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Grrrrl Power

There is much sound and fury, signifying something in "Girls Rock!," an ambitious though not entirely successful documentary about a rock and roll camp for 8-18 year-old females. On the surface, the film breaks down stereotypes of women in music -and clearly shows how girls can become empowered through performance. When a female band burns up the stage at camp one afternoon, many of the girls in the audience see these performers as role models. Comment

Anxious and on the Outside

"Anybody has better things to do than listen to me," declares Keith Sontag (Dore Mann), the hero of "Frownland." The film takes a big risk in placing at center stage a guy many of us would dash out of a subway car to avoid having to listen to. "Frownland" offers the flipside of American independent cinema's common glorification of all things and people quirky and eccentric. It depicts a truly marginal man, an outsider so quirky that he can barely finish a coherent sentence and so eccentric that he's a step away from homelessness. Comment
Kelly Jean Cogswell

The Elites' Comeback With Obama

The Democratic Party is changing, and God knows it needed to, leaning more toward women, Latinos, and African Americans. But apparently the biggest up-and-coming constituency is that overlooked minority of young, well-educated white people that earn over a hundred grand a year and identify as liberal, so liberal they'll vote for the guy that campaigns with the same hateful anti-gay preachers that campaigned for Bush. Comment

Desperately Seeking Carmen

The role of Carmen is in some ways an insuperable obstacle to the performer. Carmen should embody the irresistible allure of the "other," a sexual appeal that subdues the rational mind and destroys the will. Comment

My First Cruisy Cruise

"It'll be fun!" the boyfriend enthused as I finally gave in to his annual plea and okayed the idea of a gay cruise. Like many of you out there, I was a tad traumatized by the florid brochures, featuring insanely leering, muscle-bound party boys hoisting Cosmos, not to mention the ubiquitous inclusion of that sole Asian, as if to say, "Yes, we welcome aboard our 'just as hot, large money-earning' yellow brothers, as well!" Comment

Luck's Forever Dublin

Residents of the Queens neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside are way beyond having to choose between celebrating their Irish heritage or embracing their city's diversity. For the better part of a decade, the St. Pat's for All inclusive parade has become firmly established as one of the city's best examples of how New York's diverse communities can celebrate Irish history in a unified and festive fashion. Comment

No Country for Lovers

In early January of this year, Helen, 68, a US citizen, and Mikiko, 59, who came to New York from Japan, companions for more than 20 years, packed up their favorite kitchen utensils and made the move from Manhattan to Toronto. Comment
New York State

Significant Trans Bias Law Support in NYS Poll

A statewide poll of 600 registered voters has found that by a staggering six to one margin, New York State residents support enactment of a law protecting transgendered people from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. Comment

Sisters Gone Wild

I suspect that one reason "Crimes of the Heart," Beth Henley's pungent play about estranged sisters surviving the hard-knock life, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981 was due to its deft blending of comic and tragic. Comment

No 'Ordinary Sunday'

"See how she shimmers. I mean, from the heart." That's how the character Marie describes her mother, Dot, featured in George Seurat's neo-impressionist painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." The sentence also describes the magnificent revival of "Sunday in the Park with George," the Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine musical inspired by the painting. Comment

After ENDA, the Fighter's Resilient

Seated before a crowd of roughly 50 at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, Mara Keisling opened with a joke. Comment
Susie Day

The Revolution Will Not Be Workshopped

Whoa! I just found out that the Left Forum - a conference attracting thousands of progressive activists and scholars - is happening this month in Manhattan. That means we pinkos and queers get one last chance to liberate society through thought-provoking workshops and panels. I sure hope the Forum's organizers snap up my cutting-edge proposals for world-shattering presentations! To wit. Comment

Justice Fighter's Secret Life

Paul Moore, Episcopal bishop of New York from 1973 to 1989 and a fervent champion of gay rights and social justice for all, led a closeted homosexual life for decades according to the poet Honor Moore, one of his nine children, in a new memoir, "The Bishop's Daughter," excerpted in The New Yorker. Comment
Guest Perspective

The Night Bill Buckley Tried to Kiss Me

Now it can be told. It began on a hot summer night in Cherry Grove, when two strangers - a hairdresser and a make-up artist - came to my rooms at the Belvedere with a Galliano summer dress and a pair of red high heel sling back opened toe sandals. They plied me with martinis and fussed about with wigs and make-up and Sarah Coventry jewelry. Comment

Therapeutic History

Early in Juliette Mapp's moving emotional memoir "Anna, Ikea, and I," I looked around the audience at St. Mark's Church, wondering if some of what she was saying required insider knowledge. Certain references, like the precise name of the venue -- Danspace Project -- got hardy laughs from those in the know, and cocked heads from others. Comment

Three Faces of Vishneva

You have to hand it to Diana Vishneva, the beautiful ABT and Kirov ballerina. She could do anything her heart desires, and does. Her spirit of adventure and support inspired three choreographers to go all out, at her command. Comment

Fab Dncr ISO Gd Choreog

An intriguing publicity photo resembling a prehistoric predator piqued my interest in seeing Jolene Bailie, a performer I'd never heard of. A Winnipeg-based solo performer, she's a fabulous physical creature - long, lean, and limber, with a spine that twists and bends as supplely as rope. In her evening at Joyce SoHo, February 21-23, Bailie presented three dances choreographed by her and fellow Canadians Marie-José Chartier and Joe Laughlin, and a short film directed by Jeff McKay. Comment
Kelly Jean Cogswell

