Be thankful this Thanksgiving that you have not been disrespected, or had to punch some gal in the throat. In Dorset.
Must-see video after the jump ...
Check out excerpts from Taner Sigirtmac @ ModelOne in “Dirty Surf,” as shot by Baldovino Barani. Styling by Cheryl Leung, grooming by Karen Yiu using Tom Ford for Men Skincare. AW15 looks from Dior Homme, Balenciaga, Loewe, Versace and La Perla. Shot on location at Mavericks (Piu O Beach, Hong Kong)
I think it is changing… and it’s pretty amazing how it’s changing. And one of the things that I’m so proud about [Brokeback Mountain is that], within the past basically 10 years, how much has changed.
When the Supreme Court [issued a ruling] just a little while ago, I felt like we had been part, a little part and parcel of that movement. I was proud, you know? To me that’s really a pretty incredible moment. We had to wait a little while for it. But when will it be OK for an actor to be gay? I mean, it’s OK now.
Heath was always somebody who I admired. He was way beyond his years as a human, in a way. I wasn’t quite sure where he came from. I mean, I know he’s from Perth, but I wasn’t really quite sure where he came from, and I think that’s the feeling most people got when they were around him and why he was so extraordinary.”
— Jake Gyllenhaal discusses the legacy of Brokeback Mountain and his friendship with the late Heath Ledger with The Hollywood Reporter
For today’s TowleREAD, we’ve got a special Thanksgiving reading featuring one of the most-anticipated books of the season, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham’s new book, A Wild Swan and Other Tales.
One of this fall’s hottest reads (The New York Times called it “positively delectable”), A Wild Swan is Cunningham’s wildly successful effort to reexamine and retell classic fairy tales from his childhood and the lingering questions they left in his mind.
Cunningham told Towleroad:
When I was a kid, I tried my parents’ patience by insisting on certain questions after they’d read me a story.
For instance, when we got to the phrase, “And they lived happily ever after,” I’d nod and keep listening, assuming there was more – had to be more – to the story.
Happily ever after? Happy all the time?
I had other questions, as well.
Why would the miller’s daughter in Rumpelstiltskin marry the king who’d have executed her if she hadn’t been able to spin three roomfuls of straw into gold? Why would a father allow his new wife to turn all his sons into swans?
A Wild Swan and Other Tales is, in a sense, my attempt to answer my own years-ago questions.
It’s an attempt, as well, to bring to the surface certain elements of darkness, sex, and perversity I could feel, even as a child, lurking around under the surface events of the stories.
In a Towleroad exclusive, Cunningham agreed to read a tale from A Wild Swan titled “Beasts” that tackles head on the “mysterious motives” at work in one of the most popular fairy stories of all time:
“Beasts,” my take on Beauty and the Beast, is especially concerned with the popular romance of the “beast” – that is, the rough and tough guy, the butcher-than-butch wild man who’s popularly perceived as sexier – way sexier – than the nice guy who just wants to settle down somewhere.
I understand the general preference for beasts. But then again, anyone who’s actually dated a beast may… let’s just say, anyone who’s dated a beast may know that the romantic idealization of those guys can be, well, exactly that…
As part of its sponsorship of TowleREAD, Audible is offering a free download of Michael Cunningham’s A Wild Swan: And Other Tales at Audible.com with a 30-day trial membership for Towleroad readers.
If you have a moment this Thanksgiving, enjoy Cunningham’s reading of “Beasts” in its entirety and delve into the dark and sexy world of children’s fairy tales, below:
Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), The Snow Queen, Specimen Days, and By Nightfall, as well as the non-fiction book, Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown. He is a Senior Lecturer at Yale and lives in New York.
(photograph by Richard Phibbs)
Sponsored by Audible.
The post Michael Cunningham Reads from His New Book ‘A Wild Swan and Other Tales’ – LISTEN appeared first on Towleroad.
In addition to who should be the party’s presidential nominee, Texas Republican voters may weigh in on whether the state should secede from the union when they cast ballots in the March 1 primary.
