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04/19/2007


News: Burger King, Alek, Keshishian, Rugby, Cuba, Kevin Spacey

road.jpg Cuba to offer free gender reassignment surgery under national healthcare plan: "Cuban doctors are currently training with Belgian surgeons, said Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raul Castro and director of CENESEX, Cuba's sex education center, who also said that 28 people are seeking the procedure, last performed in 1988 to massive public protest."

Rugbyroad.jpg Dublin bookies taking bets on Bingham Cup gay rugby tournament.

road.jpg Robert Downey, Jr.: Burger King saved my life.

road.jpg World Health Organization says threat of global heterosexual AIDS pandemic over: "Dr De Cock, an epidemiologist who has spent much of his career leading the battle against the disease, said understanding of the threat posed by the virus had changed. Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients."

Gerard Butler to star in stage sequel to Phantom of the Opera?

road.jpg New Philadelphia police commissioner Charles H. Ramsey implementing policies to make officers, community, feel safer: "My goal is to create an environment where officers don't feel intimidated in any way. If they want to acknowledge [their sexuality], they should feel comfortable doing it." Also, "[LGBT people] don't have faith that the police will do something (if a hate crime is reported). We want to make sure they feel comfortable telling us about any issue that needs to be addressed...We need to be very sensitive to that."

road.jpg Olivia Newton-John headlines Gay Pride in Los Angeles.

Jaranroad.jpg New Provincetown police chief walks daily Commercial street beat: "We’re going to take an aggressive approach, and hate crimes will not be tolerated on any level...Certainly [I haven’t worked in such a heavily gay community] to the extent that I have here in Provincetown, but I’m not shy about it. I feel we need to provide a safe haven, a safe environment. I know there have been a few incidents over the years that have given the community of Provincetown a black eye. I don’t want to see that continue. ... We’re going to take an aggressive approach, and hate crimes will not be tolerated on any level. But I do try to put a positive spin on things, and a lot of good things have happened as well."

road.jpg Shots ring out in Montreal's gay village. Four arrested.

road.jpg 250 same-sex couples signed up so far to marry in San Diego County in June: "The most popular location is the County Administration Center in downtown San Diego. There are 186 wedding appointments at the center so far. Clerk Greg Smith is shifting employees around to meet the demand and said he will be able to handle about 300 weddings a day."

Madonnatruthroad.jpg Filmmaker Alek Keshishian on board for sequel to 1991's Madonna documentary Truth or Dare: "And the film will act as a reunion for Madonna - she has reportedly signed up most of the original production team for the new venture. Keshishian is set to film the superstar over three weeks as she goes about her day-to-day life in London, according Britain's The London Paper. A source tells the publication, 'It's like an In Bed With Madonna but made for today. She leads an amazing, high-paced life now and Alex thought the time was right to do another documentary of her life and career.' The original documentary followed the star as she embarked on her hit 1990 Blonde Ambition tour, and proved a hit with fans, grossing £29 million (£14.5 million) at the global box office."

road.jpg Heatherette to design costumes for "Sticky and Sweet" tour?

road.jpg Dina Matos McGreevey jealous that her daughter is enjoying the good life?

road.jpg Kevin Spacey refuses to travel light: "He's got bodyguards, several publicists, a makeup artist, a personal hairdresser, someone who's styling him. There are so many people, it's ridiculous."

Flagroad.jpg Binghamton, New York mayor raises gay flag for first time.

road.jpg Melbourne gay rights activist and author Dennis Altman becomes Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday honours list.

road.jpg Genre editor Neal Boulton takes on homophobic bully: ""I was at my bar American Trash last night and Neal Boulton was there. One of the usual meatheads got wasted and picked a fight with a guy he thought was a fag. He called him a fag. and some guy who we figured out later was Neil stepped in and gave the guy who called the gay guy a fag a major pounding out on the sidewalk. Boulton got hit pretty hard but slugged back big time. It was nothing till we realized who was fighting who and that Neal is gay and all. Dude had balls."t


10-Year Australian News Veteran Peter Hitchener: I'm Gay

Hitchener

Peter Hitchener, a top news anchor in Melbourne, Australia on National Nine News for the past 10 years, came out of the closet this weekend.

