Members of the LGBT+ community march in the Pride parade in Durban, South Africa, in 2018. (AFP via Getty/ RAJESH JANTILAL)
A suspect has been arrested in connection to a gay man who was left bruised and battered after being stabbed with a bottle in Sasolburg, South Africa.
Segakweng Kimora Magoma was allegedly attacked at a bar in the sprawling industrial city by a gang of homophobic men who began taunting him on 24 April.
“Within a few minutes, about five or six men already were there,” he told TimesLive, “stabbing me with bottles.
“Fortunately, a bouncer saw what was happening and immediately came to my rescue.”
Free State Police, the province’s police force, confirmed that a 33-year-old was arrested Friday (30 April) in connection to the attack.
“He will appear at the Sasolburg magistrate’s court on Monday [3 May] on a charge of assault [with intent to cause grievous bodily harm],” spokesperson Brig Motantsi Makhele confirmed to the outlet.
Now recovering from his injuries, Magoma said he remains “traumatised” by the incident that comes amid a rash of homophobic violence in South Africa that has prompted increased vigilance – and fear – among the LGBT+ community.
Just weeks before Magoma’s attack, 34-year-old gay man Sphamandla Khoza was brutally murdered in an attack that deeply incensed queer South Africans.
Demanding justice after Khoza was stabbed to death, his family recoiled in horror as they followed a trail of blood from his front door to the ditch where his body lay.
What happened to Segakweng Kimora Magoma?
Segakweng Kimora Magoma told TimesLive how he visited a bar with a friend when a man approached them both and began lobbing homophobic insults at him in Sesotho.
Magoma retorted by asking the man to call his mother. That’s when the men struck.
“They were all aiming for my face,” he said. “I kept it covered with my hands at all times and that’s why they ended up stabbing my hand.
The victim was left with deep wounds on his ear and hand and scratches covering his face.
“I don’t know those people,” he added. “I have never seen them and find it puzzling why they think they can attack me like that.
“What were they hoping to achieve? Were they thinking they can change my sexuality like that?”
Civicus, a civic alliance group, said that with six known murders of LGBT+ this year alone can be hard to square with South Africa’s image as a tolerant, inclusive society.
“South Africa has been lauded as a champion for LGBT+ rights on the continent because of its progressive legal framework that recognises same-sex marriage and full equality for everybody,” the group said in a statement to TimesLive.
“However, in reality, the situation of LGBT+ rights has been deteriorating, with LGBT+ rights campaigners and individuals living and operating in a hostile environment characterised by hate speech, death threats and killings.”
Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.
The Spirited: Straight Up
We fell in love with this indie comedy back in 2019 when we caught it on the festival circuit. It would seem many of our readers agreed: the film also took home the Queerty Award for Best Indie Film.
Straight Up follows Todd, (Writer/director James Sweeney) a 20-something gay man utterly afraid of gay sex and suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. His solution? Date a woman. When he meets Rory (Katie Findlay), a lonely, struggling actress, the two take an immediate liking to one another. They agree to begin a romantic relationship with one strict rule: never have sex. Todd’s friends think his relationship with Rory is a disgusting farce, but does a good relationship really need sexual chemistry?
Straight Up addresses themes of mental illness, loneliness, and stigmas around gay sex. It also features some very big laughs, sharp dialogue, and frank observations about life as an artist. Beneath the surface, Straight Up offers a meditation on isolation, and how the desire for affection far outweighs a need for sex. Though Sweeney writes, directs, and stars, the film never feels like a vanity project. Rather, it feels like a genuine artist trying to explore his own demons with naked honesty on the screen.
Funny, personal and bittersweet, we recommend Straight Up to anyone who has ever felt frustrated by sex, dating, or both (and we know that includes most of you). What the film ultimately says about its main characters is as elusive as it is intriguing.
Roshaante Anderson, an intersex man, spoke to UNILAD’s Minutes With Series about what it was like to find out he was intersex when he was aged 11. (YouTube/Roshaante Anderson)
Intersex activist Roshaante Anderson wants people in the LGBT+ community and allies to remember there’s an “I” in the acronym, and there are voices that need to be heard.
Anderson, who is an intersex man, told UNILAD‘s Minutes With series that he didn’t find out he was intersex until he was 11-years-old. He told UNILAD that he was raised as a girl because he was born with a vagina and internal testicles so it was hard to tell when he was younger that he was intersex.
