Gay pride in Lithuania

Lithuania held its first gay pride march on Saturday. There were about 500 people, including the Swedish Minister for European Affairs, ambassadors from France and the UK, five members of the European Parliament, and two Lithuanian lawmakers. The march took place peacefully, but with a large police presence to keep the ‘anti-gay protesters’, i.e., homophobes at bay. The police later had to use tear gas to stop protesters who were trying to break through the barrier. Apparently, homophobia is a big problem in Lithuania. You can read more from Reuters.

New Fellowship Opportunity for Early Career Women

LA alerts us to this wonderful opportunity.

Philip L. Quinn (1940-2004) worked in philosophy of science and philosophy of religion. He taught at Brown University, where he held the William Herbert Perry Fraunce Professorship, and at the University of Notre Dame, where he was the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy. He served as President of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, and he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Philip Quinn served on the final selection committee of the National Humanities Center in 1984 and subsequently assisted the Center as a preliminary reviewer of applications for many years. He was one of the dedicated scholars whose judgment insured the quality of the Center’s Fellows, and though he himself never came to the Center as a Fellow, he valued it as a crucial American institution for the nurture and improvement of scholarship in the liberal arts.

After Professor Quinn’s death in 2004, his Notre Dame colleague in philosophy, Paul Weithman, and another close friend, Mary Lou Solomon, were named co-executors of his estate. Paul Weithman had been a Fellow of the National Humanities Center in 2000-2001, and he was aware of Philip Quinn’s long-standing connection and interest. He inquired whether a suitable memorial might be established at the Center, and in the end the two co-executors decided to endow the Philip L. Quinn Fellowship to be awarded annually in philosophy, preferably supporting young women in the early stages (pre-tenure) of their scholarly careers. The endowment will be established with $800,000 from the Quinn estate matched by $700,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The first Quinn Fellowship will be awarded to a member of the class of 2011-12 at the Center.

So, early career women: apply to the Center, and apply for the fellowship! How wonderful to have something like this set up for women in philosophy.

Gay Actors Can’t Play Straight

So says Newsweek.

While it’s OK for straight actors to play gay (as Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger did in Brokeback Mountain), it’s rare for someone to pull off the trick in reverse.

Really? But also

Most actors would tell you that the biographical details of their lives are beside the point. Except when they’re not. As viewers, we are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker-room torture in junior high school.


For gay actors, why should sexual orientation limit a gay actor’s choice of roles? The fact is, an actor’s background does affect how we see his or her performance—which is why the Tom Hankses and Denzels of the world guard their privacy carefully.

It’s not just a problem for someone like Hayes [‘Jack’ in Will & Grace; currently playing the straight lead in Promises, Promises on Broadway], who even tips off your grandmother’s gaydar. For all the beefy bravado that Rock Hudson projects on-screen, Pillow Talk dissolves into a farce when you know the likes of his true bedmates.

See, if we know you’re gay, we have trouble pretending you’re something that you’re not. Because, you know, we’re not used to pretending actors are things they aren’t. That’s just weird and we can’t handle it.

Kristin Chenoweth (Annabeth Schott in The West Wing & Hayes’s costar in Promises, Promises) has posted comments in reply to the article, which can be read in their entirety here.

(Thanks, Jono)