Welcome to Cool Gay Stuff ! This is a pin-board of InterNet snippets which briefly introduce 'samples' of the Net's newest gay-friendly media. It also provides details of how to purchase a paperback or Kindle e-book copy of your host's recently-published, highly-regarded, sensual 498-page novel of Ancient Rome titled THE HADRIAN ENIGMA: A Forbidden History.

Cool Gay Stuff gives priority to print-&-press media & its readers. It's a foretaste via very brief excerpts from press articles, literary crits, movie crits, & online news of wide public interest, while also highlighting news-&-opinion of specifically gay appeal. These samples always provide direct links back to the original source. Each has been selected by your host, George Gardiner, author of "THE HADRIAN ENIGMA".

As a recently-published historical novel, this book is a highly-praised, erotically-charged, 'good read' Roman Era crime-thriller plus sensual romance. It's a fast 498-page entertainment based on the (real-life) relationship of ancient Rome's dynamic emperor Hadrian Caesar with his youthful beau, Antinous of Bithynia, whose more than 120 surviving ancient sculptures attest to both his muscular good looks & personable appeal. While touring Rome's provinces with Hadrian in 130CE, Antinous drowned in suspicious circumstances at Egypt's Nile River. This tragedy triggered an Imperial whodunit investigation whose (fictional) details have encouraged many readers of the paperback or its Kindle e-book copy to award this novel a very favorable topmost 5-Star rating by more than half of its 25 Amazon online reviewers (56%, to be precise). The book also has a further 24% of Amazon buyers who awarded 4-Stars. Combined, these figures add-up to an Amazon readers' appreciation score of 4.1 points out of 5.

Cool Gay Stuff also cites reader's praises of the novel to help you assess the book's appeal to you. We also provide direct links to Amazon-USA and Amazon-UK's sites to speedily purchase a copy of the paperback (adding a modest Amazon mail-order delivery fee). However, alternatively, you may prefer to immediately download to your computer a thrifty Kindle e-book version of the same text? If so, click on the choice offered below. Please note :- The paperback edition of THE HADRIAN ENIGMA is not available at general book-stores ... its sole buying option is online via Amazon-USA or Amazon-UK (see links below). A hard-copy will be mailed to your required address following online card payment.

Then follows the month's daily-updated Cool Gay Stuff sampler of notable GLBTQ articles, essays, news, videos, movie trailers & reviews, plus direct links to their original Net addresses. Please note :- this site avoids NSFW items or overt porn so "not to frighten the horses" (Oscar Wilde's cheery 19thCent advice). The site's formal Fair Dealing/Non-Profit copyright criteria are posted at its conclusion, plus a full catalog of The Hadrian Enigma's research resources. So, welcome everyone wherever you are, & ENJOY!

We begin with two new mainstream video trailers selected for their wide appeal (including gay reader appeal) ...


AGATHA CHRISTIE lives again ...

.... and now for something completely different, again!

This 2-minute trailer has only been on the Net for 24 hours, yet it has already approached 2-million YouTube hits by keen Christie fans!

Based on the famed novel by Agatha Christie, it (suitably) has a cast of senior British thespians to kill for. Literally. Try :- Tom Bateman, Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom, Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Marwan Kenzari, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, & Sergei Polunin. Ridley Scott and friends produce the movie, while Kenneth Branagh directs and plays the irrepressible Hercule Poirot.

Sit back and savour delightful period whodunnit (even the trailer is stylish!) in anticipation of a soon-to-arrive cinematic experience .... in November, that is!

(Video trailers courtesy of YouTube, with thanks.)


ONE OF THE EARLIEST RECORDED SAME-SEX ROMANCES OF HISTORY : Hadrian Caesar and his very-fit paramour Antinous of Bithynia, set amid the Roman Empire (circa 125-130CE) two centuries before Rome legalized Christian beliefs.

The two-line blue web-address (below) is an invitation from your host, author George Gardiner, to explore his 498-page romance/crime/historical erotica/m-m romance "THE HADRIAN ENIGMA: A Forbidden History" at Amazon USA.

Alternatively, a click on the actual book cover-pics (below) will also deliver you to Amazon (USA) to explore purchase details via its Amazon Online link :-

HADRIAN & ANTINOUS - recorded history's first real-life 'out' lovers ...

HADRIAN & ANTINOUS - recorded history's first real-life 'out' lovers ...
... back & front covers of THE HADRIAN ENIGMA. .. to reach Amazon book sales: CLICK ON THE PICS for direct link to its Amazon USA page to check reviews, prices, & airmail-purchase of a paperback or instant Kindle ebook download.

OPINIONS OF "THE HADRIAN ENIGMA" - top online quotes from 25 Amazon purchasers ...

"Five stars .. A wonderful insight into Roman life ... fantastic, well-researched ..."
Amazon Customer, USA (March 2017)

"Five stars ... a good read."
Viola Noll at Amazon USA

"Nobody will ever know what, exactly, happened to Antinoos. But this is IMHO the best yet story about what might have been. ...."
David Woodworth (USA) at Amazon's USA sales site

"Five stars ... This is a good & fast read."
Fr Mike Mangoian (USA) at Amazon USA

"Five Stars ... I loved this book ... If you like mysteries, try this book. ... Lots of fun ... "
Eric Sootin, Asheville, NC (USA) at Amazon USA

"Five Stars ... Excellent ... couldn't put the book down ... one of the most enjoyable novels I've ever read ..."
Lloyd F Adams (USA), at Amazon USA

"Five Stars ... The best book I've read on Hadrian and Antinous."
JANE (Canada), at Amazon USA

"I recommend it to any historical fiction fan, especially any fan of the redoubtable Mary Renault. ..."
J.R. Tomlin, author of historical fiction, at :- http://jeannetomlin.blogspot.com/

"Five stars ... a tour de force ..."
Elisa Rolle, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer, USA & UK, & at : http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1092070.html

" ... an absorbing new book ... compelling writing ... action sequences that are brilliantly staged & paced ... on a higher plane than mere homoerotic titillation ... courageous & convincing ..."
Reader Down Under (Australia), at Amazon USA

"... extensively researched picture of life in the Roman Empire ... a mix of mystery, comedy, gay & straight romance - is an entertaining read ..."
Laura Staley, Historical Novels Review, USA, at :-

"... an age-old love story with a twist ... an unexpected delight ... his storyline hooked me immediately ..."
Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson of READER VIEWS, Austin TX, USA

"... You will feel engaged and challenged ..."
Nan Hawthorne, author Beloved Pilgrim, at Amazon USA

"... extremely readable ... it's a page turner ... Gardiner has written an interesting & gripping story ..."
Kim at http://www.desicritics.org/ India

"... Five Stars ... a compelling crime mystery ... a hard book to put down ..."
Terence Charters, Hobart, Australia, at Amazon USA

"... An adventure through Hadrian's world. The story is easy to read and full of the homoeroticism that we love about this era. ..."
P. Novotny, London, at Amazon UK

"... a definitive Five Star read for me ..."
Aleksandr Voinov, UK, reviewer at Speak Its Name

"Five Stars ... A masterful recreation of Ancient Rome ... the historical details are a delight ... characters are outlined in a vivid way which is like meeting old friends ... "
Ernest Gill, Hamburg, at Amazon USA & UK

"Five Stars ... as a reimagining of the Hadrian-Antinous relationship in the context of the age it is fascinating."
Muriel Perkins, Texas, at Amazon USA

" ... this is a novel about the nature of love ... but this is far from just being a gay romance. ..." Kit Moss, historical author, at :- http://kitmossreviews.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/the-hadrian-enigma-forbidden-history-by.html

"A truly exceptional book on 'What Greek Love" is all about ..."
John R. Shelton at Amazon USA

"Five Stars. I so enjoyed this book. Highly recommend it ... "
Stephen Forte, Birmingham, Alabama at Amazon USA

" ... I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the Hadrian/Antinous relationship"
Harrison Sheppard at Amazon USA

NOTE: Amazon USA's &
UK's online book & ebook purchase sites with their 25 independent reader's reviews (fourteen awarding Five Stars for excellence!) can be read in full by clicking on :- http://www.amazon.com/Hadrian-Enigma-Forbidden-History/product-reviews/0980746906/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1


LUST, LOVE, INTRIGUE, & MURDEROUS REVENGE: challenging suspense fiction suggested by real events in history's most unusual true love story ...

THE HADRIAN ENIGMA: A Forbidden History
A novel
(C) George Gardiner
ISBN13: 978-0-9807469-1-4 (at Amazon USA, UK, Europe, Australia etc) in 498-page paperback or Kindle ebook.
Also iBookstore, iPad, Nook & ePub ebook formats available via online sources. (Not available in street stores.)

The scene: ancient Rome, 130 years after Christ yet two centuries prior to Christianity being legal. Caesar Hadrian is the popular ruler of a vast pagan empire at the height of its power & wealth.

Hadrian, one of Rome's "five good emperors" searches for & eventually locates the love of his life .. Antinous, an elite Greek athlete, huntsman, & cavalry cadet. They become 'companions' under the ancient Greco-Roman mentoring tradition of an erastes (mentor) & his eromenos (student).

During an imperial pleasure tour of Egypt Antinous is discovered dead in the River Nile. Hadrian is distraught. Is the death a drunken prank gone wrong, suicide, murder, or something far more sinister? Hadrian assigns historian playboy Suetonius Tranquillus to investigate.

THE HADRIAN ENIGMA is the outlawed record of Caesar's investigation into one of history's most suspicious fatalities. It reveals more than Hadrian may want to know, or wants others to know. Set in a society increasingly reflecting facets of our own times, it portrays an era of torrid relationships, raging ambition, wealth inequalities, & uninhibited morals within a severely macho culture of honor, shame, pride & prejudice.

BUY ONLINE ONLY (not available in street stores). CLICK NOW ON A LINK BELOW to select or compare your preferred purchase & delivery options ...

For an Amazon-USA delivered (or air-freighted overseas) paperback :

for Amazon's Kindle ebook or Kindle-For-PC's download :

[If you buy a new print edition of THE HADRIAN ENIGMA, or have purchased one in the past, you can buy a Kindle ebook edition for only $1.99 - saving 80%. Print edition must have been sold by Amazon.]

for Amazon UK :

COOL GAY STUFF now introduces current news & opinion in both columns ...

With many thanks to the originating sources, this left-side column offers "
Mobile First" news excerpts ... a 'text-only' stream for mobile devices to identify & promote teaser-snippets of LGBTQ-news, relevant text selections, plus trailer details of likely gay-interest .... culminating in independent readers' reviews of

... meanwhile, the right-hand column (viewable only via full-frame PC's, laptops, & notebooks etc), displays supportive pics, graphics, cinema trailers, or short videos relevant to the main column's subjects .....


Friday, June 23, 2017

"JEWS QUEERS GERMANS" / Introducing "a novel history" ...

Gay history comes alive
----  the opening pars from a book review by Tim Pfaff at The Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco), 22nd June 2017 :- 

      'In calling his compelling new book "Jews Queers Germans" (Seven Stories Press, USA) "a novel/history," Martin Duberman is not being ambiguous, but rather, purposeful. The CUNY emeritus professor of history has long established his scholarly creds, but in his new book, about matters close to his heart, he's expanding on what he knows – not forsaking history, adding imagination.
      As he himself notes, the rise of LGBTQ history as a recognized academic endeavor has made several of his principal subjects – Magnus Hirschfeld and Count Harry Hessler, in particular – celebrated figures in the modern campaign for gay rights beginning in mid-19th-century Germany, where queerness first acquired the name "homosexualitaet." But even in books that have considered that enterprise in toto, the tendency to tell the history through individual story-lines has predominated. Duberman achieves his synthesis – a word I can't imagine he'd mind – by letting their stories intertwine, weaving in with them the far less well-known figures of Prince Philipp von Eulenberg; Kaiser Wilhelm's close friend, the deeply closeted politician and intellectual Walther Rathenau; and Ernst Roehm, the leader of the brownshirt SA, who was as cautious about the categorization of his sexuality as he was profligate in its notoriously open expression. .... '
----  see more of Tim Pfaff's substantial appraisal of Martin Duberman's "Jews Queers Germans" (plus note its cover art in the right-hand site column) at The Bay Area Reporter Online at :- 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WHEN 'GAY POWER' BEGAN / A half-century of reminiscence since Stonewall ...

Claiming 'Gay Power' History for Ourselves 48 Years After Stonewall
----  a lively first-hand observation contributed as an historical post by journalist Josh-Manuel Andriote at Huffington Post (USA), 19th June 2017 :-

      'New York police thought it would be just another routine raid of a gay bar. But tonight, Friday night, June 27, 1969, was different. The young black and Latino kids and drag queens who frequented the Stonewall Inn were in no mood for it.
      “I was in the back of the bar near the dance floor, where the younger people usually hung out,” recalls Philadelphia Gay News founder and publisher Mark Segal in his memoir And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality. Segal was 18 years old at the time, newly arrived in Manhattan, and a Stonewall regular. As usual, he said, the cops “walked in like they owned the place, cocky, assured that they could do and say whatever they wanted and push people around with impunity. We had no idea why they came in, whether or not they’d been paid, wanted more payoffs, or simply wanted to harass the fags that night.”
      As the cops emptied the bar, a crowd gathered outside in Sheridan Square. Onlookers jeered and catcalled as a paddywagon hauled away the bartender, the bouncer, and three drag queens. After a lesbian put up a struggle as the officers steered her through the crowd to a patrol car, all hell broke loose.
      “Limp wrists were forgotten,” the Village Voice reported a few days later. “Beer cans and bottles were heaved at the windows and a rain of coins descended on the cops . . . Almost by signal the crowd erupted into cobblestone and bottle heaving . . . From nowhere came an uprooted parking meter—used as a battering ram on the Stonewall door. I heard several cries of ‘let’s get some gas,’ but the blaze of flame which soon appeared in the window of the Stonewall was still a shock.” Backups rescued the cops from the flames.  .... '
----  see more of this historical reminiscence by Josh-Manuel Andriote at www.huffingtonpost.com at :- 
----  see too a related report by Daniel Megarry applauding Google's funding gesture, as published in the UK's popular Gay Times site at :-

Monday, June 19, 2017

FUSE Magazine confirms a gay hero ...

Future LGBTQ History: The Light & Love in Gus Kenworthy's Public Journey
----  several grabs about a courageous winter sports phenomenon - ski athlete Gus Kenworthy -  from editorial contributor Jeff Benjamin at FUSE online magazine (USA), 19 June 2017 :-

      'The Olympic medal–winning skier's coming out process has been heavily documented and he's been a shining example for anyone struggling with their sexuality.
      Fuse is celebrating Pride Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future LGBTQ History before our eyes. Today we're honoring Gus Kenworthy, the Olympic medal–winning freestyle skier who is noted as being the first action-sports star to come out. And less than two years later, now acts as a shining mentor to anyone questioning their sexuality.
      "I am gay," can be some of the most empowering or some of the scariest words a LGBTQ person can say out loud and Kenworthy did so with a high-profile ESPN Magazine cover story. Before the story published, the athlete took to his own social media to share his thoughts and reflections in his own words. "For most of my life I’ve dreaded the day that people would find out I was gay," he wrote in an Instagram post. "Now, I couldn’t be more excited to tell you all the truth. Whether you've suspected it all along or it's a complete shock, it’s important for me to be open and honest with you all. Y’all have supported me through a lot of my highs and lows and I hope you'll stay by my side as I make this transformation into the genuine me—the me that I’ve always really been." .... '
----  see more of Jeff Benjamin's inspiring post at www.fuse.tv/2017 at :-


Hundreds of thousands attend Brazil's gay pride parade, slam religious fundamentalism
----  the opening few pars to an extended news report in The Japan Times (Japan), published 19th June 2017 :-

      'Hundreds of thousands of revelers gathered in Sao Paulo [Brazil] on Sunday for one of the world’s largest gay pride parades, with this year’s event focusing on the threat of religious fundamentalism to Brazil’s LGBT community.
      Under a giant rainbow-colored flag, revelers of all ages, many wearing bright wigs, turned the city’s Paulista avenue into a multicolored sea of people filling more than 10 city blocks. Organizers said they expected 3 million people to participate in Sao Paulo’s 21st annual gay pride parade, though military police did not release a crowd estimate.
      Grammy award-winning singer Daniela Mercury and Brazilian pop star Anitta performed at a parade that organizers said would focus on secularism and the idea that no religion is law regardless of people’s individual beliefs.  .... '
----  see more of The Japan Times' unascribed news report at www.japantimes.co.jp at :-

Sunday, June 18, 2017


The National Portrait Gallery Salutes Queer Icon MARLENE DIETRICH
---- an exhibition acknowledging one of cinema history's most memorable personalities, described by Trish Bendix at NewNowNext (USA), 16th June 2017 :-

      "She pioneered so much for women, as well as openness about sexuality in an age that we wouldn't have expected it," says “Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image" curator Kate LeMay.
      Marlene Dietrich was a queer icon almost as soon as she hit the silver screen: She followed up her debut in 1930’s Blue Angel with Morroco, a movie that saw her singing in top hat and tails and kissing another woman on the mouth.
      The German screen goddess was openly bisexual in real life, too, enjoying dalliances with everyone from John Wayne and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. to Edith Piaf and (allegedly) Greta Garbo. (Dietrich referred to the sapphic-friendly starlets she hung out with—Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck and Isadora Duncan—as “the Sewing Circle.”)
       She was also a trailblazing style icon, with an androgynous flair that Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, and even Sasha Velour have paid homage to.
      This month, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is honoring Dietrich with the first major North American exhibition dedicated to her..... '
----  see more of Trish Bendix's fascinating article with memorable photographs at www.newnownext.com at :-
----  [Trish Bendix is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor. She is currently the editor in chief of GO Magazine and a former editor in chief for AfterEllen.com.]
----  photos courtesy of The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, USA)

Saturday, June 17, 2017


[LGBT History] Three Books on the Evolution of the Gay Rights Movement
----  the opening lines from a set of three book reviews by Concepcion De Leon at The New York Times (USA), 9th June 2017 :-

      'As gay pride month kicks into gear, culminating in ebullient parades across the country, here are three books that take a look at the history of the gay rights movement.

VICTORY (2012)
The Triumphant Gay Revolution
By Linda Hirshman - 443 pp.; Harper
     In ”Victory," Linda Hirshman draws from archival records, firsthand interviews, and court documents to trace the history of gay rights from the early 20th century to the present. Her retelling is insightful, and as a lawyer, she offers clear legal and philosophical analysis of key court cases that influenced gay rights. Yet her delivery is hardly dry: Hirshman gives vivid accounts of rivalries between different gay advocacy groups, for instance. From the guerrilla activism of Act Up, the AIDS protest group, to the corporate buy-in for the same-sex marriage campaign, Hirshman deftly shows the reader how the gay movement has evolved and how, as she sees it, it has succeeded. ... "
      The remaining two books are :-  
QUEER AND LOATHING (1994)                          FORCING THE SPRING (2014)
Rants and Raves of a Raging AIDS Clone            Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality
By David B. Feinberg                                                 By Jo Becker
275 pp.; Viking                                                             470 pp.; The Penguin Press

----  see more about these three books at www.nytimes.com at :- 

Friday, June 16, 2017


The Crucial Role of Historical Fiction in Times of Political Turmoil
----  the opening ideas from a substantial essay about the value of historical fiction, written by Jillian Cantor at Signature, a US literary magazine, 15 June 2017 :-

      ' ....  I believe that one day my grandchildren will study this time we live in now as a historical moment, one I’m not sure they’ll be able to fully understand without having lived through it. They will memorize names, dates, and facts, like I once did in school. But it is hard to imagine – to really imagine – a historical moment if you didn’t live through it. And that’s why I write – and read — historical fiction. I’m interested in understanding how people not all that different than myself lived and loved and survived in different times and places. How did real life go on amidst historical unrest or the horrors of war?
      In the time of political turmoil we’re living in now, I find history even more important. Reading historical fiction not only puts our current events into a historical context, but also helps us understand and imagine and empathize with what people lived through in other times and places. .... '
----  see more of Jillian Cantor's essay at Signature (USA) at :-
[Jillian Cantor has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Arizona. She is the author of award-winning novels for teens and adults, including, most recently, the critically acclaimed The Hours Count and Margot.]

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ARE 10 PERCENT OF US GAY ? .... a persuasive reprinted essay

Is 10% of the populations really gay?
----  brief introductory excerpts selected and reprinted recently from a broad 'Sexuality' review of the social evidence, fulsomely assessed by David Spiegelhalter (with many thanks) at The Guardian (UK), 5 April 2015 :-

      '....  Drawing on the widest survey of sexual behaviour since the Kinsey Report, David Spiegelhalter, in his book Sex By Numbers, answers key questions about our private lives. Here he reveals how Kinsey’s contested claim that 10% of us are gay is actually close to the mark.
      So where did Bruce Voeller, a scientist who was a founder and first director of the NGTF, get this nice round 10% from? To find out, we have to delve back into Alfred Kinsey’s surveys in 1940s America, which were groundbreaking at the time but are now seen as archaic in their methods: he sought out respondents in prisons and the gay underworld, made friends with them and, over a cigarette, noted down their behaviours using an obscure code. Kinsey did not believe that sexual identity was fixed and simply categorised, and perhaps his most lasting contribution was his scale, still used today, in which individuals are rated from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual on a scale of 0 to 6.
      Kinsey’s headline finding was that “at least 37% of the male population has some homosexual experience between the beginning of adolescence and old age”, meaning physical contact to the point of orgasm. He claimed that 13% of males were predominately homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55 (scoring at least 4) and that 4% of males were exclusively homosexual all their lives (scoring 6). .... '
----  see more of this fascinating April 2015 extended sociological report by David Spiegelhalter at The Guardian (with many thanks) at :-

