Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
In its third annual Network Responsibility Index, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found that of HBO's 14 original prime-time series, 10 included content reflecting the lives of gay, bisexual and transgender people. That totaled 42 percent of the network's programming hours, in series such as "True Blood," "Entourage" and "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."
By contrast, on NBC and CBS only 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of prime-time hours included them, the report said.
For the report, GLAAD reviewed all prime-time programming — totaling 4,901 hours — for inclusion of such characters or issues on the five major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW) from June 1, 2008, to May 31, 2009. The study also examined all original prime-time programming — 1,213 hours — on 10 prominent cable networks. The programming included dramas, comedies, unscripted fare and newsmagazines.
Cable's Showtime ranked second, with 26 percent of its programming hours featuring gay characters or themes. Series included "The L Word," "Weeds" and "The United States of Tara," a new comedy about a family whose teenage son is gay.
ABC got the highest ranking of the five broadcast networks, with 24 percent. It was the second year in a row that ABC led the broadcasters.
Among ABC series, the report cited newlyweds Kevin and Scotty on "Brothers & Sisters," the engagement of Andrew to Dr. Alex Cominis on "Desperate Housewives" and bisexual Dr. Callie Torres on "Grey's Anatomy."
The CW logged 20 percent, and the Fox network 11 percent, the report said.
Among the sampling of cable networks evaluated, TNT showed the largest growth, jumping to 19 percent last season from 1 percent the year before. This was largely thanks to its new drama series, "Raising the Bar," which features gay law clerk Charlie Sagansky as a regular character, GLAAD said.
"Television shows that weave our stories into the fabric of the series present richer, more diverse representations," said Rashad Robinson, GLAAD's senior director of media programs.
In September, GLAAD will release its annual report evaluating gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion, and other diversity, among scripted characters scheduled to appear during the 2009-10 season. Monday's report said TV characters in general are predominantly white, regardless of sexual orientation.
Friday, July 24, 2009
By JOSH L. DICKEY, AP Entertainment Writer Josh L. Dickey, Ap Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES – E. Lynn Harris, a pioneer of gay black fiction and a literary entrepreneur who rose from self-publishing to best-selling status, has died, his publicist said Friday. He was 54.
Publicist Laura Gilmore said Harris died Thursday night after being stricken at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, and a cause of death had not been determined. She said Harris, who lived in Atlanta, fell ill on a train to Los Angeles a few days ago and blacked out for a few minutes, but seemed fine after that.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said only that a man matching Harris' name and date of birth had died Thursday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which was confirmed by hospital spokeswoman Simi Singer. Gilmore said an autopsy would be performed Monday or Tuesday.
An improbable and inspirational success story, Harris worked for a decade as an IBM executive before taking up writing, selling the novel "Invisible Life" from his car as he visited salons and beauty parlors around Atlanta. He had unprecedented success for an openly gay black author and his strength as a romance writer led some to call him the "male Terry McMillan."
He went on to mainstream success with works such as the novel "Love of My Own" and the memoir "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted."
His writing fell into several genres, including gay and lesbian fiction, African American fiction and urban fiction. But he found success in showing readers a new side of African American life: the secret world of professional, bisexual black men living as heterosexuals.
"He was a pioneering voice within the black LGBT community but also resonated with mainstream communities, regardless of race and sexual orientation," said Herndon Davis, a gay advocate and a diversity media consultant in Los Angeles. "Harris painted with eloquent prose and revealing accuracy the lives of African American men and the many complicated struggles they faced reconciling their sexuality and spirituality while rising above societal taboos within the black community."
Harris published 11 novels, 10 of which were on The New York Times best-seller list. There are over 4 million copies of his books in print, according to his publisher, Doubleday.
"We at Doubleday are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of E. Lynn Harris' death at too young an age," said Doubleday spokeswoman Alison Rich, his longtime publicist. "His pioneering novels and powerful memoir about the black gay experience touched and inspired millions of lives, and he was a gifted storyteller whose books brought delight and encouragement to readers everywhere."
In an interview last year, Harris recalled the first time he realized he was poor, when as a young boy his family was invited to the housewarming of a well-to-do family in his hometown of Fayetteville, Ark. Fresh from an afternoon of playing outside, he tried desperately to tuck his bare, dusty feet underneath the sofa after another guest remarked on his appearance.
