Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CHEATERS AND HOMOS AND ...VOYEURS! OH MY!

Just when you think the long-running soap opera called the Republican Party can't get any steamier -- or any sillier -- they surprise us with another new chapter. Louisiana senators and prostitutes; Georgia governors and Latin mistresses; toe-tapping Nevada senators and closeted California state representatives caught with their pants down -- how could they possibly top all that?



With a donors' night out at an upscale West Hollywood sex club, that's how, and by dropping $1,950 on ... well, that's for tomorrow's episode, I guess. It's a wonderfully delicious scandal, funnier than hell given the players. So far, Allison Meyers, the director of Young Eagles, a Republican fund-raising organization aimed at under-45 donors, has been fired. No less an expert than Karl Rove has called her a "pervert," and he should know. Another Republican operative, Eric Brown, finds himself unexpectedly stuck with the bill after the Republican party, which at first reimbursed him for the expense, demanded the money back.

But the funniest part of the entire matter is how the media seems determined to sanitize the event. VOYEURS has been referred to in the press as a "lesbian stripper club" that features "pretend bondage sex acts." Well, maybe. Uh-huh. Lesbians, of course, are safe and a lot more acceptable in Republican society, at least as long as they're hot and gorgeous, right? Every red-blooded Republican male (and no doubt a few Republican females) likes to watch Lesbians "simulating" sex acts.

But that's not all VOYEURS is. What the media doesn't seem to want to talk about, and what the Republicans would prefer you didn't know is this:



VOYEURS is also one hell of a hot gay club. With hot gay men. Hot gay men who simulate sex. In leather and bondage. With a hot gay clientele that likes to watch. Hell, it's in West Hollywood, after all!



Now, the only real question remaining is exactly how "about a dozen" Young Eagle Republican donors managed to drop nearly $2,000 at a bondage club. How many dollar bills can you stuff into an upscale g-string? Just what is the going rate for a lap-dance these days (no fingering, please)? Okay, okay, maybe there's one more question: WTF?



The manager of VOYEUR, by the way, is offended by all the attention and claims the club has been defamed. "We are definitely not a strip club," she says. We cater to an A-list clientele." Well, hey, I guess that makes all the difference. But then, she did let in all those Republicans....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

SCOTT BROWN VS. RACHEL MADDOW

Senator Naked, who sometimes goes by the name of Scott Brown, has sent out a fundraising letter claiming that Massachusetts democrats have enlisted MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow to run against him next year. Maddow, on her show for two nights now, has declared this a complete fantasy on Brown's part.

Senator Naked, you might remember, is the former COSMO centerfold model who kind of accidentally won Senator Ted Kennedy's seat when Kennedy passed away. He campaigned on the boast that he would be the 41st vote that "killed Obamacare dead." Guess that didn't work so well for him.

We do have one helpful suggestion for Scott Brown, however. If he really needs to raise money, why doesn't he just uncross his legs?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FROM GLEE! -- TOO FUNNY EP OF "SUE'S CORNER"

If you're a fan of the television show, GLEE! -- and it seems like just about everybody is -- you'll love this unaired segment of "Sue's Corner," featuring openly lesbian actress Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester, the girls' gym coach who hates, well, everybdoy. This video is hysterical. Enjoy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

AND NOW FOR MY NEXT TRICK...!


THE AMAZING RANDI COMES OUT AT 82!

World-renowned stage magician James Randi, known for years by his stage name, "The Amazing Randi," made an amazing announcement this week. Although he says friends and family have known for years, at the magical age of 82 Randi has decided to come out publicly. One of the leaders of the modern skeptical movement and a popular debunker of pseudo-science, posted the following message on his webside:

"Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.

"I’m gay.

"From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. At no time did I choose to adopt any protective coloration, though; my cultivation of an abundant beard was not at all a deception, but part of my costume as a conjuror.

"Gradually, the general attitude that I’d perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living — except, of course, in cultures that live in constant and abject fear of divine retribution for infractions found in the various Holy Books… In another two decades, I’m confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance.

