Review of the book Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion, and the film: The Skeleton Twins.
The Codpiece: Life and Times
YOU’VE ALL SEEN THEM—that pommel in the dress of Henry VIII and others—prominent, like something to rest your hand on, dependable, serviceable: the codpiece. Where did it come from and where did it go? There are various opinions; here are some of them. The French called the codpiece a braguette and we are toldMore
Jesus’ Penis and the Seed of Faith
THE INTERSECTION of sex and the Catholic priesthood has long been fraught, and recent scandals involving priests and choirboys have revealed to the modern public that there’s considerable overlap between the two. But clerical celibacy and its effects have been long debated. That vows of celibacy do not automatically extinguish thoughts about sex (or actionsMore
Filling the Void in Lesbian Art
CHRISTINA SCHLESINGER is a wickedly interesting, unapologetic, and high-spirited visual artist whose erotic works were featured in a “pop-up” exhibition at the Leslie Lohman Museum in New York’s Soho district in late January. The show was called Tomboys, and it featured 36 paintings of butch females by the artist, many of them self-portraits paintedMore
The Many Genders of Old India
TRADITIONAL INDIAN CULTURE is replete with legends and mythologies where heroes and heroines have chosen various genders without guilt, and their choices have been accepted and respected by the community. Ironically, today the Western nations are progressive in research and education about variant expressions of gender and sexuality, while in India—despite our rich cultural heritageMore
An English Martyr
“BASED ON A TRUE STORY” are probably the most ominous words in film, but that’s what flashes across the screen at the opening of The Imitation Game, the new biopic about the British mathematician Alan Turing.
A Family in Exile, A Poet in the Making
The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhoodby Richard BlancoHarperCollins. 272 pages, $25.99 RICHARD BLANCO was catapulted into fame on January 21st, 2013, when he recited his poem “One Today” at President Oba-ma’s second inauguration ceremony. As an openly gay Cuban-American poet, Blanco was at once a revolutionary choice for the occasion and aMore
The Mainstreaming of Marriage Equality
Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equalityby David Boies and Theodore B. OlsonViking. 310 pages, $28.95 IN NOVEMBER 2008, California voters passed Proposition 8, which would amend the State’s constitution. By a vote of 52 to 48 percent, the electorate snatched away from same-sex couples the right to marry that they’d been grantedMore
Why Gay Ghettos Are Breaking Up
There Goes the Gayborhood? by Amin Ghaziani Princeton University Press 360 pages, $35. FIRST COMES LOVE, then comes gay marriage, then comes… a straight couple with a baby carriage. In cities across America, local residents and outside observers have become acutely aware that dense, visible, distinct gay neighborhoods seem to be disappearing from theMore
A Scot on the Rocks
Not My Father’s Son: A Memoirby Alan CummingHarperCollins. 394 pages, $26.99 WHEN WE FIRST meet Blanche Dubois, she’s enveloped by a fog that we soon come to realize represents her clouded mental state and the impending revelations about the truths and falsehoods of her life. The actor Alan Cumming recounts in his achingly poignantMore
Excavations from a British Century
THIS BOOK is a bona fide curiosity—a volume of 125 short surveys of major, minor, and often totally neglected works of British, Irish, and Commonwealth gay male fiction.
The Moons of Libido
Beginning with the Mirror: Ten Stories about Love, Desire and Moving between Worldsby Peter DubéLethe Press. 178 pages, $15. NOWHERE in Beginning with the Mirror is the author identified as a bilingual writer, but as a lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada’s version of Paris, Peter Dubé knows what it’s like to live in twoMore
American Guy, edited by Saul Levmore and Martha Nussbaum, grew out of an academic conference of the law and literature movement, a subfield of legal scholarship that examines the law in and through literature.
A View from the Bottom is part of Duke University’s “Perverse Modernities” series, and the book’s cover, depicting a pair of legs held aloft by two hands, makes it clear what the “bottom” in the title refers to.
