Friday, 26 September 2014

'Walking Dead' Star Norman Reedus Reveals That Daryl Dixon Is Gay

Since season four of the hit AMC television show ‘The Walking Dead’ came to an end there has been a great deal of speculation amongst fans as to the possible sexuality of character Daryl Dixon.  A fan favourite created just for the television series Daryl Dixons popularity has gone from strength to strength with each episode.

The idea that Daryl could be gay started way back in season three, during this time Daryl was faced with some pretty open flirting from his best friend Carol that made him squirm more than anything else.  Whilst a lot of people just saw this as friendly banter between friends, and because of that friendship Daryl felt uncomfortable, though some saw a little extra in his reactions.  Then, in season four Beth set her sights on the crossbow toting redneck, with no actual success.

Could this be because Daryl isn’t interested in women?

Is the only reason these two aren't a couple because
Daryl's gay?
Fans also speculated that Daryl being gay could also explain why he’s one of the few main characters to as of yet to have no romantic subplot, only strong female friends.  Along with this there’s also the fact that his big brother Merle has thrown a number of homophobic slurs at him and the history of physical abuse from his father.  Could this once again be explained away by Daryl being homosexual?

When asked about the possibility of Daryl being gay at a convention ‘Walking Dead’ creator Robert Kirkman confirmed that it had been discussed and that he would be more than willing to allow the show runners to take the character in that direction if they wanted.

So, lots of possibility but nothing confirmed right?  Well, that was the case until recently when Daryl Dixon himself, Norman Reedus, addressed fan speculation after the shows co-creator Scott M Gimple announced that a gay character would be joining the show.

Talking to GQ magazine he revealed that he’s always been playing the character as closeted gay since the start of the second season after the idea was pitched to him by the original showrunner Frank Darabont.

He said, ‘I remember talking to Frank Darabont, after the first season – we were at a party in LA.  He said, ‘I’ve got an idea for Daryl. He’s gay. Would you be interested in that?’ I was like, ‘Let me hear you out.’ He said, ‘Well, he’s prison gay. Like, you’ll catch him looking at a member of the same sex, but if you mention it to him, he’ll just stab you and be like, What the fuck? He will never admit it.’ I was like, ‘That’ll blow minds – let’s do that.'

Daryl even spurned Beth's advances.
Reedus added, ‘He’s definitely not a ladies’ man or thinks of himself as having enough confidence to be that type of person. I want to play him searching for confidence, not full of confidence, you know what I mean? I like all the little things that are awkward … I would rather play him like not somebody that’s got cool-guy moves or anything like that.’

So does this mean that Daryl Dixon will soon be joining the ranks of geek tv LGBT characters such as Captain Jack, Xena and Willow?  I for one certainly hope so.  Having Daryl be gay would not only be awesome for the LGBT community but an excellent direction to take the character.

I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens as the show unfolds.


Amy Walker Facebook
Trans Girl Writer Facebook

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Facebook Name Debate and Having My Profile Deleted

Facebook is at the centre of a media storm following
its new name change policy.
I have to admit, there are times that I’m a little slow at putting two and two together.  You see a few weeks ago I had to make myself a new Facebook account.  You see, my previous account was shut down because I was apparently not using my real name.  I was a little irked at this to say the least and when I followed instructions to try and get my account back I was asked to prove my identity with photographic ID.

Now, for a lot of people out there this wouldn’t be too much of an issue, but as a transgender person having ID that displays my correct name is something of a problem for me.  Yes, I’ve got ID with my birth name on it, along with a photograph of a version of myself.  But that’s not who I really am, and it’s certainly not who I am on Facebook.  Presented with this problem I sent a message to the company to try and explain my position and asked very nicely for my account to be reactivated, yet heard nothing in response.

Skip to much later on and I’ve created a new account and had to go through trying to find all of my old friends and contacts.  Then I’m reading through various news stories and come across an article about how Facebook is cracking down on stage names being used by the drag community and shutting down their accounts.  I read through the story and thought that, yes, it was a bad situation but one that I was a little removed from.  After all, I’m not a drag artist so it wouldn’t really affect me would it?

But then as time passed and I thought more about it I began to consider exactly what the new name change policy could mean to the LGBT community beyond drag performers.  What would happen if Facebook turned their attention to those trans people who are in the middle of transitioning themselves and cannot comply with their new rules.  Then I suddenly realised that maybe my experience was somehow connected.

Did Facebook shut down my account because I’m transgender?

Facebook chose to shut down my old account due to it not
being under my legal name.
Whilst most of the people that have been targeted by Facebook are in the drag community there are others in the LGBT community and beyond who have fallen victim to their harsh new policy.  Well, I say new policy, the policy has always been there, but it has not always been so harshly enforced until recently.

Facebook has given what I’m sure to them is a perfectly reasonable statement on the situation siting ‘If people want to use an alternative name on Facebook, they have several different options available to them, including providing an alias under their name on their profile, or creating a Page specifically for that alternative persona.  As part of our overall standards, we ask that people who use Facebook provide their real name on their profile.’

All well and good in a lot of situations I suppose, but what about those people like the drag community who feel that if their true identities were made public it could cause them to face serious dangers and possibly even physical harm in their everyday lives.  Or what about the trans community, where people are moving from their given identity to their true one, who have found their real name and want to be known by it but do not yet have any form of ‘official’ ID.

On Wednesday members of the drag community met with Facebook officials in order to discuss the current sate of affairs on the site.  One of the members in attendance, drag performer Sister Roma, reported that Facebook refuses to even acknowledge that there is an issue with the new policy.  According to Roma Facebook even admitted that many of the accounts that were deactivated were targeted due to complaints made by other users.

