It has been over a year since a mistrial was declared in the Aquarius Baths murder case against Justin James Rosdobutko. He has been accused of manslaughter in the deaths of Steven Yablonski and Robert Clark. They both died of smoke inhalation at the Aquarius Men’s Bath in Winnipeg in 2009. Yablonski was a local entertainer and Clark was from Saskatchewan.
For all the talk about achieving equality in mainstream society, the gay community doesn’t always practice what it preaches. Which is the never discussed, but always present, racism that is wide-spread in gay circles. Ironic as this is a group that has fought for equal rights. While at the same time is quite segregated by race within its own community.
Spanning a decade, comes the stories of discrimination and racism in the gay community. With tales not just from gay men in North America, but all over the world. Over one hundred guys, all of them men of color, have written their thoughts of racism among their gay peers. When it comes to the gay men and their community, there is no such thing as equality.
During its investigation many of the customers were brought to the main floor. As parts of the bathhouse were being cordoned off. Says one customer who was at the scene, “It was very quiet. It was all over within a matter of a couple of hours.”
While the customers on scene were not questioned, staff was who appeared distraught over the incident.
“They didn’t say a whole lot. The people there looked upset,” the customer says.
In this two-part interview he takes the viewers on a tour of Flex Spas. Showing the gym, pumping some weights, hanging out in the locker room and more. While at the same time answering all the question his fans really want to know. Both his sexual likes and dislikes, in addition to his sobriety and addiction struggles.
For all those newbies who don’t know, Bette Midler started her career singing at the Continental Baths. Along with Barry Manilow as her accompanist. Just posted on YouTube is her final performance.
“This is my 800th farewell appearance here at the Continental Baths,” says a very younger Bette Midler after her opening number “Friends”. She continues, “I didn’t expect to be back so soon…They had me booked at Fire Island…I was supposed to work at Cherry Grove — I was supposed to sing. But they couldn’t find room for me in the bushes.”
See video below for Bette Midler entire one-hour performance.
Within seconds of being acquitted, the 26 defendants shouted with joy. While attending relatives sobbed in relief.
“They destroyed our lives. God rescued us,” one of the defendants
Defense lawyer Tarik al-Awadi, “The verdict is an accurate reflection of the law and we expected this outcome.”
“However, the rights of the defendants will only be realized when the authorities put on trial. The people who were involved in this, and those who offended the honor of these people.”
Which might be bad news for the journalist who triggered this gay bathhouse raid. And who later broadcast footage to millions of viewers. Several of the acquitted men no say they will seek legal action against this reporter. So this story is far from over.
UPDATE: Mona Iraqi, the television show host that aired a segment accusing 26 men of homosexuality in a Cairo bathhouse, will stand trial on charges of defamation and the spreading of false news, announced the prosecution.
Iraqi and Tarek Nour, owner of the channel of Al-Qahera Wal-Nas which broadcasts Iraqi’s television show, will both face preliminary hearings on April 5.
With the terrible news coming out of Egypt, the folks at Advocate decided to highlight the incredibly rich history the baths have had.
Titled #TBT: Back to the Baths, the magazine presents as series of images that explores the rich, moist beginnings of the gay bathhouse history. Such as the image below. The classic movie Spartacus, where Sir Laurence Olivier cruises John Gavin.
Go to the link below and as the article states, let’s take a trip down the slippery tiles of Memory Lane with the gay bathhouse history. But be careful not to fall in the wet areas!
It must of been a very SLOW news week, as that story was picked up and ran all over the world. It went viral as no bathhouse has done. Well maybe with the exception of the recent Bathhouse bust in Egypt last month.
The bottom line is that baths around the world must reinvent themselves. If they allow themselves to be stagnant, they will get lost in the dust.
With the end of 2014, many baths around the world will host a new year’s eve extravaganza. This is one of their busiest nights, and best money making events. This also another way for the baths to reinvent, by hosting event like these.
Bathhouse: The Musical will be returning to Above The Stag. The UK’s award-winning and only LGBT theatre.
To celebrate its return each of the stars of this bathhouse musical will be featured in Gay Times Magazine. But this is no ordinary edition. It is their brand new naked issue, all to support the cancer charity Balls of Cancer.
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