Page 1


De Blasio’s New Health Commissioner 06 Oklahoma’s Turn 10 “Loot,” “Machinal” Thrill 24 Anti-Gay Mayhem in Nigeria 14

Page 04



January 22, 2014 |

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Insiderʼs Quiz about the "Seinfeld" of Outing 04



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Gay appointments not big news now

07 The boys in the sand



Remembering Herb Cohen, Gene Stavis, Peggy Traub, and Carl Goodman

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09, 16, 17

PERSPECTIVE Homophobes united, but queers...?




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| January 22, 2014


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January 22, 2014 |

What journalist took to social media with a post interpreted by many as the outing of a well-known DC politician? A B C D E

Maureen Dowd Jonathan Capehart Rachel Maddow Itay Hod David Gregory

2 What was the social media platform used for this post? A B C D E

Twitter Snapchat Grindr Instagram Facebook

3 How was the DC politician identified in the post? A By name B As the attorney general of the United States C By his Twitter handle D As a hypothetical Republican congressman from Illinois E By his high school yearbook picture

4 Who was the DC politician? A B C D E

Mitch McConnell Aaron Schock Eric Holder Eric Cantor Barney Frank




What was the basis of the journalistʼs knowledge about the DC politician?

What was the DC politicianʼs position on the repeal of Donʼt Ask, Donʼt Tell?

A They hooked up B They met on Grindr but only got together for coffee C They brawled over the last pair of pastel jeggings on sale at Uniqlo at Brooklynʼs Atlantic Terminal D An encounter in a bathroom at the Minneapolis airport E An unidentified “reputable journalist” buddy caught the DC politician in the shower with his unidentified “roommate”

A He was a sponsor of the repeal legislation B He was unaware of the issue C He thought weeding out homosexuals from the military should be stepped up D He opposed repeal E He chained himself to the White House gate to protest DADT

6 What criticism did Buzzfeedʼs Chris Geidner make about the journalistʼs post? A It was too graphic and showed no empathy for the DC politician B If youʼre going to out somebody, out them, and in the meanwhile donʼt stereotype their fashion and workout habits C There were not two named sources and there was no blue dress D We live in a post-gay world E The story lacked the bait-and-click opportunities that fuel the finest online journalism

7 Who did the DC politician at first follow on Instagram and then stop following after the “outing” post? A B C D E

Olympic diver Tom Daley Congressman Paul Ryan Lady Gaga “Looking” star Jonathan Groff Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence

9 What media outlet immediately disavowed web reports that the journalist worked for them? A B C D E

NY1 CBS News The Daily Beast Fox News

10 How was a New York Times Style Section piece on the journalistʼs post like the post itself? A It had a slashing, snarky tone B It named the DC politician C It included revealing photos of both the journalist and the DC politician D It was nominated for a Pulitzer E It didnʼt name the DC politician

Quoted in a New York Magazine article, the journalist expressed surprise about what aspect of the Times piece? A It was not on the Style Sectionʼs front page B More pictures of the journalist were not included C The Times provided even fewer details identifying the DC politician than the journalist had D The Times claimed to have scooped the journalist on the story E The piece was not penned by Adam Nagourney

12 Recalling the smash ʻ90s sitcom said to be about nothing, the journalistʼs post about the DC politician has been called the “Seinfeld” of outings. What is the major difference between the post and the sitcom? A “Seinfeld” has aged better B Seinfeld never caught Kramer in the shower with anyone C “Seinfeld” only took up half an hour of your time D “Seinfeld” caught fire without the help of social media E “Seinfeld” deserved the attention it got F All of the above

Insiderʼs Quiz about the "Seinfeld" of Outing ANSWERS


1:D; 2:E; 3:D; 4:B; 5:E; 6:B; 7:A; 8:D; 9:C; 10:E; 11:C; 12:F


| January 22, 2014



January 22, 2014 |


Conversant on AIDS, New Health Commissioner Not Known Among Advocates BY DUNCAN OSBORNE


ith his selection of D r. M a r y B a s s e t t to head the city’s health department, Mayor Bill de Blasio chose someone who is unknown to AIDS groups, but is praised by non-profits that have worked with her before. “I don’t know her,” said Daniel Tietz, the executive director of ACRIA, an AIDS services and research group, when asked for comment on the January 16 announcement that Bassett would head the $1.5 billion agency. Similarly, the heads of other AIDS groups, including Housing Works, Bailey House, and the Latino Commission on AIDS, and senior staff at Harlem United had no prior experience with Bassett, who has most recently taught at Columbia University’s graduate school of public health and has both a medical degree and a master’s in public health. Bianca Lopez, the director of prevention at BOOM!Health, a Bronx group formed by the merger of Bronx AIDS Services and CitiWide Harm Reduction, had limited experience with Bassett when she was an intern in the city health department in 2004 and worked in Bassett’s division.

Bassett was known for “community collaboration” and she “always had a good rapport with the community,” Lopez said. Bassett’s division was represented on a committee that was focused on maternal and child health. Two groups that were part of that committee praised Bassett. “I’m very excited about Mayor de Blasio selecting Mary,” said Mario Drummonds, the head of the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership. “She was always a great visionary and a great tactician... It’s a great choice.” Peggy M. Shepard, the executive director at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, said Bassett’s experience at Harlem Hospital, at the city health department, and working in Africa made her a “fabulous choice.” Bassett has roughly 30 years in public health. She is the author or co-author of 72 peer-reviewed journal articles dating back to 1986 on a range of topics including HIV and AIDS. At the city health department, she managed the city’s bans on smoking in public places and trans fats. She also oversaw the requirement that restaurants post calorie counts and managed several public health offices. “She understands the culture there and certainly understands the expertise


Dr. Mary Bassett wins praise from professionals she’s worked with, her comments please HIV groups

Dr. Mary Bassett at the January 16 press conference where her appointment as health commissioner was announced.

there,” Shepard said. “She’s a great listener, she’s got a great temperament... Even though there may be some similar policies to the Bloomberg administration, what will be different is listening to communities and helping to identify solutions that communities believe in.” At a January 16 press conference, Bassett was asked what role post-expo-

sure prophylaxis (PEP), which involves using anti-HIV drugs to prevent infection in someone recently exposed to the virus, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a strategy based on daily doses of an anti-HIV drug for people trying to prevent becoming infected, would play in a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy. “Both post-exposure prophylaxis, which has been in place for years, and more recently pre-exposure prophylaxis have been found to be effective,” she said. “It’s been the experience that the uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis has been quite low and I think that signals the fact that we have to talk to affected communities to try and understand what’s important to them, what they value. Certainly, in the engagement of prevention, which requires people to alter their behavior, we have to engage with communities to ensure that we are addressing their needs.” The US Public Health Service issued its first guidelines on using PEP for occupational exposure –– such as an accidental hypodermic needle stick –– in 1996. Without recommending PEP, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first guidance for non-occupational exposures in 2005.


BASSETT, continued on p.19

Cuomo Budget Doesn’t Solve AIDS Rent Cap Challenge Despite stepped up advocacy, loophole that keeps many on the brink of homelessness remains unaddressed BY PAUL SCHINDLER


espite a concerted drive in recent weeks by advocates and elected officials, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1 does not include appropriation of funds to ensure that New Yorkers living with AIDS and receiving government rental assistance will have the effective rent they pay capped at 30 percent of their monthly income. In a public policy battle, dating back at least seven years, to close what State Senator Brad Holyman characterized as a loophole in New York law, AIDS advocates had hoped Cuomo would step up with funding of at least $5.8 million during his annual budget address in Albany on January 21. Hoylman, an out gay Chelsea Democrat who sponsors legislation to impose

such a cap on the rental assistance program run out of the city’s HIV/ AIDS Services Administration (HASA) and similar units statewide, wrote to the governor last week laying out an analysis that showed that the roughly $20 million in incremental costs required to fund the rent cap would be offset nearly exactly by savings to the state and city from either curing rental arrears by housing assistance clients or providing them with emergency housing if they lose their apartments. More than 12,000 people with AIDS statewide receive rental assistance. Depending on the state/ city funding formula applied to a rent cap appropriation, Albany would pick up between $5.8 million and $10 million of the total $20 million upfront cost, with the city providing the remainder. The rental assistance provided to people living with AIDS currently requires them to pay up to 70 percent of their disability income toward rent and leaves

them with only about $375 each month –– or less than $13 a day –– for all other expenses, a situation that forces many to choose between paying their rent and having money for food, transportation, and drug co-pays. Hoylman’s letter emphasized that every other federal and state low-income rental assistance program –– including Section 8 and NYCHA housing –– has a 30 percent cap. The issue has festered in Albany for years. In 2010, the Legislature sent the bill Hoylman now co-sponsors with East Harlem Democratic Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez to Governor David Paterson for his signature, but the lame duck Democrat, in the face of intense lobbying from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, vetoed it. In 2012, the Republican-controlled Senate, which had once before approved the measure, defeated it, again at the behest of Bloomberg. Hoylman’s letter to Cuomo, which he said was a follow-up to a conversa-

tion the two had at the Executive Mansion the day the governor delivered his State of the State speech, was just one part of the recent drive to elevate the visibility of the 30 percent rent cap issue. In an effort organized by VOCALNY, the grassroots housing advocacy group that has led the rent cap fight for years, more than 100 gay figures from organized labor and the enter tainment and arts world joined Hoylman, Rodriguez, out gay Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, and City Councilmen Daniel Dromm, Corey Johnson, Carolos Menchaca, and Ritchie Torres, all of whom are gay as well, in a sign-on letter to the governor. The list included American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, Stuart Appelbaum, who heads the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, SEIU 1199 political director Kevin Finnegan, Empire State Pride Agenda executive


30 PERCENT, continued on p.19

| January 22, 2014



Gay Appointments in City Government Not Big News Now As political clubs press case for restoring liaison posts, de Blasio’s out aides go largely unremarked BY DUNCAN OSBORNE



Emma Wolfe at a meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom she serves as director of intergovernmental affairs.

“They’re hiring people who have careers that qualified them for these positions and never felt the need to be fully closeted or fully out.”


s David Dinkins, the last Democrat to run City Hall, was taking over in 1990, the chatter among queer politicos was who would be his liaison to the community. The position was first created by Mayor Ed Koch, also a Democrat, and held by Lee Hudson for six years by the time Dinkins won the mayoralty in 1989. There was significant competition for the job. To some acclaim, some consternation, and some resentment, Dinkins selected Marjorie Hill, who was overqualified for the liaison position. Hill later ran large units at the city’s Health & Hospitals Corporation and the health department and eventually took the helm at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the AIDS services organization. At that time, other Democratic officeholders also had gay liaisons. Rudy Giuliani, the Republican who took over City Hall in 1994, abolished the constituent offices including the gay liaison position, which caused a brief outcry. In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the first Democrat to hold City Hall in 20 years, has not named a liaison, but he did appoint Kyle Kimball to head the city’s Economic Development Corporation. Kimball married Douglas Hecklinger in 2005, according to an announcement in Plymouth Magazine, a publication of Plymouth State University. Kimball was first named to the agency by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Emma Wolfe, an out lesbian, is de Blasio’s director of intergovernmental affairs and Wiley Norvell, who is also out, is his deputy press secretary. There are other senior appointees in the de Blasio administration who are known to be gay or lesbian, but all of these people were introduced with no attention paid to their sexual orientation. In 2014, it appears that the community expects that qualified queers will get jobs and that they get those jobs is so unremarkable that de Blasio does not need to announce their sexual orientation when they are appointed to the administration. “We’ve become normalized, that is over time we’ve become increasingly integrated into the Democratic coalition in New York City and into the more general political world,” said Ken Sherrill, a professor of political science at Hunter College. “For an administration so publicly committed to diversity and outreach, they don’t appear to celebrate it much when they do it. I guess that’s good.” It is a striking evolution from 20 years

Wiley Norvell on the day he was appointed the new mayor’s deputy press secretary.

ago that the community –– with one notable exception –– is not demanding that openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people be appointed to jobs in New York City government. “They aren’t hiring token gays because there have to be gay people in the administration,” Sherrill said. “They’re hiring people who have careers that qualified

them for these positions and never felt the need to be fully closeted or fully out.” But on January 6, the Lambda Independent Democrats, the Stonewall Democrats of New York City, and the Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club of Queens published an open letter to de Blasio asking, among other demands, that he create “LGBT Liaison positions within

a number of key city agencies and the Mayor’s office.” Some might suggest that the jobs the three LGBT political clubs are seeking are little more than patronage. Michael J. Mallon, president of the Queens club, disagreed. “I believe that these liaisons can be very effective tools for the administration provided they hire people who have the necessary knowledge and who are willing to work hard,” he said. As of January 21, the de Blasio administration had not responded to the letter. Without commenting on the request made by the political clubs, Sherrill said that anyone in the community who was looking for a patronage position was at a disadvantage because they are competing with skilled LGBT people who are routinely placed in senior positions in city government. “It’s bad for people who are looking for patronage jobs, but there is an increasing pool of out people who are highly qualified,” he said. That trend was also evident in Bloomberg’s City Hall. In addition to Kimball, Bloomberg hired Anthony Crowell as his counsel and John Feinblatt as his criminal justice coordinator. As with the de Blasio administration, these gay appointees had easy access to the mayor. Bloomberg presided over Feinblatt’s 2011 wedding to Jonathan Mintz, who headed the city’s consumer affairs department under Bloomberg. For some, this close proximity to power for the LGBT community is not without its downside. Increasingly, the community relies on the belief that having a voice in government means that government will respond as the community wants. That may not happen. “There are many issues that are not getting enough concern, for example, sex and AIDS curricula, housing,” said William Dobbs, a gay civil libertarian. “When all the community business gets done during the day and in offices, it’s hard for anybody to get in on the deal and even understand what’s happening.” For Dobbs, the reliance on appointed and elected LGBT officials means they set the agenda, not the broader community and that may not be to the community’s benefit. “With LGBT matters, there’s no New York City agenda and nearly all community business is done by elected and appointed officials and LGBT non-profit organizations,” Dobbs said. “The grassroots, ordinary LGBT people, have gotten pushed aside, with many believing that everything is fine with politicians taking care of it.”


January 22, 2014 |


Inmate’s Right to Gender Reassignment Surgery Upheld US appeals court finds Massachusetts violates convicted murderer’s Eighth Amendment rights BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


federal appeals court has upheld a district judge’s ruling that a convicted murderer held in a Massachusetts state prison is being denied her constitutional right to gender-reassignment surgery deemed medically necessary. In a 2-1 ruling on January 17, a panel of the Boston-based US First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a 2012 ruling from Judge Mark Wolf that the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC) violated Michelle Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment to be free of “cruel and unusual punishment” when it refused to provide the surgery. Kosilek, who is 64, is serving a life sentence, without the possibility of parole, for the 1990 murder of her wife, Cheryl McCaul, a volunteer drug rehabilitation counselor who met Kosilek at the rehab and married her, believing “she could cure Kosilek’s gender identity disorder,” according to the appeals panel opinion. The ruling may not end the matter, since the state is staunchly opposed to providing the surgery and will likely seek Supreme Court review. The panel’s opinion did not mention any stay of the trial court ruling, and Wolf had earlier directed the DOC to begin preparations for the surgery if his order were upheld by the First Circuit. Kosilek’s attor neys have criticized the state for dragging its feet in making these contingent arrangements. According to the appeals panel’s opinion by Circuit Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson, Kosilek, who “was born and still is anatomically male... suffered regular abuse as a child, in part

because of her expressed desire to live as a girl.” After being apprehended in New York following McCaul’s murder and returned to Massachusetts, she began taking female hormones in the form of birth control pills she “illicitly obtained from a guard” in a Bristol County jail. She attempted suicide twice and also tried to castrate herself while awaiting trial. After she was convicted, Kosilek was sent to a state prison in Norfolk County, where she sought treatment for her gender dysphoria. Even though DOC medical staff agreed she suffered from gender identity disorder, the state corrections commissioner took the position that no inmate should receive hormone treatment if they were not already on such a regimen prior to conviction. Kosilek sued, and won the right to hormones and eventually other accommodations, including electrolysis to remove unwanted body hair, cosmetics, and some feminine garments. She continued to be housed in an all-male prison’s general population, but experienced no harassment and had an excellent disciplinary record. DOC, however, consistently refused her request for surgery to make her gender transition complete or to consider moving her to a women’s prison. As a result, Kosilek sued a second time and the case consumed several years. In September 2012, Wolf issued his decision, finding that DOC’s continued denial of gender reassignment surgery violated Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment rights. He ordered DOC to provide the surgery, but stayed his ruling pending appeal. At the time, no federal court had ever ordered a state prison system to provide such a procedure to an inmate. Since then, the Seventh Circuit has

thrown out Wisconsin’s ban on providing gender reassignment surgery, and the Fourth Circuit found that prison authorities in Virginia must evaluate an inmate for such surgery and provide it if deemed medically necessary. Generally speaking, there is a consensus among courts that transgender inmates are entitled to hormone therapy if it is judged to be medically necessary. There is not yet clear agreement on the question of gender reassignment surgery. The court of appeals majority in Boston agreed with Wolf’s conclusion that expert testimony supported Kosilek’s claim, though Judge Juan R. Torruella, in dissent, argued that many of the district judge’s findings mixed questions of fact –– on which his conclusions are owed deference –– and of law, which are the customary subject of appellate oversight. Torruella’s most serious objection related to the majority’s interpretation of what is required by the Eighth Amendment. He noted that the trial record indicated that Kosilek is receiving substantial treatment, both psychological and medical, for her gender dysphoria, and argued it could not be said that the DOC is “deliber ately indifferent” to her medical needs. Her treatment, he maintained, had to be considered in light of the security challenges posed by gender reassignment surgery, which would take place outside of facilities controlled by the DOC, and of the need to properly house Kosilek after the surgery. The State of Massachusetts has maintained that the expense of surgery –– pegged at anywhere from $7,000 to $50,000 according to newspaper reports –– was not the issue, and the

three appeals judges agreed. Wolf, however, found none of the state’s nonexpense explanations convincing, concluding that the security concerns were unduly inflated and raised in bad faith. He did not accept the corrections commissioner’s testimony that the DOC’s resistance to the surgery was not simply a response to political pressure resulting from media attention and objections from state legislators. The appeals panel’s majority also accepted Wolf’s conclusion that some of the expert testimony put forward by the state –– including from someone known to be opposed to gender reassignment surgery –– fell outside of the bounds of professional opinion on gender dysphoria. Torruella argued that another of the state’s witnesses was well within the wide spectrum of accepted professional views. The majority, however, highlighted the testimony of one expert who said they had never come across a stronger case of gender dysphoria than in Kosilek. Although she initiated litigation on her own, Kosilek is now represented by a substantial legal team, and her case has received support through amicus briefs from civil liberties, prisoners’ rights, and LGBT organizations. In a written statement, Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said, “Today’s decision affirms the increasing consensus among the courts that transgender-related healthcare is just healthcare and that people behind bars, including transgender people, have a constitutional right to healthcare. Decisions about treating serious healthcare decisions like sex reassignment surgery need to be made by doctors and patients, not prison authorities.”

PUTIN: SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE GAY Faced with worldwide criticism for Russia’s anti-gay legislation just as that nation prepares to host next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, President Vladimir Putin defended the new law but also said he doesn’t “care about a person’s sexual orientation.” The Kremlin leader told the BBC’s Andrew Marr, "I myself know some people who are gay. We're on friendly terms. I'm not prejudiced in any way.” In defending the new legislation –– which the Russian government claims is focused on preventing the distribution of information about homosexuality to minors but in fact essentially forbids any public expression of same-sex affection or advocacy –– Putin noted that other nations have legal prohibitions on gay conduct and expression. "We don't have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations," he claimed. "We have a ban on promoting homosexuality and pedophilia among minors." In a weekend meeting with journalists, Putin claimed that sod-

omy remains illegal in some US states, an assertion that ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos corrected him on. Some nations, including the US, have warned travelers to the Olympics that they could be at risk if they publicly reveal they are gay or advocate on behalf of LGBT rights. Putin told the BBC, however, “There's no danger for individuals of this non-traditional sexual orientation who are planning to come to the Games as visitors or participants.” Still, the BBC reported that security guards in the Russian city of Voronezh detained a gay rights protester for displaying a rainbow flag while the Olympic torch was carried through that city on January 18. In the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Volograd, a Russian city about 425 miles from Sochi, there have been widespread concerns voiced about security at the Games. On January 20, the Pentagon took the unusual step of announcing it had offered Russia any assistance it might request and noting that “US commanders in the region are conducting prudent planning and preparations should that

support be required.” On January 21, NBC News reported that Russian authorities are looking for three young Muslim women they are calling “black widow” terror suspects who they fear might try to disrupt the final stage of the Olympic torch relay in Rostov-on-Don this week. In reaction to the homophobic legislation, a number of world leaders, including President Barack Obama, are skipping the Games. The US delegation to Sochi includes three prominent out lesbian and gay athletes –– tennis star Billie Jean King, figure skater Brian Boitaino, and hockey player Caitlin Cahow. When Boitano appeared at Chelsea’s Rubin Museum of Art on January 15, two members of Queer Nation, the activist group that has led protests against Russia and organizations supporting the Sochi Games, demanded to know how the skater planned to address the human rights violations there. Boitano was introduced by a Rubin staffer as “a courageous champion of human rights and artists,” but he declined to respond to the Queer Nation questions. –– Paul Schindler

| January 22, 2014



Herb Cohen, Physician and Activist, Dies at 89 Pediatric, allergy specialist served on boards at Center, SAGE, Pride Agenda BY ANDY HUMM



r. Herbert I. Cohen, who got active in the LGBT movement in the early days of the AIDS crisis when he was in his 50s and became a stalwart in building New York LGBT institutions from the Community Center to SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), died January 6. He was 89 and had suffered a long illness. When AIDS hit in the early 1980s, Cohen became engaged with Long Island’s East End Gay Organization that raised some of the earliest money to fund service organizations addressing the epidemic at a time when government was slow to respond. He co-chaired the group for three years. In his later years, he served on the executive board of SAGE from 2001 through 2008. “The loss of Herb is a blow to SAGE, and to many other LGBT organizations in New York City,” said Michael Adams, the group’s executive director. “He was a true friend — always donating his time and expertise and amazing spirit, no matter what else was going on in his life. He was a board member when I started my tenure at SAGE and became a good friend and mentor.” Cohen’s funeral at the Riverside Memorial Chapel on the Upper West Side was attended by many of the leaders and former leaders of organizations he had assisted, including Richard Burns, who served as the longtime leader of the LGBT Community Center, Janet Weinberg who heads Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Ann Northrop of the Gay USA television program, and Urvashi Vaid, former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Vaid said, “I cherished Herb’s optimism, dishiness, and total honesty. He always told me the truth and was unbelievably positive.” Also attending was Edie Windsor, now famous for winning federal recognition of all legal same-sex marriages in the United States as the plaintiff in last year’s Supreme Court case against the Defense of Marriage Act. Windsor and her thenpartner and later wife, the late Thea Spyer, were social friends with Cohen and his partner and later spouse Daniel Cook from the 1960s forward. At Cohen’s graveside in Kensico, New York, Windsor recalled being afraid to drive down a treacherous mountain road on a vacation together and was reassured by Cohen, who told her, “Just drive behind me and the worst that can happen is that you’ll bump into me.” “That’s the way he was,” Windsor said, “always looking out for others.” Mark D’Alessio wrote on Facebook, “I

Dr. Herb Cohen and Daniel Cook at the time of their 50th anniversary.

was privileged to serve with Herb as an activist on three boards: FAIRPAC, Pride Agenda, and, most recently, SAGE. In fact, Herb coaxed me with great charm into joining the board of SAGE, which was only fair as I was the one who reached out to him years earlier and lovingly nudged him to join us on the FAIRPAC board [which grew into the Empire State Pride Agenda in the early 1990s].” Libby Post, who served with Cohen at the Pride Agenda, wrote that he was “a real mensch.” Cohen was very close with his extended biological family, several of whom paid tribute to him, including his niece, filmmaker Helen Cohen of San Francisco, who, with Uncle Herb’s support, produced the groundbreaking documentaries “It’s Elementary: Talking about Gay Issues in School” and “That’s a Family,” about family diversity, including those headed by LGBT parents. For all of Cohen’s contributions and professional achievements as a physician, he considered his 52-year relationship with Daniel Cook the most important thing in his life. The two became partners in 1961 and were married in 2008 in Springfield, Massachusetts, returning to New York where their marriage was recognized even though the state did not start performing same-sex marriages until 2011. This reporter was a personal friend of Herb Cohen. I’ve always held him up as a prime example of men of his generation who overcame decades of having to be discreet in the pre-Stonewall Era –– though he enjoyed a rich gay life in those days –– and went on to become mainstays of the modern movement, in his case for more than three decades. Herbert I. Cohen was born on Novem-

ber 20, 1924 in upstate Rochester. He attended Harvard College and graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1949. In the US Army, he served as an enlisted man in World War II and a medical officer in Japan from 1952

until 1954. After practicing pediatrics in Rochester, he was on the pediatric staff at Babies Hospital of Columbia University, moving into allergy-immunology at Roosevelt Hospital and practicing as an allergist for 41 years. Dr. Louis Z. Cooper, director of Pediatrics at Roosevelt from 1973 through 1998 and a longtime personal friend of Cohen and Cook, wrote in an email, “Herb Cohen, MD was a highly regarded pediatric allergist, trusted, loved and respected by his patients, their families, and his medical colleagues. As chief of pediatric allergy at Roosevelt Hospital, he was also an effective teacher and role model for the residents and other clinicians. “As the first openly gay pediatrician in the department, Herb became a strong advocate for patients with HIV infection, even before the virus was identified. He was also a mentor for the younger pediatricians who were still closeted. He played a valuable role in supporting me as I insisted on the same quality of care for all children, regardless of their family financial circumstance. His clinic patients and patients in his private office got the same sensitive and skilled care.”

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January 22, 2014 |


Oklahoma Marriage Ban Thrown Out, But Ruling Stayed Pending Appeal


Federal judge’s finding follows December decision in Utah, but in more narrowly drawn analysis

Oklahoma marriage plaintiffs Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin.



et another federal district judge has declared that a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is an unconstitutional infringement of rights guaranteed by the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment. On January 14, Senior District Judge Terence C. Kern, who has been dealing with the case of Bishop v. United States since 2004, held that the amendment adopted by an overwhelming vote of Oklahoma citizens denies same-sex couples their equal protection rights even when subjected to the most lenient standard of judicial review. The State of Oklahoma, Kern found, provided no “rational” justification for the ban. Kern, unlike US District Judge Robert J. Shelby in his Utah marriage equality decision last month, stayed his ruling pending appeal, which is now underway. Like Utah, Oklahoma is within the 10th federal appellate circuit, which is already considering an appeal of the December 20 ruling out of Salt Lake City. The Utah case is on an expedited schedule, so it seems unlikely that Oklahoma would meet such a fast-track schedule unless the 10th Circuit orders it to do so. Handling both cases in one appellate proceeding, however, would make good sense, so perhaps if Oklahoma officials decide to move quickly, this case could be consolidated with the Utah appeal. If the 10th Circuit were to uphold both rulings, that would make US Supreme Court review, already likely with just one case, that much more of a lock. The Oklahoma case, brought by two lesbian couples –– Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, and Susan Barton and Gay Phillips –– took aim at both the 2004 state constitutional amendment and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In more than nine years of litigation, the case took a few procedural twists and turns, including the decision by Barton and Phillips to marry in Canada and, later, in 2008, in California. With a portion of DOMA struck down last June,

Kern held that Barton and Phillips lacked standing to challenge DOMA’s surviving provision authorizing Oklahoma to ban recognition of out-of-state mar riage since it didn’t compel the state to do so. And, regarding the couple’s challenge to the state constitutional amendment’s prohibition on recognition of their marriage, Kern found, the women failed to show they had sought such recognition by Oklahoma and been denied it specifically by the defendant, the Tulsa county clerk. Barton and Phillips are now effectively out of the case. For reasons not spelled out in Kern’s opinion, while challenging the 2004 state constitutional amendment, the plaintiffs did not also do so regarding Oklahoma’s statutory ban on same-sex marriage. The judge, however, noted that the same analysis would apply to the state law question. Kern first dealt with the threshold question in any federal marriage litigation –– whether a 1972 Supreme Court refusal to hear an appeal of a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling rejecting marriage equality claims, the US high court citing the lack of a “substantial federal question,” is still binding on federal courts. Like Judge Shelby in the Utah case, Kern concluded that subsequent Supreme Court rulings on issues including sodomy and DOMA rendered that precedent moot. Looking to last summer’s DOMA ruling, Kern concluded that the decision did not decisively tip the balance toward either party. On one hand, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion recognized that the regulation of marriage has historically been a state, not a federal, function. At the same time, the DOMA ruling supports the plaintiffs because “much of the majority’s reasoning regarding the ‘purpose and effect’ of DOMA can be readily applied to the purpose and effect of similar or identical state-law marriage definitions,” Kern wrote. The DOMA majority, he noted, “based its conclusion on the law’s blatant improper purpose and animus” toward gay and lesbian people. Kern acknowledged that courts must approach a state’s marriage laws “with more caution than the Supreme Court approached DOMA,” a federal enactment. But, when courts are reviewing marriage regulations, they “must be wary of whether ‘defending’ traditional marriage is a guise for impermissible discrimination against same-sex couples,” Kern found. Charting a narrower doctrinal analysis that did Judge Shelby in Utah, Kern did not accept the argument that the case involved the fundamental right to marry under the Constitution’s Due Process Clause. As a result, the court made no presumption that the Oklahoma amendment was unconstitutional, a perspective that would have required the state to provide a compelling argument for why it was justified. Instead, Oklahoma merely needed to present any rational justification for it. The judge’s conclusion, however, was that the legislators who proposed the amendment –– and presumably the voters who approved it –– were motivated by moral disapproval of homosexuality, a constitutional ground found impermissible by the Supreme Court in 1996, when it struck down an anti-gay voter amendment in Colorado. Kern was faced by the same arguments from Oklahoma that have been raised in other states –– pro-

moting responsible procreation by heterosexual couples by motivating them to marry and providing an ideal setting for child rearing. The judge rejected them as having no merit in justifying the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. “There is no rational link between excluding samesex couples from marriage and the goals of encouraging ‘responsible procreation’ among the ‘naturally procreative’ and/ or steering the ‘naturally procreative’ toward marriage,” he wrote. “Civil marriage in Oklahoma does not have any procreative prerequisites.” In fact, he noted, despite it gay marriage ban, Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. (He could have added Massachusetts has one of the lowest.) Kern also pointed out that 2010 census data found that “there were 1,280 same-sex ‘households’ in Oklahoma who reported as having ‘their own children under 18 years of ago residing in their household.’” A ban on marriage by such couples, he wrote, actually hinders the public policy goals of ensuring that children are raised by married parents. Regarding Oklahoma’s argument that married different-sex parents create the “ideal environment” for raising children, Kern found that the marriage ban didn’t further the aim of encouraging that either. The state, he wrote, “has not articulated, and the Court cannot discern, a single way that excluding same-sex couples from marriage will ‘promote’ this ‘ideal’ child-rearing environment. Exclusion from marriage does not make it more likely that a samesex couple desiring children, or already raising children together, will change course and marry an opposite-sex partner (thereby providing the ‘ideal’ child-rearing environment). It is more likely that any potential or existing child will be raised by the samesex couple without any state-provided marital benefits.” Then quoting from last year’s DOMA ruling, he added, those children would be deprived of the ability to “understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community.” Oklahoma’s constitutional ban on marriage by same-sex couples, Kern concluded, is simply “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit… without a legally sufficient justification.” Given the stay he issued, Kern’s ruling does not mean that gay marriages will take place in Oklahoma immediately, but it does provide another nail in the coffin of state prohibitions. His ruling is a more modest one than that issued last month by Shelby or the 2010 ruling from Judge Vaughn Walker in the Proposition 8 litigation. As a result, it might be a more sustainable ruling on appeal since the Supreme Court tends to prefer moving in smaller rather than large doctrinal steps when addressing politically controversial issues. The plaintiff couples were represented by Oklahoma lawyers Don G. Holladay, James E. Warner, Laura Lea Eakens, Timothy P. Studebaker, and Phillip Craig Bailey, while the Tulsa county clerk was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-gay litigation group formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund. ADF attorneys are preparing an appeal on behalf of the Tulsa county clerk.


| January 22, 2014


Confusion Continues in Wake of Utah Marriage Ruling Stay BY PAUL SCHINDLER


he January 6 order from the US Supreme Court placing a stay on the December 20 federal district court judge’s Utah gay marriage ruling has created confusion for the roughly 1,300 couples who married during the two-week window while it was in effect. The state’s Republican governor and his appointed attorney general find themselves in disagreement not only with the US Department of Justice, but also with Utah’s State Tax Commission, whose members are appointed by the governor. On January 8, the office of Governor Gary R. Herbert sent Executive Branch cabinet members a memo stating that Utah state agencies would not recognize those same-sex marriages performed prior to the stay for the duration of the appeals process. “With the district court injunction now stayed, the original laws governing marriage in Utah return to effect pending final resolution by the courts,” the memo, written by Herbert’s chief of staff, Derek Miller, read. “It is important to understand that those laws include not only a prohibition of performing samesex marriages but also recognizing same-sex marriages [emphasis in the original memo].” Any applications for state benefits made by married same-sex couples were put “on hold and will stay exactly in that position until a final court decision is issued,” according to the memo. Prior to the stay being imposed, Utah had begun opening up its state employee benefit program to couples in same-sex marriages. The state later clarified that licenses for same-sex marriages performed prior to January 6 were still being processed and would be mailed out to couples waiting for them. Miller’s memo on behalf of the governor cited “counsel from” State Attorney General Sean Reyes –– who only took office on December 30 after the resignation of his predecessor amidst federal and state probes into alleged improprieties –– and emphasized that Herbert’s “position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages –– that is for the courts to decide.” Two days after the governor made his position clear, US Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government would recognize the validity of the 1,300 Utah marriages. Noting that since the US Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last

June the Justice Department “has been working tirelessly to implement it in both letter and spirit — moving to extend federal benefits to married samesex couples as swiftly and smoothly as possible,” Holder said that as the appeals process plays out, “these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds. In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled.” (Several marriage equality states including Massachusetts, Maryland, and Delaware, presumably in a show of respect for couples who married in Utah, announced they too would recognize the marriages.) For most of the gay and lesbian couples who married in Utah in late December and early January, the most immediate implication of Holder’s announcement is that they are now required to file their federal tax returns using one of the married filing categories. When Herbert’s directive went out to his cabinet agencies, the state indicated that these samecouples could not file their state returns as married. On January 16, however, the State Tax Commission reversed that position, issuing a statement saying, “Same-sex couples who are eligible to file a joint federal income tax return and who elect to file jointly may also file a joint 2013 Utah Individual Income Tax return.” That commission, which is independent but whose four members are gubernatorial appointees, has gone back and forth since last summer on state tax filings by same-sex married couples. After the Internal Revenue Service spelled out that all married same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, even if their home state does not recognize their marriage, Utah signaled it might allow gay and lesbian couples who married out of state to file their Utah returns as married. A few weeks later, however, the commission changed course. Now, it has opened up married filing status to all same-sex couples in Utah who were legally married during 2013, whether married there or out of state. As the confusing chain of events unfolded, Reyes scrambled to meet the expedited schedule for the state’s appeal set out by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Written briefs were scheduled to be due by January 27, with replies

required by the end of February, though Reyes’ office last week asked for a 10-day delay of the first of those deadlines. Shortly before Reyes made his request, Gene Schaerr, a Washington-based attorney who had headed the appellate practice at Winston & Strawn, announced he was leaving the firm to become a Utah special assistant attorney general with responsibility for the marriage case. One final development in the Utah marriage case was the January 21 announcement by the American Civil Liberties Union that it was filing a federal lawsuit on behalf of same-sex couples who married in Utah dur ing the two weeks they were able to. In last year’s DOMA ruling, the high court found that the federal government, under the 14th Amendment, could not treat some legal marriages differently than others. The ACLU case will test the question as to whether Utah has Gene Schaerr, a former top appellate attorney at Winston & Strawn, is now leading the marriage equality appeal efforts for the State of Utah. the right to do so.

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January 22, 2014 |


January 15, 2014 To the Editor: At the end of the day this lady is paid to do a job, and that job should come above her religious beliefs (“Upstate NY Town Clerk Continues Granting Only Opposite-Sex Marriage Licenses,” by Duncan Osborne, posted online Jan. 3). If she is not happy for a job to overrule her religious beliefs, she needs to find a career that doesn't conflict with her personal viewpoints.


Paul Brook


January 7, 2014 To the Editor: Please, step down, finally, Rose Marie Belforti. Do the right thing.

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a research project at Columbia focusing on women, has been the city's director of HIV prevention far too long. Early on in the epidemic, gay men mobilized and provided community-based education and prevention services that saved many lives –– mine included. But the straight doctors and health bureaucrats (city, state, and federal), with their “interventions” developed mainly in university settings, have run the show for some time now, and the results –– awful –– are evident. Since 2005, the DOHMH has followed a medical model that is insufficient to prevent an illness that always has had social, cultural, and political dimensions. Farley and his ilk don't believe in supporting community empowerment and organizing. De Blasio needs to replace useless Farley with a real leader, and fast. George de Stefano

John Mulholland

DEBATING BLOOMBERG’S HEALTH COMMISSIONER January 6, 2014 To the Editor: I attended the World AIDS Day Breakfast and I spoke with Commissioner Farley in regards to his plans for HIV/AIDS ("AIDS Activists Demand New Health Commissioner," by Duncan Osborne, Jan. 8). He mentioned he was going to unveil a campaign which would be resourceful to anyone seeking info on the how, when, what, where to get services. I agree with my colleagues Gina Quattrochi and Charles King that we need someone who’s going to address this epidemic in NYC as well as the future of HIV/ AIDS. Our new mayor, Bill De Blasio, should be held accountable for selecting someone who will take our needs more seriously. Shirlene Cooper January 7, 2014 To the Editor: Farley's utter lack of leadership on HIV/ AIDS is a scandal. The man is only interested in controlling what people eat and drink. He's completely clueless about sexuality, and even worse, like his predecessor Thomas Frieden, he's hostile to gay men's sexual cultures. He wrote a book in which he condemned the sexual revolution of the ‘60s and one of his first acts as a consultant to Frieden was to prepare a “white paper” recommending that the city shut down the baths and other sex venues. Then just look at the management of the HIV/ AIDS bureau at DOHMH –– entirely heterosexual –– in a city where gay men and other “MSM” [men who have sex with men] account for the majority of new infections. Gay men were almost completely marginalized by Farley and Monica Sweeney, a self-promoting mediocrity. Blayne Cutler, a straight woman whose main experience in HIV prevention was

January 8, 2014 To the Editor: Wow, this has not been my experience at all. As a positive person sitting on a consumer advisory committee, I had the opportunity to have some interaction with Blayne Cutler and found her to be very responsive to the needs of positive people in New York City. She was extremely attentive when I spoke in my role as representative of the HIV-positive community. This was not my only interaction with her. On another occasion, the organization I work for, Exponents, Inc., had our ARRIVE Program graduation, comprised mostly of gay men, and Blayne Cutler showed up, uninvited, to support the graduates in their most current achievement. She did this inconspicuously, because when we saw her we asked her to come up and speak and she was reluctant to take the focus from the participants. She went on to make a moving, inspirational, and empowering speech that left the participants feeling even more proud on their special day –– by being acknowledged by someone so prominent who took time out of her evening to celebrate the participants’ accomplishments. We felt her commitment then and now. New York City will continue to benefit from her effort and commitment. Dana Diamond January 10, 2014 To the Editor: Being a gay African-American HIV-positive male coming from a community disproportionately affected by HIV/ AIDS, as well as the fact that I have been working in this field for a long time, I believe I have good judgment and the skill base and knowledge to effectively share my views. First, after meeting Commissioner Farley for the first time, I didn't find him to be hostile toward me or my sexuality or offensive in any way. I found him to be very engaging, concerned, and interested in what I had to say about HIV/ AIDS, particularly in relation to MSMs. I believe with the support and commitment from our community, which

he would certainly need to fill his job, he would be successful. Secondly, Dr. Monica Sweeney is definitely a force to be reckoned with. I was deeply saddened when she resigned from her post at DOHMH. After having many conversations with Dr. Sweeney, I know for a fact that she is neither self-promoting nor mediocre. She came from a humble, community-based medical establishment in BedStuy, Brooklyn, and she did wonderful things for the disenfranchised community. Thirdly, Dr. Blayne Cutler... I recall my very first interaction with her was when I was interviewed for a seat on the HIV Planning Group (HPG), which should have been 20 minutes in length and it turned out to be an hour and a half long. Dr. Cutler was concerned about my views, particularly on MSMs of color who are HIV-positive and how we can address this issue in the National HIV/ AIDS Strategy. Dr. Cutler also mentioned that she wanted to bring the HPG back to substance and relevance. I am not overly concerned how this straight woman, whose entrance into this field was via a “research project at Columbia University,” got here, I'm just glad she did. Tracy Mack

LYNN STEWART & LGBT RIGHTS January 13, 2014 To the Editor: Susie Day’s Perspective (Jan. 8) discusses Lynne Stewart, a straight lawyer who defended unpopular causes and was jailed for years, and asks, “Should Queers Care?” In fact, decades ago, L ynne Stewart did stick her neck out for LGBT activists when few others dared to do so –– and was slapped with a $2.1 million lawsuit for her efforts. While anything would pale next to her cruel incarceration for many years, it was no joke to have the lawsuit and the threat of financial ruin hanging over one’s head for a year. A little background. The LGBT rights movement that began at Stonewall soon faced a strong backlash –– including a “Save Our Children” crusade led by a Florida orange juice pitchwoman and a California ballot initiative to fire LGBT teachers –– based on the despicable, discredited blood libel that we are all child molesters. On June 21, 1977, a New York politician who had been the Democratic party nominee for state attorney general jumped on this bandwagon of bigotry, with a dangerous new twist: he announced in the Daily News that he was heading a new “Liberals Against Gay Rights” movement. At the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), we decided to pay this politician a midnight visit (a “zap”) at his posh suburban home. The only lawyer we found who would accompany us as a legal observer on this outing was Lynne F. Stewart. And it was a good thing she was there with us on the night of August 4, 1977,


LETTERS, continued on p.13


| January 22, 2014


Homophobes United, But Queers…?



’m thrilled to know Vladimir Putin has gay acquaintances, but it doesn’t do much to change my opinion of his bigoted, tyrannical regime. In fact, I doubt anybody buys the nice friendly gloss he’s trying to give Russia before the place is inundated with Olympic ice skaters and skiers –– and vodkaguzzling, T-shirt buying crowds. In Nigeria, meanwhile, anti-gay hate is right out in the open. Hundreds of gay men have been reportedly arrested since President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act last week, stripping LGBT Nigerians of most of their last remaining rights. Banning not just marriage, the legislation prohibits homo-shows of affection, membership in gay groups or associations, and basically any language or activity that even hints LGBT people are human. Ugandan queers are also under fresh attack. While President Yoweri Museveni declined to sign the similar Anti-Homosexuality Bill likewise punishing lesbian and gay people with life in prison and jailing advocates, he gave anti-gay bigots encouragement, declaring us “sick” and “abnormal.”

This is just the tip of the anti-gay iceberg in Africa, where in about 30 subSaharan countries, we face a range of punishments from prison to death, though the populations don’t always wait for the state to pass sentence and punish us themselves, with a beating here, a murder there. They often make our lives so horrible and hopeless, we do the fatal job ourselves. Our own hemisphere is barely better. At a holiday party, I talked to a gay Jamaican couple who had recently fled to New York with just the clothes on their backs because somebody had found out that they’d gotten gay married on a trip to the US. And when that little detail spread, credible death threats followed. In the United States, too, every advance is followed by a backlash on the streets and in the courts. Our homegrown homophobes draw their poison from the same well as everybody else, defending their anti-gay laws and violence with the identical blather about upholding religious and cultural values. No surprise, then, that the money of fundamentalist American Christians fuels anti-gay campaigns worldwide, from Senegal to France. The disturbing thing is that while anti-gay bigots are united in their hatred

for us, sharing strategies and money, we queers aren’t allowed to do the same. We fight each enemy as if it were different, not one horrible beast with a gazillion different heads. We identify dif ferent strains of homophobia, make allowances. Sometimes shy away from a full assault on bigots because it is said that they inherited their homophobia, like their antisodomy laws, from colonial rulers. As if, unlike humans elsewhere in the world, no African person had ever felt hatred of the other. As if African politicians would never have thought of using queers as scapegoats to distract populations weary of dictatorships and failed economies. And as if they didn’t make bad colonial laws worse. Too many of us even nod sagely at stories like one in the Global Post announcing, “Western-style activism may be hurting gay rights in Africa.” This essentially blames African queers for their own oppression and characterizes their most basic efforts to resist as somehow foreign. Because apparently those stupid African homos would never have thought to aspire to full human status, let alone hold a demo, write an op-ed, or file a lawsuit without Western influence or aid. Worse, it implies justice would have progressed merrily along its

ists were about as popular, and as likely to receive pro bono legal assistance, as Muslim sheiks would be a quarter of a century later.

all persons who have acquired the HIV virus, whether or not having the AIDS disease, whether or not disabled, should get the same benefit. This grab for public funds for persons who are infected but not sick or disabled should fail, and if persons like Mr. Lister insist that people without the disease should get the same full benefits, the attempt to get benefits for those like Mr. Lister will also fail. It is time for realism and not for making the biggest grab possible on the limited public purse. The other low-income housing programs to which he refers are for persons who meet specific criteria, in health and/ or income, for example, and not for those who have a germ but no impairment.

arc if only they had sat quietly with their hands in their laps. It’s weird, really, this rewriting of history, this assigning of strategies to one country or one movement, when all militants share them. Martin Luther King looked toward Gandhi. And Gandhi himself was apparently influenced by the American Thoreau, who got some of his own ideas from Indian philosophy and religion. American queers digested it all, inspired also by the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. The LGBT movement in Latin America looked to student revolution in ‘68 France as well as New York’s Stonewall. Nobody owns a thing. This insistence on putting LGBT activists in another category because of their geography or race is just another kind of racism. Ironically, it may have its roots in American multiculturalism. In an attempt to grapple with race and make clear the value of difference, we came to suspect any assertion of sameness, especially between the East and West, the global North and global South, as a racist, colonial effort to erase. And it really is sometimes. But now, if we’re going to support LGBT activists risking their lives all over the world, it’s urgent to remember we’re the same species after all. Near cousin to the earthworm, and closer to the ape than the angel. And in the matter of homophobia, we’re dealing with human nature at its best and worse. The universal hatred of difference. And the equally global desire to resist in every form.


LETTERS, from p.12

because she was most helpful in convincing the local police not to arrest the GAA protesters. When the politician then filed a $2.1 million lawsuit against her and GAA, she remained steadfast and in good spirits. I recall vividly the tone of sarcastic mocking mixed with bemusement in her voice as she said the words, “The au-GUST New York Times!” after the paper ran an editorial on August 8, 1977, that began: “Late one night last week, about 50 homosexuals [sic], many of them with baseball bats and bullhorns, suddenly appeared around the Scarsdale home of …, a political figure, exploding firecrackers and shouting threats to burn down his house.” A year later, on July 24, 1978, a State Supreme Court justice, finding that Lynne Stewart was a legal observer and not a participant in the protest, dropped her as a defendant in the lawsuit. May history always remember and salute Lynne Stewart’s courage in standing with us at a time when militant LGBT activ-

Joe Kennedy The writer, who lives in Manhattan, chaired the Gay Activists Alliance’s political action committee for part of 1977. His book “Summer of ’77” can be read at

HOUSING RIGHTS AND WRONGS January 13, 2014 To the Editor: I fully support James W. Lister in seeking assistance so as not to pay more than 30 percent of his income in rent (“With New Mayor on Board, Time for Governor to Lead on AIDS Housing,” Jan. 8). Mr. Lister has had AIDS for several years, is disabled and living on a limited fixed income, and clearly needs help. However, he weakens his case and likelihood of success, after saying that he speaks for 10,000 New Yorkers with AIDS, by then insisting that

Robert Fleck Editor’s Note: Some HIV/ AIDS advocates have pressed to expand the city’s housing assistance entitlement to all people who are HIV-positive, but the current proposal for a 30 percent rent cap relates only to people who have an AIDS diagnosis according to guidelines of the city’s HIV/ AIDS Services Administration.

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL January 15, 2014 To the Editor: I was surprised when Corey Johnson introduced Jeffrey Le Francois at our Community Board 4 general meeting last Monday because I too assumed R.J. Jordan was already settled in as chief of staff (“In Johnson’s Council Office, Le Francois In, Jordan Out,” by Lincoln Anderson, Jan. 8). It looks as though everyone is happy with the change and, therefore, so am I. R.J. did a really great job and I will miss him. Mike Noble

WRITE US! Please send letters to the editor, of 250 words or less, to: Or mail them to 515 Canal Street, Suite 1C, New York, NY 10013 Gay City News reserves the right to edit letters for space or legal considerations.


January 22, 2014 |


Crackdown on Gays Escalates Under New Nigerian Law



n the wake of a new homophobic law taking effect in Nigeria early last week, there are news reports that many dozens of gay men are being arrested and that the crackdown on gays has spread from the Muslim northern portions of the West African nation of 160 million to its Christian south. Human rights advocates have pointed to a wave of arrests dating back to Christmas, weeks before Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed the legislation. The Associated Press, on January 14, quoted Dorothy Aken’Ova, executive director of Nigeria’s International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, saying that police in the northern state of Bauchi had detained and tortured four men, forcing them to reveal the names of other gay men. The police, she said, put together a list of 168 men who are now targets for arrest. An AIDS counselor said the crackdown “began with a wild rumor that the United States had paid gay activists $20 million to promote same-sex marriage” in Nigeria. The man, who spoke to the AP anonymously out of fear of arrest, said he had helped bail 38 gay men out of jail since the end of December. Nigeria’s new Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, whose final approval was announced on January 13, metes out punishments of up to 14 years in jail for gay marriages and up to 10 years for belonging to or promoting gay organizations. Activists told the AP that AIDS groups serving gay men are targeted under the new law.

Gay men are fleeing the Bauchi region, both Aken’Ova and the AIDS counselor told the newswire service. The AP quoted Mustapha Baba Ilela, who chairs the Bauchi Shariah Commission that oversees enforcement of Islamic law in the region, saying, “We are on the hunt for others.” Of 11 men he said had been arrested –– all but one of them Muslim –– each had signed a confession acknowledging membership in a gay organization. On January 17, the AP reported that arrests had spread to Nigeria’s Christian southern states. "The arrests are all over. It's no longer just in the north," Ifeanyi Kelly Orazulike, executive director of the Nigeria-based International Center for Advocacy on Right to Health, told the AP. "Police are not telling us what the charges are, and people are scared." Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who signed the new legislation, has not spoken out about homosexuality, but a spokesman for him said, “This is a law that is in line with the people’s cultural and religious inclination. So it is a law that is a reflection of the beliefs and orientation of Nigerian people.” The Most Reverend Emele Uka, the prelate and the General Assembly moderator of the Nigerian Presbyterian Church, lauded Jonathan for signing the legislation. “Thank God there is hope, a cure for the sins of homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, rape, and adultery,” he said in a written statement. “We should note that these mentioned perverse sexual lifestyles attract God’s punishment. For such, God warns that hell, not heaven is the final destination. And


Arrests spread from Muslim north to Christian south as Canada reported to have canceled state visit

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

how is God’s cure received? In exactly the same way as other types of sinners receive forgiveness, through confession and repentance.” Olumide Makanjuola, who heads up the Initiative For Equality in Nigeria, said attorneys for the group are helping several gay men challenge their arrests. He told the AP that police confiscate the cell phones of suspected gay men in their custody and send out text messages to snare other suspects. Those arrested, he said, are pressured into paying bribes to win their freedom. In a January 13 written statement, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The United States is deeply concerned by Nigeria’s enactment of the Same-

Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. Beyond even prohibiting same-sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians. Moreover, it is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 Constitution. People everywhere deserve to live in freedom and equality. No one should face violence or discrimination for who they are or who they love. We join with those in Nigeria who appeal for the protection of their fellow citizens’ fundamental freedoms and universal human rights.” UNAIDS, the world body’s initiative that combats the HIV epidemic, issued a statement voicing “deep concern that access to HIV services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people will be severely affected by a new law in Nigeria — further criminalizing LGBT people, organizations, and activities, as well as people who support them.” Canada’s Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has declined to comment on Nigerian press reports that Ottawa cancelled a planned state visit by President Jonathan in February to protest the new anti-gay law. According to, however, the Harper government has been a vocal advocate for gay rights globally. On January 13, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who previously spoke out against anti-gay legislation in Uganda and Russia, said, “We call on Nigeria to repeal this law and to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Nigerians regardless of their sexual orientation.”

UGANDAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES HOMOPHOBIC LAW, BUT TERMS GAYS “ABNORMAL” The release last week of a letter that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sent to Parliament criticizing irregularities in the way it approved a draconian anti-gay bill late last year led many news outlets to report that the measure had been vetoed. At a January 21 press conference, however, a coalition of Ugandan health and civil liberties groups warned that Museveni had not formally rejected the bill and that if it or a similar version were approved, the results could be dire. Voice of America quoted Alice Kayongo of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation saying, “I imagine having someone come to me requesting condoms, and I say I am unable to provide them. And yet I know that condoms will probably prevent this person from either passing on HIV or acquiring HIV. So for me to say no to someone because I fear that I could be branded as a promoter of homosexuality, it just makes no sense to me.” The Ugandan measure, abruptly approved in Parliament on December 19 more than four years after it was initially proposed, would mandate life imprisonment for those repeatedly convicted

of prohibited same-sex conduct. According to the Daily Monitor, a Ugandan newspaper, the category of behaviors that could lead to a life sentence include “oral and anal penetration, genital stimulation, and even touching with the intent to engage in those acts.” The promotion of homosexuality and the failure to report knowledge of same-sex activity are also criminalized by the bill. In its original form, the measure included the death penalty for repeated homosexual conduct, but that was not a part of the bill approved in December. Museveni’s letter noted the fact that the nation’s prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, complained at the time of the vote that the body lacked the required quorum to move forward. “How can you pass law without the quorum of Parliament after it has been pointed out?,” Museveni wrote, according to the Monitor. “What sort of Parliament is this? How can Parliament be the one to break the Constitution and the Law repeatedly?” The letter was dated December 27. The Ugandan president, however, made clear that he shares the

anti-gay attitudes of the bill’s promoters. “The question at the core of the debate of homosexuality is: what do we do with an abnormal person?,” he wrote. “Do we kill him/ her? Do we imprison him/ her? Or we do contain him/ her?” Museveni also argued that legislation, no matter how harsh, would not stamp out homosexuality in Uganda. “Even with legislation, they will simply go underground and continue practicing homosexuality or lesbianism for mercenary reasons,” he wrote. Young people in Uganda, Museveni argued, are lured into gay sex work due to lack of alternative opportunities. Economic development and industrialization are needed to combat that problem, he wrote. Voice of America reported that the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights learned directly from Museveni that he intended to veto the bill. But Nicholas Opiyo of the civil liberties group Chapter Four Uganda told the news service that the president had likely not even received the final draft of the measure and would then have 30 days to act.


| January 22, 2014


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Gay film pioneer and film scholar Gene Stavis.

famous film archive, serving as its New York director. He had principal responsibility for the development of the SVA Theater on West 23rd Street between Eighth and Ninth, which is also used for numerous film premieres. A close friend, director and editor Robert M. Neilson, wrote online, “He LOVED film. He discovered a lost student film by Orson Welles at a library in Greenwich, CT. called ‘The Hearts of Age.’ He confronted him over the phone while he was at a hotel in Las Vegas, ‘excuse me Mr. Welles, I have a film that belongs to you.’ Welles: ‘It’s a fake, burn it.’ Gene: ‘But Mr. Welles, you’re in it.’” –– Andy Humm


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Margaret “Peggy” Traub, a prominent furniture industry businesswoman who promoted women in business as well as LGBT causes, died January 13 of cancer. She was 55 and is survived by her partner Phyllis Dicker, with whom she co-sponsored the Stonewall Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship, established in 2004 through the Stonewall Foundation for lesbian students who “demonstrate their motivation to making a difference with their lives.” Traub was also a founding board member of the Lesbian Political Action Committee, or LPAC, in 2012. Traub was the president and CEO of Adesso, begun in 1994 as a lighting and ready-to-assemble furniture company. With her commitment to helping other women in the business, she co-founded Women in the Home Industries Today (WithIt) in 1997. When she received the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, Stephanie Lowder of Content Media hailed her as “a master of business, marketing, finance — and a champion of women and diversity in business.” Warren Shoulberg of Home Textiles Today said, “She of course comes from retailing royalty,” a reference to her father, the late Marvin Traub, the CEO of Bloomingdale’s for 22 years, “but she has always managed to bring her own touch to the businesses she’s involved with, separate and apart from her gene pool.” He also credited her “passion for social issues.” Traub was a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization and served on the board of the Wom-




Gene Stavis, a film historian and scholar who produced “Emerald City,” the first gay-themed cable television show in New York, in 1977, died on December 29 after a short illness. He was 70. With two other gay men, Frank O’Dowd and Steve Bie, he organized Truth, Justice and the American Way, Inc. to produce the show on Manhattan’s leased-access Channel J, syndicating it to San Francisco as well. “Emerald City,” which ran through 1979, covered the LGBT movement, politics, and culture in that late pre-AIDS era, including interviews with such figures as activist and later presidential aide Ginny Apuzzo, performer Quentin Crisp, painter David Hockney, Charles Ludlum of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, and porn star Casey Donovan. Among the on-air talent were journalists Arthur Bell, Vito Russo, and Brandon Judell. And the show featured commercials for the city’s growing gay commercial establishment of bars, bathhouses, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Writer, activist, and physician Dr. Larry Mass wrote in an email, “Gene was widely known as an authority on film and had his own notable collection of vintage reels. He was beloved by his students and cineastes, and for many years hosted a kind of salon in his home at Waterside Plaza. He was a close friend of Arnie Kantrowitz, Brandon Judell, and Stephen Bie. We mourn the passing of this fabled figure of our communities.” Stavis taught cinema history at the School of Visual Arts for 35 years. He worked with Henri Langlois, founder of Cinemathèque Française, in the 1970s to develop an American counterpart to that

Peggy Traub in 2011.

en’s Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Traub, a graduate of Harvard, met Dicker, a psychotherapist, in 1983 at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, New York’s LGBT synagogue. The couple celebrated their commitment ceremony in 2004. –– Andy Humm

| January 22, 2014



St. Luke’s Hopes to Expand West Village LGBT Youth Program Project reliant on revenue from new residential tower that stirs controversy, as does the drop-in plan BY SAM SPOKONY & LINCOLN ANDERSON


We s t V i l l a g e c h u r c h h op e s t o c o n s t r u c t a 15-story residential building on the corner of Greenwich and Barrow Streets, in order to fund both an expansion to its private school and the construction of a new mission building that would provide 24/ 7 services to LGBT youth and, perhaps later, other underserved populations. Whether key players in the community will support the LGBT youth initiative, however, is unclear. The Church of St. Luke in the Fields — which owns the entire block bounded by Greenwich, Barrow, Hudson, and Christopher Streets — plans to grant a 99-year lease to Toll Brothers, a luxury developer, for management of a future residential tower at 100 Barrow Street, which would rise to about 153 feet, tall by that neighborhood’s standards. Representatives of the church and its associates are quick to note that the proposed

70,000-square-foot building is much smaller than what zoning allows. The building is also planned to be socalled “80/ 20” housing, in which the developer would receive a tax break for making 20 percent of the units affordable. When explaining the plan for 100 Barrow Street, those behind the effort refer to it as the “economic engine” for the church’s goals both to expand the financially strapped St. Luke’s school — which borders the church within its self-owned lot — and to build the new mission center serving youth. “People understandably think it would be ideal if we could do those things without any new development on the block,” said Reverend Caroline Stacey, rector of St. Luke’s. “But the truth of the matter is that we need that residential building in order to provide the necessary income stream for the school to have what it needs, and for us to build the mission space.” But even as the church anticipates objections to the residential tower, some critics are questioning the goal of expanding the church’s LGBT youth services.

Following Community Board 2’s Landmarks and Public Aesthetics Committee meeting on January 14, where the church presented it project, Sean Sweeney, the committee’s co-chair, said, “St. Luke’s was saying this would help the community, but it’s a private school and a center for troubled

Some critics are questioning the goal of expanding the church’s LGBT youth services. youth, which the community has had many problems with along Christopher Street. The community found an irony in that part of their proposal. And how does it benefit the community to build a 15-story building that’s out of scale with the rest of the community?”

The church currently has a Saturday night meals program for LGBT youth and HIV-positive people that accommodates 80. But the program is outgrowing the space — which is why St. Luke’s wants to build a new mission center on the site of the school’s current playground at the corner of Hudson and Christopher Streets. “It’s an incredible ministry,” Stacey said. As for the timing of the mission’s construction, Stacey said the church can’t say exactly when, since it would depend on 100 Barrow Street being completed and the revenue from that. “We don’t have the money to build it yet,” she said of the mission. The mission would be “townhouse scale,” with a 24/ 7 drop-in center. Individuals would be able to get a change of clothes and take showers. It won’t be “a homeless shelter,” Stacey said, though the church is allowed under regulations to do an eight-to-10-bed facility. In the future, the mission building could be “repurposed” to meet whatever the community’s needs may be — perhaps serving seniors, for example — Stacey pointed out.

OBITUARIES CARL GOODMAN, ACT UP CO-FOUNDER, DEAD AT 58 ACT UP veteran and co-founder Carl Goodman has died at 58, jumping from the Mount Hope Bridge in Bristol, Rhode Island on January 5. He is survived by his husband, Mario Cavero. Goodman’s friend Michael Petrelis, an AIDS activist who now lives in San Francisco, said he was with Goodman in March 1987 at the famous talk by Larry Kramer at New York’s LGBT Community Center that led to the founding of ACT UP. Goodman, he said, was part of many of the group’s early actions as well as a member of the Treatment + Data Committee. Portland, Oregon activist Wayne Harris told the Providence Journal that he met Goodman in 1988 when Carl was the office manager of the campaign to fight an anti-gay ballot initiative there. “Gregarious, positive, outgoing, generous” was how Harris described him –– and the way this reporter remembers him from his New York days. Goodman fought unsuccessfully with the editor of the Portland Orego-

nian to do stories on the state department of health’s promotion of condom use to fight HIV transmission. Goodman confronted Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton when he was running for president in 1992, demanding that he denounce his state’s anti-sodomy law, which he persuaded Clinton to do in their encounter in Little Rock. “The national leadership thought those kinds of pressure tactics were inappropriate,” Harris told the Providence Journal. “Carl ignored them.” Professionally, Goodman was a paralegal and consultant who did business development and training for lawyers. While he lived in New York for many years, he was hounded from his rent-stabilized apartment along with other tenants there by a landlord invoking a law that allowed him to take over the spaces for his own use. –– Andy Humm

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WALDORF ASTORIA NY For more information on the Gala, visit At the HRC Greater NY site, you can purchase tickets, donate an auction item, buy a program book ad, become a volunteer, or become a corporate sponsor.


| January 22, 2014


BASSETT, from p.6

PrEP was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2012. While PEP is broadly accepted, though not necessarily well-known, PrEP is controversial. PrEP substantially reduces the risk of becoming infected, but only when the drug is taken consistently. Every PrEP study has found that adherence among participants was poor. Bassett understood this. “The problem with drugs is you have to take them,” she said after the press conference. “I know the evidence is good. I just have questions about relying on drugs.” AIDS groups were heartened by Bassett’s comments. “If those are her off-the-cuff remarks at a press conference, that’s pretty well informed,” Tietz said. “I’m relieved. I think that’s a great start and we look forward to an early meeting with HIV advocates and the community.” In other comments, Bassett and de Blasio talked about addressing the health impact of poverty. “If she really does understand the social determinants of health and is committed to working with the community before making sweeping changes in public health policy, we strongly endorse her,”


30 PERCENT, from p.6

director Nathan Schaefer, Bravo’s Andy Cohen, singer and actor Alan Cumming, playwright and actor Harvey Fierstein, playwright Terrence McNally, and actor and prominent de Blasio supporter Cynthia Nixon. Now that Cuomo has passed up the chance to tackle the rent cap in his budget address, advocates are focused on three possibilities going forward. The first is the chance that the administration might yet incorporate funding into its 21-day budget amendments, a procedure typically used to make technical corrections to the governor’s initial outline. Hoylman pointed out that Cuomo’s January 21 address did not take account of the $81 million now available to the administration as part of the first phase of J.P. Morgan’s mortgage bond settlement with New York State. The settlement money is intended to address state housing needs, the senator noted. Failing that, advocates will focus efforts between now and the end of June on pressing for legislative approval of the Hoylman-Rodriguez bill. Sean Barry, VOCAL-NY’s executive director, pointed out that a lopsided majority of the current State Senate has at some point in the past voted in favor of rent cap legislation. Though Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican, voted against the measure in 2012 and did not allow a vote last year, Democrat

said Gina Quattrochi, the chief executive officer of Bailey House, an AIDS housing group. “We’re happy that the mayor has chosen someone who understands the value of community input.” Charles King, the president of Housing Works, said the comments were welcome, but noted that AIDS was not discussed until a reporter asked about it. “Certainly, I was impressed with some of the things that were said at the press conference,” he said. “I did note that HIV/ AIDS was not specifically mentioned. Given that New York is the epicenter, I think we need to do some education.” Harlem United issued a written statement in response to Gay City News’ request for comment. “Harlem United is very much looking forward to working with the new Commissioner to (continue to) strategically and thoughtfully add pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to the city’s HIV prevention toolkit, especially for young MSM [men who have sex with men], women and communities of color who are bearing so much of the epidemic,” the group said. “It’s our hope that she will provide support for, and draw on, the expertise of our community health institutions not just to help create a demand for PrEP, but to ensure access and adherence.”

Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans as part the four-member Independent Democratic Conference, “has shown a strong interest in this,” Barry said. Two critical factors Barry cited in voicing optimism about legislative action this year are the fact that New York now has a mayor, Bill de Blasio, who supports the concept and the possibility that Cuomo could also endorse the measure. Hoylman said, “The mayor has certainly made his opinion known to me and to other legislators,” and Barry emphasized, “We feel like we’re having productive conversations with the Cuomo administration.” One other avenue that both Hoylman and Barry said could provide relief on the rent cap issue is the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), a state unit responsible for finding efficiencies in the state’s mammoth Medicaid system. “It’s clear that this administration understands that AIDS housing is a health issue,” Barry said. How an MR T solution might be structured, however, is less clear, since the unit is tasked primarily with finding savings in direct healthcare costs. The beauty of enacting a rent cap legislatively, Barry explained, is that the cost expenditures of subsidizing rents to cap them at 30 percent of income come from the same pot of money where the offsetting reductions in rental arrears and emergency housing costs would be realized.

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What is STRIBILD? STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. It combines 4 medicines into 1 pill to be taken once a day with food. STRIBILD is a complete single-tablet regimen and should not be used with other HIV-1 medicines. STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. To control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses you must keep taking STRIBILD. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to reduce the risk of passing HIV-1 to others. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD? STRIBILD can cause serious side effects: • Build-up of an acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include feeling very weak or tired, unusual (not normal) muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, feeling cold especially in your arms and legs, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or a fast or irregular heartbeat. • Serious liver problems. The liver may become large (hepatomegaly) and fatty (steatosis). Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice), dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach pain. • You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking STRIBILD for a long time. In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions.

10043_pgiqdp_GayCityNews_Winston_lo1.indd 1-2

• Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you also have HBV and stop taking STRIBILD, your hepatitis may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking STRIBILD without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health. STRIBILD is not approved for the treatment of HBV. Who should not take STRIBILD? Do not take STRIBILD if you: • Take a medicine that contains: alfuzosin, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, methylergonovine, cisapride, lovastatin, simvastatin, pimozide, sildenafil when used for lung problems (Revatio®), triazolam, oral midazolam, rifampin or the herb St. John’s wort. • For a list of brand names for these medicines, please see the Brief Summary on the following pages. • Take any other medicines to treat HIV-1 infection, or the medicine adefovir (Hepsera®). What are the other possible side effects of STRIBILD? Serious side effects of STRIBILD may also include: • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do regular blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with STRIBILD. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking STRIBILD. • Bone problems, including bone pain or bones getting soft or thin, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. • Changes in body fat can happen in people taking HIV-1 medicines. • Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking STRIBILD. The most common side effects of STRIBILD include nausea and diarrhea. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking STRIBILD? • All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection. • All the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. STRIBILD may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how STRIBILD works. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. Do not start any new medicines while taking STRIBILD without first talking with your healthcare provider. • If you take hormone-based birth control (pills, patches, rings, shots, etc). • If you take antacids. Take antacids at least 2 hours before or after you take STRIBILD. • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if STRIBILD can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking STRIBILD.


| January 22, 2014

STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used as a complete single-tablet regimen to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.

I started my personal revolution Talk to your healthcare provider about starting treatment. STRIBILD is a complete HIV-1 treatment in 1 pill, once a day.

Ask if it’s right for you.

• If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk. Also, some medicines in STRIBILD can pass into breast milk, and it is not known if this can harm the baby. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Brief Summary of full Prescribing Information with important warnings on the following pages.

2/28/13 3:27 PM


January 22, 2014 |

Patient Information STRIBILDTM (STRY-bild) (elvitegravir 150 mg/cobicistat 150 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg) tablets Brief summary of full Prescribing Information. For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information. What is STRIBILD? • STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. STRIBILD is a complete regimen and should not be used with other HIV-1 medicines. • STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. You must stay on continuous HIV-1 therapy to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. • Ask your healthcare provider about how to prevent passing HIV-1 to others. Do not share or reuse needles, injection equipment, or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them. Do not have sex without protection. Always practice safer sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood.

• Do not stop taking STRIBILD without first talking to your healthcare provider • If you stop taking STRIBILD, your healthcare provider will need to check your health often and do blood tests regularly for several months to check your HBV infection. Tell your healthcare provider about any new or unusual symptoms you may have after you stop taking STRIBILD Who should not take STRIBILD? Do not take STRIBILD if you also take a medicine that contains: • adefovir (Hepsera®) • alfuzosin hydrochloride (Uroxatral®) • cisapride (Propulsid®, Propulsid Quicksolv®) • ergot-containing medicines, including: dihydroergotamine mesylate (D.H.E. 45®, Migranal®), ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot®, Migergot®, Ergostat®, Medihaler Ergotamine®, Wigraine®, Wigrettes®), and methylergonovine maleate (Ergotrate®, Methergine®) • lovastatin (Advicor®, Altoprev®, Mevacor®) • oral midazolam

What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD?

• pimozide (Orap®)

STRIBILD can cause serious side effects, including: 1. Build-up of lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis). Lactic acidosis can happen in some people who take STRIBILD or similar (nucleoside analogs) medicines. Lactic acidosis is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Lactic acidosis can be hard to identify early, because the symptoms could seem like symptoms of other health problems. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms which could be signs of lactic acidosis: • feel very weak or tired • have unusual (not normal) muscle pain • have trouble breathing • have stomach pain with nausea or vomiting • feel cold, especially in your arms and legs • feel dizzy or lightheaded • have a fast or irregular heartbeat 2. Severe liver problems. Severe liver problems can happen in people who take STRIBILD. In some cases, these liver problems can lead to death. Your liver may become large (hepatomegaly) and you may develop fat in your liver (steatosis). Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms of liver problems: • your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice) • dark “tea-colored” urine • light-colored bowel movements (stools) • loss of appetite for several days or longer • nausea • stomach pain You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking STRIBILD for a long time. 3. Worsening of Hepatitis B infection. If you have hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and take STRIBILD, your HBV may get worse (flare-up) if you stop taking STRIBILD. A “flare-up” is when your HBV infection suddenly returns in a worse way than before. • Do not run out of STRIBILD. Refill your prescription or talk to your healthcare provider before your STRIBILD is all gone

• sildenafil (Revatio®), when used for treating lung problems

10043_pgiqdp_GayCityNews_Winston_lo1.indd 3-4

• rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®, Rimactane®) • simvastatin (Simcor®, Vytorin®, Zocor®) • triazolam (Halcion®) • the herb St. John’s wort Do not take STRIBILD if you also take any other HIV-1 medicines, including: • Other medicines that contain tenofovir (Atripla®, Complera®, Viread®, Truvada®) • Other medicines that contain emtricitabine, lamivudine, or ritonavir (Combivir®, Emtriva®, Epivir® or Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Kaletra®, Norvir®, Trizivir®) STRIBILD is not for use in people who are less than 18 years old. What are the possible side effects of STRIBILD? STRIBILD may cause the following serious side effects: • See “What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD?” • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before you start and while you are taking STRIBILD. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking STRIBILD if you develop new or worse kidney problems. • Bone problems can happen in some people who take STRIBILD. Bone problems include bone pain, softening or thinning (which may lead to fractures). Your healthcare provider may need to do tests to check your bones. • Changes in body fat can happen in people who take HIV-1 medicine. These changes may include increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), breast, and around the middle of your body (trunk). Loss of fat from the legs, arms and face may also happen. The exact cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known. • Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV-1 medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you start having any new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine.


| January 22, 2014

The most common side effects of STRIBILD include: • Nausea • Diarrhea Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. • These are not all the possible side effects of STRIBILD. For more information, ask your healthcare provider. • Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking STRIBILD? Tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including: • If you have or had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis B infection • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if STRIBILD can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking STRIBILD. – There is a pregnancy registry for women who take antiviral medicines during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk with your healthcare provider about how you can take part in this registry. • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take STRIBILD. - You should not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. - Two of the medicines in STRIBILD can pass to your baby in your breast milk. It is not known if the other medicines in STRIBILD can pass into your breast milk. - Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements: • STRIBILD may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how STRIBILD works. • Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following medicines: - Hormone-based birth control (pills, patches, rings, shots, etc) - Antacid medicines that contains aluminum, magnesium hydroxide, or calcium carbonate. Take antacids at least 2 hours before or after you take STRIBILD - Medicines to treat depression, organ transplant rejection, or high blood pressure - amiodarone (Cordarone®, Pacerone®) - atorvastatin (Lipitor®, Caduet®) - bepridil hydrochloric (Vascor®, Bepadin®) - bosentan (Tracleer®) - buspirone - carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Tegreto®) - clarithromycin (Biaxin®, Prevpac®) - clonazepam (Klonopin®) - clorazepate (Gen-xene®, Tranxene®) - colchicine (Colcrys®) - medicines that contain dexamethasone - diazepam (Valium®)

- digoxin (Lanoxin®) - disopyramide (Norpace®) - estazolam - ethosuximide (Zarontin®) - flecainide (Tambocor®) - flurazepam - fluticasone (Flovent®, Flonase®, Flovent® Diskus, Flovent® HFA, Veramyst®) - itraconazole (Sporanox®) - ketoconazole (Nizoral®) - lidocaine (Xylocaine®) - mexiletine - oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®) - perphenazine - phenobarbital (Luminal®) - phenytoin (Dilantin®, Phenytek®) - propafenone (Rythmol®) - quinidine (Neudexta®) - rifabutin (Mycobutin®) - rifapentine (Priftin®) - risperidone (Risperdal®, Risperdal Consta®) - salmeterol (Serevent®) or salmeterol when taken in combination with fluticasone (Advair Diskus®, Advair HFA®) - sildenafil (Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®) or vardenafil (Levitra®, Staxyn®), for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). If you get dizzy or faint (low blood pressure), have vision changes or have an erection that last longer than 4 hours, call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away. - tadalafil (Adcirca®), for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension - telithromycin (Ketek®) - thioridazine - voriconazole (Vfend®) - warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®) - zolpidem (Ambien®, Edlular®, Intermezzo®, Zolpimist®) Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. Do not start any new medicines while you are taking STRIBILD without first talking with your healthcare provider. Keep STRIBILD and all medicines out of reach of children. This Brief Summary summarizes the most important information about STRIBILD. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can also ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about STRIBILD that is written for health professionals, or call 1-800-445-3235 or go to Issued: August 2012

COMPLERA, EMTRIVA, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, GSI, HEPSERA, STRIBILD, the STRIBILD Logo, TRUVADA, and VIREAD are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. ATRIPLA is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb & Gilead Sciences, LLC. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. © 2013 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. QC14559 02/13

2/28/13 3:27 PM


January 22, 2014 |


Style Is Substance

Two highly stylized productions deliver thrilling theatrics


nger, even rage, is at the heart of some comedy, and few playwrights create work that embodies that mixture better than did Joe Orton, the British bad boy who died brutally at his lover’s hand at age 34. His rages against authority — notably the law and the Catholic Church — are at the heart of his classic black farce “Loot.”

LOOT Red Bull Theater at the Lucille Lortel 121 Christopher St. btwn. Bleecker & Bedford Sts. Through Feb. 9 Tue.-Wed. at 7:30 pm. Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. $20-$95; Or 866-811-4111 Running time: two hrs. 10 min.; one intermission

Hal and Dennis have r obbed a bank by breaking through the wall from the funeral parlor where Dennis works. They return to Hal’s home to

hide their haul and conclude that the perfect place to do so is in the coffin where Hal’s recently deceased mother is laid out. But there isn’t room for both the body and the cash in the coffin, and so begins a madcap romp in which Hal and Dennis and their newfound accomplice Fay, the dead woman’s nurse, play games with the corpse and the money as they try to keep the bumbling Inspector Truscott off their trail. In the end, everyone is shown as corrupt and the innocent end up the accused. Wr i t t e n w i t h b i t t e r, m e r c i l e s s wit, the play, for all its dark subject matter, is consistently hilarious, even as it intends to be offensive. The new production of the play mounted by Red Bull Theater couches the inherent horror of the situation in stylized performances that underscore the satire and create a very specific theatricality. While Orton insisted that what he wrote was “truth,” he delivers it in a way that is blatantly abstract. The craven plotting by Fay to marry the


LOOT, continued on p.30



Ryan Garbayo and Nick Westrate in Joe Orton’s “Loot” at the Lucille Lortel through February 9.

King Leer

An earthy take on Shakespeare’s tragedy by Langella & Co. BY ANDY HUMM

KING LEAR BAM’s Harvey Theater 651 Fulton St. at Ashland Pl. Through Feb. 9 Tue.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m. Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $25-125; or 718-636-4100 Running time: three hours; one intermission

Gloucester (Denis Conway), tells Kent (Steven Pacey) about how his out-ofwedlock son came to be, the fun of fucking comes through: “Though this knave came something saucily into the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making.” This being a tragedy, the payback for such pleasure is brutal for all concerned. Langella is a fine actor and has perfected both the regal bearing and titanic anger essential to carry Lear through most of the play. His foolish revenge on his truly devoted daughter, sweet Cordelia (Isabella Laughland), put me in mind of the thuggish ravings



ing Lear” is a great but hard, hard play. And this import fr om the Chichester Festival Theatre in Britain at BAM, starring Frank Langella and directed by Angus Jackson, literally reaches for hardness –– with multiple characters, including Lear, grabbing either their own crotches or those of others. It’s not meant to be sexy, but a comment on the rise and fall of potency that dominate the play –– whether potency as a lover or ruler. If you’ve not seen “Lear” on stage before, please understand that I am not damning with faint praise by saying that this is a creditable, serviceable rendition of the play by more than able Shakespeareans who deliver the poetry ably and lucidly — always more than half the battle in a good Shakespeare. Especially delicious are the villains here: Catherine McCormack as Goneril, Lauren O’Neil as Regan, and Max Bennett as the bastard Edmund. When Edmund’s ill-fated father,

Frank Langella and Lauren O’Neil in Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” directed by Angus Jackson, at BAM through February 9.

of Chris Christie, another revenge-bent executive with more than one tragic flaw. Less strong is Langella’s voice. While it is deep and resonant, his loud growling sometimes swallows the poetry to the detriment of the play. The rest of the company is very wellspoken. While “Lear” is filled with many potentially heart-wrenching scenes, it is

not until its quieter, final ones that I felt moved by this production as Lear drags dead Cordelia center stage, touching her tenderly and dying upon her. Less can be more with “Lear.” My favorite was Derek Jacobi, who did it at BAM in May of 2011, enhanced by director Michael Grandage’s unique take on the stor m scene, almost silencing the tempest so that Lear could whisper his speech that famously be gins , “Blo w, winds, and c rack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!” Langella takes a more traditional approach, bellowing amidst an impressive piece of stagecraft — a downpour in the middle of the Harvey Theater stage. Sebastian Armesto is a pathetic e n o u g h E d g a r, d e s c e n d i n g i n t o his half-naked Poor Tom state and resurrected as a steely swordsman against his traitorous half-brother Edmund in the end. Harry Melling is an unusually young and appropriately playful Fool. And Chu Omambala is a stately Albany, one of the few characters we are able to root for — the adult in a court full of selfdestructive players.


| January 22, 2014

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MCTKW-9152 Gay City News • January 22, 2014







January 22, 2014 |


When Full Frontal Is Demanded

Filmmakers talk about their decision to strip down in their own work


n his three appearances on screen in “Stranger by the Lake,” director Alain Guiraudie is seen lying balls-out naked on the beach. He displays his nudity casually, not unlike his film’s other characters. Here, art was imitating life. Guiraudie was familiar with the cruising spot and nude beaches depicted in “Stranger by the Lake.” Some viewers might be surprised to see a director daring to bare all of himself for his art, but while filmmakers are often thought of as voyeurs, Guiraudie is not the only one who is an exhibitionist as well. Several directors have appeared nude in their own films, at times explaining they don’t want to ask their actors to do anything they would not do themselves. Other times, it seems more a a matter of simply being comfortable in their own skin. Both factors appear to be at play in the case of out gay filmmaker Todd Ver ow, who has appear ed in the altogether in a number of the films he’s




Director Alain Guiraudie in his “Stranger by the Lake.”

Sean Paul Lockhart, shirtless, with co-star Jack Brockett, in his 2013 film “Triple Crossed.”

written, directed, and acted in, including “Anonymous,” “Deleted Scenes,” and “Leave Blank.” “I don’t think any of the nudity in any of my films is gratuitous,” he said in a recent phone interview. “It serves some kind of purpose. When I do nudity, it’s not because I want to be naked. The film requires nudity. If I’m playing a part, I

need to do it.” In his 2013 feature “Tumbledown,” he tops in an extended and provocative sex sequence. “I enjoy doing nudity and the process of doing it,” Verow continued. “People are so uptight about it, but there is something so liberating about being naked for people to see it and do what they want with it. I find it liberating to be naked and having sex on camera. Once you’ve done it a few times, it’s no big deal.” Sean Paul Lockhart, aka adult film star Brent Corrigan, appeared frontally nude in “Truth” out earlier this month. He made his directorial debut last year with the engaging dramatic thriller, “Triple Crossed.” The film features several penises in a shower sequence. The actor and filmmaker briefly exposed his cock during a sex scene in the film. “I showed my dick because, like all of the nudity I do in my mainstream films, it was motivated by real-life instances in the screenplay — after a shower, during a love scene, or jumping out of bed in




the morning,” Lockhart explained via a text message. “Mostly, I’m just not afraid of my body and all corners of it. I also have a great fear that my fans may come to feel that I’ve developed a ‘holier than thou’ attitude about my non-adult media. Showing a bit of skin here and there is somewhat of a nod to the fact that I have nothing to hide.” Appearing nude in one’s own film is not limited to gay filmmakers. Eric Schaef fer, the straight writer and director of “Boy Meets Girl” — a comingof-age love triangle about a young trans girl forthcoming later this year — showed his penis several times in his 1997 feature “Fall.” In this intense romantic drama, which he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in, his character, Michael Shiver, was even pegged by his female co-star (Amanda de Cadenet). “I was exploring sexuality that went beyond the traditional boundaries for the heterosexual male,” he explained in a Skype interview. “I thought it was


FULL FRONTAL, continued on p.27



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Todd Verow tops Brad Hallowell in his 2013 feature “Tumbledown.”


| January 22, 2014


Ways of Seeing

An erotic thriller suggests what is seductive can another time be disturbing BY GARY M. KRAMER



tranger by the Lake,” written and directed by Alain Guiraudie, depicts a love triangle that develops at a lakeside cruising area. Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) befriends newcomer Henri (Patrick d’Assumçao), but he lusts after Michel (Christophe Paou). Even though Franck spies Michel drowning his boyfriend, Ramière (François-Renaud Labarthe), he can’t resist coupling up with the murdering hunk. He even joins Michel in lying to Inspector Damroder (Jérômre Chappatte), who is investigating Ramière’s death.


However, once their affair begins, Franck becomes frustrated that his relationship with Michel is limited to their lakeside assignations. This seductive erotic thriller — shot in a series of hypnotic, repetitive sequences — plays with issues of attraction and voyeurism, as well as trust and truth, as the characters strip down on the beach, swim naked in the lake, and stroke and sometimes suck each other off in the woods. Director Alain Guiraudie's film is incredibly atmospheric and uninhibited in its sexual content. Viewers will be breathing heavily


FULL FRONTAL, from p.26

super hot to have a really sexy woman control my character by taking him with a strap-on.” About his decision to appear in full frontal nudity, he said, “Women's bodies are splashed across the screen in such abundance but God forbid we catch even a glimpse of the evil penis! You can count on one hand the dicks you've seen in mainstream cinema. So I do feel, when it serves the story and is shot artistically, that showing the dick is very important to breaking down the negative ideas American society has around it and the men who have them and would show them.” Another straight director and actor, Jean-Marc Barr, who has long been a

Christophe Paou and Pierre Deladonchamps in Alain Guiraudie’s “Stranger by the Lake.”

during both the erotic trysts and the tense and violent final reel. In an interview after a screening of the film at the New York Film Festival, Guiraudie spoke with the assistance of a translator to Gay City News about creating “Stranger by the Lake.” GARY M. KRAMER: Your entire film is shot on a nude beach, in the water, and in the woods. The all-male cast appears more frequently than not sans clothes. Can you discuss what you spent on costumes and locations? ALAIN GUIRAUDIE: [Laughs, answers in English]. The beach was free. The costumes were 1,500 Euros. Expensive! GMK: Your film is very much about voyeurism and the male gaze. The men on the beach look at us, the viewers.

gay icon, has appeared in full frontal in several films (hopefully, the cock clip in his forthcoming “Nymphomaniac” will make the cut in the U.S. release), but also held back on doing so on one occasion. He deliberately kept it in his pants for “Too Much Flesh,” a film he co-directed with Pascal Arnold in 2000 about a man (Barr) whose wife (Rosanna Arquette) thinks his organ is too large and therefore is deformed. Barr, who walks naked through a cornfield, masturbates, and has several erotic encounters in the film deliberately denied viewers a cock shot. “I couldn’t defend the character!,” he said in an interview, before explaining that it would defeat the film’s purpose to showcase his penis. Viewers were better served, he said, by simply imagining it.

There is a scene in which Franck spies a murder. There are also the men in the woods looking at other guys having sex. Can you talk about this visual theme? AG: The theme of voyeurism wasn’t really something that was predominant for m e. I thi nk w hat I was mo r e interested in was about how to look and how things look. One of the questions I was interested in answering was, “How do you show naked men on the beach? How do you film them when you are opposite them?” So it was really more a question of how to show things and how people saw things than voyeurism itself. Going back to the example of shooting naked men on the beach, when you are looking directly at them, if they have their legs spread out, their sexual organs are going to appear large in the image. So I thought I could move the

camera slightly off to the side, but in the end, we decided it was better to do it in this very frontal way. GMK: Why was that? AG: Because that's how it is! I did it that way because I've gone to these kinds of nude beaches. That’s the way it is — you look directly at them and that’s what you see. This is really a film where nothing is hidden. There were some things needed to be hidden, but nothing about the body needs to be hidden. The other thing I was interested in doing — and I don’t know if it is linked to voyeurism — was addressing the whole question of point of view and how do we look at things. How are the ways we look at things received by the object that we


STRANGER, continued on p.28


Directed by Alain Guiraudie Strand Releasing Opens Jan. 24 Angelika Film Center 18 W. Houston St. at Mercer St. Film Society Lincoln Center 144 W. 65th St.

Jean-Marc Barr masturbates in a cornfield in his 2000 film “Too Much Flesh.”


January 22, 2014 |


The Safest Part of Your Journey

In “Charlie Victor Romeo,” the terror is not in the special effects BY STEVE ERICKSON


CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO Directed by Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, and Karlyn Michelson Collective Unconscious/ 3-Legged Dog Opens Jan. 29 Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St.

As Brendan I. Koerner’s book “The Skies Belong To Us” reminded us recently, the ‘70s were a period when flight seemed newly dangerous. While the writers of “Charlie Victor Romeo” couldn’t have foreseen 9/ 11, the film version now plays to an audience that’s probably seen images of planes crashing into the World Trade Center dozens of times. The writing of disaster is quite different in 2014 than it was in 1999. “Charlie Victor Romeo” has no real narrative, but it contains six scenes depicting the moments just before plane crashes. All show a pilot and co-pilot –– and, sometimes, flight attendants and other crew members –– doing their best


STRANGER, from p.27

are looking at? What I also thought was interesting was to play with the idea that you can oftentimes have the same look. One day that look is from one point of view and it can seem very benevolent, very inviting, and very loving. But the next day, you can be looking at the same image or view, and suddenly, it can seem very disturbing, very threatening, and even very oppressive. GMK: You deliberately show Michel drowning his boyfriend in the water through the trees. Why did you make this murder unambiguous? AG: I wanted the viewer to know exactly the same information that Franck knew. I wanted the audience to be with him, and I didn’t want viewers to get involved on a psychological level with


he play “Charlie Victor Romeo,” which is based on cockpit recorders from plane crashes, premiered in New York two years before 9/ 11. Directors Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, and Karlyn Michelson have now adapted it into a 3D film. For all its one-set minimalism, I can’t help thinking that some of its cultural DNA goes back to 1970s disaster movies, so well parodied in “Airplane!” Patrick Daniels and Irving Gregory in “Charlie Victor Romeo,” based on the 1999 play.

to save the plane. The filmmakers made no attempt to open up the play, but they do offer intertitles with information about the design of the plane and how many people survived (or died in) the crash. Unfortunately, the use of 3D never transcends gimmickry, although it’s not as dim and ugly as the worst recent Hollywood examples. Even so, “Charlie Victor Romeo” doesn’t approach the disorientation of Alfonoso Cuaron’s “Gravity.” Nor does it come close to the eerie expansions of space in Henry Selick’s animated “Coraline.” The main effect of 3D here comes in isolating actors’ faces in close-ups. Pushed away from the background, they seem to float –– a somewhat surreal effect –– but one wonders if that’s what the filmmakers were aiming to achieve. “Charlie Victor Romeo” is an unclassifiable hybrid. After premiering

at Sundance last year, it’s played documentary festivals as well as a sidebar of the 2013 New York Film Festival. It qualifies as a documentary because it was filmed during four 2012 performances of the play and edited down from there. As a result, the film is strikingly sparing in its choice of camera angles. It’s limited entirely to close-ups and medium shots, the latter usually depicting two or three people in the frame. These shots are taken from the same few angles, probably because the camera couldn’t easily be moved around. The film was shot on a single claustrophobic set representing an airplane cockpit. No attempt is made to dress up the set to change the look of each plane; the same fire extinguisher and clipboard hang in the background of every scene. Occasionally, we see extreme close-ups of the mouths of air traffic controllers speaking into

Franck trying to determine should he tell the police or should he not tell the police? I didn’t want it to be a psychological film in that respect, so it was really obvious for me to let the audience know. The main thrust of the plot is here is Franck being caught between his desires and the ethical and moral questions — should I turn this guy into the police because he just killed someone?

relationship between Franck and Henri. Again, it’s a relationship that’s more disturbing. It’s less clear what it is about. It’s certainly friendship, but you can also say that it’s a love relationship between Franck and Henri, too. The way I deal with desire in the film is this idea of the spiral quality of desire — this circular movement that goes between Franck and Michel and Franck and Henri. The way they all interact with each other — the circular motion — really became evident during the editing process.

