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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Gay Anglican Priest Ousted For Inviting 2 Royal Soldiers Into His Bed

The Rev. David Gilmore, of St. Anne's Anglican Church in London's Soho district, was found guilty of "conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders" by a tribunal looking into allegations the 40-year-old openly gay priest treated two guests — a member of the Royal Air Force and a Royal Navy sailor who were staying with him after a gay rights conference in December 2009 — to an evening of wine, conversations about his sexual conquests, and an invitation to share his bed. They declined, and claim Gilmore entered their room the following morning in the nude. Gilmore — who in 2009 defended in court the right of prostitutes to operate a brothel — has been dismissed from the church.


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Audio: Right, because that is what’s on gay soldiers’ minds in foxholes — sexual massage

When in a foxhole, one’s most prevailing thought likely revolves around survival. Unless, of course, said soldier is gay. In that case: “Screw mortality and screw me!”

So suggests one Matt Barber:

Screen Shot 2011-01-07 At 9.21.23 Am

( click to play audio clip)

*AUDIO SOURCE: Matt Barber [AFTAH]

And some of us, Matt, worry instead about those of you who obsess about our backs, fronts, and sides on a daily basis.




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The (far-)right tool for screwing gay soldiers: Go to AFA, not Home Depot

Considering all credible polls show Americans supporting Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal by somewhere in the ballpark of 60-70%, we’re thinking the American Family Association might want to reconsider its strategy here:



The nation’s largest homosexual activist group, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), has just released its “2011 Guide to companies, products and services that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workplace inclusion.”

The Home Depot is listed as a Top 20 national retailer for promoting homosexuality by placing in HRC’s “highest workplace equality score” category.



The HRC was one of the foremost advocates in pushing for repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy last month. In fact, Senator Joe Lieberman said “the repeal would not have happened without…the Human Rights Campaign.”

Did you catch that? Homosexuals can now bring their lifestyle into military service because of HRC’s efforts, and The Home Depot says it “is proud to support HRC’s efforts.”

This is a clear signal that The Home Depot supports repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and allowing “out and proud” homosexuals to serve in our nation’s military.

2011 Gay Shoppers Guide: The Home Depot earns high marks as gay-friendly [AFA]

Gee, what next, AFA — gonna warn us that Home Depot also believes females are allowed in parts of the house other than the kitchen?




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Treating lesbian soldiers like Linda Blair, and other far-right DADT losses

So you know how folks on the far-right are always talking about how military chaplains are going to be unfairly stifled once sexual orientation no longer poses a liability to any soldier? Yea, well — for an example of what kind of chaplain activity these folks are really looking to protect, listen to conservative darling Gordon Klingenschmitt tell Peter LaBarbera his tale of what went down under his own religious military service. Apparently for this former chaplain, “exorcism” of the “foul spirit of lesbian” so that said lesbian could marry Jesus was the order of the faith-filled day:



*Source: AFTAH Interview with Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt – Part One [Americans For Truth]




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Why Fox News’ Story On Gay Soldiers Living Under DADT Never Got Filed

"It's the story I regret most not reporting," writes gay veteran television reporter Dominic Di-Natale, who's on contract with Fox News. "While in Iraq and Afghanistan throughout 2009 and 2010 I was approached by more than a dozen American gay combat soldiers wanting to discuss living and fighting under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. … The first gay serviceman to contact me did so in a brave but disarming fashion. A specialist from Ft Carson, C.O. walked directly up to my cameraman and I while we were filming on base in Mosul last spring. He very pointedly said wanted to talk about how 'you got something real wrong about the Army.' At first I thought it was yet another soldier unhappy with press coverage of the war. Fox is big on military stories and we air both the successes and the failures of their combat efforts, which often draw pointed comments from servicemen. He said it was a big story but he wouldn’t talk while the bases’ public affairs officer, who was escorting us, was present. Like others who emerged, the specialist, aged 21, didn't want to bemoan living a lie or enduring the homophobic comments that punctuate the cultural requisite of male soldiers asserting their masculinity. Instead, he and the other men I eventually interviewed, all of whom went outside the wire daily, had killed insurgents and dutifully covered their fellow men's backs under kinetic and hostile conditions, explained that they were 'out' to their unit and that those units either acknowledged it but had not chosen not to report them to command, were comfortable with them or actively embraced them – usually with a lot of good-natured soldierly ribbing. More often than not their squadron would defend them from slurs by other companies without revealing the truth. What a story, what a scoop. Here was in-theatre evidence that disproved in numerous examples the argument that openly serving homosexuals were a threat to unit cohesion in a combat environment. While I was under no illusion that there would be companies and commands where it would be a fractious problem and that egos on both sides of the fence could clash within units, it clearly wasn’t the case in every example." So why didn't Di-Natale's report get filed?

