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From Haight Street to Sesame Street: The Evolution of AIDS in Pop Culture

From Haight Street to Sesame Street: The Evolution of AIDS in Pop Culture | Gay News | Scoop.it
As the face of the disease has changed, so has art that portrays it.
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News and links for gay guys. Links are shared for information, entertainment and provocation. Sharing is not an endorsement.
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Inside One Man's Obsessive Quest to Create a Million-Dollar Vibrator

Inside One Man's Obsessive Quest to Create a Million-Dollar Vibrator | Gay News | Scoop.it

All visionaries have their obsessions. For Thomas Edison, it was electricity. For Elon Musk, space travel. And for Colin Burn, it's a vibrator that costs a million dollars.

 

Burn, a 53-year-old jeweler in Perth, Australia, who first made a name for himself by devising a process for gilding leaves and flowers in gold and silver, has spent the last dozen years creating wildly extravagant sex toys for the global 1%. These come encrusted with jewels, monogrammed, and custom detailed, made from the world's most precious woods and metals and even human hair. They range from silver nipple clamps for $299, to the "Pearl Mini Vibe" in silver with an actual pearl on top for $3,000, to the Pearl Vibrator in platinum, which includes a necklace made with pearls and diamonds and matching earrings, and costs $36,000. Priciest of all is Burn's Diletto. Made out of 18-karat white gold and festooned with 400 diamonds. Yours for $38,000.

 

Burn's accomplishments are many, but one thing continues to elude him: the million-dollar vibrator. It's now designed, prototyped, and ready to go, but it took years of hustle, hard work, and enduring the taunts of friends and colleagues to get there.

 

Here's Burn, in his own words.

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There’s now a formal proposal for a rainbow flag emoji

When the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June 2015, a rallying cry went up for a rainbow flag emoji to celebrate the occasion. Noah Slater, who identifies as a “queer trans feminist nerd,” emailed the Unicode consortium—the organization responsible for approving emoji—to say that “there is a clear need for a rainbow flag that unambiguously symbolizes queer pride.”

 

More than a year later, that argument is gaining some traction. On Tuesday (July 19), Google software engineer Mark Davis—also the co-founder and current president of Unicode—submitted a formal proposal for a rainbow flag emoji. Davis urged the committee to design and release the flag before the Unicode 10.0 update, due to launch in mid-2017. “Because existing Unicode characters are used, vendors can begin design and implementation work now and can deploy before the end of 2016,” he wrote.

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Milo Yiannopoulos and the Gay Fascist Sophisticate

Milo Yiannopoulos and the Gay Fascist Sophisticate | Gay News | Scoop.it

The subject of the gay fascist is, unsurprisingly, a sensitive one. Real-life fascist regimes mercilessly persecuted homosexuals, and any empirical connection between homosexuality and fascism is tenuous, despite what Christian conspiracy theorists and gay contrarians might have you believe. The gay fascist is a real historical figure — for instance, the French critic Robert Brasillach or the SA leader Ernst Röhm — but, more significantly, it’s a cultural trope, familiar from films such as Luchino Visconti’s The Damned and novels such as Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones. In these works of fiction, the gay fascist, who is generally debonair, witty, and well-read, is meant to stand in for the cultural afflictions of the society that produced him: decadence, cynicism, sadism; the narcissism and aestheticism of over-civilization; the worship of death and the loss of hope in the future (associations all courted by Milo with his Twitter name, Nero).

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A Lot of Republican Convention Attendees Are Searching for Gay Sex on Craigslist  

The acronym "RNC" technically refers to the Republican National Convention taking place in Cleveland, Ohio this week. But if the city's current influx of RNC-themed "casual encounters" Craigslist advertisements is any indication, it could just as well stand for, like, Raunchy Nut Cock (or something).

 

The Daily Dot reports that the classifieds site has become a veritable treasure trove of NSFW hookup ads in recent days.

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Marriage equality plebiscite not as popular as Turnbull claims, poll shows

Marriage equality plebiscite not as popular as Turnbull claims, poll shows | Gay News | Scoop.it

A new poll has found that only 48% of Australians back a marriage equality plebiscite, casting doubt over the government’s claim the “overwhelming majority” of Australians back the idea.

 

Galaxy asked 1,000 Australian voters “regardless of your views on same-sex marriage” whether they support or oppose a national plebiscite to decide whether same-sex couples should be able to marry.

 

The poll, commissioned by the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), found 48% of respondents supported the plebiscite, 30% oppose it and 20% are undecided.


When told the result of a plebiscite would not be binding and “politicians will still need to vote on whether to agree or disagree with what the public has decided, potentially overriding the public’s vote”, support fell to 33%.

 

When told the plebiscite is expected to cost $160m, support came in at 25%.

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Only One Person Has Been Cured Of AIDS — Can We Do It Again?

