The Tearoom: the gay cruising 

The TearoomThe game is a foot, but that is probably in some peoples dream.  The Tearoom being referred to here is that of the men’s toilet, where before the law was changed, and indeed even afterwards, men who wanted ‘gay sex’ use to frequent and attempt to have sex or do a pick up without the police catching them.

Often the police use to have sting operations using ‘molly boys’ or ‘honey traps’ where they used young men (sometimes underage or new policemen) to frequent these areas, lead the man on, and then arrest him.

This practice is still being used today by ISIS, as can be seen the article ‘Islamic State’s secret flirting squads expose gay men for trial and execution’ published by the Daily Star Sunday, In may 2015

To add to this, Sean McGouran brought to my attention that there was a ballet / dance about such things Joseph Mercier’s Cruising, Clubbing Fucking: An Elegy – he mentioned that he had performed in Belfast a number of times (at the OutBurst festival).

He and dancer Sebastian Langueneur ended up in their birthday suits…

 

TRAILER Cruising, Clubbing, Fucking: an elegy from PanicLab on Vimeo.

Further reading:

 

Robert Yang has created a ‘dick pic simulator’ and a game about consent and BDSM. Now he’s tackling the risks surrounding gay sex in the 60s

Source: The Tearoom: the gay cruising game challenging industry norms | Technology | The Guardian

Forrest Reid – the magician

Forrest Reid - the magicianForrest Reid was born on (Saturday, as it happens) June 24, 1876, at 20 Mount Charles, Belfast it was (still is) a ‘private road’, a volume of Reid’s autobiography is entitled Private Road (the other being Apostate).  Reid’s father died when he was a child.  He had invested in foolish speculation, and his death left the family in dire straits.  His mother, an Englishwoman with exotic, aristocratic ancestors, including Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife, refused to ‘down-size’ and the family survived on a very basic diet – mostly rice pudding

   Reid attended Belfast’s ‘Inst’ (the Royal Belfast Academical Institute) and was a good student – particularly of English, but he went to work in Musgrave’stea firm – the Musgrave family were entrepreneurs – the greater part of their fortune being made in metal industrial and domestic heating devices.
   Reid’s frugality may be a reason why he was able to attend Christ’s Church College in Cambridge in 1905.  He was, at 29, a ‘mature student, of ancient (Greek) and modern languages.  He regarded his sojourn in Cambridge as a “rather blank” period – he had no friends from his sojourn there.
   He did meet EM Forster, who became a life-long friend, and whom Reid visited every year.  He travelled to England as an (apparently ferociously competitive) croquet player and stayed with Forster in his Cambridge rooms.  He must have made the acquaintance of Forster’s circle.  Benjamin Britten was part of that circle until his expulsion (BB had made it clear that the composer had the last word on texts to be set.  He had been given increasing complex texts by WH Auden in the 1930s and early ’40s.  Post Peter Grimes, his first major opera, he felt self confident dealing with authors.  Forster became the Great Old Man of English Letters and tried to brow-beat BB, who turned to more amenable librettists).
   Reid had a great love of Italian opera and a huge record collection – with which he ‘entertained’ his neighbours in Ormiston Avenue off Castlereagh Road (the Castlereagh Hills were not built over until the 1960s) often late in the evening.  Many of Reid’s books are set in the unnamed, but clearly obvious County Down – the county ‘proper’ begins with the Castlereagh Hills.  His other favoured landscape was that of Donegal.
   Reid produced a critical study of WB Yeats in 1915 (he did not note the Great War in progress at the time – WW2 was beneath his notice too), as was the decade of political violence in Ireland.  He produced a book about British book illustrators of the 1870s and a not-very-critical study of Walter de la Mare (now even more thoroughly forgotten than Reid himself).
   Reid’s novels have been reprinted by Valancourt Books of Richmond, Virginia over the past decade.

