Browsing: January-February 2007

January-February 2007

Blog Posts

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Perhaps I say this every year, but it seems we lost an extraordinary number of major figures who contributed significantly to the GLBT community in 2006- people who made a difference in the advancement of gay and lesbian rights, others who created the works of art and literature that illuminate our lives. They will all be sorely missed.

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INTERGENERATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS—those in which the two partners are at least twenty years apart—seem to thrive in the gay male world, greatly surpassing the corresponding rate of occurrence in the straight world. It’s a phenomenon that many people have noticed informally, though there isn’t much hard data to confirm its existence or its prevalence.

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Takes on news of the day.

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IN 1950, playwright André Gide wrote that “in the theater, homosexuality is always a false accusation, never a fact of life.” Vincente Minnelli’s film Tea and Sympathy, which opened on movie screens fifty years ago last fall, revolves around precisely such a false accusation. Rumor and innuendo destroy the reputation of a student at a boys’ boarding school; the boy’s road to redemption challenges postwar conformity, group masculinity, and smothering mothers-but never, of course, the closet. …

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Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, women’s bookstores and concert events carved out important spaces for cultural expressions of lesbian feminism in North America. During the latter part of that era I belonged to a private lesbian club called Herizon in Binghamton, New York, a community with a large lesbian population …

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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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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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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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