Haggard Scandal Redux The twin scandals of ex-Congressman Mark Foley and (ex-?) Reverend Ted Haggard escaped notice in the last BTW (too obvious?); but here are two footnotes on the more entertaining of the two, Haggard, who didn’t merely fall from grace but plunged into the abyss. Former head of the National Association of Evangelicals,More
The Keeper of Eakins’ Flame
A painter and photographer who’s acclaimed by some critics as the best portrait artist in American history, Thomas Eakins is today a very hot property. His 1875 painting The Gross Clinic, which depicts Dr. Samuel Gross performing surgery, is still in the news. Purchased by Thomas Jefferson University in 1878 for $200, the Philadelphia MuseumMore
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS DIED just when AIDS was starting to explode (1983)—eight years after his Memoirs were published (1975), to more than one hostile review from a critic offended by the frank sexuality of the text. ( “If he has not exactly opened his heart,” went one notice, “he has opened his fly.”) Now New Directions isMore
“Kinsey and I thought very much alike.”
WHEN REVIEWING a recent book for The New York Review of Books, writer Larry McMurtry opened by indulging in the old thought experiment of deciding what one author’s works he would take with him to the proverbial desert island. His choice was none other than Gore Vidal. Noting that Vidal’s oeuvre encompasses 46 books that coverMore
Heroes in the Culture Wars
SEXUALITY HAS BECOME perhaps the single most volatile issue in the highly emotional and long-running set of skirmishes known as the “culture wars” that have shaped American culture since the 1970’s. In this sophisticated and subtle collection of essays, sociologist Arlene Stein provides a roadmap to this conflict. “American culture is a curious mix ofMore
McNally after the ‘Gay Jesus’ Play
WHAT BRINGS AUDIENCES to the theater is “the expectation that the miracle of communication will take place,” explains a protester to the board of a city arts complex in “Hidden Agendas,” a one-act play that Terrence McNally wrote in 1994 in response to government-inspired attempts to censor an exhibition of the late Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs.More
In Search of a Lesbian Stage Tradition
The following paper was first delivered at the New England Women’s Studies Conference in March 2005. THERE ARE many challenges in writing lesbian-feminist plays, and today I want to talk about two of them. The first is working without antecedents in the popular consciousness, without a canon of lesbian dramatic work from which to draw.More
Sterling Houston, Walkin’ His Blues
STERLING HOUSTON, an experimental playwright who died last year, embodied the archetype of the American artist who moves with those dreams out into the world and comes back home with his dreams intact to carry out his major work. His life also illustrates a motif of the modern acceptance of homosexuality and the spread ofMore
A French Response to the Wilde Affair
WHILE THE TWO YEARS he served in prison for having engaged in homosexual acts were very hard on Oscar Wilde, the greatest sorrow he experienced as a result of England’s stepped-up persecution of gay men in the 1890’s was the loss of his two young sons. As he wrote to Alfred Douglas in the textMore
Am I Permitted to Talk about Me?
THE IMAGE you see below was the first page of my biography at my website, TomBianchi.com. for the last seven years. This short version of my life from birth to graduation from law school told what I saw as most relevant about who I am. Recently, the company that provides banking services to my siteMore
The Life and Legacy of the DOB
AFTER SEVENTEEN YEARS as an activist for the American Civil Liberties Union in San Francisco, Marcia Gallo started graduate school at the City University of New York, working with Martin Duberman and other luminaries at the center for lesbian and gay studies. Ten years later, at the age of 55, Marcia has published the resultsMore
CHRISTINE M. CANO begins her fascinating book on just how Proust’s novel was published with a remark by Anatole France that seems doubly cruel, considering that Proust had once considered France his mentor: “Life is too short, and Proust is too long.” However, that is how many people regarded In Search of Lost Time whenMore
Anglo-American, Gay-Inflected Movies
BRITISH QUEER CINEMA? What’s that? This substantial collection of academic essays appears under a title that is less self-evident than it may appear, in respect of all three of its terms. Pretty much all the contributors are obliged to discuss the knotty term “queer,” conceding that the word has invariably been applied to Amer-ican andMore
A 50’s Affair-Supposed
JUST AT A MOMENT when the study of gay history and literature is flourishing, social critics have declared the death of the GLBT subculture due to the rapid assimilation of gay people, especially those born after Stonewall. The last major gay civil rights battle, marriage, should be won within a generation. Does this mean thatMore
Whose room is it, anyway?
SUSAN GUBAR is a professor of English at Indiana University, the recipient of several awards for writing and scholarship, and the co-author (with Sandra Gilbert) of The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. Her latest book, Rooms of Our Own, a novel that’s an homage to Virginia Woolf’s AMore
Person, Poetry, Politics
FEW QUEER WRITERS plant their flag as firmly at the intersection of poetry and politics as does black lesbian poet Cheryl Clarke. This is clearly evidenced by Clarke’s latest book, a collection of her best known and most powerful essays (including “Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance”) interspersed with equally powerful and resonant poems.
DESPITE ITS TITLE, which might suggest another dreary self-help book soaked in Dr. Phil-speak, Gay and Single … Forever? is actually a thoughtful and intriguing meditation on the current state of being a gay man who’s not in a steady relationship.
Sex as Disaster: An Expose
ADDING to his already impressive roster of works on human sexuality, renowned author, sex educator, and therapist Marty Klein has surpassed all previous efforts with this incisive exploration of the sexual battleground that our country has become. Following the title of the electronic news-letter he publishes, he offers “Sexual Intelligence” as an antidote to theMore
Beach Blanket Buddies
IF THIS BOOK is any evidence, Jeffery Dennis one of those people who can pepper conversations with references to Fabian, Frankie Avalon, and Foucault with equal ease. In Queering Teen Culture, Dennis traces the representation of male same-sex desire from the anxiety-ladened post-World War II family sitcoms all the way to the open (though notMore
The History Teacher
WHEN AMERICAN Film-makers include gay characters in their films, they tend to focus on them as problematic-the problems of coming out; the heady, tragic problems of finding a boyfriend; family problems; and on and on. For films that incorporate well-rounded gay characters but aren’t about the supposed problems posed by gayness, it’s usually necessary toMore
The Devil Stopped Me from Doing It
EVER SINCE the early days of Hollywood, actors and writers who abandoned “the Theatre” for the movies were thought to have sold their artistic souls to the celluloid devil. Douglas Carter Beane’s The Little Dog Laughed is the latest iteration of this paradigm.
Short reviews of Cast Out & The New Gay Teenager, and the movie: Fighting Tommy Reilly.
How ‘santorum’ Helped Defeat Rick Santorum
The following is excerpted from a piece that became something of an instant Internet classic following its publication after the off-year election on November 7, which saw the defeat of two-term Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. The notoriously homophobic senator took the national spotlight when he denounced same-sex marriage in such a way that heMore
EU Countries Divided on Same-Sex Marriage
PUBLIC OPINION on same-sex marrage and adoption show enormous variation from one European country to the next, according to a large-scale survey that covered all 25 current members of the European Union (EU), two countries in the process of joining, and two candidate countries. For all of the countries surveyed, under half of the sampleMore