Identities in Play
A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoirby Daisy HernándezBeacon Press. 185 pages, $24.95 I TEACH a course in multicultural studies to graduate students in counseling, and I’m always on the lookout for first-person narratives written by authors of diverse backgrounds. I especially seek out memoirs that reflect multiple ethnicities and sexual orientations.More
What a Picture Is Worth
n 1988, Haring was diagnosed with HIV, which only seemed to escalate his artistic output.
The Agony of Victory
IN THE DOCUMENTARY The Celluloid Closet (1995), Arthur Laurents memorably observes that “minority audiences watch films with hope. … That’s why nobody really sees the same movie.” His observation speaks to the subjective nature of interpretation. Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher validates this truism on a number of levels. The protagonist’s desire is unmistakably the centralMore
It Shouldn’t Be So Hard to Be a Queer Atheist
THERE IS A LINE between encouraging religions to reform and become more progressive, something in which I deeply believe, and leaving non-religious people behind, which has become a problem in Western queer spaces in recent years. It’s not that I think that religious LGBT people shouldn’t be included in queer spaces. The problem is thatMore
Secrets of the Met, Hanging in Plain Sight
The following comes from Andrew Lear, an art historian and founder of Oscar Wilde Tours, which will be offering gay tours of New York, including the Met, starting this spring, as well as a gay history tour of Italy next October. For more information, visit www.OscarWildeTours.com. AS AN ART HISTORIAN who works on homoerotica, sometimesMore
An Oasis of Freedom Grows in Burma
QUESTIONS of identity have always been front and center in Myanmar, otherwise known as Burma. After Burma’s independence from British colonial rule in 1948, numerous armed conflicts broke out between the newly formed government and several ethnic minorities, as the latter were not granted the same constitutional rights as the Burmese ethnic majority. The discussionMore
Ryan Landry of the ‘Make ’Em Laugh’ School
RYAN LANDRY has been the indisputable king (queen?) of New England fringe performance for years. A comic playwright and impresario of drag theater, his parody productions of classic movies, fairy tales, TV shows, and plays have long been a staple of Provincetown and Boston entertainment. More recently, along with his company, the Gold Dust Orphans, Landry hasMore
The Seagram: New York’s Gayest Building
THE SEAGRAM BUILDING and I are about the same age, but as my hair continues to silver and the parentheses bracketing my mouth make me ever more parenthetical to the young, my favorite New York skyscraper never ages. As the exemplar of mid-century Modernism, Mies van der Rohe’s 38-story steel and glass edifice on ParkMore
Leslie Feinberg Beheld a World without Gender
IN Transliberation: Beyond Pink or Blue (1998), the late writer-activist Leslie Feinberg, who preferred the gender-neutral pronouns hir and ze, described hirself as “a masculine feminine”: “I do not identify as a male, so I don’t believe that I should have to change my body to ‘match’ my gender expression so that authorities can feelMore
Grant Wood’s Glimmerglass Surprise
THE CAMPUS OF GLIMMERGLASS OPERA Festival rolls up the mountain shore near the north end of a strayed-east Finger Lake named Otsego, ten miles north of Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame and sixty miles west of the malfunctions of Albany. For the months of July and August these bucolic acres leap to life as oneMore
True Colors Theocrats of the religious Right have always hitched their version of God to an “America First” brand of patriotism that was quick to brand others as traitors. That’s what made it so surprising when Larry Jacobs, director of the American World Congress of Families, traveled to his organization’s annual conference last fall, whichMore
Letters to the Editor
If They Mated: Carson and Gypsy To the Editor: I was glad to see David Kaplan’s piece on Tennessee Williams’ friendships [in the Jan.-Feb. 2015 issue], including his friend Carson McCullers, who is claimed to have had a crush on Gypsy Rose Lee and to have consummated a sexual relationship with her. I haveMore