Jack Off the Beanstalk

I love a good panto and when I say panto I mean men in dresses and more innuendos and willy gags than you can shake a stick at along with a tiny bit of male nudity if you sit in the right place. Spoiler Alert: Jack (Chris Clynes) gets his kit off!

So the annual Above the Stag Theatre (now in their new venue at Vauxhall) is a must attend fixture in the festive calendar.

Jack is not for the easily offended or if you sit in the front row, the easily embarrassed. Political correctness doesn’t exist in panto land so be ready to chuckle at gags that make popbitch look tame.

Oh and this year you get to scratch and sniff your way through the evening of filth with the wonder of “odour-drama” which includes sniffing Cillian’s pants (played by Joseph Miller). You really can smell the action!

Far too many one-liners to pick a favourite but with gags including topical Tom Daley jokes and a cameo from Sue Pollard this is a must see and is on until January 10th at http://www.abovethestag.com

Jack Off the Beanstalk odour-drama

George Takei, Young Activists and Facebook Team Up to Make HRC Logo a Mega-Meme

As you’ve probably noticed, your Facebook feed turned red last Monday when all of your friends, particularly those in the US or with US friends, including people you had no idea had an opinion on gay marriage, changed their profile pictures to a little pink or white equals sign on a red background. The symbol is a re-colored version of the yellow-on-blue logo designed in 1995 by Stone/Yamashita who declined to comment for this story and its been changed a grand total of once since then. Anastasia Khoo, director of marketing for the Human Rights Campaign is possessive of the image, which looks a little like a corollary to the Swiss flag.

And is she biting her nails over all the variations the internet has come up with? “I have to say, I guess when we decided to make this decision it was almost preordained—in for a penny, in for a pound,” she said, “and I’ve loved it. I’ve been so impressed by the creativity weve seen out there, even from people like Martha Stewart.”

Even George Takei has had a go.



via George Takei, Young Activists and Facebook Team Up to Make HRC Logo a Mega-Meme | Adweek.

Support the Stonewall – Hold your peace campaign

If you are an advocate of equality (and let’s face it why wouldn’t you be?) then you should support the @StonewallUK campaign for #equalmarriage  – check out their campaign at Stonewall or if you are too lazy then here are bullet points!

On Tuesday 5 February 2013 MPs will vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which will extend the legal form of marriage to same-sex couples. This is the first key parliamentary step towards securing marriage equality in England and Wales.

Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Write to your MP

Please write to your MP to let them know why you support marriage equality. If you hear back from your MP don’t forget to let them know by emailing [email protected]

You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here.

Tweet your MP

Tweet your local MP to let them know you support #EqualMarriage.

You can find out if your MP uses Twitter here. If you hear from your MP via Twitter then again let Stonewall know by tweeting them at @stonewalluk.

And don’t forget that you can also share one of their fantastic e-postcards with them!

Show your support for equality online

Stonewall have a huge selection of Twitter and Facebook profile pictures, Facebook banners and e-postcards that you can share online.  Make sure your friends and family know that you’ve said ‘I Do’ to equal marriage. Check them out at the stonewall website http://www.stonewall.org.uk/


Your donation will help Stonewall tackle this very well-funded campaign against equality and help us continue to push for the extension of the legal form of marriage to same-sex couples.

Become a Friend of Stonewall

Stonewall will be campaigning hard over the coming months to ensure that MPs and members of the House of Lords support this final modest measure of legislative equality.

They need your help to do this. You can become a Friend of Stonewall by donating just £5 a month.

Follow Stonewall

And don’t forget to follow Stonewall on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the campaign – tweet about the campaign using #equalmarriage.

via Stonewall.

BBC News – B&B ruling: Discrimination a right – Nick Griffin

Okay so there is a lot of buzz about this today but seriously people the point here is that it’s not a home it’s a business. I agree that you can choose who you allow into your home but if you choose to run a private hotel, guesthouse, B&B then you no longer have the same rights, you are a business and should be judged as any other business is.

It wouldn’t be okay for a high street store to discriminate, or an office to discriminate so it’s not okay for a B&B to either.

BBC News – B&B ruling: Discrimination a right – Nick Griffin.

Gaydar relaunches app, but will it unseat Grindr?

So gaydar have finally relaunched their iPhone application. It’s about time too. They used to be the pioneers in dating websites but have let the likes of Grindr and Bender make inroads into the space.

The previous version of the app was abysmal and buggy, wiping peoples website profiles and generally not what you would expect from QSoft. The new revamped version of the app is slick looking in greys and orange, there are still some niggles though which I’d have liked to see fixed, it’s always confused me why usernames aren’t shown on the thumbnails page.

It’s a vast improvement though. The location settings now seem to work which may yet erode into the website paid service as previously this was part of the premium package. Also unlike the new rivals on the block gaydar still has a pay model carried over from the website. No unlimited profile views like grindr and no unlimited messages like bender. Still it’s a step in the right direction and they have a massive user base already to tap into as well as a marketing budget to match the paid subscriber base.

So it looks like Milo hasn’t checked his facts again

A few months ago I was so enraged about a poorly researched barely disguised homophobic article written Milo Yiannopoulos from the Telegraph I felt the need to write quite a lengthy rant.

Today it would appear he still is in the habit of not fully checking facts. In his article about the law keeping up with technology (and don’t even start me on the spurious nature of the article, seriously 2 tweets and we need new laws apparently), Milo describes the extremely genourous offer from Stephen Fry to pay any fine received by Paul Chambers as “perhaps somewhat opportunistic”.

Milo your article is perhaps somewhat opportunistic – some may say timely of course, but I’ll stick with opportunistic, Stephen Fry made his offer well before the trial or the associated media attention so no this isn’t opportunistic it’s exceedingly generous.

The Telegraph: Promoting homophobia?

I thought I’d go for a tabloid style headline today in the style of Milo Yiannopoulos from the Telegraph.

On August 5th Milo feels that social networking is all good. “Social networking? A lot of fun.” he says.

This all changes once Milo encounters Grindr an iPhone application aimed at Gay and Bi-sexual men and by August 25th social networking had become creepy and dangerous. Well that’s not entirely true. Gay social networking had become creepy and dangerous, presumably in Milo’s world facebook is still a lot of fun. The homophobic undertones of this are shocking. Thankfully Milo hadn’t bothered to check to see if there were other iPhone applications targeting the same audience or he would have encountered Scruff, Bandana, Maleforce, Recon and Gaydar to name a few. If he’d chosen not to focus on a group because of their sexuality he might even have looked at applications like skout, aloha or WhosHere.

“Gay social networks remain controversial, with many – even, and perhaps especially, gay people” states Milo in the article. Sadly there is no data to back up this comment. I’m not sure who thinks gay social networking is controversial but no-one I have spoken to has ever though of it as anything other than a natural evolution of such networks to target increasingly niche markets. If you have social networks targeting pet owners surely networks targeting sexual preferences isn’t such a leap? Plus lets not forget that social networks don’t replace real life. They are an extension to it helping people make new friends, stay in touch with existing friends and manage long distance relationships.

It’s also quite disturbing how much personal comment is presented in what is meant to be a technology article on The Telegraph. I could understand to some extent if this piece was comment. It’s not though is it? It’s presented as a technology article so I was expecting some information on number of users or some graphs about increase of usage. Maybe from the smart phone angle and how they are changing social networks by including location information? Nope none of that though, it’s purely a piece written in the style of some of the worst tabloids. Maybe Milo has missed his calling? The News of the World are always looking for sensationalist ‘journalists’. That other tabloid journalistic mainstay of an undisclosed source, a friend/pal, a person close to the subject is rolled out with “According to one iPhone owner, who preferred to remain anonymous”.

I have to say though that we are lucky to live in a world now where it’s not often you read an article which includes the phrase “lonely and single middle-aged homosexuals” – of course it would have been better to have included other cliches such as sad and self-loathing.

Oh and one other point Milo. If you have to trawl back to 2000 and go to a US federal agency to find anyone else to back up your stance on how awful a UK based website is you are probably not up to date. Oh wait you didn’t do that though probably you went to Wikipedia I’ll guess and even they have asked for citation of this as the CDC website doesn’t have any mention of this research.

Also it’s worth pointing out that hese days many charities use social networks to reach the gay and bi-sexual audience and promote awareness of everything from HIV and AIDS to homophobia and cyber bullying.

Dublin’s hot new rock, indie and pop club

The lovely Daragh invited Andrew and I to RIP opening night which was a blast last night. We started the evening with Conor and Michael at Front Lounge and PantiBar and despite them planning an early night they joined us for the fun at the old button factory in the heart of Temple Bar which was transformed for the evening into a riot of drag rock and indie pop. It’s Dublin’s newest alternative to the mainstream gay clubs and a very welcome change from the George.

There are to be more evenings planned in the future with the next being July 23rd. More info is available from RIP

There is also a blog with info at http://www.rockindiepop.com/blog or you can be added to the guest list via Facebook.

Find RIP on all the usual social networks including Facebook, QueerID.com and Twitter

Blast from the past

Last week I went to Earls Court which used to be the major stomping ground in London before Soho became gentrified and got more bars than brothels. I went for a drink at the Colherne. Okay so it’s not been the Colherne for ages and is now a trendy bar called the Pembroke but to me it will always be the Colherne. Then dinner at Balans West which seems to have stood the test of time. Then we went to Bromptons, again no longer Bromptons and now Infinity and definitely hasn’t stood the test of time!

Talking of blasts from the past, The Bridge (425 New Kings Road) has been foremost in my mind recently also for a few reasons. Including that one of the regulars who with his partner were dear friends has sadly passed. Another is I keep bumping into people who used to drink there. Oh and then of course there is Andy God – not his real surname but then there were a lot of Andy’s, Andrew’s and Drew’s in the place for some reason. Last night for the first time I discovered his surname!

So back then the internet wasn’t as slick as it is now and AOL still ruled the roost. It was mostly made up of home pages with spinning email icons. Pages basically like this one which is a resource page that time forgot!

Of the bars and dance clubs listed I think seven were owned by the same brewery and about half are now closed or open for other purposes 😉

  • 79 CXR 79 Charing Cross Road.
  • Bar Code 3/4 Archer.
  • Black Cap 171 Camden High Road.
  • The Bridge 425 New Kings Road. (Now a gastro pub)
  • Brief Encounter 42 St. Martin’s Lane.(now Bungalow 8)
  • Brompton’s Bar 294 Old Brompton Road. (now Infinity)
  • The Champion Bayswater Road at Ossington.(Now a gastro pub)
  • Club 180/Earls 180 Earls Court Road.(Now Wagamamas I think)
  • The Colherne 261 Old Brompton Road.(Now a gastro pub)
  • Comptons of Soho 53 Old Compton Road.
  • The Edge Bar/Cafe 11 Soho Square.
  • Halfway to Heaven 7 Duncannon.
  • Ku Bar 75 Charing Cross Road.
  • The Queens Head Tryon Street, Chelsea.
    About the nearest thing to a “traditional” pub in London’s gay scene.
  • Market Tavern 1 Nine Elms Lane.(Closed/Colloseum?)
  • Penny Farthing 133 King Street.(Now a gastro pub)
  • Trade 63B Clerkenwell Road.(Closed for redevelopment of site)
  • The Two Brewers 114 Clapham High Street.

The website owners say “Help us keep this listing up to the minute. Are there new places in your city? Have any places closed? Not quite up to par? Let us know! Send us an e-note” I may well just do that but where do I start?