Gay Chat: Top Gay Magnets in 2012

10: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

These two funky fashionistas have designed their way into our hearts. They may not know how to bed women, but they certainly know how to dress them!

09: Sean Hayes

As the drama queen sidekick of the Will is US sitcom Will and Grace, his prissy little sissy character has not put us off. The baby blues and the boy-next-door look still make him a firm fave.

08: Perez Hilton

He’s famous for bitching about famous bitches and rarely stays out of the headlines himself. Hilton has to be the homo we love to hate. Whatever the truth is behind how the celeb blogger’s body recently went from bulging to buffed, now he’s ditched the flab and firmed up, those biceps have got our blood pumping.

07: Giorgio Armani

The high priest of high fashion might share a complexion with some of his leather manbag creations, but by a pair of jeans with his name on and you’ll notice how they maximise your bulge! That’s sure to have earned him a fair few fans.

06: George Takei

This veteran actor is happily married now, but I’d like to think in his Star Trek days, when he wasn’t busy manning the helm of the Starship Enterprise, he could have been having a whole lot of fun discovering new worlds with Captain Kirk.

05: Queen Latifah

The hip hop diva hasn’t officially come out, but there are a whole lotta ladies who wouldn’t mind getting their hands on some of that regal booty! She’s soon to make her first official public appearance at this year’s Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival, so gay or not, we gotta love a sista for that.

04: Boy George

The British pop prince and DJ made man make-up and guyliner cool for everyone back in the 80s. The public loves a survivor, and Boy George has made it through some serious highs and lows to maintain his status as a style icon.

03: George Michael

Cmon George! You weren’t fooling anyone in that Club Tropicana video, we always knew you were one of us. He brought cottaging to the mainstream; that’s something to be proud of. And the singer is always getting himself in trouble with the police for his sex, drugs and disco lifestyle. Can’t wait to find out what the next episode will be in his car-crash life-story.

02: Elton John

He has to be the ultimate Mr Uber Gay. Look up Homosexual in the dictionary and will be a big smiling photo of the mad hatter. He’s been making music forever and is showing no signs of letting up plus he’s responsible for THE most tear-jerking song ever penned, so he’s bound to stay in our consciousness for a long while yet.

01: Ricky Martin

The hip swivelling Latin megastar has finally decided he’s playing for our team. So now, he’s out and proud, can you think of anyone else with the full package like our Ricky to be our top gay celeb?

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Gay Fun: Japan’s Taste for Gay Anime

To me, it always feels like everything in Japanese culture is cool. Cool design, clothes, music, TV and even porn. Japanese meme, Yaranaika Guy, is the ultimate in gay manga cool, which has withstood the test of time, unlike other internet viral characters. He’s been around for years and I understand why; I do find it hard to resist that hunky character in a manly mechanics overalls, luring me with the way he asks; “Do you wanna do it?” his signature proposal. As cheesy a gay chat up line as it sounds, it works for me.

Yaranaika Guy comes from the Kuso Miso Technique images created by Junichi Yamagawa, who was responsible for starting one of Japan’s first gay mags back in the 80’s. Even though gay and transvestite celebrities were big on Japanese TV, Japanese media as a whole did not acknowledge serious topics affecting the gay community at that time, such as Aids and sexual health.

There’s an icon considered the live action version of Yaranaika Guy. Gay porn star Billy Herrington breathes life into the meme. You might have seen him in porn flicks like HotMenCoolBoyz, but now he pops up regularly in the Japanese cartoon style which has caused him become an internet sensation, affectionately referred to as “Aniki” meaning “Big Brother”. I’m guessing “big” is not just referring to his muscles!

At a recent Nico Nico Douga event inChiba,Japan, Herrington struck a pose on a real version of the famous and much-loved anime Saber Motorcycle.

Nico Nico Douga is the trendy Japanese video sharing site that can take some credit for helping Herrington achieve his meme status, by circulating video mash-ups by his fans. His followers can get their hands on their idol, by snapping up one of the action figure dolls and probably get into some crazy behaviour like getting tucked in bed with the toy at night while fantasising about the real thing! I think I’ll stick to my Billy Herington mouse mat thanks!

