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East Village Art War Rages

Artist Mark Kostabi, who first made his mark in the East Village in the heady 1980s, was less disappointed about being excluded from “East Village USA,” the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s retrospective about the era, than he was about being shut out from the show’s December 9 opening. Comment

Standing Firm

Matt Foreman, the head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and dozens of prominent leaders in the queer community are right. Comment

Cover Girls

It always amazes me that many longtime Met patrons rarely arrive at the opera house with any idea of who’s in that night’s cast. At best, they remember a key name or two from The New York Times review—great, but casts change over the course of an opera season, sometimes very rapidly indeed. Comment


As New Zealand’s Parliament moved last week to adopt legislation covering both same-sex and opposite-sex civil unions, a clear majority of New Zealanders polled still opposed explicit same-sex marriage rights. Those opinion polls convinced gay rights proponents that taking that last step across the boundary into full marriage equality was not politically feasible. Comment

How Soon Is Now?

Some places in Brooklyn feel like the ‘80s. Williamsburg and now Cobble Hill have become the East Village, yuppies with suits and shoulder pads mixing freely and unevenly with Latino families and artist-punks amid the new shops and eateries. DUMBO, like Soho in the past, is pushing real artists out of lofts and defacing landmark buildings to make way for moneyed minions. Comment

HRC Struggles With Its Message

After New York Times reports a retreat, Washington group scrambles with press, activist questions Correspondent Stefen Styrsky contributed reporting on this article. We also publish: […] Comment

In Order to Defeat Right Wing, Gays Need Consensus

After losing 11 referenda on gay marriage, can gays win any victories against right-wing Republicans during the next four years? Comment

Hypocrisy Unfurled

Raymond Pettibon’s work stands some where between pulp novella, punk rock, graffiti and underground zines from the fringes of a subculture that often gets quickly absorbed by the mainstream. His work has graced the album covers for groups like Black Flag and Sonic Youth. Comment

Choreography on a Canvas

Learn to say Dusan Tynek. You may see this Czech born, young New York choreographer’s name in lights. Comment

Canadian Court Invites Gay Marriages

In an interesting instance of simultaneous progress, two member nations of the British Commonwealth took significant steps toward legal equality for same-sex couples on December 8 and 9, as the New Zealand Parliament approved a Civil Union Bill and the Supreme Court of Canada issued an important advisory opinion that clears the way for a vote on same-sex marriage in the Canadian Parliament. Comment

Apocalypse Cometh


A One-Man Home Movie

“We had nothing,” Billy Crystal insists in “700 Sundays,” his solo Broadway show that traces his modest childhood in Eisenhower-era Long Beach, Long Island, where he grew up in a crowded tract house with paper-thin walls. Comment

Army Overturns Sodomy Conviction

For the first time, a military appeals court has ruled that servicemembers have a constitutional right to engage in consensual sodomy under certain circumstances. Comment

Award-Winning British Novelist Visits N.Y.

Fresh from picking up the prestigious Man Booker Prize for his critically acclaimed new novel, “The Line of Beauty,” British author Alan Hollinghurst treated a packed audience to an illuminating reading at the LGBT Community Center on Friday, December 10. Mel Wolf, the director of a speakers’ program at the Center, hosted the event. Comment

Brilliant, Starlit Night

The Metropolitan Opera can be a pretty dreary place when presenting an under-cast and under-rehearsed revival. But their new production of Handel’s “Rodelinda” on December 6 was of festival quality, brilliantly prepared and boasting a superstar cast that included David Daniels and Renée Fleming. Comment

Begotten, Not Merely Made

In an inspired statement that accompanies Tamara Gonzales’ exhibition “Seed,” the artist touches on a concert this past summer by Donovan and the notion that plants can talk, then more pessimistically wonders if Americans are really interested in dying free. Comment

Intake of a Mad Activist

Peace has a way of bombing you back to the Stone Age, doctor. Peace is that thunderous sense of dumb, heart-splitting glory in the most negligible of things. Comment

