11.11.16 / v.10 – i.26 It’s On The Qt!
Dear Mr. President-Elect,
Congratulations on winning the electoral college to become the 45th President of the United States. Your election was historic, yet, as you know, very divisive. American is broken and I fear your presidency will divide us even more.
I did not vote for you and in fact I actively opposed you and your election. I unfortunately have family who did support you. I say unfortunate because it has placed a strain on my family bonds. Why you may ask?
Because you have promised to appoint SCOTUS justices who would overturn marriage equality. This is a direct assault on myself and my community and our right to marriage, a fundamental expression of love. You are willing to nullify hundreds of thousands of legal marriages and tear apart families because of your belief of “traditional marriage.”
You have promised to support laws that would make it legal for business owners, as well as doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians, from rendering service to LGBTQ people. Imagine that, signs saying “No LGBTQ Served” popping up across America.
These two things alone make me sad that my family members, whose fear for the future and loathing of your opposition was so willing to vote away my civil rights.
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” My friends and family who have voted for you have given up my liberty for their sense of safety and that, Mr. President-Elect, is offensive.
Just how do you plan to correct this suppression of my civil liberties?
But it isn’t just my civil liberties that you have threatened, you have promise to strip me of my health insurance. And without the protections of the Affordable Care Act, my pre-existing condition may surely disqualify me from receiving healthcare in the future. How do you justify this type of treatment for a person who proudly served his country in the Armed Services?
These are my simple concerns but they are not inclusive to all the concerns the majority of voters who voted on election day had. Yes, as you know, the majority of those who voted, voted against you and your policies.
You have given us every reason not to trust you. But you now hold an office we are to respect. But Mr. President-Elect, you sir must earn my respect and trust me you have a long way to go.
In the meantime my community will get up and stand strong against any anti-LGBTQ policies you put forward. We will also stand against all policies that intersect with our community, such a women’s reproductive rights, minority rights, sensible gun reform, immigration rights and healthcare for all.
As to your election, my community will not wait and see what you do, we will fight the good fight as we have always done. We will right ourselves and gird our loins against any attempt to remove our hard won civil rights, or to force any member of our community back into the closet due to fear and intimation.
Mr. President-Elect, you are now called to serve ALL Americans, white, black, brown, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and trans* alike. Are you up for the task?
What It Looks Like From Here
I know that journalists should avoid using clichÃ©s at any cost. But truth be told, clichÃ©s, for better or worse, do retain a kernel of truth in them. Hence their long life and frequent usage in a way that even no-readers and illiterates can easily and immediately grasp the meaning in the message.
So, this week, my clichÃ© is “what’s old is what’s new again.” And that’s never been truer when it comes to hair. I mean hair comes and goes, yes, even some people lose it, at least on their head.
But my reference to hair coming and going has to do within the specific gay male cultural context of hirsute, a fancy word for being attracted to, appreciating, liking, and being one yourself. A hairy man I mean.
Hirsute is back after a long period of time when hairless men were all the rage. I mean except their heads, maybe some minimal facial hair, the removal of body hair for gay men was the order of the day, from the street to the gym to the bedroom to the porn movie.
Now it’s the reverse, hirsute is back, even on models, bodybuilders, actors in gay porn movies.
The bottom line is trends get recycled. Rummaging through my own archives the other day, I came across a column for PGN on the very subject, published in July of 1989.
So, here I go quoting myself, another cardinal rule that journalists are warned against doing. But, sometimes, I’m just a plan old rulebreaker.
“There’s absolutely no doubt about it. Hair for many can be quite a sexual turn-on. Though everyone may feel differently about hair on a man it’s the numero uno symbol of machismo. Athletes have a particularly strong affinity for hairiness. They grow beards, shave their heads, or wear hair sometimes in ways to look tough or mean.
“After all, there’s that myth about hairiness equaling virility. Notice I said myth. Yes, we have those Samson stories but they’re simply literary. Biologically, more hair doesn’t give you greater sexual potency. But still, we like it.
“In an issue of GQ [Gentlemen’s Quarterly], the editors explored this issue of hair and men. Accordingly, women find hairy men attractive and virile. From my quick survey at The Bike Stop, gay men also agree.
“Some interesting facts summoned up in our research include facts such as white men have more body hair than men of any other race. Blondes have the greatest number of hairs (the average scalp hairs at 120,000). Is that why they’re supposed to have more fun?
“In warm weather, hair actually grows quickest. Cutting or shaving hair on the body does not make it grow quicker, thicker or darker for that matter what.
“Well, there’s considerably more to relate on this topic again. Until then, if you don’t have a hairy man handy-just go stroke the cat. At least, you’ll get some purring going.”
For my personal taste, I’m thrilled that hirsute has returned in a big way and, I think, is here to stay for some time to come, from beards to chests to legs and most of the rest of the male anatomy.
Don’t Miss This Rare Opportunity!
ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES AUCTION
Entire Shop Inventory & Estate Sale
Antiques, Collectibles, Art, Vintage, China, Accessories, Furniture, Toys, Memorabilia
Many periods and styles and much more!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 10 AM
Pre-Holiday Sale! Perfect Gift Giving!
More info and tons of photos of many items, even bargains
Theater on the Qt!
Queer theatrical boy wonder Erik Ransom, thank heavens, is at it again. The multi-talented playwright, director, producer, actor who delighted Philadelphia audiences a few seasons back with Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions, even with a successfulextendedrun, and dazzled New York audiences with Coming that was produced at Fringe New York, is currently world premiering his latest musical, More Than All The World, [MoreThanAllTheWorld.com], in a limited run of 14 performances,now through November 19, at
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave, Manhattan.
Presented by Edward Miller in association with Lil Rascals Theater Company, More Than All The World has been a dream project that Ransom has been working on for a number of years in which he tackles the British historical drama from the times of William Shakespeare and a contemporary rival to the Bard, the wild, popular, well-known playwright Christopher Marlow whose purported real life was almost as wild as his stories for the stage. “More Than All The World is a bold and epic new musical inspired by Marlowe’s groundbreaking 16th century play about and entitled “King Edward II,” whose epic love for another man brought England to war and Edward’s lamentable downfall,” said Ransom.
The story intrigued Ransom to create his own musical version that he’s given a soaring and catchy pop score and text of his own, and this premiere production is being directed by Rachel Klein (The Anthem, 80 Days).
Always looking back at the classic form of playwriting but with an awareness of satisfying the contemporary theater-goer, Ransom has taken, as he likes to explain, “This unbelievable true tale of medieval political intrigue, deception, romance, ruthlessness, war, religion, international turmoil, the “She-Wolf of France” and royal menage a trois will appeal to fans of Shakespeare, Game of Thrones and Hamilton.”
The team of Ransom and Klein have assembled an impressive and professional cast that includes: Remy Germinario* (Bennet/Prince Edward III), Devin Holloway (Prince Edmund), Hugh Hysell*(Earl of Lancaster), John Jeffords* (Despenser/Robin), Alexander Moitzi (Mortimer), Katherine Pecevich* (Countess of Sandwich), Tony Perry* (King Edward I), Michael Pugliese* (Gaveston), Erik Ransom* (Edward II/Marlowe), Emily Stockdale* (Cataline), Grace Stockdale* (Isabella of France), Luis Villabon* (Archbishop of Canterbury), Skyler Barnhart (Ensemble), Lydia Georgantzi (Ensemble), Susana Quinchia (Ensemble), Ethan F. Swan (Ensemble), Zac Lee Wood (Ensemble).(*Cast members appear courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association under the AEA Showcase Code.)
In addition to Director Klein, the production team includes: General Manager: Dailey-Monda, Management, Press: Daniel Demello, Dialect Coach: Misha Osherovich, Asst. Stage Manager: Daniel Zuzalek, Stage Manager: Joan Wyatt, Scenic Design: Ann Beyersdorfer, Lighting Design: Jamie Roderick, Sound Design: Douglas Mills, Costume Design: Francesca McLaughlin & Rachel Klein, Asst Music Director: Luke Williams, Fight Direction: Rod Kinter, Music Director/Orchestrator: Andy Peterson.
“It’s a must-see production of a truly unique and original retelling of an English classic of dramatic literature with a contemporary twist,” as one reviewer put it.
The 36th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, now a production of the Gershman Y, is presenting the Philadelphia premiere of the critically-acclaimed The Freedom to Marry, Eddie Rosenstein’s documentary among the 33 films from 12 countries in the annual festival, 7:30pm, on November 14, International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, University City.
“In this profoundly moving film, Director Eddie Rosenstein traces the history of the marriage equality movement to the peak moment when Mary Bonauto, an American lawyer and civil rights advocate, stood before the Supreme Court and fought on behalf of every person’s right to love whom he or she chooses. Charged with emotion, these first-hand accounts of Bonauto and (Evan) Wolfson learning of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in June of 2015 remain just as poignant a year later,” according to the festival’s program guide.
In The Freedom to Marry, Rosenstein appropriately profiles lawyer, activist, advocate, historian, author Evan Wolfson who, “was always and determinedly standing on the right side of history while never giving up against rejection, adversity, prejudice and unimaginable hateful challenges” began “advocating for LGBT rights at Harvard Law School, where he wrote his thesis on the subject of marriage equality,”
Devoting his entire career to serving the LGBT community and its collective aspiration to legally wed, Wolfson never diverted from the civil rights equality of “same-sex” marriage in the United States of America.
In 2003, he created the Freedom to Marry Foundation, where he and his team of activist pioneers have spent over a decade fighting to eradicate the traditional model for marital union state by state.
Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel moderated by Tiffany L. Palmer, founder and shareholder in Jerner & Palmer, with panelists: Helen E. Casale, vice-chair of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness; Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum; and Eddie Rosenstein, joined by his Philadelphia filmmaking team, Stephen Gifford and Rick Sebeck.
