4th April 2008
Sir Ian McKellen: coming out politicised me 5
4:10 PM — Last night veteran gay rights campaigner and co-founder of Stonewall Sir Ian McKellen gave the keynote speech at the gay equality organisation's annual Equality Dinner.540 guests attended and more than £320,000 was raised.For many people, the highlight of the evening was the following speech by Sir Ian, exploring the history of Stonewall and what its priorities are for the future. "It was 20 years ago. The biggest story regarding gay people in this country was about AIDS."
3rd April 2008
COMMENT: Straight male machismo underpins all tyranny 3
1:30 PM — In a speech to the European Feminist Summit in London last month, activist and human rights advocate Peter Tatchell argued that by challenging traditional heterosexual masculinity, the queer emancipation movement can contribute to the liberation of all of humanity.Queer liberation is not a mere minority issue, nor purely a questionof personal lifestyle, civil rights or sexual freedom. It is, or canbe, socially transformative, with the potential to aid allemancipation struggles everywhere.Queers deviate from traditional masculinity. We reject the orthodoxmodel of what it is to be a man.
28th March 2008
INTERVIEW: Pi, mythology and the black male form
12:05 PM — A church is not the sort of place one would expect to find a celebration of male sexuality.But next month, St Pancras Church Crypt will play host to the 'Reverie' exhibition by London artist Charlie Pi, showcasing his interpretation of masculinity and sex.Known for his paintings of the black male form, the Deptford-based artist will premiere a selection of 50 new oil paintings of black male iconography displayed on unconventional canvases, such as old table tops and bread boards.
25th March 2008
INTERVIEW: From soaps to Soviet murder mystery
9:00 PM — Tom Rob Smith doesn't believe in stereotypes, particularly the one that says a gay, former TV soap writer can't pen an intense, hard-hitting Cold War thriller.Child 44 counfounds assumptions about gay writers.His first novel, it caused a fierce bidding war at the London Book Fair and was eventually sold to 22 countries. It is no surprise that film rights to this powerful piece of fiction have just been snapped up by Ridley Scott.
COMMENT: Can celebs swing the Democratic nomination?
2:50 PM — Obama or Clinton? It seems to be a question at the forefront of every American Democrat's mind going into to this year's important Presidential election.While the Republican Party has elected their representative as John McCain, the other side seems to be a struggle less about the ideals of the candidates, which are very similar, and more about a popularity contest.Questions have been raised about who is more electable, who has more experience, and who has a better message.
INTERVIEW: Basketball’s stereotype-busting gay icon 3
11:50 AM — There can be no better introduction to the conversation of John Amaechi than to relay his thoughts on the American press and basketball-loving public's reaction to the revelation that this giant of the game is gay."I knew it would be fuss-worthy, especially in America. But it's very weird really because over here if you didn't know you just weren't paying attention."Amaechi is one of a handful of British players to have reached the heights of the US National Basketball Association.
21st March 2008
Comment: Is Clinton really any different to Obama? 14
4:50 PM — Ann Turner tosses up whether either one of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is worthy of her vote in the Democratic primary. Or, if it really matters which one she picks as they both seem so similar.As I stood in line to cast my ballot in the Washington state Democratic caucuses last month, the choice of who to support for the presidential nominee still loomed large in my mind...
19th March 2008
Comment: Obama’s hit and miss speech on race 6
12:10 PM — In a speech prompted by extensive media coverage of the divisive, racially-tinged sermons of his pastor and 'spiritual mentor' of the last twenty years, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama today attempted to address concerns over his stance on issues, including race and patriotism, that have dogged his campaign for the last week.Speaking from the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia, Senator Obama's words yesterday broadened the context of the debate beyond the firestorm surrounding Reverend Wright's comments alone and instead focused on the subject of race in America.
Barack Obama on race in America 6
1:10 AM — "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.
13th March 2008
Comment: Hillary and the Eliot Spitzer effect
4:30 PM — On the heels of Samantha Power "resigning" from Barack Obama's campaign for calling Hillary Clinton a "monster" comes news that LGBT Council member Maxim Thorne has been bumped from his post for a similarly tactless use of words.In an email blasting Clinton's "who do you want answering the phone at 3am" rhetoric, Thorne wrote:"At 3am, Hillary said she and Bill were in bed and she knows of all the calls a President gets at different times of the day and night.Really?"
