February 15, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Amid news Monday of all-American defensive end Michael Sam's announcement that he was gay, Library Company of Philadelphia curator Connie King lifted the veil on an exhibition titled, coincidentally, "That's So Gay: Outing Early America. " King could not have known that a major gay rights story would be breaking just as she launched the eight-month exhibit of mostly 19th-century archives from the venerable library. The timing, however, underscored the timelessness of a cultural evolution and civil rights struggle that remains very much a work in progress.
February 11, 2014 |
AUSTRIA'S DANIELA Iraschko-Stolz wants to focus on the women's normal hill ski-jumping event that starts tomorrow. But people keep asking her questions about being gay in a country that doesn't tolerate homosexuality. Yesterday, she tried to put the issue to rest. The 30-year-old Iraschko-Stolz, who married her partner, Isabel Stolz, last year, was asked if she was treated differently in Sochi. "No, on the contrary, I think everything is being blown up bigger than it is," she told reporters.
February 1, 2014 |
GLENSIDE Joey Kemmerling said he was 14 when a classmate threatened him with a knife. Because he was gay. About a year earlier, he'd come out to a few friends at school in Bucks County. Word got around. He was routinely shoved, harassed, belittled. But the knife incident stood out, Kemmerling recalled this week. "In that moment," he said, "I realized that I thought I really, truly didn't belong. " Kemmerling emerged from that incident physically unharmed. The bully, he said, decided to walk away.
January 22, 2014 |
With same-sex marriage on the rise nationwide and celebrities coming out all over the place, one might suppose that young gay men's lives have become "easy, breezy, and free," says Jerome T. Pipes. This seems particularly true when compared with my own youthful emergence from the closet, back in the day when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. But what if a young gay man coming out in 2014 is African American or Latino and lives in Camden? Out come the stereotypes - particularly, but not exclusively, among outsiders.
January 16, 2014 |
ACTOR Ian McKellen and 27 Nobel laureates have written an open letter urging Russia's president to repeal an anti-gay law and expressing their solidarity with critics of the legislation. The letter - published yesterday by the Independent, a British newspaper - comes in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics, which have been the focus of a backlash in the West regarding the law. Passed last year, Russia's law bans promotion of "non-traditional sexual relations" to minors and has prompted calls by gay activists and others for a boycott of the games, which begin Feb. 7. McKellan - known to millions as Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" films - wrote the letter with his friend, chemist Harold Kroto.
January 7, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA When David Norse first stepped into the Broad Street Ministry on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts and spotted the art installation of a dozen tilting metal windmills and glimpsed the flocks of origami birds suspended from the ceiling, he felt a connection. "This is the place," he recalled thinking a few years ago when he first visited the church across the street from the Kimmel Center. "I'm home. " On Sunday, Norse, 27, was ordained at Broad Street Ministry as Philadelphia's first openly gay male minister in a Presbyterian church.
December 21, 2013 |
Trouble for 'Duck' man Beloved Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson , 67, is in trouble with cabler A&E after calling homosexuality a sin in a GQ interview. Asked to define sinful behavior, he said, "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. " Following a severe thumping by critics, including GLAAD, A&E has decided to give Phil a time-out: He'll be off the show for an indefinite period. "We are extremely disappointed," A&E tells USA Today. Phil's comments, the cabler says, "are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series . " Not so sure: The Robertson family as a whole are quite proud of their Christian family values.
December 20, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Within hours of word that Gov. Corbett would throw his weight behind a gay rights bill, reaction came swiftly, and battle lines on the left and the right were drawn again. Democrats welcomed news that Corbett - who had previously staked a position as a social conservative - would support a bill to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, while some conservatives assailed him for selling out on Republican principles. And others on both sides of the issue attributed the governor's abrupt pivot to politics and as a way to salvage his historically low approval ratings.
December 20, 2013 |
As a gay man in Russia, S.R. said, he was a frequent target. A few months after vigilantes beat him for holding hands with a man in 2011, he said, he and two male friends were at a beach when they were set upon by six drunken thugs. "Someone kicked me from behind, and as I fell forward, another man kicked me in the face. [They] yelled pidirugi " - Russian for "faggots", said S.R., now in his early 30s. His testimony, along with arguments from Villanova University law school students, helped the man win political asylum last month from a U.S. immigration judge in York, Pa. In doing so, S.R., as his lawyers have identified him, joined an emerging class of persecuted immigrants: Russian homosexuals.
December 18, 2013 |
With political fund-raisers cramming the weekend calendar, cash flows like booze at the annual Pennsylvania Society event in New York City. Historically, recipients of the bounty are almost always those at the top of the political food chain. But this year, two rank-and-file lawmakers were the guests of honor at separate buzz-generating fund-raisers at the homes of prominent New Yorkers this past weekend. Call it the coming-out year for gay pols. Both Rep. Brian Sims (D., Phila.)