Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I have to say I am a passing fan of mixed martial arts, and not for the obvious reasons that most gay men state.
Image by Fuzzbelly
It was recently discovered that mixed martial arts fighter Dakota Cochrane, a competitor on the television series The Ultimate Fighter, used to do gay porn for boy-next-door site Sean Cody. Cochrane is straight and claims he did the gay-for-pay work for the money, a reported $80,000. Not bad.
Cochrane's former work in the sex industry was apparently an open secret, something he told the producers of the show as well as individuals interested in representing him. Cochrane has been quoted as saying:
"It's definitely a decision I regret. If I would have known what would happen I definitely wouldn't have done it. But I had money issues and I needed help. I went there to do pictures, and they started throwing pretty high numbers in front of me. I didn't really think. It was a big mistake."
Although it's unfortunate that Cochrane views his work in pornography as a mistake -- but not as unfortunate as people maligning those who work in pornography, while they keep them busy -- I think it's a smart move for him to be open about his past work. You can't be shamed or have something "dug up" about you when you've been open about it the whole time. Kudos to him.
Who knows? Maybe I will watch this season, just to see how Cochrane's competitors deal with this news.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
At the beginning of the year, I wrote about a friend of mine who started a video blog about his experiences as a young trans man.
Last saturday, Salon contributor Tracy Clark-Flory posted an article about how more and more young transgender individuals are telling their own stories online, in blog posts, videos and more. It's an online grassroots movement, telling people all over the world: you are not alone.
It doesn't matter if you are queer, straight, cisgender, transgender: it takes bravery to expose oneself, to tell your story for the world to hear, see and comment about.
A video diary from JackJackShift.
I'm glad someone out there is saying what they want to say, in a way that is true to them. Kudos.
Monday, February 27, 2012
It's such a shame.
The Oscars used to be so much fun. Now they're sanitized and memed. No more naked men running, no more protests.
But there was a time when one woman stood up to the Academy for what she believed was right -- that to limit the nominations due to species was unethical.
I give you Miss Piggy.
(Note: keep watching after Miss Piggy leaves the stage for a fantastic cameo by Ann Miller. I keep expecting her to start dancing.)
Friday, February 24, 2012
I'm a big fan of the queer art site Future Shipwreck. They've featured some of my favourite artists, such as Christopher Schulz, creator of Pinups (NSFW), and the now infamous Seth zine.
One of the editors/contributors, Graham Kolbeins, recently posted an homage to a lesser-known genre of Japanese comics known as bara. Unlike the better-known gay stories told in yaoi - which is written predominantly for women- bara is a form of manga where the stories told are about and for gay men. Although the images and storylines are often erotically charged, there is also, as Kolbeins notes, a sense of tenderness in between the sex.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Justin Huang apparently owes Jeremy Lin a bit of thanks, or at the very least, a high-five.
It seems that with the recent surge in Linsanity, this particular blogger feels that interest in the 6'3" player has fostered a certain type of interest in gay men. Sexual interest.
In a recent post on his I Am Yellow Peril blog, Huang tells how his social life seems to have gained a boost in recent times. Why? Because as Huang writes, "Linsanity could very well redefine the Asian American man as a sexually acknowledged being." People tend to notice tall, handsome, athletically gifted men. Whether that is your particular cup of tea or not is a different thing, but it's hard to deny that it is noticeable. And arguably very sexy. Huang writes:
We’re hardwired to desire the likeness of success; it’s a remnant of
our primordial survival skills mixed with pop culture. It’s why I have
a huge crush on my neighbor who looks just like Ewan McGregor, because
I associate his face with that of my favorite movie star. And it’s why
Tim (the aforementioned pretty boy) suddenly was made aware of my
sexual potential as a mate. He’s now been given context in the muscled
form of an NBA superstar.
In this sense, Linsanity applies not just to me, but to all Asian
men, regardless on where they fall on the sexual orientation spectrum.
You see, blonde twinks have David Beckham, and we have Jeremy Lin.
Does that mean that potbellied, bearded white guys have Zach Galifianakis?
