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March 20, 2015

Gay Self Loathing: Dolce and Gabbana Erupt In Flames

A photo of fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana with the text "shame on you" super imposed on the photograph.

By Roy Steele

Today in gay self loathing…….

I know I’m not the only person who was stunned by what gay fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the powerhouse duo responsible for Dolce & Gabbana, said during an interview with Panorama magazine.
Domenico Dolce: “You are born to a mother and a father. Or at least that’s how it should be. The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow; there are things that should not be changed.”
Stefano Gabbana: “The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”
Are you fucking kidding me?

Many people beside myself are outraged by these statements, within the gay community, and outside as well. Sir Elton John, the singing superstar and gay elder statesman, has called for a boycott of Dolce &  Gabbana products, via Instagram.
Sir Elton John: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic.’ And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF—a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again.” #BoycottDolceGabbana
Bravo Sir Elton! After the Panorama interview was published, the designing duo released a statement that was reported in The Guardian newspaper.
Domenico Dolce said: “I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people’s choices and decisions.” 
Stefano Gabbana said: “We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love.”
They say they didn’t mean to “judge” others. They expressed their personal opinion, and while the public might be offended, they say it’s their personal opinion. “Don’t be offended” they say, “we aren’t judging you.” And the sky is purple?
Stefano Gabbana via Instagram writes: “Respect comes from accepting different views!”
Respect comes from accepting different views? I think not.

People are entitled to have different opinions, and I support free thinking, free speech and freedom of expression. Concomitantly, respect is earned, and it’s a two way street.

I do not, and will not, extend respect to any individual or organization that holds an opinion that unjustly criticizes or diminishes gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, people, LGBT relationships, or family units.

While these errant opinions are usually caused by ignorance or stupidity, no one gets a free pass. Especially when they’re two gay men who should know better.

To boycott or not boycott --- that is the question --- and I know one or two things about a boycott. While there are calls to boycott Dolce & Gabbana, what’s the goal or desired outcome? No one has articulated a goal yet, and until they do, any boycott will be ineffective.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how these assholes get out of this mess.

I hereby declare that the Dolce & Gabbana accessories in my own closet are officially out of season and now retired.


Jive in the [415]     straight talk in a queer world.

January 19, 2015

“I want to be an equal citizen in my own country.”

A photograph of Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Minister for Health, and the quote "The only worry I have is that people see me differently or treat me differently. I hope they don’t. I am still the same person. To me it is not a big deal, I hope it is not a big deal for people."

Ireland’s Minister For Health: "I’m Gay"

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Minister for Health, and member of Parliament representing the Dublin West constituency, came out as a gay man, on RTÉ Radio 1. He is the first member of a government in Ireland to disclose that he is gay. “I want to be an equal citizen in my own country.”

Leo made his announcement almost five months before a national referendum in Ireland to give gay marriages equal status under their laws. He is 36, and a medical doctor by training.

Leo said that being gay isn’t “something that defines me. I’m not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician for that matter. It’s just part of who I am, it doesn’t define me, it is part of my character I suppose.”

Miriam Lord, a columnist for The Irish Times newspaper, wrote a touchingly funny piece about Leo’s radio interview with Miriam O’Callaghan.
Leo Varadkar was a teenager when he came out as openly Fine Gael.
The early signs were there. His mother now understands why, at the tender age of seven, young Leo confided that he wanted to be the Minister for Health. 
At the time “she was mortified”. 
Minister for Health Varadkar is still saying things that stop people in their tracks. 
Some see it as his biggest failing – he’s too straight sometimes for our nod and wink political culture. 
Yesterday morning, he shocked the political establishment by telling RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan that “a politician should trust people with the truth”. 
Then he shocked the nation by revealing that he is still only 36 years old. 
It was his birthday. 
Doing anything on the big day? 
“Not doing anything special.” 
Nothing, apart from becoming the first Irish Cabinet Minister to publicly come out as gay. 
It came as news to a lot of people, including some from his own parliamentary party.
Henry McDonald, the Ireland correspondent for The Guardian newspaper, wrote that Leo has been tipped as a future party leader, and possible Prime Minister. [Note: The Taoiseach is the head of government or Prime Minister of Ireland.]
Tipped as a possible future prime minister, Leo Varadkar told Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday morning: “I am a gay man. It’s not a secret.” 
He said that he had briefed the Irish taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who is his party leader, that he was going to out himself live on radio this morning. “He [Kenny] said it was my private life, it’s a private issue, and none of this was his concern,” Varadkar said. 
Varadkar said the taoiseach even asked him if he had visited one of Dublin’s most famous gay bars. “He actually asked me if I had ever been to the PantiBar, and I told him ‘no, I haven’t,’ and he said ‘there you go Varadkar, I’m ahead of you already’.” 
He told the programme: “The only worry I have is that people see me differently or treat me differently. I hope they don’t. I am still the same person. To me it is not a big deal, I hope it is not a big deal for people. 
The Roman Catholic Church dominated Irish politics until the 1980s and the country legalised homosexual acts in 1993, but Ireland has become much more liberal in recent years as the Church’s public influence waned in the wake of a string of child sex abuse scandals.
Three gay cheers for Leo Varadkar! It is a big deal Leo, and we thank you for it.

Jive in the [415]     straight talk in a queer world.

NYT: End The Exclusion & Inequality Of Gays & Lesbians

Follow me on twitter @thespiansfo

January 16, 2015

The Top Gay LGBT News Of The Week - January 16, 2015

An image that says “The top gay LGBT news story links for the week of January 16th, 2015.”

The top gay or LGBT news links for the week ending January 16, 2015:

There have been great strides in the search for a vaccine and cure for HIV/AIDS!

A comprehensive collection of articles describing the broad scope and current status of this global effort is published in a special issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

There’s a new HIV/AIDS vaccine that comes in a capsule. The vaccine is “made using a common cold virus called an adenovirus, genetically engineered with a tiny piece of the AIDS virus.”

Alternet and the Southern Poverty Law Center published an updated “10 Vile Homophobic Myths Debunked.”

Think Progress reports that Judge’s Anti-Gay Opinion Unintentionally Reveals Just How Weak The Case Against Marriage Equality Is.”

I wrote a story for Medium about the Texas Solicitor General and the gay marriage hearing at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana. The story is entitledBigotry on the Bayou: Texas Solicitor General perjured himself with “no animus” for gays.”.

Jive in the [415]    straight talk in a queer world. 

NPR: A Pastor Attracted To Men & Married To A Woman

The graphic says "National Public Radio Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines."

On NPR’s  Weekend Edition Sunday they talk with a pastor who is attracted to men, and is married to a woman.
“My expectation was, if I started talking to other guys about this, I’m going to get ostracized and lambasted,” Allan says. “I actually had the exact opposite experience. ... I actually was received with a lot of love, grace, charity: some confusion, but openness to dialogue.” 
Allan considered following a Christian denomination that accepts gay relationships, but his interpretation of the Bible wouldn’t allow it, he says. 
“I studied different methods of reading the Scripture and it all came down to this: Jesus accepts the rest of the Scripture as divined from God,” he says. “So if Jesus is who he says he is, then we kind of have to believe what he believes.”
God bless them.

Jive in the [415]      straight talk in a queer world 


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