FREE VOLUME TWELVE, ISSUE SIX MARCH 13 - 26, 2013
Quinn, Farley Urge Meningitis Vaccine 10 Obama Steps Up on Prop 8 12 Schulman Reads at Center 09 Tyler Clementi at the Conclave 33
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March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
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| March 13, 2013
Cover Illustration by Michael Shirey
New district from Hellâ€™s Kitchen to West Village already most populous, also fastest growing
Christine Quinn formally enters race for mayor
IN THE NOH
The new Superman: Ed Watts soars 24
Stonewall stories 16
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR High noon at the high court 32
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com the West Village, as well as some surrounding areas. Under the redistricting, the 3rd will have a population of 168,556 — the most of any of the 51 Council districts in the city. According to both reputation and Census data, this district has by far the city’s highest concentration of LGBT residents, as well as being in many ways the heart of New York’s LGBT community. By contrast, under the same plan, the new 51st Council District on the South Shore of Staten Island would have a mere 153,553 residents; the new 11th Council District in the northwest Bronx would have just 153,044 residents; and the new 23rd Council District in northeastern Queens would be the least populous in the entire city, with just 152,767 residents. And yet each of these districts would be allotted one seat, and therefore get one vote, on the City Council. While 152,767 people gets you one seat on the City Council in northeastern Queens, it only gets you about nine-tenths of a seat on the West Side of Manhattan, requiring an additional 16,000 people to qualify for a City Council representative. This means that for each resident of Chelsea, the West Village, or Hell’s Kitchen, their vote for City Council has about 10 percent less impact, and gets 10 percent less representation, than it does in northeastern Queens, southern Staten Island, or the northwest Bronx.
New district from Hell’s Kitchen to West Village already the most populous, also the fastest growing n a place as diverse as New York, it’s not always easy to make sure everyone’s voice is heard in city government. But imagine how much harder it would be if the votes of residents of some parts of the city counted more than others — if, say, your vote had 10 percent more weight if you lived in one part of town, or 10 percent less if you lived in another. Imagine if over time, that difference grew to 20 percent, or even 30 percent. Well, you don’t have to imagine — that’s exactly what will happen under the redistricting plan accepted earlier this month by the City Council. And, disturbingly, under the plan, the New York neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of LGBT residents are also the ones that will have their votes count the least of any part of the city. The City Council is the main vehicle by which local communities have a voice and vote in city government, serving as a balance against a mayor with strong statutory authority. Much like our State Legislature and Congress, the City Council adopts budgets (one of the largest in the nation), allocates government resources, and enacts laws — everything from civil rights protections to setting fines for parking tickets. Additionally, our City Council has final say over virtually all major land-use issues in our neighborhoods, and thus plays a big role in deciding how much development takes place in our city and where. The Council has 51 members, and every 10 years, following the federal Census, new lines are drawn determining the boundaries of each district that gets to elect one representative. How legislative district lines are drawn can have a tremendous impact on who is elected and whose interests are represented — an issue that has received a great deal of media and civic attention lately nationwide. Manipulation of the redistricting process is largely credited with allowing Republicans to maintain a comfortable majority in the US House of Representatives in the 2012 election even though a million fewer votes were cast for GOP candidates than for Democrats. And in the New York State Senate, Republicans have notoriously manipulated the redistricting process over the years to hold onto power. They have consistently “packed” Democratic voters into districts with the largest number of voters legally possible, thus minimizing the number of representatives they can elect, and placed Republican voters into districts with the fewest number of legally allowable voters, thus maximizing
Before the next redistricting, the 3rd Council District may well have 20 percent, or even 30 percent more residents than other districts.
NEW YORK CITY DISTRICTING COMMISSION
BY ANDREW BERMAN
The City Council lines for Lower Manhattan, with the new boundaries shown in black outline.
their voting power by increasing the number of districts in which they predominate. While there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that the redistricting process for the overwhelmingly Democratic City Council was manipulated for partisan purposes, the approach employed did use some similar methods to grant greater weight and representation to residents in some parts of the city than to others. The most dramatic example is the new 3rd Council District, containing all of Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and
How is this possible, one might ask, given the US Constitution’s guarantee of one person-one vote? The City Charter does allow a maximum deviation of 10 percent between the most populous and least populous of City Council districts. The Charter also says that Council district boundaries should be compact, keep “communities of interest” intact, and where possible avoid crossing borough lines. Acknowledging that there might be cases where achieving this would be difficult or impossible with 51 districts of the exact same number of residents, the Charter allows the wiggle room for deviation to reach these goals. However, none of these goals appear to be served by “packing” the 3rd Council District with so many people, while drawing the boundaries of some other districts, such as the 23rd and the 51st, to make them so relatively unpopulated — and therefore, relatively speaking, so overrepresented. A glance at the City Council redistricting map shows that these new districts follow a crazy patchwork of lines that reflect no inviolable natural or demographic boundaries, and thus offer no rational justification for some districts being so much more “packed” than others. But perhaps even more disconcerting than the effect this plan has on the voting power of residents of Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and the West Village now is the impact it will have over the next decade, until the next redistricting takes place. Over the last 10 years, these neighborhoods collectively had the highest population growth rates of any in the city, due in large part to enormous amounts of new residential construction in Chelsea, along the Greenwich Village waterfront, on West 42nd Street, and in
VOTING POWER, continued on p.5
| March 13, 2013
VOTING POWER, from p.4
Hell’s Kitchen South. This substantially higher population growth rate (about 15 percent overall in these neighborhoods in the 2010 census, as compared to about two percent for the rest of the city) can reasonably be expected to continue over the decade until the next redistricting. Why? Ironically, because of actions taken by the very same City Council that approved this redistricting plan — rezonings of the Hudson Rail Yards, West Chelsea, southern and western Hell’s Kitchen, Hudson Square, and the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site in the West Village. All are located within the 3rd Council District, and taken together will result in the con-
struction of thousands and thousands of new apartments. This means that before the next redistricting comes around, the 3rd Council District may well have 20 percent, or even 30 percent more residents than other Council districts in the city, and yet will still have the same one vote. Its residents would then have 20 to 30 percent less voting power, or 20 to 30 percent less representation in the City Council, than their counterparts elsewhere in the city. To be clear, redistricting cannot and should not be based on predictions of what populations will be like in 10 years; if they were, you can only imagine what kind of additional manipulation of the system might take place. However, the
very reasonable expectation that the 3rd Council District will continue to grow at a much faster rate than the rest of the city provides all the more compelling case for why it should not be the most packed of all the city’s 51 districts. It’s particularly unfair to disadvantage one area of the city so markedly in terms of voting power when it’s quite likely that over the next 10 years that imbalance will only grow dramatically — more so than in any other part of the city. With the City Council’s approval of the redistricting plan in early March, the only thing standing in the way of implementation is Justice Department review. Unfortunately, the Voting Rights Act does not recognize the LGBT community as a protected class. Therefore, while this plan
would clearly disproportionately diminish the voting power of LGBT New Yorkers, by making the area of the city with far and away the highest proportion of LGBT residents also the area with the lowest voting power, we are unlikely to find any relief from the federal government. This is an issue the Redistricting Commission (appointed by the City Council and the mayor) and the Council itself, which ultimately accepted these lines, should have been cognizant of. No area of the city, and none of its residents, should be put at such a structural disadvantage by the redistricting process. And that’s especially true of a community that has suffered the sort of historical and contemporary discrimination and marginalization that the LGBT community has.
NEWS BRIEFS BY PAUL SCHINDLER
Senate Confirms Third Lesbian Federal Judge — All in New York Ki Mai Chen, confirmed the US1Senate on March 4 as a fed3 13 GFiat SEXYPamela 4C GCN 3/11/13 3:53 PMby Page eral judge in the Brooklyn-based Eastern District of New York, is the second Chinese-American woman and the third out lesbian to assume a lifetime seat on the judiciary. Among lesbian jurists, Chen, a graduate of the University of Michigan and Georgetown Law School, is preceded by Deborah Batts and Alison Nathan, both of whom serve in New York’s Eastern District, based in Man-
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hattan. Like Chen, Nathan was appointed by President Barack Obama, while Batts was named by President Bill Clinton. The president appointed both Chen and Nathan on the recommendation of New York’s senior senator, Democrat Chuck Schumer, who also recommended the appointment of J. Paul Oetken, who in 2011 became the first out gay man to win confirmation to a seat on a federal district court bench. Oatken also sits on New York’s Southern District Court. Chen, the daughter of immigrants from China, worked in private practice until joining the Justice Department in 1991, where she eventually worked in the Civil Rights Division during an eight-year tenure. Since moving to New
York in 1998, she has worked as chief of the Civil Rights Section’s Criminal Division in the Eastern District US Attorney’s Office and as the deputy commissioner for enforcement in the New York State Division for Human Rights. In a written statement, Schumer said, “Ms. Chen’s wealth of experience and devotion to public service make it clear that she will be an excellent judge. Ms. Chen has proven time and again that she is a leader and a pioneer in the legal field. I have every confidence that she will serve her jurisdiction well.”
NEWS BRIEFS, continued on p.10
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March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com © 2012 OraSure Technologies, Inc. OQ-C008 0712
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| March 13, 2013
Chris Quinn Formally Enters Race for Mayor Emphasizing clout as Council speaker and immigrant roots, out lesbian Democrat makes it official BY PAUL SCHINDLER
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, joined by her father-in-law, Anthony Catullo (l.), her wife, Kim Catullo (l.), and her father Lawrence and sister Ellen (r.)
disaster, because “she made a run for it” rather than kneeling to pray. When Quinn told a priest her grandmother “knew there was a time to pray and a time to run,” he corrected her, saying, “Your grandmother knew you could pray while running.” The new mayoral candidate promised to do just that. First elected to the Council in 1999 — in a special election to fill Tom Duane’s seat representing the West Village, Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen after he was elected to the State Senate — Quinn has held tight reins over the Council’s agenda as speaker while forging a working partnership with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Her close relationship with the mayor was a break with the political tradition she grew up in — as head of both the Housing Justice Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, as a protégé of Duane, who was an outspoken critic of Giuliani while on the Council, and as a top deputy to former Speaker Gifford Miller, who often adopted a confrontational approach toward Bloomberg. Quinn has consistently maintained that working with Bloomberg, as opposed to being at odds with him, was a recipe for moving the city forward. “I think in almost every issue we’ve had success on since being speaker, almost, we’ve played insider and outsider roles — this office — depending on the issue,” she told Gay City News last summer. At her campaign kick-off, she contrasted herself with her Democratic rivals, saying, “I’m not about talking and finger-pointing, I’m about action,
results, and delivery.” Quinn made much the same point in a campaign video posted on her website the morning of her announcement. The speaker’s cooperative posture toward the mayor has drawn fire from some in progressive political circles that formed her original base. After advancing legislation that overturned the term limits law — allowing both Bloomberg and herself another four years in power — Quinn faced an unusually tough Democratic primary in 2009, garnering just over half the vote in a three-way race. She has also faced criticism from some activists after she refused to support extension of public housing opportunities to all people living with HIV, as opposed to only those with an AIDS diagnosis; from civil liberties advocates for supporting a requirement than any outdoor demonstration of at least 50 people obtain a police permit; and from Lower Manhattan residents angry that more was not done to save St. Vincent’s Hospital. In the past several years, Quinn has found a powerful new political ally in Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has repeatedly credited her counsel in helping him push marriage equality through the State Senate in 2011. The speaker won early endorsements from the Empire State Pride Agenda, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a Washington-based group that works to elect out LGBT candidates. Some activists upset over the NYPD’s targeting of gay men for false arrests in Manhattan video stores several years ago have praised the speaker for
GAY CITY NEWS
GAY CITY NEWS
tanding across the street from the Catholic church in Inwood where her parents married and her immigrant grandfather’s funeral was held, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn for mally announced her candidacy for mayor on the morning of March 10. Explaining that her four grandparents came to New York from Ireland a century ago because it was a place where “you could be free and you could get out of poverty,” Quinn said, “I’m running for mayor because I want it to remain that place and become even more of that.” If elected, the Council speaker would be the city’s first woman and first openly LGBT mayor. In the September 10 Democratic primary, she will face off against Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, former Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., the 2009 Democratic candidate, and former City Councilman Sal Albanese. The Republican nomination is also being contested, by candidates including Joseph J. Lhota, a former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani who resigned as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s chair at the end of 2012, and John Catsimatidis, the owner of the Gristedes and Red Apple supermarket chains. Quinn’s announcement speech made clear her campaign would emphasize her influence on city government over seven years as Council speaker. She pointed to success in delivering on-time budgets in line with the statutory requirement that they be balanced, in preventing the closure of any firehouses, and in the creation of mandatory kindergartens citywide. Mindful of criticism that she has moved to the right politically in her years as speaker, Quinn also mentioned her role in enacting a living wage requirement for businesses receiving city subsidies, in curbing deportation of undocumented immigrants convicted of minor offenses, in protecting a woman’s right to choose, and in preventing teacher layoffs. At the same time, the 46-year -old speaker, who was flanked by her wife, Kim Catullo, her sister, and her father and father -in-law, emphasized her roots in an Irish Catholic immigrant family. Her maternal grandmother, she said, was one of the few third-class passengers to survive the 1912 Titanic
Quinn campaigns with her sister, Ellen, in Inwood on March 10.
her intervention on that issue. Robert Pinter, one of the men arrested and the original organizer of opposition to the practice, told Gay City News at that time, “Christine Quinn’s leadership provided a forum for this rare admission [of errors] by the NYPD and the genesis for the positive changes that followed.” Last year, Quinn joined an umbrella group of civil rights organizations in a massive Father’s Day protest against the widespread use of stop and frisk tactics in communities of color, even as she showed support for steps Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was making, in his words, “to increase public confidence” in the department in light of the practice. Around the same time, Kelly and Quinn announced new police procedures to deal more respectfully with the city’s transgender community. City Council measures aimed at broader questions of police-community relations have not yet been acted on, but advocates for policing reform recently told Gay City News they remain optimistic that legislation will advance. Over the past several weeks, Quinn has come under stepped-up pressure to allow Council action on a paid sick leave bill that would cover most private sector employees in the city. The speaker has argued that ongoing economic sluggishness makes this the wrong time for imposing new burdens on small businesses, a position she stuck to at her campaign kick-off even though she said she supports “the goal” of the legislation.
QUINN, continued on p.15
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
Inclusion the ‘Rage’ in Queens, But St. Pat’s Discriminates Elsewhere Sunnyside parade draws leading pols, but Fifth Avenue, city-supported Staten Island events exclude gays
he St. Pat’s for All Parade through Sunnyside and Woodside, Queens brought together Irish and non-Irish, gay and straight, young and old, Democrat and Republican, and Catholic and Muslim — not to mention a long line of Brownie troops — in the 14th edition of this “inclusive” event. The March 3 parade started as an answer to St. Patrick’s parades around the city — particularly the monster event on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue — that continue to forbid the participation of Irish groups that identify as LGBT. The Fifth Avenue parade, set for March 16 (since St. Patrick’s Day itself falls on a Sunday), is maintaining its policy of excluding Irish LGBT groups and will once again be boycotted by political leaders — mostly Democrats — who object to the ban. The Staten Island St. Pat’s Parade on March 17 will also be boycotted by most pro-gay leaders, though it continues to receive public funding from the City Council through a member item allocation from Councilwoman Debbie Rose, a Democrat from that borough. That allocation is made in spite of Council rules that state, “All public funds, however awarded, must be used for a city purpose” and must support an activity “open to members of the public, regardless of race, creed, gender, religious affiliation, etc., without restriction, and which does not promote a particular religion.” Gay City News asked City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to explain the funding of the private, religious, exclusionary event and got an email from her press spokesman, Jamie McShane, that read, “The Council allows Members to sponsor funding for local initiatives that have a public purpose and comply with all federal, state, and local laws. Courts have held that parade organizers can control their own messages. Each allocation in the Council’s discretionary budget is not a reflection of the Council’s views as a whole.” McShane did not respond to a follow-up question about how the Staten Island event was in compliance with the Council rule that events funded not discriminate. Speaking at St. Pat’s for All, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, an out gay Sunnyside Democrat, said, “I don’t believe the city should support exclusionary parades at all.” M a y o r M i c h a e l B l o o m b e rg a n d
(Clockwise from top left) St. Pat’s for All marchers carry a banner in memory of Father Mychal Judge, the gay Fire Department chaplain killed on 9/11; grand marshals Aidan Connolly and Pauline Turley from the Irish Arts Center stand in front of the parade’s banner; and members of the Gay Officers Action League show their colors.
