Crossing Twitter with gigantic cultural events can always be counted on to bring out the worst in the already bad. Two Super Bowl tweets were particularly vile. First there was former FEMA director Michael Brown cracking a joke about fights in the Superdome, which just happened to be the site of his monstrous Hurricane Katrina failure — a joke that requires both hubris and idiocy. Second was Todd Kincannon, former head of the South Carolina GOP, joking that the Super Bowl ''sucks more dick than adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money'' — a joke that requires racism and idiocy.
Lesson one, racists have an awful sense of humor. Lesson two, even in 2013 with no rational reason, some people are going to remain racist jackholes.
I don't believe that as a country we are more vile today than we were in the past. It's impossible to look back on American history as some sort of bucolic existence that's only recently begun a slide into vituperation, although that doesn't stop tea party revisionists from trying. Politics and culture wars have never been pretty. But I do think that, as our culture and government continue to progress on race and LGBT issues, the few remaining restraints of decorum on those who oppose it will continue to fall away.
Being LGBT people, we're fairly used to being targeted by the vile. Most of us would instantly think of the Westboro Baptist Church with their children holding ''God Hates Fags'' signs. Personally, I think of them more as small-''e'' evil, a convenient anagram. Westboro's vileness comes straight out of its insanity. Given that their decades of protests have garnered far more sympathy for LGBT people than they have stoked hatred, you have to assume they're crazy.
Further along the scale, you have the ex-gay movement of damaged people who make their careers trying to spread their damage to others. Are they vile? Yes. Dangerous? Definitely. But for me they inspire as much sadness as anger, watching people so filled with self-loathing that they would rip their own souls from their bodies.
Speaking of the soulless, we have people like Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, so determined that his conception of religion is the ultimate truth and so fearful of married homosexuals that he would rewrite the Constitution as a Vatican document. Being human, some of us will always ignore the lessons of religious history; doing so willfully is particularly vile.
Then we have people like Lindsey Graham, the Senate's least eligible bachelor from that previously mentioned South Carolinian Republican Party. We all have these guys in our home towns, who whether they're gay or not internalize the hatred and turn it back out on others, something rather more harmful when it's happening in Congress. It's vile, to be sure, but it also calls for a small amount of pity.
While there's no upper limit on vileness in D.C., one person does seem to be trying to hit it. That would be Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who just a few years ago was being touted by my gay Republican friends as a reasonable man who would be open to working with us. Instead, we have a man who has built his brand the past 15 years by pretending to be honorable, yet acting the opposite. We have a senator whose only motivating factor appears to be petty revenge for losing a White House that he proves daily he didn't deserve. We have a politician who would happily scuttle the immigration reform he's championed in order to keep LGBT people as second-class citizens.
For McCain, there is no closet, no inner hatred that might elicit some sympathy or understanding. There is simply his own self-regard and aggrandizement. That's what makes him truly vile.
Sean Bugg is the co-publisher of Metro Weekly. He can be reached at sbugg@MetroWeekly.com. Follow him on Twitter @seanbugg....more
As usual, the Super Bowl passed me by this year. As much as I don't want to be the gay cliché, I am. World Series? World Cup? No, thank you. Then again, I don't watch the Oscars, either, so the universe maintains its balance.
Still, there's always the fallout. I passed the newspaper boxes Monday morning with their sporty photos and headlines. By the time I got to work, I'd even learned the Baltimore Ravens had won. My mom was born in Baltimore, so I guess that's nice. Thanks to Facebook, I saw there was some singing. That's nice, too.
What was not so nice was a tweet I saw posted on a friend's Facebook timeline, the one from Todd Kincannon, former head of the South Carolina GOP who bills himself as ''The Honey Badger of American Politics.'' He broadcast to his 35,000-plus followers: ''This Super Bowl sucks more dick than adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money.'' While being called out for racism, Kincannon sees no wrong, pointing out that it's been documented that the black 17-year-old had some history with marijuana, and that the man who shot him to death was also a racial minority.
And when that shopkeeper posted the image of President Obama as a ''witch doctor,'' that wasn't racist, either, but a thoughtful critique of ''Obamacare.''
Certainly Kincannon is free to mark Black History Month, aka African American History Month, any way he sees fit. Plenty of people share his disposition, seemingly annoyed at being called out for being racist, quite certain they are not. Please keep in mind that we are all racist/sexist/transphobic/homophobic/xenophobic – on and on – to some degree. The real question is what we do about it, whether we wallow in it or attempt to rise above it. And there will always be room to rise above.
