1. B.J. says

    Even I object to that as a homo. I mean, come on folks, let’s get real.

    Seeing this stuff, I’m ashamed to be gay. This stuff makes me glad I detest ‘mainstream’ gay ‘culture’. How sad.

  2. Atagahi says

    You know, there are drag queens and leather men in our community. They deserve every right to express themselves regardless of what any self-loathing “straight-acting” gay man might think.

    The religious bigots will seize anything about us to show we are different. Even if we play their game and eliminate all outward appearances of being gay, they would find something else to criticize us about. Their goal is to deny us rights no matter how well we act. So why let them force us into a different closet?

    I was taught that when you are ashamed or disappointed in the actions of another person, the problem lay within yourself, not in the other person. The other person is acting exactly as he or she is supposed to act, as God made them. There is nothing that you can say or do that will stop them from being who they are. Nor should they change.

    The change comes from within. The only change you can make is in your reaction to the other person. Learn to accept other people as they are instead of how you want them to be and you’ll be a far happier, more fulfilled person.

    After all the Christianists have done, we deserve to be in their face now and again. Why should we show any respect to them or their religions?

    I may not have done what our friends in Amsterdam did, but I would die for their right to have freedom of speech to do it. I applaud them for having the balls to fight back against a religion that has done us much harm.

    The Christianists will always be with us. Let us celebrate our love for one another in our own way, be it perverse or pious, but let it be our own.

  3. Jimmyboyo says


    Take the stick out of your butt.


    “…a twisted human fantasy is being added to the history of the Bible.”



    The real fairytalists are so warped by burying their noses in a myth book they don’t see the irony of their statement

  4. says

    Ooh, I’d have Joseph’s baby, forget the virgin birth!

    Or maybe those are the 3 wise men? At least one seems to be holding a gift. What is it, a silver butt plug? There seem to be too many men around (not that I ever find that a problem).

  5. B.J. says

    Expressing disapproval of drag queens and the like doesn’t make one self-loathing. Spare me the armchair amateur psychoanalysis. By your same twisted logic, someone who doesn’t like peanut butter merely hates their own peanut butter. Drag queens are not representative of gay men any more than Hitler is representative of Germans. The end result of generalization in an effort to found a cohesive identity leaves many behind and disenfranchised. It’s simply not a valid logical argument.

    There is a portion of our community that subscribes to Jesus’ teachings and excludes the dogma that many Christianist churches propone. This display is blatantly offensive to a portion of our own community who not only identify as gay but perhaps also identify as Christian, without the bigotry that accompanies other denominations within Christianity.

    I’m all for making statements that have a purpose and intelligent argument, but this Amsterdam scene is controversy for controversy’s sake.

    In the mission for equal rights, I’m not proposing we appease the Christianists at all. Rather, beat them at their own game by using their own book against them and pointing out their own hypocrisy in an intelligent way through pointed and thoughtful discourse.

    There seems to be a sentiment to fight fire with fire, but why can’t we take the moral high ground here, if nothing more than to maintain our own dignity when all is said and done? Sinking to their own level does nothing to further our argument or our position in our quest for equality.

  6. Mike says


    The Bible is a twisted human fantasy, and most of the people that believe in it are not reachable by “using their own book against them and pointing out their own hypocrisy in an intelligent way through pointed and thoughtful discourse”.

    You’re being extremely naive.

  7. Mike says

    “So nice of Amsterdam to broadcast to the world that the gay community is made up of drag queens or kinky leather fetishists.”

    Andy, I find that line offensive; what they did in Amsterdam, not so much.

  8. B.J. says

    “The Bible is a twisted human fantasy,”

    No more a fantasy than a man masquerading as a woman? My point was, how exclusive does the gay community want to get? We should be reaching for the broadest amount of support as possible, and excluding those within our own community by making fun of their individual beliefs.

    “So nice of Amsterdam to broadcast to the world that the gay community is made up of drag queens or kinky leather fetishists.”

    Exactly. When did drag queens and leather daddy fetishists become representative of a sexuality? Many drag queens identify as heterosexual. Wouldn’t that in essence exclude them from the basic premise of the ‘community’? Before we go about wishing for equal rights, maybe we ought to take a look at the broad spectrum of people that make up our community and be careful not to exclude them. In this fight, we need all the help we can get to secure an archaic, Church-inspired institution such as marriage for ourselves.

  9. urbantroll says

    Gosh, ANDY, what an unusually ignorant comment from you. What is wrong with leatherboys and drag? Would you rather some twinks and macho musclemen?