Gay Story: Mama Gloria Starts a Charm School and Becomes Mother Figure to LGBT Youth in Chicago

A transgender OAP has set up a charm school in Chicago to pass on her years of experience living as a woman.

66 year old retired nurse, Gloria Allen, was inspired to kick off the service during regular lunch meetings with other Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender senior citizens at her local community centre. She noticed the young people that used the centre, which offers services to the LGBT community, dressed and acted inappropriately.

She has set out to guide the kids out by passing on what she has learned through her life experiences. Now, at the centre, “Mama Gloria” gives classes dedicated to everything from how to dress and how to carry yourself to staying healthy and applying make-up.

The oldest of 14 children and daughter of a 1950’s centerfold model, Gloria lived as a woman from the age of 24, getting tips on how to behave and dress in a womanly fashion from the female members of her family. She gathered more tricks-of-the-trade from older transgender women around her.

Things were probably a bit tougher for Gloria living on the South Side of Chicago around the time she had her gender reassignment surgery at the age of 37. She has used her life’s journey, the adventures and pitfalls, to school the teens she teaches.

Here at Maleforce we take our hats off to Mama Gloria taking on the role surrogate of mother to young LGBT who may not have people around to help them through the ups and downs of growing up, exploring their sexuality and seeking out their identity.

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gay news: london’s mayoral candidates unite over gay rights

It seems the one thing that could unite London’s mayoral candidates in the mad scramble up to the election on May 3rd, is gay rights.

Good ole Boris Johnson stepped in to stop a series of ads, set to appear on London’s buses, by a Christian group preaching they can cure gays with “reparative therapy”. The Core Issue Trust (CIT) was set to run the adverts on five routes through the centre of the capital.

The ads read: “Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!” which is an obvious dig at gay rights organisation Stonewall and their well known slogan, “Some people are gay – Get over it”. The mayor thwarted the campaign in response furious protest on twitter.

In spite of the incumbent Mayor’s block on the campaign, the Christian group have still managed o draw a fair bit of attention to themselves promoting the use of therapy to change the sexual orientation of gay people . The leader of the Core Issues Trust, Mike Davies, describes homosexual behaviour is “sinful” and his orgaisation offers to sponsor the cost of the treatment.

This episode prompted Boris to promise he will set manifesto on gay rights, before next month’s mayoral election, at a recent hosting. His four political rivals for the London Mayor’s job were quick to jump on the bandwagon at the gathering in London’s South Bank, brandishing Stonewall t-shirts and setting out their gay-friendly agendas to grab the pink vote and court the potential 350,000 gay voters in the city.

Former mayor and Labour candidate, Ken Livingstone told the audience Muslims have now become the target for the bigotry of right-wing groups that had been previously reserved for blacks, Irish and gays. He has promised to appoint a LGBT advisor if he is elected. Liberal Democrat candidate reveled he was bullied at school for being gay and pledged to stamp out homophobia and racism in the police force.

The CIT adverts may have become part of a media frenzy and vehicle for politicians’ hook, but the silver lining is the forum becomes open for discussion. Stonewall’s CEO, Ben Summerskill, made it clear he was happy to see that the main candidates for mayor are vying for the attention of LGBT Londoners.

Leading medical and psychiatric organisations reject the idea of a ‘cure’ for homosexuality, and believe this kind of practice only serves to breed a culture of prejudice. But if therapy could be effective to change the way we are, shouldn’t we start research into a cure for small-minded and bigoted behaviour?

Gay Chat News: The Good, the Gay and the Ugly

Anne Hathaway – who is set to play Catwoman in the new Batman film next year – has spoken out about gay marriage. Being a New Jersey girl with a gay brother, she has called on her home state to follow New York’s lead. Quoted from Interview magazine, the Devil Wears Prada star said; “They need to get on the New York bandwagon and legalise gay marriage.” This is most prevalent as a lesbian was refused a wedding dress in New Jersey last week due to the fact she was marrying another woman.

