Browsing: Election 2008 Issue

September – October, 2008

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THE AUDIENCE of aging Boomers arrives at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace night after night to catch the Divine Miss M in her new Las Vegas act. Through the blare of the casino floor with its electronic cascade of beeps and bell sounds and its human menagerie of lost souls tugging on the levers, we make an odd crowd, foregoing the lure of gambling for the allure of “culchah.”

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Born a red diaper baby (the child of Communists) on a chicken farm in New Jersey, Ian began playing the piano at three, wrote her first song at twelve, and was performing at hootenannies in New York’s Greenwich Village one year later. At fourteen, this wunderkind walked into pop producer Shadow Morton’s office, and the very next week she recorded her controversial folk ballad about interracial dating, “Society’s Child.”

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THE MEMOIR has become such a crowded genre these days that one has the right to ask if each addition to its growing shelf warrants the lost trees. Jennifer Finney Boylan’s book, I’m happy to report, passes this test.

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FROM THE STANDPOINT of GLBT rights, it now seems likely—although by no

means certain—that 2008 will be the year in which the political system

caught up to the country. I do not always subscribe to the view that

the public is ahead of the politicians in terms of enlightenment, but

on the question of protecting people against discrimination based on

sexual orientation or gender identity, the voters have been ahead of

the politicians.

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IF YOU LIKED the film Juno and its wise-cracking teen heroine, you’ll enjoy Ann Ahern, the teen protagonist in Stephanie Grant’s new novel. Map of Ireland is a story about a lesbian teen from South Boston and the things she learns about prejudice and love in 1974, the first year of the city’s school busing program to mix students from segregated neighborhoods.

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IN HER NEW BOOK Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Mary Roach reveals that the road to the birds and the bees wasn’t just paved with racy feathers and erotically-dripped honey. Over the years, many erroneous beliefs about erogenous zones have been held, including …

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Reviews of On Brokeback Mountain: Meditations about Masculinity, Fear, and Love in the Story and the Film; Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever; Chronicle of a Plague, Revisited; and The Beautiful Tendons: Uncollected Queer Poems, 1969 – 2007.

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About My Life and the Kept Woman is divided into two parts. The first, which runs from his sister’s wedding in 1945 through Rechy’s discharge from the Army in the late 1950’s, contains the most personal writing he has ever published. … The second half of the book is quite different. 

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