REVIEW: “Albert Nobbs” and the mystery of identity

Unlike The Crying Game, where the sex of a character is a major twist about halfway through, the genders of the characters in Albert Nobbs is not much in doubt: Glenn Close is a big star with above-the-title billing — her butched-up face is the ad campaign. And yet there is just as much mystery here, albeit of a different kind. This is a story of identity that’s almost impenetrable.

Albert (Close) is a gentlemanly servant at a high-end boutique hotel in Ireland. Everyone admires Albert: The women appreciate his respectful demeanor, his male co-workers his work ethic, the boss, Mrs. Baker (Pauline Collins), his reliability. But no one really knows Albert, who lives in a small room in the attic and squirrels away his money and dreams of something else.

But really, Albert doesn’t even know himself. He has been living as a man for decades — who knows how long? — and cannot even remember a time when he (or she) was not Albert. He has become so repressed, he almost doesn’t have a personality anymore.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos refuses to resign, hurls new epithets

Dan Ramos

Daniel Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, reports that Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos refused to apologize or resign during a press conference earlier today.

Instead, Ramos hurled new epithets and against referred to gay Democrats as “termites,” said Graney, who lives in San Antonio.

Graney said Ramos is holding a fundraiser tonight for the Democratic Party in downtown San Antonio, and members of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio plan to protest outside.

From the Bexar County Democrats website, directly above a photo of Ramos:

Who We Are

Before all other things, we are a family of many different kinds of people. We come from all walks of life. We are home-makers, business people, factory workers, public servants, educators, soldiers, preachers, you name it – we’ve got it. We come from all skin colors, religions, cultures, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities. We don’t exclude. That is who we are!

UPDATE: Sam Sanchez of was at the press conference and reports that rather than resigning, Ramos said gays are like “white termites who have infiltrated the party much like termites infiltrate your house.”

Ramos called Choco Meza, the woman who opposed him in last year’s election, a lesbian, and he said gays have infiltrated the party. Sanchez reports that Ramos called Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie a racist bastard and an idiot who is advised by gay people.

CORRECTION: As indicated in the comment below, Ramos did not hold the fundraiser. The event was sponsored by Proud Democrats of San Antonio, a group that has not yet condemned Ramos’ statements. The top of their website indicates that they promote equality, diversity and tolerance. I guess that would include Nazi termites.

—  David Taffet

Lesbians on the lam, but not a perfect love story

I was looking through LGBT-related news from around the Internet on Wednesday morning when this headline from the New Zealand news site TVNX caught my attention: “Indonesian lesbian frees underage lover.”

My imagination immediately conjured up images of the lesbian Butch and Sundance, the teenage Thelma and Louise, only with a happier ending. We all like to root for the underdogs, and I immediately started envisioning these two young lesbians on the run, so much in love they were willing to risk it all to be together. I imagined LGBT groups from around the world banding together to spirit them away from the oppressive anti-gay forces that would keep them apart, to a place of freedom.

Then I read the story.

Here are the basics: a 15-year-old Indonesian girl identified as Tn had been placed, by her father, in protective custody with the National Commission for Child Protection in East Jakarta. The father wanted to “cure” his daughter of her homosexuality. Then the girl’s lover, a 26-year-old taekwondo teacher identified as Sj, showed up and busted the teenager out of protective custody, and the two went on the lam.

The story points out that the jailbreak happened on Sept. 17, “the first day of the Islamic Eid ul Fitri celebrations.” I didn’t know what that was, so I looked it up and discovered that it was the festival celebrating the end of the 30 days of dawn-to-dusk fasting that takes place during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. I am not sure why that info was included.

The story says police are investigating.

Needless to say, the facts of the story quickly put to rest my “lesbian lovers on the run” romantic movie ideas. I mean the “cruel father who imprisons his daughter to ‘cure’ her lesbianism” would be an integral part of the plot of such a movie. But I really don’t find anything romantic about a 26-year-old dating a 15-year-old, regardless of the genders involved.

—  admin