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Thinking OUTloud

Friday, December 08, 2017

Consent • Shades of Gray

Claims of sexual harassment fill the airwaves and are sending famous heads tumbling every day. So what should be an operative definition of consent? A simple “no” won’t do: so many sexual encounters begin with a “no” and turn into a consensual situation. That’s the nature of seduction, and women like seduction. It’s very on-point that the acclaimed new gay film Call Me By Your Name comes out in the midst of this and even women think it’s beautiful. The characters don’t turn to each other and say “Is it okay if I touch your penis?” No romantic movie ever went that way, and no one would watch them if they did.

Most people would walk away if the future seemed unclear and shut you out because they’re afraid. But I’m not. I’m right here. That’s what my love is for. My love will be your cure.
—“Your Cure,” an original song from season two of Merce

Merce, the web series about a gay New Yorker living with HIV, is a little bonkers. The candy-colored musical comedy, written by and starring the singular Charles Sanchez, has “the lowbudget appeal of an early John Waters romp,” as I wrote when season one hit your computer screens two years ago.

This world lost a remarkable young man this month when Antron-Reshaud Olukayode, a 33-year-old HIV educator, writer, and performance artist from Atlanta died of AIDS.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Human-Rights Blackout

Much has been made of the lack of attention to human rights by President Trump on his recent excursion to Asia. This, by and of itself, represents the US giving up the mantel on this subject since we first gained prominence on the issue during the Jimmy Carter administration in the 1970s. We were the international leader for this proud cause, and president after president – regardless of being a Democrat or a Republican – raised it on foreign trips. We are told that Trump mentioned the topic of human rights only in passing to the president of the Philippines during this trip.

Out of control anti-sex laws threaten everyone: Panel discussion, Nov. 15th, 7:30 pm at Red Emma’s

Sociologist Trevor Hoppe is a gay man with his finger on the pulse of gay sexual politics, a topic he has written about for years. In his latest buook, Punishing Disease, Hoppe tackles HIV criminalization, one of the most polarizing issues in the LGBT community.

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