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Left Alone to Dance

Bill Shannon’s sold-out show, “Sketchy,” attracted a wildly diverse audience, definitely not your modern dance crowd, in its run February 17-19. Young people, music people, the ghetto fabulous and even staid dance critics targeted by the artist in his, at times, sardonic ramblings. Comment

Killing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’

On March 2, Rep. Martin Meehan, an influential Massachusetts Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, introduced legislation in the House that would make it legal for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces. Comment

Lesbian Mom Overcomes Trial Bias

A unanimous panel of the California Court of Appeal ruled on February 23 that a trial judge in Kern County, where Bakersfield is located, used the wrong legal standard when he refused to release two children from foster care into the custody of their lesbian mother. Comment

Marriage Bans Put Hex on Lesbian Health

Just weeks after Melissa Etheridge’s public discussion of her breast cancer diagnosis helped put “a lesbian face” on the illness, the November election’s same-sex marriage backlash provided a disappointing setback to the cause of enhancing lesbian access to health care in this country. Comment

Male Romances Out of the West

Before the musical, before the gangster film, way before film noir, there was the western—American cinema’s original genre. Like any great archetype, the western film supports a near-infinite number of inflections, and as a closer look at Film Forum’s series “Essential Westerns 1924-1962” confirms, it yields to the queer eye with diverting ease. Comment

Hollywood and the Struggle for Dignity in Death

The Academy Awards for best picture and best foreign picture went to films about assisted suicide. Comment

Gifford Miller Plays Marriage Card

Gifford Miller, the Democratic City Council speaker who formally announced his candidacy for mayor on February 4—the same day that Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan issued her stunning gay marriage ruling—makes no bones about his impatience with the current mayor’s decision to appeal that ruling. Comment

Defying Gravity

The painter Anne Neely might very well agree with a quote from Joan Mitchell, posted with that artist’s work at a Whitney retrospective, who, when asked about composition, replied, “It goes up.” Comment

Chafing Political Sensibilities

New York theatergoers are no strangers to the plays of David Mamet. The award-winning playwright, screenwriter, director, essayist, novelist and poet has had his works showcased all over the world since his play “Glengarry Glen Ross” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. Mamet’s cutting, staccato signature language has altered the theatrical idiom, and his writings have continually thrown down the gauntlet on contemporary social mores. Comment

Detectives Press Hunt for Brutal Killer

The murder investigation in the case of Rashawn Brazell, a 19-year-old Brooklyn gay man, whose severed limbs and torso were discovered at two locations in the borough over the last two weeks, is ongoing, according to a police official who said that investigators are working around the clock to apprehend a suspect in a case so ghastly, some young gay men have expressed fear for their safety. Comment

Let’s Not Go to the Tape

I’ve been more than a little surprised by the number of people who have asked whether I’ve felt a measure of relief since The New York Times reported on February 20 that George W. Bush, while Texas governor in 1998, confided in a friend and informal advisor who is also a Christian conservative that he had no desire to “kick the gays” in his drive for national power. Comment

Genocide in Photographs

Once in a while Comment

News Briefs

Double Win in Topeka Comment

Out of the Labyrinth

Neil Goren’s Gotham Opera scored a coup on February 10 with the U.S. stage premiere of Handel’s 1734 “Arianna in Creta,” a fine work the neglect of which seems hard to fathom. Comment

The Devil Made Her Do It

The creative artists at the Wooster Group are theater’s goth-industrial tricksters. For 30 years, they’ve brought a dark techno sensibility to the stage with rave-like originals spun off Chekhov, Miller and O’Neill. It’s highbrow, mosh-pit theater—physical, funny, violent, heady and set to a sound track of ferocious proportions. You may barely get out of a Wooster Group show alive, but you will never be bored. Comment

Task Force Broadens Efforts

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the nation’s oldest LGBT advocacy group, created a new department of public policy and government affairs this week to lobby for increased funding from the federal government for health and human services programs as well as for non-discrimination legislation. Comment

The Divine Ms. Rivera

After Bush’s re-election, the tsunami disaster and this new strain of AIDS, God’s existence once more came in for some serious questioning, but I can assure you that She does indeed exist, and her name is Chita Rivera. Comment

