Friday, February 29, 2008

Pole, Smokin' Hot

Did you know I've competed in pole vault?
My best heights are minor compared to the average collegian (see 2007's Pride Meet results).

And not to compare length, or height, but they're not much compared to this guy.

Andrew Zollner is a very talented pole vaulter.

In fact, you could say Zollner is a big talent.

A very long talent, definitely.

FantasticMag has the track and field scoop of the season, and the nice pics of sexy Andrew.

"It's gonna pack a helluva punch when it comes back to hit you in the nose." Zollner is talking about his pole. Yep, his pole. See him vault ... on his pole.

King and Queens

This is what happens when a hate crime hits the airwaves.

While Ellen DeGeneres, arguably the most popular lesbian in the world, rarely mentions her private life at all, she did make a serious comment on the murder of Lawrence King. (Towleroad has a transcript).

Closet case Anderson Cooper, in his coverage (Towleroad link), used the antiquated "homosexual," and the reporter in the piece took every opportunity to play up the "gay panic" defense as plausible.

Meanwhile, another vigil for another antigay murder, that of Simmie Williams, got a few hundred attendees, including outgoing NGLTF's Matt Foreman. Another gay man was assaulted in Florida only days before.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dynamic Duo, Dead

William F. Buckley has finally followed his wife Pat into the great beyond. Here he is being called a "crypto-Nazi" by Gore Vidal. Buckley follows suit by threatening violence against Vidal:

Decades later, I spearheaded a subgroup of ACT UP to form ACTUX (The AIDS Coalition To Undermine Excess). We protested at a lavish "Skating for Life" AIDS benefit which Pat Buckley co-chaired. Conveniently, the first offices of OutWeek were directly across the street from the entrance to the 20th St. Armory, where the benefit was being held.

Oh, there was also a two-story banner hung from the Outweek office roof which was made by me and one of the ACT UP Swim Team hunks. I've got a picture of it somewhere. It was also documented in The Village Voice by Michael Musto. I think it's in his book. Not sure. It was definitely seen by some as one of the organization's more misguided of demonstrations.

Despite the paranoid rumor-mongering, there were never any plans to "toss blood on the ice" or assault anyone. What we simply did was hand out flyers pointing out the Buckleys' hypocrisy in having Bill suggest that PWAs be tattooed and quarantined, while Pat softened the blow by raising money at benefits. Bill editorialized the foundations of conservative insolence toward the oppressed, while Pat tossed them crumbs from her benefits' proceeds.

You can read some fictionalized versions of all these people and events in my second novel, Monkey Suits.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Comic Call

Geek fest as it was, the annual Wonder-con, held at the Moscone Center last weekend, was fun, and I accomplished my goal; to get a few more Firefly T-shirts with hunky Adam Baldwin as Jayne.

That quest led me to the booth where Firefly stuff was being sold. I was cajoled into donating a few bucks to participate in the Bingo game.

Basically, you have take a picture of a number of things and people (Stormtroopers, a celebrity autograph, a #17 of any comic, etc) with the little monster finger puppet (see photos). Then you're in a drawing for a prize.
I had enough for two bingos, but stopped after one, as I was a bit exhausted from the scavenger hunt.
I missed the celeb panels but did get to stop by the gay booth, run by Prism Comics.
See if you can guess who the celebs are, and the creatures.
Oh, and if anyone has that Superman's phone number, mm, baby!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gold Flinger

The last time John Stewart and I were in the same room and both wearing tuxedos, we were both slaving away for a certain high-end catering company in Manhattan, probably at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the New York Public Library.

Actually, Stewart wasn't in the room, but projected on a screen as he hosted the Academy Awards, and I was with my pal Stephen as a press guest at the 23rd annual Academy of Friends gala at Fort Mason.

The festive gala was the best one in years (last year's was a bit cramped).
The "Shaken Not Stirred" James Bond theme worked well, despite it being a non-Bond film year.
The various themed rooms were elegant, roomy, and well spaced, with an array of themed furniture providing a lot of lounging space for guests. My favorite was the Diamonds are Forever room, with groovy 60s furniture and decor, and a few huge plastic diamonds on tables.

