Browsing: Culture Wars 2.0

September – October, 2009

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Commissioned by the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, The Intelligent Homosexual‘s Guide was designed as the centerpiece of a three-stage “Kushner Celebration,” making full use of the Guthrie’s towering new facility designed by Jean Nouvel. “The play is set in Brooklyn in 2007,” Kushner told Lavender, Minnesota’s GLBT magazine, “and it involves a 75-year-old longshoreman and his three kids.

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ANYONE who’s even casually acquainted with Tom of Finland’s work knows that, for Tom, size was everything. The frolicking gay men in his pictures are always well-muscled, often to absurd proportions. Invariably, they sport either impossibly large bulges in their pants or, better yet, titanic, tree-trunk-thick erections that defy the laws of physics. So it’s altogether fitting that the new Tom of Finland book just published by Taschen is as much a physical monument to the legendary gay artist as it is a study of his work.

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… the news that [Kate Clinton] had a book coming out this summer piqued my curiosity. I am older now and more comfortable in my skin; Clinton has built a terrific career and fan base that keep her in constant demand. Clearly her material has evolved over the years…

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Little Ben was an active, well-nourished baby who had had an unusually tumultuous gender history. After the physical exam was completed and the room cleared out, I got to talk to Mr. Jones privately. The Joneses had been told they had a baby boy when he was delivered at a small, rural hospital. But a few days later they received a panicked call from the hospital: “Your child’s a girl! Take him to UCLA right away for surgery to become a girl!”

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Cheever lived a life of pretense-about his sexuality and his gentility. He discovered early on that words were the way to beguile readers, and maybe himself, into believing that his hoped-for world was possible. Blake Bailey’s biography demonstrates how close the connection was between Cheever’s life and his writing. It is a sad book, but if it sends readers back to this writer’s stories and novels, it will have done John Cheever a worthwhile service.

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AS THE SUN SET in Riverside, California, on Election Day 2008, Matthew Lawrence anxiously watched as the presidential election returns came in. Trying his best to relax, the 28-year-old Lawrence reclined on his second-story apartment balcony while numbing his nerves with cigarettes and screwdrivers. Time seemed to stand still until a reporter on his 52-inch TV panel delivered the news: the election had been called for Barack Obama, who would be the 44th president of the United States. “It was a beautiful and powerful moment,” he said.

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NAIRNE HOLTZ WRITES like an old soul in a Generation-X body. Her tales of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/genderqueer/label-free characters in various Canadian cities are both timeless and in touch with the Zeitgeist. The wit in her writing is so dry that the reader is likely to notice its pessimism before recognizing its sparkle.

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