A gay couple visiting Minneapolis from Brooklyn and Philadelphia were targeted and shot with a BB gun by a homophobic Christian man in a popular local gay, KMSP-TV reports. The man, 43-year-old Wayne Steven Odegard, harassed customers at the Saloon, hurling expletives and making disparaging remarks “towards a couple that was holding hands”, a public display of affection that Odegard “obviously didn't appreciate":r
“I ran after him and then it ended up he shot a different gay couple in the leg, with that gun and it went through his jeans and drew blood,” [said Tyler Erickson (pictured right), a security guard at the Saloon.]r
Before Odegard could run even 30 feet, Erickson nabbed him, arrested him and called police.r
“He told me multiple times that I'm going to go to hell and he's going to bring me with him,” Erickson said. “He recited a biblical passage -- I think it's a deuteronomy passage.”r
Being that they were from out of town, the couple "joked that they came to progressive Minneapolis and got shot for being gay,” according to Erickson. Though neither was seriously injured, Erickson pointed out, “Even if the guy was shot with the same CO2 powered bb gun in the face it would've gone right through his cheek." Odegard now faces second-degree assault and gun possession charges.r
Watch a news report on the attack, AFTER THE JUMP...rrr
Now this is a far cry from "I think gay marriage should be between a man and a woman."r
California Governor Jerry Brown (pictured) has signed four new laws that bolster LGBT rights in the Golden State.r
ThinkProgress has a round-up of the four laws. The first makes "gay panic" and "trans panic" legal defenses illegal. Previously, the state's policy was to tell jurors not to be influenced by the plaintiff or defendent's orientation. The Bar Association voted to ban "gay panic" defenses outright, and CA is the first state to act on this.r
Another law stipulates that transgender people will have their gender identities respected after death. This law was brought on by the posthumous, tragic misgendering of filmmaker/activist Christopher Lee in 2012.r
Health professionals will now have to be trained specifically to work with LGBT and intersex people. The law says it will specifically call for "understanding and applying cultural and ethnic data to the process of clinical care...pertinent to the appropriate treatment of...the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities.”r
The final law listed by ThinkProgress, while not explicitly aimed after LGBT people, will have a major impact on the community. It protects sex workers from being prosecuted/arrested solely on the grounds of carrying condoms. Trans people are particularly effected, ThinkProgress argues, given that 43% of Trans people have turned to sex work for money at some point.r
The Interplay is a special bi-weekly series exploring the intersections of sex, pop culture, and current events.r
Last week everyone seemed to suddenly begin pushing Ello, artist Paul Budnitz’s style-centric social media platform. Ello’s major selling points--a clean design, pseudo-exclusivity, and a lack of advertisements--made it an obvious alternative to services like Facebook or Twitter. Most of the coverage about Ello, including our own, highlighted the contrast between the service’s “come as you are” ideology and Facebook’s recent doubling down on its “real name policy.”r
A vocal contingent of the drag community is protesting Facebook’s naming policies and adding some credence to the idea that Facebook just isn’t as “cool” as it used to be. That being said, one-fifth of the world’s population logs onto Facebook every month, and the site is projected to control almost 20% of U.S. mobile ad market by the end of the year. As tone-deaf as Zuckerberg and co. may have been in their policing of online identities, Facebook, contrary to popular belief, is doing just fine.r
For all of the grand proclamations of user-empowerment made in its manifesto, Ello looks a lot like the social networks that came before it, when looked at objectively. Profiles are styled in a similar fashion to Twitter’s, and Ello’s endless scrolling bears a striking resemblance to Tumblr’s primary dashboard interface.r
Despite thriving on the idea of being edgy and anti-ad, a number of high-profile brands (like Sonos and Netflix) have staked out spots in Ello. Even more interesting are the questions being raised about Ello’s early venture capital funding, something seemingly at odds with it anti-establishment ethos.r
And yet in spite of all that Ello is growing.r
Ello doesn’t seem to have a means of determining a user’s sexual orientation, but Budnitz has said that his team has seen a particular spike in new LGBT users. According to Budnitz, Ello’s LGBT userbase is playing a “particularly helpful [role] in shaping their development going forward,” which could mean a number of different things.r
In the past non-dating social networks designed with gay men in mind have tried--and generally failed--to carve out a unique space for themselves. Fab.com, the one-time wunderkind of daily deals, began in 2010 as Fabulis, a gay Facebook clone without an obvious business model. Fabulis’s decision to reinvent itself as an e-commerce hub says a lot about the viability of a “gay social network.”r
