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FREE voLUME Twelve, ISSUE TWELVE JUNE 5 - 25, 2013

GENDA Down to Wire 07 Chris Yon, Taryn Griggs Return 17 Meningitis Dollars Vanish 04 How Gay is Douglas Carter Beane? 30

Unbowed in Uganda

Safeguarding Brave Hearts

Pages 24 & 25


June 5, 2013 |


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Speak to us, Governor 28

32, 35

| June 5, 2013



Acknowledging the Grief AIDS Still Holds ACT UP veterans plan Manhattan gathering six months after a stunning loss BY PAUL SCHINDLER


or Alan Klein, a breaking point of sorts came last December with the death of longtime AIDS activist Spencer Cox due to complications related to the virus. The same was true for many others who fought alongside Cox and Klein in ACT UP during the late 1980s and into the ‘90s. “Some people are markers that stand for so many other people that we lost,” Klein said this week. “If you talk to people at ACT UP, there are always seminal deaths that stand for the deaths of so many others. There is no way for a 20-something’s mind to absorb all those deaths.” During a weekend early this year in which ACT UP veterans and other friends and family of Cox came together to honor his life and achievements, particularly in the area of treatment advances, Klein and others recognized a powerful bond of shared grief. “We realized we missed each other,” he said. “We missed our sense of shared community. It was a healing experience.” Klein and others talked about those feelings then and have continued doing so since. One result of that dialogue will be a June 22 event at 49 Grove — the ACT UP/ NY (Just Don’t Call It a Reunion) Reunion.

“It’s something we went through as young people,” he said. “People in their 20s who had this hope that we could end the AIDS crisis as our friends were dying around us. And suddenly it was gone. We didn’t know we had to deal with this. We didn’t know it would come back.” Sometimes these sorts of issues are talked about in terms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, depression. Sometimes, anxiety disorder. In fact, eight years ago, Cox himself began to focus in on the aftermath of so much tragedy in the lives of so many young gay men. Founding the Medius Institute for Gay Men’s Health, he sought to examine the role depression, HIV, and aging play in the lives of post-plague gay men and how a holistic response can be crafted. Lack of funding and his own struggles with HIV, depression, and crystal meth use got in the way, but others today hope to pick up the Cox’s research torch. His friend John Voelker wrote “perhaps now is the time to resuscitate the research that Medius advocated for,” and last month hundreds turned out for a Manhattan town hall meeting to discuss what science can teach gay men about the issues they face. Klein applauded those efforts, but said they represent “the science side of the coin.” The June 22 event, he said, “is about the feelings themselves.” In discussing an

The “(Just Don’t Call It a Reunion)” business, Klein explained, has several different meanings. First, ACT UP/NY is still around — and with HIV transmission rates up among gay and bisexual men, the epidemic is not over nor, at least in terms of infections if not survival, is it even in retreat. Just as importantly, the word “reunion” — especially one that takes place in as slick a venue as 49 Grove — suggests a fleeting social moment in people’s lives, perhaps on par with the evening the aging Weismann Girls shared in Sondheim’s “Follies.” Klein, who chairs the planning committee for the event, struggled to say specifically what the (Just Don’t Call It a Reunion) Reunion will be and mean, but he and others clearly are thinking about it as something more than simply a bunch of old friends hanging out for an evening. “In the wake of Spencer’s death, a lot of us from ACT UP realized we were growing apart, moving into middle age,” he said. “It wasn’t only that we were mourning the death of Spencer, but also mourning the loss of this community, and in many cases it was more than a community but also a family.” Klein suspects that the emotions stirred by Cox’s death are part of a process few would have suspected 20 or more years ago.

event not steeped in research and empirical results, Klein said he was eager not to offer any pat theories that “pathologize” the emotional experiences of his peers. “Medius is trying to define what that is,” he said. “I will leave it to the experts.” Klein needs no expert, however, to tell him that what he has experienced in recent months is profound. “What we’re feeling inside is not a passing emotional pang,” he said, his voice leaving no doubt about the intensity of the feelings. The goal of the June 22 event is “to create a safe space for people to talk about these serious issues or about what they’ve been doing for the past number of years,” he said. “Maybe it will be a reboot of our experience in ACT UP.” As a “community building event,” Klein could not say where the reunion might lead. There could be similar events going forward. Or smaller events focused on specific ideas. Or maybe just movie nights out or dinner parties. But, after a kick-off event that he expects will draw ACT UP veterans from across the country, “We’re going to keep people posted. It’s really exciting in that sense.” For more information on the ACT UP/NY (Just Don’t Call It a Reunion) Reunion, visit


"The past is neither dead nor past," said Louise Mirrer, the president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, paraphrasing the character Gavin Stevens in the William Faulkner novel "Requiem for a Nun.” "We see its effects everywhere." Mirrer made her remarks on May 31 at a press preview for a new exhibition at the Society’s Museum & Library, “AIDS in New York: The First Five Years.” The exhibition, which covers the period immediately after the onslaught of the epidemic in 1981, includes critical early documents, such as Dr. Lawrence Mass’ coverage in the New York Native that predated the first story in the New York Times by almost two months as well as the first safe-sex pamphlet ever distributed, which was created by Michael Callen, Richard Berkowitz, and Dr. Joseph Sonnabend. The years chronicled, Society officials emphasized, preceded the explosion of mass activism that began with ACT UP in 1987. "You've all seen silence equals death and this is essentially the years of the silence," said Jean Ashton, the exhibition’s curator. The materials on display were assembled from NewYork Historical’s archives as well as those of the New Only slowly did the silence end: the flyer for the first AIDS vigils; York Public Library, New York University, and the National the crowd assembled in Manhattan in May 1983; and the Archive of LGBT History at Manhattan’s LGBT Community appearance of the quilt in Washington. Center. The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library ( is located at 170 Central Park West at 76th New York Public Library exhibition, “Why We Fight: AIDS Street. The exhibition runs June 7 through September 15. Activism and American Culture,” which will run from The later period of AIDS activism will be the subject of a October 4 through April 6 of next year.




June 5, 2013 |


Quinn Consultation With Jewish Group on Center Palestinian Policy Bared BY DUNCAN OSBORNE


he Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC) may have played a role in crafting a statement issued earlier this year by gay and lesbian elected officials that voiced approval of the LGBT Community Center’s new space rental policy while excoriating opponents of Israeli gover nment policies on Palestine. The statement was issued on February 15, the same day the Community Center announced it was lifting a two-year-old ban on renting space to groups that organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The ban was instituted in 2011 following objections to pro-Palestinian groups meeting there. The ban was ended following a ferocious outcry this year when author Sarah Schulman was barred from reading from her book “Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International.” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn issued the statement and was joined by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. The Center is within the districts represented by Quinn, Hoylman, and Glick. Van Bramer chairs the City Council committee that oversees institutions such as the Center. The Center, which declined to comment, effectively returned to the space

rental policy that was in place in 2011 before it instituted the ban, which is that it reserves the right to rent or not rent space to any group. All groups must now sign a pledge that promises they will not engage in hate speech when meeting in the Center. The Center also created a way to lodge complaints about hate speech. The elected officials approved of the new space rental policy, but half of the four -paragraph document attacked the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement that targets Israel as “wrongheaded, destructive, and an obstacle to our collective hope for a peaceful two-state solution,” and disputed the charge that the Jewish state engages in “pinkwashing,” the practice of pointing to its pro-gay laws to defend against accusations it is abusing Palestinians. A copy of the statement was sent to the JCRC moments before it was released publicly, according to records that Gay City News obtained under the state Freedom of Information Law. Minutes later, Michael Miller, the JCRC's executive vice president and CEO, wrote to Quinn via email saying of the statement, “Bravo and thanks. Shabbat Shalom!” A February 20 article in the Jewish Daily Forward paraphrased a JCRC staffer saying “that the speaker’s office had a brief, routine consultation with the JCRC about the statement before it was issued.”


Jewish Community Relations Council leader thanked speaker for elected officials’ joint public statement

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at a recent City Hall press conference.

The JCRC is the leading mainstream Jewish voice in New York City and a powerful defender of Israel. It has funded trips to Israel for elected officials, including three for Quinn since 2007. Many local, state, and federal of ficeholders are publicly allied with the group. The JCRC is not known to have any interest in queer community politics, so its inclusion in a discussion about the Center’s space rental policy was peculiar. Jamie McShane, a Quinn spokesman, said forwarding the statement to the JCRC was not unusual. “The reason for that is that as a matter of professional courtesy we will

often let advocacy organizations know that we are putting out a statement so they will hear about it from us first,” he told Gay City News. Miller made a similar assertion. “As you are likely aware, it is quite common that before a statement on a public issue is made public, so as not to be blindsided, advocates or concerned parties are sent an advanced copy of that statement,” he wrote in an email. “I presume that is why a copy of the joint statement was forwarded to us shortly before it was released.” Schulman and members of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA), one of two groups originally banned, were taken aback. “It is appalling that organizations that fund propaganda trips for the occupation of Palestine are setting city policy regarding the free speech of New Yorkers,” Schulman wrote in an email. “Once again, Quinn is on the wrong side of justice.” In a statement, QAIA members were equally censorious. “We’re well aware that the pro-Israel lobby is a strong force in NYC politics and that Chris Quinn is a politician, not a community leader,” the statement read. “But as human rights activism against Israeli apartheid takes root in New York, we have been truly disgusted to see her do the JCRC’s bidding in silencing queer voices and human rights activists, and in turning LGBT institutions against both.”


