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Supreme Court: Day One 12 Senior Health 04 Forgive Bill Clinton? 17 A Simple Pope’s Stridency 18, 36

The LGBT Mayoral Debate 10 · Analysis 32-33

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March 27, 2013 |

FACT: Smoke-free Homes are Healthier and Safer.

Going smoke-free is the only way to protect your family and neighbors from the dangers of secondhand smoke at home.

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| March 27, 2013



Are You Thinking of Moving? Need Help Moving a Relative or Friend? Don’t Know Where to Turn? Learn How Moving On NYC can help!

MOVING ON NYC Cover Illustration by Michael Shirey

Lessons from an LGBT mayoral forum

City, state now voice alarm over meningitis

10, 32-33




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American dance keeps on keeping on; Danish dance exalts the ordinary

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“During my 30 years in real estate, I have managed the transitioning and relocation of hundreds of seniors. I treat them the way I treat my 92-year-old mother - with dignity and respect,” said Ms. Karpoff, a certified speech pathologist and audiologist, as well as a licensed Real Estate Broker and President of Karpoff Affiliates, Inc. Marilyn helps families through the emotional minefield of a sudden loss and has rescued hundreds of pets. Through Moving On NYC, she is providing a much needed service – the caring transition of the elderly during their time of need.

26, 28

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March 27, 2013 |

The Urgency of Health Outreach to the Gay and Gray What research tells us about the needs of the Stonewall & AIDS Generations BY PERRY N. HALKITIS, PH.D.



he US population is aging. Because of increases in life expectancy attributable to advances in public health and medical treatments, in 2014, Baby Boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964, who will by then all be 50 or older — will constitute approximately one-third of the US population. Within this group are two segments of gay men — the Stonewall Generation (who emerged into adulthood as the gay rights movement of the late 1960s and early ‘70s was surging) and men like myself of the AIDS Generation (who came of age in the late 1970s and early ‘80s). Based on population estimates, some 1.2 to 1.4 million gay men in the United States will soon be age 50 and over, and in New York City, approximately five percent of men in this age range are gay. Those who work in the field of gerontology, either in research or in practice and the delivery of services, find themselves at an interesting crossroads. Traditional understandings, approaches, and services developed for aging generations that preceded us may no longer be relevant. We are all grappling to understand this new group of older adults and their needs moving forward. The fact is, we know very little about the behaviors and expectations of aging Baby Boomers, and even less about the subset of them who are gay men of the Stonewall and AIDS Generations. Our knowledge of those gay Boomers who are aging with HIV is, fair to say, infinitesimal. It is this last group that I consider in my upcoming book “The AIDS Generation.” Complicating matters is the reality that, in terms of behavior, 50 truly is the new 40. Risk behaviors not widely discussed or examined in older adults of previous generations are very much a reality today. For aging gay men, these risk behaviors are those that permeate our entire adult lives — namely, sex and substance use. The literature clearly establishes the pattern of ongoing sexual activity among heterosexual adults after age 50 and beyond, and a more limited body of work also documents this in gay men — those both HIV-positive and HIV-negative. In one study conducted among men in Chicago in the 1990s, it was determined that gay men 60 and older were as likely to engage in unprotected sexual behaviors as those in their 30s —with both groups reporting equivalent levels of multiple sexual partnering. In a South Florida study of men

A recent HIV testing campaign from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis targeted older gay men.

40 and older, high rates of unprotected sex were reported, and were most pronounced among those aged 40-59. Interestingly, among the older men in the Florida study, those aged 60 and older reported meeting their partners in many of the same settings as younger men — namely, the Internet, bars and clubs, bathhouses, and backrooms. Much more telling is the fact that men who had fewer emotional conflicts about their sexuality also engaged in more sex-

study of club drug-using gay men, locally known as Project BUMPS, we found that the older HIV-positive men reported rates of unprotected anal sex similar to those in their 20s and 30s. In fact, in our most recent study, Project Gold, which studied HIV-positive men ages 50 and over, we found the following rates of unprotected sex in a month’s time: 13 percent reported unprotected anal sex with an HIV-sero-concordant partner, while six percent reported this behavior with partners who were sero-discordant or whose status was unknown. Risk-taking behaviors are not confined to sex. They also include substance use — which time and again we have linked to sexual risk-taking behaviors in gay men. In Project Gold, we found use of substances to be evident, with 13 percent of the men reporting alcohol intoxication in the previous month. Thirty-eight percent reported use of marijuana; 14 percent reported use of poppers; and 26 percent, use of some other illicit drug — such as crystal meth or cocaine. These findings corroborated our work with club drug users, where we found reliance on substance use by older gay men — even if they tended to report cocaine and crystal meth use, while younger men reported using Ketamine and GHB. In the South Florida study, drug use was also evidenced among the those 60 and older regardless of serostatus, with 34 percent reporting use of alcohol two hours prior to having sex;

Complicating matters is the reality that, in terms of behavior, 50 truly is the new 40. ual risk. This finding parallels our own work among younger men, aged 18-21, where we have found that those with less internalized homophobia and higher affinity with the gay community are also more likely to engage in risk. For men of all ages, it appears that greater pride in one’s sexuality — a wonderful characteristic — enables gay men to navigate and engage in social contexts where sexual adventurism is heightened. As a result, this expression of one’s pride perpetuates sexual risk behaviors. This pattern of sexual risk-taking also exists when we study those older gay men who are HIV-positive. In our own

18 percent reporting use of poppers; and eight percent, use of marijuana. It is clear that older gay men continue to demonstrate risky health behaviors. Unfortunately, this segment of our population often goes unnoticed in our health promotion efforts — a situation that must be reversed given how fast the population of gay men over 50 is exploding. Efforts that are appropriately tailored to this segment of the population must be developed. Messages that work for 20- or 30-year-olds will not achieve the same effectiveness for older gay men who are at a very different stage of development and at very different points in their lives. While their behaviors might parallel those of younger men, the conditions and realities of their lives are not the same — requiring an adjustment in how we deliver messages and services to this older generation. One final thought: Health promotion efforts for older gay men must extend beyond HIV prevention. There is no denying that the epidemic has compromised the physical, emotional, and social well-being of gay men who are members of the Stonewall Generation and the AIDS Generation. Yet we are resilient, and have managed to come through the darkest moments of this crisis. While there are certainly older men who sero-convert, the odds decrease with age. Consequently, health promotion efforts must not focus solely on preventing HIV, but must consider the interplay of all aspects of health — namely, sexual health nested within an overall framework of aging gay men’s health, including mental health issues related to the trauma experienced while coming of age in the first two decades of AIDS. Efforts to address the sexual and drug risk behaviors of older gay men must be framed within the broader range of health challenges that arise as we get older. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to build on the resilience we demonstrated by surviving the plague. Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH is professor of Applied Psychology and Public Health at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, and also teaches Population Health at the Langone School of Medicine. He is the director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies ( at New York University. Halkitis’ book “The AIDS Generation: Strategies for Survival and Resilience” will be published by Oxford University Press in late 2013. Follow him on Twitter: @DrPNHalkitis.


| March 27, 2013


Rally & March

April 6 l12pm l Cadman Plaza Park (proposed location)


March 27, 2013 |

When It’s Time to Start Taking Supplements Your body may need vitamins, but how you get them matters BY CARLYE WAXMAN


e all strive for i n c r e a s e d e n e rg y , healthy metabolisms, maintenance of body tissues, and increased muscle mass. But what sup p l em ents d o w e ne e d t o s t ay healthy, and when do our bodies start to need more vitamins? After the age of 50, you may need to take supplements… but not necessarily. Either your body might not be absorbing as much as it used to or it needs more nutrients. Here’s a list of the main nutrients of which you should consider increasing your intake.


As we get older, we don’t absorb B12 as well as we used to. Your stomach lining starts thinning as you age, causing a decrease in hydrochloric acid (HCl) production. HCl production in your stomach activates B12 from the proteins in food before it gets absorbed. This vitamin helps your body to metabolize protein, carbs, and fats — and supports the production of red blood cells. If you have intestinal disorders or anemia and have difficulty absorbing B12, a supplement may be warranted. Should we start taking B12 supplements or overdosing on B12 foods? What happens if we don’t have enough? How do we even know how much we need? The Dietary Reference Intake, or DRI, for B12 in the senior population is 2.4 mcg. per day. Confused about that number? Here’s what it looks like: Foods With a Large Amount of B12 • 3oz. Light tuna, canned in water contains 2.5 mcg. (your whole day’s worth). • Beef, round and chuck (4-6 mcg.). • Liver (a whopping 70.7mcg.). • Trout (4-5 mcg.). • 1 cup of low-fat milk (1.2 mcg.). • 1 yogurt (1.1mcg.). • Clams (84.1 mcg., outpacing even liver). Is There A Tolerable Upper Limit For B12? Low B12 status has been linked to cognitive decline. However, if you’re not feeling as smart as you used to and start eating clams and yogurt all day long, it

won’t improve your brain function. But the foods above can help prevent cognitive decline. Speak with your doctor before deciding to take a supplement. Even though there are typically no negative effects of too much B12, people who are on certain medications — like proton-pump inhibitors, H2 receptors, or Metformin — may have potential interactions with supplements.


We need more calcium as we age because our bones aren’t as strong as they used to be. What does that mean? Why are we breaking down? The truth is, our bones are constantly undergoing breakdown, with continuous remodeling. When you are a child or adolescent, your bones do more remodeling than breaking down. In your 20s through 40s, you’re evening out that score. The bones are essentially done forming as you get older, so they’re happy with what’s left and aren’t about to change. Breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss. So how much do we need to keep our bones from continuous breakdown? Well, the truth is one percent of what you eat is used for basic metabolic processes and the other 99 percent is bone health. Absorption of calcium decreases as the years go on. You absorb around 15-20 percent of your intake of calcium in adulthood and that number gets smaller and smaller as you age. An increase in protein, sodium, and alcohol will all cause an excretion of calcium. Your diet should be modest in protein (0.8-1g./ kg. of body weight), low in sodium (stop buying takeout), and low in alcohol (no more than one drink per day for women, two for men). You need about 1,000-1,200 International Units (IUs) per day (1,000 at 50 years old and 1,200 IUs at 70 and over). What does that high number look like? It’s widely known that dairy foods will give you the calcium you need. Here are the numbers and what they mean: Foods With Calcium • Non-Greek Yogurt (8 oz.) = 415 IUs. Have two yogurts per day to maximize your intake (about 830 IUs). • Part-Skim Milk Mozzarella Cheese (1.5 oz.) = 333 IUs. Add mozzarella to your lunchtime salad or snack. • Non-Fat Milk = 299 IUs. Have it with your cereal every morning.


SUPPLEMENTS, continued on p.7


| March 27, 2013

It’s Not Just the Balsamic BBQ Chicken The SAGE Center dinners offer camaraderie for LGBT seniors


lder adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender have long had needs that were made invisible or ignored. In 2012, the city Department for the Aging joined forces with Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, or SAGE, to change that. Two summers ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call for an “agefriendly” New York City for its 1.3 million seniors made headlines. As part of that commitment, DFTA funded eight Innovative Senior Centers (ISC) throughout the five boroughs. SAGE’s ISC in Chelsea — also known as the SAGE Center — is serving LGBT seniors facing a unique set of health disparities. Among many culturally sensitive programs and activities for LGBT seniors over the age of 60, the center offers nutritionally balanced hot meals every Monday through Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. A donation of $2 is gently suggested. So far, 1,100 participants have registered. Charles Cole, a diner and a SAGE Center receptionist, noted, “For a lot of the people here, this will be their one healthy meal of the day.” SAGE pledges that guests will never be turned away for lack of funds, and no judgment is passed on their ability or inability to pay. The group also makes it a priority to connect seniors coming in for meals with additional food resources, such as nutrition courses and green market vouchers.



As the fat content goes up in dairy foods, the calcium content lowers. If you eat three to four dairy group foods per day, you should hit the 1,0001,200 IUs number. If you’re lactose intolerant and it’s difficult to digest dairy foods, aged soft cheeses like blue cheese, with less lactase, are good alternatives. Soy milk contains 299 IUs, fortified orange juice is 261 IUs, and turnips and kale have 100 IUs per serving. You can also buy cereals fortified with calcium or eat tofu (253 IUs). Is There a Tolerable Upper Limit of Calcium? You can have too much calcium — so don’t supplement on your own. Turn to a supplement only on the advice of a medical professional, not the guy or gal who runs next to you on the tread mill. Having too much calcium from supplements can cause constipation,

The SAGE Center has the capacity to serve 150 meals per night — but there remain a large number of LGBT seniors facing the double risk of poverty and poor physical health outcomes who need and deserve a hot, healthy meal and the companionship of community. November 2012’s “The Aging and Health Report” — a collaborative effort of several LGBT and age-focused organizations — found that while 91 percent of LGBT seniors surveyed engage in some sort of wellness activity, their health outcomes remain adverse. For senior gay and bisexual men, the risk of being in poor physical health is particularly high. Older lesbian and bisexual women experience higher risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease than heterosexual women of the same age demographic. Transgender seniors suffer from still poorer general health than lesbian, gay and bisexual seniors — with estimates suggesting that as many as 40 percent are obese. Many older adults in New York City live in poverty, and the risk is much greater for LGBT elders who have long faced employment discrimination and other forms of social stigma. DFTA has found that 70 percent of the seniors using SAGE programs live on less than $20,000 a year. For 35 percent of these seniors, that number falls under $10,000. Access to healthy foods has long been impacted by poverty. The added burden of social isolation that many LGBT seniors experience produces additional roadblocks on the

lead to kidney stones, and decrease your absorption of zinc and iron. You need not worry about how much calcium-rich food you eat. No problems have been identified from too much dietary calcium… only supplements.

Prebiotics & Probiotics

There is no specific limit on prebiotics and probiotics for seniors, but it is a hot topic as it relates to digestion. What are the differences between the two, and how can you utilize them to maximize your digestive system? Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates, which act as food for probiotics. It is thought that regular intake of these prebiotics, along with a probiotic food, can encourage the good gut bacteria and aid in digestion, keeping your body working like the tuned machine that it is. Prebiotics are in whole grains, bananas, honey, garlic, and artichokes. Probiotics are live active cultures

For many LGBT older adults, a beautiful center specifically for them to gather, dine, and learn in may have been hard to imagine. The SAGE Center represents a movement to acknowledge and respect the lives of LGBT seniors. For the guests, this is just as important as the nutritional content of their meals. With approximately five percent of the 158,000 adults over 65 years of age living in Manhattan reportedly identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual, we cannot continue to overlook this population’s needs. Through the programs they offer and the constituents they reach, The SAGE Center has developed a model other organizations should consider emulating. SAGE


Women enjoy a nutritionally balanced warm meal at the SAGE Center on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea.

path to nutritional health. Since the SAGE Center opened, the dinners have attracted a growing crowd that comes for both the balsamic BBQ chicken and the camaraderie. Cole, when working the front desk, has the opportunity to greet fellow diners as they reach the 15th floor and enter the brightly painted yellow, green and orange-walled room. “I actually see people’s faces change,” he said. “They come in looking like they’re carrying the weight of the world, but are soon smiling when they see all of the people.”

found in fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir. These probiotics eat prebiotics and also form symbiotic relationships with them, enhancing your gut flora and digestive process. Below are suggestions for a weekly or daily regimen, a youth cocktail of sorts: • P lain Yogurt With Honey and a Banana: This combination will help aid in digestion and keep bones strong at the same time. • Clam Pizza With Low-Fat Mozzarella: This provides a hefty serving of B12 (enough for the week), combined with calcium-rich mozzarella cheese. • Tofu With Peanut Sauce: This recipe is heart-healthy and full of calcium. See spicy-peanut-ginger -tofu/ for a delicious, low-calorie tofu recipe. • Mediterranean Bulgur Salad: This

Devin Madden, MPH, is a project manager in the Department of Health Evidence and Policy at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine. She coordinates a borough-wide coalition through Partnership for a Healthier Manhattan, and can be reached at 212-659-9559 or For more information, visit The SAGE Center is located at 305 Seventh Avenue, between 27th and 28th Streets, 15 floor. For information on menus and a calendar of programs, call 646-576-8669 or visit thesagecenter. For information about SAGEWorks, a program that provides employment training and job hunting tips, call 212-471-2247 or visit sageusa. org/sageworks.

treat provides a whole day’s worth of B12, a prebiotic from the bulgur that may feed your morning yogurt’s probiotics, and feta cheese to top off a well-balanced, bonehealthy lunch. See to work bulgur into your life. • Kale Caesar Salad: Mix three cups of chopped raw kale with 2 tbsp. of light Caesar dressing topped with baked tofu. This calcium-rich lunch offers tons of energy. For additional nutrition tips and recipes, visit and subscribe to the free weekly newsletter of delicious recipes and inspirational facts on nutrition. Carlyle Waxman, the Sweet Nutritionist at, is a registered dietician and a certified dietician nutritionist.


March 27, 2013 |


Officials Now Voice Alarm Over Meningitis State vaccine recommendation for sexually active gay men, even as city fails to harness party promoters BY DUNCAN OSBORNE



fter saying for several months that it has the r esour ces to addr ess a meningitis outbreak among gay men in New York City, a senior official in the city’s health department told the New York Times that staff are “very scared” about the outbreak and are struggling to control it. And in a March 25 press release, the state health department recommended that all sexually active gay and bisexual men statewide get vaccinated for the bug, noting the 22 cases and seven deaths in New York City since 2010 as well as a 23rd case in a man who lives outside the city, but spent “significant time” here. “It’s been sort of marching through the community in a way that makes us very scared,” Dr. Jay Varma, a deputy commissioner, said in a March 21 Times story. “We know there is clearly some kind of social-risk factor, being very socially active with people you’ve met either through online sites or parties,” Varma

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, at a March 25 press conference in Bushwick, said he could not explain the city’s decision-making on a meningitis vaccination campaign.

told the Times. “It’s another big challenge for us to identify how this disease is spreading.”

Despite the alarm now being voiced by health officials, however, a dozen sex party promoters in New York have told Gay City News they have not been contacted to assist in the effort to reach atrisk men. The city health department spent $68,000 in federal dollars on September 27 to buy 1,000 vaccine doses and $204,000 in city dollars to purchase another 3,000 doses on October 2. On October 16, Dr. Marcelle Layton, an assistant commissioner, told attendees at a Physicians’ Research Network meeting, “The estimate is about 10,000 that we’re aiming to vaccinate,” according to a video posted on the educational group’s website. As of January 28, the department estimated that 4,022 people had received a first dose of the two-dose vaccine, though that was likely an undercount since reporting adult vaccinations is voluntary. There have been four new meningitis cases since the start of 2013. Seventeen of the 22 cases occurred since the start of 2012. In a March 25 email, a city health department spokesperson wrote that the agency had an “ample supply of vaccine” and “will continue to buy as much vaccine as is needed to meet demand.” This has been the agency’s posture consistently. The spokesperson wrote, “There is sufficient vaccine for those who are at risk to be protected by vaccination. However, many who are at risk in this outbreak do not yet know they are at risk or do not believe that the risk is great enough to get vaccinated.”