7th March 2008
Comment: Florida’s governor is a hypocrite 4
10:30 AM — As far as Republican governors go, Charlie Crist appears to be a pretty good guy.He comes across as fair, smart, even-handed and independent in his thinking, and he has even broken ranks with conservatives from time to time to do what he perceives to be the right thing.And while he doesn't support gay marriage or gay adoption, he has publicly supported gay civil unions, which, socially, pretty much puts him miles ahead of the majority of his Republican colleagues.
3rd March 2008
Interview: Critic turned playwright explores Gielgud’s darkest hour
4:20 PM — Plague Over England, the new play by Nicholas de Jongh currently playing at the Finborough Theatre in London, opened last week to favourable reviews from the national press.Which must have been a double relief to the playwright, the theatre critic of the Evening Standard since 1991.Billed as a play about the 1953 arrest of actor Sir John Gielgud for cruising, in fact it accurately portrays several intersecting gay lives in the period.
25th February 2008
Interview: Gays and the United States military 3
2:45 PM — It is almost eight years since the British government moved to allow openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve in our Army, Navy and Air Force.We were by no means the first. The Dutch lifted their ban in 1974, Australia followed in 1992, Canada soon after.In 2008, most of the member nations of NATO have removed their bans, with one glaring exception. The United States continues to operate under the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law, a messy compromise reached in 1994.
19th February 2008
Interview: Mayoral candidate wants London free of the EU
12:20 PM — The UK Independence Party is misunderstood and misrepresented, their candidate for Mayor of London tells me when we meet.Gerard Batten is a somewhat unusual politician, in that he is a member of a parliament that he desires to have no power over the lives of his constituents.As an MEP for London since 2004, he spends his days in Brussels trying to think up new ways to discredit and dismantle the European Union (or "ferment rebellion" as he describes it).
14th February 2008
Comment: Peter Tatchell on sexing the future 1
4:10 PM — February is LGBT History Month, with hundreds of events taking place across the country to promote awareness of the contribution to society of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.In a culture that has, until recently, persecuted queers and suppressed us from public life, this reclamation of hidden LGBT history is a welcome and much needed historical correction.But history is about the past. What about the future? As we progress towards a post-homophobic society, how will this transition to understanding and acceptance affect the expression of human sexuality?
11th February 2008
Interview: The former cop who wants to run London
11:45 AM — Brian Paddick is enjoying running for Mayor of London. The Liberal Democrat candidate may be a distant third in opinion polls, but he has one distinct advantage in this race - lots of people know who he is.The 2008 Mayoral election is already the most exciting contest since the post was established at the turn of the century.Incumbent Ken Livingstone is facing a concerted (some would say co-ordinated) barrage of negative press on everything from cronyism to his alcohol intake.
17th January 2008
Feature: Searching for the true meaning of gay love 2
6:30 PM — A new play about modern gay love and relationships opens in London next week. Counterfeit Skin, by Jason Charles, explores the interplay between lovers, friends, family and rivals and in the process confronts deception, desire, greed, obsession and disappointment.Much of the drama focuses on Luke and Jake, a young couple living with Jake's gay godfather, who are questioning their long-term relationship.
14th January 2008
Comment: Canada’s ban on gay organ donation 1
1:10 PM — As Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces plans to rapidly expand the organ donation scheme in the UK by effectively making everyone a donor unless they choose to opt out, Canadian health authorities are under fire for appearing to exclude sexually active gay men.Dr Gary A Levy, one of Canada's leading transplant experts speaks out against the policy which seeks to exclude donors on the grounds of their sexual orientation. As the Medical Director of Canada's largest multi-organ transplant programme, I see people when they are at their most vulnerable.
7th January 2008
Analysis: Hillary and Barack excite gay voters 2
11:10 AM — That was then, this is now.Less than 24 hours after the stunning victories of Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, in the Iowa caucuses, the Presidential campaigns and the accompanying national media shifted attention from cold Iowa to the colder tiny Granite state of New Hampshire.And where there are politicians, especially New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the other leaders in the Democratic Party contest, there are LGBT folks trying to influence them and their voters.
3rd January 2008
Interview: David Heath on incitement to homophobic hatred 5
10:40 AM — As Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice, David Heath is a comforting contrast to the Cleggs and Huhnes of the party.Big, bearded, thoughtful yet jocular, the 53-year-old is a substantial politician in more ways than one, and in his present role he shadows one of the remaining big beasts of the Labour party, Jack Straw.Heath is very much of his constituency, Somerton and Frome. He was born in the Mendip Hills of Somerset and was leader of the county's council at the age of 31.