Only One Person Has Been Cured Of AIDS — Can We Do It Again? | Gay News | Scoop.it

Over the past eight years, scientists have tried many ways to replicate what happened in Timothy Brown’s body. On Thursday at the massive International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, a group of European researchers will report that they may have done so in two people with the disease. Since getting bone marrow transplants three years ago, these two patients have cleared HIV from their bodies (though they are also still taking antiretroviral drugs).

 

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There Was a 'Gays for Trump' Party at the RNC and It Was Absolutely Insane

There Was a 'Gays for Trump' Party at the RNC and It Was Absolutely Insane | Gay News | Scoop.it

The second night of the Republican National Convention saw a “Gays for Trump” rally that showcased a series of militant, xenophobic, anti-Islamic speakers who argued that the Republican party is the real friend of the LGBT community.

The event took place in a ballroom lined with images of scantily clad white twinks in “Make America Great Again” hats.

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Plebiscite or bust?

Plebiscite or bust? | Gay News | Scoop.it

Should we reluctantly opt for a plebiscite because it provides a path forward?
 
Should we oppose a plebiscite and wait until after the next election in the hope things improve?
 
For me it is a false choice.
 
We should continue to push for a vote in this parliament with no plebiscite.

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Here's What A Free Vote On Marriage Equality Would Look Like

Here's What A Free Vote On Marriage Equality Would Look Like | Gay News | Scoop.it

The new Australian parliament shows a clear majority in support of same-sex marriage for the first time in the nation’s history.

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Watch Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, and the Cast of Vicious Talk About the Series Finale

Watch Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, and the Cast of Vicious Talk About the Series Finale | Gay News | Scoop.it

Vicious, the British-to-PBS sitcom starring Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi as a hilariously bitchy older gay couple, finished up its two-season run in June with a series finale special. The hourlong episode was organized around the four seasons, with each of the characters—the main couple, Violet (Frances de la Tour), Ash (Iwan Rheon), Penelope (Marcia Warren), and Mason (Philip Voss)—receiving a satisfying resolution of one sort or another. As my colleague June Thomas noted in her review, the finale “focused on the love and kindness that Freddie and Stuart … had previously kept hidden under layers and layers of arch putdowns and distinctively gay snark.”

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Grindr successfully convinced gay men to test for HIV

Grindr successfully convinced gay men to test for HIV | Gay News | Scoop.it

Grindr, the popular gay social networking app, recently ended a study in which a subsection of users were targeted to receive and utilize HIV self-testing kits for a quick diagnosis. Of the 56 men who were tested and answered survey questions, two learned via the kit of their infections.

 
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Who Do You Get Your Penis Size From — Mom or Dad?

Who Do You Get Your Penis Size From — Mom or Dad? | Gay News | Scoop.it
Or is it from Great-Grandpa Earl, a man with an, um, prolific reputation?
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Untreatable gonorrhea: coming soon to genitalia near you

Untreatable gonorrhea: coming soon to genitalia near you | Gay News | Scoop.it

The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea may be becoming resistant to the only two antibiotics left to treat it. The disheartening news comes from a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which yesterday reported that the STD’s resistance rates have increased in 2014.

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A Gay RNC Delegate in a Cowboy Hat Explains Why the GOP Is Better for Gays

A Gay RNC Delegate in a Cowboy Hat Explains Why the GOP Is Better for Gays | Gay News | Scoop.it

As Slate met delegates in and around the Republican National Convention, one of the less expected was Colton Buckley, a young Republican from Texas who came out as gay shortly after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Fresh faced and cheerfully strident, he told us more gay Republicans need to come out, why LGBT people should never support Hillary Clinton, and how he reconciles the GOP’s anti-gay platform with his support for the party.

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PFLAG survey calls for LGBTI Australians to have their say on marriage equality

PFLAG survey calls for LGBTI Australians to have their say on marriage equality | Gay News | Scoop.it

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and new LGBTIQ advocacy group, just.equal are calling for LGBTI Australians to take part in a survey canvassing their opinions on marriage equality and the way forward , including whether they support a plebiscite or free vote in parliament.

The survey has been put together by marriage equality researcher Dr Sharon Dane who says it will provide the most comprehensive picture of how the LGBTI community wants to progress the issue.

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Brisbane City Council to hold LGBT forum at the Powerhouse

Brisbane City Council to hold LGBT forum at the Powerhouse | Gay News | Scoop.it

Brisbane City Council will hold a community forum so LGBT residents can give feedback on where they think the city should be heading. 

BCC’s Inclusive Brisbane Board (IBB), which includes a gay representative, is holding the open forum at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Thursday, July 28.

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Toye de Wilde - Activist & Showgirl - remembers the early days of QuAC

Toye de Wilde - Activist & Showgirl - remembers the early days of QuAC | Gay News | Scoop.it

Toye de Wilde is an important figure in the early days of the AIDS epidemic and the formation of the Queensland AIDS Committee and is Patron of QuAC. As a showgirl and activist, she spread the safe sex message and told Brisbane’s gay men the facts about the epidemic. At 71, she tells Andrew Shaw it’s a message that needs reviving.

