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  WINDY CITY TIMES

EYE ON THE MEDIA
by Jim Edminster
2001-06-27

This article shared 1157 times since Wed Jun 27, 2001
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In an essay in The New York Times ( 6/17 ) called "The Boys in the Writers' Room" the influence of openly gay TV writers is debated. Jeff Weinstein, an arts editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer says "No, there is no such thing as a gay sensibility ... and yes, it has an enormous impact on the arts." Instead of accusing gay writers of switching their gay characters' sexuality as older writers such as Edward Albee and Willa Cather were accused of, this article says the new gay TV writers make everything about their characters gay except their sleeping habits: e.g., Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce of Frasier play "straight gay" brothers, Blanche Devereaux in The Golden Girls might have been a proto arch male homosexual, and Suzanne Sugerbaker of Designing Women is a drag queen.

Dan Savage in his column in The Reader ( 6/22 ) has, by survey, named the phenomanon of a woman penetrating a man anally with strap-on eqquipment "pegging"—from the old term, "peg boy," slang for a young male prostitute. Strange to think, this may get him into the OED.

The Al-Fatiha Foundation, founded by Faisal Alan, a Pakistani-American, is, according to the San Francisco Chronicle ( 6/21 ) , on the cutting edge of gay and Muslim rivalries. Alan, who started the foundation to attempt to reconcile the two, has run into the sentiments of orthodox Muslims. Islam condemns homosexuality and in some Islamic countries same-sex acts are punishable by death. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of North America says "Islam is totally against homosexuality. It's clear in the Koran and in the sayings of the prophet Mohammed." He supports the laws in other countries that are anti-gay, including the death penalty laws.

The NY Times ( 6/10 ) says an increasing number of men are claiming sex harrassment by other men. Things that used to be called horseplay or locker room antics are now being used as causes to file lawsuits. Whatever will men do to facilitate male bonding now—talk politely?

The NY Times ( 6/15 ) previews two new movies with lesbigay themes to watch out for, Songcatcher by director Maggie Greenwald is about an early 1900s musicologist who collects Appalachian music. ( The soundtrack promises to be incredible, with Emmylou Harris, Iris Dement and Taj Mahal ) . The second movie, The Adventures of Felix follows the adventures of a gay Arab dock worker in France and the people he adopts as his family.

The Detroit News ( 6/20 ) says the latest thing on Detroit talk radio is openly gay minister, The Rev. Darlene Franklin, who sees her show as a way to give a message of hope to African-American gays. The leader of Full Truth Fellowship of Christ Church says "... the Bible is not about condemnation," and her message seems to be finding a receptive audience.

Is this a sell-out promotion, a self-actualization, or what? Phranc, the self-described "All-American Jewish Lesbian" folksinger is a Tupperware saleswoman and a good one. Without much evident tongue-in-cheek but with a movie documenting the whole thing, Phranc moves from level to level at Tupperware conventions where, in spite of her nearly male drag ( and flat-top ) she is quite popular with the heterosexual housewives ( or former housewives ) . She sells lots of the plastic fantastic storage units, lots! The movie's called Lifetime Guarantee: Phranc's Adventures in Plastics.


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