"I didn't grow up in the kind of environment that my characters grew up in, or the kind of environment that I live in now," he said. "It was one of the things that I always aspired to."
His 1994 debut, "Invisible Life," was a coming-of-age story that dealt with the then-taboo topic.
"If you were African American and you were gay, you kept your mouth shut and you went on and did what everybody else did," he said. "You had girlfriends, you lived a life that your parents had dreamed for you."
Harris was not living as an openly gay man when "Invisible Life" was published, and could not acknowledge the parallels between himself and the book.
"People would often ask, 'Is this book about you?' I didn't want to talk about that," he said. "I wasn't comfortable talking about it. I would say that this is a work of fiction."
Harris said that the courage readers got from the book empowered him to be honest about himself. He continued to tell stories dealing with similar issues, to tell black middle class readers about people they knew, but who were living secret lives.
For years, he was alone in exposing the "down low," but the phenomenon exploded into mainstream culture in 2004, a decade after "Invisible Life." That year, J.L. King's "On the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of 'Straight' Black Men Who Sleep With Men" hit bookstores and the author appeared on Oprah Winfrey's TV show.
His 10th novel, "Just Too Good to Be True," focused for the first time on a straight relationship, telling the story of a 21-year-old football star, his mother, and his cheerleader love interest. Harris taught writing classes at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas, and leaned on his students there to gather material for the book.
The last book Harris published, "Basketball Jones," focused on a hidden relationship between a successful business professional in New Orleans and an NBA star.
Janis F. Kearney met Harris when the two were among a handful of black journalism students at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The two became fast friends and their relationship deepened as they both evolved into authors. Kearney, who now lives in Little Rock, Ark., recalled Harris' huge heart.
"I've seen him help so many people," Kearney said. "He was very open, very giving, very caring, someone you felt so fortunate to have in your life. He's just one of those people I'll never stop missing."
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Taleon Goffney, who appeared with his brother in such gay skin flicks as “Marc and the Twins,” was arrested last year after police said they saw the twins breaking into a beauty shop.
He pleaded guilty to two counts each of burglary and criminal conspiracy and was sentenced to three to eight years. Charges including criminal trespass, receiving stolen property and possession of an instrument of crime were dropped in exchange for his pleas.
Goffney, 27, could have faced up to 40 years in prison if convicted after trial.
“Thank you for your lenience in accepting my plea,” Goffney, of Pennsauken, N.J., told a judge in court Wednesday. “These crimes won’t be happening again.”
Goffney’s twin brother, Keyontyli Goffney, also is charged and appeared at Wednesday’s hearing, but it was unclear if he planned to negotiate a plea. He’s due back in court Aug. 6. Neither his lawyer, Gerald Stein, nor Assistant District Attorney Caroline Keating immediately returned telephone calls from The Associated Press on Thursday.
Keating told the Philadelphia Daily News that Taleon Goffney is sure to serve at least the minimum three years due to his prior criminal record. Goffney’s lawyer, Michael F. Gushue, told the newspaper that his client plans to complete his college education while in prison.
“I think he’s had an epiphany,” Gushue said. “He’s a bright young man.”
The brothers have appeared in Internet porn videos under the names Teyon and Keyon, said Erik Schut, of Philadelphia-based video retailer TLA Entertainment Group. They could have had good careers if they hadn’t gotten into trouble, he said in February.
“They are incredibly good-looking, and being identical twins, it’s a novelty,” Schut said then.
In “Marc and the Twins,” the brothers offer to audition for chiseled porn star Marc Williams in a seedy hotel room and are seen rubbing each other’s chests.
Keyontyli Goffney has appeared in porn since at least 2002 and worked as a fashion model, while Taleon Goffney got involved in porn more recently.
Taleon Goffney, who police believe is a trained gymnast and karate expert, has used his athleticism to make several daring escapes.
He was handcuffed in the back of a moving police cruiser after a 2006 drug arrest in Clementon, N.J., when he broke out the glass with his head and jumped into a lake while still handcuffed, police Chief Dave Kunkel said.
