DESPITE ITS TITLE, which might suggest another dreary self-help book soaked in Dr. Phil-speak, Gay and Single … Forever? is actually a thoughtful and intriguing meditation on the current state of being a gay man who’s not in a steady relationship.More
Browsing: March-April 2007
FEW QUEER WRITERS plant their flag as firmly at the intersection of poetry and politics as does black lesbian poet Cheryl Clarke. This is clearly evidenced by Clarke’s latest book, a collection of her best known and most powerful essays (including “Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance”) interspersed with equally powerful and resonant poems.More
SUSAN GUBAR is a professor of English at Indiana University, the recipient of several awards for writing and scholarship, and the co-author (with Sandra Gilbert) of The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. Her latest book, Rooms of Our Own, a novel that’s an homage to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, examines contemporary women’s issues as they relate to feminism, gender roles, literature, and education in the 21st century.More
BRITISH QUEER CINEMA? What’s that? This substantial collection of academic essays appears under a title that is less self-evident than it may appear, in respect of all three of its terms.
Pretty much all the contributors are obliged to discuss the knotty term “queer,” conceding that the word has invariably been applied to Amer-ican and continental European filmmaking, with the single exception of the late Derek Jarman’s oeuvre. They make such a meal of this rather unnecessary problem-establishing what “queer” is, and/or insisting it can’t be defined, and then meas-uring selected movies against sundry definitions and non-definitions-that the reader simply wants to say: “Get on with it!” Ultimately, characters, actors, directors, and writers are shunted under collective umbrella terms such as “lesbian/gay/ queer” anyhow. Everything I found interesting in these pieces had nothing to do with abstract or definitional crises.More
CHRISTINE M. CANO begins her fascinating book on just how Proust’s novel was published with a remark by Anatole France that seems doubly cruel, considering that Proust had once considered France his mentor: “Life is too short, and Proust is too long.” However, that is how many people regarded In Search of Lost Time when Proust tried to find a publisher for his enormous manuscript in the fall of 1912.More
AFTER SEVENTEEN YEARS as an activist for the American Civil Liberties Union in San Francisco, Marcia Gallo started graduate school at the City University of New York, working with Martin Duberman and other luminaries at the center for lesbian and gay studies. Ten years later, at the age of 55, Marcia has published the results of her research, Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement.
The DOB was the first lesbian organization in the U.S., founded by Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin in San Francisco in 1955. Taking its name from the lesbian-themed “Songs of Bilitis” by French poet Pierre Louÿs, the DOB would soon start publishing a monthly magazine, The Ladder, which helped organize a national lesbian readership and eventually a political movement. Gallo’s book, which is the first full-length history of the DOB, is based on the author’s intensive archival research and interviews with surviving members of the group.
I conducted this interview with Marcia in my apartment in Manhattan in November 2006. – Sarah SchulmanMore
THE IMAGE you see below was the first page of my biography at my website, TomBianchi.com. for the last seven years. This short version of my life from birth to graduation from law school told what I saw as most relevant about who I am. Recently, the company that provides banking services to my site (they collect membership subscriptions) informed me that this was a picture of an underage person and had to be removed. A law known as 18 U.S.C. 2257 has made companies like my banking agent the censoring instruments of the State. I was told that any representation of any kind of a minor is banned if it is associated with an “adult” site. Period.More
WHILE THE TWO YEARS he served in prison for having engaged in homosexual acts were very hard on Oscar Wilde, the greatest sorrow he experienced as a result of England’s stepped-up persecution of gay men in the 1890’s was the loss of his two young sons. As he wrote to Alfred Douglas in the text that came to be known as De Profundis:More
STERLING HOUSTON, an experimental playwright who died last year, embodied the archetype of the American artist who moves with those dreams out into the world and comes back home with his dreams intact to carry out his major work. His life also illustrates a motif of the modern acceptance of homosexuality and the spread of gay culture: the gay artist who goes to the big city, gets liberated, and returns home to spread the good news of liberation, urbanity, and an outsider’s perspective.More