BiMedia: December 2005

George Melly
Recalled by his wife, Diana, as being “…famous for singing in a jazz band, and being bisexual” in the Daily Telegraph (24th October 2005), George Melly has just published Slowing Down, the latest installment of his autobiography.

A review in The Scotsman (5th November 2005) said: “So candid is he about medical examinations that one description begins with the immortal line: ‘Despite having been gay and then bisexual well into my twenties, I never took to anal penetration.’ ”

The Libertine
“It is quite something to live in an age of riotous immorality, and yet to be accounted the most dissolute individual of the time,” said The Independent on Sunday (6th November 2005). Nice work if you can get it! They were talking about John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester and an infamous 17th century bisexual.

Played by Johnny Depp, Rochester is the subject of The Libertine which was released in the UK on 18th November. Unfortunately, “…however good the film is, and however many X-ratings it gets, it can never capture all the truth about Rochester, for, surprising as it may seem, we live in a more prudish age than he did, and not all his doings can be reprised on the cinema screen.”

Brokeback Mountain
Due for release in the UK on 30th December 2005, the Ang Lee-directed film Brokeback Mountain (based on the short story by E. Annie Proulx) is about a 20 year relationship between a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

In an article in Details (December 2005), Gyllenhaal says “… it’s flattering when there’s a rumor that says I’m bisexual. It means I can play more kinds of roles. I’m open to whatever people want to call me. I’ve never really been attracted to men sexually, but I don’t think I would be afraid of it if it happened.”

However, despite the lovers in Brokeback Mountain also having wives, there seems to be some confusion about their sexuality. Although I’d be inclined to label them as bisexual, in the Details article Gyllenhaal says that he “…approached the story believing that these are actually straight guys who fall in love,” whereas producer James Schamus says: “Well, I suppose movies can be Rorschach tests for all of us, but damn if these characters aren’t gay to me.”

Girl-on-Girl Action in the East End
According to The Mirror (29th October 2005) EastEnders student nurse Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) cheats on her husband, Martin (James Alexandrou), when she kisses her friend Naomi (Petra Letang). Naomi says that, as well as being unsure whether she’s gay or bisexual, it’s not the first time she’s fallen for a girl. Sonia then rushes back to Martin and jumps into bed with him.

The insider who leaked the story to the press said: “When he demands to know whether Sonia’s been having a fling with Naomi, Dot is left spluttering into her tomato juice. She can’t believe what she’s hearing.”

Apart from watching EastEnders to see how the storyline pans out, it’s got to be worth watching it just for Dot’s reaction!

Madonna’s Queer Soap
Madonna’s Maverick TV is producing a gay soap opera for USA cable network Logo.

“San Rafael” is the working title of the programme, described as a “Melrose Place”-type series about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents of an apartment complex, United Press reported.

Jack’s Back Again
It seems that BCN wouldn’t be complete these days without a mention of a certain 51st century bisexual. As well as appearing in the next series of Doctor Who, Captain Jack Harkness will be starring in spin-off series “Torchwood” (nifty anagram of Doctor Who, innit) which Russell T. Davies has been commissioned to write.

Thirteen episodes of the post-watershed sci-fi drama series are due to be screened on BBC3 in summer 2006, which is about a set of renegade investigators who look into alien activities as well as real-life crimes.

In the Daily Star (18th October 2005) John Barrowman, who plays Jack, was reported to have said: “I’m absolutely thrilled about Torchwood. It’s going to be a dark, wild and sexy roller-coaster ride. I can’t wait to explore Captain Jack even more.” I’m quite sure he’s not the only one who wants to explore Captain Jack…