Gay liberation days

Jason Victor Serinus | Bay Area Reporter | April 27, 2016

Blowing the Lid: Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens, by Stuart Feather (Zero Books)

Even before Blowing the Lid reached my desk, several things about this purported history of the UK’s Gay Liberation Front had my eyebrows raised. First and foremost was its claim that the author, British Bloolips gay theatre troupe co-founder and interior design craftsman Stuart Feather, was “the first participant of the Front to write a history of the lesbian and gay men who joined Gay Liberation [UK].” While it seemed rather strange that it had taken 45 years for anyone to write a history of a movement that was founded in October 14, 1970, over 15 months after the formation of the New York Gay Liberation Front, it turned out that the claim was half hyperbole. Feather’s may in fact be the first personal memoir of the UK’s Gay Liberation Front that also claims to be a comprehensive history of the modern British gay rights movement.

While it made sense that I review the book – I lived in New York City’s pioneering 17th St. Collective, was active in NY GLF from June 1970 until its demise, paraded the streets in drag, and remain in touch with most of the key players – I knew nothing about the history of GLF UK. To be able to offer some kind of critical perspective, I requested assistance from Steven F. Dansky, an early GLF veteran and founder of the Outspoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers project. Dansky’s contributions to NY GLF are even cited in Feather’s book, although his surname is misspelled.

With Dansky’s help, I contacted two UK GLF veterans. The first was Peter Tatchell, whose work as a gay and human rights advocate is celebrated worldwide. The other was Jeffrey Weeks, a well-known gay academic whose latest book, What is Sexual History?, reaches the U.S. in May.

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Queer Films Made Before Stonewall Prove There Has Always Been LGBT Characters In Movies

 | Queerty | April 22, 2016

Just as gay people have always been around, so have queer characters in movies. We’ve been here from the very earliest days of the flickers (an experimental film from 1895 shows two men dancing while a third plays a violin) to the dawn of the gay liberation movement when characterizations of LGBT people began to become more complex and multi-dimensional with bold films such as 1968’s The Killing of Sister George. All of these cinematic pioneers will get their due as the focus of An Early Clue to the New Direction: Queer Cinema Before Stonewall, the most comprehensive LGBT film series yet assembled, that will be screened at Lincoln Center In New York City today through May 1.

Many of the medium’s finest directors, including John Huston, Vincente Minnelli and Ingmar Bergman are represented with screenings during the series. From well-known titles such Minnelli’s adaptation of the now-quaint play Tea and Sympathy, Huston’s melodrama Reflections in a Golden Eye starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando, Andy Warhol’s erotic My Hustler (pictured above) and Bergman’s influential Persona to less-available works like Jose Rodriguez-Soltero’s avant-garde Lupe Vélez biopic Lupe and Andrew Meyer’s moving An Early Clue to the New Direction. Drag fans will relish the 1968 doc The Queen, which now stands as a compelling time capsule as it was filmed during 1967’s Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant and the same year’s fascinating Queens at Heart, which features interviews with a quartet of transwomen and provides an early look at ball culture.

The opening night selection is 1931’s Mädchen in Uniform, a lesbian-themed drama from Germany that found a somewhat unlikely champion in First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

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Report: Prince Overdosed On Percocet Days Before His Death

EDITORS | Queerty | April 22, 2016


TMZ was the first to report the sudden loss of Prince, and now they’re saying that just days before his death, the musical giant OD’d on Percocet, a popular prescription painkiller.

An unnamed source tells them the star took so much of the drug that EMTs had to give him a “save shot” of Naloxone as soon as his plane made its unscheduled emergency landing last Friday at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, at about 1 a.m.

Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is a life-saving drug that is used as an antidote for opiate overdoses.

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US Ranks 41st on Global Press Freedom List

White House Press Corps. (photo: AP)
White House Press Corps. (photo: AP)


Julian Hattem | The Hill | Reader Supported News | April 20, 2016

he United States ranked 41st in global press freedom by an international journalist advocacy group in an annual list released on Wednesday.

Reporters Without Borders claimed that, despite being enshrined in the Constitution, freedom of the press “has encountered a major obstacle” in the U.S. due to “the government’s war on whistleblowers.”

