Five queer alternatives to the Super Bowl

Yes, Yes… I know… plenty of gay men enjoy football, are fans even, and there are lots of LBT fans as well, but if you’re like me you greet all the hoopla over the Super Bowl with a resounding “meh.”

So if you’re looking for a way to avoid a (morning) afternoon (and evening (seriously, how long are football games supposed to be?)) of indecipherable sports jargon, over-hyped commercials and disproportionate passion for the accomplishment of moving dead pig parts 300 feet here are some alternatives with a decidedly queer bent you might enjoy (don’t worry, you can Tivo Madonna’s half time show):

1. ¡Women Art Revolution at The Museum of Fine Arts

Starting from its roots in 1960s in antiwar and civil rights protests, the film ¡Women Art Revolution details major developments in women’s art through the 1970s. The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston presents this documentary at 5 pm on Sunday at the The Museum of Fine Arts’ Brown Auditorium Theater (1001 Bissonnet). Artist Lynn Randolph and U of H art history professor Jenni Sorkin will be on hand to provide insight into the film

!W.A.R. features Miranda July, The Guerilla Girls, Yvonne Rainer, Judy Chicago, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, and countless other groundbreaking figures. Tickets are $7 and are available at mfah.org.

2. The Rape of Lucrecia at Houston Grand Opera

Written by gay composer Benjamin Britten and scored by Ronald Duncan, The Rape of Lucrecia is set during the decline of the Roman Empire. When a group of soldiers unexpectedly returns home to Rome they find that their wives have all been unfaithful, with the excpection of Collatinus’ wife Lucretia. Later that night the king’s son, Prince Tarquinius, accepts a drunken dare to seduce Lucretia. After she rebuffs his advances Tarquinius forces himself on her spurring Collatinus to rebellion against the king.

The dialogue of the Opera (which is in English by the way) is punctuated by two choruses, one male and one female, who engage the audience in the emotional responses of the male and female characters respectively.

The Rape of Lucretia plays at the Houston Grand Opera (510 Preston) at 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets start at $38 and may be purchased at HoustonGrandOpera.org.

4. The Drunken City at the Rice University, Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts

“The city’s like a monster, like a sleeping dragon or some dark creature in the night that cracks open an eye, and whispers dark dangerous dark ideas into your ear.”

The Drunken City is populated by thoroughly unpleasant people, the kind of loud sequin-wearing party girls who can immediately turn a hip bar passe and the men who hunt them. Marnie, the alpha-female and soon-to-be bride, has taken her co-worker bridesmaids out on the town for a ladies night. Seriously inebriated, they soon run into Frank and Eddie. Frank quickly takes a shine to Marnie, despite her girlfriends objections. Eddie, on the other hand, isn’t interested in any of the girls but seems to know their shared boss quite well (if you catch my drift). The play is sprinkled through with warnings about human desire and the dangers of consumption.

The Drunken City is presented by the Rice University College of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Hamman Hall on the Rice Campus (6100 Main) at 3 pm. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or by calling 713-348-PLAY .

Steve Bullitt as Hay and Mitchell Greco as Gernreich

4. The Temperamentals at Barnvelder Movement/Arts Complex

The off-Broadway hit The Temperamentals, by Jon Marans, explores the events surrounding the founding of the Mattachine Society, one of the first “gay rights” groups in America (although the Society for Human Rights has it beat by a quarter of a century). The story centers on Harry Hay (Steve Bullitt), a communist and Progressive Party activist and his lover Rudi Gerneich (Mitchell Greco), a Viennese refuge and costume designer. Set in the early 1950′s in Los Angeles, the play is an intimate portrayal of two men who created history and the epic struggle they overcame.

Sunday’s curtain for the Celebration Theater produced play is at 3 pm at the Barnvelder Movement/Arts Complex. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at buy.ticketstothecity.com.

5. Closing Night of Bring It On: The Musical at Theater Under the Stars

Bring It On: The Musical finishes up its run at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (800 Bagby Suite 300) on Sunday. Theater Under the Stars (TUTS) presents this musical re-imagining of the 2000 film with a matinee at 2 pm and an evening showing at 7 pm.

Two rival cheer-leading squads are out for the national championship, and neither is going to give up without a fight. The ensemble for the show features some of the nation’s most skilled competitive cheerleaders led by Taylor Louderman and Adrienne Warren as the leaders of the rival squads.

Tickets start at $24 and are available on-line at TUTS.com, by phone at (713) 558-TUTS (8887), or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office (800 Bagby).

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Political outings threatened in Indiana after state super-DOMA advances

The Republicans aren’t simply trying to pass a DOMA in Indiana, to ban gay marriage, they’re trying to pass a super-DOMA that would ban civil unions as well.

