Nondiscrimination flairs again in North Carolina
A million years ago… well 2017, the North Carolina legislature put a moratorium on municipalities passing nondiscrimination protection of LGBT people. It was a compromise to affect the repeal of the infamous “bathroom bill.” The moratorium expired in 2020 and three municipalities are moving to pass ordinances with LGBT on the list of protected classes: Hillsborough (near Raleigh), Chapel Hill, (home of the University of North Carolina’s flagship campus), and the city of Durham. The ordinance in Hillsborough ruled discrimination as a misdemeanor with a $500 fine. The ordinance, however, does not cover multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities. Under NC state law, the general assembly is still the only body that can regulate access in those places.
Siegfried & Roy, again, RIP
Siegfried Fischbacher, half of the magician team of Siegfried & Roy, has died of pancreatic cancer at age 81. He and his longtime partner, Roy Horn, were one of the most visible same-sex partners in the last half of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries. They partnered on stage — and off — for more than 40 years. They began working together as teenagers and ended up as headliners at their 1,500-seat theater at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas. Roy Horn was mauled by a tiger during their act in 2003.
Missed putt, watch your mouth
Justin Thomas, once No. 1 on the men’s U.S.A. Professional Golf Association, and who won 13 tournaments on the PGA Tour, missed a putt and exclaimed a self-criticism using a word, starting with “F”. Not “the F word” by the “Gay F Word”. The word has many meanings, from an oboe to a metal-working term. In the U.S., it’s sometimes a mean word directed at gay men. It was caught on video at a tournament and since he wasn’t in an orchestra or welding, outrage ensued. He expressed regret for using the word. The PGA called his outburst “unacceptable,” and Thomas is expected to be fined. For all his transgression and remorse, Thomas still managed to shoot a 66, missing the playoff by one stroke.
Greek gay action
It has always seemed odd that the country which gave the world the word “Greek”, suggesting gay sex, being gay or lesbian was discriminated against by the Greek culture. It is nice that Greece now has an admittedly gay government minister, Nicholas Yatromanolakis. He is the deputy minister for contemporary culture. Almost as oddly, the appointment was aimed at boosting the government’s image as COVID-19 continues to infect more Grecians. Yatromanolakis said he had often been discouraged from seeking elected office due to his “profile.” He recounted being told, “Hush, darling,” on live TV, but said, “You can’t let that bother you, because it’s your life and you have to do what you believe is the right thing.”
No straight-washing in UK series
The creator of the new UK AIDS-era drama It’s a Sin believed it important to cast gay actors in gay roles. UK Broadcaster, Channel 4, described the show: “Three young lads, strangers at first, leaving home at 18 and heading off to London in 1981 with hope and ambition and joy… and walking straight into a plague that most of the world ignores.” The series is scheduled for HBO Max in the U.S. “I’m not being woke about this,” said creator and director Richard Davies, “but I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, they are not there to ‘act gay’ because ‘acting gay’ is a bunch of codes for performance. It’s about authenticity, the taste of 2020.”
Straight-washing in lesbian fantasy, revealed
According to the Advocate, “The “lesbian internet” is going wild over the idea of a Zendaya and Anya Taylor-Joy lesbian period drama.” Both actresses, reportedly not-lesbian, have played queer characters. Zendaya in HBO’s Euphoria. Taylor-Joy does a lesbian turn in one episode of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. The fantasies were launched by the women at the famous Met Gala, both in period costume. Zendaya wore a dress inspired by depictions of Joan of Arc, while Taylor-Joy was clothed in gold raiment. The fantasies got pretty specific, like one suggesting the actress play young queens from rival kingdoms who have to form an unlikely bond after one of their nations is attacked. The straight washing of a lesbian-fantasy did get push-back, pointing out that media is rife with pairings exactly like this — thin, femme, and played by straight actors. Another “actually what I want is darker-skinned Black women to have swords and romance stories in which they can be strong and not killed off as plot devices.”
Better to be thought a fool
A gay man claims he’s received death threats after participating in the riots at the U.S. Capitol. Kristopher “Dreww”, a far-right activist, who is also known as the “Adorable Deplorable” on social media, had initially gloated about his involvement in the uprising in Washington, D.C., “I just got back from storming the Capitol. It was successful. For all you bitches on Facebook going crazy talking about it was Antifa and saying it wasn’t us, it was us. We had the fucking cops running from us.” Once the blowback began, he back-tracked, “Dreww” claimed he never went inside the capitol building and that the closest he got was the lawn, where he ate sandwiches with some very fine people he met there.
Lesbian archivist, RIP
The founder of the Bay Area Lesbian Archives, Lenn Keller, has died at age 69 of cancer in Oakland. The collection, started in 2014, aimed for a regional rather than a national focus. After a 2004 call for local stories, the collection includes posters, flyers, and other memorabilia and is the largest archive on the West Coast dedicated to preserving and promoting the lesbian and feminist history and culture.