Tanya Robertson (right), a member of the State Republican Executive Committee, plans to introduce a resolution at the committee’s meeting next week that would place a non-binding resolution on secession on the ballot.
Robertson’s proposal comes after the Texas Nationalist Movement, a secessionist group, failed to gather the 75,000 signatures needed to get secession on the ballot. The Houston Chronicle reports:
“There’s been a big groundswell of Texans that are getting into the Texas independence issue,” she said, citing conversations she’s had with constituents. “I believe conservatives in Texas should have a choice to voice their opinion.” …
Karl Voigtsberger, SREC member from senate district 8 near Fort Worth, said he is “fully supportive” of the resolution “just to find out where the majority of Texas Republican primary voters are on this topic.”
Voigtsberger also said the non-binding vote would “send a message” to Washington D.C. that “things are so broke right now that we’re considering independence.”
Secession, of course, would be illegal, and state GOP leadership has tried to distance itself from the secessionist movement. But the fact is, there’s plenty of crossover.
Former Gov. Rick Perry once advocated secession, and current Gov. Greg Abbott likes to boast about how many times he’s sued the federal government. Earlier his year, 89 of 98 Republicans in the Texas House co-authored a bill aimed at defying the U.S. Supreme Court on same-sex marriage.
Speaking of LGBT rights, some members of the State Republican Executive Committee are also pushing to move the party’s 2016 convention out of Dallas over the City Council’s recent decision to strengthen transgender protections.
Apparently, the Texas GOP supports states’ rights, but not local control.
The post Texas GOP Leader Seeks Vote On Seceding From Union appeared first on Towleroad.
When Patrick Bradley, a New York-based food writer and founder of the blog TheGayFoodie.com, married his partner three years ago, his parents refused to attend the wedding. Naturally, this caused a riff in their relationship. Now Bradley, who has managed to stay in contact with members of his extended family since the nuptials, has written a letter to his mother and father to set the record straight on how they’ve made him feel and he sent it to his entire family so they’ll all know his side of the story.
Read the full letter below.
Dear Mom and Dad,
It’s been 890 days since the day that you both decided not to partake in my wedding. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to say anything about it. Perhaps I’ve been afraid of what the family will think, what the family might say. Or perhaps I’ve been afraid of losing even more of my wonderful, beautiful family, whom I think about day and night.
But the time is now because I’ve finally grown too tired of the 890 days and nights of being haunted by your presence—by your lack of presence, to be more precise. I’m tired of night after night of dreaming of you. And tonight, I had the most unpleasant of dreams—one that jolted me from my sleep and disallowed me to return to it. So at 6:22 a.m., after little more than three hours of sleep, I’m writing this letter to you—knowing that it is taking from my opportunity of getting a full night’s rest before work; but I’d rather work on little sleep than on little dignity.
As not to keep anyone in the family excluded (any longer), I’m sending this letter to everyone involved. I want everyone to know what had happened on my last visit to you, before my beautiful, wonderful wedding. I’m not writing this letter in an act of vengeance (even though it feels like it is), but rather, I’m doing it because I’m tired of walking on eggshells around my siblings, godchildren, nephews and nieces. I’m tired of having to be “civil” with both of you, “for the sake of the family.” I’m also tired of the unwanted holiday and birthday gifts, and I’m tired of you having the audacity to speak to my husband (and myself) as if nothing has happened. Have you no shame?
I think it’s time that I told my side of the story to the family, as I’m sure you have already told yours. I want everything to be out in the open, so that I can feel like I have all of my dignity with me when I will undoubtedly see you at family gatherings—gatherings which I now would rather avoid if it means that either of you will be present; I have other ways of seeing my family.
On May 13, 2013, I made the trip out to New Jersey—the day after Mother’s Day—to take you out for lunch because I had to work the previous day. You picked me up at the train station and we stopped at A & P to pick up a birthday card for one of the boys. On the way there, I told you about how Michael’s extended family, who’d be traveling from Georgia, Colorado and beyond—in part to meet you!—were so excited about meeting you. You simply replied that you both would not be going to the wedding. I tried my best to retain composure, thinking that I’d be able to change your mind before the big day.
By the time we left A & P, you started citing the bible, while unsuspecting shoppers were bustling about us, running their afternoon errands. And by the time we got back to the car, you’d mentioned your fear of an angel appearing to you, saying, “Stop praying for Patrick! He’s already in hell!” I knew then that it was time to go to my last resort and give an ultimatum which I never expected would be fulfilled.
I explained to you, simply and calmly, that if you (both) did not attend my wedding, you would not see me again after the wedding: no holidays, no birthdays, no hospitals, no funerals. What I heard next put me into a state of mild shock. You followed up, quickly and readily, with, “We know that! I talked to your dad last night and we already accept it! We said that we give you back to God!” I recall other things being said, which I’ll omit here. As I sat in shock—shock that you would rather never see me again than attend my wedding—you simply moved onto your next subject: “Well, I guess you don’t want to go to lunch anymore.” As I opened the car door to walk back to the train station, you offered, “Let me drive you back to the train. Let it be the one last thing that I do for you.” If there was any doubt in my mind that I’d misunderstood what you’d said to me previously, you had clarified your intentions then and there.
Mom and Dad: By not attending my wedding, you rejected me, and you rejected my husband, who is my own immediate family. I, in turn, reject anyone that rejects my family—out of dignity and respect for it. But I am offering resolution.
I will forgive you both for what you have done, if you, in front of theentire family (from youngest to eldest) admit that what you both did was wrong; admit that you both should have been at the wedding. Because I do think that what you both have done is shameful. You’ve torn a family apart. But what breaks my heart most is what this has done to the youngest in the family—the ones who were too young to know, or too young to understand what was going on. The ones whose only conclusion was perhaps “Patrick must be bad” or “He must have done something wrong because Grandma didn’t go to his wedding.” That is where I think you both should bear the shame, not me.
I want everyone to know everything. And maybe tonight, I’ll finally be able to sleep the whole night through.
With Best Intentions,
Republican presidential wannabe Marco Rubio has said he aims to “fix” the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage “because we think it’s wrong.”
Despite previously announcing the decision to be the law of the land, he is now committed to having it reversed.
Speaking on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Rubio compared the gay marriage ruling to Roe v. Wade, saying just because the decision is law “doesn’t mean that we don’t aspire to fix it because we think it’s wrong.”
RELATED: Sen. Marco Rubio Headlines Fundraiser for Anti-LGBT Arizona Group Advocating for ‘Ex-gay’ Conversion Therapy
He added that when biblical teachings conflict with civil authorities, “god’s rule always wins.”
“In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin, violate God’s law and sin, if we’re ordered to stop preaching the gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that. We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”
Referring to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Rubio said:
“If you live in a society where the government creates an avenue and a way for you to peacefully change the law, then you’re called on to participate in that process to try to change it, not ignoring it, but trying to change the law.
“I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman, and that the proper place for that to be decided is at the state level, where marriage has always been regulated, not by the U.S. Supreme Court, and not by the federal government.”
In May, Rubio said that gay marriage is “a real and present danger” for Christians.
The post Marco Rubio Will ‘Fix’ SCOTUS Ruling on Gay Marriage Because ‘God Always Wins’ appeared first on Towleroad.
A New York man charged with assault and attempted assault against a gay couple has said his only crime “was to be a man of color wrongly accused by his attacker, a privileged white man.”
41-year-old Bayna-Lehkiem El-Amin (above) was accused of attacking Jonathan Snipes (right) and Ethan York-Adams at a Dallas BBQ in Chelsea on May 5. Now, El-Amin has filed a countersuit.
El-Amin says that when he intervened in an argument between Snipes and York-Adams that was interrupting other diners, Snipes “viciously struck” him on the head with a “heavy, blunt weapon” that cut open El-Amin’s head.
He also alleges that although he tried to walk away, Snipes “continued his attack by grabbing at plaintiff’s legs and attempting to claw at plaintiff’s genitals” while York-Adams “joined in the attack by pushing plaintiff onto his injured back.”
At this point, El-Amin said, he was “left with no choice” but to throw a chair at his attackers, “knocking them to the ground and giving plaintiff time safely to retreat from his attackers by walking out of the restaurant.”
The complaint also alleges that a friend of Snipes’ doctored footage of the attack in order to portray El-Amin as the attacker.
El-Amin is seeking “damages for assault and battery against Snipes and York-Adams, negligence against Dallas BBQ, and defamation against all defendants, including Sharef, Friedlander and Meyers (three friends of Snipes and York-Adams who assisted in creating and distributing the well-known viral video of El-Amin hitting Snipes with a chair).”
Watch a CBS report and footage of the attack below.
The post Gay NYC Man Accused in Dallas BBQ Attack Files Countersuit, Claims He is the Victim appeared first on Towleroad.
If you thought sarcasm and snark had no place in a festive parade, think again.
Below, Billy Eichner along with some help from Katie Couric bring some much more subtle holiday cheer than we’re used to seeing.
You know, like the Sean Penn balloon, and a float celebrating the 2009-2011 Showtime series The United States of Tara.
These are exciting times, people.
Last year, Queerty exposed two internal Salvation Army USA documents that lays out exactly how the religious org planned to battle the negative publicity from my campaign to get them to apologize for their anti-LGBTQ past.
After reading the memos describing their plan for a “strategy of containment” that includes whitewashing their past, confusing potential donors, and refusing to take responsibility for their horrendous history of discrimination, it seems appropriate to release exactly what they don’t want revealed: the public apology that the church leadership refuses to issue.
In two separate documents, the Salvation Army clearly is more interested in using PR spin to deflect attention and make LGBTQ people doubt whether or not the group’s history is worthy of an apology. In a 24-page memo titled “2014 Nondiscrimination Communications & Protocols,” the org’s public relations department spells out exactly how local and regional branches of the not-for-profit should respond to critics.
“In April 2013, The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board adopted an aggressive issues management plan, with specific emphasis on addressing allegations of discrimination on on [sic] ongoing basis,” the document reads under a section marked “Preparations.” It notes that “The Salvation Army NHQ communications team and Richards Partners have held issue briefings and media training workshops in 2013 and 2014 for more than 150 of the highest ranking officers and respective public relations officials.”
Sadly, the organization has been in constant communication with me in an attempt to duplicitously silence my campaign demanding an apology. In 2013, the group’s public relations team expressed interest in issuing the public apology to LGBTQ people that I requested, and asked me to write it for them. I did, and the team said they’d pass it on to national and regional leadership for approval.
As the months passed, the org stayed in touch with me and gave excuse after excuse as to why they hadn’t issued the apology yet. They didn’t want to put it out during the run-up to Christmas out of fear of offending the religious right. They didn’t want to put it out immediately after Christmas because it would seem patronizing to LGBTQ people. And they didn’t want to put it out during the summer months because they were suddenly having problems with the approval process. New leadership was in place, they said, and now they had to start all over again.
They knew they had a problem. They knew they needed to fix it. And they wanted to take responsibility and issue an apology. These new leaked documents expose just how untrue the breadcrumbs they tossed my way were.
Last year, the group’s social media team worked overtime to reach out to Facebook and Twitter users who shared my post or said anything negative about the church. One canned message used repeatedly is expressly given in the document as a “suggested Facebook post” for church members.
Instead of taking responsibility for their history of rampant discrimination, they encouraged their followers and staff to lie and deny.
The canned text reads:
“These accusations simply aren’t true. Since its founding nearly 150 years ago, The Salvation Army has lived out its mission: To meet human need in His name, without discrimination. People who come to the Army for assistance will be served according to their need and our capacity to help – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”
Another suggested posting goes even further in an attempt to deflect responsibility – and directly contradicts the last one. Instead of saying the claims “aren’t true,” in this version they “acknowledge” that discrimination happens “occasionally.”
“We acknowledge that because of our size and scope, occasionally, one of our millions of employees or volunteers might say or do something that does not reflect our true values. We address these incidents as soon as they arise. The Salvation Army believes that all people are equal regardless of sexual orientation or any other factor, including race, gender, and ethnicity.”