Legal Experts Remain Focused on Marriage

Spokesmen for two leading gay civil rights groups say that despite same-sex marriage’s poor showing at the ballot box this year, securing recognition of gay marriages through court challenges based in state constitutional guarantees remains central to their mission. Comment

Talent and Ambition Drive Painter

With recent canvases, Spaniard Pablo Paccinali delivers sun-drenched Mediterranean colors We also publish: […] Comment

Soothing Election Woes, Rallying Stalwarts

A post-election concert celebrating gay and Jewish life The Great Hall at Cooper Union was the site of a unique musical experience on Sunday, December 5, when the Lavender Light Gospel Choir, a gay and […] Comment

Seasonal Ornaments

Few actresses continue to be as fascinating as Vivien Leigh, whether one considers the glory of her achievements from “Gone With the Wind” to “A Streetcar Named Desire” or the dark fable of her real life. The tragedy of Leigh’s mental illness, fight with tuberculosis and doomed marriage to Laurence Olivier are fully recounted in “Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference,” at 59 E. 59 Theater (212-279-4200), playing through December 19. Comment

The Heart Engaged

John Patrick’s “The Hasty Heart” is an intensely sentimental play with a creaky structure and obvious plotting. The exposition is clumsy and feels dated, and throughout there are few surprises in store for the audience. And yet, for all this, only the abjectly cynical and misanthropic could fail to be moved by the lovely, intimate production the play has been given by the Keen Company. Comment

When the Stage Delivers Success

Playing the conniving Rev. David Marshall Lee, Neal Huff is one of the definite bright spots in the madness that is the Roundabout Theatre’s revival of Larry Shue’s play, “The Foreigner.” Comment


On the day that The New York Times ran a front-page story reporting that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) was moderating its push for same-sex marriage rights and willing to entertain a discussion of supporting Social Security privatization in return for recognition of gay and lesbian partners in the program, dozens of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) leaders sent the following letter to every member of Congress. Matt Foreman, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), initiated the letter and HRC was invited to sign on, but declined. Comment

When the Word Is the Thing

“A Talking Picture” features several European stars—Catherine Deneuve, Stephania Sandrelli, Irene Papas and John Malkovich (who although American, now lives in Europe)—cruising through the Mediterranean on a luxury ocean liner. This intriguing drama filmed in multiple locations and in almost as many languages is no “ship of fools.” Comment

Relief for Haiti

On December 9, the recording artist Wyclef Jean launched Yéle Haiti, a humanitarian relief effort aimed at the economic and political problems faced by his native Caribbean nation that has been rocked by a wave of violence and instability following the ouster of former President Jean Paul Aristide. Jean’s multi-million dollar charity movement will focus on education, entrepreneurship, community development, health care and the environment, with immediate attention placed on building schools in slum areas, supporting youth outreach on HIV/AIDS and providing micro-loans to poor and low-income people. Comment

Porno Cop’s Firing Upheld

In a quick, unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held on December 6 that the San Diego Police Department did not violate the free speech rights of an officer discharged because he sold gay porn videos featuring himself on the adults-only part of eBay’s auction Web site. Comment


VOLUME 3, ISSUE 351 | Dec. 16 - 22, 2004 Comment

A Liberating Spear of Glass and Steel

Try wrapping your tongue around this one: Dokumentationszentrum Reichspsparteitagsgelande. Comment

Life in a Multi-Colored Submarine

The title character in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” is an oceanographer, played by Bill Murray, famed for his documentaries about undersea life. Comment

Military Sodomy Ruling Offers Hope

For those legally challenging the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces, an army court’s November 30 ruling provided a glimmer of hope that they might prevail. Comment

Now It’s Up to Parliament

Canadian Prime Minster Paul Martin aims for early 2005 despite some resistance Informal polling of the Canadian Parliament indicates that members, by a 25-vote plurality, favor legalizing same-sex marriage, […] Comment


VOLUME 3, ISSUE 351 | Dec. 16 - 22, 2004 Comment

Jamaican Homophobia is Rampant

The heated debate over institutionalized homophobia on the island-nation of Jamaica took a decisive turn in mid-November with the release of a comprehensive report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the U.S.-based non-profit organization, detailing extensive, state-sanctioned abuse in Jamaica of sexual minorities and people living with HIV/AIDS. Comment

