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Gotbaum Reports on Domestic Violence

In the 13 years since “Behind Closed Doors,” a report that looked at domestic violence in New York City, there have been progress and gains. However, a new study, “Opening the Door,” the result of two years of investigation by the office of Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, points to persistent problems that demand action from the city and from advocates for victims of domestic violence. Comment

Europe Targets Homophobia

The European Parliament at the French city of Strasbourg—following an extraordinary and extensive debate devoted entirely to the topic of prejudice against gays—has voted by an overwhelming majority to “strongly condemn” homophobia as “as an irrational fear and aversion of homosexuality and of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people based on prejudice, similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism.” Comment

Cal. DP Law Upheld Again

A second attempt by the Campaign for California Families—a group that supported Proposition 22, the 2000 ballot measure that enacted a state Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)—to have the state’s domestic partnership law declared invalid has failed. In a unanimous ruling issued on January 27, a three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal stated the same conclusion it had reached last year in considering a similar challenge to an earlier version of the domestic partnership law––that the state DOMA has nothing to do with domestic partnership. Comment

Remembering Ethel

I sat with legendary star Patricia Neal at the Sardi’s unveiling of artist Jessica Daryl Winer’s seven-paneled screen, depicting a century of Broadway performers. The subject of the recently deceased Shelley Winters came up, an undeniably gifted actress who led a complex life. Comment

Lament for the Flamer

In a prominent essay for The New Republic, “The End of Gay Culture,” published this past October, conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan hashed out the current status of gay assimilation. The second biggest gay story of the ‘80s and ‘90s—and the direct result of the biggest one: AIDS—the good, the bad, and the ugly of assimilation were expounded upon at the time by gay theorists, most notably Urvashi Vaid in her book “Virtual Equality.” Sullivan offers a new wrinkle on this in the wake of the current second biggest gay story, civil marriage—again the direct result of the biggest one, this time the religious right’s organized and open attack on homosexuality. Comment

Medicare Drug Program Hurts PWAs

AIDS and health groups across the country are reporting that some people with AIDS who are enrolled in the new federal Medicare prescription drug plan are unable to obtain some of their medications or are confronted with increased drug costs. Comment

Freedom of Information

Time is of the essence. That is the entire point of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in the wake of NBC News reports first aired in December that student groups opposed to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and the presence of Armed Services recruiters on campus have been the subjects of FBI and military surveillance. Comment

Blaming Lawyers to Cover a Flip-Flop

The Gay City News December 13, 2005 interview with Michael Bloomberg, in which he said he “hopes he loses” at the Court of Appeals on his challenge to last February’s gay marriage victory in Manhattan, was another example of our mayor’s refusal to lead on the issue of civil rights for LGBT New Yorkers. While his attorneys certainly played a role, the Republican mayor both overstated his lawyers’ authority and understated his own. In the interview, Bloomberg deflected responsibility that rests squarely upon his shoulders as chief executive of the city. Comment

Art For Now

Warren Isensee’s current show at Danese begins to fulfill a wish and the promise of his earlier work. Though always technically excellent, Isensee’s prior work seems to have been in the grip of the fashion of the times. There was always a preoccupation with a nostalgic/ironic universe of signing. Comment

7 Days in cinema

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN 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. 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. (Ioannis Mookas) Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

Another Florida Co-Parent Loss

In a decision weighted with serious negative implications, the Florida 1st District Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit by Mary L. Wakeman seeking to enforce visitation rights under a co-parenting agreement she had made with her former partner, Den Dixon, prior to the birth of their two children. Unless the state Constitution is amended, the situation Wakeman and other gay and lesbian co-parents find themselves in likely cannot be corrected even by legislative reform. Comment

A Little Bit Meshugah

When we think of the Jewish mother, we think guilt trips, matzoh ball soup, and constant kvetching. Jewish lesbian comedian Judy Gold challenges this stereotype before a packed house at the intimate uptown performance space Ars Nova with her new play, “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.” Gold is known for her lightning-fast, sometimes caustic sense of humor, and when it comes to big laughs, this show doesn’t disappoint. The best moments, however, come when Gold puts it all on the line and tries a little tenderness. Comment

Microcosm of Racial Tensions

There’s nothing quite like the unmistakable sound of the typewriter. So when Harry Lesser (Dylan McDermott), a Jewish writer and sole remaining tenant in an apartment building, hears another typewriter clacking away somewhere in the building, he starts to think maybe he’s losing his mind. Comment

New Now and Then

“There are no new steps, only new combinations,” said George Balanchine. His axiom lives on in New York City Ballet’s commitment to presenting new ballets. City Ballet’s 10th annual “New Combinations Evening” featured the world premiere of resident choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s “Klavier” along with three Balanchine ballets at the New York State Theater on January 24. Comment


I tried. I really tried to understand how, in front of a crowd of more than 200 gay Democrats, Eliot Spitzer could in one breath say that he is for marriage equality and in the next say that he believes that our state laws as written do not support it. Is this a subtle distinction I am missing? Or is it political posturing at its best? Comment

Serial Gay Killer Sentenced

A New Jersey judge sentenced Richard W. Rogers, a gay man from Staten Island, to what is effectively a life sentence after he was found guilty in the 1992 killing of Thomas R. Mulcahy and the 1993 slaying of Anthony E. Marrero. Comment

Virginia Faces Draconian Proposal

With final approval last week from the Virginia Senate, it is now all but assured that an anti-gay marriage amendment to the commonwealth’s Constitution will go before the state’s voters in November. Comment

When John Waters Cables

Filmmaker John Waters is curating 13 “Films That Will Corrupt You” for HERE! TV. As one might expect from Waters, his taste is eclectic. From “Freeway,” a re-imagining of “Little Red Riding Hood” done with a trashy Reese Witherspoon, to “Irreversible,” the shocking French rape and revenge saga, told backwards for maximum impact, Waters has found something to please and offend everyone—often at the same time. In a recent interview, the filmmaker discussed his excellent taste in films. Comment

Wondering Minstrels

Keep it simple, if just for an hour. Keep it close to the body and the voice. Turn down the volume on hype, convoluted concepts, pretentious allusions. Turn off the shattering music, the high-tech gizmos, the multimedia bloat. Comment

Wilde Classic Hits Big Screen

When classic plays are made into movies, some trepidation naturally comes with the release—will the adaptation be faithful, will the cast stand up to the best performances, and how far will the director take artistic license? Fans of Oscar Wilde’s play “Lady Windermere’s Fan” rest assured. “A Good Woman” features two beautiful leading ladies, a talented supporting cast, a strong script, and stunning locales. Comment


Volume 5, Number 5 | February 2 - 8, 2006 Comment

Remember What Followed the ’50s

Andrew Sullivan has a knack for stating the obvious in a way that seems profound, his latest totalizing exercise being a New Republic essay from this past October 24 called “The End of Gay Culture.” It covers all the well-trod territory about the gay community’s having gained threshold acceptance and being on the road toward the American Dream that we’ve been reading since Ellen became a talk show host and the faerie attendants took to giving straight men makeovers on TV. Comment

News From Nowhere

What makes Johnny run? “Breaking News,” the 37th film by veteran Hong Kong director Johnny To Kei-fung, isn’t even his latest—he’s whipped out four more since, with the two most recent simultaneously in production. Averaging two features annually, To is clearly a man in a hurry. But in “Breaking News,” at least, haste yields waste. Comment

News Briefs

Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who died this week at 78, worked alongside her late husband in the African-American Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968, and was tireless in the nearly four decades since in the efforts to commemorate his life, promote equal rights worldwide, and push for the end of poverty, hunger, and war. She was also a strong advocate for LGBT rights, including her public support for same-sex marriage equality. Comment

Of Chance and the Public Sphere

The cryptic phrase SURYA TECHNO presides over the scene as two dolls raise their perfect eyebrows and scream ghostly laughter through the blue and orange architecture of a Paris storefront. Signage to the left urges ACHAT (buy); signage to the right whispers VENTE (sell). So begins Deborah Roan’s latest encounter with the urban unconscious, a witty and haunting exhibition of wide format photographs now on view at Von Lintel Gallery. Comment

One Does What One Must

Prostitution, it seems, is just the thing on stage this season. Following closely on the heels of “The Little Dog Laughed,” Douglas Carter Beane’s brilliant satire of Hollywood that suggests our level of success is in part influenced by the level to which we will prostitute ourselves, “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” at the Irish Repertory suggests that morality takes a backseat to financial gain among not only men, but also among women; even if their career choices are limited. Though more than a century separates the two plays, it’s reassuring in a decidedly eerie way to recognize that the human capacity for hypocrisy in the service of personal gain remains a constant. Comment

Pro-Gay Choices in Brooklyn

A forum featuring the five candidates seeking Brooklyn’s open 11th Congressional District seat showcased near complete unanimity among the Democrats on such issues as the Atlantic Yards project, improving city schools, and immigration matters—and only one slight difference on LGBT rights. Comment

Privacy Win in Idaho AIDS Case

A federal judge ruled on January 11 that state auditors were violating the constitutional right of privacy when they cut off funding under the federal Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS Act (HOPWA) because the Idaho AIDS Foundation (IAF) refused to provide the auditors with “unfettered access” to client medical files. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill’s decision grants summary judgment to IAF on its constitutional and breach of contract claims. Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 5 | February 2 - 8, 2006 Comment

William Waybourn Leaves Window

After roughly 10 years at the helm of Window Media, the gay newspaper chain, William Waybourn has stepped down as president of the company. Comment

Commish Discusses Rikers Gay Unit

The specialized unit for gay and transgendered inmates at the city’s Rikers Island jail is being closed by attrition, admitting no new detainees since November 28 of last year. Corrections Commissioner Martin Horn met with advocates from the gay and transgendered communities on January 12 in an encounter that both sides described as “good,” but that left some advocates wary of Horn’s plan to deal with vulnerable detainees without the benefit of gay and trans-specific housing. The group of advocates is working on a list of suggestions that the commissioner pledged he would review. Comment

Choreographer’s Dream

Now that Ben Munisteri isn’t dancing with his company, he stands on a sort of “Earthly Perch,” choreographing with a wiser perspective. One of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects seven dancers, Ben look-a-like Eric Sean Fogel, said in the after-talk that the work is “more conceptual” now. With Kathy Kaufman’s simple lighting solutions and as seen in Dance Theater Workshop’s fine black box theater that seems to invite experiment, the Comment

A Politically Volatile Victory

Gay marriage is once again an election issue after a judge’s ruling in Maryland last week, and it surfaced at a time when that state’s Republicans and Democrats were already wrangling over how best to ensure the rights of LGBT Marylanders. Comment

Gender Surgery Not Deductible

The Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service has ruled in a staff memorandum that expenses associated with a transsexual taxpayer’s gender-reassignment surgery are not deductible as medical expenses under of the Internal Revenue Code. The memo, dated October 14, 2005, was released to the public with the name of the taxpayer removed on January 20. Comment

Henry Geldzahler, Culture Czar

The thing about Henry Geldzahler, Frank Stella is saying—one of the things—was that “he lived with us… other curators don’t live with artists.” Comment

Glittering and Amoral

Volume 5, Number 4 | Jan. 26 - Feb. 01, 2006 Comment

A Mirrorball to Liberation

Black power, gay pride, and the hustle revisited “Do You Think I’m Disco” is Edwin Ramoran’s most recent curatorial project at Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos in the Bronx, and it […] Comment

Aiming at Mockumentary

In an interview in “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story,” actor Steve Coogan, playing himself, describes Laurence Sterne’s source novel as “postmodern before there was a modern to be post about.” By trying to adapt it, Michael Winterbottom has set himself as difficult a challenge as David Cronenberg did when he filmed William S. Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch.” Comment

7 Days in cinema

APRIL’S SHOWER Some audiences are likely to enjoy “April’s Shower,” an overenthusiastic, independent romantic comedy in which relationships gay, straight, and bisexual are ended, started, and rekindled. Trish Doolan’s film reinforces messages about being true to one’s self and never giving up on finding love and happiness that should resonate with the target audience. Quad Cinema. (Gary M. Kramer) Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Indie rock icon Joan Wasser’s “Joan as Police Woman” features new songs from her forthcoming album, “Real Life” with her rhythm section–Rainy Orteca on bass and Ben Perowsky on drums. Each week, different special guest musicians and vocalists will join the band. Scheduled to appear are Rufus Wainright, Joseph Arthur, and Antony, all of whom Joan has intimately collaborated with on their music, and now on her own. Tonight and Feb, 2 at 8 p.m. at The Living Room, 154 Ludlow St., btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts. Free; no reservations. For information 212-533-7235. Comment

A Community Celebrates

The whole community was there—women in motorized wheelchairs, two fathers with their young son, middle-class gays and lesbians who just got off from work, long time political activists, and some who were not sure where they would sleep once the night was done. They all came out on Wednesday, a brisk winter evening, to celebrate Christine Quinn and her position as speaker of the New York City Council. Comment

A Call to Solidarity

All over the globe, gay people are being persecuted, jailed, and even killed for loving differently. Yet the principal national gay organizations in the United States remain largely indifferent to their fate. Comment

Choreographer Supreme

“Vincent Paterson: Master of All Media” at the Walter Reade Theatre on January 13 celebrated the career of the most influential American choreographer of the last 20 years. I say this on the particular strength of his work with Madonna and Michael Jackson, for it was Paterson who came up with, for Madonna, the choreography for her “Blonde Ambition” tour, which included the moves for “Vogue” and the Fosse-meets-“Clockwork Orange” “Keep It Together,” and, for Jackson, the videos “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Black or White,” and “Smooth Criminal.” Comment

Freedom of Information

Time is of the essence. That is the entire point of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in the wake of NBC News reports first aired in December that student groups opposed to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and the presence of Armed Services recruiters on campus have been the subjects of FBI and military surveillance. Comment

Spitzer Wows Center Gay Crowd

“I believe I’m the only candidate for governor who has publicly said I support same-sex marriage,” Spitzer said during the January 25 event sponsored by the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York, a gay political club. Comment

Quiet Fire

Who’s afraid of Marguerite Duras? The doyenne of postwar French letters was many things to many people––innovator of the nouveau roman (which she repudiated), abettor of the modern French feminist movement, lifelong political interventionist, and later, scandalously sexed, dissolute older woman. Through the side door of the avant-garde, her novels including “The Sea-Wall” and “The Lover” have entered the modernist canon. Comment

Standing Up to Denialism and Junk Science

Along with colleagues at the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP/NY), I am deeply concerned that several board members at WBAI Radio are urging the station to bring back former health programmer Gary Null to its airwaves. Those board members, led by a former business partner of Null, claim that it would be a sound business decision, because it would bring listeners and donations back to the station. Comment

Teachers Are Like Mothers

In an anxiety-ridden city and profession, Giada Ferrone seems like a woman who has found her place in the universe. The Italian-born dancer has come a long way since, at 18 years old, she arrived in New York City to perform at the Joyce Theater. That trip, made with her teacher, the contemporary ballerina and Béjart alumna Marga Nativo, proved both eye-opening and life-altering. The young dancer met her future husband, Greg Ferrone, and stayed to carve out the kind of eclectic dance career that’s possible only in New York. Comment

Timeless, Unending Dreams

The ancients associated challenge, conflict, and change with the number five. Five knocks the thick table legs out from under the number four, upsets the apple cart of stasis, and makes way for the temporary glories of the Golden Age of Six. Comment

The Progressive Backlash

Volume 5, Number 4 | Jan. 26 - Feb. 01, 2006 Comment

Quiet Fire

Who’s afraid of Marguerite Duras? The doyenne of postwar French letters was many things to many people––innovator of the nouveau roman (which she repudiated), abettor of the modern French feminist movement, lifelong political interventionist, and later, scandalously sexed, dissolute older woman. Through the side door of the avant-garde, her novels including “The Sea-Wall” and “The Lover” have entered the modernist canon. Comment

Questioning History’s Construction

As it becomes increasing difficult to distinguish fact from fiction, the new Walid Raad/Atlas Group exhibition questions the construction of history, ethics, and ambiguity with its timely theme. In a matter of fact presentation, selections from the donated cultural archive include different forms of documentation including video. An explanatory text states that the material presented is part of the Atlas Group Archives, a foundation that collects and exhibits visual material pertaining to the civil war in Lebanon between 1975 and 1991. The Lebanese artist, Walid Raad will present two lectures at the Kitchen during the course of the exhibition. Comment

News Briefs

Canadian Conservatives May Fail to Nix Gay Marriage Comment

Maryland Marriage Victory

A Baltimore trial judge ruled in favor of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking same-sex marriage in Maryland on January 20. The ruling by Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock found that a statute banning same-sex marriages violated the Equal Rights Amendment of the Maryland Constitution, which forbids the state from discriminating on the basis of sex. Comment

Piercing the Blackness


Post-Meth Syndrome—The Long Walk Back

“It’s so nice to be able to speak in full sentences again,” said the 37-year-old gay man we’ll call Oliver with a wry smile. “You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.” Comment

Puccini’s Alpha and Omega

In an intriguing variation on the opera-in-concert formula, the Collegiate Chorale’s next concert samples the beginning and end of Giacomo Puccini’s career as an opera composer. Comment

Propaganda Straight Up & Stylish

These days just about any cheap article of clothing you can imagine has been fabricated out of camouflage. Long gone are the T-shirts emblazoned with grotesque caricatures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden that appeared directly after 9/11. It seems oblique references to war are much more commercially viable when most consumers remain undecided as to the purpose of invading Iraq in the first place. Instead of the ubiquitous American flag lapel pins, wouldn’t it be more to the point to see government officials wearing ties tastefully imprinted with slogans such as “The N.S.A. Is Listening” or with portions of the Patriot Act? Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 4 | Jan. 26 - Feb. 01, 2006 Comment


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