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Guest Perspective

I Was Afraid To Speak Out About Iran

I have a confession to make regarding my attendance at the vigil held July 19 in front of the Iranian Embassy to the United Nations in Midtown, to protest the persecution of gay people in Iran by its totalitarian government. Because of the withdrawal of the vigil’s original sponsors, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the event was smaller than it might otherwise have been. There were about 50 of us there. Comment
Guest Perspective

A Message from Iran

We note some differences of opinion in the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement about how to best support LGBT people in Iran. We would like to express our view, and we believe that a great number of our readers share our opinion. Comment
From the Editor

A Guide to the Iran Debate

During the last year—and particularly over the past four weeks—Gay City News has devoted substantial space and energies to the story of growing repression of gays, lesbians, and transgendered individuals in Iran. We have done so because we think that LGBT people everywhere have a special responsibility to understand and work to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world, and the reporting done by Doug Ireland has convinced us that the situation in Iran is dire and deteriorating. Comment

Montreal’s Out Games—A Photo Essay

Two gold men from Cirque du Soleil perform; the competition’s medals are hung from the Bank of […] Comment

Westchester Wonders

Now in its 14th summer, Will Crutchfield’s “Bel Canto at Caramoor” series has become a reliably stimulating feature of New York’s not exactly opera-rich summer season. Crutchfield’s explorations—not limited to bel canto’s canonical threesome—regularly draw a loyal exodus north to the leafy Katonah estate. (Reasonable bus transport is available for the Manhattan carless.) “Birdsong” joined charmingly in the charms of “I puritani” (July 8), very strongly cast for a one-off concert. Comment

The Usual Suspects

Made into a film 14 years after the events that inspired Armistead Maupin’s source novel, “The Night Listener” remains topical. Thanks to the past year’s revelations about James Frey and JT Leroy’s fraudulent identities, it could hardly be otherwise. Indeed, some have speculated that Maupin’s novel inspired Laura Albert to create the persona of JT Leroy in the first place. Comment

Race, Class, And Sexuality

The outstanding film “Quinceañera” portrays the bond forged between Magdalena (Emily Rios), a pregnant 14-year-old, and her gay cousin Carlos (Jesse Garcia) in Echo Park, Los Angeles. This may be an odd choice of subject matter for filmmakers and partners Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland whose last film “The Fluffer,” was an insider look at porno-filmmaking, but there are, in fact, thematic similarities between this new film and that. In both dramas, the main characters were trying to assert—or come to terms with—their identities. It is only through their unexpected and unsuccessful interactions with others that they ultimately realize who they truly are. Comment

Polish Gays Fear New Prime Minister

Poland’s lesbians and gays are expecting the worst from the country’s ultra-homophobic new prime minister, Jaroslav Kaczynski, whose identical twin brother, the equally homophobic Lech, is the country’s president. Comment

People-to-People Dialogue Key to Human Rights Progress

The July 19 actions marking the anniversary of the execution of two young men in Mashad, Iran, have initiated an important discussion about the role Western LGBT activists can play in relation to persecuted minorities around the world. Comment

PEOPLE OF COLOR OF COLOR PRIDE HALTED AT THE BOARDWALK

Volume 5, Number 31 | August 3 - 9, 2006 Comment

Okla. DOMA Challenge Advances

U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled on July 20 that two Oklahoma same-sex couples can litigate various challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage. Comment

New Briefs

Six gay men were attacked in five separate gay-bashings during the San Diego LGBT Pride celebration this past Saturday, leaving one man with a fractured skull and another stabbed. Police have arrested James Carroll, 24, and two boys, 16 and 17, from a group called the Lowlifes, for these hate crimes. Comment

Defending Iran’s Gays

Volume 5, Number 31 | August 3 - 9, 2006 Comment

Iran: Setting the Record Straight

I’m proud of Gay City News for affording Scott Long, who runs Human Rights Watch’s LGBT desk, a chance last week to criticize this newspaper, and me. Comment

Human Rights at Montreal

The description on the Out Games Web site was perhaps a little deceptive. If you were poking around for other things going on in Montreal during the athletic competition held this past week, the Human Rights Conference seemed a small aside. Had you attended though, you would have been at the world’s largest LGBT human rights conference ever held. On the final day, this past Saturday, more than 2,000 people attended the main forum during which Martina Navratilova spoke to the audience and introduced the Montreal Declaration on LGBT Human Rights, a document that will be presented to the United Nations. Comment

