Browsing: The Body Modified

July – August, 2011

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An Obscene Diary: The Visual World of Sam Steward Edited by Justin Spring Elysium Press/Antinous Press 320 pages (illustrated), $150. READERS of Justin Spring’s recent biography, Secret Historian: The…More

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… Every would-be icon who has followed-from Madonna to Angelina Jolie or Paris Hilton-has sought to emulate her. But without Taylor’s unique blend of spontaneity and strategy, authenticity and audacity, none have risen to her heights. Nor is it likely, in this very different world, that anyone ever will.

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CRYSTAL WAS WORRIED that she had male orgasms. So she came in to the Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) Clinic three years ago for a consultation with a phalanx of specialists: a urologist, a geneticist, an endocrinologist, and me, the psychiatric consultant.

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It Gets Better belongs on the shelves of every middle school library in this country; Homophobic Bullying should be in the principal’s office.

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WHEN I FIRST STUMBLED across Joe Gage’s film L.A. Tool & Die (1979), which was billed as a gay porn movie, I was astonished. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “this is a real film!” As the mix of cinematography, image, soundtrack, vignettes, and intermittent but increasingly compelling narrative unfolded, the sexual content became powerful to the point of being unsettling. That’s when I realized that L.A. Tool & Die—and Gage’s other early works, Kansas City Trucking Co., and El Paso Wrecking Corp.—were more than “real films.” They were art, of a kind I’d never encountered before.

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THE ANNALS of gay history are littered with examples of men in the public eye who have successfully hidden their gay lives from view. … Eugen Sandow was, for a short time, an exception to the rule. He was internationally known as the apotheosis of male beauty and the most perfectly formed man on the planet. Little remembered today, Sandow was the father of modern bodybuilding-and, for a short time at least, he was open about his sexuality

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Reviews of the books: Beat Atlas: A State by State Guide
to the Beat Generation in America, The Fish Child, and I Was Born This Way: How About You?and Animal Prufrock’s album: “congratulations; thank you + i’m sorry”.

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[Author’s Note: About a decade ago, I started work on a book about Paul Monette. I’ve interviewed more than a hundred of his friends and associates, and I’ve been given access to his as yet unpublished diaries. Finally, all these years later, the project is beginning to come to life. This essay uses his diaries and a couple of the interviews to revisit one of Monette’s most important books.]

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PUBLIC TOILET SIGNS are changing, and the gendering of elimination is now subject to discussion and debate. This became obvious to me when an older male professor at York University in Toronto, Canada, stared nervously at the new gender neutral sign on the bathroom door in the student center. …

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Queer Twin Cities bills itself as an “oral history project” and contains a number of accounts from Minnesotans who have led interesting lives as openly GLBT individuals.

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