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Massachusetts Marriage Ruling

Volume 5, Number 13 | March 26, 2006 Comment

Fed. Gay Health Web Site Shuttered

On January 21, a Web site with information about LGBT health run by the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was abruptly taken down by its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services. Critics say the action was taken because of complaints about the site that DHHS received from the conservative Family Research Council. Comment

Efforts at St. Patrick’s Compromise Fail

Despite several weeks of discussions between City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, who run the annual Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade, aimed at breaking a 15-year deadlock over participation of openly gay and lesbian marchers, the efforts have faltered as the result of AOH intransigence, the speaker told Gay City News in a March 15 telephone interview. Comment


Breaking News | March 23, 2006 Comment

Feminists Brutally Assaulted in Tehran

In Tehran on March 8, International Women’s Day, busloads of state security forces brutally attacked a peaceful demonstration of Iranian feminists who had gathered to demand their rights and express their opposition to war and violence. Comment


A national nonpartisan coalition of students has scheduled a series of Iran Freedom Concerts for this coming Saturday, March 18. Initiated by an ad hoc committee of students at Harvard University, where the lead concert and meeting will be held, the organizers proclaim, “The concert raises awareness of the Iranian government’s human rights abuses and expresses solidarity with Iranian students seeking to end these violations.” Comment

Quinn Must Draw A Firm Emerald Line

Volume 5, Number 11 | March 16 - 22, 2006 Comment

Crossroads In The Labyrinth

The Persian Arts Festival enlivening Gotham all month long is enhanced by a choice complement of new Iranian cinema. Opening March 15 in a two-week run at Film Forum, Asghar Farhadi’s sophomore feature “Beautiful City” is a smoldering parable of youthful promise snuffed by immutable omertà and base hunger for retribution. A fortnight on, Iranian master Dariush Mehrjui surprises with an atypically buoyant comedy. Comment

Compagnie ‘It’

The French have given us gifts before. A recent one, courtesy of the French-U.S. Exchange in Dance, is Compagnie Martine Pisani’s “Sans.” Danspace Project and The Joyce got together to present the 50 minute choreography at the intimate Joyce SoHo March 2-5. Comment


It’s time to mow the flowers, Comment

Agent Provocateur

Tere O’Connor is probably as well known these days for exposing the nakedness of the emperors of dance criticism as he is for his imaginative, provocative, and humorous choreography. Yet, as he prepares for his 20th anniversary season, he says in some ways he finds all the ruckus surprising. Comment

A Rocker In A Hard Place

After all, plenty of successful male musical artists are now out—Elton John, George Michael, Boy George, Pete Townsend, and Andy Bell spring to mind. Comment

Arthur Strickler Dead at 60

Strickler, who grew up in Brooklyn and got married to a woman along the way, joined Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the city’s lesbian and gay synagogue, in 1975 and became one of its most active members, eventually serving as chair of the board of trustees from 1985-87. He also met David Spegal, the love of his life, there in 1979, beginning a romance that lasted until his death. Comment

City Fast-Tracking HIV Legislation

Draft legislation by Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city’s health commissioner, that would end written consent for HIV testing and allow the health department to monitor the treatment of New Yorkers with AIDS and HIV could be in front of legislators in Albany as soon as the end of March. Comment

Be Careful What You Wish For

A lesbian mother who sought and received child support payments from her former partner was precluded from appealing a joint custody order, according to a unanimous March 7 ruling by the Delaware Supreme Court, announced in an opinion by Justice Randy J. Holland. Comment

Mendez Role in Lopez Finances Raised

Lower East Side City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez is standing up for her political mentor, former Councilwoman Margarita Lopez, in the wake of a campaign finance controversy that some believe may have torpedoed Lopez’s chances of landing a job in the Bloomberg administration, and convinced her not to make a run at the State Assembly seat recently vacated by Steve Sanders. Comment