Meningitis Budget Line Zeroed Out for 2014 After spending at least $272,000 on vaccines, no allocation for further health department spending BY DUNCAN OSBORNE


hough it recently increased the population of gay and bisexual men who should get vaccinated for meningitis from 10,000 to between 30,000 and 100,000, New York City’s health department zeroed out its budget for responding to the meningitis outbreak for the next fiscal year. “The idea of cutting any resources that could allow us to get ahead of the meningitis outbreak is shocking, if only because Mayor Bloomberg has worked hard to make public health a signature part of his legacy,” wrote Sean Barry, a director of VOCAL-NY,

in an email. “The amount we’re talking about is a rounding error in the health department’s budget.” The community organizing group, which works to end the HIV epidemic, first noticed that the proposed city budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins on July 1, cuts the entire $136,044 for a line item titled “meningitis outbreak.” There was no such line item in the 2013 city budget as originally adopted. The health department spent $204,000 in city tax levy dollars and $68,000 in federal vaccine funds to buy 4,000 doses of vaccine last year, according to records Gay City News obtained under the state Freedom of Information Law. It is not known if

the agency has purchased any new vaccine doses. It spent an unknown amount on palm cards and website ads to alert men about the outbreak. In a statement, the health department would not say how much it has spent or how the cut will affect its vaccination plans. “We continue to dedicate substantial time, effort, and resources to educate the target population and stakeholders, supply and administer vaccines, assist community partners, and investigate the outbreak,” the statement read. The department wrote that there is an “ample supply of vaccine in New York City” and that vaccinations are available from private doctors and

public and private clinics. The proposed health department budget overall is $1.33 billion, which is down from the modified 2013 budget of $1.68 billion. The meningitis line item cut comes as the health department expanded the population it wants to vaccinate. On October 16 of last year, roughly two weeks after the health department disclosed the meningitis outbreak among men who have sex with men, a senior health department official told a gathering of doctors that the department hoped to vaccinate 10,000 men. At last official count, 10,209 people had been vaccinated though that


MENINGITIS, continued on p.13


| June 5, 2013


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The Weeks Wind Down for GENDA, AIDS Rent Relief Advocates focus on State Senate, Cuomo as Legislature nears adjournment BY PAUL SCHINDLER



ith the State Legislature expected to end its 2013 session in less than thr ee weeks, two long-stalled measures affecting the LGBT community face, at best, uncertain prospects. The potential hold-up, in both cases, appears to be on the Senate side. Ever since the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act was approved by the Legislature in late 2002, transgender rights advocates have pressed Albany to redress what was left out that year — anti-bias protections in state human rights law based on gender identity and expression. The measure has cleared the Assembly numerous times since 2008, but once again it is unknown if the measure will even get a floor vote in the Senate. “We remain very optimistic and committed to seeing it pass through the Senate in this session,” Nathan Schaefer, the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), told Gay City News on June 4. Schaefer acknowledged, however, that there are “always a multiplicity of issues” facing the Legislature in the final days of a session, and said he could not spell out a specific path to success. That’s not for lack of trying. In tandem with its recent Equality and Justice Day lobbying in Albany, ESPA launched a $250,000 media drive that included print, radio, and Internet ads focused on legislators in Albany as well as key target districts around the state.

State Senator Daniel Squadron, seen at a recent forum for city public advocate candidates, continues to make the case for GENDA, but is mum on where other key Albany players are on the issue.

The drive for the bill has won editorial support from newspapers across the state, and advocates have also enjoyed assists from top law enforcement officials — including James Sheppard, the chief of police in Rochester, and Steven Krokoff, his counterpart in Albany — who aggressively knocked down criticism from opponents of transgender civil rights protections that such laws create public safety problems in locations such as bathrooms and locker rooms. Despite the lack of evidence that such issues have arisen anywhere, the charge has been an emotional rallying cry on the right. Asked about the lobbying drive just weeks ago, Melissa Sklarz, a leading transgender activist who is president of the Stonewall Democrats of New York City, told the newspaper, “I think there’s been a wonderful concerted

effort.” This week, however, she said, “I’ve heard no feedback from anyone in the Senate… Honestly, I’ve got nothing for you today.” The closest GENDA ever came to reaching the full Senate was in 2010, when the Democrats wer e in the majority and the Judiciary Committee took up the bill, only to see if fall short when Bronx Democrat Ruben Diaz, Sr., an implacable foe of the LGBT community, joined every committee Republican to block it from getting any further consideration. This year, the Senate is under the control of a group made up of 30 Republicans, a freshman Democrat from Brooklyn, and another four Democrats banded together under the title of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). Though some Republicans are said to favor GENDA, if their party

held an outright majority in the Senate, it is unclear whether their leader, Dean Skelos from Nassau County, would ask the full GOP conference to do what it did two years ago on mar riage equality — allow a floor vote even with most of its members opposed to the issue. Many advocates have pinned their hopes on getting the IDC, whose four members all support GENDA, to use their influence as a junior partner in the governing coalition to wrest an agreement to bring the measure to the floor. Schaefer said that could be a route to success. “With power sharing there are a number of different paths to the floor,” he said. “We’re not exactly sure yet which is the best path. There are a few options.” But the two New York City members of the IDC — Diane Savino of Staten Island and Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx — are Stonewall endorsees and therefore senators Sklarz might reasonably expect to hear from if they were making GENDA a priority. Off the record, numerous advocates have complained that the rump group of Democrats have not pushed the measure in their discussions with Skelos and his fellow Republicans. Neither Skelos nor Savino — whose visibility in the push for marriage equality was sky high after her floor speech in a 2009 debate circulated on YouTube — returned phone calls seeking comment. One advocate, who insisted on anonymity, told Gay City News that when they pressed Savino on the issue at a recent gathering, she


GENDA, continued on p.9


Confidentiality Ordered for Licensing of Transgender Professional Westchester judge directs State Education Department to eliminate any record linking Jane Doe to John Doe past BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


ne rarely discussed side effect of gender transition is the difficulty a transgender person may encounter while trying to continue their professional career after obtaining legal recognition of their new gender. A New York Supreme Court judge i n We s t c h e s t e r C o u n t y h a s n o w

addressed one issue arising out of that situation in a ruling he characterized as “apparently one of national first impression” — that is, one previously unaddressed by a US court. On May 16, Justice Sam D. Walker ordered the New York State Education Department to “issue a new professional license and license number to Jane Doe and to conceal from the public any cross reference to the prior license held

by John Doe.” Walker also ruled that the department is prohibited “from making available for public inspection or copying all records relating to the prior identity of Jane Doe, her name change, or any references or cross references to her old license, including this Court order and all related cor respondence between petitioner, his counsel, and the New York State Education Department.”

The judge also ordered that the record of the court proceeding be sealed, only to be opened by court order “for good cause shown or at the request of Jane Doe.” The court’s opinion was published online by the New York Law Journal on June 3. In line with the need for confidenti-


TRANSGENDER, continued on p.10


June 5, 2013 |


Council, Anti-Violence Agency Announce Self-Defense Push After month of homophobic violence, Park Slope training center to offer free workshops citywide n response to a wave of antigay violence that included the May 18 murder of Mark Carson in the West Village, the New York City Council has announced a series of free self-defense trainings to be held in at least three boroughs in coming weeks. The trainings were announced by the Council’s four out LGBT members at a press conference just prior to the annual Queens LGBT Pride Parade in Jackson Heights on June 2. The trainings will be led by the Center for Anti-Violence Education, a Park Slope-based group that provides self-defense education primarily to women, members of the LGBT community, and youth. “Our free self-defense classes will teach violence prevention strategies to New Yorkers and will provide the community with the tools they need to stay safe,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said at the press conference. Daniel Dromm, the Council member who represents Jackson Heights, added, “As an openly gay elected official representing a district with one of the highest LGBT populations in the city, I urge everyone in the community to attend these potentially life-saving self-defense trainings.” The trainings, designed as one-time workshops, will begin on June 8, with a 4 p.m. session at the LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, room 101. A second session will take place on June 12 at 7 p.m. at the Hudson Guild Elliot Center at 441




At the June 2 Queens LGBT Pride Parade, elected officials, including State Senator Brad Hoylman, Comptroller John Liu, and Councilmembers Letitia James, Daniel Dromm, Christine Quinn, and Jimmy Van Bramer, paused for a moment of silence to commemorate the recent victims of anti-gay violence.

community in the 1980s in tandem with the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP). The group offers workshops specifically geared to transgender people and also ones structured more generally for anyone who is LGBT. That second group draws mainly gay men, Hobson said, since many of CAE’s other offerings serve women. Over the years, CAE has partnered with more than 80 organi zations with programs tailored to the needs of specific communities, according to Hobson. As incidents of anti-gay violence mounted in May, many in the community began to talk about the need to protect themselves in public places. After Eugene Lovendusky, a member of the grassroots group Queer Rising, was punched in the face in an anti-gay

West 26th Street. Space at these trainings can be reserved by calling 212-788-5613 or emailing According to Tracy Hobson, CAE’s executive director, the group is planning at least one free LGBT -focused training in Brooklyn and one in Queens in the near future, and hopes to do one in each of the five boroughs. She emphasized that the one-session training is intended as an introduction to basic self-defense tools, and that CAE can provide more intensive training at its space at 327 Seventh Avenue, second floor, at Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. The fees charged by the group for its classes are based on a sliding scale pegged to income. CAE, Hobson said, first began offering self-defense trainings to the LGBT

attack in Times Square late in the evening of May 24, he said he discussed the launch of self-defense training with Quinn’s office. A week later, the Council’s LGBT caucus made its announcement. Demands for community selfempower ment have popped up in social media as well. Desmond Cadogan recently announced the launch of Faggots Fight Back on Facebook and has garnered about 300 followers. According to the group’s Facebook page, an FFB contingent will march in the June 20 LGBT Pride Parade in Manhattan. In a more traditional response, Quinn’s office announced the deployment of additional police officers, cruisers, mounted personnel, and plainclothes units throughout the West Village, at least through the end of Pride Month. AVP and the City Council are planning an LGBT Community Safety Forum for later in June. On May 29, the Council also acted to provide greater protection for LGBT youth housed in city juvenile facilities created under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new Close to Home Initiative. That program allows juvenile detainees to be housed in non-secure or limited security facilities in the city so that they can be closer to their families and communities. The Council measure, passed 48-0, requires the Administration for Children’s Services to collect data on LGBT youth in such facilities who are targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity if they voluntary disclose that information to authorities.



Fabian Ortiz, left, and Pedro Jimenez, right, with their Spanish-language interpreter, at their May 22 arraignment.

Two men accused in a gay-bashing incident in Soho, who appeared at their arraignments in Manhattan Criminal Court after 1 a.m. on May 22, were charged with assault as a hate crime after they allegedly punched a man in the face just after 5 a.m. on May 21 on Broadway near Houston Street. Assistant District Attorney Lauren Manso read the criminal complaint against the two men. She said Fabian Ortiz, 32, called the victim, 42-year-old Steven Dixon, a “gay fag” in Spanish as he put his arm around him. Defense lawyer Kira Treyvus, representing Ortiz, said he has a job as a dishwasher in a deli and has a three-year-old child. Attorney Bret J. Taylor said his client, Pedro Jimenez, 23, has been in the US for four years and this was his first arrest. Jimenez lives with his brother in Brooklyn and is a full-time restaurant cook in Manhattan. Taylor said he took pictures of Jimenez’s hands and

asserted that, even though he was accused of beating the victim, there were no discolorations or bruises on his hands. Both lawyers discounted Dixon’s claims, noting he was much taller than the two defendants. The accused men did not speak during the hearing. Dixon was with 41-year-old Michael Coleman at the time he was allegedly attacked. Judge Laura R. Johnson set bail for each man at $2,000 bond or $750 cash, and said if they make bail, they had to surrender their passports. They were remanded into custody. The alleged attack was one of a rash of recent gay-bashing incidents in Manhattan. The most serious came just after midnight on May 18, when Elliot Morales, 33, allegedly uttered anti-gay epithets at Mark Carson, 32, before shooting him in the face, killing him, just east of the corner of Eighth Street and Sixth Avenue. — Jefferson Siegel