So what is it, then, that Ello is doing to solidify itself as the queer-friendly anti-Facebook? Well for starters, it’s pro-porn.r
Sex-positive tech journalist Violet Blue recently took to Twitter to warn her followers that an early version of Ello’s terms of service prohibited posting work-unfriendly content. Justin Gitlin, one of Ello’s lead developers quickly responded to Blue, asserting that Ello’s position on racier content was quickly evolving.r
“We don’t have a problem with porn at all,” Ello creator Paul Budnitz clarified to BetaBeat “But we would have a problem with (adult content) that encourages people to hurt each other, or anything that has to do with children.”r
As timely as comparisons to Facebook may be, Ello would have a much better shot at becoming the social for edgy, artistic gays by borrowing from Tumblr. Though Tumblr has made a name for itself for being a lightweight, customizable blogging tool for the masses, the service owes a large part of its success to its highly active community of pornography curators.r
Tumblr hosts a wide variety of mature content ranging from hardcore, animated gifsets to erotic prose and poetry. Diving into Tumblr’s depths proves not only that Rule 34 is very real, but also that vibrant, engaged non-sexually explicit communities can exist on the same platform as the raunchiest of skin flicks. Straddling that gap could be the key to Ello’s future success.r
Queer Young Cowboys, a St. Louis-based micropress, specializes in smart, stylish literary raunch. QYC creator Johnny Murdoc explained that his interest in Ello went beyond seeing an opportunity to grow his brand.r
“I know I'm getting a more authentic report from the writers and artists I follow, and not just the narratives or work that fit within guidelines,” he said. “Guidelines have never been friendly to queer creators, especially when it comes to sexual content.”r
Artists working in adult spaces, Murdoc says, have worked around the limitations imposed by platforms like Facebook and Instagram, by tailoring their content to fit within acceptable parameters. But that ingenuity comes, at least in part, with a degree of creative censorship.r
“There may be a post about some new thing, but they're never showing the new thing, especially with visual artists.” he described. “I know some creators who are dogged by people who report any risqué content, and that leads them to talk about their work in other venues rather than risk being shut down.”r
Projects like QYC aren’t uncommon, but all too often their signal gets lost in the social media noise as a result of having to contort their messages to fit within narrowly defined standards of acceptability. How many more independent films like Travis Matthews’s I Want Your Love and In Their Room might have a chance to flourish if only their creators were given a central, social hub in which to share and spread their ideas?r
Whether Ello intends to become that hub remains to be seen, but being known as the digital epicenter of risqué, avant-garde content creation certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing.
In more good news out of California for LGBT people, the University of California school system will adopt new considerations for its students.r
Out of concern for transgender students and employees' comfort, UC will add preferred names to student records and change exisisting single-stall restrooms to be gender-neutral.r
Via San Jose Mercury News, said UC president Janet Napolitano (pictured) of this decision:r
UC should be the gold standard where these issues are concerned...We want to look at not only what we are doing now, but also in the medium and long term for our students, our staff, our faculty and the communities where our campuses are situated.r
The changes come from a new LGBT advisory council Napolitano established in June. The council's next move is to develop proposals for improving employee training on LGBT issues, and to develop a conference to "showcase faculty research into issues of sexual orientation and gender identity."
Out gay heartthrob Matt Bomer will be starring opposite Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in Shane Black's detective thriller The Nice Guys, being produced by Hollywood heavyweight, Joel Silver. Deadline Hollywood reports:r
Black’s Nice Guys takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, and Gosling plays a detective hired by a gangster (Crowe) to find a missing girl. In the process, he uncovers a dangerous conspiracy, and that is where Bomer’s character comes in. The studio also set Margaret Qually, star of HBO’s The Leftovers, to play the lead female role, the daughter of a corrupt chief justice who figures in the scandal.r
Bomer is also set to play Montgomery Clift in a biopic about the famous actor. Deadline notes that Bomer, who's set to appear in Magic Mike XXL for your viewing pleasure, is focusing on more movie fare as his TV show White Collar comes to a close.r
In case you can't wait til Bomer's body next graces the big screen, you can check him out on the upcoming season of American Horror Story.
