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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:

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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.
 
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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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There’s an Iranian imitation of ‘Modern Family,’ but it’s minus Cam and Mitchell
07.02.2014
10:47 am

Topics:
Belief
Queer
Television

Tags:
Modern Family


 
When I first stumbled upon Haft Sang (translation: Seven Stones)—the Iranian version of ABC’s Modern Family—I was excited to see just how the gay characters Mitchell and Cam would be portrayed in this Iranian version of a “modern family.” Sadly, both important characters—who make the show, IMO—have been replaced with hetrosexual characters. 

In Haft Sang, an unauthorized remake of the show, their parts have either been written out or given a heterosexual makeover as Iranian TV tries to translate the appeal of the ABC hit show within the strict religious guidelines of an Iranian theocratic state.

Other characters have also had their genders changed to avoid depicting pre-marital mixing of men and women to Iranian audiences.

Not very modern now, is it?

Below, a side-by-side comparison of Haft Sang and Modern Family:

 
Via Gay Star News

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground’: The best book yet on the dawn of punk rock

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Early band shot of Blondie

In the now long line of endless punk rock history cash-in books being pumped out from every corner of the world it’s shocking to find the one book that’s not like the others. Paul Zone’s Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground published by Glitterati Inc. is a coffee table book brimming with amazing, unseen photos and the life story of Paul and his brothers Miki Zone and Mandy Zone and their bands The Fast and later, Man 2 Man. What makes this book different is its author and the time frame it takes place in.

There was a short moment when everything was happening at once, no one knew or cared and the only band that had an audience or a record deal was the New York Dolls. As early as 1974 Patti Smith was playing, as was Television, Wayne County, Suicide and Blondie. The Ramones were starting to play at CBGB (opening for a drag show that starred Tomata du Plenty later of Screamers fame), KISS was pretty much in this same scene playing to about five people with many bands like The Planets And Paul’s brothers The Fast were playing alongside of them. At one point, sub-culturally speaking, all the cards were thrown up in the air and no one knew where they were going to land. It was a very small group of friends almost all of whom would, in a few short years, become icons of pop culture,
 
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Johnny Thunders, early 70’s

At the time, Paul Zone was very young. Too young to be in a band, but not too young to see a band or be snuck into the back room at Max’s Kansas City. And not too young to document this exciting time in his life by photographing everything. There are very few photos of this period when punk rock was actually occurring in the midst of the glitter rock scene. When the up and down escalators of rock ‘n’ roll infinity met and EVERYONE was hungry on the way up AND on the way down. There was change in the air, excitement and confusion.

Seeing Alan Vega of Suicide performing in a loft in 1973 with a huge blonde wig and a gold painted face is unbelievable. The years the photos in the book span are 1971 to 1978. Most are snapshots of friends hanging out when everyone was still on the starting line. The Fast were one of the more popular of these bands who let their new friends Blondie and The Ramones open for them in small New York clubs.

Early photos of The Fast show them amazingly in full glitter regalia with KISS-like make up (Miki Zone has a heart painted over one eye, etc.) but this was before KISS! There are a few photos of icons of the time like Alice Cooper (watching cartoons in his hotel room), Marc Bolan, The Stooges, etc. (a good one of KISS with about three people in the audience, as mentioned above). Most are of friends just hanging out, having a ball, not knowing or caring about the future and without that dividing line in music history called “punk rock.” It is truly a treasure to see something this rare, and even better, 99% of these photos have never been seen before.
 
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Wayne County long before becoming Jayne County

By 1976 Paul Zone was old enough to join his brothers and became the lead singer of the version of The Fast that made records. Sadly due to poor management decisions The Fast got left behind that first punk wave and watched as almost all of their buddies become some of the most famous faces in music history. How amazing that all of these people were friends just hanging out, broke and creative going to see each other play, talking shit and influencing each other in ways they didn’t even realize?
 
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Joey Ramone eating dessert at Paul Zone’s parents house at 5 am

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Linda Ramone, future design icon Anna Sui, Nick Berlin and me, Howie Pyro (The Blessed) at Coney Island 1978

After a few years of struggling, The Fast trimmed down to just brothers Miki and Paul Zone and some early electronic equipment. They finally let go of the name The Fast and became Man to Man, one of the first Hi-NRG electro dance music groups, recording with the likes of Bobby Orlando and Man Parrish. They had huge hits worldwide and here in dance clubs like “Male Stripper” and “Energy Is Eurobeat,”
 
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Suicide’s Alan Vega, early 70’s

This book is three quarters a photo book and one quarter autobiography, cutting to the point and perfect for this modern, short attention span world. It is packed with so much amazing first hand information in such a short amount of text that no one will be disappointed. Playground was co-written by Jake Austen of Roctober Magazine, with a foreword by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie. The book is available here
 
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If you are in the Los Angeles area this Saturday, June 28th, there will be a book release party and photo exhibit (with many of these photos printed HUGE) at Lethal Amounts Gallery at 8 pm.
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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An Old Punk Kicks New Ass: The Bob Mould interview
06.25.2014
10:49 am

Topics:
Music
Punk
Queer

Tags:
Boing Boing
Bob Mould


 
bOING bOING’s David Pescovitz got a chance to interview one of his musical heroes—and that would be none other than Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü fame. They talk guitar gear, gay life, story-telling through music, what inspired his new album and the DIY spirit of punk rock. There are also several musical performances.

For 35 years, Bob Mould has been an icon of punk culture. In 1979, he and Hüsker Dü played their first show, paving the way for Nirvana, The Pixes, Foo Fighters, and really the entire realm of alternative rock. Hüsker Dü burned out in 1987, but Bob kept his creative fire burning, releasing more than a dozen albums as a solo artist and with his beloved 1990s band Sugar. Bob has always followed his own path, taking a brief detour as a writer for World Championship Wrestling, embracing his life as a gay man outed later in life, penning a funny and moving memoir titled See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody, playing in the house band for the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and supporting numerous righteous causes at every turn. Everything Bob does, he does on his own terms. He is humble, yet takes his legacy very seriously. He is warm, funny, earnest, and wise and continues to inspire young musicians and artists pushing the limits of independent culture.

On the occasion of this month’s release of his latest album, the majestic Beauty & Ruin, Bob Mould kindly spent a day with Boing Boing to share his songs and stories. We are honored to bring that singular experience to you.

Take it away Pesco and Bob Mould…
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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