| June 5, 2013


GENDA, from p.7

responded, “You’ll have to speak to the governor.” The absence of forceful advocacy by Andrew Cuomo, who was the star player in the 2011 marriage fight, has also been widely noted. Housing Works, the AIDS services group that shares leadership on the coalition pressing for GENDA with ESPA, last week held a phone zap of the governor’s office. According to Sunny Bjerk, communications manager at Housing Works, the group is “asking him to use his power to leverage a vote on GENDA. We are especially stressing the point that he has forgotten the ‘T’ in LGBT and that progress goes beyond mar riage equality.” According to Sklarz, efforts aimed at Cuomo have availed no more than those targeting the Senate. “There certainly has been no feedback from the governor,” she said. “They haven’t r eached out to me recently.” Schaefer was noncommittal on Cuomo’s role, saying simply, “The governor has said that he is supportive. We’ve spoken to his staff and they seem to be understanding of the need for the bill.” GENDA’s lead Senate sponsor, Democrat Daniel Squadron, who represents Lower Manhattan and portions of Brooklyn, also sidestepped specific comment on what role, if any, other parties — including the GOP, the IDC, and the governor — are playing in the drive to bring the bill across the finish line. "Now more than ever it's vital that New York sends a strong message that intolerance, discrimination, and hate have no place here or anywhere,” Squadron said in an email message. “It's time to finally pass GENDA so that New York provides all people with the fairness and dignity they deserve." The governor’s office did not return an email message seeking comment. Advocates have been keeping up the pressure with phone-banking aimed at target districts. While ESPA’s Schaefer emphasized, “We believe that we have a good shot,” Bjerk warned that if the bill is not approved this month, “I suspect we protest in a Housing Workscivil disobedience sort of way.” If supporters of GENDA continue to press ahead, those pushing for rent relief for people living with AIDS seem reconciled to 2013 likely being another dead end. Dating back at least to 2006, advocates have tried to close an anomaly in housing aid to certain clients of the city’s HIV/ AIDS Housing Administration (HASA), by providing sufficient support so that their out-ofpocket rents are no more than 30 percent of their monthly income. Such a cap already exists for tenants in public and congregate care housing — but not to those in the private rental mar-

ket. A 2010 estimate by VOCAL-NY, a group that does political organizing among HIV-positive people, found that as many as 11,000 people could be affected by the rent cap legislation. According to VOCAL, HASA clients without such rent protection pay as much as 70 percent of their income on housing and are left with just over $350 each month — or about $12 a day — to provide for their other needs. Both chambers of the Legislature passed the rent cap in 2010, but Governor David Paterson, during his final months in office, vetoed the bill. Last year, the Senate, which had earlier approved the measure by a lopsided margin, defeated it in a 27-26 vote, a turnabout that advocates attributed to fierce opposition by the Bloomberg administration, which has consistently maintained the cap would cost more than $30 million annually, a figure that the city and state would have to bear equally. Advocates, in response, have argued that any cost would be offset by public health savings from keeping people with AIDS in their homes, and the City Council has produced its own analysis that pegs the fiscal impact much closer to the advocates’ claims that those of the mayor’s office. The legislation’s chief Albany sponsors, VOCAL-NY, and other advocates held a press conference on June 4 to signal their intention to keep fighting until the end of session, but out gay State Senator Brad Hoylman, a West Side Democrat, told Gay City News, “Mayor Bloomberg’s opposition makes Senate passage this session very challenging given his strong ties to GOP leadership. I've been strategizing with leaders of the effort, and there is widespread agreement that this year's mayoral race is going to be very important for the future of this legislation.” In an email message, VOCAL’s Sean Barry, while saying his group “would like to see the bill pass both chambers this session,” also wrote, “We can see light at the end of the tunnel with Bloomberg on his way out. His administration has been the single biggest reason why the rent cap hasn't become law.” Barry noted that every Democratic mayoral contender has endorsed the 30 percent legislation, with the exception of newcomer candidate Anthony Weiner. Mindful of Paterson’s 2010 veto, Barry said demonstrating “broadbased support” was critical to advocates’ discussions about the bill with the executive branch. “The Cuomo administration has told us they’re interested in exploring the issue as part of the Medicaid reform process, which has been their main vehicle for making new investments in housing for people with chronic health issues,” Barry said.




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June 5, 2013 |


Florida Appeals Panels Disagree If Gay Sex is “Intercourse” State Supreme Court asked to resolve conflict in cases involving non-disclosure of HIV status BY ARTHUR S. LEoNaRD


oes “sexual intercourse” — as the term is used in provisions of Florida law that make it a crime for a person who knows he is infected with HIV to engage in it without disclosing this fact — include anal or oral intercourse between men? Two Florida District Courts of Appeal disagree on this question, and on May 31, the Fifth District certified the question to the State Supreme Court for resolution. The state filed charges against D.C., an HIV-positive gay man, accusing him of engaging in intercourse without notifying his partner, though the Fifth District ruling does not clarify whether the case involved unprotected sex or even whether it was anal or oral sex. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, contending that the term “sexual intercourse” as used in the law referred only to vaginal intercourse involving a man and a woman. Marion County Circuit Judge Hale R. Stancil, finding himself bound by the only Florida appellate decision on point, out of the Second District, granted the motion to dismiss, and the prosecutor appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal. In the earlier Second District case, the trial judge had refused to dismiss the charges, and the gay defendant appealed, convincing the Second District Court of



ality, Walker’s opinion does not specify what professional license is at issue, other than noting that the petitioner’s profession involves interaction with construction contractors and construction trades workers. The petitioner, who was already launched in a professional career, underwent gender transition from male to female and obtained a court order changing her name on August 2 of last year. She then applied to the State Education Department to have her professional license reissued under a new number in her new name, and to have her old license and all references to it eliminated from the department’s records. The department denied her request, asserting that doing so would under mine it’s mandate to “protect the public who have a right to deter mine the credentials and/ or disciplinary history of individuals who may provide or have provided

Appeal that the term “sexual inter course,” as used without specific definition in the statute, meant exclusively conduct involving penile penetration of a vagina. When Bill Clinton asserted, “I did not have sex with that woman” in response to allegations he engaged in oral sex with Monica Lewinsky, the press was full of comments from people who did not consider oral sex to be actual “sex” because it could not lead to pregnancy. By definition, then, many people do not consider gay sex to be “real sex.” In a similar vein, in some marriage equality litigation, opponents have argued that it is impossible for a same-sex marriage to be “consummated” because “sexual intercourse” as traditionally under stood is necessary for that. D.C. encountered a different response from the Fifth District Court of Appeal, in an opinion for the unanimous three-judge panel by Judge William D. Palmer. “Both parties maintain that the Legislature’s intent concerning the meaning of the term ‘sexual intercourse’ is clear from the unambiguous language of the statute and that the statute must be given its plain and obvious meaning,” he wrote. When statutory language is “clear and unambiguous,” he said, there is “no occasion for resorting to the rules of statutory interpretation and construction.” Under Florida Supreme Court prec-

edents, courts may consult published dictionaries of the English language to determine the meaning of “clear and unambiguous” statutory language. In reviewing four print dictionaries published between 1976 and 2012, plus two online dictionaries, Palmer found that all of them broadly defined sexual intercourse in ways that would extend beyond heterosexual vaginal intercourse to include other sexual contact involving penetration. The earliest source cited, “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary,” gave the traditional definition of vaginal intercourse as well as “intercourse involving genital contact between individuals other than penetration of the vagina by the penis.” More recent dictionaries specifically mentioned “insertion of the penis into the anus or mouth” as a form of sexual inter course. Palmer, however, went beyond the insights the dictionaries offered about the “clear and unambiguous” language in the statute’s provisions and, in fact, looked back to the legislative intent behind their enactment. The provisions in question, which specifically refer to transmission of HIV, were obviously adopted with the purpose of outlawing sexual contact that could transmit the virus from an infected person to an uninfected one. “The defendant’s interpretation of the statute as being limited to heterosexual vaginal sex runs counter to the

Legislature’s intent to efficiently and effectively reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in Florida,” Palmer concluded. As a result, the appellate panel reversed the trial court decision and sent the case back to Judge Stancil. It also certified to the Florida Supreme Court the conflict of interpretation between its finding and the earlier one from the Second District. Palmer’s ruling appears on its face to adopt a more logical construction of the statute than the Second District’s. Given that dictionaries offer multiple definitions of “sexual intercourse” and that two appellate panels disagreed about its meaning, it’s hard to accept the proposition that the language in the statute was in fact “clear and unambiguous,” without any recourse to the context surrounding legislative intent. What is left unaddressed in this controversy is an issue that is undoubtedly more important for society to consider — whether criminal statutes, even as correctly construed, are an “efficient and effective” way to reduce the incidence of HIV transmission. The criminalization of HIV status has often had profoundly negative consequences on the lives of those living with the virus, as longtime AIDS activist Sean Strub’s Sero Project has documented, but don’t take any bets on when the Florida Supreme Court might tackle a question like that.

professional services to them.” In an affidavit accompanying her petition to the court, Doe alleges that “she may be placed in danger or subject to harassment, threats, bullying or other forms of discrimination if the record of her new license number is connected to her previous license number and thereby [creates] a public record of her transgender status.” Responding to the department’s assertion that it could not respond affirmatively to Doe’s petition without evidence of “a threat of harm to her personally,” Walker took “judicial notice of the continuing increase in reports of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people” — for which there is, unfortunately, an ample recent record in New York. The judge also pointed to statistics from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs that document the high incidence of transgender people experiencing harassment, attacks, assaults, and exclusion from workplaces and places

of public accommodation. Gender identity, he pointed out, is included as a protected category in the 2009 federal hate crimes law. Doe stated her transgender status was not known in her current workplace and that she wanted to keep it that way due to the nature of her profession and the clients she served. In the course of her work, she said, “she is exposed on a daily basis to crude comments, bigoted jokes, and intolerance towards the transgender.” Doe also stated that outside of work she had been targeted in several specific incidents. She told the court “she is fearful of the thought that her life would be ‘turned upside down’” were her professional colleagues to “become aware of her status.” In light of these assertions, the court found the concerns expressed by the State Education Department insufficient to reject Doe’s petition. “NYSED does not suggest or indicate that petitioner has any record of disciplinary actions or professional miscon-

duct associated with the prior license,” he wrote, “or that there is any deficiency with respect to petitioner’s past or present professional credentials. This court must conclude that any potential harm to the public that NYSED proposes to prevent is not a real issue” in this case. Clearly, the court would support the department’s position if the petitioner were trying to cover up records of past disciplinary actions or professional misconduct, so this ruling was specific to Doe’s case, not a sweeping mandate that all such petitions be granted in the future. Still, it marks a sensitive response to a difficult issue — much more sensitive than seen in past cases where, for example, educational institutions have balked at issuing new diplomas and transcripts reflecting the changed name and gender identity of their graduates. Walker’s opinion is further evidence of changing public attitudes regarding acceptance and understanding of transgender individuals.