A noted supporter of gay rights, the Hollywood star hopes other US States will follow suit. As well as her on-going support for gay rights, Hathaway has also recorded a video message for the It Gets Better campaign.

It isn’t very hard to understand why there is still so much prejudice and diversity inAmericawhen you think that there were still fifteen States that outlawed sodomy until 2003. Florida was one of those States and even though they still don’t accept it, they cannot legally enforce their own ruling on sodomy thanks to the government.

It’s strange to think of Florida clinging on to this law for so long, especially as the Sunshine State is home to a very large and diverse group of clusters such as Miami Beach, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and even Disney World. But it must say something about the mentality and tolerance of some of the heterosexual populous. In fact a once celebrated teacher of Social Studies has recently been suspended from teaching after making anti-gay comments on his personal FaceBook account. “I’m watching the news, eating dinner, when the story about New York Okaying same sex unions came on and I almost threw up. And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool as same-sex whatever! God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable???”

I am a big believer in freedom of speech, but this man is a school teacher (for Social Studies… maybe he needs to go back to school himself!) He is shaping young people’s minds and how they will perceive the world as adults. Closed-minded and bigoted people should not be allowed to teach in schools (or be in government… yes, I do mean you Michelle Bachmann!)

For as long as I can remember, gay men have been banned from donating blood in the UK. This has always been a bone of contention and just another shocking blow for equality. To say gay men are at a higher risk is factually wrong. There is a higher infection rate of STIs with heterosexuals, homosexuals are more likely to get checked out at the clinic than their straight counterparts – and we get free condoms and lube in every gay bar and club. The gay community is now more savvy when it comes to STIs and probably more cautious ever since HIV/AIDS hit our community three decades ago.

A new petition is currently online calling for an end to the gay blood donation ban. We here at Gay Chat Towers signed it today and know that there is an evidence-based review underway with an announcement of any changes from the health association likely to be soon.

But this is not the first time a call on the ban has been incited. In 2008 an identical campaign was put forward (bloodban) and still hasn’t achieved its goal of 5000 signatures. This new petition has already reached almost that in a matter of weeks. Maybe people have now realised that this on-going saga is not just about equality, but about saving people’s lives.

My boyfriend, best friend and I were watching old music videos on YouTube at the weekend. Late at night and rather inebriated, we danced around as we watched Club Tropicana and couldn’t believe just howcamp George Michael and Andrew Ridgley look in that video. How did we not know about George back then? (Okay, we kinda guessed.) Even though they are both very flamboyant, they are still surrounded by and flirting with scantily-clad women. It’s a little unsettling to look back at now!

Since the break-up of 80s pop sensation Wham! George began a successful solo career that wasn’t even damaged by his very public, gay outing in 1998. The music video “Outside” which played homage to and glorified his cruising habits was seen by most as harmless fun – all except Marcelo Rodriguez of course, who was the officer that caught George in the LA public toilet.

George has done a lot for gay rights and HIV/Aids charities over the years. Being a close friend of Elton John who runs the Aids Foundation; together they have performed at money-raising galas and many charity gigs. But George has never really being known as a gay activist even though he has been out of the closet for thirteen years. In NME Magazine recently, George addressed this point by saying he plans to release a gay album to make up for “letting the gay kids down”.

It’s pegged to be a dance album and will be a collaboration with gay/gay friendly artists. “I’ll be 48 when the album comes out, but I have to say that gay men’s relationship with dance music probably doesn’t end at the same time as straight people’s does.” Ain’t that the truth George!

Terry Gee

Gay Chat News: Are you proud to be gay?

It’s a very wide and open question, but something that we here at Gay Chat Towers would be interested to hear about.

For me personally, I love being gay. I am an out and proud man, I love my boyfriend and openly show him affection when we’re out in public with no fear or trepidation. But, I realise I am living in London which is known to be more tolerant than most cities. I also have a good network of friends who accept me for who I am without question. I live in a protected, gay bubble where the heterosexual community poses no threat to my lifestyle or whom I love.

