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11/25/2012

Republican Lesbians Look For Larger Role In Party

ElephantRoomAs liberal lesbians set-up a super PAC to fight for LGBT progress, their counterparts on the right are looking for a place in the GOP.

From a New York Times article called "Lesbian Republicans, Long a Rare Political Breed, Raise Their Profiles":

“Oh, we’re like unicorns,” said Erin Simpson, 51, who cites “personal liberty” as a fundamental value and teaches firearms safety in Tucson, Ariz. Ms. Simpson, who came out in February, was “very disheartened” by Mitt Romney’s loss — one fueled, in part, by overwhelming gay support for President Obama.

There is no way to measure their true numbers, but gay activists say that in many cases, these “unicorns” began life as Republicans first — driven by conservative upbringings, economic issues and libertarian principles. They often did not acknowledge their sexual orientation, even to themselves, until middle age.

In interviews, these Republicans say they often feel like the odd women out, in their party and among other lesbians. But these women are beginning to make their presence known...

In addition to gaining equal footing in the GOP as a whole, these women face another challenge, one universal for the Republicans at large: convincing younger voters to join their ranks. Good luck with that.

Posted Nov. 25,2012 at 10:08 PM EST by in Discrimination, Log Cabin Republicans, News, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (28)


Melissa Harris-Perry, Thomas Roberts Discuss Gay Families: VIDEO

MPHFamily

On Saturday's edition of Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show, the host invited a panel, including colleague and openly gay journalist Thomas Roberts, to discuss the changing definition of family here in 21st century America.

In addition to chatting about the politics of adoption, income disparities among racial, sexual and gendered demographics and conservative attacks on the new normal, the group also spent a fair amount of time discussing same-sex marriage. Roberts, who recently married husband Patrick Abner, had plenty of insight on that particular topic.

Watch the videos AFTER THE JUMP.

Posted Nov. 25,2012 at 6:19 PM EST by in 2012 Election, Gay Adoption, Gay Marriage, Melissa Harris-Perry, News, Republican Party, Thomas Roberts | Permalink | Comments (7)


Movies: 'Hitchcock' (and the Best Actor Race)

Hitchcock-stabby
Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) is a hands on director in "Hitchcock"

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS

YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION

The first thing HITCHCOCK gets right about Hitchcock is the humor. Director Sacha Gervasi's serio-comic adaptation of the book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" starts with a playful dodge, beginning not with a shot of that infamous house on the hill or the Bates Motel or even a Hollywood soundstage but in the rather humble yard of a Wisconsin farm. It's home to Ed Gein, the gruesome 1950s killer who inspired Psycho. The camera pans away from Gein's (fictional) murder to reveal the iconic plump suited figure of The Master of Suspense cooly observing him (Sir Anthony Hopkins in Sir Alfred Hitchcock drag).

Hopkins addresses the camera directly as if he's welcoming you to a very special edition of television's "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" or recording a promo for his latest cinematic thrill ride. He'll break the fourth wall again to bookend this film with an even better visual joke that's absurdly hokey.

The humor is the first thing Hitchcock gets right but whether or not it gets anything else right is another matter. MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Hitchcock-shower

Scarlett Johannson is clearly glad to be filling Janet Leigh's shoes -- and it's fun to watch her screaming in the shower, fake-driving a car nervously, and flirting openly with the portly director in her meeting to nab the part. But let's face it -- she and Leigh look nothing alike; one all curves, the other all angles. The film barely has a moment for James D'Arcy, a much closer match for Anthony Perkins, but the making of Psycho is not the film's true subject matter despite the name of the book it's based on.

Helen Mirren plays Alma Reville Hitchcock, the auteur's wife and collaborator, with her usual commanding verve and killer line readings. Alma worked continuity on Hitchcock's very first credited feature The Pleasure Garden (1925) and her largely unsung contributions to the editing, continuity and scripts of ALL of his features are, some historians would argue, invaluable. (It would be inaccurate to say that Mirren steals the film as Alma; the film all but flings itself at her feet voluntarily, to argue this very point.)

Hitchcock-edits

The Hitchcocks were married at 27 and remained so until his death at the age of 80. Hitchcock reveals its hand quickly that its true subject is their enduring marriage, which survived endless obsessions with his leading ladies (talked up frequently but not-so well dramatized here) box office hits and the usual ups and downs of Hollywood careers, and Alma as Hitchcock's secret weapon... the wind beneath his wings. Though I would have preferred a picture that was more focused on Psycho than their marriage, it isn't a bad move. Mirren, unencumbered by prosthetics or the need to imitate a familiar persona outshines Hopkins, who has a somewhat slippery grasp on Hitchcock's familiar tics and vocals.

