We will leave criticism of last night’s presidential debate to cooler heads, except to say that it was anything but presidential. A panel of commentators surveyed by Politico called it “chaos… anger… a total disaster… a dumpster fire on steroids… no strategy, just kill and eat.” Earlier, President Trump nominated appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat. The Human Rights Campaign called Barrett, who is a devout Catholic, an “absolute threat to LGBTQ rights”; Republican senators are racing to confirm her before the election.
Thankfully, tonight will bring a chaser in the form of Netflix’s remake of The Boys in the Band, directed by Joe Mantello and featuring the cast of the 2018 stage revival. In another flashback to the 1970s, Victor Willis, a member of the Village People who wrote “Y.M.C.A.,” posted on Facebook: “I will sue the next media organization, or anyone else, that falsely suggests Y.M.C.A. is somehow about illicit gay sex.” Okay, we stand corrected: “Y.M.C.A.” isn’t about gay sex after all. And Chicago’s Boystown is changing its name to Northalsted following allegations of “racism [and] transphobia”; we’re pretty sure everyone is going to keep calling it Boystown anyway.
At the United Nations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues to push a “project to…prioritize the rights of religion and private property over the rights of women, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized minorities,” writes James Finn in Medium. “The US has joined ranks, and quite officially, with nations that have little respect for human rights and often employ torture, secret detention, and long prison terms to suppress them.” The European Union boycotted Pompeo’s UN resolution.
Meanwhile, an ACLU video claims that Facebook is censoring LGBTQ ads; what is not clear from the video is whether the incident depicted is isolated or whether it is part of a systematic practice. And TikTok apologized for censoring LGBTQ content (previously reported), but said it will continue the practice in countries where it must do so to operate.
France is arguing about whether to move the bodies of Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine to the Pantheon, where the two nineteenth-century gay poets and lovers would join such literary greats as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, and Victor Hugo. Benjamin Wolbergs edits a gorgeous book of “new queer photography.” And in England, Country Squire Magazine—hilariously, there is such a thing—asks, “Why are so many conservatives gay?“
Photograph: Antonio Corradini, “Adonis,” ca. 1723–1725 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)