Adore Delano, one the finalists on last season's RuPaul's Drag Race, has released the music video for latest single, "I Look F--kin' Cool" featuring Alaska Thunderf--k and Nina Flowers. The song is the fifth single off her album, Till Death Do Us Party. The video takes dark glamour to a new level:r
The video is set in a dystopian future, where an authoritarian, big-brother-like police force has enacted a coup ‘de fashion. All fashion and individualized self-expression has been banned in lieu of a military-esque uniform, but there are those that disobey. A small gang of rebel-punks led by Adore and Alaska (the two most wanted by the regime) have begun to band together using a sophisticated network called Jack’d to connect with like-minded individuals.r
“It’s a bold, fiery, no-nonsense proclamation that we are all perfect exactly the way we are”, says Adore Delano of her latest track. Delano admits that growing up in a suburb outside of Los Angeles, she was an outcast. “A dark horse in a dark horse community,” she explains.r
Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...r
NBC reports on a new report that indicates anti-gay laws are economically hurtful to LGBT people. The report comes from two think tanks, the Center for American Progress and the pro-LGBT Movement Advancement Project.r
Among the study's findings is income disparity, even among settled couples. In states banning gay marriage, same-sex couples raising children make $10,000 less a year than their heterosexual peers. In states allowing gay nuptials things were "almost at parity," according to analysis of 2012 U.S. Census data. To the persisting gender wage gap is also a huge factor, making things even toughter for Lesbian couples. In 2010, the Williams Institute found 7.6% of same-sex female couples were at or below the poverty line. This is contrasted with 5.7% straight couples, and 4.3% gay male couples.r
Things are even worse for single LGBT adults and specifically transgender people. Single LGBTs, compared with straight counterparts, are three times more likely to have an income near the poverty line. Transgender people were nearly four times more likely to have a household income under $10,000 per year than the overall population.
During her performance at Lincoln Center highlighting her jazz collaboration with Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga turned out a chilling rendition of Cher's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." Gaga made sure to sport her Moonstruck-era Cher hair for the occasion.r
Watch the performance that's sure to thrill, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
GoPro has opened our eyes to whole new worlds of experience: be it surfing with seals, diving into volcanoes, unicycling down mountains, getting up close and personal with a Great White shark or even just travelling around the world. Now add to that catalogue "what it's like to be run over by a train."r
Check out the video that will leave you flattened like a penny on a train track, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
The group popular for doing funky twists on contemporary hits (like a 40s swing version of Madonna's "Like A Prayer", for instance) is back with a soulful take on Ariana Grande's "Break Free" that is full of 70s flare.r
Watch and listen as the group performs their "Tower of Power" rendition, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Of course, if you're looking for something closer to the original source material, the boys of Fire Island can surely help you out.rr
Are you unhappy with the length and/or girth of your wiener? You’re not alone. A new survey by the U.K.’s Observer has found that men today are less content with the size of their dongs than ever before.
Roughly 1,000 gentlemen in the U.K. participated in the survey, which found that just 79 percent were pleased with the size of their penises. That’s down from 86 percent in 2008. Twenty-one percent, or one in five, of guys today claim to be unhappy with the overall size of their packages.
So what’s the reason for the increased level of dissatisfaction?
Researchers blame pornography and the media for nurturing men’s body image issues — a problem they say can disproportionately affect gay guys, though we’d beg to differ. In our estimation, straight dudes seem more concerned about penis size, as indicated in this study that found that heterosexual men frequently size each other up in locker room showers, and will often “slap their cocks around” to make them look bigger.
So what can be done about this very serious issue?
Well, “penoplasty” has been a growing trend in England for some time now. Earlier this year, a British man went on a morning news program to talk about his penis enlargement surgery. Billy-Tom O’Connor told an interviewer he wanted “an absolute monster,” so he paid to have his penis pumped up to the size of a 10-inch hairspray bottle. (See the NSFW pictures here.)
One person folks might want to avoid is this self-proclaimed “penis healer” from Gauteng, South Africa. The 31-year-old medicine man was arrested last weekend during a sting operation.
The healer has been accused of stealing money from people after falsely promising to enlarge their genitals with magical medicine and then not returning their calls when the medicine didn’t work. On Sunday, he was arrested after police set up a fake consultation with him. He has been charged with theft under false pretenses.
Of course, a guy’s best bet is to simply try to accept his god-given size and learn to love himself on the inside. If that doesn’t work, he can try to take comfort in knowing that a 2013 study found the average penis size is actually much smaller than previously reported, so he may not be as little as he thinks. And if his peepee is really is just unfortunately small, he can always enter himself into the annual Smallest Penis Competition held each year in Brooklyn for a chance to win $200. Submissions will open early next year.
Neil Patrick Harris shared some photos from his intimate Italian wedding on The Late Show last night, telling the kind of fabulous insider details you’d only expect from a famous gay man talking about his secluded gay wedding.
