Halloween is the Gay Holiday

halloween1October is an important month in our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender calendar. October is GLBT History Month, a month devoted to dis-covering and celebrating our past. On October 11, we observe “Coming Out Day”, a day in which we “take the next step” in our ongoing, coming-out process. But while both GLBT History Month and Coming Out Day are of recent origin, this month’s most popular queer holiday predates recorded history and captures the essence of sex and gender variance to a much greater degree than do the activist holidays. Just open the pages of any queer paper during the first weeks of November and you will see what our communities were doing on October 31st. In the words of the lesbian poet and scholar Judy Grahn, Halloween is “the great gay holiday.”

I love Halloween. All through my life, October 31 has always been a special day, though now I don’t go out as much as I used to. I certainly enjoy writing about it, though, and I try to write a Halloween article every few years. Once thought to be a children’s holiday, Halloween (actually Hallowe’en, but I prefer to use the more common spelling) is now almost as popular with adults. According to Nicholas Rogers, author of Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, “Halloween at the end of the millennium has become a major party night for adults, arguably the most important after New Year’s Eve. . . . [T]he amount of money spent on Halloween has more than doubled in the last decade, making it the second retail bonanza after Christmas.”

Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is a corruption of All Hallows Eve, which is observed the night before All Saints Day (All Hallows Day). Like other Christian holy days, Halloween was adapted from a pagan holy day, in this case the Celtic feast of Samhain (pronounced sow-end). According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Samhain “was the eve of the new [Celtic] year . . . and was the occasion for one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits.” On Samhain, the Celts believed, the spirit world and the mortal realm come into close contact and spirits can slip out of their domain in order to visit us. Today, followers of the Craft or Wicca (witches) still observe Samhain as the greatest of their eight seasonal sabats. Rich Wandel, an openly gay high priest of Wicca, told the authors of The Gay Almanac that “Samhain . . . is a time of connection to those who have gone before us and will return again. It is my favorite ritual, and is one we never let the students lead. We do it ourselves, because it is important, particularly in terms of the many friends that all of us in our communities have lost.”

Though the Protestant reformers tried to suppress All Hallows Day observances as being both pagan and papist, Halloween emerged as a secular holiday during the 19th and 20th centuries. And while Halloween is enjoyed by everyone, “it has been the gay community,” Rogers tells us, “that has most flamboyantly exploited Halloween’s potential as a transgressive festival, as one that operates outside or on the margins of orthod53299-village-peopleox time, space, and hierarchy. Indeed, it is the gay community that has been arguably most responsible for Halloween’s adult rejuvenation.” What William Stewart, writing about Halloween in Cassell’s Queer Companion, called “the gay festival par excellence,” has been observed by our people long before there were Pride Days or Coming Out Days; Southern Decadence or Wigstock; bear busts, circuit parties, leather runs, nudist gatherings or womyn’s music festivals. Long before there was Disney, Halloween was and is the original Gay Day.

In Another Mother Tongue, her cultural history of our peoples, Judy Grahn wrote about Halloween and its significance to us. Halloween, Grahn wrote, is a special holiday for GLBT people, who in many societies served as priests, witches, shamans, healers and intermediaries between the mortal and spirit worlds. The ancient Celts tried to ward off the Samhain spirits by offering them gifts or scaring them away with jack-o-lanterns. Others dressed up in fantastic costumes to impersonate and confuse the wandering spirits: As Grahn put it, “impersonating a spirit is the only safe way to travel outdoors on Halloween. And who could better imitate spirits than the gay people whose traditional priestly role required just such intercourse with the spirit world? . . . The qualities of impersonation,” Grahn concluded, “and the dangerous business of crossing over from one world to another help explain why Halloween is the most significant gay holiday.”

According to William Stewart, “Hallowe’en has always been a time of year when the gay communities experienced greater freedoms. . . . Even in the 1940s and 1950s when police harassment of gay bars was at its height, Hallowe’en was the one fairy-tale evening when the drag queens could come out with impunity.” In Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965, historian Nan Alamilla Boyd wrote about Halloween parties that were held at the Beige Room and other San Francisco bars back in the fifties, which “included not simply a drag ball and a ‘parade of queens’ but the selection of the best dressed participant.” In New York City, Rogers wrote, by the mid-1970s “gay promenades had become a constituent feature of the Greenwich Village Halloween celebrations. Beginning in 1974 as a countercultural event for the Village arts community, this annual parade, with its puppets, floats, and revelers, has become a fixture in Gotham’s calendar.” Key West’s Fantasy Fest is just one of many events that evolvedfrom the local gay population’s’ Halloween celebrations.

Halloween’s appeal to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities goes beyond that holiday’s historical or spiritual connotations. I believe that it has a lot to do with our role as outsiders in society; our propensity for cross-dressing and gender-bending; our love for the unusual and the fantastic; our ability to find humor in the absurdities and misfortunes of life; our fascination with festive costumes and the world of makebelieve; and our special capacity to have fun. While others might treat Halloween as mainly a kid’s day, LesBiGay and Trans people observe and cherish it as a day in which we can do away with dull, ordinary, dumb reality and be our fun, exotic, erotic selves.

All of us have Halloween stories to share; some good and some bad but all of them fabulous. To me, Halloween is a time to be myself, to let loose, to wear an outrageous costume (or nothing at all), to stay out late, to get drunk (but not to drive drunk), and forget about my individual and communal problems in the company of like-minded souls. So whatever you do on this very special, and very gay night, remember to be careful, to play safe, and to enjoy yourselves. After a few thousand years, we should be able to do it right.

Originally posted in the Gazette. Copyright Jessie Monteagudo

D F Gilmour1,21Section of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK2Glasgow Centre for Ophthalmic Research, Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, UKCorrespondence: D Gilmour, Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology, Gartnavel General Hospital, 1053 Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 0YN, UK. Tel: +44 141 211 1040; Fax: +44 141 347 8922. Apply the spread. In point spread betting, the actual final score of the game is only the starting point. Google decided late last year that their Google Desktop application was no longer relevant, and promptly killed it. Google Desktop was similar to the Bing Desktop, with the addition of local file search. One thing that killed me with these, besides the amount of work they were, is that about a week after I finished this Fake Oakleys computer, I found two working power supplies in my school recycling pile that had rear exhaust fans. They were not modular, but I could have just cut off the extra cables, and Fake Oakleys then I would not have had to go to all the trouble to cut the slots. As teams begin to make their postseason pushes, the margin of error shrinks even more.Here are five overreactions we’re pushing back on after Week 10:New England’s offense can cover up the defense’s woesThe Patriots tried to defend Russell Wilson oakley outlet like they had defended Landry Jones of the Steelers, Brock Osweiler of the Texans, and Cody Kessler and Charlie Whitehurst of the Browns.That’s a problem.In New England’s loss Sunday night, the Patriots defense routinely rushed only four, three, and even just two players on some plays dropping every other defender in coverage. That works when the defensive line can get to the quarterback.Seahawks get revenge on Patriots cheap jordan with goal line standBut New England doesn’t have a reliable pass rush. You don’t have to come back anymore. So you know where I’m going!. It was the 2011 fantasy football season and Tyler needed a tight end. His cheap oakleys good buddy had Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. If I can just show you from the side one time, my hips go back in this lunge. That’s the difference in the side lunge from the regular front facing lunge.. You also felt that these cycles seem to happen because those with memory (I would add “vivid” memory explanation is cheap oakleys sunglasses below) of major turning points are not alive when the next key rotation occurs. At first, this explanation seems counter intuitive. So we just eliminated it. It cheap oakleys also will slightly change pass routes to the sidelines, as coaches like Kubiak maintain.

Hubby Hubby renamed by Ben and Jerry’s…

hh-graphicHubby Hubby renamed by Ben and Jerry’s…

“In partnership with Freedom to Marry we are gathered here to celebrate Vermont and all the other great states where loving couples of all kinds are free to marry legally. We have ceremoniously dubbed our iconic flavor, Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby in support, and to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality. Check out our press release.  If you live in Vermont, or visiting, you’re invited to celebrate the pride-filled occasion with an all naturally fabulous union of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough ice cream, fudge and pretzels. “

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Pirates not so gay

gay-pirateAccording to this site Gay Piracy was not so common

Despite the chronic shortage of available women in the Caribbean and the inevitable familiarity of men living in close companionship on board ship, there is scant historical evidence that gay pirates were common or numerous.

Defoe’s fictional Captain Singleton certainly has a tendency to be a dandy but this can be justified just as much by his aristocratic background as any correlation of dandyism with sodomitic sexuality. Sensational accounts of pirate sodomites brought to court may be exaggerated due the need to sell by newspapers that reported the trial proceedings.

As pirates were a threat to lawful society, tarring them with the brush of “sodomite” (ie homosexual or gay) may be interpreted in the language of the time as poetic licence intended to emphasise their outsider status, their rejection of seventeenth and eighteenth century society, just as excessive drinking or living off the spoils of theft and violent plunder.

Despite the reputation that fuels much gay fantasy that shipmates are also bunkmates, close male to male homosocial camaraderie seems more likely in the majority of cases: pirate shipmates were united in common cause against lawful merchant ships, Royal Navy law enforcement and other marauders. Freed slaves were other recruits to pirate ships companies – men with similarly nothing to loose.

The popularity of parrots may be another clue about pirate sexuality. Parrots can live long lives, double that of even the longest living dogs, forty years or more; parrots are monogamous, staying with one partner for life. The common bond between pirate and parrot suggests an acceptable relationship in an era when homosexuality was apparently uncommon even among outlaws.


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Pink News Gay Headlines from Europe

pinkcompactlogoKeep on top of the gay agenda in Europe with this site! Policits, Opinion, Finance, Entertainment and more at Pink News.

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Gay Germans Get Pension Rights

By Jessica Geen • October 22, 2009 – 16:41
couplegermany

Germany’s high court today ruled that civil partners of government employees are eligible to receive the same pension rights as their straight married counterparts.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, the highest court in the country, heard the case of a Hamburg public servant who had been in his job since 1991.

The public-sector pension company VBL had refused to consider him in the same way as a married person, despite the fact he had been in a civil partnership for eight years.

Under VBL’s stance, he would have received €74 less each month than a heterosexual married man, while his partner would receive no surviving dependants’ pension if he died.

The court ruled today that VBL’s position was unconstitutional.

According to The Local, the unnamed man’s lawyer Dirk Siegfried said: “I see this as a very big step for the equality of homosexual marriage not only for employee pensions, but in many other areas too.”

In August, the same court confirmed that gay and lesbian people can adopt their partner’s children, overturning a previous court ruling.

Read the rest of the story at Pink News.

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Scowling Crowley

Aleister_Crowley_1Was the spookiest man of the twentieth century also a homo? Born Edward Alexander Crowley, Aleisetr Crowley was an English occultist, writer, mountaineer, poet, yogi, and possible spy.

He was an influential member of occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the A?A?, and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) and is known today for his magical writings, especially The Book of the Law, the central sacred text of Thelema. He gained notoriety during his lifetime, and was pleased to be denounced in the popular press of the day as “The wickedest man in the world.”

Wikipedia notes that “Crowley was also a chess player, painter, astrologer, hedonist, bisexual, drug experimenter, and social critic. …
After the death of his father to whom he was close, he drifted from his religious upbringing. His mother’s efforts to keep her son in the Christian faith only served to provoke his scepticism. When a child, his rebellious behaviour displeased his mother to such an extent that she would chastise him by calling him “The Beast” (from the Book of Revelation), an epithet that Crowley would later adopt for himself.”

Crowley objected to the labelling of what he saw as life’s most worthwhile and enjoyable activities as “sinful”.

In 1895, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge,with the intention of reading Moral Sciences (philosophy), but he switched to English literature, and “his three years at Cambridge were happy ones, due in part to coming into the considerable fortune left by his father…. It is there that he broke with the Church of England:

The Church of England […] had seemed a narrow tyranny, as detestable as that of the Plymouth Brethren; less logical and more hypocritical.
When I discovered that chapel was compulsory I immediately struck back. The junior dean halled me for not attending chapel, which I was certainly not going to do, because it involved early rising. I excused myself on the ground that I had been brought up among the Plymouth Brethren. The dean asked me to come and see him occasionally and discuss the matter, and I had the astonishing impudence to write to him that ‘The seed planted by my father, watered by my mother’s tears, would prove too hardy a growth to be uprooted even by his eloquence and learning.’”

In December 1896 Crowley decided to pursue a path in occultism and mysticism. By the next year, he began reading books by alchemists and mystics, and books on magic. Biographer Lawrence Sutin describes the pivotal New Year’s event as a homo-erotic experience (Crowley’s first) that brought him what he considered “an encounter with an immanent deity.”

A year later, he published his first book of poetry (Aceldama), and left Cambridge, only to meet Julian L. Baker (Frater D.A.) who introduced him to Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Crowley allegedly maintained a vigorous sex life, largely conducted with prostitutes and girls he picked up at local pubs and cigar shops, but he also took part in same-sex activities in which he played a passive role.

During his life, Crowley practised sexual magic rituals with both men and women, Sutin recounts. For example, Crowley had lasting feelings for Herbert Charles Pollitt, whom he met at Cambridge. Pollitt did not share Crowley’s mystical leanings, and so:

I told him frankly that I had given my life to religion and that he did not fit into the scheme. I see now how imbecile I was, how hideously wrong and weak it is to reject any part of one’s personality.

At that time British law officially forbade homosexuality. The arrest, conviction and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde took place in Crowley’s first year at Cambridge. And while, in his autobiographical preface to The World’s Tragedy he included two pages on “Sodomy” where openly admitting his bisexuality and praising sex between men, the section was removed from all copies of the book except those given to close friends.

Later, in a January 1929 letter, he wrote

“There have been about four men in my life that I could say I have loved… Call me a bugger if you like, but I don’t feel the same way about women. One can always replace a woman in a few days.”

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Jeff Stryker Sings!

Here is one song named Bigger than life performed by Jeff Stryker from a classic gay porn film named Bigger than life(1986) too.Its funny and actually not so bad,so just enjoy:)

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Evolution and Sexual Fidelity

Why does the conventional wisdom put gays, lesbians and other sexually “different” people into the same category? GLBT has become somthing akin to “and the rest” in the Gilligan’s Island theme song and equally due for a revision in thinking. Just as The Professor and Mary Anne deserve to be recognized for who they are, the “deli sandwich” acronym must also be banished to reruns only.

There are fundamental differences between the sexes – and even more so between the homo-sexes. Gay men and lesbians are as culturally different as men are to women in general. While we will leave it to others to explore the nature of lesbianism and transexuality, the nature of male sexuality (gay, bi or straight) can readily be viewed from an evolutionary perspective.

There is a biological schizm between men and women. Women bear children and so any sexual encounter could easily become a nine-month-to-a-lifetime commitment. Men do not share that burdonsome responsibility so directly. In fact, social custom and trust are truly the only guarantee to a man that any child is his own. I would expect this is one of the primary reasons for marriage.

Even so, the human male has no biological ties to his offspring once he has had a sexual encounter. Furthermore, he also has no way to be certain that his union was successful. Only an advanced understanding of time and logic give the likelihood of parenthood. We rely on marriage and female fidelity to try to be sure, but really … a male never can really be certain. So repetition rules!

More encounters means more chances to propetuate the DNA. Men are ready to breed all the time, not cyclically like women. And, comparitively speaking, men often seem far less concerned with their partner’s name than their ability to take a dick. Hook up sites and hook up bars for girls are as rare as a lesbian bath house. Oh, sure, there are always exceptions, but every town has a place for a blowjob. But do gay/straight women ever cut glory holes into the bathroom walls? I don’t think so.

Men are predisposed to poke their pecker into any hole that will make it feel good. We like it and it doesn’t bother us if we do it alot and with lots of people. Being gay just makes it that much easier – because the other participant is a guy too! They say a lesbian takes a U-haul to a second date, but the gay man asks “What second date?”

So men may truly be the sluts. But take heart! Relationships have survived the male need to seed. They always have and they always will. But gay relationships – call them marriages if you will – must be based on the understanding of male sexual programming and one must be cautious about slapping “straight” culture and expectations on a relationship between men. Mary Anne has her own troubles to deal with – we have promiscuity. Of course, it’s only “cheating” if it’s against the rules. So men, talk about it and make sure you and your partners are playing with same rule book.

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Gay USA News Updates

Check in with the weekly gayusaGay USA News Headlines. This week:
President Obama is set to address the Human Rights Campaign – a national LGBT lobby group – at its big annual dinner. Attacks continue against gay education activist Kevin Jennings, now at the U.S. Department of Education, and a Miami federal court rules it’s OK to ban gay spouses from hospital visits. News and views from Ann Northrup and Andy Humm.

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