This week, the Supreme Court made the historic ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 are both unconstitutional. It’s an enormous victory for gays and lesbians, their families, and anyone who cares about equality.
So how did The New Yorker, arguably the most reputable magazine in the country, memorialize the occasion on their cover? With Bert and Ernie, two puppets from “Sesame Street,” watching a television with the Supreme Court justices shown the screen.
The background, in case you aren’t aware, is that there have long been jokes that roommates Bert and Ernie are actually extra-special roommates. Predictably, some whackadoodles have gotten upset about children watching “Sesame Street” and wondering why two male puppets (and their rubber ducky) live together.
I’ll be honest: I think the cover is a little cute just because I like Jim Henson puppets, especially the ones from “Sesame Street.” I also think it’s an eye-catching image, which means it may sell better on the newsstands (and is likely the primary reason The New Yorker chose it). The media is a business after all.
But not everyone feels the same way I do. Let’s ignore the National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, who posted the image under the homophobic title “Innocence. Lost.” Blogger Tyler Coates of Flavorwire, whom I implicitly trust to interpret all things LGBTQ-related, blasted the cover as “infantilizing,” “offensive,” and click-baiting for Internet outrage. Keep reading »
On Wednesday afternoon, the president of Exodus International, one of the largest “ex-gay” organizations in the world, issued an apology to the LGBT community. “I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage,” Exodus President Alan Chamber wrote in a sincerely worded letter. “But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself.” Hours later, Chambers announced that Exodus would be closing its doors permanently, after 37 years in operation. I felt two distinct reactions to this news: relief for LGBT people who have felt attacked and abused by the social and political messages perpetuated by Exodus, and hope for what this change means for both gay and “ex-gay” people alike.
I have some first-hand experience with Exodus – not as a participant, but as an observer. In November 2007, I attended the organization’s North Atlantic Regional Conference in upstate New York. At the time, I was producing a short documentary film, “Just As I Am,” which explored the “ex-gay” movement through two opposing perspectives: an active Exodus ministry leader, and an ex-”ex-gay” minister who belonged to Exodus in the 1980s. BK, the ministry leader, was going to the conference to lead the music during the worship services, so she brought me along. Keep reading »
J-Sette is a dance style that emerged out of southern female African-American step teams, but has now become somewhat more pervasive. You can see elements of it in Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video, with its mix of super precise and tightly choreographed moves, done with grace and flair (Beyonce always gets accused of, um, “borrowing” from different styles). J-Setting is super popular in southern African-American gay clubs, but it’s not without its dilemmas. According to Philadelphia choreographer Jumatatu Poe, finding venues that will accept a squad of guys J-Setting can be difficult. “The guys practicing J-Sette are, to a certain extent, limited in terms of where they can dance,” he said in a 2012 interview. “[They] wouldn’t be in the stands with the majorettes at sports games because it’s not typically accepted.” This crew is called the Prancing Elites, and they’re based out of Mobile, Alabama, and they are straight up amazing.
Click through to see another video of the Prancing Elites performing at a Mardi Gras celebration!
Keep reading »
According to a Russian bill that passed by a unanimous vote, it would be illegal to tell children that gay people exist or that homosexuality is socially equal to heterosexuality. The bill has passed Russia’s lower house of parliament and now heads to its upper house, where it is expected to pass. President Vladimir Putin supports signing the bill into law.
Don’t worry, Russia! If you pretend things don’t exist, they just disappear on their own! Keep reading »
Out and hilarious lesbian vlogger Hart was asked by some followers why she dresses so masculine. “If you don’t like men, then why do you dress like them?” was a common refrain. To shut down the haterz who just aren’t getting it, Hart made this video, in which she explains that just because you like something doesn’t mean you have to dress like it. By that logic, dudes would be dressing like ladies, and I would be dressing like sandwiches, which, hey, doesn’t sound like the worst idea. [YouTube]
Did you win any senior superlatives in high school? I did, but not anything cool. I was dubbed “Most Unique Hair,” mostly owing to the fact that I was the only girl in my grade that had a short pixie haircut at the time. Even back then, I knew that “most unique hair” was one of those weird backhanded compliment kind of categories, but whatever. Look at my hair now.
Anyway, students at Carmel High School in Carmel, New York, chose their senior superlatives for the class of 2013, and for the first time in the history of the school — and maybe ever? — a same sex couple was chosen for the honor of cutest couple. Dylan Meehan and Brad Taylor — both of whom have great hair, by the way — were floored when a yearbook photo of them went way viral on the the Interwebs after their friend Chelsea Blaney posted it to her Tumblr.
“Two of my best friends won Cutest Couple of our senior class,” Blaney wrote. “First time in my school history a same sex couple has even been able to run for this category, not to mention winning it. So proud of them, and my school.” The picture, and Chelsea’s sentiment, has so far been shared more than 100,000 times on the blog platform site. Keep reading »
Ever wonder how the first men figured out how to reproduce? Are we all naturally inclined to go for “samesies”? John McKeever and his merry band of early men debate the relative merits of same and opposite sex copulation. Guess which one wins? [YouTube]
On Monday in New York City, thousands of people marched in honor of Mark Carson, a 32-year-old man who was shot to death this weekend for being gay. Protesters, which included the openly gay City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, shouted, “We’re here. We’re queer. Homophobia has got to go!”
Yet across town, hate crime violence persisted: more men were attacked in NYC because of their sexual orientation that same evening. Keep reading »