The 41-year-old actor married his 10-year partner David Burtka at a private ceremony in Italy earlier this month.
Last night, he told David Letterman that the setting (a castle) was perfect, Elton John’s first dance introduction was surreal, Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” brought a tear to his eye, and most importantly, the “fireworks dude” set the fireworks off at the right time.
Check it out below, and if you missed the photos that include their adorable children, check those out over at People:
When Michele Bachmann introduced an anti-marriage equality bill in the Minnesota legislature, she did it because the Lord told her she, like, totally should.
“I took a walk and I just went to prayer and I said Lord, what would you have me do in the Minnesota state senate? And just through prayer I knew that I was to introduce the marriage amendment in Minnesota.”
Her amendment failed, but the Lord works in mysterious ways. Or something.
At the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. on Friday, the Bachs reportedly said gay marriage is “not an issue” the Republican party should be focused on. She went on to tell a reporter on Sirius XM Radio, “In fact, it’s boring.”
So we can only imagine the chat that Michelle may have had with the man upstairs that lead her to minimize the antigay marriage moral crusade. She is, after all, a high-ranking Colonel for Christ.
God: Look, Michele, this isn’t working out.
Michele: Are you breaking up with me?
God: Don’t be so dramatic. Just lay off the anti-gay stuff, it’s boring. *finger snap* **disappears in cloud of smoke**
When asked to clear up her remarks, she told conservative site World News Daily:
“What I said is that this won’t be the issue that drives the 2014 election. I told the reporter it’s getting boring having them only press this issue with Republicans while ignoring Democrats.”
The translation of which would read: “While I may not have fully accepted that I’m squarely on the wrong side of history, I know a sinking ship when I see one so perhaps it’s best to scurry like a rat to the nearest land mass.”
Pressed for comment about Michele’s statement, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fisher showed his dedication to going down with the ship:
“Unfortunately, there are people in the conservative movement who have sort of given up. There are even evangelical leaders sending signals that the battle is over, that the battle is lost. ‘We’ll never be able to capture the millennials. They’re gone.’ I think it’s way premature for that. You know, when the homosexual lobby was 0 and 31 [having lost at the ballot in 31 states on marriage], the gay lobby didn’t quit. They didn’t give up. They didn’t do it. They didn’t give up, and neither are we.”
Jesus must be sending mixed signals.
Plus we had to sit through three services per week, on Wednesday evening and twice on Sunday, and they were all the same: tedious hymns from Victorian times, 45 minutes of the Preacher pacing and screaming and literally pounding his Bible, and then an endless exhortation to come down to the altar and "get raht with God."
We usually skipped the Wednesday service, and I didn't mind Sunday morning so much; the service ended at 12:00 sharp, and there was nothing good on tv anyway. But Sunday night services had no limits -- they could go on for two hours or more, with a tv paradise back home: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, It's About Time, Flipper, Land of the Giants, The Young Rebels, Hogan's Heroes...
How to get out of going to church on Sunday night? When I was in grade school, I tried four tactics:
1. "I don't want to go!!!! I hate it!!!!"
That didn't work.
2. "I have a lot of homework to do."
No. Nazarenes were forbidden from working on Sunday, including homework.
Stomach aches were foolproof...there was no way to prove that you didn't have one, and you weren't necessarily sick. Maybe you just ate something that disagreed with you.
That worked once. But my parents picked up pie and ice cream on the way home, and some jello for me. Nazarenes weren't supposed to buy things on Sunday, but...
4. "Bill invited me over for a sleepover. I can go to his church."
Nope. Bill was a Presbyterian, and Nazarenes couldn't set foot in a "liberal so-called church."
When I started seventh grade at Washington Junior High, my parents began to watch me carefully, searching for any sign that I had "discovered" girls and thereby become a man. Did I hang out with girls? Did I mention any girls, even in passing? Did I sign up for a mostly-girl club? Did I notice an actress on tv?
Notice an actress on tv!
5. "I want to stay home and watch M*A*S*H. It sounds good...."
I didn't even have to mention Hot Lips Houlihan. My parents nudged each other, beaming with pride, and joyfully gave me permission to stay home.
Turns out that I hated M*A*S*H (except for Gary Burghoff as the cute Radar O'Reilly), and there was nothing else good on Sunday nights anymore.
But anything was better than being screamed at for 45 minutes.
And I learned a valuable lesson: my parents were so anxious for me to be heterosexual that they would give me permission to do anything, if there was even a hint of a girl involved.
See also: Slow Dancing at the Canteen