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News: Taj Mahal, Thom Filicia, iPhone, Mario Testino

road.jpg 15-year-old girls charged with felony hate crimes for targeting one of their male classmates with homophobic flyers.

Tajroad.jpg Taj Mahal to get facial: "According to the BBC, Indian officials have concluded that a 'deep-cleansing mud pack may be the only way to return a yellowing Taj Mahal to the cultural landmark's former white marble glory.' By 'caking the building in clay,' we read, those same officials can actually 'draw out surface impurities'.

road.jpg Queer Eye's Thom Filicia to renovate W hotels starting with the W Los Angeles-Westwood.

road.jpg Paris Hilton gets lighter sentence - should be in the coop for only 23 days, if that: "The L.A. County sheriff's office announced that they recognize her good behavior including showing up at her recent court date. Paris will also serve her 23-days in a special unit. These cells are specifically reserved for high-profile inmates who might otherwise be targeted by fellow prisoners. She will also get an hour a day to make phone calls, watch TV and shower."

road.jpg Homeless gay youths finding home in specialized shelters: "Many experts estimate that while gay men and lesbians make up 3 percent to 5 percent of the general population, more than 20 percent of homeless youths under age 21 in many urban areas are gay, according to recent surveys of street youths and shelter workers published in peer-reviewed academic journals, and a study released in January by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for the Homeless."

road.jpg How the GOP candidates responded to Falwell's death — 5 strong supporters, 3 weak supporters, two made no comment at all.

road.jpg Bogus tip to tech blog Engadget about delay of iPhone knocked $4 billion off Apple's market capitalization yesterday as the stock dropped from $107.89 to $103.42 in six minutes (11:56 - 12:02). Since then the stock has recovered.

Braziliansroad.jpg Evandro Soldatti and a "legion of male models" attend Mario Testino's 'honorary citizenship" party in Rio.

road.jpg In case you were wondering, your prayers have helped Britney Spears.

road.jpg West Hollywood gay activist Larry Sprenger dies at 65: "In the mid-1980s, Sprenger was co-chairman of the Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles, then one of the nation's most influential gay political groups. He was instrumental in the group's controversial stand in 1985 urging the owners of gay bathhouses to voluntarily shut down their operations because of the baths' possible role in the spread of AIDS."

road.jpg Amazon to challenge iTunes with DRM-free music download service: "The Amazon service will launch later this year with support from EMI, the third-largest record company, and more than 1,000 smaller labels...David Card, an analyst at Jupiter Research, said Amazon’s clout would increase the pressure on EMI’s competitors to follow suit. 'Getting another big, big player to endorse DRM-free is a big deal.'"

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Comments

  1. Referring to the teenage girls with the homophobic flyers ... Isn't Crystal Lake the same community that tried to prevent hosting the rowing competitions during the Gay Games? Quite a legacy they're leaving.

    Posted by: Joe | May 17, 2007 1:37:59 PM


  2. W Hotels: Good, they need a new image. I stayed at the W Hotel in Westwood back in March, so not worth the price tag. I remember when the W chain was "reasonable", especially the W Hotel Union Square, which was $250 or so a night back in 2000, and now ranges from $350 for a fully prepaid Internet non-refundable price to $600 a night for most rooms. Outrageous.

    Paris Hilton: Even more outrageous. Paris gets a lighter sentence just for showing up to court dates, something she should be doing from the start. Here is an interesting article in the NYTimes online about Californian Jails that allow inmates to purchase "upgraded accommodations". From the moment Ms. Hilton was sentenced, I knew this would be EXACTLY where should would wind up as most of those inmates are wealthy and politically connected individuals with DUI or other legal infractions. Makes me sick that money can buy any thing in America, including freedom.

    Mario Testino Party: Yuuuum. 'Nough said.

    Britney Spears: Ugh, will she please GO AWAY. I don't mean her any disrespect for whatever personal and emotional problems she may be facing, but enough already. Her "comeback" in San Diego was a joke; lip-syncing to a few of her old tracks in a small San Diego bar isn't what I would call a comeback, it's what I would deem a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Someone needs to throw her a life saver...

    Larry Sprenger: The world lost a foul man in Rev. Foulwell, but lost a humanitarian in Sprenger. RIP, many should be thankful for your efforts in paving the way for us to write and speak out on civil rights for all. This makes me wonder who our activists are presently. Rosie O'Donnell? The HRC? McGreevey? I'm hard pressed to think of anyone who has matched the early pioneering efforts of those who have come before us. No wonder we might be losing ground, most of us seem more concerned about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to make any efforts in our freedom and equality. Instead, our voices are over shadowed by the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell...

