18th October 2007
Interview: The ever-controversial Mr Phillips 1
10:30 PM — Trevor Phillips meets me in an office he has just moved into. The L-shaped sofa came from his own home; his framed Martin Luther King montage sits on the floor waiting to be hung. A small silver bust of Lenin on his desk catches my eye.The new public body of which he is chairman, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, only came into being a few days before we met.Phillips' office, at the end of an open-plan room, has a fine view of London's City Hall.
12th October 2007
Interview: Up close with Annie Lennox 1
12:54 PM — When Annie Lennox stepped up to the stage to accept the 2004 Academy Award for Best Original Song From a Major Motion Picture, something unique happened in living rooms around the world.Time stopped, and for a brief second, this legend of music... a woman who has won countless Grammys, BRIT Awards and the respect of musicians worldwide, became a kid again.Annie Lennox gushed. She grinned from ear to ear. In a time when some artists accept awards like they're a mandatory pay off for a job well done, this music icon rushed the stage like a kid in a candy store.
TURING: What is a gay (wo)man?
10:55 AM — After a two-week hiatus, Turing returns to take the patriarchal, heterosexist societies of the world — and that's most, if not all of humanity — to task.There is an old New York joke that self-identified critical theorists often like to quote.'You're a terrorist? Thank God. I understood Meg to say you were a theorist.'The patient reader need not worry - this column is not a careful dissection of Queer Theory, nor is your columnist a student of the arts, specifically literary theory.
5th October 2007
Comment: ENDA only protects straight-acting people 21
10:56 AM — After many years working as a bartender for Harrah's Casino, Darlene Jespersen was fired for failing to conform to the Casino's new 'personal best' grooming policy.As a female bartender, Jesperson was required to have her hair "teased, curled, or styled," and to wear stockings.Jesperson was also suddenly required to put on makeup everyday: lipstick and nail polish mandatory.
24th September 2007
COMMENT: Bullying guidance useless if not enforced 8
2:47 PM — We at Schools OUT should be jumping up and down with joy.In our 33 years of existence we have asked no more than that schools be made proper and safe places for the LGBT people that attend them, that they speak the truth of LGBT people's lives and achievements and thereby counter the prejudice and stereotyping that is rife in our society.At the end of last week the Department for Children, Schools and Families published such guidance that, if followed, would accomplish all the above for lesbian, gay and bisexual people at least.
23rd September 2007
EXCLUSIVE: Boris Johnson courts gay vote 14
9:40 PM — When I meet Boris Johnson in a Westminster cafe for his PinkNews.co.uk interview, it becomes apparent, immediately after he shambles in and launches himself into a chair, that 10am is not optimum Boris time.As he puts it in his diary of the 2001 election campaign, Friends, Voters, Countrymen, it is "a pretty ungodly hour for someone accustomed to journalism."The interview had been in the pipeline well before Labour activists started taking swipes at him over his views.
21st September 2007
COMMENT: George Michael can’t shrug off HIV 5
1:25 PM — It can be argued that George Michael's recent decision to pull his interview from the upcoming BBC programme Stephen Fry: HIV and Me is justified because it's such a personal issue.However, to discover that he does not believe in HIV tests and finds waiting for results too harrowing is pathetic and cowardly.Someone who is a role model, idol and influencer for so many, hiding from an infection which eventually led to the death of his former partner, Anselmo Feleppa, through an AIDS-related illness, is ignorant.
TURING: Dating the 21st century way 1
1:01 PM — Despite its past and its popularity, cruising sites like Gaydar have outrun their usefulness—and probably do more harm than goodIn many ways, Gaydar is a maverick among the so-called dating websites for men in Britain — gay, straight, bisexual and everything in between — and to a limited extent in a few other European countries, Australia and North America.Indeed, at one time in the not-so-remote past, Gaydar was the third most popular site in Britain after Google and the BBC.
COMMENT: Schools must clamp down on homophobic bullying 8
10:44 AM — Today is a watershed moment for education, as we unveil new guidance that will give schools detailed practical advice on how to deal with homophobic bullying for the first time.This is something teachers have frequently called for and will help schools get to grips with an issue that has blighted too many young people's lives.Every pupil in our schools has the right to be protected from bullying.
19th September 2007
Interview: Pricking the bubble of Hollywood celebrity
11:54 AM — "What child would want to be Graham Norton when they are older?" asks Paul Burston."No offence to Graham, what he does is great, but he is not the image you aspire to. When you are a young gay kid, you want to be gay but normal."And he ought to know. Cultural theorist, nightlife journalist andauthor, Paul Burston has chronicled gay popular and club culture formore than 14 years.
