Gay Stories Hub




Gay Bathhouses Across America Threatened By Lowered Attendance, Outdated Public Opinion

70sBathhouseOriginally conceived as important bastions of sanitation in urban centers, American bathhouses became meccas for gay hook-up culture and entertainment in the 1960s and 70s. At that time, nearly 200 bathhouses were open around the country; now only 70 remain, and owners are scrambling to alter their image and attract youthful crowds of a new generation.

ABC News reports:

"Bathhouses were like dirty bookstores and parks: a venue to meet people," said Sykes, who still owns the smaller North Hollywood Spa. "Today, you can go to the supermarket..."

Privately run, gay-owned bathhouses proliferated in the 1970s, offering a haven for gay and bisexual men to meet. Clubs like New York City's Continental bathhouse and Los Angeles' 8709 Club saw a steady stream of patrons...

Amid the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, bathhouses were vilified for enabling promiscuity and helping spread the disease, and many either closed voluntarily or by legal pressure. Those that remained were stigmatized, and now many younger gays see them as anachronisms.

BathIn an effort to regain appeal, many bathhouses offer cheap admission prices for the younger set and amenities beyond the standard towel. Ohio's Cleveland-based Flex Spa, for example, contains luxury hotel rooms and nightclub venues; as such, it has become a fixture of gay culture beyond its sexual and social connotation, serving as the location for the Gay Games and the city's gay pride parade.

[Flex Spas CEO Todd] Saporito said more progressive views on homosexuality aren't evenly spread across the country, underscoring the need for modern bathhouses in some areas. Still, he takes nothing for granted, regardless of the location.

"Bathhouses at some level will go extinct if you don't offer something more than a towel," Saporito said.

And there is community, safe sex, and companionship to be found as well.

"You're either hooking up online or you are here, or you go to bars in West Hollywood, get drunk and hook up," said [22-year-old Brett] Sparks, acknowledging that although the bathhouse crowd skews older, it's not as risky as going home with a stranger. "Here it's a safer environment — there's condoms and other protection."

Here's hoping that bathhouses overcome the stigma and become important communal fixtures once more.


Lesbian 'Kiss' On 'Dr. Who' Stirs Complaints And Arouses Support

Dr who lesbian kiss

U.K. communications regulator Ofcom has received six complaints following a lesbian kiss on Doctor Who, reports Gay Star News. Dr who tweet 2

The complaints came after a scene in which Madame Vastra helps to keep her wife Jenny alive in response to a threat from droids that only move when they can sense breath.

One tweet suggested that “the BBC wants to become a porn channel,” while another said that “the Lizard/Lesbian kiss was ‘unnecessary.’”

However, while some viewers were upset at the thought of two women kissing before the 9pm watershed, the majority of tweets were overwhelmingly positive.

@toddlerlex pointed out that “some parents are okay with their kids watching Dr Who's organ stealing robots & impaled body…Lesbian kiss? Complain to Ofcom! Ridic.”

It has also been noted by various commenters that the “lesbian kiss” was essentially CPR and was actually an inter-species kiss.

Dr who tweet


Bryan Fischer's Latest Rant: 'God Will Use The Pagan Armies Of Allah To Discipline The U.S. For Our Debauchery' - WATCH

Bryanbeyonce

The American Family Association's reigning king of nonsense Bryan Fischer took to the airwaves with a new batch of offensive vitriol last week. Citing Sodom and Gommorah, "pagan armies," Israelites, and other Old Testament buzz words, Fischer worked to convince listeners that the United States would meet horrific ends at the hands of radical Islamic groups should our tolerance of "debauchery" continue. With the recent outburst of violence from ISIS, it seems that Fischer spotted a winning opportunity for religious and moral generalization.

Right Wing Watch reports:

Asserting that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are "just like the Gay Gestapo is today" and that America is celebrating behavior that God calls an abomination while persecuting those who stand for God's values, Fischer warned that "God eventually is going to run out of patience with the United States."

And when that day comes, he said, God "will use pagan armies to discipline his people if they turn from him in rebellion and disobedience and descend into debauchery," pointing to the rise of ISIS to raise the possibility that "God will use the pagan armies of Allah to discipline the United States for our debauchery."

Watch as the hate spilleth over, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bryan Fischer's Latest Rant: 'God Will Use The Pagan Armies Of Allah To Discipline The U.S. For Our Debauchery' - WATCH" »


Patti Lupone And Sting Headline 'Uprising Of Love' Benefit Concert For Global Equality, In NYC On September 15th

UprisingOfLoveOn September 15th, producers Stephen Schwartz and Bruce Cohen will partner with the United Nations Foundation for "Uprising of Love: A Benefit Concert for Global Equality." The concert, headlined by Broadway diva Patti Lupone and international superstar Sting, falls strategically around the UN General Assembly and Clinton Gobal Initiative and aims to raise awareness about the unfortunate state of affairs for many LGBTI-identified communities around the world. Proceeds from the event will go to Fueling the Frontlines, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice's 3-year, $20 million global LGBTI rights campaign.

