Bernsteinomania Essays, Features
THE MUSIC AND LIFE of Leonard Bernstein are being celebrated around the world this year as we observe the centennial of his birth on August 25, 1918. Music lovers are being treated to thousands of classical concerts, talks about his career, screenings of the film West Side Story, and stage revivals of his Broadway musicals,More
The Outing of Pop Music, 1907-2018 Features, Interview
MARTIN ASTON is the author of the recently published book Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache: How Music Came Out (Backbeat Books), a 600-page compen-dium of popular music history from 1907 to the present, specifically the presence and influence of LGBT singers, songwriters, producers, and entertainers across this century. The book is organized chronologically andMore
Where Baldwin Landed Book Review
IN ME AND MY HOUSE, Magdalena Zaborowska reconstructs and analyzes the last decade of James Baldwin’s life when he lived in St. Paul-de-Vence, a small village in the south of France.
If Seers Could Really See Book Review
[Chloe] Benjamin brings the reader full circle, to the very heart of life’s mysteries: What’s it all about? How should I live my life? In the end, The Immortalists becomes quite touching and unforgettable. It surprises you, as life itself often does.
A Renaissance Man Book Review
THIS DETAILED BIOGRAPHY tells the life story of Alain Locke, one of the major forces behind the Harlem Renaissance. As a critic and public intellectual, he helped establish the careers of many black writers and artists.
People Are Funny Book Review
In My Ex-Life: A Novel, David Hedges is a fifty-something gay man, a successful college admissions consultant living in San Francisco, who helps spoiled children get into good schools. His boyfriend Soren has left him for an older man, a surgeon; he has become overweight; and his best friend Renata, a realtor, is tryingMore
Avalon Book Review
In Forbidden Lives, Norena Shopland cites this spirit of rebellion as an animating force in the lives of the many Welsh LGBT pioneers whose stories she has collected in her book.
Quentin Crisp Isn’t Done Yet Book Review
[I] found The Last Word to be smoothly written. It was fun to observe someone with a vast catalogue of life experiences and the ability to turn them into witticisms. Reading this book, one can readily understand why Quentin Crisp was such a sought-after dinner guest.
Food, Fabulous Food Book Review
COOKBOOKS by openly lesbian and gay authors have been published steadily over the decades, with Alice B. Toklas leading the charge. Many are fund-raising efforts for gay or lesbian organizations, while others are collections of recipes and reminiscences ...
The Normalization of Sex Research Book Review, Sex
The Kinsey Institute: The First Seventy Years by Judith A. Allen, Hallimeda E. Allinson, Andrew Clark-Huckstep, Brandon J. Hill, Stephanie A. Sanders, and Liana Zhou Indiana Univ. Press. 272 pages, $35. IN JULY 2010, while attending a conference on East Asian studies at Indiana University, I dropped in at the Kinsey Institute,More
Hungry at the Gate Reviews, Television Show
American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace 9 episodes written by Tom Rob Smith The FX Channel A FRESH POLAROID of fashion icon Gianni Versace dying on a rickety gurney is to be sold to the highest bidder, starting at $30,000. An eager “fan” tears a page from Versace magazine and splotches it withMore
Orthodoxy versus Freedom (an old story) Film, Reviews
Disobedience Directed by Sebastián Lelio DISOBEDIENCE is a gripping drama based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Naomi Alderman. The film is directed by Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio and stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alesandro Nivola. Weisz, a London-born actress who comes from a Jewish family, plays Ronit,More
Coming Out the Fun Way Film, Reviews
Love, Simon Directed by Greg Berlanti 20th Century Fox TO UNDERSTAND the appeal of the sweet but spineless film, you first have to understand the mindset of the American millennial, the “screenager” who feels more at home behind a laptop than talking to someone face-to-face. This spring, at the university where I workMore
THIS SEPTEMBER marks what would have been the sixtieth birthday of punk musician and Germs front man Darby Crash. As a musician, Darby was active for only a short time, leaving few artifacts beyond an album and a few memorable performances in Penelope Spheeris’ film The Decline of Western Civilization, about the underground musicMore
Mikko Makela Directs a Binational Love Story Artist's Profile, Interview
A MOMENT in the Reeds is a beautifully romantic film by the young Finnish director Mikko Makela. The story centers on two young men: Leevi (played by Janne Puustinen), a Finnish student who returns home from his studies in Paris to help his father repair their summer cottage, and Tareq (Boodi Kabbani), a SyrianMore
Will Aitken, Novelist, on the Set of Antigone Author's Profile
IN THE YEARS since his debut novel Terre Haute came out in 1989, Will Aitken has created a rich body of literary work that depicts sharply distinctive but flawed characters. Terre Haute, the name of his Indiana hometown, features a fourteen-year-old adolescent boy who struggles through an abusive relationship with an older man. He followed up withMore
Short Reviews Briefs
Reviews of On the Road and Off the Record with Leonard Bernstein: My Years with the Exasperating Genius; The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel; Apocalypse, Darling; and Patient Zero and the Making of the Aids Epidemic.