The Eloquence of Writing in the Dark

A major retrospective of 50 years of works on paper by Cy Twombly is on view at the Whitney Museum. This celebration of Twombly’s 75th birthday has been presented at a number of important venues throughout the world, including Russia’s State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Comment

Upstate Judge Rejects Gay Marriage Suit

A New York Supreme Court justice has thrown out a lawsuit filed by 25 gay and lesbian couples suing the state for the right Comment

Three for the Road

Dreams come in all sizes, and acting on a dream often requires considerable enthusiasm and initiative on the part of the dreamer, especially if the person comes from a small, remote town. Even if the end result of the dream is nothing much by our standards, or Hollywood’s. Comment

Tapping Into New Directions

“I’m not an American, but I am a New Yorker,” Roxane Butterfly proclaimed. “I don’t take myself for what I’m not.” Comment

Salvation on the Stage

“I just want to try out a few ideas,” Porter explained. “My costume now is a little too flashy; my story should take the front seat, according to G.C.W. That’s George, of course,” referring to George Wolfe. “He’s the one I trust, like my other father.” Comment

Rocking in and Out of Love

The album kicks off with “Ranchos Mancheros,” a rock tune in the vein of Little Feat, heavy on intro snare drums, harmonica and guitar. Rocker sings of “virgins, pimps, hookers, wimps, losers and heroes/ wasting their time wondering why the other ones are living that way,” and goes on to ask, “what if you could change your life completely, and everything turned out to be the same?” He eventually settles on the fatalistic dictum that “you are who you’re supposed to be.” Comment

Sparing Us The Bill Chill

“The Best of Youth” is made in the spirit of its hero, a liberal psychiatrist who fights for the rights of the mentally ill and betrays his partner when she becomes a terrorist. Comment

Spring Skiing in British Columbia

I kept expecting that a big face full of snow was going to snap me out of my reverie. Day after glorious day—both snowy and sunny—I tripped into my boots and lugged myself onto the mountain to learn to ski. But, everyday both the instructors and my fellow resort guests—a crowd that was fit, friendly, beautiful and hip—kept insisting, “No worries. We’ve all been beginners, so no worries, just have fun.” Comment

State Budget Slashes at Gay Health

Standing on the steps of City Hall with clients from agencies that serve New York City residents with serious mental illnesses that had just seen their budgets slashed by state cuts, Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera, a Bronx Democrat, said a 2004 decision by the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, had “hampered tremendously” the Legislature’s ability to change the state budget submitted by Republican Gov. George E. Pataki. Comment

Beckett’s Nuclear Option

A chess term, endgame technically refers to the third and final section of the game that results in the surrender of the king, following an unsuccessful campaign of resistance to the inevitable obliteration. Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Putumayo Release Party Comment

Fisting at Issue in Kentucky

In a case that tied the Supreme Court of Kentucky in knots over the question whether “fisting” could be prosecuted as a “sexual activity,” the court ruled 6-1 to uphold the conviction of Kevin Ray Hillard for paying a 15-year-old youth to fist him. Comment

Federal I.D. Bill Meets Opposition

On February 10, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the REAL ID Act, H.R. 418, in an attempt to make it more difficult for terrorists to enter and live in the United States. Comment

Harlequins Stripped of Romance

You wouldn’t likely guess that sculptor Jennifer Cohen studied dance at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet. Her solo debut at White Columns is filled with conspicuously handmade objects, riddled with quirks and gaffs. Cohen deftly avoids any hackneyed use of her training. There is no prim purity in image, form or surface and no obvious heroics displayed, just real courage as she engages in close combat with elegance and myth. The show is an insider’s take on the body aspiring to something magical, transformative. Comment

Lawrence Ruling’s Limits

Two more courts have used narrow interpretations of Lawrence v. Texas to avoid invalidating sex-phobic state or local laws. Comment

Insurance Applicant’s Right to Know Upheld

In a ruling contrary to every other published court opinion on the matter, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, based in Denver, ruled by a 2-1 vote on February 9 that a life insurance company that learns that an applicant has tested HIV-positive has a duty to alert the applicant. Comment

