Browsing: Thiry Years of HIV, Part I

March – April, 2011

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SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL, 1983. In one of the earliest spoken-word performances that theatrically represented AIDS in the United States, perhaps the first on the West Coast, an emerging playwright and stand-up comedian named Doug Holsclaw performed Eartha at the White House (later retitled Spice Queen) in a monologue competition sponsored by the One Act Theater Company at a county fair. Holsclaw wrote the piece after reading Larry Kramer’s impassioned call to action “1,112 and Counting,” which had been published in The New York Native on March 12. In an impeccably timed, angry, campy yet earnest soliloquy, Holsclaw’s saucy character narrated a story about his friend Jeffrey, a hustler who had died at a young age during the first year of the crisis. Describing their catty yet tender friendship, Holsclaw’s character joked about how Jeffrey, who “could be Cruella Deville sometimes,” would call him “paprika queen” or “Donna Reed like I’m bourgeois—because I garnish my salads” when they would picnic at Land’s End on Memorial Day. Pausing artfully for both comedic and dramatic effect…

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The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge
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Review of two books of poetry: The Secret Dublin Diary of Gerard Manley Hopkins by Robert Waldron and The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge.

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Binding the God Ursine Essays from the Mountain South by Jeff Mann
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“A WRITER’S OBSESSIONS are more obvious than most,” explains Jeff Mann in the opening sentence of Binding the God: Ursine Essays from the Mountain South. In this collection of seventeen first- person essays, the Lambda Literary Award-winner delineates his many passions, including a voracious leather-bear appetite for BDSM, an ardent fantasy affair with “Major Country-Music Boyfriend Tim McGraw,” and …

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LAST YEAR was an unusually tumultuous one for GLBT rights, at times a trying one, but ultimately a triumphant time for the gay community. By year’s end, it seemed we had reached a tipping point in the struggle for equality such that momentum for eventual success had finally gained the upper hand over the forces of resistance that have stymied full equality. Here are my choices for the top ten events that made 2010 such a memorable year:

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