Tout Gay Holland will be aware of the fact that the oldest Dutch gay magazine is celebrating its 25th anniversary with “an international lifestyle event,” the Rainbow Experience. This joyful fact takes place in the Europahal of the Amsterdam RAI and contains a Rainbow Fair, the Rainbow Conferences and the Rainbow Events.
As there are regular interesting events at the RAI complex, we decide to leave the city center and arrive within fifteen minutes at the Scheldestraat. Following a sexy Spaniard’s recommendation I booked a table at the Indonesian restaurant Djago. It’s been a hotspot for over twenty years in this area.
Hot! Hot! Hot! In January Walboomers sent me a CD of a band that I had never heard of before, Kassav. The disc has not left the system since. Walboomers should have warned me... play at your own risk; it’s an addictive stuff called “Zouk.” This CD will make you move to the Caribbean beats whether you want it or not. So I tried to find out more about this band. They’re from the French Antilles and they’ve released fourteen albums already. They’ve been very popular in the States for years. Apart from France, they’re not known in Europe but this could change rapidly.
The long-lasting divisions between gay and straight are fading more and more. Groomed men with an interest in fashion are becoming more and more important to many fashion labels. Maybe that’s the reason why more and more fashion designers such as Christian Lacroix, Givenchy and Emanuel Ungaro introduce their own men’s collections next to their lady’s wear. The English way of life has settled with all her facets in the Parisian fashion world. It’s an inspiration for many a designer. Men dressed up as seductive Latino pirates with John Galliano, or as university fret boys. Nonchalance with a touch of bohemian sex appeal. Welcome to the shows of men’s collections of June last year.
For some reason piano players attain almost mythical reputations around their personality more easily than other musicians. In recent years, many of those legendary ivory ticklers have died: Rubinstein, Horowitz (who’s extra-light-touch grand piano now travels the world alone), Wilhelm Kempf, Rudolf Serkin, Claudio Arrau en Jorge Bolet, to name but a few. Shura Cherkasky inherited Horowitz’s title as “last romantic” but almost an entire generation has gone extinct.
In his second last movie, “Habla con Ella,” Almodóvar showed already that apart from his more light-hearted work he’s not afraid to touch on heavier themes either, with Javier Cámara impregnating a woman in coma. His latest: “La Mala Educación,” features the same actor in a story about the abuse of power at a Catholic boarding school. But the movie is about much more than just that: sex, drugs and transvestites play an important part in the director’s fifteenth production. It is, however, only the second movie he’s made with homosexuality as it’s main topic. The last time was with “La Ley del Deso” (1986) that also featured a transsexual and a priest.
A New Yorker in his forties was found infected with an HIV strand immune to three out of four therapies that are known. This means that the virus does not respond to eighteen to nineteen of the twenty available HIV blockers. On top of that his resistance had plummeted two to twenty months after the infection to the level that is classified in the U.S. as full-blown AIDS (which means that the number of CD4 cells has dropped below 200). The man was said to be very sexually active and a regular user of the drug Crystal Meth.
In his youth every healthy queer must have wondered what those comic heroes did when they weren’t fighting crime or rescuing damsels in distress. A guy who wears his briefs over his tights must have an exciting erotic life! With guys, one presumes. But we’ll never know for sure.
Everybody who likes comics with a decent dose of male eroticism can find enough to suit him nowadays. An up-and-coming star in the gay porn comic world is the Canadian Patrick Fillion (1973). Together with his life partner he has created his own publishing company, Class Comics, which by now has released quite a number of his gay comics in magazine format.
In June 2003 the President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, signed a law that outlaws several types of discrimination, including bias based on sexual preference. The law also requires federal agencies to launch campaigns to promote tolerance. A government-sponsored radio campaign featuring a mother nervously preparing dinner for het son’s boyfriend has conservative groups raging with anger.
While gays and lesbians have experienced a growing acceptance within Mexican society, they still have a long way to go before obtaining full equal rights.
Early this year the British navy has started an advertisement campaign in several gay magazines. The ads call on gays to apply for a job in the navy. Until 2000 gays and lesbians were banned from the British army. After a ruling from the European Court for Human Rights they were forced to change this policy. According to the PR-company Stonewall, hired by the navy, this is the next step to combat the negative attitude towards gays within the navy.
Cape Town has been marketing itself as a gay holiday destination and the success of the third Gay Pride, held during the last weekend of February has secured it’s place on the gay world map.
Record crowds were lining the streets for the parade that featured a bevy of drag beauties, muscled men in full leather, and just about everything in between. “It was great to walk down the city streets and be proud of who you are and of what sexuality you are,” said Ian McMahon, chair of the Cape Town Pride Festival. Among the supporters was Mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo who officially began the parade.
At the Oscar ceremony actor Robin Williams has spoken out against the smear-campaign against so-claimed gay cartoon figures. The 52-year-old Williams expressed his irritation over people that connect cartoon characters with political actions for the acceptance of homosexuality. “They tell me now that SpongeBob is gay. SquarePants is not gay. SpongeBob TightPants might be gay.” Robin does fuel another misconception there however.
Microsoft chair Bill Gates is warning that a HIV/AIDS vaccine is more than a decade away. Gates, who is the world’s largest private donor to HIV/AIDS research, made the remark in London where he was awarded an honorary knighthood. He has donated 4.9billion dollars to the search for a vaccine through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Speaking to reporters following the ceremony at Buckingham Palace Gates dismissed claims by the British government that if spending on research were doubled in coming years, an HIV vaccine could be available as early as 2012.
September last year the GBA as well as a second organization filed a request for a license to hold the Canal Parade in August 2005. Chair of the city center government, Anne Lize van der Stoel, had a meeting with the alternative organization in early March. “The motif of the second request was that the Gay Business Amsterdam (GBA) had publicly announced their doubts whether they wanted to continue to organize the Canal Parade,” says the board.
Behind the scenes
'Million Dollar Baby' Big Winner at Oscars
With four Oscars in the most important categories “Million Dollar Baby” is clearly the big winner of the seventy-seventh Academy Awards. The boxing drama won Best Actor, Best Direction, Best Actress (Hillary Swank) and Best Supporting Actor (Morgan Freeman). Jamie Fox won the Best Actor Award for his phenomenal performance as Ray Charles in the movie “Ray.”
Het Roze Wester Festival op het Homomonument start dit jaar op de avond van vrijdag 29 april met een uitbundig Koninginnenachtfeest: de Drag Queen Olympics. Een internationale competitie van onnavolgbare vaardigheden voor Drag Queens, Drag Kings, Travestieten en anderen van genderbending pluimage. Alle pruiken, pancake en hakken verzamelen op de Westermarkt! Want laten we eerlijk wezen: wat voor Amsterdamse nicht ben je als je nog nooit met je stilettohakken shocking klem hebt gezeten tussen de kinderkopjes rond het Homomonument? Dit is je kans, speel zoveel mogelijk “I Want To Break Free” de komende weken en train die kuiten.