Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcast Network founder and regular asshole, is spreading his hate-filled rhetoric again—this time professing that gay men in San Francisco have AIDS-giving jewellery. Actually.
On a past taping of 700 Club, Robertson answered a letter from ‘Mary’ which asked if there is a moral obligation to disclose status if you are driving a car with someone who is positive. Yes, Mary, you idiot, because we expect people with the flu to just trot around saying, “Hey guys! Got that flu, y’all. Drive at your own discretion, friend!” Yes, Mary, real or fictitious, is absolutely dumb, but Robertson proves to be more ignorant, and more hurtful.
He says, “The homosexual community has put Draconian laws on the books that prevent people from discussing this affliction.” Out of curiosity, I’d love to see a copy of these gay books, because discussion of AIDS prevention, awareness and living with the illness is arguably as rampant as ever.
Except Robertson believes that, “in San Francisco, they want to get people, if they got the stuff, they have this ring where it cuts your finger. It’s that kind of vicious stuff that should be the equivalent of murder.”
The original scene has been wiped from the broadcast, but the full clip is now back on YouTube after team Robertson tirelessly spent the last two weeks trying to erase it from memory.
I’m not dead. Yet.
I don’t live in Russia. No.
But you don’t need to be in Russia to know about what is happening there. Even if it all sounds like a bad series of Onion articles: MP calls for law allowing gays to be whipped in public squares; Gay Teenager Kidnapped and Tortured by Russian Neo Nazi Group Is Believed To Have Died From His Injuries; Orthodox priest who supported Pussy Riot found stabbed to death; Partygoers attacked in Moscow bar for ‘looking gay’; Olympic athletes will be subject to anti-gay law; Gay author receives threats from Russia about children’s book and Russian LGBT Activist Attacked by Angry Mob of Russian Military Paratroopers in St. Petersburg.
The truth is, innocent people are dying, being abused, being doused with water bottles filled with Neo Nazi piss and forced into hiding in fear of death and persecution. It is all real, and it is all not okay.
That should be your basic understanding of queer Russia to date, as it exists in 2013.
We have even been asked to ‘relax’ and ‘respect’ Russia’s anti-gay policy by Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.
Suitable reactions include: anger, sadness, rage and panicked sobs. This isn’t a happy time for queers in Russia, nor should it be for those outside of the direct anti-you policy.
But as I discussed yesterday, silence has become a popular choice among queers and media, from Fox News’ zero minutes of Russian anti-gay propaganda coverage to Johnny Weir’s stance on not doing anything but showing up to Sochi to IOC Vice President Ng Ser Miang’s assurance that Russian authorities are being engaged in “quiet diplomacy” and that the situation will be resolved for the “satisfaction of all.”
There are times to keep quiet, and this is not one of them.
While some might criticize my position as an outsider, I submit the following reaction: click here.
It doesn’t matter that I am not on the front lines. I wish I could be, but unlike the Olympic athletes who refuse to boycott and Tilda Swinton (who is amazing, obviously), I don’t have that kind of immediate access. But if I did, I wouldn’t just “be myself.” I would, as an outsider, be myself, raise a flag, kiss my fellow man in public, document everything, say everything, and not stop until I leave.
Because I am an outsider, I can leave. That fear I would be living in during the short period of time I’d be there is nothing compared to being Russian in 2013. By showing up to perform as an Olympic athlete—and only to perform—there is a distance established between queer athlete and fearful queer. A performance or an IOC sanctioned quiet conversation that establishes protection for athletes and tourists is self-serving, and motivated by the Olympic spirit and sponsorship money.
The more we say, the more we do, is pressure, whether you think it is accomplishing something or not. In what world is it okay to be gay and not queer? The thought produces the same reaction I have when I meet a woman who doesn’t subscribe to the most base form of feminism. Shock. Outrage. Why any subjugated community wouldn’t be prone to be politically minded is an indication of our immense privilege. It is as we feel there is no more we need to accomplish from inside our western world bubble(s). Our post-Stonewall complacency is showing. Just because you are here, doesn’t mean you can’t be there. In actions, words, anything you can think of. Create a network. Build toward a boycott that will force Russia to rethink its value systems. It isn’t a lofty proposition. Crazier things have happened.