    Posted by: Cory | May 17, 2007 2:06:17 PM


  3. W Hotels: Good, they need a new image. I stayed at the W Hotel in Westwood back in March, so not worth the price tag. I remember when the W chain was "reasonable", especially the W Hotel Union Square, which was $250 or so a night back in 2000, and now ranges from $350 for a fully prepaid Internet non-refundable price to $600 a night for most rooms. Outrageous.

    Paris Hilton: Even more outrageous. Paris gets a lighter sentence just for showing up to court dates, something she should be doing from the start. Here is an interesting article in the NYTimes online ( http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10E15FC385A0C7A8EDDAD0894DF404482 ) about Californian Jails that allow inmates to purchase "upgraded accommodations". From the moment Ms. Hilton was sentenced, I knew this would be EXACTLY where should would wind up as most of those inmates are wealthy and politically connected individuals with DUI or other legal infractions. Makes me sick that money can buy any thing in America, including freedom.

    Mario Testino Party: Yuuuum. 'Nough said.

    Britney Spears: Ugh, will she please GO AWAY. I don't mean her any disrespect for whatever personal and emotional problems she may be facing, but enough already. Her "comeback" in San Diego was a joke; lip-syncing to a few of her old tracks in a small San Diego bar isn't what I would call a comeback, it's what I would deem a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Someone needs to throw her a life saver...

    Larry Sprenger: The world lost a foul man in Rev. Foulwell, but lost a humanitarian in Sprenger. RIP, many should be thankful for your efforts in paving the way for us to write and speak out on civil rights for all. This makes me wonder who our activists are presently. Rosie O'Donnell? The HRC? McGreevey? I'm hard pressed to think of anyone who has matched the early pioneering efforts of those who have come before us. No wonder we might be losing ground, most of us seem more concerned about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to make any efforts in our freedom and equality. Instead, our voices are over shadowed by the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell...

    Posted by: Cory | May 17, 2007 2:06:55 PM


  4. Joe,
    Initially, they rejected it, but it was approved on a second vote. Here is an article about it:

    http://www.outsports.com/local/2006/0303gaygamesrowing.htm

    Posted by: gryphon773 | May 17, 2007 2:21:26 PM


  5. A very good observation, Cory. While other groups share responsibility, HRC is the one most responsible for the fact that nothing approaching a gay "Martin Luther King, Jr." exists. Evolving from a simple political pac to the self-proclaimed be-all for the LGBT community, they, led by Elizabeth Birch, failed to see that an organization cannot "lead" a movement and that she was no MLK. Hate him as much as I did, Fartwell was charismatic enough that he had the media eating out of his hand.

    Every time a new gay media-genic figure arises, HRC [and NGLTF and SAAD] uses their celebrity to raise money for the group then kicks them to the curb when the next one comes along. Instead, they should groom the most potentially articulate of these individuals and financially support them so that they could become people that both our own and our enemies could recognize. Put THEM on the talk shows, doing print interviews, etc. As I've said before, forget polling straights—ask 20 random gay people who Joe Solmonese is and I guarantee you 80% will have no idea. For those here who don't know, he's the Executive Director of our biggest gay organization. That's right: HRC.

    Posted by: Leland | May 17, 2007 3:00:15 PM


  6. I would just be curious to know how many democratic candidates commented on Falwell if any?

    Posted by: Matt | May 17, 2007 3:10:08 PM


  7. I think the "felony hate crime" story sounds fishy. I'm really starting to see a pattern developing here with, what I suspect is a clever change in tactics to fight gay rights and hate crimes legislation. Between this incident and the one with the substitute teacher who showed school kids Brokeback Mountain, it seems that people are setting up ridiculous “offenses” in order to push their causes.

    In this incidence it seems that someone is trying to push the talking point that hate crimes laws limit free speech. If the only thing the girls did was put up anti-gay posters, that is NOT a hate crime, though it may be, and I hope it IS, against school policy. It sounds to me like some anti-hate-crimes crusader is trying to stir up a stink to push the anti-hate crimes talking point.

    This may sound far fetched, but I’ve come to realize that there is NO tactic that these people won’t use and there is no depth to which they won’t stoop stop pro-gay, or promote anti-gay, legislation.

    There needs to be some serious investigation into what’s going on here. Gay organizations and individuals need to be the FIRST to speak up and say that this is NOT an example of a hate crime.