Still Dying for Visibility

There are municipal elections coming up in Paris in a couple of weeks, and we have gay Mayor Bertrand Delanoe running for re-election, and a transgendered Algerian activist and actress, Pascale Ourbih, running for office in the 16th district. Comment
Nathan Riley

Eliot Spitzer's Phoenix-Like Resurrection

Governor Eliot Spitzer's fractured relationship with the Legislature is on the mend - and that is a remarkable turnaround. After a fruitful and productive first month in office last year, which included passing long overdue reform of the worker compensation laws and securing a more equitable distribution of education monies under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity court ruling, Spitzer's reputation plummeted. His senior advisors tried to embarrass Joe Bruno, the Senate's Republican leader, with disastrous results. They ended up placing themselves and the governor under investigation. Comment
Guest Perspective

Falling Off High Horses

I was perfectly resigned to spending Valentine's Day in my place in Chelsea, watching "Titanic" with my roommate and my two good friends, Ben & Jerry, when I saw a listing for a lesbian speed-dating event and thought, "Why not?" Comment

Oscar Honors Lieutenant Laurel Hester

"Freeheld: The Laurel Hester Story," Cynthia Wade's 38-minute film that chronicled the battle of an Ocean County, New Jersey police veteran of more than two decades, as she was dying of cancer, to transfer her earned pension to her lesbian partner, won the Oscar for Best Short Documentary in Hollywood on February 24. Comment

Another Iranian Tragedy

The scheduled February 26 extradition of Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old gay Iranian student, from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, from where he will almost definitely be deported to his homeland, has been put off pending a Dutch court hearing on March 3. Comment

Gay Divorce Okayed in Manhattan

Following the ruling just weeks ago from a state Appellate Division panel that a same-sex marriage contracted in Canada is recognized in New York, a trial court in Manhattan has taken the next step, ruling that a same-sex couple married in Canada can be divorced here. Comment

There Will Be Development

Bipartisanship may be an ideal in some corners of American politics, but it's surely an understatement to point that it's not a concept honored by most documentarians. As some critics have speculated, Tony Kaye's abortion doc "Lake of Fire" likely bombed because of its refusal to choose sides in the debate. Comment

Revisiting the Silent Era

Music and film have been inextricably linked since the first pianist played along with a silent movie in 1895. In those days, music was an essential part of the experience but as talkies gave way to the summer blockbuster, the role of music became more incidental. At the Kitchen February 13, however, filmmaker - and ersatz guitarist - Brent Green presented works closer in spirit and execution to the Age of the Silver Screen. Comment

Windy City Blues

Chicago has often been the place where American justice goes to die. From the Haymarket affair of the 1880s, to the smashing of the Wobblies in 1918, and Red Squad rampages of the '30s, to the projectiles hurled at Dr. King, routing him as even the South could not, Chicago has time and again proven its mettle. Comment

The Body Politic is a Woman

Renee Archibald, Heather McArdle, and Luciana Achugar, all in the early stages of their choreographic careers, were chosen to create dances in a three-month residency at Barnard - the college at Columbia University for women and dance. Mary Cochran, the dance department chair, Marissa Beaty of WAX, the Williamsburg Art Nexus, and invited mentor Donna Uchizono were the overseers, but they didn't interfere. They even allowed for the possibility that the choreographers' works wouldn't be performed in the second Sugar Salon at the Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Art Center February 15 and 16, planned as the culmination of the residencies. Comment

The Long Movement

A certain irony attends the fact that the study of civil rights in America, at least in the academy, is burgeoning even as our government and society at large appear to retreat ever further from the goals expressed by the civil rights movement, goals enshrined in public consensus yet far too often betrayed in practice. Comment

ENDA United Has Its Say

By: PAUL SCHINDLER | As more than 300 LGBT rights groups came together last fall to form ENDA United, a coalition opposed to advancing any federal nondiscrimination bill that did not protect gender identity and expression, two groups - the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) - were at the forefront. Comment

Nomadic Beats Crazy

Ruth leads a nomadic life. At the beginning of "Hunting and Gathering," she runs through the list (and slide show) of apartments she's lived in as a subtenant, house-sitter, or long-term guest as she tries to make it in the city. As it turns out, she's part of a distinctly New York subculture that manages to hold onto youthful illusions by never having a fixed place of residence, something she shares with her friend Astor. Comment

Sound and Fury at BAM

After the February 17 performance of "Macbeth" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey Theater, I had the misfortune to attend a post-show platform with the leading man, Patrick Stewart, in conversation with Shakespearean scholar James Shapiro. I say "misfortune" because Stewart has such a winning personality that I am loathe to talk about not being conquered by the production. Comment

St. Pat's Politics in Queens, Manhattan

The Irish parade season kicks off this Sunday, March 2, with the inclusive Queens St. Patrick's Day Parade led by grand marshals Christine Quinn, the out lesbian speaker of the City Council, and writer Pete Hamill. It starts at 2 p.m. at 43rd Street and Skillman Avenue (#7 train to 40th St./Lowery) and winds up at 61st Street and Woodside. For more information, go to Comment

Gay Syphilis Surge in 2007

After static or slightly declining numbers, infections spike 60 percent | After seeing the number of syphilis cases remain stable in 2004 and 2005 then decrease in 2006, the New York City health department is reporting that syphilis cases increased by 60 percent in 2007 over 2006, with that growth due to new infections among gay and bisexual men. Comment

City Says No Plans to Close Sex Venues

Speaking at the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, a senior New York City health department staffer told an audience of more than 100 that the agency has no plans to shutter city sex clubs and bathhouses. Comment


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