July 12th, 2013
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Bournemouth, UK; Bristol, UK; Green Bay, WI; Leipzig, Germany; Marseille, France (EuroPride 2013); Munich, Germany; San Diego, CA; San Luis Obispo, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Tacoma, WA.
Other Events This Weekend: Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo, Golden, CO; Outfest Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA; QFest Film Festival, Philadelphia, PA; Bear Week, Provincetown, MA Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Tokyo, Japan.
Van Cliburn: 1934. In 1958, the Soviet Union, flush with the technological success of Sputnik, inaugurated the first International Tchaikovsky Competition to showcase the Soviet’s cultural superiority. But twenty-four year old Van Cliburn’s astounding performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 resulted in a standing ovation lasting eight minutes. With an American clearly the crowd favorite to take what was supposed to have been a Soviet showcase, the judges reportedly sought Khrushchev permission. “Is he the best? Then give him the prize!” so the story goes. Cliburn returned to the U.S. to a hero’s welcome, becoming the first and only classical musician to be treated to a New York ticker-tape parade. His 1958 Grammy-winning recording of Tchaikovsky’s first Piano Concerto became the first classical album to go platinum and was the best-selling classical album for more than a decade. It would eventually go on to go triple platinum and is still available for download in the internet age.
In 1962, he became the artistic adviser for his own namesake competition, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, held every four years in Ft. Worth, Texas. His own competition now rivals the Tchaikovsky in international stature. He continued performing and recording through the 1960s and 1970s, but after the deaths of his father and manager, he took a hiatus from public life. He came out of retirement in 1987 to perform at the White House for President Ronald Reagan and Soviet president Mikhael Gorbachev. In 2011, Van Cliburn returned to the XCI Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, where he served as an honorary juror and was treated like a rock star. He died in 2013 at his Ft. Worth home of bone cancer at the age of 78. His funeral was held at the gay-friendly Broadway Baptist Church, and his obituary listed his sole survivor as “his friend of longstanding, Thomas L. Smith.”
Cheyenne Jackson: 1975. He was named for show business, named by his father after a 1950s Western television series. He is a talented actor and singer, working on stage, film and television. His biggest film role to date was as gay 9/11 hero Mark Bingham in the 2006 Oscar nominated United 93, though he was not yet out yet. Publicly at least. He came out to his parents at the age of 19. His conservative Christian family — including his brother who pastors a large evangelical church and often appears on Pat Robertson’s CBN — encouraged him to enroll in an Exodus International program, but he quietly refused. Fortunately, his family has mostly come around since then.
Jackson came out publicly in 2008, in an interview with the New York Times. That same year, he appeared in a New York production of Damn Yankees with Jane Krakowski and Sean Hayes. In 2009, he opened on Broadway in a revival of Finian’s Rainbows. He has also had recurring roles on television with NBC’s 30 Rock and Fox’s Glee. In 2009, he released a CD with Michael Feinstein, The Power Of Two. He is an avid LGBT rights supporter and an ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research), and in 2011, he appeared in the New York stage reading of Dustin Lance Black’s play, 8, based on on the Proposition 8 trial transcript. In 2011, he married his husband, physicist Monte Lapka, after New York legalized same-sex marriage. The couple have been together since 1999.
If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).
And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.