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

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Gaga Targets Gay Discrimination

Lady Gaga has scored yet another hit for gay rights by persuading retail giant Target to reconsider its funding of anti-gay causes. In return for the rights to sell an exclusive edition of the singer’s new album Born This Way, Target has also agreed to start donating to gay charities.

In a meeting that Gaga describes as being “intense” the Poker Face singer took Target to task over its funding of causes that advocate discrimination against gay people.

Target has previously come under fire for a $150,000 donation it made to U.S. political action group MN Forward who supported high profile Republican nominee Tom Emmer in his bid for governor, Minnesota in 2010.

Emmer is on record as supporting a state constitutional amendment banning civil recognition of same-sex marriages or its legal equivalent. It has been reported that Emmer’s bid campaign included funding to fiercely anti-gay Christian youth ministry You Can Run But You Can’t Hide International.

Despite publicly apologising for the donation Target has continued to support causes branded questionable by gay rights activists. The company does however pay benefits to partners of gay employees and staff members have praised the firm as a gay-friendly employer.

Gaga’s deal with Target includes a special edition of her forthcoming CD release Born This Way, which includes extra tracks and remixes exclusively available from the discount retailer. In return Target has agreed to discontinue funding causes with anti-gay links and instead fund more gay charities.

In an interview with Billboard, the 24-year-old superstar said: “That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting. Part of my deal with target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past… Our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made supporting those [antigay] groups.”

Here at the Haus of Gay Chat we already think Gaga is God, and the Target deal yet another example of her continued commitment to gay rights. We highly recommend rushing out and buying her new album when it’s released worldwide in May. Go gays! Go Gaga!

Gary Cosby

Story Update March 9, 2011 The partnership between Lady Gaga and Target has dissolved. No official statement has been made, however it has been reported that the deal was ended by mutual agreement. GC

Gay Next Door: Darren Criss Hots Up Glee

Worldwide TV hit Glee has a new gay kid on the block: Blaine, played by swoonsome 24-year-old actor Darren Criss. Since his debut performance, Criss has become an overnight gay sensation. Not hard to see why! His amazing photo shoot and cover interview in the March edition of OUT magazine has got the gay chat team in a flap…

Ok, we adore Glee’s fierce gay diva Kurt; as far as gay characters on the box go he’s one gay we’re proud to have flying the flag. But it’s the dreamy Blaine that gays from Hackney to Hollywood are falling head over heels for. In an interview with OUT Darren Criss and Glee creator, Ryan Murphy talk about Glee and the importance of having gay characters like Blaine on TV.

Being straight and playing such a high profile gay role, Criss says he feels it’s important to show he’s absolutely at ease playing a gay character: “I think it’s more empowering to everybody, including myself, if I’m articulate about identifying myself as a straight male playing a gay character. Ultimately, that’s more powerful for both communities.”

Being raised in San Francisco and involved in musical theatre from an early age, Criss says he grew up surrounded by gay men, and feels the cool part about being involved in Glee is that he was “inadvertently raised by the gay community” – enhancing his role as America’s newest out and proud gay character.

The question on every gay Glee fan’s lips though is: will Blaine and Kurt get it on? They have to, don’t they?

Murphy teasingly remains tight lipped: “It’s my job as showrunner to keep them apart as long as possible. When that moment comes – if it comes – I want to treat that relationship like we treat all the other relationships on the show. I want it to be flawed and as exposed as everyone else’s.”

Read the full interview at OUT.com. The March 2011 print edition of OUT is out now.

Gary Cosby

Doctor Who Star Matt Smith Goes Gay in New BBC Drama

Captain Jack will be ever so pleased! Doctor Who star Matt Smith steps away from the Tardis to star as iconic gay writer Christopher Isherwood in a new BBC film. Christopher And His Kind, due to be screened on British TV later this month, is being hailed as the best gay film you’ll see this year.

Isherwood’s classic memoir is being brought to life courtesy of the BBC and it’s got the gay press, and not to mention our very own gay chat team buzzing. Why? Well, for starters it stars the phwoarsome Matt Smith as one our most beloved gay icons getting it on with a bevy of hot, brawny beefcake!

Said beefcake includes uber-hottie Douglas Booth – you might remember him playing Boy George in the excellent BBC 2010 drama Worried About The Boy. He also happens to be one of Burberry’s hottest models. In Christopher And His Kind Booth plays Heinz, Isherwood’s 17-year-old love interest.

