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No Asylum for Colombian

A unanimous three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, rejected Luis Fabriciano Rico’s appeal of the denial of his asylum petition. Rico, an HIV-positive gay man from Colombia, had asserted both political and social grounds, but the court found no basis to set aside a determination by an Immigration Judge that his claims lacked credibility. Comment

Quinn In the Hunt For Speakership

The other Democratic councilmembers vying for speaker who turned out for the event at Baruch College in Manhattan were Bill DiBlasio and Lewis Fidler of Brooklyn, Joel Rivera of the Bronx, and three from Queens—David Weprin, Melinda Katz, and Leroy Comrie. Comment

Salvation Army Lawsuit Alive

A New York State trial judge ruled on November 16 that the religious exemptions in the New York State and City Human Rights Laws would not necessarily block a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the Salvation Army by a gay Jewish social worker hired after September 11, 2001, to work on World Trade Center relief and abruptly discharged in January 2002 after complaining about harassment by his supervisor. Comment

News Briefs

Outrage in New Jersey Comment

Loving the ’80s

Nostalgia for the music and fashion of the ‘80s is here, manifested in everything from skinny ties and checkered vans to shows like VH1’s “I Love the ‘80s.” From the innovators to the one-hit wonders, bands that hit it big 25 years ago are beginning to resurface to either peddle their old hits in new collections, or show fans that through the years, they have continued to grow. Recent releases by the Eurythmics, Simply Red, and Cyndi Lauper skirt the line. Comment

Letter from the Editor

Volume 4, Number 47 | November 24 - 30, 2005 Comment

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Please address letters to the editor to Comment

Santorum Retirement Parties Begin

This past Sunday, instead of enjoying a perfectly blue autumn sky, about 20 men gathered at a private home in Washington, D.C. to raise money for the National Stonewall Democrats’ campaign to defeat Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum. Comment

Save Us, Gay Iranian Pleads

The lethal anti-gay pogrom in the Islamic Republic of Iran undertaken by recently elected, archconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to send homosexuals to the gallows. Comment

Weighty and Not-So Divas

Musically, it doesn’t get more celestial than the “Debbie & Ben Show,” which is how opera aficionados affectionately referred to the Lincoln Center Fall Gala concert given by tenor Ben Heppner and soprano Deborah Voigt at Avery Fisher Hall on November 9. La Voigt made a sensational entrance that had fans screaming, looking ultra-svelte in a ball gown—a fabulous rebuke to those idiots at Covent Garden who fired her last year because she was thought too fat to wear the little black cocktail dress that “naturally” figures in every respectful production of Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos.” Comment

When Elaborate Productions Lack

The Metropolitan Opera’s tepid new production of Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” demonstrates that a superstar diva plus shiny new sets and costumes can add up to something less than an exciting night in the theater. Comment

2005 COURAGE AWARDS

This year’s honorees included (l. to r.) Safe Horizons, represented by Bea Hanson; State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick; Deutsche Bank, represented by Gary Hattem; State Senator Tom Duane; and Richard Haymes, who just stepped down after seven years as the head of AVP. Comment

Trekking Viet Nam’s Countryside

For the 15 of us on the amfAR Trek Asia challenge in Viet Nam, our journey began on October 28 as we arrived at the Hotel Hong Ngoc, on the edge of Hanoi’s old quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake. The surrounding streets were hot, humid, and crowded—a riot of activity marked by narrow lanes crammed with food stall hawkers, itinerant vegetable and flower vendors, bicyclists, pedestrians, and the ubiquitous and noisy scooters, parked on any hint of a sidewalk. With few traffic lights and fewer still working, walking around to catch some sites our first day seemed a game of chicken. Comment

The Messenger Failed Us

Kramer squarely misplaces the blame for his own guilty conscience onto the shoulders of an abstract giant he calls “today’s gays” but could just as easily have described as “everyone else.” Comment

Seductive and Complicit

Performance art can be a hard sell. Unlike sculpture, painting, video, or photography, performance is fluid and impermanent; it is difficult to collect and therefore difficult to take seriously. Whereas ballet and Broadway theater require an attention to plot, staging, and drama, performance knows no such barriers. Thus, it requires patience and a bit of humor on the part of the viewer. At its best, performance can be seductive by its need to engage the audience and make it complicit in the action. At its worst performance can be solipsistic and ego driven with angry, weeping monologues. Comment

