Posted December 28th, 2010 by outerlimits
In case you thought I was referring to a coveted Pink Award, the title is just a pun on the year’s end! Hope the rest won’t disappoint, however, as I want to firm up a few highlights of 2010.
Let me start with the recent news that the US Senate has finally given approval for openly gay men and women to serve in the military ( something the UK allowed ten years ago) - another small but significant step for gay rights, even if it’s for the wrong reasons. One elderly Senator spoke of a gay soldier he knew, saying: “He’s big, and he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys”, as if that was the test of all gay people had to offer.
Nearer home, as a former student of the London School of Economics, I’m reminded of this year being the 40th anniversary of the first gathering of the Gay Liberation Front there on 13 October, 1970. It was also the year we wore badges declaring, Gay Is Good, an echo of black being beautiful, which was bright, bold, and concise. There have been many reasons this year why I think that slogan holds good. Read the rest of this entry
Posted March 1st, 2010 by 1stofficer
In 1966 John Lennon unleashed the fury of evangelical groups for saying The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”. Elton John achieved the same result without egotism recently when, being interviewed by American magazine Parade he made a remark that he didn’t think would be published ( relating to the persecution of lesbians in the Middle East): “I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems”. There has been a steady movement for decades among gay Christians towards claiming Jesus as one of their own, of which Elton’s now much-publicised statement is the latest manifestation.
Sir Elton John, globe-bestriding star, singer and composer, firmly established as the gay lord of the music world’s dance, enjoys a model civil partnership with David Furnish, and will long be remembered for his expression of the nation’s deep emotion at the loss of Lady Diana. His immense fundraising efforts for AIDS causes stretching from the early case of Ryan White to his tribute to Wyoming gay murder victim Matthew Shepard, “strung on a high-ridge fence”, evidence his own compassionate nature.
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Posted February 15th, 2010 by 1stofficer
Lee Alexander McQueen
Lee Alexander McQueen, aged only 40 and found dead by his own hand on the eve of his idolized mother’s funeral, was a gay fashion designer of undisputed genius. He combined Savile Row craftsmanship with rare imaginative style, from rippling visions of Kate Moss to the intersexual video posturings of Lady Gaga. His last act inevitably stirs memories of the shooting of Gianni Versace in 1997. Self-described as the “pink sheep” of his Lewisham-born family, McQueen was always confidently out and gay, as reflected in his bizarre and spectacular shows. It is significant though that he once compared his creations to armour, giving protection to the wearer, hinting at an inner vulnerability which had its own unerring cut and motif. Read the rest of this entry
Posted January 3rd, 2010 by 1stofficer
The screening of John Hurt’s adept portrayal of Quentin Crisp (1908-1999) as An Englishman In New York over Christmas has prompted a brusque response from Peter Tatchell in The Independent. While praising Hurt’s uncanny ability to reprise his role in The Naked Civil Servant, which depicted Crisp’s youthful bravery and flamboyant one-man crusade to be himself in the face of outright hostility, Tatchell says Quentin Crisp latterly expressed contempt for homosexuality, gay rights, and jealousy of a burgeoning gay movement that denied him his former place as the most outrageous queen on the block.
So what’s the truth about this man born in Surrey as Denis Pratt, who, after conquering Manhattan and expressing his ambition to meet everyone in the world, died back in the England he once so hated, on the eve of embarking on a sell-out speaking tour a month short of his 91st birthday? Read the rest of this entry
Posted November 13th, 2009 by 1stofficer
Gay marriage, or straight civil partnership?
There has been a very interesting development with civil partnerships.
A STRAIGHT couple have decided they would like a civil partnership, instead of getting married! What’s more, they’ve got the balls to do something about it.
The heterosexual couple - Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle - are going to file an application to have a civil partnership at Islington Register Office.
“We don’t like the institution of marriage. We would much prefer a civil partnership. It is time there was legal equality in both civil marriage and civil partnerships,” said Mr Freeman and Ms Doyle.”
They say that the denial of civil partnerships to straight couples is
“discriminatory and perpetuates legal inequality.”
Peter Tatchell, of human rights group Outrage!, supports the couple, and will be accompanying them when they give notice at Islington Town Hall on 24 November 2009 at 10.30am. Read the rest of this entry