So, continue reaching out to Olympic sponsors. Continue boycotting Russian exports. Find out who the queer athletes are in your community and campaign for them to spread the word that a Sochi Olympic games will not be supported. They’d rather risk their sponsorships than feed an economy that feeds on queer oppression. And if a boycott isn’t possible, it better be the gayest fucking Opening Ceremonies the world has ever seen. We are in a position to not suffer in silence.
Russia is under the LGBT spotlight these days after a law was passed banning “gay propaganda,” which is so loosely and offensively defined that we need to do something about it. Essentially, the law makes it illegal to equate gay and straight relationships, and it bans the distribution of any gay rights materials. Recently four Dutch tourists from LGBT-Groningen were jailed for filming a documentary about the gay community in Murmansk. With an upcoming Olympic Games being held in Russia, there is no better, more effective way to target this bigotry than by comprising their economy. And there is no better way to get their attention than by reaching out to the sponsors and urging them to pull out funding until Russia’s anti-gay law has been eradicated. The images don’t lie. It is absolutely brutal to be queer in Russia right now.
At the heart of this, this boycott isn’t about vodka, it isn’t about Coca-Cola, and it isn’t about a widespread hatred of sports. It is about righting this unforgivable wrong.
Contact Information for Olympic sponsors below:
TOP TEN SPONSORS
For a full list of partners: sochi2014.com/en/team/partners/
A gay witch named Storm Faerywolf writes in 2000, “In most Wiccan traditions of modern witchcraft there is a strong emphasis on sexual polarity as a model for magickal/ritual working. Simply stated, this is the belief that magickal energy is generated most strongly (and perhaps only) by a male and female working partnership, a concept that was popularized by the Gardnerian tradition and has been passed down in some form to the vast majority of modern witchcraft traditions being practiced today. Even in traditions where this polarity is seen to be internalized (i.e. the idea that we each contain an inner male and female which strive for balance regardless of our physical gender) we find that, ultimately, the model we have adopted is still a heterosexist one: that of polarized or complimentary forces being identified as male and female, thereby enshrining this model as the template for all real relationships whether they be romantic, magickal, or otherwise. For Queers this can be a dangerous practice.”
It can be dangerous. It is merely another instance where queers are subjugated. I will be completely honest. I found out gay witch was a thing on a lark, but quickly felt like it was something I wanted to pursue. The otherness of gay witchcraft appeals to me, and its lack of concrete definition makes it equally desirable. I am very much a beginner, and learning about this as I go along. If you are a seasoned gay witch, I would love to hear from you! E-mail me!
Gay witchcraft appears to be full of good intentions. There appears to be less focus on emulating The Craft and more on pursuing worthwhile causes. Take gay witch Christopher Penczak, who put out a call in 2004 to produce spells for gay rights: “I propose that all magickally-minded people – Pagans, Witches, Wiccans, magicians, healers, shamans, yogis, seers, seekers on all paths who believe in equal rights for all – come together on the first Full Moon after the 35th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that occurred June 27, 1969. Stonewall is considered by many to be the birth of the GLBT rights movement. On the first Full Moon after this historic anniversary, we can raise energy to make a definitive change for the better, where all people’s rights are respected. I suggest a spell with this or a similar intention:
We ask in the name of the Goddess, God and Great Spirit to be immediately granted equal rights for same sex couples throughout the U.S.A., so that all couples may enjoy the rights of marriage if they so choose. We ask this be correct, and for the good of all involved, harming none. So mote it be.”
