For years, I was under the impression that surely, the biggest weirdo in the leather scene must be Herr Rudi. Extravagantly dressed, Mohawk, dominant with an extremely big ego, in short: Herr Rudi. I first met him in 2009 and since saw him several times in Berlin. Our meetings were never warm. Herr Rudi claims to know a lot about the history of leather and fetish in Europe, and is lecturing about this, particularly in the US. For Herr Rudi likes to Google.
In 1973, on Friday the thirteenth, I met Lefert at the COC in Wormerveer. It may sound as a cliché, but it was love at first sight. I was totally overwhelmed. The only thing I could think of was him. At the time, I was working at the news agency ABC Press Service in Amsterdam. “Come here for a second...” my lesbian boss Loes Robert said. “You are radiating. What is going on?” Well, she was right. I was madly in love. I visited my parents to tell them.
People who can receive the Arte channel in The Netherlands were in luck. They could watch the twenty-sixth Teddy Award Ceremony. It has become a tradition that this gay-friendly channel extensively covers this cinematographic spectacle. The Teddy Award is part of the Berlinale and specifically focuses on the visibility of LGBT (lesbian/gay/bi/transgender) in cinema. This year, the emphasis was on “transgender”. Over forty-seven films were nominated.
Over the past decade, a contrast between gays and Muslims arose. While Muslims are being criticized for their sexual ethics, gays went from misfits to the pampered children of Dutch politics and the Dutch media since 2001 (gay marriage, Pim Fortuyn). Because Muslims supposedly do not accept gays, their perceptions about sexuality are heavily criticized by society and politics. Gays feel that (orthodox) Muslims pose a threat to their free and open lifestyle.
Breaking the straight trance of received “Titanic” history, San Francisco author Jack Fritscher reclaims gay history by writing a pitch-perfect sex epic of gay survival. “Titanic: The Untold Tale of Gay Passengers and Crew” (San Francisco: Palm Drive Publishing, 2012 53 pp.), “outs” the forbidden gay love story of the world’s most famous cruise, featuring the Unsinkable Molly Brown, the posh lovers Michael Whitney and Edward Wedding, and the working crew including the rugged Balkan Stoker, the redheaded Royal Purser Felix Jones, and the ship’s second carpenter Michael Brice and Third Officer Sam Maxwell.
Rosa von Praunheim’s Documentary About Berlin Rent Boys
For years, railway station Bahnhof Zoo in Berlin has been a meeting point for prostitutes and drug addicts. “Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo” (1981, directed by Uli Edel), the movie in which David Bowie also participated, gave a good and shocking picture of this at the time. Thirty years later, “Die Jungs vom Bahnhof Zoo” is released, a documentary by Rosa von Praunheim, in which Berlin’s central station area again plays an important part.
It has now become clear that the old and outmoded advice to stay out of the sun and continuously apply sun lotion has led to millions of deaths. Living in the shadow goes hand in hand with cancer, heart problems, obesity, viral infections, and depression. But also for those who are young, and have no interest in the problems the future might bring, vitamin D has everything to offer: Strength, Potency, and a Six-pack.
The Dutch cabinet has passed a bill by State Secretary Fred Teeven (Safety and Justice, VVD) which will make it a lot easier for transgenders to change the gender on their birth certificate. Transgender Network Netherlands (TNN) and gay interest group COC Netherlands, organisations that have spent years on getting better legislation, speak of a landmark for transgenders in The Netherlands.
COC Netherlands does not want Minister Leers (Asylum) to send back lesbian, gay and transgender (LHBT) asylum seekers to Iraq. With this, the COC is responding to new information on the life threatening situation of LHBT’s in Iraq.
‘The situation in Iraq is highly dangerous and LHBT’s are systematically confronted with atrocities,’ according to COC chairwoman Vera Bergkamp. ‘The protection The Netherlands is offering LHBT refugees is completely inadequate. We will ask Minister Leers to grant them asylum as a group’.
COC Netherlands wants the United Nations to pay structural attention to the human rights of lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT’s). To that end, a special rapporteur on LGBT rights should be appointed. For the first time in history, the United Nations Human Rights Council debated the violation of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity on Wednesday, March 7.