Said Hitchener: "I am a single person and given that we are on private issues of private life, I am choosing to share with you today that part of my life that I have not spoken about before: that I am gay. That is part of who I am and with that disclosure, or acknowledgment, I just also need to say I am still the person I was yesterday. I am still the same person and I remain committed to my job and my family and my service and so on. It is not something that has ever come up before. I have never been asked about it before. There is never a right time, or an easy time, to talk about these personal issues, but this is the right time to say it and to move on."

Hitchener is Nine's prime fighter [news.com.au]


News: Beatles, MRSA, Vanessa Williams, Jamaica, Maria Shriver

road.jpg Mob of 20 attacks two gay men in Jamaica: "After days of harassment and threats, a Jamaican mob attacked two gay men, putting one in the hospital with serious injuries, while the other is missing...The group broke into the home of the men and attacked them, authorities told The Associated Press. One man had his left ear severed, his arm broken in two places and his spine possibly damaged; the other man, who was chased from their home, has not been found, according to the report."

Beatlesroad.jpg Welcome to the just-opened Hard Day's Night Hotel in Liverpool: "The four-star, 110 room Beatle themed hotel opens its doors to the public... and is only a stone's throw away from the site of the famous Cavern Club."

road.jpg Gay rights activist and psychotherapist Myra Riddell dies at 81.

road.jpg This is why the Spice Girls tour is ending.

road.jpg Anti-gay graffiti found in DC police station men's restroom: "'It's extremely offensive, so we're taking it very seriously,' [Police Chief Cathy] Lanier said. Lanier sent an e-mail to police department personnel Thursday night that said, 'All members of this department put their lives on the line every day, and I will not tolerate any member treating another police professional with disrespect.' Lanier said she will 'impose the most serious penalty' if the perpetrator is found to be a member of the department. The graffiti was found in an area that is accessible to both officers and civilians, Lanier said, so it is not clear who may have left the message."

road.jpg New Chicago Episcopal bishop Jeffrey Lee shows support for gay clergy: "'That's one of the tragedies afflicting the church right now,' he said. 'So many of us seem to think that salvation depends on our theological correctness.'"

road.jpg Gay Republicans flocking to McCain?

Shriverroad.jpg First lady of California Maria Shriver joins Kennedys in 'surprise' Obama endorsement.

road.jpg SF health officials apologize to gay community for MRSA scare: "We regret that our recent news report (1-14-08) about an important population-based study on MRSA USA300 with public health implications contained some information that could be interpreted as misleading. We deplore negative targeting of specific populations in association with MRSA infections or other public health concerns, and we will be working to ensure that accurate information about the research is disseminated to the health community and the general public."

road.jpg San Francisco-based music journalist Adam Block dies.

road.jpg Police break up suspected 'gay' party in India: " A team, led by deputy police commissioner Bhujangrao Shinde, raided the Agrawal bungalow at Yeoor and detained six persons, including the main organiser, Sahil Bhoricha (24). Liquor bottles and condoms were seized from the bungalow. Entry to Yeoor Hills was restricted during the operation. Ashok Row Kavi of Humsafar Trust, a gay rights group, condemned the action as unfair, given that all the men detained were adults and were not found violating any law. A magistrate denied the police custody of those arrested."

Robbiewilliamsroad.jpg Robbie Williams becomes a bear.

road.jpg Britney Spears' family finally takes control of the situation.

road.jpg Western Montana Gay and Lesbian Community Center hold "skate against hate" in Missoula to raise awareness about anti-gay violence there.

road.jpg Gerard Butler and Jonathan Rhys Meyers party it up in L.A.

road.jpg Ohio health officials to study smoking habits of gay teens: "Health officials are allocating $60,000 to identify the smoking habits of those teens and develop a tobacco-prevention campaign for them. Ohio Department of Health spokesman Kristopher Weiss says gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community has a smoking rate at about 40 to 60 percent. As part of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Community Youth and Young Adults Anti-Tobacco Social Marketing Project, officials will form focus groups among youths ages 12 through 20 at an LBGT center in Columbus."

road.jpg Melbourne, Australia holds gay pride march...