Stigma and a Traditional Society

The Hanoi coffee shop we visited was located on a heavily trafficked, crowded, narrow lane, just off of a major road near the city center. There was nothing remarkable about the shop; just a few tables and chairs made up the serving area. A steep staircase with very shallow steps, typical for Hanoi, led to us up to a second floor room, with high windows at the front that keep the interior bright and cheerful. A group of seven young men and women were seated on the floor when we arrived. Comment

La Vie Loisaida

The film version of “Rent” starts off magnificently, Brechtian-style, with the cast members on an empty Broadway stage, each individually spotlighted, as they sing the show’s best song, “Seasons of Love.” Unfortunately, by beginning things on such a high note, the movie has to reach hard to sustain that opening. Clearly a labor of love for director Chris Columbus, the film is gorgeously shot and smoothly handled, but this is, perhaps, one time in which such utter faithfulness to the original book might have been better eschewed. Comment

Gay Marriage Wins In South Africa

In a unanimous ruling issued on December 1, the highest court of South Africa ruled that the continued exclusion of same-sex couples from legal marriage violate two provisions of the national Constitution when considered in combination—the requirement of equality before the law and the ban on sexual orientation discrimination by the government. Comment

AVP HONORS THE COURAGEOUS

At an annual gala marked by a bittersweet passing of the baton, the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project celebrated its 25th anniversary at Gotham Hall in Midtown on November 10. Comment

Border Incidents

Is Chantal Akerman the greatest woman director in the history of film? Just ahead of a December 3 symposium at Princeton devoted to the Belgian Jewish lesbian auteur, Anthology Film Archives is hosting a capsule retrospective through this weekend, including two of her superb, undervalued documentaries, “South” and “From the Other Side.” Comment

7 Days of Readings

50 American Revolutions In the current U.S. political environment, why is it “un-American” to question our government’s policies? How did the far-right manage to claim the flag exclusively for itself? In “50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed to Know,” author Micky Z highlights 50 reasons to be a proud, progressive patriot. Bluestockings, 172 Allen St., btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts.. 212-777-6028. Nov. 18 7 p.m. Free. Comment

7 Days in cinema

GAY SEX IN THE 70S Joseph Lovett’s film covers the sexually explosive 12-year period (1969-1981) between Stonewall and the onset of AIDS. Straightforward, funny, and titillating at the same time, this collection of memoirs are conveyed with humor and perspective. For those who have come of age in the era of safe sex and gay marriage, the film may present a startling revelation of what everyday life was like. Quad Cinema. Comment

Killer Theater

Rejoice! “Sweeney Todd” is back on Broadway in a production that is pure genius. Rich in storytelling, gripping in intellectual scope, and performed by a superlative cast, this quintessential 20th century musical, with book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, has been reconceived for today’s world. Intimate, gripping, and more darkly disturbing than previous productions, it is political theater of the first order in the guise of a seat-edge storytelling experience. Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Holiday tradition Comment

Collective Consciousness

A scant few were allowed into the cramped downtown space of Joyce SoHo Friday November 11, as the unfortunate majority queued up for cancellations, shivering in the cold, hoping to get into a show that had been sold out for weeks. Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 4, Number 47 | November 24 - 30, 2005 Comment

I Link, Therefore I Am

Terrorist attacks, category five hurricanes, bird flu. These potent threats, which defy laws of conventional defense, are striking unprecedented levels of fear in the hearts of 21st century Americans. But there’s a quiet, more insidious danger out there that threatens everyone, everywhere, every day—electronic identity theft. Comment

Community Center Grows Up in The Bronx

William Gilbert started going there a month ago. Living only a few blocks down the street, he heard about the Spot Next Door through a friend. He now pays several visits a week to the gay youth drop-in center at the Bronx Consortium, located on 149th Street in the South Bronx. Comment

Gay Infections Still Lead

Gay and bisexual men continue to bear the brunt of the AIDS epidemic, according to four years worth of data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 17. Comment

French Cinema Icon, One Frame at a Time

Isabelle Huppert, a veteran in French cinema, is perhaps best known for her performance as Erika Kohut, a sexually repressed and self-destructive piano teacher in director Michael Haneke’s 2001 psychological drama “La Pianiste.” Huppert received the Best Actress award for the role at the Cannes Film Festival. Alternately, U.S. audiences may have been introduced to her in François Ozon’s popular, campy, black comedy/ musical mystery “8 Femmes,” released in 2002. Comment

Confirmed Dead and Wounded

The following members of the United States Armed Forces died during the past week in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the inception of hostilities, 2,102 service members have died, 1,958 of them since President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 15,804 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

Creach Kicks Back

Revelatory portraits test dancer’s skill and virtuosity Terry Creach’s easygoing improvisational style feels like a Friday evening. The untangling of nerves gives reason to celebrate early. […] Comment