“He swam across like Flipper, taunting the officers, saying, ‘You’ll never catch me,’” Kunkel told the Daily News for a story in February.
He turned himself in a week later.
In January 2007, he jumped 30 feet from the roof of a Camden, N.J., liquor store and swam across the frigid Cooper River before he was caught, police said.
A defense lawyer, Jeffrey Zucker, said Goffney “should have signed up for the Olympics” and referred to him as Spider-Man.
(Kingston, Jamaica) Even now, about three years after a near-fatal gay bashing, Sherman gets jittery at dusk. On bad days, his blood quickens, his eyes dart, and he seeks refuge indoors.
A group of men kicked him and slashed him with knives for being a “batty boy” - a slang term for gay men - after he left a party before dawn in October 2006. They sliced his throat, torso, and back, hissed anti-gay epithets, and left him for dead on a Kingston corner.
“It gets like five, six o’clock, my heart begins to race. I just need to go home, I start to get nervous,” said the 36-year-old outside the secret office of Jamaica’s sole gay rights group. Like many other gays, Sherman won’t give his full name for fear of retribution.
Despite the easygoing image propagated by tourist boards, gays and their advocates agree that Jamaica is by far the most hostile island toward homosexuals in the already conservative Caribbean. They say gays, especially those in poor communities, suffer frequent abuse. But they have little recourse because of rampant anti-gay stigma and a sodomy law banning sex between men in Jamaica and 10 other former British colonies in the Caribbean.
It is impossible to say just how common gay bashing attacks like the one against Sherman are in Jamaica - their tormentors are sometimes the police themselves. But many homosexuals in Jamaica say homophobia is pervasive across the sun-soaked island, from the pulpit to the floor of the Parliament.
Hostility toward gays has reached such a level that four months ago, gay advocates in New York City launched a short-lived boycott against Jamaica at the site of the Stonewall Inn, where demonstrations launched the gay-rights movement in 1969. In its 2008 report, the U.S. State Department also notes that gays have faced death and arson threats, and are hesitant to report incidents against them because of fear.
For gays, the reality of this enduring hostility is loneliness and fear, and sometimes even murder.
Andrew, a 36-year-old volunteer for an AIDS education program, said he was driven from the island after his ex-lover was killed for being gay - which police said was just a robbery gone wrong. He moved to the U.K. for several years, but returned to Jamaica in 2008 for personal reasons he declined to disclose.
“I’m living in fear on a day-to-day basis,” he said softly during a recent interview in Kingston. “In the community where my ex-lover was killed, people will say to me when I’m passing on the street, they will make remarks like ‘boom-boom-boom’ or ‘batty boy fi dead.’ I don’t feel free walking on the streets.”
Many in this highly Christian nation perceive homosexuality as a sin, and insist violence against gays is blown out of proportion by gay activists. Some say Jamaica tolerates homosexuality as long as it is not advertised - a tropical version of former President Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the U.S. military.
Jamaica’s most prominent evangelical pastor, Bishop Herro Blair, said he sympathizes with those who face intolerance, but that homosexuals themselves are actually behind most of the attacks reported against them.
“Among themselves, homosexuals are extremely jealous,” said Blair during a recent interview. “But some of them do cause a reaction by their own behaviors, for, in many people’s opinions, homosexuality is distasteful.”
Other church leaders have accused gays of flaunting their behavior to “recruit” youngsters, or called for them to undergo “redemptive work” to break free of their sexual orientation.
Perhaps playing to anti-gay constituents, politicians routinely rail against homosexuals. During a parliamentary session in February, lawmaker Ernest Smith of the ruling Jamaica Labor Party stressed that gays were “brazen,” “abusive,” and “violent,” and expressed anxiety that the police force was “overrun by homosexuals.”
A few weeks later, Prime Minister Bruce Golding described gay advocates as “perhaps the most organized lobby in the world” and vowed to keep Jamaica’s “buggery law” - punishable by 10 years - on the books. During a BBC interview last year, Golding vowed to never allow gays in his Cabinet.
The dread of homosexuality is so all-encompassing that many Jamaican men refuse to get digital rectal examinations for prostate cancer, even those whose disease is advanced, said Dr. Trevor Tulloch of St. Andrews Hospital.
