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Icon of the Left, Warts and All

Gore Vidal seduced me when I was just a youth. We were in the paperback book section of the now-defunct department store E.J. Korvette’s, and he, or rather his alter-ego, a transsexual avenger named Myra Breckinridge, got me hot and bothered with her clinical account of stripping and strap-on riding an all-American straight boy called Rusty. 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 violates 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

In Vitro Bias Claim May Fail

A unanimous California appeals court panel ruled on December 2 that the North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group may not have violated California’s civil rights act, at least as it existed as of 2000, when several of its doctors refused to perform an in vitro fertilization procedure for a lesbian based on their personal religious objections. Comment


November 28, 2005 Comment

Mike Kelley, American Goth

Mike Kelley, who lives and works in Los Angeles, came of age during a time when America was flexing its muscles as a new world power, in the process of creating an imagined post-war utopia. Promise and plenty were the American dream as suburban families multiplied, and the task of training the newest Americans was transferred to the institutional system of schools. Comment

Life Passing Before You

My guest and I nearly floated out of the Duke on New 42nd Street after seeing Armitage Gone! Dance opening night. Was it Megumi Eda’s featherweight solos? Was it the elusive connections between the dancers? One light tap or kick and they split, but not for long. Was it the playful banter in the second movement? In this entrancing dance, movement is charged with anima, muscles make meaning. Comment

Frieden Steps Up War on HIV

While he continues to argue for more HIV testing, more HIV prevention, and increasing efforts to contact and test the sex partners of people who are infected with the virus, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city’s health commissioner, began a December 6 interview by stating what he was not seeking to do. 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, 2,134 service members have died, 1,990 of them since President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 15,955 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

$825,000 For Targeting Crystal Meth

Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Senator Charles Schumer, both Democrats, turned out at the LGBT Community Center on World AIDS Day to announce they had secured $825,000 in federal funding for the crystal methamphetamine prevention and treatment program developed there. Comment

All About My Father

“Transamerica,” the new film written and directed by Duncan Tucker, is terribly written, poorly conceived, and its premise is stupid to the point of ridiculousness. It is also, most likely, the best film of 2005. Comment

Bloomberg Commish ‘Misspoke’

Michael Adams, director of education and public affairs at Lambda, said the group never asked the mayor to appeal the case and that the only conversation between its executive director, Kevin Cathcart, and the mayor was a two-minute “courtesy call” from Bloomberg informing Lambda that he was fighting the historic ruling. Comment


The first to have their ceremony, however, were Matthew Roche, 46, and Christopher Cramp, 37, a couple for seven years, who were granted a waiver to proceed at St. Barnabas Hospice in Worthing, West Sussex where Roche lay dying of cancer. Comment

City Debuts New AIDS Curriculum

After years of delay and a disregard for mandates that HIV/AIDS be taught in the city public schools, the Department of Education unveiled a revised AIDS curriculum on December 1 and pledged that the required lessons would be taught before the end of the year. AIDS education advocates, who are just getting a look at the document now, are skeptical of that commitment and critical of Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s continuation of a Giuliani-era policy barring health educators from doing condom demonstrations in classrooms. Comment

News Briefs

Ford Dumps Ads from Gay Publications Comment

No Resolution on Pier Closing

Two proposals made by a Community Board 2 committee that are meant to reduce late night crowds in the West Village were effectively rejected by residents of that neighborhood and the queer youth of color who for many years have gathered in the Hudson River Park at the end of Christopher Street. Comment

Up Close and Personal

I’m not sure that lying down is always more comfortable than sitting. Opening night at John Jasperse’s “Prone,” we’re asked to choose between the French air mattresses lined up in rows like a fantasy sleeper flight, and the chairs around the perimeter. First-comers tend to choose the mattresses; they look like part of the party, and the sidelines are for watching. Comment

There and Back Again

One of New York’s more delightful, witty, and ebullient gay composers, Gerald Busby, will mark his 70th birthday with a December 18 concert of new works in Weill Recital Hall. The longtime friend of composer/critic Virgil Thomson is recognized for his scores for Paul Taylor Dance Company’s “Runes,” and Robert Altman’s film “3 Women.” Comment

West of Never

Arriving on an avalanche of hype, “Brokeback Mountain” finally reaches the screen nine years after E. Annie Proulx’s memorable short story first appeared in The New Yorker, after a string of false starts. The story’s enduring impression—once the novelty wore off, one of sentimentality and archaism—is preserved intact in Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry’s reverent yet inventive adaptation. Comment

Who Loves Ya?

