EBU tells Mango where to stuff their mangoes

Ryan O’Shaughnessy at the Eurovision Song Contest | EBU | r

The European Broadcasting Union today tore up their contract with China’s Mango TV after it allegedly censored two performances, saying censorship “is not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.”

The organisation did not say which acts had been censored by Mango but they are thought to have included the Irish entry which prominently featured gay flags.

In their statement the EBU said the contract allowing the Chinese broadcaster to televise the 2018 contest was terminated immediately, which means Mango TV is unable to air the second semi-final on Thursday and the Grand Final on Saturday.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2018/05/11/china-banned-broadcasting-eurovision-censoring-irelands-gay/

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Gay farmers coming a cropper

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The BBC’s Countryfile program has featured gay farmers. They visited a farmer called Frank who lived with the secret of being gay for more than 40 years.

We learn that many farmers struggle to come out as gay in their very masculine industry. Many farmers lead an isolated working life and find themselves under pressure to find a wife and take on the family farm when their parents retire.

The programme reported that farmers are more likely to commit suicide than most other professions due to economic pressures, seasonal weather conditions and loneliness making them more at risk of suffering depression. One in four gay farmers have attempted to take their lives at some point in their lives.

“George”, a 29-year-old farmer from Northern Ireland who hasn’t yet been able to publicly come out as gay, said:

“Being gay is not something I can tell my parents, they believe that having feelings towards men is wrong […] I was raised to believe that someday I would find a girl, get married and have children and carry on farming our family land. Many times I mentally broke down on my own and wanted and prayed it would be fixed. Suicide is something I’ve had dwelling in my innermost thoughts – it was a potential way out.”

https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wellbeing/a19871317/countryfile-struggles-gay-farmer/

Gay Farmer Helpline: 07837 931894

The difficulties of being out at work during the HIV Panic

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The New York Times asked six of its gay journalists to look back at the way they had covered HIV/Aids and how easy it had been for them to work at the NYT during those times.

What emerged was a picture of a newsroom that often forced its L.G.B.T. journalists to choose between their career ambitions and their desire to have an openly queer life. The Times spent much of the 1980s figuring out how to cover gays as real people with newsworthy problems. It was also deeply unsure of how to deal with its gay employees, whose sexuality may have seemed, to those in management, to be at odds with the pedigree the institution wanted to uphold.

Red card time

Denis Balbir, the French TV soccer commentator, was suspended today for anti-gay comments directed at RB Leipzig players following their loss to Marseille in the Europa League quarterfinals. He mocked the Leipzig players’ 5-2 loss at the Stade Velodrome in a video that emerged after the match.

Balbir criticized the German team’s players for their perceived arrogance and used an anti-gay slur to describe them. His post-game comments were not broadcast live.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/french-soccer-commentator-makes-post-game-anti-gay-comments/2018/04/13/47f59cf6-3efc-11e8-955b-7d2e19b79966_story.html?utm_term=.41fe50cc82ff

Mae West and “The Drag”

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Copyright control | 17137

In 1927 Mae West wrote a play called “Drag” which was swiftly banned.

The play, subtitled A Homosexual Comedy in Three Acts and written under the pseudonym Jane Mast, was about a young society man, Rolly Kingsbury, who prefers feminine young men, and presented a sympathetic medical view of homosexuality as a natural thing. Oh, it also staged a flamboyant drag queen ball, with largely improvised dialogue and a jazz band on stage. Well, what else would you expect from Mae West?

The Drag was shut down after 10 out-of-town performances, and never made it to Broadway, but sold lots of tickets.

Mae West herself had been a male impersonator early in her career.

The Drag was inspired by her many gay friends; she knew their daily struggles to be open about their relationships, and to be accepted for who they were.

When casting the play, she actively sought out gay actors. That caused trouble as well. The actors’ union barred gay men from parts with speaking lines. She auditioned them at a gay bar in Greenwich Village. In her autobiography, she claimed to have “helped a lot of gay boys along” by casting them at a time when “producers never gave speaking parts to homosexuals”.