“Because it is a homophobic society, there’s such a fear of the sexual implications of having the exam that men won’t seek out help,” said Tulloch, adding Jamaica has a soaring rate of prostate cancer because men won’t be screened.
The anti-gay sentiment on this island of 2.8 million has perhaps become best known through Jamaican “dancehall,” a rap-reggae music hybrid that often has raunchy, violent themes. Some reggae rappers, including Bounty Killer and Elephant Man, depend on gay-bashing songs to rouse concert-goers.
“It stirs up the crowd to a degree that many performers feel they have to come up with an anti-gay song to incite the audience,” said Barry Chevannes, a professor of social anthropology at the University of the West Indies.
Brooklyn-based writer Staceyann Chin, a lesbian who fled her Caribbean homeland for New York more than a decade ago, stressed that violence in Jamaica is high - there were 1,611 killings last year, about 10 times more than the U.S. rate relative to population - but that it is “extraordinarily” high against gays.
“The macho ideal is celebrated, praised in Jamaica, while homosexuality is paralleled with pedophilia, rapists,” Chin said. “Markers that other people perceive as gay - they walk a certain way, wear tight pants, or are overly friendly with a male friend - make them targets. It’s a little pressure cooker waiting to pop.”
In 1996, when she was 20, Chin came out as lesbian on the Kingston UWI campus. She said she was ostracized by her peers, and one day was herded into a campus bathroom by a group of male students, who ripped off her clothes and sexually assaulted her.
“They told me what God wanted from me, that God made women to enjoy sex with men,” recalled Chin, a poet, performer and lecturer who closes her just-published memoir “The Other Side of Paradise” with her searing account of the attack.
Even in New York City, anti-gay Jamaican bigots sent her hate-filled e-mails after a 2007 appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s TV talk show to discuss homosexuality.
Chin said she doesn’t know if she would have the courage to come out now as a lesbian in Jamaica.
“The tensions are higher now. People are feeling very much that they have to declare camps,” she said.
Jamaican nationalism has always been tied in deeply with bugbears about masculinity, making for a “potent brew” where those who violate accepted standards of manliness are easy targets, said Scott Long of Human Rights Watch.
Long, head of a gay rights program at the New York-based group, pointed out that most other English-speaking islands in the region have tiny populations, where gays don’t come out and visible activism is limited.
“(But) what stands out about Jamaica is how absolutely, head-in-the-sand unwilling the authorities have been for years to acknowledge or address homophobic violence,” he said. “Most notably, three successive governments have completely, utterly, publicly refused even to talk about changing the buggery law - which expressly consigns gay people to second-class citizens and paints targets on their backs.”
Prominent Jamaican political activist Yvonne McCalla Sobers noted that social standing still protects gay islanders, especially in Kingston, where a quest for privacy and the fear of crime has driven many to live behind gated walls with key pad entry systems, 24-hour security and closed-circuit television monitoring. People with power and money who are not obviously gay are often protected, she said.
“My thought is there are far more men having sex with men in this country than you would ever think is happening,” Sobers said.
Many gays from poorer areas in Jamaica say they congregate in private to find safety and companionship. Once a month, they have underground church services at revolving locations across the island.
Sherman, meanwhile, is simply trying to move on with his life. But he said he will always remember how, after his attack, patrolmen roughly lifted his bloodied body out of their squad car when a man admonished them for aiding a “batty boy.” A woman shamed them into driving him to a hospital; they stuffed him in the car’s trunk.
“Being gay in Jamaica, it’s like, don’t tell anybody. Just keep it to yourself,” he said evenly, with a half smile.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
A public attack on children is never right, no matter your disagreement with their parents. This goes for the Palin family as well as the Obama. (Also see racist republican facebook posting)
Do all white families know or care how much pain this kind of racism causes children, and how much anguish their parents feel for their young ones? Do they care?
This is from to Leonora Epstein in theThe Frisky: "But it would seem that Malia’s wardrobe choice wasn’t so informed so much by style, but rather political agenda, because the 11-year-old wore a peace sign shirt on two different occasions. (Props for fearlessly repeating styles.)
Unfortunately, some saw Malia’s shirt as an opportunity to vent hate, and in some cases, extreme racism.
