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Expulsions of Gay Troops on Decline

For the third year in a row the number of service members discharged from all branches of the U.S. military for violating the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy (DADT) has decreased, the Pentagon reported on February 11. Comment

Experts Question HIV Super-Virus

Late in the day on February 10, the press office in the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sent out a press release telling reporters that Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the department’s commissioner, would make an announcement “regarding HIV/AIDS” the following day. Comment

Dynamic Steady State


Fat Woodies on a Big Easy Tuesday

People kept chattering about Endymion and Bacchus. Where was I? Mount Olympus? Mykonos? Nope. Comment

Finding Success, Winding Up Miserable

David Margulies’ new play at the Biltmore Theater, “Brooklyn Boy,” is an ordinary play of no great aspirations to be anything other than it is. What that is, however, is charming and engaging with a strong cast and accomplished production values. It’s a nice night of theater for those not too demanding and not particular about formulaic pieces that never move much beyond benign entertainment. You won’t have a bad time by any means, but you also won’t see anything new. Comment

From Beltway to the Trenches

Sounding a fiercely partisan note, the newly appointed executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, an organization of 100 chapters based in major cities and on college campuses, took full aim at Republican opponents on Tuesday, signaling his intention to capitalize on the unprecedented grass-roots mobilization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered voters in the 2004 presidential to unseat Republican office holders in key battleground states. Comment

For The Here And Now

But she has something of her own to say and chose New York as the place to develop her choreographic skills to make that possible. Comment

Disparate Images Coalesce

Curator Ydessa Hendeles, who organized a Munich art show of photos of teddy bears, says “between reality and fiction, I’m somewhere in there.” Comment

Dean at the Helm Insures Gay Democratic Role

No coven of leftists elected Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Party professionals selected him and it is clear that the advantages of choosing an Iraqi war critic and gay ally outweighed the disadvantages. Comment

Airing The Linen

Paul Vinet, a French artist based in Washington D.C., first exhibited “Learning From New York” at Jan van der Donk Rare Books in Chelsea in 2001. The color photographs depict the city from a pedestrian’s point of view, with a slight alteration—the artist paints over signs or other text images with creamy, white paint. Vinet, with a background in photography and graphics, has an interest in how visual culture intersects with the public sphere. Comment

AIDS Hits Federal Budget Shoals

In his State of the Union address on February 2, Pres. George W. Bush said that funding for AIDS services and HIV prevention is important because the disease “brings suffering and fear into so many lives.” Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

John Reed Reads Comment

A Magical Rehearing of Debussy

The company has also brought aboard the Frenchmen Jean-Philippe Clarac and Olivier Deloeil as artistic directors who offer a highly worthwhile calling card, the first U.S. performances of the piano-accompanied “Pelléas et Mélisande.” Comment

Art House Film Bravura

Late in the day on February 10, the press office in the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sent out a press release telling reporters that Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the department’s commissioner, would make an announcement “regarding HIV/AIDS” the following day. Comment

City Hall Marriage Backlash

From behind a podium in front of the cold, rain-soaked steps of City Hall, Rev. Joseph Mattera warned of a backlash from local conservative religious communities in reaction to a recent court decision to allow same-sex marriage in New York City. Comment

Gays Wed At City Marriage Bureau on Valentine’s Day

Two weeks after Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan ordered New York City Clerk Victor Robles to allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses, Rev. Pat Bumgardner, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), marked Freedom to Marry Day on February 14 by taking over the wedding chapel at the clerk’s office and marrying two gay couples from her congregation. Comment

Portraying Queer Asian-Americans

Americans of Asian and Pacific Island descent are among the fastest growing minority groups in the nation and among them an increasing number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people are coming out of the closet. Comment

Poised Lady Sings The Blues

The title track of out lesbian singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier’s fourth album, “Mercy Now,” asks for compassion––for her father, her brother, her church and even her country: “We hang in the balance/ Dangle ‘tween hell and hallowed ground/ Every single one of us could use a little mercy now.” Comment

Playing Shylock’s Jewish Friend

The soups of the day, said the waiter, were chicken rice, potato leek and matzoh ball. Gareth Armstrong opted for the matzoh ball, I kid you not. Comment

Super-Viruses, One Step at a Time

The city health department was unusually cryptic last Thursday in the advisory it sent out alerting the press to an impending announcement about HIV/ AIDS the following day. Comment

Telling It Like It Was

If you think the market for lesbian drama is limited, imagine how small the market for lesbian historical drama must be. Comment


