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By The Gay UK, Jul 28 2014 09:34PM

London Wonderground is back. The giant purple cow has left the Southbank and winging her way to Edinburgh. Replacing this is an amazing medley of circus sideshows, fairground rides, bars and food stalls and top class entertainment with an amazing atmosphere.

by Chris Bridges | 28th July 2014

★★★★




The Wonderground features a packed programme of circus, cabaret and family entertainment, all taking place in the beautiful 1920s Paradiso Spiegeltent. There’s also oddities, curiosities and eccentricities from the Sideshow Wonderland run by Guinness World Record-Holder, The Space Cowboy, and the 60-metre high Star Flyer gives you an unrivalled view over London's rooftops (if you can bear to keep your eyes open, I couldn’t!).


There’s a huge range of top class entertainment from the saucy Briefs Boy-lesque, the breath-taking Limbo, the hilarious Tina C plus loads more burlesque, cabaret as well as more family themed fun. Its definitely worth getting down there just to soak up the atmosphere on a summer’s evening and hang out in style somewhere that’s a bit more exciting than being huddled together on the pavement of a sweltering London boozer getting jostled by pedestrians.


I was lucky enough to catch the Cirque du Cabaret, hosted by the dazzling wit that is Champagne Charlie. Set in the glorious Spiegeltent with all its glittering glamour, this was an atmospheric night that sizzled with sex appeal and risqué humour. Featuring the cream of London cabaret, comedy and burlesque in an ever-changing line-up, this has got to be one of the finest nights out in the city.


The next Cirque du cabaret is on the 8th of August at The London Wonderground. Read more here: http://www.cirqueducabaret.com


Read more and book shows for The Wonderground here: http://www.londonwonderground.co.uk/your-visit






By The Gay UK, Jul 28 2014 08:49PM

All is not happy in the world of Big Brother's Christopher And Mark

by Newsdesk | 28th July 2014



Channel 5
Channel 5

Reality TV's newest, nearly couple Mark Byron and Christopher Hall have a little tiff tonight. The trouble starts in the morning when Christopher, chatting with Chris talks about Mark's lack of domesticity. Christopher muses over what Mark would be like to live with and says, ‘I don’t think Mark would ever clean or do anything.’ Chris agrees: ‘He wouldn't even make his own bed.’



Channel 5
Channel 5
Channel 5
Channel 5

Later on in the evening Mark is trying out his psychic powers on Christopher, but fails in all but two attempts to guess what Christopher is thinking, because Mark says Christopher is 'Mentally Closed'.


Helen tells Mark that Christopher let him win the guessing game to assess his psychic powers. Mark is furious and throws sweet potato at Christopher and tells him that he feels ‘covered in deceit.’


Christopher is amazed by Marks over the top reaction and says that if he was joking then fine but if he was serious he couldn’t date someone like that, but they later clear the air in the kitchen but Christopher does say jokingly: ‘I’m going to kill you.’


Oooo er Missus....




Big Brother continues tonight on Channel 5




By The Gay UK, Jul 28 2014 08:11PM

For the first time in history, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has suggested that all men who have sex with men should take antiretroviral medication. Warning that if no action is taken, there would be a serious risk of a HIV infection rates exploding around the world.

by Joshua Vaughan | 28th July 2014




The WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations. As such, they are responsible for leading global health matters, shaping the research agenda and setting the standards in health trends.


Gottfriend Hirnschall, the head of WHO’s HIV department, says that infection rates of HIV among homosexual men are on the rise again, 33 years after the epidemic hit. Further than this he believes that the infection doesn’t hold as much fear to a younger generation with access to drugs that enable users to live with AIDS.


The guidelines have been published after a period of significant drop in HIV transmission rates between 2001 and 2012.


Antiretroviral medication is the most common used method of managing HIV/AIDS, treatment being a combination of two drugs, in one pill, taken daily for the rest of the individuals life. There are several issues with the use of such medication, the main one being intolerance to the drug, which can have serious side effects such as gastrointestinal tract intolerance, hypersensitivity and central nervous system adverse effects. With such sever side effects, it must be questioned why the WHO would subject them on healthy individuals unnecessarily.


The suggested approach is known as pre-exposure propylaxis (PrEP), meaning that even those who are not infected would be required to take the medication. With the hope that it could cut the number of new diagnoses by up to 20%.


The WHO believe that medicating ALL homosexual men will provide an additional method of preventing infection. Along with condom use and regular testing. But activists have suggested that introducing government mandated antiretroviral would discourage the use of condoms, currently the best method to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Resulting in an increase of other sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and hepatitis in the gay community.


