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News: Illinois Lawsuits, Ann Curry, FCC, NOM Pride

ErikRhodes1NewsIcon The New York Observer offers thoughts on outing celebrities in an increasingly gay-friendly 21st century:  "...Living in the so-called “glass closet,” [celebrities] can forestall the legitimate press inquiring after their home life while also ensuring that their orientation is hardly breaking news. It’s being basically out, without having to answer any questions."

1NewsIcon A Cook County judge today announced that he's combining two ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuits challenging Illinois' ban on gay marriage.

1NewsIcon National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown arrived in San Francisco just in time for gay pride.

1NewsIcon The New York Times reports on gay adult film star the recent death of Erik Rhodes (pictured): "Over the last few years, he had also been the author of a harrowing (and frequently clever) Tumblr feed, on which he detailed his escapades escorting, his rampant steroid use and his stories of winding up in psychiatric wards after crystal meth binges... As the novelty of being in pornographic films wore off, Mr. Rhodes turned increasingly to the Internet, using his Tumblr feed and his Facebook page to discuss his sense of anguish. “I feel so left out ... so alone,” he wrote in a post just weeks ago."

1NewsIcon A gay man in the Phillipines is recovering after being stabbed 21 times.

1NewsIcon Uganda's anti-gay government is banning 38 non-governmental organizations it accuses of "recruiting" gay people. "The NGOs are channels through which monies are channeled to (homosexuals) to recruit," said government "ethics" minister Simon Lokodo.

ThiefThieves 1NewsIcon You need no other reason to click this link than these words: wet, shirtless Hugh Jackman.

1NewsIcon It's official: Ann Curry is leaving NBC's Today Show after only a year.

1NewsIcon Lindsay Lohan looks more and more like Liz Taylor everyday.

1NewsIcon A look back at Prince William's first 30 years.

1NewsIcon Alec Baldwin dropped trou on David Letterman while discussing his scuffle with a photographer.

1NewsIcon Mitt Romney's campaign told Florida Gov. Rick Scott to "downplay" his state's economic improvement because it "clashes" with the GOP candidate's anti-Obama rhetoric.

1NewsIcon The Supreme Court threw out FCC fines against Fox and ABC for unplanned expletives and nudity on those broadcasters' programs. It did not, however, rule on whether the FCC's decency rules and potential penalties are unconstitutional. "[SCOTUS] decided to punt on the opportunity to issue a broad ruling on the constitutionality of the FCC indecency policy. The issue will be raised again as broadcasters will continue to try to grapple with the FCC's vague and inconsistent enforcement regime," said free speech lawyer Paul Smith.

PuzzledMorrisey1NewsIcon Would you take your chain-smoking multi-millionaire 26-year old lover out with your 6-year old daughter?

1NewsIcon Robert Kirkman is best known as creator of The Walking Dead, but he has plenty of other projects worth checking out, like the comic Thief of Thieves, which will also soon be a television show, as well.

1NewsIcon Morrissey describes rumors of his retirement as "wishful thinking." He'll be touring again this fall.

1NewsIcon Commerce Secretary John Bryson has resigned following two car crashes doctors say were the result of seizures. "I have concluded that the seizure I suffered on June 9th could be a distraction from my performance as secretary and that our country would be better served by a change in leadership at the department," said Bryson.

1NewsIcon Some things never change: "Bias against a Mormon presidential candidate hasn’t budged in 45 years, with 18% of Americans saying they would not vote for a well-qualified candidate who happened to be Mormon, according to a Gallup Poll released Thursday."

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Comments

  1. Funny that you chose that Alec Baldwin story instead of this one:

    Angry Alec Baldwin Disses Daily News Editor As “English Queen”

    http://www.queerty.com/angry-alec-balwin-disses-daily-news-editor-as-english-queen-20120621/

    Posted by: Eric | Jun 21, 2012 5:07:47 PM


  2. Prediction: Illinois will have marriage equality within a year. Count on it.

    Posted by: Terry | Jun 21, 2012 5:09:01 PM


  3. Happy Birthday Wills! May the coming year bring you nothing but joy.

    (I know, Prince William probably doesn't read TowleRoad, but one can hope, can't they?)

