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Carter Covington Is Definitely Not Faking It: The producer of MTV’s new series explores a post-gay world for a new generation.

“The characters’ sexual orientation isn’t as important as what they are feeling on the inside and what they are going through emotionally.” 


The Denver Principles were written in 1983 by the People with AIDS caucus—11 gay men with AIDS from around the country—during the fifth annual Gay and Lesbian Health Conference, held that year in Denver..

As my friend Sean Strub recounts in his excellent memoir, Body Counts:

As the conference was wrapping up, the eleven manifesto co-authors stormed the plenary stage behind a banner that read “Fighting for Our Lives.” They took the microphone and read the manifesto to a stone-silent convention hall. According to media reports at the time, at the end of the presentation, “there wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” and the audience gave them a standing ovation that lasted nearly fifteen minutes.

The concepts expressed in the Denver Principles manifesto weren’t new—to a large extent, they were an embodiment of feminist health principles—but it was radical for a group of people who shared a disease to organize politically to assert their right to a voice in the public-policy decision-making that would so profoundly affect their lives. Never in the history of humanity had this occurred; for people with AIDS, the Denver Principles document is the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Magna Carta all rolled into one.

The Denver Principles defined the philosophical underpinnings of the self-empowerment movement for the AIDS epidemic and the network of service providers we created. It also quickly became a model for organizing by those with other chronic health conditions in the U.S. and around the world. 

I am truly excited to see The Normal Heart get all the publicity in the world, including Matt Bomer also appearing on the cover of Details this month. But some of the language used in their piece is offensive, outdated and insulting. At best, I’d guess it’s a badly executed attempt at clever wordplay, but it still reminded me that I really want to post some additional historical context for the early AIDS epidemic here, too. 

Image via ACT UP.

Michael Musto: My 10 Most Shocking Memories of Michael Alig

As the club kid killer prepares to be released from prison—a look back

1. One of my first interactions with Alig had him entering a 1980s talent contest I judged at the wild and wooly club Danceteria. Before the competition, the Indiana transplant nervily cooed to me that he’d give me “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” if I voted for him. Much as I like rock and roll, I didn’t grant him the nod because his talent was merely gogo dancing, and besides, he was awful at it—awkward and completely lacking in rhythm. It was behind the scenes that the guy really shined (like a possessed jack o’lantern).


Trending: Up in Arms
Assert your right to bare arms with sleeveless shirts.

Photography: Aingeru Zorita
Model: Lucas Goossens
Styling by Paul Michael Frederick

How The Normal Heart changed Matt Bomer’s life:

“I think Matt felt the ghosts,” Ryan Murphy says. “I think he felt all the shame and humiliation and degradation of all those brothers who have died of AIDS. It was a very beautiful, spiritual thing to witness.”


Michael Musto writes:

Radcliffe does really well with his fast-talking victim character, who’s tired of going to doctors and fending off bullies and is aiming for a little romance to help ward off his various diagnoses. Radcliffe is committed to the character’s disability—he’s clearly thought it through and worked it out—and when the chance for Hollywood stardom enters the “cripple’s” world of possibilities, you know Radcliffe will be adept at that twist too. But as he convincingly limped across the stage, I couldn’t help thinking, Maybe that’s from having sex with the horse?

Read the column.

A Gay Love Letter to James Franco

Michael Musto writes: 

Now you’re on Broadway, too, summoning the nerve to enter the world of stage chops via a revival of Of Mice and Men, the John Steinbeck tale of a migrant worker (played by yourself) trying in vein to control a simpleton who doesn’t know his strengths or weaknesses (Chris O’Dowd). The production is a little bit snoozily earnest, but you get more points just for caring once more about Americana, art, and stretching those muscles. (I must say, however, that your calling the New York Times’ Ben Brantley “a little bitch” and “an idiot” for critiquing the production was misguided—the man is far from dumb, and I happened to agree with a lot of his points—though my faith in you was restored when you dutifully removed the message. What a mensch. Maybe you came to terms with the fact that one person on the planet might not be totally enamored with you?)

Read the column.

Photo by Richard Phibbs

"That is so great to hear! I am not involved. I think it will be an incredible movie. In my dreams, they would find a completely unknown cast of young people and discover the songs and story anew with them, just like they did with us."

— Jonathan Groff on the news that a film adaptation of Spring Awakening will reportedly begin production this summer (x)

(Source: jgroffdaily, via jongroff-dedicated)

Burning Books, One Word at a Time: A new movement cracks down on 50 years of LGBT culture.

Calpernia Addams on the words tranny, shemale, and other subjects that the ‘online thought police’ wants to ban

Tranny is a dumb word. It has been used negatively. But let’s be clear. Here’s a pearl of wisdom coming from a person who ducked Scud missiles in the first Gulf War. Here’s a word to the wise from someone who has been physically assaulted for being gender-variant. Here’s a tidbit from someone with 20 years of transition in the can: If hearing someone else call themselves a tranny is the worst thing that happens to you all day, you need to suck it up. Seriously.

These words are not yours to control. You do not use them. You do not embody them. You did not create them. And you do not have the right to dictate how other members of our vast, diverse community may use them amongst themselves. I stand against censorship. I stand against the new thought police. I stand for art and self-determination.