Vanessawilliamsroad.jpg Vanessa Williams to be honored as "Ally for Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign. More...

road.jpg Second memorial service for Heath Ledger held in L.A.: "Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Sienna Miller, Lindsay Lohan, Ellen Degeneres and other celebrities gathered at the Sony Pictures lot on Saturday to remember Heath Ledger. This service comes a week after a smaller gathering that included ex-girlfriend Naomi Watts was held in Beverly Hills. Other mourners included Heath's father Kim, representatives from CAA (the agency that represented Heath), director Todd Haynes, and actress Shannyn Sossamon who was Heath's co-star in "A Knight's Tale". "I'm Not There" director Haynes spoke at the service."

road.jpg Police raid gay bar in Philippines, arrest 10 for alleged prostitution: "The men were nabbed inside the Male Bucks Hosto Bar in Angeles City around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Members of the raiding team used a female informer who posed as a customer. The informer told authorities that the "entertainers" were dancing on stage clad only in their underwear."


Djokovic Wins Australian Open, Vows Never to Wear Shirt Again

Djokovic

Of course the second part of that headline is simply wishful thinking, but that's how it looked after Novak Djokovic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Australian Open over the weekend to win his first tennis Grand Slam title and become the first Serbian tennis player to achieve such heights in tennis.

Tsonga_djokovicAgence France Presse reports: "His victory was the first Grand Slam final since the 2005 Australian Open not won by Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal with the top-ranked pair dominating the game, claiming the last 11 majors between them. 'I am so proud of myself and to be the first Serbian who won the Grand Slam title,' said Djokovic, who eclipsed Jim Courier as the youngest men's winner at Melbourne Park. 'I was trying to stay there with Jo because I knew that sooner or later with my style of the game I could get in control of the match, which I did in the middle of the second set. Today I was nervous on the start because I was in the strange situation of being the favorite in the final of a Grand Slam. It was dangerous, but I managed to cope with the pressure well and to win.' Djokovic and Tsonga rocked the established order by dumping Federer and Nadal out in the semi-finals to set up a decider unimaginable at the start of the tournament."

We look forward to seeing much more of Djokovic in the future.

Djokovic2 Djokovic3

Previously
Novak Djokovic Upsets Roger Federer to Head into Aussie Open Final [tr]
Sportrait: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [tr]


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #228

COREY WORTHINGTON: The wild Melbourne teenager (and his "famous glasses") who threw a party for 500 teenagers that has received attention the world over. Worthington arrested.

SIX FEET UNDER: Perhaps the reason John McCain didn't prevail in Michigan was because he was looking for votes at funeral homes. Really.

STEVE JOBS: Yesterday's Macworld keynote address in 60 seconds.

LOST: Interested in watching the ABC drama which starts up on January 31st but haven't watched the first three seasons? Here they are in eight minutes, fifteen seconds.

Check out our previous guides to the Tube here.


Australian Gay Bar Wins Right to Ban Heterosexuals

Peel1

Tom McFeely, owner of the Peel Hotel in Melbourne, has won the right from an Australian tribunal to refuse entry to heterosexuals after arguing that an increasing number of straight people threatened the safety of his gay patrons.

According to Reuters, "McFeely said that, while the hotel welcomed everyone, its gay clientele had expressed discomfort over the number of heterosexuals and lesbians coming to the venue in the past year. He said there were more than 2,000 venues in Melbourne that catered to heterosexuals, but his hotel was the only one marketing itself predominantly to gay men." Said Peel: "If I can limit the number of heterosexuals entering the Peel, then that helps me keep the safe balance."

A tribunal agreed with Peel. Said Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal deputy president Cate McKenzie: [If heterosexual men and women came into the venue in large groups] this would undermine or destroy the atmosphere which the company wishes to create. Sometimes heterosexual groups and lesbian groups insult and deride and are even physically violent towards the gay male patrons. Some women even booked hens' nights at the venue using the gay patrons as entertainment. To regard the gay male patrons of the venue as providing an entertainment or spectacle to be stared at, as one would at an animal at a zoo, devalues and dehumanises them. (This exemption) seeks to give gay men a space in which they may, without inhibition, meet, socialise and express physical attraction to each other in a non-threatening atmosphere."

The decision has understandably created quite a bit of controversy. Said McFeely: "I was expecting some flak. But I did it to protect the integrity of the venue and to ensure the safety and comfort of my regular gay clientele."

McFeely says that since the decision was handed down, the club has been receiving more threats than ever. McFeely: "The phone honestly hasn't stopped ringing and that's sad but it also in my head demonstrates the need for this type of thing, because there is still quite a bit of homophobia within the general community."

Court Decision [read it]
Peel Hotel [official site]

Peels

Gay pub bars heterosexuals [tr]
Gay Australian pub wins right to ban straights [tr]

Related
Oh Really? Provincetown's "New Intolerance" [tr]


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