    Posted by: Phoenix Justice | Jun 21, 2012 5:29:12 PM


  4. “The gay porn audience often looks to a hulking macho fantasy, and he provided that,” said Michael Musto, the Village Voice gossip columnist who was friendly with Mr. Rhodes."

    But....but....I thought the ideology of "gender-non-conformity" taught us that masculinity was a construct and a myth, that "macho" is a Neanderthal concept, and that any man who is obsessed with masculinity is insecure and misogynistic and probably has "Daddy issues".

    Say it isn't so!

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 21, 2012 5:34:02 PM


  5. RIP erik rhodes. Sad. Large doses of testosterone will thicken ur blood. Add to that meth which constricts ur blood vessels. Gosh thats a heart attack recipe for success. Meth is the scourge of the age. I feel sorry that this young man died so young.
    and if and fellow readers on here do that gym roid thing, Im not gonna preach, just for gods sake take a baby aspirin everyday.

    Posted by: stevenelliot | Jun 21, 2012 5:43:21 PM


  6. "But....but....I thought the ideology of "gender-non-conformity" taught us that masculinity was a construct and a myth, that "macho" is a Neanderthal concept, and that any man who is obsessed with masculinity is insecure and misogynistic and probably has "Daddy issues"."

    I'm not sure how any of what you're writing here invalidates Musto's statement. Just because something is a cultural construction doesn't mean it is devoid of meaning or utility.

    The point is to understand the existence of a construction, because in understanding its artificiality, people will feel freer to make the choices that they truly want, rather than the ones they feel they should make because society expects them to make. Because as it stands, people mistake their voluntary conformity for the fundamental nature of things, and we're all collectively poorer.

    Posted by: Nat | Jun 21, 2012 5:45:25 PM


  7. well said, NAT!! spoken like a keen social observer...or a social scientist :)

    Posted by: redball | Jun 21, 2012 5:49:40 PM


  8. @NAT The point was not to invalidate Musto's statement, which was, of course, entirely accurate......instead the point was to point up the laughable hypocrisy and disingenousness of gay men who eschew masculine values and criticize masculinity as some sort of "disease" or problem and even question whether masculinity even exists......at the same time that they worship at the throne of masculinity, place a social premium on men who display masculine ("macho") characteristics, have a nuanced appreciation of every aspect of the masculine, and are deeply turned on by masculine men--as deeply as they are turned OFF by effeminate men.

    Who do any of you think you are foolin'?

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 21, 2012 5:53:25 PM


  9. Anny curry was the only classy thing about the Today Show.This was very poorly handled by the network...shame!

    Posted by: VDUFFORD | Jun 21, 2012 6:03:24 PM


  10. Rick, can't you just accept the fact that not all gay men are going to fit into your vision of male masculinity. We're all different; we come in all types. Can't you recognize the beauty in that?

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 21, 2012 6:17:59 PM


  11. Rick, can't you just accept the fact that not all gay men are going to fit into your vision of male masculinity. We're all different; we come in all types. Can't you recognize the beauty in that?

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 21, 2012 6:18:01 PM


  12. Sadly, for Erik Rhodes (and men like him), the quest for masculinity was, in fact, a myth and a sort of disease, one that helped kill him. Not exactly a score-one for macho men. And his "masculinity" (artificially created through steroids) ultimately wasn't worshipped or held at a premium since, apparently, he was miserable. And now he's dead.

    Natural masculinity is sexy; artificial/drag masculinity is sad because it shows a desperation to be something you're not meant to be. Those who are happy with themselves and their bodies, wherever those selves and bodies fall on the stereotypical masculinity spectrum, aren't concerned with butching it up with roids. For many of us, there's nothing more of a turn off than the "hulking macho fantasy" Michael Musto claims we look for.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 21, 2012 6:39:56 PM


  13. "instead the point was to point up the laughable hypocrisy and disingenousness of gay men who eschew masculine values and criticize masculinity as some sort of "disease" or problem and even question whether masculinity even exists......"

    Masculinity unquestionably exists. But the ease with which arbitrary things are designated as 'masculine' or 'feminine' points to its inherent artificiality. It is a construct.


    "at the same time that they worship at the throne of masculinity, place a social premium on men who display masculine ("macho") characteristics, have a nuanced appreciation of every aspect of the masculine, and are deeply turned on by masculine men--as deeply as they are turned OFF by effeminate men."

