Browsing: January-February 2009

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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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to be a throwaway book, I originally envisioned it as a nostalgic walk through what I imagined to be a world of outdated and-to our eyes now-probably simpleminded, even homophobic fiction.

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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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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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GAY MALE FICTION Since Stonewall is that rare creature, a new study of contemporary gay writing-in this case, of the male fictional tradition. If anything can be said to characterize the trajectory of this particular form, it is change-indeed, the speed of change. This is particularly evident in the 1960’s, which saw further examples of the gay-character-comes-to-a-bad-end variety-familiar

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