PrEP treatment averages at roughly £10,000 a year, per individual. This is an extremely expensive medication, especially considering that the majority of those who will be forced to take the medication will not be infected. Unfortunately, by increasing the number of people taking the drugs, with the same supply, the cost of the drug would rise. This is one of the main complaints with the proposal, as it encourages the use of a costly medicine for a preventable disease.


The second danger of introducing this medication would be running the risk of the HIV virus evolving immunity to current drugs. Recently there has been much concern about the over use of antibiotics and how they have become less effective as viruses evolve immunity. HIV is already a deadly disease that has been a cause of death across the globe. If it were to further evolve, current treatment would become ineffective and we would be faced with the same crises that was present in the 70s and 80s.


Those that are most at risk to infection are gay and bisexual men, who are up to 19 times more likely to be infect by the virus than the general population, according to WHO studies. But for transgendered women, injecting drug users and female sex workers, the risk of infection can be up to 50 times higher than the general public.


So why are the homosexual community the only ones being targeted by the WHO? By targeting the homosexual community specifically, the WHO are contributing to the stigma that HIV is a “gay disease”. That in turn creates the impression that gay sex is wrong. using HIV as a way to discriminate against homosexuals.


In a world where homosexuality is a capital crime in five countries and punishable with imprisonment in over 70 more, the issue of stigma, discrimination and violence are still a real threat to the homosexual community. The WHO has made it clear that it does not class homosexuality as a disease, but the recent guidelines would result in homosexuals being medicated, as if it were one.


The sad truth is, that almost every other high risk group are seeing a decrease in HIV infection rate but the homosexual community is seeing an increase since 2012. New HIV cases are being seen, mostly, in young people. This can easily be explained by the fact that gay sexual education is far more unique and complex than what is being taught or more importantly what is not being taught in schools.


Lets not forget that compulsory sex education is not required by UK law and back in January an amendment to introduce compulsory sex education, including information about same sex relationships, sexual violence, consent and safe sex, was rejected by the House of Lords.


A far cheaper alternative would be mandating by law that all young people should be taught about every form of contraception, safe sex methods and importance of regular testing. With a comprehensive sexual education, the dangers of HIV/AIDs and other STIs will be made known to the next generation. Equally as importantly, taught in such a manner, the stigma attached to HIV as the “gay” disease would hopefully be removed. Education is clearly preferable over medication.







By The Gay UK, Jul 28 2014 04:49PM

It's still very tough and even quite dangerous being gay in some places, none more so than in the oppressive machismo society of Cuba. So when two male teenage best friends acknowledge their attraction to each other, life starts to get very complicated for them, and we have the sense from the outset that it cannot possibly end well at all.

by Roger Walker-Dack | 28th July 2014

★★★★



TLA Releasing
TLA Releasing

Yosvani and Rey both play football every day on a scrap of land in the midst of a poor slum neighborhood in Havana. Yosvani lives with his fiance and her unscrupulous black-marketeer father in a comfortable middle-class apartment. Rey on the other hand lives in a crammed shanty-like two room dump with his wife, their baby, and Theresa his shrill and demanding mother-in-law. It is she who actively encourages the young man to prostitute himself with male tourists willing to pay for a quickie or a whole night of passion.


With no hope of anything approaching a real job on the horizon, he is happy to oblige but draws the line at doing anything he considers is 'gay'. Which actually seems to be very little when we see him in action enjoying himself giving his all to Juan a handsome visiting Spaniard.




TLA Releasing
TLA Releasing

TLA Releasing
TLA Releasing

Rey's few encounters with Juan make him overly confident and he ends up spending more money than he can afford buying black-market shirts and sneakers from Yosvani's father-in-law. He perpetually lives more than precariously on the edge and when he is flat broke he pawns Theresa's few possessions which results in more anger from her until he redeems them again after he has turned another 'trick'.


It's obvious from the word go that Yosvani and Rey much prefer hanging out on the soccer pitch together than spending any time at all with their respective partners. One night after the two of them have been on a drinking binge they lose their inhibitions and hesitatingly kiss each other and somewhat surprise themselves how much they like it. They like having sex together even more, to such an extent that they cannot get enough of each other. However because of their home situations they have to keep this budding relationship very much on the down low and they manage to do just this until one day Yosvani's father-in-law gets wind of what is going on.


TLA Releasing
TLA Releasing

It's at about the same time that Rey suddenly gets a lucky break when a Scout offers him a chance to train to become a professional soccer player. This is another reason not to go public with their love affair but it's actually too late as they are already at the point of no return. And then just as we had supposed, the inevitable ending is both tragic and sad.