And Bil Browning is having none of it. And he’s right.

The last time the bigots in the Indiana Republican party tried this move, Bil and his friends found out that the sponsor of the amendment, who was super pro-life in addition to being super anti-gay, forced his wife to have an abortion the week before he divorced her. Hypocrisy much? Then there’s the anti-gay politician who was schtuping his male hairdresser while his wife lay in bed with a long-term illness.

When Bil made his threat last time, to out anti-gay hypocrites who weren’t living up to the family values they wanted to legislate down our throats, it helped kill the amendment. This time he’s asking for your help again. Pass this around to your friends, because Bil is right. This isn’t your daddy’s Oldsmobile. We’re in a new millenium now, and especially post- Prop, 8 gay people aren’t going to sit back and shut up any longer. I know some of the older gays want Bil to calm down. If he’ll just keep quiet, maybe the mean Republicans will find it in their hearts to be nice to us.

Enough.

We didn’t get the DADT legislation passed by being nice. That was HRC’s strategy, and it failed – as evidenced by HRC’s own email admitting defeat in December of 2010. HRC failed. If it wasn’t for Dan Choi, GetEqual, the gay blogs, and SLDN, SU and the Palm Center (and many others that don’t include HRC) all playing hardball to HRC’s no-balls, DADT would be on the books for another generation.  The bill finally passed because of the pressure activists brought to bear, not because of the older generation – the folks who still think and politic like it’s 1993 – playing nice.

The time for nice is over. They stole marriage from us in California. They took away our rights in Maine. Enough is enough. If they want to, are willing to, rip our families apart – and they already have – then we can at the very least demand that they practice the family values that they preach.

Read what this state rep had to say, then decide what’s fair:

But Rep. Ralph Foley, R-Martinsville, said the ban would have no effect on Hoosiers’ ability to live with and love whomever they choose.

“That loving friendship is a different relationship than a husband and wife, and we should recognize that in the law,” he said.

Loving friendship? You’d better not have a loving friendship with anyone other than your wife, Mr. Foley. With a name like Foley, you shouldn’t be casting stones.

Here’s more from Bil:

I’m sick and tired of hypocritical Hoosier legislators who think that our personal lives are any of their business. Do I intrude on who they’re sleeping with? I didn’t, but I’m going to start now. We need to show them that unnecessary intrusion into other people’s relationships is not only unwelcome but unwarranted. We need to burn their hand so they won’t touch the stove again.

Now that a marriage discrimination amendment has passed the Indiana House of Representatives, apparently it’s time to put out the same call I made in 2007 that helped to kill attempts to amend the constitution until now. Last time we found out that Senator Brandt Hershman, one of the sponsors of the amendment and right-to-life darling, had forced his wife to have an abortion in 1997 before he filed for divorce one week later. I also found an anti-gay legislator who was shtupping a male hairdresser while his wife died of a long-term illness.

Consider this a call to gossip. I want to know the scoop. Tell me the stories that will embarrass those conservative bigots – Democrats and Republican – that are backing a constitutional ban on our formalized relationships. Send me gossip about who’s a philanderer, a kink fiend, a drug addict, a porn addict, or had a divorce, an abortion or even a stay in rehab. Ask your friends and family for the dirt. Look it up on the internet. Sniff out a lead and send it my way.

I specifically want to learn more about the alleged blowjob one of our married legislative leaders got caught receiving from a staffer in the Statehouse parking lot. I also want to know more about the single Senator who got all of his money after a rich non-related older man died and left it all to him. Rumor has it that there’s a handful of legislators who are in the closet and have been spotted visiting the Unicorn Club’s strippers and the gay baths. Several southern legislators supposedly have a fondness for blow.

Do you know who they are? Will you tell me? E-mail me and I’ll blow the whistle.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

Science Honors Two HIV Advances

HIV MUTATION X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMTwo major advances in HIV prevention made Science magazine’s top 10 achievements of 2010.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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House Advances ADAP Funding

MAN TAKING MEDICATION PILLS HIV COCKTAIL AIDS X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe U.S. House of Representatives has voted to allot an additional million to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program in 2011.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Illinois Civil Unions Measure Advances

ILL GOV. PAT QUINN X390The Illinois house of representatives could vote on a civil unions bill as early as Tuesday.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Hermilio Moralez Beat Teenage Friend Joshua Wilkerson To Death Over Alleged Sexual Advances

Texas authorities have arrested 19-year-old Hermilio Moralez on murder charges after allegedly beating to death his friend of five years Joshua Wilkerson, 18, and burning his body after Wilkerson supposedly made sexual advances toward the teen during a ride home from school.