This bit of Twitter trash reminded me, however indirectly, of a recent bit of On Point I heard on WAMU the other night. Host Tom Ashbrook was exploring the seemingly evolving views of gay people in America. Have we turned a corner? Is it a new day for the American Gay? Yes, progress has been made. I am legally married to my husband, for example. Our marriage is even recognized in a few other states and countries. On the other hand, I can ride the metro 15 minutes into Virginia where, like a magical curse, my husband instantly morphs into a legal stranger. Worse, there are countries we could visit where we would be not just single, but criminals. There's plenty more to be done.
It's the same with race. We have a black president – an impressively popular one, at that. Good for us. But there are not enough eye-roll GIFs in the world to counter every instance of someone claiming that a black president proves America has conquered racism.
I think, at least, Tom Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, gets it. In his latest plea to followers to lobby the Boy Scouts of America to maintain its ban on gays, Wildmon writes, ''Big Gay is never satisfied.'' Granting him the benefit of the doubt that he's calling us powerful rather than fat, I agree. We are never satisfied, as there is always more work to do. Claiming to be a Christian, he should never be satisfied either, instead fighting misery wherever he finds it.
The reality is that we have Christians burning mosques, Muslims killing Christians, women being raped to death, rich people exploiting poor people and every other misery. And once we solve those ills, there will be others. The touchdowns will come, but the game will never end.
Will O'Bryan is Metro Weekly's managing editor. Contact him at wobryan@MetroWeekly.com....more
For some Washington-area residents, Tracks, the iconic Navy Yard gay nightclub that closed its doors in 1999, is a venue that will be with them forever. Losing Jay Schmidt, however, may make that memory all the harder to hold.
A fixture of the club's front bar, Schmidt greeted untold thousands to Tracks. His longtime friend and former Tracks coworker, Patrick Little, has taken on the sad responsibility of spreading the news among the Tracks community -- news given him by Schmidt's sister -- that his friend died last fall of coronary disease. Little says he learned of Schmidt's passing about two weeks ago.
(Photo by Patrick Little)
Schmidt, who began working at Tracks in 1984, would greet newcomers and chat them up, serving a side of sincerity and genuine kindness along with customers' drinks, Little attests – as do dozens of Facebook posts paying tribute to Schmidt.
''The best way to describe Jay is a gentleman's gentleman,'' says Little. ''He was that steadfast bartender, entertaining, loyal and reliable. He genuinely cared about his customers and his close friends.
''At the time we worked together at Tracks, being gay, the only time you could fully express yourself was when you were at the bar, and Tracks was so big that you needed someone to hold your hand at times. Jay was that guy to many people.''
Schmidt, born and raised in Pottstown, Pa., graduated from Duke University, then went to work for a pipe-organ business. He worked at Tracks on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays as a bartender and manager until the club's closing. After Tracks, Schmidt worked at Navy Yard's Nation nightclub until 2006, then at Club Five. He also served as a bartender for Revolution, an alternative dance party in the D.C. area.
A fan of classical music, Schmidt was particularly interested in Anglican pipe-organ music. Little recalls accompanying Schmidt to Washington's National Cathedral to listen to the pipe organ played there. Schmidt was also an avid reader who loved history, and would talk at length about various historical events. Little says these interests were obvious to anyone visiting Schmidt's Dupont Circle apartment, where he maintained extensive collections of books and music.
''He could talk with anybody about anything,'' says Little.
Robert Mendenhall, a longtime Tracks patron who knew Schmidt well, remembers Schmidt being ''as iconic to Tracks as Tracks was iconic to D.C.'' Mendenhall describes a scene with Schmidt always being the face that welcomed him to Tracks, always the bartender who remembered his drink of choice.
''Jay Schmidt was such a nice man,'' says Mendenhall. ''He had a special quality when he tended bar that most bartenders are missing now. What impressed me the most is he always greeted me whenever I would run into him outside of the club with a hug and a kiss, and a genuine interest in how you were doing.''
Posting to Facebook, Little has advised those mourning Schmidt's passing that Schmidt's sister is planning a memorial event for sometime in the spring, and that he'll share those details once they become available. There is no doubt, however, with Schmidt being such a central figure in a large chapter of D.C. gay history, that the Tracks Reunion Weekend 2013 planned for April won't be full of past patrons sharing memories.
''Jay was such an incredible man and loved by so many,'' Little says. ''All of us that knew him will miss him dearly.''...more
Cash's song 'Jim and George' will help fund AIDS and youth programs at an LGBT-inclusive New York church.
The out actor discusses last night's shocking episode on a revealing podcast.