Despite the film's myriad problems, I tend to love the Hollywood-centric subgenre of biopics for their nostalgic recreations of Old Hollywood and their associative joy. As a lifelong Hitchcock fanatic (I freely admit that it was the evil homos of Rope that really hooked me) I had a ton of fun thinking about Vertigo, North by Northwest and The Birds (all directly referenced) as well as Psycho (my personal favorite of his filmography) while watching it. But if you're looking for a deep portrait of one of the cinema's true giants or a you-were-there visit to the set of one of the most influential films ever made, you'll be disappointed.

Hitch-readsHitchcock plays fast and loose with some facts but it's nothing to get worked up about as some cinephiles undoubtedly will. Alfred Hitchcock has been dead for 32 years but Hollywood is always trying to exhume his corpse. There's been an unusual degree of grave robbing lately. A few years ago the award winning out writer Manuel Muñoz used Psycho as the voyeuristic backdrop and thematic skeleton for an excellent novel called "What You See in the Dark" about a murder in a small town that Hitchcock and Janet Leigh passed through during production (I highly recommend it). This year HBO premiered a film about the making of The Birds (1962) called The Girl. Psycho has survived endless ripoffs, parodies, sequels and even that "recreation" Gus Van Sant's Psycho (1998). In 2013 it will survive "The Bates Motel" a serialized television drama about the Bates family before mama was a corpse. Psycho will even survive playing second fiddle to Vertigo now that the latter has been named the greatest film ever made. It will also survive Hitchcock, this lightweight dramedy about the Hitchcock marriage.

OSCAR BUZZ OUTRO
Alfred Hitchcock famously never won the Best Director Oscar (Hitchcock even takes snarky jabs at his Oscar losses) so it would be odd to see Anthony Hopkins nominated for playing him. Though I wasn't particularly taken with Hopkins' performance, I'm not blind to the facts: prosthetics and biopic mimicry go a long long looooooong way with Oscar's acting branch. In point of fact, they often go all the way with them. But this year's BEST ACTOR RACE is enormously competitive.

Daniel Day-Lewis is virtually the only lock at this writing for Lincoln. It's tough to think of any of the other main contenders as certain nominees when only four spots remain and there are six men with significant prospects still: John Hawkes as a charismatic paraplegic in The Sessions (Oscar loves disabilities); Joaquin Phoenix who is phenomenal as the alcoholic id of The Master (Oscar loves a drunk); Denzel Washington has another hit with Flight (Oscar loves a drunk and Oscar loves Denzel); Bradley Cooper as a man struggling with mental illness in the crowd pleasing Silver Linings Playbook (Oscar loves mental illness); Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock (Oscar loves biopic mimicry); and then there's Hugh Jackman who is, I am wildly happy to report, an absolute sensation in Les Misérables (Oscar loves men in musicals -- oh sh*t, they don't!!!)

...if Hugh Jackman isn't nominated I'll be Misérable myself and forced to build my own revolutionary barricade outside the Kodak Theater in February ♪ Will you join in my crusade? ♫ Who will be strong and stand with me?

Lesmiz-hughhaunted

Nathaniel Rogers would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

Posted Nov. 25,2012 at 4:54 PM EST by in Helen Mirren, Hugh Jackman, Nathaniel Rogers, Oscars | Permalink | Comments (7)


News: Powerball, Action Figures, Morsi, Botany

A somewhat belated congratulations to California lawmaker Cathleen Galgiani! The Democratic state senator who came out of the closet to fight anti-gay bullying eked out a reelection victory last week.

RomneyGasAs Mitt Romney settles into post-campaign life at his mansion in La Jolla, California, one has to wonder how he's coping with the town's growing stench. From the NYT: "...The smell, a pungent stench that emanates from the accumulation of bird feces on the rocks, has become a growing problem. And strict environmental regulations in the cove have stymied the city’s efforts to address the problem before it drives tourists and businesses away, effectively roping the rocks off with red tape."

There's definitely still plenty of red tape to be put up before Washington and Colorado residents can buy legal green: "Like Washington, Colorado still needs to set up a regulatory framework to handle what is expected to be a big expansion of its marijuana market, even though the state already has more medical marijuana dispensaries than it has Starbucks."