Reporters Without Borders also chided the U.S. for not establishing a federal “shield law” protecting journalists from having to reveal their sources.

The ranking was actually an eight-spot improvement over 2015, when the U.S. came in 49th in the world.

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Bad News: Only 6% of Americans trust the media – survey


‘The Victory of Ukraine’ [a composite book review by Anne Applebaum]

Andriy Maymulakhin, Coordinator
LGBT Human Rights Nash Mir Center
Kiev, Ukraine
Re:  ‘The Victory of Ukraine’
        [a composite book review by Anne Applebaum]
        The New York Review
         April 7, 2016,  page 74


Reviewer Anne Applebaum in the latest issue of The New York Review, which just reached me by post, at the outset of a composite review of three books relevant to Ukraine, says this about the recently published book

          The Gates of Europe
          A History of Ukraine
          by Serhii Plokhy
          Published by Basic Books, 395 pp. $29.99
” . . . the reason behind Serhii Plokhy”s elegantly written The Gates of Europe.  Although he holds the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Chair at Harvard, Plokhy is not writing in order to enlighten Ukrainians about themselves.
Instead he is engaged in a parallel project: he is writing in order to enlighten foreigners about Ukraine.
He opens his introduction with three events in modern Ukrainian history — the declaration of independence in 1991, the Orange Revolution of 2004, and the Maidan revolution of 2014 — and explains what motivates him:
‘To understand the trends underlying current events in Ukraine and their impact on the world, one has to examine their roots. . . .  The journey into history can help us make sense of the barrage of daily news reports, allowing us to react thoughtfully to events nd thus shape their outcome.’
…Recent events in Ukraine inspired Plokhy to condense its complex, thousand-year history into a single, readable, English-language volume.”
It seems to me, Andriy, The Gates of Europe is a background book you may well want to have — to enlighten foreigners about Ukraine in your ongoing work at  LGBT Human Rights Nash Mir Center in Kiev.
Full details about the book are available from the publisher Basic Books at

Batwoman is allowed to be an out and proud gay woman in new film

Joe Morgan | Gay Star News | February 16, 2016

Batwoman will be allowed to be an out and proud gay woman in a new DC film.

Kate Kane, who came out as a lesbian in 2006, is front and center in the animated film, Batman: Bad Blood.

This is extremely unusual, especially for DC.

Back in 2013, the image of her engagement to Detective Maggie Sawyer went viral as a testament to how far the comic book industry had come.

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Joel Grey On Why He Decided To Publicly Come Out Gay At 82

On Top Magazine | February 12, 2016

In an a new interview broadcast Tuesday, actor Joel Grey discussed coming out gay at 82.

Grey is best known for playing the Master of Ceremonies in the stage and film versions of Cabaret.

Last year, he told PEOPLE that he’s “a gay man.”

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GLAAD Announces Media Awards Nominees

Lisa Respers France | CNN | January 26, 2016

(CNN) — GLAAD announced the nominees for the 27th annual GLAAD Media Awards on Wednesday, and for the first time, more than 50% of the English-language nominations are trans-inclusive.

Nominees include Oscar-nominated films like “Carol” and popular TV shows such as “Empire” and “Orange is the New Black.” Streaming services earned a record seven nominations (up from three last year), with Netflix bagging five of those.

The nominees for outstanding film (wide release) are “Carol,” “The Danish Girl,” “Dope,” “Freeheld” and “Grandma.” “Arrow,” “Black Sails,” “Empire,” “The Fosters,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Nashville,” “Orphan Black,” “Sense8” and “Shameless” are nominated for outstanding drama series.

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Ian McKellen on Oscars: Industry is also discriminating against gay people

Joe Morgan | Gay Star News | January 26, 2016

Sir Ian McKellen has reacted to the race row that has many questioning the integrity of the Acy Awards.

The 76-year-old actor, who has been nominated twice for an acting Oscar, said he ‘fully sympathizes’ with the complaints and says there are certainly other minorities who have been discriminated against in the film industry.

McKellen is one of only three LGBTI people who came out before they were nominated for an acting Academy award. Jaye Davidson, of The Crying Game, and Angelina Jolie, who is bisexual, are the other two.

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