Browsing: Fifteenth Anniversary Issue

January – February, 2009

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SAN FRANCISCO’S CASTRO DISTRICT was the first big-city neighborhood in the United States where openly gay people elected one of their own to represent them in City Hall. Harvey Milk, the man who was elected in this capacity in 1977, soon became nationally prominent as the leading spokesperson for gay and lesbian rights in a bitterly fought contest over a 1978 statewide ballot measure that would have banned homosexuals from serving as schoolteachers.

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Reviews of Stray Dog Winter, Blue: The Derek Jarman Poems, and Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara.

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SIX YEARS AGO, I began working on an anthology entitled Pulp Friction, which started out as a lighthearted look at the pulp novels of the 1950’s and 1960’s. While Pulp Friction was never intended to be a throwaway book, I originally envisioned it as a nostalgic walk through what I imagined to be a world of outdated and-to our eyes now-probably simpleminded, even homophobic fiction.

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THE SAPPHIC HIT SONG of last summer, “I Kissed a Girl,” is sung by Katy Perry, a minister’s daughter and Santa Barbara native whose debut song, “One of the Boys,” continues to inhabit the charts. No other straight songstress has so clearly captured the arousing unease that follows one’s first same-sex kiss.

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NOWADAYS young people no doubt search the Web for information about homosexuality, but the first thing I read on the subject appeared on a card in the card catalogue of Widener Library in Cambridge, Mass.: Plato’s Symposium.

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… The more I study Joan’s life, the more I suspect she was a case of complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS). If so, she and her contemporaries-given the state of 15th-century medical knowledge-had no idea that this was the case. …

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THE IDEA that madness brings you closer to God and to the creative spirit seems a holdover from the 1970’s, arguably our last “romantic” era. Today, the idea and the era are both quite dead. I’m reminded of this fact by the current revival of Peter Shaffer’s Equus, which pits Apollonian and Dionysian forces against each other

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OUT OF ALL the thousands of films I have watched as a student, critic, or university instructor, undoubtedly one of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had was sitting through a 25th anniversary screening of Grey Gardens at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2000.

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