Tillmans’ Photographic Alchemies

Wolfgang Tillmans’ exhibition at P.S. 1 features a new series of large-scale abstract photographs—some unique, others based on previous imagery. This is the first U.S. museum show for Tillmans, a German-born, London-based artist whose work came to international prominence during the 1990s. “Freedom From The Known” is consistent with Tillmans’ oeuvre in the sense that it was conceived as an installation, and there’s a lot to see. However, this show departs from his previous gallery presentations wherein photographs were directly taped or clipped to the wall with deliberate informality. Images displayed at P.S. 1 are framed behind glass or encased in Plexiglas boxes. Comment

Support Your Local Fat Chicks

47th Street bustles as theatergoers join the “will call” line and scramble for tickets to foundering Broadway shows. Twenty feet away from this maddening crush, nestled deep in the plush red banquettes of The Supper Club, lesbians, gay men, and a group of 30 Spanish businessmen and their wives sip martinis as the plus-sized cabaret act The Glamazons takes the stage for their new show, “We Sing for Our Supper.” Comment

Viva La Revolución

When Islamic aggression was at bay, these often-comic works of “Turkomania” had little edge. In today’s post-9/11, post-Denmark world of hypersensitivities, however, they are once again potentially incendiary. Comment

Whores Who Would Be Dancers

The unintentionally campy stripper film “Showgirls” has been a gay cult classic since it hit the silver screen in 1995. The combination of painfully stilted dialogue, flashy sequined costumes, and characters who possess absolutely no morally redeeming values whatsoever appeals to the gay sensibility. It also begs to be parodied. The talented players at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater rise to the challenge with “Showgirls: The Best Movie Ever Made. Ever!” Comment

WOW Becomes Permanent

Queer-friendly space celebrates its self-determination With East Village redevelopment speeding out of control, it’s nice to know that WOW Café Theater will maintain its humble, queer-friendly […] Comment

Why FAIR Was Fair

On December 6, the Roberts Supreme Court heard its first case dealing with a gay rights issue. It released its unanimous decision last week and many in our community are praying that this will not be a sign of things to come. Comment

Social Studies

If you’ve heard about the new musical “Grey Gardens,” you may very well have heard it described as “camp.” Yet describing this almost entirely magnificent show as such is to miss much of the point and to impose a distance on an emotionally wrenching and beautifully unsettling musical evening. To relegate it to camp, because crazy ladies do things drag queens have emulated, is to distance—or, perhaps, protect—oneself from the rich emotional truths of this show and its larger resonance. Comment

Sea Scouts Denied Free Marina Berths

The California Supreme Court has unanimously rejected constitutional claims on behalf of the Berkeley Sea Scouts, an affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America, over the loss of their free berthing privileges at the Berkeley Marina due to the group’s failure to adopt a non-discrimination policy on grounds of sexual orientation and religion. The March 9 opinion for the court was written by Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar. Comment

NY Catholic Charities Stonewalls

While many Catholic service agencies around the country—including New York—have been quietly helping gay and lesbian parents adopt children over the years, that practice may soon end due to the Vatican’s insistence that such placements are “gravely immoral.” Comment

New Briefs

Out state Senator Tom Duane’s motion to discharge the Dignity for All Students Act from the committee where it has been bottled up by the Republican-controlled body since 2000 was rejected last week. All 24 Democrats present voted for the motion, but no Republicans did. The bill has passed the Democrat-dominated Assembly overwhelmingly for the last five years, but Republicans complain about the inclusions of transgender protections. Comment

Order of Magnitude

“You’ve never measured it?” is the standard question. Comment

Oscar Did Not Brokeback Away from Gays

It doesn’t make sense to blame homophobia for the failure of “Brokeback Mountain” to win the Best Picture Award. There is a word to describe the difficult choices made by the Academy and it is seldom used these days—that word is “fair.” The Academy made a series of choices that spread the honors among a group of unusually excellent pictures. Comment


San Francisco’s political establishment in girding for a fight with the city’s Catholic Charities if the agency obeys its ex-archbishop’s demand that it stop allowing gay couples to adopt children. Comment

Pols Weigh In On Piers Issue

A dispute over noise and crowds in the West Village between 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 may not have a solution, according to Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, an out lesbian who has represented the West Village since 1990. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 11 | March 16 - 22, 2006 Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Bombing at Babylon Comment

7 Days in cinema

BALLETS RUSSES This documentary 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. IFC Center. (Ioannis Mookas) Comment

Gay Iranian Exiles at Risk in Holland

The Netherlands’ immigration minister, Rita Verdonk, has sent a letter to Parliament informing the legislators that the conservative Dutch government of right-wing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has decided to end the six-month freeze on deportation of gay Iranian refugees from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s lethal anti-gay pogrom. Comment

First Shelter for LGBT Youth in Queens Opens

Some determined women, a church that takes its mission seriously, a generous donor, and dedicated staff converged to make the first shelter for homeless LGBT young people in Queens a reality at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Astoria. It is called Carmen’s Place after a member of the parish who died of AIDS. Comment

High Court Rejects Solomon Case

The Supreme Court has unanimously rejected a constitutional challenge to the Solomon Amendment, a provision of federal law that bars financial assistance to universities that exclude military recruiters from their facilities. Comment

Return to Romantic Comedy

After the challenging role she played in “The Family Stone,” Sarah Jessica Parker returns to more familiar comedic territory, as the girl hired to get commitment-phobic slacker, Matthew McConaughey, to move out of his parents’ house in “Failure to Launch.” It’s a piece of pure romantic fluff, and Parker graciously took time off from her busy life to sit down for a one-on-one with me. Comment

Ever-More Inclusive Parade in Queens

A week of brutal winter winds eased this Sunday, March 5, letting mild weather shine on the crowds gathered in Sunnyside, Queens for the seventh annual St. Pats for All Parade. This annual, all-inclusive parade was originally founded as a response to the anti-gay policy of the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ annual parade down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, but has evolved into a valued holiday tradition for Queens residents. Comment

Important Transgender Wins

In two February decisions, transgender discrimination plaintiffs won important victories––in Pennsylvania and California. Most significantly, a 3rd Circuit federal trial court in Pennsylvania followed recent precedents from the 6th Circuit in holding that the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the principal federal discrimination law, forbids employment discrimination against transsexuals in the workplace. Comment

Identity & Anonymity

Photography’s realism is a breath of fresh air in this sea of modern manipulated media. Although the creative techno-push has resulted in an arts industry with vanishing boundaries, there is still a corporeal attachment to self-reflexive imagery. Using the combination of this inherent human interest and their standard of contemporary art, Envoy Gallery has chosen three photographers that visually represent humanity as both an individual and collective experience. Riddled with concepts of identity and anonymity, “(Un)masked” is an example of the ability to find personal meaning through simple, honest, non-manipulated imagery. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

BALLETS RUSSES This documentary 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. IFC Center. (Ioannis Mookas) Comment

All That Glitters is Goldfrapp

The raucous crowd at the Nokia Theater on December 9 for a sneak peek at the new Goldfrapp album may have been an oracle. Since the U.K. release last fall and subsequent European tour, fans have scooped up this new album by English duo Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, turning their third release into an instant success. In U.S. record shops as of March 7, “Supernature” takes the best of Goldfrapp’s ambient sound, gives it a jolt of electro-pop, and emerges with one hot album. Comment

Quinn Must Draw A Firm Emerald Line

Let me start by stating that it is altogether possible that the New York Sun was simply trying to be provocative at the expense of progressive New Yorkers. It would not be the first time. Comment


On May 20, Joseph Volpe will celebrate his retirement as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera with a lavish gala performance. On February 24, a disastrous revival of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” demonstrated why this retirement is long overdue. Comment

New Briefs

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed its appeal of the Appellate Division’s February rejection of the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Court of Appeals, the state’s highest, has given Democratic Attorney General Eliot Spitzer until April 3 to answer this appeal and two other similar cases argued in the Third Department in Albany. The plaintiffs will then have until May 1 to reply to Spitzer. Comment

The Modern Goes By the Book

The first Edvard Munch retrospective in America in the past 30 years is a big disappointment, but it’s not the artist’s fault. The obligation to provide a narrative shape that highlights the genuine achievements of an important artist’s career has been neglected here. Comment