The San Francisco 49ers should remember they're representing the gayest city in America, says Guy Branum of Totally Biased â" just look at its shape.
The Walt Disney Company appointed George A. Kalogridis as president of Walt Disney World on Friday, making him the first openly gay man to hold that position.
Kalogridis, Walt Disney Worldâs fifth president, has been with the Walt Disney Company since 1971 and served as president of Californiaâs Disneyland Resort since 2009. The 59-year-old Kalogridisâ first job with the company was bussing tables at Disney's Contemporary Resort on the Orlando property, according to South Florida Gay News. The Orlando Sentinel reported that friends and colleagues describe him as âbreathing Disney.â
"I am excited to return to my roots and have the opportunity to lead our talented Walt Disney World Resort cast," Kalogridis said in a prepared statement distributed by Disney. "I look forward to again working with my Florida-based colleagues and reconnecting with Central Florida's community and business leaders."
The Orlando Business Journal reports that Kalogridis will oversee more than 66,000 employees, which is three times the amount of people that he managed in Californiaâs Disneyland Resort. Kalogridis has replaced Meg Crofton, who recently assumed the role as president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations in the United States and France.
Matt Moore, a blogger for the Christian Post, writes extensively about how Christianity has helped him to turn away from a gay lifestyle. But, apparently it didn't help him quite enough to steer him away from Grindr.
When caught, he said, "I am wrong in having been on grindr. I havenât changed my views on homosexuality, the bible, etc.," he said to Jones. "Creating a grindr profile and talking to guys on it was major disobedience on my partâ¦.disobedience to Christ. Disobedience to a loving and gracious God. Thankfully, I believe that He forgives me for this disobedience. I believe the blood of Christ covers this disobedience. And I wonât be on grindr againâ¦.ever."
Increasingly technology has made that effort both easier and more difficult. With the new Samsung Galaxy phones, all you have to do is tap two of them together to share play lists and no one has to pay a cent.
The failure to pay for music is hindering tons of talented people from making a living with their art.
However the Internet, like talent shows, allow artists great exposure and they can become huge sensations. They can place their music on ITUNES or other sites and not have to share profits with a large company or a team of personal advisors.
True Youtube.com sensations are becoming rarer as more people attempt it."
Iowa singer Eli Lieb has an amazing following of loyal fans. (with 8 million total YouTube views!). In a pop musical climate dominated by performers that are auditioned, packaged and produced for the publicâs easy consumption, Eli Lieb has self-produced his debut album, titled simply Eli Lieb. AND IT'S AWESOME! The collection of 10 original songs resonates with honest and touching sentiments within cinematic melodies, delivered in the spirit of uncompromising integrity. Appealing to fans of Robyn and James Blake, Eli Lieb has created something emotional and empowering. And he is now putting more songs for his second album. OUT MAGAZINE recently caught up with Eli, check it out!
Isaiah was discovered in the summer of 2010 by LEDOM Management Group which happened to come across Isaiah's photographs in Facebook. By late 2010, LEDOM Group became his managing company as a model and during late 2011 - LEDOM Enterprises signed him as a singer.
His debut single, "Iâm a Freak", was released worldwide on 01/11/11, becoming an internet hit with nearly 100,000 views in less than a month through his website. His second and third singles were acoustic songs with also a remarkable acceptance by his fans.
When asked about the future of his career, he gives a confident outlook on what he truly feels he has the ability to achieve; a music career working with the most talented and respected artists, a modeling career that breaks down barriers and inspires all to love themselves for who they are.
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It looks like Lindsay Lohan has moved back in with her mom in Long Island, according to a report in the New York Daily News. âFor the past three months that has been her home base,â a source told the paper, adding her mom is all for with the arrangement. âDina has been trying to [...]
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The new Bronx LGBTQ Center is working hard to re-build it’s organization and to do so, they’re throwing a Valentine’s Vamp gala fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, February 9th from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm at club Rebel NYC (251 West 30th Street, Manhattan). “Valentine’s Day is a celebration of unconditional love, making it very appropriate [...]
The Boy Scouts of America decided to delay a vote on whether or not to end their ban on gay members on Wednesday. “After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that [...]
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More arty electro-goodness from Thom Yorke, Flea and Nigel Goodrich. Video after the jump.
Our favorite pollsters at Manhunt have released another one of their infamous polls. This time, the topic is manscaping. So, do Manhunt users like their men hairy or trimmed? Â They polled more than 27,000 of the website’s users, and according to the results, Manhunt users prefer their men hairy. Although trimming got the shaft, that [...]
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