Sunday, February 28, 2010

Take Me Out

Windy City Times reports on Laura Ricketts, the lesbian co-owner of the Chicago Cubs.

Ricketts does realize the impact of being the only openly gay owner of a major league men's sports franchise in the U.S., and also a rare woman owner and board member. She wants to make sure to serve both the Cubs and her community well. And this year, Ricketts, 42, and her partner of five years are not just becoming part of Cubs history, they are also welcoming a new Cubs fan into the family: Laura is pregnant and is expecting a baby girl in May. "We're extremely excited [ that ] we're expecting a baby in spring," Laura said. "This is a big year for us, not only in regards to the Cubs acquisition, but if you can imagine, for my partner and I an even bigger blessed event. My whole family is excited."

I love Chicago, and had so much fun at the 2006 Gay Games, especially at Closing Ceremonies in Wrigley Field, and events preceding it. Yay for the Cubs!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Gay Gladiator

'Spartacus' character proves to be an equal opportunity assassin

At 6'4" tall, Antonio Te Maioha tends to standout in a crowd, even if that crowd is an equally impressive assortment of tall muscled men. Maioha plays the gladiator Barca in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the new Starz original series set in ancient Italy under the Roman Empire. Barca, 'the Beast of Carthage' serves as bodyguard and occasional hitman to Batiatus (John Hannah). But his role in the show changes events early on the series' first season.

A few episodes into the much-discussed series, Te Maiha's character begins a romantic relationship with slave boy Pietros (played by Eka Darville, who's also known for his role as Power Ranger Scott Truman) at Batiatus' gladiator school. In effect, Barca may be the first out gay gladiator in film history.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Visible Progress Line

After being asked for the fifteenth time if I'm watching The Olympics, I had to bluntly say, "No! It's boring! I hate corporate sports without a gay subtext, or in Johnny Weir's case, flagrant subtext!"

Really. Yet another snow bunny does a loop de loop? Figure skating is STILL flamingly homophobic and fixing results?

The Quebec Gay and Lesbian Council has demanded a public apology from French-language broadcaster RDS after one commentator said Weir hurts figure skating's image and another said Weir should be made to take a gender test. The remarks were "outrageous" and "homophobic," CQGL said in a statement on its website.

Don't forget the out gay former figure skater who did even worse during Weir's 2007 competition.

Enter the 21st century, you relics.

Actually, I have caught some nice moments via recorded bits online. Take Johnny Weir's response; as good a "Pokerface" as his number!

I simply can't stand the endless profile pieces and nasal commentators.

But it is nice to see some happy athletes, like Bode Miller, who dresses right nicely at the awards podium, showing his happiness and practically bulging with pride. Isn't this the guy who got hassled for smoking a joint?

But really. Aren't there more important things to pay attention to?

Don't Ask Don't Tell and its supporters get a trashing on Media Matters.
Enter the 21st century, military.

Maryland will recognize gay marriages from elsewhere.
Thanks, Maryland, for entering the 21st century.

Asshat Newt Gingrich: "Obama is a Socialist." Back to the 19th, for you, gramps. And take your freak show CPAC circus with you.

But most important, Betty White's on her way to getting a host slot on Saturday Night Live!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Taking it off

Sometimes, when a hot male celebrity takes his shirt off, it's for a cause. What cause remains to be determined.

Take, for example, rightwing anti-choice poster boy Tim Tebow (below). The college football player, whose pastimes include shilling for abortion bans in Super Bowl commercials, and traveling to Africa with his church group to force boys into getting circumcisions, is also, according to critics, not a very great player. Since I no longer write my sports column, I'll leave the technical critiques to others.

But for some reason (a body fat test?), Tebow allowed himself to be videotaped and photographed at some Gatorade-sponsored thingy where he sat in a big fish bowl in his underpants. While fans appreciated the show of pulcritude, others, like this blog, focused on the lack of girth between his legs. Maybe when his weenie got snipped, they trimmed it a bit too closely.

A completely different perspective from another football player was that of New Orleans Saint Scott Fujita, who, while straight, came out in support of gay rights and birth control (unlike Tebow).

Here's Fujita taking his shirt off for some event, not a gay one. But it's nice, anyway.

Continuing with sports, now out gay British rugby player Gareth Thomas (top pic) continues a very visible campaign of doing interviews and taking his shirt off. It's nice to see a rough, manly, actively playing jock who also has a hot body. Not into the tattoos, but hey, nobody's perfect.

And then, much lower on the celebrity scale, Scott Herman, one of the dozens of hunks from MTV's 'Real World' (season 25 or longer) has boldly taken off his shirt to pose in the utterly useless NoH8 campaign. You know, the one that only got any attention outside the gay media enclave when rightwing Cyclon wife Cindy McCain and her daughter posed for it. Yeah, they got a few moments of 30-second news items on TV gossip shows. But did their vague efforts change any minds, like that of their cranky husband and father? No.

