This year's Black Party theme is "Yakuza: The Asian Underground." Party promoter Stephen Pevner describes the leather and bondage-friendly party as, "the seedy maze of back alley brothels, old fashion tattoo parlors and current Tokyo squalor." He adds, "this year we've been inspired by the East which lends itself beautifully to exhibiting some of your darkest fantasies including kinky fetishes, S/M bondage and wish-fulfillment porn that drive the intense sexuality of gay men." Over at Unicorn Booty, writer Dan Avery asks, "Is an Asian theme just as fair game as, say, an Old West or futuristic theme? Or is this getting into Madame Butterfly territory?" Good question.
So what else do you need to know today? Here you go:
- The out gay co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes, has purchased The New Republic. He is now the publisher and editor-in-chief. Maybe I can get a paying job!
- A "straight man without any LGBT family members" pens a note to a former fraternity brother who came out shortly after college but died shortly after from spinal meningitis. He describes how a group of the brothers attended the funeral and told his parents in no uncertain terms "a bunch of macho, straight, philandering frat boys love their gay brother and always will."
- The popular tech conference South By Southwest features an LGBT tech panel "discussing what it means to be gay in the world of online entrepreneurship and social media." They're billing it as the first evah, but since I sat on a panel in 2010, it's not. Participants include Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.com; Joel Simkhai, CEO of Grindr; Nick Vivion, founder of Unicorn Booty; and Cathy Brooks for dot429.com. Well, at least Grindr revolutionized the gay world with technology. The others? Not so much.
- A British company is suing a California promoter for promising Adam Lambert's participation in concerts in Russia and the Ukraine for dirt cheap and then stealing the money.
- While George Takei's latest video eviscerating Tennessee lawmakers for their "Don't Say Gay" legislation became a viral hit, Tennessee Equality Project chair Jonathan Cole has put out a statement asking Takei to donate the proceeds from his "It's Okay to Be Takei" apparel to an actual Tennessee LGBT org instead of a theater in San Francisco. Agreed.
- The Kentucky senate has passed a bill that allows people to disobey the law if they claim it was for religious reasons. Somewhere in Kentucky, thousands of people just because Rastafarian.
- Flash in the pan turned Congressional candidate Joe the Plumber has put out a joint statement with GOProud claiming the Democrats are trying to start a culture war. No word on whether or not he'd allow any of the right-wing gay nutjobs near his kids.