    Just because the USA is controlled by Rick Warren and his Bible-abusing buddies doesn’t mean the rest of the world can’t express itself and its beliefs as they wish. Should we not print cartoons of Muhammed either?

    You’re sore that here in Amsterdam we’re harming the cause in the USA? Trust me, they have plenty of ammo in Folsom Fair or half the pics you post on this blog.

  10. says

    For better or worse, we can’t police the big gay world out there. People lucky enough to have freedom of expression (and Amsterdam sure does, from vomiting British tourists to hash brownies to Pink Christmases) are going to use it and not everyone’s going to approve, c’est la vie. (Of course when straight people do curious or offensive things, no one considers tarring the whole lot of them–the usual double standard.) This doesn’t offend me, since I’m fond of drag queens and leather daddies and think the theatrics of the season, religious and otherwise, are generally silly, but, even if I did, I’d rather that people be able to do as they wish than attempt to force them into conformist boxes 24/7.

  11. says

    “Many drag queens identify as heterosexual.”

    I think you’re confusing drag queens with transvestites or transsexuals. They are hardly all the same.

    “Before we go about wishing for equal rights, maybe we ought to take a look at the broad spectrum of people that make up our community and be careful not to exclude them.”

    That’s exactly why drag queens and leather daddies should be included. Drag queens and leather daddies have done a lot for our community here in the States. And I think they have every right to send up religious bigotry, if that’s even what they’re doing. Maybe they’re just creating a living nativity scene in their own vernacular. Christ was the champion of the marginalized, after all. He didn’t care so much about the well-off. I think Jesus would prefer the company of drag queens to that of HRC types or Log Cabinites as much as I would.

  12. BJ says

    Andy’s comment wasn’t ignorant. The fact is, the majority of homosexuals are neither drag queens nor leather fetishists. To represent them as such is somewhat offensive to the majority of a minority community that doesn’t identify with either stereotype.

  13. says

    First off, fuck Christians. The Bible already is a “twisted human fantasy”. Blasphemy is a victimless crime and religious people taking offense to mockery of their absurd, nonexistent deity are more guilty of manufacturing drama than the cattiest of all drag queens.

    Second, fuck internalized homophobia. I’m not a drag queen or leather daddy either, and I am in no way, shape or form threatened by this. Nor do I in any way get the impression that five people in costume are claiming to represent all gay people everywhere.

  14. OberonOZ says

    @BJ & Andy.

    Andy, I have to agree with those who found yr comment insensitive at best. Not quite what I would have expected from Towleroad.

    You seem to have some issue with drag queens and leather daddies. Like it or lump it they are as much a part of our community as we are and trying to exclude those portions of our community that you [certainly appear to] find personally distasteful is every bit as bad as those fundamentalists who wish none of us existed period, unless theyre being exceptionally generous [for them] in which theyre sort of happy for us to continue to exist as long as we dont ever have sex or behave in any way different to them!
    For me, the community is all about diversity. Be you straight-acting, big nelly fairy, drag queen, leather daddy, bull dyke or lipstick lesbian, black, white, asian or whatever.
    The Amsterdam Nativity doesnt claim to represent what every single gay man or lesbian woman would like to see themselves as. They went out and made a bit of a splash. And if it hadn’t been for people like them who were prepared to get out and aim for a bit of visibility like the Stonewall Queens did, then we wouldnt be anywhere near as visible and accepted as we are today.
    Oh and one other thing… nice that you chose Hitler as an example to compare drag queens to. Drag queens are to gay as Hitler is to Germans huh? You couldnt have thought of a nicer comparison perhaps? Although judging by your comments perhaps Im expecting too much there. :)

  15. Jay says

    Was it Andy who said this comment about Drag/Leather representation or the guy that fills in from Thursday to Monday?

    Honestly, I’m disgusted by the negative implication of Drag Queens and Leather Fetishists, This work is not supposed to represent the gay community, it’s meant to be theatrical, and Drag and Leather garb is just that. Would this have worked if we out a suit wearing gay professional in the mix – for christ sakes.

    I’m really disgusted by this comment Andy, subtly deriding sections of our own community should have no place on his blog.

  16. Jay says

    I’m calling for an apology from this BJ fellow for that comment. I’ve been an avid reader of this blog for six years and I’ve never once questioned my loyalty to – until now.

    For the record, I’m not one of the many misogynists that spends their spare time writing negative comments on these posts either.

    Please Andy a correction is in order for that comment.

  17. Jay says

    Out with BJ I say. He really doesn’t know when to be impartial.