"Before publishing this statement, I chose to privately notify a number of my closest friends and colleagues — none of whom, I’m sure, have been at all surprised at this “coming out.” I’m prepared to receive the inevitable barrage of jeers and insults from the “grubbies” out there who will jump to their keyboards in glee to notify others of their kind about this statement, which to them will be yet further proof of the perfidy of the rationalist mode of life that I have chosen. Those titters of joy will be unheard over the murmur of acceptance that I confidently expect from my friends.

"This declaration of mine was prompted just last week by seeing an excellent film — starring Sean Penn — that told the story of politician Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. I’m in excellent company: Barney Frank, Oscar Wilde, Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneris, Rachel Maddow, are just a few of those who were in my thoughts as I pressed the key that placed this on Swift and before the whole world…

"I should apologize for having used Swift as the venue to publish this note, an item that is hardly the focus of what we promote and publish here, but I chose the single most public asset I have to make this statement. It’s from here that I have attacked irrationality, stupidity, and irresponsibility, and it is my broadest platform. Here is where I have chosen to stand and fight.

"And I think that I have already won this battle by simply publishing this statement.

"Note: To hear an extensive discussion of this issue, please listen to my appearance on For Good Reason."

Book 'em, Dano!


CHRISTOPHER STREET BOOKSTORE BUSTED, CHARGED WITH PIRACY

Gay Porn Times is reporting that last week NYC police raided the B&B Bookstore on Christopher Street. Now raiding gay bookstores is hardly newsworthy anymore, but this time the cause was not sticky floors and backroom hanky-panky. Bookstore owners, instead, are charged with selling unauthorized duplicates of pornographic DVDS and violating the copyrights of specific porn producers.

Pitbull Productions, those wonderfully fun guys who brought us such cinematic fin de circle jerque fare as "Breed It Raw," volumes 1 through 4, not to mention the unforgetablly titled "Booty Juice Whores," lodged the complaint and are suing on intellectual property grounds. That idea, in itself, constituted my chuckle-of-the-day. Intellectual? "Booty Juice Whores?" Whoa!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

NLA Literary Award Finalists for 2010

FROM THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR NLA-I WRITING AWARDS

(Columbus, OH) — National Leather Association: International (NLA-I), a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather/fetish community, announced today the finalists for its recently created writing awards. Named after activists and writers Geoff Mains, John Preston, Pauline Reage, Cynthia Slater, and the organization Samois, they are awarded annually to recognize excellence in writing and publishing about leather, SM, bondage and fetishes.

The finalists for the Cynthia Slater Non-fiction Article Award are:

Gloria Brame, “Transformation and Transcendence in BDSM,” which appeared in Filthy Gorgeous Things, July 2009, “Force” issue. Available at: http://filthygorgeousthings.com/

E.R. Chaline, “Contemporary Gay BDSM in the UK,” which appeared in Skin Two (2009).

Jeff Mann, “How to be a Country Leather Bear,” from Richard Labonté and Lawrence Schimel (eds.), Second Person Queer: Who You Are (So Far). (Arsenal Pulp Press).

Jack Rinella, “Juggling,” which appeared in LeatherViews

Sarah Sloane, “The Biochemistry of BDSM,” which appeared in Sexis. Available at: http://www.edenfantasys.com/sexis/sex/bdsm-biochemistry-110492/

The finalists for the Geoff Mains Non-fiction Book Award are:

Lee Harrington, Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond (lulu.com)

david stein, Ask the Man Who Owns Him: The Real Lives of Gay Masters and slaves (Perfectbound Press)

Two Knotty Boys, Two Knotty Boys Back on the Ropes (Green Candy)

The finalists for the Pauline Reage Novel Award are:

Melinda Barron, Graceful Submission (Loose Id)

James, Buchanan, Hard Fall (MLR Press)

Alex Ironrod, Obsession (Nazca Plains)

Claire Thompson, Submission Times Two (Romance Unbound)

The finalists for the John Preston Short Fiction Award are:

Kieran Wyn DeWhurst, “The Last Mistress of the Chatelaine,” in Cecilia Tan and Sarah Desautels (eds.), Like a Thorn: An Anthology of BDSM Fairy Tales (Circlet Press)

Jack Fritscher, “Goodbye Saigon,” in Phillip Mackenzie, Jr. (ed.), Special Forces: Gay Military Erotica (Cleis Press)

Shanna Germain, “Second Skin,” in Cecilia Tan and Sarah Desautels (eds.), Like a Thorn: An Anthology of BDSM Fairy Tales (Circlet Press)

Jeff Mann, “Lost River,” in Richard Labonté (ed.), Daddies: Gay Erotic Stories (Cleis Press)

Xan West, “Missing Daddy,” in Richard Labonté (ed.), Daddies: Gay Erotic Stories (Cleis Press)

The finalists for the Samois Anthology Award are:

Cecilia Tan and Sarah Desautels (eds.), Like a Thorn: An Anthology of BDSM Fairy Tales (Circlet Press)

Rachel Kramer Bussel (ed.), Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories (Cleis Press)

The winners will be announced at the NLA-I’s Annual General Meeting, which will be held during Tribal Fire in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (April 30 – May 2 2010). Please contact the award committee chair, Steve Vakesh, for more information about the awards at stevevakesh@gmail.com. For more information about Tribal Fire, the National Leather Association, and the NLA-I’s meeting on Sunday morning, see: http://www.tribalfireokc.com/ and http://www.nla-i.com


================================

I'll attempt, mostly unsuccessfully, to hide my own sour grapes. My story "Descenso," which appeared in the anthology, DON JUAN AND MEN, had been nominated for the Preston Award by publisher MLR Books. I'm grateful to the publisher for their support and for believing in the story.

Friday, March 19, 2010

DAN CHOI - WE WILL NOT GO AWAY

After being held overnight in jail, Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo pleaded entered not guilty pleas in federal court today. Afterward, Choi issued a stirring statement to cameras on the court house steps. "We're going to do it again," he said. "This is a clear message to Obama and other leaders -- We're not going away."

Choi also appeared to take a slam at the Human Rights Campaign when he stated that our freedom would not be won with donations or token or cocktail parties.


GET EQUAL -- VIDEO CALL TO ACTION!

Robin McGeehee, co-founder of the new action group, GET EQUAL, released a video statement yesterday following her arrest at the White House during a widely publicized "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" protest. Veteran U.S. military officers Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo were also arrested at that protest after chaining themselves to the White House fence.

On the same afternoon, Get Equal protesters also staged sit-ins at the D.C and San Frnacisco offices of Nancy Pelosi, demanding that ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, be brought to the House floor after languishing in committee for more than a year. The sit-ins resulted in four arrests at the D.C. offices and six arrests at the San Francisco offices.

Get Equal promises more civil disobedience and direct action in the future. Here is Robin McGeehee's video statement:



To learn more about GET EQUAL, visit their website at www.getequal.org.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

GAY HEROES ARRESTED AT WHITE HOUSE!




LT. DAN CHOI AND CAPT. JIM PIETRANGELO CHAIN THEMSELVES TO WHITE HOUSE FENCE!

Earlier today, Lt. Dan Choi hijacked a Human Rights Campaign event featuring Kathy Griffin. The HRC event, billed as a Rally Against DADT, was scheduled to follow today's congressional hearings on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Robin McGeehee, of the group "Get Equal," asked HRC president Joe Salmonese if Lt. Choi could also speak. Reportedly, Salmonese rebuffed McGeehee, telling her that "this is Kathy's rally." Kathy Griffin was there to film an episode of ther television show, LIFE ON THE D-LIST.

But as Griffin concluded her usual stand-up act, Dan Choi took the stage anyway, declaring, "DADT is not a joke!" He then read the following statement.

“Hello. My name is Lt. Dan Choi. I am being discharged from the US Army because I am gay and dared to say it out loud.

Today, I am here on a mission with Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, and we are asking you all to join us. We’re calling you to action because we are at a turning point — a moment in time where talk is no longer enough, and action is required.

Equality is not going to happen by itself.

You have been told that the President has a plan. But Congressman Barney Frank confirmed to us this week that the President still is not fully committed to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year.

And if we don’t seize this moment it may not happen for a very long time.

Some may tell you that I am one of the lucky ones. I have been welcomed back by my unit with open arms. And it would be easy for me to stay quiet and hope that change will happen.

But what I was taught at West Point and learned in war is — hope is not a strategy. As officers, James and I both find it a dereliction of our moral duty to remain silent while thousands of our brothers and sister are not allowed to serve openly and honestly.

Capt. Pietrangelo was honorably discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2004 and I will be subject to the same shortly. As officers we are here today fighting for those in the ranks, and we need our Commander in Chief to do the same.

Our fight is not here at Freedom Plaza, it is at the White House. We are walking to the White House right now to send the President a message. So…take out your cell phones and your cameras. Document this moment. Join us as together — we make history.”





Choi and Pietrangelo then led hundred down the street to the White House where he and Pietrangelo chained themselves to the White House fence while rotesters chanted, "Hey hey! Hi ho! DADT has got to go!" As many as twenty secret service police immediately taped off the area with yellow tape while Choi and Pietrangelo stood crucified upon the fence. Robin McGeehee was arrested on a charge of "disorderly conduct" for helping the two soldiers handcuff themselves. Protesters were told by secret service police to disperse, that if they remained on the sidewalk before the White House they would be arrested, also.




Neither Joe Salmonese or Kathi Griffin followed the crowd to the White House and were nowhere to be seen at the rally.



CNN reporter Rick Sanchez discussed the protest and the soldiers' arrest on his "Talk Back" television program, also. Here is the CNN footage:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

THE ONLY RESPONSE TO FRED PHELPS - PARTAY!

I just found this Youtube video from February 23rd. It documents the counter-protest that resulted when Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Clown Posse showed up in Long Beach, California outside the Wilson convention hall. The video is wonderful -and- wonderfully funny.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

EAGLE DEFENDANTS NOT GUILTY!



LATE BREAKING NEWS!

Four defendants arrested in the September 10 police raid on the Atlanta Eagle bar were found not guilty late Thursday afternoon, and charges were dropped against four other defendants.

The prosecution argued Thursday that the club was illegally operating as an adult entertainment establishment. Four dancers were arrested, and four bar employees, including the bartender and doorman, were also arrested for not having a proper adult-entertainment business license. But on Thursday, the judge dropped those charges.

Defense attorney Alan Begner argued, "The evidence and the truth is that Atlanta Eagle is not an adult establishment, so it is not covered by this section of the code."

Police arrested eight people at the bar, four employees and four dancers. Police told CBS Atlanta News they raided the place after several neighbors complained about illegal activity in and around the club, especially on Thursday nights, when the club was known to have an "underwear night."

In opening statements, Larry Gardner, the prosecutor, said, "The dancers were dancing in the nude." Eagle owners and patrons denied that, and Municipal Judge Crystal Gaines said city police failed to produce evidence proving that men danced naked without permits or that the bar operators were running an unlicensed adult establishment.

A civil rights lawsuit has since been filed in federal court against the city and the Atlanta police department. The police department is also conducting its own investigation into the events and the behavior of the eighteen officers involved in the raid.

"We always thought from the beginning that we were charged for no reason," bar co-owner Richard Ramey, who was not a defendant, said after the decision. "They had no right to be there."

One of the dancers, Antonio Benitez, still faces a bench warrant for failure to appear in court.

TRIAL BEGINS IN ATLANTA EAGLE CASE



Since last September, I've been following the controversy surrounding the police raid on the popular Atlanta Eagle. There are a number of previous posts here at Conversion Therapy detailing the events of that raid, as well as the numerous protests that followed.

Eight people, including four bar employees and four dancers, began today in Atlanta's Municipal Court.

“The employees face business license charges, while the dancers are accused of providing adult entertainment without a license,” reports the Journal-Constitution. “Up to 10 witnesses are expected to testify.”

Each violation carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Last September 10th, Atlanta police claiming that they had received reports of illegal drug use and illicit sex at the Eagle, raided the bar wtih a force of eighteen officers. They also claimed that they sent undercover teams on several occasions preceding the actual raid, even though no arrests were made on those occasions. Nor did any charges or arrests for drug use or illicit sex result from the actual raid.

The Atlanta police department maintains an officer-liaison to the Gay Community, but the officer was not informed about the raid and only learned about it hours after the fact. The raid occurred on "Underwear Night" at the Eagle, and the only charges that finally resulted were for minor city ordinance violations regarding "entertainment licenses."

The raid, which occurred in the middle of a heated mayoral election campaign, generated a lot of press. The Atlanta Gay Community took to the streets in protest. Bar patrons alleged that the police officers used antigay slurs and unnecessary force, that customers were handcuffed, pushed around and insulted. The police officers involved in the raid later refused to answer questions, however, recently the Atlanta city council announced that they will compel the 18 police officers involved to answer questions from the Citizen Review Board about their conduct.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS, MR. MISSOURI LEATHER 2010!


(Photo by Joseph Palmisano)

Congratulations to Terry Laupp, Mr. Missouri Leather 2010!

The Mr. Missouri Leather Contest for 2010, sponsored by Gateway MC and JJs Clubhouse, was held during the weekend of March 5-7. Six contestants strutted their stuff before a packed house and a panel of judges that included Dave Rhodes, publisher of the Leather Journal; Mr. Missouri Leather 2009, Mike Lunter; Mr Midwest Leather for 2008 and 2009, Charlie Schoenherr; Dennis McMahon, president of CLAW; and James Brake of the Nashville Conductors.

The winner and Mr. Missouri Leather 2010 is Terry Laupp.

First runner-up went to Allen Erdman.

Tom Wolfe took second runner-up.

Congratulations to Gateway and JJ's Clubhouse for hosting an outstanding leather event and to the entire field of contestants for upholding the best traditions of the Leather Community.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

RIGHT-WING PROMISES TO BEAT US UP!


HILARIOUS NEW VIDEO COMMERCIAL FROM NEW YORKERS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS 'threatens" GAYS AND LESBIANS!

A new group calling itself "New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms" has, without any apparent sense of irony at all, just released a video to kick off a retaliatory campaign against another group called "Fight Back New York."

FBNY formed in the aftermath of New York's failure to pass same-sex marriage rights with the goal of unseating those NY senators who opposed the legislation and especially those six democratic senators who lied to the Gay Community, took our donations, and then betrayed us at the vote.

Particularly amusing, given the violent fight imagery in the video, is that one of the politicians "New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms" seeks to protect is Hiram Monserrate, a former policeman turned state senator, who was recently convicted of beating up his girlfriend and slashing her face. Although the conviction was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, Monserrate was expelled from his senate seat by his own colleagues.

So now, "New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms" is promising to beat us up. To gay-bash us at the polls, as it were. And if the video encourages a little bashing in the streets, too, I'm sure they won't mind.

And damn, that boxer is hot. I'd do him.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ATLANTA EAGLE - OFFICERS MUST TESTIFY


Eighteen officers involved in a raid on the Atlanta Eagle Bar receive subpoenas after refusal to testify.

From Advocate.com -- Police officers responsible for a September 2009 raid of the Atlanta Eagle, one of the city's oldest gay bars, have until now refused to appear in front of a civilian review board. The police union cited a fear that the officers' testimony could be used against them in civil court.

However, on Monday the Atlanta city council approved subpoenas that will compel 18 officers to testify before the Atlanta Citizen Review Board.

Bar patrons said they were harassed, indiscriminately handcuffed, forced to the ground, frisked, and arrested in a raid that included officers about 10 police cars and many undercover personnel.

Some bar patrons have filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming a violation of their civil rights.