Browsing: Culture Wars 2.0

September – October, 2009

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RELIGION, particularly Christianity, is often disparaged by contemporary gay authors, but passing attitudes are sometimes misread as eternal verities. Certainly history is filled with deeply religious gay people whose spirituality reinforced their same-sex affinities. Among gays, particularly gay men, marriage has undergone a massive shift in attitudes during the last forty years, moving from widespread scorn to passionate embrace. Is it possible that religion (including Christianity) will undergo a similar transition and become a more important part of gay lives in the near future?

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ONE REASON for the fragmentary nature of much of the gay historical record is the reticence on the part of members of earlier generations to discuss their lives directly. Even in the early decades of the 20th century, relatively few gay men had the opportunity to tell their story for posterity. This makes the publication of a book like James T. Sears’ Edwin and John: A Personal History of the American South a noteworthy event.

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FOR QUITE A FEW YEARS, the rallying cry of those attempting to prevent

marriage equality has been that allowing gay marriage will undermine

traditional family values. If this is true, traditional family values

should be showing substantially frayed edges in Massachusetts, where

gay marriages have been taking place for over five years. … It turns out that family values have not come apart at the seams since

same-sex marriage came to Massachusetts. Even more surprising and

intriguing is the fact that gay marriage and strong families actually

go statistically hand in hand.

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HAROLD NORSE, whose iconoclastic poetry explored gay sexuality and identity and earned both wide critical acclaim and a large, enduring popular following, died of natural causes on Monday, June 8, 2009, in San Francisco, just one month before his 93rd birthday.

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WHEN the U.S. military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy went into effect on March 1, 1994, it sounded like a way for the military to look the other way when it came to lesbians and gays in uniform, a sort of “we just won’t discuss it” edict. But the “don’t ask” clause whereby a superior couldn’t ask about a soldier’s sexual orientation came with a “don’t tell” clause that forced gay soldiers not to disclose their sexual orientation in any way. Since word often got out one way or another, many thousands of soldiers have been discharged over the past fifteen years.

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“ADVENTURE” is a word that was always exciting and special to me, but I never knew I would experience an adventure I could only dream about. An adventure that brought me from Russia to British Columbia, Canada. My first truly bold and independent step in life was choosing to be with the person I love. There were two things about my decision that my family and friends in Russia were unhappy about. My partner is foreign and she is a woman.

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Reviews of the books: My Germany, and The Torturer’s Wife & Fool For Love, and the movie, Tal Como Somos.

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THE YEAR 1969 was when the straight brother of my high school girlfriend introduced me to the two gay men who would change my life forever. Savannah, like New York, had its own gay counter-culture that gathered in a Stonewall-like club known as the Basement, which was located in the basement of the neglected Armory Building that later became the home of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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