A cost of mobile accessibility in India: "Millions once bought sex in the narrow alleys of Kamathipura, a vast red-light district here. But prostitutes with inexpensive mobile phones are luring customers elsewhere, and that is endangering the astonishing progress India has made against AIDS."

Now you too can be an action figure.

BlackDahliaThe mystery of the black dahlia has been solved. The actual flower, not the legendary murder mystery.

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 topped the box office this weekend, as expected.

Derek Hough left his sleeves at home for Dancing with the Stars rehearsal.

PETA says happy birthday to Miley Cyrus by giving her a pig.

Feeling lucky enough to buy a ticket for the $425 million Powerball drawing?

And a very happy birthday to The Killing actor Joel Kinnaman.

A Catholic speaks out against Vatican-backed hate.

Faced with protests for his ouster, Egyptian President Morsi now claiming his dictatorial power grab is just temporary. "The presidency reiterates the temporary nature of those measures, which are not intended to concentrate power, but to avoid ... attempts to undermine democratically elected bodies and preserve the impartiality of the judiciary," he office said in a statement that gave no end date for his sudden one-man rule.

CarlaBruniFormer French first lady Carla Bruni said that she, unlike husband Nicolas Sarkozy, supports same-sex marriage and gay adoption. "I am rather in favor of gay marriage and adoption, I have a lot of friends -- women and men -- who are in this situation and I see nothing unstable or perverse in families with homosexual parent," the former model and musician told Vogue.

It will be a big, gay week for the Supreme Court.

A Kentucky teacher has been reprimanded after writing "You can’t be a Democrat & go to Heaven" on her classroom's chalk board.

Posted Nov. 25,2012 at 3:21 PM EST by in California, Cathleen Galgiani, Egypt, Film, France, Gay Adoption, Gay Marriage, India, Kentucky, Marijuana, Miley Cyrus, Mitt Romney, News, Religion, Tech | Permalink | Comments (12)


Gay Rights Activists Celebrate Pride In New Delhi

NewDelhiParade

For the fifth year in a row, LGBT activists in New Delhi held a gay pride march to counter homophobia in a country where colonial-era homophobia runs deep.

Though the crowd of hundreds was relatively small when compared to other prides around the world, the song remained the same: any society that claims to be modern must embrace its LGBT citizens.

Dozens of demonstrators carried a nearly 15-meter- (50-foot-) long, rainbow-colored banner and waved placards demanding that the government extend the scope of anti-discrimination laws to schools, workplaces and public and private spaces.

...

"Queer and loving it" and "Give us your support" read some of the placards carried by the activists as they marched to the rhythmic beat of traditional drums and music. Other supporters distributed badges and rainbow-colored flags and scarves.

The slow rate of acceptance of LGBT people among Indians could be seen in the masks worn by some participants, but one organizer told IBN that this year's event drew more people than previous events.

Posted Nov. 25,2012 at 1:26 PM EST by in Gay Pride, India, News | Permalink | Comments (15)


Barney Frank Blames Tea Party For Gridlock

FrankBarneyAppearing on CNN's State of the Union today, Rep. Barney Frank blamed ongoing Beltway gridlock on the Tea Party's 2010 rise.

"I do believe that there were elected some people in 2010, tea party influence, who repudiated the notion of compromise, and some of them said it exclusively," said the openly gay lawmaker. "You have to start from a position of principle and then you work together. I think in 2007 and 2008 we showed how can you do that."

Unfortunately, CBS News predicts that we'll see more gridlock as the new Congress gets into action, or rather inaction. And that potential scenario won't be the Tea Party's fault:

When the next Congress cranks up in January, there will be more women, many new faces and fewer tea party-backed House Republicans from the class of 2010.

Overriding those changes, though, is a thinning of centrist veterans in both parties. Among those leaving are some of the Senate's most pragmatic lawmakers, nearly half the House's centrist Blue Dog Democrats and several moderate House Republicans.

That could leave the parties more polarized even as President Barack Obama and congressional leaders talk up the cooperation needed to tackle complex, vexing problems such as curbing deficits, revamping tax laws and culling savings from Medicare and other costly, popular programs.

Frank of course won't have to deal with those headaches. He's retiring at the end of this session.

Posted Nov. 25,2012 at 12:09 PM EST by in 2012 Election, Barney Frank, News, Tea Party | Permalink | Comments (13)



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