Sunday, February 27, 2011

NY gay center pulls plug on Israel-Apartheid event thanks to Michael Lucas

American-Israeli gay porn producer says he "defeated a group of anti-Semites," calling it a "landmark moment" in his life. 

With Israeli Apartheid Week a week away, Israel seems to have found an unexpected champion in Michael Lucas, a popular gay columnist and porno producer with dual US-Israeli citizenship.

Lucas told
The Jerusalem Post by phone from New York Thursday that “I defeated a group of anti- Semites” who sought to equate Israel with the former South African apartheid regime at an event slated to be held at the city’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center.

On Tuesday, Lucas issued a press release threatening to boycott the center if it took part in Israeli Apartheid Week, a seven-day series of lectures and protests organized by pro- Palestinian supporters that compares Israel’s treatment of Arabs and Palestinians to minority-rule in South Africa.

Lucas told the
Post that an Israeli friend had drawn his attention to the planned LGBT center event. He said in his Tuesday statement that “I’m preparing to organize a boycott that would certainly involve some of the center’s most generous donors.”

He added that “it was an inexcusable decision on the center’s part to associate itself with a hate group like Israeli Apartheid Week, but there’s still time for them to reverse course and begin restoring their reputation.”

After Lucas issued his statements, the LGBT center announced on the same day that it would not host the March 5 event called Party to End Apartheid, and would bar the group that had planned the gathering from meeting on its premises.

“We have determined that this event is not appropriate to be held at our LGBT Community Center, which is a safe haven for LGBT groups and individuals,” Glennda Testone, the center’s executive director, said in a statement.

“Therefore, the meeting at the center has been cancelled and the host group will no longer meet at the center.”

Lucas said he had initially called the LGBT center to complain about the event and been told that the community center had an “open door policy” and did not “discriminate.” He told the
Post that critics of his protest had argued that some of the sponsors of the anti-Israeli event were Jews, including a Holocaust survivor.

“So what! There are a lot of self-hating Jews,” said Lucas, adding that “they were put into death camps regardless of their IQ.”

He termed “anti-Israelism the new anti-Semitism,” and said the cancellation of the anti-Israel event at the LGBT center was a “landmark” moment in his life, of which he was enormously proud.

Sherry Wolf, a member of the pro-Palestinian group that organized the canceled event, started an online petition on Thursday in response to what she called Lucas’s “odious lies.”

“If activists allow this decision to stand, the Center will go from being a liberated space of democracy and free speech to yet another occupied, homogenized venue where wealthy and powerful voices can squelch all the rest,” she wrote.

The Russian-born Lucas, formerly known as Andrei Bergman, is the maker of such adult films as Men of Israel, a commercially successful porno that is said to be the first of its genre filmed in Israel with an all- Israeli cast.

Writing in the New Republic magazine, James Kirchick dubbed Lucas “Gay Porn’s Neocon Kingpin” in a 2008 profile piece. Lucas has earned a reputation as a fiercely sharp critic of antigay violence and attitudes in the Muslim world. He writes a column for the gay magazine The Advocate and has lectured at
Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

He told the
Post that he became an Israeli citizen two years ago, and his father’s uncle lives in Israel.

Many Israelis and Israel supporters take pride in the country’s relatively liberal attitude toward gays, especially compared to other parts of the Middle East.

“At first I thought this was a joke,” Lucas was quoted as saying in his press release.

“Israel is the only country in the Middle East that supports gay rights, while its enemies round up, torture and condemn gay people to death – often by publicly hanging or stoning them to death.”

The Israeli government is looking to highlight its society’s pluralism as a way of debunking the analogy between contemporary Israel and
South Africa under apartheid. This week it sent a delegation of volunteer speakers, including several gay and lesbian activists, on a tour of the US to counter claims that it was discriminatory by nature.

“I feel a lot safer in Tel Aviv than I do in most places around the world, including the US,” Jonathan Meisler, 23, a gay rights activist who is part of the delegation, told the
Post this week.

“When I walk down the street with my boyfriend, I don’t feel like I have to hide,” he said. “Israeli society has its problems, but its gay community is very strong and confident.”

While the LGBT community is part of accepted society in places like Tel Aviv – where a gay pride parade has been held every year for well over a decade, with up to 100,000 participants dancing in the streets – this isn’t always the case.

In 2006, attempts to organize a gay pride parade in Jerusalem managed to unite Jewish, Muslim and Christian authorities in opposition to the idea.

Despite their protests, the parade went ahead; during it, a haredi man stabbed and wounded three participants.

