Author Archive for: Paul Baker

The Future, as Seen By Barbarella

10,000 Years of the 1960s.

In 1968, Barbarella saw into a future in which the counter-culture ruled. Paul Baker looks at the outfits, the camp computers, and the glamour.

“Barbarella travels through the Universe in a fur-lined space-ship with only her camp computer to keep her company (either voiced by Kenneth Williams or a KW-impersonator). There is a plot, but it’s not really essential to enjoying the film.”

Our LGBT Histories: Music – Day 12

Nancy Sinatra, ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’.

To mark LGBT History Month, 2013, Polari asked its contributors to recall a song that had an impact their own stories.

“While I could never fathom Duran Duran or Bros, I found a whole new world in the fading LP collections of my older relatives, and I would scour them, making little mix tapes of my favourites.”

Let There Be Sparkle!

In the beginning Gloria created the heaven and the earth.

Paul Baker celebrates a record breaking reading from the Bible … in your actual Polari.

“Before Polari became the name of this online magazine it was a secret form of language, spoken mostly by gay men and lesbians, with a complex and eclectic history encompassing drag queens, actors, travelling circus people, sailors, Italians, American airforce men and even Punch and Judy entertainers.”

Fall on Your Knees For Julian Clary

Celebrity Big Brother 2012.

Paul Baker looks back at the surprisingly pro-LGBT Big Brother, and celebrates recent Julian Clary’s win of Celebrity Big Brother 2012.

“The public, who had been expecting Julian to be the swishing Diva, were second-footed to find a quiet, introspective and kind man behind the outrageous stage act.”

IDAHO May 17 – Hissing Faggots

Chasing the Homophobic Down.

Paul Baker writes about not letting homophobic abuse go unchallenged. To celebrate IDAHO 2012 Polari Magazine is publishing a series of stories from its writers about homophobic, transphobic and biphobic incidents.

“Acting on instinct, I chased him down the street and gave him a mouthful, right outside Waterstones. Nice old ladies stopped and watched in shock.”

Are you a MEGA-gay?

Even the gays don’t want equal marriage! Apparently.

Nadine Dorries is opposed to what she calls the Metro Elite Gay Activists, who she says are pushing an agenda that nobody really wants. She sums up the tactics of the new homophobia, writes Paul Baker.

“Just who are these Metro Elite Gay Activists – or MEGA-gays as Nadine Dorries claims? I have this picture in my head of a haughty cartoon gay couple called Ivan and Tarquin, living in a swanky loft somewhere near Primrose Hill.”

Are you post-gay yet?

What exactly does ‘post-gay’ mean?

Paul Baker looks at at the term post-gay after the Core Issues Trust used it in its banned pro ex-gay bus campaign ad.

“At the Urban Dictionary, “post-gay” means either 1) that gay people define themselves by something other than sexuality, although they still view themselves as gay and care about gay rights. Or 2) Someone who is excessively gay.”

Abominable Voices

A History of Newspaper Homophobia.

Paul Baker looks at the history of homophobia in the British press.

“Although the name-calling has largely disappeared, the negative attitudes took longer to shift, and the newspapers more narrowly focused their ire on ‘the gay lobby’ who kept demanding bizarre and unreasonable things like the right to fight for their country, or have their relationships acknowledged.”

Good News For Complainers

The last days of the PCC.

Paul Baker welcomes the shut down of the Press Complaints Commission on the grounds that it didn’t do much in the way of good

“To my mind, getting journalists and editors to govern themselves is a bit like putting bullies in charge of the playground, and so the closure of the PCC is a hopeful step in the right direction.”

LGBT Heroes – Day 29

Alan Turing

To mark the last day of LGBT History Month, 2012, the Polari team have selected Alan Turing for Polari Magazine’s list of LGBT Heroes. For UK LGBT History Month, and Turing Year, 2012. Written by Paul Baker.

“While many people have singled out Turing because of his contribution in helping Britain and its allies win World War II, it should be remembered that there were thousands of forgotten men who lived through the wars, who fought in them, and were also punished because of who they loved.”