Directed and co-written by Spanish filmmaker Antonio Hens ('Clandestinos') this heartbreaking well-crafted wee drama is completely engaging as if so accurately portrays the price that young men have to pay when they discover their sexuality in such an un-accepting and intolerant culture. The hypocrisy that it is acceptable as a means to an end as long as you don't enjoy it, makes this sad tale even more poignant.


Hen's young inexperienced lead actors did a fine and convincing job, particularly Reinier Díaz who nailed the character of Rey so perfectly. And less this should put you off going to Cuba, I should tell you that it was all filmed in Puerto Rico!




Watch the Trailer








By The Gay UK, Jul 28 2014 04:05PM

We meet the First Minster, Alex Salmond, at Pride House Glasgow, who tells us that what is, and has, been done in Scotland sends a clear message to the world of support to LGBTI Equality and what the nation stands for.

by Dan Littauer | 28th July 2014



Alex Salmond (middle) with Hugh Torrance and Katherine Burrows
Alex Salmond (middle) with Hugh Torrance and Katherine Burrows

The First Minister noted that that Pride House is sending a message of inclusivity and acceptance, and that along the support it received from the government, the flying of the Rainbow flag over St. Andrew’s House and the “Glasgow kiss”, couldn’t send a more clear and strong message and commitment to the cause to the world.


Alex Salmond made this statement on Friday, after viewing the LGBTI People of the Commonwealth highlighting the discrimination and hardship LGBTI people face in 42 of 53 member states.


He also made a point of meeting and socializing wtih LGBTI families in Pride House’s family zone, expressing his support of diversity, LEAP Sports Scotland and Rainbow Families.


The First Minister also praised the activity and events of Pride House Glasgow and congratulated in particular the work the Chair of LEAP Scotland, Hugh Torrance and its Public Relations officer, Katherine Burrows.





Speaking with KaleidoScot, Peter Tatchell Director of the human rights lobby, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, applauded the First Minister, 'Whatever people think about Alex Salmond and the push for Scottish independence, his statement is the most forthright and supportive on LGBTI equality by any leader of any nation hosting a major international sporting event.


'No other leader of a Commonwealth or Olympic Games host nation has ever said or done anything so positive. Neither David Cameron nor Boris Johnson did anything similar during the London 2012 Olympics.


'To fly the rainbow flag from government headquarters for the duration of the games is unprecedented. It sends a signal of solidarity with LGBTI people throughout the Commonwealth.


'It’s a unique, unprecedented initiative for which Alex Salmond and the Scottish government deserve full credit and praise.'





First published on Kaleidoscot.com

By The Gay UK, Jul 28 2014 10:33AM

Ruth Hunt has been announced as the new CEO of Britain's biggest Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual charity, Stonewall.

by Newsdesk | 28th July 2014



Ruth Hunt has been acting CEO of the charity since February this year and before that, was Deputy Chief Executive. She joined the charity in 2005 as a Senior Policy Officer, having begun her career at the Equality Challenge Unit. Her appointment concludes a comprehensive and transparent search, throwing up a strong set of candidates from which Ruth emerged as the clear winner.


In May Hunt controversially refused to back a boycott of the Dorchester Collection, after it emerged that the owner of the group the Sultan Of Brunei said that he would adopt the Sharia criminal code for his country, the law carries harsh penalties for adultery and sodomy - which includes death by stoning.


Hunt commented, 'The recent boycott of The Dorchester Collection has undoubtedly raised awareness in the West of the issues in Brunei but the crucial questions for Stonewall are whether there is a mandate for the boycott and would such a boycott work? We believe the answer is no, on both counts. I do not believe the somewhat beleaguered Christopher Cowdray, Chief Executive of the Collection, can somehow influence the implementation of Sharia criminal code in Brunei.'


Her statement led to a public outcry, which led to Stonewall changing its stance 3 days later .


On the announcement of her appointment Ruth Hunt said, 'I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead Stonewall, a highly-respected organisation that is synonymous with achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. It is full of committed, intelligent and creative people and I am very pleased to be heading up such a talented team.


'There are so many opportunities ahead, as well - of course - as challenges. I look forward to working with Stonewall’s many partners to develop what the team and my predecessors have already achieved, to advance equality and challenge discrimination both throughout the UK and abroad. These goals we share with the lesbian, gay and bisexual community and it’s fundamental that we work together to achieve them.'










