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Meet Ed, Your Digitally Rendered Mancrush of the Week: VIDEO

  Ed

Ed, the handsome man shown in the screen shot above, is the product of multiple months worth of animation, character modeling, and computer rendering. As life-like as Ed may appear his creator Chris Jones has admitted that he’s definitely still a work in progress. Using a blend of Lightwave, Sculptris, and Krita, Jones crafted layers of authentic musculature and realistic skin complete with perfectly rendered imperfections.

Check out the layers digital building blocks that created Ed AFTER THE JUMP...

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Facebook Agrees To Meet With Drag Community Members Following 'Real Name' Controversy

Heklina_drag_queen_performing

In response to a planned protest at their headquarters, representatives from Facebook have agreed to meet with Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and David Campos, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, about Facebook’s recent crackdown on the use of drag names.

Hundreds of drag queens found their public Facebook profiles deactivated last week after Facebook began to enforce its rules stating that all users must attach their birth names to personal pages. While members of the drag community were not explicitly targeted by the crackdown, drag queens seems to have been disproportionately affected given their tendency to embody their personae as public figures.

“I’ve had this name for 20 years now,” San Francisco-based performer Heklina explained to Tech Crunch “I walk down the street and people say ‘Hi Heklina.’ People know me by my drag name.”

Heklina claimed that every single drag performer that she knew in the Bay Area had been affected by Facebook’s enforcement of the policy, robbing them of the ability to keep their drag lives separate from their personal ones.

“This is like in the 1950’s when drag queens would perform at the club and then had to quickly change into their boy clothes after to keep from getting harassed,” she said, citing the many queens that were effectively forced to out themselves.

Initially Facebook responded by suggesting that drag performers attach their aliases to profiles featuring their actual names or create fan pages for their characters as an alternative. Fan pages, says Heklina, often don’t really capture what all it means to be a drag fixture in a local community.

“While many drag queens are 'out' about who they are, not all drag queens have that luxury," San Francisco Boardmember Scott Weiner wrote in a Facebook post. "Preventing drag queens from using the names that actually define who they are also puts a number of people in the untenable position of having to choose between telling the world that they’re drag queens and abandoning Facebook for their drag personas.”


Tom Of Finland Stamps Break Postal Sales Records - VIDEO

Finland

Stamps designed as a tribute to Finnish homoerotic artist Touko Laaksonen - better known as Tom of Finland -  have become the country’s biggest seller ever, reports YLE UUTISET.

The stamps, which had received pre-orders from 178 different countries, went on sale on Monday and coincided with an exhibition of Tom of Finland’s drawings and letters from the 1940s to his death in 1991.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6dd3742970b-800wiPreorders have proved most popular in Finland, Sweden, the U.K., the United States and France.

Markku Penttinen, the head of development at Finland’s postal service Posti, said:

"We haven't seen this kind of interest before in Posti's history and we probably won't again soon. Our starting point was to get Touko Laaksonen's artwork in our stamps.

"We know that he was very well-known globally. Of course the subject matter is also topical and much discussed. This equation has worked better than we anticipated.”

Despite Finland being the only Nordic country in which same-sex marriage is not legal, Penttinen also suggested that the homoerotic nature of the Tom of Finland stamps would prove too much for many other countries to swallow.

The stamps’ designer Timo Berry said:

"Tom of Finland's greatest significance is that these gay figures were given their masculinity. Previously they had been portrayed as ‘girlish.’

"It's great that these sketches that had to be sold in secret can now be publicly viewed on envelopes and postcards.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Harvey Milk commemorative stamp.

Watch a report on the Tom of Finland stamps, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Performance Artist Mischa Badasyan Plans To Have Sex With A Different Guy Every Day for A Year

BadasyanMischa Badasyan plans to have sex with a different man every day for a year in the name of art. The Berlin-based human rights activist turned performance artist is using his body to shed light the intersection of loneliness and desire created by modern hookup culture. Using gay social apps like Grindr and a variety of websites built to connect guys looking for quick flings, Badasyan’s project, “Save The Date,”  wants to explore French philosopher Marc Augé’s concept of “non-places.”

"He was writing about non-places in the big cities; places like supermarkets, shopping malls, airports, motorways,” Badasyan explained to PolicyMic. “[H]e says that people lose their identity, there's no communication, people don't feel a belonging to somewhere and that causes the loneliness of people."

By having anonymous sex in public settings like cruising areas, Badasyan says, he himself will become like a non-place, and reconnect with an aspect of gay male culture that is unique to them:

“Straight people don't have these kind of applications, so many gay chats, in terms of cruising, sex clubs, sex bars, they don't have as many opportunities as gay people."

Sex positive support for Save the Date has been widespread, as Badasyan is using the project as an opportunity to spread the word about safe sex and proper condom use. Save the Date is slated to begin in September.

Watch a performance of Mischa Badasyan’s live action painting The Hole of Glory AFTER THE JUMP...

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Robert De Niro Cries in Emotional Interview About His Gay Father: VIDEO

Tears_deniro

We previously reported on the new HBO documentary, Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr., a passion project for his son, actor Robert De Niro. The documentary not only discusses the artistic merit of the late painter, but also his homosexuality. A new clip from the film, which premiered last night, highlights some of De Niro, Sr.'s diary entries regarding his sexuality.

Here is just one excerpt:

If God doesn't want me to be a homosexual, about which I have so much guilt, he will find a woman whom I will love and who will love me, or at least create an interest in women [as] sexual partners.

De Niro reveals that he discussed the issue with his mother on several occasions, but never with his father. "I was his son. I was the last to know," he says. He also mentions the dissolution of his family and his father's new life in New York City.

De Niro says he kept his father's studio intact to help his kids know what their grandfather did.

"I realized how important it is for children to appreciate the things that your parents did if they want to share them with you," he says, choking up. "Cause I regret certain things with my parents...that I didn't follow through on."

Watch the emotional clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Small Michigan Town Outraged By Statue: VIDEO

Blue Human Condition sculpture

Mark Chatterley's "Blue Human Condition" features seven genderless humanoids leaning against each other in various poses to represent interconnectedness and reliance. The citizens of Adrian, Michigan saw a gay sex orgy and demanded the sculpture's removal a week after it was installed. One person, apparently utterly unaware of how children's minds actually work, commented on the city website:

I believe it is very unfair and unkind to infer that those of us that [view the sculpture as sexual] have “dirty minds” and are “sexually repressed prudes”. If so, my children are “dirty minded, sexually repressed prudes” at the ripe age of 10, 11, and 13.

StrawcutterAnd of course no moral outrage is complete without the input of religious leaders. Local pastor Rick Strawcutter views the combination of the sculpture and the recent passing of an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance as a conspiracy by city officials to turn Adrian into Sodom.

The sculpture has since been moved to a less public part of the city, and Chatterly has received support from members of the community for creating his work. For his own part, Chatterly says that he makes his works for himself first, and that all of the accusations of lewdness show "what people are really thinking about."

For entertainment value, you can watch Pastor Strawcutter's personal video of the sculpture, complete with righteous indignation, AFTER THE JUMP...

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