Apr 9, 2014

Would you have sex with Paul Rudd?

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In the video above, Billy Eichner runs around the streets of New York with Paul Rudd asking random strangers if they would have sex with Paul for a dollar.

Well, I’d do it for free! :-) Even if he just turned 45 last April 6, he still looks mighty fine. I’ve had a crush on Paul Rudd ever since I saw him in the 1995 film Clueless where he played Josh, the cute, dorky stepbrother of Cher, Alicia Silverstone’s character.

How about you? Would you have sex with Paul Rudd?

Mar 31, 2014

“More happiness!!”

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“More happiness!!” That’s what two people said when asked what marriage equality meant for them as the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into force in England and Wales last Saturday after being passed into law last year. And I agree. The fact that the state recognizes that two people are in love and confers them benefits regardless of their gender is surely a joyous thing.

To celebrate the occasion, Buzzfeed has posted 52 very heartwarming photos of the first day of marriage equality in the United Kingdom, including the photo above. I especially liked photo #14 which shows a Muslim woman at a ceremony, and photos #20 to #24 featuring Andrew and Neil, showing that it’s never too late to get married.

This historic milestone comes less than two months after Scotland also passed their marriage equality bill last February 4. This leaves Northern Ireland as the only major territory in the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is illegal. Unfortunately, the religious Northern Irish are not looking to follow England, Wales, and Scotland anytime soon.

But still, this milestone is very welcome news. More happiness? Indeed.

Mar 10, 2014

On defying gravity

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As some of you may know, yesterday was the last day of the local staging of the Australian production of the Broadway musical Wicked. If you’ve been wanting to see this play but haven’t done so, then you missed out on a really wonderful experience. I managed to watch the play late last month and I have to agree with what rudeboy said: it’s wicked good!

Wicked is basically “the untold story of the witches of Oz.” And that’s Oz, as in 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland) and the original children’s book by L. Frank Baum. Loosely based on a 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked provides an alternate backstory to the Wicked Witch of the East (dubbed Elphaba, in honor of L. Frank Baum) and Glinda the Good Witch of the North imagining them as best friends before the arrival of Dorothy from Kansas.

Wicked was a smash hit on Broadway and songs like “Popular” (which has been sampled in Mika’s “Popular Song” featuring Ariana Grande), “For Good”, and “Defying Gravity” are now part of pop culture. The musical has also won numerous Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards and has broken several theater-related box office records.

I was also able to see the local staging of The Phantom of the Opera. And while Phantom’s production design was utterly top-notch (the chandelier!), I have to say that I enjoyed Wicked more. The characters were more relatable, the story was more grounded despite the fantasy setting, and the themes of being different, of striving to do good, of unrequited love, and especially of friendship I think resonated with the audience more. The play is funny and emotional, and ultimately, it provided a satisfyingly feel-good experience. I’m familiar with several Wicked songs before I saw the play and it was quite a treat to finally see and appreciate the songs in their proper context. If there was one contrary thing I would say, I wish it was Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, the original Broadway actors, that portrayed Elphaba and Glinda, but I think Jemma Rix and Suzie Mathers did justice to the roles.

Interestingly, Oz is quite big in the gay community. The 1939 Oz film started with Kansas in black and white before proceeding with technicolor goodness once Dorothy arrives in Oz. This has been compared with the desire of LGBT people to escape the stifling small-town atmosphere to a place where they can show their true colors and be accepted (cue in the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”). Consequently, Judy Garland became a huge gay icon and the phrase “friend of Dorothy” became slang for a gay person.

Wicked is no less embraced by the gay community as well. For one thing, Wicked novel author Gregory Maguire is, in fact, gay and he lives with his husband in Massachusetts (the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage). For another thing, many LGBT people could relate to Elphaba. The future witch was born different by having green skin and this caused her to be ostracized by peers and her father to be ashamed of her. Elphaba’s signature song “Defying Gravity” can also be considered as an anthem for gay people tired of “playing by the rules of someone else’s game” and declaring to their detractors: “you won’t bring me down.” In fact, Kurt, the gay character from Glee, sang this song during that TV series’ first season.

You don’t have to take Wicked’s gay leanings from me. You can read Gregory’s article where he shared how he injected his version of Oz with gay characters and themes. Or this musical review of the play in the context of gay bullying.

In short, if you’re gay, you ought to have seen Wicked, simply because it is good, and because it celebrates diversity.

Feb 18, 2014

When did you choose to be straight?

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“When did you choose to be straight?” This is actually a question that I keep in reserve in case somebody learns about my sexual orientation and reacts negatively by saying that being gay is a choice. Thankfully, I have never had the chance to use this question. So it was pretty awesome seeing the video above where this question was thrown back at people who believe that homosexuality is a choice. The video shows that you can actually disarm people by making them see your point of view.

Of course human psychology being what it is, I do think that for some people, being gay may have indeed been a conscious decision. But as you readers have long realized, sexual attraction is involuntary—you don’t have any say at all on whether you get physically attracted to men or women or both. Thus, I believe that for the vast majority of gay people, they’re born that way. Simply put, why on earth would many rational gay people choose to be gay when being gay would subject oneself to discrimination, bullying, and being ostracized? It makes no sense at all. Unfortunately, some bigots lack sense.

If there is any conscious decision, it is the one on self-acceptance. I had an inkling I was gay back in Grade 6 when I started becoming attracted to some of my male schoolmates. But it was only in my Junior year in high school that I finally accepted the fact that I was gay and that there was nothing I can do about it.

Another conscious decision is acting on our homosexual nature. Catholic teaching does acknowledge that gay people may be gay by nature, but the Church exhorts gay people to live a celibate life. I don’t think that makes any sense too. If you’re naturally gay, why suppress it? As long as you live a positive live and don’t hurt anyone, why does it matter that you kiss, enter into relationships, and marry people of the same sex?

So, when did you choose to be accept that you are gay?

Feb 17, 2014

The Onion’s Olympic Village Tour

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During the London Summer Olympics (the XXXth :-)), I blogged about an ESPN article that talked about how much sex is going on among athletes at the Olympics.

For this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics, leave it to satirical The Onion to take this tale of Olympic orgy to a whole new level with the following (definitely NSFW) “news clip” (delivered straight-faced) about the sex-friendly facilities of the Olympic Village in Sochi.

I have to give them bonus points for “interviewing” a “Canadian” biathlon while he was taking it from behind from another male “athlete,” in defiance of the homophobic Russian government ban on gay propaganda. Hehehe.

For some bit of real news, the condom count for this year’s athletic event is 100,000, which is understandably less than the 150,000 condoms procured for the London Olympics since there are fewer athletes. But at around 2,800 athletes converging on Sochi, that comes to around 35 condoms per person. You think that’s too much? :-)