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04/19/2007


'X-Men: First Class' Actor In Talks For Roland Emmerich's 'Stonewall'

Banshee Caleb Landry Jones

Roland Emmerich's Stonewall will be a retelling of the Stonewall riots, the iconic event that kicked off the gay rights movement, and one of the actors in talks for the film is Caleb Landry Jones, who is known for his roles as Jimmy Adler in Friday Night Lights and Banshee in X-Men: First Class.

According to Deadline, Jones will be playing Orphan Annie, "an eccentric gay street hustler who at first resists then warms up to Danny and later participates in the Stonewall uprising."

Stonewall is presently in pre-production and does not yet have a set release date.


Jeremy Irvine to Star in Roland Emmerich's 'Stonewall' About the 1969 Gay Rights Uprising

Irvine

Last year we reported that Independence Day director Roland Emmerich was planning a movie about the Stonewall riots, and plans are moving forward quickly.

Today, Deadline reports that War Horse star Jeremy Irvine has been cast to star in the film:

Scripted by Jon Robin Baitz, the film is about the June 28, 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a mafia-owned bar that was a gathering place for gays and transgenders. It became the flashpoint for the gay rights movement, a galvanizing event that is considered a touchstone even today in the fight for equal rights for the gay and transgender population. Emmerich’s way in is to focus on a young man’s political awakening in the backdrop of those riots.

Emmerich plans to start production soon as he's also preparing an Independence Day sequel due to arrive in summer 2016.


Stonewall Inn, NYC Gay Bars to Boycott Guinness Over Sponsorship of St. Patrick's Day Parade

NYC's historic Stonewall Inn plans to dump Guinness Beer and ban sales of it beginning tomorrow, on St. Patrick's Day, over its refusal to drop sponsorship of the St. Patrick's Day parade, which bars gay people from marching, GLAAD reports.

GuinnessPieces Bar and Hardware Bar in NYC have also told GLAAD they will not carry Guinness and GLAAD is continuing outreach to increase the boycott by adding other venues.

Heineken has dropped its sponsorship of the NYC parade over the discriminatory ban, and Sam Adams also dropped its sponsorship of the Boston parade.

Irish Queers will be holding a press conference during this year's parade on Monday 3/17 at 10:30am ET on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th regarding the parade.

“The homophobic bigotry of this parade is reaffirmed each year by the organizers," said JF Mulligan of Irish Queers, in a press release. "The NYPD’s insistence on sending huge uniformed contingents every year makes it clear that the rights of our communities don’t concern them. Commissioner Bratton hasn’t even acknowledged the community’s outrage. If the NYPD and the City refuses to uphold their own anti-bias rules, how can we trust police officers with our safety?”

Then, at 1 pm on Monday, the group will gather with GLAAD and community activists at the Stonewall Inn at which time Guinness products are to be removed from the bar.

Ford Motor Company is another corporate entity which has chosen to stand by its sponsorship of the anti-gay parade.


Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen Outside NYC's Stonewall Inn: PHOTO

Stonewall

Best buds Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen paid a visit to Christopher Park outside NYC's historic Stonewall Inn to have a moment with the George Segal "Gay Liberation" sculpture.

Tweeted Stewart: "Stonewall! #gogodididonyc @TwoPlaysInRep"

He was referring to Harold Pinter's No Man's Land and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, opening this fall and starring the two actors along with Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley.


British Christian Organization Sues London Transit Authority Over Pro-Gay Advertisements

Gay-bus-boris_2490701b

There's a bit of a storm brewing over London city buses these days--or rather, over the advertisements printed on the side of some buses sponsored by UK LGBT rights group Stonewall that read 'Some people are gay. Get over it!' The Telegraph reports:

A traditionalist Christian group has lodged papers at the High Court attempting to force Transport for London to take down hundreds of new billboards on double-decker buses telling people who disapprove of homosexuality to “get over it”.

It claims that transport chiefs are deliberately ignoring a ruling by a High Court judge that the posters, from the gay rights group Stonewall, are “highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians” who believe that gay sex is a “sin”.