Valancourt Books

PO Box 17642
Richmond VA [Virginia]
USA
Forrest Reid - one story

Screening of ‘Against the Law’ in Downing Street

 

UK Government

The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
requests the pleasure of the company of
Cllr Jeffrey Dudgeon MBE
at a screening of Against the Law
at 10 Downing Street
on Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 6.30 pm for 7.00 pm

Against the Law tells the story of Peter Wildeblood and one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu trial.
Along with the Conservative peer Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and their friend Michael Pitt-Rivers, Wildeblood was imprisoned for homosexual offences after his lover gave evidence against him under pressure from the authorities.
With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the laws against homosexuality.
His high-profile trial led the way to the creation of the Wolfenden Committee on sexual law reform which eventually resulted in the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 – changing the lives of thousands of gay men with its partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts.
This powerful new drama forms part of a season of BBC programmes marking the fiftieth anniversary of that landmark change in the law. Starring Daniel Mays and directed by Fergus O’Brien, it is interspersed with moving testimonies from a chorus of men whose love and lives were against the law.

 

Screening of 'Against the Law' in No 10 Downing Street

Against the Law

Comics and Harvey Milk

I thought I would pass along this news on the development of a Harvey Milk graphic  comic novel:

Reprinted from email sent by milehighcomics.comNew Harvey Milk Graphic Novel Art – More Scarce Comics ArriveHowdy!

It is already well known that our Jason St. Mega-Store is an amazing Mecca of comics. What is not common knowledge is that we also are offered an unbelievable number of collections at Jason St. on a daily basis. Never, in my entire 47 years of selling comics, have I seen a single location act as a magnet for so much great material! In great measure, that is why our New-In-Stock and Premium New-In-Stock links have been so diverse of late…

Comics in Stock - 1
Array #1 of Comics Instock Now!

I mention these collections for a couple of different reasons. First, I typically travel a great deal during this time of year, and had intended to spend a considerable amount of time this winter buying back issues at comics shops and smaller comics shows on the East Coast. We are receiving so much material at Jason St., however, that we are still trying to catch up on our processing of the semi-trailer filled with comics that I picked up in California and Las Vegas last November. Until we can sort through those 100,000 comics, it makes no sense for me to travel to purchase more.

Nicole the Great
Nicole the Great, Queen Mother of the Americas

The good news is that my not traveling eastward means that I can instead fly to San Diego this weekend, to present a business plan on my proposed Harvey Milk graphic novel to Nicole the Great, Queen Mother of the Americas. In case you missed it in my convention newsletter, as the titular head of our entire 68-chapter International Court System, Nicole met with me at last year’s San Diego Comic-Conabout issues that had arisen with my local organization, the Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire. After spending a couple of hours chatting about ICRME issues, Nicole took a walk with me around the convention. She became very excited, and suggested that I try to put together a graphic novel about martyred LGBTQ activist, Harvey Milk. The sketches you see below by the incredibly talented Thomas Haller Buchanan, are the direct result of that conversation.

Harvey Milk Sketch by Thomas Haller Buchanan
Harvey Milk Sketch by Thomas Haller Buchanan

Harvey Milk Sketch - 2 by Thomas Haller Buchanan
Harvey Milk Sketch by Thomas Haller Buchanan

Harvey Milk Sketch - 3 - by Thomas Haller Buchanan
Harvey Milk Sketch by Thomas Haller Buchanan

Harvey Milk Sketch - 4 - by Thomas Haller Buchanan
Harvey Milk Sketch by Thomas Haller Buchanan


Harvey Milk Sketches by Thomas Haller Buchanan

So you know, I have already received about a dozen very encouraging responses to my request for feedback about my Harvey Milk project. I thank each and every one of you who sent me feedback at chuckrozanski@gmail.com. There are quite a few major obstacles that need to be overcome before this project can come to fruition, however, not the least of which is approval by the Harvey Milk Foundation. Before I can even reach that point, however, I first need to gain approval this weekend from Nicole, and the ICS Board of Directors. Wish me luck!


What Thomas Haller Buchanan finished work looks like

As an aside, I think it is time to bring some clarity to my efforts with the ICRME. As a quick glance at ICRME-Denver.org will easily reveal, theImperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire is primarily an LGBTQ organization. It was founded 44 years ago to help validate the benefit to our communities of those who choose to perform in public venues in outfits outside of their birth gender. Simply put, drag queens (men who perform as women) and drag kings (women who perform as men). Our umbrella organization, the International Court System, consists of 30,000 members in the United States, Canada, and MexicoICRME itself is now a registered 501-C3 charity, and contributes upwards of $100,000 per year from our performances to those in need in our Denver community.