After the photo was posted on a conservative blog called “Free Republic,” commenters went wild: “A typical street whore.” “A bunch of ghetto thugs.” “Ghetto street trash.” “Wonder when she will get her first abortion.” These hateful accusations appear to be the completely random, wild rantings of people with some serious amounts of pent-up rage. "
What is going on in the mind of someone to read all of that into what an eleven year old girl chooses to wear. She is an American girl, she has the right to wear whatever she wants. The implosion of the Republican party is increasing at a disarming rate.
Apparently the sign before the hippies took it over was the sign for nuclear disarmament. And, who would be for that? If you believe them an eleven year old has no business advocating such things. She is not even supposed to know about such things at her age. Shame on Malia for being so smart. Wonder if she gets it from her father.
The horrible reality is so many feel comfortable venting sheer hatred against "colored" people no matter what their age or status. I suppose you could call that some sort of equality. But, not one that any sane person would want.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
According to Human Rights Watch, at least 140,000 inmates are raped in the US each year, and there is a significant variation in the rates of prison rape by race. Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc. statistics indicate that there are more men raped in U.S. prisons than non-incarcerated women similarly assaulted.
According to the study conducted by the United States Department of Justice for the year 2006, there were 2,205 allegations of inmate-on-inmate nonconsensual sexual acts reported, total, in the U.S. prison system. 262 of the allegations were substantiated.
The late Beat It singer's unofficial biographer Ian Halperin claims to have spoken to two of the star's male lovers, including an actor named only as Lawrence.
Lawrence told the author: "He was very shy. But when he started to have sex, he was insatiable."
According to Halperin - who makes the allegations in his book 'Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson' - "virtually everyone" around the singer knew he was gay and he used to meet lovers in a run-down motel dressed as a woman.
One alleged lover said: "The very first time he had sex with me he said, 'The King of Pop's going to lick your lollipop.' I still laugh thinking about that."
Jackson moved to Los Angeles in 2007 and barely left his home, except to meet one of his lovers for secret liaisons.
A source told Halperin: "He met a construction worker and fell madly in love with him. Michael would leave the house in disguise, often dressed as a woman, and would go to meet his boyfriend at a motel that was one of Vegas' grungiest dives. Michael was broke. He struggled to put food on the table for his children. It was all he could afford then."
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Know how the anus works:
The anus is the opening at the end of the colon which controls the passage of waste. Waste passes through the small intestines to your colon, then your rectum and finally out the anus. The opening and closing of the anus is controlled by the internal and external sphincter muscles (the most important muscles when engaging in anal sex). The sphincter muscle is a sensitive membrane with many nerve endings and thus the source of pleasure or pain.
Practice good hygiene:
Many gay/bi men shy away from anal sex because of the possible hygiene problems. Maintaining proper hygiene is not only important for an enjoyable anal sex experience, but your health as well. Cleaning can be overdone, however. Be careful with over the counter internal cleansing products. They contain harsh ingredients not formulated for the anus. Also, avoid over wiping as this can cause irritation and bleeding. Baby wipes also contain perfumes that can irritate the skin. To properly clean, use pre-moistened adult wipes, like Charmin Fresh Mates or Kleenex Cottonelle Flushable Wipes.
Beware of the dangers of STD's:
The anus is a thin membrane and therefore a hot bed for sexually transmitted diseases. HIV and other STD's can easily enter the bloodstream, especially when there are abrasions or tears in the anus. Having a thin membrane between your bloodstream and your partner's bodily fluids is what makes bareback sex so dangerous. Always use a condom and practice safer sex.
Dispel anal sex myths:
Many gay/bi men avoid seeking medical attention because they feel if they've had anal sex the doctor can immediately tell. Yes, the anus is stretched after anal sex, but it returns to normal soon after. If you think something may be wrong with your anus, see a gay-affirmative doctor.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," Palin said at an announcement from her home in Wasilla. "Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine."
Palin was elected governor in 2006. She was tapped as Arizona Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate last year.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The will, dated July 7, 2002, estimated his estate at that time at more than $500 million.
It names his mother, Katherine Jackson, as a beneficiary of the trust and the guardian of Jackson's children, who are named in the will.
It also names entertainer Diana Ross as a successor guardian for the children and