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Queerty

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Texas Teen Claims Sexual Advances Caused Him to Beat Fellow Male Student to Death, Burn the Body

Crime_texas

A gruesome story is unfolding in Pearland, Texas, south of Houston, ABC13 reports:

"Authorities now say that Joshua Wilkerson, 18 (above left), was beaten with a large wooden rod and that his body was burned. Hermilio Moralez, 19 (right), is charged with murder in Wilkerson's death. According to court documents, Wilkerson gave Moralez a ride home from school Tuesday and Moralez stated that Wilkerson began to make sexual advances towards him. Moralez said they got out of the truck and began to fight when Wilkerson grabbed a large wooden rod and tried to hit him. Moralez said he took the piece of wood from Wilkerson and began to hit him with it. He said Wilkerson was not moving afterwards."

Moralez also apparently tried to take a police officer's gun from its holster while he was leading authorities to the body. He has been "charged with failure to identify and attempting to take a weapon from a peace officer. His bond on those two charges are ,000 and ,000, respectively. No bond has been set for the murder charge."

Watch a brief news conference, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

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Kerry Eleveld @ The Advocate: Gates, Obama deliver advances after bizarre week

In a nutshell, it looks like the Obama administration, specifically the President and Sec Def Robert Gates were trying to score some points with the LGBT community after a pretty embarrassing week on the PR front (see Valerie Jarrett’s implosion on CNN).

President Obama released Thursday evening his contribution to LGBT activist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project, video messages intended to lend hope and perspective to queer youth who may feel alienated, disheartened or even desperate.

…But until this week, the president seemed mostly oblivious to the present-day equality movement staring him in the face – unaware that he and his administration are standing as an impediment to freedom’s progress through their inaction on so many fronts.

However, his video was a signal that some realization seems to have crept in based on the shocking and inescapable spate of queer tragedies – ranging from heart wrenching suicides to horrific acts of violence – that preceded a blistering couple of weeks for the administration.

And if you kept up with your PHB reading this week, DADT news was fast and furious, and the WH was losing the battle the stay ahead of the criticism.

So where the politicians have failed, the courts are now picking up the slack. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has been forced to dole out a number of convoluted answers about DADT over the past several weeks, but he has been crystal clear about the following: “The courts have demonstrated that the time is ticking on the policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”

…Whatever they are planning for now, it appears doubtful they spent much time seriously prepping for the headache that Judge Virginia Phillips visited upon them last week. In fact, it took them two days to circulate new orders regarding the injunction and yet another day to redirect recruiters.

Given the situation’s volatility, Thursday of this week, Secretary Gates designated just three people – the secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force – who have the authority to finalize discharges. The memo from Gates was nothing short of an acknowledgment that even DOD had finally lost control of the fate of this misbegotten policy.

As Blender Paul Barwick noted, this means DADT discharges have effectively been stopped.

To me this reads as if we have accomplished the first step that we have asked for.

Admittedly it has been several decades since I served in the Army, but I suspect that one thing has not changed.  No low or middle level commander is going to want her or his name on a request that is guaranteed to not only be read by the secretary of their branch of the service, but also personally perused by the Under Secretary of Defense. By saying that he wants to hear about each and every case, the Secretary of Defense is saying in essence that he doesn’t want to hear about any case.  In effect the discharges have been stopped.

Why the Secretary of Defense felt the need to do this now will have to be explained by someone more knowledgeable than I.  One might wonder if the Commander is Chief finally caught sight of a chart listing the chain-of-command in the military?  Hard to say.

This is a big deal.  My heartfelt thanks to each and every person who has raised their voice, scrawled “No more donations until DADT is repealed, lobbied their congress person, chained themself to a fence or any of the other multitude of actions that we as a community have used to wipe this shameful law from the books.  Draw strength from this.  We are being heard, and the forces of bigotry are being forced to slither back under the rocks from which they came.

It’s a victory of sorts, but Gates has just started a trickle out of dam that is about to burst. So he wants gays and lesbians not to be discharged, but they cannot still cannot come out of the closet safely; they are still without any benefits that would give them rights equivalent to their straight counterparts (see: DOMA) and it looks like an attempt to get the wider public to believe that DADT is dead, when there are myriad issues connected to the policy that are unrelated to discharges. What it indicates is that there is little confidence that the Senate is going to pass repeal in the Def Auth bill in the lame duck session.

Cinderella crumbs again…wholly dependent on a commander who is not willing to send a discharge up the military food chain. Looking at the glass half full, as Paul has, it means the pressure on this administration from the outside DOES have an impact. And that’s why the pressure to stop any meme that DADT is all but dead must be countered, and to stress these moves are coming down the pike because of the courts, not lobbying on the Hill.

Further reading: The DADT Appeal and the District Court’s Worldwide Injunction by Tobias Barrington Wolff
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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