Glad I'm not single, or I don't think I'd get laid very much.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
When it first started, Glee was a wonderful little piss-take on teenage melodramas and after-school specials. It had jocks, nerds, cheerleaders and ridiculously talented and underappreciated kids left to fend for themselves. It had zingers and pop-culture one-liners that spoke to both young and old. And it had Kurt.
Kurt was the kind of gay kid who never was really in the closet, who loved Lady Gaga but knew who Bette Davis was (and could quote her). He was also the kid who got picked on by homophobic jocks. Kurt was the gay kid in all of us who knows how life sucks sometimes, but who goes through life knowing that you have to be yourself.
Last year, it was discovered that the avatar for Kurt's bullying, Dave Karofksy, was, in fact, gay himself. This little tidbit of information was delivered via the PC version of a hate-fuck, the hate-kiss. Eventually, Kurt forgives Karofsky for the hell he put him through, an act that Karofsky misinterprets.
Unfortunately, Karofsky has begun to experience his own form of bullying, from both straight and queer peers.
Karofsky can't handle either his internalized or externalized homphobia and tries to commit suicide.
In a weird way, Glee has started to eat its own tail. What started as a satire of teen angst and drama became a shining example of it, tinged with pop-culture references and occasional tongue-in-cheek jokes. In a weird way, Glee is like Karofsky. It used to bully and make fun of shitty after-school specials, but now it has become one and embraced it. It knows what it is and is learning to stand on its own feet, on its own terms. Karofsky's suicide attempt is a classic example of "call for help" episodes, but taken in a slightly different way. The bully becomes bullied and is saved by the person he used to bully. Who knew Glee could be meta?
Not everyone can forgive, and not everyone gets to go home, safe and secure. If the writers are smart, they'll keep Karofsky around, if only to show people how to survive.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Roberts St is a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of place. It is perched parallel between Charles and West, a passage between Agricola and Maynard. On the south side of the street is a building smaller than a granny shack and bigger than a garden shed. Inside, you will find the Roberts St Social Centre.
The centre has functioned for years as the nexus of Halifax's DIY culture, hosting and fostering events on everything from zines and screen printing to radical queer events. Unfortunately, the centre is in need of a new home due to rising costs.
They need to vacate the space for May 1.
Because of this, the centre will be hosting a meeting this evening to discuss and brainstorm ideas and options on what can and will be done to maintain it. The meeting will be held at the Roberts St Social Centre, 5684 Roberts St, at 6pm. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as check out their online survey.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Chris Colfer, of Glee fame, hinted a while back that he was working on a film script. That script, and now the film itself, has been completed, and Struck By Lightning is the result.
Lightning is the story of a student who blackmails his entire school into helping him work on a literary magazine, all in the name of helping him get into a better school. Based on some of the zingers in the trailer, I think Colfer may have something really good to show for his efforts.
Friday, February 17, 2012
This is a great weekend to shake your groove thang in Halifax.
Down at the Company House tonight, you can pretend it's the '80s and forgo the mall claw while dancing at Retro Night. The best part of the evening: tambourines for all! Here's a little something to get you in the mood.
Just down the street at Menz Bar is the monthly disco-boogie party, Shake It Out. I must admit to having a bit of a bias for this event, but maybe that's because the DJ once played this record for me.
I thought I was gonna cry on the dancefloor. If you're feeling like you wish you had been at the Paradise Garage, take a listen to DJ AA Wallace's downloadable mix.
If you're feeling festive on Saturday night, you can check back in to Menz for a Mardi Gras Party with DJ Sonny D. Bonus points to you if you can figure out who and where this record is sampled.
Boogie on down, my brothers and sisters. Boogie on down.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
I recently had the opportunity to do a story on Amos Mac, one of the creators of Original Plumbing, a trans male quarterly. Amos and his friend Rocco Kayiatos are the core of the magazine's editorial team. But like Amos -- who also does photography and art publications -- Kayiatos has his own side projects. Katastrophe is his alter ego, a hard-line deliverer of rhymes and stories. Amos and Rocco recently collaborated on a video together, for Katastrophe's latest single, "Eat Everything," which features Margaret Cho, De=MC2 and Athens Boys Choir.
Check it out.