If you are talking to Edward Albee, don’t refer to the new production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” as a revival. “A revival,” he said, “is something that was dead and brought back to life. ‘Virginia Woolf’ has never been dead.” In fact, he continued, the play has never aged. Comment

Trading a Brush for the Written Word

In a time when debut novelists trade in age for marketing success, the story of Dave King’s freshman novel is all the more refreshing. King began writing his critically acclaimed novel, “The Ha-Ha” (Little Brown) while in his 40s. Comment

Newsom Still Defiant

On February 12, as they had a year ago, gay and lesbians couples seeking to marry lined up cheerfully in the winter morning sun at the doors and then around the corner on the sidewalk in front of San Francisco’s City Hall. Comment

News Briefs

Council Speaker to Mayor: Drop Suit v. Equal Benefits Comment

HIV Found To Be No Disability

A federal district judge dismissed a workplace discrimination claim brought by an HIV-positive man on the ground that the man’s HIV infection did not meet the statutory definition for disability because he had no interest in having children. This is the latest of several recent rulings suggesting that the federal American With Disabilities Act (ADA) is unlikely to provide much protection against workplace bias to HIV-positive gay men who are staying healthy through medical treatment. Comment

Health Summit Mounts Crystal Strategy

A daylong conference on treating crystal meth addiction drew staff from 45 social service and health organizations to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on February 9. Comment

It Takes a Video Project

Occasionally, the most fascinating family is the one you are born into. Such is the case with Israeli-born artist Guy Ben-Ner, whose first U.S. solo show features himself and his two children in “Wild Boy,” a two-part video work at Postmasters Gallery. Comment

Jamaican Lesbian Convict Denied Asylum

A lesbian from Jamaica lost her bid to stay in the United States on February 3, when U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn, Jr., found no fault with a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals to overrule an immigration judge on the question whether she would be subject to torture in her home country. Comment

Madness at the End

Cultures often deal with their pasts, glorious or otherwise, with spectacles. Comment

Lesbian Drama Thrives on Showtime

I admit it: when the Showtime series “The L Word” hit the airwaves last year, I was among the first to point a finger at the myriad ways creator Ilene Chaiken missed her mark in accurately depicting lesbian life. Comment

Woman Power

Elisa Monte has been showing us athletic, emotionally passionate dances since forming her company with David Brown in 1981 Comment

Vital Look at Modernism’s Wake

“POST MoDERN,” a large group show of paintings at Greene Naftali Gallery, is the latest effort to address “modernism’s afterlife,” a topic that has become a pet curatorial conceit for the past few seasons. Comment

The Meaning in This Week’s Marriage Win

Last week’s breathtaking gay marriage ruling by Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan was inevitably going to be reviewed by the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. Comment

Former Counselor at Center of Firestorm

The expert witness whose testimony in a child custody case helped persuade a Mississippi judge to remove a lesbian mother’s children from her household, is a former psychotherapist stripped of his counseling credentials by a state board that found he had falsified reports, illegally charged clients and violated an ethics code. Paul Davey left the state last year and has disappeared, leaving behind a firestorm of allegations that he fleeced former clients, falsely testified in court and helped put innocent defendants behind bars in order to enrich himself. Comment

Fatally Profiled, Dead Black Men

Imagine being considered disposable—as in easily killed, haphazardly mourned and ultimately forgotten. Comment

Gay Marriage Leapfrogs Onto New Track in NY

New York advocates of same-sex marriage face two opportunities for success—upholding their recent win on appeal in the courts or going to the Legislature to get a law that specifically allows same-sex marriage. Comment

Growing Up a Man as a Girl

There is a ritual grotesquerie and a poignant humor in the narrative transformation in Evan Schwartz’s photographic series “Reclaiming Puberty.” Comment

Harry and Louise Return

Dealing with an HMO or any medical insurance company––nothing can make even the most successful person with great coverage feel more powerless. Having to trust your fate to the whims of a bureaucracy whose main goal is deriving profits rather than delivering care can suck the humanity out of even the most well-adjusted and well-insured person. And, for all difficulties faced by the most privileged among us, nowhere in our allegedly classless society is the distinction between having and having-not more clearly delineated than in the administration of health insurance. Comment

Confirmed Dead & Wounded

February 3-9, 2005 Comment

Changes at Top at HRC

This past week The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political group, undertook another major readjustment at its senior levels. Comment

Bloomberg Endures Boos at HRC Dinner

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg arrived this past Saturday evening at the annual New York dinner for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest queer rights organization, ready to say something he had never before been willing to state unambiguously—that he supports the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Comment