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St Kilda V Sydney pride match creates AFL sporting history

St Kilda V Sydney pride match creates AFL sporting history | Gay News | Scoop.it

St Kilda officially launched the inaugural AFL Pride Game against Sydney Swans today.

The launch took place at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda today and heralds a significant day in football history.

The Round 21 clash, which will take place August 13 at Etihad Stadium in Mebourne, is believed to be the first Pride Game for a professional sporting competition in the world.

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Dan Savage Slams Log Cabin Republicans as an 'Utter Failure'

Dan Savage Slams Log Cabin Republicans as an 'Utter Failure' | Gay News | Scoop.it

Dan Savage, renowned author, LGBT activist and media pundit, had a few harsh words for the Log Cabin Republicans, a pro-LGBT Republican lobbying group. In an editorial this week Savage was highly critical of the group, calling their efforts to promote acceptance of the LGBT community from within the Republican Party an "Utter Failure," and "most ineffectual political advocacy org this side of NAMBLA."

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Poll questions level of community support for same-sex marriage plebiscite

Poll questions level of community support for same-sex marriage plebiscite | Gay News | Scoop.it

Less than half of Australians want a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, a poll has found, with support for a national vote plummeting once voters are aware that the Turnbull Government's proposal will cost $160 million but not compel members of Parliament to respect the result.

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Turnbull suggests marriage equality plebiscite may be delayed until 2017

Turnbull suggests marriage equality plebiscite may be delayed until 2017 | Gay News | Scoop.it

“We would like the plebiscite to be held as soon as practicable, but again, that will depend on when the legislation is passed,” he said.

 

“If it is not held, you know, in the latter half of this year, and recognising that parliament will be sitting for the first time on 30 August, then it would be held early next year.

 

“My commitment to have it dealt with as soon as practicable is there, but we ... have to obtain the support of the Senate. We don’t even know who the senators will be at this stage.

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When Everyone Can Be ‘Queer,’ Is Anyone?

When Everyone Can Be ‘Queer,’ Is Anyone? | Gay News | Scoop.it

Earlier this year, Vice published an essay that posed the question “Can Straight People Be Queer?” The article includes an image from Jaden Smith’s Facebook page of the musician looking petulant in a skirt, alongside the caption “My mood when they try to hate.” It also makes reference to the model Lily Rose Depp, who once compared sexuality to dietary habits: “You could think peanut butter is your favorite food for, 5,000 years and then be like, ‘I actually like burgers better,’ you know?” Vice, unsurprisingly, never settled on an answer, but a reader captured the article’s sentiment in a succinct and sarcastic comment, writing, “Queer is SO HOT right now.”

The speed with which modern society has adapted to accommodate the world’s vast spectrum of gender and sexual identities may be the most important cultural metamorphosis of our time. Facebook, which can be seen as a kind of social census, now offers nearly 60 different gender options, including “questioning” and “bigender” — or no gender at all. In a new commercial for Calvin Klein, Young Thug, a slender rapper prone to wearing dresses, states that he feels “there’s no such thing as gender.” The Oxford English Dictionary recently added Mx, a neutral replacement for titles like Mr. and Mrs. The video game “The Sims” has even begun allowing players to create same-sex relationships and lifted gender restrictions on characters’ clothing and hairstyles. Plainly, we are in the midst of a profoundly exhilarating revolution. And “queer” has come to serve as a linguistic catchall for this broadening spectrum of identities, so much so that people who consider themselves straight, but reject heteronormativity, might even call themselves queer. But when everyone can be queer, is anyone?

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“Wisdom that might have been”

“Wisdom that might have been” | Gay News | Scoop.it

Ray Cook is an openly gay HIV+ photographer, who was already open about his sexuality when it was still illegal. He began taking pictures when HIV started affecting his circle of friends and himself in the late 80s and had actually never thought of becoming a photographer before that. He usually works with medium and large format cameras.

 

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Micro-targeted digital porn is changing human sexuality 

Ever-faster feedback loops and micro-targeted digital porn are pushing human sexuality into some seriously weird places

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Don't fall into the Pauline Hanson trap

Don't fall into the Pauline Hanson trap | Gay News | Scoop.it

The big mistake that many people in the LGBTI community and its allies make in responding to these diversions, is that too often we allow ourselves to be pulled from our discussion ground onto the playing field of our opponents.

Suddenly we find we are discussing marriage equality on their terms and not on ours. As a community we need to get smarter about this. When our enemies set traps, we mustn’t walk right into them.

For too long, when anti-equality campaigners claimed that same-sex couples are not good parents or that children in LGBTI families are deprived, our response is to rush out all the arguments, data and evidence to show they are wrong.

In doing so we have entered the trap. A debate about equal marriage suddenly becomes one about gay parenting and our enemies have scuttled the discussion and avoided scrutiny of their weak arguments. This has to stop.

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