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Woman Uses Produce To Assault Gay Couple

April 16, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO – A woman accused of targeting a gay couple with a selection of produce in Pacifica in March was arraigned Friday in a South San Francisco courtroom, the San Mateo County district attorney’s office reported.
Tiffany Adler, 20, is accused of heaving an assortment of apples and asparagus at the couple from the interior of a van driving past them as they walked down a city street, according to the district attorney’s office.
Adler also allegedly yelled a slur at the victims, the district attorney’s office reported.
Both victims were struck by the fruits and vegetables, and police investigating the incident reportedly discovered a piece of asparagus in Adler’s purse, according to the district attorney’s office.
On Friday, Adler pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hate crime and battery charges.
A jury trial is scheduled to begin July 2.
Adler remains out of custody on her own recognizance, the district attorney’s office reported.
from CBS 5

Gay Pride Flag Vandalized

April 16, 2007

Yale Pride
A flag hung on Cross Campus to celebrate Pride Week at Yale was found desecrated Sunday, forcing students in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Cooperative at Yale to remove it.
The duct-tape lettering on the rainbow-colored flag — which the Co-op had hung on the Porter Gate between Berkeley and Calhoun colleges — was altered late Saturday night or early Sunday morning so that it read “Yale Gluttony,” instead of “Yale Pride,” LGBT Co-op coordinator Anna Wipfler ’09 said. She said the LGBT Co-op board has not yet decided on a definite response to the incident, but is likely to address the issue through dialogue and Wednesday’s “day of silence” rather than turn to the administration for help.
The desecration of the flag is part of an ongoing pattern of offensive and insensitive attempts at humor on campus that are made at the expense of minority groups, Wipfler said. As an example of the increasing incidence of inappropriate jokes, Wipfler pointed to a campus-wide e-mail condemning homosexuality as a sin that was sent out by a fictional group called the National Organization to Gain Acceptance for Your Sins — or N.O.G.A.Y.S. — during last October’s National Coming Out Day.
“It definitely feels like a repeat of the N.O.G.A.Y.S. deal from the fall, and it’s really sad to the LGBT Co-op board in particular because we thought we made it clear to folks that this kind of ‘humor’ is just not funny,” she said. “We spent a large part of our time last October getting over that, so to see it just happen again feels like an attack on us personally.”
In November, two sophomores in Jonathan Edwards College — Will Wilson ’09 and Matthew Brimer ’09 — apologized to the LGBT Co-op board for sending the e-mail and posting similar fliers around campus, saying their actions were intended as a joke.
Other recent incidents include jokes published in a few campus periodicals that made fun of various minority groups, including Asian-Americans. Although such actions have been intended as humorous, they are still hurtful to many members of those groups, LGBT Co-op Political Action Chair Hugh Baran ’09 said.
“I find it offensive because I’m sick of people making jokes at the expense of people’s identity,” he said. “I don’t think my queerness is something that should be a butt of someone’s joke all the time, in a way that is really hurtful and that is suggesting that my identify is in this case sinful.”
Baran said the alteration of the flag right before the beginning of Bulldog Days on Monday is particularly worrisome, since many queer pre-frosh might be discouraged from attending Yale if they saw the flag while visiting.
Although they are still deciding whether to approach University administrators about responding to the incident, Wipfler said, for now, Co-op members are devoting most of their energy to generating public discussion about issues relating to sexuality and gender identity on campus. The LGBT Co-op will use an evening rally after Wednesday’s day of silence — which was originally scheduled not as a response to any particular event, but as part of a nationwide campaign — to discuss the vandalism, she said.
“I think it will be less behind the scenes, less one-on-one talks, and more public reaction and discussion about how this keeps happening,” Wipfler said. “We’re going to go with public avenues of silence as protest, followed by public discussions, which everyone is welcome to come to.”
Baran said he does not know what response would be appropriate, but he thinks the administration has a responsibility to respond in a proactive manner to cases of “bigotry” on campus.
Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said she has not seen the defaced flag but is open to working with LGBT Co-op members if they approach her to talk about the issue. Taking down another group’s sign and altering it without informing anyone is a “cowardly” thing to do, she said.
“If somebody has some problem with what the gay pride people are doing, they have to come forward and talk about it openly and above-board,” Trachtenberg said. “Why they don’t want to identify themselves is beyond me.”
Wednesday’s day of silence is part of a two-week-long series of talks and other events meant to highlight queer issues on campus that began April 7.
from The Yale Daily News

Just One Look…#72

April 15, 2007

Just One Look...

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Israeli Website Aimed At Opening Closet Door For Arab Gays

April 15, 2007

Matt Lebow and John Leonard wanted to do something different. Fed up with traditional gay Internet sites that offered only crude and X-rated material, the Israel-based students decided to create a new web site that would combine their fervid interest in the region’s handsome men with a bit of culture, a dash of political activism and human rights, and most of all peaceful dialogue with other gays throughout the Arab world.
The answer was, a new web site where pictures of bronzed beautiful ‘pieces’ from Tel Aviv’s beaches rub alongside entries on Passover, Arab-lesbian demonstrations in Haifa, and the sexual exploits of a gay Turkish blogger, called Turkishboy.
“Gay Jews and gay Arabs have a great deal in common,” 28-year-old Vermont native Lebow explained to ISRAEL21c. “They face similar challenges all over the world. When you share similar struggles and a similar identity, there’s no reason not to work together and build a community that offers mutual support.”
As the site’s mission statement announces: “Gay Jewish Israelis and neighboring gay Arabs have more in common than, say, a gay New York City Jew and a homophobic Salt Lake City Mormon in the US. We must focus on what unites us, instead of what divides us, i.e., a great ass, nice arms, killer smile, etc.”
Since it opened some 10 weeks ago, the site has already managed to attract 100,000 viewers, and, adds Lebow proudly, its first advert. This is no small achievement, particularly since the only advertising is word of mouth.
Lebow and Leonard, both from the US, arrived in Israel about one and a half years ago. Lebow, who has a background in the non-profit industry and public relations, came to focus on religious studies in Jerusalem, while Leonard – a 29-year-old Christian from North Carolina who worked previously as a curator – enrolled himself in an ulpan in Tel Aviv and began learning Hebrew.
The two began thinking about a new web site in the wake of the problems surrounding the annual Jerusalem Pride parade and event which drew strong condemnation from the city’s orthodox Jews. They were also inspired by Jerusalem Open House (JOH), a gay organization that runs an outreach program designed to help gay Palestinians and Arabs who have been rejected and threatened by their own society.
“Being gay in Arab countries is often taboo. It’s really dangerous,” says Lebow. “We wanted to create a place where they could express themselves freely and see that other people share the same experiences they do.”
“We’re engaging gay Jews and Arabs in open dialogue about their lives and the similar struggles they face,” says Leonard. “There is no other blog doing this work, and certainly few gay blogs of any nature with the kind of diverse, frequently updated content we offer.”
Diversity is definitely the key at Mideast Piece, where the original content includes anything from gay Middle Eastern news and personal perspectives, to items on culture, activism, human rights, and tourism.
There are plenty of photos, listings of gay blogs throughout the Middle East and a long resource list of help lines and gay organizations in Israel and the neighboring Arab countries. The site is updated twice a day, and everything is amply illustrated with pictures of lovely hot men, including one of a macho Israeli soldier holding a white cat, entitled Lucky Pussy.
The humor on the site is immediately apparent. “Mideast Piece aims to unite people around the world through shared adoration of that most sacred and bronzed of species, the Middle Eastern man. Whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Druze, these desert men are more valuable than any Saudi oil well,” the site states.
It goes on to add: “Soldiers are hot. They should not be killed in war. They should be trained – strenuously – and put on display for all to lust after. That’s Mideast Piece.”
At present there are only two Arab bloggers posting items on the site, one from Turkey and another from Dubai, but Lebow says he plans to carry out a targeted campaign in the coming months to add more Arab bloggers and readers.
Most of the 100,000 visitors to the site are currently from North America and Europe, though a spot check of visitors at 11am on March 21 revealed that the site also had online readers from Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Australia, Africa, and the Nordic countries.
Lebow’s goal is to create a community of two dozen bloggers, and he is already in contact with an Iraqi blogger, but he admits that this will take time. While being gay in Israel is accepted and laws pertaining to their rights are among the most liberal in the world, it is a very different experience in neighboring countries.
“Gays in Arab countries live a very underground existence,” explains Lebow. “Their governments often shut down gay sites, and being openly identified as gay in some countries can be tantamount to death. It’s very shameful in these societies. As a result it’s hard to find these people.”
In the future, Lebow envisions a time when Mideast Piece can host conferences for gay bloggers throughout the Middle East.
“We want to create more than just a web site,” he explains. “We want to have a conference where everyone would come together, including Israel, and take a stand for something together that doesn’t involve hate or war.
“The Israeli-Arab conflict is always made out to be the be all and end all of every problem in the Middle East, but human rights are also a very important issue,” he continues. “We all face discrimination from extremists and this should be our rallying point. We want to create a site that has a message and that tries to accomplish something alternative. We know that we can’t bring peace, but perhaps we can create a dialogue and kind of link up that way.”
from Israel 21c