Chuck with the officers of ICRME Reign 42

So you know, I am a bit of an odd duck in ICRME, as I am the only straight man in an otherwise primarily gay organization. That having been said, after six years of hard work I have been accepted by most of ICRME’s members, and was allowed to serve last year in the #2 leadership position, as Prince Royale. It was also through my ICRME position that I first became aware of the awesome work being done by Jim Scharper’s “Feeding Denver’s Hungry” charity. That awareness, in turn, has changed my entire life. I now spend a goodly portion if my time each week working with “Feeding Denver’s Hungry,” seeking to help the poor.


Chuck, Jim, and some of the volunteers of Feeding Denver’s Hungry

All of the above having been said, the core of my life remains Mile High Comics. Serving your needs by seeking out the very best comics that I can possibly find, and then offering them to you at the least cost, is still why I get up and go to the office each day. I will be turning 62 in a couple of weeks, however, and I am quite aware that the time is upon me when I need to give back to my community. While joining forces with an organization like ICRME may seem rather out of the ordinary, I can assure you that my friends in the drag community are among the nicest and most giving people that I have ever been blessed to meet. I am honored to work with them every day to try to make Denver a better place for us all.

Happy collecting!

Chuck Rozanski,
Prince Royale 42
Imperial Court the Rocky Mountain Empire
January 30, 2017

P.S. Below are some arrays of comics that we were blessed to be able to purchase last Friday. All can be purchased at a full 30% off when you utilize our NEWHOPE! Codeword. Only new issues, a few variants, and our CGC’s are excluded.

Comics in stock - 2
Array #2 of Comics Instock Now!


Array #3 of Comics Instock Now!


Array #4 of Comics Instock Now!


Array #5 of Comics Instock Now!


Array #6 of Comics Instock Now!


Array of some of the MAD Magazines that will be Instock Tomorrow!

http://www.milehighcomics.com

Young and Old – time does make a difference!

Young and OldOver the last 40+ years that I have been involved in the LGBTQ community, I have been privileged to witness the acceptance of gay people into the general community – young and old, we now have more freedoms; however this has only come about through the continued pressure from individuals, groups through lobbying and through legal cases.  We have in most parts of the UK an acceptance and understanding that being ‘gay’ is normal, that it does not require “treatment” to correct an illness!  Again I said in most parts, there are however still some groups and individuals who wish us to disappear or receive corrective treatment – in most companies LGBTQ rights are now accepted; but we cannot sit back on our backsides; if we do not keep monitoring and interacting with government (both local and national) then the rights that we have fought so hard to achieve will be taken away again.

What are your thoughts on this article; I would really like to hear what you think.  Comment now or email us.Young and Old

 

 

Source: Old and young see LGBT rights in contrast

 

 

 

 

Items for further reading:

365 Without 377 – Movie Review

365 without 377Name of movie: 365 Without 377

Date: 2011

Length (hrs): 53 mins

Film genre: Documentary

Characters: Beena, Pallav and Abhenna.

Director: Adele Tulli, who graduated in South Asian Studies and has worked on several activist projects in India and Europe

Setting: India

 

Plot information: A documentary following the decriminalizing of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalized any sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex.

When does the movie take place? July 2009

What happens in the movie? Imposed under the British colonial rule in 1860, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalize any sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex, stigmatizing them as ‘against the order of nature’. On 2ND July 2009 the Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgement scrapping this clause, thus fulfilling the most basic demand of the Indian LGBTQ community, which had been fighting this law for the past 10 years. Three characters, Beena, Pallav and Abheena travel through the city of Bombay heading to the celebrations for the first anniversary of the historic verdict. ‘365 without 377’ is the story of their journey towards freedom. (IMDB)

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What makes the movie interesting? The chance to see a different culture handling a British imposed culture, and how they developed as people and overcame the challenges of being ‘gay’ in India, where even though the law as been annulled by the Delhi High Court, for many they still believe it will take much more than this to change the mindset of the Indian community as a whole

What is the best part? The best parts for me was looking at the three main characters lives, and how just like ourselves they are ordinary, but have developed as people and are willing to stand up for their beliefs and rights.