A Pontiff Beyond the Pale

Early in January, I used this space to extend an olive branch of sorts to William Donohue, a longtime foe of the gay community’s fight for equality, who leads the right-wing Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Comment

Chromatic Differences

While the woods of Central Park were on hideous orange—not saffron—alert, due to that hubristic display of art called “The Gates,” two true, mighty redwoods of American culture recently fell—Arthur Miller and Ossie Davis. Lincoln’s birthday weekend was a total celebration of Davis, culminating in the New Federal Theatre benefit at Town Hall on February 13, in which this great man, who was originally to have hosted the event, was extolled. Comment

Agreement on AIDS Housing Emerges

Good will was in surprisingly ample supply in City Council chambers on February 18 as Bloomberg administration officials told councilmembers they agreed with all three pieces of proposed AIDS housing legislation, which many advocates had expected the agency to fight. Comment

A Funny “Vagina” for Charity

V-Day NYC has teamed up with Double Helix Theatre Company to honor women’s struggles this month with three benefit performances of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” This fully staged event, part of V-Day 2005’s Worldwide Campaign, will help three local charities—including the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP)—that support victims of domestic violence. Comment

An Investigation Into Love

An elegant, intriguing Brazilian film, “The Other Side of the Street” provides another engaging role for Fernanda Montenegro, the extraordinary 60-something actress best known for her Oscar-nominated performance in “Central Station.” Comment

A Remaining Barrier Breached

Services Comment

Cabin Fever

An artistic response to the Bush administration’s policy of gay oppression is on exhibit at Artists Space, focusing specifically on the impact of the emergence of a neo-conservative agenda within the queer community. This large group show with more than 60 pieces from 33 artists, titled “Log Cabin,” alluding to the gay Republican club, serves as a vehicle for a cacophony of viewpoints. Comment

Black Pride, White Guilt

What happens when art of a non-Western culture is taken out of its original cultural context and presented to an audience cultivated on American traditions? Comment


February 18, 2005 Comment

Memories of Arthur Miller

Services Comment

The New Europe’s Claustrophobia

“Up and Down” has no real protagonist. Instead, it features a dozen characters whose lives intersect in startling ways. Small, seemingly insignificant acts, like the disappearance of a wallet, have spiraling consequences. Comment

The Duties a Super-Virus Imposes on Our Community

Charles Kaiser was surely on the side of the angels when he told The New York Times that a HIV-positive person has no “right” to “unprotected intercourse.” The author and journalist is clearly speaking for the community when he tries to stop the spread of HIV caused by positive men not using condoms for anal sex. Comment

The Yin and Yang of It

Who knew that kickboxing and mascara could be so congenial to one another? Comment

Unearthing Whitman’s Lyrics

Services Comment

Young Gay Man Hacked Apart

Services Comment

Confirmed Dead & Wounded

February 24-March 2, 2005 Comment

Super-Virus Compared to Tsunami

Writing in a draft editorial, the researcher at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) who found a virulent, drug-resistant AIDS virus in a New York City man, wrote that the virus might be causing a “silent tsunami” of infections and he likened himself to a scientist in a science fiction movie who is trying to alert the world to an impending disaster, but is being ignored. Comment

Reclaiming Gay Fiction

Services Comment

News Briefs

N.Y. High Court Defers Gay Marriage Case Comment

Mental Health Center Loses Funding

State budget cuts are threatening to close the only program in New York that specifically helps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people living with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression. Comment

Once a Parent, Always a Parent?

How permanent is being a parent? Appeals courts in Illinois and Indiana confronted this question in cases that were both decided o Comment

Productions of Abounding Horrors

The people who vilify the animated characters Sponge Bob for being gay and Buster the bunny for welcoming lesbian moms would be aghast with the new play “Shockheaded Peter,” a bucket of ice water on the beloved notion that our children must be protected from a cruel world. Comment

Pushing Gays to the Margins

The seminar in the February 28 Portland, Oregon, suicide prevention conference was to be called “Suicide Prevention Among Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Individuals.” That is until officials within the federal sponsoring agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), indicated that the words “gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender” could not be used in the conference’s program if organizers wanted the SAMHSA administrator, Charles Curie, to attend. Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

The End of the Moon Comment


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