CONTINUED »


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Video: The sanctity of [telling gay soldiers they'll go to hell should they step on a land mine]




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Laying off gay soldiers (in the good way)

I thought I felt slightly more proud to be an American last month:

SAN FRANCISCO — No U.S. service members have been discharged for being openly gay in the month since the Defense Department adopted new rules surrounding the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Monday.



Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told The Associated Press that no discharges have been approved since Oct. 21.

Pentagon: No gays were discharged in past month [AP via WaPo]

Okay, good. But hard to really celebrate something like this. After all, it’s not like there’s a real “win” here. In the balance of negative and positive energy, DADT has long put us in a deficit. Sure, this helps to the tip the scales a little bit towards benign peace. Though the victory comes when any given year’s passage from October into November is marked only by discarded Halloween masks and incoming cranberry sauces, not discarded servicemembers and (supposedly) forthcoming tolerance.




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Britain’s Gay Soldiers Speak Up When America’s Cannot

While American gay soldiers cannot upload an It Gets Better video to YouTube without putting their job at risk, Britain's Lance Corporal James Wharton doesn't have that problem. Here he appears in a campaign from advocacy group Stonewall, explaining why

RELATED:
A Gay Soldier Walks On to the Cover of a Military Magazine
What State Secrets Did The British Leak To American Intelligence Officials About Gay Soldiers?


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Pentagon DADT survey leak: majority of troops don’t object to serving alongside gay soldiers

Of course they are already serving alongside gay and lesbian soldiers, so the point of this leak is not to surprise anyone. Clearly someone at the Pentagon (or the White House), in planning to push for doing something in the Senate before all hope is lost on DADT repeal, is floating this balloon for all of the Senators who have been hiding behind the fig leaf of “I’m waiting for the study.” This development was reported tonight by NBC’s Richard Engel (via The Wonk Room):

ENGEL: The findings are that for most soldiers, and this wasn’t the sum total of all soldiers, it wasn’t that big of a deal…The majority – the number one answer, first answer was ‘I don’t care.’ That’s significant.

MADDOW: Predominant answer is ‘no big deal.’

ENGEL: Most common, number one. Number two was, ‘I would deal directly with the person involved.’ So when you put the two of those together, it is the majority. Now, there were some people who said, three, they would go to the chain of command and some four, who hated it, hated it. But the answers one and two are considered positive. So these studies show a relative if not positive outlook, at least an accepting outlook.

MADDOW: So the military study is, as you said, the survey of the troops is part of it. It’s an overall study of the feasibility of the issue….this survey of the troops, what you’ve learned is that a majority of troops it’s not going to be a major deal.

ENGEL: Not a deal breaker, that they they’re not going to be running from the army in droves. A key thing this study kept coming back to is that it’s very important about the chain of command. What commanders say. How far commanders act. What tone they set. The marines were the most negative out of the services. They had the most people who were – with negative responses. And the marine corps leadership has taken a stance and has been very vocally against this issue. And the study found that most soldiers and sailors and all different service members follow a chain of command. So if the chain of command accepts this as the law, the data is that so will the soldiers.

Igor Volsky at The Wonk Room has a nice collection of quotes from Republicans who have been waiting for “what the troops have to say.”

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