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‘Ernest & Bertram’: Banned short on the Sesame Street love that dare not speak its name
10.23.2014
03:18 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Queer

Tags:
Sesame Street


 
Look, we’ve all had our suspicions about Bert and Ernie. It’s hardly nosey to question the nature of their relationship—right? They live together, take baths together and they bicker like an old married couple. We’re all adults here!

The 2002 short, Ernest and Bertram does a little bit of speculative fiction on their very special relationship—lifting dialogue from Lillian Hellman’s 1934 play The Children’s Hour, in which two two boarding school headmistresses are accused of having a lesbian affair. Bert has been outed by the tabloids—who are guessing, but it’s enough to put him in a terror, and motivate his girlfriend (Miss Piggy), to pack her bags. What follows is a confrontation and confession by Ernie, who questions the truth in the rumors—it ends in a (strangely moving) tragedy!

Sadly, the (surprisingly litigious) folks at Sesame Street served filmmaker Peter Spears with a cease and desist order for copyright violation. It’s a real bummer, because the film is funny (the Spartacus poster in Bert’s home is a nice touch), and Sesame Street is such a gay-friendly institution at this point it’s silly not to acknowledge this parody as a valid cultural contribution—the film was a hit at Sundance! You can compare it with the scene from The Children’s Hour here.

Don’t worry, this homoerotic Muppet contraband is all psychological and safe for work—we’re not that sick!
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Move over Tom of Finland, macho Japanese gay comic art is soooooo hot right now
09.15.2014
01:28 pm

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Queer

Tags:
Japan
manga


 
Watch out Tom of Finland, there’s a new milieu of gay nationalist iconography in town! Massive is a new brand producing clothing, accessories, art and original and translated books centered on gay manga—meaning Japanese comic books celebrating bears, bears and more bears! I’m generally of the opinion that pin-up art has jumped the shark, but these manly men are just as delightful as they are niche—sort an army of Bettie Gay-ge’s!

The art itself is really charming: sophisticated, without being pretentious or self-important. Japanese artist Jiraiya comments on his work for the the sweatshirt above:

These two guys have the same muscle mass, but I’d guess different body fat percentages. In my opinion, they’re a perfect couple. But if they fight, their house will be partially destroyed.

And how!

I don’t know about you, but much I’d rather wear this than one of those bland, now ubiquitous American Apparel “Legalize Gay” shirts. Between that jumper and my Hüsker Dü tee, bear culture will always have a place in my wardrobe… but never in the closet!
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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An X-rated doodle from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
09.10.2014
09:00 am

Topics:
Art
History
Queer
Sex

Tags:
Leonardo Da Vinci


 
Well, well, a pornographic doodle buried in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Here’s a description (emphasis added):
 

Casual reminder that in one of Leonardo da Vinci’s many notebooks containing innumerable artistic and scientific sketches and notes of incomprehensible important, there is a sketch of two penises with legs and tails walking towards a crudely drawn anus. The sketch was most likely done by Leonardo’s apprentice Salai, who was not only very likely one of Leonardo’s lovers, but who was also infamously mischievous. Better yet, the anus is literally labeled “Salai.” So either Salai drew these while Leonardo wasn’t looking just to annoy his boyfriend, or Leonardo himself put actual time and energy into drawing these. Either way, the human race is truly blessed to have made such a discovery. There are dick drawings like the ones you see on desks in school in Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. Please cherish this information.

 
For some background on Leonardo’s sexuality in general and his relationship with Salai in particular, there are few better sources than Ross King’s Leonardo and the Last Supper:
 

According to Lomazzo’s account, Leonardo’s passion for the beautiful Salai therefore reached its peak at about the time work began on The Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie.

In the fifteenth century, Florentines were so well-known for homosexuality that the German word for sodomite was Florenzer. By 1415 the sexual behavior of young Florentine men had caused the city fathers such concern that “desiring to eliminate a worse evil by means of a lesser one” they licensed two more public brothels to go with the one they had opened with similar aspirations a dozen years earlier. When these establishments failed to produce the desired results, and still “desiring to extirpate that vice of Sodom and Gomorrah, so contrary to nature,” the city fathers took further action. In 1432, a special authority, the Ufficiali di Notte e Conservatori dei Monasteri, or Officers of the Night and Preservers of Morality in the Monasteries, was formed to catch and prosecute sodomites. Over the next seven decades, more than ten thousand men were apprehended by this night watch.