BY ANDY HUMM
R e pub l i ca n m ayor a l hop eful J oe Lhota, a former Giuliani deputy mayor, made the scene at the inclusive parade, saying they wish the big one in Manhattan were open to gay contingents as well, but would nevertheless march in Manhattan. “I’ll do everything I can to convince everybody that they should be able to march,” Lhota said. Councilman Daniel Dromm, a Jackson Heights Democrat and longtime gay activist, said that gay inclusion on Fifth Avenue was “a far way off. I’m sending a letter to my colleagues reminding them why I don’t march.” He, too, opposes Council funding for the Staten Island event. Corey
Johnson, a candidate for the Council from Chelsea who turned out for the Sunnyside event, echoed the views of Dromm and Van Bramer. There will once again be a protest of the Manhattan parade’s exclusionary policy on March 16 at 10:30 a.m. on the west side of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. It will be run by an ad hoc group of demonstrators led by Ed Pass, who has protested the parade for decades. “A parade intended to honor Ireland and Irish culture has succeeded in becoming an embarrassment, a relic tainted by bigotry and shunned by most New York politicians and Irish leaders,” Pass wrote in an email. Emmaia Gelman of Irish Queers,
which has led the protest for many years, wrote in an email, “This year, Irish Queers is handing off the parade protest to some of the committed protesters who have stood alongside IQ for many years. While spectators on the sidelines are vastly more supportive now than [when we] started out 22 years ago, the parade organizers and the Catholic Church are intransigent in their bigotry. We still believe it's illegal for the NYPD to march in the parade in their uniformed, official capacity. The fact that they do march underlines how deeply anti-queer bias is entrenched — it's the same unenlightened police department that terrorizes communities of color with stop and frisk.” Hilary Beirne, an officer of the Fifth Avenue parade, told the Wall Street Journal this month that allowing gay Irish groups to march with any signifiers such as a banner or sash would be “contrary to what the parade stands for,” which she said was “a celebration of Irish faith, Irish heritage, and Irish culture.” The boycott and pr otest of the Manhattan parade began as a result of the Irish Gay and Lesbian Organization (ILGO) being denied a place in the line of march with their banner in 1991. That year, Mayor David Dinkins worked out a compromise where ILGO marched with him within Division 7 of the Ancient Order of Hiber nians (AOH), a chapter of the group that runs the parade. He and the gay
ST. PAT's, continued on p.15
| March 13, 2013
Sarah Schulman Reads from ‘Israel/ Palestine’ at Center Author and academic appears before large, mostly friendly crowd, but some critics too BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
GAY CITY NEWS
oughly two years after the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center banned groups that “organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA) hosted author Sarah Schulman at the West Village building for a reading from her book on that conflict. “After two years, we are proud to be meeting here in this room, in this building, as Queers Against Israeli Apartheid,” said Leslie Cagan, a QAIA member, as she introduced Schulman on March 11. The ban was lifted on February 15. About 150 people packed a first floor room at the West 13th Street facility to hear Schulman speak. With questions, the event lasted nearly two hours. The crowd was almost entirely in agreement with Schulman and QAIA, a group that opposes Israeli government policy on Palestine. Schulman read from “Israel/ Palestine and The Queer International” and discussed her evolution from a longtime progressive activist who had not considered Israeli government policies to one who now supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. “I managed to avoid the situation in Israel and I managed to avoid it for a long time,” Schulman said. She first confronted those policies in 2009 after being asked to speak at an academic conference in Tel Aviv. “I was all ready to go and a colleague of mine, a Turkish Jew, said ‘Well, you know there’s a boycott,’” Schulman said. “I didn’t see how a lesbian and gay studies conference could be part of a boycott.” After consulting with colleagues, notably Judith Butler, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Schulman decided to support what then was a boycott of the “academic and cultural” institutions in Israel “that normalize the occupation.” But she did travel to Israel where she ended up speaking to some of the people who organized the conference and others who would have attended. “I realized I could boycott and communicate with people,” Schulman said. As the City University of New York professor walked through Bil’in, a West bank village, with activists, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at them and Schulman asked herself “Who is we? Who is we and they? These soldiers were not we.” The “we” are those who support “equal rights” and “self determination,” Schulman said, while the “they” do not.
Sarah Schulman stands in front of the Palestinian flag as QAIA’s Leslie Cagan introduces her.
Israeli government policy and its supporters are likened to South Africa’s apartheid policy and its proponents by the BDS movement. “Their whole argument is about racial supremacy,” Schulman said. Schulman was cautious. Recalling that some on the gay left had supported the Cuban government at a time when queers there were “profoundly oppressed,” she met with Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti, a leading voice in the BDS movement. “He was really uptight,” Schulman said. “I was really uptight... I thought it went horribly.” Back in America, Schulman organized a six-city tour of Palestinian queers who supported the BDS movement that was well received here. “They went back home and who supported them?,” Schulman asked. Several audience members correctly answered, “Omar.” The Center’s ban came in 2011. The facility had rented space to Siege Busters Working Group, an organization challenging the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. When Siege Busters sought space for a party, it was banned because it was “an incredibly controversial and contentious event” and “it was not LGBT focused,” Glennda Testone, the Center’s executive director, said at a 2011 town hall meeting. The Center then permitted QAIA to rent space for three meetings, but abruptly banned that group after one meeting and announced an “indefinite moratorium” on renting to groups that “organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Earlier this year, QAIA asked to rent space to have Schulman read from her book and was denied. That prompted a ferocious outcry and the Center lifted the moratorium.
But the ban’s end did not end any controversy over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During questions, one man took up Schulman’s theme and asked “Is Hamas part of the ‘they?’” Hamas, an Islamic group, is the elected government in the Gaza Strip and homosexuality is a crime there. No queer Palestinian groups are known to have offices or
even operations in the Gaza Strip. “It depends,” Schulman said. “I don’t know enough about Hamas.” A second man won scattered applause when he said Schulman had given a “disingenuous answer” to the Hamas question. Pinkwashing was also raised. Activists say that practice promotes Israel’s pro-gay policies as a form of misdirection to distract from the government’s more objectionable policies. “Gay Pride in Tel Aviv is emblematic of modernity,” Schulman said. “The idea is that if they have Gay Pride in Tel Aviv, the occupation doesn’t matter.” Jayson Littman, a party promoter and “gay Zionist,” said that Schulman was engaged in her own spin by soft pedaling Palestinian violence. “You’re pretty much pinkwashing in the same way,” he said. Schulman asked members of a queer Palestinian group who attended the event to answer Littman’s point. “I was pleased that she called on me,” Littman told Gay City News after the event. “I was disappointed that she didn’t answer the question.”
March 24, Palm/Passion Sunday 11am: Facing What Has to Be Faced (Luke 19:35-41) March 28, Maundy Thursday 7pm: Garden Prayers (Luke 22:39-42) Dramatic readings with music by the Marble Sanctuary Choir. Holy Communion. March 29, Good Friday Noon: Compassion (Luke 23:32-34, 39-43; John 19:25-27) Marble Festival of Voices, Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra March 31, Easter Sunday 9 &11am: Victory (Col. 3:1-4; Matt. 28:1-10)
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
With More Meningitis in Gay Men, Quinn, Farley Join Vaccination Call BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
iting four new meningitis cases among gay and bisexual men in New York City since the start of 2013, the city’s health department is recommending that all men who “regularly have intimate contact with other men met through a website, digital application, or at a bar or party” get vaccinated for the bug. “Meningitis symptoms usually come on quickly, and the disease can be fatal if not treated right away,” Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said in a March 6 statement. “Vaccination is the best defense. I urge all men who meet these criteria, regardless of whether they identify as gay, to get vaccinated now and protect themselves from this disease before it is too late.” The health department first noted the meningitis outbreak on September 27 of last year in a media alert that reported four cases of “invasive meningococcal disease” among gay and bisexual men in the prior four weeks. At that time, the department recommended that any HIV-positive man who had had recent sex with another man get vaccinated. A separate alert that was sent to healthcare providers that day reported on 12 cases occurring since 2010. Four of those men had died. One case occurred in 2010, three occurred in 2011, and eight in 2012. Eight of the men were HIV-positive. The total number of cases since 2010 has now climbed to 22 with 17 of those cases occurring since the start of 2012. Three of the five most recently infected men died, and there have been seven fatalities altogether since 2010. While a senior health department official said in October that the agency wanted to vaccinate 10,000 men, the agency only purchased 4,000 vaccine doses in
2012, according to health department documents obtained by Gay City News under the state Freedom of Information law. The health department assembled a network of private and city clinics, public and private hospitals, and other providers to execute its vaccine campaign. “The estimate of 10,000 was based on HIV-infected men who live in New York City and met the ‘high risk’ criteria included in our announcement,” a health department spokesperson wrote in an email in January. “HIV-infected men in New York City have access to HIV primary care, and primary care providers can be reimbursed for meningococcal vaccination. The Department’s vaccination purchase was meant to support nonDepartment facilities that needed a small supply of vaccine while they ordered their own vaccine and to supply Departmentoperated clinics for sexually transmitted diseases and immunizations.” Asked on March 6 if it would be purchasing more vaccine, a health department spokesperson wrote, “We have ample vaccine available and do not need to purchase additional vaccine at this time.” The 4,000 doses were purchased in early October. The department had distributed all but 1,765 doses to a network of 34 healthcare providers across the city by November 8. As of January 28, the department estimated that 4,022 people had received a first dose of the two-dose vaccine. “This is likely an under -estimate, because providers are not required by law to report adult vaccinations to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; we rely on voluntary reports from many, but not all, large volume outpatient clinics,” the c NEWS BRIEFS, from p.5 spokesper-
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Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City ‘s health commissioner.
son wrote. The March 6 statement included quotes urging men to get vaccinated from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, an out lesbian who represents Chelsea and the West Village, five other members of the City Council, and Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president. This is also the first time that Farley, the health commissioner, has been quoted in any meningitis alert. Asked via email if they were endorsing the health department’s approach or if the City Council would produce additional funds for more vaccine, the elected officials either declined to comment, did not respond, or referred questions to the health department or to the City Council press office, which simply reissued Quinn’s quote from the original state-
ment. “The City Council is working with the Health Department to make sure that New Yorkers know how to protect themselves from invasive meningococcal disease,” Quinn said. “While the rise in cases of the disease commonly known as meningitis is concerning, particularly for men who are HIV-positive or who have sex with men, vaccines and treatments are available. The City is also offering information and resources on the web and through 311. The Council will work to ensure that the public is educated about this disease and the increased risk so that New Yorkers are armed with the information they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.” Toronto and Chicago had smaller meningitis outbreaks among gay and bisexual men and responded faster with vaccine campaigns. Toronto’s campaign was comparable to New York City’s at 3,850 vaccinations that were completed in 25 days. Chicago distributed 14,267 vaccinations in eight days. Both cities reported no new cases after their campaigns. Among infections in New York City’s current outbreak that were analyzed, the health department, in its September 27 alert, noted that “6 of 7 infections are related to a strain of N. meningitidis that was responsible for the 2006 outbreak in New York City.” That earlier outbreak was among injecting drug users in Central Brooklyn, with 23 reported cases and seven deaths. Between June 28 and September 30 of that year, the health department vaccinated 2,763 people. An additional three cases were seen after that campaign.
*While Supplies Last
Health department reports four new infections but hass no plans for ordering new doses
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-7pm • Thurs 11am-8pm • Sun 11am-6pm www.broadwaypanhandler.com
Ernie Banks, Tom Ridge Among Newest Gay Marriage Supporters With marriage equality headed for a vote in the Illinois House of Representatives — after passage by the Senate and with the support of Democratic Governor Pat Quinn — former Chicago Cub hero Ernie Banks is among four local sports stars who have now endorsed the measure, the Windy City Times reported. “Treating any group of people as second-class citizens hurts us all, because discrimination is wrong no matter whom the target is,” read an open letter signed by Banks, who played shortstop and first base for the Cubs for 19 seasons, former Bears players Richard Dent, a defensive end, Hunter Hillenmeyer, a linebacker, and Brendon Ayanbadejo, another linebacker who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens. Banks joined the Major Leagues as the Cubs’ first African-American player in 1953 and was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1957 and 1959, on a team that went many, many decades without a pennant win. Dubbed Mr. Cub, the revered old-school sports star holds the
record for most games played on that team. Illinois Unites for Marriage — a coalition led by Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois — noted that a recent poll by Crain’s Chicago Business found that 50 percent of the state’s residents support gay marriage, with 29 percent opposed. Leading newspapers in the state, including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and dailies in Springfield, Peoria, and the Quad Cities have endorsed the bill, which could receive a House vote as early as this week. Meanwhile, Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal reported that former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who served as Homeland Security secretary in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, has also endorsed marriage equality, signing on to an amicus brief that prominent Republicans are filing in the Proposition 8 case that goes to the Supreme Court at the end of this month. Other former GOP governors, including Utah’s Jon Huntsman, who sought his party’s presidential nomination last year, and New Jersey’s Christine Todd Whitman, also signed the brief. No sitting Republican governor has endorsed the brief, and New York’s Richard Hanna and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida are the only two Republican members of Congress who have done so.
| March 13, 2013
Liu Charges Ed Dept Fails in Tracking Bullying Comptroller audit claims bias incidents not classified by type BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
he city’s Department of Education (DOE) is not adequately tracking and responding to bias incidents in New York City’s roughly 1,700 public schools, according to an audit released by John Liu, the city’s comptroller. “The DOE needs to show parents, students, and educators that it takes bullying seriously,” Liu said in a March 1 statement. “DOE cannot combat bullying and protect students from bias harassment when its own tracking system is blind to it... Every day, students are unable to learn because they are bullied for their race, religion, sexual orientation, or body type. Our children deserve better. The DOE needs to do better.” The DOE’s Online Occurrence Reporting System captures all incidents filed by school staff, but it does not allow staff to classify incidents by bias type. It also does not differentiate between incidents occurring between students and incidents occurring between students and staff. That means that a school that may be having a problem with a particular type of bullying cannot be identified and the response to bullying may be inconsistent among the schools. The concern is also that the system could allow a principal or school staff to disguise a trend showing unresolved bullying of a particular type that occurred over a school year or even for a shorter period of time. DOE staff can query the online system with keywords, but they must then review paper copies of the complaints to determine if they fall into a particular category of bias incident. The online system captures all behavioral incidents, including those motivated by bias, and the DOE reported that bias accounted for just six percent of all behavioral incidents in the 2009-2010
school year. There were 8,298 bias incidents that year. Whether all bias incidents were correctly classified in that school year remains a question. The DOE online system conforms to a 2004 anti-bullying law passed by the City Council — despite it being struck down by the state’s highest court — that includes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression as protected classes. A 2008 DOE regulation also governs the online system. The DOE also has to comply with a state anti-bullying law that took effect in 2012. In a statement, the DOE said it was complying with all legal requirements. “The Department of Education is committed to maintaining a safe and supportive educational environment for all students that is free from harassment, intimidation, and bullying committed by students against other students,” the statement read. “We have enacted a regulation and made modifications to our online reporting to reflect bias-related incidents. We are ahead of major school districts throughout the country on this issue.” The DOE also submitted a 14-page rebuttal to the Liu audit that was released as part of the 35-page audit, and the agency wrote that it had updated its online system in mid-2012. Those changes addressed Liu’s complaints, the DOE said. In an email, Daryl Presgraves, the director of communications at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), wrote, “Enacting an LGBT inclusive anti-bullying policy is merely the end of the beginning. Effective implementation and follow-through are essential for an anti-bullying policy to have a real and lasting impact on anti-LGBT bullying.” GLSEN is approaching the end of a four -year, $1.26 million contract with the DOE to provide safe schools training.
e Grace v o L
or t c i
tion c e r r esu
Holy Week - March 24 - 30
11 AM Mass w/ Palms 6 PM Jazz Mass w/ Palms
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Evening Prayer at 6 PM
Good Friday Open Mic at the Foot of the Cross 12 - 3 PM Solemn Liturgy Passion Reading 6 PM
Eucharist with guest choir 6 PM
Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Fire, Food, Fellowship, & First Eucharist of Easter 6 PM
(great event for families, reservations requested)
Easter Sunday - March 31
11 AM - Traditional Mass
6 PM - Jazz Mass
St. John’s Lutheran Church 81 Christopher Street In the heart of the village, with the village in our hearts stjohnsnyc.org The Rev. Mark Erson, Pastor 212-242-5737 firstname.lastname@example.org ALL ARE WELCOME!
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
Obama Administration Steps Up on Prop 8 In a nuanced brief, Justice Department undermines arguments for differential treatment of same-sex couples BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
WHITE HOUSE/ SONYA N. HEBERT
he US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a brief in support of the two same-sex couples seeking to overturn California’s Proposition 8. Their case will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 26. The administration does not explicitly argue there is a federal constitutional right to marry, but in nuanced fashion it does strongly suggest that the factors that create equal protection violations in Prop 8 can be found in state enactments elsewhere that grant civil union protections to same-sex couples but not access to marriage. The US government is not a party to the suit, which is challenging the state of California in federal court on the grounds that voters there, in November 2008, violated the federal constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples by taking away the right to marry available as a result of an earlier State Supreme Court ruling. Having no formal role in the litigation meant that the Obama administration had no obligation to weigh in on the case, though advocates had pressed the Justice Department to speak up. The government needs to identify its interests in filing an amicus brief in a case to which it is not a party. Here there are two. First, the gover nment wants to achieve a consistent resolution on the level of judicial scrutiny applicable to sexual orientation discrimination claims. In a separate case challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which will be heard by the high court on March 27, the Obama administration is arguing for heightened scrutiny, which places a high burden on any law that treats people differently based on their sexual orientation. The DOJ brief points out that the government has, in the past, submitted amicus briefs when the Supreme Court was considering what level of review to apply to an equal protection claim where litigants challenged a state or local government, since the federal government has its own programs and policies that might be affected by the case’s outcome. That is certainly true regarding the Prop 8 litigation. A Supreme Court finding based on heightened scrutiny could affect the constitutionality of any federal law or policy that subjects gay people to unequal treatment, by making those laws presumptively unconstitutional
President Barack Obama, flanked by the first lady, at his inauguration on January 21.
and putting the burden on the government to justify them by showing they substantially advance an important government interest. The administration’s brief also notes that the government has an interest in the case because many of the arguments made in support of Prop 8 by its Official Proponents — who are defending it in the absence of the state of California doing so — have also been made in support of DOMA’s ban on federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages. The federal government has a legitimate interest in seeing these issues resolved in consistent fashion. The DOJ brief basically replicates arguments the administration is making in the DOMA case about why claims of sexual orientation discrimination merit heightened scrutiny, countering arguments to the contrary by the Prop 8 Proponents’ attorney, Charles Cooper. After pointing out that California law provides all the state law rights of marriage to same-sex couples and that Prop 8 does not withdraw any of those rights, the brief states, “Particularly in those circumstances, the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage does not substantially further any important governmental interest. Proposition 8 thus violates equal protection.” In other words, the brief, in supporting the plaintiff couples — who are represented by noted litigators David Boies and Theodore Olson, hired by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) — is focused on whether Prop 8 is constitutional, not more broadly on the ability of states generally to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. The brief filed last week by the City
and County of San Francisco focused on the withdrawal of rights from samesex couples who were able to marry in California until Prop 8 was passed, harkening back to precedent established in 1996 when the Supreme Court struck down Colorado’s Amendment 2, which barred enactment of any gay civil rights protections in that state. In contrast, the DOJ brief focuses on why there is no rational basis for giving same-sex couples all the rights of marriage and then denying them marriage itself. Implicit in this approach is the argument that any state that provides civil union or sweeping domestic partnership rights to same-sex couples is in violation of the US Constitution. Resisting the next step that would give the status of marriage to such unions violates the equal protection rights of couples if a state has already deter mined they should have all the rights and benefits of marriage, the administration suggests. That principle would justify the government in submitting similar amicus briefs in the pending federal marriage cases brought against the civil union approach in Hawaii and Nevada, where district courts have granted summary judgment against the plaintiffs. Both cases are on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. (Illinois faces a similar challenge, but that case was brought in state court under the Illinois Constitution. The substantive legal arguments, however, are no different.) The DOJ brief, in fact, lists those states with civil union laws and then argues, “The designation of marriage, however, confers a special validation of the relationship between two indi-
viduals and conveys a message to society that domestic partnerships or civil unions cannot match.” Without citing the precedent, the administration is applying the logic used by the Connecticut Supreme Court when it ruled that civil unions there violated state equal protection and required the state to open up marriage to same-sex couples. The government’s brief does not overtly advocate that same-sex couples have a federal constitutional right to marry as such. Rather, it asserts that if a state has resolved the policy issues in favor of providing the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples, it cannot then deny them the right to marry. And, focusing on the circumstances of the parties in this case — as a brief should — it argues that the circumstances in California, with the vote to amend the State Constitution to end same-sex mar riages, violates equal protection since the arguments advanced in support of Prop 8 cannot survive heightened scrutiny in justifying the resulting unequal treatment of same-sex couples. When heightened scrutiny is applied, Prop 8’s defenders are theoretically limited to the justifications presented to voters during the 2008 campaign, not the “new” arguments thought up by their attorneys for this lawsuit. But DOJ argues that even these post facto arguments — particularly the “accidental procreation” nonsense that posits that the purpose of marriage is to steer heterosexual reproduction into stable family structures — fail under the most lenient level of judicial scrutiny, where it need only be shown that there is some rational reason for its enactment. Prop 8 did nothing to change existing California family law, under which same-sex domestic partners have all the parental rights and responsibilities of married couples. And, it does nothing to curb the risks of “irresponsible” procreation by unmarried by heterosexuals. As other briefs in support of the plaintiff couples have pointed out, the government notes that in a heightened scrutiny equal protection case, the question is whether Prop 8’s defenders have made valid arguments to justify excluding same-sex couples from marrying, not whether the government might have some reason to encourage different-sex couples to channel their procreative activities into marriage. There is simply no logical connection between the two issues. This is a subtly constructed brief.
PROP 8, continued on p.15
| March 13, 2013
Bailey House Marks 30 Years, Fêtes AIDS Pioneers “First responders” in epidemic’s first decade to be honored BY PAUL SCHINDLER
ailey House, which during the mid-1980s established the nation’s first scattersite housing and congregate care housing for people living with HIV/ AIDS, marks its 30th anniversary with an auction and gala at Chelsea Piers on March 28. Today, the agency maintains its original facility, Bailey-Holt House at the west end of Christopher Street; runs a 91-unit supportive housing residence in East Harlem, Schafer Hall; and provides an array of other supportive services citywide to those living with HIV, including an East Harlem food pantry, intensive case management, support for positive ex-inmates recently released from incarceration, and supportive housing for chronically homeless people living with both HIV and mental illness or substance abuse problems. The anniversary dinner comes after a challenging period for Bailey House. Bailey-Holt House is located just outside the city’s highest-risk flood area, and its 44 residents had to be evacuated after Superstorm Sandy sent Hudson River waters pouring into the basement, creating a flood that rose waist-high at one of its entrances. Con Ed was unable to restore power until mid-January, and Gina Quattrochi, the agency’s CEO, estimated it is currently out-of-pocket about $1.9 million, for expenses including demolition, debris removal, mold remediation, and reconstruction and because the city’s HIV/ AIDS Services Administration denied it operational reimbursements for the time residents were out of the building. Residents were not able to return until late January, and to date Bailey House has not received funding from either the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the Small Business Administration. The March 28 event should help bolster a fiscal picture that is currently “very tight,” according to Quattrochi, but Bailey House seems determined to focus the evening on the bigger picture, casting a look back at the long arc of AIDS activism in New York. An important mission of the gala is to recognize “first responders” who stepped forward during the epidemic’s first decade. Those being honored, Quattrochi wrote in an email, “paved the way for the survival of many New Yorkers and led to the creation of the continuum of AIDS care that we created here. Some of the organizations don’t even exist anymore and have been forgotten. We plan to remedy this!” Thirty individuals and organizations in total will be recognized, and among that group, six will receive the group’s 2013
Rodger McFarlane AIDS Warrior Award, named for a co-founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis who died in 2009. The six are John Hatchett, a leader at the People With AIDS Coalition of New York (PWAC); Tom Viola, the longtime executive director of Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS; Ken Fornataro, who led the AIDS Treatment Data Network that is now part of Housing Works; and Rona Affoumado, Richard Haymes, and Dean LaBate, who worked with the Community Health Project that became the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. In an interview this week, Hatchett talked about what brought him to PWAC and what his experiences there meant in his life. Arriving in New York in 1981, just out of college and recently out as a gay man, he hoped to find work as an actor but more often paid his dues in survival jobs waiting tables. He was also an early volunteer on the AIDS hotline established in 1983 by Gay Men’s Health Crisis. By 1988, he knew he wouldn’t have an acting career and also found out he was HIV-positive. Within a couple of months, Hatchett learned that PWAC needed a new volunteer coordinator — which involved overseeing the speaker’s bureau, the group’s publications, and its hotline — and jumped at the chance. Interviewing with the group, he emphasized that his theater training meant that he was “good with public speaking.” Another selling point was that “I was very willing to be public about my status,” he said. Telling his story was an important way for him to deal with his diagnosis. Hatchett recalled how during that period, much was made about the distinction between those who were positive and people who had received an AIDS diagnosis. But that never meant much to him. “Early on, I said that was a distinction without a difference,” he said, “even though there probably wasn’t the evidence for that at the time. I would tell people I had AIDS long before I had a diagnosis.” The effect of stepping forward into an AIDS leadership role “was transformative and formative” for Hatchett. “It changed my life,” he said. Working day in and day out with people fighting and living with AIDS showed him something he didn’t see in the media or even hear about from friends. “I saw people get very, very sick and go into the hospital with everyone else thinking they would die,” he recalled. “And they came back. They came back, and that really inspired me.” “Self-empowerment,” Hatchett explained, is at the heart of what peersupport groups like PWAC provide to members and clients. A quarter-century later, he said, society and government
BAILEY HOUSE, continued on p.34
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March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
The LGBT Community’s
2013 Democratic Mayoral Forum Come meet and hear from: • Former Councilman Sal Albanese • Council Speaker Christine Quinn • Public Advocate Bill de Blasio • Former Comptroller Bill Thompson • Comptroller John Liu
The fight for equal rights for the LGBT community has witnessed triumphs and progress on marriage equality, adoption, funding for LGBT homeless youth, and more. How will a Democratic mayor continue that progress as well as address the broader community issues facing LGBT New Yorkers? The debate’s sponsors are the Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, and the Stonewall Democrats of NYC, with Gay City News as the media sponsor and GCN editor Paul Schindler as moderator.
Baruch College’s Mason Hall
Wednesday, March 20 • 7 p.m.
17 Lexington Ave. at 23rd St. (entrance on 23rd)
Doors open at 6:30 • Free and open to the public
RSVP at Facebook: NYC Mayor Candidate Forum 2013 Democratic Primary, LGBT Forum
| March 13, 2013
St. Pat'S, from p.8
marchers were met with jeers and tossed beer cans, and parade organizers made sure ILGO would have no visible presence in the parade again. In the early 1990s, thousands of LGBT people and allies turned out for massive protests of the parade, with many notables getting arrested including Quinn, former State Senator Tom Duane, and Brendan Fay, who went on to be a co-founder of the St. Pat’s for All Parade. Quinn, who enjoys a wide lead in the polls in the race for the Democratic mayoral nomination this year, will continue to boycott the Manhattan parade along with all the other Democratic contenders — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, and former City Councilman Sal Albanese. It was Albanese on the Council in 1984 who was the
QUINN, from p.7
Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez were among those at a recent City Hall rally pressing for Council action, framing paid sick leave as an issue that disproportionately impacts women. Feminist Gloria Steinem has said she will withdraw her endorsement of Quinn if the speaker remains an obstacle to the measure, and out bisexual actor Cynthia Nixon endorsed de Blasio, saying her concern over the issue trumps “identity politics.” Despite her critics, Quinn maintains a formidable position in the Democratic race. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in late February gave her a 37-14 percent lead over de Blasio, her clos-
PROP 8, from p.12
The arguments it makes could well support a challenge against a state Defense of Marriage Act or the failure of a state to provide marriage — whether or not the state has adopted civil unions — by arguing against the sorts of constitutional justifications advanced to defend Prop 8. Here, however, those arguments are articulated specifically to present a consistent approach to the position taken by the administration in the DOMA case and to knock the props out from under Prop 8. Though similar in some respects to the arguments made by AFER and by the City of San Francisco, DOJ’s brief provides the Supreme Court with a plausible analytical route for striking down Prop 8 without immediately invalidating all state DOMA laws and constitutional amendments.
first to propose that the city adopt the MacBride Principles by divesting of investments in Northern Ireland until persecution of the Catholic minority there ended. State Senator Tony Avella, a Democratic candidate for Queens Borough President, and Councilwoman Tish James, a Brooklyn Democrat running for Public Advocate, also marched in the inclusive Queens event and will boycott the Fifth Avenue march. All of the Republican candidates for mayor plan to march in the Fifth Avenue parade — Lhota, publisher Tom Allon, George McDonald of the Doe Fund, and John Catsimatidis, the owner of Gristedes and Red Apple supermarkets. Independence Party candidate Adolfo Carrion, a former Obama administration official who previously served as Bronx borough president, will also march on March 16. The inclusive St. Pat’s for All Parade got a boost this year from
the New York T imes with a story that ran the day before titled, “Parade Started for Outcasts is Now All the Rage.” Fay was quoted saying the participation of the New York Fire Department’s Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Corps meant “the tide has turned for us.” The Emer ald Society has typically supported keeping gay groups out of the Fifth Avenue event, referring to them as “perverts” years ago. For the third year in a row, St. Pat’s for All was fêted at a reception at the home of Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny and his wife, Hanora O’Dea Kilkenny, on February 19. The event honored this year’s grand marshals — Pauline Turley and Aidan Connolly from the Irish Arts Center, a cultural center that celebrates both the traditions and the dynamic character of the home county. The crowd was treated to a serenade from Irish legend Malachy McCourt, the writer, actor, and raconteur.
Fay, who co-chairs the parade with Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, noted the inclusion of a Turkish group in their parade this year, based on the aid Turkey gave to Ireland in the famine of the 1850s. “They say they love the diversity,” he explained. Kilkenny was also on hand on March 3 at the Queens parade. He told Gay City News, “In Ireland, there is no exclusion whatsoever” in St. Patrick’s Day parades. Responding to that fact, an official of the Fifth Avenue parade once told me, “In Ireland? They’re liberals!” Quinn, Liu, and Manhattan Bor ough President Scott Stringer, a candidate for city comptroller, agreed that change will come to Fifth Avenue. “The world is changing. You can’t stop progress,” Stringer said. But it seems as if it will take the luck of the Irish to get anywhere with the organizers of the Manhattan parade.
est rival. A candidate needs to reach a 40-percent threshold to avoid a runoff, so at this moment, the speaker is within striking distance. Still, many political observers agree that it is very early in the race and Quinn might now be benefiting from superior name recognition, an edge that could fade over time. The speaker also leads in fundraising, besting de Blasio by a margin of $6.1 million to $3.5 million as of the mid-January filing date, though the public advocate out-hustled her by $300,000 in the six-month period ending then. The next filing deadline is this week. Despite her close ties to Bloomberg, a series of New York Times articles over the past several months have reported
that the mayor has cast about for other candidates he would like to see enter the race — including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Though stories like that provide some embarrassment for Quinn, they may also help her with the Democratic primary electorate. “It helps her, obviously, to get some distance from the mayor,” George Arzt — who served as press secretary to the late Mayor Ed Koch and now runs a communications and government relations firm — told Gay City News. “If she can say, ‘Have you been reading the newspapers?’ while clearly getting his support, she can bake the cake and eat it, too.” One other key piece of the political puzzle is what the city’s labor leaders end up doing in the Democratic prima-
ry. For now, most seem content — even committed — to holding tight. Quinn scored one early victory, however, when the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, led by Stuart Appelbaum, who is gay and a leading critic of Bloomberg, embraced her candidacy at the end of January. It was Appelbaum with whom Quinn negotiated the living wage legislation, and he is clearly primed to make the progressive case on her behalf. Quinn and her Democratic rivals will appear at a March 20 candidate forum sponsored by the city’s LGBT Democratic clubs. The forum, at Baruch College’s Mason Hall at 17 Lexington Avenue, will be moderated by Gay City News.
However, the analysis the administration provides on the heightened scrutiny question and in challenging arguments made in denying marriage to same-sex couples are precisely the fodder needed to make a broader case for the right of same-sex couples to marry. If a majority of the Supreme Court agrees with the explicitly sweeping argument AFER made in its brief last week, we could have same-sex marriage nationwide immediately, but that seems an unlikely outcome. If, instead, the high court hews to the government’s argument in this amicus brief, it would strike down Prop 8, perhaps in an opinion that would send a clear signal to the Ninth Circuit to rule for same-sex marriage in the Hawaii and Nevada cases as well. It could also provide guidance to all lower federal courts on the likely outcome of constitutional challenges against other states with civil union laws and perhaps even
against a DOMA state. In comments to the press on March 1, President Barack Obama indicated that the administration was responding to the specifics of the Prop 8 case with arguments that have more general application. “The solicitor general in his institutional role going before the Supreme Court is obliged to answer the specific question before them.” he said. “And the specific question presented before the Court right now is whether Prop 8 and the California law is unconstitutional.” Asked why DOJ did not simply argue for a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, the president responded, “What we’ve done is we’ve put forward a basic principle, which is — which applies to all equal protection cases. Whenever a particular group is being discriminated against, the court asks the question, what’s the rationale for this — and it better be a good reason.
And if you don’t have a good reason, we’re going to strike it down. And what we’ve said is, is that same-sex couples are a group, a class that deserves heightened scrutiny, that the Supreme Court needs to ask the state why it’s doing it. And if the state doesn’t have a good reason, it should be struck down. That’s the core principle as applied to this case. Now, the court may decide that if it doesn’t apply in this case, it probably can’t apply in any case. There’s no good reason for it. If I were on the court, that would probably be the view that I’d put forward.” A victory on Prop 8 might not be as sweeping as the 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas that struck down sodomy laws nationwide, but it could potentially have the same impact in the long run and also accelerate the trend toward enactment of marriage equality laws by state legislatures, where efforts are now pending in several states.
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
Stonewall Stories BY DAVID KENNERLEY
he Stonewall riots have been the stuff of legend since the aggrieved patrons — gays, lesbians, transgender, and some in drag — fought back against cops during a routine raid on a sweltering night in June of 1969.
HIT THE WALL Barrow Street Theatre 27 Barrow St. at Seventh Ave. Through Jul. 7 Tue.-Sun. at 7:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at 2:30 p.m. $35-$75; smarttix.com Or 212-868-4444
That act of defiance, where LGBT folk charged “out of the closets and into the streets” of Greenwich Village, is universally accepted as the flashpoint for the LGBT rights movement (they called it gay liberation back then). In part due to scant media attention — the TV stations didn’t bother covering the revolt — a
vacuum was created and the mythology keeps growing. “Hit the Wall,” the rambunctious, somewhat problematic new play by Ike Holter, hopes to help fill that void, generously blending fact with fancy as it attempts to dramatize the events on the fateful first night of the riots. When the cop (Matthew Gr eer) declares, “The reports of what happened next are not exactly clear,” the ensemble repeatedly counters, “I was there.” At its best, the play effectively depicts the uprising as no organized action by a cohesive gay community. Or caused solely by a bunch of angry drag queens. Rather, we see the rebels as a heady, disparate mix of particularly marginalized, down-and-out queer New Yorkers divided by race, sex, gender identity, and social status. Many were rebellious teens (the drinking age was 18) and it’s doubtful that an older clientele would have been brazen enough to defy the cops. The characters are fictional albeit familiar types. Early on, we meet Tano (a fierce Arturo Soria), a “spic” from 110th Street, and Mika (an equally sassy
A scrappy, spirited account of when the walls started tumbling down
Rania Salem Manganaro and Matthew Greer in “Hit the Wall” at the Barrow Street Theatre through July 7.
Gregory Haney), a black kid who must take two trains, a bus, and a bike to get to the Village. The boys hang out on a stoop adjacent to Christopher Park and the Stonewall Inn, a seedy haven where gays could drink and dance. They throw shade and catty insults at anyone within
earshot — and affectionately at each other. “We’re just here, we’re just bitching, we’re just single, dig it or dig out,” says Mika, tauntingly. There’s also Roberta (Carolyn Michelle Smith), a women’s rights activist who calls herself a dyke instead of a lesbian, declaring, “We gotta start standing up for ourselves, taking the words they throw at us and owning them.” She has her sights set on Peg (Rania Salem Manganaro, delivering an affecting turn), a lost girl frozen out of her family for wearing boys’ clothes. Her snooty sister Madeline (Jessica Dickey), repulsed by the homosexuals, wants them out of her neighborhood. Madeline begs her sister to act like a normal girl. Cliff (Ben Diskant) is a weed-smoking, draft-dodging vagabond apparently escaping the small-mindedness of his Midwestern hometown. The fresh-faced Newbie (Nick Bailey) has ventured to the Village to find some action and gets plenty more than he expected. There’s even a waspy stud tossed into
STONEWALL, continued on p.34
A Fine Romance
Love is complicated in two wonderful shows at CSC, the Mint BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
he intimacy of the theater at CSC is a surprising and powerful setting for the outsized emotions of Stephen Sondheim’s “Passion,” now getting a glorious staging under the direction of John Doyle. Performed on a largely bare stage, Doyle’s focus is the interaction between the characters and the various forms that love and passion take — delusion, obsession, selfishness, and, if one is very lucky, a transcendent spiritual experience.
Classic Stage Company 136 E. 13th Street Through Apr. 14 Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Sat at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat.-Sun. at 3 p.m. $60-$80; ovationtix.com Or 212-353-3101
Giorgio and Clara are young, beautiful, and in love. We know this because they talk in pet names and have wild sex. Their love flatters the
PASSION Melissa Errico and Ryan Silverman in “Passion.”
images they have of themselves. When Giorgio, a solider, is called to the front, he leaves Clara behind but writes her passionate letters. At the encampment, he encounters the homely, sickly Fosca, the colonel’s cousin, who becomes obsessed with him. Giorgio tries to let her down easily, but it seems his
attentions are what keep her alive. Struggling with the demands on him as a gentleman, Giorgio is pulled between the obsessive, manipulative Fosca and his commitment to Clara. Tortured in the best tradition of the 19th century romantics, in the end he learns the power of “love without reason.”
In lesser hands, this could be a saccharine mess, but Doyle maintains the integrity of the story and, more importantly, the tension between the characters. The artistry and emotional honesty he brings to the show make for a profoundly moving experience that challenges our own perceptions of love. Both intimate and grand, Doyle’s concept is fully realized by his three leading actors. Melissa Errico as Clara is sublime. She looks magnificent and her voice has never sounded better. Clara, who takes Giorgio as her lover though she is married with a child, could come across as vain, even silly, but Errico imbues her with a realism that grounds her, making the release she finds with Giorgio that much more thrilling. Judy Kuhn as Fosca is equally extraordinary. The plainness of her costumes and the pallor of her skin are offset by the fire that burns inside her and the love for Giorgio over which she is powerless. In true operatic tradition, Kuhn plays a terminally ill patient with the pipes and the lungpower to sing Sondheim’s complex songs with
ROMANCE, continued on p.26
| March 13, 2013
Luminous Out Soprano Returns with Mozart
Thursday March 21, 2013
A lavish four-course dinner
Christine Brandes talks about early inﬂuences, early music, life in the Bay Area and with Karla Lemon
7 – 10 pm Cipriani 42nd Street NYC
BY DAVID SHENGOLD
he last time proudly out soprano Christine Brandes spoke to Gay City News was in April 2004. Bay Area critic Jason Victor Serinus profiled the dynamic, bright, quirky, and darksilver -voiced Brandes as she readied her favorite role — Susanna in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” — for City Opera. Reflecting on this role now, which she has performed widely, Brandes said, “She sings all night and is the smartest one in the room.... and it’s the most perfect opera!”
Cynthia Nixon The Keith Haring Foundation and
For two decades, as an active concert and stage artist, Brandes has taken part in the early music and contemporary worlds. Locally, she’s performed at BAM and at the Mostly Mozart and Glimmerglass Festivals. Those traveling further afield may have encountered her onstage in Philadelphia, Washington, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle, or at many concert venues in her adopted Bay Area. Brandes shared an Oakland home with her civil union partner, the venturesome, gifted conductor Karla Lemon, who tragically died at 55 following surgery in November 2009. Gay City News spoke with Brandes as she planned her retur n to the metropolitan area for a March 21-24 debut with the fine New Jersey Symphony at venues in Newark, New Brunswick, and Princeton. She will perform more Mozart — his sublime “Requiem” (“Such a fantastic and moving work!”) —under music director Jacques Lacombe, with noteworthy colleagues including Susanne Mentzer and Gordon Gietz. DAVID SHENGOLD: What’s your background? CHRISTINE BRANDES: I am a total Buckeye. Born and raised in Canton, Ohio. I went to OSU and my graduate degree’s from Case Western Reserve. I was raised in a musical home and in a church that had a strong classical
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Joy A. Tomchin
CHRISTINE BRANDES Mozart’s “Requiem” New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Newark: Mar. 21 at 1:30 p.m.; Mar. 23 at 8 p.m. Princeton: Mar. 22 at 8 p.m. New Brunswick: Mar. 24 at 3 p.m. njsymphony.org
The team of world-class chefs includes:
with the Judith Peabody Humanitarian Award
Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation
Gay Men’s Health Crisis presents
The Harrison and The Red Cat
For tickets: (212) 367-1557 or email@example.com
Christine Brandes returns to the metropolitan area and to Mozart March 21-24.
music tradition. I remember crawling through the “tunnel” under the pews while the choir and members of the Cleveland Orchestra rehearsed. Quietly, of course! I grew up with all the great sacred works of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Haydn, as well as being crazy for organ music — especially Bach, Hindemith, and Messiaen. Maybe I was a weird kid? Public school — great training both in ensembles, vocal and instrumental, and then elective courses in theory and composition. DS: How about singing and vocal music per se? What kinds of singers and singing did you like? CB: Outside of what I heard at church, I didn’t listen to a lot of recordings of singing. I loved Beverly Sills, Leontyne Price, and Luciano Pavarotti. Baroque music was what I heard most, and it had a very deep place of resonance for me. Plus, I was vocally well suited to it. It would have been a tragedy if all my little soul really wanted to sing was Puccini! DS: What and who brought you to the Bay Area? Why do you think there’s such a rich early music scene there? And why has early music seemed more open and less closety than opera or the symphonic world?
BRANDES, continued on p.28
3/11/13 12:27 PM
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March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
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.
• 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. • 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 www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Brief Summary of full Prescribing Information with important warnings on the following pages.
| March 13, 2013
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 itâ€™s right for you.
2/28/13 3:27 PM
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
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
• 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.
| March 13, 2013
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 www.STRIBILD.com. 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
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
Arab Gangs of London In a world of violence and drugs, two brothers united by blood, divided by sexuality BY GARY M. KRAMER
y Brother the Devil” is a stunning film about two Egyptian siblings in London. Devilishly handsome Rashid (James Floyd), who is involved in a drugdealing gang, tries to keep his devil-maycare younger brother Mo (Fady Elsayed) out of harm’s way. Rashid decides he wants out of the drug gang culture and takes a job with photographer Sayyid (Saïd Taghmaoui), eventually — and unexpectedly — becoming romantically involved with him. Meanwhile, Mo gets pulled into the gang, much to Rashid’s chagrin.
MY BROTHER THE DEVIL Directed by Sally El Hosaini Paladin Pictures Opens Mar. 22 Landmark Sunshine Cinema 143 E. Houston St., btwn. First & Second Aves. landmarktheatres.com
Writer and director Sally El Hosaini deftly intertwines stories of gang war, the bonds between brothers, Arab tradition and culture in England, and sexual exploration in a stylish drama notable
James Floyd and Fady Elsayed in Sally El Hosaini’s “My Brother the Devil.”
for its authenticity. In separate Skype conversations, Gay City News spoke with El Hosaini and Floyd about this outstanding film. From London, El Hosaini talked about her motivation in creating a film about ethnicity, masculinity, and sexuality. “I’m half-Egyptian, which is why the
brothers are half-Egyptian,” she said. “My instinct was to make heroes out of people who don’t already have an iconic representation in cinema — or any representation.” Explaining that “My Brother the Devil” is dedicated to her late brother, Sherif, she added, “But it’s not autobiographical
in any way.” Instead, El Hosaini did years of research on interracial gangs in London, learning the street language and the male codes of behavior. “I thought about what it means to be a man, and I wanted to see how someone explores their sexuality within that doubly homophobic environment — the implicit one in the family and in the urban gang culture,” she explained. “I could relate to the masks that they wear, and as mixed race, I can understand the contradictory or opposing sides of something. I was fascinated by how they navigated these worlds — and how they switched so readily.” This duality is seen when Rashid is dancing with his lover Sayyid, only to transform into a different person when he gets a call from a drug contact. From Los Angeles, Floyd also addressed the depiction of masculinity in the film. “Most of the film is about what it means to be a man,” he said. “These guys put a mountain of pressure on themselves to be men. They are extremely homophobic and yet constantly flirting with one another. All
THE DEVIL, continued on p.23
When Brutality is an Entitlement D.B. Sweeney creates a drug-addled prison guard with an unexpected tender side BY Gary M. Kramer
BREAKING GLASS PICTURES
he prison drama “K-11” gets its name from the LGBT unit of the Los Angeles county jail — “a sanctuary for br oken toys” cracks one character. This is where Raymond Saxx, Jr. (Goran Visnjic), a straight man, finds himself incarcerated after being accused of homicide. Raymond is too drugged up to recall the circumstances of the crime. As he sobers up, he must navigate K-11’s power
K-11 Directed by Jules Stewart Breaking Glass Pictures Opens Mar. 15 Cinema Village 22 E. 12th St. cinemavillage.com
structure in his quest to recover his freedom. The cell is run by an inmate named Mousey (Kate del Castillo), a transgender
Kate del Castillo and B.D. Sweeney in Jules Stewart’s “K-11.”
queen bee. She is in cahoots of sorts with Sergeant Johnson (D.B. Sweeney), a corrupt, drug-fueled guard who is in love with her. Sweeney and del Castillo steal the film, sinking their teeth into their juicy roles. On the phone from Los Angeles, Sweeney spoke about making “K-11”
and playing a violent, drug-abusing sexual predator. “It’s always a fun challenge to play someone different from you,” he said. “I’ve never had any problems with drugs. The drugs cloud his judgment, but he is a cunning character who is able to get ahead.”
Johnson works things to his advantage throughout the film. He “buys” Raymond for his unit, and there is a suggestion that the officer has designs on the hunk. “K-11” drips with erotic tension whenever Johnson hints he will use sexual dominance to control the male and transgender inmates. “It comes down to entitlement,” Sweeney said in explaining his character’s motivation. “Sergeant Johnson decided that because of all his experiences and all the wrongs committed against him, he will take everything he can.” The actor talked about visiting the actual K-11 unit in the LA County jail system and meeting young officers horrified by what they witnessed. “It’s interesting that it’s a mandatory first stop for cadets out of the academy, but Johnson who gets there can’t leave,” he said. “This is a guy very comfortable in a hellish environment.” The actor admitted he’s had a couple
k-11, continued on p.25
| March 13, 2013
THE DEVIL, from p.22
men, and constantly hugging around the neck, touching heads.” Floyd asserted that “My Brother the Devil” is more than just an exploration of masculinity, however. “I think it’s a love story between two brothers,” he said. “It touches on something I find fascinating: When you’re young, your older brother is a God in your eyes. And then you find out that he’s an imperfect human — that’s the interesting thing — that Mo finds that Rashid is the worst kind of imperfect in his eyes because he’s gay.” Significantly, “My Brother the Devil” is not a coming out film. Rashid’s sexuality is never really discussed. “Rashid is basically confused like a lot of 19-year -olds,” he said. “He’s exploring himself and that is why he never really comes out.” El Hosaini echoed this point. “There was a huge focus on ‘Is Rashid gay or bi?,’ she said. “I can’t answer that. He doesn’t know by the end of the film. If the character doesn’t know… It’s more realistic. I wish there weren’t all these boxes and labels people try to put people in. That’s my viewpoint: pansexual.” The filmmaker said she was more interested in exploring the relationship between a queer Arab gangster and the homophobia around him —“where the blood ties are and where they are stronger than prejudice.” Floyd is still amazed he was cast in the role of Rashid. “I’m the opposite of Rashid,” he explained. “My family is not religious or as poor as Rashid’s family. And I’m not gay. Sally wanted to do the whole ‘City of God’ thing and cast the real guys. All those guys were so homophobic, though, they couldn’t play Rashid. She was forced into casting a professional actor. If it wasn’t for the homophobia in the streets, I wouldn’t be in the film!” To prepare for the role, Floyd said he “did everything Rashid would do — boxing, hanging with gangs, eating certain foods, staying up so late.” He added, “Everything but deal drugs and have sex with Saïd Taghmaoui.” If Rashid’s struggle with his sexuality is a marquee theme in “My Brother the Devil,” a more subtle angle is the emotional story of two teenage siblings ensnared in gang life. El Hosaini explained why violence,
which is very vivid in the film, is so prominent. “I wanted it to be realistic and not sensationalized,” she said. “My only concern was not to glamorize it.” The abrupt way gang violence erupts is striking in El Hosaini’s view. “What shocked me is how it comes out of nothing, there is not this gradual escalation,” she said. “There is extreme boredom, and they wait for something to happen. The impact of that [violence] they deal with the rest of their lives. That interested me.” El Hosaini created a moment of calm and stillness in the film to show what she called “that moment when their masks dropped and they are children and they are scared.” Floyd agreed. “The violence is very r ealistic, because that’s how it goes down,” he explained. “It’s a naturalistic film, and Sally wanted to tell the truth of the postcode gangs [organized around the equivalent of zip codes in multiethnic London]. There have been a lot of films set in this world — the urban film genre. Most of them are condescending, unrealistic, and glamorize the violence, sex, and drugs. The violence here had to make you flinch. It happens a lot in these areas of London.” El Hosaini emphasized that the realism was of the utmost importance to the film’s creation — and success. “I didn’t want to make a phony film that has Arab characters that don’t come across as authentic,” she said. “There are a lot of films like that in the UK. To be 100-percent authentic was important to me.” Still, “My Brother the Devil” is a feature film, not a documentary. “It is a fiction — written in realism — but you can’t ignore the poetry of that,” El Hosaini said. “It’s abstract. I used to write poetry as a teen — and that really affects film. It’s a similar discipline, poetry — rhythm, images, and how you boil things down to the one right word. In film there are images that are metaphors and layers. My film was an emotional story, and that was the heart of it — the emotion between these two brothers, and that allows a space for the psychological aspects of story.” El Hosaini’s triumph is that in “My Brother the Devil,” all these elements — psychology, family, violence, and sexuality — resonate strongly and compellingly.
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March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
IN THE NOH
Ed Watts, Soaring The new Superman, Owen Davis properly revived, Maye time
Edward Watts is Superman!
the role of Joey in New York City Opera’s ‘The Most Happy Fella,’ going on for the final performance. “When I decided no more regional theater, my first Broadway contract came but it closed too early, ‘Finian’s Rainbow,’ as Cheyenne Jackson’s cover. ‘The Fantasticks’ came after and that was a huge deal in terms of people being able to see me, also ‘Saving Amy’ in Seattle,” and then I landed ‘Scandalous.’ “I got to play two roles in that, and the most fun was hearing people congratulate me for playing the Irish guy with my natural hair in Act II, not realizing that I was also the ‘naked guy’ in the first act. With Kathy [Lee Gifford, the show’s writer], I learned just what the idea of being a polarizing figure is. She is what she is — a wonderful person — but people who don’t know her have this vision of her and they despise her and say cruel things. “I don’t know if that had anything to do with it, or we didn’t have the right fit in terms of the season or enough time to get the word out before the money ran out, but it was shame it closed early. I got the part in the workshop here when the show was going to try out in Seattle. They only kept a few of us, but I had put my stamp on the roles and Kathy said, ‘You’re coming with us. If you’re not going, I’m not going.’ “I’ve done some ‘Today’ shows with her, doing an all-guy advice panel. The guys are comedians, so it’s tough for me to figure out how to get a word in, but they’re a blast. I always have a lot of fun with Hoda [Kotb, Gifford’s co-anchor]. She’s tall and she likes tall guys, so when we were shooting ‘Today’ in
t an early rehearsal for the new Encores! production of “It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane… It’s Superman,” composer Charles Strouse had a huge smile on his face listening to his rarely revived score. Afterwards, he enthused to the leading man, “What a wonderful voice! Where have you been?” That guy would be Edward Watts, and he’s been right under our noses all this time, starring in “The Fantasticks” and having finished the truncated run of “Scandalous.” The name was not familiar to me and, when I heard he’d been cast as Superman, the inevitable thought was, “He better have the body!” Well, he sure does, as anyone who caught his eye-popping, nearly naked appearance in “Scandalous” can happily attest. “With both of these roles, it’s a neverending workout for me,” Watts chuckled when I caught him during the rehearsal. “Some day, I won’t be hired for these roles and then I’ll be able to get to the gym only two or three times a week, but thank you for the genes, Mom and Dad.” Watts grew up with the George Reeves TV Superman, but Christopher Reeve remains his strongest impression of the role. “Christopher had that amazing way of being bumbling and meek and — bam! — he’d turn into Superman. This show is different because of its campy nature. We’re going with the idea that the glasses and the suit are the only difference in him. It’s not meek or the darker version people know now from the recent movies.” A Midwestern boy, born in Iowa, Watts spent his formative years in Ohio and went to Ohio State University: “I didn’t really know that I wanted to do this in college, but it was lovely there, and I got most of my theater education when I came here in 1993. I found a phenomenal voice teacher, Luba Tcheresky, who I credit for the voice I have today, and trained at the Michael Howard Studio with Daniel Singer. “It took me a long time to get established as a leading man in my early 20s and it was tough to break in. Although I looked older, I was competing with guys who were seven years older than me, with résumés. So I took survival jobs and got my union card playing Thomas Jefferson in ‘1776’ at the Gateway Playhouse. “Slowly but sure, I got more jobs and the one that took me to the next level was in the tour of ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,’ and I also got to cover
HELENE DAVIS PR
BY DAVID NOH
Alex Trow and Michelle Eugene in Owen Davis’ 1921 “The Detour.”
