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Larry Kramer Rails at Yale's 'Conspiracy of Silence' on Gay History

Gay activist and playwright Larry Kramer was invited back to Yale last week to receive the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the university's Gay and Lesbian Association.

Kramer Kramer used the opportunity to rail at Yale's "conspiracy of silence" on gay history, criticizing an endowment offered to the school by his brother to set up the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies because it was misdirected, he says, and used for gender theory and 'queer 'studies (Kramer despises the word "queer", calling it adolescent and demeaning). Kramer wishes the school taught more about gay people in history and talks a bit about his new book, The American People.

Here's an excerpt of Kramer's speech:

Here are some of the things that I have uncovered about our history in writing my new book, The American People:

That Jamestown was America’s first community of homosexuals, men who came to not only live with each other as partners but to adopt and raise children bought from the Indians. Some even arranged wedding ceremonies for themselves.

That George Washington was gay, and that his relationships with Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette were homosexual. And that his feelings for Hamilton led to a government and a country that became Hamiltonian rather than Jeffersonian.

That Meriwether Lewis was in love with William Clark and committed suicide when their historic journey was over and he wouldn’t see Clark anymore.

That Abraham Lincoln was gay and had many, many gay interactions, that his nervous breakdown occurred when he and his lover, Joshua Speed, were forced to part, and that his sensitivity to the slaves came from his firsthand knowledge of what it meant to be so very different. And that the possibility exists that Lincoln was murdered because he was gay and John Wilkes Booth, who was gay, knew this.

That Franklin Pierce, who became one of America’s worst presidents, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who became one of our greatest writers, as roommates at Bowdoin College had interactions that changed them both forever and, indeed, served as the wellspring for what Hawthorne came to write about. Pierce was gay. And Hawthorne? Herman Melville certainly wanted him to be.

That most of the great actresses who endlessly toured America during the 19th century bringing theater to the masses were lesbians and occasionally dressed as men. Just like Katherine Hepburn.

That the plague of AIDS was allowed to happen because much of the world hates us and most of the world knows nothing about us. They don’t know we are related to Washington and Lincoln.

I needed no queer theories, no gender studies, to figure all this out.

Why can’t we accept that homosexuality has been pretty much the same since the beginning of human history, whether it was called homosexuality, sodomy, buggery, hushmarkedry, or hundreds of other things, or had no name at all? What we do now they pretty much did then. Period. Men have always had cocks and men have pretty much always known what to do with them. It is just stupidity and elite presumption of the highest and most preposterous order to theorize, in these regards, that then was different from now.

Read the full speech at The Daily Beast.

(image david shankbone)


News: Volcano, Wales, Baker's Dozen, Tampa, Sam Adams, Zombies

road.jpg Obama: Wall Street bonuses "shameful."

Redoubtroad.jpg Scientists: Alaskan volcano eruption imminent.

road.jpg This is the height of irresponsibility.

road.jpg Police raise rainbow flag in Wales: "Sexuality is a highly emotive and personal matter and I have great respect for those involved with The Gay Police Association who, over the years, have worked selflessly to promote equality within our organisation. I am immensely proud to support our gay officers and staff and I hope that this event sends out a clear message as we continue to strive for inclusivity and equality."

road.jpg Prince Harry look-alike says he's getting too much attention.

Radclifferoad.jpg Sardi's needs a new artist: Portrait looks nothing like Daniel Radcliffe.

road.jpg University of Tampa to provide benefits to same-sex couples: "This comes just a week after Hillsborough County refused to even discuss the issue in a 5-2 vote. The Minaret Online cites an email sent to faculty and staff explaining that the same sex domestic partnership benefits will begin April 1st. The benefits do not extend to heterosexual domestic partnerships because they are legally able to marry in Florida."

road.jpg You may remember the Yale Baker's Dozen New Years Eve San Francisco bashing case. It has finally been settled: "[Sharyar] Aziz said Thursday his civil suit case was settled against his personal attackers, Richard, Michael and James Aicardi. Brian Dwyer, the fourth man originally named in the civil suit, was dropped from the case earlier due to contradictory accounts of the attack. 'I am happy we can all move on,' Aziz said in a telephone interview."

road.jpg Road sign hacked to warn drivers of zombies ahead.

Mendez_2road.jpg Close-up: Ian Thorpe's Brazilian housemate.

road.jpg LGBT paper in San Diego calls on Portland's Mayor Sam Adams to quit.

road.jpg Former SF Mayor Willie Brown representing two 24 Hour Fitness employees who claim the company retaliated after they complained about racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks at work: "Brown and Renne are part of a legal team representing Paul Drobot and Reginald Allison, two managerial employees who complained about instances of discrimination in hiring on the basis of race, as well as frequent racist, sexist and homophobic comments. In August 2006, the two employees filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about alleged discriminatory practices dating back to 2003. According to those charges, management within the company not only refused to address the inappropriate behavior, but eventually retaliated against the employees for having complained. 'When these two reported to their immediate supervisor about actions not in keeping with the employee manual, what happened? They got squashed. They got demoted and eventually terminated,' Renne said."

Cratersroad.jpg NASA peers into Moon's shadowed craters.

road.jpg Film Experience takes a look at the GLAAD awards.

road.jpg SPOILERS: If you're interested in knowing who on American Idol made it through Hollywood week (which hasn't aired yet), the list is here.

road.jpg A new trio of Beckham Armani shots.

road.jpg Clergy at Cleveland Ohio's Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ refuse to sign licenses until all can marry: "Heterosexual couples exchanging wedding vows at the church will need an additional civil ceremony by a justice of the peace or a judge to make their union legal. The move was approved by an overwhelming voice vote during a congregational meeting last weekend. Head pastor Rev. John Tamilio III calls it a civil-rights protest."


News: Courtney Love, Provincetown, Mario Lopez, Woodpecker

road.jpg Archbishop Desmond Tutu honored by International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in San Francisco. Tutu: "How sad, how tragic, that the Church be so concerned with this issue when God’s children all the world over are suffering. I ask for your forgiveness for the way the Church has ostracized you."

Arbusroad.jpg Sotheby's photography auction off to strong start.

road.jpg Is Courtney Love rehearsing for a Valley of the Dolls remake?

road.jpg The artist known as Prince has joined the line-up for this year's Coachella Music Festival.

road.jpg More on the gay Yale impostor!

road.jpg Anti-gay Christian group in Maine launches referendum aimed at banning same-sex marriage and gay adoption: "The referendum also would eliminate sexual orientation as a protected class under the Maine Human Rights Act and would take away funding that supports civil rights teams affiliated with the state Attorney General’s Office. Michael Heath, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, said that if the Secretary of State’s Office approves his petition, he’ll begin recruiting organizers to gather signatures. Putting a referendum on the state ballot requires about 55,000 signatures, or 10 percent of the turnout for the last gubernatorial election."

Strabaneroad.jpg First gay bar outside of Ireland's major cities opens in Strabane, Northern Ireland. Rainbow Project leader: "What the opening of this bar is saying is that, yes, our small towns have a gay community too and they are welcome and they are valued. I have been a gay rights activist for 25 years and when I started out, gay people were moving away in their droves because they were deemed socially unacceptable. But now we have this development and it is one of the biggest steps I've seen for the gay community. What it is saying to us is stay, there is something here for you."

road.jpg Hey bird lovers: woodpecker with freakishly large beak photographed.

road.jpg Rosie O'Donnell fighting tabloid claim that she abuses her kids.

Desmoinesroad.jpg Gay domestic abuse survivor Pedro Velazquez Fernandez to speak at rally in Des Moines, Iowa: "I feel like when I'm getting to know somebody, I can't trust him. I hate to say it, but I think ... love doesn't exist."

road.jpg New York magazine has 21 questions for Simon Doonan.

road.jpg Singapore cable operator fined for showing lesbian kiss: "Singapore's Media Development Authority, which regulates and censors media and the arts, said on Wednesday it fined StarHub S$10,000 ($7,246) for airing a commercial for a song that featured 'romanticised scenes' of lesbians kissing and portrayed the relationship as 'acceptable'. The music video of the song, titled 'Silly Child' by Mandarin singer Olivia Yan, shows an intimate kissing scene before one of the women rejects her boyfriend at the end of the clip. 'This is in breach of the TV advertising guidelines, which disallows advertisements that condone homosexuality,' the media authority said."

road.jpg New ferry route launches between Gloucester, Massachusetts and Provincetown.

Marioroad.jpg Mario Lopez about to hit the Broadway stage in A Chorus Line.

road.jpg Gavin Newsom punks protestors with seismic bait-and-switch at San Francisco Olympic torch procession: "'I am very upset,' said Rosie Salis, 51, who came in from Foster City to see the relay. 'There were lots of people here with their kids. They had to wait for four or five hours, and it's very disappointing.' Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, a vocal critic of Newsom's administration, was equally unhappy, as was the local ACLU chapter. 'Gavin Newsom runs San Francisco the way the premier of China runs his country - secrecy, lies, misinformation, lack of transparency and manipulating the populace,' Peskin said. 'He did it so China can report they had a great torch run.' Newsom emphatically denied those accusations. 'We felt it was in everyone's best interest that we augment the route,' Newsom said. 'I believe people were afforded the right to protest and support the torch. You saw that in the streets. They were not denied the ability to protest.'"

road.jpg Was the universe that came before our own its identical twin?

road.jpg Parents in Eau Claire, Wisconsin upset that a teacher told five health classes that she's gay: "At least one parent said Rowe had no business talking about her sexual preference. The parent agreed that Rowe is an outstanding teacher, but she should stick to the curriculum."

road.jpg Poll shows Clinton-Obama "dream ticket" beaten by McCain-Rice ticket in New York state: "According to the poll, McCain/Condi would earn the votes of 49% of registered voters in New York State compared with 46% for a Clinton/Obama ticket, and the same 49% against an underwhelming 44% for an Obama/Clinton ticket."


Oliver Stone's Bush Flick: Fade in on Turdblossom, Frat Hazing

W1

CharactersThe Hollywood Reporter has published the opening scenes to Oliver Stone's W flick which you can read above, and AFTER THE JUMP.

As we fade in, a couple of speechwriters as well as Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rice's assistant Stephen Hadley, and Karl Rove attempt to come up with the "Axis of Evil" moniker. The scene then shifts to Bush at a drunken frat party at Yale.

Says the Reporter: "According to four Bush scholars who read a draft of the script, the tale has elements that are unquestionably accurate (like when George Jr. comes home drunk and nearly gets into a fistfight with his father) and elements that are just plain made-up (like when the president and his advisers discuss high-level policy in a casual, even frat-house, sort of manner)."

No doubt. But with lines like "Don't get cute, Turdblossom," I can't wait to see it.

Josh Brolin as Elizabeth Banks have been cast as the first couple. Check out pages two and three of the script, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Oliver Stone's Bush Flick: Fade in on Turdblossom, Frat Hazing" »


Man Who Faked His Way into Yale Outed by Gay Lover

Akash Maharaj, a Trinidad and Tobago native who last spring transferred to Yale's Morse College Class of 2008, reportedly duped his way into Yale University after forging a Columbia transcript and then scammed the university out of thousands of dollars in financial aid. The ruse was discovered after his boyfriend, another Yale student whom he had threatened, reported him.

MaharajThe New York Post reports: "Maharaj, 26, had been enjoying spring semester 2007 at Yale - even copping a prestigious literature prize there - after lying on his admissions application, according to the Yale Daily News and the school. Maharaj allegedly told of being a straight-A student from Columbia and waved a bogus letter of recommendation from one of Yale's own profs. But the alleged scheme came tumbling down last June, when his Yalie lover filed a harassment complaint against him. The beau said Maharaj had threatened to kill him when he tried to get the unstable student admitted into a Manhattan psych ward."

The boyfriend has not been named.

MorsecollegeThe Yale Daily News reports: "After allegedly defrauding Yale’s admissions office, the student received $46,789 — by the Yale General Counsel Office’s calculation — in scholarships that he would not have obtained 'had it been known that he provided false and misleading information during the admission application process,' according to an affidavit signed by Yale Police Department Detective Thomas Mullen, who declined to comment for this article, in the Connecticut Superior Court in New Haven. That figure includes $31,750 in Yale financial aid, as well as $7,400 in federal scholarships, $6,739 in federal loans and $900 from a federal work-study program."

According to the YDN, "Last June, according to the document, the YPD was called to the Asian American Cultural Center, where the suspect’s ex-boyfriend told officers that the suspect had threatened to kill him. The ex-boyfriend, who still attends Yale, had broken up with the suspect after discovering that he had lied to him about his age 'and other issues relating to his identity,' the affidavit says. The suspect allegedly responded by threatening to kill himself, and the boyfriend took him to a New York City hospital. The suspect then allegedly threatened his ex-boyfriend, who filed a complaint with the YPD. He was then admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital for psychiatric evaluation at the YPD’s request, according to the affidavit. The ex-boyfriend, who did not respond to numerous messages left on his cell phone seeking comment, tipped off Associate Dean of Yale College Rosalinda Garcia, the director of the Latino Cultural Center, about apparent inconsistencies related to the suspect’s identity, the affidavit says. That prompted an internal investigation that uncovered extensive discrepancies in his application to Yale."

Maharaj is reportedly living in Brooklyn and is expected at a court date next month in New Haven. According to affadavits he has applied for "accelerated rehabilitation," a program which allows first time offenders to have the charges dismissed if it's determined that the offense isn't serious or likely to be repeated. If that motion is rejected, the case would go to trial.

Student arrested for defrauding Yale [yale daily news]
Ex-Student Duped Yale [hartford courant]
SKEEVY IVY 'SCAMMER' [ny post]


News: John Krasinski, Lobsters, Bavarian King, John Barrowman

road.jpg Former employee of Goodyear wins $4.4 million in sexual orientation harassment lawsuit: "According to the suit, Sheffield neither hid nor flaunted her sexual orientation until her former manager encouraged her to bring her partner to an annual company dinner, where she received an 'adverse reaction' from another store manager, In 2003, her former boss was replaced by a new district manager, defendant Randy Reich, and a new service manager, David Johnson, was assigned to the store, the suit claims. Johnson 'immediately let it be known ... that he knew Sheffield was gay and did not like gays,' the suit claims. When Sheffield learned that Johnson carried a gun to work she confronted him about it and he confirmed it and threatened to pull it out and to urinate on her, she claimed in the suit."

Iggyroad.jpg Iggy, the dog Ellen DeGeneres cast off to much publicity, is about to bark off in a new PSA to bring awareness to the importance of pet adoption.

road.jpg Yale University Dramatic Association targeted by homophobic graffiti: "At approximately 1:30 a.m. last Wednesday morning, a group of undergraduates involved in the Yale Dramatic Association found the words “drama fags” on the wall, located near the York Street side of the theater. 'It’s unacceptable,' Drama School Dean James Bundy said. 'It is deeply disturbing. I hope we find out who did it and I hope we can do everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.' Bundy said he was unaware of the incident before he was informed by the News on Sunday. Although most of the spray paint has been removed from the building, traces of the words are still visible five days later."

Lobsterroad.jpg Next time you decide to broil that crustacean alive, you might want to think about whether or not you're causing it pain. The debate continues...

road.jpg Australian gay activist dumped from Labor Party after physically intimidating the wife of the Environment Minister: "Mr Burns later described Mrs Turnbull in an email to Mr Turnbull as a 'fag hag impersonator of a wife' and condemning the minister as 'a weak and pathetic excuse for a human being'. The tirade came as the battle for the gay vote heats up in Mr Turnbull's Sydney seat of Wentworth, where Labor's candidate George Newhouse is polling strongly."

road.jpg North Carolina Baptists set to expel church that welcomes gay people: "If all goes as expected, the 4,000-plus attendees at the Baptist State Convention will vote Tuesday morning to cast out Myers Park Baptist -- but only after short speeches from two of the church's leaders. One -- Nancy Walker, secretary to the church's board of deacons -- is a lesbian."

road.jpg Some NSFW preview news on the upcoming season of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.

Krasinskiroad.jpg John Krasinski shoots some retro hoops for Men's Health.

road.jpg New evidence surfaces suggesting "gay, wildly eccentric" King Ludwig II of Bavaria was murdered: "The real cause of King Ludwig's death has been a mystery ever since his body, together with that of his psychiatrist, was dragged from Lake Starnberg on 13 June, 1886. But the official version, which holds that he committed suicide by drowning, has never been completely refuted. Now, 111 years after the king's death, new evidence has surfaced which suggests that the builder of Neuschwanstein castle and many other bizarrely romantic architectural follies was murdered. The details are convincing enough to increase calls for the House of Wittelsbach, King Ludwig's family, to allow his body to be exhumed from its tomb in St Michael's Church in Munich to enable a new and conclusive post-mortem examination to be conducted."

road.jpg Congratulations to Joe.My.God for winning the Best LGBT Blog at the 2007 Weblog Awards.

road.jpg Queerty pays a video visit to the OUT 100 celebration.

road.jpg POETRY: Is Pakistan's educational curriculum the target of a plant by the Bush administration? "In December 2005, a Pakistani youth discovered that the first letter of each line of a poem in his English primer spelled out the name of "P-R-E-S-I-D-E-N-T G-E-O-R-G-E B-U-S-H." The anonymous poem -- called "The Leader" -- listed the qualities of a great statesman in a series of painfully stiff rhyming couplets."

road.jpg AfterElton takes a critical listen of a new musical offering from openly gay actor John Barrowman: "...most fans of the openly gay Torchwood and Doctor Who actor are likely to be aware that he has a background in musical theater, having appeared in shows from Anything Goes to Sunset Boulevard in London’s West End. The new album, a set of covers which put an easy-listening spin on classic pop, soft rock, and yes, musical theater numbers might therefore seem to be displaying a fairly recognizable side of Barrowman, as opposed to, say, an album full of heavy-metal music.


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