The event is sponsored by theLouis D. Brandeis Law Society Foundation in cooperation with Gershman Y’s 36th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival.
For more information and tickets at $13 per person; $11 discounted for seniors, visit pjff.org.
It’s already the 9th Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF) now through November 20. From its early beginnings, the administration, management and programmers have been welcoming to the LGBTQ community and, more specifically, all-inclusive in their presentation of films by, for and about the queer experience with special focus on the Asian-American experience.
This year’s LGBTQ offering from the festival director Rob Buscher and his volunteer team has programmed a free screening entitled, “It Runs in the Family + LGBTQ Shorts,” 11:30-1:30pm, November 12, at International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, University City.
Taking the title of a co-produced Filipino-Canadian documentary for the special free screening, It Runs in the Family focuses upon a young gay Filipino-Canadian artist and his sister whose travels from Vancouver to Manila allows them to meet their other queer relatives.
The film, according to the program guide notes, “is an intimate exploration on acceptance and what the modern queer family can aspire to the Filipino diaspora.”
The other shorts, all from USA, complete the afternoon matinee, including Nuoc, an experimental narrative about a queer Vietnamese-American teen attempting to understand his mother’s experience as a refugee of war; Gaysians, five queer and trans Asian-Americans from New York City who explore their relationship with their family and culture in a patchwork structured documentary; and Arranged, two 20 something Indian American caught up in an arranged marriage, the male is gay, the female is straight, an entrepreneurial restauranteur, with difference ambitions in their lives, loves and families’ wishes and plans.
Freddie Mercury of the legendary band, Queen, has re-emerged in the headlines. This month, Something to Love: The Life, Death & Legacy of Freddie Mercury, co-authored by Mark Langhorne and Matt Richards, promises to be a new and revealing “examination of the singer’s complex emotional life being released on November 22 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the legendary rock star’s death. Published by Weldon Owen, according to advance buzz, “the book shines light on the rock icon’s public flamboyance while illuminating his personal quest for meaningful relationships. Taking a “fresh look at both Mercury’s and Queen’s rise then fall then rise again in musical history.” A few of the book’s highlights include a rare interview with John Reid, who served as both Elton John and then Queen’s manager in 1975. Reid was gay himself and immediately suspected Freddie was on his team, but those around Mercury insisted he wasn’t and in a relationship with Mary Austin. Mercury kept his sexual orientation a secret, even, initially to Reid as he assumed the position of becoming the band’s new manager and his neglecting to share the details of his HIV positive status and even his ultimate illness, succumbing to AIDS, with his closest friends, Peter Starker and Paul Gambaccini.
What’s all the buzz about the return of collaborators Oscar-winning queer screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and highly celebrated queer director Gus Van Sant as they explore their latest project, When We Rise, an event miniseries about the battle for LGBT rights and adaption of the Cleve Jones memoir that is set to air on ABC at some point during the 2016/17 television season, recently reported in Variety. “It’s been the honor of my life to research and craft these stories of family, diversity and equality over the past three years. To have collaborators of this caliber sign on to help bring these stories to life is a tremendous vote of confidence, and I hope a testament to the relevancy and necessity of our continued march toward justice for all,” explained Black of what he called his “dream project.” The star-studded cast will include, according to Variety, gay-friendly Guy Pearce in the lead as Jones, joined by Rachel Griffiths, Mary-Louise Parker, Michael K. Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell and Broadway veterans Austin McKenzie from Spring Awakening and Emily Skeggs from Fun Home. Black said that the roles of gay African-American LGBT activist Ken Jones and trans pioneer Cecelia Chung will be cast soon. Production began back in March, but Black spent years researching, interviewing and writing for the series, so When We Rise has great promise as queer mainstream but quality entertainment on a major TV network.
Upon the recent release of his latest album, Nobody But Me, available now on iTunes, handsome jazz crooner Michael BublÃ© openly discussed his large gay following, his first encounter with his wife, and taking pride in being an LGBT ally in OUT. “I’m in a business where, as you can imagine, I’m surrounded by the gay community. I mean, that’s just my life,” he said. “The truth is, I don’t think I could’ve given them as much joy as they’ve given me.” BublÃ© also recalled how his first fan in America, Johnny Blue Note, was “my foray into my relationship with the gay community and me as an entertainer.” Buble, who possesses a natural sense of humor shared some other entertaining anecdotes about his first meeting with his wife, the singer spoke soberly about tolerance. “I’m killed, just devastated, when I hear people saying [LGBT people] ‘choose.’ ‘Choose’? What are you fucking talking about? You don’t choose. It isn’t a choice,” he said. The husband, father, entertainer, and producer assured his readers that he isn’t worried about losing fans over his staunch support of the LGBT movement; what matters most to him is that his two sons know where he stands. “Years from now, when my kids grow up and they read this, they’re going to be proud of their father because their father was on the right side of the line,” he concluded. Now that’s an LGBTQ ally for you!
James Duggan Thom Cardwell
John Adam Di Pietro Michael Feighan
David Schellenberg Matthew Paterno
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