Researcher Seth Stephens-Davidowitz estimates that 5 percent of American men are gay.
"Using surveys, social networks, pornographic searches and dating sites, I recently studied evidence on the number of gay men," he wrote. "The data used in this analysis is available in highly aggregated form only and can be downloaded from publicly accessible sites. While none of these data sources are ideal, they combine to tell a consistent story."
The story, according to Stephens-Davidowitz, is that 5 percent of men are attracted to other men, but that the vast majority of homosexuals are still living, to some degree, in the closet.
This makes accurate numbers difficult to come by, he admits. In anonymous surveys, some men will still hide their sexuality. And many gay men won't share their sexuality on social media (which changes depending on which part of the country you look at). "On Facebook, for example, about 1 percent of men in Mississippi who list a gender preference say that they are interested in men; in California, more than 3 percent do."
However, when he looked at gay porn searches through Google, he found that the same percentages of people were looking up gay porn regardless of where they were from. "While tolerant states have a slightly higher percentage of these searches, roughly 5 percent of pornographic searches are looking for depictions of gay men in all states."
Another interesting find: "Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women. It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin 'Is my husband...,' the most common word to follow is 'gay.' 'Gay' is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than 'depressed.'"
You can read the rest of Seth Stephens-Davidowitz' findings at the New York Times.
Mark Shenton was the UK's Sunday Express chief theater critic for 11 years. However, he was sacked this week after nude pictures from 22 years ago surfaced on a gay website.
"The paper had been tipped off by a malicious third party that there were some private, personal (but entirely legal) images of me available on a gay website," he explained. I'd never seen or heard of the site myself so it was news to me, but yes, the thumbnail picture I was shown by the head of human resources was indeed of me.
"I had not posted it, but remembered it being taken, by my reckoning, by a friend in San Francisco I have long lost touch with some 22 years ago – long before I either worked for the paper or the internet had come of age, so I never expected them to turn up on a website that didn't exist then."
Shenton said he was confronted by the newspaper's editor, Martin Townsend, who told him the pictures brought the newspaper into disrepute and were 'embarrassing.'
"It is truly ironic that I should be fired by an organisation run by a pornographer," Shenton argued, referring to the paper's owner, Richard Desmond (who made - and still makes - a fortune from straight pornography). "It is rank hypocrisy to sack me over this."
Northern & Shell, Desmond's publishing company, refused to address Shenton's dismissal. Perhaps it is too busy with plans to relocate to Russia.
Sunday Express theatre critic Mark Shenton 'fired over nude gay website pictures' [The Independent]
Mark Shenton, Sunday Express Theatre Critic, Claims He Was Fired Over Gay Pictures [Huffington Post UK]
Alexander Bohun (pictured) is the most recent victim of Russian-based Occupy Pedophilia, a group of vigilante skinheads who torture gay men.
The ringleader of Occupy, Maxim Martsinkevich, recently fled Russia after hearing that he could face charges of extremism for abusing other men (though he managed to torture many people, film the abuse, and still remain untouched by Russian authorities for almost a year). Martsinkevich relocated to the Ukraine, which is where he targetted Bohun.
Bohun, who was a contestant on the Ukrainian version of X-Factor, was hoping to hook-up with someone he met on the social media site VK. Instead, he found Martsinkevich and some of his friends waiting for him.
LGBTQ Nation said that Bohun was threatened with violence and forced to confess to trying to meet a minor. He was covered in Jewish stars and homophobic words, and forced to use a dildo as a fake microphone. His head was shaved and Martsinkevich painted it with rainbow colors. Bohun was also forced to drink urine.
“I was referred to as “pedophile,” mocked, and forced to admit actions and desires that I have not committed in any circumstances, and I had to admit all that publicly,” Bohun told police.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched a criminal investigation into Martsinkevich’s activities; there are unconfirmed reports that he has fled the country.
Middle America was in for a big holiday surprise on Thursday when the cast from the musical Kinky Boots showed up to perform at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
The show, which was written by Harvey Fierstein with music by Cyndi Lauper, tells the story of a struggling British shoe factory's straight-laced owner who works with a drag queen to save his footwear business.
"Does every parade these days really have turn into a gay pride thing?" asked SuperLatvian, who posted a video of the parade segment. "... Parents must have had a lovely time explaining to their kids who watched the parade what a 'transsexual' is or why those men dressed in such a way." (Answer: Because they're fabulous, of course!)
Other several conservative types complained, so Fierstein decided to respond: "I'm so proud that the cast of Kinky Boots brought their message of tolerance and acceptance to America's parade. Ten years ago I was humbled to ride a float dressed as Mrs. Claus, and it was the thrill of a lifetime. Congratulations to Macy's, on leading the world, not only with your salesmanship, but also your humanity."
The above note was sent, with an actual lump of coal, to the 19 House lawmakers in Hawaii who opposed the state's recent marriage equality bill (which, luckily, was approved).
No one has taken responsibility for the early Christmas gifts, which were sent out last week. A return address listed the Hilo Medical Center, but a representative said the Center had nothing to do with the coal.
"Yeah I think the message is that I have not been a good boy this year," Representative Marcus Oshiro said. "I have been naughty, not nice."
You got that right, mister.
This PSA is a call to raise your voice in support of LGBT people in Russia, and around the world, who are facing prejudice and violence.
The British government is looking to crack down on pornography depicting rape, promising up to three years in jail for anyone caught in possession of it. Politicians also want to eliminate such content from the Internet.
There is already a law in place that makes the production of sexually violent images illegal, but the law is considered difficult to enforce because many online sites showcase 'simulated' rape acts.
In January, that will change. Prime Minister David Cameron explained that sites showing images and videos of rape, 'simulated' or not, will be shut down for breaking the law. And possession of such images could result in jail time.
“They are quite simply poisonous to the young people who see them,” he said.
All illegal images, which Cameron said reflect “the darkest corners of the internet,” will be labeled and added to a national database.
‘Rape porn’ possession to be punished by three years in jail, David Cameron to announce [Metro]
The South Korean newspaper Joonhang Daily reported that last week about 80 people were executed in seven cities across North Korea.
The executed had been found guilty of a variety of "crimes" including porn possession and distribution, prostitution, possessing the Bible and watching South Korean TV shows (which are banned in North Korea).
In one instance, a source described a scene in which 10,000 North Korean citizens were brought to a stadium in Wonsan. They were there to witness the execution - by firing squad - of 8 people.
This is nothing new for the notorious dictatorship. In August, leader Kim Jong-un allegedly ordered the execution of a dozen entertainers from the Unhasu Orchestra and the Wangjaesan Light Music Band, including ex-girlfriend Hyon Song-wol. Members were accused of filming themselves having sex and then selling the videos for money.
Some have claimed the executions were part of a cover-up to protect Jung-un's wife Ri Sol-Ju's reputation, as she had been a singer in the orchestra before marrying him in 2012. (As recently as last month, South Korean activists sent balloons over the border, carrying information about Sol-Ju's porn past.)
Kim Jung-un: what a douche.
80 North Koreans put to death for porn and soap operas, South Korean paper reports [SF Gate]
A Canadian judge has dismissed a $33-million lawsuit that was filed by a man who blamed a Toronto strip club, and both the Ontario and Canadian governments, for not protecting him from HIV.
Percy Whiteman contracted the disease from his wife, Suwalee “Ricky” Iamkhong, who he met in 1997 at Zanzibar Tavern. She was working there as a stripper. The two quickly married, and he sponsored her to become a permanent resident of Canada. Several years later, he discovered her HIV status, and that he, too, was now HIV+. She revealed her first husband had died from the disease.
Iamkhong and Whiteman divorced. She was convicted in 2007 for criminal negligence causing bodily harm for infecting Whiteman, and sentenced to 2 years in jail. She was deported back to Hong Kong in 2010.
Whiteman explained that she had tested positive in Hong Kong, before moving to Canada. He said the Ontario and Canadian governments were partially responsible for his illness because they let her into the country to work. He added that Zanzibar should not have hired her to dance, or let her come into contact with its patrons.
The judge disagreed.
“It is extremely unfortunate, indeed tragic, that Mr. Percy Whiteman contracted HIV from his wife,” Justice Carole Brown wrote on Monday. “I have concluded none of the defendants are responsible for Whiteman’s contraction of HIV. Mr. Whiteman was the author of his own misfortune."
“He married her and chose to have unprotected sex with her while he knew she was from Thailand and had been a prostitute,” added Zanzibar owner Allen Cooper. “It wasn’t our fault. This would have set a terrible precedent for strip bars as they have to check their strippers for any diseases."
Strip Club, Government Cleared in $33-million HIV Lawsuit [YNot]
The ordeal began when, during a business trip in September 2011, he checked out some twink porn on the hotel's computer in his room. A female guest stayed in the same room a week later, discovered the site in the browser history, and alerted staff. Police were called.
Six months later, cops arrested the 30-year-old man in front of his family. His own computer was seized at the time, but he was not actually charged until November, when prosecutors accused him of actually making and possessing indecent images of underage males. He faced jail time and being registered as a sex offender if found guilty.
His father died before the case went to trial.
Neither the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), nor police, provided any evidence in court that the models on the site were minors. In fact, the defense provided conclusive evidence that all models were adults.
The judge threw out the case three days ago after the CPS said it could not provide any evidence to support the charges.
“While I feel utter relief and a sense of euphoria that the nightmare has ended, I am at the same time extremely angry: angry at the CPS, the police and, above all, angry that my father, who never doubted me and stood by me, never got to see this day," said the accused. "I’m angrier that that was the last year of his life and that I just couldn’t be the son during this time that I wanted to be to him."