    There are no doubt men who worship masculinity while simultaneously disdaining it. But there might also be men who simply don't personally adhere to masculine characteristics themselves but find those qualities attractive in other men, just as there are masculine men who are attracted to less masculine men.

    This isn't about a war on masculinity. It's about the freedom to search for one's own sense of identity in peace, and the argument that we all make choices about how we present ourselves to the world. And I'm not sure how someone else searching for their own peace of mind affects you so much.

    Posted by: Nat | Jun 21, 2012 8:04:53 PM


  14. "instead the point was to point up the laughable hypocrisy and disingenousness of gay men who eschew masculine values and criticize masculinity as some sort of "disease" or problem and even question whether masculinity even exists......"

    Masculinity unquestionably exists. But the ease with which arbitrary things are designated as 'masculine' or 'feminine' points to its inherent artificiality. It is a construct.


    "at the same time that they worship at the throne of masculinity, place a social premium on men who display masculine ("macho") characteristics, have a nuanced appreciation of every aspect of the masculine, and are deeply turned on by masculine men--as deeply as they are turned OFF by effeminate men."

    There are no doubt men who worship masculinity while simultaneously disdaining it. But there might also be men who simply don't personally adhere to masculine characteristics themselves but find those qualities attractive in other men, just as there are masculine men who are attracted to less masculine men.

    This isn't about a war on masculinity. It's about the freedom to search for one's own sense of identity in peace, and the argument that we all make choices about how we present ourselves to the world. And I'm not sure how someone else searching for their own peace of mind affects you so much.

    Posted by: Nat | Jun 21, 2012 8:04:56 PM


  15. "Rick, can't you just accept the fact that not all gay men are going to fit into your vision of male masculinity. We're all different; we come in all types. Can't you recognize the beauty in that?"

    Michael, I am well aware that there is great diversity among human beings, among men, and among gay men. I value that diversity and embrace it.

    However, there is a difference between being a more "gentle" type of guy (precisely the origin of the word "gentleman") who is not the macho type.....and being a man who deliberately and purposefully idolizes women in preference to his own gender, who artificially mimics the behavior of women, and who tries to undermine masculine values--even as he worships them in other men.

    The latter is an artificial creation and a result of internalization of the notion that homosexuality and masculinity are incompatible.....in short a result of internalizing the mantra of our oppressors.....and is unnatural and unattractive....and ultimately harmful to the individual engaging in such behavior, as well as to gay men in general through the perpetuation of stereotypes about us.

    That needs to be recognized and the problem fixed.

    @Ernie Erik Rhodes and his personal tragedy is not the real point--and his masculinity clearly had nothing to do with his problems.

    The real point, which you are trying to run from, is the one I stated about the ludicrousness of some gay men trying to undermine masculine values (out of fear that they cannot measure up to standards of masculinity) at the same time that they worship masculine behavior. You can't have it both ways.....and anyone trying to just makes themselves look absurd in the process, as their dirty little secrets get revealed by such contradictions.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 21, 2012 8:14:42 PM


  16. Personally, I like my men to have a little sway in their hips....I prefer males who are more feminine in demeanor. To me, they are sexier. There are plenty of butch guys I think are hot, but if I had to choose between Chris Colfer and Joe Manganiello? case closed, OH Chris? where r you baby?

    Posted by: stevenelliot | Jun 21, 2012 8:18:59 PM


  17. "Masculinity unquestionably exists. But the ease with which arbitrary things are designated as 'masculine' or 'feminine' points to its inherent artificiality. It is a construct."

    It depends on what you consider arbitrary and what you don't consider arbitrary. Just to use one example, men in general are unquestionably more aggressive than women and there are biological factors driving that aggressiveness. It therefore has to be regarded as part of nature and not a cultural "construct."

    The whole "construct" idea originated with feminists--who want to empower women artificially.....I say artificially because in a socially Darwinian world, men will always dominate (and that is demonstrated by human history)--and who needed an intellectual concept (however disingenuous and unfounded) that would allow them to legitimize such empowerment.

    It is precisely because it is such a disingenuous concept that the contradictions I alluded to arise.

    How many times have you heard a "strong woman" like Hillary Clinton decry attacks on "women and children" in a place like Syria as particularly heinous? Which leads to the question why, if women are as "strong" as men would attacks on them be more heinous than attacks on men? And why would a supposedly "strong" woman be suggesting such?

