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U.N. Confirms Iraqi Gays Targeted

A report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has confirmed that gay Iraqis have been targeted for kidnapping and murder because of their sexual orientation. Comment

The Policy Challenges of Nightclub Closings

Volume 5, Number 15 | April 13 - 19, 2006 Comment

Still 1,000 Gowns 20 Years On

It may have been a prankster’s holiday, but the only fools this April 1 were those people not at the Marriott Marquis in Midtown for the Imperial Court of New York’s 20th Annual Night of a Thousand Gowns. And judging by the capacity turnout of 1,200 for this annual drag and leather fundraiser, gay New York has gotten wise to the best party of the spring season. This year’s event raised more than $100,000 for God’s Love We Deliver, a charity that provides food and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. Comment

Please Don’t Eat The Daisies

Dark times. Some people run for cover, try to shield themselves from the grip of fear by avoiding what’s going on. Others choose numbness. Artists, the conscience bearers of our culture, always opt for some kind of response—be it confrontational, or otherwise. Artists keep going no matter what obstacles the world throws out in front of them. Comment

NY Marriage Majority Grows

By a margin of 53-38 percent, residents of this state now support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. The pro-gay majority represents a 14-point gain in sentiment on behalf of same-sex marriage in just two years. A poll conducted in March 2004 found the state nearly evenly divided, with 47 percent voicing support for gay marriage and 46 saying they were opposed. Comment

Notorious And Enigmatic

“The Notorious Bettie Page” features a great protagonist, even if it’s unsure what to do with her. The life of Bettie Page reveals some of the contradictions of her times—this film focuses on the ‘50s, when she worked as a pin-up model—and ours. Utopian thinking has fallen out of fashion, but in its own modest way, “The Notorious Bettie Page” practices it. It imagines a reconciliation between sex and religion. Admittedly, it’s a troubled one that requires a great deal of naiveté to work, but its awkwardness is still revealing. Comment

New Briefs

Student Mob Tries to Kill Gay Man Comment

Mother Knows Best

“Why can’t you make yourself well?” the tearful, exasperated Lisa Kron asks her mother towards the climax of “Well,” her comic bio-play that she initially denies is about herself, or her mother. Comment

Men On The Verge… Again

The good news is that the book provides feminists with a reason to cheer. Why? Because we’ve been round this block once before. Comment

Meet the Slammers

The link been methamphetamine’s infiltration within the gay community and increased HIV infections among us is a key cause for the growing concern about this problem. Yet this troubling linkage is the direct result of gay men using the drug to enhance sexual encounters and lessen the difficulties many face in managing self-esteem issues as they try to fuck and make connections with other gay men. Comment

Pride Agenda Endorses Sean Patrick Maloney

Volume 5, Number 16 | April 19, 2006 Comment

Letters to the Editor

Please address letters to the editor to Comment

What Did They Know—and When the Heck Did They Know It?

The controversy surrounding the famous “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo” posters that poisoned the 1977 mayoral primary battle between a future mayor and a future governor threatens not to quiet down in time for Andrew Cuomo—the son of the man who lost that mayoral primary but was elected governor in 1982—to finish his run for New York State attorney general. Comment

Kindled Spirits

Looking for love in all the wrong places Psychosis has never seemed so seductive than in the magnificent, one-person show “In Delirium: After The Sorrows of Young Werther.” Adapted from the […] Comment

ISO Deeper Meaning

“Is it more embarrassing to admit your flaws and questionable behavior, or to deny them when it’s obvious that what you are writing has autobiographical elements?” wonders Stephen McCauley, author of the gay comedy of manners, “Alternatives to Sex.” Comment

High Schooler at the Helm

The fact that the executive director of an LGBT rights group confronted a United States senator about his opposition to hate crimes legislation and same-sex marriage is not necessarily that noteworthy. But the fact that the activist is 16 years old and attends a Catholic high school made it national news. Comment

Gone To The Dogs

Before your share on Fire Island begins, grab some friends and head to Brooklyn. Make a day of it—step into the Botanical Gardens and take your love for a walk under the flowering cherry trees. Then by all means go see the William Wegman retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum. This long time Chelsea resident makes artwork with an economy of means and a sure hand that is guaranteed to shake up your expectations. Comment

