New electronic rock duo You Can Call Me Sir have plenty of first-hand experience of queer bondage and sado-masochism

A still from You Can Call Me Sir’s first video (Photo: Vevo)

A new queer duo hit the rock scene this week with the premiere of their first kink-themed video at last week’s Outfest film festival in Los Angeles.

The promo for the song This Love is On Fire is an atmospheric, sexually-charged piece of work. It features women of all ages engaging in sado-masochistic acts with one another. This includes the infamous BDSM performance artist, Sheree Rose.

The track — think The Stooges I Wanna Be Your Dog with a dash of Peaches and Bauhaus — comes from You Can Call Me Sir’s debut EP.

The band consists of Louisiana-bred…


The ‘enfant terrible’ of French fashion brings his Fashion Freak revue to London for a limited run

Jean Paul Gaultier surrounded by cast members from his Fashion Freak Show (Photo: Luke Austin)

French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier has never been one to play by the rules. The now 67-year-old never formally studied fashion, but got his big break working for Pierre Cardin in the early 1970s. He launched his own first collection at the midpoint of that decade.

His gender-fluid approach to design — putting men in skirts in the 1980s and shunning demure, dress design for more confrontational women’s couture — quickly earned him the moniker of the enfant terrible of French fashion. He gleefully embraced the title.

However, whereas enfant terrible successors such as Alexander McQueen dwelled on the…


British singer and songwriter oversaw a two-day Pride songwriting camp for other LGBTI talent in London

L-R: Ryan Ashley, Caitlyn Scarlett, MNEK and Rina Sawayama (Photo: David Hudson)

British singer, songwriter and producer MNEK has just overseen a two-day Pride Writing Camp. It was run in conjunction with Pride in Music, an LGBT networking group within the music industry.

MNEK curated the event, which saw him working alongside a handful of LGBTI talent. It all took place at Warner Chappell music studios in Kensington, London on Thursday and Friday.

‘I started the idea a few months ago,’ he explains, sat on a sofa in one of the studio rooms on Friday morning. Alongside him are fellow songwriters Ryan Ashley, Rina Sawayama and Caitlyn Scarlett.

One question other interviewers…


Also known as the Stonewall uprising, this seminal moment in the history of LGBTI rights in the US ignited in the early hours of 28 June 1969

The modern day Stonewall Inn in New York City | Photo: David Hudson

The 28th June 2019 marks the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in 1969. The riots took place over six nights in Greenwich Village, New York City. They ignited following a police raid of local gay bar, the Stonewall Inn.

Like many LGBTI establishments in New York at the time, the Stonewall Inn was a mafia-run bar.

Gangsters knew that LGBTI people were desperate for safe spaces to meet. They could sell them watered-down drinks at inflated prices, and even blackmail some of the wealthier clientele if they discovered where they worked.

‘Fat Tony’ and dancing at the Stonewall

The Stonewall had existed as a venue for decades…


Where did the gay bears scene originate and how did it spread so rapidly to every corner of the gay world?

Bear Week Provincetown is one of the biggest bear gatherings in the world (Photo: Paul Spect, Provincetown Bears/Facebook)

Bear Week Provincetown is one of the biggest bear gatherings in the world (Photo: Paul Spect, Provincetown Bears/Facebook)

For those tumbling on to the gay scene for the first time today, it might be tempting to think bears have always been with us. However, although gay bars — both underground and overground — existed for much of the 20th century, the commercial bears scene is a more recent phenomenon.

Most agree that the nascent bear scene gained traction in California. …


Just because they’re not visible, we must not forget that LGBTI people exist in every culture and in every country

Are we preparing kids for the world they will enter as adults? (Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels)

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking LGBTI people only exist in certain cultures and countries. For obvious reasons, gay, bisexual and trans communities are more visible in some places. But just because they’re not visible elsewhere, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Here in the UK, the government estimates around 6% of the population are LGBTI. Maybe that’s an overestimate. Perhaps it’s an underestimate. For example, a recent survey of over 130,000 high school children in the US found that 2% identified as transgender: far more than previously thought.

But either way, for the sake…


In summer 1973, 32 people perished in an arson attack on a gay bar in New Orleans

Customers enjoying a night at the Upstairs Lounge (Photo: Upstairs Inferno)

The 2016 massacre at Pulse in Orlando was, at the time, the worst mass shooting in US history. Most of those killed were members of the LGBTI community. Gay people across the world remember and mark the tragedy.

However, it wasn’t the first time that dozens of people have been killed in a gay bar in the US.

The arson attack on the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans in 1973 killed 32 people. Despite this, outside of Louisiana, the world has largely forgotten about it.

It happened at a time when politicians were far less likely to condemn the deaths…


From RuPaul to voguing, Tom of Finland to Janelle Monáe… can LGBTI artists achieve mainstream recognition without compromising their vision?

Vintage LGBTQ pins on a mural in Toronto’s gay village (Photo: David Hudson)

How often have LGBTI people been told they need to ‘tone it down’ if they want mainstream success? What about those instances when they didn’t tone it down? Or when something aimed at gay audiences crossed over? Below are just a few examples.

Tom of Finland

Tom of Finland was the pseudonym of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen (1920–1991). Laaksonen began drawing his homoerotic art as a private hobby. He began to send it off to underground gay magazines and physique publications in the late 1950s, using his chosen nom de plume: Tom of Finland.

His images of sexy, smiling, bikers, lumberjacks and soldiers…


A leading online provider of PrEP also sells the antibiotic doxycycline — but why are people buying it and why are health organizations concerned?

Antibiotics and other medications can be bought online (Photo: rawpixel | Unsplash)

Some gay and bi men are using the internet to self-prescribe themselves antibiotics. This goes against advice from health professionals and regulatory bodies.

So why are they doing it? And if it brings down rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), should we automatically condemn it?

In England, the NHS is running a trial of PrEP. However, places on the trial have almost run out. Because of this, some men are instead turning to the internet to buy the drugs from abroad.

Dynamix International is the leading online site for gay men to buy PrEP in the UK. Some herald its…


Gay scientist and engineer Dr Troy Lee Hudson is closely involved with NASA’s current InSight mission to Mars

Dr Troy Lee Hudson (Photo: Supplied)

Space agency NASA launched its latest mission to Mars in May. Its InSight probe successfully touched down on the planet last week, to the great relief of its associated scientists and engineers back on Earth.

Since landing, InSight has successfully deployed its solar panels and began to analyze the Martian surface. It will soon place a seismometer and drill a probe under the soil to more deeply analyze what’s going on beneath ground level.

‘The entry, descent and landing [EDL] was flawless,’ enthuses Dr Troy Lee Hudson, who has been involved with the project since day one. …

David Hudson

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