Initially, the city health department recommended that sexually active, HIVpositive gay and bisexual men get vaccinated. It effectively expanded that recommendation to all sexually active gay and bisexual men, regardless of HIV status, in November and made that second recommendation explicit on March 6. The state health department has now further expanded the target population. While the city health department is known to have advertised on some gay blogs and social networking sites, its campaign to urge men to get vaccinated has been limited in scope. Asked how much the agency had spent on outreach, the spokesperson wrote, “We have not calculated our costs for what we have spent controlling this outbreak.” In December, Dr. Gal Mayer, then the managing director of clinical services at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, was already critical of the city health department’s vaccine promotion efforts. “Where is the public messaging?” he said. “Where are all the alerts for gay men to come in and see their provider? That’s what is needed at this point. If we really want to vaccinate 10,000 people, I think it’s time to step up the public messaging.” Asked at a March 25 press conference why City Hall had not allocated new city dollars to the health department to use in launching an effective vaccine campaign, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “I guess you’ll have to talk to them. I don’t know what our policies are in terms of how we decided. I’ll have to talk to our commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene and we’ll get back to you.” What the city health department is not doing is reaching out to sex party promoters to ask about mounting vaccine efforts in their parties. Gay City News wrote to 25 promoters and received responses from 12 as of March 25. None of the 12 had heard from the city, though three said they would offer vaccinations. Several of them have had HIV testing and other health services at their parties, working with private groups such as the Men’s Sexual Health Project at New York University, the Center for HIV Educational Studies & Training at Hunter College, and an outreach program at the APICHA Community Health Center, an AIDS group. Lidell Jackson, who produces Jacks of Color, wrote that the city health department had not responded to him. “They haven’t,” he wrote. “And I’ve indicated my interest in having them set up a confidential table at My J.O.C. Parties to do vaccinations, but I’ve heard nothing from them...So I seem to be ‘going up against brick walls’ at every turn.”


| March 27, 2013

Weeknight Service Changes


April 1 - 5, Mon to Fri 10PM to 5AM No J trains between Broad St and Delancey St-Essex St. Take F and 4 6 instead. Travel Alternatives: • Take F and 4 6 instead: F and 4 6 trains provide connecting service between J trains at Delancey St-Essex St and Lower Manhattan.

We understand the inconvenience this may cause you, and we will do everything possible to help you get to your destination safely and easily. For updated information, look for station posters, visit to sign up for free email or text message alerts, or call 511.

• Transfer between F and J trains at Delancey St-Essex St. • Transfer between F and 4 local or 6 trains at Bleecker St/B’way-Lafayette St. • Consider the A or E to/from Lower Manhattan: A trains at Fulton St connect with J trains at Broadway Junction. E trains at World Trade Center connect with J trains at Sutphin Blvd- Archer Av.

Stay Informed

2013 Metropolitan Transportation Authority


March 27, 2013 |


At LGBT Forum, Mayoral Rivals Hit Quinn on Sick Leave, Term Extension With many supporters of out lesbian Council speaker on hand, de Blasio, Thompson, Liu, Albanese find openings BY DUNCAN OSBORNE



City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson.


he conventional wisdom is that Christine Quinn has the queer vote sewn up in the Democratic primary for mayor, but the crowd of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender voters at a March 20 debate let the City Council speaker know that they disapprove of some of her decisions. “I think in the Bloomberg years a lot of us started to feel that the New York City we loved was being compromised,” said Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, during a discussion of development policy in New York City. “It’s been a long 12 years, it should have been eight,” he added in a jab at Quinn for orchestrating a 2008 City Council vote that altered the city’s term limits law from two four-year terms for officeholders to three. That drew loud and sustained applause from the audience. Quinn, an out lesbian who represents Chelsea and the West Village, and de Blasio were among five contenders for the Democratic nod who spent 90 minutes debating in the 1,000-seat Mason Hall at Baruch College on East 23rd Street. The Quinn campaign had volunteers and campaign staff outside the auditorium more than an hour before the debate holding signs and offering Quinn stickers to attendees. Judging by those stickers, there were plenty of Quinn partisans in the audience. The line to enter stretched nearly the length of the block from Lexington Avenue to Third Avenue. Despite the large crowd and the presence of some Quinn critics protesting outside, predictions on social media and elsewhere that organized protests would erupt inside did not materialize. However the candidates felt about the evening, it was a triumph for the five LGBT Democratic political clubs that sponsored the event as they showed campaigns they could draw a large crowd of potential voters, volunteers, and donors. Quinn also took a hit during a discussion of the paid sick leave bill that is pending before the City Council. That legislation would require businesses with four or more employees to give workers five paid sick days per year. De Blasio, John Liu, the city’s comptroller, Bill Thompson, the former comptroller, and Sal Albanese, who represented a Brooklyn City Council district from 1983 to 1998, all said they supported the bill and chastised Quinn for stalling it. “I support the concept of paid sick leave, but not this bill in its current formation,” Quinn said. “It’s not a question for me of if, it’s a question of when.”

Former City Councilman Sal Albanese and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

That comment was greeted with loud boos, but also applause. Quinn’s view is that the bill would add an additional financial burden on small businesses at a time when they are already suffering in a laggard economy. She said her office was weighing which measure to use — for example, falling unemployment over some number of months — to decide when to implement the benefit. “Speaker Quinn, you need to stop blocking this bill right now,” Thompson said. In a particularly biting comparison, Albanese recalled that the bill he supported that added sexual orientation to the city’s anti-discrimination law was kept off the floor for 15 years by Thomas Cuite, then the Council’s leader, before its 1986 enactment under his successor. “That’s how the gay rights bill was bottled up for years and years,” Albanese said. “It should be debated and it should

be voted on and members should not be terrified.” The debate also showcased the wonkier side of three of the candidates. Quinn, de Blasio, and, to an extent, Thompson came armed with facts and knowledge of city law while Liu, who was 30 minutes late for the debate, and Albanese tended to give more general answers. During a discussion of a proposed city law that would create an inspector general to oversee the police department — something that four of the five candidates support — Quinn said the Council would be doing all it could in that bill. Any such post would have to fall under mayor control, she said. “You need to have a structure in law to monitor the police department,” she said. “This is the farthest we could go legally… By law, we cannot diminish the mayor’s powers.” There are inspectors general for most

city agencies in the Department of Investigation (DOI). In an apparent poke at Quinn, Albanese said the City Council could monitor the police, but was not doing that. “I think the City Council has the power to do the job if they have the courage to do the job,” Albanese said. “If you think the DOI commissioner is independent of the mayor, I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge… This is just cosmetics.” The candidates also agreed on many issues. The Bloomberg administration has known since 2006 that new HIV infections are increasing among young, African-American gay men, and other data suggest that new HIV infections are increasing among white and Latino gay men. City Hall has consistently cut HIV prevention dollars. The candidates agreed that funds for HIV prevention should be increased and they agreed that $12 million to fund programs for homeless youth, including queer youth, should be baselined, or made a permanent part of the city’s annual budget, and then increased incrementally each year. “The city has a moral responsibility to make sure these kids are not out on the streets,” Albanese said. “This is an issue that is so profoundly defining about who we are as a city,” said Quinn. During a closing round of questions that required the candidates to answer yes or no, a rule that they tended to violate, Quinn and Albanese said that churches should be barred from holding worship services in city schools. De Blasio was the only candidate who promised to ban horse-drawn carriages and who supported the Bloomberg administration ban on the sale of large soft drink portions in restaurants. All five agreed that the city had not done enough to address a meningitis outbreak among gay and bisexual men, that a state ban on surrogacy services contracts should be overturned, and that using condoms as evidence in criminal prosecutions should be barred. They also committed to pressing for a state cap on rents facing people living with AIDS that has been fought by the Bloomberg administration. The debate was sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens, and the Stonewall Democrats of New York City. Gay City News was also a sponsor and the newspaper’s editor, Paul Schindler, moderated the debate.

| March 27, 2013



Dogged by ‘09 Funds Probe, Liu Hangs Tough, Announces Mayoral Bid Comptroller, first Asian American elected citywide, chides Bloomberg “one percent” focus BY PAUL SCHINDLER



ledging to be the mayor not “of the one percent, but of the 100 percent,” John Liu, the city comptroller since 2010, officially announced his candidacy to succeed Michael Bloomberg. Liu is 46 and served eight years on the City Council representing Flushing and adjoining neighborhoods in Queens before becoming the first Asian-American citywide elected official. At his March 17 announcement in front of City Hall, the comptroller sounded a robustly populist tone, contrasting himself with the 11-year incumbent he charged has favored the rich, even as he fought back hard against the notion that his political career has been hobbled by a federal probe of his 2009 campaign. His campaign treasurer and a major fundraiser from that year face trial next month in federal court, and a former top aide, Sharon Lee, who was granted immunity from prosecution, will testify against them. “My story is like so many other New Yorkers’ story — it started somewhere else,” Liu said, recalling that his parents brought him to New York from Taiwan when he was five. His father, he said, “took a job far beneath the job he had in Taiwan,” and as a child he often worked alongside his mother in a rag trade sweatshop in Queens. “I don’t need to tell you that economic justice and economic opportunity have gone the way of the Checker Cab,” he said, before a crowd of hundreds of his supporters arrayed on the steps of City Hall, with several hundred more sidelined to a nearby park because they were unable to pass through the

City Comptroller John Liu at City Hall on March 17 announcing his bid for mayor and, later jumping into the crowd of his supporters with his wife Jenny and their son Joey.

security gate surrounding the building. Most in the crowd were fellow Asian Americans, though there also contingents of Sikhs, Muslims, Orthodox Jews and other whites, Latinos, and African Americans, including Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron, the most outspoken critic on the Council of the Democratic mayoral frontrunner, out lesbian Speaker Christine Quinn. Liu, a longtime advocate for LGBT rights, made a veiled reference to Quinn’s role in allowing the incumbent a third term when he laid blame for increasing inequality in the city at the feet of “Mayor Bloomberg and his enablers.” “I know what it’s like to work your heart out and barely hold your head above water,” the comptroller said, recounting a story about an impoverished Chinese town that “begs the emperor to send relief,” only to be told

to “tighten your belts.” The town, Liu said, responds, “Send belts.” The comptroller suggested the controversy surrounding his 2009 campaign finance practices was payback for his aggressiveness as comptroller — in challenging “Bloomberg pet projects” including CityTime, a computerized effort to contain municipal payrolls that became mired in corruption and waste to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s practice of maintaining two sets of books. “When you go after powerful people and rich corporations, they’re going to come after you,” Liu said. “But we are not backing down.” If the comptroller sounded energized by the challenge of taking on his critics, signs held aloft by several supporters had a more defensive tone. “The competition is afraid of John

Liu,” read one sign. “People of honor are vilified in the news. John Liu IS A MAN OF HONOR!” In response to questions from reporters, Liu said that some had called the FBI probe of his 2009 campaign “a witch hunt.” He added, “The problem is, there’s no witch.” Flanked by his wife Jenny and their young son Joey, the comptroller ended his announcement by pledging to “take care of the needy and take on the greedy” and to restore New York as “one city,” where people “don’t need to worry about being stopped and frisked.” Emphasizing his work as comptroller for the past three years, Liu said, “I will be a fiscal watchdog, knowing all the while it’s not just about costs, its also about needs.” Liu faces off against Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, and for mer City Councilman Sal Albanese in the September 10 Democratic primary. A recent poll from Quinnipiac Univer sity put Quinn at 37 percent, just shy of the 40 percent she would need to avoid a runoff, de Blasio at 14 percent, Thompson at 11 percent, and Liu at 9 percent.

THE MOMENT IS HERE With the Supreme Court taking up both Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act this week, thousands of gay rights advocates rallied in cities across the nation. In Manhattan on March 24, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, the legislative sponsor of the gay marriage law in New York, spoke to a crowd voicing support for Edie Windsor, the New York widow who is the plaintiff in the DOMA case. In Washington on March 26, as the court heard arguments in the Prop 8 case, Marriage Equality USA chair Cathy MarinoThomas was joined by wife Sheila and daughter Jackie in addressing the crowd gathered in front of the Supreme Court. (See Arthur S. Leonard’s story on the first day of arguments on page 12.)


March 27, 2013 |


No Clear Majority on Merits Evident During Prop 8 Arguments Kennedy offers a way out for now — the court deciding it should not have taken the case BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


n the tenth anniversary of oral arguments in Lawrence v. Texas, the historic 2003 ruling that struck down laws against consensual gay sex, the US Supr eme Court took up the contentious issue of samesex marriage on March 26. Late last ye a r, th e h ig h c o u r t g r a n t e d t h e petition by the Official Proponents of California’s Proposition 8 that it review rulings by lower courts that the 2008 voter initiative violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The written transcript and audio recording of the argument persuade this observer that, at least as of today, there is no majority on the court to rule one way or the other on the merits of this case. It is possible that the oral argument on March 27 on the constitutionality of the feder al Defense of Marriage Act may cast further light on what will happen, since many of the underlying arguments are the same. Charles Cooper appeared for the Prop 8 Proponents, Theodore Olson for the two same-sex couples who brought the challenge in San Francisco federal district court, and US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., appeared as “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) to present the federal government’s position in support of the plaintiff same-sex couples. The court had allocated an hour for this argument, but eight of the justices were so fully engaged that they allowed the session to run for about 90 minutes. The extra time can largely be attributed to a question the court added when it granted the petition to review the case — whether the Proponents, who inter vened in the absence of California state officials defending Prop 8, had “standing” as required by longstanding precedent. The arguments back and forth on this question signaled the impor tance some of the justices attached to it. Chief Justice John Roberts interrupted each of the lawyers at the outset of their presentations, cutting off their attempts to argue the merits by asking them first to address the standing issue. He didn’t redirect Cooper back to the mer its until he had used up a substantial portion of his argument time on the standing question, and he also allowed that issue to eat up a sub

significant portion of Olson’s time. The Prop 8 Proponents relied on an advisory opinion from the California Supreme Court — issued at the request of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — that held as a matter of California law that initiative proponents have standing to defend their initiative if the state officials who would normally do so refuse. Their standing, Cooper argued, is not based on the “individualized injury” the Supreme Court nor mally requires, but instead on their designation as representatives of the state’s interest. This reasoning struck the Ninth Circuit as sufficient, but some of the justices had problems with it. Olson, arguing for the plaintif f couples, harped on the point that initiative proponents are not officers of the state, not accountable to the state or subject to its control, capable of running up large legal fees, and lacking in the fiduciary obligation public officials have to act in the public interest. Verrilli tried to evade the standing question, but when pushed to take a position said it was a “close question” but that “the better conclusion is that there’s not Article III standing.” Some justices seemed sympathetic to Cooper’s argument that if the Proponents were not given standing, state officials who disliked a popular initiative would effectively have the power to veto it by refusing to defend it in court. This was an argument that impressed the Ninth Circuit. I t ’ s uncl ear i f stand i ng w i l l b e the basis for the court’s ruling. If a majority finds that the Proponents lacked standing to appeal the ruling, then the Ninth Circuit’s decision — the outcome of the Proponent’s appeal of the district court decision striking down Prop 8 — would be vacated. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s original ruling, then, would be left essentially as an unappealed trial court decision, with no value as precedent but binding on the parties to the case. Even though clerks in only two of the state’s 58 counties were sued, the entire state would almost certainly resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples under this scenario. An out based on standing may be a handy fallback position for the high court, particularly since Justice Anthony Kennedy, generally seen as the swing vote between the conser vative and liberal wings, seemed to

show the greatest problem making up his mind. At one point, he mused that perhaps the court should not have granted the petition to review the case. His questions and comments certainly revealed a sympathy with the plaintiff couples’ claim to the right to marry, particularly in emphasizing the potential harms Prop 8 inflicts on the thousands of children being raised by same-sex couples in California. At the same time, he seemed bothered by the idea that a ruling on the merits could immediately put a stop to the unfolding political debate and impose same-sex marriage throughout the country. He was receptive to Cooper’s point that same-sex mar riage is a new phenomenon, that its long-term impact on society is as yet unknown, and that a California voter might rationally conclude that Prop 8 would prevent potential harms while allowing the “experiment” to play out in other jurisdictions. This argument could pull him over to the conser vatives, who seem prepared to rule that there is no constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. But his reluctance to adopt that extreme view, which would be inconsistent with the underlying rationale of his opinion for the court in the Lawrence sodomy case, could make a dismissal without an opinion on the merits his most desired escape hatch. Such a neat solution would avoid creating a national precedent while restoring the right to marry in California. The court could decide it had acted “improvidently” in earlier granting the Proponents’ petition to hear the case —a device it has used in the past to avoid ruling on a contentious issue. Dismissing its earlier “writ of certiorari” would be the equivalent of a denial of review, which should not be construed as either approving or disapproving the Ninth Circuit ruling that affirmed Walker’s ruling against Prop 8. No national precedent would be established. One of the important issues in considering the case on the merits is whether the court should subject Prop 8 to “heightened scrutiny,” a standard under which its Proponents would lose if they could not demonstrate that the measure substantially advanced an important state interest. Justice Sonya Sotomayor asked Cooper, “Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a

factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decisionmaking that the government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?” Cooper’s response, a major concession, was, “Your Honor, I cannot. I do not have any — anything to offer you in that regard.” Instead, he argued that same-sex couples and different-sex couples are not “similarly situated” with respect to what he argues is one of the state’s impor tant interests in marriage — providing a vehicle for responsible procreation and child-rearing. In that way, he argued, Sotomayor’s question is not relevant to this case. Cooper quickly recovered from his “concession” and argued that sexual orientation should not be deemed a suspect classification — which would trigger heightened scrutiny of laws that treat gay and lesbian people differently. “The class itself is quite amorphous” and “defies consistent definition,” he argued. During Olson’s argument on the merits, Justice Antonin Scalia signaled where he — and most likely Justices Samuel Alito and Clar ence Thomas — would come down on the merits, by asking the plaintif fs’ attor ney when the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage became unconstitutional. Was it unconstitutional in 1791 when the Bill of Rights was adopted? In 1868, when the 14th Amendment went into ef fect? Scalia’s general position is that constitutional provisions are limited to the meaning they had when they were adopted. Olson countered with well-worn examples. When did public school segregation become unconstitutional? The Congress that approved the 14th Amendment and sent it to the states for ratification maintained a segregated school system in the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court approved the doctrine of “separate but equal” in the 1890s. Unless Scalia is ready to repudiate the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, his historicism is blatantly inconsistent, but that doesn’t give him pause. He hectored Olson for a few minutes on the attorney’s inability to pinpoint the moment when same-sex marriage acquired the status of a constitutional right. Fortunately, Scalia’s view on