Bone Marrow To Create Early-Stage Sperm Cells

April 15, 2007

GOETTINGEN, GERMANY – German scientists have used human bone marrow to create early-stage sperm cells, an initial step on the path to artificial development of human sperm. The disclosure was made in a paper by researchers at the University of Goettingen and other institutions that was published in the academic journal Reproduction on Friday.
Researchers said the breakthrough will help them understand more about how sperm cells are created, but warned that it could take years before they are used in fertility treatment.
Led by Professor Karim Nayernia, the research team took bone marrow from male volunteers and isolated stem cells previously found to grow into other body tissues such as muscle.
They cultured these cells in the laboratory and coaxed them into becoming male reproductive cells, which are scientifically known as “germ cells.”
Genetic markers showed the presence of partly-developed sperm cells called spermatagonial stem cells, which are an early phase of the male germ cell development.
In most men, spermatagonial cells eventually develop into mature, functional sperm but this progression was not achieved in the experiment conducted by Nayernia and his team.
The professor, who now works at the North-east England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI), based at the Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne, said it would take three to five years to grow the immature cells into fully developed sperm.
A lengthy process of scientific investigation is required within an ethical and social framework to be able say if it has potential applications in terms of fertility treatments in humans, he added.
Prof Nayernia gained international acclaim in 2006 when he and colleagues created sperm cells from mouse embryonic stem cells and used them to fertilise mice eggs, resulting in seven live births.
“We are very excited about this discovery,” Nayernia said of his new research paper.
“Our next goal is to see if we can get the spermatagonial stem cells to progress to mature sperm in the laboratory and this should take around three to five years of experiments.”
from Earth Times

Reichen’s New Boyfriend?

April 14, 2007

Reichen Lehmkuhl
Reichen Lehmkuhl was spotted at the “Redline” premiere in Los Angeles last night and with a new hunky leather-jacketed man attached to his arm. The fresh dude engaged the *UNSYNCED Reichen in a little public display of affection.
from TMZ

Randy Blue

Ask A Gay Man

April 14, 2007

William Sledd isn’t your average YouTube star. His posts are funny, but he’s not an aspiring comedian. He’s not a stripper, although he has put up video of himself dancing in American Apparel underwear. And he’s not an editing nerd, re-cutting scary movies into slapstick comedies. He’s a gay 23-year-old manager at the Gap in Paducah, Ky., and he is YouTube’s resident fashion advisor.
His video blog, “Ask a Gay Man: Fashion Edition,” has become the fourth-most subscribed-to blog on YouTube.
“I mean, pretty much ever since I was growing up I was interested in fashion,” Sledd said by telephone from his home. “And it’s not like designer couture that I’m obsessed with. It’s more about people dressing correctly. It just really bothers me when people look like crap.”
He invites viewers to e-mail him fashion questions like “What colors can I wear with black if I have fair skin?” and “How do I tell my friend to stop wearing overalls?”
Sledd has a baby face and a stylish sideswept haircut (he once filmed himself getting highlights). His style leans toward preppy, and he’s not afraid to rock a pink dress shirt or polo shirt on occasion. In his almost weekly posts he instructs his 45,000 subscribers and millions of viewers on the perils of high-waisted mom jeans and carpenter pants for men who aren’t carpenters and the glory of Chanel black nail polish and V-neck sweaters for guys. He loathes Crocs (those clunky plastic clogs that come in neon colors) and loved houndstooth for last fall. He’s anti-leggings (unless you somehow have the fashion smarts to pull them off) and pro-man bag.
Sledd started video blogging six months ago after watching a lonelygirl15 video.
“I saw hers and I was like, ‘I could so do that,’ ” he said. It also helped that he had recently purchased an iMac with a video camera built in. “That iMac changed my life.”
Since September, Sledd has posted 34 videos to YouTube, gradually picking up subscribers. He became an official YouTube celebrity in November when the site featured his eighth video on its homepage. That installment, “Ask a Gay Man: Denim Edition,” has been watched more than 2 million times and quickly pushed Sledd’s subscribers into the tens of thousands.
Like the “Queer Eye” guys or Jay Manuel from “America’s Next Top Model,” Sledd’s persona is playfully catty and a little bossy. And like all great YouTubers, his videos seem off the cuff, but they actually require thought and work. The “Denim Edition” video is just 4 1/2 minutes long, but it took Sledd four hours to shoot and edit it.
“I try to spend a lot of time editing,” he said. “Now with all the subscribers it’s a lot of pressure, but I try to make good videos. I look at it as something for the greater good.”
Now Sledd is preparing to move from Internet superstardom to the real thing. He’s already met with people from the recently “Queer Eye”-less Bravo a few times and has more meetings planned.
“It was totally nuts,” he said. “Now I’m sitting in meetings with the vice president of Bravo while everybody talks about me in third person. They have a lot of great ideas, but everything is still in development, and it’s hard to know what the final product will be.”
Sledd doesn’t have an agent but has signed a contract with NBC.
“There is a ton of interest for him,” a spokesperson for the company said. “We receive a lot of publicity calls, and a lot of people want to talk to him. He’s really sparked a lot of interest nationally.”
In the meantime, “Ask a Gay Man: Fashion Edition” was recently nominated for best series in the first YouTube awards. It lost to the comedy series “Ask a Ninja,” but before the results were in Sledd made a video critiquing his fellow nominees’ style.
“Simple question: What’s up with all the black?” asked Sledd, while reviewing “Ask A Ninja’s” wardrobe. “It’s so drab. If I was a ninja…. ” The clip jump-cut to Sledd with a pink sheet over his head.
“I don’t think there are enough pink ninjas in the world,” he said.
from The Los Angeles Times

Ask A Gay Man

Hate Crime Against A Straight Man

April 13, 2007

NEW JERSEY – A man who was beaten and stabbed after a street fight with seven avowed lesbians testified Wednesday that he thought he was going to die after they jumped him last year.
“I remember being surrounded, my hands up in my face,” Dwayne Buckle testified at the trial of four of the women. “I went up into a defensive position. I felt a nick in my abdomen. I had my two hands in front of my face.”
He said he didn’t realize he had been stabbed.
“Somebody told me I was stabbed,” he said. “As soon as he said that, I felt it. I lay down on my knapsack. I was hollering and screaming. I felt like I was going to die.”
Buckle, 29, said he was in a hospital for five days and in bed at his Queens home for a month after undergoing surgery for a lacerated liver and stomach. He said he also suffered cuts, bruises, scratches and an eye injury in the attack.
Buckle, who has called the incident “a hate crime against a straight man,” was testifying in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court at the trial of Patreese Johnson, 20, Renata Hill, 25, Venice Brown, 19, and Terrain Dandridge, 20, all of Newark, N.J.
The defendants are charged with first- and second-degree assault and gang assault. Johnson, accused of stabbing Buckle, also is charged with second-degree attempted murder. All have pleaded not guilty.
Three of the seven women pleaded guilty to assault charges in exchange for sentences of six months in jail and five years probation.
Buckle, a movie audio-video engineer and an independent filmmaker, said the fight started outside the Independent Film Center in lower Manhattan, where he was trying to sell videos he had made. He said that as the women walked by, he spoke to one of them because he found her attractive.
Buckle said a heavyset woman in the group said something rude.
“She just started dogging me out, being loud and disrespectful,” he said. “I think I called her an elephant and told her I wasn’t talking to her.”
Buckle said she spoke disparagingly of his looks and clothing, saying he was wearing cheap sneakers. Meanwhile, another woman spat on him and he spat back.
The women surrounded and attacked Buckle, he said. After a few minutes, he said, the fight subsided and he began picking up his DVDs from the sidewalk.
“Someone attacked me from behind,” Buckle said. “One girl called for some guys to come beat me up. A guy got me on the floor (sidewalk), and I was jumped again.”
Assistant District Attorney Sharon Laveson told the jury in opening statements that surveillance video will show that Johnson pulled a steak knife from her purse and stabbed Buckle with it.
Johnson admits she slashed Buckle with a knife but says she did it in self-defense, according to papers filed by prosecutors at her arraignment. Johnson’s statement says she pulled out her knife after Buckle grabbed her arm and spat on one of her friends.
“As I got my knife, Renata hit him for spitting,” Johnson’s statement says. “Then everyone jumped in because he is a man. Then some young men had helped us. After that we walked away. I admit I did cut him one time for my own safety.”
from WCBS TV

gay shopping

Jay Mohr Joining Office Party In CBS Pilot

April 13, 2007

Jay Mohr
Jay Mohr is set to star in an untitled CBS comedy pilot from the creators of “Will & Grace.”
The project revolves around two friends and writing partners — one straight (Mohr) and one gay (Brian Austin Green) — and the women (Jessica Capshaw, Vanessa Lengies) who work with them. Mohr’s character is a guy’s guy who loves sports and reads a lot.
It comes from “Will & Grace” creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, and is loosely based on their professional relationship.
Mohr has a recurring role on “Ghost Whisperer.” If the pilot doesn’t go to series, he will become a regular on the CBS drama, if it is picked up for a third season. Mohr’s TV credits also include the Fox comedy series “Action” and NBC’s reality show “Last Comic Standing.”
from Reuters