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MAGNUS HIRSCHFELD (1868–1935) was hailed in the press as the “Einstein of Sex” during an American lecture tour in 1930. He was a leader among the pioneering sexologists of the late 19th century, and the first openly homosexual one.
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First Love
Call Me by Your Name seems far more old-fashioned than [Brokeback Mountain]. Although set in 1983, the film of André Aciman’s novel is reminiscent of the sort of thing that happens in novels of the 19th-century Russian writer Ivan Turgenev. (Indeed, the first chapter of Aciman’s new novel, Enigma Variations, is a rewrite of Turgenev’sMore
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Édouard Louis: It would be naïve to say that I am not a part of the bourgeoisie: I went to school, I studied, I have more money than my parents, I live in Paris, I travel. So all the evidence is that I am bourgeois. …
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Mme Yourcenar in Maine
“The bonds between the two friends were so strongly rooted in intellectual, psychological, societal and spiritual affinities that they created together a single life. … Their mu­tuality in living was so authentic that this book should have been a biography of Marguerite Yourcenar and Grace Frick, with a subtitle: Inventing a Single Life.”
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Poet from ‘the Mouth of Shadow’
Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine began a tumultuous relationship, full to the brim with brawls, alcoholic foolishness, and above all a sexual passion that brought them to the heights of ecstasy and the depths of despair.
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Two of Voltaire’s best friends were gay, and I have my suspicions about a third, the Marquis d’Argenson, the creator of the Arsenal Library. The three of them were among those he called his “angels,” who helped him to vanquish his enemies. With his trademark tolerance and humanity, Voltaire accepted his gay friends with aplomb,More
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Short Reviews
Reviews of Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics, The Kinda Fella I Am, Female Trouble: A Queer Film Classic, and Not Guilty: Queer Stories from a Century of Discrimination.
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Odd Pocket of Tolerance
IT OFTEN COMES as a bit of a surprise to discover that, before Kinsey or Stonewall, there was any decency shown toward anyone who lived under the LGBT umbrella. But, argues Emily Skidmore in True Sex, some trans men around the turn of the 20th century received surprisingly sympathetic and thoughtful press coverage as wellMore
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Shifting Orientations
Although Dollimore is usually thought of as gay, his sexuality is more complex, and he is most interesting when he questions the assumptions of the “authentic self” that’s central to most coming-out stories.
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Out of Thatcher’s Sight
THE NORTH LONDON neighborhood of Finsbury Park is a prominent example of the demographic and cultural shifts that have marked the city’s emergence into the current century.
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Queer Shakespeare: Desire & Sexuality Edited by Goran Stanivukovic Bloomsbury. 402 pages, $80. WAS SHAKESPEARE GAY, or perhaps bisexual? If so, was it in the way that we think of gay or bisexual today? Or was he being trendy, playing games with Elizabethan literary and high society, the way David Bowie and Prince exploited gayness inMore
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Turn the Scandal Around
Embedded within this narrative of a Congressional career is the tale of the scandal that rocketed Studds to national fame. This involved his tryst with a Congressional page.
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Disturbing Attachments shows how Genet’s troubling racist and non-egalitarian attitudes are matters that queer theory hasn’t fully dealt with. If the central tenet of queer theory is resistance to the normalization of power and the destabilization of categories like sex, gender, and identity, then Genet shows us how queer theory has more work to do.
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Finkelstein also reminds us that the HIV/AIDS crisis is far from over, analyzing the work of a new generation of queer activists and their responses to narratives around the plague.
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  The Clothesline Swing  by Ahmad Danny Ramadan Nightwood Editions 286 pages, $19.95   TWO YEARS AGO, in an anthology of essays by queer and transgender writers, the activist and then would-be novelist Ahmad Danny Ramadan wrote: “Being an lgbtq person in the Arab world is not a challenge you face every now and again.More
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Jake Shears (real name, Jason Sellards) was born in Mesa, Arizona, in 1978, and was shuttled back and forth between there and Seattle during his school years. A showy, bossy gay kid who watched, unimpressed, as baseballs “plunked on the ground yards away from me, like a dead shooting star,” he found himself instead obsessedMore
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A Body of Work’s most striking claim, however, is worth repeating. Hallberg praises his first teacher Mr. Han for his very un-American teaching style. Han told it like it was rather than “dousing” his pupils “with positive reinforcement” simply for trying.
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A Lot Can Happen
  Femme Confidential by Nairne Holtz Insomniac Press. 290 pages, $19.95   THE TITLE of this novel bristles with promise. It suggests a lurid paperback from the 1950s or ’60s about a secret network of female sex perverts. However, the author’s writing style is deadpan and understated, and the time-span ranges from 1981 to 2014,More
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The plot of Less is well constructed, with lots of amusing incidents. The fun begins in New York City, with Less almost missing his interview with Mandern due to a broken clock in the hotel lobby and a mistaken assumption by his escort.
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The organizers of Trigger can be commended for including contributions by pioneering artist Nayland Blake, whose “fursona” is hybrid bear-bison “Gnomen,” who playfully morphs into a different species and gender right before our eyes.
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Here is a musician who writes pop ballads as catchy as they are forceful. Her music turns on the tension between being young, and thus feeling trapped in unfulfilling romantic relationships (par for the course), and hoping for a better world out there, waiting to be found.
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AS ITS TITLE SUGGESTS, Trebor Healey’s short story collection, Eros and Dust, wrestles with life’s inherently dual nature—life and death, love and heartbreak, crime and punishment—as well as the artist’s role in the endless struggle to reconcile these opposing forces.
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FOR MORE than three decades, John-Manuel Andriote has been a critical voice on hiv-aids in such periodicals as The Advocate and The Washington Post. In 1999, he published Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America, his landmark book on the LGBT community’s transformation from disenfranchised isolation into a self-affirming political and social forceMore
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BTW
  Easy Marks   Residents of Waco, Texas, couldn’t help but notice that the city’s Christmas lights had a different look this year, a certain flair, a je ne sais quoi. The arrangement of colors from red to violet created the effect of a giant rainbow stretching endlessly down the corridor. Did someone say rainbow? So,More
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Letters to the Editor
  Views on Shelley’s Women Clarified To the Editor: In his review of my book, The Shelley-Byron Men: Lost Angels of a Ruined Paradise [Jan.-Feb. 2018 issue], Daniel A. Burr notes my “animus toward the literary executors and biographers of the Romantic poets Shelley and Byron.” True, but my disapproval goes far beyond their notMore
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Hypermasculity as the New Drag of Black Men
Black men, with our posturing and profiling and mean-mugging and such, disclose to the world and to each other that we are unbreakable, never vulnerable or scared; and then we wonder why we are seen as so hard and perhaps even harsh.
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Millett was forced out of the closet by a woman—probably someone she knew—during a 1970 speech at Columbia. As she later wrote in her memoir Flying (1974), which details the ups and downs that fame had brought her, she proclaim her lesbianism …
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Kenya’s anti-gay statutes and their enforcement clearly violate the letter and the spirit of the constitution promulgated in 2010.
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IT’S THE SEASON of gay revivals on Broadway and Off, and the latest is Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song, formerly known as Torch Song Trilogy. The original four-hour production of 1982 has been trimmed into a two-act version under three hours, including intermission. Yet the play still covers the same ground: the travails of Arnold Beckoff,More
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