Brothers in Love and in Bed

Writer/director Christopher Munch is probably best known for his impressive 1991 feature “The Hours and the Times,” which depicted the possible sexual connection between John Lennon and Brian Epstein. Comment

Changes at Top of Human Rights Campaign

This past week The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political group, has undergone another major readjustment at the senior levels. Comment

Buster’s Bust

If you keep up with the bunny tabloids, you know that the Public Broadcasting Service recently censored an episode of “Postcards From Buster,” a children's show in which Buster, a cartoon rabbit, visits Vermont and meets some real-life children and their lesbian parents, “mom and Gillian.” The episode disappeared the same day PBS received a letter from Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who asked PBS to “strongly consider” returning the federal money used in its production. Comment

Mitchell Stokes at Feinstein’s

Tears poured down Brian Stokes Mitchell’s face at his epochal New York cabaret debut at Feinstein’s at the Regency. He was singing Maury Yeston’s “New Words,” a tribute to his little son, Ellington, and, such is this performer’s total involvement, that it became an ecstatically overpowering moment of emotional purity. Actually, we were all crying tears of sheer joy over his artistry, beneficently warm presence and stupendous voice. Comment

Ivy Gate Shut to Recruiters

U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall issued an injunction on January 31, barring the government from enforcing the Solomon Amendment against Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Comment

Social Security Risks For Disabled

Advocates for people with AIDS charge that the Bush administration’s plan to privatize Social Security could reduce the benefits paid to people who are disabled and receive financial support from the Social Security Administration (SSA)—including people with AIDS. Comment

Scripting Gay Gridiron Fans

They are total football freaks. Texans. Pillars of society. Onetime high-school footballers themselves. Comment

Raging Against the Fabulous

Meet “The Underminer.” You may already know this irresistibly evil human—whose gender is deliberately undetermined—described on the book cover as “the best friend who casually destroys your life.” Comment

State Budget Threatens Health Care

Testifying at a state budget hearing, Dr. Antonia C. Novello, the state’s health commissioner, said that tougher eligibility requirements for Family Health Plus (FHP) could result in 25,000 New Yorkers losing their coverage under the state-run health insurance plan. Comment

The Struggle Engaged, Lambda Wins First Round

In a lengthy opinion released on February 4, New York State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan ruled in favor of five same-sex couples represented by Lambda Legal who had sued Victor Robles, the city clerk, to compel him to issue them marriage licenses. Comment

Valentine’s Day Songs

“Happy Days” is one thing. “Get Happy” is another. Lea DeLaria bridges both. Comment

The Zen of Parrot Maintenance

Telegraph Hill is a steep ridge of land jutting up from San Francisco’s waterfront. On the evidence of Judy Irving’s documentary “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill,” however, it would seem to rise from the valley that time forgot. Comment

NYC AIDS Housing Takes A Hit

In January, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that since Congress had slashed federal funding by $13 million for subsidized housing for people living with AIDS, New York City, with the highest concentration of recipients of such assistance, would lose $9.75 million in aid. Comment

Letters to the editor

February 9, 2005 Comment

Lesbian Mom Loses Custody

The Mississippi Court of Appeals voted 8-1 to uphold a decision by the Rankin County Chancery Court to transfer custody of two young girls from their lesbian mother to their father. The February 1 decision was premised almost entirely on the “exposure” of the girls to their mother’s “lesbian lifestyle,” and the opinion of an “expert witness” that this would have a detrimental effect on the mental health of the girls. Since testifying in this case, the “expert” has had his license revoked by a state regulatory agency, but there is no indication in the court’s opinion that this was brought to their attention. Comment

Mayoral Hopefuls Blast Bloomberg

At a City Hall press conference on Sunday and a community celebration at the LGBT Community Center on Monday, elected officials and most of the Democrats running for mayor let Michael Bloomberg know that they are angry with his decision to appeal the order of Justice Doris Ling-Cohan that the city begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Comment

Mayor’s Appeal Fraught With Contradiction

In explaining his decision to appeal State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan’s ruling that the city must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he “hoped” the state’s highest court will embrace her ruling, a view at odds with the stated position of the city’s Law Department. Comment

News Briefs

While New York State’s Department of Taxation and Finance has ruled that resident same-sex couples legally married in Canada or elsewhere must file as single on their state tax forms, Lambda Legal has petitioned the department on behalf of two such couples asking that their married status be recognized. The department is expected to issue an advisory opinion clarifying the law within three weeks, though that time period is not specified in law, according to Alphonso David, the Lambda attorney on the case. “The couples are married and should be allowed to file as married,” he said. Comment

7 Days & 7 Nights

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