By The Gay UK, Jul 28 2014 09:56AM

Europe's last dictatorship to replicate Russia's "anti-homosexual propaganda" law, claim anti-discrimination activists in Belarus.

by Newsdesk | 28th July 2014




Concerns that Belarus plans to enact an "anti-homosexual propaganda" law, of the type enacted in Russia in 2013, were raised at a meeting convened by the London-based Equal Rights Trust (ERT) in collaboration with the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) last week. A draft of the law has not been released, but work on a bill on protecting children from propaganda of homosexuality has been included in a presidential decree concerning the legislative agenda of parliament.

The meeting, held in Minsk on 22 July brought together leading civil society groups from around the country to discuss equality law reform and agree on guiding principles for a model equality law that would bring Belarus in line with international standards.

Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director of Equal Rights Trust, said: 'While in Minsk I saw signs that Belarus may be starting to distance itself from Moscow in the wake of the annexation of Crimea. Yet, at the same time, we learn that the country plans to replicate Russia's homophobic law, relying on populist calls to defend children from "propaganda of homosexuality".


'Belarus, despite its pariah status, has a good record on promoting equality for women, disabled persons and others. We urge the government to resist the wave of homophobia issuing from Russia and uphold its track record on issues of equality.'

Of particular concern to participants was an alarming rise in homophobic hate speech in Belarusian media. In the past 12 months alone, more than 200 publications have used homophobic language or terminology, inciting violence and discrimination and even equating homosexuality with paedophilia, zoophilia and crime. Some media reports went so far as to call for the LGBT community to be quarantined, while others said that it threatened the territorial integrity of Belarus.

The Equal Rights Trust has been supporting civil society in Belarus to promote equality law reform since 2011. In November 2013, ERT published "Half an Hour to Spring: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Belarus", the first comprehensive report on the enjoyment of the rights to equality and non-discrimination in the country, which recommended, among other things, the adoption of a comprehensive equality law.


To read a summary of ERT's report in English click here

To support Equal Rights Trust and its work in Belarus visit www.equalrightstrust.org






By The Gay UK, Jul 28 2014 09:35AM

Hot Octopuss, maker of the world’s first ‘guybrator’, has announced it is on the hunt for one very lucky candidate to fulfil a brand spanking new and undeniably stimulating role as a ‘Male Orgasm Engineer’.

by Newsdesk | 28th July 2014




Successful applicants will be sent prototype sex toys to review on a regular basis and will be required to report back on their sexperiences.


Recent research by recruitment firm Monster into the UK job market found a shocking one in three Brits are unhappy at work and a measly one in ten claims to love their job.


The job advert launched in a number of lad's magazines earlier this week, reaching out to professionals looking for ‘a job role they can grow into’.


The job description highlights that desirable candidates will ’have good stamina’ and ‘be able to handle the pressure’, in addition to meeting the legal age requirement of 18+.


Hot Octopuss has already received an influx of applications from excited candidates since announcing the role, receiving just shy of 100 applications in the first 24 hours.


The full job description and further details about the position can be found on the Hot Octopuss website – http://www.hotoctopuss.com/handjob


Adam Lewis, Hot Octopuss co-founder and designer of PULSE, said:


'Our first six months of trading with PULSE have been a whirlwind of success. We’ve sold over 10,000 units since launch and numbers are continuing to rise daily. We’re looking for someone to join our growing team and support numerous product launches plus a myriad of other plans we’ve got up our sleeves for the rest of the year. And if we can put a smile on someone’s face at the same time, everyone’s a winner!


'We need someone who can give us a helping hand and who wants to add a little stimulation and excitement to their day–to-day work life. Testing prototypes used to be a huge part of my responsibilities and I’ll be honoured to hand over the role, although applicants should bear in mind they’ll have big shoes to fill, and you know what they say about big shoes…!'









By The Gay UK, Jul 27 2014 01:19PM

Milk Presents: Self Service is a series of episodes that will explore the notion of que..oh..erm..quee..no it’s a kind of queh...oh wait a minute...Queer.

by Chris Bridges | 27th July 2014


★★★★★


Milk Presents take a wild stab at defining the indefinable in Self Service, a show that spans decades of popular culture, political upheaval and quaint normalness. This show episodically and sporadically leads the audience on a punk style journey through queer in an attempt to see what ‘normal’ really is when it comes to gender, sexuality and beyond. Self Service calls into question the way we live our lives and things we take for granted. This is a show for anyone who wants to do things their way.


With original live music, hand crafted animation and tacky politics; Milk Presents brings you more of their uniquely low-fi, raucous performance. From Ann Widdecombe’s crusade to protect marriage to influences from the Beatnik generation, this show wears high heels a size too small and sunglasses a size too big.