The concert's website has more information:

At this unique moment in history, when we are seeing such rapid progress in the fight for equality in the West, we cannot be blind to appalling crimes against humanity elsewhere. Today in Russia, Uganda, Nigeria, and elsewhere, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people are facing harassment, abuse, and violence. In some countries, recent laws have deemed homosexuality punishable by death and the situation appears to be getting worse, not better.

THE MISSION:

1. To raise awareness among the international community of violence, discrimination, and atrocities committed against LGBTI people.

2. To support LGBTI people and communities in areas where safety and dignity is compromised through funds and solidarity.

3. To support and collaborate with LGBTI and human rights organizations concerned with these issues.

The concert will be scripted by Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black (of Milk and Tom Daley fame) and directed by Schele Williams (Motown the Musical). Among the members of the benefit's host committee are Julianne Moore, Lance Bass, Calpernia Addams, Chris Colfer, and Melissa Etheridge.

To learn more and buy tickets, check out the website.

We hope to see you at the Gershwin Theater on September 15th!


Portland Apple Customer Finds Homophobic Slur On Receipt, Calls For Social Competency Training

AppleSlurAdam Catanzarite went into a Portland, Oregon Apple store for a pair of headphones, and left with what could be considered a homophobic slur. A few days after his purchase, Catanzarite took a closer look at his receipt only to find "f@g.com" written where his email (which he declined to give to the employee) should have been.

Catanzarite, an HIV prevention specialist at Cascade AIDS Project and a self-identified queer individual, took action, calling the store, speaking with the manager, and eventually being promised a refund; as of yesterday, he had not received it.

PQ Monthly reports:

In a post to Facebook, Catanzarite explained his immediate response and why he felt this was unacceptable:

“The store manager did not do what he said he would to rectify the situation… being queer and having worked with queer youth, I know first-hand that this is an example of the type of #homophobic beliefs and actions that lead young people to harm themselves. This type of action is NOT OKAY, especially from a company that prides itself on being LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming.”

Rather than fire the employee who entered the offending phrase, Catanzarite believes that there should be more cultural competency training for Apple employees on the whole. The Oregonian reports:

Catanzarite followed the initial Facebook post with another on Wednesday morning, describing the encounter in greater detail. In that post, he said:

“The employee who entered f@g.com should not be fired (take a minute to let that settle in if you need to), but should be given an opportunity to learn about the impact of the use of the word fag and how these words impact the individuals who have been oppressed by them.”

Catanzarite said he hasn’t heard from Apple regarding how or why the slur appeared on his receipt but in this case, he said, the employee’s intent doesn’t matter.

“All I can really focus on is how it impacted me and how we can move forward to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Several updates from PQ Monthly indicate that the incident really could have been accidental on the part of the employee, particularly regarding the quick input of emails (when not given to the employee) and the proximity of "f" and "g" on the keyboard. The unnamed contact--an employee at the same Apple store location--also said that they believe the employee in question is homosexual and that they have heard him use the word "fag" "in a casual, callous, or even joking manner.”

Misunderstanding or not, it is undoubtedly important to recognize the sensitivity around use of inappropriate or offensive language. Apple has yet to respond to the situation, beyond recognition of its occurrence. 


Brian Brown Claims That NOM's Pathetic Boycott Has Impacted Starbucks' Business: LISTEN

Two years ago, the National Organization for Marriage began a protest of Starbucks after the massive coffee vendor supported a pro-marriage equality referendum on the Washington ballot.

BrianBrownNow, NOM president Brian Brown claims that that boycott has made an impact on the international community's tolerance for the chain. As Good as You pointed out, however, Starbucks currently operates 21,000 stores in 65 countries with little standing in its way for further expansion; not too shabby. 

The transcript from Brown's silly attempt at relevance reads:

"You know, the media will try and say that the boycotts have minimal to no effect, but the reality is that companies like Starbucks are trying to expand around the world, and as Americans stand up and say this is wrong and they highlight that companies like Starbucks are supporting same-sex marriage, the mask comes up...Because of the Starbucks boycott for example, many countries have looked at Starbucks and the individuals that would be allowing Starbucks into the country have said, 'No, no, no,' because Starbucks does support the redefinition of marriage."

Brown then went on to get to his real point, perhaps realizing that the previous one was inane:

"Most importantly though, how can we view it as moral to be giving our dollars to a company that directly is attacking our faith? I understand again that you cannot do this to every company, but the ones that are actually attacking the faith, you have to take a stand at some point, and Target is doing that, Starbucks is doing that, and Chase is doing that."

Ah, yes. The faith, as if there were only one, and supporting same-sex marriage is in direct opposition to it--an age old struggle for Brown and NOM. Sorry, folks, but Starbucks is not feeling any worse for wear.

Listen in, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Brian Brown Claims That NOM's Pathetic Boycott Has Impacted Starbucks' Business: LISTEN" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged