Author of Brokeback Mountain Wishes She’d Never Written The Story

brokeback460‘I wish I’d never written the story. It’s just been the cause of hassle and problems and irritation since the film came out. Before the film, it was all right… In Wyoming they won’t read it. A large section of the population is still outraged. But that’s not where the problem was. I’m used to that response from people here, who generally do not like the way I write. But the problem has come since the film. So many people have completely misunderstood the story. I think it’s important to leave spaces in a story for readers to fill in from their own experience, but unfortunately the audience that Brokeback reached most strongly has powerful fantasy lives. And one of the reasons we keep the gates locked here is that a lot of men have decided that the story should have had a happy ending. They can’t bear the way it ends — they just can’t stand it. So they rewrite the story, including all kinds of boyfriends and new lovers and so forth after Jack is killed. And it just drives me wild.

‘They can’t understand that the story isn’t about Jack and Ennis. It’s about homophobia; it’s about a social situation; it’s about a place and a particular mindset and morality. They just don’t get it. I can’t tell you how many of these things have been sent to me as though they’re expecting me to say, ‘Oh great, if only I’d had the sense to write it that way.’ And they all begin the same way — I’m not gay, but?.?.?.? The implication is that because they’re men they understand much better than I how these people would have behaved. And maybe they do. But that’s not the story I wrote. Those are not their characters. The characters belong to me by law.”

— Author Annie Proulx explaining to Paris Review the negative response from some readers to the ending of her short story, Brokeback Mountain, that was adapted into the Academy Award-winning 2005 film

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly about Having an Unusually Small Penis

Middle Age Man in Pain Protecting HimselfOriginally published on queerty.com

According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, a micropenis is an “unusually small penis” with an “erect penile length … smaller than about 7 cm.” It is a condition that affects about 0.6 percent of males and that is rarely ever talked about. Until now.

One brave man has opened about his life with a micropenis to New York Magazine during an in-depth interview, discussing everything from scarring sexual experiences, to experimenting with men, to the types of condoms he uses. The 51-year-old English teacher from the U.K. bared all — the good, the bad, and the ugly — about what it’s like having an infant-sized penis.

Here are a few highlights from the interview…

On when his penis stopped growing:

I was 14. Quite honestly, my entire life has been shaped and damaged by my penis size. I’m still not really over it, even though I’m way into middle age. I’ve had relationships, but they’ve never been terribly good, particularly not from my partner’s point of view. I always feel like I can’t do what I should be able to do as well as most people. That’s what I worry about. And doctors have never been any help. Continue reading

‘I died several times, but I didn’t die.’ Brand Expert, Kenny Badmus, shares his story of living with HIV in the last 15 years

250040_10151296103085809_1058394003_nTo mark World AIDS Day which was yesterday, December 1st, Nigerian brand expert and founder of Orange Academy, Kenny Badmus, took to his Facebook page to share his inspiring story of living successfully with HIV for the last 15 years.

Read his story below…

‘Today, Monday December 1st, is World AIDS day, and I’m celebrating my resolve to live with this damn virus all these many years without letting it define who I am. Every journey I take, every picture of me you see, and every new challenge I take on are all huge reminders that I must never stop living my best life. So, I decided to share my journey with you today. Honestly, I don’t know what exactly you are dealing with but I’m writing you this to hold tight to your dream. Here’s a quick sketch of my journey from the first day I tested positive, 15 years ago. My upcoming book tells the full story. Continue reading

“If You Want Change, You Have To Challenge The Status Quo.” – Interview with Bisi Alimi

The following is the English version of Bisi Alimi’s recent interview with Huffpost Germany, which is part of his TEDx Berlin talk tomorrow, Saturday, a talk about HIV among gay men in Nigeria.

This article was written by Steffen Wüller, and first appeared on the German Impatient Optimists, a blog of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Read below.

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celebs 43Bisi Alimi must be a brave man. In 2004, he came out as gay on a nationwide television show and almost got killed for standing up. He had to flee to the United Kingdom where he has become one of the most important activists for HIV and LGBT rights. On September 6th, he speaks at TEDx Berlin. In the interview, he talks about his coming out in public and explains why he strongly believes in the power of social media.

Impatient Optimists: Bisi, your coming out on TV is now ten years ago! You had to leave Nigeria and start a new life in London. If you look back now: Would you take the same decision? Continue reading

‘I’m gay. God loves me just the way I am.’ – Christian rock-star Vicky Beeching

vickybeeching2-620x421Written by Patrick Strudwick, originally published in independent.co.uk

There is no quicker, more effective way to destroy someone than to isolate them. Guards at Guantanamo Bay know this. Psychiatrists know this. Vicky Beeching, 35, British star of the American Christian rock scene, one of the most successful artists in US mega-churches and now one of the most sought-after religious commentators in Britain, knows this too.

There is also no better way to destroy a group of people than to ensure they do the job for you. And so, as Beeching’s story pours out on a hot afternoon – a story of psychological torture, life-threatening illness and unimaginable loneliness, imposed all around from a supposedly godly environment – one question fills the air: if shrinks, brutes and fascists know how best to devastate a person, does the Church of England? Or do they know not what they do? Continue reading

She Is A Lesbian Who Married A Man

man-and-woman-holding-hands-in-sunsetBy EJ Levy, previously published in salon.com

I was in a bar in Chicago when I told a close friend of 20 years that, despite being a lesbian, I was marrying a man. My friend and I hadn’t seen each other in a while, but we fell back quickly into our old intimacy — those long, rambling conversations we used to have in coffee shops all over Minneapolis. When the subject shifted to an activist group she was part of, I said I’d be glad to help, if they needed a lesbian on their board. She laughed, dismissively. “You can’t call yourself that anymore.”

Of all the weird reactions I’d gotten to my engagement, that one pissed me off most.

I had not been surprised when my fiancé’s friends — Washington insiders with the respect for convention that city inspires — expressed shock when they discovered I was a dyke. We came from different worlds; with my long brunette hair and short skirts, I hadn’t read as queer to them. But no one had presumed to re-label me, to retrofit me to their categories — at least, not to my face.

But here was my fabulous Portland pal trying to claim me for the Bi-Het team (which sounded like a synagogue rather than a sexual identity, and certainly not my own). She wasn’t the only one: An ex-girlfriend and a sophisticated poet cousin said the same thing, as if my lesbian license had been revoked.

So let me be clear, since I can’t be the only one: I am a lesbian marrying a man. Continue reading

Why Is It So Hard To Be Gay?

i-D Vice, one of London’s top fashion websites, released an article asking “why is it so hard to be gay and black”. They discussed about American musician Frank Ocean and CNN journalist Don Lemon, as well as a Nigerian.

singles 24A London based Nigerian journalist, who used the pseudonym Adejola Funmi, shared his experience coming out. Funmi was expelled from his Christian school for being homosexual; it was labeled not ‘Christ like.’ He was later sent to Nigeria, so they could “cast the gayness out”.

Adejola traveled from church to church for deliverance. He shares: “I slept in church for about three days, during that time prayer warriors came around me and were praying… they didn’t give me any food and they’d whip me with branches of palm trees. They were whipping me to cast the gayness out of me.”

To also cure his homosexuality and cast out demons, he was stripped naked and bathed in a river by the church, forced to drink snail water and lick grounded charcoal.

“One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness,” he concluded.

For the full article titled ‘Why is it so hard to reconcile being both black and gay?’ originally published on i-D Vice, read below. Continue reading

My 10 Years Of Living With HIV

Bisi Alimi talks about his journey with HIV in this very compelling story published earlier on HuffingtonPost.com. Read.

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Bisi Alimi 03The morning I was diagnosed with HIV was like most others. I had just left my hotel and was heading for the International convention center to attend the Fourth National AIDS conference in Nigeria. It was May 2004, 10 years ago this month.

The day before, I had just given a presentation on HIV and men who have sex with men (MSM is the term to describe men who have sex with other men but do not identify as gay). I was sharing the stories of the friends I had lost to HIV. The most memorable was my best friend, Ibrahim. Continue reading

Say Hello To The Bravest Man In Nigeria

Hello, guys, so the response to the advent of this blog has been very mixed. Some folks expressing enthusiasm, and others being wary. Some even have been downright doubtful as to the necessity of this venture. And these reactions have been taken into consideration, the pleasant ones appreciated and the negative ones understandable. After all, na Naija we dey. 14 years is very real (lol). But hopefully, we have providence on our side, and in the same way we pray for life and shelter and provisions and a good man and good sex (:) ), let us pray for the success of this venture.

So, in other news, unless you were kidnapped by Boko Haram’s ancestors and stuck under a rock in faraway Sokoto for many, many years, then, you just must have heard about gay rights activist, Bisi Alimi, the first man to publicly declare his sexuality on Nigerian National Television back in 2004. When I think of that feat, especially in a country such as ours where the hostility toward homosexuals has always been there pre-anti-gay law, I get goose bumps.

13591354923_11303e73a7_b-1Recently, Alimi was in Washington, D.C., where, as an Aspen New Voices Fellow, he had been asked to talk to the World Bank about how they should be handling Nigeria. He also spoke to the Washington Post about his own remarkable circumstances, the realities of LGBT rights in Nigeria, and what, if anything, the international community should do to help.

Read excerpts of the interview below: Continue reading