    See how the game is played? If a double standard benefits you, apply the "nature" card. If it doesn't benefit you, apply the "equality"/"construct" card.

    Same with effeminate gay men. Pretend that masculinity is a "construct" when not being masculine will deny you respect and status.....but then turn around and "discriminate" against other effeminate gay men when it comes to how you value them socially and sexually, claiming that your attraction to the masculine is just "nature" and you can do nothing about it.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 21, 2012 8:33:35 PM


  18. Love it, STEVENELLIOT. We certainly need to hear more voices celebrating the sex appeal and desirability of different kinds of men, not just the same old voices repeating the same narrative about ideal archetypal 'masculine' man.

    Posted by: love it | Jun 21, 2012 8:35:45 PM


  19. Erik Rhodes's personal tragedy wasn't the point of my comment, Rick. I had no idea who he was before he died, I have no interest in running from anything. You brought up the Musto quote, saying it was "entirely accurate." I was merely pointing out how, for many of us, it's honestly not accurate at all, nor are your other assertions that reflect your own relationship to masculinity and femininity but don't reflect ours.

    Ultimately, anyone who is comfortable in his own skin is at the place they need to be in terms of masculinity. Unfortunately, there are some men, like Erik, it seems, who artificially pump themselves up with roids and spend half their lives at the gym to attain a hollow parody of masculinity. Personally, I think that this artificial masculinity is more of a problem within the gay male community, particularly among older men who went through the AIDs crisis, than artificial femininity.

    But, really, each person needs to define for himself how to be honest. What's most dishonest is to project one's own ideas/insecurities about masculinity onto a whole community and then pretend it's the problem of our times. It's your problem of our times, not ours.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 21, 2012 8:45:03 PM


  20. I'm fearing that I'm starting to get trollish on my comments here lately when Andy is out and others get to take the reins. But I think I now really get the difference.

    Before, I would say that it's un-journalistic behavior on a blog that I count on for news, rather than commentary. But truth be told, Andy comments with a point of view and I think it's fine. This news roundup got me though.

    it's judgment. (The Mary-Kate reference is what made that clear to me. Yes, I get the link, but the judgment in the text of the link is unnecessary.) I hear a lot of shade indiscriminately thrown by both Andrew and Brandon.

    I'm not trying to bash either person, but I don't know that this is the tone of this blog. Well, at least it's not why I read it daily. And I'm not trying to get anyone fired, but if this is going to so similar to Dlisted, rather than just linking to interesting articles on Dlisted without slant, I can find better things to read.

    Sorry for the vent, but oy. I can only take so much bitchery.

    Posted by: Scot Colford | Jun 21, 2012 9:02:27 PM


  21. Eric Rhodes is another tragic example of a gay man trying to live up to some sort of impossible ideal (hey I'm not saying that the macho muscle god fantasy is not appealing in some level) Real masculinity is more about self confidence than some sort of chemical induced body.

    Posted by: jaragon | Jun 21, 2012 9:08:42 PM


  22. One can respect and value other gay men without being attracted to them sexually. And one can be physically attracted to people you don't respect at all. (I have a perverse attraction to Paul Ryan, for instance, though his politics make my flesh crawl.) Many men are attracted to what they are not and are completely honest about it. And many men's tastes change over time. The key is being comfortable with your own masculinity so that there is no need to project insecurities onto others, and for some gay men this may be a process and a struggle.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 21, 2012 9:29:08 PM


  23. RIP Erik. I fapped my big wanker like a jackhammer to his gay porn vids. Man, I already miss that guy. He was one hot hunk of a man. Damn.

    Posted by: Alan | Jun 21, 2012 10:16:24 PM


  24. Thank you, thank you, thank you for finally doing something to actually ID the photos in these roundups!

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 22, 2012 12:00:45 AM


  25. It's always about a war on masculinity with rick. If he would spend more time in the real world and less salivating in a bathroom cubicle, he might realize that a) masculinity is a social construct which changes and has changed with the times b) some people, straight and gay alike, are naturally born with less masculine traits - according to current perceptions and c) one's inherent masculinity and/or femininity have absolutely no bearing on one's objects of attraction.

    Posted by: Kenneth | Jun 22, 2012 12:58:34 AM


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