Londonis very different from Yorkshire where I grew up, holding hands with a person of the same sex in public could cause quite a lot of animosity and even violence from fellow residents. I find that lack of education; knowledge and exposure are key factors to homophobia. Think about how most parents react when we first come out as being gay. For mine, there were tears, tantrums, arguments and hurtful things said and done. But as time goes on, they saw that this is who I am. I am still their son and what does it matter who and of what sex I fall in love with?

But then I read stories of people in countries where being gay is punishable by death or lifetime imprisonment; people who fear to walk out of their own home in case they are attacked and tortured. Countries where government officials and religious bodies tell the populous that being gay is a choice and it is wrong. How can being gay truly be a choice? Would anyone choose a life of persecution, the loss of friends and family and fear of the world outside because of who they are? No one would put themselves through that if they could help it. Being gay was hard enough for me growing up in Yorkshire, so I can’t imagine just how bad it is in places like Uganda and some major Muslim countries. If being gay really was a choice, there would be no gay people living in those places at all.

But what about you? Where do you live and how has being gay affected your day-to-day life? I imagine the residents of San Francisco are only too happy to welcome another gay person into their protective care; but what about people who live inmiddle Americaand the deep south? From what I have read, these places still have low tolerance from what they consider “the norm”. Were you forced into a heterosexual union or even been sent to one of the clinics that say they can “cure” homosexuality? Maybe you have been fighting who you really are and have only just come out or are you still in the closet?

We all must face challenges in life and sometimes they can feel too hard to bear. We find a brick wall in front of us with no way of scaling it to get over to the other side. But there is more than one way to get over such obstacles. Most of the people on Maleforce will have gone through similar situations and had to face the wall. Just speak to them and ask. I’m sure most will have a story to tell. A lot of people will have pushed and shoved, knocked through the bricks one by one and fought their way to the other side. For me, I had my friends to help me through it and their faith in me gave me the strength I needed. And then there are the few people who don’t have the support of their peers, don’t have the tools to get through the wall and feel trapped in a place they don’t belong in. It is to those people who I say there is always hope and help out there. For the fortunate ones who don’t live in repressive countries where the internet is monitored and blocked, find a local support centre and speak to someone there. These are always confidential and can help with getting your life back on track and give you the tools to break down that wall.

Always try and remember that if you are gay, this can’t be changed – and why should it? You are a loving human being with the same rights as everyone else on this planet. And as terrible and futile as life can feel at times, remember that there is nothing wrong with you, the only wrong in this instance are certain people’s misguided views on homosexuality. This is changing rapidly and I honestly believe that in time, prejudice will be a thing of the past. Try and keep that in mind. They are the ones we should pity, as they are a dying breed whose beliefs are so wrong they are now being exposed for the evil bigots they truly are. Let that thought to spur you on, find people who can help you grow and get past a stage in your life that is being repressed by the smaller man.

I am a gay man and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Terry Gee

Gay Chat News: The BBC to deliver primetime gay show… finally!

In 1999 writer Russell T Davis (now known for Doctor Who and Torchwood) engaged, shocked and transformed the nation with Queer as Folk. Later to be remade for the American audience, it was first shown in theUKon Channel 4. Queer as Folk was met by high praise and stark controversy in the British press – but with millions tuning in to see the show; Queer as Folk became a triumph of broadcasting and a great step forward for more queer characters.

In the US the previous year, NBC had started the first series of soon-to-be hit comedy Will and Grace; a high camp and hilarious show about a gay guy living with his (usually) single best girl friend.

The wheels had been set in motion by the late 90s for networks and TV stations to say yay to gay and provide the viewing populous an insight into a world that before had only ever been about death and despair. As the years went on, more pro-gay programming and countless gay characters in films, soap operas and documentaries were brought into people’s home all across the US and Europe. Even the once stuffy BBC have had many gay characters on prime time television but have never broadcast a show that was solely about homo life… until now!

To fill the void of the soon to finish Friday night show, My Family – the BBC are bringing together My Family’s Robert Lindsay and Harry Potter’s Uncle Vernon – AKA Richard Griffiths – as a quirky gay couple in a brand new sitcom announced this week. “It’s slightly less than conventional in terms of the family set up but it’s the 21 century and things move one” said one BBC insider.

The new show will start filming in autumn with the working title: George and Bernard Shaw. So far the BBC are only committing themselves to a pilot, but if this works there’s no reason the show couldn’t run for eleven years just like it’s predecessor My Family.

I’m trying to reserve judgement until I’ve seen the show, but I am unsure whether moving the main character from one primetime programme (where he plays a straight father and devoted husband) to being shacked up with another man in the same timeslot on the same channel is the right thing to do. You would think that the core viewing audience is going to be the same and how differently can Robert’s character really be at that time? Perhaps his character is leaving the onscreen marriage to Zoe Wannamaker, coming out as being a gay man to live with a guy… but I can’t see that happening. Who know though – many more extraordinary things have happened on TV shows; Dallas – it was all a dream, Cheers – the doctor is going to get his own more popular show and let’s not even get started on Twin Peaks?

It is great though that the BBC is bringing a gay sitcom to their primetime audience and I am looking forward to seeing George and Bernard Shaw when it airs next year. Both actors are well known, talented and naturally funny so I have no doubt that they will make a storming piece of entertaining television. Now it’s down to the writing and the audience figures to see if this is sustainable.

Terry Gee

I’m sorry Mrs Bachmann, this is for real!

For the past 100 years we have used the term ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’, although I would say that when you’re a presidential candidate and you’re receiving so much bad press; this can’t be a good thing.

Last week it was announced that nine students have committed suicide over the past two years inMinnesota, the state which Michelle Bachman represents. Yet, her own views of homosexuality are tainted – to say the least, and therefore has not (and I doubt will ever) spoken out for gay and human rights.

I reported a few weeks ago that her husband is running a Christian clinic that says they can “cure” gays and in Michelle’s own words, that homosexuality is “sexual dysfunction”.

Since Michelle entered the race for the Presidency; she has refused to talk about her stance on gay rights. Is she ashamed of how she feels? More likely, she must realise that this is not the way to win a lot of people’s votes and although there is still a lot of discrimination in theUS, I’m sure there are a lot more who believe human beings have a right to be themselves.

Children in her State are now dead after killing themselves because the pressure of bullying had led them to believe that there is no way out. And for what? Because they were gay, or at least perceived to be gay by their fellow students? Those poor children felt they had no one to turn to for help and no where to go except six feet under. But when the State has someone like Michelle Bachmann representing it, it’s no wonder they would feel trapped. When your governor is telling you that being gay is wrong, that is surely going to rub off to the schools, parents and children.

As a gay teen, trying to come to terms with your sexuality is never easy and you can feel alone and vunerable. No amount of “It Gets Better” videos can help when you’re the one who has to live through this every day and everyone around you is so anti-you! Being shouted out, punched and segregated because of there’s something inside you that can’t be changed regardless of what people say. If gay was a choice, does anyone really believe that these kids would choose suicide over being straight? Michelle Bachmann surely does and we know that her husband does; so how can anyone that narrow-minded be representing one of the fifty States, let alone be running for President?

Being a UK citizen, it is sometimes hard to follow the politics of the United States (I barely follow my own country’s) and so it was with great joy that today I learned about Nancy Pelosi, a super-politician who has been lobbying for gay rights for many years.Nancyis the Minority Leader for the House of Representatives and is currently the highest ranking female Politian in American History. She also lives inSan Franciscowhich is my favourite place in the world and probably the most out and proud gay city on the planet. We here at Gay Chat Towers are already a huge fan of Nancy Pelosi.

In an interview with leading gay magazine The Advocate,Nancycalled for Mrs Bachmann to address the teen suicides in her State. But will she? Bachmann has already criticised the anti bullying legislation saying “there have always been bullies, always have been, always will be.” Oh darling, you were so a cheerleader at High School and the one doing the bullying weren’t you?

But this isn’t just petty name-calling; this is harassment and mental torture leading to death. Surely even she should be able to see this?

Nancyalso talked about the Bachmann’s alleged “gay cure” clinics; “You know, 20 years ago somebody might ask; does it work? I think today, people are asking; why would you want to have somebody be who they aren’t?”

And I think that really does reflect where the world is at the moment. For the majority of us, we are desperately all trying to bring human rights to the forefront and see the good in people whatever their skin colour, sexuality or background. There will always be those who shout and scream to repress these changes, and unfortunately these are the ones that gain the most exposure. But we have to look at the effects of that exposure; does it gain more support for their cause, or does it – as I suspect – turn people away from them and see expose them for the inhuman monsters they really are?

Only time will tell what people really think. If Michelle Bachmann does get chosen to lead the Republican Party in the race forAmerica’s top spot, then I will admit that I was wrong and we really are in bad shape.

The Michelle Bachmanns of this world should never be in a position of power when human beings and the lives of our friends, family and children are at stake. Confusing people with power and religion to turn on their fellow man or woman is simply disgusting and perhaps there should be a regulatory comity that prevents such people ever getting this far in life let alone with a shot to be the most powerful person in the world!

Instead of “In God We Trust” shouldn’t it be changed to “In People We Trust”?

Terry Gee

Happy Monday

Today at Gay Chat Towers we are having a happy Monday. There has been so much pain and suffering in the news lately that we thought Monday needed some love.

This isn’t to take away from what’s been happening in Norway or with the troubled singer Amy Winehouse at all; but with the news clogged up with death and despair and then for me to be late to work today as there was a fatality on the train line this morning, I know I needed some happy news – as I’m sure many people do today.

For the first happy story of the day, it’s over to New York which as of yesterday becomes the sixth state to legalise same-sex marriage. When I think of New York I imagine high rise buildings, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park; but I have to remind myself – that’s only Manhattan. The state of New York is huge (in fact, the largest State to sanction gay marriage) and even encompasses Niagara Falls on the border of Canada. That’s where outspoken gay right activist Kitty Right tied the knot with her partner Cheryle Rudd just after midnight yesterday when the law came into effect. What a place to get married! The sound of the falls, the smiling faces of family and friends and your loved one on your arm. It sounds idyllic – especially as Niagara Falls was lit up in rainbow colours to mark the day in glorious celebration!

In Manhattan, people were literally lining the streets to say their vows. There were of course protestors, but none were disruptive to any of the hundreds of celebrations. With such focus on the prominent US state, I wonder how long it will be for the rest of America to follow suit and of course the UK.

And it’s all gay under the Obama regime. The 44th President has nominated openly gay attorney Michael W. Fitzgerald to the federal court in Los Angeles. Fitzgerald becomes the fourth openly gay judicial candidate appointed by Obama in the past 18 months – and why shouldn’t he? I know this is getting a lot of press at the moment because no president has ever sided so closely to the gay community before – but this is simple human rights. We are all human, regardless of our sexuality and therefore demand the same rights as everyone else.

It’s no wonder that Barack Obama gets so much stick for his time in office, but I say good on him. It’s about time someone with real power showed the rest of the world that there is nothing wrong with being gay and we are just the same as everyone else… well, maybe with just a little more style and comedy timing!

Speaking of which; Geeks have gone through a drastic transformation over the past few years. When I was at school, to be outed as a geek was as bad as having a sign around your neck saying “please hit me!”. I was already outed as gay at the age of 13 in school, so to come out as a gay geek could have meant the loss of my favourite Disney folder! But as we’ve grown as a society, the majority of us have noticed that we are all geeks in our own way; our fascination with Apple products would make us a geek, our addictions to TV shows and computer games and of course our love of films and film franchises. (TV show Glee also helped this along with their ‘Gleek’ campaign.) It’s now cool to be a gay geek and the styles seem to be reflecting this fact – or maybe it’s just becoming more accepted to be whoever you want to be?!?