How do you feel when the movie ended? Neither sad or happy, but I did feel that I wanted to learn more, and hope that another documentary will do a follow-up say in 5 years time.

Who will like this move? People with an interest in LGBT activism, people with an interest in humanity, people who like India

On a scale of 1 (don’t like) – 5 (like), how do you rate this movie? For me definitely a 4

Are you ready for the New Year – 2017?

How we should get ready for 2017!

Happy New Year - 2017In America we have seen Donald Trump’s election win, and in the UK we have seen Brexit win out. Whilst we don’t know what the courts will say in terms of the Prime Minister’s rights, it is clear that the referendum has been taken and won and that the New Year will bring many changes, and that the far right seems to have gained ascendancy in terms of leaving Europe and also in terms of how we are supposed to ‘handle’ immigrants and other minorities.

President Elect ‘Trump’ has through his cabinet choices shown that he and his cronies are completely anti-LGBTQ, as all of them have either voted for some bill that denied the LGBTQ community one or all of the following:

  • job protections
  • right to marry
  • health services

In the UK we have seen the backlashes and phobias starting with people being beaten up because ‘they are not British’. Taunts like ‘ go back from where you came from’, ‘go back into the closet’, ‘your are not normal’.

It is obvious that things will get worse, especially if the Prime Minister, Theresa May, decides to push the removal of the Human Rights Act and replace with a Britsh Bill of Rights, which in all probability will be of no use at all, and probably only protect the rich and business.

LGBTQ Community

So what can we do about it?

Firstly, we need to make certain that our LGBTQ organisations are actually working for our community, and not just fund raising to ensure there existence. But also, we as a community need to be involved with these organisations – they cannot exist in a vacuum. And it is pretty obvious that funding is drying up from government and other sources.

Secondly, we need to remember that back in the 60s and 70s, whilst we did have some problems regarding personalities, we all realised that we needed to work together to achieve the common goal. This is even more relevant in the light of the attacks that are being made on our community from so many directions. We need to work together in the New Year to achieve our common goals.

LGBTQ Voting Power

Thirdly, we need to channel our voting power in the New Year. No longer should politicians of any ilk or cloth assume because they say they support they support the LGBTQ that they will automatically get our vote – they must prove they are more than fair-weather friends.

PA at Belfast Pride Snow Ball ‏ 2011

Lastly, we need to work with other groups who have experience and knowledge; they can help us develop our policies and mechanisms, the same as they can learn from us. There is strength in numbers, as well as that feeling of not being alone.

We need only look back in our history to discover how we in the past have come together and fought and won. Don’t stand alone, find friends, gather together in groups and support and learn to fight within the bounds of the law to get our rights and those of the future community

 

Further reading:

Ofsted downgrades some schools due to curriculum problems

Let us be clear about this headline ‘Christian schools downgraded by Ofsted over homophobic teachings’,  it is ill conceived and really sensationalism at its worse; the report clearly states that the downgrade is about the curriculum, and it is illustrated in the following paragraph:

Concerns have been repeatedly flagged about the use of ACE in British schools in the past, with an investigation in 2014 raising concerns about ACE textbooks teaching that homosexuality is a choice, evolution is a lie, abortion is wrong, and AIDS can be avoided by following the Bible.

not just about homophobic teachings.  This is a long running problem between Ofsted and schools which are following the ACE curriculum, an import from the USA, and very obviously very right wing in its beliefs and teachings.

A Balanced Curriculum

I have no objections to any curriculum as long as it is balanced and fair, and importantly accurate and factual.  Our country has a long history of adjusting its curriculum as things have been found out that change our concepts and thoughts – we must not allow bigots to control the educational system and the lives of our childrenCurriculum, Ofsted, ACE and schools

A number of private Christian schools have threatened legal action after having their status downgraded by education watchdog Ofsted, partly for failing to “promote respect” for LGBT people and British values.

Source: Christian schools downgraded by Ofsted over homophobic teachings · PinkNews

Traditonal Values – is there such a thing?

