Italy: Politics under the Vatican’s Glare
On June 6, 2006, in a document titled “Family and human procreation,” the Pontifical Council for the Family asserted its strong commitment to the traditional family and its opposition to gay couples, whose attempts to obtain legal recognition would produce, according to the paper, the “eclipse of God” in modern society.
Terrence McNally: Dramaturgist of a Gay Century
During the opening week of Some Men at The Philadelphia Theater Company (PTC) last summer, [Terrence] McNally discussed topics gay, political, personal, and sexual-and even had a few comments about the Pope and Judy Garland. Here is some of what he had to say.
A Friend of Dorothy
“I HAVE, I admit, the old-fashioned yen to go happily to my grave with one foot in the closet,” writes pretty-boy actor John Carlyle in Under the Rainbow. Thank God he resisted the impulse. In this rescued memoir, Carlyle lifts the curtain obscuring the intersection of the movie industry, homosexuality, and mid-century Los Angeles.
An Authority on the Mockeries of Age
THERE IS no elegant design to Facing the Night. Ned Rorem’s new book is divided simply into three parts: diary entries made between 1999 and 2005, recent musical writing, mostly about composers Rorem has known, and program notes, including those written for his well-received 2006 opera Our Town.
Orlando as a Woman
WITH DESIRING WOMEN, Karyn Z. Sproles adds to the large volume of criticism and analysis of Virginia Woolf’s work. Sproles’ focus is on Woolf’s relationship with Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962), an English poet and novelist with whom she had an affair in the late 1920’s.
The Gay Republican Conundrum
EVEN AS the perimeters of GLBT freedom have widened in the 21st century, the once vibrant community of activist gay Republicans finds itself in a crisis threatening its future viability in American political life. The shift in control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections has cost them whatever influence they may have hadMore
‘Beauty Will Save the World’
This article first appeared on Jill Johnston’s website (www.jilljohnston.com) as her “Johnston Letter” for September 2006 (volume 2, number 3).
The Coming GLBT Senior Boom
GLBT ELDERS experience a number of particular concerns as they age. In a recent study (Shippy, et al., 2001), three in four gay elders reported not being completely open about their sexual orientation to healthcare workers. Discrimination following disclosure of sexual orientation has been reported in nursing homes and senior centers. Social Security and retirementMore
FIFTY. I stretch all I’ve got around it, but barely grasp its half. I thought that cresting at the half-century mark might spark a wrenching essay or clever poem but, so far, the whole thing leaves me flat. Another Monday. Another Monday at the office. Another paycheck on Wednesday I’ll spend on … let’s seeMore
Perspectives on Intergenerational Love
INTERGENERATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS—those in which the two partners are at least twenty years apart—seem to thrive in the gay male world, greatly surpassing the corresponding rate of occurrence in the straight world. It’s a phenomenon that many people have noticed informally, though there isn’t much hard data to confirm its existence or its prevalence.
Fifty Years of Tea and Sympathy
IN 1950, playwright André Gide wrote that “in the theater, homosexuality is always a false accusation, never a fact of life.” Vincente Minnelli’s film Tea and Sympathy, which opened on movie screens fifty years ago last fall, revolves around precisely such a false accusation. Rumor and innuendo destroy the reputation of a student at aMore
The Gay Gaze in Ancient Rome
SHADI BARTSCH traces the development of Platonic theories about “boy-love” from ancient Greece to imperial Rome. The term “boy-love,” however, is misleading: it implies love of a child no older than twelve, whereas the Greeks preferred adolescents, eromenoi. The distinction is important because of the mistaken belief, seen everywhere in current discussions of sexuality, thatMore
While New York Slept
CO-AUTHORS Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons have written an ambitious and groundbreaking book that should at last give Los Angeles the prominence it has long deserved in gay history. Indeed the modern gay movement may be said to have been born in L.A. with the founding of the Mattachine Society in 1950 and of ONE,More
War and Love
IN HER LATEST NOVEL, The Night Watch, Man Booker Prize nominee Sarah Waters explores the experience of same-sex and other “deviant” forms of love in World War II-era London. Opening in 1947, the novel moves backward to 1944 and concludes in 1941. Although she often alludes to the past when recounting the events of 1947,More
A Filmmaker’s Progress
FOR NEARLY A QUARTER of a century, Pedro Almodóvar has been crafting films of increasing beauty and complexity. They are films that explore the political and cultural detritus of the Spanish psyche. Like all great art, they transcend their particularities to offer a vision of the human condition that resonates with all of us.
IN LOVE’S RITE, Ruth Vanita takes us through a memory hole of Asian history to a world where the forgotten (sometimes suppressed) esoterica of same-sex couplings can be found. The country is India and the time is before British colonial rule. According to Vanita, South Asia had “no premodern history of persecuting people for same-sexMore
Stoned on Stonewall
IN THE OLD DAYS of television, the late comedian Steve Allen had a regular routine on his show in which he would set up a camera at the corner of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles and make funny comments about the people who passed by. Allen Ginsberg’s captions for Gay Day, a coffee tableMore
‘Holy Hustlers’ of the Levant
There is much in Jennings’ book that I admire. He deftly sifts through existing scholarship to recover the terms and forms of ancient Israel’s worship of a “hypermasculine divinity” whose ravishing of his male followers provided a model both for the warrior-leader’s sexual relations with his male attendant and for the healer’s cure of theMore
Short reviews of Women with Mustaches and Men Without Beards, Independent Queer Cinema, and Putnam Camp.
The Sex Film Project (USA)*
JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL has discovered a secret and he wants to share it with you. It is this: sex is good for what ails you. Whatever your problem-loneliness, a failed marriage, crippling shyness coupled with voyeurism, repressed lesbianism, suicidal depression-all you have to do is go to a sex club, have a few heart-to-heart conversations,More
Homoerotic Art of the Third Reich
NORTHERN GERMAN market towns don’t get much more idyllic and sleepy than Schwerin. All that changed this last summer when the authorities agreed to stage this, the first exhibition dedicated to Hitler’s favorite sculptor. This latter fact guaranteed there would be controversy: the exhibit’s curator Rudolf Conrades defended the show on the grounds that peopleMore
Challenging the Marriage Imperative
Considering how the marriage issue has been framed by the mainstream media, it’s no wonder most fair-minded straight people and even many gay people-notably those who’ve been colonized by news outlets that blindly uphold the status quo-think every gay person in the America is dying for the right to wed. That’s far from the case,More
Gerry Studds, First Out Congressman, Dies at 69
Gerry Studds led a remarkable life, one well worthy of a memoir. That he decided not to write one was characteristic of the man. Articulate, witty, and enormously smart, he captivated audiences large and small; he was, in short, charismatic. But his persona was never about him, an almost eerie quality in a politician. PrinciplesMore
Perhaps I say this every year, but it seems we lost an extraordinary number of major figures who contributed significantly to the GLBT community in 2006- people who made a difference in the advancement of gay and lesbian rights, others who created the works of art and literature that illuminate our lives. They will allMore
Burnout Revisited: Women’s Cultural Spaces
Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, women’s bookstores and concert events carved out important spaces for cultural expressions of lesbian feminism in North America. During the latter part of that era I belonged to a private lesbian club called Herizon in Binghamton, New York, a community with a large lesbian population …