It wasn’t fifteen years ago that in Rome you had the choice of three clubs and two parks to satisfy your needs. Nowadays the Italians acknowledge the existence of gays more and more openly. The biggest sauna of the capital has a transparent entrance. With the owner we talk about the classical bathing culture and the ongoing emancipation.
The American photographer, Tom Bianchi, rose to fame in the early nineties with stylish black-and-white glamour pictures of the well-off and well-formed queer jet set.
The last few years he has changed his style considerably, as is shown in the two volumes of “On the Couch.” Nowadays he produces full color photographs with a strong sexual bent. This series of photographs started off as an internet project, but has become an omnipresent hymn to male beauty.
Every year the American magazine “People” chooses “The Sexiest Man Alive.” The lucky winner gets a spot on the cover and of course the honor. This year actor Jude Law was the lucky winner. Brad Pitt however did not agree. If it had been up to this gorgeous man the magazine would have put buddy and colleague Matt Damon on their cover. Brad has had the title himself as well and he thinks Matt also has what it takes.
‘Where is Paulard?’ was the first thought that came to Frank on the bed of pine needles that he fell upon. Did they get him too? In that case there was nothing left to do. Did he get away in time? If so, did he know what had happened to him and would he come to save him, or would he leave him to his own device? Paulard had probably, carelessly walked on, convinced they would meet further down the track. Unless that bastard had just deserted him.
This year Malta entered the European Union. Situated at an important strategic position Malta was a British colony since 1814. From 1947 the country was allowed its own government and in 1964 Malta became truly independent. However, the last English institutions didn’t leave until 1979. Leaving English as the nation’s second language together with Maltese. Malta lies at approximately 93 kilometers South of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea and has 400,000 inhabitants.
It’s been a busy time lately for Schorer, the organization for gay and lesbian health, with the Take Care Week around World Aids Day and the publication of the Monitor Survey into the sexual behavior of gay men. Although the results of the survey show a worrying degree of unsafe sex amongst gay men, the Amsterdam city council has refused to help secure Schorer’s budget. A talk with Leo Schenk, HIV-STD prevention worker at Schorer.
It may be shocking for some but this is a very erotically charged movie. The breakthrough for director Rodrigues? He’s made two documentaries and two short movies before. “O Fantasma” is a film about primal lust. Sergio (a beautiful character by Ricardo Meneses) is a garbage collector in Lisbon. His great (and only) friend is his dog Lorde. There’s a female colleague who’s interested in him (and who wouldn’t be), but Sergio prefers anonymous sex adventures with men (for example at a public toilet and a rape of a tied up police officer). Until he gets obsessed by a motor cyclist.
In 2003 the Schorer Foundation, together with the university of Maastricht, launched a first monitor research of gay and bisexual men in Amsterdam. Volunteers set out almost 900 questionnaires at gay meeting spots like bars, saunas, sex parties, the COC and sports clubs. The questionnaires were filled out and returned by 482 men.
For the ones who’d like to keep the winter outside, three uplifting CDs were released with balmy tropical vibes. Pedro Jesus from Puerto Rico just released his fourth CD “Pa’l Bailador” and this is now also available in Holland. Eight uptempo tracks for the dance floor. Pedro is not only a fantastic singer, he is also a songwriter. All the songs are written by him. We also get a duet with salsero Tito Rojas. The salsa CD of 2004!
The television contest “Idols” is very popular all over the world, also in Australia. Recently the 16-year-old Casey Donovan won the show. In full page ads Telstra, which sponsors Australian Idol, congratulated the winner. The ads mentioned the fact that it was possible to download her song from the official website, which was given as www.caseydonovan.com. But when people went to this site it turned out to be named after another Casey Donovan, to wit the first major gay porn star.
In the recently published “Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts,” edited by Claude J. Summers, the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya is mentioned in the entry on eighteenth century European art. The author, Kieron Devlin, writes that he “produced paintings of exceptional verve and intensity, particularly in his etchings. Although his work is not easily classified, it presages the deeper, darker feelings unearthed by Romanticism.” Nothing in these lines indicates that there might be other than art historical reasons why Goya should be mentioned in this encyclopedia.
Shortly after the murdering of Dutch film maker, Theo van Gogh, the Minister of Justice, Donner, saw an opportunity to throw the Netherlands back to the Fifties. He proposed to reinstate the statutory provision about blasphemy, which has been a dead letter for decades. Donner’s suggestion met with fierce resistance from his colleagues in the government as well as from parliament. However, a motion to abolish this section of the law was rejected. The new Dutch gay organization HLBF.NL thinks this is most regrettable.
A group of Greek lawyers is angry at the portrayal of Alexander the Great as a bisexual man in Oliver Stone’s recent epic. In the movie Alexander has an intimate relationship with a male childhood friend. The lawyers argue there is no historical evidence supporting claims that Alexander had male lovers. They had threatened to go to court and ask that a disclaimer be shown before the filming warning audiences that it was not historically accurate.
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