In my old cater-waitering days (fictionalized in my 2nd novel, Monkey Suits), a few parties had such amusing decorations that the waiters were known to pocket more than a few. My favorites were the piles of plastic jewels and gold-painted sea shells from Saul Steinberg's birthday party (written up in a GQ magazine in 1988). Mine ended up over the years as gift decorations.

While there were more gold-painted Oscar women than before (a dual reference to Goldfinger?), there were of course a nice gaggle of bikini-clad gold hunks.

"Bond girls" and guys (a la the classic opening credits for Bond films) added a bit more human scenery.

A personal note: my third uncle, Cubby Broccoli, was the executive producer of the early Bond films, and my distant cousin, Cubby's daughter, continues the tradition.

Although a simple black tux was of course the classic outfit for the event (and the Bond theme), some chose drag, kilts or other garb.

And although martinis were available, I stuck to Barefoot champagne. They're always donating wines at the best fundraisers, and it tastes good.

Oh, and the Oscars themselves? Well, congrats to Javier Bardem, Tilda Swinton, and the short documentary Freehold, about a lesbian couple. As for the rest, it was an expected bunch of "dramatic" wins. As for the inane Juno? Puh-leeze. I was disappointed Viggo Mortensen didn't win, but Daniel Day Lewis' histrionics seem to always please the Academy.

It was also the lowest rated awards show ever. Sorry, John. Among the other controversies, the omission of Brad Renfro from the honor roll of the recently deceased, and the deliberate omission of Whoopie Goldberg from the montage of previous hosts.

Ever since they snubbed Brokeback Mountain for the Scientology-produced Crash, I've lost interest in caring about who wins. And with their soggy ratings, it seems a lot of other people feel the same way.

The Academy of Friends party, however, continues to raise funds for AIDS/HIV nonprofits, and lets us San Franciscans feel a bit "Hollywood" for a night.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wonder(ful) Con

Not only did I pick the gay comic artists reading at Three Dollar Bill Cafe and related gay events at WonderCon this weekend in the BAR as my pick of the week, but the SF Chronicle did a feature article. Despite the flurry of nasty comments about gays, gay comics and the inclusion of the subject in the paper's comments section, no doubt the reading will be packed! Get there early.

Last year's Wonder-Con (at the Moscone Center) was quite fun; lots of panels and screenings (all the lines were way too long, so I skipped those. This weekend's includes David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and X- Files creator Chris Carter), plus I got a lot of cool T-shirts (my favorite of A SURLY Adam Baldwin as Jane in Firefly, with the text PUBLIC RELATIONS). Not sure if I'll attend the costume contest, but I've heard it's fun.

I've always enjoyed comic books with a gay or homoerotic edge, although I've curtailed collecting them. I've run out of bookshelf space!

Then Sunday, even though I have yet to see any of the Best Picture nominations, I'll be attending the Academy of Friends gala; always a fun time. Coverage here in the BAR. Still trying to convince my pal to stay late to see Taylor Dayne sing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

When Jocks Attack

One of the frequent questions I got while being a sports journalist was whether I had access to pro sports locker rooms. A pervy question, usually, phrased with queries about the sexual orientation of certain handsome pro athletes. (photo is of NFL trainees and hopefuls, who seem to have to audition in VPL underwear.)

I frequently had to refrain from verbally bitch-slapping my least informed readers, instead calmly explaining that I covered the LGBT athletics community, and with the exception of freestyle wrestling, gymnastics, water polo and diving (you know, the aesthetically "gay" sports), I didn't care about the NBA, NFL, or other conglomerate sports.

Well, one out gay sports writer who is more of a mainstream reporter first and gay second - I dislike such qualifications- is L.Z. Granderson. He follows the pros, and recently took some potentially violent flack for being who he is in the world he remains interested in covering.

Here's his story abut being roughed around by some thuggish pro jocks. He contextualizes antigay murders and Brady Quinn's homophobia, oh, excuse me, alleged homophobic remarks:

For those of you who are reading this and believe I'm trying to forward some sort of agenda, let me be the first to tell you that you are absolutely correct. I want a country where it isn't OK to get the snot kicked out of you because you're different.

As long as we as a culture continue to make incidents like the one involving Quinn a news brief, then we as a culture will continue to give credence to the barbaric caste system that has led to several violent attacks and even deaths of people just because they are gay. Contrary to the mistaken notion that brings us comfort, this branch of hate crimes didn't stop once the nation eulogized Shepard. Some of us just stopped paying attention.

I prefered staying with the LGBT sports movement, where the worst I got were a few snide remarks emailed from stooges for the now bankrupted Outgames; that and a lot of flirting from interviewees.

And just a reminder to those flirters, as I'm no longer a sports journalist, you're welcome to openly hit on me, unlike thuggy pro jocks, who prefer to hit.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Recruit Dispute

Just another day in Berkeley.
Protestors for and against the Marine recruitment center, Code Pink protestors, the city taking a stand against the war, and getting extorted by the government with threats of them pulling municipal funding.

Fog City Journal post here.

Protests cost $93K. Marines (whose weapons cost billions ) complain.

Full story SFGate version here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lawrence King, shot for being gay

Victim's family say they will donate teen's organs;
14-year-old shooter to be tried as an adult

SF Gate story

Prosecutors planned to seek to have the 14-year-old tried as an adult and expected the charges to be upgraded when victim Lawrence King was taken off the ventilator for organ donation, said Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox.

"It is inevitable that this is going to become a murder case," she said. Fox said she could not discuss the facts behind the allegation of a hate crime because those details of the case have not been publicly disclosed.

Oxnard police have not specified a motive but said there appeared to be a personal dispute between the two. Several classmates have said King would wear feminine attire. King sometimes came to school wearing makeup and high heels, eighth-grader Nicholas Cortez, 14, told The Associated Press.

Another eighth-grader, Michael Sweeney, said King's appearance was "freaking the guys out," the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. "He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails — the whole thing," Sweeney told the Times.

King was shot in the head Tuesday morning during a class at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard, police said. More than 20 other students were in the room at the time.

Police said a handgun was used in the attack and the 14-year-old was quickly arrested near the school. King was pronounced brain dead at St. John's Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, Ventura County Senior Deputy Medical Examiner Craig Stevens said. Doctors planned to remove some of his organs for donation Thursday, Stevens said.

"I think that's what he would have wanted," King's father, Greg King, told the Ventura County Star. Lawrence King had been under the care of the county foster care system and lived at Casa Pacifica, a nearby center for abused and neglected children, said Steve Elson, the facility's chief executive.

"We're are all stunned and it's just an unspeakable tragedy," Elson said Wednesday. "This is a very big traumatic experience for all of us."

The Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the Transgender Law Center, and Equality California have issued a joint statement decrying King's shooting. "With young people coming out at younger ages, our schools -- especially our junior highs and middle schools -- need to be proactive about teaching respect for diversity based on sexual orientation and gender identity," said Carolyn Laub, executive director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network. "The tragic death of Lawrence King is a wake-up call for our schools to better protect students from harassment at school. As a society, we can prevent this kind of violence from happening."

Really? I don't know how it can be prevented as long as schools allow harassment and violence.

The shooting was the fourth at a U.S. school within a week.

On Feb. 8, a woman shot two fellow students to death before committing suicide at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge. In Memphis, Tenn., a 17-year-old is accused of shooting and critically wounding a fellow student Monday during a high school gym class, and the 15-year-old victim of a shooting at an Oxnard, Calif., junior high school has been declared brain dead.

Oh, and right now, DeKalb University had 18 people shot by a crazed gunman, who allegedly shot himself after injuring 18.

CNN has pics and more info.

This is some sick stuff, and it seems like it's going to become a regular occurrence in our gun-happy, meds-addicted sociopathic-teenland 21st century.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shooting Victim 'Acted Gay'

After weeks of insane shootings at malls, city halls and places across the country, here's another. A 15 year-old high school student in Oxnard, California is it critical condition today after being shot by a classmate who taunted him for his feminine mannerisms and for wearing make-up.

A student at an Oxnard junior high school shot another classmate Tuesday in front of two dozen other students who were settling into their first-period English class, police said.

The 15-year-old victim was rushed to St. John's Regional Medical Center, where he was initially listed in critical condition. By day's end, his condition was described as improving.

"He's gone from very critical to a little bit better," said Oxnard police spokesman David Keith. "He's actually communicating with personnel at the hospital."

The boy's alleged assailant ran from the E.O. Green Junior High School and was apprehended nearby a few minutes later by Oxnard and Port Hueneme police officers.

The shooting was not gang-related, said Keith, who added that the school had not been a particular trouble spot before.

"It looked like it was personal between the two of them," he said, declining to elaborate.

Some students said the victim, whose name was not disclosed, sometimes wore makeup and feminine jewelry and had declared himself gay. They said he was frequently taunted by other boys and had been involved in an argument with the alleged shooter, an eighth-grader who also was not named, and others Monday.

During the lunchtime argument, one of the boys shouted at Tuesday's victim, "You better watch your back," said one student who witnessed the encounter.

Update, with names and more info: and here.

updates: Lawrence King, shooting victim, declared brain dead.

What's odd is how early reports state that King was allegedly gay, then the reports backpeddle to remove the motive, and cops try to make it sound as if the two had fought, not that King had endured violence and taunts by the killer.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Candlelight, Super

Gosh, what a nice night.
The intersection of Market and Franklin, where I cross on bike daily en route to and from work, was almost completely silent during the shooting of the post-assassination candlelight march for Gus Van Sant's film, Milk, about slain gay supervisor Harvey Milk.

I and about 1,000 extras walked solemnly about four blocks 4 times. Since the original march included more than 40,000 people, a production assistant said they would CGI the trail of candles up Market St. (photo above is from the original 1978 march.)

There were some paid extras who looked very 70s authentic, including guys like actor Kevin Clarke and activist David Smith. Lots of other pals showed up, dressed in great yet not over-the-top 70s looks. Mmm, mustaches and sideburns, when men were men.

But political and community celebs were in attendance as well. Dan Nicoletta, Tom Ammiano (who plays himself in the film) Gilbert Baker, Cleve Jones, and a few affable veterans from the days where this all took place told stories of those days including the fiery White Night Riots (which, I believe, won't be in the film). I was a tad disappointed that they didn't film the march's closure at City Hall. Who knows? Maybe in a smaller shot. By 2am, I went home.

But I think the candlelight march is the closing scene. It seemed to have a sort of "Roll Credits" quality to it, as James Franco, Hirsch and a few other actors did a scene woven into the march. Director Gus Van Sant and the producers said a few words, and the assistants were all cool.

It was also nice to say Hi to Stephen Spinella, whom I met a few times in NYC back in the ACT UP days. Stephen, who won a Tony for his wonderful portrayal of Prior Walter in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, is playing bathhouse mogul Rick Stokes.

For more pics of Sean Penn as Milk, and Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones, visit Flynet Here and Here. Lucas Grabeel as Danny Nicoletta looks a bit stern, hardly Danny's composure. More Castro set pics Here.

Milk will be released sometime this fall, probably around the time of the Nov. 27th 30th anniversary Harvey's assassination. Anyway, I'm happy to be a part of it, even though I won't be in any shots.

I actually felt bad when Danny's Saint Harvey exhibit had to close at the GLBT Historical Society, and I had the task of replacing it with a new one, Sporting Life. But obviously this film will reach a wider audience, including young gay people who still don't even know who Harvey was. Having some of those people who will be portrayed in the film as friends and mentors is also pretty neat.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sniff my Seat

I hate celebrity gossip; despise it. It's annoying that I most often can't get through a single day without reading or hearing the names of Tom C____ or Par__ ______. Oh, I hate it. I only scour online gossip sites and blog, and watch ET and Excess Whoreywood because I'm in media, and just need to keep up, ya know?

So, be thankful I'm not regurgitating the crap about Winerhouse or Tara or the latest vapid Out mag cover.
But This! It's about a bicycle, so it goes in:
Courteney Cox has bought Jennifer Aniston a $12,000 Chanel bicycle.