Drag performer Sister Roma is one of the people meeting
with Facebook to discuss their new policy.
Since the meeting Facebook has agreed to temporarily reinstate hundreds of profiles that were deleted due to complaints from other users, but only for a two week period so that the effected users can choose whether or not they’d like to use their legal names.

‘We’ve decided to temporarily reactivate the profiles of several hundred members of the LGBT community whose profiles were recently deactivated,’ Facebook spokesperson Andrew Souvall said in a recent statement. ‘This will give them a chance to decide how they’d like to represent themselves on Facebook. Over the next two weeks, we hope that they will decide to confirm their real name, change their name to their real name, or convert their profile to a Page.’

When you think about it though is there any point in letting people have their profiles back for such a short period?  Especially as if you want to keep them you’ll have to bow to Facebooks new rules?

I’ve already had one account deleted, possibly from other users complaining about me (yes, I’m looking at all you creepy ‘chasers’ who keep messaging me for sex chats and pics who I tell to fuck off), and could very well have this account suspended too.  The thing is, Amy isn’t a fake name.  It’s me.  I won’t be forced into using a name that isn’t true to who I really am.  Especially by a faceless organisation.

Due to my previous account being deleted, and in a small part to this article I’m sharing where I’m complaining about Facebook I’m kind of expecting that I’ll have my profile deleted again.  The thing is, this new rule is wrong.  Facebook shouldn’t be able to tell you what name you can and cannot use.  Especially when nine times out of ten I go by Amy and not my ‘real’ name.

Hopefully Facebook will reverse its decision soon as I’m sure the LGBT community won’t let the issue go.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch Calls for a Female, Then a Gay President

Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the popular BBC television series ‘Sherlock’ as well as recent Hollywood movies such as ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ and ‘The Hobbit’, was recently promoting his new film ‘The Imitation Game’ when he said something that I’m sure will cause something of a stir.  Especially in the United States.

Cumberbatch was talking to interviewers from the Daily Beast about playing Alan Turing, the famous openly gay British code breaker during World War II, when he voiced the opinion that America should set its sights on electing a gay president in the future.

When talking about some of the homophobic and anti-gay views that are expressed in America he replied ‘Yes. Very homophobic. You need to have a female president next, and then after that, a gay president. That’s the full journey from Obama’s legacy onwards.’

‘There’s a great Morrissey lyric that goes, ‘In America, the land of the free, they said / And of opportunity, in a just and truthful way / But where the president is never black, female or gay, and until that day / You’ve got nothing to say to me, to help me believe’.

‘It’s quite an old song from before Obama took office, but you’ve done black, then you need to do female, then the next, gay.’

Cumberbatch has been speaking very openly and candidly on his views on homophobia and the treatment that LGBT victims face, due in part to his portrayal of Alan Turing, a man who helped to decipher coded Nazi messages during World War II but due to his homosexuality was chemically castrated and later committed suicide.

‘The scenes of Turing undergoing the chemical castration are really gut wrenching,’ the Daily Beast commented during the interview. ‘And it’s still going on in North America with the Christian far right,’ Cumberbatch responded.

‘There are courses and doctors and meds handed out to 'cure' people of their homosexuality, and it’s shocking that it still goes on. It’s also shocking that any time there’s any kind of hardship, the minorities are immediately scapegoated—and that includes homosexuals in Russia, the Golden Dawn in Greece. The Golden Dawn came out of a financial crisis and people wanted answers, and the minute you start stirring up nationalistic feelings, minorities are the first people to get it because they’re the easiest to scapegoat. It’s terrifying.’

Whether you agree with Cumberbatch’s views that America should follow Morrissey’s plan exactly to the letter I think that some people will feel the need to very vocally disagree.  America has shown that it’s ready for a black president, but is it too early for them to accept a female or gay leader?


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Hey, Who Hasn't Done It?

Jennifer Lawrence is one of the celebrities fallen
victim to photo hacking.
Unless you’ve been hiding away from the internet recently you’ll be sure to have heard about the latest celebrity photo hack scandal. 

Leaked nude pictures of celebrities is hardly a new thing, but what puts this latest case into the limelight is the fact that so many were leaked all at once, and that in some of the pictures the celebrities in question were in fact underage. 

Household names such as actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Olympic medallist McKeyla Maroney were a few amongst the dozens of people who had private pictures leaked online. 

The internets’ response to this current breach in privacy has been somewhat of a surprise though, with thousands of people and websites publicly condemning the action and standing in support of the victims.

The thing is, whilst the leaking of peoples private pictures is a bad thing, particularly ‘saucy’ nude ones, is it really something that we should care about?

McKeyla Maroney revealed that the stolen photographs of
her were taken when she was underage, leading many
people to condemn it as child pornography.
Not the leaking, the breach of someone’s privacy is definitely something we should be caring about.  No, what I think we shouldn’t care about is that these young women have taken ‘sexy’ pictures of themselves to send to people. 

We’re all human, and most people have a sex drive of some kind.  Most people will want to titillate and be titillated themselves, so is the fact that someone of fame wants to turn someone on with a naked photo a shock?  No.  No it isn’t.  How many of you have done the same thing?

Most people, especially below a certain generation, will have engaged in the sending of dirty pictures, sexting, webcaming or dirty talk online.  It’s part of human nature.  It’s perfectly natural to want to do something like that.  Hell, there are people in the world who are famous for things like that.  I don’t just mean porn starts though, there is a whole group of young women who have become pseudo-celebrities from exposing themselves to the world on Snapchat.

We shouldn’t feel the need to sensationalise something that so many people do, and respect people’s privacy enough not to go looking at photographs of them that have been released without their consent.  There are many naked pictures on the internet that people have allowed to be shown of them, that don’t mind if people sit around in a dark room and touch themselves whilst looking at, so go look at those and leave the victims of photo hacking alone.