PROP 8, continued on p.14

| March 27, 2013



Panel on Police Abuses Highlights Obstacles to Reform BY DUNCAN OSborne


discussion among some leading critics of New York City’s police department showcased the extent to which reforming that agency may be very difficult to achieve. “The police department has institutionalized policies and practices that are designed to target communities of color and poor communities,” said Susan Tipograph, a past president of the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, at the March 19 event, sponsored by the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, a gay political group. The leading complaint among reformers is stop and frisk, a tactic that was used by police 685,724 times in 2011. Fifty-three percent of those stopped were African-American and 34 percent were Latino. Police stopped and frisked 97,296 people in 2002. “ S i n c e M i c h a e l B l o o m b e rg h a s become mayor, something like five million people have been stopped and frisked and those five million have been overwhelmingly black and Latino,” Tipograph said. In a series of stories, the Associated Press has reported on the NYPD’s extensive surveillance of Muslims in New York City, which has included spying on student groups on college campuses outside of the city and state. “Both of those enterprises treat an entire population as suspect,” Jethro Eisenstein, an attorney who has been litigating a case on police surveillance powers for 42 years, told the crowd of roughly 50 who attended. The NYPD has defended stop and frisk as an essential tool in keeping crime low in New York City. Since 2001, the department has presented itself as on the front lines of fighting

terrorism and warned that its tactics are necessary in stopping further attacks. City Hall is using “the threat of terrorism as a club” to squelch criticism of some practices, Eisenstein said. “The threat of terrorism is an excuse for not thinking critically,” he said. A major obstacle to changing these police practices is that voters clearly want crime low just as they clearly do not want another terrorist attack in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani before him have consistently defended the NYPD while reaping the political benefits of low crime rates. Any proposals to limit the NYPD’s use of these tactics must confront the political reality that elected officials also like low crime rates. On March 19, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, an out lesbian who is also a candidate for mayor, proposed establishing an inspector general to oversee the NYPD. The panelists were generally skeptical about that proposal because the inspector general would be a mayoral appointee. Bloomberg promised to veto the bill and responded with rhetoric that was predictable, but also difficult to overcome. “We cannot afford to play election year politics with the safety of our city, and we cannot afford to roll back the progress of the past 20 years,” Bloomberg said at a March 20 press conference. “Make no mistake about it. This bill jeopardizes that progress and will put the lives of New Yorkers and our police officers at risk.” The City Hall press office distributed the complete text of Bloomberg’s comments to all reporters on its list via email. Activists have organized by getting community groups, churches, and other organizations that are hosting


Mayor, NYPD warn of higher crime, terrorism to forestall oversight, transparency, critics agree

Emily Jane Goodman, Jethro Eisenstein, Robert Gangi, Carlton Berkeley, Susan Tipograph, and Leonard Levitt at the Jim Owles club forum on March 19.

mayoral candidates to ask about these practices and they have circulated petitions opposing the tactics. The issue was a topic at the March 20 Democratic candidate forum sponsored by five LGBT political clubs and Gay City News. “Political organizing is critical to police reform,” said Robert Gangi,

director of the Police Reform Organizing Project at the Urban Justice Center. The NYPD has also been resistant to disclosing information about its practices. As any reporter — including reporters at Gay City News can attest — the department has largely ceased responding to Freedom of Information requests. “Nobody knows what is going on in the police department,” said Leonard Levitt, a former newspaper reporter who now blogs at nypdconfidential. com. The city aggressively defends lawsuits that charge the police with wrongdoing. Even if such suits are successful, they do not necessarily lead to changes in policy or practices. “It does not appear that suing cops makes a difference,” said Tipograph, who has brought such suits. “I do think that there needs to be some kind of systemic change.” The other panelist was Carlton Berkeley, a former NYPD detective, and the discussion was moderated by Emily Jane Goodman, a former state Supreme Court judge.

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March 27, 2013 |


Pro-Israel Gay Group Hosts LGBT Center Gathering In freighted debate over “pinkwashing,” A Wider Bridge offers insight into LGBT progress in Jewish state BY DUNCAN OSBORNE



PROP 8, from p.12

this does not command a majority on the court, just the loyalty of Thomas and, usually, Alito. Roberts has not been a consistent follower of that view, and Kennedy clearly repudiated it in Lawrence v. Texas. So the case won’t be decided on that basis. None of the Justices seemed enamored with Solicitor General Verrilli’s argument that the court should adopt the Ninth Circuit’s rationale and hold that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because California had already adopted family law policies that undercut all of the Proponents’ arguments for its enactment. This is the so-called eight-state solu-

It tells the story of Uzi Even, a chemistry professor at Tel Aviv University who was fired from his government work after he came out of the closet. Even’s story looked like Frank Kameny’s tale of being dismissed from his federal government job in the US in 1957 after his sexual orientation was disclosed. Like Kameny, Even fought the government. There is the story of Yossi, a young gay man who was physically abused by his father and rejected by his mother. With no place to turn, Yossi made a desperate phone call to Even. The professor and his partner, Amit Kama, became foster parents to Yossi in 1995 and were finally allowed to legally adopt him in 2009. Yossi’s story would be all too familiar to the clients and staff at any US agency serving queer youth. Even and Kama, who married in Canada in 2004, were the first gay couple to be recognized as a foster family by the Israeli government. Though not mentioned in the documentary, which ends

its history in 2000, Even became the first openly gay person elected to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in 2002. The film does discuss Michal Eden, an out lesbian who became the first queer person to gain any elected office in Israel when she won a seat on the Tel Aviv City Council in 1998. Israel has a national law that bars workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, and it allows open service in its military. Same-sex couples can adopt in Israel. While the government recognizes marriages between gay and lesbian couples performed elsewhere, those couples cannot marry in Israel. While detractors may dismiss these stories as pinkwashing, “Gay Days” presents them as hard-won victories that were achieved by queer activists in Israel and not as government gifts handed out to portray the Jewish state as modern and to distract from its actions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A Wider Bridge takes its events to US colleges, sponsors trips to Israel, and brings Israeli queer leaders and activists to speak in the US, Slepian said. The March 17 program featured Irit Zvieli-Efrat, the chief executive officer of Hoshen, a gay group, and Avner Dafni, executive director of Israel Gay Youth, which has operations in 21 Israeli communities. The problems they confront are identical to those that any US-based gay nonprofit experiences — winning the hearts and minds of the public, getting funding, battles with the closet, and conservative religious opponents who have influence in the halls of power. Zvieli said that advancing the community’s interests in Israel relied on authentic stories to counter anti-gay perceptions Israelis may hear or have. “They would hear another story,” she said. “It all connects together the personal story… In the last 10 years, the LGBT community got very present.” While Tel Aviv is a gay center of sorts in Israel, like the US, there remain parts of the country that are very conservative and not welcoming for gay Israelis. “It’s still very difficult to be a gay kid in Afula,” Dafni said, referring to a small city in northern Israel where his group operates. While it seemed that the queer community in Israel was on a path to wider acceptance, it was shocked by a 2009 shooting in a gay center in Tel Aviv that killed two and wounded 15 others. “We realized there is still a lot of work to do,” Dafni said. Zvieli shared that view. “Homophobia is like cancer,” she said. “If you don’t catch it while it’s small, it can blow you in the face.”

tion, under which states that accord same-sex couples the legal rights of marriage under the guise of civil unions or domestic partnerships have no rational basis for withholding the status of marriage. Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer shot holes through this argument, and all of the justices who commented on it saw it as odd that states that had not accorded any rights to same-sex couples would be left alone while those that had granted such rights would be found to violate the Constitution by not going “all the way.” Nobody seemed to favor this approach. Roberts did not tip his hand on the merits during the questioning, and the four Democratic appointees appeared from their questions and

comments to understand and endorse the argument that excluding samesex couples from marriage might be insupportable as an equal protection matter, so as virtually all commentators have suggested in predicting the outcome, it may come down to Kennedy. What nobody had anticipated, however, was Kennedy’s suggestion that review should not have been granted, creating the possibility that the Ninth Circuit’s decision would stand without being endorsed or rejected by the high court. That result would cabin the impact to California in the short term, but would also leave unquestioned by the Supreme Court the Ninth Cir cuit’s view that the arguments in support of Prop 8 are not substantial

enough to justify rescinding the right to marry. This, in turn, would set up the likelihood that the Ninth Circuit might reverse trial court decisions from Nevada and Hawaii, now pending on review, concerning the right of same-sex couples to marry there. Reversals of district court rulings against the plaintiffs would quickly set up the potential for two new Supreme Court cases in which the states of Nevada and Hawaii would undoubtedly have standing should they choose to appeal. A dismissal of the Prop 8 Proponents’ appeal without a ruling on the merits might buy the high court a bit more time, but one or two new samesex marriage cases could well arrive on its doorstep in fairly short order.


ollowing a two-hour event at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, Arthur Slepian, the founder and executive director of A Wider Bridge, explained why he thought it was important to bring a pro-Israel perspective to the queer community. “I felt like, particularly for LGBT Jews, Israel had become something that we just argue about,” Slepian told Gay City News. “That was particularly distressing to me because there is this amazing LGBT community in Israel.” The three-year-old group has held events in Seattle, in and near San Francisco, and in Washington, DC. This was its first, though not its last, major New York City presentation. The organization was barred from the Center because of a moratorium imposed in 2011 on renting space to groups that “organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” That moratorium was lifted on February 15. “We think that engagement and dialogue is better than silence,” Slepian told the crowd of over 100 people at the start of the March 17 event. “We have a really special opportunity tonight to learn about life in Israel for LGBT people,” Slepian said. “The country has evolved a lot over the past several decades.” The evening began with a screening of “Gay Days,” a 2009 documentary that traces the growth of what is now a vibrant queer community in Israel. The 70-minute film has elements that are reminiscent of the gay community’s history in America.

Israel Gay Youth’s Avner Dafni and Irit Zvieli-Efrat of Hoshen.


| March 27, 2013


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March 27, 2013 |


Immigration Reformers Keep Up Pressure on Senate Advocates press for LGBT-inclusive legislation BY PAUL SCHINDLER


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s the Senate’s so-called Gang of Eight struggles to put together a legislative package for comprehensive immigration reform, the most important message LGBT advocates and m em ber s of Congr e s s hope d to convey in a March 18 press conference came right at the top. “To Senator Schumer and the other senators who are writing this bill, please think about these people,” said Glennda Testone in welcoming her fellow speakers to the LGBT Community Center, where she serves as executive director. On January 28, Schumer, three Democratic Senate colleagues, and four Republicans issued a memorandum outlining their agreement on the broad parameters for immigration reform. It included no mention of ending the disparate treatment of same-sex couples relative to married heterosexual couples where one partner is an immigrant. Under the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, even if such a gay or lesbian couple is legally married, that marriage cannot be recognized by the US government for immigration purposes. Schumer has consistently reiterated his commitment to righting that wrong, but when President Barack Obama, the day after the Senate memorandum was issued, announced his own refor m framework that addressed same-sex couples, Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham immediately cried foul, saying that would doom bipartisan agreement. At the Center press conference, Manhattan Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler, whose Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) champions the cause of binational samesex couples, voiced determination to include that measure as part of any comprehensive reform enacted, saying it is “our passionate and unyielding demand.” Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, a Democrat whose district straddles Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, gave Nadler unambiguous support, saying, “It would be cruel if immigration reform left behind an entire class based on their sexual orientation.” Arguing that the Hispanic community supports the inclusion of

relief for same-sex couples in reform legislation, she said, “We are saying with one voice, we will not leave you behind.” Rachel T iven, executive director of Immigration Equality — which advocates for LGBT and HIV/ AIDSaffected immigrants and co-hosted the press conference with Make the Road New York, a social justice organization — also noted the critical bottleneck the Senate negotiators pose in the reform drive. “The White House has done a great job,” she said. “We want the Senate to do the same thing.” Asked if he were confident that Schumer and other Democrats among the Gang of Eight shared his determination to ensure that UAFA makes it into the reform legislation, Nadler said that he had spoken to some of them, but could not speak for them all. He pointed, however, to a firewall — the pledge from Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, that he would “insist” on an amendment incor porating UAFA if it is not in the bill when it goes before his committee. Others who spoke at the press conference noted that family and partnership recognition is not the only issue facing LGBT immigrants. Karina Claudio-Betancourt, Make the Road’s lead community organizer, pointed to estimates that 300,000 of the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US are LGBTQ. L ynly Egyes, an attorney with the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, said transgender immigrants can be tripped up in the criminal justice system. Many, she said, are profiled for false prostitution arrests and others are engaged in either survival or coerced sex work. Under current immigration law, even misdemeanor arrests for solicitation can doom an immigrant’s chance of staying. Sienna Baskin, codirector of the Sex Workers Project, told Gay City News her group had “not been able to be very involved” in the reform effort, “so we are not sure whether our concerns are making it into the debates at a higher level. Egyes noted that for immigrants fleeing their homelands due to persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, liberalization of procedures for seeking asylum is critically needed.


| March 27, 2013


Should We Forgive Bill Clinton? o now, Bill Clinton told us this month in an opinion piece for the Washington Post, he’s against the Defense of Marriage Act he signed into law in 1996. We’re supposed to be grateful. But “the powerful odor of mendacity” (to borrow Tennessee Williams’ pungent phrase) has always hung over the ex-president, and this offensive smell permeates his anti-DOMA declaration. When Clinton gave into the bigots and signed DOMA into law, he now writes, it was to forestall a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman. That’s just hogwash. In 1996, there was very little support for such a constitutional amendment in the Congress — that did not emerge until the issue of gay marriage was adopted by Karl Rove as the strategy to guarantee that George W. Bush would win the 2004 election. DOMA is now “incompatible with the Constitution,” Clinton wrote. But DOMA was always un-constitutional — and Bill Clinton knew this when he signed it and made it the law of the land. What has changed? Public opinion has. In just five short years, there has been a tectonic shift in the country’s attitude toward marriage equality for queers. According to the Washington Post/ ABC poll, 58 percent of Americans now support same-sex marriage — a 20-point shift in just a few short years —including majorities of Catholics and blacks and Latinos. Now that nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marriage equality, the sky hasn’t fallen and the dire predictions of its conservative opponents — that the family would be “destroyed” by allowing two men or two women to marry — have been shown to be the fantasies they always were. With a 100-odd prominent Republicans having signed an amicus brief in the marriage equality case now in front of the Supreme Court, it has become clear that Bill Clinton was on the wrong side of history. No Democrat who opposes marriage equality can now win the presidential nomination. And, surprise, surprise, a week after the ex-president’s op-ed, Hillary Clinton kicked off her campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination by releasing a video stat-




President Bill Clinton with Elizabeth Birch, then the executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, when he addressed the LGBT rights group during his second term in office.

ing her support for marriage equality. And there you have the explanation for Bill Clinton’s reversal of position. It was all a part of clearing the decks for Hillary’s renewed candidacy for the White House. Did Bill apologize to gay Americans for having targeted them with DOMA’s bigotry? No. Moreover, Bill’s op ed was utterly silent about how his 1996 presidential campaign ran ads on Christian radio in the heartland and the Bible Belt boasting of how he’d signed DOMA. Bill’s re-election was never r eally in doubt, and he won in a landslide against the sinister Bob Dole. So the craven cynicism he displayed in signing DOMA into law was obvious at the time. Bill signed DOMA as a pre-emptive strike against any attacks on his always-messy personal life — remember the “bimbo patrol” his ’92 campaign set up to silence or under mine revelations about his serial m a r r i age i nfi d el i ti es? Rem em b er Ms. Lewinsky and her kneepads and Bill’s cigar? (If you’ve forgotten that history, read my late friend Christopher Hitchens’ terrific 1999 book “No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family.”) The truth is that an old and predatory libertine like Bill couldn’t have cared less if a guy or a gal wanted to marry a Volkswagen. He wasn’t a bigot himself — he just surfed on the bigotry of others like the opportun-

ist he’s always been. And it is that opportunism that led him to write his op-ed piece against DOMA on behalf of his wife’s candidacy. But there is a long list of vicious actions by President Clinton and his administration for which he owes LGBT people an unadulterated apology. Let’s take his betrayal of his 1992 campaign pledge to end, “with the stroke of a pen,” the ban on gays serving in the military, which helped him raise millions of gay dollars for his campaign — especially from the Hollywood crowd he liked to hang out with. Most presidents, when they take of fice, have a plan on how to fulfill their campaign promises. But Bill had no plan for allowing gays to serve in uniform. And so he got rolled by the military. With Colin Powell in the lead, the generals staged what was, in ef fect, a silent coup d’état that throttled our tradition of civilian control over the military with a revolt of the brass hats. And Bill then did what every cynical politician does when he wants to avoid a confrontation over principle — he appointed a commission. The one that gave us Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — which was, of course, like DOMA, the writing of bigotry into law. As I reported in a cover story for The Nation, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell unleashed a wave of per secution and violence against gays in the armed services that included

murders. The blood of those victims of violence is on Bill’s hands. Sure, Bill gave jobs to a few gay boys and girls — just enough to keep his gay campaign donors happy, but never in any positions that would have affected the daily lives of gay people. In 1996, when ENDA — the pathetically inadequate Employment NonDiscrimination Act for gay people — came within one vote of passing the Senate, Bill and his White House didn’t lift a pinkie to help secure proENDA votes. That swing vote was Senator Dale Bumpers, a Democrat from Clinton’s own home state of Arkansas, who took a walk. And then, there was AIDS. Bill fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders for having championed teaching the use of condoms in the schools and advocated masturbation as a safe alternative to risky sex at a time when teenage infection rates were soaring. In the second Clinton administration, one of my gigs was writing a column on the politics of AIDS for POZ magazine. And back then I wrote a series of columns exposing how Bill and his administration used aid and trade blackmail targeting Third World countries to stop them from buying or manufacturing cheaper, generic versions of the AIDS-fighting drugs needed to prolong life. Al Gore was the point man in this odious extortion campaign, which is why he was dogged by ACT UP in his 2000 presidential campaign. How many thousands died because Clinton, in his subservience to the greed of Big Pharma, engaged in this shameful arm-breaking? We’ll never know for sure — but their blood, too, is on Bill’s hands. Whenever I see Bill parading around these days as a champion of the fight against AIDS, I think of those who died from the epidemic because of him. He has always reminded me of a line of Goethe’s, in “The Sorrows of Young Werther”: “Each step he takes costs the lives of a thousand poor little wor ms.” And my late partner, Hervé Couer gou, was one of the worms crushed under the heel of Bill Clinton’s cynical opportunism. I fell in love with Hervé shortly after I moved to France for a decade. But not long after I moved back to the US to lay the groundwork for Hervé to join me here, Bill signed a renewal of President George H.W. Bush’s executive order banning admission into this country of anyone who was HIV-positive. This obscene act of Bill Clinton’s broke up


IRELAND, continued on p.34


March 27, 2013 |


Pope Francis ‘Inflammatory’ in Opposition to LGBT Rights “Simple” man, shadowed by role in Argentine “Dirty War” rgentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, was elected Pope Francis I on March 13 despite his failure to stop the progressive government of President Cristina Kirchner from opening marriage to same-sex couples — the first Latin American country to do so — and from making contraceptives available to all. He also presided over the Church in a country where two-thirds of the people are Roman Catholic but less than 20 percent attend Mass regularly. Bergoglio condemned opening adoptions and marriage to gay couples as a threat to children, writing, “At stake is the identity and sur vival of the family — father, mother, and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.” Pr esident Kir chner condemned his pronouncements as reminiscent of “medieval times and the Inquisition.” The Argentine LGBT Federation expressed “deep regret” at Bergoglio’s election, saying in a statement that it “marks a clear desire of the Vatican to radicalize its position against the recognition of diverse family structures.” The group cited in particular his reference to marriage equality as “the plan of the devil.” Esteban Paulón, its pr esident, said the group was not optimistic given the new pope’s record, but added, “Perhaps the fact that Pope Francis has lived in a country where marriage equality is a reality and none of the catastrophes he predicted have come to pass might make him reconsider his negative stand on issues related to equality.” Paulón called on Francis, as a first step, to reverse Vatican opposition to the United Nations declaration calling for an end to the criminalization of homosexuality. The New York Times reported that as archbishop of Buenos Aires, he pushed his fellow bishops to support civil unions as a way to stop the momentum of the marriage equality bill in 2010. The majority of the bishops overruled him, but a right-




Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, appears on a balcony at the Vatican as Pope Francis I.

wing senator, Liliana Negre de Alonso, a member of the ultraconservative Catholic group Opus Dei, introduced such a bill only to see it shot down in the national parliament for creating a “separate-but-equal” status for gay couples, J. Lester Feder reported on BuzzFeed. Feder wrote that Bergoglio was publicly so “tone-deaf” in oppos ing marriage equality “that many observers credit him with helping the law pass.” But Feder also wrote that the former prelate learned from “the mistakes his Chur ch made” in the fight and that the Argentine Church “moderated its tone when fighting social issues” after its loss on marriage. The Times also reported that Ber goglio met twice with gay activist and theologian Marcelo Márquez, who said, “He told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage.” But Francis is fr om a gr oup of men — the cardinals who elected him — who have been unanimous in their opposition to any form of legal protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Indeed, no one got to be so much as a bishop under the Pope Benedict XVI or his predecessor, John Paul II, unless they enthusiastically opposed LGBT rights, women’s ordination, abor tion, and even artificial contraception.

The greatest controversy sur rounding the new pope, however, is his role as leader of the Jesuits in Argentina during the “Dirty War” there beginning in the late 1970s, when a repressive junta murdered thousands and cracked down on dissent, including Catholic liberation theologian priests. Just as Pope Pius XII disgraced himself by not speaking out against Nazi barbarism during World War II, Bergoglio was silent during the junta and Church leaders supported it. It was not until 2010 that the bishops of Argentina apologized for the Church’s role in that period, but while doing so they attacked the leftist guerillas along with the right-wing military oppressors. Like Pius, he is credited with quietly saving some lives behind the scenes, but he was extremely uncooperative with a 2010 investigation into the crimes of the junta. The Vatican hit back early against charges that Bergoglio was complicit in aiding the junta, though it is irrefutable that he never spoke out publicly against the excesses of the regime during its reign of terror. Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel of fered a nuanced take on Francis’ role during that era. “He is questioned for not having done all he could do,” he said. “But he was never an ally of the dictator ship.”

Francis is the first pope from Latin America and the first Jesuit, but took his name as pope from St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscans, rather than Francis Xavier, a fellow Jesuit. Initial press reports have focused on the new pope’s commitment to the poor and to living a simple per sonal life — riding the bus, cooking his own food, and living in an austere apartment rather than the opulent official cardinal’s residence in Buenos Aires. His biographer, Sergio Rubin, told the Associated Press that the pope is not “a progressive” or “a liberation theologist,” but that he “does criticize the International Monetary Fund and neoliberalism” and does “spend a great deal of time in the slums.” Father Bernárd L ynch, an out gay Catholic priest persecuted under Pope Benedict XVI for his advocacy for LGBT rights in the Church and the larger society, told Gay City News from his home in Lon don, “He’s a very interesting choice. I don’t know a lot about him. The impression is that he is indeed a holy and humble man — my sources say a simple man — and all that speaks well for those like me who believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. But he is vehemently anti-gay.” L ynch, who served Dignity/ New York, the gay Catholic group, and ran a groundbreaking AIDS ministry in New York in the 1980s, said, “Homophobia is a litmus test of orthodoxy” for Catholic prelates these days. He also cited Bergoglio’s conflicts with Kir chner on LGBT issues, though he understands that they have “made up in a sense” since the fight over same-sex mar riage. Indeed, the two met in Rome prior to his inauguration. L ynch said, “It could be more difficult for us because he is a champion of the poor. And we say that’s the way we want it, but where do we fit in? Are we not poor in how we have been treated by the Church? Can you not make space for us at the table? I don’t see any light in terms of us. I’m tired of asking for bread and getting a stone.” Brendan Fay, an Irish Catholic gay activist and Dignity/ New York member, said, “My first impression is hopeful,” given the pope’s humble style and concern for the poor, “but we need to continue to work for


POPE FRANCIS, continued on p.34


| March 27, 2013



Elmo Puppeteer Accusers Use Novel Legal Theory Finessing statute of limitations, alleged victims say they only now realized their abuse BY DUNCAN OSBORNE


hree of the four men who have sued puppeteer Kevin Clash are using a legal theory that asserts their cases should proceed despite the statute of limitations having run out because they only recently realized they were harmed by the sexual encounters they allege they had with Clash when they were underage. “There’s no case that I’m aware of where someone succeeded on that theory,” said Michael G. Berger, Clash’s attorney, who filed a motion to dismiss all three cases in federal court in Manhattan on March 1. “It’s a theory that would write the statute of limitations right out of the statute.” One man, identified as S.M. in his complaint, said he met Clash, now 52, in Miami when he was 16 or 17 in “late 1995 or early 1996.” The alleged sex occurred in New York City in early 1996 when Clash, who voiced Elmo on “Sesame Street” for nearly 20 years, paid for a plane ticket to New York City for S.M. “Although Kevin Clash’s sexual activity occurred with [S.M.] in or about 1996 when he was a minor, he was not immediately aware of his injuries,” the complaint read. “As a compliant victim, [S.M.] did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012.” The other complaints, one filed by Cecil Singleton and another by a man identified as D.O., assert that the alleged sex occurred when they were 15 or 16 but they only became aware of the harm they suffered in 2012. The motion to dismiss puts the alleged sex with D.O. in 2000 and with Singleton in 2003. According to the motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs have six years from the act or three years from their 18th birthday to sue. Singleton missed the date by three years. Depending on which cutoff date is used, D.O. missed by six or three years and S.M. missed by 10 or 12 years.


“Under that statute, it’s a six-year, three-year statute of limitations,” Berger told Gay City News. “That’s it, period.” In the motion, Berger argued that allowing the plaintiffs to proceed with their lawsuits would, in effect, create a license to sue. “Creating a judicial exception for plaintiffs such as these, who immediately and at all times know both of the alleged injury and the person who allegedly inflicted it, would invite a flood of frivolous litigation,” Berger wrote. “Any plaintiff, anytime, anywhere, who had any relationship to New York, could track the boilerplate language of the complaints here, and start a litigation against anyone for any reason. Plaintiffs’ theory could presumably apply decades after the conduct alleged, as it would not depend on any objective fact that would be susceptible to being proved or disproved.” The three men are represented by Stuart Mermelstein, a partner at Herman, Mermelstein & Horowitz, P.A. The fourth plaintiff, Sheldon Stephens, is represented by Jeff Herman from the same Miami law firm. Stephens filed his lawsuit in Pennsylvania on March 18. Stephens went public with his complaint in late 2012, but quickly recanted saying the sex occurred when he was an adult. Published reports at the time said that Clash and Stephens had cut a deal that gave the younger man $125,000. Stephens has since recanted his recantation. While Clash has yet to respond to Stephens, this plaintiff suffers from the same issue that confronts the other three. Stephens said the alleged sex occurred in 2004 when he was 16 so his claims would also be time barred. Some press reports suggested that Stephens filed in Pennsylvania to take advantage of that state’s more generous statute of limitations laws, but his complaint says the sex that harmed him took place in New York City. The Stephens’ case may be moved to New York. Mermelstein did not respond to an email seeking comment.



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March 27, 2013 |

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.

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• 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, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Brief Summary of full Prescribing Information with important warnings on the following pages.


| March 27, 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 it’s right for you.

2/28/13 3:27 PM


March 27, 2013 |

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

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

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

• pimozide (Orap®)

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

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

10043_pgiqdp_GayCityNews_Winston_lo1.indd 3-4

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


| March 27, 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 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 27, 2013 |


Skimpy “Breakfast”

This slight adaptation of Truman Capote classic will leave you hungry


ack in 1966, producer David Merrick famously pulled the plug on a Broadway musical ver sion of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” after just four previews. Not even the stellar team of Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Chamberlain, Sally Kellerman, Edward Albee (book), and Bob Merrill (score) could make it gel.

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S Cort Theatre 138 W. 48th St. Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m. Sun. at 3 p.m. $37-$132; Or 212-239-6200

Evidently, Merrick did not wish to “subject the drama critics and the public to an excruciatingly boring evening.” Now, for the first time in nearly half a century, “Breakfast at T iffany’s” is back on Broadway, this time in a nonmusical adaptation by Richard Greenberg (“Take Me Out” and the

book for the upcoming musical “Far From Heaven”). And while I won’t go so far as to declare the bittersweet drama an excruciating bore, it does lack the charming insouciance of the beloved Audrey Hepburn movie and the gritty sophistication of the indelible Truman Capote novella. Greenberg chose to hew more closely to the novella, set in New York’s Upper East Side against the grim wartime backdrop of the 1940s, rather than the go-go early ‘60s of the film. He’s lifted generous chunks of Capote’s sharp dialogue, one of the few strengths of this sketchy production. By design, the main characters are restless and callow, desperately searching for sense of self and a toehold on happiness. The pretty young Holly Golightly has reinvented her self after literally running away from a dull life in the sticks (her real name is Lulamae Barnes). Until she finds Mr. Right, or at least Mr. Moneybags, she’s counting on the kindness of gentlemen callers with “old money and sour breath” to pay her way. She’s more “American geisha” than prostitute, as Capote once noted. Living in a shabby apartment

ty-filled joie de vivre. And her secret vulnerability, which he shares. At awkward moments, he addresses the audience directly, serving as narrator. While the 1961 film scrubbed the story of any hint of Fred’s homosexuality, Greenberg deliberately offers up hints that he is gay, even adding a scene where he is dismissed from his menial job at the New Yorker for frolicking with a male colleague in the supply room (“I had a need; he supplied it,” quips Fred, in one of his finest moments.) Capote admitted that Fred was partly modeled on himself and that the curious bachelor was indeed gay. Under the shaky direction of Sean Mathias, these characters are not simply quirky — they register as phantoms. Their relentless stream of impulses and contradictions make Vito Vincent and Emilia Clarke in Richard Greenberg’s adaptation them difficult to get a handle on or connect with. of the Truman Capote novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” If Emilia Clarke (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) looks the part of the plucky upstairs is Fred, a gangly, aspiring ingénue (the chic dresses by Colleen writer unsure of who he is or what Atwood certainly help), her portrayal he wants. This “nice young man” is too mannered to be entirely conappears to fall in love with Holly — or at least with her glamorous, par c BREAKFAST, continued on p.25 NATHAN JOHNSON


Fairytales and Movie Magic

“Cinderella” is a pure delight, while “The Flick” works your last nerve BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE


he reverence that many gay men of a certain age have for Lesley Ann Warren’s eternal hold on the role of Cinderella led to collective gasping and pearl clutching upon the announcement that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical would “updated” by Douglas Carter Beane. Many of the distraught no doubt still imagined themselves singing “In My Own Little Corner.”

Broadway Theatre 1681 Broadway at 53rd St. Tue., Thu. at 7 p.m. Wed at 7:30 p.m. Fri., Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $45-$137; Or 212-239-6200



Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana in “Cinderella.”

They need fear no longer. Their arrested development is safe in the hands of Beane and team, who have created a sprightly, delicious, and

thoroughly entertaining production — the first time that this show, created for television, has appeared on Broadway. Beane’s book adds a little politi-

cal intrigue, a strong social consciousness, and a hint of gender equality, all without losing the delightful music or the wicked stepmother. Snap at me for saying so if you will, but Beane’s book is a lot more sophisticated and interesting than the original. Unlike so much today, this was written for adults, though children will enjoy it, too. The basic story you know, but Beane’s update posits a ruling political class out of touch with — and indifferent to — the realities of real people’s lives. Intrigue ensues when the Prince makes his Henry V-type transition from callow youth to caring ruler. Finally, happy every after seems possible — at least until the next regime change. All of this is handled comically, but the pointed message is inescapable. The production is a true Broadway spectacle. William Ivey Long’s costumes are eye-popping, humorous,


CINDERELLA, continued on p.25


| March 27, 2013


BREAKFAST, from p.24

vincing. It’s not easy gushing buoyant bon mots one minute and battling the depressive “mean reds” the next, and she doesn’t always get it quite right. Likewise, Cory Michael Smith, who delivered strong tur ns in the small plays “Cock” and “The Whale,” seems out of his depths on a Broadway stage, lacking the chops to thoroughly evoke Fred’s conflicted mental state. His southern drawl seems to come and go as capriciously as Holly’s whims. It’s no surprise that this enterprise marks their first outing on the Great White Way. The mismatched couple is sur r ounded by a swirl of socialites, neighbors, paramours, and phony friends. George Wendt makes an appearance as the kindly bartender with a crush on the wacky Holly, but even the former “Cheers” regular looks uneasy at the bar. Not that the collaborators didn’t try


CINDERELLA, from p.24

even magical. Anna Louizos’ sets are extraordinary, as is Kenneth Posner’s lighting. The dazzle of it all is a big part of the fun. One would expect Victoria Clark to be wonderful as Marie, the fairy godmother, and she is. She has a magnificent voice, and also a gift for intelligent comedy. Comedy of a broader stripe comes from Harriet Harris as the evil stepmother, who is fantastic. Ann Harada as one of the stepsisters, Charlotte, has a sense of self-awareness that gives the character an edge, and Marla Mindelle as the other stepsister, who ultimately colludes with Cinderella, is perfect. One wishes that the villain, Sebastian, didn’t have to be a mincing gay man —that’s one convention Beane or director Mark Brokaw, who otherwise does a splendid job, should have excised. Unfortunately, that’s about the limit of what actor Peter Bartlett can do, and here in “Cinderella,” he does it again. As Cinderella, Laura Osnes takes her place as a legitimate Broadway leading lady. Her voice just gets better and better, and her presence is luminous. The real surprise of the evening, though, is Santino Fontana as the Prince. In performances in “Sons of the Prophet” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” he’s shown himself to be an exceptionally talented actor. He’s also got a wonderful voice, and Beane has given him a role with a complexity he evokes perfectly. It’s wonderful to see this classic show get such vibrant new life. It was a ball, and I can’t wait to go back.

to inject some oomph into the proceedings. They’ve introduced a live orange tabby, simply referred to as “Cat” (he’s credited as Vito Vincent and is backed by two alternate cats), who in his first scene appeared to exit before his cue. Later, his hasty retreat — appropriate this time, as Holly has just set him free to find his own destiny — got plenty of applause. In the first act, the sultry ingénue sings a mournful ballad about a lost traveler — a far cry from “Moon River” but engaging nonetheless. They’ve also added a clumsy bathtub scene, where both actors strip naked, that’s as distracting as it is bewildering. Derek McLane has devised an attractive set of New York brownstone interiors and a wrought iron fire escape, enlivened by moving scrims with projected images of moody black-and-white cityscapes. Just like the unformed and aching Holly and Fred, this sincere yet tentative “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is searching to find solid footing.

Playwright Annie Bake r has, in the past, wrought marvels. “Circle Mirror Transformation” and “The Aliens” illuminated the tiniest details of lives with a subtlety and simplicity that tur ned an acting class in a rec center and a clubhouse for slackers into portraits of unique individuals, most of them adrift in the world and longing for connection. These spare, compact plays pack a punch one doesn’t see coming, and it’s no surprise that “Circle Mirror Transformation” has become one of the most widely produced plays of recent years.

THE FLICK Playwrights Horizons 416 W. 42nd St. Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at 2:30 p.m. Sun. at 7:30 p.m. $70; Or 212-279-4022

Anticipation was high in advance of Baker’s latest play, “The Flick” at Playwright’s Horizons, so perhaps it’s not surprising that critical disappointment, when it came, has been harsh. Still, this is not a total loss. The three employees of a single screen movie theater in suburban Massachusetts we see as they clean up between screenings are, like characters in Baker’s earlier plays, floundering to find their way. Sam, a 35-year -old who lives with his parents, teaches Avery, about to leave for college in the fall, the ins and outs of the job, and a friendship of


THe FLICK, continued on p.29

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March 27, 2013 |


America’s Dancemaker Keeps On Keeping On Paul Taylor Dance now completely at home at Lincoln Center BY GUS SOLOMONS JR



aul Taylor’s second spring season at Lincoln Center offers the usual abundance of dances by the 20th century master. Having moved from its for mer stage, City Center, to the grander Koch Theater, the company looks entirely at home. Taylor is perhaps the last remaining mid-century modern dance master, and he still turns out two new dances a season to add to his already copious repertory. On March 15, the program included the premiere of “Perpetual Dawn,” “Scudorama” (1963), and “Brandenburgs” (1988). Set to the music of the “Dresden Concerti” by Johann David Heinichen, a Bach contemporary, “Perpetual Dawn” is a five-part suite in Taylor’s romantic mode. Earthtoned peasant dresses, made of beautifully flowing silky fabric, and knee britches and vests for the men by Santo Loquasto, along with his mu te d la n d scape bac kdr o p, g iv e

James Samson, Michael Trusnovec, and Sean Mahoney in Paul Taylor Dance’s “Brandenburgs.”

“Perpetual Dawn” the look of a faded 18th century painting. James F. Ingalls’ luscious lighting subtly suggests many shades of dawn.



