The Making of a Magazine
Gay history is still being told, and Thompson’s conversational, short volume Advocate Days & Other Stories adds significant information to what we know. Despite the fact that there are some tough truths in this book and that it covers some dark times …
Another Jersey Boy Makes It Big!
The current collection, I Shudder, And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey, finds Rudnick reviewing his life as a mild-mannered Jersey boy getting his first tiny studio apartment in Greenwich Village under the critical gaze of two aunts and a mother …
Reflections of Two Activist Observers
TWO NEW BOOKS by longstanding gay community activists and political essayists Martin Duberman and Sarah Schulman are useful if not indispensable for addressing big problems and painful if still-unconscious contradictions impacting our movement nowadays. It seems we’ve made momentous progress in civil rights—five states allow same-sex marriage—and even consciousness raising, but we still seem soMore
Obama’s Year of Missed Opportunities
RARELY has a president-elect arrived with such promise and ended his first year with such disappointment as has President Obama.
The Gay McCarthyites
ONE OF THE LOW POINTS in American history was in the early 1950’s when Senator Joseph McCarthy successfully fueled and exploited Americans’ fear and paranoia about secret governmental conspiracies, launching witch hunts to expose allegedly subversive infiltrators and Communists within the U.S. government. A lesser known part of the story is the critical role thatMore
The Last Englishman
“I WANT to love a young man of the lower classes, and be loved by him and even hurt by him. That is my ticket,” wrote E. M. Forster in 1935, “and then I have wanted to write respectable novels.”
Oscar Wilde’s Excellent Adventure
“I HAVE NOTHING to declare—except my genius,” he pronounced famously on arriving in the U.S. Or did he? There’s no sign of Oscar Wilde’s notorious response to a routine Customs inquiry in any of these 48 interviews with the Irish playwright, who was then known only for his poetry, and scarcely for that. The 26-yearMore
The Visible Vidal
Writing a memoir is fundamentally a ritualizing experience, a literary rite-of passage that tends to occur when a writer is facing—and challenging thereby—the implacability of mortality. Gore Vidal wrote that Tennessee Williams “could not possess his own life until he had written about it.” Of his own life, Vidal snarled when asked if he wouldMore
A Burst of Progress on HIV Policy
At various points in 2009—during gay pride month in June, at the October 11th march on Washington, among others—various media outlets eagerly reported criticism of President Obama by some gay leaders. The September 2009 Advocate ran on its cover a campaign image of a despondent looking Obama; in place of the word “Hope” was theMore
A Stubborn Refusal to Act
Disillusionment set in for the GLBT movement even before Barack Obama took office. The incoming President’s decision to accord a central role in his inauguration to the fundamentalist Rev. Rick Warren suggested that reaching out to the religious right was a higher priority for the new administration than GLBT inclusion. The Obama Inaugural Committee’s last-minuteMore
‘Getting to Neutral’ on Aging Policy
For older GLBT adults and others concerned with aging issues as they affect our community, the progress we need in federal policy is in some ways a matter of simply “getting to neutral.” Of course, there is nothing simple about it.
Putting Homeless Youth on the Agenda
June 28,1969. In the early morning hours, police raid a mafia-run Greenwich Village bar named the Stonewall Inn that catered to an assortment of patrons including drag queens, transgendered people, homeless youth, middle class gays, and hustlers. …
The ‘Hope’ Stage Is Over
When Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States, queer people all across America cheered. We had good reason to celebrate. After all, he had the most far-reaching, pro-GLBT agenda of any presidential candidate in U.S. history: repeal DOMA, end “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” pass hate crimes legislation, lift the HIVMore
‘Come back to the raft, Huck honey’: Reprise
Once upon a time, American men could openly express intense love for each other without shame or self-consciousness, without any sense of being effeminate or unnatural. Such ‘manly love’ did not preclude emotional, sexual, or conjugal relationships with women. This is Axel Nissen’s argument in Manly Love: Romantic Friendship in American Fiction. …
How a Paris Rag Outlived de Gaulle
Much of Jackson’s account in Living in Arcadia reads as an uninterrupted story of government persecution of homosexuals and Baudry’s attempts to navigate—or circumvent—its laws.
The Boys in the Short Play
SUGARLESS, James Magruder’s juicy, fruity new novel, is a 70’s coming-of-age story that combines the heady flavor of adolescent hormones with original cast albums and high school speech competitions.
Of Frogs and Faggots
THIS DIVERSE COLLECTION of essays by the author of the novel Gods and Monsters stretches over a remarkable variety of topics that range from AIDS fiction to the sexuality of Henry James. While most of the essays touch on some aspect of “the gay experience,” there are some that do so only tangentially.
Divas in the House
IF IT’S TRUE that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then in Mama Dearest, the last novel by the late E. Lynn Harris, it stays close to home through three generations. The novel’s central character,Yancey Harrington Braxton, had been a real star once: a Broadway star with fancy clothes, a fancy apartment, andMore
Now That You’re Gone
The most striking and significant aspect of Plante’s memoir is its form. Comprised solely of a series of fragments, each no longer than a paragraph, The Pure Lover takes on a pensive and elliptical tone that works well with Plante’s themes and content on several levels.
Story of Myself
THIS VOLUME presents itself as the first anthology to include a full range of gay men’s autobiographical writings, and editor David Bergman accomplishes this by presenting about forty entries spanning some 150 years …
Another Kind of Outside
Perhaps the most poignant tale in My Red Blood concerns Alix’s botched abortion. Dobkin painfully yet almost matter-of-factly relates delivering an intentionally aborted fetus into a toilet while performing on the road …
The Sloth of Sadness
NEAR THE BEGINNING of A Single Man, the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood on which Tom Ford’s new movie is based, a college English professor named George tells his class the story of Tithonus, a beautiful mortal who, after the goddess in love with him asks Zeus to grant him immortality, ages into a veryMore
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD famously remarked that over-using the exclamation point is like laughing at your own jokes. If so, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is often guilty of such self amusement: On the heels of his 2007 DVD Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!,Wainwright’s latest is another live album entitled Milwaukee At Last!!!
An Open Letter to the President of Uganda
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) took the lead in formulating this letter to President Museveni of Uganda when that country’s parliament was considering a bill to make homosexuality a capital crime. The same group of legislators sent a similar letter to President Obama urging him to act on this matter.
Passages of Artists and Activists in 2009
As is our custom, we pay our respects-belatedly this year-to some of the prominent writers, artists, and activists from the GLBT community who left us during the past year.
INTERNATIONAL SPECTRUM: In Turkey, the Obstacles are Bureaucratic
BARIS RECOUNTED the nerves he felt standing next to numerous other men in his underwear, being measured and examined to determine his military eligibility. Military service is compulsory in Turkey, barring any serious medical issues. …
Reviews of Beauty Salon, Andy Warhol by Arthur C. Danto, and And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents,and Our Unexpected Families.