Friday, September 28, 2007

Yet Another Cry for Censorship. It Doesn't Take Much For These Critics To Get Their Panties All In A Bind

A whole new controversy is brewing over the poster below that will be used to promote Folsom Street Fair this year. Personally I find it full of hot leather dudes and a gal, sharing a common table, breaking "bread" and wine together, like I imagine, in the purest sense, what the ideal image of leather pride events such as this, is all about. Your thoughts?????
Folsom Street Fair's photograph has led Miller Brewing Company to ask that its logo be removed. Photo: FredAlert

The photograph resembling Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting of the Last Supper used on the Folsom Street Fair program and its promotional posters drew fire Tuesday, September 25 from Concerned Women for America.

The anti-gay group issued a news release stating that the Folsom Street Fair is "reminiscent of biblical Sodom and Gomorrah."

"The bread and wine representing Christ's broken body and life-giving blood are replaced with sadomasochistic sex toys in this twisted version of da Vinci's 'Last Supper,'" said the CWA's statement.

In response to pressure from CWA's constituents, Miller Brewing Company on Wednesday requested that Folsom Street Events remove its logo from the posters displaying the leather last supper image.

"While Miller has supported the Folsom Street Fair for several years, we take exception to the poster the organizing committee developed this year," the company said on its Web site. "We understand some individuals may find the imagery offensive and we have asked the organizers to remove our logo from the poster effective immediately."

[After the print edition of the Bay Area Reporter went to press, a Miller spokesman told the paper that the company would continue to support the event.

"We are and will continue to be supportive [of Folsom Street Fair and the LGBT community]," said Julian Green, director of media relations of Miller Brewing Company, Wednesday afternoon.

Miller has not requested a refund of any sponsorship money, Green said. Green said that Miller's decision was based on corporate policies.

"[It] has nothing to do with public pressure," said Green. Green said that the company's decision was based on marketing guidelines at the corporate level that don't allow use of its logo on any "creative design" depicting a "religious connotation."

Until CWA's call to action Tuesday, Miller's corporate office wasn't aware of the use of its logo on the poster, Green said. "Our corporate offices was not made aware of the artwork, however, there may have been some awareness at the local level," said Green. "If it had been reviewed at the corporate level it would not have been approved."]

Folsom Street Events Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis told the B.A.R. late Wednesday morning that they weren't concerned about Miller's request to remove its logo from the posters. When asked if they thought that they might lose Miller's sponsorship, Moshoyannis said, "Not to our knowledge."

People commenting on the Joe.My.God blog called for support of Miller rather than a boycott, stating that the beverage company has been supportive of the LGBT community for many years.

According to CWA, "Scripture says that God is not mocked, yet it doesn't stop people from trying," Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues with CWA, said in the release. "As evidenced by this latest stunt, open ridicule of Christianity is unfortunately very common within much of the homosexual community."

"I guess it wouldn't be Folsom Street Fair without offending some extreme members of the global community," said Andy Copper, board president of Folsom Street Events, in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon. "There is no intention to be particularly pro-religion or anti-religion with this poster; the image is intended only to be reminiscent of the 'Last Supper' painting."

Copper stated, "... many of the people in the leather and fetish communities are spiritual and that this poster image is a way of expressing that side of the community's interests and beliefs."
"The irony is that da Vinci was widely considered to be homosexual," Copper added.

Copper pointed to the diversity in the photo, stating that it is a "distinctive representation of diversity with women and men, people of all colors and sexual orientations" which is a part of San Francisco's values.

Local gay clergy also weighed in on the matter.

"I disagree with them I don't think that [Folsom Street Events] is mocking God," said Chris Glaser, interim senior pastor at Metropolitan Community Church – San Francisco. "I think that they are just having fun with a painting of Leonardo da Vinci and having fun with the whole notion of 'San Francisco values' and I think it's pretty tastefully and cleverly done."

Glaser added, "I think that oftentimes religious people miss out on things because they don't have a sense of humor. That's why being a queer spiritual person we can laugh at ourselves and laugh at other people."

Barber called the photo an action of lashing out in a "hateful manner toward the very people they accuse," referring to gay activists calling Christians "haters and homophobes." He said that taxpayers are being "forced" to pay for the fair that allows "'gay' men and women to parade the streets fully nude, many having sex – even group orgies – in broad daylight, while taxpayer funded police officers look on and do absolutely nothing."

CWA called on California's elected officials, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), and Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to "publicly condemn this unprovoked attack against Christ and His followers."

Pelosi was mocked for her "San Francisco values" in a Saturday Night Live skit last year that poked fun at right-wing attacks that she would bring "left of center" values to Congress.
Tuesday afternoon, Pelosi downplayed the right's uproar.

"As a Catholic, the speaker is confident that Christianity has not been harmed," said Drew Hammill, Pelosi's press secretary.

Barber urged the media to "cover the affront to Christianity with the same vigor as recent stories about cartoon depictions of Mohammed and other items offensive to the Muslim community."

Moshoyannis would not comment beyond the organization's news release sent out on Tuesday.

Copper stated that the leather last supper was the first FSF poster inspired by cultural classics in a series of posters forthcoming from FSE including "American Gothic" by Grant Wood, Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and even The Sound of Music.

Photographer FredAlert, who produced the staged leather last supper, declined to comment.

I admire Fred for his creativity and hot composition. WOOOF.

It has been too long, (5 years), since I've been to Folsom. Got to get my barebutt and chaps back out there some time in the future.

Mega hairy muscle leather pride hugs. Hoping all the guys attending Folsom have a great time. Party hardy and play safe.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gay Advertising. It Has Always Been Out There, and the Straight Public Didn't Notice.

If you haven't watched it, Mad Men on AMCTV is an awesome look at the golden age of advertising in the early 1960's and explores, among many topics, the input of gay men in the industry, especially the art work.

Taking the ‘Hint’ Gay Former George Mason professor chronicles gay-friendly marketing in new book on advertising
ZACK ROSEN Friday, September 21, 2007

Before there was a widespread gay media, before publications like The Advocate could show car ads with two men holding hands, advertising executives had to find more subtle ways to court the gay and lesbian consumer.

Bruce H. Joffe’s new book, “A Hint of Homosexuality: ‘Gay’ and Homoerotic Imagery in American Print Advertising” documents ads, starting in 1905, that would raise eyebrows even among gay people living in 2007.

“Hints of Homosexuality” grew from an article Joffe wrote on homoerotic imagery in Ivory Soap ads from the early part of the century. Entitled “.056/100% ... Homosexual,” the piece explores imagery that is undeniably gay friendly. “[Those ads] are amazing,” Joffe says, describing in particular one that is set in a locker room. “You can see pubic hair! The other guys are looking at it.”

Joffe’s interest in early gay advertising began as a hobby. He had a number of early ads framed on the walls of his house and friends frequently suggested that they should be compiled and published. EBay searches raised his collection to over 300 pieces. Though the visual nature of the ads would lend itself best to a coffee table book or full color volume, practical concerns made an academic work the more viable option.

“You are talking about a niche within a niche,” Joffe says. “There’s no money [for the publisher] in making this a coffee table book. Being a professor, you have to publish or perish. I tried to write the book with a popular voice so that anyone could pick it up, could look at the words and say ‘He’s right, I never noticed this before.”LEAFING THROUGH “HINT” forces the reader to look at old marketing in a new light.

The book gives many examples of coding, the subtle images inserted in print advertising that would go unnoticed by a straight reader but perk the attention of an informed gay man or lesbian. “If an advertising illustrator dressed someone in red, had someone lighting someone else’s cigarette [it meant something gay,]”

Joffe says. “Sex sells, it has always sold. People in marketing always knew that there is more than one market. There was no LOGO, no Blade. How do you reach these people? You reach them by encoding.” Joffe sites many examples of “gay vague” advertising in the book.

A 1948 ad for Schlitz beer used the tagline “I was curious…I tasted it” and a three panel set up. In the first frame, two men and two women are being served the beer. In the second frame, the men stand next to each other while trying the beer, and in the third frame the women are gone completely, implying that the rewards of their curiosity include more than just “the beer that made Milwaukee famous.”

Joffe’s interest in gay advertising goes beyond the casual or the educational. He is donating all profits from “Hint” to the Commercial Closet Association, a non-profit that seeks to influence advertisers to include gay populations in their marketing. The association also maintains an archive of gay-inclusive television advertising from around the world, a collection that Joffe is adding to by lending all of his hard copies of the ads documented in the book. “This organization is trying to reach a point where it doesn’t matter who is pictured in the ad, but that we’re all respecting each other while advertisers are making money,”

Joffe says. “I am loaning them my collection of print ads so there can be a museum that documents and chronicles the history of gays in advertising.”

So, those male underwear ads in the old Sears, Montgomery Wards and JC Penny catalogs weren't the only ones out there in the 1960's and early 1970's to draw the curiosity of an young adolescent gay male. Oh, the power of advertising!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

It Really Shouldn't Matter, But, For Some, It Does

This should really be a good movie. Tom Cavanaugh is a hottie, and the subject matter couldn't have come out at a better time. Now, if we can only see these guys give each other on the ice big hairy muscle hugs and locked lips, after a goal, WOOF. That and a locker scene full of buddy body bonding would make this flick a screen gem.

'Gay hockey movie' hopes to score despite vicious remarks
Last Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2007 8:12 PM ET
CBC News
Director Laurie Lynd says he's shocked by the hateful comments aimed at his "sweet film" about tolerance — Breakfast with Scot, or the "gay hockey movie" as it has been dubbed.
But if the movie can score at the box office as a result, Lynd says he doesn't mind.
In the movie playing this week at the Toronto International Film Festival, Canadian actor Tom Cavanagh plays a gay former Toronto Maple Leaf who works as broadcaster for a major sports network.

Because of homophobia in the field, he decides to keep his personal life a secret but that all changes when his partner's flamboyant nephew, Scot, comes to live with the couple.
"It's the one hurdle that's left to be cleared and yet they're not even close to clearing it," said Cavanagh, the Ottawa-born actor who played the title character on the TV series Ed.
The NHL and the Leafs both gave permission for their logos to be used in the movie — a first for a gay-themed movie, according to the director.

"It was an easy decision," said John Lashway, a member of the Leafs' management team. "We have fans from all kinds of lifestyles, so it just made sense for us."
Negative online posts have already taken aim at the movie, with a couple of right-wing U.S. groups contacting the Leafs. Lynd has also received hate mail.

"I read [the negative comments] while we were in production, and I had to put it down because it was so vicious about such a sweet film that is … about tolerance," says Lynd, adding he was surprised it was even an issue in 2007.

One of Canada's most vocal openly gay athletes, former Olympic swimmer Mark Tewksbury, says he's hopeful this film will open doors for athletes.

"What it could mean is that if it's OK in a fictional movie then maybe, if there is a gay person on a professional franchise like the Maple Leafs, it gives them permission to be themselves."
But for the Montreal-native Noah Bernett, who plays Scot in the movie, the issue is a no-brainer: "I think the moral of this story is that people shouldn't be scared of who they are."

Friday, September 07, 2007 Gets Its Best Exposure Ever

When it rain, it pours. And for the web site,, the whole Larry Craig thing has given it new exposure. Read it for yourself.

But thanks to (which boasts some 30,000 visitors daily, its operators say) and its competitors, such information is easily accessible around the country—and the world. And the information is precise; some listings direct readers to visit a location between, say 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. How convenient.

Here are more exerpts from the article:

Has put a dent in's business? Do chatrooms pose a threat?

Craigslist certainly has changed the field. A lot of strictly younger people tend to turn first to hookups online. But my impression—based on what I am personally experiencing, not any research I’ve done—[is] that people may be tiring of the hookups online and wanting to get back into the real world. There’s some benefits to both ways of meeting. Certainly craigslist, which by the way is often used to hook up in public locations, certainly has taken a lot of men who now meet online and go to each others’ house.

With all the information on and on craigslist, do you feel that law enforcement is more aware now? Or are they less likely to crack down than they were 10 years ago?

In all of our years of doing this, there has always been a constant crackdown and a constant drumbeat of harassment. What Senator Craig has experienced is not unfamiliar to a lot of sexually active men out there.

But, whatever your orientation, is engaging in sexual activity in public okay?Most cruisers don’t want to engage in sex in public. They want to meet someone in a public space and then try to be discreet—maybe in a stall or a cubicle or maybe behind a bush.

As you know from my previous post, I am not sympathetic at all to Larry Craig. And even if he fights to retain his seat, he is facing an uphill battle. Gay groups are out to squeeze his nuts and the right wing has already gotten a noose ready for the lynching.

Hot topics such as this keep the blogging world with enough topical subject matter to write about for days. I would really like that this publicity move to the more important topic of safer sex between two consenting gay men. What we need are more play spaces around the U.S, where guys can meet and not have to take unnecessary risks of public sex. Sure, all of us love hot protected sex, but I feel that "spur of the moment" sex is probably a lot more risky than motivated, intential, pure buddy body bonding. Right here, right now sex, public cruising sex, may be exciting, but it doesn't have lasting benefits. It is just a fix, and sometimes a risky one, at that.