Browsing: Venerability

January-February 2007

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Considering how the marriage issue has been framed by the mainstream media, it’s no wonder most fair-minded straight people and even many gay people-notably those who’ve been colonized by news outlets that blindly uphold the status quo-think every gay person in the America is dying for the right to wed. That’s far from the case, and …

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On June 6, 2006, in a document titled “Family and human procreation,” the Pontifical Council for the Family asserted its strong commitment to the traditional family and its opposition to gay couples, whose attempts to obtain legal recognition would produce, according to the paper, the “eclipse of God” in modern society.

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SHADI BARTSCH traces the development of Platonic theories about “boy-love” from ancient Greece to imperial Rome. The term “boy-love,” however, is misleading: it implies love of a child no older than twelve, whereas the Greeks preferred adolescents, eromenoi. The distinction is important because of the mistaken belief, seen everywhere in current discussions of sexuality, that pederasts are the same as pedophiles, attracted to pre-pubescents. Erastes, usually young men who partnered with eromenoi, were not pedophiles.

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During the opening week of Some Men at The Philadelphia Theater Company (PTC) last summer, [Terrence] McNally discussed topics gay, political, personal, and sexual-and even had a few comments about the Pope and Judy Garland. Here is some of what he had to say.

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CO-AUTHORS Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons have written an ambitious and groundbreaking book that should at last give Los Angeles the prominence it has long deserved in gay history. Indeed the modern gay movement may be said to have been born in L.A. with the founding of the Mattachine Society in 1950 and of ONE, Inc. in 1952, and with the publication of its magazine, ONE, in 1953.

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Gerry Studds led a remarkable life, one well worthy of a memoir. That he decided not to write one was characteristic of the man. Articulate, witty, and enormously smart, he captivated audiences large and small; he was, in short, charismatic. But his persona was never about him, an almost eerie quality in a politician. Principles motivated Gerry Studds. He didn’t care about fame.

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“I HAVE, I admit, the old-fashioned yen to go happily to my grave with one foot in the closet,” writes pretty-boy actor John Carlyle in Under the Rainbow. Thank God he resisted the impulse. In this rescued memoir, Carlyle lifts the curtain obscuring the intersection of the movie industry, homosexuality, and mid-century Los Angeles.

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IN HER LATEST NOVEL, The Night Watch, Man Booker Prize nominee Sarah Waters explores the experience of same-sex and other “deviant” forms of love in World War II-era London. Opening in 1947, the novel moves backward to 1944 and concludes in 1941. Although she often alludes to the past when recounting the events of 1947, Waters, in reversing the chronology of her narrative, requires her readers to understand the consequences of the past before fully comprehending their causes.

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