From Super Bug to Super Bust

Nearly 18 months after it announced the case of a gay man who was infected with a multiple-drug resistant strain of HIV and had rapidly progressed to AIDS, the city health department released a report on the case that reached no conclusions about how the man was infected, if he infected anyone else, or what caused his rapid progression. Comment

Female ‘Deliverance’

Well before the 2004 election made the blue state/red state divide a media cliché, it was explored metaphorically in films like John Boorman’s “Deliverance,” Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes.” The horror genre has spent the past 35 years depicting urbanites’ nightmares about the great outdoors and its denizens. “The Descent,” set in Appalachia but shot in the U.K., continues this thread, putting a female twist on the male fears of “Deliverance”—all six of its characters are women. Comment

Feeling Groovy

Philip Heckman’s marvelous costumes are reason enough to see “Shout! The Mod Musical.” They are a zany, quasi-satiric return to London’s Carnaby Street of the 1960s, complete with Mary Quant-inspired minis, windowpane vinyl boots, a tip to Max Factor’s white lipstick, and a year-by-year look at all things mod. Comment

Fatal Attraction

Who hasn’t been madly in love at least once? Claude Chabrol’s new film “The Bridesmaid” is a realistic thriller that contemplates what could happen if the one you love madly is actually mad. Comment

Don’t Hurry “Sundown”

These days tracking the “downtown” arts scene means keeping up with Manhattan artists who are colonizing formerly obscure pockets of Brooklyn. You climb up from the L or F, get your bearings, then pitch off in some direction guaranteed to land you in a desolate industrial zone. As a woman often traveling alone at night, I’m sometimes uncomfortable in these situations. Mercifully, Yoshiko Chuma’s “Sundown”—performed by The School of Hard Knocks, Irish step dance expert Jean Butler, and seven trombonists including composer Christopher McIntyre—allowed viewers to arrive and depart any time during its 3-10 p.m. run. The marathon length is just one of several similarities to Kabuki theater. Comment

Dial M For Maverick

“Hey look who’s here, if it isn’t Albany’s most famous gay dick,” says a smart aleck cop half-way through the new movie, “Shock to the System,” which premieres this week on Here!TV and also at the Tribeca Film Center. Comment

Dance Of Dripped Paint

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Jackson Pollock’s death, the Guggenheim has put together a choice selection of his works on paper. This small show deserves a lot of attention; rather than traditional drawings, Pollock’s working method produced what can only be classified as paintings on paper. Comment

Constructing The Future

Zaha Hadid turns architecture on its head. Conceptually based, Iraqi-born Hadid’s projects were considered unbuildable, but recently several have been realized by forward-thinking institutions. The only woman to be awarded the impressive Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004, Hadid is pushing society into new visual and theoretical territory in our created/constructed world. She was influenced by Constructivism and designed the Guggenheim’s “Great Utopia” Exhibition in 1992. Comment

Confirmed Dead or Wounded

July 5-August 2, 2006 Comment

British Court Refuses Recognition to Canadian Same-Sex Marriage

A British court ruled on July 31 that a Canadian same-sex marriage between citizens of the United Kingdom need not be recognized as a marriage by the British government. Ruling on a petition by Susan Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger, married in British Columbia in 2003, Sir Mark Potter, the president of the Family Division of the High Court in London, concluded his decision was valid under both ordinary principles of international law and the European Convention on Human Rights. Comment

BIOLOGY TRUMPS ‘OH, BEHAVE’ IN BRITISH CUSTODY SUIT

Finding that biological ties are the most important factor in deciding child custody questions, a unanimous five-judge panel of Britain’s House of Lords Law Committee, the country’s highest appeals court, ruled on July 26 that children born to a lesbian couple should live with their birth mother, even though she had defied a court order and relocated the family without giving notice to her former partner, who had visitation rights. Comment

Are “Crackdown” and “Terror” Really Different?

Speaking at a July 19 vigil held to mark the one-year anniversary of the hanging of two Iranian teenage boys, Reverend Pat Bumgardner, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, a gay denomination, said, “These boys were not pedophiles. They were kids who found love... They were victims of a hate crime and of state-sanctioned murder.” Comment

Air Strike At Lincoln Center

“Yasmeen Godder and the Bloody Bench Players Present Strawberry Cream and Gunpowder” is the full title of the choreographer’s piece created in 2004, which premiered at the Lincoln Center Festival July 27. It was performed at the LaGuardia Drama Theater—a comfortably proportioned black box with steep stadium seating and great sightlines. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

Recently Noted: ANOTHER WAVE: GLOBAL QUEER CINEMA “Another Wave” offers a supplement to the vision of queer cinema offered up each summer by the New Festival. It doesn’t ignore North […] Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

PRIDE IN THE CITY 2006 Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 31 | August 3 - 9, 2006 Comment
International

Iran: Setting the Record Straight

I’m proud of Gay City News for affording Scott Long, who runs Human Rights Watch’s LGBT desk, a chance last week to criticize this newspaper, and me. Comment
From the Editor

George W. Bush and the Death of Human Rights

George W. Bush, even after a year of flagging popularity due in large measure to his disastrous Iraq policies, continues to effectively leverage the bitter memories of 9/11, rhetoric about looming, if ill-defined global threats, and his often secretive war on terror as means of stifling coherent and unified arguments among his domestic opponents. Comment
International

Are "Crackdown" and "Terror" Really Different?

Speaking at a July 19 vigil held to mark the one-year anniversary of the hanging of two Iranian teenage boys, Reverend Pat Bumgardner, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, a gay denomination, said, “These boys were not pedophiles. They were kids who found love... They were victims of a hate crime and of state-sanctioned murder.” Comment
Guest Perspective

People-to-People Dialogue Key to Human Rights Progress

The July 19 actions marking the anniversary of the execution of two young men in Mashad, Iran, have initiated an important discussion about the role Western LGBT activists can play in relation to persecuted minorities around the world. Comment

Winning Marriage Starts Now

Though some may argue for retreat, marriage equality can be achieved. Certainly some opponents will try to amend the state constitution and prohibit same sex marriages. They run the risk of looking like extremists, embarrassing their allies, and they could even help the cause of marriage equality. Comment

Washington Supreme Court Rejects Marriage

Ending fifteen months of speculation, the Washington Supreme Court announced on July 26 that the state’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans same-sex couples from marrying, does not violate the state constitution. In opinions adopting many arguments used in similar decisions by courts in New York and Indiana, a majority of the court declared that it was “rational” for the state to use marriage as a way to encourage heterosexual procreation in the context of traditional families. Comment

The Siege of Riga

Organized by the No Pride movement, an alliance of Christian fundamentalists, ultra-nationalists, and fascists, mobs of anti-gay extremists attacked Latvian gays and lesbians at several July 22 events scheduled by the Latvian gay-rights group Mozaika after its planned Gay Pride March was banned by the city council in Riga, the nation’s capitol. Comment

Summing More than Soaring

In the end, The Wall wasn’t the temperamental diva it had been made out to be. Comment

Still Dancing

Heather Lynn MacDonald’s documentary “Been Rich All My Life” is an inspiring account of the Silver Belles, five 1930s showgirls, now aged 84-96, who continue to dance, earning standing ovations wherever they appear. To talk to them is to revisit the so-called Golden Era of Harlem when clubs like Small’s Paradise, Zanzibar and the all-white-except-for-performers-and-staff Cotton Club dazzled audiences with the legendary talents of Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, and Cab Calloway. Comment

Queer Living Room

The Living Room at Dixon Place, a theater space on the Bowery, really is the living room of Ellie Covain, the founder of the group, who spends some of her time living in the back bedroom, adjacent to the performing space. Dixon Place began life twenty years ago in 1985 in Paris and Covain recreated what is essentially a salon for artists when she returned to New York. The theater presents over three hundred works in a year and the summer months are devoted to gay and lesbian fare. The queer program is called Hot!, and it runs from June through August with 59 performances sometimes two per night. Comment

Out There Amidst Turmoil

A renowned choreographer and the artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company, based in Tel Aviv, Ohad Naharin masters abstract elements—colors, patterns, and moving figures. In the New York premiere of his “Telophaza,” July 20 at the New York State Theater as part of the Lincoln Center Festival, pure dance is imbued with humor, feelings of love, pride, and togetherness. Its structure is defined by large groups moving in unison—including the near-capacity (2,713) audience. Comment

New Briefs

In the first and, perhaps, only debate in the New York Democratic primary for governor, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer was asked why he argued that state law should not allow same-sex couples to marry when he believes that they should be allowed to. Spitzer said he was obligated as the state’s lawyer to do so, but then said that hiring outside counsel would cost “twenty to thirty million dollars.” Spitzer then reiterated his support for marriage equality. Comment

Meow Mix to Cattyshack

Brooke Webster is best known as the owner of Meow Mix, the legendary Lower East Side lesbian watering hole that closed its doors in 2004 after a decade of playing host to hot female deejays, up-and-coming bands like Sleater-Kinney, and even the coming out press conference for Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche. Her current venture, Cattyshack, a two-story pleasuredome for Brooklyn’s lesbians, trannies, gay boys and their pals that recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, will be the home for Webster’s next business venture — capitalizing on the transformation of formerly industrial areas of Park Slope into hip new neighborhoods. Comment

Marriage Defeat Creates Resolve

While a state supreme court barred gay and lesbian couples from marriage for the second time in just three weeks, activists said that the decision should spur an increased effort to gain marriage rights for same sex partners in America. Comment

Low-Stakes Roulette

Like the recent Australian Western “The Proposition,” “13 Tzameti” only comes alive when its characters are shooting each other. Fortunately for the audience’s chances of staying awake, a Russian roulette sequence takes up about a third of its running time. But unlike the gory “Proposition,” “13 Tzameti” is relatively bloodless, even if its violence is far from painless. In between holding guns at each other?s heads, the players get so anxious that most resort to morphine injections in order to calm down and keep going. Comment

Letters to the Editor

Please address letters to the editor to Comment

Defending Iran’s Gays

As the dust settles following the worldwide July 19 vigils that marked the one-year anniversary of the killing of two young men in Iran, it is worth contemplating why these simple events caused such a stir. Comment

European Vacation

Volume 5, Number 30 | July 27 - August 2, 2006 Comment

Head Trip

Louis Pepe and his partner Keith Fulton, the men behind the remarkable documentary “Lost in La Mancha” have finally made their first fiction film, “Brothers of the Head,” and it’s a doozy—an incredible, psychedelic story of British Siamese twin rock and roll musicians, bursting with ambiguous sexuality. Comment

GSA Must Be Able to Meet

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD  Comment

Greek Studies by Women

If you’ve never been to the American Folk Art Museum, I suggest cooling off there one afternoon this summer. Tucked next to the behemoth that is MoMA, the American Folk Art Museum is a slender column of poured concrete that houses five floors of pocket-sized galleries. Rather than restricting the curation, these small spaces have recently been home to a handful of smart, focused, and illuminating exhibitions including “Obsessive Drawing,” and “Tools of Her Ministry: The Art of Sister Gertrude Morgan,” as well as “Darger: The Henry Darger Collection,” now traveling the country. Comment

Gone To The Dogs

The dog days of summer are here and the theatrical dogs are fast on their heels. You know you’re in trouble when the kindest thing you can say about a show is the air conditioning in the theater works really well. Comment

Gay Games End

The Gay Games were about competition—among cities, states, countries, and even with the 1st World Outgames opening in Montreal on July 29—but at the Closing Ceremony, it was all about friendship. The way the teams entered Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, contrasted with the regimented manner they marched onto Soldier Field nearly a week before. At the closing, the teams mingled, without uniforms, walking with new friends they had made during the week. Comment

Egypt Rediscovered

The notable French astronomer André Méchain, whose career spanned the French Revolution, said that when war divides peoples, art and science can serve to reunite them. This unusual and fascinating exhibition circles around Méchain’s claim while demonstrating, arguably, that modern democratic principles are deeply rooted in conflict, science, and art—or more precisely, symbolism based upon the visual culture of ancient civilizations. Comment

Discrimination by Association?

By a 2-1 vote, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati affirmed the dismissal of a federal sex discrimination case brought by a hospital security guard who claims he was harassed by co-workers after he befriended a gay doctor and then quit under fire. Comment

Debating Iran

Is there a battle over Iran? In Washington and London, yes. Nations with immense military machines at their disposal argue the merits of peace and war. Comment

Bright Cathodes, Big City

When the Film Society of Lincoln Center inaugurated its New York Video Festival fifteen years ago, the medium was just entering its middle child phase. Caught between venerable celluloid on the one hand and digital media in squalling infancy on the other, video acted out in all sorts of lively ways and the festival’s programming gained from this ferment. Comment

Back in the USSA

Dear President Bush. Comment

Arts And Science Minor

Poor CAPACITOR—forced to perform in the hot, cramped, shabby, and technologically-impoverished American Theatre of Actors at a building with no door sign or number, where management seemed unaware that providing elevator service, air-conditioning, and toilet paper might be reasonable ways to ensure that an audience paying $40 per ticket would feel welcome. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

Recently Noted: ANOTHER WAVE: GLOBAL QUEER CINEMA “Another Wave” offers a supplement to the vision of queer cinema offered up each summer by the New Festival. It doesn’t ignore North […] Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Uncommon Threads Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 30 | July 27 - August 2, 2006 Comment

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