Taking place at New York’s 80WSE Gallery, there is a live excavation of unknown photos by legendary photographer Bob Mizer, whose work spans five decades starting in the 1950s. Mizer’s images and films were produced by his company Athletic Model Guild and they were often featured in his publication, Physique Pictorial. He is widely known as a pioneer in erotic male photography, but much of his other work was put aside by Mizer and went unseen until now.
A gay military couple has released an emotional video that takes viewers on a romantic journey that chronicles their proposal and their feelings on the modern-day zeitgeist that has allowed their love to be legalized. The video, “Jonathan & Dwayne: A Story of Love” is narrated by the couple, Jonathan and Dwayne Beebe-Franqui, who made headlines when they became engaged during San Diego Pride 2012, the first time in US history when gay and lesbian military persons were able to march in a Pride.
Watch video after the jump…
Last night’s The Voice finale had an unexpected surprise during Lady Gaga’s scheduled performance when big-haired and big-voice judge Christina Aguilera filled in for R. Kelly during Gaga’s “Do What U Want.” The two disproved a long-running rumor that there was a feud between them. After the performance, host Carson Daley asked the women how the collaboration came about. ”I was really excited because The Voice called and said they wanted me to perform on the finale, and I obviously can’t refuse,” Gaga said. “Such an amazing show! And I said I want to know if Christina wants to do it with me!” ”This is the first time we’ve ever met,” Christina said. “When I heard she wanted to collaborate, I said of course! She’s such an innovative artist and a risk taker. And as a fellow female, I have so much respect for that. And I just have to say guys, she’s the most down-to-earth real person I’ve met. So I love you girl, and you deserve everything you’ve earned.”
Video after the jump…
In a calculated move, President Obama is delivering a message to Russia through his choice of sending gay athletes to represent in the United States of America at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Also, it was also announced yesterday that Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President will not be attending the Olympics, the first time the United States has skipped the games since 2000, though his press secretary gave no specific reason for his absence. The gay athletes who will be attending include Billie Jean King who will watch the opening and closing ceremonies and hockey player Caitlin Cahow who will attend the closing ceremonies. In a clear sign that the US will not tolerate Russia’s controversial anti-gay propaganda laws spokesman Shin Inouye said the delegation “represents the diversity that is the United States” and that Obama “knows they will showcase to the world the best of America—diversity, determination, and teamwork.”
“I am equally proud to stand with the members of the LGBT community in support of all athletes who will be competing in Sochi and I hope these Olympic Games will indeed be a watershed moment for the universal acceptance of all people,” said King. [AP]
Ikea has been deemed gutless by several of its shoppers after the furniture retailer removed a feature story about a British lesbian couple from the Russian edition of its magazine. Since then, a protest has been launched globally with over 33,000 people signing a petition and at-store protests in both Russia and the US, consumers around the world are demanding that the socially liberal Swedish furniture store stand as a friend to LGBT Russians not ignore them. ”As the international community shows support for LGBTQI Russians, it’s upsetting to see IKEA take such a cowardly, anti-gay visibility stance,” said Luke Ellenberg, RUSA LGBT activist. “Despite repeatedly being named as one of the ‘most ethical companies’ in the world, we’re seeing the IKEA brand being tarnished in an effort to comply with Putin’s intolerance. We’re simply asking IKEA to reconnect with the company’s core values, and to stand with LGBTQI Russians as a matter of both corporate and human compassion.”
Be sure to sign the petition at tweet @ikea.
“I Hear A Symphony,” is one of the dozen or so Diana Ross songs that singer-actress LaChanze reinterprets in Love Hangover, her cabaret show, coming to Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco December 20 and 21.
It nods to both LaChanze’s past as “a little brown girl, snapping my fingers and swinging my hips to Diana Ross records on the radio” and a future in which she hopes to expand on her musical theater career—she won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Performance by a leading actress in a musical for the role of Celie in The Color Purple—by performing as a concert artist, something fellow stage stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel have done with great success in recent years. (LaChanze will star with Menzel in Broadway’s 2014 If/Then by Tom Kitt and Bryan Yorkey [Next to Normal]).
“I’d love to do some of this material backed by a full orchestra,” says LaChanze, of her cabaret show’s dramatically rearranged Ross hits. “I’ve done a couple other cabaret acts—Broadway tunes, a Great American Songbook set. I’m building up material to work into concerts.”
This year’s Human Rights Day marked the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948, and to continue to fight for equality around the globe Free & Equal and the United Nations encouraged famous LGBT people from around the globe to share their stories at an event called “Sport Comes Out Against Homophobia.” Speakers at the event included Navratilova, NBA star Jason Collins, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović, and human rights activists from Russia, South Africa, and the USA. “When Jason Collins came out this year he got a phone call from president Obama congratulating him. 1981, President Reagan was in power, so I did not get that phone call,” said tennis legend Martina Navratilova at the United Nations on 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Check out an inspiring video of the event after the jump…
A US judge gave some same-sex couples in Illinois an early holiday present when she ruled that gay and lesbian couples could marry ahead of the official marriage equality date if one partner is terminally ill. Broadening the medical exception statewide, Judge Sharon Coleman ordered the change to include all couple’s in which one (or both) is terminally ill after a judge made an exception for a lesbian couple couple last month. The ruling will allow any couple to request a marriage license ahead of the official June date as long as the couple can provide a doctor’s note. “When I die, I want Elvie to be able to say, ‘I lost my wife.’ I don’t want her to have to say, ‘I lost my civil union partner,’” said Challis Gibbs whose partner, Elvie Jordan, is terminally ill. [AP]
Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff, who came out this past August, vowed to show solidarity with Russia’s LGBT community by wearing American Apparel’s new line Principle Six. The line of clothing highlights the principle in the International Olympic Committee’s charter that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.” ”I’ll wear what I have to wear for the team, because I am representing Australia but apart from that I’ll definitely be wearing P6 stuff. It’s kind of a way of protesting but not really. It’s directed towards the IOC, it’s not directed to the Russian government so if athletes want to wear it around the Games they will be quite safe doing so. It’s simple, it’s powerful, and I think it will change a lot of things after the Games,” Brockhoff told The Courier-Mail.
“Our Only Wish” this holiday season is to bring gay and lesbian marriage to the 34 states where it is still not legal, that’s the goal of GLAAD’s new campaign. The organization is hoping that by sending family photos, supporters can encourage all the governors of those 34 states to publicy support marriage equality. “It’s a lot harder to oppose something when you can see its face and you know its name,” said Cooper Smith Koch, a Texas man who shares two kids with his partner of 15 years, Todd. “That’s why we’re sending a holiday card to Governor Perry, so that he can see the faces of the citizens of Texas that are being harmed by inequality. And so that he can see the love that we have for our children and how it’s the same as the love he has for his.” Supporters can participate by clicking here and on Twitter using hashtag #OnlyWish.