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JOHN WATERS’ films have spanned more than three decades of what he calls “good bad taste.” Although he cringes at the designation “openly gay filmmaker,” there’s no denying that his queer, campy, and subversive signature runs all through his body of work.
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Thirty Years of Bad Sex
The Bad Life, a best-selling memoir by Frédéric Mitterrand, the openly gay minister of culture in the government of Nicholas Sarkozy (and nephew of a past president of France, François Mitterrand), …
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Mapplethorpe’s Muse
PATTI SMITH’S Just Kids is a memoir about the singer’s relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989). The book resonates with all the portentousness of the Fates spinning threads around inextricably entangled mortals. Just Kids isn’t a lurid exposé but a serious reflection upon creative vision, regeneration, and devotion.
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IN 1965 AT UCLA, I took a class from Christopher Isherwood, and I recall him saying, “All I can do is to tell stories about my life.” He noted that he found support for this idea in Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections, which had been translated recently into English. And he pointed to Hans ChristianMore
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Buried Pleasures
TOM CARDAMONE invited 27 other gay authors to submit pieces about their “favorite out-of-print gay books or forgotten titles.” At the same time, he says in his introduction to the resulting anthology, he was looking for works of fiction that had been excluded from the “gay canon”: works that “embodied a diversity and history thatMore
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A review of The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America by Don Lattin.
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A review of A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli by Mark Griffin.
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WHAT DOES a gay waiter with a soon-to-be transgendered lover have in common with an über-heterosexual writer? Well, as Dwayne Raymond points out in his accomplished memoir Mornings with Mailer, a lot more than one would think.
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Ryan’s Hope
THIS WELL-RESEARCHED historical novel alternates between Dublin in the early 1950’s and late 1990’s, following a gay man as he recalls his youthful adventures and the tragic series of events that forced him to flee for America. Daniel Ryan enters Dublin from his country home, captivated by the excitement and opportunities available in Ireland’s capital.
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Getting Out Alive
Reading Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man can be a toe-curling experience, and you may find yourself rushing from page to page, not because it isn’t a good story (it is), but because the life that Clegg is describing is often painfully hard to endure.
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A Poet’s Epilogue
A Martian Muse contains 25 of Shepherd’s final essays, ranging across several categories, with titles that include “Poetics and Poetry,” “Art and Society,” “Artistic Production,” “Intention, Aspiration, Inspiration,” and “Illness, Identity, and Poetry.”
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Short Reviews
Review of Insignificant Others by Stephen McCauley, and Missouri by Christine Wunnicke.
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“WHAT The Well of Loneliness did for the man-woman, this most unusual tale does for the woman-man.” This is how an early gay classic was blurbed in advertisements and on the dust jacket flap by Samuel Roth, its first publisher, in 1933. A Scarlet Pansy, by Robert Scully (possibly a pseudonym), is a skillful andMore
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Barbara Hammer Reflects on a Life of Filmmaking
  LESBIAN FILMMAKER and video artist Barbara Hammer, now in her early seventies, has been exploding long-held myths about both gender and the art of filmmaking since the 1970’s. Her portrayals of lesbian sex, menstruation, female orgasm, and the full range of human sexuality have propelled her into the forefront of radical lesbian filmmaking andMore
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Letters to the Editor
Feedback from our readers
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Bear Culture 101 (no prerequisite)
BEAR IDENTITY is inked into my flesh now. I turned fifty in August 2009 and, rather than marking my minor midlife crisis with an affair (too complicated) or a fancy car (too expensive), I opted for a tattoo sleeve, which took months to complete. Among the many symbols of sufficient import to me to wearMore
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The Radical Faeries at Thirty (+ one)
LAST YEAR marked the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Radical Faeries. Since 1979, the Radical Faeries have developed into a vital international gay spirituality and consciousness movement. Along with the AIDS Quilt, the Radical Faeries is arguably the most important ongoing grassroots subculture in the GLBT world at large.
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House and Ball Culture Goes Wide
COMPOSED PRIMARILY of African-American and Latino people, many or most of them transgendered, the House and Ball community is a system of “houses” that participate in competitive drag balls. Centered in New York City, the houses have names like Xtravaganza, Ninja, LaBeija, the Garavani, and so on, and are organized as “drag families” headed byMore
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Was Judith Butler Right to Refuse Berlin Award?
DECLARING that she must distance herself “from this complicity with racism,” Judith Butler publicly rejected the 2010 Civil Courage Award at Berlin’s Gay Pride Celebrations, known in Germany as Christopher Street Day or CSD. This decision by one of today’s preeminent intellectuals provoked a scandal, but two factors prevented her statement from having its fullMore
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Fred Phelps Returns: Judgment Day
REV. FRED PHELPS gives good curse. Famous for his anti-gay picketing of funerals and other sensational venues, he admits that his vibrant colored signs with provocative epithets (notably “God Hates Fags”) are intended to “get inside people’s heads.” In October, he will receive what he most seeks—national publicity—during an oral argument before the U.S. SupremeMore
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WHY ARE WE still interested in the lesbian hipster? In part it’s because we can’t stop lurking around her pictures on Facebook, which are beyond cute. But it’s mostly because the “lesbian” and “hipster” worlds seem to have converged so naturally that there’s clearly something going on past Generation X/Y’s universal adoption of any eastward-blowingMore
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PREVIOUSLY, I described my escape from Russia, via land and sailboat, to be with another woman in Canada (“Leaving Russia: A Personal Odyssey,” September-October 2009). My Canadian girlfriend Meg and I had been living together for two weeks in Kiev, Ukraine, when my parents, having followed me from Russia, physically attacked us for being gay.
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Newcomer Adam Lambert, meanwhile, needn’t worry that the vacuum of doubt will sap his career of any strength. At 27, he raked in nearly 100 million votes as the runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol, and this was after photos of Lambert kissing an ex-boyfriend came to light. He acknowledged the pictures asMore
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BTW
Takes on the news of the day.
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IN 1974, amid the spirit of the civil rights revolution, the goals of the gay and lesbian liberation movement seemed boundless. U.S. Representatives Ed Koch and Bella Abzug of New York filed the Equality Act of 1974, which sought full civil rights protections for “gay men, lesbians, unmarried persons and women.” The bill called forMore
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UNLESS YOU SPENT the spring and summer in a monastery, you will have heard the news that country singer Chely Wright broke new ground in that historically conservative world by coming out as a lesbian.
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