Browsing: Return Trips

July – August, 2006

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THE NAME “Ivor Novello” is perhaps only recognized on these shores by those Robert Altman movie fans who saw the director’s stylish British manor house whodunit Gosford Park (2001).

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On April 25th at 7:00 p.m., I arrived at the Hasted-Hunt Gallery in New York City’s gay ghetto, Chelsea, where a robust reception for the youthful participants of Soulforce’s Equality Ride was being held. The Equality Riders, some of whom have been the victims of hate crimes and expelled from Christian colleges because of their sexual orientation, are a bold band of young activists who have traveled across the country …

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Can three decades have passed since I sat in a darkened Manhattan cinema transfixed by the cherubic-faced Robby Benson giving the performance of a lifetime as the innocent and emotionally troubled Billy Joe in the movie Ode to Billy Joe? Any gay person watching that landmark flick could immediately identify with the conflicted protagonist and both sympathize and empathize with his plight.

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FROM SHAKESPEARE to Mrs. Doubtfire, gender deception as a plot device usually has a predictable trajectory. The elaborate subterfuge, no matter how it’s initially conceived, ends up revealing more to the deceiver than s/he ever anticipated. After much hand-wringing, not to mention comedy, the costume comes off, the truth comes out, hearts are (perhaps) broken and mended, and valuable lessons are learned. Much of the same can be said for Norah Vincent’s unique book, Self-Made Man …

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WIDESPREAD INDIGNATION at the suggestion that Abraham Lincoln might have enjoyed sharing his bed with other men, that he delayed marriage to make it last as long as he could, and that he occasionally returned to the practice even in the White House when Mrs. Lincoln was away, suggests the fragility of tolerance for homosexuality.

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THOMAS GLAVE describes himself as “a Jamerican” to reflect both his Jamaican and his American heritage. Indeed, he often has difficulty reconciling these two identities: traveling back and forth between the two countries, he often wonders “which passport to use on this trip or that one, Jamaican or U.S.-which citizen will I be this time (re-)entering ‘my’ country?”

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Thoughts on news of the day

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THE POLITICAL DUST STORM kicked up by the Oscar-winning film Brokeback Mountain, however predictable, found right-wingers railing that yet another symbol of American “family values,” the cowboy, was being desecrated. A typical Christian blogger screamed: “Now they’re out to destroy the American legend of the cowboy. God help us, and John Wayne forgive us!”

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… a fast-moving novel about the artists and writers who flocked to Luhan’s salon in New Mexico in the 1930’s. …

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