For the Greater Good

One of the major choreographers to emerge in America in the last decade, Ronald K. Brown has become renowned for his choreographic style, merging African and modern dance traditions in works that address social and cultural themes. His first commission for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1999, “Grace,” now in the repertory of his own company, evidence, is his finest work to date. Comment

President Salutes Anonymous Red-Baiter

Military bands played and choirs of sweet-voiced children sang today at Arlington National Cemetery, as President George W. Bush officially commemorated nearly a century of anti-communist hysteria in a stirring ceremony consecrating the Tomb of the Unknown Red-Baiter. Comment

Out of the Frying Pan

Unlike comedies such as “Some Like It Hot” or “Tootsie,” gender-bending dramas have a more difficult time bearing their odd yet interesting fruit—one of the weirdest being “Pope Joan” in which Liv Ullman takes advantage of circumstances, poses as a man, and winds up the pontiff. And who could forget Neil Jordan’s “The Crying Game”? Along with the shock and awe, you wonder why no one seems to notice the gender switch. Comment

Lost in Translation

Transculturation weighed down by choreographer’s pretension Confusion and pretension were doled out in equal portions at the Japan Society in Akemi Takeya’s “BODYPOEMS,” November […] Comment

My Big Fat Greek Tragedy

The original title for “Blackmail Boy,” the quasi-erotic queer thriller from the Greek filmmaking duo Michalis Reppas and Thanassis Papathanasiou, was “Oxygono” (“Oxygen”). Comment

National Leaders Look to 2006

In a panel of national gay leaders convened last week in Manhattan, America’s leading gay Republican promised “a bit of a civil war” within the GOP, a top gay Democrat vowed to unseat Pennsylvania’s stridently homophobic U.S. senator, Rick Santorum, and the head of the Human Rights Campaign said the American “mindset” has shifted during the past year from fear to anger, with important implications for the LGBT community. Comment

News Briefs

Imminent Vatican Purge of Gay Seminarians Comment

SUNSHINE, LOLLYPOPS, AND RAINBOWS

Lesbian pop singer Lesley Gore was honored with the William Passanante Award at the Village Care of New York Legends of the Village Awards on Monday at Strata in the Flatiron district and she treated the crowd to three of her hit songs. Comment

Trans Activists Seek City Support for Jobs Fair

The office of Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who just last week was reelected by a wide margin, was the target this Tuesday of a vocal demonstration by representatives of TransJustice, a working group within the Audre Lorde Project, the queer people of color community center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Comment

Universal Movement

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s stalwartly sighs with her torso, crouching in demi-plié in her silent introductory solo. Facing the audience at the edge of the stage, her épaulement has a purpose. Addressing us with mind and body, her outstretched hand says, “You, I’m talking to you.” She utters “Once” in a throaty voice, prefacing Joan Baez’s “Once I had a sweetheart…” The singer and the dancer are copasetic partners in De Keersmaeker’s 2002 full-evening solo “Once,” which had its premiere in New York November 8 to 12 at the Joyce Theater. Comment

Long Island Lolita

Set on Long Island in the 1970s, Newman embraces the Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuco reference, finally telling the story from the young woman’s point of view. Although Newman’s version is purely fictional, “Jailbait” feels like a true-to-life autobiography written in a puffy pink diary with a heart-shaped lock. Though the main character Andi is far from teen-queen femme, her world feminizes and sexualizes her. Comment

The President’s Kid Brother

It was, Jack Holmes said, “a standard agent’s question.” This was 10 or so years ago, when the pride of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was a wishful actor in New York. Comment

Task Force Focuses on Faith

So much of the bigotry we face is framed around so-called “deeply held religious beliefs,” argued National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Matt Foreman, that the gay civil rights movement will not advance further unless it goes forward as a united secular and religious community. Comment

Seeing and Not Believing

I heard something most unusual as I left Michael John LaChiusa’s stunning new musical, “See What I Wanna See” at the Public recently. People were actually humming snatches of the songs. Had this been “Spamalot” or “Jersey Boys,” I would have expected it. Heck, audience members sing along at both those shows. But LaChiusa? Whose complex harmonies and unconventional song structure seem intentionally designed to defy toe-tapping? Yep. Comment

Sisterhood, Then and Now

History repeats itself. And in the meantime, memories dim and attention spans shorten. Lulled by the hopeful, or perhaps hopeless, invocation of the end of progress, many bathe in the accomplishments of those who came before. Or simply cash in for the quick fix, or quick pick–that lottery of private fulfillment. Comment

Reprieve For Dad With HIV

An HIV-positive father succeeded in winning a new opportunity to seek custody of his three children on November 7 when the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, reversing a decision by the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, ruled that the trial court had improperly awarded custody to the children’s maternal grandmother over the father’s protest. Comment

CALLEN-LORDE HONORS NAVRATILOVA, REED, AND ISAY

City Councilman Philip Reed, who was first elected to represent Upper Manhattan in 1998, called the event a “bittersweet moment for me” as he will be out of office in five weeks due to term limits, but he didn’t sound ready to retire. Comment

A Face Transparent and Opaque

Set in 1930s France and based on a novel by Belgian author Madeleine Bourdouxhe, “Gilles’ Wife” isn’t just a period piece. It feels like it was made in the past. Granted, there are a few modern touches—nearly abstract images under the opening credits, a sex scene in the first five minutes. However, its title heroine is a rather old-fashioned, pre-feminist character—woman as an inscrutable yet powerful enigma. Comment

A Mythic Manhattan of Sex

Once upon a time, New York was a roiling sexual wonderland. The adventurous-minded could wake up on any given morning and wonder where the day would take them—East Side, West Side, Central Park Rambles, back room bars, bathhouses, porn theaters, the West Village piers, and––yes, it was all true––those infamous trucks. Comment

7 Days of Readings

50 American Revolutions In the current U.S. political environment, why is it “un-American” to question our government’s policies? How did the far-right manage to claim the flag exclusively for itself? In “50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed to Know,” author Micky Z highlights 50 reasons to be a proud, progressive patriot. Bluestockings, 172 Allen St., btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts.. 212-777-6028. Nov. 18 7 p.m. Free. Comment

7 Days in cinema

GAY SEX IN THE 70S Joseph Lovett’s film covers the sexually explosive 12-year period (1969-1981) between Stonewall and the onset of AIDS. Straightforward, funny, and titillating at the same time, this collection of memoirs are conveyed with humor and perspective. For those who have come of age in the era of safe sex and gay marriage, the film may present a startling revelation of what everyday life was like. Quad Cinema. Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 4, Number 46 | November 17 - 23, 2005 Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Public and Private Monuments Comment

A Star is Borne

Irish auteur Neil Jordan’s adaptation of Patrick McCabe’s Booker Prize-shortlisted novel “Breakfast on Pluto” fills out this fall’s boomlet of gay period dramas, joining “Capote” and the forthcoming “Brokeback Mountain” in revisiting the postwar decades through an ostensibly queer subjectivity. Comment

Confirmed Dead and Wounded

The following members of the United States Armed Forces died during the past two weeks in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the inception of hostilities, 2,078 service members have died, 1,934 of them since President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 15,704 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

Jersey Serial Murder Convictions

After deliberating for just three hours, a New Jersey jury found Richard W. Rogers guilty in the 1992 killing of Thomas R. Mulcahy and the 1993 slaying of Anthony E. Marrero. Comment

Keeping the Castle

A man’s home is his castle in some parts of the world, even if your neighbors don’t think much of the house. Saverio Costanzo reduces the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a single home, situated between a rock and a hard place. Comment

HIV Stats Stagger

A town meeting concerning the state of HIV prevention among African-American gay men drew roughly 50 people to the Fashion Institute of Technology. Comment

George W. Bush Moves to Regain the Offensive

Michael Bloomberg was losing to Freddy Ferrer in the December 2004 Marist Poll by a margin of 51 percent to 39 percent. Only 39 percent approve of the job George W. Bush is doing, according to a recent ABC/ Washington Post poll. The president is down but not out. The public’s disenchantment with the war in Iraq may be only skin-deep. Comment

Dynamiting the Nuance

Despite its title, Israeli director Eran Riklis’ “The Syrian Bride” is as much about a community as one woman. It’s set in a village in the Golan Heights, a region occupied by Israel since 1967. The Druze community lives there. Their identity is an open question—the bride’s passport marks her nationality as undeclared. The Druze speak Arabic and consider their religion a variation of Islam, although many Middle Eastern Muslims disagree. They don’t allow conversion or interfaith marriages. Some Israeli Druze identify themselves as citizens of that country, but many Golan Heights residents consider themselves Syrian. Comment

GAY VETS MARCH IN MANHATTAN

A contingent from the American Veterans For Equal Rights New York (AVERNY), the advocacy and support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered military veterans, marched in last Friday’s Veteran’s Day Parade in Manhattan. Comment

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 14, 2005 Comment

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