In response to the Stonewall advertisements, Core Issues Trust, a Christian group that purports to provide "reorientation" therapy that can turn gay people straight, bought advertisement space on London's buses for billboards that would read 'Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over It!'

London Mayor Boris Johnson intervened and banned the Christian advertisements, calling them "clearly offensive" for likening homosexuality to an illness.  In response, Core Issues Trust took the case to court.  From The Telegraph:

In her judgment Mrs Justice Lang ruled that Mr Johnson had not abused his position by banning the adverts but went on to question the decision to allow the earlier Stonewall advertisements as well.

TfL’s decision to allow one advertisement but not the other was “was inconsistent and partial”, she ruled. The outcome of an appeal is due later this year.

Stonewall's advertisements, the High Court judge wrote in her ruling, are "highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians" who believe gay sex is sinful."  Now, Dr. Michael Davidson, the founder of Core Issues Trust, has filed an urgent judicial review seeking an injunction barring Transport for London from placing new Stonewall ads on London buses.

"I feel that Stonewall and the Defendant are deliberately flouting the rulings of the court by renewing their advertisement campaign on buses which was clearly prohibited by the earlier judgment of Mrs Justice Lang," Davidson told the court in his application for review.

A spokesman for Transport for London told The Telegraph simply, "These ads are in line with our advertising policy."


Has The Gay Rights Movement Forgotten Its 'Gritty, Dirty' Sexual Past?

Gay-sex-in-the-70s-006Acceptance of gay people and support for their rights has reached an all-time high in this country. For the first time in history, a majority of Americans support same-sex couples' right to marry. We even have the expressed support of the first sitting president. Yet, as LGBT people delve deeper into the American mainstream, some argue that gays in America have abandoned some of the more seedy, sexual aspects of their past. 

Such is the subject of Robert A. Schanke's book Queer Theatre and the Legacy of Cal Yeomans, as well as his recent HuffPostGay piece "The Gay Sexual Explosion That Has Been Nearly Forgotten". In his piece, Schanke chronicles some of his earlier exploits in New York City during the mid-1970's, specifically touching on such old haunts as The Anvil, The Spike, The Mineshaft, and the previously-abandoned warehouse district near the Hudson River. Much to his dismay, none of the places he describes in his piece are characteristic of their former selves. He opines...

"Today, in part because of AIDS, very few of those popular gay cruising sites still exist. In our current desire to acquire civil rights equal to the straight community, we have chosen to assimilate and to clean up our act. When I recently explored some of my old haunts, I was amused. The Anvil is now a gentrified, chic restaurant, complete with white linen tablecloths and candles. The waterfront along the Hudson River has become the lovely, serene High Line public park."

Gay sex in the 70s 7According to him, "for over a decade after Stonewall, a gay man could have sex in New York almost anywhere, anytime, 24/7." As to whether or not that is still the case could certainly be the subject of debate. While gay cruising and hookup culture has almost certainly changed over the years, just because it is different doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't exist. One quick sweep of smartphone apps such as Grindr, Scruff, and GuySpy (just to name a few), or sites like Adam4Adam, Gay.net, or even Craigslist (again, just to name a few), and one could certainly find plenty of willing sexual partners at any time of day, in virtually any city in the country. Thus, perhaps the contemporary gay movement hasn't done away with its sexual nature entirely. Instead, technology has allowed for cruisers to browse potential partners in the comfort of their own home. 

Then again, minority groups have always had to endure a bit of watering down when entering into the American mainstream. Malcolm X continues to be a difficult subject to teach in schools, due to some of his more radical teachings. Very often, those teaching about Helen Keller will conveniently gloss over her Socialist past. Such "cleaning up" is, to a certain extent, necessary when grade school teachers have to start teaching their students about the LGBT rights movement (something that this native FLoridian never got the chance to learn about until college). Thus, it will be the duty of scholars like Schanke to keep the more sexual aspects of the gay rights legacy alive. 


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