A Broken Sisterhood

“Open My Heart” opens with two sisters—the 17-year-old Caterina (Giada Colagrande, who also directs) and her older sibling Maria (Natalie Cristiani)—sharing a bed. Yet what might pass as sisterly affection is soon revealed to be more intimate than one might expect or even appreciate. It is not long before Maria is seen naked writhing in ecstasy as Caterina pleasures her sexually. Curiously, this lesbian incest scene is not the most shocking development in this bold DV film directed by Colagrande in a cool, minimalist style. Comment

7 days

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 351 | Dec. 16 - 22, 2004 Comment

‘20/20’ Coordination Faulted

Matt Shepard’s family disturbed by journalist’s ties to murderer’s lawyer We also publish: […] Comment

HIV-Positive Tenants Seek Relief

When James Staton, who is living with HIV, moved into the Malibu Hotel on the corner of Broadway and 103rd Street in November of last year, after separating from his wife, he was appalled by his new housing conditions. Comment


The Hetrick-Martin Institute, the world’s oldest and largest non-profit group serving at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, held its 18th annual Emery Awards dinner […] Comment

Flying Too Close to the Sun

Here’s a real conundrum—why would Martin Scorsese spend millions of Miramax dollars on scrupulous ‘40s Hollywood research and production for “The Aviator,” his biopic of Howard Hughes, and then cast some blandly handsome, soap opera-looking guy as Spencer Tracy, whom many considered the most distinctive film actor of his generation? Comment

Japan’s Knowing Shutterbug

A black and white photograph of a cloud over the sea, from the series “The Pencil of the Sun” (1971) by the Japanese photographer Shomei Tomatsu, born in 1930, is a striking image, not the least because of its prescience. The isolated cloud, distinct against an empty sky, casts its backlit reflection over a calm sea; the horizon tips down to the right. Everything is fine and at the same time, not fine at all. Comment


VOLUME 3, ISSUE 350 | Dec. 09 - 15, 2004 Comment

Mad as Hell and Ready to Organize

As I sit on a plane leaving St. Louis and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s November “Creating Change 2004” conference behind, I am feeling a little overwhelmed. Comment

Evidence of Jumping the Gun

Roughly two months before reporting began for a “20/20” piece on the Matthew Shepard killing, the freelance producer who sold the story to the ABC program had decided that methamphetamine motivated the murder and not anti-gay bias. Comment

Lesbian Methodist Minister Defrocked

Stroud was charged with violating Paragraph 2702.1(b) of the 2000 Book of Comment

Bastardized Classic In A Nut Shell

Few people go directly from thumb sucking to the opera house, but there are always exceptions. David Parker’s first gained notoriety with the piece “Bang and Suck,” so maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised. The erudite choreographer uses tap, ballet, modern dance and the language of Hollywood musicals to craft his witty works, and recently acknowledged, “Twyla showed me I could keep my vocabulary and still do what I wanted.” Comment

A Gay Wit that Matches Sharp Talent

My premise: All artists steal, but if you know you’re stealing, you try to disguise it. If you don’t know you’re stealing, you’re just a second-rate imitator.—Ned Rorem, from his most recent diary, “Lies” (Da Capo Press, 2002). Comment

A Former Partner Granted Maternity

The Court of Appeals of Indiana ruled on November 24 that the lesbian mother of a child conceived through donor insemination of her former female partner is a legal parent of the child and entitled to seek custody and visitation. Comment

Albany Passes Drug Law Reform

The New York State Legislature voted on Tuesday to reform New York’s stringent “Rockefeller” drug laws, among the harshest in the nation, and eliminate stiff mandatory minimum sentences for first-time drug offenders caught selling small amounts of controlled substances. Comment

A Nightingale’s Memory Play

If you have ever heard Florence Foster Jenkins’ singing on recordings—off-pitch, often toneless, and ungifted at languages, like an elderly Yma Sumac impersonator channeling William Hung—you probably wonder why anyone would wish to stage a musical play about this highly dubious musical performer, who died in 1944. Comment

