Category Archives: Featured

WATCH: Killing Patient Zero (2019) - The Demonization of Gaeten Dugas

WATCH: Killing Patient Zero (2019) – The Demonization of Gaeten Dugas [Full Documentary]

Gaetan Dugas,  a French-Canadian flight attendant became notorious as the alleged patient zero for AIDS.  A study published in the American Journal of Medicine in 1984 traced many of New York City’s early HIV infections to an unnamed infected homosexual male flight attendant. Epidemiologists hypothesized that Dugas had carried the virus out of Africa and introduced it into the North Western gay community.

Dugas was also featured prominently in Randy Shilts’s book And the Band Played On, which documented the outbreak of AIDS in the United States. Shilts portrayed Gaëtan Dugas as having almost sociopathic behavior, by allegedly intentionally infecting, or at least recklessly endangering, others with the virus. 

For the next 40 year he would be vilified as Patient Zero, the man who gave us AIDS.

You can watch the full documentary Killing Patient Zero below:

*Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. 

Creator of "The Fantastiks" Tom Jones Rewrites Classic Musical as Gay Love Story

Creator of “The Fantastiks” Tom Jones Rewrites Classic Musical as Gay Love Story

 Tom Jones the librettist and lyricist of the beloved show The Fantastiks has penned a new version of his classic musical.

As a gay love story.

Via Playbill:

Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s The Fantasticks tells an allegorical story loosely based on Edmund Rostand’s 1894 play The Romancers (Les Romanesques), concerning two neighboring parents who trick their children into falling in love by pretending to feud. The LGBTQIA+ focused rewrite features two young gay men, Matt and Lewis, at the center of the story, instead of a young man and woman (the original characters were Matt and Luisa). Transforming the boy and the girl into two boys (Matt and Lewis) is an idea I’ve had for a long time,” says Lluberes. “Rethinking the show through the lens of two young gay men reveals so much about first love, identity, and self-discovery.”

The new version of his classic musical—in collaboration with Flint Repertory Producing Artistic Director Michael Lluberes—that will premiere June 3–19 at the not-for-profit professional theatre company in Michigan.

During its original run at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, The Fantasticks logged a record-breaking 17,162 performances.

For more information and to buy tickets click here.

Gay History – May 18, 1981: Dr. Lawrence Mass Becomes The First Person To Report About AIDS

Many believe that the New York Times article of July 3, 1981 was the date of the first newspaper published report about the deadly disease which would later be called AIDS by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Actually the first published report that mention the mysterious and deadly disease appeared in  New York City’s own independent gay newspaper The New York Native three weeks earlier by Dr, Lawrence Mass.

Mass, who wrote a regular health column for the small weekly had heard rumors of a new disease striking down gay men in New York City. Some were coming down with a rare kind of a skin cancer that had previously only affected the elderly living in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, and Middle Eastern regions called Kaposi’s Sarcoma. Others victims were stricken with a rare form of pneumonia which typically only appeared in people with severely suppressed immune systems such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and transplant recipients. There were also a host of other odd diseases that gay men were coming down with, but so far nobody had figured out that there might be a single cause to link them all together.

Later Dr, Mass was assured by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta that there was no evidence of an emerging “gay cancer,” Mass wrote an article titled, “Disease Rumors Largely Unfounded,” which began:

Last week there were rumors that an exotic new disease had hit the gay community in New York. Here are the facts. From the New York City Department of Health, Dr. Steve Phillips explained that the rumors are for the most part unfounded. Each year, approximately 12 to 24 cases of infection with a protozoa-like organism, pneumocystis carinii, are reported in the New York City area. The organism is not exotic; in fact, it’s ubiquitous. But most of us have a natural or easily acquired immunity.

“What’s unusual about the cases reported this year, is that eleven of them were not obviously compromised hosts. The possibility there exists that a new, more virulent strain of the organism may have been ‘community acquired.’” But Mass reported that there was not enough evidence (yet) to make a clear connection between the new disease and the gay community

But the CDC was wrong and it wouldn’t be long before they realized that and  a link was made.  

Mass followed up on his original article in July 1981 with a piece called, “Cancer in the Gay Community,” on the then-new HIV/AIDS epidemic. Chroniclers of the AIDS crisis now recognize Dr. Lawrence Mass as being the first to write about the emerging epidemic in print.

In 1982, Mass joined Larry KramerEdmund WhitePaul Rapoport, Paul Popham and Nathan Fain in co-founding Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), the world’s first and still largest AIDS information and service organization. For 10 years, through four revisions, Mass authored GMHC’s guide, Medical Answers About AIDS, which usually concluded with an appeal for civil liberties for sexual minority persons and the sanctioning of same sex relationships as “essential considerations in the preventive medicine of AIDS.

Beginning in the late 1990’s, Mass extended his public health interests to the bear subculture of the gay community. He has addressed in a regular column a range of health topics of interest to this subculture, initially consisting of middle-aged overweight men, first for American Bear Magazine and later for A Bear’s Life magazine.

Dr. Lawrence Mass still works as a internist physician in New York City, where he resides with his life partner, writer and activist Arnie Kantrowitz.

New Jersey GOP State Rep Introduces "Don't Say Gay" Bill

New Jersey GOP State Rep Introduces “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

New Jersey State Senator Edward Durr Jr., a Republican and former commercial truck driver and current homophobe has introduced a bill prohibiting kindergarten through sixth-grade teachers from engaging in classroom instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity. Seventh- through twelfth-grade students may only be educated on either topic if consent is given by a parent or guardian.

Via The Hill:

“Any student whose parent or guardian does not provide prior written consent shall be excused from that portion of the course where such instruction is provided and no penalties as to credit or graduation shall result therefrom,” reads a portion of the bill introduced Monday. Under the bill, a parent or guardian may take legal action against their child’s school if their child has been taught about sexual orientation or gender identity without their consent. If a school district or employee “knowingly violates” the proposed law, the state Office of the Attorney General may seek an injunction.

GOP legislators in 16 other states this year have argued that lessons related to sexual orientation and gender identity don’t belong in the classroom and are “inappropriate”. They are using this as a wedge issue going into the midterms and as an opportunity to score political points with the Christofascist GOP all while trying to destroy what we have fought for and hold so dearly.

Our rights. OUR LIVES are being attacked.

STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK!

If you don’t those rights that get lost, will be yours.

Whoopsie! Anti-Vaxxer Eric Clapton Has COVID

Notorious and slightly insane rock legend and out spoken anti-vaxxer Eric Clapton has caught the COVID.

Via Clapton’s Facebook page:

Eric Clapton is unfortunately suffering from COVID having tested positive shortly after the second concert at the Royal Albert Hall. He has been told by his medical advisors that if he were to resume traveling and performing too soon, it could substantially delay his full recovery. It is very frustrating that having avoided COVID throughout lockdown and throughout the period when travel restrictions have been in place Eric should have succumbed to COVID at this point in time.

Clapton has said in the past repeatedly that he wouldn’t do shows at venues that required COVID protocols like proof of vax but is now canceling shows because he got it.

AWKWARD.

But not as awkward as is will be after all his past complaining about the vaccine and COVID protocols if Clapton winds up Knockings On Heaven’s Door.

ILLINOIS Amends It's Illinois Act on Aging to Cover LGBT Seniors

ILLINOIS Amends It’s Illinois Act on Aging to Cover LGBT Seniors

Governor. JB Pritzker has signed  Bill 3490 measure into law yesterday that amends the Illinois Act on Aging which will now add protections and services for older LGBT adults. 

Via WAND-TV

Senate Bill 3490 was signed by the governor on National Honor Your LGBTQ Elders Day, which recognizes older individuals who fought for equality and led the equality movement that continues to be active. Changes made to the act set up the Illinois Commission on LGBTQ Aging, which will investigate and advise on helping services and needs of older LGBTQ adults improve.  “These elder adults are trailblazers in the fight for LGBTQ rights, growing up in an a more hostile time where basic rights were regularly denied based on gender and sexuality,” said Pritzker. “This amendment to the Illinois Act on Aging honors that struggle by ensuring all people can age in dignity with equal access to essential care and social supports.”

A press release later stated that the commission will be responsible for looking into issues relevant to LGBTQ older adults. They include housing, health, caregiver support, psychosocial needs, assisted living and HIV/AIDS specific care. “LGBTQ older adults face unique challenges, and we want Illinois to lead in valuing their identities, expanding access to inclusive services, and meeting the critical needs of this population,” said Paula Basta, director of the Illinois Department on Aging. “This new law affirms the administration’s continued commitment to supporting LGBTQ elders in our communities.”

The LGBT community itself needs to look into the plight of our LGBT seniors. The people responsible for doing the heavy lifting and fought tooth and nail for the rights we all enjoy today are the real “marginalized” and “oppressed” in our community.

Forgotten, spurred, ignored, and dismissed by the younger LGBTQ community the very people who should be exalted are ignored and invisible.

How invisible? How many of you knew that May 16th. was the Annual National Honor Your LGBTQ Elders Day?

I rest my case.

May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is celebrated every May 17th and  is coordinated by the Paris-based “IDAHO Committee,” founded and presided by French academic Louis-Georges Tin.

The day aims to coordinate international events to garner support for the respect of lesbians, gay and transgender rights worldwide.

The idea of the Day was launched in 2004. The date of May 17 was chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in 1990.

By May 17, 2005, as a result of a year-long campaigning effort, 24,000 people worldwide, and well-known international organizations like ILGA, IGLHRC, the World Congress of LGBT Jews, and the Coalition of African Lesbians, had signed the appeal to support the IDAHO initiative..

Organizations in more than 70 countries in the world now include the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia as part of their annual mobilization plan. In some of them, the Day has become the major focal point of action.

IDAHO has now been officially recognized by the EU Parliament, Spain, Belgium, the UK, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg and Brazil. It is also recognized by numerous local authorities across the world, such as the province of Quebec or the city of Buenos Aires.

Please  do your part.  Now more than ever. PLEASE  stand up and speak out against Homophobia and Transphobia wherever and whenever you see it.

Will Kohler

Gay History - May 17, 1972: John Water's "Pink Flamingos" Opens Starring: DIVINE! - WATCH THE FULL MOVIE!

Gay History – May 17, 1972: John Water’s “Pink Flamingos” Opens Starring: DIVINE! – [WATCH The FULL Movie]

On this day in 1972, John Waters’ outrageous movie Pink Flamingos opens in theaters.

Written, produced, filmed, and edited by John Waters. It is part of what Waters has labelled the “Trash Trilogy”, which also includes Female Trouble (1974) and Desperate Living (1977). The film stars the countercultural drag queen Divine (the late Glen Milstead) as a criminal living under the name of Babs Johnson, “the filthiest person alive”

Displaying the tagline “An exercise in poor taste”Pink Flamingos is notorious for its “outrageousness”, nudity, profanity, and “pursuit of frivolity, scatology, sensationology [sic] and skewed epistemology.” As it features a “number of increasingly revolting scenes” that centere on exhibitionism, voyeurism, sodomy, masturbation, gluttony, vomiting, rape, incest, murder, cannibalism, coprophagia, and foot fetishism, the film is considered a preliminary exponent of abject art.

Waters had plans for a sequel, titled Flamingos Forever. Troma Entertainment offered to finance the picture, but it was never made, as Divine refused to be involved, and in 1984, Edith Massey died.

When the film was initially released, it caused a huge degree of controversy but has since become one of the most notorious films ever made and is rated as #29 on the list of 50 Films to See Before You Die.

You can watch the full movie below.

All hail John Waters and Divine!

Seen on NETFLIX Jobs Board: Representation and Artistic Expression Matters

Seen on NETFLIX Jobs Board: Representation and Artistic Expression Matters

A recent job posting at Netflix has some GOP/Q/Right Wing Extremist brains exploding as Netflix lays it on the line in the job ad saying that: “Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

Looks like Netflix is no longer trying to please everyone, and that’s a BIG win for freedom of expression.