Stephen Fry, the British actor, writer, director and activist, has released a new two part documentary entitled, Stephen Fry: Out There, "a series about gay people and the trouble people have accepting them." The first episode sees Fry, a long-time foe of anti-gay bias, interviewing Elton John and David Furnish, discussing how John's coming out was a "game-changer," and later psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, a major proponent behind the "reparative therapy" movement. The second episode follows Fry as he travels around the world, examining a broad range of oppressive attitudes towards homosexuality, as The New Statesman points out:
in Brazil, a gay person is murdered every 36 hours; in Russia, it is illegal to “promote” homosexuality, a law that has far-reaching and monstrous consequences for the parents and children of gay people (who are “promoting” homosexuality by being alive); in India, the hijras (men who, broadly speaking, identify as women) are forced to live on the outer margins of society.
Fry's own introduction to the series sums up his point of view very succinctly:
There are people who are so rabidly homophobic and I just find that fascinating. It’s as if you met someone who absolutely spent all their life trying to get rid of red telephones. You’d go, what? You just would not understand it. Why would someone bother to attack a group of people who mean to do them no harm?
You can watch both episodes AFTER THE JUMP...
With anticipation building for the upcoming Thor sequel and the promise of more Chris Hemsworth shirtlessness, new attention is being paid to Thor’s devious brother, Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston in the film adaptations) and the character’s sexuality.
Writer Al Ewing is currently penning a solo comic for Loki entitled, Loki: Agent of Asgard, set to be released by Marvel in 2014. Ewing was recently asked by a fan how Loki’s sexuality will be portrayed in the comic given that Loki is bisexual and a gender-changing shape-shifter in traditional Norse mythology.
As The Quire reports, Ewing responded to the question, which was posted to his tumblr account, with a rejoinder sure to ignite the imaginations of many a fanboy (and girl), “Yes, Loki is bi and I’ll be touching on that. He’ll shift between genders occasionally as well.” Whether or not Loki will be bisexual and a gender-flexible shape-shifter in any upcoming films is still anyone’s guess.
The New York Times takes an in-depth look in today's Sunday Style section at same-sex couples who are in loving, committed, long-term relationships who, despite being afforded the right to marry, thanks to the destruction of DOMA section 3 and the increase in the number of states allowing same-sex marriage, choose not to:
For some, marriage is an outdated institution, one that forces same-sex couples into the mainstream. For others, marriage imposes financial burdens and legal entanglements. Still others see marriage not as a fairy tale but as a potentially painful chapter that ends in divorce. And then there are those for whom marriage goes against their beliefs, religious or otherwise.
“It’s a very, very archaic model,” said Sean Fader, 34, an artist in New York who is single and asked to be identified as queer. “It’s this oppressive Christian model that says ‘Pick a person that’s going to be everything to you, they have to be perfect, then get a house, and have kids, and then you’ll be happy and whole.' ”
Indeed, despite the rush to the altar we've seen after the Supreme Court rulings on Prop. 8 and DOMA and more recently after the New Jersey state supreme court ruled that same-sex marriages must be allowed to begin in the Garden State despite Governor Christie's opposition, same-sex couples are less likely to seek out marriage, according to a new Pew Research Poll released in June that found "60 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults are married or said they wanted to marry, compared with 76 percent of the general public."
The Times also notes that not all LGBT activists have been so keen to focus on pushing for marriage equality when HIV/AIDS education and prevention along with securing the safety of LGBT youth are issues that, in the eyes of some, have been under-served and even ignored by the community at large.
The reluctance to marry also seems to span across generations:
“For people in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, there was a feeling that L.GB.T. people can do better than marriage, that relationships can be more egalitarian” when built around untraditional families, said Mary Bernstein, a professor at the University of Connecticut and an author of “The Marrying Kind?” which examines the marriage debate in the gay rights movement.
Milennials on the other hand may consider themselves "a very disillusioned generation," as Eric Routen, 24, a student at New York Medical College, put it, less willing to take a chance on marriage because, “No one expects marriage to last."
Check out the full piece from The Times HERE.
The Republican Party took its first step in a new effort to reach out to more young voters last Thursday by naming Elliott Echols (pictured right) as the party's first national youth director, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports:
"Today's announcement is groundbreaking," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (pictured below). "Bringing Elliot on board in an off-year will help us build relationships with young voters and mobilize students and young professionals to take our message to their peers."
Yet Echols' work will resonate beyond the 2014 elections, Priebus said, noting that "young Americans are independent-minded people who are concerned about getting our nation's economy back on track." Echols, 23 of Rome, Ga, told the Tribune-Review he has goals for his new role.
"The biggest is to bring young, energized people to the GOP," he said. "There are a lot of young people who are eager to make a change, but they can't change anything if they're not a part of the process."
The RNC's new efforts have also extended to attracting minority voters. In recent weeks, the RNC has hired new heads for black media communications and rolled out an aggressive Hispanic outreach program in Pennsylvania, California, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia.
Presumably, these efforts are in response to the party's report released back in March that analyzed data from its 2012 presidential election loss. The report, entitled "Growth and Opportunity Project," proposed ways that conservatives could attract young, gay, women, and minority voters, all blocs that sat firmly on Obama's side during election night last year.
The Daily Kos, however, remains skeptical of these so-called "groundbreaking" developments on the GOP's part:
Basically, Echols's job will be to convince young voters that Republicans aren't anti-gay, anti-immigrant, or anti-21st century, and then, once he accomplishes that, his job will be to convince those same voters that it's just a coincidence that GOP policies are perfectly consistent with a party that is anti-gay, anti-immigrant, and anti-21st century. Then, and only then, will his achievement be groundbreaking, because he'll have achieved the impossible.
(picture via Twitter)
Chris Brown was arrested for felony assault this morning in D.C., and used a gay slur before punching the guy in the face, TMZ reports:
The alleged victim tells TMZ ... he and a friend were hanging out at the W when they saw 2 woman about to take a picture with Brown. The victim -- who says he's not a Chris Brown fan -- says he and his buddy photo bombed the 2 woman and Chris went nuts, punching him in the face and BREAKING HIS NOSE. He went to the hospital and says he may need surgery as early as tomorrow.
Law enforcement sources and the alleged victim tell TMZ ... before striking the man, Chris said, "I'm not into this gay s**t, I'm into boxing." After Chris punched the man, the fight was taken to the ground.
Sources connected with Chris tell TMZ ... the alleged victim is full of BS. He was NOT trying to take a pic with Chris ... he was trying to get on Chris' tour bus, and Brown was simply trying to stop a trespass.
If the charges are true, so much for that UNITY campaign:
The alleged victim tells TMZ he doesn't understand why Brown was "so homophobic" to hurl such a slur. And get this ... the victim says he would have accepted an apology at the scene, but now he will absolutely press charges -- and he's already hired a lawyer.
Rock icon and leader of the Velvet Underground Lou Reed has died, Rolling Stone reports:
The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.
With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. "One chord is fine," he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. "Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz."
Lou Reed's "Perfect Day", AFTER THE JUMP...