Freshly Doug Weekender

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Some cheeky speculation here that Obama might continue his ‘evolution’ and name an openly gay member to his new cabinet. Well, it could happen. In the meantime this gayest of Presidents is looking forward to a future without AIDS.

The US Supreme Court (2011 court pictured above) meets tomorrow (our Saturday: Friday US time) to decide which, if any, of the seven marriage cases currently in the queue they will take up. Mother Jones has a good breakdown of what they are, and the implications of each. We may hear something by close of (their) business Friday, or on Monday, or they may postpone the announcement. You know what lawyers are like.

If the Supremes decide that Everybody’s Got The Right to Love it’ll be Automatically Sunshine for us, though opponents will never accept it: Some Things You Never Get Used To, I guess. If, on the other hand, the Supes decide it’s Nothing But Heartaches for same sex couples, we’ll just have to suck it up, knowing that the tide of history is with us. Someday We’ll Be Together. Earliest we’ll know actual outcomes should be around March.

Saturday is World AIDS Day, and already there are clear divisions between those who want the message that the only safe sex is with condoms and lube, and those who think we should be teaching people how to have riskier sex as safely as possible, since so many have given up on rubbers anyway. As always, there are no easy answers. Except one: we have to protect the younger generation.

Saturday is also the 19th birthday of Australia’s first and only 24/7/365 LGBTI radio station Joy 94.9 where I have plied my trade as The Rainbow Reporter for more than ten years. Please don’t call it Joy FM: that’s the call sign of a US evangelical radio station, and they’re not gay at all.  Instead, become a member of Joy 94.9: the law only allows us to sell a tiny percentage of airtime, so we rely on the income from your memberships and donations to keep going.

Ever fancied dragging up but didn’t know where to start? Embarrassed to buy the clothes – or borrow the wife’s? Not quite sure if it’s for you? Fear not, there is an answer – if you live in Tokyo. Just rock up and they have the clothes, hair and makeup for you. It’s gotta be better than karaoke, right? It surely cannot be long long before they open a branch in, say, Beechworth.

From femme to butch: footballer David Preece has written a fine piece about gay players not coming out: here’s just a taste.

I’ve always been baffled by current footballers who are reluctant to come forward and even speak in favour of gay players coming out, in fear of being labelled gay themselves. In 2012, the dressing room is a much more forgiving place than everyone would imagine. If they’d have asked me, I’d have told them it didn’t matter one jot whether a teammate likes men, women or both. The crux of my bemusement probably lies in the fact that I don’t care if anyone thought I was gay or not. That’s the honest truth.

There’s no doubt it’s still going to take a cast-iron character to come forward, even in these enlightened times. Unfortunately, whoever follows in Justin Fashanu’s footsteps will have their career and personal life overshadowed by their sexuality. They will become the ambassador of the gay community in the world’s biggest sports and have to carry the burden of being an historic pioneer around with them.

Can you imagine the coverage and then the subsequent handling of the story? How long would it be before the tabloids are raking around in bins, trying to unearth other footballers who may be connected with the poor soul who is brave enough to take all this on?

The media and the general public attack footballers on this subject like a starving dog gnawing at a shank of lamb but we’re not the reason homosexuality is a taboo subject. If they really want to know why Britain doesn’t have any openly gay footballers, they should look in the mirror and ask themselves.

Please read the whole thing: it’s like a breath of fresh air through your brain, and will set you up wonderfully for the weekend.

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years.

“Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe.” (Daniel Witthaus, “Beyond Priscilla”, Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)