So, what happens when a cute straight model strips down against Prop 8? Well, a few queens critique Scott Herman's efforts on the popular blog, and within minutes, he posts a defensive retort, mentioning his numerous degrees and business successes, then castigates a few for not doing anything. "What have you done with your lives that gives you the right to judge anyone?" wrote Herman.

You know, there's nothing more funny than being told off by a straight twink half your age that you're not doing enough for gay rights. Because, apparently, taking your shirt off is a great humanitarian act. You didn't know that? Neither did I.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Before the parade ... wheels by

I left New York so I wouldn't have to deal with its problems. But sometimes, like a few ex-boyfriends, they follow me.

A ruling by a NYC judge that the cycling activist group Critical Mass needs to get "parade permits" for their monthly mass bike ride may effect SF law, according to SFist and the SF Examiner.

A judge ruled Tuesday that New York City can force groups of 50 people or more on bicycles to get a parade permit, a process known to be cumbersome.

The legal battle stemmed from a clash between cyclists and police in 2004 during the Republican National Convention in which hundreds of bicyclists were arrested for alleged unruly behavior.

After the incident, the New York City Police Department sought stricter enforcement on Critical Mass, a group cycling event that clogs up busy city roadways on the last Friday evening of every month. The event started in San Francisco in 1992 and is now mimicked in cities around the world.

See? It's the Republicans' fault. Will it happen in SF or other cities?

Last month, police Chief George Gascón expressed dissatisfaction with the bike protest, saying he had been fielding complaints from drivers and bicyclists since becoming chief in August. The Police Department launched a review of the event, he said.

Mayor Gavin Newsom has repeatedly cautioned that the potential backlash from a major crackdown would not be worth the hassle.

The Mayor’s Office “hasn’t had a chance to review the [New York City] ruling to decide if it would apply here or whether we would even want it to,” Newsom press secretary Tony Winnicker said Tuesday.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Darth sees the light.

O.M.G. (via JoeMyGod)

Darth Cheney is now on our side in repealing DADT.

This morning on ABC News This Week, Dick Cheney said that the time to repeal DADT has come.

I think the society has moved on. I think it’s partly a generational question. I say I’m reluctant to second-guess the military in this regard because they’re the ones who have got to make the judgment about how these policies affect the military capability of our, of our units. And that first requirement that you have to look at all the time is whether they’re still capable of achieving their mission and does the policy change i.e. putting gays in the force, affect their ability to perform their mission. When the chiefs come forward and say we think we can do it, then it strikes me that it’s time to reconsider the policy. And I think Admiral Mullen’s said that.

You can view his Darthness say it HERE. But avert your eyes to avoid the soulless abyss behind his.


Or is it just his way of riling Obama?
Or is it just another veiled attempt to portray himself as actually human?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Protest Inc. - Protest ink

One upon a time, before focus groups, before private cabalistic groupings, before the ill-timed push for gay marriage, people just protested. They got together and stood on the streets and protested. Maybe it did good, maybe it didn't. Things don't always go the way they're originally drawn.

Take the "new" LGBT political activism. It's an email with a link that usually reads DONATE. But to which one? The one wanting to repeal Prop 8? The ones who bleated for a March on Washington, whose presence vaporized the day after?

Apparently, the powerful folks making the decisions about who gets the most attention in this fractured movement had a little not-secret yet invite-only think tank to decide our fate, er, gay activism's fate.

Is tomorrow's marriage equality protest the latest product of this "Activist" group? Who knows? We're just waiting to be told where to flashmob.

Meanwhile, without approval of focus groups or polls, a single man performed a random straight marriage as a protest to inequality and U.S. anti-gay marriage laws. Then, elsewhere, a lesbian spontaneously did it, too.

Gay activists in Notre Dame didn't need a think tank to decide what to do.

And while gays and "homosexuals" are getting defamed, derided, and denied at all levels of our culture, the far rightwing fake Tea Party - which is nothing more than a cabal of underlings of the far fringe right and their paid-off politicos, who are whores of the pharmaceutical and health insurance lobby - is rabidly mad at a comic book.

Yes, the group which has less strength than a leaky cup of Sanka, whose own group has already splintered between arguing factions, complained to Marvel Comics about a Captain America comic which includes ACTUAL IMAGES of Teabagger protests in the art work.

That's why the rightwingers got so upset they forced a major media empire to apologize. Not a parody, but actual signs were used in the fictional portrayal -accurate, if you ask me- that some in the group are white supremacist racists.