Monday, June 12, 2017


A mix of pride and anger at LGBT rights marches across US
----  the opening phrases, with thanks, from an extended news report by Carolyn Kaster and David Crary of Associated Press at KWWL.com (USA), 13 June 2017 :-

      'WASHINGTON (AP) - Supporters of LGBT rights marched and rallied in the nation's capital and dozens of other U.S. cities on Sunday, celebrating gains but angry over threats posed by the administration of President Donald Trump.
      The centerpiece event, the Equality March in Washington, was endorsed by virtually every major national advocacy group working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
      Activists have been embittered by the Trump administration's rollback of federal guidance advising school districts to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.
      They also complain that Trump, who campaigned as a potential ally of gays and lesbians, has stocked his administration with foes of LGBT rights, including Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
      Throngs of marchers, many thousands strong, paraded past the White House and toward the Capitol, trailing behind a giant rainbow flag near the head of the procession.
      "We're here, we're queer, get that Cheeto out of here," was among the chants directed at Trump.  ....'
----  see more of Carolyn & David's report at www.kwwl.com at :-
----  see too a further report from the BBC (UK) at :-

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Is the gorgeous South American film 'ESTEROS' the best queer film about adolescent desire?
----  a few lines at Queerty.com from a substantial introductory review today by David Reddish of a new gay-themed Argentine movie, accompanied by its 1'30" trailer (in the right-hand column) ...

      'Attention all readers who take their their romance bittersweet: the new Argentine film Esteros is an extraordinary exemplar of this genre. It also qualifies as a fine piece of queer filmmaking.
      Directed by Papu Curotto from a script by Andi Nachon, Esteros centers on the reunion of two childhood friends. Mati (Ignacio Rogers) and Jero (Esteban Masturini) spent summers together at a family home, the sons of close friends. The two became inseparable as they fished and swam in the nearby estuaries (sort of natural canals and wetlands that serve as a almost too obvious metaphor for the boys budding sexuality). ....
....  So, will they or won’t they? Do they even want to? Is Mati even gay, or did he just enjoy the same kind of experimental sexual experience that so many adolescent men and women do? Will a childhood bond ignite romance? .... '
----  see more of David Reddish's charmed review of 'ESTEROS' at Queerty (USA, with thanks) at :-
---- and visit the enchanting 1'30" (English subtitled) trailer in this site's side column (at right).
----  Esteros is available on Netflix.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

GAY MARRIAGE / The plot thickens ... ?

Gay Marriage - Here We Go Again
----  an introductory par to an extended opinion-piece by Bert Bigelow at Patheos.com (USA), 7th June 2017 :-
("Founded in 2008, Patheos.com is the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world's beliefs.")

      '....  There are two facets to the gay marriage controversy. First, the legalization of same-sex marriage, and second, the anti-discrimination laws that prohibit businesses from withholding services to married gay couples (or even gay individuals) on religious grounds. The Religious Right has long contended that this violates their “religious rights.” This is part of a larger issue: Do religious rights include the right to violate the civil rights of people they disapprove of by discriminating against them? Some states have passed “religious rights” laws allowing pharmacy workers, for instance, to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives.
      Many red herring issues have been dragged across the legal path to treating gays as real people. ....'
----  see the two pages of this controversial post at www.patheos.com, plus its combative reader opinions which follow, at :- 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

CHINA / Signs of increasing acceptance ... ?

In China, some signs of greater acceptance of LGBT people
----  the first three pars of a press report published in the New Delhi Times (India), 1st June 2017 :-

      'China’s government has ruled out any move to legalize same-sex marriage, and many Chinese gays and lesbians remain in the closet, yet there are multiple signs of greater awareness and acceptance of LGBT people in the world’s most populous nation.
      Homosexuality was formally removed from the list of mental health conditions in 2001 and LGBT activists have become steadily more outspoken in recent years, even though authorities remain wary of any human rights organizing outside the direct control of the ruling Communist Party.
      Among the modest signs of change: A recent video advertisement for car-hailing app operator Didi Chuxing included a gay couple holding hands in the back of a taxi. The live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” was shown in Chinese theaters without any particular concern for the implicitly gay character that had drawn criticism from conservative religious groups in the U.S. and other countries. .... '
----  see more of these modest signs of change at this New Delhi Times' news report on China at their website at :-

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TRUMP ignores LGBT count in USA ...

Trump's refusal to officially count LGBT Americans is more dangerous than it appears
---  two brief excerpts from a substantial news/opinion report by Nico Lang at QUARTZ (USA), 3rd June 2017 :-

      '....  Although a minority of Americans attempted to argue that US president Donald Trump was a supporter of LGBT rights, it’s already abundantly clear this is not the case. As The New York Times’ editorial board recently noted, Trump’s claim that he would be a “champion of gay and transgender people” as president has proven to be a “fallacy.” Adding insult to injury was the announcement by the US Census Bureau this spring that it would not be including questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in its 2020 survey. ....
....  Whether or not there was ever a plan to add sexual orientation queries is less important than the reality. Advocates tell Quartz that counting the LGBT community in federal surveys is more important now than ever. Crucially, collecting data on marginalized populations helps the government better understand the challenges and myriad forms of discrimination they face. This in turn helps guide public policy and laws fighting systemic injustice and tells agencies where to allocate funding.
It has been an infuriating few months for the LGBT community. ....'
----  see the complete Nico Lang report for QUARTZ online magazine at :-

Monday, June 5, 2017

PARIS / The gay perspective ...

Better late than never! ... first published in April this year

----  originally posted by writer Andrew Lear at The Gay & Lesbian Review  (USA) - "a bimonthly magazine of history, culture, & politics" - on 27th April this year, we reprint the opening few pars from his substantial, well-informed insight for your interest and delectation ...

      'Of all the things that Paris is famous for—the historic neighborhoods, the amazing museums, the spectacular food—what’s often overlooked is Paris’ importance in LGBT history and culture. France was the first modern country to decriminalize homosexuality—in 1798, almost two centuries before the U.S. From that time on, Paris has remained a relatively free city for gay life, and gay themes appeared more and more openly in French culture over time.
      This is why there are so many great gay writers in French literature, including names like Proust, Cocteau, and Colette. It is also why so many gay writers from English-speaking countries spent large parts of their lives there, including Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, and James Baldwin.
      In fact, gay history is a great theme to follow around Paris—a good way to organize a short visit. There are numerous places where you can follow gay history’s trail. Across from the Louvre, the Palais-Royal has a lot of gay history. Among other things, it was the Paris residence of Louis XIV’s gay (or perhaps bi) and gender-bending younger brother Philippe I, Duc d’Orléans (generally known simply as “Monsieur”).
      It is also here that Colette lived for the last two decades of her life and produced her most interesting writing about lesbians (1932’s The Pure and the Impure) as well as her best book on her other favorite theme, courtesans, Gigi (1944). But there are two places in Paris that, in my view, make for the richest gay history experience: the Louvre and Père Lachaise Cemetery. ... '
----  see more of Andrew Lear's knowledgeable survey of Gay Paris at the most recent edition of the www.glreview.ord at :-


Sunday, June 4, 2017


Ireland has made history by electing their first openly gay Prime Minister :
Leo Varadkar will also be the country’s youngest ever leader, at 38-years-old.
----  brief selections from a new report by Sam Damshenas at the Gay Times (UK), 3rd June 2017 :-

      38-year-old Leo Varadkar has made history by becoming Ireland’s first openly gay Prime Minister, which marks a significant step forward for equality in the once-staunchly Catholic country.
Leo Varadkar edged out rival Simon Coveney with 60% of the votes to become the country’s next Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and lead Fine Gael, which is currently the governing and largest party in Ireland.  ....
....  Following his win, the new Prime Minister said: “If my election shows anything it’s that prejudice has no hold in this Republic. ....'
----  see more of Sam Damshenas' well-informed report at www.gaytimes.co.uk, with thanks, at :-

Saturday, June 3, 2017

"QUEER CITY" / London's gay history through knowing eyes ...

PETER ACKROYD: A secret history - 2000 years of gay life in London
---- a few very brief excerpts from a substantial books report by Andrew Dickson at The Guardian (UK), 20th May 2017 :-

      'The prolific biographer, historian and novelist returns to familiar territory with a gay history of the city.
      In his flat in Knightsbridge, central London, Peter Ackroyd ushers me into his study. It is a tight, faintly anonymous space crowded with books and prints, and with a discouraging view on to the back of a building.
      Now in his late 60s, Ackroyd is famous for his Stakhanovite appetite for work: his books could fill a decent-sized bookcase, though such is their girth, you would probably need to reinforce it (his gargantuan 1990 biography of Dickens weighed in at 1,195 pages). As far as I can calculate, there are now 18 works of fiction and more than 30 biographies and histories. ....
....  The new book, a history of gay London entitled Queer City, returns to familiar territory, so much so that it’s surprising Ackroyd hasn’t already written it: in fact, it turns out that, after a manner of speaking, he has. ....
....  Yet the new work goes far deeper, travelling from the barely visible remains of Celtic London and the arrival of Christianity in the AD300s to the great sex scandals of the 19th century – Wilde included – and on to recent fights for gay rights. As ever, the book is rambunctiously inclusive, practically Rabelaisian. One sentence quotes Julius Caesar on the flamboyantly long-haired, moustachioed Celts, who honoured what Aristotle called “passionate friendship between men”. In the next sentence, Ackroyd drily remarks: “You can still see them walking in the streets of London.” ....'
----  see more of Andrew Dickson's view of Peter Ackroyd's most recent publication at The Guardian at :-
----  see too a review of Queer City by Neil Bartlett at The Guardian, 29  May 2017 at :-

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Literature needs more gay romance, gay author warns
----  the opening lines from a literature opinion piece by Luke Mintz at PinkNew (UK), 30th May 2017 :-

      'Award-winning gay author Patrick Ness has called for more depiction of gay romance and sex in literature.
      He has warned that gay teenagers risk being abandoned to “porn and Grindr“.
      The British-American author, best known for his young adult books Chaos Walking and A Monster Calls, said in an interview this week with The i that, for same-sex relationships, “authors tend to shy away from anything much beyond a kiss or a fleeting reference”.
      “A book with two boys being intimate, still – still! – in 2017 feels risky,” he said.
“Why should that be? Why doesn’t the 17-year-old me deserve to see himself in a book? And there are a lot of 17-year-old mes around. A lot of us.”  .... '
----  see more of Luke Mintz's article about gay romance-&-literature at www.pinknews.co.uk at :-

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


The Guysexual's Guide To Every Gym-Loving Gay Guy In The World
----  a few opening pars from a wildly entertaining slice-of-gay-life essay by a very perceptive Aniruddha Mahale, published at FirstPost Weekend (India), 3rd June 2017 :-

      'Open up your Grindr, lads. Now tell me what you see?
      It’s the same story everywhere.
      When every fourth guy on Grindr looks like he has stepped out of an Abercrombie and Fitch underwear catalogue, you know you might have a problem. It’s no surprise that we’ve been trained to get out of the closet, and go straight to the gym, but now we are doing so on our spinning cycles.
      It’s simple, if there’s one thing you need as a gay man today, it’s a body. You might want to think differently, but eight out of 10 times you are not going to get a great deal of interest from another gay man just because you look like you listen to Mozart, and devour literary classics for breakfast. Sadly, muscles are in and they are never going to go out of style (they are sort of like florals during spring, only better).
      We might have reached the age of technology, but deep down, we’d rather be men of steel.
      Now, most gay men like to remove their flimsy cotton V-necks at a moment’s notice, showcasing their kilometer-wide chests and xylophone abs as if they were starring in an Indian remake of Magic Mike. They make other men (like me) gulp and vow to start going to the gym from next Monday. .... '
----  see more of Aniruddha Mahale's hilarious observations of the gay world's gym culture at www.firstpost.com/weekend-specials at :-

Sunday, May 28, 2017


What It Means To Be A Queer Writer In 2017
----  the opening pars from a extended exchange between two contemporary US writers at OUT Magazine (USA), 23 May 2017 :-

      With his new book, The Destroyers, out in June, author Christopher Bollen talks to his peer Garth Greenwell about queer literature's coming-of-age.
      If you’re looking for reassurance that LGBT literature is alive and well — in rude health, in fact — you could point to any number of titles in the past few years, including Garth Greenwell’s luminous debut, What Belongs to You, recently shortlisted for the U.K.’s James Tait Black Prize; Marlon James’s garlanded A Brief History of Seven Killings; and the serial award-wining lesbian writer Sarah Waters, who has quietly unpacked queer history with a small canon of exquisite period novels.
      But it’s not just literary fiction that is benefiting from an injection of energy and vitality. Gay poets of color are writing some of America’s most electric verses right now (see Tommy Pico, page 90), and queer voices are shaking up genre fiction, including Tom Rob Smith, author of Stalin-era page-turner Child 44 and last year’s BBC drama London Spy; Richard House, currently working on a sequel to his Booker longlisted espionage novel, The Kills; and Christopher Bollen, who now follows up his gripping thriller Orient with The Destroyers, an elegant and twisting suspense novel that is earning comparisons to the genre’s great lesbian doyenne, Patricia Highsmith. Here, Bollen and Greenwell discuss what it means to be a queer writer in 2017.
      Christopher Bollen: As a writer I’m fascinated by crime. I’m sure a lot of it comes from the fact that I grew up gay, and that’s a crime, or was for a long time. .... "
----  see more of this dialogue between writers at www.out.com/art-books at :-

Thursday, May 25, 2017


TAIWAN charts history as it becomes first Asian nation to legalize same-sex unions
----  the initial pars from a news report as the Malaysian Sun (Malaysia), 25th May 2017 :-

      + Taiwan’s top court found that the country’s Civil code violated constitutional guarantees
      + The Civil Code stated that only a man and a woman can agree to marry
      + The court gave the legislative assembly two years to implement the change

      'TAIPEI, Taiwan - In what came as a huge victory, not only for Taiwan’s LGBT activists, but also for the whole of Asia, a Taipei court charted history on Wednesday.
      The country’s top court ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, paving the way for Taiwan to become the first nation in Asia to legalize same-sex unions.
      Becoming Asia’s beacon for LGBT rights, Taiwan’s top court found that the country’s Civil Code, which states that only a man and a woman can agree to marry, violated constitutional guarantees.
      The court has now given the legislative assembly two years to implement the change.
      The court said, authorities will now either enact or amend relevant laws within two years, failing which same-sex couples could have their marriages recognized by submitting a written document.
      Taiwan’s LGBT activists, who have fought for decades for marriage equality, inspiring similar struggles across Asia and around the world, were thrilled at the decision and celebrated with the new, engagement-inspired tagline, “Taiwan says yes!” ....'
----  see more of the Malaysian Sun's report at :-

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"THE SUMMER OF LOVE" / 1967 onward ...

Six stories about the lasting legacy of the 'Summer of Love'
----  brief selected pars from Part Two of a six-part reflective essay by Siri Nybakk, published at the San Francisco State University (SFSU/News), 22 May, 2017 :-

      'The Summer of Love shook up conventional notions around how one should express one’s sexuality and in what spaces,” said Professor and Chair of the Department of Women and Gender Studies Julietta Hua. Sexuality was a vital part of the Summer of Love but experts say we still don’t have sexual freedom for all  ....

      The Summer of Love wasn’t just about love — it was also about sexuality. According to Professor and Chair of the Department of Women and Gender Studies Julietta Hua, people were questioning what sexuality could be.
      “The Summer of Love shook up conventional notions around how one should express one’s sexuality and in what spaces,” Hua said. During this era, San Francisco became known for sexual freedom and progressive sexual politics. The idea that women were to be wives and later mothers was questioned and people fought for accessible birth control. ....
....  Professor of History Marc Stein said that the Summer of Love was partly about expressing one’s desires and feelings sexually. “Some of the constraints on sexual expression that existed before the Summer of Love don’t exist or exist in a weakened form today,” Stein said. “For instance, non-marital sexual expression, BDSM, polyamory and asexual cultures were all empowered because of the Summer of Love and the larger sexual revolution.” .... '
----  see more of Part Two's reflections on the future social importance of "The Summer of Love", centered on San Francisco from 1967 onward, at SFSU at :-

Monday, May 22, 2017


How I  taught a bottom to top
----  introductory pars from a colorful - if brutally honest - opinion-piece by Kevin Moroso at DailyXtra (Canada), 12 May 2017 :-

      'Anything is possible with patience and Viagra.
      I know bottoms. Since I mostly top, most of my lovers are bottoms. And as I’ve had more than my fair share in my bedroom — well not just the bedroom — I’ve come to figure out what makes them tick.
      There are roughly two types of bottoms, in my opinion:- those who prefer to bottom after trying it both ways, and those who haven’t been able to top successfully and think they’re not made for it.
      I became vers (versatile) because I felt I was missing out on sexual connections with far too many top guys. But there was another reason. If I’m going to have a genuine long-term sexual connection with someone, sticking to one role just isn’t adequate. ....'
----  see more of Kevin Moroso's provocative reminiscence at www.dailyextra.com/canada at :-

Sunday, May 21, 2017


THE OBSERVER view on gay rights and the progress achieved
----  the opening pars from an extended topical editorial at The Observer (UK), 21 May 2017 :-

      'It has been a long, slow road, but we can be proud of a more civilised life in Britain.
      Oscar Wilde was released from Reading jail [UK] on 19 May 1897, having completed two years of a brutal sentence for “acts of gross indecency”.
      One hundred and 20 years later, Irish and English homosexuals can flourish in a society that would be unrecognisable to the author of The Importance of Being Earnest. Fifty years on from the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalised homosexual acts between adults, we celebrate this anniversary as a landmark in the progressive humanisation of British society.
      Ever since Shakespeare wrote in Sonnet 20 of “the master-mistress of my passion”, our culture has grappled with unresolved, and sometimes troubling, issues of gender and sexuality. .... '
----  see more of The Observer's pertinent reflections upon the evolution of gay rights in the UK at www.theguardian.com, with thanks, at :-

Saturday, May 20, 2017


James Ivory and the Making of a Historic Gay Love Story ("Maurice")
----  the introductory pars from an extended essay by Sarah Larson about a supremely influential gay film-maker & his partner in the New Yorker magazine (USA), 19 May 2017 :-

      'For many gay men coming of age in the eighties and nineties, James Ivory's "Maurice" was revelatory: a first glimpse, onscreen or anywhere, of what love between men could be like.'

      In an interview for the 2004 Criterion Collection DVD of the first film by Merchant Ivory Productions, “The Householder” (1963), James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, gray-haired and wearing similar oxford shirts, sit together in a muralled room in their 1805 Federal-style house in Claverack, New York, and companionably bicker about how they met. It was in 1961, at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan, at a screening of Ivory’s short documentary about Indian miniature paintings, “The Sword and the Flute.” Ivory says that they met on the steps. “He accosted me,” he says. Merchant invited Ivory for coffee.
      “You were in the screening room,” Merchant says.
      “No!” Ivory says. “You met me on the steps. I remember very well.” They debate; Ivory smiles.       “You looked around—”
      “No, I didn’t look around!” Merchant says. “My eyes always focus on the right things.” ....'
----  see more of this revealing view of the hugely creative relationship, both personal and artistic, of two influential gay film producers or directors, as outlined by Sarah Lawson at www.newyorker.com at :- 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


US Support For Gay Marriage Edges To New High
----  the opening phrases from a news report by Justin McCarthy at GALLOP.com (USA), 15 May 2017 :-

      64% of Americans say same-sex marriage should be legal
      For the first time, majority of Protestants support gay marriage
      Support for same-sex relations has also climbed, now at 72%

      'WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults say same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid. Although not meaningfully different from the 61% last year, this is the highest percentage to date and continues the generally steady rise since Gallup's trend began in 1996.
      The latest update, from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll conducted May 3-7, comes nearly two years after the Supreme Court ruled that states could not prohibit same-sex marriage.  ....
----  see more of Justin McCarthy's report', plus additional information, at :-
----  see too a further press report in this matter at :-

Friday, May 12, 2017

BRITISH MUSEUM / Same-sex desire and gender identity through history ...

Same-sex Desire and Gender Identity
---- The British Museum, London, announces a season of display of historical objects & their social implications

      'The evidence for same-sex desire and fluid ideas of gender has often been overlooked in the past, but museums and their collections can allow us to look back and see diversity throughout history.
      Much of the historical evidence is centred around men and their concerns and often what survives is partial, fragmentary or ambiguous. Such things have often been hidden in history, and obscured by censorship, but now we realise the past is much ‘queerer’ than we have often thought.
      This theme is based on an original web trail published on the Untold London website. Only some of these objects are on display. Some images contain explicit scenes, though these are shown small (click to see larger versions). ....'
----  see more of The British Museum's announcement, linked information, & display materials at :-

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Modern Classic Returns To The London Stage / "ANGELS IN AMERICA"

The Dark Trump Truths in 'Angels In America'
----  selected introductory pars from a substantial theatre review by Benedict Nightingale at The Daily Beast (UK/USA), 6th May 2017 :-

      '‘Angels in America", Tony Kushner’s AIDS-themed epic, is on stage again in London where it first played in 1993. It feels more relevant than ever.
      There are many reasons for welcoming the return of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America to the National Theatre in London, where the epic play’s two parts were played together for the first time in 1993, but one stood out at its opening on Thursday.
      The British producers had imported Broadway’s Nathan Lane to play the homophobic and gay Roy Cohn, and he brought subtlety as well as mesmeric power to a non-fictional personage described by another gay character as “the worst human being who ever lived.”
      Marianne Elliott’s production made for a long day’s journey that lasted well into night. Millennium Approaches started at 1 p.m. and Perestroika ended after 11, with time to gulp supper beside the Thames in between. But if ever a show earned its length, or Kushner his garrulity and occasional repetitiveness, here it was. ....
....  With the HIV and AIDS pandemic finally under control, at least in America, Kushner’s saga might seem dated. Well, it isn’t. So-called period pieces have a way of falling asleep, then coming strikingly awake again. Angels in America, though set in an era that clearly had Kushner sickened by Reaganism and fearful of the impending millennium, often leaves you feeling that the characters are talking more about 2017 than 1985 or that relatively inoffensive year, 2000. .... '
----  see more of Benedict Nightingale's perceptions of Angels In America & its societal parallels at :- 
Angels in America is at the Lyttelton, National Theatre, London, through Aug. 19th.
----  see the National Theatre's (UK) booking site at :-

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Introducing a surprising, unexpected study ...

Younger (US) Gay Men Trending Towards Monogamy
----  the opening pars from a substantial psychotherapy report by Tom Moon, US psychotherapist, reprinted from the San Francisco Bay Times (USA), on 7th May 2017 :-

      'Blake Spears and Lanz Lowen have been together in an open relationship for over 40 years, and in past columns I’ve reported on their in-depth research on the viability of long-term open relationships. In the past, they write, most research on gay male couples has shown that approximately two-thirds of long-term male couples who have been together for five years or more are non-monogamous. But they have just released a new study of younger gay men, aged 18–40, called “Choices: Perspectives of Younger Gay Men on Monogamy, Non-monogamy and Marriage,” which suggests that an historic change has been occurring in the attitudes and behavior of gay men in relationships.
      “The most striking finding of this study,” they report, “is younger gay men’s greater inclination toward monogamy. We see this in the overwhelming number of relationships that are monogamous (86%). In addition, 90% of the single younger gay men were seeking monogamy. This is a sea change compared to older generations of gay men.”
      Even in a cohort of interview subjects recruited from the hook-up site Grindr, a whopping 81% of the 325 single men reported that they were seeking monogamy ....'
----  see more of Tom Moon's extended article at the SF Bay Times at :-

Tom Moon is a psychotherapist in San Francisco. For more information, please visit his website http://tommoon.net/


People Who Read Books Are Nicer, Says Study
----  the introductory phrases from a Lifestyle report by Sarah Young at The Independent (UK), 6th May 2017 :-

      'Prefer watching TV? Then you're probably less friendly.Want to become a better person? Then you might want to consider picking up a book because according to a new study, reading regularly could make you kinder and more empathetic.
      After being quizzed on their preferences for books, TV and plays, 123 participants were tested on interpersonal skills including how much they considered other people’s feelings and whether they acted to help others.
      The study, conducted by Kingston University in London, found that readers were more likely to act in a socially acceptable manner compared to those who preferred watching television.
      Instead, TV lovers came across as less friendly and less understanding of others’ views.
But, no ordinary book will do because it turns out the type of literature you choose also has a huge impact on your emotional intelligence.  .... '
----  see more of Sarah Young's challenging report at www.independent.co.uk at :-
----  see more on a similar theme at :-

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Gays & Fascism in France ...

The Controversial Gay Author Who Writes Gays Coming of Age Amidst Fascism
----  the initial two pars of a literary post by reviewer Mitchell Sunderland at Broadly.vice.com (UK), 2nd May 2017 :-

      'Édouard Louis's debut novel caused a sensation in his native France for its depiction of what it’s like to be a gay boy in an impoverished, Marine Le Pen-loving village. And now, five days before the French election, an English translation is hitting the States.
     The 24-year-old gay French writer Édouard Louis describes most French literary novelists as "people from the bourgeoisie that write about the bourgeoisie and don't really question the world." Louis is not that kind of artist.
      His debut autobiographical novel The End of Eddy, published in France in 2014, depicts his childhood as a gay boy growing up in an impoverished, Fascist-ridden small town of Hallencourt. (The book calls it "the village," echoing both European fairy tales and William Faulkner's southern gothic literature.) In a prescient, serendipitous manner, an English translation is now hitting the states five days before a French election that could end with former National Front leader Marine Le Pen winning the presidency. ....
....  "People are tired of a certain kind of literature addressing the same kind of subject with the same kind of privileged people," Louis explains.
----  see more of Mitchell Sunderland's review of Edouard Louis' new book at :-


.... here are a dozen movie trailers from recent international sources (click on center-frame arrows, below, to activate). They are updated regularly ... with thanks to
YouTube & the movies' international distributors ...

A classic movie returns in 2017 ... on dvd



ASIAN GAY ROMANCE fights stigma in Hollywood ...

"THE PASS" ... its movie trailer

"BEING 17" / Young love finds a way ...

Twenty-two year old David has it all – he’s young, hot, and he’s just got into the prestigious dance school of his dreams. But he has a secret: for two years he’s been sleeping with his sister’s husband, Jules.

SOFT LAD is the directorial debut from Leon Lopez, an examination of lust, jealousy and their consequences in contemporary Liverpool. Starring UK artists Daniel Brocklebank (Coronation Street) and Jonny Labey (EastEnders).

Passions ignite and hidden secrets are revealed when a graphic designer in Los Angeles reconnects with an ex-boyfriend he hasn’t seen or heard from in 15 years. LAZY EYE is a story about roads not taken, unfinished business, and the struggle to adjust to progressive lenses. Written and directed by Tim Kirkman (LOGGERHEADS, DEAR JESSE, THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME), LAZY EYE stars Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Aaron Costa Ganis and Michaela Watkins.


"LILTING' - British actor Ben Wishaw tests his range again ...


"What is like to live in a world where you have no grasp of its language, and your only lifeline to that is lost." In "LILTING" Ben Wishaw, wide ranging UK character actor from Shakespeare to James Bond movies, tests his range even further.

"Best gay-themed movie ever!" ... ?

STONEWALL | The birth of a Movement ...

FREEHELD - A subtle gay rights challenge ...

VENICE FESTIVAL ENTRY: "From Afar" (Venezuela 2015)

Peter Greenaway's EISENSTEIN, Stalin's eccentric filmmaker ...


BISEXUAL WOMEN | How to be oneself? ...



GAY LIFE in Switzerland in the '50's ...



A fair-haired young man, dressed in rich ceremonial armor, is found dead in the Nile River. When he is identified, everyone realizes the dangerous political implications of this death, because Antinous was the eromenos—the lover and protégé—of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

A grief-stricken Hadrian appoints two members of the court, Suetonius and his patron Clarus, to find out how and why Antinous died. They have two days to find the answer, permission to interrogate anyone except the Emperor and Empress, and the promise that they may forfeit their lives if they fail to satisfy Hadrian.

Failure is a distinct possibility. While Antinous was well-liked and respected, the circle of suspects is wide, as it often will be when the victim is the confidant of an absolute ruler. The two sleuths quickly draft unlikely but able assistants to help them, including a scribe and an observant, multilingual prostitute.

The book offers an extensively researched picture of life in the Roman Empire of 130 AD. Gardiner is equally convincing when writing about imperial politics and succession laws, marriage and sexual customs, philosophy and the theater.

But The Hadrian Enigma—a mix of mystery, comedy, gay and straight romance—is an entertaining read.

(See more at :-http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-hadrian-enigma-a-forbidden-history/

THE HADRIAN ENIGMA | A review by historical fiction author J.R. Tomlin ...

An excerpt from a review of August 15, 2011

" .... In 130 AD, while accompanying the Emperor Hadrian on a tour up the Nile, the beautiful youth Antinous plunges into the Nile and drowns. Hadrian, near maddened with grief, declares Antinous a god. However, Suetonius just happens to be along on this imperial tour. Already the author of juicy books on contemporary Roman life, he is perfectly placed to investigate this mysterious death, so Emperor Hadrian commands him to investigate and find the murderer within 48 hours or suffer the consequences.

In the imperial compound on the Nile, Suetonius searches for clues. Here, semi-isolated, the bubbling cauldron of the Roman court has been transplanted to a fabulous tent city. Yet, the mystery of Egypt is an ever present backdrop to this baffling death. .... Why was Antinous clad in heavy ceremonial parade armor and weapons when he died? How did he come by a slit on his left wrist and strange marks on his throat? And how can Suetonius unravel all this when the Emperor refuses to let Suetonius even touch the body to examine it? The characterization is vivid and the historicity meticulous in this novel. I enjoyed savoring the characters and setting as Suetonius unraveled the imperial goings on. .... "

See more of J.R. Tomlin's review at her author's blogsite "Writing & More" at : http://jeannetomlin.blogspot.com/


Hooray for Hadrian (and for George Gardiner) !, August 31, 2010

By a reader down under (New South Wales, Australia) - See all my reviews

This review is for: THE HADRIAN ENIGMA: A Forbidden History (Paperback)

George Gardiner's absorbing new book, which focuses on the relationship between the Roman emperor Hadrian and his young paramour, Antinous of Bithynia, quite possibly heralds the thrilling emergence of a new Mary Renault. (As uneven as it is in some places, to my mind it is a big improvement on Margeurite Yourcenar's book on Hadrian from the 1950s).

Gardiner begins his narrative with the discovery of the dead body of the beautiful youth, who has apparently drowned in the Nile. He coopts as his central figure cum narrator the actual historical figure of Suetonius Tranquillus, who is charged by the supreme colonial ruler Hadrian Caesar with the urgent responsibility of uncovering the reasons for, as well as the manner of, the death. Suetonius works night and day as a kind of investigator/ prosecutor and his dogged inquiry drives the plot. The narrative unfolds as a kind of antique murder mystery, then, and one of the book's great strengths is in the well-paced twists and turns of the plot, throwing up a number of suspects and scenarios along the way that keep the reader intrigued until the very end. Gardiner's humour shines through this character, who is forced to carry out his investigation under the double pressure of a pressing deadline (why is Hadrian so intent of winding it all up in such a short time, we wonder) and the threat of execution if he doesn't come up with the answers.

This is compelling writing. Suetonius is a good choice, as he is known for his history of a dozen Caesars, and the author brings him vividly and humorously to life. Indeed, Gardiner skilfully and imaginitively re-works established historical figures and creates a cast of composite characters where necessary to serve his narrative ends. The fact that he can do this convincingly, with such an extraordinary mixture of ethnicities and beliefs, is writing of a high order. The mastery of research is remarkable, not only for Gardiner's command of the details of ethnic artefacts, weaponry, costume, architecture and so on, but also for the complex politics of Roman colonial expansionism in its abrasive encounter with other cultures. The era was marked by a complex intermingling of belief systems, and Gardiner's fictional world is woven from a rich and amazingly detailed fabric. Very occasionally the research seems almost oversupplied but for the most part it serves to underpin his imaginative reconstructions with persuasive authenticity.

Also among the book's strengths are the finely imagined conversations between characters, both historical and concocted, that move the investigation so beautifully along. There are certain set action sequences pieces, too, that are brilliantly staged and paced--the boar hunt, for example, when Hadrian rescues Antinous, and the marvellous climactic scene where Suetonius brings his prosecutorial charges home (albeit uncertainly, with some lines of inquiry that don't pan out).

The only thing that broke the spell for me was Gardiner's occasional jarring choices in language idioms. There's no doubt that the language(s) of the time and place would have been salted with colourful vulgarities, and the dialogue should reflect that, but some of the terms chosen have such strong contemporary associations for us, here at the beginning of the 21st Century, that they they jar and jolt in the reading. `Toyboy' is one example, `getting your rocks off,' `muscular stud' and `gaga' are others that don't ring well to my ear. It's a pity, because sometimes they drop the reader right out of the spell he weaves so skilfully, otherwise.

In contrast, many of the scenes and dialogue move with stately Latinate constructions within a convincing and well-sustained narrative voice. Gardiner has set himself the difficult task of creating a hybrid language that can include both convincing formal language, and everyday vulgarisms, that ring true within his own reconstruction, yet sound right to our contemporary hearing. It's a delicate juggling act and sometimes he drops his balls. (If he had perhaps reserved their use strictly in dialogue, say, to help with characterisation? Perhaps some of his choices might be better realised in a second edition.)

Another of the book's great strengths is hinted at by the book's sub-title. It's a `forbidden history' not simply because Hadrian issues an edict that only the official `party line' should be recorded (and by implication, Suetonius' project of recording events for us to read goes dangerously gainst the edict of his Emperor). It's forbidden history too because Gardiner has constructed a counter-narrative to the centuries of heavily judgemental readings of this iconic same-sex relationship. Positive affirmations of same-sex bonding were exiled in silence as soon as the early Christian commentators started to impose their dominant narratives over all acceptable behaviours and ideals.

In Yourcenar's 50s version, Antinous's moody adolescent pouting makes Hadrian looks like a bit of a fool for dallying with the youth, but Gardiner proposes a heroic reading here that highlights the finer elements of the erastes/eromenos partnering, which was not only tolerated but celebrated in ancient times. For me, this moves the book onto a higher plane than a mere homoerotic titillation and places the relationship where it belongs, in the heroic company of Patroclus/Achilles and the legendary band of Theban warrior-lovers.

Gardiner successfully and daringly recuperates the much-despised and consistently misrepresented ideal of man-to-man love, here based on respect, admiration and the inspiration of noble ideals, as much as the undeniable and enjoyable erotic attraction, which we see only fitful glimpses of among sporting figures and others today. During the continuing culture wars of our own times it's a relief to read this inspiring alternative with its healing potential as an affirmative voice emerging from the diminishing, culturally imposed silence.

In a strange way `The Hadrian Enigma' is reminiscent of E.M. Forster's gay-affirmative novel `Maurice', which Forster was unable to publish during his lifetime. Forster's wistful happy ending for a same sex coupling was unthinkable in the mid-twentieth Century, and even today, it's hard to read such partnering as anything other than morally sinful - such is our pervasive indoctrination by churchmen - or psychologically misdirected (`homosexuality' is still construed as a kind of `failed development' in conventional psychological readings). Certainly such a relationship will still be regarded as second best to the pressing imperative of reproduction. Gardiner has struck a blow with this courageous and convincing re-telling.

So, for me this is a 5 star book for the outstanding and detailed research and the creative work that underpins the imaginative reconstructions; at least 4 stars for its plotting, but only 3 stars for the strange inconsistencies in his prose style. This averages out to a solidly earned 4 stars.

I do hope Gardiner is deep at work on his next book of historical fiction. He certainly has all the skills required.

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