The one-off drama, written by acclaimed playwright Kevin Elyot, chronicles Isherwood’s journey of self-discovery within the decadent world of pre-war Berlin, where he met and partied with the people who inspired his most famous characters.

It may be a complete coincidence, but not so strange that the star who plays our all time favourite time traveller should find himself transported into such a role. Doctor Who has a huge gay following and is scripted by Russell T. Davies, creator of Queer As Folk.

The hit TV series has included openly gay characters including the sexy bisexual Captain Jack (John Barrowman) and has been peppered with camp innuendo regularly over the years. It’s only since the show’s revival in 2005 however that the doctor became delectable. Prior to Smith, David Tenant and Christopher Eccleston upped the show’s fitty factor.

Fast becoming a gay heartthrob, British actor Smith told Gay Times that the gay scenes in Christopher And His Kind didn’t faze him at all, and quipped that he’d already kissed “lots of boys”.  He’s currently dating model Daisy Lowe.

Christopher Isherwood’s works have been adapted for film, televison and theatre – inspiring the multi academy award winning Cabaret, starring Liza Minelli – and more recently A Single Man for which Colin Firth won several Best Actor awards.

Gary Cosby

Gym and tonic, anyone?

If the Xmas food fest has left you feeling like an over stuffed turkey, you’re not alone! Come January most of us are thinking about detox diets and making a beeline for the nearest gym. If you’re currently feeling like a bloated Mr. Blobby here are some terrific tips to help get your gay chat stats back on track!

Turn fat to fuel

Actually, it isn’t so bad that you packed a little padding over the festive period – fat, in fact, provides the energy we need for exercise. It also provides a cushion and insulation for your inner organs and helps distribute vitamins A, D, E and K through the body. Fat builds up when we consume more calories than we use (scoffing and lying around on the sofa all Xmas!). So what are you waiting for? Get to the gym! You have all the fuel you need to turn your flab into fab!

Pump up the volume

Music is a great motivator. Studies show that working out to uptempo rhythms can boost performances in the gym considerably.  Duffy’s “Mercy” clocks in to the ideal tempo bracket in which to work out: 120 – 150 bpm (beats per minute). Got a smartphone, iPod or MP3 player? Then why not download some high-energy-work-out toons to help you zap the fat? Top tracks for the treadmill include Don’t Stop The Music by Rhiana (122 bpm), Just Dance by Lady GaGa (119 bpm), and our personal favourite, Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas (130 bpm).

Detox your diet

Ok. Enough’s enough…step away from the Xmas chocolate box, it’s time to detox! We all know that healthy eating and working out works wonders on the waistline. Cut down on alcohol, caffeine and processed foods in your diet. Add plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Yeah, you’ve heard all that before, but it works! It’ll help get you back to buff in no time!

Make it personal

Personal trainers are no longer exclusive to celebs and super models. If you need a nudge, just one session with a certified fitness coach could put you back on track and improve your gym technique. Being results focused, personal trainers will encourage you to work out efficiently, achieving maximum results in minimum time. They’ll also kick your ass (if need be) around a circuit. Helpful.

Book a break

If there’s one thing that’ll get you back to the gym and keep you there, it’s a summer holiday. There are some great New Year deals out there. So what better incentive to bring the sexy back? Try on last year’s Aussie Bums, stand in front of the mirror and take a long look at yourself. It maybe all the motivation you need to jump on the treadmill and get that tush back to toned, taut and tasty!

Oh, and don’t forget the Maleforce gay app works everywhere….why not check in to your local gym?…you just mind find yourself a hot new work out buddy!

Gary Cosby

The Gay Social Network – from Chat to App

The world’s first and most successful Internet dating service, Match.com was launched in 1995. Since its trailblazing inception (predated only by a handful of dial up date services) it has achieved over 20 million sign-ups and Internet dating has exploded all over the World Wide Web.

But as far as virtual dating goes, the gay community had it sussed out years before.

Gay men and women had to get savvy early on in regards to social networking. Homosexuality was illegal up until the 1960s.  But thanks to the Sexual Offences Act 1967 gay men could declare their sexuality and finally canoodle – if only in private.

Prior to that date however, the gay community had no choice but to get very creative in regards to where and how they met publicly. A gay language, a take on the slang form Polari, was adapted as a subculture code in order for gays to communicate in public without arousing suspicion.

Gay men, lacking places to mix socially, resorted to meeting in bathhouses or public parks they dubbed ‘cruising grounds’. Acknowledged by the gay community as safe havens for men to hook up, ‘gay cruising’  usually took place in remote spaces like commons and lay-bys, out of the general public’s view.

Of course gay social interaction wasn’t confined to cruising areas only. Private gay clubs and parties were in full swing long before it became legal. Gay club culture sprung up commercially everywhere during the 1980s with gay publications becoming readily available, paving the way for gay social interaction.

The subtle and inventive methods gay men used to meet one another during the ‘dark ages’ of gay social connectivity was in reality a primitive precursor to what we call social networking today.

It was the advent of gay chat lines in the 90s however that enabled gay interconnectivity to really take off. Gay men started using gay chat dating services to network with one another, worldwide.

Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and the plethora of online dating sites available to us today weren’t even invented when gay men were connecting globally via gay chat lines.

It was inevitable that gay dating on the Internet would prove to be an instant hit. Throughout the 90s gay online social networking flourished to such an extent that it is now rare to meet a gay man without at least one gay social network profile.

Fast forward to 2010 and it’s gay men who have harnessed GPS technology to create geo-social networking via mobile phones. Gay mobile dating apps are big business and are transforming the online dating industry.

At the tap of a button gay men can instantly pin point other gay men in their vicinity and be hooking up within minutes.

Long gone are the days where gay social connections were carried out in veiled ‘secrecy’. However it could be argued that the seeds of social networking as we know it today sprouted from the ingenuity of gays faced with the challenge of connecting their community.

With the click of a mouse being replaced by the tap of a gay app icon gay men are revolutionizing the dating world – connecting instantly, publicly and however they please.

Gary Cosby

Malawi Gay couple sentenced to 14 years for ‘wedding’

A Malawi magistrate has made an ‘example’ of a gay couple sentencing them to a 14-year jail term with hard labour.

The case of Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, has made headlines around the world since their incarceration last December.

Monejeza and Chimbalanga were held in a prison without bail for four and a half months after holding a ‘marriage’ ceremony in Blantyre. Gay sex and gay marriage is outlawed in Malawi.

Human rights organizations around the world called for pair to be released, with Human Rights Watch urging the Malawian president to intervene.

However, after pleading not guilty the couple were yesterday convicted of ‘unnatural acts and gross indecency’ and given a maximum prison sentence.

Associated Press has reported that the magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa said: “I sentence you to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour each. That’s the maximum under the penal code.

“I will give you a scaring sentence so that the public be protected from people like you, so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example”

All calls for the case to be overturned have been rejected by the Malawian government.

Following the ruling Malawian minister of information, Leckford Mwanza Thotho said: “What we are saying is that the ruling or the court proceeding as of today, reflects our tradition in Malawi. It just shows that the gay issue is against our culture in Malawi,”

Amnesty International’s deputy Africa director, Michelle Kagari responded: “Their human rights, the rights to freedom from discrimination, of conscience, expression and privacy have been flagrantly violated.”

Uganda is also ignoring international pressure to withdraw a bill that calls for the introduction of the death penalty for some homosexual acts – a move that has been condemned by the U.S. and various European countries.

The controversial bill is likely to be amended, Deputy Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem told the BBC earlier this year following President Barack Obama denouncing it as “odious”.

By Gary Cosby

For weekly gay news, chat and dating hook up at www.maleforce.com

 

New Minister for Equality’s anti-Gay voting record

Theresa May, the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has been appointed to the position of Home Secretary and Minster for Women and Equality.

In a move that will undoubtedly ruffle gay rights campaigners, Prime Minister David Cameron announced her appointment along with the rest of the new cabinet on Tuesday.

May’s voting record on gay rights could be construed as somewhat negative. In 1998 she voted against equalizing the age of consent and in 2008 she cast a no vote against the repeal of Section 28 – legislation that banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools.

In 2001 and again the following year May voted against gay couples being allowed to adopt.

May did however vote in favour of Civil Partnerships, granting same-sex couples identical rights and responsibilities to that of civil marriage in 2004.

In 2008 as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons she voted in favour of a bill which proposed that IVF rights should require a male role model – discriminating against lesbian fertility rights.

May replaces Chris Grayling in the post of Home Secretary. Grayling, who hasn’t been allocated a new position, caused a media storm recently when he said that bed and breakfast owners should have the right to ban gay couples.

In an interview with PinkNews David Henry of gay rights group Outrage said May was “the wrong person for the job

“She’s always been against gay rights since I can remember. I’m pretty sure she’s opposed almost every gay rights measure.”

Gay lobbying group Stonewall have so far declined to officially comment on the Home Secretary’s appointment however a spokesperson told Pink News: “Both coalition parties made a number of promises to lesbian and gay voters during the campaign. We look forward to working with Teresa May to see them fulfilled.”

By Gary Cosby

For weekly gay news, chat and soundbites visit www.maleforce.com

Related link: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/05/12/analysis-how-pro-gay-is-the-new-home-secretary-and-minister-for-equality-theresa-may/#

Rugby star Gareth Thomas suffers anti-Gay abuse from ‘fans’

Out gay rugby legend Gareth Thomas has spoken of his ‘hurt’ over homophobic taunts from fans at a recent match.

Thomas, 35, is the first ever professional rugby player to come out as gay. His announcement last December garnered immense media coverage and shocked the rugby world.

Since then Thomas has appeared on the covers of gay publications and has been vocal about his wish to become a role model for young gay players and an advocate for gay visibility in sports. 

In an interview with The Sunday Express the former Welsh Lions Star, who now plays for league side Crusaders, revealed how he was subjected to anti-Gay chants at a match last month.

Thomas, 35, said: “When I was on the field at Castleford I could hear some chants from a small section of the crowd.

“It wasn’t very nice and I was pretty hurt by what I could hear. I’m only human and I can’t deny I was hurt. I think the RFL have taken action against Castleford over their fans and I’ve been told there were people in the crowd telling those chanting to shut up.

“Perhaps we need to go through this so that those few people realize no on else will stand for it and then it hopefully won’t happen to the next person who comes out.”

Castleford received a fine from the RLC for its fans’ behaviour which will undoubtedly send a message to all rugby fans that homophobia will not be tolerated.

Thomas said in an exclusive with The Guardian this week: “Afterwards the Rugby League Commission fined Castleford. We went to Bradford the week after and I was told the stewards had been briefed that if there was any abuse aimed at me then they had to eject those fans because they didn’t want to be fined.

“The next [gay] person that follows me will be glad I’ve opened the door because they’re not going to get the same abuse.”

Thomas created sporting history in 2007 by becoming the first Welshman to win 100 international caps in rugby union. That same year he retired from international rugby and is currently winger for Celtic Crusaders.

By Gary Cosby

For weekly gay news, chat and soundbites visit www.maleforce.com

Related Links:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/may/04/gareth-thomas-gay-interview-crusaders

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/172718

Election: Torys tackle latest Gay gaffe

David Cameron’s quest for the pink vote looks to be in serious jeopardy this week as yet another key Conservative party member expressed their anti-gay feelings.

It is the third time during the current campaign that a party member has publicly gaffed and embarrassed Cameron who has worked hard to convince gay voters that anti-gay attitudes within the Tory party have changed.
 
Philip Lardner, Conservative candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran, wrote on his campaign website that he could not accept gays as being normal – adding that “most” people would agree.

Mr Lardner told voters: “With experience as a teacher and a believer in parental rights and responsibilities, as your MP I will support the rights of parents and teachers to refuse to have their children taught that homosexuality is ‘normal’ behaviour or an equal lifestyle choice to traditional marriage.

“I will always support the rights of homosexuals to be treated within concepts of [common sense] equality and respect, and defend their rights to choose to live the way they want in private, but I will not accept that their behaviour is ‘normal’ or encourage children to indulge in it.”

The posting, headed “what I believe in” also included the view that the majority of the public believe homosexuality to be “somewhere between ‘unfortunate’ and ‘simply wrong'”.

David Cameron has said he took the decision to suspend and withdraw Landers candidacy “within minutes”.

As a consolation he added “I think people in the gay community know it is easier for people who are Conservative and gay to vote Conservative than at any time before.

“The Conservative Party has been on a journey. Has it been far enough and fast enough? Perhaps not, but it’s gone further than many other parties around the world.”

Within the last month two other key Conservative party members have made anti-gay statements embarrassing the Tory leader.

The shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling was forced to apologise after saying he supported the view that bed and breakfast owners should have the right to refuse gay guests.

Julian Lewis, the shadow Defence Minister commented that the gay age of consent should not have been lowered to 16 because it puts teenage males at “a seriously increased risk of HIV infection”.

Despite Cameron’s efforts gay support for The Conservatives seems to have nose-dived. A poll carried out last week by gay media site PinkNews.co.uk revealed that 58% of the 1,000 respondents intend to vote for the Liberal democrats in the forthcoming election. The Labour party achieved 21% and the Conservatives 9%.

The general election takes place on May 6th.

For weekly gay news, chat and soundbites visit maleforce.com

by Gary Cosby