The play opened in Connecticut. It was a success with audiences, although Variety called it “an inexpressibly brutal and vulgar attempt to capitalise on a dirty matter for profit”.

One Broadway producer said it was “the worst possible play I have ever heard of contemplating an invasion of New York” and that it “strikes at the heart of decency”.

West rewrote the play a year later as “The Pleasure Man”, making the lead character straight, but she still faced criticism for it being too explicit, and ended up in court.

Mae West was born on August 17, 1893 and died on November 22, 1980.

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/jul/05/polly-stenham-mae-west-gay-pride-the-drag-national-theatre

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/five-gay-plays-changed-world/

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David Is Homosexual

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A clip from the film | Dave Belton/CHE | 17122

The film “David Is Homosexual” was made for the Lewisham branch of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. The film was written by Wilfred Avery and filmed by Dave Belton.

An educational film, made in 1976, it tells the coming-out story of the titular David, a repressed office worker whose mum and dad scream abuse at the telly when gay rights marches appear on the news.

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During filming | Copyright control | 17123

“David Is Homosexual” had a long lifespan, touring the country until 1979. At a screening for trainee gas fitters and plumbers at a technical college, the filmmakers were greeted with a chorus of “Backs to the wall, lads” when setting up their equipment. After seeing the film, the quizzical apprentices had softened their tone. “Are you two lovers, then?” asked one, genuinely interested, from the back.

The Lewisham branch of the CHE and other groups helped raise funds for the film with jumble sales.

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2017/jun/18/glad-to-be-gay-the-story-of-the-filming-of-david-is-homosexual

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Patient Zero – The truth

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Gaétan Dugas | Anonymous/Associated Press | 16489gh

The alleged “Patient Zero” of the American AIDS epidemic was a French Canadian flight attendant named Gaétan Dugas, who died of AIDS in 1984. Mr Dugas was exonerated last week. Far from being the instigator of an epidemic, he was merely one of thousands of its victims.

New genetic sequencing of blood samples which had been stored since the 1970s showed that the strain infecting him had circulated among gay men in New York for several years before he arrived in the US in 1974. So he did not introduce the virus to North America; he was a victim.

The revelation proves that the epidemic’s early days had been overshadowed by a witch hunt.

Federal health officials said homosexuals, Haitians, hemophiliacs and heroin users were all victims — thus effectively calling them all carriers. Many individuals felt the sting of suspicion, including Ryan White, a 13-year-old hemophiliac who was bullied and barred from middle school after he contracted H.I.V. from a blood-clotting factor.

Mr. Dugas’s name emerged when Randy Shilts, the journalist who himself later died of AIDS, published his best-selling history of the epidemic, “And the Band Played On.” Through interviews, he found the real name of the mysterious “Patient O,” for “outside California,” in a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linking 40 men with AIDS on two coasts.

Mr. Shilts never claimed that Mr. Dugas was the nation’s first case, but alarmist journalism during his book publicity tour created the image of a libertine who, as one headline screamed, “Gave Us AIDS.”

“The current study provides further evidence that patient 57, the individual identified both by the letter O and the number 0, was not patient zero of the North American epidemic,” said Richard McKay, historian and co-author of the study from the University of Cambridge, adding that the authors of the original study had already pointed out he was unlikely to be the source. He said a “trail of error and hype” had led to Dugas being branded with the “Patient Zero” title.

“Gaétan Dugas is one of the most demonised patients in history, and one of a long line of individuals and groups vilified in the belief that they somehow fuelled epidemics with malicious intent,” said McKay.

The revelation has caused medical experts to consider the ethics involved when patients identities are revealed. Is it right to hunt down the first case in any outbreak, to find every Patient Zero?

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/oct/26/patient-zero-gaetan-dugas-not-source-of-hivaids-outbreak-study-proves

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