Anderson, who has a YouTube channel where he talks about his life as an intersex person, said he thought he “looked like a girl” when he was growing up, but “according to the whole of my school and everybody that’s known me in the last 25 years”, he “looked like a boy”.
“There was nothing about me that screamed girl other than the fact that I had a vagina hole,” Anderson said. “I had never hung out with any of the girls. I’d never interacted with them. I’d never related to them.”
He said the “constant comments” about how he was different from the other girls his age made him realise how different he was. Anderson said: “I knew when PE [physical education] or something was gonna come up – something where it involved sports activities or anything to do with gym class – I knew that the girls were going to start.”
He said he wasn’t “allowed” to change in the girls shared school facilities because his clitoris – which he defines as a clitoris “loosely” – “is like a very small d**k”. Anderson said it was a “constant battle” and “double-edged sword”, “24/7”, to find out who he could get “changed next to” because of his body.
He even said other people’s parents would come up to him “in shock”, saying “there’s no way you’re a girl, you’re a boy”. Anderson said he was even asked to lift his shirt a lot because “people didn’t believe” he was a girl.
“Because of the way I am, I didn’t see it as offensive. I just saw them as dumb,” Anderson explained. “Because if I’ve told you that I’m one thing, and you’re telling me that I’m not another thing and you’re 30, 35, that makes you look stupid.”
He said doctors discovered his testicles during an ultrasound after he complained of abdominal pain. Anderson said that “everything made sense” at that moment. He said he already had a hunch that he could be intersex because of his “need” to be both a boy and a girl.
“I wanted one minute to just literally put on something nice and look like a girl, and the next minute put on something nice and look like a boy,” Anderson said. “Because I could do both, trust me I was a beautiful girl.”
He continued: “I just feel like I got so much respect being a man than I did being a girl so I just thought to myself, ‘Well I might as well be a man then.’”
Anderson admitted a lot of decisions were “swayed by other people’s opinions”, but his identity was also something he wanted because he knew he would have always wondered what his life would have been like if he was a man. Though he said, he did think about what his life would be like if he lived it as a woman.
Anderson said he started living as a boy from the age of 13 onwards, and he started on hormones a few years later when he was 15. He said he “loved” his transition and called it some of the “best times of my life”.
Anderson said: “I was going to the gym every day. I was really using the testosterone to build what I think should have been built a little while ago.”
When it came to dating, he said he would always “out of common courtesy” say: “You know I’ve got a small d**k, or I’d be like oh you know I got a pussy.”
He admitted that sex is “definitely different” with different genders. Anderson said his sexual encounters with men would be “less passionate”, and he’d be “out the door” when it was over. But with women, he said it was more “romantic”, and he could “be the guy”.
“I think I prefer sex with women,” he said. “But the feeling with men when I had a vagina hole was nice, like, I’m not gonna lie… but women give something that men just don’t give, I don’t think.”
He said he underwent metoidioplasty, the surgical creation of a penis using existing genital tissue, and phalloplasty – the construction of a penis through surgery by taking tissue from a donor site like the forearm. Anderson said that he went through both medical procedures because he wanted “two d**ks”.
“I wanted to make sure I could penetrate with both of them as well at the same time because what guy wouldn’t want to have two d**ks,” Anderson said.
He said one of the things that he wished the general population could understand about being intersex is how “alien” it feels. Anderson said: “I feel like an alien 24/7 even right now sitting here I feel like an alien because I’m talking about something which I didn’t ask for.
“I would have loved to have either been a natural-born beautiful woman with, you know, a husband and a few kids that drive me crazy and a big house and all that kind of stuff.
“Or I would have preferred to have just been a regular male with a normal working penis and a wife and a few kids that also drive me crazy.”
He said he wouldn’t have wanted “so much confusion” because the “confusion is immense”. Anderson said he wanted others to normalise being intersex and “don’t make a big deal” of someone being intersex just because it’s different.
He explained that the conversations around trans inclusion had pushed him to do more videos about what it’s like to be intersex. Anderson said “intersex has only just been included” in the wider LGBT+ community, and he wanted “intersex to be something people think about when they think of trans and any of the LGBTQIA”.
“I want them to think about the ‘I’ and the ‘intersex’,” he said.
A gay man in Australia has been overwhelmed by the amount of support he received to help paint his house in rainbow colors. The local community stepped up after a small number of neigbors objected to the plan and threatened him with violence.
