Gay Media Hub




Mash-Up Of Homophobic Jokes From Michael Bay Films Reveals Director's Gay Panic: VIDEO

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Bad BoysTransformers, The Island, and Pain and Gain: these are examples of hyper-kinetic, variably watchable, mildly entertaining cinema, and the oeuvre of Michael Bay, whose new film, Transformers: Age of Extinction hit theaters this weekend. They also revel in homophobic humor which, taken out of context, adds up to one frustrating, panicked directorial vision. 

It may be nit-picky to point out each and every instance of humor rooted in intimations of gay sex, male-male romance, or hyper-effeminate mannerisms. But it is also reveals the pervasive, easy-to-bypass nature of homophobia in our masculine, heterosexually-driven society.

Watch and grimace, over at Gawker...


Boulder, CO County Clerk Issues Marriage Licenses To 34 Gay Couples Including State Senator: VIDEO

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Following the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Wednesday, which upheld the unconstitutionality of Utah's same-sex marriage ban, the county clerk of Boulder, CO, Hillary Hall, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples there. As of now, 34 couples have been recipients of the licenses, including Colorado state Senator Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City). The state attorney general, John Suthers, has stated that their marriages are invalid as Colorado still maintains its same-sex marriage ban.

NBC 9 News reports:

While [the AG] contemplates court action, he also wants to speed the gay marriage issue to the Supreme Court:

"Until the Supreme Court decides, we do not have same-sex marriage in Colorado. We're looking at a variety of options, and that's all I'm going to say about it," Suthers said.

County clerk Hillary Hall said she'll issue licenses unless a court tells her otherwise.

Boulder County, CO reportedly had a leg up on the same-sex marriage issue, granting licenses to four couples in 1975 before the AG put a stop to it.

Watch ABC 7's news coverage about the marriage licenses, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Boulder, CO County Clerk Issues Marriage Licenses To 34 Gay Couples Including State Senator: VIDEO" »


Film Review: 'Broken Heart Land' Weaves Unexpected And Tragic Tapestry Of Grief

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Broken Heart Land, an expectation-eschewing documentary from directors Jeremy and Randy Stulberg, begins with an all-too-familiar tragedy in the rural American landscape: the suicide of a gay teenager. From there it weaves a far different story than one might anticipate, opting for a complex exploration of a family struck by death and a town in the throws of an identity crisis. 

The setting, Norman, Oklahoma--home to the University of Oklahoma--is seen by many citizens as a bastion of liberal goodwill in one of the nation’s most conservative geographic regions. In reality, though, the town is largely inhabited by Christian conservatives and other folks who fall uneasily within a murky spectrum of political thought. 

BHL2Two such people, Van and Nancy Harrington, are the parents of Zack, a reserved guy who came out in high school, seemingly without significant fanfare and with ardent support from his family. We learn very little about Zack, save for his participation in the high school color guard; his sudden suicide leaves him even more of an enigma. Only when his grieving parents receive the coroners report do they, and the audience, find out that Zack was HIV-positive and had been treating himself with drugs bought on the street. It is a surprising turn of events within the film. One friend, overcome with emotion and unsure whether or not to speak on the matter, recounts the way that Zack finally told her, after over a year of hinting, about his status. The wound of his death is clearly still fresh for everyone involved, and this particular revelation throws them for a loop. The trailer, which we reported on previously, framed Zack’s HIV-status as the central mystery within the narrative, but its reveal comes early, both in the run time and in the mourning process. The film actually seems far more concerned with picking up the pieces and understanding just how great an impact Zack’s death had, particularly on his mother and rather surprisingly on small town politics.

BHL1Just before Zack’s death, he may or may not have attended the Norman town council meeting where an LGBT History Month proposal was discussed and voted on. The mystery of his attendance reflects the unknowable qualities of his personality, but it is no matter in comparison with the bigoted and disturbing diatribe unleashed by many of the town’s most influential conservatives, including Chad Williams, an assistant pastor of a local mega-church and an eventual candidate for town council. 

The dueling campaigns of Williams and an openly lesbian opponent form the backbone of much of the documentary, framed by the broken and embittered family at the center of the tragedy. Both Van and Nancy Harrington are self-proclaimed Republicans and supporters of the LGBT rights movement, an almost oxymoronic combination these days, and their understanding of politics is shaken throughout the film by national trends (see: the Tea Party) and the closer-to-home town council race. Nancy joins a Norman group called Moms Of Many (MOM), formed in the wake of Zack’s death. She learns about the representation of the LGBT community in politics, campaigns for Williams’ competitor, and, in a particularly tense scene, confronts the pastor after all of her LGBT-related questions are ignored at a debate amongst the candidates. Van is largely seen sitting on a couch at home, watching Fox News, and smoking a cigarette; the grief is palpable and nearly unbearable. 

Still, both he and Nancy traverse an arc, from disbelief and upset about Zack’s status (his keeping it from them more so than the fact that he was positive) to a state of sad but empowered motivation to create change. We eventually see them dedicate a bench in Norman to their son and march in an AIDS Walk in his memory. 

BHL3Ultimately the “broken heart land” of the film’s title seems twofold. It is a comment on the nature of grief and tragedy, rendered so vividly in the lives of the Harringtons, and it is an observation about the shifting, highly oppositional politics of a nation, and particularly the midwest. The Harringtons are a family awakened to their own faults, their political aspirations, and their beliefs. The same, unfortunately, cannot necessarily be said for Williams and others in the more conservative contingent. They stand behind a “we love everyone enough to tell them that they are wrong” facade, never owning up to what the filmmakers and the Harringtons come to believe: something, many things, must be wrong in a society where someone, Zack, would take his own life. LGBT inequality, non-comprehensive sex education, and perhaps even organized religion come under fire. While there is no conclusive reason behind Zack's suicide, beautifully-read passages of his tormented poetry and journals accompany nostalgic video footage throughout the film, giving prophetic voice to a young man no longer able to speak his mind.

Broken Heart Land is a powerful, unexpectedly political, and deeply sad documentary. At its center lies a teenager who could have lived a long, fulfilling life, given the support he deserved all along.

You can stream Broken Heart Land online at worldchannel.org, or catch it airing The World Channel through this weekend.


British Grocers Fortnum & Mason Celebrate Pride With Subtle Grammatical Joke

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Who knew an apostrophe could be so queenly? Brit grocers Fortnum & Mason, apparently. After decades of association with the British royal family, the posh, 150-year-old grocery store shed its image of stately majesty for an ad in Gay Pride magazine in the lead up to London Pride this weekend. 

Stephen Fry took notice and, appreciative of the grammatical expertise, tweeted an image of the ad with the comment: "See @Fortnums advertisement for Gay Pride magazine this week. Note the apostrophe & that hot bit of crumpet, phwor!"

Well played, F&M. Well played. 


Activist Questions Denial of U.S. Visas to African LGBT SF Pride Invitees

MelanieNathanMelanie Nathan (right), director of the San Francisco African Leadership Institute, wrote a scathing piece about the state department's denial of visas for several LGBTI persons from African countries whom she had invited to march in the San Francisco Pride Parade. The 2014 celebration, called "Color Our World with Pride," should have been the perfect venue for the expression of oppressed communities from around the globe, particularly LGBTI Africans and particularly given the United States' response to anti-gay actions on the part of the Ugandan government, among others. Nathan found herself distressed at the notion of Secretary of State John Kerry touting the state department's commitment to global equality initiatives (as the speaker at the department's GLIFAA Pride event, no less) while denying visas to the people who need them most.

Writes Nathan at HuffPost:

The State Department denied seven people a platform to speak about the persecution in their countries, presumably for fear that they might not return home to the countries that persecute them. And after they were denied, a clear pattern emerged, and I pulled 11 of the remaining 14 applicants.

While the Obama administration and this secretary of state have supported the LGBT movement like none before, there is no excuse for this flagrant snub and the homophobic attitude expressed by some of the consular officials who did the interviewing.

JohnKerryNathan argues that by denying visas the U.S. government is abetting the oppression faced by many of the people she had invited for participation in the Pride event. "[By] denying these Pride visas, we may as well have added the victims of the persecution to the blacklist too," Nathan writes.

She believes that Kerry (left) and his department have done a disservice to the global community, and it is hard to deny the cruel irony of the situation:

"No matter where you are, no matter who you love, we stand with you," noted Kerry in that Pride-affirming speech. "And that's what pride means, and that's what drives us today."

And he further assured, "The journey isn't complete. The march isn't over. The promise isn't perfected. But we will march on together."

...

No, Mr. Secretary, it seems that in fact we are not marching together. You have denied us all that privilege.


Bryan Fischer Warns of Gay Fairy Tale Book Tainting the 'Tender Young Souls' of Children

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The Princes and the Treasure, a revisionist fairy tale which finds its duo of handsome princes (on a quest to save a damsel in distress, mind you) falling in love with each other, is likely sitting on the shelf of your local public library. Written by University of the Pacific professor Jeffrey A. Miles, the book is a welcome and exciting breath of fresh air for a genre which has steadfastly stood by its heteronormative foundations. Bryan Fischer feels differently.

Book Patrol reports:

Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis for the nonprofit Christian organization, talked with the Christian Post recently and had these nuggets of close-mindedness to share:

“The stories and the images that children store up in their minds from fairy tales have a very powerful imprinting effect on their tender young souls.”

“And the bottom line is that no responsible library should ever include a book like this on its shelves, and no responsible school should ever use this book as a part of its curriculum."

Unsurprisingly, Fischer's definition of "responsible" lies within a Judeo-Christian value system, one which he believes all families should adhere to.

“Christian parents don’t want to be concerned only about their own children, they want to keep this kind of warped literature out of the hands of other children as well.”

“And if parents want this book for their children, there’s nothing to stop them from going to Amazon and buying it with their own money. But taxpayer dollars should not be spent on tripe like this.”

“[Because] of the power [of] fairy tales, this book is a particularly pernicious form of sexually perverse propaganda.”

Thank you for the words of warning, Mr. Fischer. If you'll excuse me, I have a "pernicious" gay fairy tale to read.

You can buy a copy of The Princes and the Treasure online here.


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