GMK: Can you talk about the love triangle among Henri, Franck, and Michel? AG: I think what is very interesting is that it posits two very different approaches to what is love and what is desire. On the one hand, you have the relationship between Franck and Michel, and it’s something very sexual and the desire is all-consuming and that is the primary aspect of that relationship. But then you have the

GMK: How did you work with your actors? AG: I think a large part of the work was actually done during the casting process. What was important there was to find two actors that would work together well as a couple. When they actually did come together, a lot of that work had been done

microphones. “ C h a r l i e Vi c t o r R o m e o ” a v o i d s depicting the plane crashes through visual means. Given its limited budget, this was no doubt a practical decision, but it may also have been a refusal of spectacle. However, the filmmakers found an equally effective way of suggesting what it’s like to be in a plane crash: sound design. Jamie Mereness deserves a great deal of credit for his work on the film’s assortment of electronic beeps, which range from the ominously subtle to loud blasts of white noise signaling imminent disaster. There’s no cynicism in “Charlie Victor Romeo.” No wonder it’s been embraced by the aviation industry and even the Pentagon. It’s a celebration of allAmerican heroism (speaking broadly –– two of the plane crashes depicted took place in Peru and Japan). The film it most evokes is Paul Greengrass’ wrenching “United 93.” Working in 2D, Greengrass made a film with cinematography and editing so jarring that it made some spectators physically ill. I suspect he was trying to make the audience feel in their gut some small portion of what the passengers on United 93 went through. In comparison, “Charlie Victor Romeo” is an easier ride –– at least some of the crew and passengers depicted her e survived. All the same, the filmmakers do get at something really terrifying, particularly in their second scene –– the moment when small talk segues into a realization that one might not survive the day. Gimmicky 3D or not, that’s no small feat.

in advance by casting them. We would then take the script and discuss the scenes. With the sex scenes, there was much more intense discussion. GMK: What can you say about filming the explicit sex scenes? AG: We had a lot of discussions and did a lot of rehearsing. It was really exploring where I could take them and how far the actors were willing to go. I wanted the actors to invest something of themselves in the characters they were portraying. I didn’t want to stuff them into a pre-designed mold of who or what these characters were going to be. Through the rehearsal process and in talking to them about the sex scenes in particular, we worked on the positions and the choreography as it were. Because we did so much preliminary work, when the time actually came to shoot it, it went very, very easily.

| January 22, 2014



The Hapless Accessory

When high school is a place where everyone wants a piece of your gay




urning the drama of coming out into high comedy, “G.B.F.” is a brightly colored, high-energy romp. Tanner (Michael J. Willett, adorable) is a high school senior inadvertently outed. Rather than becoming a social pariah, he is wooed by the school’s three teen queens who want him as their “sexless accessory,” even though he wants to maintain a low profile. His newfound status as the Gay Best Friend happens at the same time he has a fight with his BFF, Brent (Paul Iacono). Bigger problems occur when Tanner is denied the right to take a dude as his date to his prom. Hijinks ensue when Tanner gets involved with an alternative prom and Brent butches it up to put an end to Tanner’s popularity.


Director Darren Stein ably provides the laughs as the characters each get their share of smart and funny jokes. “G.B.F.” is full of teen-speak, pop culture references, and queer/ bitchy flamboyance. The film’s costumes are fierce, but the most fabulous part of “G.B.F.” is how the film spins some stereotypes on their heads — but also shrewdly equates being in the closet with being in high school. Gay City News chatted with Stein about making his feel-good film. GARY M. KRAMER: In high school, were you more like Tanner, Brent, or the clique queens? DARREN STEIN: [Laughs.] In high school, I was an outsider. I was a combination of Tanner, Brent, and a clique queen. I had a bit of Brent’s queeniness, Tanner’s introverted qualities, and the aspirations of a clique queen [laughs]. I went to an all-boys school. It was a harder experience if, like me, you didn’t fly under the radar and play sports and blend in. I escaped through movies. The teen movies of John Hughes presented a high school experience that could have happened — a fantasy world I preferred. GMK: What similarities do you see between being in high school and being in the closet? DS: That’s one of the big themes in the movie. Everyone is in the closet in high school about their insecurity. By exploring the gay closet, we use it as a metaphor for every closet — the science nerd’s, the Mormon slut’s, or the kinky girl’s. You live in fear in high school. Everything seems so insurmountable. Once you get out, you can make your own decisions. GMK: The film turns stereotypes on their heads, from Tanner’s coming out being celebrated to queeny Brent butching it up in one sequence. DS: Paul came out two years ago, so it was fun for him to play Brent, who was closer to his truth — especially after he played straight boy on MTV’s “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.” You have to skewer every

Michael J. Willett and Sasha Pieterse in Darren Stein's "G.B.F."

stereotype to make it universal. We want teenagers to see “G.B.F.” It is a gateway movie — one where being gay is not an issue. GMK: Tanner fights to go to his prom. Did you go to your prom? DS: I went with this cherubic redheaded girl who flew in from Gainesville, Florida. It was me and a fellow closeted gay kid and his equally clueless date. My mom did my date's turquoise eye shadow to go with her frilly dress. The evening was pretty much as tragic as the make-up. I really don't know why I bothered going, but I guess in high school you want to affect some semblance of fitting in. GMK: What can you say about all the teen-speak and pop culture references in the film? DS: That was the char m of the script. The language was current and funny and out there and absurd. It was like “Heathers” and “Clueless,” where they invent language and words and those terms sink into pop culture. We live in a culture where kids text and tweet, so we riffed on acronyms throughout “G.B.F.” Language is metamorphosisizing. GMK: “G.B.F.” also looks fabulous, with bright colors and flamboyant costumes. How did you create the film’s look? DS: “G.B.F.” was similar to “Jawbreaker” [Stein’s last feature] in that it’s contemporary, but you don’t have to give it a time or place. You create a style that goes with the language. I like movies where you are immersed in a world or on another planet. Teen films are a great place to explore fashion. Our fashion designer was from “Project Runway.” She really brought a massive amount of style to the film. The characters had to wear the most outrageous fashions because we were skewering trends, such as a GBF being the must-have accessory. “G.B.F.” star Paul Iacono appears in conversation following the 6:45 p.m. screenings on January 24 and 25.


Directed by Darren Stein Vertical Entertainment Opens Jan. 24 Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St.

“G.B.F.” director Darren Stein.


January 22, 2014 |


The Boys in the Sand

When a motley bunch of guests invade a summer beach house, sparks fly




f Terrence McNally (“Love! Valour! Compassion!”) and Mart Crowley (“The Boys in the Band”) collaborated on a play and then Christopher Durang (“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”) was brought in to doctor the dialogue, the result might be something like “I Could Say More,” the glorious mess of a bitchygays-at-a-beach-house drama now playing at the Hudson Guild Theatre.

I COULD SAY MORE Other Side Productions Hudson Guild Theatre 441 W. 26th St. Running time two hours Through Feb. 1 Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 7 p.m. $18; Or 212-352-3101

Yet the driving force behind this elaborate endeavor is no big-name dramatist. It’s the talented, slightly insane Chuck Blasius, who wrote and directed. He also plays Carl, the motherhen host of the summer rental. By a few minutes into the new drama, set mainly on a July weekend presumably in the Hamptons, the house fills with an unlikely assortment of rowdy, needy guests with boatloads of festering emotional baggage, and it’s clear Carl has bitten off more than he can chew. The same might be said for Blasius, as well. The triple-duty dynamo has assembled a skilled ensemble for this post-gay dark comedy of manners (or lack thereof). And it’s a good thing, too, because the actors must not only convey authenticity but also add a sheen of likability to these sorry wretches. Not all


LOOT, from p.24

three-days-widowed Mr. McLeavy and the transparent bumbling of Inspector Truscott are more like Monty Python routines than naturalism, but, of course, that’s why they’re so effective in putting across Orton’s cold view of people and institutions. Under the direction of Jesse Berger, the farce runs at a fever pitch, and fine performances by Nick Westrate as Hal, Rebecca Brooksher as Fay, Rocco Sisto as Truscott, R yan Garbayo as Dennis, and especially Jarlath Conroy as McLeavy make this production a wicked pleasure indeed.

“Machinal” is an archaic word that means “of or pertaining

Frank Delessio, Brandon Smalls, Keith McDermott, and Robert Gomes in Chuck Blasius’ “I Could Say More.”

of them succeed. Blasius is amply convincing as the tightly wound, finger -wagging Carl, recently married to longtime partner Drew (Brett Douglas), with a mixed-race teen son named Jason (Brandon Smalls). In a surprise move, Drew’s brother Phil (an excellent Grant James Varjas) has brought not his own husband but some boy-toy (Frank Delessio), whose idea of classical music is the Beatles. References to HIV cocktails and protected sex sail way over his head. Other guests include the yogapracticing, pill-dependent Skip (the marvelous Keith McDermott, who played opposite Richard Burton in the original Broadway production of “Equus”), who represents the wise yet bitter elder gay generation. His serene wife Rakel (Monique Vukovic), who sees nothing wrong with being married to a gay man, wears a scarf to cover her baldness caused by cancer chemotherapy. The moody Lila (Kate Hodge, at moments recalling a young Sigourney Weaver) has brought her tattooed,

married lug of a boyfriend (Robert Gomes), who has trouble fitting in with a house full of gay men. Complaints, cattiness, and snappy comebacks fill the salty seaside air. At its best, the keenly observed “I Could Say More” offers insights into the volatility of interpersonal dynamics, exposing the baser aspects of human nature. Many themes underscore the post-gay mood –– HIV ignorance, surviving the AIDS crisis, open relationships, morphing queer culture, drug and alcohol abuse, the limitations of marriage, and suicide. Much of the cast, it should be noted, is drawn from “Accidentally, Like a Martyr,” a play by Varjas from a couple of years back that dealt with similar gay cultural themes. The 53-year -old Carl barks rules about smoking only outside and keeping the screen door closed, and later admits to a mad crush on Phil. That’s right, his brother-in-law. After clashing with Drew over their inheritance, Phil and his boytoy go at it with abandon in the shed

to machinery.” It’s also the title of Sophie Treadwell’s 1928 play, now getting an absolutely gripping revival a t R oundab out. T he p lay, w hi ch anguished in obscurity for decades, has recently generated renewed interest in academic theaters around the US, and its central conceit — that the human spirit is ground down by the ever -growing and pervasive influence of soulless machinery — is as relevant in today’s world driven by algorithms as it was in the late 1920s when the world was being similarly transformed by mechanization. The play is also intriguing as theatrical history, coming as it did at a time when American playwrights including Eugene O’Neill and Elmer Rice were experimenting on the

American stage with expressionism, which got its start in Europe. This production, directed with a sure and consistent hand by Lyndsey Turner, is thrilling theater from the first moments to the last. Turner has created a holistic piece that melds language, design, and sound to create a powerful and intensely emotional experience. The story, ripped from the headlines of the day, centers on a character identified as Young Woman who, feeling trapped in a dehumanizing life, marries for expediency and seems doomed to an existence as a cog in the machine. She discovers passion in the arms of a lover, but that only makes her life intolerable and leads her to murder. In time, she falls victim to the most deadly

for all to hear. Aside from offering a few fancy “snicky-snack things” that no one wants to munch on, Carl neglects to provide his guests with an actual dinner. One running joke is the constant battle for wresting control of the digital music system, the selfishness of the competition more disturbing than funny. “No show tunes!” the guests command. House rules are regularly broken; copious consumption of alcohol fuels the brutality. Yet there are glimmers of tenderness as well. The quiet scene where Rakel opens up about her breast surgery to young Jason is especially affecting. Jason, by the way, is the only character who has his act together. Unfortunately, the ambitious Blasius loses his grip on the heady material. Logic and believability are often trampled by the mayhem. Time and the evening’s events lurch forward without clear explanation. Insults are hurled for no apparent reason. Lines meant to be clever or edgy don’t always land. “Quit, or I’m gonna have to fuck you,” Drew says abruptly after the boy-toy gives him a compliment. Much has been written about the “invisible” warrior generation of gay men who watched half their friends die from AIDS and are now well into midlife, aged out of the clubs and bars, battling loneliness and depression. This is one of the few plays I have seen that dares to broach this complex subject. Perhaps the most confusing aspect of the overstuffed “I Could Say More” is the title, borrowed from a line of dialogue. Over the course of more than two hours, the alternately absorbing and tedious piece says quite a great deal. If only Blasius figured out a way to say it more eloquently.

of machines — the electric chair. Treadwell’s language often mirrors the cold staccato of machinery. Especially in speeches where Young Woman expresses her fear and lack of control as she is swept along into situations, the effect is harrowing. As played by Rebecca Hall, this is one of the most galvanizing performances of the season and her inherent warmth stands in stark contrast to the unfeeling world around her. The other notable members of the cast include Michael Cumpsty as Husband, Morgan Spector as Lover, Suzanne Bertish as Mother, and Arnie Burton in two roles. There is a precision in these performances –– and the smaller roles,


LOOT, continued on p.31

| January 22, 2014



Going to Hell and Back in the New Year

Gotham Chamber Opera on the rise; new cast for Met “Onegin” revival


OPERA, continued on p.34

Daniel Curran in the Gotham Chamber Opera production of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “La descente d’Orphée aux Enfers.”


anuary is the Janus month where we look forward to the new year and back at the old. In the opera world, 2013 had a lot of distressing developments, a few solid triumphs, but also a lingering sense of instability and a deadening sense of artistic compromise. Companies for the most part aren’t taking big artistic or financial risks. One company that is expanding its horizons in every direction is Gotham Chamber Opera under the direction of Neal Goren. The company explored the French baroque repertory with a staged production of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “La descente d’Orphée aux Enfers” (1686), which opened on New Year’s Day. This was part of Trinity Wall Street’s “Twelfth Night Festival” curated by conductor, composer, and baroque specialist Julian Wachner. It was performed on the altar and in the nave of St. Paul’s Chapel. The opera in two acts is just over an hour long and ends with Orpheus leading Eurydice out of the underworld. It is thought there was a planned or lost third act depicting the tragic denouement but it has not survived. Charpentier’s setting is very much in the gentle pastoral vein throughout. The wildness of Gluck’s “Dance of the Furies” or the tragic starkness of the

Messagera’s monologue in the Monteverdi are absent. Everything is lyrically beautiful but somewhat lacking in dramatic impact. Typical of the early French baroque, there are long dance sequences and no elaborate vocal showpieces. Charpentier’s Orphée gets a few short lamenting ariosos but no showstopper arias. All this puts Charpentier’s version of the myth at a disadvantage in comparison with the many other operatic settings. Andrew Eggert’s staging utilized St. Paul’s upper balcony loft and twisting staircase down to the altar level to descend to or ascend from the nether regions. A technical malfunction on opening night limited the use of projections on scrims erected around the playing area –– what remained was more than adequate. Compared with the sophistication of the European directors who staged the Les Arts Florissants productions at BAM, the direction and costumes looked naïve and literal. Doug Elkins’ basic choreography was performed by game young ensemble singers who did their best but could not compare with trained baroque dancers. But the small consort led by Goren performed on a comparable level with international ensembles like Les Arts Florissants, who have put this repertory on the musical map (festival director Wachner probably




niv Acosta & Tess Dworman

Rebecca Hall and Morgan Spector in Sophie Treadwell’s “Machinal,” at the American Airlines Theater through March 2.


LOOT, from p.30

as well –– that is true to the style of the play and greatly enhances its impact. In fact, everything in this production has been designed for maximum theatrical impact. The outstanding sets by Ed Devlin, which involve a huge, rotating machine, Jane Cox’s

spectacular lighting, and Michael Krass’ costumes, which use color and texture with extraordinary artistry, complement the expressionist ideal that eschewed the literal for the emotional. The result is a powerful evening of exceptional art that is a clear departure from some of Roundabout’s more traditional fare.

Jan 30 - Feb 1 at 7:30pm Tickets start at $15 Photo: Ian Douglas


January 22, 2014 |


Carol Ann Speaks Her Peace

Rutanya Alda on “Mommie Dearest” and more; singing/ dancing cinema the way it should be seen hristina Crawford disdains it, Faye Dunaway won’t talk about it, Diana Scarwid and Mara Hobel aren’t saying anything, so what a blessing it was to encounter the delightfully outspoken Rutanya Alda, who is truly our link to the Holy Grail of gay cult movies, “Mommie Dearest.” Alda, who played Joan Crawford’s lifelong slave, Carol Ann, lives in New York and is appearing in Sarah Levine Simon’s play “The Portrait” at Theater 54 (244 W. 54th, 12th fl., through Jan. 26; “I’m the maid to an Upper Park Avenue woman in this farce, set in the 1980s,” she told me. “It’s just delightful, a comedy of bad manners, and definitely a satire on the theme of appearing better than you are and putting down people. Everybody wants to be top dog, which you see around the wealthy.” Alda came from Latvia as a child after World War II, a refugee who had been living with her mother and grandmother in a displaced person camp in Germany before being accepted by America. “My father was sent to the gulag for 16 years and we didn’t know he was alive until we were reunited in my 20s, which I am writing about in the one-woman show I’m preparing.” Character actor Richard Bright was Alda’s husband of 30 years when he was killed on Columbus Avenue, hit by an Academy bus in 2006. “It was terrible –– you just have to go through the agony and horror of it,” she said. “And we haven’t yet received any compensation. They wear you out with lawsuits. They don’t value human life, what they put us through in terms of reliving it and interrogation was just disgusting. My husband was in his 60s and they said, ‘Well, he was older,’ so his life is valued less. And they said, ‘We think he died right away, so he had no pain or suffering and we only pay on that, not on death.’ We’re not dropping the suit, but they are stretching it beyond, probably hoping I die [laughs].” Alda, who went to work when she was 12, wanted to be an actress from the time she saw Cecil B. DeMille’s film “North West Mounted Police.” She came to New York, where she studied with all the great acting gurus of the time, including Barbara Loden (then married to Elia Kazan), with whom she became best friends. Her early screen credits include some of my favorite films: “Next Stop, Greenwich Village” –– as a party guest with John Belushi in a scene that was largely cut –– Brian DePalma’s horror masterpiece “The Fury,” and Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye,” as Elliott Gould’s sexy, yoga-practicing hippie neighbor (“Mr. Marlowe, you want a brownie?”). But, of course, it was “Mommie” that I wanted to hear all about, the film that, with endless revivals, simply refuses to die. For many gay men like me, certain snatches of its dialogue run on an endless loop in our minds, absurdly yet uncannily applicable to so many real life situations. “Isn’t it wonderful… for me?” Alda said, laughing. “I think it is a wonderful film, too, in many ways. But isn’t it sad that Faye can’t appreciate it? It’s totally different from anything she’s ever done and I love her in it. It’s terrible that she can’t say, ‘Thank you, yes, I did a great job,’ and accept it.” The movie is the colossal elephant in the room for




Rutanya Alda, who played Carol Ann in “Mommie Dearest,” appears in “The Portrait” through January 26.

“You can enter Faye Dunaway’s dressing room, but first throw a raw steak in there to distract her.” anyone meeting Dunaway, but, said Alda, “You’ll hear all about it from my side. I have a book coming out, based on the diary I kept during its making. I’d never kept one before or since, but it was because my personal life was in chaos at the time, as was our set, because Faye was so difficult. It was my way of keeping a balance in my life and I felt better after journaling it. “I put it away and didn’t think about it until last summer when I was invited for a screening at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. Eighteen hundred seats sold out and I brought the diary to read little portions of it because I thought people might be interested. Well, it was phenomenal! I’ve never experienced this kind of love: people were so loving and excited. I thought, ‘Wow, I should really publish this!’ “You can put this on record: Faye made life very difficult. [Costume designer] Irene Sharaff, who had come out of retirement to do it, said, ‘That woman is on cocaine!’ She walked off the film midway and said, ‘I’m going back to New York and not returning, because of Faye. I have never walked off a movie in my entire career... You can enter Faye Dunaway’s dressing room, but first throw a raw steak in there to distract her.’ I never saw any drug use, but I saw the

erratic behavior and mood swings, which happen for a reason. “My first day on the set with her, she did the upstage routine where she made sure that my face was not on camera, an old theater trick. I couldn’t believe it –– she’s the star! I couldn’t complain to our director Frank Perry, a sweet man who’d lost control of his set, so I decided to help her upstage me. I upstaged myself all day long, and then she kind of relaxed. So, after that she was a little more gentle with me, but I also learned to get out of the way and hide a lot [laughs]. I’m sure if I stayed around long enough I’d be under fire, too. She has that tremendous insecurity where everyone’s competition when you’re the star.” I had to hear about the scene where she savagely attacked Diana Scarwid, playing daughter Christina: “Very intense. They used stunt doubles for that, but then Faye would come in and scream over Diana’s body, and I did get knocked down by her when she really hit me in the chest. She was all over the map, and Jocelyn Brando, who played the journalist, was really scared because she’d been in a horrible auto accident and had a plate in her arm. “When she saw me go down after Faye hit me, she said, ‘I can’t afford to be injured, just spent six months in the hospital.’ Initially, Frank wanted both me and Jocelyn to pull her off Diana, but she saw Faye was out of control and said, ‘No way.’ We did maybe 10 takes and Frank had to deal with it because Faye wasn’t goanna change what she was doing. I got knocked down maybe twice –– she hit me hard in the chest.” Then there was the slapping scene: “She didn’t pull it, either [laughs]. But it was only once that she really slapped me out of the five takes we did. Frank said, ‘Wait a minute. If you do that all the time, the mark you leave on her cheek isn’t going to match.’ That was the only reason [laughs]! Otherwise, I would have been slapped more! “Diana Scarwid was very unhappy. Faye didn’t like her at all, and vice-versa. I kept telling Diana, ‘Just use what you’re really feeling about Faye,’ and it worked because that was probably what was happening with Christina. Diana’s a wonderful actress and a lovely, sweet woman. “Wasn’t Mara Hobel wonderful [as little Christina]? When I first met her, I thought she was 40 years old because she was questioning me, like ‘Who’s your agent? How many films have you done? How long are you goanna be on the film, how many days do you have?’ Ohmigod, who is this person talking like an agent? But she was really delightful, very spunky. “The filmmakers really captured that 1940s era, you felt you were really in that time and place so I was really happy most of the time. But I did hide a lot because if you didn’t, Faye would pick on you. Beyond difficult, but crazy like a fox. She needs to be the star and if anybody else gets attention, they’re in trouble. And it’s difficult for women, who have been stars, to age. At the time, Faye said she would never have a facelift and of course she’s had more than one, her face is so stretched, with those lips. I have a hard time looking at her now because it’s so distorted to me. If she’d just let herself go, she would have been a beautiful older woman and could have played parts like June Squibb in ‘Nebraska.’”


IN TH NOH, continued on p.34


July 18 - 24, 2013


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34 OPERA, from p.31

assisted in finding the best local baroque musicians). Daniel Curran’s soft cultivated tenor brought out the pathos in Orphée’s pleas to Pluton. Mary Feminear’s dark complex soprano brought urgency to Proserpine’s intervention on Orphée’s behalf. The sweet tenor of Cullen Gandy and John Brancy’s vibrant baritone as Apollon emerged strikingly from the ensemble. In the final tableau, as Orphée led his Eurydice up the staircase into the light, one felt that this production augured a more fortunate operatic new year in 2014.

The Metropolitan Opera

fielded striking new casts in several revivals in late 2013, including “Eugene Onegin.” The clunky Deborah Warner “Onegin” benefited from the return of Fiona Shaw polishing her direction with a new cast of riveting, if less vocally reliable, singing actors. Newcomers Peter Mattei, Marina Poplavskaya, and Rolando Villazón


are singing actors who submerge themselves into their parts like method actors, while Anna Netrebko, Mariusz Kwiecien, and Piotr Beczala fit their glamorous personas onto the roles like old movie stars.

the dramatically gifted but vocally spent Rolando Villazón, returning after an absence as Lensky. Villazón’s current voice is like a pencil sketch of what was once a vibrant vocal canvas –– the colors and depth are gone but the outlines are still there. A gently floated phrase at the beginning of the Act II ensemble showed a flicker of what was and might have been –– he remains a fervently committed performer. Stefan Kocán was another incongruously youthful, hunky Prince Gremin but sang quite well –– he is vocally improved this season. Elena Maximova’s rosily pretty blonde Olga became more tonally focused after a foggy sounding opening aria. Conductor Alexander Vedernikov (not the 20th century bass, his father) was not profound but brought a more convincing romantic sweep to the score and kept the singers with him, unlike Valery Gergiev, his Putin-supporting predecessor.

Tchaikovsky heroine is supposed to be shy but not pathologically so –– one began to sympathize with Onegin’s initial reluctance to encourage any intimacy with this unstable young girl. Poplavskaya’s mour nful cool

Marina Poplavskaya might avoid the fate of the dramatically gifted but vocally spent Rolando Villazón, returning after an absence as Lensky. Mattei’s capacious baritone and towering presence made a more vocally imposing, convincingly authoritative Onegin than the boyishly affable Kwiecien. Poplavskaya was a riveting mess as Tatiana. Much more fragile and neurasthenic than Netrebko, Poplavskaya would start like a frightened animal when touched and suffered panic attacks fleeing Onegin’s company during their first encounter. The Pushkin/

timbre suits the character but she was constantly adjusting her placement, finding the parts of her voice that still work. All this musical control and intelligence should be directed toward reworking and rebuilding her technique from the bottom up so as to avoid incidents like her removal from Covent Garden’s new production of “Les Vêpres Siciliennes” just prior to her Met engagement. Poplavskaya might avoid the fate of

In a web extra at, Jacobson looks at Michael Mayer’s restaging of “Rigoletto” at the Met.

IN THE NOH, from p.32

Alda’s per for mance has always struck me as exquisitely understated and so accurate. It puts me in mind of so many gay men I know who are eager eternal doormats for certain demanding female stars. “They cut the opening scene of how Carol Ann met Joan,” Alda recalled. “She rolls down her car window and says, ‘Carol Ann, it’s you again!’ I had a book full of autographs and said, ‘I would wait just as long as I could to see you again, and would do just anything for you.’ “She says, ‘‘Get in the car. I think I have a job for you.’ Carol Ann loves her unconditionally and when I got the part, I read as much about Joan as I could. She had a challenging childhood I could relate to, working since I was 12 and, like her, I had only one dress to wear to school and was humiliated by the other girls. “Her mother was not terribly fond of her and mine was a really cruel woman. But I think Joan, more than Christina, was the real survivor who crawled out of the gutter to have a 50-year career. She may not have been the greatest mother, but those kids were all dressed nicely –– and, anyway, she gave Christina a whole career talking about her. “Somewhere along the way, you have to say, well, my mother must have had a horrible childhood, too, and forgive them. You break the cycle. My son had a good life and never got beat or hit with a belt like I did. He’s adorable, but sometimes he says, ‘Oh, Mom, this and that,’ and I tell him, ‘Well, you know



January 22, 2014 |

Hattie McDaniels and Paul Robeson in “Showboat.”

what? When you grow up you can write a book about me.’ “After this play, I am doing a part in a movie called ‘Ovum,’ and in April I am doing ‘Old Dogs and New Tricks,’ the gay web series which is in its third year. The producers, Leon Acord and Lawrence Wright, just got married and are very sweet. Bruce Hart and I are playing this evil couple, and Leon has added some funny ‘Mommie Dearest’ references.” Before we parted, I couldn’t resist asking Alda to play my favorite Carol Ann moment in the film when a sick Christina watches Joan drunkenly

stumble through that TV soap opera and hilariously mutters, “Turn it off.” The other diners at Manatus may have been a little startled, but Alda said, “I love when people know my lines better than I do!”

Movie musical lovers are in for a magnificent treat

with the Museum of the Moving Image’s “See It Big!,” a month-long screening of singing/ dancing classics shown the way they really should be seen (36-01 35th Ave. at 37th St., Astoria, through Feb. 28; The series is awash with memorable moments:

the unforgettable aerial opening of “The Sound of Music”; Myrna Loy’s delicious nymphomaniac in “Love Me Tonight” (“Can you go for a doctor?” “Send him right in!”); the soulfully stirring “On Broadway” number from “All That Jazz,” which captures the modern chaotic audition process like no other; Hattie McDaniels’ and Paul Robeson’s “Ah Still Suits Me” duet in “Show Boat,” which, until the 1950s, at least, was maybe the most joyous expression of black sexuality on the screen; Isabel Jeans’ priceless, high comedy courtesan lessons for Leslie Caron in “Gigi”; Ginger Rogers singing “We’re in the Money” in pig Latin in “Gold Diggers of 1933”; Michael Jackson’s explosively floppy dancing as the Scarecrow in “The Wiz” and that film’s uber-1970s fashion parade set at the World Trade Center, filling in for Oz; Diahnne Abbott’s unspeakably luscious rendition of “Honeysuckle Rose” in “New York, New York.” But the two I am most looking forward to are “Pennies from Heaven,” Herbert Ross’ remarkable, audacious tribute to the 1930s as envisioned by Edwar d Hopper, in which the performances of Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jessica Harper, and Christopher Walken were all truly lit by the spark of genius, and “A Star is Born,” especially if it is the same Locarno Film Festival print that recently screened at Lincoln Center’s George Cukor retrospective. I only saw the preview footage of the infamous Oscar scene (at, but the uncannily creamy quality of the imagery positively leapt off the screen in a whole new way.


| January 22, 2014



ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Dear Partners, Corporate Members & Friends of MCC, Please join us as we celebrate Nancy Ploeger’s 20th Anniversary as leader of the MCC! In addition, we will be honoring our partners: Joe Kirk, Wells Fargo (Platinum Partner for 10 years), Felix Malitsky, MetLife (Platinum Partner for 10 years) and Peter Meloro, Con Edison (Platinum Partner for 25 years). Hosted by Con Edison, the MCC Board of Directors will honor all four for their years of service to the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and NYC business community.

We hope you will join us for this exclusive cocktail party and networking event! Congratulations to Nancy, from your friends at Gay City News (NYC Community Media)!


To register and for payment information please send an email to with the subject line “MCC Exclusive Anniversary Celebration” or call 212-473-7875


January 22, 2014 |

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| January 22, 2014 and Mickey Cusumano, Michael West, and Julie James. 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Jan. 23, 11:30 p.m. The coverage charge is $12, plus a $20 food & drink minimum.

Split Britches, Yesterday & Tomorrow

Split Britches, New York's premiere lesbian performance troupe, kicks off the new year with “Ruff,” Peggy Shaw's performance about life and art following her 2011 stroke, written by Shaw and Lois Weaver and directed by Weaver. La MaMa First Floor Theater, 74A E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Jan. 23-25, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 26., 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15; $10 for students & seniors at or 212-475-7710.


THEATER Women Behind Bars –– No Orange

JANUARY 25 - MARCH 8: Nir Ariel gets under the skin of male dancers.


BOOKS Sean Strub’s Years on the Frontline

Sean Strub, a longtime activist and the founder of POZ magazine, reads from his new book “Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival” (Scribner) and engages in conversation with Walter Armstrong, POZ’s editor from 1998 through 2005. Strand Books, 828 Broadway at E. 12th St. Jan. 23, 7 p.m. Admission is purchase of “Body Counts” or a $15 Strand book certificate at On Jan. 24, 7 p.m., Strub reads at Bureau Of General Services — Queer Division at Cage, 83A Hester St., btwn. Orchard & Allen Sts. More information at


The New York Public Library draws from its archive on the AIDS epidemic in “Why We Fight,” which explores four major themes from the activism of the 1980s and ‘90s –– changing percep-

tions of people living with HIV, prevention efforts focused on safer sex and needle exchange, the strategic use of public mourning, and innovative engagement with the healthcare industry. The exhibition includes documentary records from Gay Men’s Health Crisis, ACT UP New York, and Gran Fury –– including one of the original safe sex manuals, archival footage of protests and vigils, and journals from GMHC’s Buddy Program. Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery, NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Ave. at 42nd St. Through Apr. 6. Mon., Thu.Sat. , 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tue.-Wed., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 1-5 p.m. For more information on events presented as part of this exhibition, visit

PERFORMANCE Comedy Cocktails

Musical comedienne & impressionist Christine Pedi brings her favorite funny friends together to shake and stir up some hysterical comedy concoctions. A late evening of silly songs and other diversions also features Jeffrey Richmond, Jackie Hoffman, Cristy Candler

In 1927, long before “Orange Is the New Black,” women inmates in New York were incarcerated in the Women’s Penitentiary on Welfare Island, now known as Roosevelt Island. In “Island Girls,” written by Barbara Kahn and Noelle LuSane, with music by LuSane, a newly-graduated social worker comes face to face with her own biases grounded in her white, upper class background while she gets to know the prisoners, including Polish Jewish lesbian Eve Adams, whose stories have long been forgotten but are brought back to life in this meticulously researched play. Kahn and Robert Gonzales Jr. direct. Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. at 10th St. Jan. 23-25, 8 p.m.; Jan. 26, 3 p.m. Tickets $12 at or 212-254-1109.


GALLERY Women Hunting and Gathering

The Collage Collective presents its first group show featuring an array of collage and mixed media work by seven women –– Helene Berson, Lauren Blankstein, Anne Hammel, Veronique Lerebours, Deirdre MacKenzie, Bernice Rubin, and Elizabeth Velazquez. In “CollageUncontained,” the artists cut, rip, shred, glue, stitch, tape, and pin two and three dimensional pieces. They’ve been upcycling and recycling, hunting and gathering, scavenging and hoarding alone and together since meeting in a weekly art class in Manhattan three years ago. La MaMa Galleria, 74A E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Through Feb. 8. Opening reception, Jan. 24, 6-9 p.m. For more information, visit or call 212-475-7710.

COMMUNITY Youth Speak Out Against Bullying

Hudson Valley No Name-Calling Week culminates with an opening reception for the 2014 Student Creative Expression Exhibit, an opportunity for hundreds of youth across the area to speak out about bullying, understanding, and kindness. No Name-Calling Week is an initiative of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) Hudson Valley, and the Safe Schools Round Table. Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center, 319 Broadway at Chester St., Port Ewen. Jan. 24, 6-8 p.m. For more information, visit


COMMUNITY Pride Surmounts the Chill in Queens

Queens Pride holds its 21st annual Winter Pride celebration with a dinner dance gala honoring Queens-born Cathy Renna, a longtime communications professional who works with LGBT community organizations, and Heritage of Pride, the non-profit group that organizes the annual Pride Week events in Manhattan. Edie Windsor, the successful plaintiff against the Defense of Marriage Act last June at the Supreme Court, is among the evening’s guests. Astoria World Manor, 25-22 Astoria Blvd. Jan. 25, 7 p.m.midnight. Tickets are $105 at The evening supports the June 1 Queens Pride parade and festival in Jackson Heights.

PERFORMANCE Undie Rock Sensation

Singer-actors Lauren Molina (“Marry Me a Little,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Rock of Ages”) and Nick Cearley (“All Shook Up”) became YouTube sensations as The Skivvies, with living room videos that displayed their powerful harmonies as well as their powerful abs. Molina and Cearley, who play instruments including cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica, and a surprising array of other under-used instruments, have since put out a single and music video directed by Augusten Burroughs, bestselling author of “Running With Scissors.” Tonight, the duo is joined by special guests who will join them in stripping down and rocking out. 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Jan. 25, 11 p.m. The cover charge is $25-35, with a $25 food & beverage minimum.


“The Junket” is Mike Albo’s hilariously scandalous solo show based on actual events. In this thinly-veiled tale, a struggling writer (named, um, Mike Albo) gets a freelance gig penning a column for the country's most influential newspaper. After years of low pay, Albo thinks he may finally be able to afford New York’s luxury loft lifestyle; he even gets a new stylish boyfriend. But after he goes on an over­the-top, ill-fated press junket, he becomes a gossip item on the city’s snarkiest, meanest blog and is thrown into an acrimonious war between old and new media. David Schweizer directs. Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St., btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts. Jan. 25, Feb. 1, 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 at or 212-219-­0736; $20 at the door.

GALLERY Getting Under Their Skin

Israeli-born, New York-based artist Nir Ariel presents his debut exhibition of photographs, “Inframen,” consisting of 13 black and white infrared images of male dancers. The technique allows the artist to examine below the skin, to reveal the blemishes, scars, stretch marks, sun damage, and other traces of wear that lie below the surface of men who express themselves with their bodies, at once pushing their physical limits and maintaining beauty in their appearance and movements. Daniel Cooney Fine Art, 508 W. 26th St., Suite 9C. Through Mar. 8, Tue-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. More information at


SAT.JAN.25, continued on p.38


January 22, 2014 | door offers great healthy ways to get out of the house, meet friends, and explore amazing places near and far. LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., room 301. Jan. 28, 6:45 p.m. For more information, visit



HEALTH Living With HIV

Well-Strung appears at 54 Below on February 2 and March 16.


SAT.JAN.25, from p.37

Threading the LGBTQ Needle

“Queer Threads: Crafting Identity & Community” presents 23 artists examining contemporary LGBTQ culture through thread-based craft techniques –– including felt paintings, yarn drawings, embroidered portraits, knit sculpture, quilted tapestries, and crocheted installations, as well as video. From Nathan Vincent’s life-sized crocheted men’s locker room to Liz Collin’s oversized knit pride flag based on Gilbert Baker’s 1978 original design and L.J. Roberts’ “The Queer Houses of Brooklyn in the Three Towns of Breukelen, Boswyck, and Midwout during the 41st Year of the Stonewall Era,” works range from intimate to expansive in scale. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster St., btwn. Grand & Canal Sts. Noon-6 p.m., Tue.-Wed., Fri-Sun.; noon-8 p.m., Thu., through Mar. 16. More information at


PERFORMANCE Sunday in a Duet with You

Tonight’s edition of Phil Geoffrey Bond’s “Sondheim Unplugged” features all duets from the master’s cannon, including “A Little Priest,” “The Ballad of Booth,” and “Agony,” as well as favorites from “Passion,” “Into the Woods,” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” Among those appearing are Sondheim stage veterans Claybourne Elder (“Road Show”) Eric Michael Gillett (“The Frogs”), Annie Golden (“Assassins”), Leah Horowitz (“Follies”), Sarah Rice (“Sweeney Todd”), and Melanie Vaughn (“Sunday in the Park with George”). 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Jan. 26, 7 p.m. Cover charge is $30-$40 at or 646-4763551, with a $25 food & drink minimum. For admission at the door, add $5 to the cover.

Simply Streisand

Phil Geoffrey Bond follows up his Sondheim tribute at 54 Below with an a celebration of all things Babs, welcoming some of Broadway and cabaret’s finest voices to sing favorites from “Funny Girl,” “The Way We Were,” “Yentl,” and “A Star Is Born,” as well as from Barbra Strei-

sand’s more than 45 hit albums. The Barry Levitt Trio accompanies the singers, and Bond offers up stories and some out-and-out gossip, from Babs’ penchant for perfection to her affair with Don Johnson. 254 W. 54th St. Jan. 26, 9:30 p.m. Cover charge is $30-$40 at or 646-4763551, with a $25 food & drink minimum. For admission at the door, add $5 to the cover.

DANCE Year of the Horse

Nai-Ni Chen Dance, a New Jersey company that seeks to bridge cultural gaps by fusing the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art, presents “Lunar New Year Celebration — The Year of the Horse,” inspired by everything from the graceful lines of calligraphy to the thunderous motion of martial arts. Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Walt Whitman Theatre, Brooklyn College, Campus Rd. & Hillel Pl. (#2 train to Brooklyn College/ Flatbush Ave.) Jan. 26, 3 p.m. Tickets are $30 at


MUSIC Mark Adamo & Friends

The New York Festival of Song presents “Mark Adamo & Friends,” featuring the music of the composer and librettist, as well as the work of John Bucchino, Michele Brourman, Conrad Winslow, and Mark Baechle. Performers include Bucchino and Michael Barrett on piano and baritone Joshua Jeremiah. OPERA, America's National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Ave. at 29th St. Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but space is limited and reservations are required at 646-230-8380 or

RECREATION Outdoor Adventure

Sundance Outdoor, the outdoor adventure group for LGBT New Yorkers, holds its annual open house and member orientation to introduce newcomers to its yearlong calendar of non-competitive activities, including skiing, biking, hiking, camping and backpacking, urban walks, travel, boating, and social get-togethers. The evening includes brief comments, a colorful slide show, pizza, and refreshments. Around since 1980, Sundance Out-

The AIDS services and research group ACRIA launches a new series of “Living with HIV” workshops with “The New HIV Meds: They Ain’t What They Used To Be!.” 575 Eighth Ave. at 38th St., Suite 502. Jan. 29, 1-3 p.m. To register, call Elizabeth at 212-924-3934, ext. 234. Metrocards and snacks provided. Future topics will include “HIV Transmission and How Treatment Can Prevent It”; “HIV Disease: What Is This Virus Doing To My Body?”; “How To Talk To Your Doctor and Get The Care You Need”; “Drug Resistance: How To Keep Your Meds Working”; “Lab Results: What You Need to Know”; “HIV and Hepatitis C: You Can Live With Both”; and ”Aging With HIV: A Long, Healthy Life.”


THEATER Talk About Sex, Talk About Love

“Sex, Relationships, And Sometimes… Love” is Joelle Arqueros’ 2003 GLAAD-nominated raw and delicate examination, in monologues, of sex and love among men and women, transgender and cisgender, gay and straight, which has played in cities across North America and Ireland for the past dozen years. The show, directed by Brian Remo, opens in previews tonight. Snapple Theater Center in the Jerry Orbach Theater, 1627 Broadway at 50th St. , third fl. Thu. evenings, 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 at or 212-921-7862.

A Halting Tennessee

The White Horse Theater Company presents a intimate, site-specific production of a rarely produced Tennessee Williams one-act, “I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow.” Written during Williams’ experimental later period, the play employs silence and fragmented discourse to express the themes of human dependence, fear, and loss Williams was grappling with during the 1960s. White Horse artistic director Cyndy A. Marion directs. The Great Hall of the Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park S. Jan 30-31, 8 p.m. Following the Jan. 21 performance, a panel discussion features Williams scholars Dr. Annette J. Saddik and Thomas Keith. Tickets are $18 at or 212-868-4444.



Writing last year, Gay City News’ Joseph Ehrman-Dupre ( said of Well-Strung, “The four hunky gay 20-somethings fall somewhere between a boy band and a symphony orchestra… A group formed only a year ago, it sits in a remarkably unique niche in

the world of string quartets. Blending classical pieces by Mozart and Vivaldi with Top 40 hits from Britney, Rihanna, and P!nk, the group is all about defying expectations… And it is a truly ingenious sound, traversing the aural waves from swelling crescendos to pop-styled staccato, and back again.” Well-Strung has scheduled two upcoming appearances at 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Feb. 2 & Mar. 16, 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $30$40 at or 646-476-3551, and there’s a $25 food & drink minimum. For admission at the door, add $5 to the cover.


COMMUNITY Professional, Community Perspectives on Violence

Mental health professionals and community leaders meet to addresses the prevalence of violence in schools, homes, and on the streets in a program put together by the New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute. Panels include: “Off the Couch and into the Streets: Being a Socially Active Psychoanalyst in the 21st Century” (Feb. 7, 7:30-9 p.m.); “Psychoanalysis as Community Work” (Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-noon); “Psychoanalysts, Educators, and Law Enforcement in Dialogue” (Feb. 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m.); and a closing Q&A session (Feb. 8, 3:454:15). Participants include New Haven, Connecticut police chief Dean M. Esserman; Mark D. Smaller, president-elect of the American Psychoanalytic Association; clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, and Columbia University professor Jonathan Cohen; Yale Medical School’s Steven Marans, a child and adult psychoanalyst; Dr. Stuart W. Twemlow, a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who teaches at Houston’s Baylor School of Medicine; Lois Oppenheim, a professor of French, literature, and applied psychoanalysis at Montclair State University; and NYPSI’s Dr. Josephine Wright, William H. Braun, and Wendy Olesker. NYPSI, Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium, 247 E. 82nd St. Feb. 7-8. Admission is $60; $30 for graduate students at


CABARET An Angeleno With Broadway Credits

Los Angeles native Micah McCain, a singer, actor, comedian, pop culture critic, and writer who grabbed attention with his New York cabaret debut “Hey Gurl” and now lives here, performs an evening of songs and stories in “Broadway Credits.” Mark Hartman is musical director. The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. S., Sheridan Sq. Feb. 8, 7 p.m. Admission is $10 at theduplex. com, and there is a two-drink minimum.

NIGHTLIFE Carnaval on Ice

The LGBT Community Center's Young Leaders enjoy an evening of elegant dress, mysterious masks, decadent drinks and Brazilian Carnaval festivities. DJ Whitney Day spins. Attire is sexy, with black tie optional, and masks encouraged. Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery at Grand St. Feb. 8, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Admission is $75-$125 at gaycenter. org/masq. Proceeds benefit the Center’s programs.

| January 22, 2014



Celebrating gay anD lesbian marriage

ATTORNIES Chou Law Luna Chou Law

401 Broadway in New York, (212) 226–2610, Chou Law Luna Chou Law specializes in immigration, asylum, and applications for legal permanent resident status and naturalization, and LGBT rights. It petitions for your family members.

AUTOMOTIVE Bay Ridge Subaru

1819 Cropsey Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 234–7960, Visit Bay Ridge Subaru in Brooklyn for your new or used Subaru Impreza, Legacy, Forester, Outback, and Tribeca. It also supports same-sex couples and were at the GLBT Expo at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Habberstad BMW

945 E Jericho Tpke. In Suffolk, (631) 271–7177,, Proud supporters of the LGBT community!

These finely crafted fruit bouquets make the perfect addition to any wedding celebration.

properties of all types including condos, apartments, and commercial real estate.


Stetson Real Estate

Beth Israel LGBT Health Services 10 Nathan D Perlman Pl. in New York, (212) 420–2000, LGBT_Health_Services/index.html Beth Israel Medical Center LGBT Health Services provides an array of health, referral and educational services, promotes LGBT health equity and access to care, and develops effective partnerships with LGBT organizations, agencies and allies.

Chelsea Face and Body 270 W 19th St. in New York, (212) 647–8825, Chelsea Face and Body offers the largest variety of state-of-the-art aesthetic services. It prides itself in its ability to keep you looking renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated for a more youthful appearance.

Groomed Grooms

1214 E. Boston Post Rd. in Westchester, (914) 381–7173, Stetson Real Estate is an independent firm located in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, New York. The firm has thr guiding philosophy that if it focuses on serving the client best — as opposed to the agent’s self-interest — the business will prosper.

Warburg Realty

Multiple locations, Warburg Realty is one of the city’s best trained and hardest working agents, and by choosing them to represent you and your property, you also get the benefit of Warburg’s leadership strategies every step of the way. Warburg Realty has distinguished itself in the vanguard of tech-savvy real estate companies.


430 W. 24th St. in New York, (646) 325–3378, Groomed Grooms provides men’s hair and makeup for weddings and other major events. Its slogan: You have the legal right to look your best.

80 W Broadway IN Nassau, (516) 889–1300, Allegria Horel, is a chic and sophisticated wedding venue in Long Beach with breathtaking ocean views. It is great for rooftop or beachfront weddings.

7905 5th Ave. in Brooklyn, (646) 712–4084,, Bridal Dreams’ mission is simple: to provide the best products and service to its customers at the lowest prices possible. It takes great pride in its company, commitment to customer service, and products.

In Touch NYC

The Edison Ballroom


126 W 96th St. in New York, (212) 865–9290, Mind Over Matter Health & Fitness is a Manhattan based in-home personal training service providing fitness professionals to you in your home.


New York God’s Love We Deliver

166 6th Ave. in New York, (212) 294–8100, God’s Love We Deliver is the tri-state area’s leading provider of nutritious, individually-tailored meals to people that are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. God’s Love provides all services by employing a small but dedicated professional staff and with the critical assistance of nearly 8,000 volunteers annually.

ENTERTAINMENT Erik Robert Jacobson, Classical Cellist

(212) 584–7500,, Mr. Jacobsen is a cellist and conductor residing in Brooklyn, New York. He has performed with Renee Fleming on David Letterman and at the inaugural concert at Zankel Hall at Carnegie.

M B Sound Productions Entertainment

3034 Merrick Rd., (516) 322–1745 in Long Island or 3034 Merrick Rd., (888) 517–2789 in Nassau, MB Sound Productions & Entertainment is a professional, high tech, well equipped, and mobile DJ entertainment company servicing the tri-state area. It has over 15 years of experience, and can accommodate all types of events.

FERTILITY Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine (718) 283–8600, Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine is a nationally recognized center for the treatment of infertility. It is known for its excellent success rates. Most major insurers accepted.

FLORISTS & CENTERPEICES Angelica Flowers and Events

436 Hudson St. in New York, (212) 229–0272, New York City’s premiere custom floral designer for events, corporate accounts, and same day delivery.

Ariston Flowers & Boutique

110 W 17th St. in New York, (212) 929–4226, Ariston Flowers is an award-winning and familyowned business that has been in operation since 1977. It stocks an array of fresh flowers directly imported from France, Holland, Hawaii, and from other parts of the world. It also has accessories such as vases, pottery, and baskets.

Edible Arrangements

(718) 535–7909,

242 E 77th St. in New York, (646) 234–4840, InTouch NYC is a New York City-based healing sanctuary providing acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional counseling, bodywork, and pilates.

Mind Over Matter


240 W 47th St. in New York, (212) 201–7650,, The Edison Ballroom was originally opened in the 1930’s and was constructed in the classic art deco design. The venue can be rented for all kinds of events, including a wedding.


Multiple locations, Fairway offers seasonal, signature catering packages with the highest-quality, happy-making eats with zero work. Have Fairway cater your engagement, bachelor, or bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner or wedding.

Grand Oaks Country Club

125 W 21st St. in New York, (212) 255–0844, Print icon New York offers modern and heritage printing, including laser engraving, indigo press, letterpress, thermography and debossing accompanied by custom design services.

200 Huguenot Ave. in Staten Island, (718) 356–2771, Formerly the South Shore Country Club, this new and improved Staten Island venue can provide the perfect elegant backdrop for your reception with prime dates still available.


Hornblower Cruises & Events

Greenwich Jewelers 64 Trinity Pl. in New York, (212) 964–7592, In search of something classic, contemporary, or completely eclectic? Greenwich Jewelers is your source for exquisite adornments that are designed to last — and make your life brilliant.

Little King Jewelry 177 Lafayette St. in New York, (212) 260–6140, Little King Jewelry is a contemporary jewelry boutique in Soho that offers an eclectic mix of jewelry such as classic 21st century heirlooms, indie, rock and roll, to one-of-kind couture jewelry for all occasions.

LIMOUSINES M & V Limousine Ltd. 1117 Jericho Tpke. In Suffolk, (800) 498–5778, M & V has the largest selection of antique and exotic limousines in the world. Its main focus is providing you with an elegant and stress-free experience on your wedding day.

REAL ESTATE SERVICES Brooklyn Accurate Building 1860 Bath Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 265–8191, Inspectors Accurate Building Inspectors is a full service home and building inspection firm servicing New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the nation since 1961. It provides inspections, consulting, assistance, and testing services for homeowners It has and will continue to serve and support the LGBT community.

Modern Spaces Multiple locations, Modern Spaces is a real estate firm that manages

40 N. River Piers in New York, (212) 206–7522, / Hornblower New York specializes in New York dinner cruises, harbor cruises, yacht charters, sightseeing, events, birthday parties, and weddings. It has exceeded guest expectations for over 30 years by maintaining impeccable comfort and safety standards with a large fleet of private yachts in California and New York.

Hotel Giraffe

365 Park Avenue South in New York, (212) 685–7700, Hotel Giraffe would be honored to host your rehearsal dinner, special day, or to arrange guest accommodations. Its experienced staff will ensure that all of your expectations and special requests are surpassed.

Hotel Pennsylvania

401 Seventh Ave. in New York, (212) 736–5000, The conveniently located Hotel Pennsylvania has all the ingredients for a perfect reception. It has flexible ballrooms that provide an elegant, functional Manhattan setting for weddings of all sizes.

Millennium Broadway Hotel

145 W. 44th St. in New York, (212) 768–4400, The Millennium Broadway Hotel’s fully functioning Hudson Theatre has recently received a 3.5 milliondollar renovation. It offers flexible and moveable seating as well as Broadway-quality lighting and sound, making it the most extravagant wedding and reception facility in New York City.

Museum of Jewish Heritage

36 Battery Pl. in New York, (646) 437–4202, The Museum of Jewish Heritage’s unique facilities are perfect for galas, receptions, conferences, weddings, other life cycle events, and more.

The Picnic House in Prospect Park

95 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn, (646) 393–9031, The Picnic House in Prospect Park is a 4,000 square foot brick-and-glass enclosed pavilion with a terracotta tile roof. Built in 1927, it has been praised for its light and sweeping views. The natural setting makes it a perfect choice for a wedding and the French doors gracing the rear balcony create a charming focal point for the exchange of vows.

Hotel Plaza Athenee

37 E. 64th St. in New York, (212) 734–9100, The Upper East Side’s Hotel Plaza Athenee is a stunning European-style venue with antique furnishings in the lobby, a beautiful marble entranceway, and Italian tapestries on the walls. It is the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs. It has an elegant ceremony space and the hotel’s dazzling, gold-domed Arabelle restaurant provides a great reception site.

The Provincetown Business Guild

3 Freeman St. in Provincetown, (508) 487–2313, In 2004 — when Massachusetts became the first state to extend full marriage benefits for same-sex couples — Provincetown quickly became the number one destination for LGBT unions. The inclusive, gay-friendly spirit provides the perfect place for all couples to host a wedding, commitment ceremony, or spend their honeymoon. In addition to the charming seaside splendor that Provincetown provides, there are a plethora of party planners, caterers, venues, and other helpful businesses that make it easy and comfortable for future newlyweds to plan their special day. Contact the Provincetown Business Guild for additional help!

reBar Brooklyn Gastropub

147 Front St. in Brooklyn, (718) 766–9110,, Located on the mezzanine of an 19th century tea factory, this hip, Brooklyn gastropub’s seasonal New American menu, 120 bottled beers, sustainable and organic wine list, and its extensive scotch selection.

Queens Russo’s on the Bay

162-45 Cross Bay Blvd. in Queens, (718) 843–5055, A beautiful, waterfront wedding at Russo’s On The Bay is a truly royal experience. It offers unwavering commitment to detail that you can sleep easy knowing that the valet will provide excellent service at the door, the food will be superb, the linens will be pressed, and the venue will be running like a well-oiled machine.

Tio Pepe

168 W. Fourth St. in New York, (212) 242–9338,, At Tio Pepe you have a choice of atmosphere. The skylight dining room supplies a touch of romance while the enclosed sidewalk cafe provides a room with a view of Greenwich Village.

Villa Russo

118-16 101st Ave. in Queens, (718) 849–0990, The Villa Russo has celebrated engagements and weddings for more than 50 years in its spacious wedding venue. The hotel invites you to experience the true radiance of this elegant Italian-style villa. The food is delicious and the certified wedding planners will assure a day you and your guests will not forget.

TRAVEL Ace World Travel

8320 13th Ave. in Brooklyn, (347) 915–4287,, Ace World Travel is a full-service, independent, home-based travel agency. Its goal is to help you explore the world however you desire, and make that experience as unique and memorable as possible.

WEDDING MINISTRY Celebration Ceremonies

(646) 322–6743,, Reverend Francesca Fortunato has been an ordained Interfaith minister since 2003. Rev. Francesca creates and performs beautiful, personal, meaningful ceremonies for couples of many different faiths (or none). She is proud and delighted to now perform legal marriages for members of her own LGBTQ community.


January 22, 2014 |

“ M I C H A E L G R A N D A G E ’ S S T U P E N D O U S P R O D U C T I O N O F B I L LY B U D D I S G L Y N D E B O U R N E A T I T S M A T C H L E S S B E S T. ” — T H E D A I LY T E L E G R A P H ( U K )






— D A I LY M A I L ( U K )











718.636.4100 BAM 2014 Winter/Spring Season sponsor:

BAM.ORG Billy Budd is made possible by a generous gift from The Howard Gilman Foundation Leadership support for Billy Budd provided by: Robert Turner Aashish & Dinyar Devitre

TICKETS START AT $30 Leadership support for opera at BAM provided by: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation