Here's the first line of a NY Times ( 9/22 ) story about the Vatican and gays: 'Homosexuals, even those who are celibate, will be barred from becoming Roman Catholic priests'. The problem with that line, other than the 1000-year-old homophobic stance of that church, is that 100% of all R.C. clergy, gay or otherwise, ARE celibate. 'Celibate' means unmarried and that's all it means. One believes the church and the Times need to use dictionaries. ( They probably mean 'chaste' which refers to refraining from sexual activities. )
The R.C.'s aren't the only Christian group to break into hissy fits over gay people. The NY Times ( 9/20 ) reports that the Nigerian Anglican Church has cut all ties with its mother church, the See of Canterbury, in England over the English ( and American ) church's tolerance of homosexuality. The Nigerian church says it wishes to provide 'worshipping refuge to thousands in the U.S.A.' ( apparently fleeing in head-long terror ) who don't accept the ordination of a gay Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire. ( There are plenty of anthropological studies of the widespread incidence of homosexuality among African groups, by the way. )
You may have to catch the Swiss flic Garcon Stupide on DVD. Starring Pierre Chatagny as a 20-year-old gay man who cares not at all for love but a great deal about sex. Nearly oppressively passive, he is startled into real life by a series of events and begins to evolve away from being a 'stupid boy.' The 'extremely explicit, yet not at all sexy' movie, reviewed in The NY Times ( 9/16 ) , had much of its material provided by Chatagny's own life.
'Did Success Spoil Tab Hunter?' asks a NY Times ( 9/18 ) headline. Judging from the 74-year-old star's picture, the answer'd be 'no.' Looking a generation younger and now completely out, Hunter is touting his auto-bio: Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star. Some tidbits: he double-dated with Anthony Perkins but Perkins was the date; had 'encounters' with Visconti, Nureyev, Princess Grace's personal secretary, and the young shah of Iran; deserted by father at birth; arrested at a gay party early in career ( at which point his studio orchestrated a giant fake romance with Natalie Wood ) ; and has lived with partner Allan Glaser for 23 years.
From the 'I-Told-You-This-Was-Coming' file, The NY Times Book Review ( 9/18 ) does a double page spread on Manga for Girls. Yes, they're here: comic books with grown-up stories, only now in English ( but still read backward, Japanese style ) . Japanese men read straight porn manga but Japanese ( and now American ) women read manga romance novels starring extremely pretty ... men. Yup, no way to get around it—these are out-and-out homo comics. What're your daughters reading, America?
Oscar Wilde is widely remembered as a gay martyr but according to a new book by Neil McKenna, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, reviewed in the Washington Post ( 7/3 ) , he was in the center of one of the first groups of gay revolutionaries. Wilde was acquainted with the ideas of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs who was probably the first modern European to declare his homosexuality. From the 1860s onward Ulrichs wrote many books demanding gay rights ( including the right to marry ) . He called homosexuals 'Uranians' and Wilde may have used a pun on this word for his play The Importance of Being Earnest ( Uranian = uranist = earnest ) . McKenna revises the standard history of Wilde in which it used to be thought that Wilde discovered his sexuality only after marriage and children. McKenna says Wilde lived with a lover, painter Frank Miles, before he was married. The most sensational section in the book says that Wilde's boyfriend, Lord Alfred Douglas ( Bosie ) , had a gay older brother Francis, Viscount Drumlanrig, who committed suicide to protect HIS lover, Lord Rosebery, who was prime minister. Bosie's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, blackmailed the government into prosecuting Wilde for sodomy, threatening to out the prime minister, other high party officials and members of the royal family. The government gave in and tried Wilde using bribed witnesses.
Those who read Dan Savage's sexual advice column in the Chicago Reader are used to his brash, in-your-face smartass commentary but when he wants to he can write things that'd pull tears out of a rock. In The NY Times ( 9/11 ) he tells the story of the teenaged mom whose son he and his partner adopted. She was a homeless ( by choice ) street kid who picked them, a gay couple, for open adoption ( in which the birth mother remains part of the child's life ) . The chronicle of DJ's mom's 'slow motion' suicidal slide into alcohol and jail is heart-breaking, especially to the little boy who wants to see her 'even if she smells.' Savage had a Reader cover story last week on being a family with 'two dicks,' discussing all side sof the marriage debate.
The ( so-called ) Rev. Phelps of Topeka is not the only Christian minister who publically hates gays. Lesbian Brenda Oliver, an African-American woman, had the experience of being in a church where the minister said if his house were surrounded by gays ( ostensibly as in the Sodom biblical story ) he'd shoot and kill them. According to The NY Times ( 9/16 ) , she has now been received into a much more inclusive church, Unity Fellowship Church, '... the only Christian denomination explicitly set up to serve gay, bisexual, and transgender members of minority groups.' Ms. Oliver heard recently, at the same service where she was declared a member, the same Sodom & Gomorrah story in the sermon where it was disclosed that the cities were destroyed for inhospitality, not homosexuality.