-snip-

According to Vasari, Salai was “a very attractive youth of unusual grace and looks, with very beautiful hair which he wore curled in ringlets and which delighted his master.” Giacomo seems to have served as a model for Leonardo. No definitive image of him exists, but art historians refer to a distinctive face that appears repeatedly in his drawings—that of a beautiful youth with a Greek nose, a mass of curls and a dreamy pout—as a “Salai-type profile.”

-snip-

Leonardo was almost certainly homosexual by the standards of later centuries. Freud was no doubt correct when he stated that it was doubtful whether Leonardo ever embraced a woman in passion. Two years after the Saltarelli affair, Leonardo wrote a partially legible declaration in his notebook: “Fioravante di Domenico at Florence is my most beloved friend, as though he were my….” A nineteenth-century editor of Leonardo’s writings hopefully filled in “brother,” but the relationship may well have been more intimate.

 

Here’s a brief video of King discussing Leonardo’s homosexuality:
 

 
via Tumbling down tumbling down…; quoted text seems to have originated here
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Lesbian emojis are as adorable as they are sapphic!
08.15.2014
09:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Queer

Tags:
lesbian
emojis


As you can see, subtlety is a valued principle in today’s contemporary art.
 
Graphic designer Kimberly Linn and writer/actor Katie Streeter have breached the latest frontier in gay liberation—lesbian emojis. It was in the midst of Linn’s post-break-up depression that the idea was hatched, and now their rapidly growing Instagram account has almost 7,400 followers. There are a lot of lesbians with smart phones—the gay agenda is at hand!

The are the immediately recognizable emojis of stereotypical aesthetics, like the bow tie and the flannel. Then there are cultural signifiers that might go over the heads of the unaffiliated—the Home Depot, for the girl who can swing a hammer, and the moving van, a nod to the ladies’ rep for rapid cohabitation.  I (naturally) favor the vulgar ones—the pillow princess, the turkey baster, lesbian bed death, the double-clicked mouse, and, cleverly, the scissors.

The fish taco though… bold move, ladies.
 

moving van
 

flannel shirt
 

scissors
 
See more after the jump…
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness’: Queer Blues Divas of the 1920s

bluesdivaspospic.jpg
Portrait of Gladys Bentley

Long before Hollywood manufactured the rebel as a spoilt white kid slouching in a windbreaker, a group of African-American women were breaking taboos and living hard rebellious lives as queer Blues divas during the 1910s and 1920s. On every level, these women: Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter and Gladys Bentley could have given that poor sulky white boy a reason for rebellion.

They were black in a segregated and racist America; they were women in a sexist and patriarchal world; they were queer when being lesbian, gay or bi-sexual was considered by many as anathema. Each one of these women were genuine rebels, who were a heck of a lot more rebellious than anything promoted by our anodyne pop culture these days.

When you hear Ma Rainey sing “Prove It On Me Blues” you know she doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks, she is just telling it how it is:

They said I do it, ain’t nobody caught me.
Sure got to prove it on me.
Went out last night with a crowd of my friends.
They must’ve been women, cause I don’t like no men.

The song refers to incident when Rainey was busted for indecency at an all girl party in 1925. Rainey was the “Mother of the Blues,” who discovered Bessie Smith—the “Empress of the Blues” who went on to eclipse her mentor, and save Paramount records from going bust with such risque songs as “Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl”. While Alberta Hunter lived openly with her lover, and Gladys Bentley was a “bulldagger” who dressed in a white tuxedo and top hat and “flirted outrageously” with the women in her audience.

T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness: Queer Blues Divas of the 1920s is a short documentary that examines and careers of Rainey, Smith, Hunter, Bentley and co. Made in 2011 by Robert Philipson the film documents how:

The 1920s saw a revolution in technology, the advent of the recording industry, that created the first class of African-American women to sing their way to fame and fortune. Blues divas such as Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Alberta Hunter created and promoted a working-class vision of blues life that provided an alternative to the Victorian gentility of middle-class manners. In their lives and music, blues women presented themselves as strong, independent women who lived hard lives and were unapologetic about their unconventional choices in clothes, recreational activities, and bed partners. Blues singers disseminated a Black feminism that celebrated emotional resilience and sexual pleasure, no matter the source.

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘RuPaul’s First Art Movie,’ sometime in the ‘80s
07.31.2014
06:36 am

Topics:
Art
Queer

Tags:
RuPaul


 
Glamazon Rupaul is the RuPaul of the people—the Miss America RuPaul, if you will, but pre-drag RuPaul is also a sight to behold. Billed as “RuPaul’s First Art Movie,” this roughly three and a half minute short features Ru preening, mugging and smearing his face with talcum powder, all under a garbled soundtrack of Diana Ross’ “It’s My Turn.” It’s great seeing him doing something so unstructured and organic and just plain weird.

No date is given, but the video looks a lot like American Music Show-era RuPaul—so I’m guessing somewhere between ‘83 and ‘85.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘Disco Beaver from Outer Space’: Impossibly rare National Lampoon HBO show from 1978!
07.28.2014
07:19 am

Topics:
Pop Culture
Queer
Television

Tags:

 vbndfgh
 
Difficult to find and never released on home video, National Lampoon’s first TV outing for HBO from 1978 is great! Watch it now as “someone” does not want you to see it! Uploaded to YouTube very recently, who knows how long it will be available. Outside of bootlegs of varying quality the last time this was available was on Super 8mm film!

Here’s a pretty concise review of Beavers from the Cult Oddities blog:

If you’ve seen Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video, The Groove Tube, Tunnelvision, or Loose Shoes, then you have some idea of what to expect from National Lampoon’s Disco Beaver from Outer Space. The difference is, the tone and comedy is a little more consistent than any of the aforementioned. Following the early success of Saturday Night Live (simply titled Saturday Night in those days), there was an onslaught of coked out sketch comedy films and TV specials released including this one, which was made for HBO. The premise is pretty simple: A couple sits down for an evening of channel-surfing, and the programs they flip past on the TV are some of the most bizarre one could imagine!

There’s Dragula, a gay vampire who turns straight guys into raging queens (this skit seems to be the inspiration for Curse of the Queerwolf), a schizo ventriloquist, confessions of a Perrier addict, an Oscar Wilde skit that’s captioned for a then-modern American audience, an off-kilter country singer, commercials for people with chronic gas, plus plenty of other weirdness and depravity… and Lynn Redgrave (who probably fired her manager soon after)!

Unfortunately, this is yet another case of a TV special being unavailable on home video and largely unseen for decades.  Weirdly, the special (or more likely excerpts from it) were released on a Super-8 film reel (with Magnetic Sound!). Despite it’s legitimate unavailability, copies of the special have popped up on online video sites and can frequently be found for sale on i-Offer.  If you like moronic ‘70s skit comedy with a perverse edge, you’ve just found the motherload.

Much hilarious gay-themed insanity here, surprisingly including Dragula, as mentioned above, which was actually inspired by an amazing horror comic book take-off in a 1971 all horror issue of National Lampoon drawn by the amazing comic art superstar Neal Adams, with an incredible cover by Frank Frazetta! You can read the whole comic in large, clear scans at the Horror of it All blog.
 
fgsdftr
 
Oh I almost forgot! It also features Laugh-In‘s Henry Gibson! Enjoy this vintage insanity while you can!
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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‘Torchwood’ star John Barrowman opens Commonwealth Games with same-sex kiss

barrowmankiss.jpg
 
Well done to Torchwood star John Barrowman, who opened the twentieth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last night with a kiss.

The ceremony, which was held at Celtic Park in the city’s east end, began with a kitsch musical number performed by Barrowman and comedy actress Karen Dunbar celebrating Scotland’s diverse culture and history. In front of an estimated television audience of 1.5 billion, Mr. Barrowman kissed one of the kilted male dancers during a sequence on Gretna Green—the romantic village where eloping couples have traditionally married.

The kiss was accompanied by shouts of “Here’s to equality in Scotland.”

The bill for gay marriage in Scotland received Royal assent in March this year, and the first gay weddings will take place in 2015.

The theme of the opening ceremony was equality for all, and Mr. Barrowman’s kiss highlighted the fact that homosexuality is a prisonable offense in an astonishing 42 of the 54 Commonwealth nations taking part on the games.

Among the other artists taking part in the “Friendly games” opening ceremony were Rod Stewart, Nicola Bendetti, Amy MacDonald, DJ Mylo, Billy Connolly, Susan Boyle, Karen Dunbar, Ewan MacGregor and 41 Scottish Terriers. Read a review here.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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The most idiotic moment on Fox News so far today


 
Fox and Friends’ resident cheerful idiot Steve Doocy is obviously one of the stupidest people on television. Doocy comes off as so completely brainless that his utterly gormless co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Elisabeth Hasselbeck look good (or at least slightly better) by comparison. One would have to think that Fox News viewers with low to barely average IQs would be perceptive enough to realize that Steve Doocy is an abject buffoon. I don’t think SNL even does Fox and Friends parodies anymore, do they? Why bother?

In any case, this morning Doocy made a game attempt to get a small number of “Fox fans” (as he called them) to react negatively to the new multigender bathroom signage at Illinois State University (This is the latest “outrage” on Fox News, in case you aren’t aware of it, even though they are for single-occupancy restrooms!)

Here’s how it went down, live on Fox News as Chyron captions read: “Bathroom Boondoggle: Are New Gender Signs Just Too Confusing?” and “Gender Bender”!

Doocy: “See, they were designated as ‘family restrooms’ in the past and now, apparently, they’re going to be known as ‘all-gender’ restrooms! Does that make sense?”

Woman: “Restrooms for both genders.”

Doocy: “That’s right. Bathrooms for both genders, or transgenders!”

Man: “Transgender, that’s right.”

Unable to rile up even the slightest bit of “moral” indignation, let alone any anxiety even among these “Fox fans,” the floundering Doocy quickly threw it back to his co-tool Brian Kilmeade in the studio who then, astonishingly, offered up pretty much one of the truest things that I’ve ever heard a Fox anchor say (if only accidently):

“Well, they’re better people than us.”

Yes, indeed they are. Most people are better people than bigoted Fox News morning show hosts, I’d have to agree with that and this segment proved it. In spades!

Just yesterday, Fox News ran a story mocking the University’s attempt to accommodate everyone with equal respect.
 

 

Bonus clip, Steve Doocy before his tenure at Fox and Friends, back when he was a serious journalist…
 
Via Media Matters

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Polari: The secret language of gay men

polarisjs.jpg
 
“How bona to vada your dolly old eek” may sound like gibberish, but it is in fact a warm greeting often used by gay men in England between the 1930s and early 1970s. It literally means: “How good to see your lovely/pleasant face,” and is a delightful example of the secret language Polari.

Polari comes from the Italian word “pralare” meaning “to talk” and is a mixture of Lingua Franca, Yiddish, Italian, Cockney, and slang and was a common language used by circus performers, actors, sailors, criminals, and prostitutes in the UK and Ireland from the late 16th century on. In the 1930s, Polari became the secret language for gay men to gossip in public, cruise for partners and identify one another. Polari fell out of use in the late sixties, after the UK government decriminalized homosexuality in 1967. It also fell out of favor with the more politically correct gay liberationists who saw Polari as an outdated and unhelpful stratagem.
 

 
Yet, Polari persists to be used today, and for anyone who wants to zhoosh up their vocab, then have varder at this beginner’s guide to Polari:

ajax  -  nearby
alamo  -  hot for you/him
aunt nell  -  listen, hear
aunt nells  -  ears
aunt nelly fakes  -  earrings
aunt nell danglers  -  earrings
barney  -  a fight
basket  -  the bulge of male genitals through clothes
batts  -  shoes
bibi  -  bisexual
bitch  -  effeminate or passive gay man
bijou  -  small/little
blag  -  pick up
blue  -  code word for “homosexual”
bod  -  body
bona  -  good
bona nochy  -  goodnight
bonaroo  -  wonderful, excellent
bungery  -  pub
butch  -  masculine; masculine lesbian
buvare  -  a drink
cackle  -  talk/gossip
camp  -  effeminate
capello/capella  -  hat
carsey  -  toilet, also spelt khazi
carts/cartso  -  penis
cats  -  trousers
charper  -  to search
charpering omi  -  policeman
charver  -  to shag/a shag/ have sex
chicken  -  young man
clobber  -  clothes
cod  -  naff, vile
cottage  -  a public lavatory used for sexual encounters
cottaging  -  seeking or obtaining sexual encounters in public lavatories
cove  -  friend
crimper  -  hairdresser
dally  -  sweet, kind
dilly boy  -  a male prostitute
dinari   -  money
dish  -  buttocks/backside
dolly  -  pretty, nice, pleasant
dona  -  woman
dorcas  -  term of endearment, “one who cares”
drag  -  clothes, esp. women’s clothes
doss  -  bed
ecaf  -  face (backslang)
eek  -  face (abbv. of ecaf)
ends  -  hair
esong  -  nose
fantabulosa  -  fabulous/wonderful
feele/freely/filly  -  child/young
fruit  -  queen
funt  -  pound
gelt  -  money
handbag  -  money
hoofer  -  dancer
HP (homy polone)  -  effeminate gay man
jarry  -  food
jubes  -  breasts
kaffies  -  trousers
khazi  -  toilet, also spelt carsey
lacoddy  -  body
lallies  -  legs
lallie tappers  -  feet
latty/lattie  -  room, house or apartment
lills  -  hands
lilly  -  police
lyles  -  legs
lucoddy  -  body
luppers  -  fingers
mangarie  -  food, also jarry
martinis  -  hands
measures  -  money
meese  -  plain, ugly
meshigener  -  nutty, crazy, mental
metzas  -  money
mince  -  walk (affectedly)
naff  -  awful, dull, hetero
nanti  -  not, no, none
National Handbag  -  dole, welfare, government financial assistance
ogle  -  look, admire
ogles  -  eyes
oglefakes  -  glasses
omi  -  man
omi-palone  -  effeminate man, or homosexual
onk  -  nose
orbs  -  eyes
oven  -  mouth
palare pipe  -  telephone
palliass  -  back
park, parker  -  give
plate  -  feet; to fellate
palone  -  woman
palone-omi  -  lesbian
pots  -  teeth
remould  - sex change
riah/riha  -  hair
riah zhoosher  -  hairdresser
rough trade  -  a working class or blue collar sex partner or potential sex partner; a tough, thuggish or potentially violent sex partner
scarper -  to run off
schlumph  -  drink
scotch  -  leg (Scotch egg=leg)
screech  -  mouth, speak
sharpy  -  policeman (from charpering omi)
sharpy polone  -  policewoman
shush  -  steal
shush bag  -  hold-all
shyker/shyckle  -  wig
slap  -  makeup
so  -  homosexual (e.g. “Is he ‘so’?”)
stimps  -  legs
stimpcovers  -  stockings, hosiery
strides -  trousers
strillers  -  piano
switch -  wig
thews  -  thighs
tober  -  road
todd (Sloanne)  -  alone
tootsie trade  - sex between two passive homosexuals
trade  -  sex, sex-partner, potential sex-partner
troll -  to walk about (esp. looking for trade)
vada/varder  -  to see / look
vera (lynn)  -  gin
vogue  -  cigarette
vogueress  -  female smoker
willets  -  breasts
yews  -  eyes
zhoosh  -  style hair, tart up, mince
zhoosh our riah  -  style our hair
zhooshy  -  showy

 

 
For those who wish to learn more, then have varder at Paul Baker’s Fantabulosa: A Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang, which should improve your cackle over a few veras down the bungery.

But Polari wasn’t always kept a secret, in the 1960s, comedy writers Marty Feldman and Barry Took subversively brought Polari into every British household with their hit BBC radio series Round the Horne. Through their characters “Julian” and “Sandy,” as played by Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick, Feldman and Took were able to use Polari to get many an innuendo and double entendre-laden sketch past the BBC’s censors.

Here’s your host Kenneth Horne visiting Julian and Sandy’s “Bona Books”:
 

 
Mr. Horne visits Julian and Sandy’s “Bona Suits’:
 

 

 
Morrissey’s Bona Drag (“Nice outfit” in Polari) album and the single “Piccadilly Palare” (about male prostitutes working London’s Piccadilly Circus) brought Polari into the 1990s.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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