COLUMNS / POSTCARDS FROM THE U.K.
Postcards From The U.K. Stories 1 to 10 of 39  
4/23/2012
Waking Up Gay: A Stroke of Genius
The BBC aired a documentary this week about a British straight man who, after suffering a stroke, "woke up gay." Torsten Højer takes a look.In a country that’s battling to drum into the right-wing public that some people are born gay—and therefore not a valid target for discrimination—it’s not helpful when a straight man comes out to proclaim that one morning, he woke up gay. But that’s what happened in the UK this month, as 26-year-old Welsh guy Chris Birch starred in a BBC documentary to announce that he’s left his days as an overweight rugby-playing skirt chaser behind ...
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4/9/2012
Kylie: A Gay Man’s Playground
When Britain’s favourite pop princess storms into London for an intimate show, it’s a flirt fest for the city’s gays.One week into another London spring ‘heatwave’ and it’s over. Rain has returned to the city, and so has a sweeping chill. Crouching under the Hammersmith freeway flyover west of central are thousands of gay men, sporting vintage Vivienne Westwood jeans and proudly sticking two fingers up at the back-to-normal weather by cladding themselves in tight T-shirts emblazoned with taglines stating ‘Your Disco Needs You’ and ‘Get Outta My Way.'It can mean only one thing: Kylie’s back in town, ...
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3/29/2012
British Bachelor Tom Daley Dives into Number One
Prince Harry is often touted as Britain’s most eligible bachelor, but there’s a new kid on the block who’s coming up strong against the ginger prince. Torsten Højer takes a look.During his recent Diamond Jubilee Tour of Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil in honor of his Grandma, Queen Elizabeth II, the world saw Prince Harry going solo in an official overseas royal role for the first time. In doing so, he showed off his good looks, charitable nature and cheeky sense of humor, and reignited interest from the numerous annual polls asking the tricky question—"Who is England’s most ...
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3/14/2012
The Art of Fisting the British Public
Despite enjoying a diverse career, English comedian Julian Clary is known for one thing—bringing fisting to the imagination of the British public. With a history of camp innuendo and double-entendre, he’s becoming a barometer of changing press attitudes to homosexuality. Or is he? Torsten Højer takes a look.There’s been camp, there’s been double-entendre, there’ve been lewd jokes—in fact they’re the threesome that has supported the backbone of theatre, comedy and song for generations. But one man has been at the heart of innuendo focusing on the dirty side of gay sex in the UK for decades. Step forward and ...
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2/29/2012
London Institution May Strip Away Midweek Naughtiness
One of London’s most notorious amateur strip nights is in danger of being told to pull up its pants or stop pulling pints altogether. Torsten Højer bares all to reveal the torrid truth. When it comes to true trashy entertainment value, fuck Karaoke! The real jaw-dropping, rib-tickling fun is in pissed-up punters who’ve sunk three-too-many Cocksucking Cowboys getting their kit off on stage in front of equally intoxicated crowds of gay men.One British venue that realizes this so brilliantly is East London’s White Swan pub, which has been attracting hoards of city-dwellers with its midweek amateur strip night for ...
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2/15/2012
Getting to Know the Gay Next Door
Torsten Højer talks to historian Rose Collis about the launch of a new app that uncovers the hidden homo past of one of Britain’s gayest haunts.Sheesh, we’re everywhere, aren’t we? Everywhere you look it’s ‘gay, gay, gay’ these days. Gay marriage, gay adoption, gay equality. Where will it end? Well, according to many a queer activist, the question we should be asking is ‘where did it start?’ Or, to be more specific, ‘what went before us?’Gay history is important. As a good friend of mine said recently, "To understand who we were—where we’ve been—helps us to understand where ...
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1/31/2012
Skool’s Out
The Frontline, the Final Frontier
As LGBT History Month kicks of in the UK, Torsten Højer imagines the future of coming out to younger siblings in a more educated world.My father told me, over a few too many Christmas beers, that my two half-brothers (neither of whom I live with) are "getting better" with the idea of me being gay. He revealed, in the same breath, that when he first filled them in on my sexual persuasion, there was a resounding burst of disgust from both of their mouths—something resembling an ‘ewww’ (presumably coupled with a screwed up face and a marked frown)."They’re ...
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1/18/2012
Live Fast, Die Young, Sport a Six-Pack
New research in the UK has shown that half of British gay men would sacrifice a year or more of their lives in exchange for the perfect body. Would you? Torsten Højer considers his stomach at a bar in London.It’s lunchtime, and the gay bars in London’s Soho are opening for the day. In one of the city’s most popular bars, a statuesque barman looks weary (probably from the night before) as he unlocks the double doors and declares that the bar is open for business. Two Chinese ladies enter first, pulling those old-woman personal shopping trolleys, and go ...
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1/3/2012
'Absolutely Fabulous' Christmas
Christmas may be camp, kitsch and colourful, but the British TV show Absolutely Fabulous is all of those things on speed. So when the BBC put them together for this festive season, Christmas in the UK got that little bit gayer. Over the festive season, it was possible to get hot and steamy at gay saunas dotted around London (many were actually open on Christmas Day, leading to an increase in jokes about chickens and stuffing and sprouts and mince pies); it was doable to get naked and party at clubs that have a strictly no-clothes dress code; and it ...
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12/26/2011
A Hot Christmas Stuffing
An English-based HIV charity launched an unusual competition in the run up to Christmas, lubricating the channels of sexual communication between itself and a city’s gay scene in the process. Torsten Højer slides in. Well, that fiiiieeeerce grrl Tyra Banks would be most proud. The show that sporned an unnerving amount of copycat contests in countries around the world, America’s Next Top Model, has now been nodded to by a UK-based HIV organization in a bid to find the best condom for gay men who mean business when it comes to butt sex. The London-based Terrence Higgins Trust (established as ...
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