In another incident in 2009, an unknown gunman shot two people dead and wounded 15 others at a Tel Aviv gay center. The crime remains unsolved.

Meisler acknowledged that some parts of Israeli society were intolerant toward the LGBT community, but said that on the whole, its record was favorable.

“I don’t go to Mea She’arim [a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem] to buy fruit,” he said. “I don’t want to provoke them, and try to show respect for them and other parts of Israeli society, even if they don’t always have respect for us.”

I don't think we are in Kansas anymore

G’day from the other side of the planet! The Boy Butter World Tour would not be complete without a magical trip to Oz. One of the world’s most colorful and spectacular Gay events happens right here in Sydney, the city’s famed Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Held since 1978 Sydney's Mardi Gras is the largest Gay carnival of its kind and is listed as one of the world's best events (gay or straight). The main parade this year is the night of the 27th, on Oxford and Flinders Streets by Taylor Square. It will kick off around 7:45 pm with this year's theme of "Mardi Gras' History of the World." The parade is the spectacle of a lifetime, rivaling the world's largest pride celebrations. There are also huge parties scheduled throughout the week, one of which is the famous Harbor Party located right in the heart of the harbor area with breathtaking views of the Sydney skyline, the iconic Harbor Bridge and the famous Sydney Opera House. There are many more events throughout the 2 week long Mardi Gras celebrations and I will be updating photos and videos from as many as I can attend.

Video of Sydney Harbor with the iconic bridge and opera house.
Photos from the 2011 Sydney Harbor Party
Dance floor with the Opera House in the background
I love beach balls
Harbor Party with the Sydney skyline
Refreshing popsicle tubes perfect for the hot weather
Be careful of the sharks as this gal can attest
My favorite shot from the party of a woman
 I have named Yoko Oh-No

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boy Butter World Tour 2011 - San Francisco

In our third week of the 100 day Boy Butter World tour we are hitting San Francisco, the gay capital of the United States. San Francisco also happens to be a bastion for stores that carry Boy Butter Lubricant products and many of my loyal customers who live, love, work and walk up lots of hills. We did not have to go far to find Boy Butter in store windows and on store shelves, especially in the city's gay heart, The Castro of San Francisco. For lunch we headed down to The Mission District for an amazing mexican lunch at the city's most popular and delicious mexican restaurant, El Farolito. Check out these images at a leading novelty store that serves the Gay community, Does Your Mother Know on 18th street between Collingwood and Castro Street. Tonight we are flying down to Sydney Australia for some Mardis Gras madness, Australia's largest annual Gay and Lesbian citywide party.

Castro Photos
 Does Your Mother Know in San Francisco's Castro area
Does Your Mother Know Window Display
Brendan shooting the window display of Does Your Mother Know
Boy Butter Lubricant posters adorning the right hand side of 
 The Castro's iconic public posterboard
 A cheesy photo of me next to the Boy Butter section of 
Does Your Mother Know, I'm so proud

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fotos de Costa Rica

Slow down sign o señal de despaciao
Rainforest o Bosque Lluvioso
Rainforest o Bosque Lluvioso
Rainforest o Bosque Lluvioso
Treehouse o casa del árbol
Red and Yellow flowers o Flor amarilla y roja
 Magenta flower o flor magenta
 Swordfish o pez espada
Purple flower o Flor púrpura
Brendan o mi pareja
Red Flower o flor roja
Swan towel o toalla de cisne

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Boy Butterfly Farm in Costa Rica

Brendan and I took a great rainforest canopy zip line and butterfly farm tour in Quepos, Costa Rica with a great tour company called Canopy Safari. For around $60 bucks we were able to zip line through 10 long crazy fun zip lines and descend down ropes and fly through the air and have an amazing delicious lunch at the end, a full 4 hour adventure.
 I particularly loved walking through a lush tropical rain forest amidst flowers and trees, ponds and butterflies flying overhead and all around you in their own natural paradise. Within a large meshed enclosures you can see hundreds of real exotic butterflies flying freely, with dozens of the most spectacular species from all over the world. You can also witness all stages of their life cycle from tiny egg to curious caterpillar and jewel like pupa. Early in the morning is the best opportunity to see a butterfly emerging from its pupa and watch newborn butterflies take their first flight! If you want to handle the butterflies and caterpillars their friendly guides will be happy to show you how to do so without damaging these fragile creatures.

Butterfly Farm Photos and Videos

I think this one is a Boy Butterfly, no?

Una Mariposa amarilla sentada encima de la hoja.
A yellow butterfly sitting upon a leaf.
A beautiful owl butterfly
Una Mariposa verde
     A green butterfly.

Videos of inside the Butterfly Farm

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sunset Song of the Toucan

Have you heard the sunset song of the yellow billed toucan? I have, yesterday around sunset our dear friends and travel buddies Douglas and Matthew invited us into their beautiful peaceful writers villa perched upon a lush verdant forested hill in Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica. Once up you are basically overlooking the coast through on forest canopies with howler monkeys howling in the background, as they do. A large Ylang Ylang tree on the property housed about 8 yellow billed Toucans as they sang through the sunset which you can clearly and audibly hear in this video.. You can not see the long billed birds well in the video I am submitting but you must see these photos courtesy of Douglas himself, they are very National Geographic in quality.

Toucan on the ylang ylang tree
A toucan taking flight 
Video from Douglas and Matthew's Toucan Villa
Photo of Douglas, Brendan Matthew and I at
 Gaia Nature Reserve and Resort in Manuel Antonio CR

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why did the monkey cross the road?

Answer:  Because it was the chicken's day off!

Here is Costa Rica, the place is festooned in monkeys of all kinds.
These are capuchins monkeys invading our villa,
 thanks Brendan for taking this video.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Boy Butter World Tour 2011 - Playa de Costa Rica

Hola mis amigos, estoy en Costa Rica a lado de la playa del Manuel Antonio i es un paraíso. 
Hello my friends, I am in Costa Rica next to the beach of Manuel Antonio and it is paradise.

Though it is the smallest national park in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio is a gorgeous lush tropical forest filled with butterflies, toucans, and howler monkeys. This park is just south of Quepos on the Pacific Coast, 132 km from San José. It's popularity may be due to it's white sand beaches backed by an evergreen forest that grows right up to the high tide line. The principal habitants are primary forest, secondary forest, mangrove swamps, lagoons and beach vegetation. There is quite a varied fauna with 109 species of mammals and 184 of birds. The park includes 12 little isles just off the coast; these are a number of dolphins and, at times, migrating whales can be observed. 

Take a look at some of my photos and a cool video.

Our prop plane that flew us into the jungle
Video from the small plane in Costa Rica
View from plane
View from the plane
Our hotel with a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the park
A view of Manuel Antonio
Island off the coast 
Walking to the beach
Our friend Matthew with his boogie board as we approach the beach
Me arriving at the beach, yay.
George of the Jungle : )
Beautiful palm trees

 Manuel Antonio beach
untouched beach
Brendan as the day ends on the beach 
A funny site, a gay club in the middle of the jungle, 
Liquid in Manuel Antonio a gay hub of Costa Rica

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 Atlantis Gay Cruise Review

I just returned from the largest gay cruise in history organized by Atlantis Events on the 225,000 ton monster ship the Allure of the Seas by Royal Caribbean. About 5,500 men and 81 women signed up for the seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing, which began in Fort Lauderdale and stopped in Nassau, Bahamas, St. Thomas of U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Maarten (1/2 french and 1/2 dutch). It was amazing and wonderful to be a part of gay history in that way but the sheer number of people and crowds left me with the opinion at times that too much of a good thing is not always the best.
My friends and I had a good time and there was always something to do and see and plenty of entertainment. There were so many like minded kindred spirits on board that the homogenous crowd moved en masse and did so many similar things at similar times that it created crowds and bottlenecked portions of the cruise especially restaurants at feeding times. Aside from the organizational issues the parties and events were packed wall to wall or deck to deck with 6 packed perfect bodies and gorgeous men wall to wall or deck to deck. I think next year I will choose the smaller Atlantis gay cruise of 3000 people or less for a little more intimacy and alot more food.  Don't forget to take a look at some of our cool cruise photos. 

Fun Cruise Photos
Boy Butter Flag hanging on our balcony across from a new Disney cruise ship.
Our cabin door appropriately adorned with "please take one" samples
Central Park walkway on the cruise ship
The first tea dance on Monday afternoon
Bren looking out at the US Virgin Island of St. Thomas
Brendan looking up at the floating bar which rises and lowers 3 floors
Our friends allowed me to hang the Boy Butter banner of their 

The Butter Boy promoting on deck 12

Me, the gentleman who plays the character drag queen, Ms. Richfield 1981 
and Brendan in the floating bar
Brendan and I with the ship in the background.
Our good friends Thorsten and Mathias from Berlin 
Me on the beach in St. Maarten
poolside view
more poolside views ; )
Boy Butter speedos sneak preview
the speedos work
Even the gay puppets took some Boy Butter samples
Don't trust those puppets, you give them an inch they take a mile
One of our towel animals in our cabin when we returned from dinner 
My feet on the balcony, life is good.