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Sex’s Degrading Release

Darren Aronofsky is not gifted with a light touch. With “Black Swan,” which tells the story of a ballerina going insane, he’s found an outlet for all his worst impulses –– over-the-top combinations of bombastic music, shakycam, and quick editing. Comment

All Around the Town

City Opera wisely revived its very pleasing production of Richard Strauss' odd but endearing "Intermezzo." In 1999, this Glimmerglass-derived Leon Major staging provided wonderful roles for Lauren Flanigan and John Hancock as the flamboyantly fighting Christine and Robert Storch (read "Pauline and Richard Strauss"). Comment

Seasonal Voices

IN THE NOH: The New York Times officially initiated its Film Club on December 2, with a red carpet screening of Sonia Nassery Cole's "The Black Tulip," a powerful drama of one Afghan family's struggle against the Taliban. Comment

Female Trouble

The day before I saw the new musical version of Pedro Almodóvar’s manic cult classic “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” I watched the DVD of the quirky film. (I admit I’m a fan — I own a deluxe boxed set of his work.) Comment

Soul Survivor

“Amazing Grace,” the salvation anthem that’s offered spiritual uplift for more than two centuries, is the number-one song of all time, with more than 6,600 known recordings. Comment

Plays and Players

Daniel Sullivan's wonderful production of "The Merchant of Venice" has moved indoors from Central Park, and in the process acquired new levels of depth and richness. Comment

Offbeat and Jolly

In the upcoming month, for every precious staging of "The Nutcracker" and each perfect kick of a Rockette's heel, there is an offbeat, wacky holiday show made with the cheeky, campy feel the gay community has come to love -- probably because it largely created it. Comment

Emotional Disturbance Claim Possible in John Katehis Re-Trial

The attorney representing John Katehis, the accused killer of gay journalist George Weber, may offer an extreme emotional disturbance defense at the 18-year-old’s second trial. Comment

Advocates Decry Homeless Youth Cuts

A coalition of advocacy groups that work with homeless youth in New York City is expressing its “concern and alarm” over mid-year budget cuts, announced over the past two weeks by the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), that will reduce funding for drop-in centers by one-third to one-half and, within two years, eliminate dollars for street outreach to that population completely. Comment

New Thrusts at DOMA

In the seven years since the US Supreme Court threw out the nation’s remaining sodomy laws in its historic Lawrence v. Texas ruling, a significant legal trend, one that has emerged slowly and, for most of that period, quietly, is now bearing tangible fruit, at least at the federal district court level — the current assault by LGBT public interest law firms on the US Defense of Marriage Act. Comment

Juror Journalism on the Rise

As attorneys questioned prospective jurors in the Jeromie Cancel murder trial, one admitted to searching Google for information on the case during a break. Then a second said she had done the same thing. Comment

Appeals Panel Hears Prop 8

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, heard oral arguments on December 6 on an attempt by the Proponents of California Proposition 8 and the Deputy Clerk of Imperial County to appeal US District Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s August 4 ruling striking down the 2008 voter initiative. Comment

GOP Wins State Senate Bragging Rights

Five weeks after the conclusion of an unusually spirited election contest for control of the New York State Senate, it is now a virtual certainty that Republicans will enjoy a 32-30 majority in that chamber, regaining control of a body they led for more than 40 years until the 2008 elections. Comment

Warsaw’s Black Gay Winner

In an historic first for the country considered the most Catholic in Europe, Krystian Legierski became Poland’s first openly gay elected official when he was elected to Warsaw’s City Council in country-wide municipal elections on November 21. Comment

Hundreds Decry Censorship

In a December 19 march up Fifth Avenue from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 82nd Street to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum eight blocks north, hundreds of New Yorkers protested the removal of a video created by the late David Wojnarowicz from an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington. The Cooper-Hewitt is the Smithsonian’s design museum. Comment

Dykes Outside the Box

One of the best-kept secrets in Lesbolandia is power couple Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, doyennes of fantasy fiction. We sat down earlier this month and talked about writing, relationships, and the virtues of operating outside the box. Comment

House Approves Stand-Alone DADT Repeal Bill

For the second time this year, the US House of Representatives, on December 15, voted to overturn the military’s 17-year-old Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Comment

Dan Choi Hospitalized

Former Army National Guard Lieutenant Dan Choi, a highly visible activist in the effort to overturn the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, has been involuntarily committed to a Brockton, Massachusetts, Veterans Administration hospital. Comment
Kelly Jean Cogswell

Do Ask, Do Tell — About Torture

A DYKE ABROAD: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is finally over and done with, so get out the champagne, point it away from your lover’s face, and pop the plastic cork. Comment

Alone & Sleeping on the Street: Happy Holidays

I want you to close your eyes. Picture a 15-year-old child, out on the streets of New York City, late at night with no place to go. Some horrible situation has made living at home impossible. Unable to go home, the child finds whatever comfort one can possibly find in a bus shelter. Hungry and needing food and a place to stay, this young tender creature considers the options — couch surfing, sex work, an act of criminal desperation, or starvation and exposure. Comment

Familiar Pattern in Newark Park Slay

As Edward Esposito, a detective in the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, tells the story, he made an arrest in Newark’s Branch Brook Park last July 16 and went back into the park to find his lost handcuffs while his partner secured the suspect. Comment

Senate Approves Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal

By a 65-31 vote, the US Senate on the afternoon of Saturday, December 18 voted to repeal the military’s 17-year-old Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy barring open service by gay men and lesbians. Comment

Mixed Signals Persist in Family Law

The battle for LGBT family equality unfolds in uneven fashion from state to state, and in some jurisdictions even seems to go backwards at times. The latest chapter in second-parent adoption litigation — with two appellate decisions issued in recent days — certainly bears this out. Comment

Obama Signs Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Law

"We are not a nation that says, ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell.’ We are a nation that says, ‘Out of many, we are one.’” Comment

A Rude Shock at Christmas

Jair Izquierdo, a 33-year-old, Peruvian-born gay man, first came to the United States a decade ago. Having traveled to America on a tourist visa with his boyfriend, who was also from Peru, Izquierdo stayed on, first working in retail and, more recently, as a hair and make-up stylist. Comment

Equality ‘War Room’ at Media Matters

Media Matters, the web-based non-profit progressive research and advocacy group that in its six years of existence has become an influential watchdog on right-wing media outlets, politicians, and activists, has launched an affiliate, Equality Matters (, which will focus on LGBT policy, legal, and legislative goals. Comment
Nathan Riley

A Progressive Call to Ardor

In the wake of their November defeat, Democrats should start kicking up some major dust and stop ceding the stage to Republicans and their theatrical politics. Comment
From the Editor

A Critical Step Toward Full Citizenship

Probably no LGBT rights promise made by President Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign elicited louder and more frequent expressions of frustration within our community than his pledge to end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy. Comment


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