Gleefully Blasphemous Painted Glass

“The Holy Family,” a group of gleefully blasphemous pictures at the Thomas Erben Gallery, is the first U.S. exhibition by German artist Blalla Hallmann in the last 40 years. Painted directly onto discarded hospital windows, the nine large reverse glass paintings depict scenes from a trippy Passion Play, starring Mickey Mouse as Jesus Christ and Daffy Duck as the “Vulva Madonna,” with a supporting cast of praying penises in Nazi regalia. Comment

Gay Exec Gains HIV Trial

A gay former corporate executive living with HIV won the right to a trial to restore his disability benefits on March 31, when Senior U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr., in Manhattan, rejected a motion for pre-trial summary judgment by the disability insurance company. Pre-trial discovery exposed flaws in the way the insurer conducted its determination of continued benefits eligibility, leading Haight to question the “fairness” and “sufficiency” of the process. Comment

Gay Bashing in St. Maarten

For six gay friends from New York enjoying a Caribbean holiday on the island of St. Maarten, the brutal attacks on two of them in the early morning hours of April 6 were ghastly reminders that homophobic violence can strike even in the toniest of tourist destinations. Comment

El Pueblo Unido

Immigration reform is not a new issue for Pradeep Singla. An Indian-born immigration lawyer, he came to the United States in 1993 and has been working as an activist pressing for basic reform for the past eight years. Comment

Daughters Of The Dust

We live in discouraging times, but whenever self-doubt creeps in, we have only to look to Urban Bush Women and sup the nourishment this company of women of African ancestry provides. These dancers must train like an army—an army of lovers, that is—and as we used to say, an army of lovers cannot fail. Entering their 22nd year, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s troupe has added what seems like a subtitle—“Sassy, Strong, Relevant”—in bold type on their Dance New Amsterdam season program notes right under the company’s upper-cased name. Zollar’s paired tributes to Pearl Primus—a highlight of the two-program season—absolutely support this new slogan. Comment

Compulsive Sexuality’s Lighter Side

Caveh Zahedi has struggled to make four features in 15 years. With “I Am a Sex Addict,” he’s inadvertently stumbled onto something trendy. This film combines the voyeurism of reality TV with the comedy of embarrassment purveyed by Larry David on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Ricky Gervais on “The Office” and “Extras.” Comment

COMMUNITY MEDIA NEWSPAPERS AWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE

The three newspapers owned by Community Media publisher John Sutter—The Villager, Downtown Express, and Gay City News—were recognized for editorial excellence at the New York Press Association Awards held in Saratoga April 7-8. Comment

Conformist Hegemony

Living in New York, D.C., or San Francisco, many gays and lesbians might be excused for thinking we’ve all but won the civil rights battle. Except for some tenacious Middle America pockets that are expected to crumble as soon as the upcoming generation, raised on “Will and Grace,” MTV and “Brokeback Mountain,” takes over, gays and lesbians are enjoying an unprecedented openness, safety, and acceptance. Comment

BITTER DIVIDE SPARKED ON IMMIGRATION RIGHTS

As a board member for the National Black Justice Coalition, a group of African-American LGBT activists who have worked for the past three years to change the tenor of the debate in black America over same-sex marriage, syndicated commentator Jasmyne Cannick has earned a reputation as a tough-minded advocate for the queer community. Comment

Artists Pursuing Their Personal Visions

Reactionary bores often claim that a real artist is someone that pursues a personal vision, and is not concerned with strategizing; strategizing, in a sense, is the Kissinger-ization of art. Henry’s realpolitik applied to art as curiosity filtered through goal-oriented ambition Comment

Arbitrary Enforcement Charged in Club Closings

David Boyer shows no anger when he discusses his recent brush with the New York City Police Department, but he is clearly unhappy. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

AMERICAN GUN Interesting and somewhat contrived, “American Gun,” Aric Avelino’s directorial debut, is a decent, if small-scale example of a relatively new trend in American cinema—the episodic drama. The film, which intersperses three stories of gun violence in America, has already been compared to other similar such films as “Crash” and “Traffic,” but it falls short in comparison to both. (Nick Feitel) Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 15 | April 13 - 19, 2006 Comment

