Thursday, 16 June 2016

Film maker Stephen McKenna records how Soho responded to the tragedy of Orlando with an historic vigil attended by thousands of LGBT Londoners, their families and friends. (Dur: 9' 24")

Produced and presented by:  Stephen McKenna

In memory of the victims of the Pulse Club shootings in Orlando (Florida, USA).

(Additional footage by David Hudson and Ionkar Angulo)

Music: 'Oblivion' (Astor Piazzolla)

© McKenna White films

There is a fund for donations to support the families of the victims which can be found via the following link:

Sunday, 16 February 2014


'Tales of the City' creator, Armistead Maupin, has been in London this weekend for an appearance at the Guardian Review Book Club.  Lately Gay was there to meet him.

It was appropriate last night that the latest session of the Guardian Book Club took place in a converted church where some two hundred devotees had gathered, almost to 'worship' the evening's guest, Armistead Maupin.

Maupin is currently on an international tour promoting his latest (and he insists, final) volume of his Tales of the City series, 'The Days of Anna Madrigal'. (pub. Harper Collins, pp 270)

For those that have never had any contact with the Tales novellas, they are the chronicle of an intriguing collection of colourful misfits who have made it to that rare example of an American city.   An exceptional metropolis where, to be out of step with the world, has been regarded as much a virtue as a disgrace.  Possibly since the arrival of the Beatniks in the 50s, if not before.

Appearing at some twenty-six evenings in only two months, Armistean Maupin has zig-zagged, unerringly, all the way from Albuquerqee, New Mexico to Glasgow, Scotland; and surely there's a song begging to be made out of that itinerary.

This Book Club event, sponsored by the Guardian Review, was something like date No.24, not forgetting the many interviews, radio and tv spots along the way, however, the author appeared not in the least bit jaded.

The Days of Anna Madrigal in the ninth
and final volume of the Tales of the City Series

While the highly personable moderator, John Mullan (Professor of English - London University), was there to lead a discussion on the original 'Tales of the City' book, he was keenly aware that before him was an audience of acolytes who wanted to talk about the whole canon.  This was very much a family affair, as when a greatly loved, but distant uncle comes to visit from all the way across the pond for one night only.  This congregation wanted to discuss EVERYTHING.

After the initial discussion the floor was opened up to a question-and-answer session but with each stop of the microphone there came first the personal eulogies as to the impact Maupin's work had made.  How he had been essential in humanising the perception of homosexual and transgender folk, how he had provided a window into the possibility of a gay life for closeted people, and how much of a comfort he had been for fledgling gays emerging into a straight world.

Portrait of the author by his husband, photographer Chris Turner

Little wonder that the evening concluded with a prolonged standing ovation.  This was not, though,  some display of Trekkie-like adulation. Instead, it was a heartfelt display of great gratitude.  Received, characteristically, by Maupin with clear modesty.

At this stage he could have bagged his ovation and run but instead he spent an astonishing two hours signing copies of 'The Days of Anna Madrigal', giving everyone as much time as they wanted.

Asked towards the end of the night just where he could summon the energy to cope with the rigours of such a gruelling schedule, he gestured towards the patient queue and said, simply, '... from all this love!'

Since 1978 the Tales books have received lavish critical praise

While that may be it for the Tales series, Maupin was asked what he had next in the pipeline. To the obvious enthusiasm of the audience he announced that he had in mind a one-man show.  'In my younger days I'd seen Quentin Crisp do his show and, yeah, I think I'd like to do something like that.' he confessed.

Having spoken on that morning's Graham Norton Show on BBC Radio he told the host it would be good to have something he could take somewhere like the Edinburgh Festival.  It seems his fans may not have to wait too long at all as the organisers have already been on the phone.

'Now it looks like I've actually got to do it!'  He joked in mock despair.

At the evening's end, satisfied that he'd finally fulfilled all his signing obligations, he was escorted, alone, to a waiting car.  

He hadn't got away yet, though.  A final burst of applause echoed out of the venue bar accompanying his departure. 

He turned briefly in the doorway, a little surprised, and gave a final, shy wave, then he was gone.  No entourage, no personal assistant, just Armistead Maupin.  A remarkable teller of tales.   SMcK

Lately Gay editor, Stephen McKenna, meeting Maupin during the signing session.

'Cheekily, I'd brought along my copy of the first volume as well as the latest and asked him to sign it too, which he did without demur. It really was a remarkable night. Armistead's books helped me feel good about myself and my sexuality and I'm greatly indebted to him for that.'

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Well, that’s a bald question and a half, isn’t it? Chances are, if you’ve asked yourself the question of late, then you’ve already done some serious thinking about it, and you’re probably into the early stages of planning an exit.

One possibility is that you blurt it all out over dinner one evening and you quit by the next stagecoach out of town. Or, there’s the scenario where you suggest an exit point at some point in the not too distant future. Alternatively, you may have considered the option of staying in the marriage as an ‘out’ gay man.

What is pretty certain though is that you’ve been running a dialogue in your head for a long time and it is only in the latter stages that you are planning to involve your spouse. Maybe, she’s stacking the dishwasher or helping one of the kids with an assignment as you’re reading this, just getting on with the everyday work of providing for her family.

Possibly, she has some inkling of your inner torment. Possibly she is blissfully unaware.

So, when do you tell her what’s up? When do you let the cat out of the bag?

Well, here at LG we could perhaps advise you as follows: (a) tell her right now, (b) make a clean break there and then, (c) run, run and keep on running, (d) go wild, go crazy, go all out gay.

Or do we advise you accordingly: (1) give her all the time in the world, (2) support and nurture her through this difficult time, (3) keep the family together and maintain a semblance of family life, (4) accept that your dream of a true, gay life is the light at the end of a long tunnel.

Truth is, the answer possibly lies somewhere between these two extremes.

This isn’t the time for a sledgehammer approach, but equally you’ll never get the omelette made without breaking some eggs.

You want to be kind and caring, but eventually you are planning to leave your partner anyway.

This is probably the most difficult and grown up thing that will happen to you in your life and there is no ‘app’ you can download to your cellphone that will see you though it.

We can suggest, though, that this is a time for maturity. A time for honesty and integrity, for being true to yourself and to your family, and for facing up to the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

So, if you feel 2013 is going to be your year of change, then make it happen. Your journey has begun.

Sunday, 1 December 2013


Let’s not get too excited about this. LG isn’t about to launch a XXX repository here.

The LG Sex Files is a new site section where we can discuss some of the details of man on man sex and address the typical concerns and insecurities of lately gay men as they start over and work out what happens when the holding hands stage is over.

Issues discussed include the techniques of kissing, the top and bottom of sex, first-night nerves and doing it al fresco.

I make no claims that the content within is definitive and I'm certainly no Alfred Kinsey.  It's just a series of observations with some of my personal experiences thrown in.


Friday, 24 December 2010


A number of visitors to the site have been kind enough to say how much they like the look of the site and how it reads. Indeed, a Russian reader has asked me if I'd share some blogging tips and I'm very happy to do so.

Write, write, write ...

Blogs are very immediate. You can write, express and publish in minutes, if not seconds, but beware. Take the time to marshal your thoughts and pre-write your pieces. Then read them back to yourself and do some editing. It's easy to over-write and that can challenge readers' attention spans, but equally there will be times when you might under-write and not entirely spell out the case you're trying to make. If it's worth saying, then it's worth giving yourself the time and the space to think it through.

Text, text, text ...

Take advantage of the variety of fonts available on here and break away from the default if you want something that looks a little more distinctive.

In the same way , you can take advantage of the different font sizes. On this blog there are thousands of words and so I try to avoid making the page too text rich, so lots of paragraph breaks and a good large font are the order of the day for this particular editor.

Pictures, pictures, pictures ...

I always make sure that each post carries an image. The image makes an article stand out, gives an idea of the subject and reduces the imapct of too much text. Overall, it also helps the pages look busy and lively; and now with the new picture uploader inserting an image to your desired size and orientation couldn't be simpler.

However, a word of warning: 'copyright'!!  There are a million and one sites out there with images that are easy to download, not to mention shots you can scan on your flatbed.  Don't mean ya got the right to copy 'em!

Adult Content

Do bear in mind that the Google blogs are all together in one mixed bag.  To illustrate the point why not click on the 'next blog' tab at the top of the page.  If you do you'll head into a raft of 'our family', 'our new baby', 'our church' sites, so do bear in mind that your world is not necessarily their world.

You can easily apply 'content warning' notices to any section of a blog by indicating 'yes' in the 'Adult Content' box under the page settings.

This will also keep you sweet with the nice people at Google and save you hours of work should they be moved to diasable your blog.

In the meantime, happy blogging, one and all!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


So, you've come out, you've left your wife and you've been made redunant from your job.  What next?

For me in 2003 I decided to run away to sea.  Hoping for a truly gay experience I joined a big cruise line as one of their Entertainments Officers.

Like any good wannabe Robinson Crueso I made sure to maintain a journal and I present a first instalment here.