The actress bought her ‘Friends’ pal the expensive pushbike after she expressed an interest taking up cycling.

A source close to the star said: “Jennifer said she wanted to start bike riding because it’s such good exercise. So Courteney sent her the new, ultra-chic Chanel bicycle.”

The bike features eight speeds, weighs 36lbs and comes complete with a quilted leather seat and saddlebag emblazoned with the famous Chanel ‘CC’ logo.

The source continued: “Courteney only sent Jennifer the bike two weeks ago but she already loves it! She goes out riding all the time.”

I always hated Friends. Now I hate it more. In fact, just last week, the theme song in its entirety was played at the gym, so I ran outside for a few laps around the building until it was over.

I mean, WTF? Does Aniston hire a bodyguard when she parks her designer wheels? Buy a Gucci Kryptonite lock?

Anyway, I'm going to meet with some real friends tonight at the SF Bike Coalition's Love on Wheels. I doubt there'll be any Chanel bikes valet-parked.

Afterward, only like two blocks away, as I posted before, tonight I'll be walking for hours in the dark with a candle and hundreds of others to support Gus Van Sant's vision of Harvey Milk. It's not as impressive as a hunky ACT UP pal's cameo as a talking porn mag in My Own Private Idaho, but it'll do.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Votey oh, D'oh!

Three judges have been arguing over the problem of 14 precincts in the Bay Area that ran out of ballots!

Some of the folks have been asked to use photocopied ballots. What the...? News reports blame it on the independent and undeclared voters who have to vote in the Democratic primary to vote for anyone at all. BTW, Mrs. Clinton won California.

Creepy enough that snake handler Cluckabee won a few states. Still, it's nice to see the fundy rightwingers helping to break the GOP into pieces.

I don't have any experience with these crowded voting stations. The middle school up the street is always an empty auditorium when I vote. Thank goodness it's still old-fashioned paper ballots, and not corrupt Diebold "electronic" (i.e. fraudable) voting.

Well, at least it's not as bad as in the days when ballots were discovered having been dumped into the Bay, or the time when Boy Scouts were used by conservative candidates to dump ballots in liberal and Black areas.

Oh, and guess what; popular vote doesn't count, once again. It's about delegates, the back room deals made with a few thousand individuals; just like the nefarious Electoral College.

The funniest BS: Romney's campaign stole Obama's signage for CHANGE, using even the same font. Romney; he's like the boss you always hated.

Free elections; what fun!

Monday, February 4, 2008


Gothamist reports on the ripoff of yet another activist campaign by a corporate entity.

Donna Karan New York, aka DKNY, is usurping a grassroots campaign to memorialize cyclists killed in New York City's traffic, with a guerrilla marketing campaign to push their (overpriced) product. Above is a picture of several orange-painted DKNY bikes, first widely noted at Bike Blog.

To this date, Ghost Bikes have remained relatively unmolested by city agencies, who recognize that they are memorials. That involves a certain level of respectful goodwill among the citizens of New York and law enforcement. The hijacking of the memorials' medium could possibly spoil that detente. In our opinion, DKNY has crossed the line from "edgy" to "despicable," by co-opting grassroot memorials to dead people as a gimmick to peddle clothes.

For info on the real bike campaign, visit Ghost

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Swim With Fishes

In my ongoing occasional quest to (eventually) enjoy all things touristy in San Francisco, I went with a pal to the Aquarium of the Bay.
But it was with a bunch of adults, drinks and nibbly things, and a live band, The Mermen.
This was the opening night party of the Ocean Film Festival, which I mentioned in the picks of the week in the BAR.

It's really quite fascinating, touching a shark, gazing at the fish, anenomes, and starfish.
It's particularly fascinating to see a swirl of sardines hovering above you in the tunnel walk-through.
Although it was a tad duplicitous to be also eating sardines on toast at the same time.
The Ocean Film Festival runs through Feb. 3 at the Cowell Theatre.
If you happen to be at the Embarcadero with tourist friends to entertain, this is one of the best bets.