted on Ruffalo’s behalf by presenters Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o since the actor did not attend the ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Julia Roberts, Ruffalo’s co-star and fellow producer on the film, later took the stage to present another award and dispensed with her prepared remarks to praise Ruffalo’s acting abilities and to say ‘I am so absolutely tickled to my toes that he won tonight.’

If anyone in Hollywood ever deserved to win an award, it was Mark Ruffalo. And, I think it’s important to note that during promotion and marketing for The Normal Heart, Ruffalo didn’t say or do one stupid insulting thing with regard to playing a gay character…unlike Matt Damon and a few others I could mention. He truly is the best. And I say that because we’re still living in times when we get slapped in the face daily. At least Ruffalo didn’t slap us, too.

Here’s the rest.

Chase of a Lifetime


Matt Bomer Normal Heart; AIDS Today; Zimmerman Trial

Matt Bomer Normal Heart

When I posted about Matt Bomer earlier this year doing the film version of the stage play, The Normal Heart, I made a point of following the story.

From January 5th

Matt Bomer is scheduled to star in Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart” on HBO. It’s going to be directed by Ryan Murphy (Glee), and will also star Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo.

In this case, I have a feeling it’s going to be authentic with Murphy as the director. He tends to get a bit too political sometimes, but in this case, with this film, I don’t think it’s possible to get too political…or rant and scream too much about. If that is what he intends to do.

Although I was only a kid at the time, I can still remember how AIDS was ignored back then. The President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, never used the term once while he was in office…as I recall personally. There was panic, protests, and emotional events that helped define the next generation of gay men. Things were never the same again.

I went on to write another post about this topic, here.

Since I wrote those posts, filming for The Normal Heart began on July 3, in New York. And it is set to air on TV in 2014. I think the film is going to be significant for several reasons, one of which is I’ve seen a trend where we are finally starting to talk about AIDS openly, and what it was like during the height of the AIDS crisis. Just this year, I posted a rave review of John Irving’s novel, In One Person, because I thought it went into the most detailed account I’ve ever read in fiction about what it was really like back then…including the actual medical issues people with AIDS had. And recently, something I didn’t expect happened, Irving won a Lambda Award for In One Person.

You can read more here about Bomer and The Normal Heart. The cast also includes Taylor Kitsch, Mark Ruffalo, and Julia Roberts. And, it’s being directed by Ryan Murphy of Glee.

From Wiki:

The Normal Heart is a largely autobiographical play by Larry Kramer. It focuses on the rise of the HIVAIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the gay Jewish-American founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. Ned prefers loud public confrontations to the calmer, more private strategies favored by his associates, friends, and closeted lover Felix Turner, none of whom is prepared to throw himself into the media spotlight. Their differences of opinion lead to frequent arguments that threaten to undermine their mutual goal.

As a side note, during the time The Normal Heart was written we viewed the world and the AIDS virus very differently than we do today. I’m always glad to see historical things like this being approached by producers and publishers because we should never forget. But I’d also like to see how people are living with HIV/AIDS today. It’s not the horror story that we’ve seen in the past. And I find that so many people who are unfamiliar with HIV/AIDS don’t get all the information they should be getting. So while I am looking forward to this film version of The Normal Heart, I’m not so sure about what it’s going to do to help break the stigma for people who are living “normal heart” lives today with HIV/AIDS. It’s actually a topic I plan to tackle eventually, because I think we need to know more about it. And also because I have been in those proverbial trenches personally.

AIDS Today

In a totally unrelated article, new ground is being broken daily for people with HIV. And many are working hard to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS all around the world.

Doctors could save three million more lives worldwide by 2025 if they offer AIDS drugs to people with HIV much sooner after they test positive for the virus, the World Health Organisation said on Sunday.

While better access to cheap generic AIDS drugs means many more people are now getting treatment, health workers, particularly in poor countries with limited health budgets, currently tend to wait until the infection has progressed.

What this basically means is that people who are HIV positive can get drugs and the virus can actually remain virtually undetected if they take the drugs regularly. I’m familiar with this personally because of a friend who has HIV and I’ve listened in on his medical consultations at the University of Pennsylvania. I’ve also learned that getting these drugs out there to people is highly important, and getting them to take the drugs regularly is even more important. Another issue is that the drugs are not always affordable, but there are programs, too.

I think this is a fascinating article, and simple to understand for those like me who are not medical experts. Just this alone made me stop and think twice:

“With nearly 10 million people now on antiretroviral therapy, we see that such prospects – unthinkable just a few years ago – can now fuel the momentum needed to push the HIV epidemic into irreversible decline,” she said in a statement.

You can read more here.

Zimmerman Trial

I’ve been following the Zimmerman trial on Anderson Cooper 360 partly because attorney Danny Cevallos is local to Philadelphia and he’s on the AC 360 panel, and partly because I have found it so hard to get real information about the entire case…anywhere. Almost everything seems to be biased in one direction or the other.

This is a highly charged issue for many, and in following AC 360 this past week I’ve learned many facts about the case (on both ends) I didn’t know from what I’d read in articles and blog posts that can’t seem to remain objective. In fact, the very first time I learned of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, I read about it on a publishing blog by literary Agent Janet Reid, here.

But there seem to be so many facts about this case that have been coming out in the trial since I read Ms. Reid’s highly emotional post, I’m in shock each time I hear something different. How this will turn out or what the verdict will be is not something I can predict. But I do think that it’s going to set new standards for other cases. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure it’s going to change the violence we are all experiencing in the US. And I don’t think violence is a racial issue. Violence in the US is something we are all dealing with nowadays.

You can read more here at AC 360. And I did search this link out with care. I found other links that were geared toward the defense, with highly biased statements…just as the post written by Janet Reid last year was highly biased in the opposite direction without much merit or substance. As a small blogger, I take the written word very seriously. My goal is to learn the unbiased facts with cases like this, and to base my decisions about the content of a blog post on facts. If I don’t know them I don’t post about them, which is why I haven’t posted about the Zimmerman trial before. And even though I’m just a small blogger with a few thousand hits a day, I think I would be doing readers a huge disservice if I didn’t do this.

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