Published in: September-October 2015 issue.


Not a Good Match At London’s Pride parade this year, CNN reported spotting a banner representing the terrorist organization ISIS. The implied message seemed to be: Isis-fake#4ISIS is everywhere, even in a gay pride parade! Only later did someone point out that the flag was adorned not with Arabic letters, as is the jihadist flag used by ISIS, but instead with what appeared to be sex toys or possibly sex organs in silhouette. CNN was roundly ridiculed in the media, including in a sketch by Conan O’Brien. In the network’s defense, the flag was clearly intended to resemble the jihadist banner of which it was a parody. Still, it was a pretty crude knock-off; and then there’s the fact that ISIS throws suspected gay people off tall buildings, which should have been a red flag for CNN right there—and the fact that images on the banner were foot-long naughty bits.


Dress Envy A 57-year-old woman name Annette Kielhurn was arrested in St. Petersburg, Florida, after allegedly striking her girlfriend, Gamze Capaner-Ridley, 47, in the face with a dildo (as reported by A police officer witnessed the altercation while monitoring the removal of the couple’s belongings from their erstwhile residence. The women reportedly started arguing over ownership of a specific dress. Given the choice of weapons that presumably lay at hand—vases, ashtrays, lamps—the victim might consider herself lucky that Ms. Kielhurn reached for that firm yet supple hunk of rubber, which did not, in fact, inflict any real injury. Just why the perp grabbed this object—out of sheer habit?—is not entirely clear. For that matter, why was there a dildo lying around when they were supposed to be sorting their stuff in the presence of a police escort? Anyhow, Kielhurn was arrested for domestic battery and released on $500 bail. No word on who got the dress—or the sex toys.


Metamorphosis It was the media event of the summer: the transformation of Olympic decathlete Bruce Jenner into “Call me Caitlyn.” For years the butt of late-night jokes due to his extensive plastic Caitlynsurgery, Bruce qua Caitlyn was suddenly an object of curiosity, awe, possibly even respect. Anticipation turned into va’voom when Caitlyn appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair looking like a total babe. Sure, a few feminists complained that all the ogling was just another case of reducing women to their physical looks. But the mainstream media settled on a narrative that this was an act of great courage for which Caitlyn was to be lauded. And so she was, with accolades that included a special ESPY Courage award, complete with an international telecast at which she gave a thirty-minute speech. When the latter turned into something of an infomercial for her upcoming projects with the Kardashians, a few eyebrows were raised. Reports surfaced that the ESPY award was a quid pro quo with ABC in exchange for her exclusive “coming out” interview. Meanwhile, real people who are transitioning observed that few have the resources that allowed Bruce Jenner, age 65, to become the ravishing Caitlyn. Which suggests an untold story in this metamorphosis, in which Jenner went not just from male to female but from an old man to a young woman (and BTW what is her sexual orientation now?): we seem to have reached a point where one’s “identity” can be whatever one says it is—and then transitions into.


Unorthodox Tactics To demonstrate their disapproval of the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage, a small group of Orthodox Jewish men stood on the sidelines of New York’s Pride parade holding signs citing Leviticus and offering rabbinical arguments against gay marriage. A reporter for the Times couldn’t help but notice that not all of the men bearing these signs were dressed in high Orthodox garb; a larger contingent was clad in workmen’s clothes. Turns out they were Mexican laborers who’d been paid by the Orthodox protesters to hold up the signs. A spokesman for the organizers explained that “the rabbis said that the yeshiva boys shouldn’t come out for this because of what they would see at the parade,” prompting to gibe that “the action was apparently 2 Hott for the littlest of God’s messengers.” It could certainly have given them ideas; more likely, the boys just couldn’t be persuaded to inflict Leviticus upon a summer celebration.



Up Yours!  In the spirit of American flag toilet paper and Richard Nixon candles, Donald Trump has been made into a butt plug! The sex toy was created in reaction to Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants, which included gems like: “They’re sending us not the right people. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” The tool itself, one suspects, will be more often displayed than used for its intended purpose, which would be just a little weird.


Follow-up on the News We reported some time ago on a New Jersey lawsuit involving an “ex-gay” conversion outfit called Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (jonah), which was being sued by two plaintiffs who charged that they were subjected to abusive and humiliating “treatments” that did nothing to change their sexual orientation. These included, but were not limited to, having to undress and touch their genitals while reliving painful childhood moments. In the end, Jonah was ordered to reimburse thousands of dollars to the plaintiffs. At the trial, jonah co-founder Arthur Abba Goldberg was exposed as a convicted felon who went to prison for fraud when he worked on Wall Street. Expert witnesses for the defense were barred from testifying on jonah’s behalf if they couldn’t present at least a modicum of scientific evidence for their claims. What won the day was the prosecution’s brilliant stroke of suing for consumer fraud rather than malpractice, which is always hard to prove. It places conversion therapy right down there with selling bottles of Dr. Good or phantom real estate.