May 30, 2011

IconTabloid LGBT news round up: May 2011

Lesbilicious’ tabloid round-up: the best / worst coverage of LGBT issues in that most cuddly of beasts, the British tabloid press.

Love, marriage and visas

Hot on the heels of the mock marriage mania that is sweeping our nation (cf. Panorama et al), the Daily Express unearths one with a gay twist: “A Dutch lesbian (damn that EU! Curse the low country’s moral laxity!) and her sham groom have both been jailed for 18 months.”

This kind of faux nuptial seems rather rare these days, though older readers, who remember the days before civil partnership and reasonable immigration services, will recall that marriage-for-visas were a fairly standard lesbigay currency exchange.

The classifieds in the pink press were full of people seeking MBAs (and they didn’t mean postgrad business degrees) and every one of us knew someone who knew someone who was faking old love letters and memorising toothbrush colour.

It still goes on, it seems, but in a new, athletic form, as “police and immigration jumped out of the vestry. “ Yikes!

Daily Mail in vaguelly feminist, vaguelly pro-LGBT shocker!

‘Soft-core porn that has nothing to do with tennis’
Athletes are getting the Daily Mail all hot under the sweatband, as it reports that a campaign by the Women’s Tennis Association is playing up to male audiences.

According to the paper,in Dewey Nicks’ promo “glimmering beads of sweat fly from … muscle-bound shoulders” and tennis balls are pounded to oblivion. Got your attention? Thought so. The Mail thinks it’s all too titillating.

So far, so standard. But then, quite bizarrely, it starts quoting the editor Ms magazine and using the language of Jacques Lacan: “Let’s imagine these ads were for the lesbian gaze,” (ooh, go on then!) “ instead of the male gaze: They wouldn’t be wearing glitter, and they’d be sweating for real, not looking like they’ve been sprayed by a water mister.” Helpfully, the Mail posts several links to the film, so we can make our own mind up on whether this is ‘soft-core porn that has nothing to do with tennis’.

The Daily Mail: the go-to site for LGBT news from north America
Now, what IS happening over at the Mail? Not only has it started speaking like an LGBT studies reader, one of the most peculiar developments is that its website has become the go-to site for LGBT news from north America.

A few choice cuts from the previous month include: “Texas judge set to void marriage of transgender widow whose firefighter husband died battling blaze – so she won’t receive benefits from his death”.

Then there’s “Two girls face suspension for HOLDING HANDS in high school“, noting that “It is the most basic of affectionate gestures.But Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Florida, has banned two lesbian girls from holding hands as they walked to class and has threatened to suspend them over the incident..”

Or how about “Lesbian pupil told by catholic school: ‘Find a male date for prom or stay at home’”?

Now, ignore the dumbass comments in the forums below and you have something more fitting to Lesbilicious than the home of moral outrage: the stories are fair, balanced and display exemplary queer credentials by always quoting a pro-LGBT source. Something’s slipping under the radar at Associated Media, for sure.

Crazy lesbian pensioners
And the Mail certainly gets story of the month gong for this straight-out-of-John-Waters gem: “‘Please just promise to be good’: Judge offers elderly lesbian couple accused of spelling bee bomb threat the chance to walk free. (But they demand their day in court)”

In Toronto, a lesbian couple who thought an elementary school spelling contest had been rigged sent letters threatening to kill the teachers, then targeted hundreds of other people in the town. The judge in the case offered them the opportunity to walk free, as long as they signed a bond to keep the peace, but the couple demanded to stand in trial. Click on the above link. Please, just click on the link to look at the pictures.

One of the women, Linda Pitney, has a record already: “In the 1990s she was charged with assault and criminal harassment after going after the Toronto Humane Society for seizing her sister’s cats.” The moral of the story? Never get between a lesbian and her cats.

Casual homophobia from the Mirror

Looking into the Mirror, Clemmie Moodie, 3am Girl of that Parish, notes that “Mary J Blige looks like a bouncer”. What kind of bouncer would that be, Clemmie? Any old bouncer? No. “a Candy Bar bouncer (London’s infamous lesbian hangout)”.

Reiterating the well known fact that it is not possible to look like a lesbian and look nice, Clemmie asks “Sack the stylist? What stylist?” and we all laugh.

Corrie babe gets hair cut! OMG!

Over in the Sun, lesbo news consists almost entirely of stories about Corrie babes Thing and Whatserface. Will they have their contracts renewed? Yes! No! Are there too many gay characters in Coronation Street! Yes! No! Ad infinitum.

Anyway, it seems that Thing or Whatserface has bought a new sports car and the other one (or maybe the same one) hit the streets of Manchester with that onscreen sister who’s like a sexy rollerblading tequila-toting robot (who incidentally is now sporting a dykey bleached crop). Bet you’re glad that’s all cleared up, then.

Politician turns lesbian, gardener

In politics, Kelvin McKenzie writes of Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, who is most famous for dumping his wife for a woman who was in a civil partnership: “I have discovered he had another mistress prior to his current liaison with the retired lesbian Carina Trimingham. She was described by a friend of mine as a lady on gardening leave.”

When I first read that, I was very excited. I thought it said “lady gardening leave” and believed that a new phrase for hasbianism had been coined.

Fauxmosexuals (aka celebs who dabble when the cameras are out)

The Mail, along with all the other tabloids in the land, report that Jordan nemesis and part-time lady lover Jodie marsh has gone back to men, just three years after swearing off fellas forevah. “The page three model-turned bodybuilder-turned tattoo artist” (ah, okay: is that what she does, then?) has been spotted with a “mystery man” dining in Essex. Phew. And breathe…

In the Star, Amanda Holden reveals that she’s allergic to lesbianism, as a clinch with a Britney lookeylikey on Britain’s Got Talent made her nose swell up. Don’t worry, girls, we’re safe!

Or are we? It seems that “Kerry Katona is writing off men for good” and “she even fancies her chances as a lesbian instead.” Citing the fecklessness of the male species and her new haircut as reasons for her jumping ship, Kerry states:“If I cross my arms I actually look like a lesbian.” If you can explain what that means, please send answers on a postcard to the usual address.

News round-up by Kim Renfrew

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Milly Shaw


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