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Opinion

  • 12th October 2007

    TURING: What is a gay (wo)man?

    Your columnist knows how supportive the notion of belonging to a community can be in a country where homosexuality is still a punishable criminal offence.

    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

    Congressman Barney Frank has chosen to introduce a straight-acting-only version of ENDA.

    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

    The lives and success of LGBT students and educators is dependent on their follow up to this document.

    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

    A lot has been written about Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson's background.

    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

    The man runs from himself and turns his back on everything he stands for when he refuses to get tested for HIV.

    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

    Discerning readers who have by now become impatient with this column might consider what the point of it all is.

    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

    “Schools have a clear, legal duty to establish measures to prevent all forms of bullying, including homophobic bullying. “

    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

    Cultural theorist, nightlife journalist and author, Paul Burston has chronicled gay popular and club culture for over 14 years.

    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

    Would it be appropriate for this website to carry an advertisement that claims to 'cure' homosexuality?

    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

    The 9/11 Commission was hamstrung by official obstruction. It never managed to ascertain the whole truth of what happened on 11 September 2001.

    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

    It is the moral responsibility of every tolerant developed nation to grant asylum seekers the right to residence.

    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

    Iranian organisation IRQO has published an in-depth interview with a gay male couple about the challenges of living in the Islamic Republic.

    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

    We would never run an advert from anyone that seeks to harm the gay community. There will be no adverts for ex-gay movements on PinkNews.co.uk.

    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

    Peter Tatchell is a human rights campaigner

    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

    There is something extraordinarily vulgar about being a homosexual yourself in private, and conducting blatant homophobic campaigns in public.

    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

    Julian Clary spoke to PinkNews.co.uk about the novel, his time as a stand-up comic, and why he is glad that Peter Tatchell exists.

    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

    Beheadings and fatal lashings are still common in Saudi Arabia.

    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

    It was my goal to make sure that no one went through the isolation and harassment that I experienced.

    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.

  • 15th August 2007

    Comment: Despite the fanfare, freedom still eludes gay Indians 57

    Technically, it is still not illegal if someone were to arrest me just for being gay.

    12:55 PM — As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence from Britain, Balaji Ravichandran explains why he feels neither free nor independent. The celebrations started well before I arrived in India six weeks ago.From the moment I switched on the television at home the advertisements, programmes and notices, often painfully jingoistic in their self-congratulation, have constantly greeted me with their patriotic screams.

  • 10th August 2007

    Analysis: 2008 candidates jockey for vital gay votes 3

    The two largest national gay political groups issued statements following the forum, suggesting they were disappointed with their responses.

    2:43 PM — There was one jaw-dropping moment in last night's presidential forum on gay issues, and several lean-in-close moments too.While there were no major shifts in previously stated positions, the forum served at least two useful purposes for LGBT voters.It pressed six of the eight Democratic candidates in an unprecedented way on gay-related issues, and gave those candidates an opportunity to make their case for why gay voters should prefer them over the others.

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