14th September 2007
TURING: Ads beware 1
10:40 AM — More often than not, the fuss is unnecessary. But, that does not relieve the media companies from their responsibilityMarshall McLuhan, the communications theorist, believed that advertising was the greatest art form of the twentieth century.The description could perhaps be made more accurate if one replaces his superlative adjective with a more plausible alternative —'greatest' with 'most controversial.'
12th September 2007
Comment: Peter Tatchell on 9/11
4:21 PM — Six years after 9/11, the American public have still not been provided with a full and truthful account of the single greatest terror attack in US history.What they got was a turkey. The 9/11 Commission was hamstrung by official obstruction. It never managed to ascertain the whole truth of what happened on 11 September 2001.The Chair and Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, respectively ThomasKean and Lee Hamilton, assert in their book, Without Precedent, that they were "set up to fail."
7th September 2007
TURING: Yours shamefully 4
2:45 PM — It is high time that the Home Office defined its policies for dealing with LGBT asylum seekers. Shame that it still refuses to do so.Iran is no place to be gay. Nor is it the best place for Westerners to campaign for the rights of sexual minorities.Even according to the most conservative of estimates, no fewer than 4000 people may have been executed in Iran for the 'crime of homosexuality' since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Feature: Grim realities of life for gays in Iran
12:48 PM — Gay Iranian organisation IRQO has published an in-depth interview with a gay male couple about the challenges of living in the Islamic Republic, both from the religious authorities, their families and other Iranians. Kamran, 24 and Kaveh, 25, have been together about 3 years."The way we are looked at is a source of torment for us. Even though physically we are not any different from them they discriminate against us. This makes our lives extremely difficult. I don't think there is any problem greater than being labeled abnormal in society when you are certain nothing is wrong with you."
Editorial: The Tories and PinkNews.co.uk 72
10:04 AM — The Conservative party is well-known for its ad campaigns.From the iconic 1979 "Labour isn't working" posters, to the "Demon Eyes" of Tony Blair in the 1997 election campaign, through to the "Five Pledges" of Michael "are you thinking what I am thinking" Howard in 2005, never let it be said that the Tory party were short of a strategy. Some, of course, more successful than others.Today marks a new stage in the party's attempts to disseminate its message to the voters.
29th August 2007
Comment: Nigeria’s anti-gay witch-hunt 1
11:27 AM — Peter Tatchell comments on Nigeria's treatment of gay peopleThe arrest on 5 August of 18 men at a private party in the northernstate of Bauchi is the latest incident in a wave of on-goinghomophobic persecution in Nigeria - much of which is incited byChristian bishops and Muslim imams.Bauchi is a predominantly Muslim region which has adopted Sharia(Islamic) law. Police officers acted on a tip-off from the HisbahIslamic anti-vice squad of the Bauchi Sharia Commission. They seizedthe men, aged 18 to 22, in rooms at the Benko Hotel in Bauchi.
24th August 2007
TURING: The business of outing 2
10:16 AM — By all means, out someone if he or she is a hypocrite; just don't call them gay. It is nothing short of a comical irony. Ted Haggard, the ex-televangelist, and once the self-appointed spokesperson for Jesus Christ, has all but disappeared from public attention.Only a few months ago, he was reviled not just by the gay community for his blatant homophobic preaching, but also by intelligent people at large for his inability to handle rational criticisms and arguments.
21st August 2007
Interview: Julian Clary’s Murder Most Fab
4:35 PM — Comedian Julian Clary's debut as a novelist is a funny, farcical tale of a gay boy who falls in love, suffers a broken heart, moves to London, works as an escort and eventually ends up as TV star with a guilty secret.Murder Most Fab could only have been written by Julian, and his unique sense of humour and absurd but amusing plot make it one of the lightest and most pleasurable reads of the year.Julian, who looks about a decade younger than his 48 years, first shot to fame in the early 1980s as an outrageous stand-up comedian.
17th August 2007
TURING: The case for a boycott 4
10:40 AM — Despite reasonable arguments to the contrary, it is better stay away from homophobic countries.The United States, not particularly known for its gay rights record, surprised a good many people in 2005 when its State Department, in its annual report on human rights, included for the first time a list of countries guilty of LGBT abuses.A painful evidence of the Bush administration's hypocrisy, it may well have been.
16th August 2007
Comment: My journey from scared teen to gay activist
1:35 PM — The first time I came to the UK, I was amazed by its history, architecture and bustling cities.Now, over ten years later, I have come back to experience this amazing place once again.As a third year student from the University of California Santa Cruz, I am currently doing a full time internship with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) History Month and Schools OUT.