I do not want to overshadow the Stonewall Riots, which is why I have chosen the first International Gay Witch Day to fall on June 28, 2013. So don your gayest gay witch apparel (how you define gay witch garb is up to you, but I will be wearing a gay witch t-shirt and carrying a sign to commemorate the day, and likely also dying a grey streak in my hair to symbolize being touched by the gay witch gods, and perhaps conducting my first gay séance (let’s talk to Harvey Milk!)), and take to the streets with some gay witch enthusiasm.
Kevin “Gay Witch” Naulls
I bleed queer media.
I love queer journos.
I am an AA Bronson-loving, Gregg Araki-watching, Darren Greer-reading faggot who always wants more. I’m a selfish consumer. If there is no substance, I get bored. If I’m being pandered to, I move on. I am one of the hardest people to please.
And yet I read what I don’t like, in the hopes that something will change. That people will improve. That something, anything, will change for me. I said I was a selfish reader.
Fab magazine didn’t die because it sucked. It had an audience. It was the event listings magazine for the nouveau gay. It was the soft core cum pamphlet for the not-out-but-horny. It was never meant to be substantial in any other way than to be a gateway glossy. It never could be, because Fab wasn’t about features that dissected gay culture to a point of any new kind of understanding. The writer’s journey was oft simplistic and under-researched. Not always, but often. The only dreams that Fab magazine produced were inspired by imagery—sexy, sexy imagery. I came to the conclusion that Fab wasn’t changing and wouldn’t inspire me when I picked up a Priape catalogue and jerked off to a guy in a fetish wrestling singlet. I came all over the glossy pages. Later that week I picked up Fab magazine and I couldn’t tell the difference. My aspirations for queer media hit a wall. I was faced with the reality that Fab was for titillation and that was its service.
My qualms with this are personal. I want queer media to teach me something, and if it is going to be a gateway glossy, it should attempt to regionally discuss queer issues as they exist within the region. But like most print media, ad sales are king, and that often leads to a diluted message. A double-page spread about millenial AIDS apathy and the generation’s propensity toward bareback sex isn’t going to inspire a bathhouse or a phone sex line to buy ad space (but, to Fab magazine editor Phil Villeneuve’s credit, he did say he would be interested in this story from me, so changes were afoot). Whether the impetus was to produce informative features, it was almost never satisfied.
Unfortunately, there is no king of queer media. I usually hop from blog to blog, reading various pieces of queer writing, and indulging my appetite that way. All mainstream queer pubs have fallen victim to the same pressures. Fluff and troll covers get readers. Readers mean money. Money means you’re not going out of business.
Until even your audience isn’t enough, and your ad share goes to digital. Like it has been trending for a long time now. Former editor-in-chief Matt Thomas tells me this is what happened with Fab, and Pink Triangle Press is moving Fab’s online content to its digital property Daily Xtra. After April, Fab is done.
I’m not sad, because Fab magazine never meant anything to me. I read it every month and rarely learned anything. I never had a party featured in the pages, nor attended a party because it was Fab-recommended. I never got style tips from the style section, or wanted to fuck a monthly (correction: bi-weekly) Fab guy. And I’ve already told you how I felt about the features.
But as a serviceable welcome-to-gay-Toronto-young-person magazine, I can see why people would have an attachment. If the magazine helped spread the word about a show I was in, or a party I was throwing, I could see why someone would value it.
I’m just saying it didn’t shape my gay identity. And as sad as it is to lose a queer pub, I won’t feel any sense of longing.
Witness the unprovoked assault of a young gay man celebrating at Sydney’s Mardi Gras 2013. It is horrific, and this needs as much attention as it can possibly get. Spread the word. Ensure the police responsible are reprimanded for this obvious gay bashing.
In the video above, a young Christian girl raps her beliefs, claiming that because gay men do not qualify to donate blood, and because God created man and woman to procreate, being gay is a gateway to hell. I’d gladly bathe in the fires of hell if it means avoiding the “golden gate” (her words) that lets her sorry ass in.