Marriage Argued in NJ Appeals Court

In oral aruments Tuesday, December 7 before a three-judge appellate panel in Trenton, Lambda Legal attorneys representing seven gay and lesbian plaintiff couples and lawyers from the New Jersey attorney general’s office squared off in the second round of a same-sex marriage lawsuit initiated in June 2002. Comment

Applying Ingenuity to Crises

According to United Nations’ statistics, nearly 6,000 children around the world die on a daily basis from lack of clean water and poor hygiene. Comment

Military Gay Ban Under Attack

On December 6, twelve gay and lesbian former service members sued to overturn the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibits gays and lesbians from openly serving in the armed forces. Comment

Poorly Lit Closet

“Straight-Jacket” tries to milk humor and social commentary from the premise of having a vain, promiscuous gay actor in 1950s Hollywood fall in love with the man of his dreams while posing as straight to save his career. Comment

Photographs That Show and Tell

Certain images from “Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful/In Vietnam,” Martha Rosler’s photo-collage series from the late 1960s, have become so embedded in our art-consciousness as to be nearly invisible. Comment

Second Court Rejects Gay Marriage

A second New York trial judge has ruled on the current round of same-sex marriage cases pending in courts around the state, again dismissing the claims of gay and lesbian plaintiffs. Comment

Sondheim’s Japanese Gem Revived

For Sondheim fans with only the 1976 original cast album, some photographs and reminiscences of those “who were there,” the first Broadway revival of “Pacific Overtures” is something that we scheduled our autumn outings around. After all, we’d waited nearly 30 years for this. Comment

What Day Is It Anyway?

December 1, 2004: The New York Times’ page one stories ranged from the demolition of Falluja to the court-recommended annual $5.6 billion increase for New York City’s public schools. Comment

Trying Lord Byron for Murder

Brilliant British wit, introspective drama and sultry romance fuse into the present day discovery of an intriguing two-century forgotten murder mystery that deliciously ponders the interaction between science and poetry in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” now playing at Manhattan Theatre Source. The Invisible City Theater Company’s production fits perfectly with the play’s humorous yet cerebral sensibilities. Comment

Philly Partner Law Upheld

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on December 6 weighed in heavily on the matter of same-sex relationships, unanimously upholding the constitutionality of a Philadelphia statute allowing same-sex couples to register as life partners, and ruling that such partners may receive the same benefits as legal dependents of public employees. Comment

Once-Austere Director’s Love Story

Halfway through “Dolls,” a pop singer performs an ode to the transforming power of love. While her words are banal, they speak for the film itself. Comment

Mining ‘80s East Village Art

It was when Dan Cameron, not long ago, was conducting a slide lecture in the MFA program at Columbia University—a lecture on the East Village artists of the 1980s—that he found he seemed to be talking about another country, “some generic Elsewhere, where the names Haring and Scharf and Basquiat were complete mysteries to these students.” Comment

7 days

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 350 | Dec. 09 - 15, 2004 Comment

Naval Alumni Again Reject Gay Chapter

In an official announcement that brings to mind the fiction writing of George Orwell, trustees of the Naval Academy Alumni Association (NAAA) have denied recognition to the proposed Castro Chapter, made up of 67 Annapolis graduates, many of them gay, lesbian, or transgendered, arguing that rejecting the chapter “reaffirms the Alumni Association’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.” Comment

‘Neal-ing’ in Pat’s Honor, Pippin’s Pips, Rorem’s Nonchalance

Patrici Neal’s tribute at the National Arts Club on December 2 really kicked off the holiday season in fine fettle. The club was gussied up for the holidays like the house in “Meet Me in St. […] Comment


VOLUME 3, ISSUE 350 | Dec. 09 - 15, 2004 Comment

Networks Reject Inclusive Christian Ad

Two national networks declined to air a TV commercial, produced on behalf of the United Church of Christ, that seeks to encourage racial and sexual orientation tolerance amongst Christian churchgoers. Comment

Meth Effort Aimed at Gay African-Americans

The mounting threat of crystal meth use in the gay African-American community is pushing gay health organizations into action. Comment


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