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The Varieties of Greek Love
IT IS OFTEN ASSUMED that same-gender relationships followed a stereotypical pattern and set of protocols in ancient society. In classical Greece this would take the form of pedagogical pederasty associating a man (usually before the age of marriage) and a freeborn boy, while in Rome it would take the form of a merely physical relationshipMore
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New Pedagogy on Ancient Pederasty
IT MAY SEEM difficult to say anything new and fresh about same-sex desire and love in the ancient Greek and Roman world. After all, the publication of Sir Kenneth Dover’s Greek Homosexuality in 1978, … was followed by a veritable outpouring of books and articles which continues today. … But, apart from refining what DoverMore
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Something About Mary
IT SEEMS THE GODS will have their revenge, or at least their ironic outcomes. Thus we owe it to a woman and a lesbian to have written the most authentic and beautiful prose about romantic love between men in all of literature. …
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Eunuch Power in Old Byzantium
FOR MOST of the last 4,000 years, all major, long-running imperial regimes from one end of Asia to the other have had one common feature: the presence of eunuchs in management. … Yet the image of an empowered eunuch-a diplomat, a chamberlain, an ambassador-is not the one that most people have of eunuchs today. …
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Queen Anne’s Ladies
THE ONE THING that the average, educated Brit tends to know about Sarah Churchill, the first Duchess of Marlborough and ancestor of both Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana, is that she had an intimate relationship with Queen Anne, … Therefore, the first question they tend to ask me, as Sarah Churchill’s most recent biographer,More
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Fra Luigi Sinistrari on Lewdness
GAY PENITENTS would have found Fra Luigi Sinistrari an understanding confessor, in spite of all that scary talk about torture and flogging and burning at the stake. When you get past the fierce rhetoric of the Inquisition, you find a childlike innocence and the gentle spirit of Saint Francis. It runs contrary to stereotype, butMore
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When Captain Cook Met Kalanikoa
The “Hawaiian Renaissance” began in the 1970’s as a rediscovery of the Islands’ native cultural heritage and a revival of the Hawaiian language, arts, and hula. And yet, all this revitalization of the past has strangely overlooked one little-known component of Hawaiian culture before European contact: its blatantly bisexual and homosexual social institutions. …
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1904: The First Lesbian Feminist Speaks
“The Women’s Movement is a historical and cultural necessity. Homosexuality is a historical and cultural necessity, and homosexuality is an obvious and natural bridge between man and woman.” With this pronouncement in a speech delivered just one century ago, in Germany, Anna Rüling became the first known lesbian activist. …
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The Stranger
… In William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination, a critical study of Burroughs’s early writings, Oliver Harris attempts to map out new critical territory around the career of this unique writer. …
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Asian Nations Set Their Own Gay Course
… Hjorth’s essay on the notion of cuteness in Japan is one among many gems in Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia, whose project is to address the ways in which new media (the Internet, cell phones, ’zines, and such) have facilitated the development of GLBT identities and cultures in Asia. …
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Boys Gone Wild
WHETHER FOUND in the alleys of Seattle’s Skid Row, the lumber camps of the Cascade Mountains, or the locker rooms of the Portland YMCA, homosexual men were on the move in the turn-of-the-century Pacific Northwest. Peter Boag surprises modern readers with his richly textured account of the region’s thriving homosexual communities of nearly a centuryMore
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Deep in the Heart of Damascus
… On the surface, Cleopatra’s Wedding Present seems right out of the “mad dogs and Englishmen” school of travel writing, a relative of Robert Byron’s Road to Oxiana. …
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Short Reviews
Reviews of of Collected Stories by David Leavitt, Original Youth by Keith Fleming, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy by The Fab Five.
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Behind the Closet Door of 1920’s Harlem
THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE began in the early 1920’s and ended some ten or fifteen years later, depending on whom you ask. That short time span saw the emergence of writers, artists, art collectors, and bon vivants of all colors, genders, and sexual orientations. There’s still a lot that we don’t know about the era’s gayMore
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A Poet Who Saw Unity in Oppression
… The author of Warrior Poet, Alexis De Veaux, is a poet, playwright, novelist, and the chair of the women’s studies department at the University of Buffalo, New York. In a short and serviceable introduction, De Veaux explains that she divides Lorde’s life into two lives, “before cancer” and “after cancer.” …
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“I wanted that blue.”
FIRST you fall in love with the title. You imagine mismatched pieces of fragile china, translucent, in delicate greens and floral pinks. Your mind hand-feeds you memories of sweet petit fours, frosted pastel lavender and yellow, you smell jasmine tea steeping in a perfectly shaped tea pot, steam blooming from the spout like fragrant ghostMore
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Haunted Household
THE TITLE of Brian Teare’s debut volume of poetry, The Room Where I Was Born, proves apt: it is indeed about origins, about confronting how the room, house, family, town, and finally trauma of our childhood can shape our relationship to self, language, and even our view of history. …
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Confederacy of Lushes
… In Liquor, Poppy Z. Brite has set out to chronicle the lives of some New Orleans residents in a more realistic way than most other writers, including Brite herself, have done in the past. …
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Civil Union’s First Draft
CIVIL WARS is a chronological account of Vermont’s landmark adoption of a law mandating civil unions in December 1999. …
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Cases in Point
“I CAN imagine a book made up entirely of examples,” wrote the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. This is the first of many quotes that James McCourt uses as a chapter heading in his new book, Queer Street, and it’s a revealing one. …
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Straight Expectations
… For his research, Besen interviewed movement leaders and rank-and-file “ex-gays,” scrutinized the history of their spiritual and scientific beliefs, and went undercover to infiltrate their organizations. …
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Comrades in Each Other’s Arms
YOSSI & JAGGER exists in the space between the feature film and the documentary. Based on a true story, this well-made movie is produced in a way that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into the barracks of a company of the Israeli army …
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Letters to the Editor
Expanding the GLBT Tent To the Editor: Samuel Delany’s essay “Alphabet Soup in Provincetown” [Jan.-Feb. 2004] reads like a well-intentioned plea for inclusiveness to the established literati of lavender letters, but it oddly struck me as the voice of a brother-from-another-planet à la Rodney “can’t we all get along” King. No doubt, the community has yetMore
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Marriage Has Always Been a Civil Institution
Adapted from an op-ed that appeared in The Boston Globe (2/8/04).
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BTW
Takes on news of the day
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Egypt: Human Casualties of the Culture Wars
Taher (not his real name) was eighteen, a law student, and terrified when I met him. One of his best friends had just been arrested, charged with consensual homosexual conduct-a crime under Egyptian law. …
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