Midnight Cowboy moseys into UK cinemas again next month on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, and with it comes another opportunity to ask whether this is a film about homophobia or a homophobic film. My feelings toward the film were formed by seeing it in my early teens, when I already knew I was gay and hankered after images of other gay men on screen without caring whether they were problematic or toxic — words, incidentally, that would never have been used in that context when I first saw it in the mids. It is the penultimate scene, when Joe robs, beats and perhaps even kills a gay client, that throws the movie into disarray. So why is it that I struggle to take offence? What we look for in our formative years can be very different from the demands we make later as analytical adults, and it was certainly more important to me that representations of gayness were complex or colourful than that they were positive, whatever that meant.
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The Larry Craig scandal was an incident that began on June 11, , with the arrest of Craig, who at the time was a Republican United States Senator from Idaho , for lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis—St. Paul International Airport. Craig later entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct on August 8. As a result of the controversy surrounding his arrest, subsequent guilty plea, and pressure from his fellow Republicans,    Craig announced his intention to resign from the Senate at a news conference on September 1, which was to become effective on September After Craig's efforts to withdraw his guilty plea failed, on October 4, he released a statement refusing to resign from the Senate. Craig did not run for re-election in , and the incident effectively ended his political career.
The handsome undercover cop smiles. Is he entrapping gay men or cleaning up a park?
I n , when Calvin Burdine was awaiting sentencing for allegedly stabbing his gay lover to death, the prosecuting attorney encouraged the jury in his closing remarks to award Burdine the death penalty, rather than life in prison, on the grounds that sending a gay man to prison was akin to sending a kid to a candy store. After 17 minutes of deliberation, the jury obliged and sentenced Burdine to die. His death sentence was later overturned mostly because Burdine's public defender had slept through much of his trial , but the homophobic thinking — that prison is some kind of paradise for gay men — lingers on. The reality of life in prison for homosexuals and transgender individuals does not appear to reflect this myth.
The San Diego gay nightlife scene manages that rare balance between being remarkably friendly and also rife with beautiful people—it's pretty much a reflection of this sunny Southern California city. Gay bars have also been pretty stable here over the years, with the most popular hangouts going strong for a couple of decades. Most gay bars are in the trendy Hillcrest neighborhood, just northeast of Balboa Park and a short drive or cab ride from downtown. Several others are in the districts just to the east of Hillcrest: University Heights and Normal Heights. As a largely gay-friendly city, San Diego has a good offering of general mixed night clubs.