Written Into A Corner

If underwriting can under-serve narrative, the converse is not necessarily the case, as is demonstrated by “Tiger by the Tail,” the latest offering in the Wings Gay Plays series. In his epistolatory play, a tale of a frustrated and lonely middle-aged man who falls in love with a conniving but heartsick prisoner, playwright Frawley Becker requires his audience either to make huge leaps of logic or simply go with it. Comment

With Friends Like Simon…

The Dutch film “Simon” chronicles the nonsexual relationship between a gay guy named Camiel (Marcel Hensema) and Simon (Cees Geel), a straight man who befriends him. This comedy-melodrama, which tries to be a life-affirming film about the issue of euthanasia, however, never sheds any light on the mysterious bond between these characters. Furthermore, Camiel and Simon are meant to be likeable, but in fact, both are hard to tolerate. Comment

Voices For Verdi

On March 8, one of the newer Verdian contenders on the scene, soprano Angela Brown, gave an exciting Verdi/Gershwin concert with the Hunter Symphony in the College’s auditorium. Conductor Nicholas G. M. Ross did best with the disjunctions of Gershwin’s “American in Paris;” overall the high quality of the orchestral playing came as a pleasant surprise. Brown, nurtured at Opera Company of Philadelphia, where she has sung six leading roles and is readying Bess for next season’s opposite Gregg Baker’s first Porgy, became a New York Times-recognized star last year with her impressive, largely unheralded debut Aida. Comment

Vicarious Artist In Workboots

If expressive features, an extroverted laugh, and agility atop ladders are anything to go on, Julie Ana Dobo could be a performer. But her swift practical stride and calm efficiency provide the real clues. Not to mention the boots. Comment

The Other Side of Brokeback

You know how sometimes you see a fun, gay movie where the young couple is in love and they have kooky friends, and it ends with hope and promise? The script bubbles with wit and an actor or two you like from a successful TV show makes a delightful surprise appearance in a small, independent film? Comment

Spring Things

Dance New Amsterdam is one of the first cultural companies to relocate to Lower Manhattan post 9/11, and they held a rousing, Chanterelle-catered celebration at their fantastic new space in the Sun Building on March 27. The performance, in honor of company founder Lynn Simonson and done twice, began with Donna McKechnie doing her “Music and the Mirror” from “A Chorus Line” and went from strength to brilliant strength from there. Comment

SPITZER DUCKS ON TAX DEPARTMENT NIX OF GAY MARRIEDS

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, issued an opinion in 2004 that while this state doesn’t perform same-sex marriages, it must recognize legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, such as Canada. But when asked about the legality of the state Department of Taxation and Finance statement this week that such same-sex couples may not file joint tax returns here, Spitzer’s spokesman, Brad Maione, refused comment. Comment

Songs For A Marriage

Now, the group has teamed up with CD Baby and a roster of talented performers to produce “From the Heart,” a unique CD that helps educate and entertain. On April 11, the Wedding Party and IUNITY will launch the CD with a benefit concert at the Chelsea club Happy Valley. Comment

Queens Of The Dance

Graham Lustig brought his mission for ballet to Symphony Space March 24 and 25—raising the glass ceiling for women choreographers—but his program for the Princeton-based company he directs, American Repertory Ballet, started with a new work of his own. Comment

Pinko Plague Panics President

After years of government indifference to viral epidemics, President George W. Bush today called an emergency press conference to launch a federal campaign against the “Human Altruist Virus,” which threatens to blight the nation. Comment

New Theory on Trans Rights

U.S. District Judge James Robertson issued a decision on March 31 calling for a new approach to transsexual discrimination claims under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Refusing to dismiss Diane J. Schroer’s lawsuit against the Library of Congress for refusing to hire her for a terrorism research position, Robertson suggested that federal courts should interpret the statutory ban on sex discrimination to include discrimination based on gender identity. Comment