So, while lefty gays get Protest, Inc., a private cabal to evolve and dictate where we go, the far rightwing chooses to Protest Ink and the publishing policies of a superhero. It seems Captain Marvel can stand up to the entire Nazi Party, but not foaming-at-the-mouth U.S. rightwing fringies.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Life in Wartime

The only out gay military personnel who's also been named Grand Marshall for New York City's Gay Pride March. (via JoeMyGod)

Wait. Wasn't Dan Choi Discharged? Nope. Discharge actions are in place, but you know the military. Endless paperwork.

Dan Choi himself writes: "I was never fully discharged and have been substituting drills because of my schedule of lobbying and pushing for repeal. I attended national guard duty this past weekend beacuse we needed to train on critical skills for a possible upcoming deployment. My discharge is still pending, but I have returned to work - and there are no instances of decreased good order or discipline. I sleep in an open bay with little privacy. No issues. Good to be back with my unit! - although I can still be fired at any moment for DADT." -- via

So now, in the midst of his possible return after becoming globally famous for his position, let alone his eloquent speaking about his situation, and that of hundreds of thousands of lives on the line, being debated in the rightwing Senate like so much spoiled cheese.

Hopefully, his requisition for time off in late June is approved, because he's got a parade on schedule, according to Q New York:

This past Monday, February 8th 2010, at a meeting of NYC Pride (aka Heritage of Pride) it was announced that Lt. Dan Choi would be one of the Grand Marshals for the 41st Annual LGBT Pride March, which will occur on June 27th, 2010. When first approached about the request to be the NYC Grand Marshal, Lt. Choi responded with resounding excitement and a sense of honor for all who have struggled under this policy. Lt. Choi’s selection and acceptance of the honor of NYC LGBT Pride Grand Marshal marks the first time in U.S. history that an openly gay male on active service with the U.S. Armed Forces will be an LGBT Pride March Grand Marshal.

Choi was the Grand Marshall of San Francisco's pride parade in 2009. I got to meet him and talk about this. But not an interview.

But Choi is in a unique position, to make history as a singular immediate symbol of this struggle. And if that wakes up the antigay fuckheads, I don't know what will.

Update: OMG, I just got an email from Dan Choi!

Returning to my unit this past weekend for army training was many things: invigorating, exciting, a homecoming... but overall, a reminder that actions speak louder than words.

The night before I reported for duty, I appeared on CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, al-Jazeera and many other networks commenting on the testimonies Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates gave before the Senate Armed Services Committee. One debate on Larry King Live was particularly interesting, as the anti-gay Tony Perkins rolled out his same-old fear tactics and insulted our military in front of Gen. Wesley Clark and the nation. Tony Perkins bet against our soldiers, predicting that so many people would quit we would need a draft.
During the infantry training, we proved him wrong.   
Do not call any of us quitters. Gay patriots are serving openly and honestly today.
I am back with my unit, drilling and preparing for a possible deployment. However, my discharge is still pending, and any day I can still be fired under Don't Ask Don't Tell.
While some might praise the idea of "better implementation" of the law, claiming that "witch hunts," "jilted lovers," or "third party outings" are the worst part of DADT, we know that the most dangerous and poisonous part of DADT is the fact that it forces soldiers to live a lie.
Help me deliver 500,000 signatures to congress by signing the petition. 
We all have a responsibility to honor our soldiers, and restore integrity by demanding the full repeal of military discrimination. Do not accept a compromise: our American values have been compromised for too long.
Your Battle Buddy,


Okay, so it's a group email from the Courage Campaign, who are having an online discussion with Choi, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, whose move to cut funding for DADT discharges isn't the best move, according to others who want to go full on with the Senate hearings and their "results." But still. People are doing things at an accelerated pace.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Illustrated men

Dale Lazarov, the Chicago-based writer of several popular gay erotic comic books, will discuss his sexy new book, Nightlife, at Books Inc. on February 11 at 7:30pm.

We talked on the phone recently, and Lazarov explained his collaborative work with several acclaimed comic artists, including Bastien Jonsson, whose sexy illustrations comprise the visuals of Nightlife.

Lazarov's appearance will include a question and answer session and book signing. He won't be reading from his comic books, since they don't contain dialogue. "I suppose if I were to read, I would have to mime the comics," he mused.

Lazarov is best known as the writer/editor of Sticky (in collaboration with illustrator Steve MacIsaac) and Manly (in collaboration with Amy Colburn), both published by Bruno Gmuender Verlag. He's also the writer/editor of Fancy, a gay erotic web comic drawn by Delic Van Loond and published weekly at Other projects include work with Foxy Andy on Chums, Theo Bain on Greek Love, and Mioki on Power Pop Boys.

For more, read the interview at