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Party Polarization Is Now Complete
THERE IS literally no issue in the United States today in which the gulf between the two parties is wider than on the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to legal equality. This is a relatively new fact in American political life. …
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How the EEOC Protects Gay Workers
CHAI FELDBLUM is one of five commissioners on the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was appointed to that post by President Obama in March 2010. This interview was conducted over the phone, and transcribed in real time by the interviewer, on July 2, 2012.
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Sizing Up Obama’s GLBT Record
LET ME BEGIN with a simple provocation: queer folks-every last one of us-should vote to re-elect President Barack Hussein Obama in 2012. From an electoral standpoint, there’s really no choice for GLBT people this or any other November-that is, if you define “choice” as having more than one viable option. …
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The Spy Who Came In from the Closet
THIS IS THE STORY of a lesbian FBI informant who worked undercover in the American Communist Party from 1942 to 1949, and who testified at the 1949 trial of the Party’s leadership in New York City’s Foley Square. Like all the Communist trials of the period (including that of the Rosenbergs) it was a conspiracyMore
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France and the ‘American Scarecrow’
Anti-Americanism is perhaps an expected feature of French public education, at least according to a study conducted by Barbara Lefebvre and Eve Bonnivard in 2004, which suggested that French textbooks are anti-American to the point that French high school students might be led to wonder, “could it be that all evils in the world areMore
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Spain’s Sprint to Marriage Equality
HEN SPAIN became the third country in the world to grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry in 2005, it came as a surprise to many watching from the United States. How could a traditional, Catholic country that had been under a fascist dictatorship for most of the 20th century suddenly be at the forefrontMore
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Reclaiming HIV as a ‘Gay’ Disease
EVEN IN THE FIRST DECADE of the now three-decade-long HIV/Aids plague, there was already talk about ‘the changing face’ of the epidemic. … While it’s true that the proportion of minorities with HIV has risen over the years, the fact is that, since AIDS was first reported among a group of gay men in 1981,More
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The Man Behind the Dream
This new collection of [Bayard] Rustin’s letters is also a publishing first, and it will undoubtedly do much to help more people appreciate Rustin’s contributions to the Civil Rights movement. …
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The Improbables
SOME BOOKS are meant to be read cover-to-cover: Madame Bovary, War and Peace, Fifty Shades of Grey. Others may be dipped into at any point, since there is no continuous narrative, only-as in the case at hand-self-contained accounts that take a few pages each. Gay Lives, by Robert Aldrich, a professor of European History atMore
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Notes on Self
This volume covers Sontag’s life from age 31 to 47. During this period, she wrote some of her best-known essays, including the epic ‘Notes on Camp’ (1964). …
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Seasons of Interest
This memoir is, in a way, the antidote to the much more written-about “fast lane” in which gay men seem to be confined to the urban meat market.
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The World According to Harvey
[The Times of Harvey Milk] helped to bring Milk closer to household-name status and undoubtedly smoothed the way for The Harvey Milk Interviews, an inviting collection of interviews with and speeches by Milk himself. …
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The Pink Scare
  Communists and Perverts under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965 by Stacy Braukman University Press of Florida. 250 pages, $69.95   IN 1956, the Florida legislature established the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (FLIC), which became known as the Johns Committee, with the vaguely stated mission to “investigate all organizations” whose activities wereMore
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Hang ‘Em Hot
… Making the case for the deep intresections of mysticism and eros-and drawing heavily on Georges Bataille- [Brintnall] argues that the paradoxical symbol of the compromised male body as a symbol of redemption embodies the “self-shattering and fragmentation” that is erotic and mystical transcendence. Nimbly dancing between the Bible, Robert Mapplethorpe, the artist Francis Bacon,More
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Their Other Half
… In Outlaw Marriages, Streitmatter … asks us to enter the world of fifteen prominent Americans through the portal of their long-term same-sex relationships. …
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It Happened in Jersey
RESEMBLING a memoir in its early pages, Hidden turns out to be about nothing less than a man’s search for God. As such, it belongs to a literary tradition that encompasses St. Augustine, Dante, and Thomas Merton. …
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Transmigration
Fascinating though it is, this is not a book for the beach but is instead a scholarly tract that often reads like a dissertation.
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Fights in the Pit
MIKE BARTLETT’S new play Cock, which last year won an Olivier at London’s Royal Court, has come to the Duke on 42nd Street in its London production, with the Court’s director, James Macdonald, once again shaping this relentless verbal battle that leaves no survivors. …
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The Activist As Archivist
… Thanks to this powerful documentary, we now have a much more multidimensional picture of Vito Russo as activist, troublemaker, peacemaker, and lover. Russo witnessed the rioting at the Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969, but he did not participate. However, …
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Rufus Maximus
YOU MAY NOT NEED Kirk Lake’s recent biography of Rufus Wainwright to learn that the singer-songwriter has a penchant for peacocks. … [and Kirk]Lake’s portrait of Wainwright, titled There Will Be Rainbows, is the perfect complement to the Canadian-American’s loud and lavish œuvre and, with its references to Tennyson, Wilde, Kubrick, and Barthes, …
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The Rise and Fall of the ‘Ex-Gay’ Myth
IN JUNE 1998, fifteen anti-gay organizations launched the ‘ex-gay’ Truth in Love campaign with full-page ads in America’s largest newspapers. The first ad appeared in The New York Times and featured an ‘ex-lesbian’ who smiled under the optimistic headline, “I’m Living Proof That The Truth Can Set You Free.” The religious right jumped on theMore
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Thoughts on news of the day.
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A Wild Patience: Appreciating Adrienne Rich
ADRIENNE RICH wrote the poetry and essays that inspired me in my writing. She spoke of desire, community politics, and, above all, of love. Her primary subjects focused on radical ideas about political freedom and social justice. Born in Baltimore in 1929, Rich wrote over thirty volumes of poetry and prose over a sixty-year periodMore
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E. M. Forster’s Double Life: The Secret Side
ONE SPRING DAY in 1922, Virginia Woolf saw her friend E. M. Forster, then 43, on a London street, and later wrote in her diary: “The middle age of buggers is not to be contemplated without horror.” What would she think of Wendy Moffa’s much-praised biography of Forster, A Great Unrecorded History (2010), with itsMore
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Marilyn Monroe: A Serious, Mysterious Life
… I sat down with Professor [Lois] Banner at her Santa Monica home to discuss her new book, Marilyn Monroe: The Passion and the Paradox (Bloomsbury Books), which promises to be as controversial as it is fascinating.
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Ida Rubinstein, Dancing into the 20th Century
Rubinstein founded her own ballet company, Les Ballets de Madame Ida Rubinstein, in 1928. She starred in each of her shows, commissioning new ballets, scores, and costumes from all the artists with whom Diaghilev collaborated: Ravel, Stravinsky, Bakst, Fokine, Leonide Massine, and many more. Her shows drew crowds, and …
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Alison Bechdel: Graphic Alchemist
… Bechdel’s memoir became an international literary sensation-a bestseller that some people wanted to ban from public libraries. This work was game changing for the genre, as Bechdel disrupted the straight male pantheon of comic literature with her unabashedly queer sensibility. Her book was virtuosic and ingenious in its visual construction and literary execution, demonstratingMore
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