Browsing: November-December 2008

November-December 2008

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IN 1983, when Torch Song Trilogy won the Tony Award for Best Play, John Glines, who produced Harvey Fierstein’s epic gay play from its humble beginnings way off Broadway, thanked his lover. It was the first time a gay man ever publicly thanked his partner on national television (and it would not be the last). But for John Glines, a writer, producer and co-founder of The Glines, a production company dedicated to nurturing gay art in New York through the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, it would become a legendary moment not only in gay history but also in his own life.

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THIS IS a timely book, with three reasons for existing. Images of Ancient Pederasty offers: first, the series of intelligent and resourceful essays by Lear and Cantarella on various aspects of the representation of pederasty in Athenian vase-painting; second, more than 110 illustrations of the most significant examples of the different typologies; and third, an appendix based on research undertaken by the late Keith DeVries …

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THE RECENT DEATH of Heath Ledger, who made his way into gay cultural history by playing a cowboy with homosexual tendencies in Brokeback Mountain, brings to mind the odd but ongoing presence of the cowboy in gay imagery for more than half a century. The image of the cowboy is a powerful one in American history. Since the emergence of gay magazines in the 1950’s, there has been a brisk use of cowboy imagery in the marketing of their allure.

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THE FRAUGHT legal and social history of same-sex male relations in Britain over the last thousand years should naturally be of interest to us. Much of American law and cultural practice derive from the mother country. The Puritanism that crossed the sea from England remains a deeply embedded strain in the American psyche.

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Michael may have lost a small part of his audience after the arrest, but gay and straight fans alike turned out to see him perform on his recent tour celebrating the 25th year of his recording career.

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AMID THE TURMOIL of the French Revolution, one of the little-noticed legal transformations was the axing of ancien régime laws criminalizing “crimes against nature.” The Constituent Assembly of 1789-1791 dropped longstanding (albeit rarely enforced) laws against “sodomy” and “pederasty” in the course of its broad modernization of the penal code in 1791.

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THE PASSING of Larry Townsend on July 29th at the age of 77 has robbed the gay, lesbian, and leather communities of one of their pioneering writers, editors, and publishers. Larry Townsend-which was a pseudonym, as it turns out-is perhaps best known as the author of the erotic novel Run Little Leather Boy and of The Leatherman’s Handbook.

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