Seattle, she had already heard about the ‘naked guy,’ so she said to the others, ‘Bye bye’ and we went into the dressing room and shut the door. I don’t know if they kept that part on the show. “George Hearn was so humble and thankful to be working again. He’s been retired for a while and doesn’t often leave his upstate New York ranch. He was living nearby me in the city, so after rehearsals we became lovely scotchdrinking buddies. He has so many stories about everyone he’s worked with — a lot of them are bawdy — so after a couple scotches, you’d get an earful!” Watts recalled playing a sympathetic bartender on a couple episodes of “The Sopranos.” “[James] Gandolfini was intense, never talked much, and I thought the first day that this guy’s not connecting at all, just does his own thing,” he said. “Then I found out he’d been out late partying and was a little hung over. “We were sitting in this hotel bar, waiting for them to set up, and he befriended one of the extras. When they called lunch break, he said, ‘Go get lunch for me and my new friend. We’ll be in my trailer, playing chess.’ You think initially that this guy really is Tony Soprano, but he’s actually kinda cool.” As for being in a relationship, Watts smiled, “Thanks for asking. None. Relationships have been very up and down, like the career, and it’s been a while since I’ve had a longtime girlfriend. I have been sort of exploring that, getting back in the game, but the more you look, the more you won’t find it. A lot of people have tried to set me up, with varying degrees of success.
“I’m a do-it-yourself guy. In my rented apartment, I have a closet filled with tools and any chance I have I build cabinets and butcher-block tops and, recently, a recycling cabinet. I love that and getting out of the city. I’m from the Midwest, an Eagle Scout, so there’s your Superman backstory, a love for outdoors.” Watts’ dream role hasn’t been written yet. “I’ve done all these wonderful classical roles like Frank Butler and Harold Hill, and the reviews always mention the original person who’s known for them,” he said. “It would be great 40 years from now to have people remember me as ‘Oh yeah, that guy who played it first.’ “For many years now, very kind friends have said, ‘Any day, now you’re gonna be the guy.’ It’s all very lovely and the months tick by, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. You wait your turn and I certainly think I’m ready and, as you say, have paid my dues. To get this offer made me feel that I have finally gotten to the point where people might be saying, ‘We know your talent and work, and you’re the guy.’” (“It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane… It’s Superman” runs Mar. 20-24. 131 W. 55th St.; nycitycenter.org.)
Eugene O’Neill can be such a dreary, redundant pain in the ass. There, I said
it — a fact brought home to me after seeing Metropolitan Playhouse’s glowing production of Owen Davis’ 1921 “The Detour,” which covers similar ground as
IN THE NOH, continued on p.30
| March 13, 2013
Celebrity Ubiquitous and Unexamined Matteo Garrone takes his time saying something new about adoration of fame BY STEVE ERICKSON
Then, the film turns into a Christian allegory, in which its protagonist serves God through acts of charity while laboring under the misapprehension he is instead catering to unseen representatives from the Italian version of “Big Brother.” This conceit may be less banal but it’s just as heavy-handed. Only in its final 15 minutes does “Reality” give up on offering the audience messages and come up with anything surprising. Fishmonger Luciano (Aniello Arena) lives in a small town near Naples. After he meets Enzo (Raffaele Ferrante), a former cast member of the TV show “Big Brother,” at a wedding, his children urge him to audition for a role as a housemate on the program. As he waits for a call from the show, Luciano becomes obsessed with the possibility of being chosen. He starts to follow Enzo around, even sneaking into a nightclub’s air duct to harass Enzo in the toilet. He interprets
random interactions with strangers as visits from the show’s producers. The call never arrives, but Luciano becomes increasingly unbalanced, even giving away his family’s furniture to the poor in order to impress the producers. Stylistically, Garrone is fond of moving cameras — whether they be on board helicopters, as in the film’s impressive opening shot, or Steadicam — and he makes expressive use of them. You can practically smell the salt water at Luciano’s market. His debt to Fellini is seen not only in the film’s narrative, which riffs on “La Dolce Vita,” but in his use of a realistically large variety of body sizes among his actors. When Luciano is introduced, he seems garbed for maximum freakishness — donning a neon blue wig and a dress that exposes his many tattoos, he entertains a crowd at a wedding in unconvincing, garish
drag. Arena’s rough-hewn looks suggest a genuine working-class background, but in real life he is serving a 28-year jail sentence as a hit man and was only able to appear in “Reality” on day passes from prison. For a filmmaker who warns about the dangers of living vicariously, Garrone seems to have done his share. “Reality” mixes the influences of Fellini, Luchino Visconti’s “Bellissima,” Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and Peter Weir’s “The Truman Show” into a blender and stirs them together. Nevertheless, there’s something distinctly Italian about his film — the familial closeness, the emphasis on the town square where everyone knows (and gossips about) each other, the heavy dose of Catholic imagery and symbolism. By reality TV standards, what we see of the Italian “Big Brother” actually doesn’t seem all that outrageous; “Videocracy” made Italian TV seem far more corrupt and debauched. Garrone’s previous film, “Gomorrah,” was widely acclaimed, particularly as a gangster film that avoided romanticizing violent crime. It also shied away from moralizing. “Reality” goes in the opposite direction — no one is going to walk away from it with any questions about what Garrone thinks of reality TV. That makes the ending quite startling. In it, the film and Luciano alike both finally show some simple curiosity about the subject of their obsession. It’s too bad the first 100 minutes couldn’t have taken the same approach.
Sweeney described their relationship as that of Prince Charming and Snow White; Johnson buys her shoes off the Internet, among many favors. Still, the complex sexual politics of their relationship — in a prison setting, of all places — are not addressed. “The nuts and the bolts of it — so to speak — aren’t an issue,” Sweeney said. ”He’s so bought into Mousey the woman that he doesn’t think about it that much. He accuses and uses everyone, including Mousey, but he has a sincere and deep love for her.” A critical scene in which Johnson and Mousey engage in erotic asphyxiation sex was a challenge the two actors surmounted with aplomb. “I met Kate once before filming, and that scene was the first thing we filmed,” Sweeney recalled. “We just dived in and did it. Kate was great and made me feel comfortable and dark and violent and emotional. If that were the first day with some actors I’ve worked with, we
would never have gotten the scene. Kate made it happen. I didn’t remember what happened during filming, and when I saw it, it was fun to watch it. It was like watching someone else in the movie.” The actor transformed his look for he role, sporting a mustache and even a Hitler-ish haircut. “I’m not interested in playing Hitler, but he was an inspiration for evil and for Johnson’s mustache,” Sweeney said. “A lot of guards have mustaches.” Johnson’s appearance was a source on debate on the set, the actor admitted. “Jules [Stewart, the director] wanted Johnson to have a puffy drug look,” Sweeney said. “I wanted to make him more emaciated like a meth addict. It was an interesting choice to make his clothes too tight.” Playing Johnson as an over -thetop figure was fun for Sweeney, but he recalled fondly his key role in the fine 1999 independent queer film “The Weekend.” In that drama, he was Tony,
a man whose lover, friends, and family members gather on the anniversary of his death. “I really liked it,” Sweeney said. “I got to work with Brooke Shields and Deborah Kara Unger. Brian Skeet [the dir ector, who adapted Peter Cameron’s novel] was a good friend. It was a great opportunity to spend idyllic time and that character was interesting. He’s so much kinder than me, and understanding — almost Christ-like. It made me think what parts of me are pure and good and bring them out.” Sweeney is just as memorable playing the evil, drug-addicted, and frankly pretty queer Sergeant Johnson in “K-11.” He takes praise for his performance in stride, though, taking pains to point to performances he admired in other prison dramas. “I really like ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ and ‘Birdman of Alcatraz,” he said. “But ‘Papillion’ is my favorite.”
talian director Matteo Garrone’s “Reality” has a few lessons to impart about reality TV and its impact on Italian culture. Never mind that these were served up with more force a few years ago in the documentary “Videocracy.”
REALITY Directed by Matteo Garrone Oscilloscope Laboratories In Italian with English subtitles Opens Mar. 15 Angelika Film Center 18 W. Houston St. at Mercer St. angelikafilmcenter.com
Celebrity worship has taken over the social role religion used to play in Western culture, although in some cases the two coexist. The niche for humble working-class men in European life is disappearing, with few people content anymore with jobs like selling fish on the street. Reality TV and its stars offer the false promise that anyone can be a celebrity, whereas stardom used to require at least a modicum of singing or acting talent. It’s easy to become completely obsessed with the world of spectacle, even to the point where one’s grip on sanity becomes tenuous. These ideas are mostly true, but they’re banal as well. They’ve been stated many times over — just Google “Jersey Shore op-ed” —and for its first twothirds, they’re all “Reality” has to offer.
K-11, from p.22
of brief brushes behind bars himself. “I have been arrested when some barroom situations that have gotten out of hand — but just for a night or a couple of hours,” Sweeney said. “That’s a real ‘come to Jesus’ moment. I wouldn’t want to be in jail. It’s a deterrent when you get those handcuffs on — it’s a whole other level of correction.” Sweeney explained that he based his character’s thirst for power on “authoritarian people, like a TSA agent or security guard, who always wants to demonstrate their petty authority.” Johnson doesn’t like not getting his way; he scuffles with inmates who cut in on his drug business and he also experiences meltdowns. “When you push them, they get whiny,” Sweeney said of people like Johnson. But Johnson has a tender spot for Mousey, whom he sees as his girl.
Aniello Arena and Loredana Simioli in Matteo Garrone’s “Reality.”
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
Farmyard Fallacies A pair of hermit farmers rely on a shared history that may or may not be true
BY DAVID KENNERLEY
n “The Drawer Boy,” an ominous drama about two bachelor farmers whose world is upended by a pesky young visitor, playwright Michael Healey is not content with simply telling a good story. He’s fascinated with the nature of storytelling and the blurred lines between fantasy, reality, memory and madness. And the oddly healing power of deception. Healey has even borrowed from the likes of Steinbeck and Shakespeare to enrich the narrative.
THE DRAWER BOY Oberon Theatre Ensemble June Havoc Theatre at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex 312 W. 36th St. Through Mar. 23 Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $25; $15 for students & seniors oberontheatre.org or 866-811-4111
As directed by Alexander Dinelaris, also a playwright (“Red Dog Howls,” “The Bodyguard”), we share that fascination, yet also the frustration of a life fraught with contradiction that’s constantly shifting beneath our feet. The plot of “The Drawer Boy” is infinitely more complex than it first appears. Set in 1972 in rural Ontario, Morgan and Angus, boyhood pals who served shoulder-to-shoulder in World War II, have been running a farm on their own for decades. Morgan is a caretaker of sorts for Angus, who was
ROMANCE, from p.16
ease and brilliance. Her performance is master ful, and as we grow to understand and empathize with her, she becomes beautiful to us as well. (Never pretty, but as Sondheim writes in “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Pretty isn’t beautiful. Pretty is what changes. What the eye arranges is what is beautiful.”) Speaking of beauty, the handsome R yan Silverman as Giorgio is much more than a matinee idol. He has a stunning and remarkably mature voice, but what makes his a breakout per for mance are the subtlety and subtext of his acting. As Silverman’s Giorgio grows into his love for Fosca, his entire manner and bearing change as the revelations he never anticipated and certainly never looked for transform his understanding and his heart.
Alex Fast, William Laney, and Brad Fryman in the Oberon Theatre Ensemble production of “The Drawer Boy.”
injured by a shell blast that damaged his capacity for short-term memory and now comes off as “slow.” In many ways, they recall the codependent duo in “Of Mice and Men.” Enter Miles, an ambitious actor from the city who moves in for a spell to help with chores and gather material for a play he’s workshopping. But when he swipes a private story that Morgan nightly tells Angus to calm his anxieties, tensions flare and the farmers’ delicate balance is tested. The story, which may not be completely true, involves sweethearts the men had met in England who follow them back to Ontario to get married. Then tragedy strikes. Indeed, much of the play’s power is drawn from the confused, supercharged gap between
fact and fantasy. Are these guys bachelors or widowers? Even the play’s title is not what it initially seems. It’s pronounced “drawer,” i.e., a boy who draws. Apparently Angus, an aspiring architect, once drew a dream house — a pair of houses joined together, actually — one for him and one for Morgan. Now, if this bachelor-farmer scenario is setting off any gaydar alerts, I should clarify that this is not a gay play — not in the usual sense, anyway. Absent any hint of a sexual relationship, the tender, tumultuous bond the two men share feels as real as any married hetero couple. Surely the sandwiches that Angus serves his partner are made with love. Morgan’s stories are delivered with affection as well.
Stephen Bogardus, Jeffry Denman, T om Nelis, and Will Reynolds, in supporting roles, are strong and add to the world of the show — as well as its musicality. Under Rob Berman’s musical direction and using Jonathan Tunick’s pared-down orchestrations, the score is rich, moving, and perfectly scaled for the space — as is everything in this must-see production.
and Katie accepts, her internal turmoil turns her world upside down. This is a small play that examines how a constricted world hobbles a young woman’s spirit.
Katie Roche, the title c h a r a c t e r o f Te r e s a Deevy’s 1936 play now at the
Mint, has not had an easy life. The child of an affair, she has struggled for an identity and a name in the small Irish town where she’s spent her life. Finding a respectable safe haven as a servant in the home of Amelia and her brother Stanislaus, she strives to be good, wild though she might be. When Stanislaus proposes marriage
KATIE ROCHE The Mint Theater 311 W. 43rd St. Through Mar. 31 Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. $55; ovationtix.com Or 866-81-4111
Under the direction of Jonathan Banks, we see Deevy’s characters as loving, good-hearted people stymied by their own limitations, something that makes them both believable and appealing. The underlying mood, however, is not bleak.
“The Drawer Boy” cleverly takes a cue from “Hamlet,” where madness and sanity collide. Miles tells a story where he casts himself as the conniving Prince and at one point Angus feigns insanity. Down on this farm, as in Elsinore, the play’s the thing. The cast does its best with remarkably challenging roles. Brad Fryman plays Morgan with mix of irritability and kindness, deftly conveying the heavy responsibility of running the farm and safeguarding his dear friend. Alex Fast makes for a convincing Miles, the impetuous interloper with a repentant side, though the ill-fitting tie-dyed shirts and cutoff shorts do him no favors. William Laney has the toughest task, portraying Angus with emotions that ricochet from harmless dolt to petulant child to brainiac accountant (he has a “Rain Man”-like talent for calculating figures). The actor handles these shifts well. Hailed as “a new classic” and landing on Time magazine’s “Top Ten Plays” list in 2001, the award-winning piece has been produced often since it premiered in Toronto in 1999. The Oberon Theatre Ensemble should be commended for introducing this neglected tale to the New York stage. Yet for all its promise, the drama fails to resonate as forcefully as it should. As any savvy raconteur knows, however, good stories often get better with each retelling. Given that I saw the second performance, which was rocky and tentative, no doubt “The Drawer Boy” will grow stronger throughout its run.
Wrenn Smith does a fine job as Katie, and we feel for her predicaments. Margaret Daly is adorable as Amelia, who becomes a loving sister and friend to Katie. Patrick Fitzgerald is also very good as Stanislaus, a man who struggles with his love for Katie and his desire for an ordered life — something that Katie, by her very nature, upsets. Other notable performances come from Jon Fletcher as Michael, the young man Katie was attracted to who makes Stanislaus jealous, John O’Creagh as Amelia’s surprise suitor, and David Friedlander as Michael’s friend Jo. As a protest against the attitudes about women in the 1930s, the play has a deft touch and never becomes preachy or aggressive. This is an engaging play, and with the Mint’s production — its third Deevy outing — it has a compelling new life.
| March 13, 2013
Sarah Schulman Uncensored BY DOUG IRELAND
arah Schulman’s new book, “Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International,” is a book that s o m e Ve r y I m p o r t a n t People don’t want you to read. To their shame, that group ranges from the leadership of New York’s LGBT Community Center, which banned Schulman from reading from her book and answering questions about it, to the openly gay trade union leader Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Jewish Labor Committee, and the wealthy gay porn video merchant Michael Lucas.
ISRAEL/ PALESTINE AND THE QUEER INTERNATIONAL By Sarah Schulman Duke University Press $22.95; 208 pages
Since gay people have always been — and continue to be — the targets of censorship, it is indeed bizarre, to say the least, to see Glennda Testone, the Center’s executive director, arrogate to herself and her colleagues the right to decide what you can or cannot be trusted to read or hear. But quite aside from this craven insult to free speech by people who are supposed to represent you, the fact that Schulman was the target of their censorship is utterly mind-boggling. For Sarah Schulman has been, for her entire career, a shining adornment of queer culture who has made monumental contributions to advancing and enlightening our struggles. I speak not only of her 17 previous books and her reams of articles — which won her a Stonewall Award from CUNY’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies for her life’s work — but of her tireless and consistent activism since the mid-‘70s. She was a principal founder of the Lesbian Avengers, an important part of ACT UP, a key leader in the long fight to have gays and lesbians allowed to march openly in New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the co-founder of both MIX, the experimental queer film and video festival that she has helped run for 25 years, and of the ACT UP Oral History Project that preserves the memory of activists who died fighting against that plague. A novelist, playwright, scenarist, historian, essayist, and gay theoretician, she is one of our most creative, talented, and stellar intellectuals. She’s a
distinguished professor of humanities at CUNY, a fellow of the Institute for the Humanities at New York University, and a member of the Advisory Council of Harvard’s Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights and Social Movements. Compared to Schulman, those who tried to censor her are at a distinct intellectual and moral disadvantage. She is the epitome of the public intellectual engagé, and her work and example have inspired legions of queers, myself included. That the Center, after an enormous public outcry —and the involvement of gay elected officials (since the Center receives public funding) — decided to rescind the ban on Schulman does not lessen the reprehensible character of their initial decision. We should demand that Testone, who has no background in community organizing, resign and that the current board be replaced with one unequivocally committed to free speech for all queers, whether their opinions are popular or not. That is the essence of liberty and of civilized discourse. And although the Center rescinded its ban on Schulman, it maintains a new kind of “loyalty oath” — shades of the McCarthyite 1950s! — in which those who use the Center’s facilities are required to sign a pledge not to engage in “hate speech.” But this, too, is censorship — for what some blinkered fools call “hate speech” is nothing less than legitimate criticism of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. The Center’s “oath” is itself just another form of censorship and an insulting one, for it means that you are too stupid to decide for yourself which speech is valid and worthy of discussion and which is not. It’s not hard to see that the Center’s interests would be served by banning Schulman from reading from her newest book — since a chapter is devoted to an earlier act of Center censorship in banning a discussion forum sponsored by Siege Busters, an organization opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories that has many queers in its leadership. “Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International,” published by Duke University Press, is an important book, and one that merits the widest possible queer readership. One of the many things that make it so is her exposition of the problem of “homonationalism.” As Schulman writes, “homonationalism” is a term “used regularly in academic and activist circles in wester n Europe and the Middle East… [It] describes
Leading Jewish lesbian intellectual tackles problem long too easy to avoid
Sarah Schulman, author of “Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International.”
a contemporary phenomenon, most prevalent in norther n European countries such as Ger many and the Netherlands where white gays, lesbians, and bisexuals (and in some cases transsexuals) have won a full range of legal rights. Through marriage, parenthood, and family, they become accepted and realigned with patriotic or nationalist ideologies of their countries. Instead of being feared as the threat to family and nation that they were once seen to be, this new integration under the most normative of terms is held up as a symbol of that country’s commitment to progress and modernity. Some then identify with the racial and religious hegemony of their countries and join movements opposing immigration or racial and cultural differences. They construct the ‘other,’ often Muslims of Arab, South Asian, Turkish, or African origin, as ‘homophobic’ and fanatically heterosexual.” The Center’s censorious actions described above are just one of many expressions of this rising tide of homonationalism that Schulman cites. But this book is more — it is the story of Schulman’s own journey as a Jewish intellectual and activist in discovering and finally opposing Israel’s violations of human rights and international law in its treatment of the Palestinians, and her emergence from what she calls her “denial” of these stark and disturbing realities to become an active supporter of BDS. “Like many queer people, “ Schulman writes, “I first imagined that BDS stood for bondage/ domination/ submission. But actually it stands for boycott/ divestment/ sanctions, a strategy chosen by Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the occupied territories… a nonviolent strategy, modeled on the South African divestment experience, to
change Israeli policy through economic and cultural pressure.” Schulman, in recounting her childhood in a family with cousins in Israel that lost members to the Holocaust and was infused with Yiddishkeit, takes us through her voyage of discovery and ultimate engagement with the cause of Palestinian rights. It is all done with extraordinary intellectual rigor and selfcriticism. I have always believed that the search for truth begins with a Sartrean transparency in all things, including about one’s own self — and it’s an exciting pleasure to watch Schulman’s mind at work here. She not only asks questions, she asks questions about the questions one asks — or doesn’t ask. And then asks, “Why?” The result is a model of how a responsible intellectual should approach any problem or challenge. With a journalist’s eye for the telling detail, she takes us through her voyage to Israel and Palestine and her encounters with queer Israeli boycott activists and the nascent Palestinian queer organizations in the West Bank. Schulman writes, “The process of coming into understanding is mesmerizing and magnetic. The degradation of Palestine and the waste of its people’s human potential, the destabilizing of the eight million Palestinians in the global diaspora, was one of the starkest, clearest examples of injustice in my contemporary world. And even though it was being done with my [tax] money and in my name, and in a sense by the people I know, love, and am related to, it was intellectually easy to avoid. There was simply no one to insist on our attention. Palestine… could not compete in media culture. It was too real, and we were too false.” A century and a half ago, a bearded German Jewish philosopher now out of intellectual favor sat in London’s national library and wrote, “Philosophers have only analyzed the world — the point, however, is to change it.” This is something that Schulman-as-activist has always understood. Thus, her reaction to her discoveries on her voyage to Israel and Palestine was to organize a US speaking tour by Palestinian queer activists she had met. This book is also an account of that tour and of its success in sparking queer engagement with the question of Palestinian rights across the country. We hear many voices speak in Schulman’s book — from her Israeli cousins, to the audience that came to
SCHULMAN, continued on p.30
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
Grand Operas Lyric tragedies in Paris and New York t was exciting to hear one of Donizetti’s final operas, 1840’s “La Favorite,” in the language and city — though not the theater — for which it was conceived. The elegant Theatre des Champs-Elysees has only graced Paris since 1913. Despite serious flu besetting both female principals — Alice Coote (Leonor) and Judith Gauthier (Inés) — the February 7 premiere delivered a musically instructive evening. This score — heard rarely, and almost always in its inferior Italian version, in the US — marks a midpoint stylistically between the tremendous French “grand operas” by Italian composers that bookend the form, Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” and Verdi’s “Don Carlos”. Neither Paolo Arrivabeni’s competent conducting nor Valérie Nègre’s rather silly production raised the temperature. As in David Alden’s Met “Ballo,” the directorial response to bouncy rhythms was to have Lucie Deroian’s finesounding chorus “guy” them with dance steps. Otherwise, the blocking was remarkably stodgy, with ensembles finding the leads lined up across the
BRANDES, from p.17
CB: I started working with Nicholas McGegan and Jeffrey Thomas while living in Chicago but it was falling in love that caused me to move. Shockingly, I have lived here for 15 years. Hard to believe, given how at home and connected I am to the East Coast and New York City in particular. I think the str ong early music foundation in the Bay Area grew out of the same simmering pot of counterculture, back-to-the-land, granola lovers — people seeking a different, for them, more authentic way of going through the world.... and playing Handel. There were plenty of great players, singers, and musicologists. A perfect storm. Given the slightly counterculture ethos from which the early music movement sprang, I think it has been much more open and easy with GLB and now trans musicians. Perhaps ther e wer e so many molds being broken that conductors, singers, and players didn’t need to feel weighted down by the same kinds of personal expectations. I myself did not have a particularly remarkable coming out story. I had dated boys and girls in high school and
VINCENT PONTET/ WIKISPECTACLE
BY DAVID SHENGOLD
Ludovic Tézier and Loïc Félix in Donizetti’s “La Favorite,” performed in Paris’ elegant Theatre des Champs-Elysees.
stage. Andrea Blum’s cheap minimalist set evoked a fire sale at an IKEA. Fortunately, Aurore Popineau’s well-cut costumes lent some visual dignity to the proceedings. The audience adored baritone Ludovic Tézier (Alphonse), one of France’s few truly international class
singers. His performance was aptly kingly and, once past some choppy phrasing, very handsomely voiced. Belgian tenor Marc Laho, a fairly late substitute as the naive Fernand, is only a “diligent” actor, but he sang with remarkable poise and clarity in the float-based style of his great teacher
was married to a man, widowed, and then went down another road. It has never been much of an issue.
insights of HIP [historically informed per formance] being absorbed in mainstream performances? CB: I think so many mainstream orchestras have been exposed to HIP through guest conductors coming in for “Messiah” and “The Four Seasons” that they have been adapting. Mind you, it’s still possible to hear Handel performed as if by [Thomas] Beecham! I am always interested in the composer’s intent — or getting as close to what we can divine that to be from clues on the page. And that goes for any composer in any time. I have loved premiering new works and working closely with composers.
DS: Why do you think that so many more female singers are out than male singers — always excepting countertenors? CB: Hmmm. No idea. Maybe we are braver and more confident? Content? Maybe is it just seen as more acceptable or tolerated by the broader public? DS: How did you meet Karla? How long were you together? Were you able to work together much professionally? CB: She was looking for a soprano soloist for a “St. Matthew Passion” and a friend had recommended she come to a concert I was singing. Happily, Karla’s old pal, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson — just Hunt at the time — was also hired to sing that concert. She was the prime instigator of our getting together. We were together for 14 years. We did have several opportunities to work together, both at Stanford University, where she was conducting, and in professional settings. Some baroque music, but mostly 20th and 21st century works. DS: To what extent do you see the
DS: Do you have favorites among your many recordings? CB: Yikes! So hard to say, as I rarely if ever listen to a recording of my own more than once. On occasion, like on radio interviews, I will hear snippets and think, “Hey, not so bad.” But I am my worst critic. That said, even though the Italian is not so hot, I like the first Scarlatti cantata disc with Arcadian Academy and the Purcell disc with them and a recording of the Eric Moe’s “Sonnets to Orpheus.” It’s a cycle that was written for Karla and me using a staggeringly great translation by
Alain Vanzo. What a pleasure to hear Tézier, Gauthier, tenor Loïc Félix as the Iago-like Gaspar, and particularly Laho articulate sung French! Neither Coote nor Carlo Colombara — the somewhat wooly but sonorous Balthasar — achieved complete Gallic command, but both sang with sweep and feeling, and the mezzo at least interpreted every word. Given her illness, Coote sounded remarkably full of voice in a wide-ranging part, and as always she proved a riveting — if not always graceful — stage animal. Bel canto perhaps isn’t her true home, but Leonor was worth her endeavor.
More late career Donizetti awaited at Juilliard, with James Robinson’s
amusing and smart production of the composer’s most urbane comedy, “Don Pasquale.” Heard February 17, it was a delight. Set — with some details fudged — in the “Mad Men” era, which is threatening to wear out its welcome, the show (sets by Shoko Kambara, costumes by Amanda Seymour) looked wonderful. Robinson occasionally over -egged
OPERA, continued on p.34
Stephen Mitchell of Rilke’s sonnets. DS: Do you have upcoming and ongoing projects that excite you? CB: Yes, just this fall I premiered another piece by Eric Moe, which was written for the fabulous Brentano String Quartet. It’s a setting of four love poems by May Swenson. We’ll be playing it again next season at the 92nd Street Y, along with the Haydn “Arianna a Naxos.” In two months, I’ll be giving the premier of another work for soprano and string quartet. This one is with the Cypress String Quartet and is by Philadelphia’s [out] Jennifer Higdon! In collaboration with two dancers, I’m working on a project examining the fierce and powerful women of Greek and Hindu mythology. DS: What do you like to do when you’re not engaged with music? CB: To cook, garden, play with my nephews. I kayak and body surf — surfing with less success — when I can force myself into a wetsuit! Outside of music, I guess my greatest joy is in time spent with my family and dear friends. David Shengold (shengold@yahoo. com) writes about opera for many venues.
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O’Neill has — a hard-scrabble country family fighting over money and differing dreams — but with so much more economy and dramatic drive. Smartly directed, designed, and acted, this is a pioneering feminist work about an aspiring girl painter, her miserly father, and her fanatically supportive mother who has echoes of Mama Rose in her fierce maternal ambitions. This last role was particularly well played by out lesbian actress Michelle Eugene. I love this company — one of my very favorites — for having the sense to revive the work of Davis, who won a Pulitzer for “Icebound,” also wrote the play “Jezebel,” from which the film was adapted, and a brilliant adaptation of “Ethan Frome” that I ache to see. (“The Detour” runs through Mar. 24 at 220 E. Fourth St., btwn. Aves. A & B; metropolitanplayhouse.org)
Alan Cumming, about to take Manhattan by storm
with Liza Minnelli in concerts at Town Hall on March 13 and 14, did Seth Rudetsky’s “Chatterbox” at Don’t Tell Mama on March 7 and was a terrifically open and charming guest. He described a time while playing the Emcee in “Cabaret” when he was struck by scenery during the show, causing a concussion that required him being
SCHULMAN, from p.27
hear her speak at a queer anarchist vegan café in Tel Aviv, to her meetings with the activists of Al-Qaws, the Palestinian queer group in Ramallah and with those who formed Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, an organization created in 2010. Schulman writes, “In the arena of Israel and Palestine, it is those who are the most disenfranchised from power who are the most ecumenical and inclusive. They are the most creative and most open to a world in which all people’s needs are addressed. Because they know that unless it is a society for all, they are going to be excluded. For this reason the queer anti-occupation voice of Palestinians and Israelis repeatedly proved itself to be the most advanced and therefore inclusive — within a complex debate — toward human reconciliation and justice.” The “queer international” in the title of Schulman’s book is both a play on words and a hope for the growth of a budding “worldwide movement that brings queer liberation and feminism to the principles of international autonomy from occupation, colonialism, and globalized capital. The newest, broadest movement for freedom for all on this earth.” It is also an ironic rebuke to the paranoid rantings of an Arab Columbia
rushed to the hospital mid-performance. Despite being in a daze and barely able to turn the doorknob to his dressing room, Cumming did have the presence of mind to scrub the swastika tattoo off his rear, so at least he was not left to die in the emergency ward.
Absolute must-sees: Marilyn Maye at 54 Below, who
proves that she is unsurpassed as a Great American Songbook interpreter. Well into her 80s, this imperishable songbird, from her smashing, opening Cole Porter medley on, uses her dulcet voice in magical ways, masterfully weaving her way through t h e musi c w i th ser p enti ne gr ace and tasty jazz accentuation. Added bonus: Ted Firth, scintillating on the piano, our undoubted greatest living cabaret accompanist. (Maye appears through Mar. 16, 254 W. 54th St.; 54below.com.)
Jonathan Cake as Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing” (seen February
28 at Theater for a New Audience) simply gave one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen — a total master class in Shakespearean acting. He had the voice, killer timing, dazzling Fairbanksian athleticism, wit, and fervent charm that infused this role — a farcical, soliloquyladen lighter version of Hamlet — with
University professor, Joseph Massad, who – in a series of articles and in his book “Desiring Arabs,” denounces a “Gay International” as an apparatus imposing Western concepts of homosexuality on sex between men in Palestinian and Arab societies. Some of Massad’s acolytes have attacked this newspaper — and me personally — for our extensive reporting on the oppression, torture, and state murder of those who engage in same-sex behavior in Iran, Iraq, and other Islamic countries. But the queer Palestinian activists whose voices and work we meet in Schulman’s scintillating book are an eloquent rebuke to Massad and his disciples. Ironically, “Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International” was born out of an act of censorship, when the University of California Press held up publication of Schulman’s brilliant 2012 book, “Gentrification of the Mind,” about the confluence of AIDS and gentrification, because she included “a long chapter on coming to terms with Israel as an example of how a person can face her own supremacy ideology.” Only after Schulman agreed to remove this chapter did the publisher finally bring out the book — and she then cannibalized that excised chapter for use in the current work. One of the many valuable things about this new book is that it provides a detailed expose of “Pinkwashing” —
KEITH SHERMAN & ASSOCIATES
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
Catch Marilyn Maye at 54 Below through March 16 only.
breathtaking verve. (“Much Ado About Nothing” runs through Apr. 6, 154 Christopher St. at Washington St.; tfana.org.)
The musical queens were peeing in their seats at the
New York Philharmonic’s “Carousel” (Feb. 27), and the music was indeed gorgeous. But that book! Kelli O’Hara sweetly did what she could with Julie Jordan, but this has to be the most a byproduct of an expensive Israeli government PR campaign to “re-brand” Israel as “relevant and modern” instead of “militaristic and religious.” LGBT film festivals and organizations worldwide have accepted Israeli government money to produce an image of Israel as gayfriendly, in which government-funded mainstream Israeli LGBT organizations have been complicit. Schulman provides an appendix with a carefully documented, five-year chronology of this insidious “Pinkwashing” campaign, of which most American queers are utterly unaware. Lest anyone think that Schulman is only some uncritical, kneejerk ti ers mon d i ste, s h e a l s o l o b b i e d the Palestinian organization that sparked the BDS campaign to support Palestinian queers. She met with Omar Barghouti, the “most visible leader of the most viable strategy for nonviolent change in the Middle East.” And when Barghouti came to the US on a speaking tour, it was clear Schulman’s challenge to him had borne fruit. As Barghouti told Laura Flanders on her GRITtv cable news show — his only U.S. TV appearance: “BDS is not just about ending the occupation and apartheid, it’s about building a better society. A better society by definition must be inclusive and must recognize people’s rights — be it gender, sexual identity — any other form of identity should not
thankless of roles — a domestic abuse victim and enabler given to likening a blow to a caress. It takes a magically charismatic Billy Bigelow to keep your interest in the darkness at the heart of “Carousel,” but sadly, Nathan Gunn — even though comely as ever — lacked the soaring vocal chops or convincingly mesmerizing low-life approach to bring this difficult part off. Stephanie Blythe, however, was a totally delightful hoot as Nettie, with her booming voice and comically capacious persona, which easily had you believing she’d consumed 14 clams (and more). Likewise, Shuler Hensley — always in his element as a Rodgers and Hammerstein villain — found actual laughs in his role as Jigger, where I know none existed previously.
“The Broadway Musicals of 1937” (Town Hall, Feb. 11) focused largely on songs from “Babes in Arms” and that was quite all right with me, as that Rodgers and Hart score is chock-a-block with gems. The star performer of the night for me was Stephen DeRosa, who brought sprightly wit to “Way Out West” and heartfelt romance to “I See Your Face Before Me.” Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@ aol.com, follow him on Facebook and Twitter @in_the_noh and check out his blog at http://nohway.wordpress.com. prevent them from getting equal rights. So we must be absolutely consistent with ourselves and say equal rights for all includes everyone... Nothing comes after liberation; either we start now in parallel or nothing will come after we end apartheid and occupation.” Written with verve and grace, “Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International” is eye-opening, courageous, investigative, an activists’ how-to manual, and a shining example of the best in contemporary gay liberation thinking of the sort we have come to expect from Sarah Schulman. The book is by turns hard-headed (in the best sense), clear-sighted, and tender and moving. And I am in awe of the steadfastness of Schulman’s commitment to human liberation for all, and of the creative ways she finds in her tireless activism to, as the saying goes, “pay it forward.” Bravo, Sarah! She is the coordinator of a two-day conference on “Homonationalism and Pinkwashing” to be held on April 11 and 12 at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave. at 34th St., under the sponsorship of the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies (CLAGS). For more information, visit homonationalism. org. “Israel/Palestine and the Queer International” may be ordered directly from Duke University Press at tinyurl. com/d8jhlm3.
| March 13, 2013
In “Mx America,” cabaret sensation and gender non-conformist Justin Vivian Bond is the singular finalist in the Mx America Pageant, and expects to be judged in such categories as presentation, economic status, mental health, family values, and talent all while creating an elegantly formidable evening of beauty and delight. This new production incorporates video, spoken word, and original songs from V's critically acclaimed records “Dendrophile” and “Silver Wells.” Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Mar. 16, 22-23, 9 p.m.; Mar. 30, 9:30 p.m. Admission is $25 at joespub.com, plus a $12 food & drink minimum for table seating. Call 212967-7555 for a table reservation.
COMMUNITY The Beer Need Not Be Green
MArch 16: Gender-bending beauty Justin Vivian Bond
POLITICS Bulls & Bears
In its monthly “Second Thursday: Conservative Conversations,” the Log Cabin Republicans welcome Michael Hartzman, owner and president of Bristol Financial Services, a brokerage firm with more than $200 million in assets that specializes in financial and retirement planning; Dominick Tavella, the president of Diversified Financial Consultants who also focuses on estate planning, and Harold A. Bollaci, an elder law and estate-planning attorney. Women's National Republican Club, 3 W. 51st St., Library Room. Mar. 14, 7:30-9 p.m. The conversation is free, but is preceded by dinner & drinks from 6-7:30. Dinner & two drinks are $25, with drinks beginning at $8.
PERFORMANCE Celebs on Celebrity
The LGBT Community Center’s "Q & Gay," four generations of LGBT celebs and media hounds discuss queer celebrities' roles as public figures in “Queerlebrity.” Allison Davis welcomes Village Voice gossip columnist Michael Musto, Kim Stolz, a former case member of "America's Next Top Model” and co-owner of the Dalloway restaurant and bar, and Clay Cane, entertainment editor for BET.com and host of a weekly call-in radio show on WWRL 1600AM. 208 W. 13th St. Mar. 14, 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at gaycenter.org or at the door.
We’ve Only Just Begun
Justin Sayre’s “The Meeting,” the monthly comedy and variety gathering of the International Order of Sod-
omites, pays tribute to Karen Carpenter, the late pop star whose smooth tone and haunting voice captured the world’s attention in the 1970s, with guest stars Heather MacRae and Gay Marshall. The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. Mar. 14, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 at BrownPaperTickets.com; $17 at the door, with a two-drink minimum. You must be at least 21.
DANCE Ronald K. Brown & Kate Weare
The 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival continues with Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence presents “Gatekeepers” on Mar. 15-16, 8 p.m.; Mar 17, 3 p.m. Kate Weare Company presents “Garden” on Mar 22-23, 8 p.m.; Mar. 24, 3 p.m. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. Tickets are $20 at 92Y.org/harknessfestival or 212-415-5500.
MUSIC Depravity in the Empire
Gotham Chamber Opera continues season with Francesco Cavalli’s “Eliogabalo” (1667), with libretto by Aurelio Aureli. Based on the life of the Roman emperor Heliogabalus, who reigned from 218 to 222, the opera tells the story of a man who even today remains notorious for his sexual appetites, his appointment of an all-female Senate, and his well-deserved assassination. The Box, 189 Chrystie St., btwn. Houston & Delancey Sts. Mar. 15, 19, 21, 23, 26 & 29, 8 p.m. Tickets are $30-$250 at ticketcentral.com or 212-279-4200.
In one year, Sober St. Patrick’s Day has established itself as a family-friendly and all-inclusive option for celebrating Ireland’s national holiday and the greenest day on the world calendar. The entertainment this year includes John Whelan (eight-time All Ireland champion button accordion player), Brian Conway (five-time All Ireland Champion fiddle player), 10-year-old Irish fiddle champion Haley Richardson, author, actor, and raconteur Malachy McCourt, and the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance. Guests will include Noel Kilkenny, the consul general of Ireland in New York. Regis High School, 60 E. 85th St. Mar. 16 (parade day in Manhattan), 3-6 p.m. Tickets are $12 at soberstpatricksday.org.
MUSIC Caruso & Stritch Return
Jim Caruso, who recently made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the Tony-winning “Liza’s At The Palace!,” a tribute to Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers, and Billy Stritch, a premier singer-pianist on the New York and national jazz and cabaret scenes, return to Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel, for three more shows this month. 35 E. 76th St. Mar. 17, 24 & 31, 9 p.m. Bar seating is $15; tables at $25. More information at thecarlyle.com.
COMMUNITY Helping It Get Better
James Lecesne, who wrote the young adult novel “Trevor,” upon which he based the Academy Award-winning short of the same name, and co-founded the Trevor Project, hosts “Queer in America,” an evening in which writers discuss how they are working to make it better for LGBT youth. The panel includes Michael Cunningham (the Pulitzer Prizewinning “The Hours”), novelist and short story writer Amy Bloom (“Love Invents Us”), mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin who wrote the memoir “Do You Dream in Color?,” playwright Paul M. Rudnick (“Jeffrey”), children’s book author and illustrator Brian Selznick (“The Invention of Hugo Cabret”), and screenwriter, librettist, and playwright Doug Wright (the Pulitzer Prize-winning “I Am My Own Wife”). 92nd Street Y, Buttenwieser Hall, Lexington Ave. at 92nd St. Mar. 18, 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $29 at 92y.org
MUSIC Bebe’s Piano Stories
Bebe Neuwirth performs “Stories with Piano #4,” a collection of story songs by Kurt Weill, Tom Waits, and others, as well as some Broadway standards. 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Mar. 18, 9:30 p.m.; Mar. 19-21, 7 p.m.; Mar. 22, 8 p.m.; Mar. 23, 8 & 11 p.m. Doors open btwn. One half and 90 minutes in advance of each show for dinner. Admission is $50-$60, with a $35 food & drink minimum. Reservations at 54below.com.
TUE.MAR.19 JOAN MARCUS
PERFORMANCE Gender-Bending Beauty Contest
mysterious roadside attraction. Cinemarosa director Hector Canonge moderates a Q&A with filmmakers Wachsmann, Paganelli, and Maxey. Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Mar. 17, 3-5 p.m. (#7 train to Willets Point/ Citi Field; walk across the park toward the Unisphere.) Suggested donation is $5, with light refreshments served. More information at cinemarosa.org.
Erin Go Brunch
Metropolitan Klezmer, New York’s eclectic Yiddish musical ensemble, presents an all-instrumental special septet brunch performance at City Winery, 155 Varick St. at Vandam St. Mar. 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Doors open at 10. Admission is $10, with children under 13 free. There is a full menu and bar, but no minimum purchase. Reservations at 212-608-0555.
FILM Fairy Tales of Modern Life
Cinemarosa, Queens’ monthly queer screening series presents “Fairy Tales,” a selection of films that explore identity, love, and courage. Carina Wachsmann & Ilaria Paganelli’s full-length documentary “Trukulutru!,” a documentary that explores lesbian culture and life in Rome, will be screened along with two shorts — April Maxey’s “Polaroid Girl,” the story of Sofie, a shy and timid aspiring photographer who meets June, who runs a vintage camera shop; and Rhys Ernst’s “The Thing,” about the journey of Zooey, her transgender friend Tristan, and Tristan’s cat Steven to a
MUSIC You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
Bouffant-coiffed chanteuse Dusty Springfield is a gay icon — but not many people know that she was an icon who was, in fact, lesbian. Kirsten Holly Smith and Jonathan Vankin are doing their best to change that with “Forever Dusty,” a musical devoted to the life of the legendary singer. Gay City News critic David Kennerley wrote that they admirably succeed in their goal of being “as truthful as possible in bringing you the soul and spirit of Dusty, which, like her music, lives on forever.” In “Lez Be Honest,” they appear with the shows musical director, Michael Thomas Murray, who will join Smith in performing some of Dusty’s memorable hits. LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Mar. 19, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30. Admission is $10 at gaycenter.org.
14 DAYS, continued on p.35
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN
High Noon at the High Court
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By the time the next issue of Gay City News hits the streets on March 27, the US Supreme Court will be concluding two days of oral arguments on the two marriage equality cases it accepted for r eview in the current term. On March 26, the federal lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act filed by Edie Windsor — assessed more than $360,000 in federal estate taxes after her spouse Thea Spyer died in 2009 — will be heard. Windsor’s attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union will be opposed by Paul Clement, a private attorney representing the so-called Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of the Representatives, which is controlled by Republican Speaker John Boehner. BLAG stepped into the DOMA litigation in 2011 after the Justice Department, having determined the 1996 law is unconstitutional, said it would no longer defend it in court. It was, in fact, the Obama administration that asked the high court to take up the case to settle the question of DOMA’s constitutionality. The Justice Department filed a brief in the case, arguing that laws treating gay and lesbian people differently should be subjected to the
Gay City News, The Newspaper Serving Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender NYC, is published by NYC Community Media, LLC. Send all inquiries to: Gay City News, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, NYC 10013 Phone: 212.229.1890 Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this paper, in part or whole, can be reproduced or redistributed. All contents (c) 2012 Gay City News.
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orientation bias merit the most stringent judicial review. The high court has not yet tackled that question — and for its majority, that may yet be a bridge too far. Finding that DOMA lacks even a minimal rationale would be the easiest route to victory for our side. The issue of what level of scrutiny federal courts apply to sexual orientation discrimination claims may have greater impact on the resolution of the other marriage equality case — the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) challenge to California’s Proposition 8. At the district court, AFER won a sweeping victory that found that same-sex couples have a federal constitutional right to marry. An appeals court, while affirming AFER’s victory , did so on the narrower ground that no non-discriminatory reason could be found for California voters choosing to take away a right to marry that samesex couples already enjoyed. The Supreme Court could conceivably uphold that finding even while applying the most lenient form of review. In 1996, it struck down a Colorado voter initiative that denied gay and lesbian couples the right to enact nondiscrimination laws. Such a victory for AFER would restore marriage equality to California without confronting the bigger questions of a federal constitutional right to marriage or whether claims of anti-gay discrimination subject the law in
February 28, 2013 To the Editor: Paul Schindler performs a real service to our community in documenting the tortured gyrations, machinations, and obfuscation characterizing the Center's on and then off, and on again, and off again ban on "organize[ing] around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." And he prepares us for more to come with the implied warning that a hate speech gambit may yet be in the offing. I was elected to the founding Board of Directors of the Center in 1983 and served for four years. Our vision for the Center encompassed a balance among three
key aspects, of which providing services was but one: we needed a place, an alternative to the bars, where people could come and socialize and existing organizations and organizations-to-be needed office and meeting space. The Center was conceived as the place in the city where the action was to happen-— and sometimes the action can get hot and heavy. Playing off one key function against another was unthinkable. That vision refutes a par ticularly galling rationale given for the ban: "The Center has been forced to divert significant resources from its primary purpose of providing programming
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR THE CENTER SHIFTS GEARS
JOHN W. SUTTER
most searching form of judicial scrutiny — one that requires a showing of a compelling public purpose served, in narrowly tailored fashion, by the distinction. Viewed in that light, DOJ argues, DOMA cannot possibly survive. BLAG’s argument that the purpose of marriage is to promote responsible procreation by heterosexuals, the administration asserts, does not even meet minimal judicial standards of being rational. Arguments against DOMA may find a receptive ear among some of the court’s conservatives. The law was the federal government’s first significant legislative incursion in history into regulating marriage, something traditionally reserved to the states — so long (like in the case of the Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling on interracial marriage) as minimal federal constitutional guarantees are protected. Should the high court, or a few conservatives on it, conclude the federal government over reached in enacting DOMA, the victory should go to Windsor. Liberals on the court are likely to agree with the ACLU’s assertion that even the most lenient scrutiny of the 1996 law would find no constitutionally valid reason for its enactment. That scenario would allow the court to strike down DOMA without resolving the more challenging question before it — whether, like claims of racial and gender discrimination, lawsuits alleging sexual
question to tougher scrutiny. AFER, of course, is aiming higher, with arguments that could provoke a bigger victory — of one of two sizes. The court might conclude that any state that gives couples all the rights and benefits of marriage, but denies them access to marriage itself — as California with its existing domestic partnership law and the seven other domestic partnership/ civil union states do — is acting unconstitutionally since the only possible explanation for distinguishing in name between two otherwise identical institutions is impermissible bias. Or the court could wipe the whole issue off the table by embracing the sort of sweeping ruling AFER won at the district court. Making that bet with the court’s current composition seems bold — and Jeffrey Toobin’s profile of “liberal” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a recent issue of the New Yorker (in which he cited a 1992 speech where she argued the 1972 Roe v. Wade abortion case was decided more sweepingly than it needed to be) should give any optimist pause. Still, everything is now on the table and any outcome — including some procedural dodge on deciding one or both of the cases — is possible. The arguments will be over on March 27, but the suspense could last through the end of June. Come what may, this is cer tainly among the most profound moments in the history of LGBT rights in America. And many, many advocates and activists can justly be proud that we’ve come to this precipice.
February 28, 2013 To the Editor: Thank you for putting forth some rational and well-argued insights (“LGBT Community Center: A Bad Policy Ended Badly,” by Paul Schindler, Feb. 27-Mar. 12). You have shed much needed “light” rather than “heat” on what quickly became an explosive and divisive issue in our community. I look forward to hearing Sarah Schulman speak and reading her book too. Michael Seltzer
and services to instead navigating between opposing positions involving the Middle East conflict." Schindler says, "Baloney." I say, “Bullshit!” The Board of Directors of the Center must take responsibility for this debacle and defilement of the original vision. Those on the Board responsible for this fiasco must step down, and while so doing they should take their mouthpiece, Glennda Testone, with them. Steve Ault WRITE US! Send letters to the editor, of 250 words or less, to email@example.com. The editors reserve the right to edit letters for
| March 13, 2013
V. Tyler Clementi / R. Ora Pro Nobis BY RABBI ROBERT TEIXEIRA
n February 28, the See of Peter became vacant, and Joseph Ratzinger, whom the world knew for eight years as Pope Benedict XVI, made his way to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence, where he awaits the election of his successor. Long after, some will claim, as they do now, that he abdicated to save himself from the crushing weight of a sex scandal. A commission of three cardinals, it seems, whom the pope personally appointed to investigate “VatiLeaks” (the leaking of private correspondence by his butler), turned up evidence of the scandal, now looming. According to the Italian newspaper la Repubblica, the cardinals presented the pope with a dossier, based on scores of interviews, in which they asserted that a Vatican faction “united by sexual orientation” (homosexuality) is being subjected to “external influence” (blackmail) by male prostitutes. The bigger scandal, if this report is true, is that highly placed homosexual
clergy within the Vatican, whose life’s work is to ensure the smooth functioning of an unapologetically anti-gay institution, are having sex with men. Such hypocrisy truly boggles the mind. Knowing the devastating impact of homophobia, which the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality helps to fuel, how could these clergy satisfy themselves while turning a blind eye? If, in fact, they were not turning a blind eye, where then is the proof of their advocacy? Permit me to quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2357: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
And permit me to share a statistic: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. One wonders whether any of these highly placed homosexual clergy within the Vatican, while they were having sex with male prostitutes in and around the Eternal City, thought of Tyler Clementi. It is doubtful that any of them had even heard of the brighteyed, 18-year-old violin virtuoso who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after his college roommate and another classmate used a webcam to spy on him kissing another man. For a teenager, who just three weeks earlier had come out to his parents, becoming the subject of public ridicule, proved to be more than he could bear. Another papal conclave is now underway, and once again a group of cardinal electors have processed into the Sistine Chapel, where they will elect a new pope, while chanting the ancient “Litany of the Saints,” which invokes the names of famous martyrs,
The Secret of Power BY KELLY JEAN COGSWELL
ity Council Speaker Christine Quinn finally tossed her hat in the ring and came out as a candidate for New York's top job. It's a big deal. She'd be the first female mayor, not to mention the first dyke, in Gracie Mansion. It's astounding that she's gotten this far. Being the first of anything requires a heck of a lot of raw talent, good timing, and of course plenty of people ahead of you breaking ground, like Tom Duane and Margarita Lopez who were among the first out queers on New York's City Council. Beyond that, you have to have a certain mindset, a sense of privilege that refuses to concede, despite overwhelming evidence, that the face of power should be male, above all, and white, and straight. I'd like to think you can acquire that entitlement, like a basic proficiency in math, if you just practice enough, but I'm not so sure. Some people seem to know from the beginning that they are meant for great things. Probably when Quinn was a kid she arranged her blocks in the shape
of City Hall, gave press conferences to her stuffed animals. "And when I'm mayor..." Or maybe it dawned on her slowly. She met a few politicians as she headed up the Anti-Violence Project, and thought, "I can do that." Then when she was elected to the City Council, she saw the inner workings of power and felt she measured up. By any road, she arrived at the emotional place where she could stand in front of a bunch of journalists and declare her intention to govern one of the biggest cities of the world. The rest of us need help even to inhabit our own lives. Just a couple of weeks ago, I showed a documentary about the Lesbian Avengers to a group of college students. And afterwards one still asked, "A lot of us feel like we don't have a voice. What should we do?" Even though I'd been talking already for half an hour about activism and big-mouthed dykes, she apparently didn't see the Avengers as role models, enabling her to make the leap and declare, "How about we start an activist group?" We'd also discussed social media and the Arab Spring. Maybe I should have
asked them if they'd at least considered a blog, if they didn't want to take to New Jersey's mean streets. But it seemed too obvious to say. I mean, isn't their whole Twitter generation marked by a multiplicity of voices? A real cacophony? I figured out too late the word "voice" was a misdirection. Probably their real question was: How do you get heard in the midst of all that noise? How do you gain power, or at least feel empowered? I wouldn't have known how to answer that either. I realized then that it's not enough to talk about role models and opening doors. Sometimes they just lead to a broom closet, a small confined space, a cell. Our current means of communication don't take you very far when their conventions demand you restrict your announcements to the latest app you downloaded, the game you played. Despite a few radical users, Twitter is mostly small talk on a grand scale. Even if the door leads to the world outside, very few of us are Chris Quinns or Barack Obamas. We're taught to stay behind the white line and we do. We're like dogs with those electronic collars that give them a
such as Saint Stephen, Saint Lawrence, and Saint Vincent. V. Sancte Stephane. R. Ora pro nobis (Pray for us). V. Sancte Laurenti. R. Ora pro nobis. V. Sancte Vincenti. R. Ora pro nobis. The cardinals would be wise to include in the “Litany” the name Tyler Clementi, who was more than a suicide. He was a martyr, martyred for being gay, martyred by homophobia. His cousin, Jennifer Ehrentraut-Segro, a practicing Catholic, while appearing before the New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee, spoke of the sinister power of homophobia, saying, “Please consider the ripple effects of our thoughts, judgments, and misperceptions of other people’s lives and the ones they love.” Who better to help guide the election of a new pope, whose mandate will be to root out darkness in high places, than one martyred by darkness in high places? Rabbi Robert Teixeira, LCSW, is founder and spiritual director of Uri! Uri! Awaken! Awaken!, a community of spiritual seekers based in Manhattan.
shock when they go too far. Our internalized misogyny and homophobia and racism keep us on the leash. We are agoraphobic. Beyond this point lies pain and suffering, and a terrifying wilderness. In fact, the only secret to having a voice is to speak. Or to act. Repeatedly. And hope for the best. When ordinary people first open their mouths, they don't know if somebody's going to listen. The Lesbian Avengers were begun by six dykes who decided they would put out a call to action, but if nobody else joined them, they would do it alone. They were lucky that people responded. And they went from a handful of dykes to a roomful, then a worldwide movement. But nine times out of 10 you're answered with silence. The timing is wrong. Or your message doesn't get across. And when that happens, you try again imagining that even if the world is not transformed, maybe you will be. Like a singer, your voice will get stronger. You'll hit the notes the first try. You'll please yourself, anyway. Annoy the neighbors. You have to make it a habit. Sometimes if I have to, I talk to myself. In particularly bad patches, I've scribbled messages on stickers, left them on lampposts. In the subways. Like a trail of breadcrumbs for hungry birds.
BAILEY HOUSE, from p.13
have “a greater recognition that people with AIDS should be protagonists on questions of AIDS healthcare, policy, and funding.” Paraphrasing the words used by South African activists, he said. “Nothing about me without me.” Between 1990 and 1995, Hatchett moved up in PWAC, first as deputy director and then executive director, even as he endured two major periods of illness — first with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and later with a recurrence of that accompanied by Hodgkin’s disease and meningitis. By the end of 1995, he recognized his work had become his life and gotten in the way of managing his
STONEWALL, from p.16
this simmering stew. The boys call him the A-Gay (Sean Allan Krill, by turns charming and chilling), a blond, modelhandsome Harvard grad who lives in a brownstone on Charles Street and picks up guys like he’s closing a business deal. Perhaps the most fully realized character of the bunch is Carson (a terrifically soulful Nathan Lee Graham), a determined, transgender black woman dressed like her idol, Judy Garland, who died tragically a few days earlier. Somewhat dubious legend has it that Judy’s death fueled the flames of the rebellion and “Hit the Wall” happily subscribes to this theory. No doubt the prevailing civil rights, anti-war, counterculture, cops-are-pigs ethos in the 1960s played its part as well.
OPERA, from p.28
the pudding, provoking laughs at musically inopportune moments — like right before skilled, totally secure alumnus tenor Javier Abreu’s rueful initial aria. But the characters were well defined, the overall arc well paced. Taking unusually bold comic chances, Jeongcheol Cha proved a highly amusing Pasquale, stylishly vocalized. Deanna Breiwick (Norina) looked and sounded fresh and beautiful, with good projection and trills. Sometimes she was asked to apply undue “character,” shading to bel canto lines. With a touch of gravel at the bottom, suave baritone Tobias Greenhalgh (Malatesta) seemed promising but less advanced in his training as to line and authentic Italian diction, though he dispensed goodfellowship plastique for days. The only question this performance left about Stephen Lord’s masterful well-balanced conducting is why aren’t we hearing it at the Met instead of the mediocre likes of Maurizio Benini? Admirably, Lord played repeat verses and bridge material sometimes cut. For that matter, Robinson has a far better track record as an opera director
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com own illness as well as the pressures of a close friend who was dying. He decided to no longer work delivering direct services. Hatchett did not walk away from AIDS work, however, nor did his commitment to peer -support activism diminish. After a year on disability, he helped found the People Living with AIDS Leadership Training Institute (LTI), a statewide group that builds leadership capacity among those living with HIV. Working for the past two years at CAI, a non-profit that provides technical assistance and support to social service providers, he remains active with LTI on a day-to-day basis. Peer support, in Hatchett’s view,
has played an indispensible part in the response to AIDS in New York. “For all the doctors I had and the insurance that was available to me, that was not what taught me how to live with the disease,” he said. “Working at PWAC brought me to people who would not otherwise be in my life and that made all the difference.” But Hatchett hastened to add that it was not only HIV-positive people who made important contributions to his life. “One of the reasons I’m excited about this event coming up is that Gina and Bailey House have been a part of my life the whole time,” he said. “And so have Dean LaBate and Tom Viola. In New York City, there has been a strong vibrant AIDS community with a lot of continuity. That
kind of history is precious to me.” Quattrochi echoed that sentiment, noting that it took “a larger community effort… to help so many New Yorkers survive to the next treatment breakthrough. We also know now that treatment alone would not have kept alive the thousands of low-income PWAs who were infected in the late ‘70s and throughout the ‘80s and are still alive.”
The piece also reminds us that the dive bar was frequently raided. Joints catering to homos were denied a liquor license, so the Mafia ran them illegally, exploited the customers, and paid off local cops. Dressing in opposite-gender clothes was a one-way ticket to the slammer. The creative team deserves kudos for bringing this momentous event to life, showing how these motley misfits banded together, galvanized by a common cause. Originating at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, the play is now in New York where it belongs, just a beer bottle’s throw from the site of the riots. The Barrow Street Theatre, with its intimate, 360-degree stage area, immerses the audience in the action. At one point, the Newbie sat so close to me I could read the scribbles in his notebook.
The set, by Lauren Helpern, features a nice replica of the Stonewall Inn façade. And yet, even with decent per formances from a committed ensemble, “Hit the Wall” feels like a collection of sketches instead of a fully formed play. There’s no solid throughline or central character, and the only real dramatic tension is in waiting for the inevitable clash. Under the direction of Eric Hoff, the raid scene is rousing if not historically accurate, enhanced by well-timed sound and lighting effects. It successfully evokes the violent, senseless persecution of innocent gays. Naturally, bloodied nightsticks and tear gas are involved. Unfortunately, the patchy production cannot sustain the momentum, failing to fully convey the magnitude of the riots. What’s more, while the dialogue,
peppered with snappy period lingo, adds flavor, it can trip up the drama. And the live band is awkwardly integrated into the proceedings. If you visit Christopher Park today you’ll find George Segal’s white lacquered bronze statues of two same-sex pairs of figures in the act of casually touching. The work, titled “Gay Liberation,” was commissioned as a memorial to the uprising. Despite its shortcomings, “Hit the Wall” is a valiant homage to that watershed moment, recalling an era when anti-sodomy laws were enforced, homosexuality was deemed a mental illness, and simply touching in public could be grounds for a brutal beating or arrest. The consequence? As Cliff so poignantly puts it, “Your life’s fucked forever.”
than the Broadway-linked tyros given carte blanche to ruin the likes of “Sonnambula” and “Tales of Hoffmann” there lately.
his Boris? Eric Halfvarson’s grand scale Grand Inquisitor met Furlanetto near his own level. Dmitri Hvorostovsky was his usual handsome inert self as Posa, but sang quite wonderfully. Ramon Vargas (Don Carlo) and Barbara Frittoli (Elisabetta) are both fine, musical artists who act and phrase with care and insight. Both now sound tight at the top of their range, and her constriction on almost everything above a G was genuinely distressing, mitigating many of her good intentions. Anna Smirnova has lost some weight and moved more gracefully than before, but her artistic intentions remain pretty much vulgar and her intonation imprecise due to a buzz saw vibrato. The only distinguished comprimario performances were Jennifer Holloway’s appealing Tebaldo and a solid set of Flemish Deputies.
Baritone David Kravitz, the patriarch Farasmane, had no arias but sang well. The five leads were major Handelians, all of whom seized ample opportunities to shine. David Daniels in the title role and Patricia Bardon as his wife Zenobia have been leaders in this repertory for two decades. Whatever slight inroads time has made on their lower register resonance found ample compensation in musical insight, absolute stylistic mastery, and — in both cases — much seasoned, lovely tone. As Radamisto’s sister, Brenda Rae’s timbre was rather narrow, but she proved technically quite spectacular and affecting. Luca Pisaroni channeled verbal bite, seductive tone and fine florid work as the villain Tiridate. Is there a better Handelian bass today? The most beautiful sounds of all flowed with delightful style from the supremely talented Joélle Harvey as the noble warrior Tigrane. Next year, Bicket and Daniels return in “Theodora” with the smashing Dorothea Röschmann.
“Don Carlo” — in the Italian translation the Met has used since 1920 — is one of the greatest of Parisian grand operas. It’s such a noble work of music and drama that it had some effect February 28 despite conducting from Lorin Maazel that was, except at rare moments, distended and lifeless. Whose idea was his re-engagement? That person deserved some of Maazel’s boos. The Nicholas Hytner production is the clearest example of a beautiful and functional staging being junked for a cheap-looking, ineffective, and gimmicky one — a real shame, full of bad ideas (cutting the woodsmen’s chorus, having court ladies and not starving peasants importune Elisabetta for peace, a priest declaiming over the auto-da-fe music, and a totally botched final tableau). The costumes and lighting do battle with the plastic, flimsy looking sets. Ferruccio Furlanetto’s Philip towered above everybody — a Golden Age performance. When will the Met hear
Leading the fantastic English Concert from the harpsichord, Harry Bicket
kicked off a three-season Carnegie series of Handel works in concert with a starry, exciting “Radamisto” that had been touring Europe. Bicket assembled a gr eat cast fr om top to bottom.
The March 28 Bailey House gala, hosted by Jane Pauley, also honors actor Alan Cumming, Harlan Bratcher, the CEO of A/X Armani Exchange, and the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP. Tickets, which begin at $250 or $400 per couple, can be purchased at baileyhouse.org.
David Shengold (shengold@yahoo. com) writes about opera for many venues.
| March 13, 2013 14 DAYS, from p.31
MATTHEW MURPHY/ NICOMUHLY.COM
POLITICS LGBT Mayoral Forum
Join the Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, and the Stonewall Democrats of NY for a mayoral candidate forum on LGBT issues. The candidates appearing include former City Councilman Sal Albanese, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and former Comptroller Bill Thompson. Gay City News editor Paul Schindler moderates. Baruch College's Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Ave., entrance on 23rd St. Mar. 20, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but RSVP on Facebook at tinyurl.com/aczabfr.
THEATER Hookie Boys
Promising to break entirely new ground in New York theater, “Rent Boy…the Musical” is set on the night of the famous Hookies Awards, the Oscars of Male Escorts (which take place this year on March 22 at the Roseland Ballroom), where gigolos receive awards for their erotic talents. David Leddick, the novelist and art book author (“Naked Men,” “The Male Nude,” and “Gorgeous Gallery”) is the playwright, with music by Andrew Sargent (“The Secrets of the Chorus,” “It’s a Fabulous Life”). David Kingery directs with music direction by Phil Hall. Richmond Shepard Theatre, 309 E. 26th St. Mar. 21-23, 28-30, 8 p.m.; Mar. 23-24, 20-31, 2 p.m. Tickets are $35-$75 at brownpapertickets.com or 800-838-3006.
READING Bright, Beautiful Boys!
In the latest installment of her reading series “Drunken! Careening! Writers!,” Kathleen Warnock welcomes “Bright, Beautiful Boys!” Greg Sanders, author of "Motel Girl: Stories,” Charlie Vázquez, a Bronx-born writer of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent whose second novel is “Contraband,” and Chris Weikel, whose play “Secret Identity” was featured this past fall in the Lark Play Development Center’s "Playwright's Week." KGB Bar, 85 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Mar. 21, 7 p.m. Free.
ACTIVISM Funding Queerocracy
Minnie Cupcakes, the electrifying mistress of fun, hosts a fundraiser for Queerocracy, a New York-based organization working to build a new generation of leaders to challenge institutional injustice within a queer framework. The evening includes performances by fag-rapper Shane Shane and the burlesque artist Darlinda Just Darlinda. Music provided by DJ Hertz van Rental. In keeping with the theme “HIV is not a crime; Criminalizing it is,” there will be “arrests” of celebutante activists from the main floor and taken to the hoosegow in the back room. Once there, you will be able to make donations for “bail.” The Phoenix, 447 E 13th St. at Ave. A. Mar. 21, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. There is a $3 suggested donation at the door, with $3 draughts & $2 PBR’s. For more information, visit queerocracy.org.
PERFORMANCE The Cosmos Probed at BAM
With the US premiere of “Planetarium,” three leading music talents — The National’s Bryce Dessner (“The Long Count,” “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”), composer Nico Muhly, and singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens (“The BQE”) — come together to consider the cosmos. In the first half of the evening, a string quartet made up of members of yMusic and ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) performs each artist’s classically informed compositions. In the latter half, Stevens’ voice anchors a planetby-planet song cycle that melds the collaborators’ distinct creative contributions. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Pl. Mar. 21-23, 8 p.m.; Mar. 24, 7 p.m. Tickets are $25-$65 at bam.org.
NIGHTLIFE Rough Trade at Luna Park
Rites XXXIV:The Black Party, presented by the Saint at Large, is set on the outskirts of Rome in an abandoned amusement park, Luna Park, which comes to life for one-night only as a band of Moto-Gladiators convenes for their annual bacchanalia. Structured like a five-act opera and set against an increasingly theatricalized environment, the Black Party is introducing a decidedly more progressive underground sound this year emanating from musical trends heard in other dance music capitals, namely London and Berlin. Music by Ryan Smith (New York) opens, followed by Tom Stephan (London), 2:30 a.m.-6 a.m.; Honey Dijon (New York) 6 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; and Boris From Berlin until closing. Roseland Ballroom, 239 W. 52nd St. Mar. 23, 10 p.m. until the afternoon of Mar. 24. Tickets are $125 through Mar. 14; $140 after that at blackparty.com; $160 at the door. Under 26 admission is $45 before 12:30 a.m. or after 4 a.m.
The Stonewall Chorale, under the artistic direction of Cynthia Powell and performing with full orchestra, presents Mozart’s “Requiem,” “Ave Verum Corpus,” and “Laudate Dominum” and Sarah Hopkins’ “Past Life Melodies” at two Manhattan venues. Holy Apostles, Ninth Ave. at 28th St. Mar. 23, 7:30 p.m. The following performance is West End Collegiate Church, 77th & West End Ave. Mar. 24, 3 p.m. Tickets are $20; $12 for students & seniors at tinyurl.com/cv6bfp3, or $25 at the door. More information at stonewallchorale.org.
She Is Woman, Hear Her… Helen Reddy was the first Australian to win a Grammy, for her 1972 feminist anthem “I Am Woman.” With “Delta Dawn” and “Angie Baby,” that year gave her three #1 hits. After a 10-year absence from the stage, Reddy is back with two New York shows at B.B. Kings Blues Club and Grill, 237 W. 42nd St. Mar. 23 & 24, 8 p.m. Doors open at 6. Tickets are $52 at ticketmaster. com or 212-977-4144; $58 at the door. There is a $10 food & drink minimum.
GALLERY Lensing the Erotic
“XXX: Sensuality Through the Eyes of the Photographer” is a group show of erotic images featuring unseen and iconic work by internationally respected photographers Mick Rock, Jan van Breda, Hans van der Kamp, Lee Black Childers, Anton Perrich, Dennis Morris, Sue Rynski, Clayton Patterson, Stanley Stellar, Michael Rosen, and Charles Gatewood. Van der Kamp and his co-curator Kymara Lonergan selected photographers based on their contributions to the LBGTQ community and the historic value of their work. Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Old Basement Gallery, 127-B Prince St. at Wooster St. Opening reception, Mar. 22, 6-9 p.m. Mar. 23-26, noon-6 p.m. For more information, visit leslielohman.org.
NIGHTLIFE Hard Fashion: A Black Party Curtain-Raiser
The Black Party Expo is the moment when the Saint At Large pulls back the leather curtain on the netherworld behind the biggest and most notorious gay dance party on earth. Art, fashion, music, and sex is the backdrop for “BPX2013: The Dirty Carnival,” a behindthe-scenes gathering that’ll get people from all over the world pumped and primed for “Rites XXXIV: The Black Party.” Roseland Ballroom, 239 W. 52nd St. Mar. 22. At 9 p.m., the first annual Hard Fashion Show features fashion forward fetish wear and designers in conjunction with a concert by Billy Ray Martin. At 10 p.m., the red carpet begins for the Hookies, the Oscars of Escorting, which begin at 11 p.m. and are hosted by Sharon Needles, the reigning winner of “RuPaul's Drag Race.” Finalists this year includes some of the biggest names in gay porn, including Trenton Ducati, Tate Ryder, Antonio Biaggi, Diesel Washington, Rafael Alencar, Brayden Forrester, Marco Sessions, Heath Jordan, Draven Torres, Cliff Jensen, and Jesse Santana. Presenters include Michael Musto, directors Chi Chi LaRue, Michael Lucas, and Mr.Pam, playwright David Leddick and the cast of "Rentboy the Musical," TV host Robin Byrd, and author Mike Albo. Tickets are $20; $80 for VIP at blackpartyexpo.com; $25 & $100 at the door.
THE SAINT AT LARGE
March 13, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com