    And ever since he began writing for Towleroad I noticed things started to become a little more verbose and a little less sophisticated. Andy I think you should be looking for a new writer.

  18. B.J. says

    Hmm. I see some clarification is needed.

    First of all, I do not nor have I ever written for this website.

    The implication that I was in ANY way equating drag queens and Nazis (or their leader) is not at ALL what was meant by that passage. In my mind they are nothing at all alike, and that was never my intention.

    What was meant was that in America if I mention to someone that I lived in Germany for a time, I am immediately asked, “Did you see any Nazis?” to which I take offense and even though I am an American, I scold my fellow citizens for being so prejudiced. My point in the passage was that if we continue to be seemingly represented by the minority within our minority, the misperception that drag queens and leather daddies represent all homosexual men may be allowed to spread. Of course such a rumor isn’t true, but fact/fiction and the differentiation thereof is of less and less importance to the anti-gay crowd, which in many ways is the same crowd that believed ad to this day believes that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

    We can say of course that Jesus would indeed care for all the members of society, especially those cast aside by society at large. I totally and completely subscribe to that. The problem lies in the fact that the vast majority of “Christians” (in reality, more Christianist) have very little to do with the Lord they propone in word or deed.

  19. alguien says

    oh fer chrissake bj stop being such a good german!

    drag queens are to be celebrated! leather men are to be enjoyed! there is no hope for our community if we are to reject those who are, how shall we say?, more vivid, perhaps?

    i made up my mind many, many years ago to forget about what makes the straights happy-that’s not why i got into gay pride. i got into gay pride to make myself happy-not the heteros. i figured they’d had enough amusement at our expense & discomfort for long enough. let ’em get be a little uncomfortable for while-it’s good for ’em.

  20. Stephen says

    I am not offended by the photos.
    But I was taken aback by the statement following them.

    So much so I went away and came back hoping I misread it.

    Context is everything. Prop 8 passing, the revitalizing of the gay rights movement, hate crimes are increasing. I can understand the sentiment expressed but am surprised it was here!

    As a international visitor I read your postings daily.
    I am amazed at the range of topics covered. I am learning more about gay rights issues.
    I have laughed, even been moved to tears but today I was disgusted by the commentary.
    Would it not have been better not to post anything about this?

    You sound almost petulant that this would get more coverage than the candlelight vigils.
    But is your site not popular, have a huge audience; so by definition your posting of these photos will only increase their proliferation. Just a thought.

  21. Dustin says

    I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and defend BJ. Christianity is important to a lot of people and not all of those people are bigots or homophobes or even straight. It’s a tad disrespectful to take one of the most sacred images of a religion and mock it just to attract tourism.

    I would have had no problem in Mary and Joseph were portrayed as Mac & Josie or Marc & Joseph. Showing Jesus’ parents as a loving couple in any form/sex would be fine. I also have no problem with different ideas of how God would look. God as a Leather Daddy would be fine because we have no image of him to go by but do so with some intellectual or social purpose not just because you want to attract a few tourists. The Bible is wrong on many things but people, good people, often focus on the things it gets right.

    It is no different than disrespecting Mohammed or the Star of David. We cannot ask for respect and equality when we blatantly choose to disrespect religion.

  22. jeff says

    Andy what a shocker of a comment.In fact the gay community is made up of drag queens and kinky leather queens and a whole lot more diverse groups of people.What’s the point of championing diversity if you draw the line at people or behaviour that offends your sensibilities.I also would like to add that the Dutch gay community have had the right to marry one another since 2001,and in fact were the first country to legalise same sex marriage,so they must be doing something right. Meanwhile you organise another candlelighbt vigil and prepare for an inauguration with a priest that has compared you to paedophiles and people who commit incest.

  23. Matt says

    I think it is these people’s right to dress how they want and do what they will as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights or safety which it doesn’t.

    That being said, as a gay Christian I personally don’t like it. I’m sure if they dressed up as something for Ramadan or Hannukah gay Muslim’s and gay Jews would find it offense.

    Even though I don’t like it, I wouldn’t take away their right to do it just as I wouldn’t want my right to practice my religion taken away.

    As to Andy’s comment, I think what he was trying to convey was that we are trying to win over the hearts and minds of people who disagree with the gay community wanting to get married. Does this stoke the flames of war or help our cause?

  24. says

    What BJ said.

    How in the world can we expect to be treated with respect if we’re not willing to do the same to others?

    What goes around comes around guys.

  25. MAJeff says

    So, the presence of drag queens and leather folk is automatically degrading and offensive, and the Dutch are required to organize their cultural activities according to the dictates of American politics. I see.

  26. David D. says

    Regarding the offensive line in question:

    “So nice of Amsterdam to broadcast to the world that the gay community is made up of drag queens or kinky leather fetishists.”

    I think the word that is missing (but implicit) is ‘exclusively’, as in “So nice of Amsterdam to broadcast to the world that the gay community is made up exclusively of drag queens or kinky leather fetishists.”

    The only lingering issue that I have is that Amsterdam, as a city, did not broadcast anything to the world–the organizers of Pink Christmas did. I found the photos to be a pleasant reminder(for those who believe in them) that Mary, Joseph and Jesus represent spiritual concepts and values for all of mankind, not just for heterosexuals.

  27. Chad says

    Jesus would have eaten this shit up! It’s an homage . . . from a segment of society . . . no less reverent than those crazy 3-d bleeding hearts of jesus/magical mary in a waterfall rotating fiber-optic wall displays . . . which – for a segment of society – are the height of respect.

    no one in that stable thought he was going to be the poster for all gays OR all christians. No one outside of that stable should be throwing stones.

    That said, drop the fantasy guys, let’s move past the magical guy in the sky era.

  28. BC says

    I agree with Matt: If that “scene” was of a Muslim or Jewish tradition people would be up in arms. However, because it is a Christian image, it suddenly becomes “OK” to do it. Its not right not matter what. As a gay man from a Christian (Catholic even) family, this offends me. I am sure this would offend my family, all of whom have been very supportive from day one. This does not make me self-loathing or in any bit ashamed of myself. It just doesn’t make sense to me that for some reason society thinks it is OK to pick on Christians and then the gay community gets mad when they don’t like us. I don’t like “us” when we do things like this. It makes no sense to piss people off just for the sake of pissing people off. That just causes more problems.

  29. willy says

    I full heartedly agree. All the leather boys/daddys and drag queens deserve all equal rights. But come on guys. We know that
    the only way to get the “general public” to begin to accept us as a community including all is the start main stream. I don’t agree with the “scene” and think it’s doing nothing but setting us back

  30. cal says

    Chad? How can you”drop the magical guy in the sky era” when that’s what this country is based on? I agree that most of it is BS but there’s no way we are going to change anything when we don’t try to work with their world. We can pretend by living in ours that
    anything will change.

  31. J.B. says

    Wow, it is nice to see rampant homophobia is still making the rounds amongst the LGBTQ community. I guess if you can’t beat them, join them.

    Not everbody is Christian or has no sense of pride and humour.

  32. Chad in NYC says

    Cal, we do it by changing what this country thinks it is based on. By not giving an inch. By demanding rational thought, civic duty, mutual respect, and the complete implementation of our founding fathers’ vision — the separation of church and state. No exceptions.

  33. johnnzboy says

    I’m a regular visitor to this site, and I also found this line to be totally out of character for Towleroad – my first assumption was that it was some kind of misprint, but since it hasn’t been amended by the poster then clearly it’s deliberate… I’m no particular fan of drag queens or leather types, but I just see this as a bit of harmless fun (and if it offends religious bigots, even better), and certainly not worthy of all the scorn being directed at it, by poster and commentors alike.

    If Amsterdam wishes to hold this kind of event, then who are you in the US to have an opinion about it? Foreigners who give their opinions about American issues (eg Elton John and Rufus Wainwright on US gay marriages) get pretty short shrift on this site, but you Americans are allowed to criticise foreigners for what they do in their own countries? As Jeff points out, the Dutch have had same-sex marriage since 2001, so clearly the Netherlands is considerably more enlightened than the US.

    And as Urbantroll noted, this blog is scarcely in any position to take any kind of moral high ground in regard to publicising the diversity of LGBT expression – I don’t recall such editorial disapproval when there was the (typically American) furore about the beer company-sponsored Folsom Fair ad featuring a take-off of da Vinci’s Last Supper… And didn’t most of the posters here rally to the site’s defence when criticism was levelled at it when it was invited to the Democratic Convention due to some evangelical objecting to the images contained herein? Don’t blame the foreigners, who have fought and won their own equality battles, for exercising your home-grown bigots when these types already have plenty of domestic sources to base their homophobia upon…

    If you think your candle-light vigils are the way to facilitate social change then all power to you, but this xenophobic puritanism sure won’t advance your cause.

  34. Iko says

    Religion needs to be continuously mocked by nonbelievers so believers can continue to display their hypocrisy. Freedom of speech gives everyone the right to mocks others beliefs, particularly when they’re batshit insane and demonstrably malignant to the species as a whole.

    If religions want to continue spewing their idiocy, they have to accept that they’re going to be mocked for it.

  35. says

    I, too, can’t believe I read those comments on this blog. Shocking.

    As if we all must fall in line and conform so that straights think we’re safe and normal enough to knight us with their validation?
    This is sadly self-loathing.

    Equality has nothing to do with behavior, and if you’re offended by this–I say you should be offended a lot more often.

  36. OberonOZ says

    “We know that the only way to get the “general public” to begin to accept us as a community including all is the start main stream. I don’t agree with the “scene” and think it’s doing nothing but setting us back

    Posted by: willy | Dec 22, 2008 1:25:37 PM”

    Actually I disagree with you substantially. I think blending into the mainstream does nothing to increase our acceptance or visibility. Blending into the mainstream allows the bigots to pretend we dont exist.

    Im not saying everyone should be a drag queen or a leather daddy. Im saying that all of us should be as free to express ourselves as any other member of society. If that means going in drag to a party or wearing leather or wearing only Brooks Brothers then thats your right.

    The “scene” isnt setting us back any more than the nightclub scene sets straights back. Its not like our straight friends arent out there doing everything we are. Its just that the bigots like to make out that we are the deviant ones while theyre all pure. Which is a hugely delusional lie obviously. Besides, why blend in? Why not stand out! Isnt that what Barack Obama is doing? Standing out?? Why shouldn’t we??

  37. rudy says

    I think that Andy’s comment was right on the mark. Just because an action is legally permissible does not mean that it is productive. Of course drag and leather queens (just another form of drag; chiffon or leather, take your pick) are a valuable part of our community. They are being used in this display, however, in a calculated move to offend. The designers have achieved their goal in offending many but what positive outcome has been realized? Yes, they have given a few silly queens the giggles and stood up to “the man”. They have also shown their immaturity (and, frankly, lack of creativity.) Yes, atheists are free to practice and proclaim their non-belief system but when the majority culture consists of religious faithful one must show respect if one expects to be treated with respect. Didn’t your parents or a teacher or mentor explain this to you when you were still in single digits? This is not the way to stand up for our rights.

  38. says

    I guess we really are doomed to repeat gay history over and over and over again.

    Mattachine / Reminder Day dress codes, anyone?
    Kirk & Madsen’s After the Ball?
    Bawer’s Place at the Table?

    Been there, done that. To paraphrase an important Supreme Court decision, the argument was wrong then and it’s wrong today.
    Y’all do know that “gay agenda” the right wingers are always talking about, right? It’s Kirk & Madsen. Check it out sometime.

  39. daniel says

    i was apart of the drag olympics .I did not know about the mary in drag . As a gay i think it was funny , but also on the religous side of things i thought it was over the top especialy the virgin mary smoking / drinking .

  40. says

    I think my remarks were misunderstood, or perhaps more likely poorly expressed. I would never object to anyone having the right to do something like this and I have certainly enjoyed being in the presence of drag queens and the leather community. My criticisms should were actually more toward the amount of stories I saw in the international press on this story vs more serious stories like marriage equality protests and anti-gay violence. It’s unfortunate but true that international media will pick up the drag queen story off the AP wire and it will run in thousands of papers while stories like the protests and the lesbian gang rape will hardly be noticed. My criticisms should have been directed at the MSM which was pissing me off rather than at these folks in Amsterdam, and were not properly expressed.

  41. says

    For the vast majority of the inhabitants of the city of Amsterdam (in which I live, so I know what I’m talking about), this scene is pretty normal. Drag queens are hosting daytime TV shows here, for instance. Just because a country (USA) is doing something completely different or because journalists are retarded, doesn’t mean that Amsterdam should reconsider its character.

    To quote a gay friend, “I’m here, I’m queer, deal with it.”

  42. EM says

    Okay, for argument’s sake, I am sure we can ALL agree that leather daddies and drag qweens aren’t represenative of the ENTIRE gay community, nor do the entire gay community have any interest in squaring up to Christo-fascists every other moment of the day but look, here’s the deal…stop and think about it….only the most deluded arrogant Jesus crispies can imagine a fictional take on an already fictional story as a mortal slight.

    Please, if someone wants to come up with hard rock evidence, skin and hair samples that the Christmas story ever took place to start with, now is a good time to speak up. Otherwise, who cares? Pop the baby Jesus a rainbow colored hat on and let the angels fly down with handlebar mustaches and leather chaps for all I care. All of it is pure entertainment. Only fundies would take the Christmas story seriously anyway!