Just as the org is lying about the well-documented “accusations” of abuse, they also include links to articles published online that contain misinformation and obvious factual errors. The PR team also says that fact-checked reporting from the New York Times, New York Post, and other mainstream media outlets is “inaccurate.”
A quick check of court records and widespread national news belies their spin.
Now, with the group lying and trying to cover their tracks, it appears the Salvation Army USA will never issue the apology they asked my help in crafting. After the documents were leaked, I wrote to Communications Director Jennifer Byrd – with whom I’ve worked closely on the proposed apology – to ask if they were simply yanking me around in an attempt to keep me from beating the drum that they have a horrible history of discriminating against LGBTQ people.
There was no response.
It’s incredibly disappointing to see from the internal Salvation Army documents posted by Queerty that the org opted for a “policy of containment” instead of taking a proactive approach of working with the LGBTQ community to heal old wounds. Instead of “doing the most good,” the SA-USA opted to spin the truth and gloss over their extremely anti-LGBTQ past. I continue to hope that they’ll actually “do the most good” some day, but that obviously isn’t their priority right now.
Since the Salvation Army won’t publicly release the apology they asked me to prepare, I will. You can also read the 24-page memo yourself here [pdf] and be sure to head over to Queerty to read the extra memo they’ve printed on their site.
The next time the Salvation Army tries to tell you they “do the most good” and attempts to sell you their new pro-LGBTQ image in exchange for your red kettle donation, ask them to publicly apologize to LGBTQ people. Forgiveness begins with an apology.
Read the full apology below.
The Apology the Salvation Army Won’t Release
At the Salvation Army, we have always focused on the people society often overlooks – the disadvantaged, the sick, and the outcasts. We have stood for the basic theme of Jesus Christ’s teachings: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” No one is outside of forgiveness and salvation. In God’s eyes, we are all equal.
Unfortunately, we haven’t always given that unconditional love to our brothers and sisters in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Instead of allowing God to judge people’s hearts, we took it upon ourselves to interpret God’s wishes and, as these situations always end, we were not as loving as Christ would want us to be. As we have reflected on our past actions and the painful stories the LGBTQ community has shared with us, we have realized that to truly be Christ-like, we must follow his example. The path to salvation lies through forgiveness.
The Salvation Army USA would like to apologize to the LGBTQ community for any hurt we may have caused in the past. Whether through the sin of omission or commission, we have done harm to countless of our brothers and sisters and we are truly sorry. We ask for the forgiveness of those whom we have hurt and pray that you will extend us the opportunity to prove ourselves anew. Being gay is not a sin, but being judgmental is.
As with most Christian denominations in the United States, we are evolving on how we handle LGBTQ issues. We are in the process of updating our policies and practices, but this is what we can pledge to do now. We have instituted a nationwide nondiscrimination policy for clients, volunteers, and employees that is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. We now provide domestic partner benefits in all states and cities where required by law as well as states where same-sex marriage has been legalized – and are examining ways to expand these benefits nationwide while still holding true to our church values. We have removed all references to harmful “ex-gay” therapies from our literature.
Most importantly of all, we pledge to continue to listen and work with LGBTQ people to improve our services so we can do “the most good.” It is our prayer that together we can make the world a better place for everyone.
If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade‘s selection of random celebrities, obscure moments from TV shows you don’t recognize, obscene product placement and logos, and oversized personalities filled with hot air, isn’t for you, there’s an alternate parade which was held earlier this week by Billy on the Street’s Billy Eichner.
RELATED: Billy Eichner Makes Amy Sedaris Climb Through ‘Gratuitous Gay Sex’ in Shonda Rhimes Obstacle Course – WATCH
It’s kind of like the Macy’s parade, just filled with the pop culture paraphernalia that crowds Billy’s brain.
And Katie Couric is along for this parade as Billy’s co-host.
We’ve asked online comedian, voice actor and chest hair model Sam Kalidi to create a new meme each week for Queerty readers. This week he considers the annoying conversations some of us will be subjected to during today’s holiday dinner. Sam looks forward to all your hate mail. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and at your local glory hole.