“Jukebox Musical” has become a term that is generally used derisively by the theatrical cognoscenti. And, to be blunt, derision is barely sufficient for such horrors as “Good Vibrations” and “Lennon.” Comment


The annual Out of the Darkness candlelight vigil and march (lowr right) began at 7:45 p.m. on December 1, World AIDS Day, at the LGBT Community Center on West 13th Street and wound its way up Eighth Avenue to 22nd Street, where the townhouse that served as the original headquarters of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis stands. There the reading of names of those who have died in the epidemic. Brent Nicholson Earle, whose American Run for the End of AIDS helped launch this annual commemoration, is pictured. Comment

Words v. Action on World AIDS Day

Last week in his World AIDS Day address, President George W. Bush affirmed America’s commitment to fighting the worldwide epidemic with an unprecedented amount of resources. The occasion’s importance was reinforced by the presence of five cabinet secretaries—Defense’s Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice from State, Labor’s Elaine Chao, Commerce’s Carlos Gutierrez, and Mike Leavitt from Health and Human Services. Comment

The Grassroots Demand Marriage

In Emmaia Gelman’s “Rebuilding Queer Community, Beyond Marriage,” in last week’s Gay City News, the writer expresses the wish that “the Marriage Gays would stop telling me how to live my life.” Comment

The Body and its Terrors

“Marebito” takes the Japanese horror genre in new directions What’s a filmmaker to do when his inventions quickly become clichés? The cycle of Japanese horror films that began […] Comment

Party Like It’s 1977

“Abigail’s Party” opens with a sultry blonde slinking around her tan and orange 1970s abode, compulsively arranging hors d’oeuvres for company soon to arrive. What first appears to be a powder blue, fluff-trimmed robe is actually a party dress. It matches her eye shadow. Comment

Bloomberg continues his fight against gay marriage

Volume 4, Number 49 | December 8 - 14, 2005 Comment

Pier Police to Get Sensitivity Training

Park Enforcement Patrol officers in the Hudson River Park will receive supplemental training to equip them to deal with specific conditions and complaints of park users that have arisen in the five-mile-long park in the two years since it opened. Comment

Power Play


Supremes Weigh Military on Campus

In the wake of oral arguments made this Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will now decide whether institutions of higher learning can protest the military’s ban on gay service members by barring military recruiters without endangering their federal funding. Comment

Some Welcome Year-End Murtha

Thank the heavens for John Murtha, the Pennsylvania congressman, who has forced the Democrats to speak about the war. Comment

7 Days of Readings

Join Morris Kaplan author of “Sodom on the Thames: Sex, Love, and Scandal in Wilde Times,” Dec. 9 7 p.m. at Labyrinth Books, 536 W. 112th St (1 train to 110th). 212-865-1588. Comment

7 Days in cinema

BALLETS RUSSES “Ballets Russes” usefully renovates a neglected eminence, chronicling the company’s history 1909 as the inspiration of Sergei Diaghilev, the polymath Russian expatriate, who drew Matisse, Picasso, and Stravinsky into orbit around the nucleus of choreographers Mikhail Fokine, Léonide Massine, and dancer Vaslav Nijinksy. The highly wrought script manages the feat of compressing an 80-year history into exactly two vacuum-packed hours. Yet, it would have been more valuable still had it accurately conveyed the company’s uniquely progressive queer reality. Film Forum. (Ioannis Mookas) Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Fab Five Junior Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 4, Number 49 | December 8 - 14, 2005 Comment

Embracing Tragedy and Cabaret

I was already enamored of Patricia Racette’s voice and artistry when I heard her speak at the Music Critics Association conference in Santa Fe four summers ago. As the sole singer on a panel devoted to the vocal arts, Racette grew increasingly exasperated as one critic after another discussed their favorite historic vocal recordings in purely technical terms. Comment

Doubles, Dualities, and Symmetry

Lyrical and transcendent, or a tedious bore––“Far Side of the Moon,” will probably not generate indifference. This visually stunning Canadian film written, directed, and starring Robert Lepage in two roles, is a highly stylized feature that will appeal to discerning viewers who like finding meanings in doubles and symmetry. All others, beware. Comment

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro

Sequel and prequel operas at the Met, Opera Company of Philadelphia Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’s incendiary trilogy of French plays set in Spain produced two of the masterworks of Italian-language […] Comment

Gay Relief on the World Map

Jeffrey Cotter believes that it is important to offer aid to people in need around the globe and also critical that the gay community demonstrate that it is committed to that goal. Comment

Hester Gave Us Justice; Give It to Her in Return

For nearly half a century now, I have been proud to call myself an Ocean County native. Among the many highlights of my life have been the years I spent in law enforcement with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, where I worked alongside Lieutenant Laurel Hester. 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, 2,108 ervice members have died, 1,964 of them since President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 15,881 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

Gay, Jewish, Ivy, Hip Hop Homo

Soce, the Elemental Wizard, is also known by his birth moniker, Andrew Singer. Singer is quick to point out that he is not the only white, gay, Jewish rapper out there, but he is probably the only Ivy League-educated (Yale), violin-playing rapper trying to break down barriers in a music industry niche too often scarred by homophobia. Comment