Storytelling With The Body

Stories enter our consciousness through various pathways—heard, read, or seen enacted on stage or screen. In dance, where the living body rules, stories are especially hard to resist because our own bodies resonate with the dancers we observe. Two choreographers premiering ensemble works at Dance Theater Workshop employed story and character to varying extent, intensity, and effect. Comment

The Real Problem Alan Van Capelle Identified

The queer community should be proud to have a leader like the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Alan Van Capelle, who urged an end to donations to Democrats who won’t speak up for our community. He is surely correct that the community faces a concerted attack. The 2003 Massachusetts court decision permitting marriage equality there has spurred a backlash that has placed queers on the defensive. Encoding heterosexual marriage into our legal system would sanctify discrimination just as surely as the “separate but equal” doctrine sanctioned by the Jim Crow laws that swept the South when Reconstruction petered out. Comment

Transsexual Pioneer

“Hello, and here and now, is the first and only recorded interview with Christine Jorgensen.” Comment

Young Punk Seductions

During the opening week of his solo exhibition of photography, works-on-paper, sculpture, and film at John Connelly Presents, Scott Treleaven’s influence and the seductive power of his work were also in evidence elsewhere. Printed Matter, the independent art bookstore in Chelsea, held a reception for the publication of “Black Book,” a compilation of 10 years of Treleaven’s groundbreaking queer underground ‘zine This Is the Salivation Army. Bound in a black cover, the compilation contains classic Treleaven, Genet-inspired erotic texts, incantatory collages, and photography, all of which brazenly exalt a young queer punk aesthetic. Comment

Up All Night

Kathleen Marshall’s bold, bright and exuberant revival of “The Pajama Game” is the perfect antidote to the midwinter blues. This classic show from 1954 that generally inspires groans when people talk about it—conjuring as it does images of bad high school and summer stock productions—is much more likely to inspire awe in the energetic and carefree production. Don’t ask for anything but to be entertained and amused and you will be heartily rewarded. Comment

Shadow Of A Doubt

A Pulitzer Prize. Four Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Director. The highest-grossing Broadway play of all time. That’s the glory that is “Doubt,” the 2005 provocative stunner authored by John Patrick Shanley and directed by Doug Hughes. And it’s still going gangbusters. Comment

Savior Self

Hello, Gloria? Oh. Well, is Gloria there? Me? Oh, I’m nobody important; I just have important business with Gloria. When will Gloria be—No, I know you’re not her secretary—ohmygod ohmygod, you’re Gloria’s girlfriend! You are SO lucky! Hello? Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 10 | March 9 - 15, 2006 Comment

Long Live the Director

J.T. Leroy Is dead; but Asia Argento’s film defeats its tainted source There’s a big obstacle to appreciating “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.” It’s based on a novel […] Comment

Old Lewdness Arrest Quashed

A New Jersey school bus driver who lost his job when a security check turned up an old public lewdness charge won a court victory when U.S. District Judge David Trager ruled on February 27 that federal officials violated his rights by recording a criminal conviction on his record. Comment

Opposition to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Underscored

In a unanimous decision on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a free speech challenge to the Solomon Amendment, ensuring that universities that continue to ban military recruiters in protest of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy must do so at the cost of forfeiting federal money. Comment

Postured For Visual Pleasure

It’s not hard to see what would attract Susan Sontag to the story of Parsifal, the Wagnerian hero who finds redemption when brandishing his sword to heal, not inflict, wounds. Sontag, who died in 2004, was an outspoken pacifist, going so far as to stage a production of “Waiting for Godot” in Sarajevo while the city was under siege. Theater, for her, was balm. Comment

Piers Fears Go Racial

After months of discussion and three public meetings about late night crowds and noise in the West Village, a committee of Manhattan’s Community Board 2 effectively chose to take no action in response either to resident complaints or to a proposed solution from the queer youth of color who for many years have gathered in the Hudson River Park at the end of Christopher Street. Comment


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