    As for the 3-5 percent of the population is gay stat; have any of the statisticians checked the closets and do they account for people with homosexual or bisexual orientations who don't identify as gay or bi? A recent survey in New York showed that the majority of males who said that their exclusive or primary sexual interest was for people of the same sex, did not identify as gay or bisexual. Does this 3-5 percent claim take this into consideration?

    Posted by: Zeke | May 17, 2007 3:14:20 PM


  8. Paris Hilton is a perfect example of how a whore can get special treatment if she throws some money at a problem. Makes me sick.

    Posted by: shane | May 17, 2007 3:23:52 PM


  9. What is this shit about whisking prisoners away to special units for their protection? They ALL need protection, because there's no guarantee that they won't get shanked or raped somehow. None of that matters anyway, because our penal system isn't rehabilitative. So this protection isn't even to prolong the betterment of inmates. We're just keeping them alive so they can loaf around in pens at our expense. I swear, Paris Hilton needs to pay her way through that sentence.

    Posted by: 000000 | May 17, 2007 3:25:47 PM


  10. Zeke, your question is well-taken. And, in fact, the wording of the article misreads its source material which doesn’t say 3-5% ARE gay but “3-5% IDENTIFY as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.” Even then, researchers not full of themselves [and there aren't many of those] admit that virtually every study that attempts to count the number of gays is going to produce smaller numbers than actually exist because of the stigma attached to the label.

    Promised "confidentiality" is no guarantee that people will risk being honest because they know that confidential records are often compromised. Even in the case of anonymous surveys, that is when no names or other identifiers are recorded, one is still faced with the individual's own denial or inability to "say it out loud."

    Denying/label-refusing men like those in the earlier “NY Times” story are nothing new, of course, though self-proclaimed experts like the unctuous Ritch Savin-Williams would probably lump them in his “post gay” box of nonsense. Eons ago I knew of two college guys who, for some time, had been happily enjoying mutual fellatio and masturbation until one did something neither had done before: he attempted to kiss his sex partner. The latter jumped back in shock and demanded, “Are you QUEER?!!!”

    It makes sense that, whatever the core number reality, a higher percentage of homeless youth would represent kids who are LGBT. A ten-year old study published in “Pediatrics” magazine estimated that a quarter of kids were told they had to move out when their parents discovered they were gay. Of course, some reconcile, others find shelter from other family members or friends, and one can hope the number who need to has gone down a bit since then. But, as the cliche goes, one is one too many.

    NGLTF and others, including the Matthew Shepard Foundation, are to be praised for their efforts to help these kids.

    Posted by: Leland | May 17, 2007 3:56:54 PM


  11. Ah, Leland and Zeke... you beat me to it! LOL

    I've always been less than impressed with statistics that want to quantify the number of GLBT persons. I, too, as Leland's story indicts have met FAR too many men who say idiotic things like, "Oh, I'm NOT gay or bisexual! I just like to have sex with men." *groan*

    When there isn't any more stigma attached to being any orientation other than straight, THEN we might get some real numbers. I don't think that's going to be anytime soon... unfortunately. Hmm... but I do maintain hope that it WILL happen.

    Posted by: Dean | May 17, 2007 4:29:13 PM


  12. 20 percent homeless gays. Doesn't that say anything on the gay community?
    Richard from ProccedAtYourRisk would have made a sharp comment if he was still writing.

    Who should care for the gays?
    public authorities or gays

    Posted by: ALEXZ | May 18, 2007 4:18:53 AM


  13. Well, Al, if you read the article (?), then you do realize that it's not 20% homeless gays (I actually prefer the term gay people). It's 20% homeless gay TEENS. So, who should care for them?

    How about their PARENTS??!! You know, those honest, righteous, God-fearing STRAIGHT people who threw them out? What say we lay the blame there FIRST? Then...

    What about gay adults? Well, before you point too many fingers, there ARE quite a few gay people who take in homeless gay youth. But, you might want to take a look at the laws that prohibit gay foster care and gay adoption before you start blaming gay people for not doing enough.

    It's pretty hard for individuals who are fighting for their own civil rights (not to be fired, not to be evicted, etc...) to force the system to allow care of teens by people that they consider less than second-class citizens.

    Posted by: Dean | May 18, 2007 4:32:42 AM


  14. Dean, I couldn't have said it better my friend.

    You really hit the nail on the head.

    Posted by: Zeke | May 18, 2007 9:22:43 AM


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