It’s familiar Taylor territory, but no one does this better. Youthful folksiness keeps the occasional longing gesture — like the one by Michelle Fleet, reaching toward the wings, that closes the first scene — from coming across as unbearably sentimental. The second scene has five women — Fleet, Amy Young, Eran Bugge, Laura Halzack, and Heather McGinley — being womanly, linking hands, rising and falling softly to the floor. The third scene begins with an explosion of couples racing along diagonal paths with skipping leaps and spins. Taylor has not succumbed to the contemporary cliché of having dancers just run to where they need to be, then run of f. He knows how to make steps that carry people through space graciously and exuberantly. The dance calms down briefly for a mimed conversation between Halzack and Young and a delicate duet for Young and Michael T rusnovec. Taylor uses folk dance patterns and little skipping steps. When the dancers do run, it’s like a rhythmic tattoo that both reinforces the music and heightens their emotional intention. A program quote from Dante about “the nearly soulless/ Whose lives concluded neither blame nor praise” introduces the enigmatic opener, “Scudorama.” Against a backdrop of cartoonish clouds by Alex Katz, a group of mysterious people grovel on the ground, some under blankets. A man in a business suit (Sean Mahoney) rises and becomes the pro-

tagonist. Surrounded by tor menters, he’s Taylor’s alter ego we might assume. His counterpart is a temptress in red (Halzack.) Choreographically, the movement in the 1963 dance is very close to that of Martha Graham, whose company Taylor had then recently performed with. Parisa Khobdeh, Jamie Rae Walker, and Fleet are three harpies in black, whose bent-legged jumping, hinging into sweeping falls and recoveries, and fast-footed skittering recall any number of Graham’s female choruses. This odd mix of humans and gremlins seem more dreamlike than real, and Clarence Jackson’s original score, which sounds like dramatic movie music, reinforces the impression. At the end, six figures under blankets shamble into a cluster where once the humans had been but are no longer. The first three movements of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto #6” propel “Brandenburgs.” The cast of nine includes a corps of five men in black velveteen tights with bibs (Mahoney, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson, Michael Apuzzo, and George Smallwood), three paramours in black gowns (Young, Khobdeh, and Bugge), and a bare-chested Adonis in velvety gray tights (Trusnovec.) This lyric exposition — illustrative of one of Taylor’s most affable genres — is physically exuberant as well as wryly satiric. Vigorous passages by the men alternate with successive duets for Trusnovec and each of the ladies. When he’s not partnering the women with gallant attention, he poses adjacent to each, like a male paragon, watching them dance. In a quartet, he partners them all, making each one feel special. No one wears physical beauty with more modesty than T rusnovec, which makes his role here so irresistible. In the opening picture, he kneels, center stage, amidst the women with the other men arrayed at the sides — a classical ballet tableau. In the latter passages, he leads the men, proving that he’s more than just a pretty boy — he’s a dancing machine with flawless musicality and a physical ease that lacks not for dynamic accents when needed. Taylor’s dancers are athletic-looking, and their dancing is muscular, fluid, and expansive. If in the lyric pieces some of the women seem to smile excessively, they can be for given. What they’re doing looks like a blast.


| March 27, 2013


We All Love to Watch Director Antonio Campos relies on the eye to get into the brain of his title character BY GARY M. KRAMER

SIMON KILLER Directed by Antonio Campos IFC Films Opens Apr. 5 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St.

Diop), a prostitute, he gets off with her, and they connect again for increasingly more intimate sex. The couple eventually hatches a plan to film and blackmail her married clients. But things do not necessarily go as planned. In a recent Skype interview, Campos spoke about his film, explaining the appeal of Simon, a young man whose behavior is at times inscrutable. “I find him interesting for all the reasons he seems normal and all the reasons he seems dangerous — how his pathetic and babyish aspects become kind of diabolical,” the filmmaker said. “I like that there is a shift in your perspective of his character. He is a young guy in his 20s, and you immediately connect with that. It was a slow process of getting to something scary, so you had to have a connection with him before that realiza-



imon Killer” is a fascinating, slow-burn character study. Simon (Brady Corbet), an American student who studies the connections between the eye and the brain, heads to Paris after breaking up with his girlfriend. He is lonely, horny, and lost, and director Antonio Campos follows him closely — often tracking him from behind — as he wanders around the city. When Simon meets Victoria (Mati

Brady Corbet in the title role of Antonio Campos’ “Simon Killer.”

tion happened.” The film’s fly-on-the-wall approach — what Campos described as “the cognitive camera” — is effective, particularly because viewers become part of the action by following Simon, as well as Victoria, closely and intimately. Simon often seems desensitized, as if in a bubble, as he moves through his life with a mix of purpose and hesitation. “That was exactly it!,” Campos agreed. “You have this wide range of emotion looking at him. We were very aware of when you would like him or wouldn’t like him. We were conscious of not going overboard, and yet it was important to humanize him. He’s complicated. He isn’t a sociopath. It seems like he’s gone down the wrong path, but there is something inside him he’s trying to satisfy or connect to — or a barrier he tries to break — and we wanted pick away at that.” As the film reveals Simon’s true nature, Campos provides a sensory experience for audiences. Viewers hear the music in Simon’s iPod and can even feel the texture of his skin. The film is full of references to eyes — from the iris of a ceiling window at the Louvre to the eye of the camera recording Victoria’s tricks

to a strobe-like flashing visual effect the director periodically employs to evoke “blinking.” Campos explained he chose this visual motif to find “a way into Simon” as he uses his eyes and brain as a way to see the world. “The thematic connection made sense to me,” the director said. “I guess there is always something that connects the characters in the film to filmmaking.” Campos also agreed that the sense of smell — two characters mention the smell of sex — is a palpable factor in drawing his characters. “Yes! Something about Simon was very primal, and communicating these senses through cinema was important,” he said. “I wanted to explore this male character almost as if I was studying an animal. At the end of the day, we’re all animals getting to the broadest experiences.” The filmmaker is clearly interested in Simon as a sexual animal. In one encounter, he has sex doggie-style with Victoria, and in another scene she excites him by pushing him up against a wall and dry humping him before forcing him onto the bed and anally penetrating him with her wet thumb.

Asked whether Simon is a latent homosexual, Campos sounded intrigued. “I think Simon is confused, and that’s part of it,” the director said. “When we talked about that sex scene, we said that it’s when both characters are getting fucked in that scene that they both enjoy sex the most. With Simon, we were exploring this character who is trying to figure himself out, and that’s there. We were also thinking about ‘Last Tango in Paris,’ too. There’s something sexually charged in Paris, it’s in the air.” Campos’ frank approach to depicting sexuality is a key strength of “Simon Killer.” “It is raw and awkward and exciting,” he said. “People get upset the film is graphic, but there are others who think it’s not graphic enough. There’s more sex than violence on purpose. It’s not a film made to satisfy all audience members, but if you give yourself into the experience, you will be satisfied. But if you’re not patient with it, you’re not giving into it.” Whether Simon’s sexual confusion prompts his behavior at the end of the film is best left for audiences to decide. “It’s up to you,” Campos said. “I think flawed characters are easier to relate to. They seem more human. I feel the nature of the story is that you allow yourself to relate or connect to them or you fight that. I allowed myself to connect to them in whatever way happens naturally. I go with as open mind as possible. If a film makes me feel upset or uncomfortable, that’s a successful film. I want an experience. Doesn’t have to be negative. Makes me see the world in a way I haven’t seen.” At its best, “Simon Killer” stimulates precisely that sort of broader perspective on the world.

Sophomore Surrealism

Shane Carruth returns to the screen with mix of storytelling and non-narrative experimentalism BY STEVE ERICKSON


pstream Color” defies so many of the rules of conventional filmmaking that it’s a challenge to write about. It falls halfway between standard narrative work and the completely non-narrative avantgarde. Shane Carruth’s work is so daring that it’s not easy to finance either. It took him nine years to make his followup to his 2004 debut, “Primer,” even

though much of the media coverage of that film focused on its extremely low budget. “Upstream Color” looks slicker,

UPSTREAM COLOR Directed by Shane Carruth erbp Film Opens Apr. 5 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St.

but it was shot on a consumer-grade video camera. Rather than try and sell such an unusual film to a distributor, Carruth is distributing it himself. On his website, at, you can even buy vinyl copies of the soundtrack, composed by the director, together with paperbacks of Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden.” Carruth’s strategies recall David Lynch’s self-distribution with “Inland Empire,” and L ynch is one of the few prominent American directors whose work similarly straddles the main-

stream and avant-garde. Terrence Malick is another, particularly with “Tree of Life.” “Upstream Color” doesn’t come out of nowhere, and can be considered in the context of films like Gaspar Noé’s “Enter the Void” and all of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s work — which tend to mix non-narrative visual exploration with surreal storytelling — as well as Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s “Leviathan,” a documentary about fish-


UPSTREAM, continued on p.28


March 27, 2013 |


Danish Dance Exalts the Ordinary Familiar movement devices, well executed, don’t substitute for emotional engagement


ne remarkable thing about the Dansk Danse Teater (Danish Dance Theatre), directed since 2001 by British-bor n T im Rushton, is that only one of the troupe’s dozen dancers is actually Danish — and she’s of African descent. Denmark’s most widely acclaimed contemporary dance company brought Rushton’s “Love Songs” to the Joyce Theater March 11-13 as part of the “Ice Hot: Nordic Dance Festival.” Rushton describes the hour -long dance as a “celebration of life” that uses jazz classics, originally sung by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, and Sarah Vaughan, all reinterpreted by Danish jazz artist Caroline Henderson. But nothing about “Love Songs,” including its title, veers far from what audiences would expect. The movement involves sliding in socks (the new dance shoes), passionately swirling arms, baring crotches in hyper extensions, and more than a tolerable amount of running onstage into place, doing a brief phrase, and running off again — all straight out of the catalog of overused contemporary devices. An

— except that now some of the women have shinier, semi-formal dresses and a few of the men sport suit jackets. A series of extended duets in this part constitute the substance of the work. In “All of Me,” lanky Milou Nuyens (Dutch) and handsome Erik Nyberg (Swedish) toss each other around like

rowdy teammates as much as lovers; she’s tall, strong, and about his height. The old chestnut “My Funny Va l e n t i n e ” b a c k s a n i n t e r r a c i a l encounter between Maxim-Jo Beck McGosh (African-Danish) and partner Fabio Liberti (Italian by way of Rotterdam.) He’s tall; she’s short. Beck McGosh repeatedly sprints across the stage and hurls herself at Liberti for the sort of flying catches that were gasp-inducing last century, but are now routine. The only couple that ignites emotional sparks is Ana Sendas and Stefanos Bizas (Portuguese and Greek, r espectively.) The heartbr eaking song “Lilac Wine” by James Shelton inspires the most eloquent choreography of the evening. The two might be wrestling with a disintegrating love affair or reconciling after a split. She scales his body in a series of simple but meaningful, aspiring lifts. Despite the talented cast, the piece lacks the emotional impact we’d like from such a nicely concise dance evening, a jazzy, jukebox suite that’s as pleasantly bland as the term “international” implies. A strenuous runningin-place section to “Thanks for the Memories” creates a rousing, if predictable, finale. But it must be said, the Joyce audience ate it up.

attractive. In terms of narrative, there seems to be something going on here, but it’s mighty elusive. Carruth is working in terms of primal visual imagery — animals, earth, and water. All this might seem a bit silly if Carruth weren’t also a masterful filmmaker. The film’s overlapping sound design is stunning. At one point, Kris and Jeff continue an argument through several different locations, with the sound crossing from shot to shot seamlessly. He’s a virtuoso with match cuts too. The

image of Jeff carrying a bundle of CDs followed by a cut to Jeff carrying a tray of food in the exact same position is unforgettable. The film turns into a sensual flow of sights and sounds. “Upstream Color” brings avant-garde director Nathaniel Dorsky to mind, particularly in the way many of its images, taken from odd angles and edited quickly, seem to have been snatched from reality. Unfortunately, Dorsky may be best known for having one of his shots lifted for Sam Mendes’ “American Beauty.” Is Carruth guilty of the same sort of appropriation? I don’t think so. He’s only a bit less marginal than a filmmaker like Dorsky and, unlike a talented hack like Mendes, he’s a genuine visionary. Ultimately, what is “Upstream Color” about? On a single viewing, that’s impossible to say. The second third, in which Kris and Jef f argue about whose memories belong to whom, offers the most clues. It depicts a world in which people are torn between slavery of various sorts — apart from Kris’ kidnapping, Jeff alludes to drug addiction in his past — and a very tentative promise of true freedom. Narrative obscurities aside, does this world sound familiar?

Dansk Danse Teater performed “Love Songs” at the Joyce March 11-13.

UPSTREAM, from p.27

ing. “Enter the Void” alludes to psychedelic drugs, with which Noé admits to experimenting. Carruth’s film doesn’t give off quite the same vibe, but it does pick up where the experimentation — of all kinds — of the late 1960s and early ‘70s ended. A science fiction film of a very eccentric kind, “Upstream Color” seems to come from an alternate universe where “2001: A Space Odyssey” and Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” are more influential than “Star Trek” and “Star Wars.” Kris (Amy Seimtetz, a filmmaker herself) is kidnapped and forced to ingest maggots. Her kidnapper gives her ice water, which becomes her sole source of sustenance. The maggots crawl underneath her skin. She stabs at herself to try and remove them. The kidnapper hypnotizes her into giving him money but eventually leaves her to return to the real world, after she has a mysterious exchange with a pig. Meanwhile, a soundman walks around with a microphone, headphones, and small sampling keyboard, rubbing a metal bar across the decrepit objects he finds in rural locales. When he discovers a pig



oft-repeated motif involves dancers spinning with a leg lifted to the side and crooked over an arm. The first part of the piece involves company members rising from a row of chairs that are lined up across the rear of the stage under a starlit sky (lighting by Thomas Bek and Jacob Bjerregaard). The dancers do fleeting duets — sometimes in unison, sometimes in counterpoint — that alter nate with group passages. The physical encounters aren’t long enough to establish any emotional connections. Luca Marazia (Italian) is a kind of host and ringmaster, prancing his miniature frame across the stage, always trying to belong. This is a presentational celebration of the dancers’ considerable chops. They do difficult steps — fast or slow, depending on the song — that would be more compelling were there a greater variety of them. Björn Nilsson (Swedish) gets dating advice from “the girls” in a recorded voice- over. All of the couples smooch — some faking it — to “My First Kiss.” Then, after a curious onstage costume change, a shift in emotional mood emerges upstage in semi-darkness. The new costumes (Charlotte Østergaard) are pretty similar to the ones that preceded — casual wear in neutral colors



Amy Seimtetz and Shane Carruth in Carruth’s “Upstream Color.”

farm, he becomes ecstatic. Kris meets Jeff (Carruth) and falls in love, although the two seem to have holes in their memories. The film eventually abandons dialogue — and, for the most part, narrative — in its final third. In one sense, Carruth is a canny businessman — he makes films that demand multiple viewings. “Primer” was nearly incomprehensible on a single viewing, although I didn’t find it seductive enough to want to see again. “Upstream Color” is far more visually

| March 27, 2013



Songs of Sex and Madness “Powder Her Face,” “Turn of the Screw” by NYCO at BAM, “Salome” in Palm Beach escape


ew York City Opera’s r ecent winter season at BAM showed a company rising like a phoenix from its own ashes. While its old productions were broken up and auctioned off as souvenirs, George Steel’s new vision for the company took shape. No longer competing with the Met, NYCO focused on boutique repertory in smart, hip, highconcept productions. Thomas Adès’ 1995 “Powder Her Face” a fragmentary, dr eam-like exploration of the empty, sybaritic, and scandalous life of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll received a presentation worthy of an international festival. Unlike Adès’ heavy, effect-laden score for “The Tempest,” “Powder Her Face” has a light, playful touch and a clever, insightful libretto by Philip Hensher. Adès’ musical style mixes Britten into an acidic cocktail of Stravinsky, Weill, and Berg. Director Jay Scheib’s multimedia production followed Margaret, who never seemed to change over five decades, through a series of elegantly appointed, interchangeable hotel suites while live video feeds were projected on the walls. The action was enlivened by the appearance of a nonsinging chorus of 25 nude men representing the nymphomaniac noblewoman’s many extramarital lovers. The sardonic, cynical tone of the piece deepened into real heartbreak as the Duchess, old and alone, comes to the realization that the only people in her life who were nice to her were paid for it. As Margaret, British debutant Allison Cook had an icy Charlotte Rampling beauty and cool, even mezzo-


The flick, from p.25

sorts begins. The two men, along with Rose the projectionist, all have a passion for movies. The possibility the theater will be sold and its 35mm projector will be replaced by digital projection is anathema to them. It doesn’t help that new management could also shut down their ticket scamming. As with Baker’s other plays, no real resolution is achieved; the story lies in what we learn about the characters. What in her other plays is moving, however, becomes ponderous in “The Flick.” Clocking in at three hours and 15 minutes, the play is bloated to the point of self-indulgence.

soprano intriguingly at odds with the character’s aggressive sexuality. Tenor William Ferguson played various waiters and hangers on — including one bellboy inveigled into onstage fellatio — with protean ease. Bass Matt Boehler was equally versatile as various authority figures, including the cuckolded Duke and hotel managers with unpaid bills. Coloratura Nili Riemer as the Maid handled Adès’ often awkwardly angular and highlying vocal writing with ease. Conductor Jonathan Stockhammer elicited assured playing from a muchimproved and more polished and cohesive orchestral ensemble.

pilgrim headed south to Florida. Palm Beach O p er a p r esent e d St raus s ’ “Salome” in three consecutive per formances over one weekend

— with no cast changes! It starred two ladies once familiar to New York audiences but absent for several seasons — soprano Erika Sunnegårdh and mezzo Denyce GravesMontgomery. Sunnegårdh’s Judean princess was a coltish teenager who descended into full-scale dementia that climaxed in a chilling final scene where the severed head of John the Baptist drenched her white shift with blood as she fondled it. The Swedish-American’s voice is a top-heavy lyric soprano with a middle register too small and colorless for Strauss’ wide-ranging vocal writing. Her untiring silvery top register sailed through the climaxes. Graves-Montgomery injured her hip backstage just before the show and sang Herodias in a wheelchair stage right while assistant director Fenlon Lamb mimed the blocking onstage. She is anything but vocally incapacitated. A Bumbry-esque cannon of a middle register shot out huge, high-energy sound waves. Even if Graves-Montgomery’s register extremes were roughly attacked, the notes were still there. R yan McKinny’s tall, muscular, loincloth-clad Jokanaan was more powerful visually than vocally — his medium-weight baritone was attractive but lacked messianic force and fervor. Thomas Moser as Herod was musical and elegant if underpowered. He was clearly conserving his vocal energies during the weekend marathon. Roberto Pater nostro conducted with iridescent jewel-like sonorities. Renaud Doucet staged the opera in a borrowed traditional set but brought fresh, sensible ideas to the table — for example, it was the Page who executed Salome at the end in revenge for Narraboth’s suicide.

a sketch of him. Director Sam Gold, who has done finely detailed work on Baker’s previous plays, isn’t helpful here. If a plays has silences of several minutes, they must be employed judiciously and, during them, the actors need to work hard to keep the story alive. Here, too many times the play simply stops dead. Matthew Maher as Sam turns in a fairly pr edictable per for mance as an embittered white man on the brink of middle age whose life is going nowhere. Aaron Clifton Moten is interesting as Avery, a black man whose knowledge and passion for movies is the only thing that seems

to animate him. He is truly a lost soul, even oblivious to the awkward sexual advances of Rose. Louisa Krause is understated as Rose and gives the most complex performance in the evening, moving beyond the cliché of another tough girl whose abrasiveness hides vulnerability to show us a young woman whose insensitivity makes her life a tiny tragedy. But Rose is the only character we see inside of — and she’s on stage for the least time of the three. In Baker’s other plays, we want to know more about the characters. In “The Flick,” we’re likely to feel they’ve overstayed their welcome.

N Y C O l a s t p re s e n t e d B r i t t e n ’s “ Tu r n o f t h e Screw” in 1996 in a Mark Lamos

production that suggested the ghosts haunting Bly were figments of the Governess’ sexually repressed and increasingly unhinged imagination. In the Lamos production, John Conklin’s expressionistic Victorian settings became increasingly “Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”-surreal as the protagonist descended into madness. Sam Buntrock’s new production for NYCO updated the action to England circa 1980, and in the manner of Stephen King, the paranormal seeped into the dark hidden corners of seemingly ordinary suburban life. Quint appeared as the reflection in the screen of a tube television set or in an upstairs bedroom window. The ghosts here were real, and the Governess remained sane, if increasingly emotionally fragile. Sara Jakubiak sang the Governess with sensitivity and a flawless British accent. Tenor Dominic Armstrong fielded a seductively rich lyric tenor sound as Quint and as the Prologue.

Baker pounds us over the head with her messages, and the bleak poetry she finds in the quotidian becomes tedious. She seems incapable of trusting her audience to understand her intention in any way other that unspooling it in real time, creating a product that is a little too ersatz Warhol. The theme that people working in menial jobs must be inherently flawed comes across as elitist, and her conceit that people immerse themselves in movies and trivia to compensate for other things lacking in their lives is unoriginal. The character of Sam is just lazy playwriting; in 195 minutes, the audience deserves more than just



Ryan McKinny and Erika Sunnegårdh in Palm Beach Opera’s production of Strauss’ “Salome.”

Benjamin P. Wenzelberg played young Miles with a disturbingly ambiguous childlike openness, while Lauren Worsham hinted at the damage beneath Flora’s girlish eagerness. The company’s new music director, Jayce Ogren, brought a chilling astringency to Britten’s chamber ensemble writing.

With New York’s bleak and desolate winter dragging along , this opera


March 27, 2013 |


Gifts from Down Under

A still roaring Reddy, precious Sapphires, SAB luxe BY DAVID NOH

Helen Reddy, the lyricist for her iconic “I Am Woman,” returned to New York at B.B. King.

arose when someone said, ‘You sound just like her,’ and I thought, ‘Uh-oh,’ and began to develop my own style. “Today there are a lot of singers I admire. Adele — what a voice she’s got and a very good songwriter. This is maybe the sound engineer’s problem, but I would like to hear a little more light and shade in her tonal quality. Celine Dion is so fabulous but I haven’t heard anything recently from her.” Reddy’s most iconic song is, of course, “I Am Woman,” for which she wrote the lyrics. Its impetus, she explained, “absolutely came out of the women’s movement at the time. And then feminism got a bad rap. It really infuriates me when some people talk about Women’s Lib, and then you hear things like, ‘I don’t need to be liberated. My husband lets me do whatever I want.’ “There’s a lot of that going on, but I think there’s been a tremendous change. Certainly there was a lot of backlash, but I think this younger generation is different. All those silly stories about us being bra burners — maybe one or two women did it in New Jersey, but that story got so much press and it immediately became this big thing. Nonsense! “I also wrote the song ‘Best Friend,’ which I will be singing, which is about self-esteem and the lack thereof. When I was recording my album, my producer brought ‘Delta Dawn’ to me and said, ‘You should sing this,’ and I never thought it would be a number one hit, but it was — one of four that




elen Reddy was undoubtedly one of the major voices of the 1970s, with her rapidsuccession top-selling hits constantly playing on the radio and seeping under our skin. She made a long overdue return to New York at B.B. King on March 23 and 24 and, in advance, took time off from touring in Clearwater, Florida, to speak to me. “I’m excited!” she said. “I haven’t been in New York for a while. But this is not going to be a nostalgia show. I will do some of my hits but there will be mostly songs I’ve recorded over the years, some beautiful ballads. “In the ‘70s, everything was about AM pop radio, but now, fortunately, I can sing some songs that were not the big hits. It’s a pretty interesting musical selection all around I will be doing with a four-piece band. Reddy now calls America home, although she took a career break and went back to her native Australia for a decade to “care for my elderly sister. But my children are now grown and I have a grandchild — all living here — so it’s nice to be in the same country.” During that time away, Reddy pursued an interest she’d had since adolescence and got her degree in clinical hypnotherapy: “I grew up in an era when hypnotists were just vaudeville acts — someone saying ‘Abracadabra’ — and I was more interested in the healing aspects. There are three different degrees you can get and I practice on a spiritual basis, dealing with traumatic experiences and past life stuff. I don’t deal with addiction, like smoking. It’s a very valuable tool when I think of friends who’ve gone to psychiatrists for years without making any progress. It’s like a glass of beer — psychiatrists deal with the foam, while we are able to go right down to the bottom of the glass. “But now it’s time to go back to work, so here I am. As for my voice, I have my good nights and then there are times when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. I was onstage singing at age five, and in my teen years I took vocal courses with great teachers and picked up quite a few things that would improve my singing and eliminate things I was doing wrong. My mother, who was onstage at four, was my first teacher. “When I was 17, it was very hard to get American music in Australia, but I had Peggy Lee’s ‘Black Coffee’ album, which I played to tatters. The problem

The cast of Wayne Blair’s “The Sapphires,” now playing at Landmark Sunshine (page 31).

year.” Reddy’s career has also experienced some lows, with a messy divorce from her manager husband Jeff Wald and rumors of her being blacklisted in the music industry due to his adverse influence. “Well, I did leave the business for 10 years,” she told me. “There was certainly that backlash against the women’s movement in the 1980s, but I don’t recall being blacklisted. That’s very much past history, and I’m not going back 30 years and talking about that period. I am in a very good place now.” Reddy has worked with many show biz giants, like when she did “The Carol Bur nett Show,” which she recalled with affection: “I loved Carol. She was fabulous. I met Olivia Newton-John, who had just arrived from England on the day I recorded ‘Delta Dawn.’ She was in the control room and I said to her if you want an international career, this is where you have to come or else you’re only a star in England or Australia. She took that advice and is continuing to have a successful career. Our paths have not crossed in many years, but I am happy for her success, well deserved. “I think I was at the right time with the right message, and I will be continuing to push for change. Things are a lot different, but it’s encouraging to see how far we have come. I loved Peter Allen, who was my opening act on my world tour. He was also born and raised in Australia, and he was coming back to his home country with

the expectation that he’d be warmly embraced. The press were so horrible to him that on the flight back from Australia, he was in tears from all the homophobia. Those days are gone, but he had a real problem with that. “I’m so grateful for my gay fans! My brothers — and we are all just citizens of the world. I love it that so many have at one time or another come to me and said how one of my songs helped them through a difficult time.” “My nephew is Tony Sheldon [a lead actor Tony nominee for ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’], and I’m so proud of him. My sister has footage of him performing at seven, and I looked after this sweetest little boy you could possibly imagine when his parents were rehearsing their show dur ing the day. Now he’s so tall I have to stretch my neck to look up at him, but he’s so very classy, humble, and sincere, without a scintilla of jealousy in him. He’s a very generous, giving actor and whatever show he’s in, everybody loves him.” Reddy is also a legit stage star her self now: “I did three productions of ‘Anything Goes’ and four of ‘Shirley Valentine.’ I love acting as well as singing — and the contrast between them. It’s great not to be locked into one thing and with acting, like singing, as my mother taught me, you have to put the words first and believe in every one of them. Otherwise, you just do “la la la.”


IN THE NOH, continued on p.31


| March 27, 2013


Redemption for a Recovering Politician

Alexandra Pelosi’s HBO documentary on Jim McGreevey charts a path back from disgrace BY ANDY HUMM


hile some disgraced politicians such as heterosexual adulterer Mark Sanford in South Carolina can’t stay out of the political game, “gay American” for mer New Jer sey Governor Jim McGreevey, who resigned in 2004 when an affair with a male aide came to light, seems done with all that. He is not pursuing an elective office comeback but instead devoting himself to aiding incarcerated women, most from communities of color, in bouncing back from addiction and the lives of crime that fed their life-destroying habits.


IN THE NOH, from p.30

Asked if she has a partner these days, Reddy laughed: “Oh, no. No, no, no, no! I am single. These are the best years of my life! I love being in my 70s, don’t need to be with anyone, and I love the confidence I have now. It took me along time to build it up to this degree, but I’m very comfortable in my shoes now.”

We have another treat from Oz heading our way in the

for m of the film “The Sapphires” (Landmark Sunshine Cinema, 143 E. Houston St., btwn. First & Second Aves.; Based on a true story, it’s about four Aboriginal sisters who, in 1968, for med a girl group and went to Vietnam to entertain US soldiers — but only after one of them had been reunited with her siblings. At an early age, she was snatched from them because of her light skin and made to live with a white family, a heinous practice shockingly prevalent up until the 1970s in Australia, which had previously denied its Aboriginal people basic human rights and dignity. As a tale of entertainers in war, this truly heartwarming, spiritedly infectious movie is everything “For the Boys” was disappointingly not and, as a girl group flick, I enjoyed it far more than the ultra-slick “Dreamgirls.” Harvey Weinstein gave it a splashy premiere at the Paris Theater on March 13, with an afterparty at the Hudson Hotel that was the most fun I’ve had in years. All the stars, including the glorious Chris O’Dowd, who

FALL TO GRACE Directed by Alexandra Pelosi HBO March 28 at 8 p.m. Repeated Apr. 2 at 5:30 p.m., midnight Apr. 6 at 10 a.m.; Apr. 10 at 3 p.m. Apr. 14 at 5 p.m.; Apr. 19 at 6:10 a.m. Apr. 23 at 9 a.m. HBO 2 on Apr. 3 at 8 p.m. Apr. 13 at 10:15 a.m.; Apr. 16 at 5:05 a.m.

His story is told in a compelling new HBO documentary by Alexandra Pelosi, “Fall to Grace,” which bows on HBO on March 28. Pelosi also talked Republican George W. Bush into letting her follow him around with her hand-held camera in the

gives a performance every bit as starmaking and charismatic as Richard Pryor in “Lady Sings the Blues” — a compliment he loved — danced up a storm. O’Dowd and his four lovely co-stars, most of whom were thrilled to be in New York for the first time, per for med a live set of R&B standards that had the place jumping, after which the evening’s fabulous DJ played what amounted to a history of pop in the last 30 years. The four girls not only knew every word but every video movement, as well. Gorgeous star Jessica Mauboy (of “Australian Idol”) dominated the show with her killer pipes, and producer Rosemary Blight told me she found her and the other three unknown girls through a nationwide casting call. O’Dowd joined the cast after Blight used her frequent flyer miles to send director Wayne Blair to LA to haunt every agent he could find. When Blair saw “Bridesmaids,” he yelled, “That’s our guy!” (An ebullient O’Dowd told me he is now developing his own show for HBO.) Weinstein himself was there, beaming with joy at yet another of his canny cinematic discoveries — though when a woman had the temerity to ask about the movie’s China releasing rights, he turned all Harvey on her and said, “You’d better get out of here!”

If there’s a Depression going on, you’d never have known

it at the School of American Ballet’s Winter Ball at Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater on March 11. With the theme “A Night in the Far East,” the place was transformed into a sultan’s

2000 presidential campaign, though “Journeys with George” wasn’t released until March 2003. In “The T rials of Ted Haggard” (2009), she famously documented the fall of a right-wing megachurch pastor after his gay liaisons were exposed. The director, who is the daughter of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi — who joined her at the March 2 1 p r e m i e r e a t t h e T i m e Wa r n e r Building — said she decided to make the film after reading about the scandal in the New York Post. “Fascinated by the demonization of people you don’t know,” Pelosi said the story reminded her of her mother meeting an older Republican at a reception who said to her, “You’re Nancy Pelo-

si? Remind me why it is I hate you so much?” Unlike Haggard, McGreevey, since resigning the governorship, has never made an ef fort to get away from his homosexuality. He is happily partnered with financier Mark O’Donnell in a leafy New Jersey suburban home that the film shows them opening to his paroled clients and their kids for a joyful Christmas party. McGreevey first tried to restart his life after resigning by writing “The Confession” in 2006, attempting — unsuccessfully in my view — to come to terms with his life in the

palace, although most of the ladies eschewed saris and cheongsams for the usual Big Gowns that the Times’ Bill Cunningham kept happily snapping away at. More luxe was added to the proceedings with displays that honored the friendship between SAB’s founder George Balanchine and jeweler Claude Arpels (of Van Cleef & …). The chicest person there, however, had to be designer Carolina Her rera in her trademark simple tailored white man’s shirt over a tight,

trained black taffeta skirt. The best part of these evenings is always the performance by the kids themselves, and it was gorgeously choreographed indeed and followed by the traditional raucous disco dancing where ballet tights mixed with tuxedos.


McGREEVEY, continued on p.34

Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@, follow him on Facebook and Twitter @in_the_noh, and check out his blog at http://nohway.wordpress. com/.


March 27, 2013 |


The LGBT Community Meets the Mayoral Candidates




Christopher Byrne (Theater), Susie Day, Doug Ireland (International), Brian McCormick (Dance)

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Seth J. Bookey, Anthony M.Brown, Kelly Jean Cogswell, Andres Duque, Michael Ehrhardt, Steve Erickson, Erasmo Guerra, Frank Holliday, Andy Humm, Eli Jacobson, David Kennerley, Gary M. Kramer, Arthur S. Leonard, Michael T. Luongo, Lawrence D. Mass, Winnie McCroy, Eileen McDermott, Mick Meenan, Tim Miller, Gregory Montreuil, Christopher Murray, David Noh, Pauline Park, Nathan Riley, Chris Schmidt, Jason Victor Serinus, David Shengold, Yoav Sivan, Gus Solomons Jr., Kathleen Warnock, Benjamin Weinthal, Dean P. Wrzeszcz






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The five Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for mayor spent 90 minutes with hundreds of members of our community last week, and the results were encouraging for those hoping to move critical LGBT needs to the top of the city’s agenda in the next four years. The candidates uniformly showed a detailed understanding of issues such as homeless youth, AIDS housing inequities, the city’s faltering commitment to HIV prevention, the state ban on gestational surrogacy contracts, and the spike in potentially deadly meningitis cases among gay and bisexual men. They also acknowledged that abuse in NYPD stop and frisk practices is a queer issue –– whether it involves the targeting of transgender women and LGBT youth of color or the false arrests of gay men in video stores. In a forum of this sort, the greatest attention inevitably focuses on the frontrunner –– in this case, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. The fact that a vocal minority within the

LGBT community has, in recent years, targeted the woman who could become the city’s first out lesbian or gay mayor for harsh criticism gave this event particular political resonance. The media was out in full force to see whether she would stumble on her home court. Despite warnings that popped up on social media in the days prior to the forum that it might be marred by noisy protests and disruptions, the event proved remarkably amicable. To be sure, some of the criticisms Quinn’s opponents leveled at her –– particularly regarding her refusal to endorse paid sick leave legislation now pending in the Council –– struck a chord with many audience members. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson proved particularly adept at eliciting crowd encouragement for their volleys against the speaker. That said, it is also true that Quinn earned the warmest and most enthusiastic applause from the audience at the conclusion of her opening and closing statements. Standing on stage with the candidates as the evening’s moderator, I had trouble discerning where in the crowd applause and the occasional boos came from, but I could not shake the impression that at

least some audience members both applauded the speaker and jumped in to second certain criticisms thrown her way. And that just may be the key challenge Quinn faces as she looks to lock down her current lead in the polls. With the potential for being both the first woman and the first openly LGBT mayor, she is clearly an historic figure. At the same time, many progressives who have known her over the past two decades are befuddled by a posture on sick leave they view as fundamentally at odds with her political roots. In the current political season, that issue is something of a proxy for other nagging doubts that have emerged over the seven years of her speakership –– misgivings that coalesced most dramatically when she offered Mayor Michael Bloomberg indispensible Council support for his efforts to run for a third term in 2009. Quinn clearly recognizes that paid sick leave is a problem for her, and I would wager she worries more about that issue right now than about Bloomberg’s recent intemperate outbursts against her for advocating a police department inspector general. At last week’s forum, she was at pains to emphasize that paid sick leave is not

a question of if, it’s a question of when. The economy, in her view, is simply too soft right now to impose a new government mandate whose effect will be felt primarily by small businesses. The speaker mentioned a few measures that could be used to judge when the time is right –– the unemployment rate, the trend line in business closures –– but she is clearly not yet ready to commit to a specific economic trigger. She may find, as the campaign progresses, that she needs to firm up her thinking and her resolve on this question. What is most striking about her tentativeness on paid sick leave is how much it contrasts with her impressive fluidity on other issues. When asked how the city needs to change its decision-making on development questions –– a point one might expect the other candidates to fault a sitting Council speaker on –– only Quinn got specific about reforms that should be considered. Among the four other candidates, de Blasio and Thompson emerged at last week’s forum as the most plausible alternatives, and former Councilman Sal Albanese, who will not be the nominee, had the freedom of being a truth-teller, bursting the many bubbles created by pretty words. For now, though, Quinn seems a comfortable frontrunner. And she will rightly enjoy all the weighty burdens of that position as the campaign heats up.


Same-Sex Marriage Cases Are No Roe V. Wade BY KELLY JEAN COGSWELL


n an op-ed piece masquerading as fact, the New York Times on Sunday declared that the "Shadow of Roe v. Wade Looms Over Ruling on Gay Marriage." According to Times legal correspondent Adam Liptak, any positive marriage equality decision handed down by the US Supreme Court will

face the same endless legal slog, misery, and sustained opposition as the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. The primary source for the argument seems to be Michael J. Klarman, Harvard law professor and author of "From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage." He wrote, "Intervening at this stage of a social reform movement would be somewhat

analogous to Roe v. Wade, where the court essentially took the laws deregulating abortion in four states and turned them into a constitutional command for the other 46." But with only a modest BA in the liberal arts and no time at all clerking for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I still have to respond, "Ummm, not really." Not analogous at all, except that most progressive cases face sub-

stantial backlash on the way to the Supreme Court. And that Republican wingnuts hate them equally — abortion and gay marriage. But then, they also hate gun control, the Fed, Obama, and a host of other things, and are busy fighting them, too. While they're especially enraged at this stage of the process, maybe because they're terrified of anything to do with sex — and same-sex marriage smacks of it, just like abortion — it's unlikely that the landmark marriage cases will have the same legal trajectory as abortion. Not just because there are


COGSWELL, continued on p.35


| March 27, 2013


Compassion and a Mayoral Campaign that Could Put a Crimp In It BY NATHAN RILEY


ith a Democratic m a y o r, N e w Yo r k City’s gover nment would be more compassionate than the business-like regime of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Just how far this sympathy should extend caused the biggest division among the candidates at the March 20 LGBT mayoral forum at Baruch College. Chris Quinn, the speaker of the City Council for the past seven years, drew the line at a measure that would help working people — paid sick leave, a benefit provided by virtually every nation in Europe. Quinn recognized the legitimacy of the issue and its potential good, but said now is not the time. Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, strongly supported it, as did former Comptroller Bill Thompson, his successor, John Liu, and former City Councilman Sal Albanese. But Quinn has found that her olive branch to the business community has not forestalled opposition from Establishment types. At a ceremonial occasion the same week as the forum, Bloomberg blasted Quinn’s proposal to have an inspector general for the police department. The new post would be placed inside the existing Department of Investigation, an agency that seldom ruffles feathers as it goes about its oversight responsibilities for other areas of municipal government.

Even this small step is too much for Republicans and conservatives. The front page of the New York Post denounced Quinn with the headline “JUDAS!,” one of the most hated figures in Christendom. The newspaper characterized Quinn as a liar who cannot be trusted. The Christ figure she is accused of betraying is the New York City Police Department. Given reduced anxieties about crime in New York in recent years, it may seem improbable, but the Republicans and Bloomberg believe they can mobilize voters by demanding hands off the NYPD. The Post editorial, which accompanied two pages of news stories about the evils of an inspector general, spelled out the political implications. “The Quinns and Thompsons are trying to have it both ways,” the newspaper argued. Although they are the two major Democrats most tempered in their criticism of the police, they want to keep stop and frisk but “tinker” with it, according to the Post. But an IG would “strangle it.” Fighting words calculated to arouse angry voters. The editorial offered Thompson and Quinn a way out — abandon the reform. Doing that would betray their political supporters, causing particular problems for the Council speaker, who is fighting a narrative that she has moved to the right in recent years. Caving to demands from the likes of the Post would lead to charges that they had been intimidated into abandoning a sound reform. Their campaigns would likely be crippled.

An IG is a thoughtful way to address the policies and practices of the NYPD. The existing Civilian Complaint Review Board is intended to vet individual encounters between police and civilians. An IG would look at larger issues like police performance standards and patterns of improper conduct. For example, it is illegal for the NYPD to have arrest quotas that might encourage trumped up charges, lying under oath, and poor judgment about an incident’s seriousness. In a federal court trial, police officers are testifying that their union told them about arrest quotas — 20 tickets and one arrest a month. Such behavior, if proven, would show the law is being circumvented with the connivance of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. This is the sort of corruption an IG could investigate. The Post opposes “tinkering” because it favors no change at all, instead advocating for a system that is indefensible but can only be protected if it remains hidden. What police reformers seek are new performance standards. They want to know why breaking up a fight and getting two people to shake hands and make up get no credit, while writing a ticket about public urination at 3 a.m. is a mark of good performance. The reformers’ meta objective is to create a new relationship between police and the communities they serve. Presumably, everybody in a housing project or a neighborhood wants to stop drive-by shootings and gang violence.

The Trouble With Christine Quinn



attended the mayoral forum sponsored by the New York’s five LGBT Democratic clubs and Gay City News, and the n e w s p a p e r ’ s e d i t o r, P a u l Schindler, who moderated, asked rather difficult questions of the panel. Christine Quinn, the current speaker of the City Council, positioned herself as the least progressive of the candidates. It was not a pretty sight. On issue after issue, she did little to distinguish herself from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. On the issue of police-community relations, she barely recognized the plight of young black and Hispanic citizens, predominantly men, who are constantly harassed by police because

of the color of their skin. As for economic development, she paid little attention to the question asked by the moderator, ignoring the opportunities squandered by the current mayor in favoring big developers over the needs of community residents. On issues like homeless LGBT youth, where she has been a positive force in brokering deals to save funding for shelter beds from a heartless mayor, she spoke with passion and conviction. But mostly, Quinn sounded like someone who wanted to be mayor for most of the wrong reasons. Her cynical support of the extension of term limits, which had twice been endorsed by the voters, has enabled her to be the frontrunner in this election cycle. It was a calculated move that resulted in our

living through a lackluster third Bloomberg term. The most disturbing piece of the evening was that Speaker Quinn distinguished herself as the only candidate to oppose paid sick leave for those who work in New York City. She seemed to have no concrete analysis about how this legislation would affect small business, and when questioned about what changes in the city's economy would make her support the bill, she could not answer. As her rival Sal Albanese pointed out, she has prevented a vote on this bill, even though a supermajority of the Council supports it. This was the same tactic used in the 1980s by Council Majority Leader Tom Cuite to deny lesbians and gay men their civil rights in New York City.

Why don’t neighbors tell the police about suspicious activity? The present system discourages friendly and constructive interactions between the police and the neighborhood. Reformers want to create trust, while the police currently promote resentment. Stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of innocent people generates anger and leads both the community and cops to make bad decisions. Leveraging the dramatic reduction in crime since 1990, a police commissioner who expects different behavior from police officers can generate different results. Fewer crimes mean fewer people who are familiar or have practical experience with breaking the law, a dynamic that Franklin E. Zimring, a University of California at Berkeley Law School professor, explains in a clip available on YouTube. It is simple common sense that as conditions change — New York is a much safer city than a generation ago — so should governmental policy change. Last week’s candidate debate showed off a Democratic field with long and strong gay rights records across the board. Watching de Blasio and Quinn, in particular, demonstrate their detailed knowledge about LGBT homeless youth and preventing sero-conversion among gay men proved that our community’s concerns are at the top of the agenda in the Democratic mayoral primary contest. But last week’s attacks on Quinn and others in the New York Post remind us that Democrats may not necessarily control this year’s general election debate. Conservative, even racist forces are going to grab headlines and change the subject when they can. So even if you heard things you wanted to at the Baruch debate, fasten your seat belts. You know what kind of ride it could be.

I came out in 1978 working on the No on 6 campaign in California, battling a ballot proposition designed to deny gay teachers and gay-friendly teachers their right to work. We have come a long way since then, a very long way. After 12 years of Mayor Bloomberg, we need change. We need a mayor who has a more inclusive vision of New York City when it comes to economic development, policing, education policy, and housing. Unfortunately, the speaker subscribes to the same top-down, narrow policies as the current mayor. I would love to see New York, the largest city in America and one of the world's great cities, with an out and proud lesbian, bi, gay, or transgender mayor. But being LGBT is not sufficient in itself. Scott Klein lives in Brooklyn and is a longtime gay Democratic political activist.

34 closet, during which time he mar ried twice, fathered two children, and pursued and won the highest office in his state. After his departure from Trenton, he also tried his hand at being a gay activist, speaking and writing op-ed pieces far more focused on his very belated coming out than on anything that had transpired in the 35 years of LGBT liberation that eased his journey. McGreevey left the Roman Catholic Church over its virulent anti-gay posture and joined the Episcopal Church in 2007, completing a master of divinity degree at Manhattan’s General Theological Seminary. He sought to be an Episcopal priest, but as the documentary explains, that Church has so far declined to ordain him due to his past scandals — but not because they were related to homosexuality. McGreevey says he is at peace with that. Where the for mer gover nor has found redemption is in the New Jer sey prison ministry that Pelosi so vividly documents, working with women whom society has discarded and forgotten in a system designed almost entirely for punishment, not rehabilitation. After his sear ing experiences in the spotlight, it is fair to ask why McGreevey would put himself out there again like this. He told the audience at the Time War ner Building that despite initial misgivings — especially from his part-


POPE FRANCIS, from p.18

change at the grassroots level. We can’t have a naïve expectation that there will be any leadership from a pope on the ordination of women or the recognition of marriage equality.” John Allen, a veteran Vatican cor respondent, said on CNN that when it comes to issues such as gay mar riage, “you are not going to see reform,” but cited the new pope’s pastoral concern by noting that he “went to an AIDS hospice and washed the feet of a person with AIDS.” Dignity/ USA executive director Marianne Duddy-Burke said in


ner — “Alexandra just kept showing up” and they gave in. For that we can be grateful, not just to see how McGreevey has found a new life, but for the light the film casts on the plight of these women. During a Q & A after the film in front of a power ful audience that included other members of Congress besides Leader Pelosi, McGreevey spoke passionately about the disgraceful rate of incarceration in the US and the lack of drug treatment

and employment training afforded prisoners. Due to the success of programs such as Integrity House in the Hudson County Correctional Facility where McGreevey, a Democrat, works, Republican Governor Chris Christie has committed to more treatment in his budget. The film shows that the work isn’t easy and requires intense involvement in the lives of the women both in and out of prison. When one of the women talks about how her life

has bottomed out, McGreevey shares that he’s the gay governor who had to resign — a way of coming out not so much with pride but with a story of his own truly troubled times that she is able to relate to. McGreevey’s approach is steeped in his new — or renewed — religious faith. He believes “religion should be about our better angels and transcendence, not tying ourselves to the worst in the culture,” such as homophobia. One of McGreevey’s allies is Father Leo O’Donovan, a Jesuit Catholic priest and the former president of Georgetown University who appeared a t t h e Q & A . T o s o m e l a u g h t e r, O’Donovan told the audience, “I’m happy our new pope is Catholic,” then caught himself and said, “Jesuit.” Perhaps moved by McGreevey’s personal story, he then went out on the limb, saying, “The official Catholic teaching on being gay is very negative” and “I apologize for that.” Some Catholics, O’Donovan said, “are more accepting and wiser,” and he recommended their wisdom about homosexuality over what is officially taught. McGr eevey admits that part of what drew him to politics was getting the adulation of the people. Now he has entered into a new relationship with average people — just 40 of them, who have fallen even if not in the way he has. Along the way, he has discovered an altogether richer life that benefits both the women and himself.

a written statement, “We applaud the cardinals for their recognition of the rising energy of the Catholic Church in the global South” and are “encouraged by Pope Francis’ clear commitment to the poor.” But, she a d d e d , “ We a c k n o w l e d g e t h a t a s archbishop and cardinal the man who is now Pope Francis has made some very harsh and inflammatory statements about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We recognize that sometimes this new job on which he embarks can change the man called to it.” Duddy-Burke invited the new pope to “learn about our lives, our

faith, and our families befor e he makes any papal pronouncements about us.” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who was part of the official US delegation to the inauguration of Francis, told Gay City News that she reported to her House colleagues she was encour aged by his calls “for respect for all of God’s children. I like the word ‘all.’” Pelosi added, “I hope there will be a relaxation of attitudes to the LGBT community.” When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, Father John McNeill, a gay

theologian expelled from the Jesuits by Ratzinger in 1986, hailed the selection of someone so “rigid” that many Catholics might finally wean themselves from an immature dependence on a top-down system of Church governance beholden to what “father says.” The danger in Francis — at first blush a more appealing human figure than the austere Benedict — is that he will help prop up a malecontrolled, corrupt hierarchy that keeps rank-and-file Catholics from taking responsibility for what their own consciences tell them about issues such as sexuality and gender.

nurse Hervé during the illness that took his life. This broke my heart. There are a number of very reliable studies that showed us that those with AIDS who had partners to take care of and comfort them lived significantly longer than those who didn’t. Thus, Bill’s executive order — which he signed before the Congress for malized the ban in law — not only deprived me of the right to take care

of my sick beloved, it shortened his life. And Hervé died, alone, in a Paris hospital before I could get there to hold his hand as that dread disease took his life. As far as I’m concerned, Hervé’s blood, too, is on Bill’s hands. If I were to run into Bill Clinton again today, I would spit in his face, not only for Hervé but for all those queers and people with AIDS, in uniform and out, whose lives were

destroyed by his opportunism. He showed us no mercy, and we owe him none. He’s never apologized for his multiple assaults against us. So his forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me. And his belated anti-DOMA declaration, designed solely to burnish his image and avoid campaign problems for his wife, is just another cynical and selfserving act.

McGREEVEY, from p.31

IRELAND, from p.17

many families, including mine. And because Hervé had sero-converted, he felt the full force of Clinton’s ukase — which, I’m convinced, didn’t win the president a single vote. After Hervé became too ill to work, I had to stay here to earn a living for both of us — and so, thanks to Bill Clinton, I was denied the right to



March 27, 2013 |

Former Governor Jim McGreevey got a master’s degree in divinity at General Theological Seminary, but has so far been unable to win ordination as a priest in the Episcopal Church.


| March 27, 2013


In a lavish dinner gala dubbed “Savor,” featuring a four-course dinner served up by renowned chefs, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis paid tribute to Joy A. Tomchin, a former board president who was the producer of the


COGSWELL, from p.32

differences of political and social context, as the lead Prop 8 lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. argued. He told the Times that Roe v. Wade had not been "subject to exhaustive public discussion, debate, and support, including by the president and other high-ranking government officials from both parties..." Which is true, but kind of irrelevant. The main reason the comparison doesn't hold is because the two cases are not just apples and oranges, but apples and balls of yarn. Apples and light bulbs. An abortion is a private, single act of limited duration, while getting married launches a whole state of being, a long-ter m, legal relationship not only between two individuals, but between those two individuals and any offspring, heirs, creditors, etc. and the government at every level. Which is why queer activists on the left, having fought so hard to keep the state out of our affairs, were initially reluctant to embrace the marriage fight, despite its gazillions of financial and legal benefits. The most obvious parallel is the earlier fight against anti-miscegenation laws that was only won in 1967 with Loving v. Virginia. Sure, "mixed" marriages still inspire disgust among bigots, as I suppose same-sex marriage will continue to do, but there are only occasional instances in which churches or petty bureaucrats try to prevent them. There is certainly no big activist movement. There probably won't be for queers either. Either now or in the future, once it is ruled on the federal level that samesex marriage is legal, that right can't be eroded bit by bit as with abortion. Neither can it be restricted except by age, as "straight" marriages are. Opponents tried to head off gay marriage with civil unions — conceding a few rights to

Academy Award-nominated documentary “How to Survive a Plague,” and to the Keith Haring Foundation, a philanthropic organization funded by the estate of the late iconic artist who died of AIDS in 1990. Tomchin is pictured here with David France, the director of “Plague,” who introduced Tomchin to the audience. Some of the activists profiled in the film, including Peter Staley, Mark Harrington, and David Barr were also on hand for the gala, which was hosted by Cynthia Nixon. The evening’s chefs were Alex Guarnaschelli of the Darby and Butter, Justin Warner of Do or Dine, Colleen Grapes of the Harrison and the Red Cat, and Silvano Fiorindo of Cipriani 42nd Street, where the dinner was held. –– Paul Schindler

shut up the big-mouthed queers. But once that word marriage is used on the federal level, either you're married or you're not. We have the same rights or we don't, and in the latter case we keep fighting. Even if there is some kind of postdecision backlash, I'm pretty confident the scenario will be different. Women who have abortions in their teens and 20s often just want to forget about it, and move on. Queers won't be able to. Every single one of us who gets hitched, entangled in a marriage of love and bureaucracy, will become a queer activist reservist, always on call. For this issue, anyway. It won't be a matter of convenience, to be grappled with when needed. It will be woven into the fabric of our lives. Another obvious difference is that the fight for marriage rights is fundamentally conservative compared to that for abortion. And as homophobia is pushed further to the mar gins of the equation, we've already seen stalwarts of the Religious Right speak in favor of same-sex marriage and its attendant monogamy and social stability. I don't remember seeing similar conversions to prochoice positions. Abortion rights are a harder sale. Partly because "pro-life" people call abortion murder. And some actually believe it. But also because misogyny has such horribly deep roots. We should remember that the LGBT movement will always be half comprised of males, with white men at the forefront as long as our community is prey to the same sexism and racism as the outside world. And with a white, well-groomed male face on an issue like same-sex marriage, it'll get accepted sooner or later. Follow Kelly Jean Cogswell on Twitter @kellyatlarge.

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March 27, 2013 |


Can Pope Francis Forestall the Vatican’s Irrelevance? BY MICHAEL LUONGO



uring my years of covering Buenos Aires and living there, I have photographed an equal number of Christmas Eve Midnight Masses held at Catedral Metropolitana, the city’s main Catholic chur ch, and Gay Pride mar ches, which step off from in front of the same building. One of those events has stagnated, with fewer Argentines in attendance, little media coverage, and almost no foreigners on hand. The other has blossomed from a tense, nearly clandestine gathering into one that attracts tens of thousands of locals and is a major draw for tourists. Year by year, it has become an increasing part of the national conversation, influencing lawmakers and even the president. It is the former — Midnight Mass — that has lost its salience in Argentine culture. Gay Pride, in contrast, has grown in visibility and influence. These shifts occurred under the watch of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who served as the archbishop of Buenos Aires and was the nation’s most powerful prelate prior to his recent elevation to the papacy as Francis I. Many have voiced the hope that Pope Francis will revive the Catholic Church throughout the world, helping it to move beyond the sexual abuse scandals that have dogged it over the past decade and more. Yet if Bergoglio’s time in Argentina is any indication, he will continue to lead the Church into irrelevance, especially on LGBT issues. My first time photographing Gay Pride was in 2004. As the crowds gathered, hundreds of young men hostile to the marchers stood in front of Catedral Metropolitana. One explained to me he was a “protector of the church” and pointed to red paint splatters that vandals had thrown onto its façade. The only attacks I witnessed, however, were those that these “protectors” waged against the parade crowd. The young men outnumbered the LGBT marchers in front of the church, with most of the Pride crowd waiting for the parade to begin on Plaza de Mayo, the city’s ancient colonial square which the church overlooks. Only after dark did marchers make their way onto Avenida de Mayo, the city’s most important processional route, with the

Marriage equality activists José Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre in front of Buenos Aires’ Catedral Metropolitana during Gay Pride in November 2010, and Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I, holding the Baby Jesus during Midnight Mass the following month.

crowd heading toward the Congreso building where a political rally was held. I last covered the parade in 2010, by which time it was an official city cultural event. The rally was no longer a protest against Congreso, but instead took place on its steps, welcomed by the national government. Gay Argentines lined up by the thousands in front of the cathedral, no longer afraid of the television crews that covered the event. Each time I photographed Midnight Mass, the church appeared full, but media and tourists were nowhere to be seen. The streets surrounding the cathedral were desolate, the majority of city residents instead at parties or at home with family. Argentine friends never understand my interest in Midnight Mass, known locally as Noche Buena. I was in Buenos Aires the day Francis was elected by his fellow cardinals and my immediate reaction was to head to the cathedral, assuming thousands would turn out. My taxi driver complained we would encounter blocked-off streets and mobs descending on the church to pray for the pope of the Pampas. But we found little traffic and far more journalists than worshippers. In fact, pedestrians on their

way to the subway used the cathedral’s steps to avoid the media maze, while police lined its walls as if worried there might be backlash against the choice of a religious conservative as the new pope. The Mass taking place was no more crowded than usual. To be sure, the crowds outside the cathedral grew as the days passed, but the lack of a spontaneous outpouring in the hours after Francis’ selection surprised me and is significant. As Argentina’s same-sex marriage law was debated in 2010, Cardinal Bergoglio called the idea “a machination of the Father of Lies.” The country’s political leaders refused to listen. At that year’s Gay Pride, there were virtually no protectors in front of the cathedral. As had the legislators, most of Buenos Aires simply ignored the Church. The cathedral became a photographic backdrop for drag queens and muscle men, who posed for television crews often arm in ar m with politicians and burly union leaders. The day Bergoglio was elected pope, red paint splatters were still visible on the walls of the church, the anger many Argentines feel toward the Catholic Church literally written on the façade of the city’s main cathedral. In a majority Catholic country, if the

Church is behind the times socially, it becomes not just irrelevant but also an object of hatred among many people. The disconnect between the Church and the people of Argentina is something Bergoglio did little to cure. He himself must take the blame. The selection of a pope from Latin America is significant, and he has the opportunity to bring the sensitivity to the poor he showed in Buenos Aires to the Holy See. But that won’t change what millions of Argentines think about his socials views, especially his contempt for gay men. Argentina remains a nation where church and state have no of ficial separation. Only a Catholic may be president, a requirement that forced Muslim-born Carlos Menem to convert prior to his decade in office beginning in 1989. The archbishop of Buenos Aires holds a seat in Congress, a reminder of the Church’s power. Shrines to the Virgin of Luján, the country’s representation of Mary, adorn the Buenos Aires subway system. As in much of the Catholic world, Gay Pride celebrations in Buenos Aires are held on Saturday rather than Sunday, a lingering sign of deference to the Church. None of this mattered, however, on July 15, 2010, when Argentina became the first Latin American nation to make same-sex marriage the law of the land. This model of progress, ignoring the Church’s vitriolic assault on LGBT citizens, is spreading across the Catholic world. In 2000, amidst the Church’s Jubilee celebrating two millennia since the birth of Christ, the indomitability of LGBT progress was clear. The first World Pride event was being held in Rome at the same time, and Pope John Paul II, a vocal critic of it taking place, was powerless to stop it from crowding his own party. T h e Va t i c a n , n o w i n A rg e n t i n e hands, finds itself even weaker. Ber goglio, with his anti-gay pronouncements even as the LGBT community made historic gains, proved the Church’s growing marginality in the lives of Argentines. As Argentina has done, the world will continue to make progress on LGBT rights. It is the Church that people will leave behind. Will St. Peter’s in Rome under Francis I become a paint-splattered irrelevancy, an obstacle on the way to the subway station as did his Catedral Metropolitana in Buenos Aires? Only time will tell. People and the world they live in move on, embracing LGBT issues. So must the Church. Michael Luongo is a freelance journalist and the author of “Frommers Buenos Aires.”

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March 27, 2013 | from jazz, cabaret, blues, and the Great American Songbook. 254 W. 54th St. Mar. 28, 7 p.m.; Mar. 29-30, 8 p.m. The cover charge is $30-$40, with a $25 food & drink minimum. Reservations at Doors open for dinner an hour and a half prior to show time.


PERFORMANCE An XLellent Spring

March 31:The final episode of “The Outs” premieres.

Scott Nevins (truTV's "The Worlds Dumbest") returns to New York to help usher in the new season by hosting "XL Variety: Spring Fling!" The cast tonight includes MAC Award-winner Karen Mason, Billboard chart-topping diva Kelly King, singer Randy Rainbow, the all-male vocal group the Broadway Boys, drag diva Porche, singer/ songwriter Justin Utley, Zack Dobbins, the Glamazons, and singer and DJ Patrick Kuzara. XL Cabaret, 512 W. 42nd St. Mar. 28, 8 p.m. No cover charge. More information at


BAAD! Women


GALLERY The Radiance of Young Men

McWillie Chambers, a Louisiana-born artist who has been in New York for more than 25 years, has produced a large body of work celebrating both the innocence and eroticism of young men, many of them portrayed in radiant beach settings. Chambers opens an exhibition this week at the George Billis Gallery, 521 W. 26th St., 1B. Tue-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through Apr. 20. Opening reception on Mar. 28, 6-8 p.m. More information at

Andrew Cornell Robinson, Doron Langberg & Kyle Coniglio

Anna Kustera Gallery presents an exhibition of new ceramics by Andrew Cornell Robinson, whose unique, theatrical approach beguiles the audience and thwarts expectations; paintings by Doron Langberg, whose color-saturated oil on linen works create worlds that hover somewhere between sexual ecstasy and profound despair; and paintings by Kyle Coniglio, takes his self-portraits to tragic and always self-deprecating places. In “Young Bacchus,” young men at a nightclub take time

from their party to gather around the central artist figure who is exposing his stomach as a disco ball, one that emits its own light from within. 520 w. 21st St. Mar. 28-May 4; Tue.-Sat., 6-8 p.m. Opening reception is Mar. 28, 6-8 p.m. More information at

CABARET Michael V. Doane Debuts His Solo Album

Out gay singer, writer, and composer Michael V. Doane’s musical journey has crossed many genres, from boy-band success to regional theater acclaim, and performances on Broadway and international tours, as well as television and film. Last year, he won the OutMusic Award for Best R&B Song for “We Did It Right.” Tonight, he celebrates the release of his debut solo album of all original material, “Little Kid,” which features layers of instrumentation fronted by his tough and tender vocals. Ella Lounge, 9 Ave. A, btwn. First & Second Sts. Mar. 28, at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 at bb9zq4c or $10 at the door.

Patricia Racette’s Delightful Detour

Soprano Patricia Racette returns to 54 Below with her show “Diva On Detour,” featuring songs

The Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance presents “BAAD! Ass Women 2013,” its 13th annual cultural festival celebrating the empowerment of women through art, culture, and performance. On Mar. 28, 6:30 p.m., “Love and Sex at All Stages of Life: A Celebration of Freda Rosen” remembers the late playwright, therapist, lesbian activist, and mentor to choreographers with a pot luck dinner, followed by a panel discussion about sex, relationships, friendship, and bonding throughout life. Lucy Winer’s documentary “Golden Threads,” about 90-year-old Christine Burton, a community organizer who founded a global networking service for lesbians over 50, will be screened. The evening is free. On Mar. 29, 8 p.m., filmmakers Neyda Martinez and Laura Checkoway present a sneak preview of their documentary “Lucky,” the story of a young Bronx lesbian with the kind of unhinged swagger bred only on the streets of New York. The screening is free. On Apr. 4, 8 p.m., MIXNYC Experimental Film Festival teams up with BAAD! to present “Stud Life,” a story, set in London, about the friendship of JJ, a black lesbian stud, and Seb, a white gay man, which is tested when JJ falls in love with the beautiful femme Elle. A $5 donation is suggested. On Apr. 6, 8 p.m., “Mother Tongues: Monologues for Lesbian Ancestral Wives and Revolutionary Women Speaking the Unspeakable” is an evening of beautiful imagery, evocative music, and bold movement as poets, dancers, and actors deliver a celebratory and affecting performance that draws the audience into taboo subjects of sexual politics, same-sex love, and gender nonconformity. Admission is $20. BAAD!, 841 Barretto St., btwn. Garrison & Lafayette Aves., Hunts Point (#6 train to Hunts Point Ave.). More information at

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, 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. 28-30, 8 p.m.; Mar. 30-31, 2 p.m. Tickets are $35-$75 at or 800-838-3006.


CABARET Drag Queens Discolor the Great White Way

In “Distorted Broadway,” Dallas DuBois and her merry band of drag stars — whose “Distorted Diznee” has developed a cult following — put a bawdy twist on your favorite show tunes and theater classics. DuBois is joined by Holly Dae, Bootsie LeFaris, Pixie Aventura, and Tina Burner. Laurie Beechman Theatre, West Beth Café, 407 W. 42nd St. Mar. 29, Apr. 12 & 26, May 10, 10 p.m. The cover charge is $15, with a $15 food & drink minimum. For reservations, visit


COMEDY Let’s Have A Kiki

Hosts Jessica Rionero (The GLOC, Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy) and Madonna Refugia (Mani/ Pedi) return with their comedy/ variety party, tonight featuring comedians Jenny Jaffe, Rose Surnow, Emmy Blotnick, and Glennis McCarthy. The funny ladies are joined by Eliot Glazer (“It Gets Betterish”) and drag superstar Lauren Ordair. The PIT Mainstage Theater, 123 E. 24th St. Mar. 30, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.

PERFORMANCE Gender-Bending Beauty Contest

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. 30, 9:30 p.m. Admission is $25 at, plus a $12 food & drink minimum for table seating. Call 212-967-7555 for a table reservation.


THE WEB Goodbye, Williamsburg

The hit web series “The Outs,” which Gay City News’ Duncan Osborne hailed as a “a refreshing and authentic story” about teh gays — in this case, a 20-something Williamsburg guy, his ex, and his ex’s best gal pal — premieres its seventh and final episode, “Over It” (also known as “The Chankukah Special,” airing on Easter Sunday mind you). Adam Goldman, director, producer, and one of the stars, along with the rest of the cast and crew, will be on hand to present the episode and answer questions. DJ Accident Report performs after the screening. Public Assembly, 70 North Sixth St., btwn. Kent & Wythe Aves., Williamsburg. Mar. 31, 8 p.m. Admission is free. More information at

MUSIC Caruso & Stritch Return

Jim Caruso, who recently made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the Tony-winning “Liza’s At


SUN.MAR.31, continued on p.39


| March 27, 2013


SUN.MAR.31, from p.38

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. 31, 9 p.m. Bar seating is $15; tables at $25. More information at

COMMUNITY Sigourney Weaver: Divine Geek Muse

Geeks OUT, founded in 2010 to rally, empower, and promote the queer geek community and challenge homophobia and other geek misconceptions, hosts “Dream Weaver,” a gala event honoring Sigourney Weaver (currently appearing on Broadway in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”) as a queer geek icon and muse. The centerpiece of the event will be a gallery exhibition and raffle of original works donated by artists from across the nerdverse, celebrating the legendary actress’ unparalleled contributions to geek culture and real-life advocacy for LGBT equality. Contributing artists include Abby Denson, Philip Bonneau, Chad Sell, Rogan Josh, Zach Weiner, Tim Goldman, Spencer James Salberg, Alison Kolarik, Andrew Heath, Jesse Lonergan, Bill Roundy, and David Cowles. Holy Apostles Episcopal Church, 296 Ninth at 28th St. Apr. 4, 7-10 p.m. Admission is $10. You must be 21 for the gala, but the artwork can be previewed by all ages, 6-7 p.m.



THEATER Macbeth All Alone

PERFORMANCE Beauty & Burlesque

Bettina May invites you enter a world of glamorous women, dashing men, and indulgent cocktails, delighting your senses with a mix of burlesque, magic, and other hedonistic spectacles. Tonight she is joined by LA starlets Lux La Croix, New York boylesque star Go-Go Harder, and host Albert Cadabra, the Great Deceiver. Beauty Bar, 231 E. 14th St. Apr. 1, 10 p.m. Come early and indulge in Beauty Bar’s Martini and Manicure. The show is free with a drink in hand. More information at

COMEDY Fruits In Season


In tonight’s installment of “Homo Comicus,” Bob Montgomery hosts an evening of fruit juicy standup from the top bananas of New York’s gay and queerfriendly comedy scene, including the inimitable Judy Gold, killer curmudgeon Jackie Hoffman, and bad boy wonder Brian Balthazar. Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St. Apr. 3, 8:30 p.m. The cover charge is $20, with a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-367-9000.

Tom Gaultie returns in “That Play: A Solo Macbeth,” the 85-minute Shakespeare adaptation that he wrote with Heather Hill, who directs. Music is by Erin Hall. With 19 characters — including Macbeth and his infamous Lady, the three weird sisters, no fewer than four terrifying apparitions, and a slew of Scottish lords and ladies — what could be more fun than murder, mayhem, suicide, and revenge? Gay City News critic Christopher Byrne raved, “It is an insightful and moving commentary on political power, intrigue, and ambition… Gualtieri is masterful playing each part with clarity and specificity. He manages the range of outsized emotions that characterize Shakespeare’s bloody play, but remains endearing and charming as himself… His intensity is mesmerizing and his understanding of the language is impressive.” Stage Left Studio, 214 W. 30 St., sixth fl. Apr. 4, 11 & 18, May 2, 9, 16, 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at


NIGHTLIFE The Most Fabulous Thousand Gowns

Taylor Dayne headlines the 27th annual Night of a Thousand Gowns, the Imperial Court of New York’s gala dinner dance and fundraiser that has raised millions for LGBT, HIV/ AIDS, and youth enrichment causes. The beneficiaries of this year’s regal event, at which the new ICNY emperor and empress will be crowned, are Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Past beneficiaries include the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), LIFEbeat (Music Industry Fights AIDS), Children's Hope Foundation, Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, Bailey House, amfAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research), Body Positive, and the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. Tonight’s performers also include Chad Michaels, a winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Broadway actress and singer Karen Mason, Marty Thomas and Diva, recording artist Daniel Patrick Ellis, and the cast of the OffBroadway hit “Forbidden Broadway, Alive and Kicking!” The Hilton New York, Sixth Ave. at 54th St. Apr. 6, 6 p.m.-midnight. Tickets begin at $400 at

MUSIC Taking a Chance on Vernon Duke

He was best friends with both American Songbook icon George Gershwin and Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. Songs like his “April in Paris“ (with Yip Harburg), “Taking a Chance on Love” (with John Latouche and Ted Fetter), “I Can’t Get Started” (with Ira Gershwin), and “Autumn in New York” are standards. His musical “Cabin in the Sky,” starring Ethel Waters in both stage and film versions, was a big hit. And yet Vernon Duke is an enigma, according to David Loud, artistic director for “Taking a Chance on Love: The Music of Vernon Duke.” Loud is joined by vocalists Heidi Blickenstaff, James Clow, Rebecca Luker, Erin Mackey, and Matthew Scott. Dancers Kylie Shea Lewallen and Michaeljon Slinger appear in a performance of a number from Duke’s first-ever theatrical production, the Diaghilev-commissioned ballet “Zéphyr et Flore,” staged in the 1925 season of Ballets Russes. 92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, Lexington Ave. at 92nd St. Apr. 6, 8 p.m.; Apr. 7, 2 & 7 p.m.; Apr. 8, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $52-$68 at; $25 for those 35 at


DANCE Decidedly Outside the Box

New Dance Alliance presents the 27th annual “Performance Mix,” a week-long festival featuring 25 outside-the-box performance and video dance artists. Highlights include International Artists in Residence Mayday/ Melanie Demers presenting “Goodbye” as seen at the Festival Transamerique in Montreal; from France, the compagnie à contre poil du sens/ Matthieu Hocquemillers’ “Bonne Nouvelles”; Valerie Striar’s newly completed work “Marguerite and Robert, part 2”; and a sneak peek at Karen Bernard’s “Suspending and Other Tricks.” The Flea Theater, 41 White St., btwn. Church St. & Broadway. Apr. 8-14. Closing party on Apr. 14 at DNA’s Loft, 182 Duane St., btwn. Hudson & Greenwich Sts. For a complete schedule and performance ticket purchase at $15 ($10 for students & seniors), visit or call 212352-3101.


GALLERY The Early Work of Paul Thek

The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art opens a groundbreaking new exhibition:, “Paul Thek and His Circle in the 1950s,” which for the first time examines the iconic American artist as a young man, placing him within a group of friends and lovers that provided an adoring audience and creative influence for his earliest works. The exhibition will cover the period of this artist’s work from 1954 to 1964, presenting a rare insight into Paul Thek’s world. Thek became both famous and infamous in the midto-late 1960s for his “Meat Pieces” (handmade slabs of realistic-looking flesh encased in plastic), but the work he created earlier in his career revealed a very different artist — a precociously sensitive draftsman who captured his lover asleep naked, making work



that was both openly gay and often manifestly erotic. The exhibit is co-curated by gay art scholar Jonathan David Katz and set designer Peter Harvey, with whom Paul Thek had an early romantic relationship and a life-long friendship. 26 Wooster St., btwn. Grand & Canal Sts. Apr. 12-Jul. 7; Tue.-Sun., noon-6 p.m. Opening reception is Apr. 12, 6-8 p.m. For more information, visit

MUSIC The Wizardry of Stephen Schwartz

With “The Wizard and I: The Musical Journey of Stephen Schwartz,” the New York Pops continues its 30th season in an evening celebrating Schwartz’s 65th birthday and the 10th anniversary of his hit musical “Wicked.” Music director and conductor Steven Reineke oversees an evening that features Tony Award nominee Jeremy Jordan (“Newsies”), Tony nominee Norm Lewis (“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”), Drama Desk Award nominee Julia Murney (“The Wild Party”), Tony nominee Jennifer Laura Thompson (“Urinetown”), and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA. Selections include some of Schwartz’s most well-known stage and screen works, including “Magic To Do” from “Pippin,” “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas,” “The Spark of Creation” from “Children of Eden,” and “The Wizard and I” and “For Good” from “Wicked.” Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/ Perelman Stage, 57th St. at Seventh Ave. Apr. 12, 8 p.m. Tickets are $37 to $108 at or 212-247-7800.


BOOKS Words in Lavender

The Rainbow Book Fair, an annual gathering of more than 100 exhibitors, authors, poets, and publishers, will once again prove that questions about the relevance of books and even the written word in the 21st century are, in themselves, irrelevant. A non-stop Poetry Salon, curated by Nathaniel Siegel and Regie Cabico, will feature readings by more than 75 poets. Panels on topics including poetry and prose, trans fiction, queer Asian-American writing, and queer sleuths feature writers and poets Perry Brass, Lesléa Newman, Trebor Healey, Alfred Corn, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Tom Leger, Imogen Binnie, Ryka Aoki, Terence Diamond, Ocean Vuong, Viet Dinh, Jai Sen, Amos Lassen, Joel Gomez-Dossi, Daniel W. Kelly, Jesse J. Thomas, Rob Byrnes, and Marshall Thornton. The day also includes appearances by Sarah Schulman and Emanuel Xavier. Holiday Inn Midtown, 440 W. 57th St. Apr. 13, noon-6 p.m. For more information, visit

David 40

March 27, 2013 |

APR 17â&#x20AC;&#x201D;21

Photo: Ana Quintans and Pascal Charbonneau, by Artcomart/P. Victor

William Christie Les Arts Florissants


Jonathas By Marc-Antoine Charpentier / Les Arts Florissants / An Aix-en-Provence Festival production Conducted by William Christie / Directed by Andreas Homoki BAM 2013 Winter/Spring Season sponsor:

Brooklyn, NY / 718.636.4100 / Tickets start at $30

Adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas

Leadership support provided by Ronald P. Stanton and The Delancey Foundation, and

Major support provided by:

Gay City News  

March 26, 2013

Gay City News  

March 26, 2013