Browsing: November-December 2008

November-December 2008

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IN PURELY VISUAL TERMS, they appeared to be an odd couple. With his exceptionally handsome face etched deeply with a desirable masculine divinity, and held gracefully atop a tall, impeccably dressed build, Sam Wagstaff exuded sophistication, taste, education, old money, and confidence, while his slim younger partner, dressed rebelliously in denim and silver-studded black leather, seemed vaguely edgy and preoccupied. Robert Mapplethorpe did not appear to fit comfortably among the guests gathered at a cocktail party on Gramercy Park East that early fall evening of 1975, and gave the slightest impression that he’d rather be elsewhere.

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DEL MARTIN, whose name was inextricably tied to that of her life partner, Phyllis Lyon, for 55 years, died on August 27 in San Francisco at the age of 87, after several years of declining health. The couple was married in San Francisco in early 2008, the first couple to be hitched officially after the California Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

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What has changed during glaad’s history is not its strategy but its tactics. The group has not abandoned the tactics of the late 1980’s and early 90’s but instead has added tools to its activist arsenal.

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ON A HOT NIGHT in April 2005, I walked with Kasim Mehedi, a worker for an AIDS outreach organization, through a rusty iron gate into the darkness of Hazrat Begum Park in the center of the city of Lucknow, India. During the day, the park is a popular tourist destination where visitors view two ornate mausoleums built in honor of Nawab Sa’adat Ali Khan … At night, however, the park becomes a shadowy demimonde where drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals, and others rejected by polite Lucknow society congregate.

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THE COVER of Terence Kissack’s book depicts a rainbow flag overlaid with the portraits of Benjamin Tucker, Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, John William Lloyd, and Leonard Abbott-five important figures within the American anarchist movement during the early years of the 20th century.

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THE HEART of this little book is a 72-page essay, Poulenc’s Priest, by the British novelist Paul Bailey. The title stems from an anecdote about the gay composer Francis Poulenc that appeals to Bailey’s “sense of what is right and wrong”: “[Poulenc] confessed to his priest that he’d had a sexual encounter in a park with a stranger, and the priest-exasperated-stopped him short with the admonition: …

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