Facebook’s Gaydar The social media’s role in the Russian interference / collusion investigation was neatly clarified by the testimony of one Chris Wylie, a whistleblower who once worked for Cambridge Analytica. Wylie has testified before both the British Parliament and the U.S. Senate about the company’s use of Facebook data to target voters withMore
When Is a Gang Not a ‘Gang’? Essays
[It] was with a sense of wry nostalgia that I anticipated reading Vanessa Panfil’s The Gang’s All Queer: The Lives of Gay Gang Members. Unless inner-city gay youth are vastly different in Columbus, Ohio, from those in Los Angeles, I expected to hear some familiar stories.
SOCIAL CHANGE does not come easily. We can pass laws, win court battles, and even gain greater social recognition, but for every gain there is an anti-LGBT backlash from a still sizable segment of the population that feels threatened by these changes. Laws can be undermined if not overturned altogether. Sustainable change requires thatMore
For the Love of Billy Budd Essays
BENJAMIN BRITTEN’S OPERA Billy Budd is based on a famous, sexually ambiguous novella by Herman Melville (written in 1891 but not published until 1924). The opera focuses on the angelically beautiful young innocent who could have been saved, but whose stammer prevents him from speaking when he’s falsely accused and is destroyed by evilMore
Proust’s Sources Essays
Caroline Weber’s new book, Proust’s Duchess, is about the three real women who were the models for the Duchess of Guermantes.
Costa Rica’s Brush with Right-Wing Politics Guest Opinion
COSTA RICA is widely praised as the longest-running democracy in Latin America and has always been among the leading nations in the Economist’s Democracy Index. But earlier this year, our democracy was hit by a phenomenon that’s spreading around the world: the rise of extreme conservatism. The emergence of right-wing evangelical preacher Fabricio AlvaradoMore
Sex and Gender Fluidity versus ‘Born This Way’ Guest Opinion
THE “BORN THIS WAY” narrative of sexual orientation and gender identity suggests that these traits are innate and immutable. However, many in the LGBT community do not identify with that narrative and experience gender and sexuality as fluid and contextual identities. Awareness of these ideas has increased greatly over the past few years, withMore
Remembering J. D. McClatchy (1945–2018) In Memoriam
J.D. (“SANDY”) MCCLATCHY was so energetic, so ubiquitous, so generous with his time and talent that it’s hard to imagine that this star, this constellation, is now extinct. For years he was the editor of The Yale Review, the chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, the president of the American Academy of ArtsMore
Bob Smith (1958-2018) and The G&LR In Memoriam
I CANNOT ADD much to Eddie Sarfaty’s lovely and moving tribute in our last issue to his friend Bob Smith, the comic performer and writer who died last January; but let me say a little something about Bob’s contributions to this magazine. I did know Bob personally (through Jaffe Cohen and the FunnyMore