"The images showed what appeared to be males below the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity, which the judge agreed was a reasonable conclusion, and this was supported by the computer’s search history," argued a CPS spokesman. "It was on this basis that we decided that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the defendant. ... When this [new] evidence was provided, the case was reassessed and the prosecution was stopped."
It is quite shocking that police and prosecutors cannot tell the difference between a legal site with 18+ young men and child pornography. The Crown Prosecution Service owes this man a huge apology.
And as a note to everyone else: remember to delete your browser history every once in a while, especially since we now know the National Security Agency is watching everyone, all the time.
Paedophile case thrown out against gay man who watched twink porn [Gay Star News]
The evidence is mounting. Is the CPS institutionally homophobic? [The Independent]
Hallmark is being criticised over one of its new Keepsake Christmas ornaments.
The Kansas City-based company created a 'tacky' Christmas sweater bauble, adding the words “Don we now our FUN apparel!” Of course, anyone who knows their Christmas carols will tell you the line should read: "Don we now our GAY apparel!" When asked, Hallmark said that it dropped "gay'" because the word was “open to misinterpretation.”
“When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry," the company explained. "Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.”
CNN anchor Carol Costello wasn't impressed. “Oh Hallmark. You didn’t. Oh wait, you did,” she posted on Facebook. “Homophobic? I say, yes you are.”
Yesterday, Hallmark apologized.
“We’ve been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we’re sorry to have caused so much concern,” the company said in a statement. “We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products, and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn’t have changed the lyrics on the ornament.”
You just can't mess with the classics!
CNN Anchor Goes After ‘Homophobic’ Hallmark for Removing ‘Gay’ From Christmas Ornament [Mediaite]
Hallmark regrets nixing 'gay' from Christmas carol [KCTV]
A British man living in Uganda is now facing seven years in prison after a local paper revealed that he had homosexual pornography on his laptop.
Bernard Randell, a retired banker, was charged with “trafficking obscene publications” following a report in Uganda’s Daily Monitor. The article was front page news, and included the headline: “Exposed – Top City Tycoons Sodomy Sex Video Leaks.”
“Our worst fear is that we go out and there’s a mob that does something naughty to us – beats us up or even kills us,” he said.
Randell believes the adult video was discovered after robbers stole his laptop. They, in turn, handed the laptop contents over to the newspaper.
He, and a Ugandan man, were both arrested earlier this month. Uganda’s Daily Monitor claimed “medical tests” were conducted, proving the two men had engaged in "homosexual acts."
The UK Foreign Office said that it was providing what assistance it could in support of Randell.
Suggestion: if you can choose where to live, don't pick one of the most homophobic countries in the world.
Uganda sex video charges for British man [BBC]
Gay British man living in Uganda faces jail after being outed in newspaper [Pink News]
Young Clayton Pettet, 19, said he will be losing his virginity in front of an audience in a performance art piece for school. He is currently in his second year at Central Saint Martins art school in London, and will be performing with a friend - to completion - on January 25, 2014.
He is calling the piece “Art School Stole My Virginity,” and promised that when the deed was done, the audience will be invited to discuss the performance.
“I’ve held on to my virginity for 19 years, and I’m not throwing it away lightly,” Pettet said. “Basically it’s like I am losing the stigma around virginity.
“Since culturally we do hold quite a lot of value to the idea of virginity I have decided to use mine and the loss of it to create a piece that I think will stimulate interesting debate and questions regarding the subject.”
He claimed he has been planning to do this for the last three years.
“The key thing about performance art is that it should only be performed once, and this is the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime performance,” he explained.
"I'm not quite sure how that's art," said Rev Sharon Ferguson from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. "My view is that we believe that all sexuality is a gift from God. ... Stunts like this cheapens our own sexual relationships."
He has not yet told his parents of his plans, though it's certain they'll find out now. We hope he doesn't invite them to the event. (Awkward!) We also hope his gay, less virginal friends tell him to douche before his performance !
Student Clayton Pettet To Lose Virginity In Live Gay Sex Show For Art Project [Huffington Post]
Gay Art School Student to Lose Anal Virginity in Front of Class [Gawker]
A Russian bill that would strip gay parents of their children has been delayed.
The bill would have designated gay parents a threat to their children, similar to alcoholics and child abusers. The legislation was supposed to be debated in February, 2014, the same time as the Sochi Winter Games.
The bill was introduced by far right MP Alexei Zhuravlyov. Gay rights activists believe he withdrew the bill under pressure from President Putin, who didn't want additional criticism about his country's 'gay propaganda' bill during the Olympics.
This is not the end of the proposal.
“It’s being recalled for revision — certain legal formulations will be clarified, and then after some points are removed, it will be brought to the State Duma again,” Sofia Cherepanova, Zhuravlyov’s spokesperson, promised. “We hope to pass the bill.”
Russia just won't be happy until it's the most homophobic country in the world.
The Law on termination of parental rights of homosexuals in the DG [RIA]
Russian parliament will debate taking children from same-sex parents [Raw Story]