Browsing: HOT Summer Nights

July – August, 2013

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Boykin, an author, television commentator, and Harvard Law School graduate, is to be commended for assembling writers with the audacity to address issues normally shrouded in silence in communities of color in this stirring collection of personal essays by gay men of color.

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Vaughan is known as much for his journals as for his paintings. The journals span nearly four decades from his experiences of World War II, to his successful career in the 1950s and 1960s, through to his bouts with colon cancer and ultimately suicide in 1977.

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HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL TENSIONS surrounding issues of masculinity, race, violence, sexuality, and miscegenation commingle in both all-black and interracial pornography. Black men in gay porn customarily inhabit a position of power that has roots in racialized fetishism.

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Love, it seems, is for straight people.

Take two examples from books that came out in just the past year: Pascal Bruckner’s The Paradox of Love (2012) has many virtues, but they do not stretch to examining same-sex relationships. Turn to the copyright page and you find brutal confirmation. The anonymous provider of Library of Congress shelving data has decided that “the paradox of love” can safely be cataloged under “man-woman relationships.” Faramerz Dabhoiwala’s The Origins of Sex (2012) examines the sexual and sentimental revolutions of the Enlightenment, the period when the boundaries of modern love were staked out. This is territory well and often explored by gay and lesbian scholars, yet there’s barely a whiff of homosexuality in 452 pages.

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The reunion would also prove a personal moment of truth. At 68, Walters would not be returning to his alma mater as Robert but rather as Robyn Marie Walters, a transsexual woman.

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LIKE MOST SPIDER WEBS, the bar called The Web, which existed on East 58th Street for decades until it closed the other month, would snare you unprepared. It was as discreet on its glamorous block of Midtown (between Madison and Park) as a cobweb strung in the corner of a room, whose strands glistened only in certain light.

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For whatever the reason, it’s useful to learn, in a new biography of Lorenz Hart, that a century ago the Broadway musical—which, before rock ’n roll, epitomized American popular music—was equally stuck in the clichés of the European operetta.

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