Mykey O’Halloran, 29 is a hair artist who specializes in coloring hair, often in bright colors and rainbows designs. He runs a business called Unicorn Manes by Mykey.
In February, he moved from Melbourne to a new bungalow home on nearby Phillip Island (population: 7,000). He was overjoyed to buy his new home.
With his brightly colored hair, we imagine he quickly became known in the neighborhood.
When news emerged that O’Halloran wanted to paint rainbows all over his new property, not everyone was happy. In fact, last month, a small number of men confronted him about the idea. At first, they argued it would devalue local homes, but it soon became more personal.
“I had five men aggressively banging the front door,” he said in a Facebook post in mid-March. “One threatened to kill me if I paint my house rainbow and calling me homophobic things.
“[One] guy introduced himself as the homeowner from across the road. [He] told me his reason for being at my house was to tell me not to paint my house rainbow.”
He alleges the man said, “See what happens if you do.”
O’Halloran, who had moved to the island for some peace and quiet, says he was deeply shaken by the incident, which he reported to the police.
Cops later arrested a 23-year-old man, who was charged with making threats to kill and unlawful assault. O’Halloran told local press at the time that he refused to be intimidated and was going to proceed with his plan to paint his house as he liked.
After local press reported on the intimidation, not only did paint company Dulux provide O’Halloran with 42 litres of paint in every color of the rainbow, but he began receiving offers of help to paint his home.
He planned for the painting to take place last Sunday. He was bowled over when over 100 people showed up to help, making quick work of the task.
“It was amazing. People came by, left, then came back. Some people just came up to show their support and give me a hug. We had a whole team of kids involved, there was a BBQ,” he said.
“It was a whole day of community coming together as one.”
“I’m so overwhelmed with joy of how much support and love there is in this community,” he told Project TV,
Related: Woman Stands Up To Homophobic Neighbor… With 10,000 Rainbow Christmas Lights
“After a hurricane, comes a rainbow 🌈 so much community support and love from everyone that stopped by to say hello today or picked up a paintbrush and helped make my rainbow house a reality.
“I appreciate every positive message I’ve received in the past month or the words of encouragement to be myself, words of love and appreciation of standing up and not allowing bad behaviour in this day in age, and today we are taking a stand against bullying & homophobia and that goes for all LGBTIQA+ phobia.
“My house being painted rainbow was never to represent my sexuality.. just an assumption that it was so. I’m a gay man and I’m open and I’m proud to be, I express colourfully naturally as my job is a rainbow hair artist and I’m creative, but what happened today was people standing by my decision to have a rainbow house regardless of opposing opinions or the minority of homophobic opinions. The message we must take out of this situation and learn from this is to stand your ground, don’t let bullies tell you how you should be living your life.”
He continued, “Imagine how beige my house would be if I let other people influence my life decisions. Imagine how natural my hair would be if I allowed opinions to turn into my life experience. Not in this lifetime!”
Following the success of the weekend, O’Halloran has launched a GoFundMe to help launch the first Pride festival on Phillip Island next year.
This just in: An alleged nude photo of iconic ’50s crooner Dean Martin just sold for nearly $5000 on Ebay.
Several photos, purportedly taken in in the early 1950s, were put up for auction. One of them appears to show Martin and comedian Jerry Lewis (a.k.a. the “King of Comedy”) showering naked together. Another appears to show them relaxing with two other naked guys in a steam room.
Photo from the Frank Branda collection who was a close friend and worked for Jerry Lewis in the 1950s & 1960s. The Evans Archive logo is of course, not on the actual photo and purposely covers Dean’s privates.
36 bids were placed on the shower photo, which ultimately went for $4,494.99 (plus $6.50 S&H). As for the steam room pic, that received 17 bids and sold for a much more reasonable $347.00 + S&H.
It is unclear if the photos are authentic, but for the sake of whoever dropped almost $5K on them, we certainly hope nobody was duped.
Cropped versions of a couple of these photos can be found on Pinterest, although in poor quality jpegs, apparently scans of photos that ran in a magazine or newspaper at the time. I wouldn’t exactly call Pinterest a reliable source, but if the captioning is accurate these shots were taken in 1952 at the Palm Springs El Mirador Hotel.
