Browsing: Eros and God

November – December, 2007

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ALTHOUGH HE DIED IN 1994, Leo Lerman is still, thanks to the diligent efforts of editor Stephen Pascal, sharing his stories and comments about everyone who was anyone in New York for half a century-and still making us all envious of the frenetic, joyful, art-filled life he led.

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THE OWNER of Lai Lai’s, Shanghai’s only dance venue for low-income gays, was screaming over the five-piece band. She accused our small contingent of safer sex outreach workers of attracting police scrutiny, telling us to get out of her dancehall and never come back. Dr. Tong Chengliang, sex education specialist and director of HomoHeart, the city’s first specifically gay hotline and outreach organization, told his volunteers to grab their bags of condoms and gay sex literature and leave. Even in relatively open Shanghai in the summer of 2005, police harassment in China was so commonplace that Tong just shrugged his shoulders and said, “We’ll try again next week.”

In December of that year, …

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Odd takes on the news

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Short reviews of Parthian Stations, Blackbird and Wolf: Poems, The Late Show, and My Body.

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REVERED as one of the greatest actors of our times, Sir Ian Murray McKellen never felt he was doing his best work until he came out publicly at the age of 49. A private man who considered it nobody’s business what his sexual orientation was, McKellen kept mum about it until 1988 …

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SCOTTI HOUSE, the heroine of Vin Packer’s new novel, is a male-to-female (MTF) transsexual, a pre-op whose metamorphosis is fraught with difficulty. In another life she’d earned a PhD from Princeton and worked as a writer and teacher.

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IN MAY OF 1928, Christopher Isherwood made his first trip to Germany. He went as a tourist on a brief visit to the port city of Bremen. Though unremarkable in many respects, this trip would prove to be amazingly generative. For the reading public, the visit was a catalyst that would eventually result in some of the most entertaining writing to come out of the 1930’s.

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CHINA’S VERTIGINOUS RISE as a global economic player is being watched with fascination by those who once dismissed China as a moribund Communist state. This change in perception has triggered an urgent need in the West for the production of knowledge about the country. Over fifty scholarly books have been published since 1990, and several more are forthcoming. Lisa Rofel’s collection of essays entitled Desiring China is the latest offering to a world eager to make sense of this “inscrutable” nation.

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