One film franchise that has gets most people moist (ok, maybe just the geeks again) at the briefest mention of a sequel is Jurassic Park. After the third film we were promised a fourth but with the untimely death of writer Michael Crichton came the news that it wouldn’t be made. For the past ten years we have listened to rumours of a sequel, constantly checked IMDB and watched countless fan-made trailers on YouTube (or is that just me?) but still no real news. That was until last weekend. Whilst promoting his new film Tin Tin at Comic Con, director Steven Spielberg announced that he will be making the highly anticipated Jurassic Park 4. “We have a story. We have a writer who is writing the treatment and hopefully we are going to make Jurassic Park 4 in all of our foreseeable futures, hopefully in the next two or three years” Steven announced.

But if you can’t wait to get your fix of cloned dinosaurs, the blu-ray of the original trilogy is out in October.

And for those of you who also thought she was extinct; Madonna is currently in studio recording her 12th album. I feel at this point I must address her royal highness, the Queen of Pop personally and give her some advice on behalf of all the frustrated gay men out there.

Madonna. If you read this, or your assistant does or someone you knew 12 years ago – please tell her to listen to us, the gay masses. Madonna, please stop trying to be Britney and look more towards Cher. You don’t have to lessen your musical style but your personal style should be more in keeping with a woman in her 50s. No more rapping with people half your age, no more out of tune break-beat and please no more leotards. If you want the fans back from Gaga (or at least on timeshare) you’ve got to reinvent yourself again, but this time for the people like me who have been buying your stuff since the 80s. I loved your music Madonna, but there has been nothing good since Confessions. You remember – the disco album you did in 2005? Think who your real fans are and who has the money to keep you going. Stop trying to pick up the tweens and look to the 30+ generation. We are your bread and butter – we always have been – and hopefully you can give us something to spread on it and enjoy.

Was Madonna recording her next album happy news? Only time will tell!

Terry Gee.

Gay Chat News: Summer Rites Remixed

I was out yesterday – well I’ve been “out” for many years, but you know what I mean. After my rant last week about how crappy Pride has become in London it was both refreshing and reminiscent of better, bygone days to be at Summer Rites Remixed yesterday.

Summer Rites was last seen in London at Brockwell Park in 1999. That was until yesterday when 10,000 people descended on Shoreditch Park in East London. My boyfriend, Michael and I got there around 3.30pm when the park was still pretty quiet, but within the next hour it was heaving. Although there were a lot of people, the space was perfect to sit, dance, drink and chat without it feeling too crowded. London’s gay scene was heavily represented with clubs, bars and stages to cater for all walks of gay life. We spent most of our time between the bouncy XXL tent and Salvation outdoor stage. The sun shone brightly down on us until we left at 9pm and are still smiling about it today.

The vibe was incredible and the event was really well organised. There were plenty of bars, toilets, eateries and even booths with cash machines and cigarettes. No expense seemed to be spared on the sound systems and stage set ups either; the music pounded through the park lifting people’s moods and getting those toes a tapping. Looking around at all the smiling people, dancing in the afternoon sun I had a flashback to the late 90s. The Pride events I went to back then were very similar to Summer Rites Remixed, and although I was at Brockwell Park 12 years ago, I honestly didn’t think it would be as good this time around. I was wrong – it was better!

When you have huge events like Pride and Summer Rites happening year in, year out – people become complacent, knowing that if they miss this one, there will always be another the following year. But now there hasn’t been anything like this for such a long time, it was like a real breath of fresh air. This is what gay events used to be like – not piled on top of each other in the crowded streets of London like Pride has now become. It’s a shame that we Londoners became so complacent and have had to wait so long for a major event like Summer Rites to resurface and fill the void once again.

Michael and I (pictured above) had an amazing time and looking at the Facebook comments today, so did all of my friends who were there. With it being such good weather, we had our tops off most of the time and at one point were laid out on the grass cuddled up and listening to the pumping house music from the Salvation stage.

My only gripe is that it didn’t take place on a Saturday as I feel rough as a dog today and extremely tired. Even so, I’m still smiling about how fantastic the day/night was and just hope that Wayne Shires and Kim Lucas decide to bring back Summer Rites as an annual event.

I am considering sending them an email – Dear Wayne and Kim, London has missed Summer Rites so much! We’re sorry we took you for granted before and we promise to attend every event from now on until our legs give in through old age. Just please don’t take it away from us again!

Hope that works!

Terry Gee