California Girds For Marriage Fight

Battle lines are forming in California for what advocates are calling a decisive campaign in the war for lesbian and gay equality across the country. Two proposed constitutional amendments, currently at the signature-gathering stage, would not only ban gay marriage in the nation’s largest state, but would also entirely erase the state’s domestic partnership laws, in effect since 1999, which are some of the most nation’s most comprehensive. Comment

7 Days of Readings

The Independent and Small Press Book Fair Authors Jennifer Natalya Fink, Thomas Woolley, and Emanuel Xavier will appear for meet and greet book signings with Suspect Thoughts Press publisher Greg Wharton at The Eighteenth Independent and Small Press Book Fair. Dec. 3, 3 p.m. meet Emanuel Xavier, the gay author of “Americano,” a poetry collection; Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. meet Jennifer Natalya Fink, author of the novel burn “Burn;” and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. meet Thomas Woolley, author of “Toilet,” a collection of gay fiction. The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 W. 44th St., 212-764-7021 or Comment

A Gay Catholic’s Response to the Vatican

As expected, the Vatican this week announced that it will no longer allow gay men into seminaries. The Church has chosen to deny these men the opportunity to follow their vocation—their calling from God––to enter the priesthood. Many LGBT people point to this latest evidence of intolerance and wonder why there are any gay Catholics left at all. Comment

Allies Rally to Ailing Lesbian Cop

A crowd estimated at roughly 200 turned out in unseasonably chilly temperatures on the eve of Thanksgiving to protest the refusal of the Board of Freeholders in Ocean County, New Jersey to grant a request from Lieutenant Laurel Hester, a 24-year veteran police officer with the county prosecutor’s office who is dying of cancer, that her domestic partner, Stacie Andree, be given the same benefits accorded spouses. Comment

HIV and Smoking: Burning Up Lives

Ten years ago, back in 1995, when I had been diagnosed HIV-positive for about six years, I used to take a long Bette Davis drag on my Marlboro Light and joke that I aspired to die of lung cancer, dahling. The morbid joke was that, with limited, problematic medicines for AIDS, I’d be lucky to live long enough to have to deal with the chronic health problems of people without the virus. Coronary problems? Bring ‘em on! Yuk, yuk. Comment

Circumspect Cultural Pioneer

Remembering a mentor, Peter Hujar, at P.S. 1 in Long Island City Peter Hujar (1934-1987) was a prolific fine art photographer who had an underground reputation in the downtown New York scene. The prints […] Comment

Just Right

For a long time James Nares has been a downtown cultural icon for one reason or another. Though always a painter, he has also been a musician, performer, filmmaker, and new-wave club personality. Painting is supposedly one of the things a person gets better at the longer one does it. Nares’ work is an example of the truth in that adage. Comment

Rebuilding Queer Community, Beyond Marriage

My mother loves gay marriage. She’d vote for it in a heartbeat. She phone-stalked Hillary Clinton about it and kvelled about Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco mayor’s whose maverick streak brought […] Comment

Radical Rigor



Volume 4, Number 48 | December 1 - 7, 2005 Comment


The following excerpts from the document issued by the Vatican on November 29 were translated into English by Catholic World News Comment

Vatican Gay Scapegoating Official

Cardinal Josef Ratzinger was the author of some of the most vicious, anti-gay documents to come out of the Vatican in the 1980s, labeling even the status of being homosexual “an intrinsic disorder” and suggesting that gay victims of violence bring it upon themselves by claiming civil rights protections for behavior “to which no one has any conceivable right.” Comment

Polish Gays Fighting Back

Pro-gay demonstrations were held in cities all over Poland this past weekend to protest the banning and police repression of a November 19 gay March for Equality and Tolerance in Poznan, in which 68 of some 500 demonstrators were assaulted and arrested. Comment


Volume 4, Number 48 | December 1 - 7, 2005 Comment

Knowledge of Place

Poor little Utah. Well, poor not-so-little Utah. On the first map Paula Scher ever made of the United States—“The United States From Memory, by Hand”—she forgot Utah. Left it out. By the time that work had appeared as the back cover of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) annual, she had remembered Utah, “so I put it in the water, with an arrow.” The Pacific water, that is. Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

The Price of Liberty Comment


Please address letters to the editor to Comment

Liza’s Test of Friendship

The glitz factor positively exploded at an auction gallery viewing on November 17, at Christie’s Bob Mackie event. Nearly half a century of this designer’s work—from Judy Garland through Cher to Teri Hatcher—was pulled from his archives, and, before the viewing, he was interviewed by Barney’s design director Simon Doonan. Comment

News Briefs

Gay Republican Congressman Out Comment


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