Browsing: Elsewhere

May – June, 2004

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GAY PENITENTS would have found Fra Luigi Sinistrari an understanding confessor, in spite of all that scary talk about torture and flogging and burning at the stake. When you get past the fierce rhetoric of the Inquisition, you find a childlike innocence and the gentle spirit of Saint Francis. It runs contrary to stereotype, but Fra Luigi was a kindly old inquisitor. …

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THE TITLE of Brian Teare’s debut volume of poetry, The Room Where I Was Born, proves apt: it is indeed about origins, about confronting how the room, house, family, town, and finally trauma of our childhood can shape our relationship to self, language, and even our view of history. …

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The “Hawaiian Renaissance” began in the 1970’s as a rediscovery of the Islands’ native cultural heritage and a revival of the Hawaiian language, arts, and hula. And yet, all this revitalization of the past has strangely overlooked one little-known component of Hawaiian culture before European contact: its blatantly bisexual and homosexual social institutions. …

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… In Liquor, Poppy Z. Brite has set out to chronicle the lives of some New Orleans residents in a more realistic way than most other writers, including Brite herself, have done in the past. …

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“The Women’s Movement is a historical and cultural necessity. Homosexuality is a historical and cultural necessity, and homosexuality is an obvious and natural bridge between man and woman.” With this pronouncement in a speech delivered just one century ago, in Germany, Anna Rüling became the first known lesbian activist. …

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CIVIL WARS is a chronological account of Vermont’s landmark adoption of a law mandating civil unions in December 1999. …

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… In William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination, a critical study of Burroughs’s early writings, Oliver Harris attempts to map out new critical territory around the career of this unique writer. …

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“I CAN imagine a book made up entirely of examples,” wrote the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. This is the first of many quotes that James McCourt uses as a chapter heading in his new book, Queer Street, and it’s a revealing one. …

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… Hjorth’s essay on the notion of cuteness in Japan is one among many gems in Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia, whose project is to address the ways in which new media (the Internet, cell phones, ’zines, and such) have facilitated the development of GLBT identities and cultures in Asia. …

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… For his research, Besen interviewed movement leaders and rank-and-file “ex-gays,” scrutinized the history of their spiritual and scientific beliefs, and went undercover to infiltrate their organizations. …

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