I’m the first to call “fake” on photoshopped images found on the internet, but these new photos are very clear. The only pixel anomalies are the results of my attempt to remove the eBay seller’s name, which was strategically plastered across key nether regions, including Dean Martin’s uncut dong.
Naturally, Twitter is in an absolute tizzy over the whole thing…
Sometimes you’re wake up not sure what the day holds, then you see a full nude photo of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis showering together and you think “well I guess anything is possible.”
A gay man in Ireland has reached out to famed advice columnist Dear Deidre for help. His predicament: he’s fallen for a co-worker who’s married to a woman. In a twist, however, the gay man is sure his co-worker is gay as well.
“Dear Diedre,” he writes to The Irish Sun. “A work colleague I’ve fallen for is buff, handsome and has a great beard. He ticks all the boxes for what I look for in a man and I’m sure he is gay – but he’s married to a woman.”
“I’m a gay guy of 24 and this man is 38,” the reader elaborates. “He is the team leader and is responsible for showing me the ropes in the factory where we work. We have so much in common – we support the same football team and play the same video games. He spends so much time with me and we have such a laugh. I look forward to my shifts.”
Related: Gay man born without limbs talks about coming out, finding love and makeup
“I think constantly about making a move on him,” he admits. “What should I do?”
As usual, Deidre responds with her sensible advice.
“You must say nothing,” Deidre writes. “This man is happily married and you could just end up making things embarrassing for both of you.”
“We can all have unrequited love and it is sad,” she admits. “But he is not free to be with you right now. If he knows you’re gay and, deep down, he is too, then if he likes you he’ll say something. Try to keep things professional between you so that you can continue to enjoy a good working relationship.”
“My support pack,” she further offers, “Gay Resources, may help you to find somebody special.”
Dear Deidre has a long history of offering gentle advice to LGBTQ people. Just last week, she advised a closeted man how to tell his wife about his clandestine rendezvous with other men.
Pablo Fracchia never thought it would be possible for him to adopt (Instagram/@pablitofracchia)
A single gay man who always wanted to be a father has found the family of his dreams after adopting a baby girl who’d been left at the hospital.
Growing up in deeply conservative Argentina in the 1990s, Pablo Fracchia never thought fatherhood was an option for him.
As a teenager he thought there were only two ways his story could pan out: stay in the closet, or give up his dream of being a dad.
“I remember seeing the archbishop on the national public TV channel saying that every gay man should go and live on an island and stay away from good working people,” he told Bored Panda.
“And also the effects from the dictatorship (when it came to police raids on LGBT+ places) were a regular thing even after democracy was reestablished. So there is an absolute distance between my childhood and the current situation.”
But things changed: Pablo grew up to become an activist for the LGBTQ+ Federation of Argentina, and over time he gradually watched his country evolve around him.
When Argentina became one of the first Latin American countries to legalise same-sex marriage in 2010, he had a flash of hope – his dream of becoming a dad could actually come true.
Pablo signed up to adopt a child in 2017, and after two long years of waiting he got a phone call from a family judge.
That was the first time he heard about Mia, a little girl a year and ten months old, living in a hospital due to a severe gastrointestinal condition.
Mia needed serious medical attention and her biological family was unable to provide it, so she was sent to an institution for children with health issues.
Pablo immediately put himself forward. When the three other parents who were in the running to adopt Mia were ruled out, he got the all-important call – he was able to meet his daughter for the first time the next day.
They’ve now been together for over a year and Pablo dotes on his little daughter. “If I have to use two words to describe Mia, it would be ‘resilience’ and ‘power’,” he said.
“This girl survived in every single possible way as she had a rough start in her health, with a lot of challenges and she fought and faced them alone at only months of age. And now she is a 100 per cent healthy kid like everyone else.”
As an LGBT+ activist, Pablo recognises that he was only able to adopt as a single gay man due to collective campaigning powers. He now encourages other activists to follow in his footsteps and continue breaking down barriers.
“Meet others like you. Organise. Fight for your dream,” he said.
“The status quo can only be broken when we organise with people struggling with similar issues and start showing the injustices we live with, to the public eye. It’s still illegal to be gay in almost 70 countries. Some of them even include the death penalty. So hang in there and organise.”
Actor, activist and pop culture icon George Takei thinks it’s high time we had a gay man in space. He also thinks he knows the perfect candidate: Jon Carmichael.
On February 28, Takei tweeted out his endorsement of Carmichael, a New York-based astrophotographer, on his grassroots campaign to be the first openly gay man in space.
“First gay man to go to space?” Takei wrote. “I certainly can relate to that dream! Jon’s story is truly inspired. To my LGBTQs and allies, can we make this young man’s day with a RT barrage? Let’s give it maximum warp and help send Jon on that mission!”
First gay man to go to space? I certainly can relate to that dream!
Jon’s story is truly inspired. To my LGBTQs and allies, can we make this young man’s day with a RT barrage? Let’s give it maximum warp and help send Jon on that mission! https://t.co/6gRM33DTVb
Takei also included a retweet from Carmichael, announcing his bid to land a spot on the Inspiration4, a SpaceX experimental rocket designed to ferry private citizens to space. Inspiration4 offers three spots to space tourists who can earn a spot on the ship by sharing an inspirational life story. Carmichael hopes that his life as an adventurer, a gay man, and his advocacy in favor of St. Jude Children’s Hospital–a facility designed to treat kids with cancer–will earn him a spot.
“Hey @Twitter fam!,” he wrote. “There’s a chance I could be the first gay man to go to SPACE! Please watch my story for the #Inspiration4contest and RT – if this tweet takes off, I could too! Help support @StJude by ordering a print at my @Shift4Shop store! https://joncarmichaelgallery.com”
Replying to Takei’s endorsement, Carmichael wrote: “I believe representation is important; when I look back when I was a child/teenager who was terrified to come out, felt that I was less-than and would never amount to anything, had I seen an openly gay person being selected to go to space, it would’ve changed everything for me.”
Though it was not well known during her time as an astronaut, Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, was a lesbian.
Welcome to Man Place, a unique clothing optional West Virginia bed and breakfast in the mountains of the Potomac Highlands. Man Place is surrounded by sixty-five private acres, and clothing is optional inside and out.
Close to Man Place, you’ll find many recreational options, most within an easy hour or two hour drive. There are more than a million acres of national forest lands nearby, including many state parks and forests, tons of hiking trails, and other recreational options. There are so many great things to do outdoors that you’ll have a hard time deciding what to do first.
You’ll also find steam trains, river rafting, spelunking and cavern tours, rock climbing, hiking and 4WD wheeling. if you want something a little less active, you can shop local antique stores and artisan shops in charming towns, visit historical sites, or attend one of the many fairs and festivals across the region in the summertime.
See the Man Place B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here
West Virginia Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals
An anti-LGBT+ bishop from Nigeria has suggested that if Joe Biden wants the country to decriminalise homosexuality, he should take a Nigerian man as his “second wife”.
The angry tirade comes after Biden vowed to advance the cause of LGBT+ rights around the world, threatening financial sanctions on regimes deemed to have infringed on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people.
A memo signed by Biden on 4 February instructed US government agencies to “strengthen existing efforts to combat the criminalisation by foreign governments of LGBTQI+ status or conduct”.
It added: “When foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.”
Preacher says Joe Biden should come to Nigeria and marry a man
Speaking to African outlet Sahara Reporters, bishop Emmah Isong of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria hit out at Biden in the wake of the memo, defending Nigeria’s laws criminalising homosexuality.
He said: “I personally take it as a rumour that America wants to sanction governments that are anti-gay. The US has not communicated officially with the government of Nigeria.
“Let there be an official gazetted letter signed by the Secretary of State of the United States telling us to become gay, then we invite the president of the US to come and marry a man in Nigeria as his second wife.
“He must practise what he’s preaching, if the president of America wants Nigeria to practise gay, he should come and marry a man from here so we will know he means business.”
He added: “Every nation is equal in the comity of nations. America is a country that believes in the tenets of democracy which is freedom of speech, and I believe that Nigeria is an independent nation, we are not a nation under America.
“We are not among the states under American nation. We have the right to be anti-gay, I believe no one can sanction us for that.
“If they sanction us for being against gays, we can sanction them for believing in it… the worst thing they can do is raise their visa fees and we raise ours too and they reduce it and apologise and we also reduce ours and apologise.”
Nigeria maintains strict anti-gay laws
Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria and is punished by up to 14 years in prison.
A law passed by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 bans same-sex relationships, and also makes a person who “registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisation, or directly or indirectly make public show of same-sex amorous relationship” liable for 10 years in prison.
In October, a judge threw out charges against 47 men arrested under the country’s anti-gay law after a raid on a hotel.