Now I know that quoting Wikipedia is so blase, however in this case I feel the definition is worth looking at:  Wikipedia defines “Traditional Values” as “those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed down from generation to generation within a culture, subculture or community.”

However on investigation, Wikipedia cannot define where those beliefs, moral codes etc come from.  There is no defining text, and what is also interesting is that this cultural phenomena is wildly held as fact, when even within family to family said ideas can be wildly different.

A colleague of mine, put his thoughts as:

Clearly this moron hasn’t heard of New Orleans – though as it is French / Irish / Italian Catholic maybe he is going to allow it to secede from the secession.
I will always respect another’s opinion, however for it to be acceptable it must be rational, and have at least a modicum of intelligent thought behind it.  Mr MacKinnon has obviously not given this a deep enough thought process,  as indeed we could say the same about his previous boss President Reagan with some of his actions and speeches.  For Mr MacKinnon to say that ‘marriage equality’ is such a threat to personal liberty that states should risk a second civil war to preserve the right to discriminate against people, only goes to show how bigoted he is and how he has failed to research and understand  that society has never stood still, it has always moved forward, and always will
Further reading:

 

Whose Values?

A right-wing author has a plan for people who aren’t happy about shifting attitudes about LGBT rights.

Source: Conservative author wants states to secede over gay rights | MSNBC

Have you any Gay Images From Northern Ireland

Gay History

northern gay and block mounted paisley ayatollah

 

Northern Ireland’s gay history is slowly coming to light in our national institutions.  Recently we spotted the Northern Gay and block mounted Paisley ayatollah  on display at the Ulster Museum.

This is only part of some of our history, but the museums and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) have more, and indeed are always looking for more material to add to their archives and develop their ability to reflect everyone’s history and in particular those of the minority groups which are often under represented.

A quick search on the PRONI websites brought up 15 distinct areas:

  • Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Advocate
  • Sexuality
    …If you think you’re gay or a lesbian, you may be worried about how people will react if you tell them…
  • Sexual orientation discrimination

…It’s against the law for an employer to discriminate against you because of your sexual orientation. You’re also protected against harassment or bullying at work…

  • Information and support for people with HIV and AIDS

…There are support services, information and advice available across Northern Ireland for people newly diagnosed or living with HIV…

  • Support services for victims
    …If you have been a victim of crime or abuse in Northern Ireland, there are organisation and groups who can give you free advice, support and practical help to help you deal with the impact of…
  • QueerSpace
  • Hate crime
    …Hate crime is a crime against a person usually because of their race, religious belief, sexual orientation, political opinion, gender identity or disability. Hate crime can take many forms…
  • Pushing the boundaries: Society & law
    …A Series of talks exploring society and the law which consider broad areas relating to the changing perception of what constitutes acceptable behaviour within society…
  • Rainbow Project
  • Human rights in the workplace

…Your human rights are protected by the law. If your employer is a public authority, they must follow the principles of the Human Rights Act…

  • Equal State Pension rights for transsexual people
    …Transsexual people can apply for equal treatment rights for social security purposes. This could mean getting the State Pension paid early, or having some National Insurance contributions…
  • Easter Rising: ‘Irish volunteers centenary project’

…PRONI was pleased to host ‘Irish Volunteers Centenary Project’, a talk by Donal McAnallen about experiences in the Easter Rising…

  • Talking to your child about sex and teenage pregnancy
    …Young people who can talk about sex with their parents tend to delay having sex and are more likely to use contraception when they do. However, you may find the idea slightly awkward, or you…
  • Religion or belief discrimination

…It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against you because of your religion or certain beliefs. Find out about your rights and what you can do if you’re worried about religion…

An important thing for all of us in the LGBT community of Northern Ireland is our history, but unfortunately a lot of it has been forgotten, or not written down, or in some cases is still hidden away in individuals homes.  We would like to develop further our access to our history, by asking everyone to dig our their history and by contacting us we will work with the museums and PRONI to develop a central resource.

Please do contact us with details of what you have and we will then arrange with the correct repository.  All information will remain confidential regarding your personal details, unless yu expressly give us permission to disclose them when lodging the items on your behalf.


Further reading: