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Month of January , 2008

Learn Words, Feed the Hungry!

Now there's a way for you to play games and not have the guilty feeling afterwards. FreeRice has partnered with Poverty.com and the United Nations to provide 20 grains of rice for each correct word you answer. Learn vocabulary while you feed the disenfranchised.

The site is funded by their advertisers: Macy’s, Fujitsu, Timelife, Apple, Office Depot, Readers Digest, and many others. The site launched in October 2007 and reportedly donated 537,163,380 grains of rice. They have now donated 12,513,079,830 grains of rice.

Check out the interesting information they have about world hunger and how we could completely end it. You can also see how your country ranks in doing their fair share.

Bring in 2008 by expanding your vocabulary and begin donating rice by clicking here.

Soccer Bar MEETS Drag Queens....

This year is off to a great start and seems like it might be the year of unlikely pairings. For the last few months I've been organizing Milwaukee's very first co-ed indoor LGBT soccer league which is to begin at the end of February 2008. I wasn't sure how many Brewcity gays would be interested in joining but I've been overwhelmed by the excitement.

Now, the always fun Bayview soccer bar, The Highbury, is jumping on board to not only support the league but now is also providing some gay entertainment! (I'm sure you can also thank my friend Joe W. who works there for the recent gay interest) I can't wait to be in the crowd when the raucous soccer bar is taken hostage by a stage full of drag queens. It will certainly be an enjoyable evening of entertainment.

How Hillary Got Her Groove Back? Maybe...

Hillary surprised critics with a victory tonight in New Hampshire. It seemed like Obama was on a fast track all the way to victory but apparently he missed the train. Though the race was very close - Hillary with 39% and Obama with 36% - it is clear now that this is anyone's race.

I've actually found this election very difficult for me to decide on my candidate. I much prefer Obama but I can't shake a feeling of really wanting to like Hillary. That was especially the case today after seeing how viciously she was attacked for showing some signs of being human to ABC yesterday.

This is one of those times where I find myself really wanting to like Hillary. Consider her predicament: always be tough and get the rap for being a phony stone cold bitch or show some real human emotions and be considered weak, stressed, or a "typical" emotional woman.

Check out her "emotional" ABC clip and another of a sexist Hillary heckler.

While I can't make a final decision on the leading Democratic candidates I do know that for the first time I'm actually paying attention to what everyone is saying. Though I'm leaning towards Barack, I'm still trying hard to really like Hillary.

Where do you stand? Let us know how you feel about Elections 2008.

Guess Which Hollywood Heartthrob Is Coming to WI?

Has Wisconsin finally landed on the map?

No, not literally - Wisconsin has always been on maps. A new law effective January 1st, 2008 gives film production companies significant tax breaks to shoot films in Wisconsin. Will we now be on the Hollywood map?

Only a few weeks into the new year and rumors have it that a major Hollywood hottie will be coming to Wisconsin to shoot his next film. While no locations have been officially announced it appears that Baraboo might be the location of an upcoming Depression era bank robbery film, Public Enemies.

So, just which hunk is heading to the Heartland?

Will our good Midwestern manners and hospitality hold up to the crazed, sugary, sleaze known as Hollywood?

And for the record I love sleaze. A lot...

Jake Is God....

I don't think I have ever, ever, ever, ever, ever wanted more in my life than to be a bike. I really want to be that bike. Like more than anything....

Recently shot...

A few weeks ago we had a huge snowstorm. This was taken only a few hours after the snow began falling.

Walking down Brady Street after dong Happy Hour at The Nomad. The entourage was en route to the new Irish eatery, Brocach. Which I decided to pronounce as "boo coochie" all night. Charming, I know.

We approved of the cheese dip.

Snapped this picture of Pete in the lobby. He didn't approve.

The old St. Casimir's just a block from home being smothered by snow.

50 Years Ago: ONE Magazine Wins Gay Rights

Today - January 13th - marked the 50th anniversary of the first ever pro-gay U.S. Supreme Court ruling in ONE Inc. v. Olesen. ONE magazine, launched in 1953, was the very first mailed publication for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in the United States and served a crucial role for the LGBT community in what would have been very dark times.

The magazine was stylish and professional and the editorial content was adamantly unapologetic. In April 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450 which barred gays and lesbians from federal employment with its “sexual perversion” clause. The FBI tried shutting down the magazine by calling the employers of the publishers and trying to get hem fired but soon lost interest. Then the Los Angeles and Washington post offices tried holding up the publication on grounds of "indecency." The clip below is from the October issue....

Your August issue is late because the postal authorities in Washington and Los Angeles had it under a microscope. They studied it carefully from the 2nd until the 18th of September and finally decided that there was nothing obscene, lewd or lascivious in it. They allowed it to continue on its way. We have been found suitable for mailing.

…But one point must be made very clear. ONE is not grateful. ONE thanks no one for this reluctant acceptance. It is true that this decision is historic. Never before has a governmental agency of this size admitted that homosexuals not only have legal rights but might have respectable motives as well. The admission is welcome, but it’s tardy and far from enough.

I can't believe that somebody was writing content like this so many years before Stonewall. I might be hard pressed to find gays and lesbians that would write so unapologetically today.

So to those early activists and pioneers for Gay Rights I salute you. Thanks for fighting the unpopular fight far before the world was ready to hear you.

Renfro Dead at 25

This week young actor Brad Renfro died mysteriously at the age of 25. Renfro had a history of drug abuse but was reportedly clean and sober for the past many months. He had been out drinking with friends the night before.

Sir Ian McKellan who worked with Renfro on Apt Pupil wrote a very touching memorial on his website. Here's a clip:

In Hollywood he was a teenage charmer, chaperoned by his beloved grandmother and by his admirers who protected him as best they could from the dangers of being a child in a careless adult's world.....

He longed to belong in the alien world which perhaps in the end overwhelmed him. He was only 25 and it is dreadful we shan't see all that he might have achieved.

Renfro also starred in the 1995 film about a young boy with AIDS, The Cure, which really makes me cry like a baby. Some of his other films were Sleepers and the slighly homoerotic, Bully.

Heath Ledger Found Dead in SoHo Apartment

Actor Heath Ledger was found dead today in his SoHo apartment by his cleaning lady and his masseuse. According to the NY Times: At 3:31 p.m., according to the police, a masseuse arrived at the fourth-floor apartment of the building, at 421 Broome Street, between Crosby and Lafayette Streets in SoHo, for an appointment with Mr. Ledger. The masseuse was let in to the home by a housekeeper, who then knocked on the door of the bedroom Mr. Ledger was in. When no one answered, the housekeeper and the masseuse opened the bedroom and found Mr. Ledger naked and unconscious on a bed, with sleeping pills — both prescription medication and nonprescription — on a night table.

There have been several conflicting stories already flying around about this tragic death. Authorities believe there was no foul play involved and Heath's family have responded to the rumors of suicide. They told TMZ: "he was not that kind of person."

Heath had been sick with pneumonia. An autopsy will be completed on Wednesday to determine the cause of death. According to authorities there were no signs that Heath had been drinking and no illegal substances were found in the house. Heath was only 28 years old and had a 2-year old daughter, Matilda Rose Ledger, with his ex-fiancee, Michelle Williams.

His friends and family - including the Prime Minister of Australia - are all broken up by this severely tragic news. Lindsay Lohan has been seen weeping in her car and Michelle Williams is currently on a plane to NYC.

I feel like I've begun writing for the Obituary section. Last week it was Brad Renfro and today Heath. I'm finding the news to be quite sad. It almost feels like someone I know died. I got teary-eyed when I was reading the headlines and when I pulled together the pictorial memorium (shown below) I did so with a heavy heart.

Heath was most notably known for his break through performance as Ennis del Mar in Brokeback Mountain. His other works include: The Brothers Grimm, A Knight's Tale, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Monster's Ball amongst others. He recently starred as one version of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' experiemental biopic I'm Not There. Filming of The Dark Knight which he played The Joker was complete and he was in the middle of filming his new film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

LA Gay & Lesbian Center's HIV Prevention Soaps

The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center has launched a new webisode of their online soap opera - In The Moment - which hopes to bring attention to the HIV epidemic and its ravishing affects on gay and bisexual men.

Take a look at their first video below.

We’re grateful the City of West Hollywood has funded this initiative, through our WeHoLife.org program, to promote healthy living among those who live, work and visit West Hollywood,” said Susan Cohen, director of the Center’s Health Education and Prevention Department. “Of course, we know it also has the potential to stimulate safer sex discussions among anyone with a computer and we will be monitoring web traffic, with the hope that we can secure funding for the remaining 11 webisodes.

You can go to the WeHo Life site for more information and to participate in the interactive discussions.

The first episode was engaging and I am hopeful that this new initiative will spark a new movement to become vocal and active in the fight against AIDS. If you haven't been following the news young gay and bisexual men - particularly those men of color - are seeing a dramatic increase in HIV infections.