I was apprehensive about seeing this show, wondering if it would be too inaccessible and Avant-garde for me. I’m not sure if was the berets that made me nervous. Luckily, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Milk Presents are a warm and witty ensemble that have taken a concept and made it so much more than a dull meditation on a theme. The show is a very funny, thought provoking and entertaining hour of comedy, song and animation. The time flew by and I was really sorry when the show ended. The combination of vox-pop, cultural and socio-political references and personal experience blended seamlessly and made for a brilliant show. I’d definitely recommend keeping an eye out for Milk Presents. You won’t regret an hour in their company. I left the venue feeling like I ought to become a queer activist. It was quite hot though, so I went for an ice cream and a lie down instead. I’ll keep it in mind though.


I was lucky enough to catch an Edinburgh Fringe preview at the gorgeous dance and theatre venue, The Place, near King’s Cross. Well worth checking out their program of events.


Milk Presents Self service runs at The Edinburgh Fringe from 2nd to the 23rd of August 2014.

Buy tickets here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/milk-presents-self-service


Read about Milk Presents here: http://milkpresents.com/

Look what’s on at The Place here: http://www.theplace.org.uk/









By The Gay UK, Jul 27 2014 01:07PM

I have a very bad habit on public transport. I’m incurably nosy and I can’t help peeking over people’s shoulders at what they’re reading, watching or texting. It's naughty, voyeuristic and an invasion of privacy but oh what a joy it can be.

by Chris Bridges | 27th July 2014



Listening in...
Listening in...

Whether it's spotting the suited businessman who is secretly reading a romantic novel on his Kindle, the surprisingly sexual texts of a middle aged woman or the semi-pornographic and bizarre social media feeds of a teenager; I love the little glimpse it gives me into people’s lives. It’s a bit like the dusky late summer nights when you get a peek into people’s sitting rooms in the magical little hour when people light the lamps just before they draw their curtains. It’s a very guilty pleasure but I confess. I’m guilty as charged. I love to see and imagine what others’ lives are like. I’m not after spying on people naked or spotting people in coitus. I’d be pretty mortified if I did and blush the colour of a pillar-box whilst quickly looking away. I want to see nasty curtains and ornaments, not cocks.


I got a couple of shocks recently. About a month ago I was on the train into central London and a well-groomed man of about 20 was answering a volley of texts on his phone. I cast a sneaky sideways glance and was pretty horrified to read that he was setting up being the all you can eat buffet for a group of Chinese businessmen in a hotel. The reassuring factor was that the person procuring his services appeared to have arranged it very carefully and was reassuring him that the businessmen would all wait in a separate room and take it turns, forming an orderly queue to make use of his body. I must admit to feeling a bit queasy but reproached myself for my bourgeois small mindedness. He was wearing McQueen (he needed income to maintain that look), looked relaxed and happy and who am I to have qualms about his job just because I wouldn’t do it myself. Although, an orderly queue? I love good manners. Maybe not such a horrific job after all, provided it was a good quality hotel.


A few weeks ago I was travelling up North and my nosiness caused me a major dilemma. The middle-aged businessman man sitting in front of me was reviewing his selection of photographs on his phone.


These weren’t happy snaps of his kids or shots of Instagrammed food: they were covert photos of young women’s crotches taken under train tables. After an hour of seeing him from between the seat backs enlarging, changing definitions and compulsively viewing a huge collection of photos of women’s thighs and gussets (all taken under train tables), I made my displeasure known through a series of huffs and tsks that made him stop for a good 5 minutes before resuming his compulsion.


To cut a long story very short: I managed to make like a cross between Mary Whitehouse and Miss Marple and got his name and company address from his email signature when he sent an email on his laptop and reported him to the police. Being the person I am, I challenged him first and asked if I could take a picture of his cock or not; a question he seemed to object to which was something I found hypocritical in an inveterate vagina snapper.


He, ultimately, got a police caution, which was great. My point in telling the story? I wonder am I any better than him? I invade privacy by reading texts, looking in people’s houses and I lecherously glance at men’s bulging crotches on public transport. Only yesterday, I couldn’t resist a good look at a muscled man in tight Lycra (he was definitely circumcised). I know people who post pictures of hot men in the street on Facebook for their friends’ to comment on.


There are whole social media feeds of people’s photos of bare chested young men on Tube trains. It's no wonder that we can get confused on what is right and wrong any more. Is my grandmother’s favourite 1950's past time of passing on overheard bits of gossips over the garden fence any different in its intrusive and harmful voyeuristic joy? Is the digital age making us all into a bunch of twisted individuals?


Maybe we should all think twice about what the boundaries are and what is harmless admiration and what is invasion of privacy. The questions and issues are endless. The big question: will I stop peeking at people’s I-Pads and phones? Of course not.





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