New Briefs

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is still chafing over the high court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision declaring the nation’s 13 remaining anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional despite his stinging dissent. Asked about it at a forum at the University of Freiberg, Switzerland, Scalia said, “Question comes up: is there a constitutional right to homosexual conduct? Not a hard question for me. It’s absolutely clear that nobody ever thought when the Bill of Rights was adopted that it gave a right to homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct was criminal for 200 years in every state. Easy question.” Comment

Miami Beach Over-Reaction

The action by employee benefits fund administrators in Miami Beach terminating domestic partnership health benefits for police and firefighters contradicts Internal Revenue Service Private Letter Rulings issued during the Clinton administration in 1998 and 2000. Miami Beach’s move was apparently motivated by two more recent Private Letter Rulings issued last June that are not clearly on point. Comment

Mass. Nups Door Not Slammed

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on March 30 that the state’s marriage evasion statute adopted in 1913 is constitutional and bars the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples from out of state if their home state’s laws forbid same-sex marriages. Comment

MARRIAGE EQUALITY CALENDAR IN NY

Monday, April 17: Tax Day Demonstration at the Main Post Office, Eighth Avenue and 32nd Street, 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., organized by Marriage Equality/NY. Comment

Feingold Cuts the Gordian Knots

John Kerry was against a federal marriage amendment before he endorsed a state marriage amendment in his home state of Massachusetts. Comment

La Nuit Américaine

Out in front of the museum stands “Peace Tower,” 2006, which Mark di Suvero and Rirkrit Tiravanija collaborated on with about 300 other artists invited to recreate the “Artists’ Tower for Peace”—first erected in Los Angeles in 1966 to protest the Vietnam War. Well intended, the tower seems impotent in the face of a saccharine or silent chattering journalist class, a populace that seems to acquiesce to the desires of business, and an administration that does as it pleases. “Peace Tower” does, however, hint at a theme in this Whitney Biennial—artists working together. The ideas they explore are often powerful; other times they seem like adolescent temper tantrums. Comment

Growing Out Her Roots

They say you can never go home, and when openly lesbian comedian Marga Gomez returned from L.A. to discover the house she grew up in was gone, this idiom became literal. Comment

Double Or Nothing

Synchronize your watches—the hour strikes “4.” An instant sensation upon its premiere at the 2004 Venice Film Festival, Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s debut feature bagged a Tiger Award in Rotterdam last year and floored ’em at Tribeca. Now opening in a Gotham run, there’s no getting past this riotous, putrescent juggernaut—it must be confronted. Comment

Chelsea Club Crackdown

The New York City Police Department is going to considerable lengths to counter the perception that its March 31 raids on a gym and six Chelsea nightclubs and bars was an assault on the gay community. Comment

Chelsea Protest, Support for Frieden

The fourth in a series of town meetings on proposed changes to state law that would end the requirement for written consent for HIV testing and allow local health departments to monitor the treatment of people with AIDS showcased the continued opposition to those proposals. Comment

Brutal, Beautiful Transgressions

“Forest”—a collaborative project by Brock Enright & Ivan Hurzeler just completed at Cynthia Broan Gallery—combined installation, photography, and film to create a compelling and charged event that blurred fact and fiction. Comment

A Polish Stonewall

The past week saw dramatic new evidence of the ultra-conservative and homophobic regime that has taken hold in Poland since the election last October of a new hard-right government led by the reactionary, gay-baiting President Lech Kaczynski and his equally queer-bashing twin brother Jaroslav, who controls the Polish Parliament. Comment

Albany, Not Boston, Focus Here

Massachusetts’ Republican governor, Mitt Romney was pleased that his state will not become “the Las Vegas of same-sex marriages” when its Supreme Judicial Court upheld a law barring most out-of-state couples from tying the knot there if their marriages would not be recognized in their home states. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

AMERICAN GUN Interesting and somewhat contrived, “American Gun,” Aric Avelino’s directorial debut, is a decent, if small-scale example of a relatively new trend in American cinema—the episodic drama. The film, which intersperses three stories of gun violence in America, has already been compared to other similar such films as “Crash” and “Traffic,” but it falls short in comparison to both. (Nick Feitel) Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Reel Venus Film Festival Showcase Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 14 | April 6 - 12, 2006 Comment

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