| June 5, 2013



Schumer, LGBT Critics Agree Senate Floor Immigration Amendment Possible BY PAUL SCHINDLER


week after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance a comprehensive immigration reform bill to the floor without approving an amendment to provide relief to samesex binational couples, both LGBT rights advocates and a top Democrat who disappointed them vowed to continue the fight during the full Senate’s debate. “We are going to do everything we can to do to get the amendment passed on the floor,” Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, told Gay City News on May 22, the day after the committee voted to send the bill to the floor. As the committee was concluding its deliberations, Schumer was among four pro-LGBT Democrats who urged Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, not to formally introduce either of two alternative amendments that would have allowed American citizens to bring their immigrant same-sex partners into the US on the same terms that opposite-sex spouses who are not citizens can gain permanent residency and a green card. Though Schumer termed the obstacles facing gay and lesbian binational couples “rank discrimination,” he said moving either of Leahy’s amendments would have killed the bill. Referring to the GOP members of the Gang of Eight with whom he negotiated the broad outlines of the immigration package — which from the start omitted any reference to same-sex couples — Schumer said that had the committee’s 10 Democrats (all of whom support marriage equality) forced majority approval of one of the pro-LGBT amendments, “the four Republicans would have been off the bill. Period.” During committee deliberations, Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Al Franken of Minnesota echoed the political calculation that Schumer spelled out. Leading advocates for same-sex couples hoping to stay together in the US, however, did not share that assessment. “Despite the leadership of Chairman Leahy, Judiciary Committee Democrats have caved to bullying by their Republican colleagues,” Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of the Immigration Equality Action Fund, which fights for the rights of LGBT immigrants, said in a written statement. “There should be shame on both sides of the political aisle today for lawmak-

ers who worked to deny LGBT immigrant families a vote.” Tiven’s group charged that the four Republicans in the Gang of Eight — Arizona’s John McCain, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Jeff Flake of Arizona — “sought to scapegoat LGBT families, promising to abandon immigration reform entirely if it was amended to include LGBT protections.” Lavi Soloway, an immigration rights attorney and the founder and for mer executive director of Immigration Equality, said, “Republicans behaved like brazen schoolyard bullies, showing contempt for compromise and negotiation inherent to the legislative process… Shamefully, for months Democrats stood by while Republicans engaged in a relentless media campaign of anti-gay scapegoating, spreading the myth that LGBT inclusion was tantamount to a so-called ‘poison pill’ that would allegedly doom comprehensive immigration reform.” When President Barack Obama released his framework for immigration reform on January 29 and included protections for gay and lesbian binational couples, Graham said, “Why don’t we just put legalized abortion in there and round it all out,” while McCain called the provision “a red flag.” As the committee wound up its deliberations, Graham warned Leahy that a same-sex couple amendment would derail reform efforts, saying, “You got me on immigration. You don’t have me on marriage.” Soloway emphasized that Democrats failed to respond forcefully in the face of harsh GOP rhetoric about same-sex couple relief, while Tiven argued the Democrats’ willingness to back down to Republican threats suggested their pro-equality posture is hollow. Both faulted the four Democrats in the Gang of Eight for allowing the original legislative outline for reform to emerge without addressing the needs of binational couples. When asked whether — having made the decision to leave same-sex couples out of the original January outline — it would ever have been possible to add them into the bill during committee deliberations and still hold onto support among the Gang of Eight’s Republicans, Schumer said, “I don’t believe so.” Soloway said he found that response “disheartening” given the effort many couples in danger of being separated or forced to leave the US put into lobbying the Senate Judiciary Committee in recent months. Advocates estimate


Binational couples’ advocates, failing to win Judiciary majority, must now find 60 votes

Advocates for same-sex couple immigration reform, including Carlos Vargas from the DRM Action Coalition, demonstrate outside Senator Chuck Schumer’s Midtown office on May 8.

that at least 36,000 same-sex couples are affected by their inability to have the immigrant partner stay in the US as if they were an opposite-sex spouse. Advocates have acknowledged that many of the estimated quarter of a million-plus undocumented LGBT immigrants would benefit from the immigration bill as approved in Judiciary, for example by the current one-year deadline for filing asylum claims being removed from statute. Despite the anger advocates aimed at Judiciary Committee Democrats, they agreed with Schumer’s insistence that the bill could still be amended on the Senate floor. Saying he thinks there are now up to 56 or 57 votes out of the 60 needed to surmount any filibuster effort on an amendment offering relief to same-sex couples, Schumer explained, “We are already working on the GOP, and I’ve reached out to LGBT groups for help in that effort.” All or nearly all of the 55 Democrats would support such an amendment, he said, predicting that the universe of potential Republican supporters ranged from 10 to 15. Asked to explain how an amendment that needed only a majority vote in a committee where Democrats hold 10 of 18 seats could survive a cloture vote requiring 60 senators, Schumer

said of Republicans supporting the bill approved last week, “They will feel less empowered on the floor to walk away.” Advocates made clear they intend to keep up the pressure on Schumer and other Democrats, even as they cast an eye toward the Supreme Court, which could remove the obstacles facing binational couples by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages in a ruling due in June. “Senator Schumer owes it to samesex couples in New York State and he owes it to Senator Leahy,” Steve Ralls, communications director at Immigration Equality, told Gay City News. Maine Senator Susan Collins, he said, a sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), stand-alone legislation to achieve the goals advocates are now pushing through amendment of the immigration reform bill, could be a leading Republican ally in that effort. Collins played a pivotal role in securing repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in late 2010. “A floor amendment is very much on the table,” Ralls said. Soloway, too, is pressing for an amendment to the bill heading to the Senate floor. Should the Supreme Court fail to strike down DOMA during the weeks the Senate debates immigration reform, he said, “You will see much more enthusiasm by supporters of UAFA” in the Senate for amending the immigration bill. The pressure from the LGBT community, he predicted, would be “exponentially greater than the past four months.” Soloway warned, however, that Senate supporters of LGBT equality cannot afford to wait until they learn the outcome of the Supreme Court’s DOMA deliberations before starting to build support for an amendment. “They let the Republicans control the messaging” during the run-up to the Judiciary Committee deliberations, he said. “That cannot happen on the Senate floor.” He added, “I want to hear from someone other than just Senator Leahy.” Even as efforts to amend the immigration bill continue, advocates remain mindful of the hope Senate immigration supporters have of securing up to 70 votes for passage in order to put pressure on the GOP-led House to follow suit. There will be fierce opposition by LGBT rights groups to any repeat of the Judiciary Committee argument that jettisoning the rights of same-sex couples is crucial to the goal of winning immigration reform.


June 5, 2013 |


A Silver Evening for the Lammies Lambda Literary Foundation marks a quarter-century of celebrating excellence BY MICHAEL LUONGO

Augusten Burroughs, who was recognized with the Board of Trustees Award.

Randy Jones, of Village People fame, cabaret chanteuse Justin Vivian Bond, and society writer Mark Schulte.

up her hand, newly adorned with a gold wedding band, she announced, “This is the second best thing that happened to me today, because this morning, my partner and I — she put a ring on it.” Redmann added that with same-sex marriage laws being adopted by more and more states, gays and lesbians can be “the heroes in their own stories.” Tony Valenzuela, executive director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, reminded the audience that part of the reasoning for choosing the Cooper Union Gr eat Hall for the silver anniversary program was the building’s historic role in a variety of civil rights movements, including bi r t hi ng the NAACP and hosti ng women’s suffrage events. “Abraham Lincoln has spoken at this very podium,” Valenzuela said, tapping his hand against its surface. Augusten Burroughs, author of the memoir “Running With Scissors,” was

the recipient of the Board of Trustees Award. He remarked how early in his writing career, gay and lesbian books were relegated to the backs of stores, while now “any store that wants to stay in business puts our books front and center.” Still, some award recipients reminded the audience how far things still have to go. Author and playwright Cherrie Moraga received the Pioneer Award, and said that title was “a bad choice of words,” one she felt was “associated with a settler.” She preferred calling it the Vanguard Award, because “it means you’re out front, pushing at something, and you’re at war.” Moraga spoke of mixed identities, saying that in today’s America, as the LGBT community advances, “what is forbidden is Mexican. What is forbidden is Chicano. What is forbidden is to be Indian.” She added that the audience should also “look


Singer/ songwriter Janis Ian performed her iconic “At 17.”


Cherrie Moraga, winner of the Pioneer Award.




he themes of longevity and change cer tainly seemed to be on the minds of those who attended the 25th anniversary Lambda Literary Awards held on June 3 at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in the East Village. Edmund White, the famed godfather of gay literature and a presenter at the ceremony, looked around at the crowd at the opening reception and commented, “Everything about gay life seems so much more exciting and visible than I ever thought we would be. It’s astonishing. It’s become sort of the cause. Everyone is cashing in on it. Every TV show.” Reflecting back on what he remembers from early literary events in New York, he added, “We would not have had a crowd like this, and so many attractive people and young people.” Songstress Janis Ian, the evening’s headlining entertainer, mirr or ed White’s opinion. Speaking before the event as the crowd moved into their seats, she said, “I am astonished to see so many gay people in one place, feeling safe. I would never have thought this would have happened in my lifetime.” Conscious perhaps that she was coming across as too serious, the Grammy Award-winning songwriter of the anti-prom cri de coeur “At 17” about high school insecurities and awkwardness, added, “So many Bulgarians, so little time. Use that as my quote instead.” Even Kate Clinton, mistress of ceremonies, commented during her opening speech that nowadays, “You can’t swing a King James Bible without hitting someone coming out,” as she talked about the ongoing surge of personal revelations announced by celebrities and athletes. Still, she joked, though she has finally married her longtime partner Urvashi Vaid, she can’t say the word “wife” easily, calling her instead “my wi-fi hot spot.” Nicknamed the Lammies, the awards program — which coincides with Book Expo America, North America’s largest book conference — recognizes achievement in nearly two-dozen categories. Many winners thanked their partners or spouses. Among the most moving mention was that by J.M. Redmann, whose book “Ill Will,” published by Bold Strokes Books, won the Lesbian Mystery category. Holding

at trans kids of color” to understand groups unrecognized not only by society’s mainstream, but by most queer people in power as well — including, she suggested, those who planned the Lammies evening. She urged everyone to remember when things were not as easy, because “it’s that discomfort that gives us the ability to know in our sights others’ discomfort.” Other award recipients included John Irving, author of “The World According to Garp” and many other novels, who received the Bridge Builder A war d and was a co-winner in the Bisexual category for “In One Person,” published by S i m o n & S c h u s t e r. I r v i n g s p o k e of his son Everett’s coming out process. He shared that award with Cheryl Burke for “My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B.,” published by Topside Signature. Burke’s award was given posthumously and accepted by her widowed partner, Kelli Dunham, who called the evening a “miracle.” The evening’s final category was Gay General Fiction, won by Benjamin Alire Saenz, for his book “Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club,” published by Cinco Puntos Press. A full list of award recipients and finalists is at Other celebrity presenters included Randy Jones, the original Village P e o p l e C o w b o y , N e w Yo r k T i m e s columnist Frank Bruni, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, and performer Justin Vivian Bond. The after -party was held at the Bowery Ballroom, with Honey Dijon as DJ.


| June 5, 2013


MENINGITIS, from p.4

is likely an undercount. Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the AIDS services group, vaccinated over 900, with the vaccine provided free by the health department, and the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center vaccinated at least 2,139 people. Callen-Lorde has received 1,500 free doses for uninsured patients, and will be vaccinating people at Pride events in Lower Manhattan and Harlem the weekend of June 28 - 30. Between them, the two groups have delivered roughly 30 percent of the vaccinations. Earlier this year, the Village Voice reported that the health department hoped to vaccinate 100,000, and the agency later told Gay City News that the new target was between 30,000 and 100,000. The health department’s response has moved in fits and starts, with the result being that the caseload has grown though there have been no new cases reported since February. The agency first noted the outbreak on September 27, reporting 12 meningitis cases among gay and bisexual men with four deaths since 2010. There was

one case in 2010, three in 2011, and eight in 2012. The total caseload rose to 22 by February, with seven deaths. The state health department reported a 23rd case in a man who lived in upstate New York but spent significant time in the city. The meningitis strain causing the current outbreak is related to a strain that caused an earlier outbreak among drug users in Central Brooklyn. “Genetic analysis suggests that 6 of 7 infections are related to a strain of N. meningitidis that was responsible for the 2006 outbreak in New York City,” read a September health department alert. Two other North American cities responded more aggressively and quickly halted comparable meningitis outbreaks among gay and bisexual men. Toronto reported six cases with two deaths in 2001. Health officials there administered 3,850 vaccine doses at more 50 locations in less than a month and saw no new cases. Chicago had a six-case outbreak in 2003 and administered 14,267 doses at six sites in six days. There were no new cases in Chicago.

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June 5, 2013 |

| June 5, 2013



Desperate Housewife Tale of 1950s suburban angst translated from film to stage




ertolt Brecht wrote “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” in 1944 as an epic piece of agitprop about the evils and absurdities of war and totalitarianism. What was performed in 1962 by the Royal Shakespeare Company with a cast of 30 playing 90 roles has been reduced to a band of seven troupers at the estimable Classic Stage Company under the direction of artistic director Brian Kulick.

FAR FROM HEAVEN Playwrights Horizons Mainstage Theater 416 W. 42nd St. Through Jul. 7 Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Fri. at 8 p.m. Sat. at 2:30 & 8 p.m. Sun. at 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. $85;

In the 2002 movie “Far From Heaven,” writer-director Todd Haynes relied on the sumptuous, supercharged visual style of Douglas Sirk to heighten the emotional power of a marriage in crisis in a leafy suburb in Eisenhower-era Connecticut. In adapting the groundbreaking arthouse film (which starred Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid as the

Justin Scott Brown, Steven Pasquale, and Kelli O’Hara in “Far From Heaven,” at Playwrights Horizons through July 7.

embattled couple) to the stage, the creators chose to transform the work into a musical, where a lush score would express the emotions in place of a lyrical cinematic style. Naturally, given the dour subject matter, “Far From Heaven” is far from your typical Broadway musical. Much of it is sung through, at times verging on operatic. And who better to articulate this off-kilter, angst-ridden drama than the Tony-nominated team from “Grey Gardens” — director Michael Greif, composer Scott Frankel, lyricist Michael

Korie, and scenic designer Allen Moyer. The book, by Richard Greenberg (“Take Me Out”), is remarkably faithful to the source material. Cathy Whitaker’s picture-perfect life in socially regimented Hartford circa 1957 begins to crumble when her “dreamboat” husband, Frank, is arrested for loitering in a homosexual pickup area, causing the couple to miss an important cocktail party. They initially dismiss the incident as an “inadvertent mix-up” until more evidence mounts that Frank is indeed hopelessly attracted to men. As her closeted husband grows more distant,

Cathy clings to normalcy by taking care of her children with help from her devoted black maid, Sybil (Quincy Tyler Bernstine). She also strikes up a scandalous friendship with Raymond, her strapping gardener who, in keeping with the era, is also black. While the story is beautifully realized, much of the meandering drama is so subtle that it threatens to fizzle. Such a delicate piece needs a strong heart, and it finds one in the magnificent Kelli O’Hara, who brings a glorious, pulsating life force to the proceedings. Despite expert performances across the board, this production belongs to O’Hara, who also shined in “South Pacific,” “The Light in the Piazza,” and, earlier this season, “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” As Cathy, the lovely O’Hara (who happens to be six months pregnant) heartbreakingly conveys the inner turmoil of a suspicious housewife seeking solace in a forbidden kindred spirit as her world comes crashing down. Steven Pasquale (“Reasons To Be Pretty” and TV’s “Rescue Me”) is well cast as the tortured, increasingly alcoholic breadwinner with a shocking secret. His Frank is a churning mass of contradictions — he loves his wife and kids, works hard at his high-stress advertising job, wants to fit the mold


FAR FROM HEAVEN, continued on p.16

The Caucasian Chalk Circle Jerk BY ANDY HUMM


ertolt Brecht wrote “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” in 1944 as an epic piece of agitprop about the evils and absurdities of war and totalitarianism. What was performed in 1962 by the Royal Shakespeare Company with a cast of 30 playing 90 roles has been reduced to a band of seven troupers at the estimable Classic Stage Company under the direction of artistic director Brian Kulick.

THE CAUCAUSIAN CHALK CIRCLE Classic Stage Company 136 E. 13th St. Through Jun. 23 Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at 3 p.m. $60-125; Or 212-352-3101

The results are mixed, at best. Christopher Lloyd of “Back to the Future” and “Taxi” fame is the draw here, but his screeching ravings in the first half as The Singer who is supposed to narrate and illuminate the proceedings are often problematically unintelligible. He is more up to the role of the lunatic judge Azdak in Act II, but the whole thing suffers from a manic comic tone that doesn’t allow too many recognizable humans to break through the proceedings. Much seems to be lost in translation. Mary Testa — brilliant in comic works such as “Xanadu: The Musical” on Broadway — doesn’t do much more than mug her way through her roles here such as the imperious Governor’s Wife. (Lesbian comic and chanteuse Lea DeLaria takes over for Testa on June 11 for a two-week extension of the show.) This work is always meant to be per for med with music and songs,


Manic chamber production of Brecht epic at Classic Stage

Christopher Lloyd and Elizabeth A. Davis in Brecht’s “Caucasian Chalk Circle.”

and CSC’s production features ones by Duncan Sheik, the genius behind “Spring Awakening.” But his lugubrious work here slows down an already overlong take on the play and doesn’t

enhance the proceedings. Lacking a big cast, six or so audience members are dragooned into filling out the famous wedding/ funeral scene, but they are given nothing to do but sit on stage. Kulick doesn’t risk having his cast interact with them or draw some improvisation from them, so it is a wasted gesture. All that said, there are some fine supporting players hard at work embodying a range of characters each, notably Elizabeth A. Davis as Grusha, the maid who looks after the Governor’s Wife’s baby when she leaves him behind while fleeing the rebels. The title scene, set three years later — in which the judge orders the boy to be placed in a chalk circle and directs the women to each hold one of his hands and try to pull him out of it in order to win him — is almost perfunctory rather than climactic. Not so much a struggle as a jerk. A rare miss for CSC.


June 5, 2013 |


The Russians are Coming

Complications abound in Dave Malloy’s Tolstoy-inspired masterpiece, Richard Nelson’s émigré tale


olstoy has provided the inspiration for what is easily the most exciting new musical of the season. “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” takes one 200page section of “War and Peace” and creates a spellbinding story of manners and society remarkable for its brilliant structure, the clarity of its storytelling, and its inspired music.

NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 Kazino W. 13th St. at Washington St. Tue.-Fri. at 8 p.m.; Wed. at 2 p.m. Sat. at 5:30 & 9 p.m.; Sun. at 1 p.m. $125-$175; Or 866-811-4111

Creator Dave Malloy — book and score — has concentrated on the scandalous love affair between handsome but roguish soldier Anatole and the young countess Natasha, engaged to Prince Andrey who is off at war. Against the advice of her friends, Natasha abandons her engagement and almost elopes with Anatole, until Pierre — married to his sister Hélène — informs her that Anatole is already married. Yes, it’s that kind of Russian tale. Amazingly, Malloy keeps it all crystal clear, starting with a magnificent opening number that spells out the relationships among cast members in a way that combines repetitive learning (a tactic known to work on “Sesame Street”) with infectious and very adult music. Rachel Chavkin’s inspired direction makes every moment count. The story comes to a head as Natasha is just barely saved from ruin and Pierre muses on what the comet streaking


FAR FROM HEAVEN, from p.15

of dutiful husband, and even goes to a psychiatrist to be “cured,” yet he continues to lust after men. He earns our sympathy even though he’s responsible for destroying their marriage. Other standouts include Isaiah Johnson as Raymond, Cathy’s illicit, reluctant confidante, Nancy Anderson as Cathy’s hypocritical best friend, and Mary Stout as a nosy society columnist. Moyer’s set employs a handsome, modular metal framework that reconfigures to evoke a range of locales including the expansive Whitaker home, Frank’s office, and an art gallery.

across the sky portends for the future. The grand and magical theatricality is breathtaking, and the Russian-inspired meal that comes with your ticket adds to what is nearly a perfect evening. Presented at Kazino, a supper club created in an oversized tent in the Meatpacking District, the show is a superb marriage of the classic in Paloma Young’s terrific period clothes and the contemporary in Malloy’s pop-inspired score for the sung-through show. The cast is consistently outstanding. Malloy, who also plays Pierre, is a bearish avuncular presence, the perfect avatar of the old order on the wane. Phillipa Soo as Natasha is simply ravishing, both to look at and in her singing. Lucas Steele, as Anatole, offers many surprises, including a voice that blends perfectly with Soo’s. His technical proficiency is not often seen in musicals. Brittain Ashford is Natasha’s pragmatic cousin Sonya, done up to look plain, and Grace McLean, as her godmother Marya, is a stalwart presence with a sophisticated ability for the comic turn. The eight-piece orchestra is similarly exceptional, and Matthew Hubbs’ sound design is the best you will hear in New York. Mimi Lien’s set envelops you in the world of the show and includes many amusing touches, including a large portrait of Napoleon presiding over it all and chandeliers, which come to represent the comet, inspired by Gino Safatti’s Sputnik design. Like the comet itself, shows of this caliber come around very rarely indeed, and when they do they are not to be missed.

the get-go. In the play’s opening section, when everyone gathers for a dinner at the farm, it’s a struggle to understand who the characters are and what their relationships might be. David Cromer is a master of naturalistic direction, but with characters sitting with their backs to the audience, it can be hard to hear, at least toward the rear of Lincoln Center’s relatively small Newhouse Theater.



Phillipa Soo and Lucas Steele in Dave Malloy’s “Natasha, Pierre and the Comet of 1812.”

Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater Lincoln Center 150 W. 65th St. Tue.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m. Sun. at 3 p.m. $75-$85; Or 800-432-7250

has aspirations as grand as his characters who include George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky. Unfortunately, his reach exceeds his grasp, and the play, bogged by

down by too many themes and variations, is often confusing. A group of Russian émigrés in the US immediately after World War II have gathered at a farm in rural Connecticut ostensibly to revel in their heritage and grab a respite from the hurly burly of New York. We watch the preparations for Balanchine’s “Orpheus,” which he created with Stravinsky, the challenges facing Sergey Sudeikin, an elderly set designer, in finding work, and the tribulations of title character Nikolai Nabokov, a composer of some note back in Russia, working with the US government to help his fellow émigrés adjust to their new country. Lingering in the background are the looming threat of being tarred as a communist, the difficulties and alienation of being a transplant, and the solace one hopes to find in friends from the old world. Nelson’s 18 characters have a lot to do in two-and-a-half hours, and the inevitable sketchiness is frustrating — right from

What we do know at the end of this sequence is that everyone wants something from Nikolai and he becomes increasingly frustrated in realizing that only then do people turn to him. The piece has its inspired moments. The rehearsal for “Orpheus,” is a gem, and Stephen Kunken’s performance as Nikolai — the one character we get to know, is sensitive and beautifully nuanced. Marsha Ginsberg’s versatile set is a masterpiece, and after the opening scene, Cromer’s direction has his typical understated style and focus. The cast is a list of stage luminaries, including Michael Cerveris as Balanchine, John Glover as Stravinsky, Blair Brown as Vera, Stravinsky’s current wife, Kathryn Erbe as Natasha, his ex-wife, and Alvin Epstein as Sudeikin. As wonderful as it is to see them all, they are largely held back from fully realized performances by their characters’ shallowness as written. “Nikolai and the Others” seems as long as a Russian winter.

A backdrop of fractured video images shows trees ablaze with autumn foliage, later becoming barren in winter and blossoming in early spring — echoing the dramatic arc perhaps a little too tidily. In lesser hands, “Far From Heaven” might come of f as campy, pulpy melodrama. Under Grief’s care, the piece is a sharply observed study of midcentury norms where, much to Cathy’s dismay, there’s “no way out” of dreadful social obligations. Homosexuality is a disease to be cured — sometimes with electroshock therapy — and “negroes” must be kept in their place. Conformity, repression, and prejudice abound. You’ll find no razzle-dazzle numbers

here. In the vein of eccentric, characterdriven musicals like “Grey Gardens” and “Next to Normal” (which, not surprisingly, Greif also directed) the plaintive, jazzinflected score illuminates dark corners of the characters’ souls. One of the most affecting is “Miro,” a haunting, tension-filled ballad that finds Cathy and Raymond responding deeply to a Miro painting in an art exhibition as horrified friends look on. “I see a lost and found of dreams,” sings Cathy. “The innocence we had as children, shoals of goldfish… shimmering in streams.” In “If It Hadn’t Been,” an agitated Frank, after being “manhandled” by the

cop who found him loitering, carps about being searched “spread-eagle” on a Chevy Bel-Air by a “prick.” Ingeniously, the song conveys a sublimated homoerotic fantasy disguised as a protest. Considering the tremendous talent onstage and off, one would expect that “Far From Heaven” was designed for a transfer to Broadway, as “Grey Gardens” scored out of Playwrights Horizons a decade ago. And yet the emotions are so richly complex, the drama so muted, the climax so unsatisfying, I’m not sure this unconventional musical would appeal to mainstream audiences, who generally prefer their shows to wear flashy sequins and kinky boots.

R i c h a rd N e l s o n ’s ambitious play “Nikolai and the Others,” now at Lincoln Center,

| June 5, 2013



Lady And the Tramp 2

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Taryn “Ginger Rogers” Griggs and Chris “Charlie Chaplin” Yon return to New York

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Chris Yon and Taryn Griggs perform as part of the eighth annual La MaMa Moves! Festival.



ive years ago, husband and wife Chris Yon and Taryn Griggs packed their bags and moved to Minneapolis, and they haven’t been seen round these parts since. Now, thanks to the efforts of curator Nicky Paraiso at La MaMa, the two McKnight Fellows bring their unique brand of lovable, mad,

TARYN GRIGGS & CHRIS YON “The Very Unlikeliness (I'm Going to KILL You!) [again & again version]” La MaMa Moves Festival 74A E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Jun. 14-15 at 10 p.m.; Jun. 16 at 5:30 p.m. $15; $10 for students, seniors;

Beckettian dancey-dance to the New York City stage, as part of the eighth annual La MaMa Moves Festival. The relatively new parents will perform a collage of previous works under the very long title “The Very Unlikeliness (I’m Going to Kill You!) [again & again version].” When I caught up with Yon, he’d just returned from Copenhagen, where he was working with students for two

weeks at the Danish National School of Performing Arts. “I spend most of my time now being a stay-at-home dad,” he said. Their daughter Beatrice is 14 months old. “Taryn works at Whole Foods,” he continued. “She’s the provider. I’m the lonely housewife.” The pair last performed together in January at a pop-up festival in the basement of a Minneapolis Mexican restaurant. “It sounds romantic when you talk about it,” Yon said, “but it felt like being in a terrible Berlin meatpacking space.” They did it because Jaime Carrera, creator and curator of the festival, known as the Outlet, organized it with Hijack (Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder.) “They are one of the biggest reasons we moved here,” Yon explained. They share an affinity for performance modes, he said, as well as a lot of conceptual theater frameworks. “The show felt like a Monsters of Rock,” he added. For the performances at La MaMa, Yon said, he “stripped other dances for parts. All these duets I made on Taryn and other people. There are mash-ups of duets where I learned other people’s parts, things added on to beginnings


LADY AND THE TRAMP, continued on p.26

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ily a D e c n O


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aBoUt preZISta

Important Safety InformatIon

PREZISTA® (darunavir) is a prescription medicine. It is one treatment option in the class of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) medicines known as protease inhibitors.

What is the most important information I should know about PREZISTA®?


PREZISTA® is always taken with and at the same time as ritonavir (Norvir ®), in combination with other HIV medicines for the treatment of HIV infection in adults. PREZISTA® should also be taken with food.

• It is important that you remain under the care of your healthcare professional during treatment with PREZISTA® PREZISTA® does not cure HIV infection or AIDS and you may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. You should remain under the care of a doctor when using PREZISTA.® Please read Important Safety Information below, and talk to your healthcare professional to learn if PREZISTA® is right for you.

Once-Daily PREZISTA® (darunavir) isn’t just an HIV treatment, it’s an HIV treatment experience as unique as you. That’s why you should ask your healthcare professional if the PREZISTA® Experience is right for you. Once-Daily PREZISTA® taken with ritonavir and in combination with other HIV medications can help lower your viral load and keep your HIV under control over the long term. In a clinical study* of almost 4 years (192 weeks), 7 out of 10 adults who had never taken HIV medications before maintained undetectable† viral loads with PREZISTA® plus ritonavir and Truvada.®

• PREZISTA® can interact with other medicines and cause serious side effects. See “Who should not take PREZISTA®?” • PREZISTA® may cause liver problems. Some people taking PREZISTA,® together with Norvir ® (ritonavir), have developed liver problems which may be life-threatening. Your healthcare professional should do blood tests before and during your combination treatment with PREZISTA.® If you have chronic hepatitis B or C infection, your healthcare professional should check your blood tests more often because you have an increased chance of developing liver problems • Tell your healthcare professional if you have any of these signs and symptoms of liver problems: dark (tea-colored) urine, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, pale-colored stools (bowel movements), nausea, vomiting, pain or tenderness on your right side below your ribs, or loss of appetite (continued)

Please read the Important Safety Information and Patient Information on adjacent pages. Ask your healthcare professional about the PREZISTA® Experience. And be sure to visit for tools and helpful information to find out if the PREZISTA® Experience might be right for you. *A randomized, open-label, Phase 3 trial comparing PREZISTA®/ritonavir 800/100 mg once daily (n=343) vs Kaletra®/ritonavir 800/200 mg/day (n=346). †Undetectable was defined as a viral load of less than 50 copies per mL. Registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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• The use of other medicines active against HIV in combination with PREZISTA®/ritonavir (Norvir ®) may increase your ability to fight HIV. Your healthcare professional will work with you to find the right combination of HIV medicines



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| June 5, 2013

Important Safety InformatIon (continued)

Who should not take PREZISTA ? ®

• Before taking PREZISTA,® tell your healthcare professional if you are taking sildenafil (Viagra,® Revatio®), vardenafil (Levitra,® Staxyn®), tadalafil (Cialis,® Adcirca®), atorvastatin (Lipitor®), rosuvastatin (Crestor®), pravastatin (Pravachol®), or colchicine (Colcrys,® Col-Probenecid®). Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking estrogen-based contraceptives (birth control). PREZISTA® might reduce the effectiveness of estrogen-based contraceptives. You must take additional precautions for birth control, such as condoms This is not a complete list of medicines. Be sure to tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you are taking or plan to take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

— The effects of PREZISTA® on pregnant women or their unborn babies are not known. You and your healthcare professional will need to decide if taking PREZISTA® is right for you — Do not breastfeed. It is not known if PREZISTA® can be passed to your baby in your breast milk and whether it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV should not breastfeed because HIV can be passed to your baby in the breast milk What are the possible side effects of PREZISTA®? • High blood sugar, diabetes or worsening of diabetes, and increased bleeding in people with hemophilia have been reported in patients taking protease inhibitor medicines, including PREZISTA® • Changes in body fat have been seen in some patients taking HIV medicines, including PREZISTA.® The cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time • Changes in your immune system can happen when you start taking HIV medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden • The most common side effects related to taking PREZISTA® include diarrhea, nausea, rash, headache, stomach pain, and vomiting. This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you experience these or other side effects, talk to your healthcare professional. Do not stop taking PREZISTA® or any other medicines without first talking to your healthcare professional You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please refer to the ritonavir (Norvir®) Product Information (PI and PPI) for additional information on precautionary measures. Please read accompanying Patient Information for PREZISTA® and discuss any questions you have with your doctor.

What should I tell my doctor before I take PREZISTA®? • Before taking PREZISTA,® tell your healthcare professional if you have any medical conditions, including liver problems (including hepatitis B or C), allergy to sulfa medicines, diabetes, or hemophilia

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• Do not take PREZISTA® if you are taking the following medicines: alfuzosin (Uroxatral®), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E.45,® Embolex,® Migranal®), ergonovine, ergotamine (Cafergot,® Ergomar ®), methylergonovine, cisapride (Propulsid®), pimozide (Orap®), oral midazolam, triazolam (Halcion®), the herbal supplement St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), lovastatin (Mevacor,® Altoprev,® Advicor ®), simvastatin (Zocor,® Simcor,® Vytorin®), rifampin (Rifadin,® Rifater,® Rifamate,® Rimactane®), sildenafil (Revatio®) when used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, indinavir (Crixivan®), lopinavir/ ritonavir (Kaletra®), saquinavir (Invirase®), boceprevir (Victrelis™), or telaprevir (Incivek™)

• Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding


• PREZISTA® may cause a severe or life-threatening skin reaction or rash. Sometimes these skin reactions and skin rashes can become severe and require treatment in a hospital. You should call your healthcare professional immediately if you develop a rash. However, stop taking PREZISTA® and ritonavir combination treatment and call your healthcare professional immediately if you develop any skin changes with these symptoms: fever, tiredness, muscle or joint pain, blisters or skin lesions, mouth sores or ulcers, red or inflamed eyes, like “pink eye.” Rash occurred more often in patients taking PREZISTA® and raltegravir together than with either drug separately, but was generally mild


June 5, 2013 |

IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION PREZISTA (pre-ZIS-ta) (darunavir) Oral Suspension PREZISTA (pre-ZIS-ta) (darunavir) Tablets Read this Patient Information before you start taking PREZISTA and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment. Also read the Patient Information leaflet for NORVIR® (ritonavir). What is the most important information I should know about PREZISTA? • PREZISTA can interact with other medicines and cause serious side effects. It is important to know the medicines that should not be taken with PREZISTA. See the section “Who should not take PREZISTA?” • PREZISTA may cause liver problems. Some people taking PREZISTA in combination with NORVIR® (ritonavir) have developed liver problems which may be life-threatening. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before and during your combination treatment with PREZISTA. If you have chronic hepatitis B or C infection, your healthcare provider should check your blood tests more often because you have an increased chance of developing liver problems. • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the below signs and symptoms of liver problems. • Dark (tea colored) urine • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes • pale colored stools (bowel movements) • nausea • vomiting • pain or tenderness on your right side below your ribs • loss of appetite PREZISTA may cause severe or life-threatening skin reactions or rash. Sometimes these skin reactions and skin rashes can become severe and require treatment in a hospital. You should call your healthcare provider immediately if you develop a rash. However, stop taking PREZISTA and ritonavir combination treatment and call your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any skin changes with symptoms below: • fever • tiredness • muscle or joint pain • blisters or skin lesions • mouth sores or ulcers • red or inflamed eyes, like “pink eye” (conjunctivitis) Rash occurred more often in people taking PREZISTA and raltegravir together than with either drug separately, but was generally mild. See “What are the possible side effects of PREZISTA?” for more information about side effects. What is PREZISTA? PREZISTA is a prescription anti-HIV medicine used with ritonavir and other antiHIV medicines to treat adults with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection. PREZISTA is a type of anti-HIV medicine called a protease inhibitor. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). When used with other HIV medicines, PREZISTA may help to reduce the amount of HIV in your blood (called “viral load”). PREZISTA may also help to increase the number of white blood cells called CD4 (T) cell which help fight off other infections. Reducing the amount of HIV and increasing the CD4 (T) cell count may improve your immune system. This may reduce your risk of death or infections that can happen when your immune system is weak (opportunistic infections). PREZISTA does not cure HIV infection or AIDS and you may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. You should remain under the care of a doctor when using PREZISTA. Avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection. • Do not share needles or other injection equipment. • Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades.

• D o not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions on how to prevent passing HIV to other people. Who should not take PREZISTA? Do not take PREZISTA with any of the following medicines: • alfuzosin (Uroxatral®) • dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45®, Embolex®, Migranal®), ergonovine, ergotamine (Cafergot®, Ergomar®) methylergonovine • cisapride • pimozide (Orap®) • oral midazolam, triazolam (Halcion®) • the herbal supplement St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) • the cholesterol lowering medicines lovastatin (Mevacor®, Altoprev®, Advicor®) or simvastatin (Zocor®, Simcor®, Vytorin®) • rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifater®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®) • sildenafil (Revatio®) only when used for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Serious problems can happen if you take any of these medicines with PREZISTA. What should I tell my doctor before I take PREZISTA? PREZISTA may not be right for you. Before taking PREZISTA, tell your healthcare provider if you: • have liver problems, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C • are allergic to sulfa medicines • have high blood sugar (diabetes) • have hemophilia • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if PREZISTA will harm your unborn baby. Pregnancy Registry: You and your healthcare provider will need to decide if taking PREZISTA is right for you. If you take PREZISTA while you are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about how you can be included in the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of the registry is follow the health of you and your baby. • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. We do not know if PREZISTA can be passed to your baby in your breast milk and whether it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV-1 should not breastfeed because HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in the breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Using PREZISTA and certain other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects. PREZISTA may affect the way other medicines work and other medicines may affect how PREZISTA works. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take: • other medicine to treat HIV • estrogen-based contraceptives (birth control). PREZISTA might reduce the effectiveness of estrogen-based contraceptives. You must take additional precautions for birth control such as a condom. • medicine for your heart such as bepridil, lidocaine (Xylocaine Viscous®), quinidine (Nuedexta®), amiodarone (Pacerone®, Cardarone®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), flecainide (Tambocor®), propafenone (Rythmol®) • warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®) • medicine for seizures such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®, Epitol®), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®, Phenytek®) • medicine for depression such as trazadone and desipramine (Norpramin®) • clarithromycin (Prevpac®, Biaxin®) • medicine for fungal infections such as ketoconazole (Nizoral®), itraconazole (Sporanox®, Onmel®), voriconazole (VFend®) • colchicine (Colcrys®, Col-Probenecid®) • rifabutin (Mycobutin®) • medicine used to treat blood pressure, a heart attack, heart failure, or to lower pressure in the eye such as metoprolol (Lopressor®, Toprol-XL®), timolol (Cosopt®, Betimol®, Timoptic®, Isatolol®, Combigan®) • midazolam administered by injection • medicine for heart disease such as felodipine (Plendil®), nifedipine (Procardia®, Adalat CC®, Afeditab CR®), nicardipine (Cardene®) • steroids such as dexamethasone, fluticasone (Advair Diskus®, Veramyst®, Flovent®, Flonase®) • bosentan (Tracleer®) • medicine to treat chronic hepatitis C such as boceprevir (VictrelisTM), telaprevir (IncivekTM)


| June 5, 2013

IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION • m edicine for cholesterol such as pravastatin (Pravachol®), atorvastatin (Lipitor®), rosuvastatin (Crestor®) • medicine to prevent organ transplant failure such as cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Sandimmune®, Neoral®), tacrolimus (Prograf®), sirolimus (Rapamune®) • salmeterol (Advair®, Serevent®) • medicine for narcotic withdrawal such as methadone (Methadose®, Dolophine Hydrochloride), buprenorphine (Butrans®, Buprenex®, Subutex®), buprenorphine/ naloxone (Suboxone®) • medicine to treat schizophrenia such as risperidone (Risperdal®), thioridazine • medicine to treat erectile dysfunction or pulmonary hypertension such as sildenafil (Viagra®, Revatio®), vardenafil (Levitra®, Staxyn®), tadalafil (Cialis®, Adcirca®) • medicine to treat anxiety, depression or panic disorder such as sertraline (Zoloft®), paroxetine (Paxil®, Pexeva®) • medicine to treat malaria such as artemether/lumefantrine (Coartem®) This is not a complete list of medicines that you should tell your healthcare provider that you are taking. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is one that is listed above. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor or pharmacist when you get a new medicine. Do not start any new medicines while you are taking PREZISTA without first talking with your healthcare provider. How should I take PREZISTA? • Take PREZISTA every day exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. • You must take ritonavir (NORVIR®) at the same time as PREZISTA. • Do not change your dose of PREZISTA or stop treatment without talking to your healthcare provider first. • Take PREZISTA and ritonavir (NORVIR®) with food. • Swallow PREZISTA tablets whole with a drink. If you have difficulty swallowing PREZISTA tablets, PREZISTA oral suspension is also available. Your health care provider will help decide whether PREZISTA tablets or oral suspension is right for you. • PREZISTA oral suspension should be given with the supplied oral dosing syringe. Shake the suspension well before each use. See the Instructions for Use that come with PREZISTA oral suspension for information about the right way to prepare and take a dose. • If your prescribed dose of PREZISTA oral suspension is more than 6 mL, you will need to divide the dose. Follow the instructions given to you by your healthcare provider or pharmacist about how to divide the dose. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure. • If you take too much PREZISTA, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. What should I do if I miss a dose? People who take PREZISTA one time a day: • If you miss a dose of PREZISTA by less than 12 hours, take your missed dose of PREZISTA right away. Then take your next dose of PREZISTA at your regularly scheduled time. • If you miss a dose of PREZISTA by more than 12 hours, wait and then take the next dose of PREZISTA at your regularly scheduled time. People who take PREZISTA two times a day • If you miss a dose of PREZISTA by less than 6 hours, take your missed dose of PREZISTA right away. Then take your next dose of PREZISTA at your regularly scheduled time. • If you miss a dose of PREZISTA by more than 6 hours, wait and then take the next dose of PREZISTA at your regularly scheduled time. If a dose of PREZISTA is skipped, do not double the next dose. Do not take more or less than your prescribed dose of PREZISTA at any one time. What are the possible side effects of PREZISTA? PREZISTA can cause side effects including: • See “What is the most important information I should know about PREZISTA?” • Diabetes and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Some people who take protease inhibitors including PREZISTA can get high blood sugar, develop diabetes, or your diabetes can get worse. Tell your healthcare provider if you notice an increase in thirst or urinate often while taking PREZISTA. • Changes in body fat. These changes can happen in people who take antiretroviral therapy. The changes may include an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), breast, and around the back, chest, and stomach area. 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 medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Call your healthcare provider right away if you start having new symptoms after starting your HIV medicine. • Increased bleeding for hemophiliacs. Some people with hemophilia have increased bleeding with protease inhibitors including PREZISTA. The most common side effects of PREZISTA include: • diarrhea • nausea • rash • headache • abdominal pain • vomiting Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of PREZISTA. For more information, ask your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. How should I store PREZISTA? • Store PREZISTA oral suspension and tablets at room temperature [77°F (25°C)]. • Do not refrigerate or freeze PREZISTA oral suspension. • Keep PREZISTA away from high heat. • PREZISTA oral suspension should be stored in the original container. Keep PREZISTA and all medicines out of the reach of children. General information about PREZISTA Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use PREZISTA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give PREZISTA to other people even if they have the same condition you have. It may harm them. This leaflet summarizes the most important information about PREZISTA. If you would like more information, talk to your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about PREZISTA that is written for health professionals. For more information, call 1-800-526-7736. What are the ingredients in PREZISTA? Active ingredient: darunavir Inactive ingredients: PREZISTA Oral Suspension: hydroxypropyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylparaben sodium, citric acid monohydrate, sucralose, masking flavor, strawberry cream flavor, hydrochloric acid (for pH adjustment), purified water. PREZISTA 75 mg and 150 mg Tablets: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose. The film coating contains: OPADRY® White (polyethylene glycol 3350, polyvinyl alcohol-partially hydrolyzed, talc, titanium dioxide). PREZISTA 400 mg and 600 mg Tablets: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose. The film coating contains: OPADRY® Orange (FD&C Yellow No. 6, polyethylene glycol 3350, polyvinyl alcohol-partially hydrolyzed, talc, titanium dioxide). PREZISTA 800 mg Tablets: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose. The film coating contains: OPADRY® Dark Red (iron oxide red, polyethylene glycol 3350, polyvinyl alcoholpartially hydrolyzed, talc, titanium dioxide). This Patient Information has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufactured by: PREZISTA Oral Suspension PREZISTA Tablets Janssen Pharmaceutica, N.V. Janssen Ortho LLC, Beerse, Belgium Gurabo, PR 00778 Manufactured for: Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP, Titusville NJ 08560 Revised: April 2013 NORVIR® is a registered trademark of its respective owner. PREZISTA® is a registered trademark of Janssen Pharmaceuticals © Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2006 991772P


June 5, 2013 |


Black Magic The other Miss Ross; immortal Motown; Vanessa’s versatility an you imagine following in your mother’s footsteps as a singer when that mother happens to be Diana Ross? Well, her daughter, Rhonda, is doing just that and making quite a swell name for herself with a lovely voice that truly swings (there’s a hint of her Mom’s famed huskiness), some serious songwriting chops, a CD “Rhonda Ross Live,” and a recent triumphant appearance at the Cutting Room, with another scheduled for October 25 ( Although pursuing a showbiz career, Rhonda wisely has chosen her own path, apart from the pop domain over which Mom has reigned — ahem — supreme for five decades. “Jazz is my first love,” she told me. “My mother was studying to become Billie Holiday in ‘Lady Sings the Blues’ when she was pregnant with me, so in the womb I was hearing my mother singing her stuff. My favorite part of her shows always was the jazz section she did, and then in college, I had a quartet and sang. Then I met my husband Rodney Kendrick, who’s such a jazz purist and that was my 20-year education with him. “He was Abbey Lincoln’s music director for years, and we met at the Blue Note. Abbey was one of my strongest influences in writing songs and I had seen her in Boston. I was so moved I didn’t dare go backstage and meet her with mascara dripping down my face, although my mother had said to go back and meet her. But then about six months later, I took a girlfriend to the Blue Note and thought, ‘That’s the same pianist,’ and I did go backstage and Abbey introduced me to him — and it was kind of love at first sight. That was 1994, we married in 1997, and we now have a gorgeous little boy full of energy and music, who, because we’ve exposed him to them, now speaks four languages at three-and-a-half years old!” Diana, her daughter said, is “an amazing grandmother. Maybe people don’t realize what a hands-on mother she always was to begin with. We had the nannies and help but nobody trumped her as a parent. She’d play Atlantic City and take a helicopter back to be home for breakfast and wake us up. When asked to play Tahoe, she would purposely do it during summer vacation so we could rent a house and make it a family affair. Even now, she’s got European and South American tours coming up and is figuring which five kids want to go to the South of France or Brazil, and now that’s extended to the grandkids. “Now that I’m a mother, I look at what she accomplished and realize it wasn’t easy. We went to good schools and were around people with a lot of privilege, and why we didn’t turn out crazy I don’t know. She always said, ‘Don’t take this for granted. You’re blessed and you have to be sane and give back and treat people with kindness and respect.’ Even now, when I was three minutes late for this interview, I was a nervous wreck. She taught us to always be punctual and never take people’s time for granted. I can’t believe these celebrities today who keep people waiting for three hours. “When I first started at Brown University, I worked with the black theater there and was doing a play. We were laughing and someone said, ‘CP time!’ I said, ‘What’s that?’ ‘Colored people time!’ ‘What’s that?’




Rhonda Ross Kendrick, a diva’s daughter, is a singer and songwriter launched on her own path.

‘You know how we’re always late.’ And I was like, ‘No, I’ve never heard of it.’ Because that was not my experience, at all.” Reminded that her accounts of Mom are decidedly at odds with the bitchy “Miss Ross” myth that has surrounded the diva, Rhonda replied, “I don’t how the press chooses who they’re gonna go after. What can you do but live your life and be the best person you can be? I think Jackie Kennedy said if you bungle raising your kids, it doesn’t much matter what else you’re good at. They can say what they like about her ambition or whatever, but the truth of the matter is she did a great job with five kids who grew up sane and functional and love her and each other.” To be sure, Rhonda’s was not a conventional family set-up — at 13, she discovered that her real father was not Diana’s first husband, Robert Ellis Silberstein, but her Motown boss and mentor, Berry Gordy. “My mother was pregnant with me and knew that I was Berry’s,” Rhonda said. “That relationship had ended and Bob, whom I consider my father, wanted to raise me as his own. He loved me so much and it broke his heart that I wasn’t biologically his. “As we hit puberty, my sisters Tracee and Chudney looked different than I did, taller and their skin and hair were different. I started asking questions and finally she sat me down and told me, so I didn’t overhear it or find some old diary. She explained, ‘Why we decided not to tell you. I don’t know if it was the right thing to do but then it seemed so and now it seems right that you know the truth.’

“Berry was a big part of our life, as a friend, so it wasn’t like a man I didn’t know or have access to. Maybe because it was by then the 1980s and so much was changing how families were structured that I was able to say I wanted to have relationships with both of these men. I wanted to know Berry and his seven other kids, mostly older than me, some of whom had kids, making me an aunt. There were lots of things I got from him, physically, and also writing songs since I was 13, which my mother never did, so that was an exciting connection to make. I’m very close to both my fathers, spoke to Bob twice today and will see Berry next week.” Rhonda, of course, has seen “Motown: The Musical.” “On opening night I was so moved and proud of my father who’d never done theater before and was working so hard on this,” she said. “Those folks are giving their all onstage and are so talented and that night he and my mother were there, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Mary Wilson, and as the show ended they all went up onstage. Say what you will, whatever vilification of history, but the bottom line is they all came all these years later to support it, still with a love for each other, the music, and that time of their lives. “Valisia LeKae who plays my Mom is unbelievable. My mother was floored, and I think she said to her that it was really a treat to watch herself in a live situation as she’d never had that opportunity. It was remarkable because there’s a lot of scenes with her specifically that I wasn’t around for, being born in 1971, but that Caesar’s Palace scene I was around for and remembered it as such a moment.” I had to ask Rhonda what Mom’s closet is like, and she laughed, “That’s a question for my sister, Tracee, who’s more of a fashionista. My mother has her normal closet with the stuff she wears daily, first of all. But she has kept a lot and has storage units where she keeps a lot of it, not just stage and movie stuff but things she’s worn to awards shows. “Mom is also generous and gives away stuff to keep the flow of energy moving, so she’ll pull out racks of stuff, saying, ‘I wanna give this away today.’ And Tracee will go through it and say, ‘Mom, you can’t! You wore this to give an award to Michael Jackson at the American Music Awards!’ And she’ll go, ‘Oh, that’s right!’ “She has loads of stuff from ‘Mahogany’ and before, where she had a hand in creating it. Like you say, it needs to have a museum, but, again, that would be my sister, because she’s the one with the eye, who knows all that stuff.”

At the New Dramatists’ lunch at the Marriott on May 21, there was more Motown talk when I met handsome Charl Brown, who plays Smokey Robinson with an uncanny physical and vocal resemblance. Beaming, as he remembered opening night, he said, “The first thing Smokey said to me was, ‘Good job!’ and he gave me a big hug, which was all the validation I needed. Plus to meet and know him has been such a privilege. “I did a lot of research and luckily the Internet is available but unfortunately not a lot of video from those days, so I really had to imagine it. I read his autobiography, which helped, and the clips gave c

IN THE NOH, continued on p.23


| June 5, 2013 IN THE NOH, from p.22

me the essence of the sound and performance quality. My favorite song of his is ‘You Really Got a Hold On Me,’ which grabbed me by the balls and was the song I sang for my audition. That to me captures his essence, but luckily, although there were a few other contenders for the role, they kept us separate, although I did have to re-audition after I did the first lab. “The audience reaction makes us feel like we’re on the Motown bus, touring the country, the way they dance in the aisles. Fantastic energy! That Motown catalogue is so universal, and, as you say, so often used in films to pump up the emotion of white actors, what I call ‘the faceless Negro sound of a generation.’ Meeting Diana Ross was spectacular — to me the epitome of glamour — and to hear her say that I nailed it, because she knows Smokey so well, was fantastic!”

African-American actors really helped finally spark up a

decidedly lackluster Broadway season. “A Trip to Bountiful” is a pure audience joy, thanks of course to the deservedly now-legendary Cicely Tyson, but also to Vanessa Williams, who proves once more that real talent backs up her extraordinary beauty. I loved how she uncompromisingly threw herself into the near -unrelieved bitchery of her character — and how the meaner she became, the funnier she was. “Yes,” Williams said, “Very bitchy, but I wasn’t afraid of it and knew it would make quite a statement. I tried to embrace Bessie Mae and make the audience understand her. And, working with [director] Michael Wilson was like




Farmer Jon Founder

Kelly Taylor Brewmaster

Charl Brown got a congratulatory hug opening night from Smokey Robinson, whom he portrays in “Motown: The Musical.”

working with Horton Foote, for they had collaborated for so long. He knew the stories and Horton and what it all came from. “But we were surprised by all the laughs we got. At the first preview, there was so much laughter when we got off we were saying, “I didn’t know this was a comedy. When did this turn into “Three’s Company?”’ And Cicely is fantastic — always different and she gets a new laugh every night. She’s a real comedienne and it’s fresh every night. After this? Nothing right now for me, but I am loving doing this!” Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@, follow him on Facebook and Twitter @in_the_noh, and check out his blog at



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June 5, 2013 |

Unbowed in Uganda

CALL ME KUCHU Directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malike Zouhali-Worrall Cinedigm Opens Jun. 14 Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St.

“Call Me Kuchu” introduces us to Kato’s fellow activists Naome Ruzindana, a lesbian, and John “Long Jones” Abdallah Wambere, who, in one festive scene, dons drag with his friends. We also see Stosh Mugisha, who shares a heart-wrenching story about a so-called “corrective rape” she suffered. In fact, what we learn of everyone’s life in the film is affecting and often poignant. What is most heartbreaking — not to mention shocking — is that these brave, openly LGBT Ugandans found themselves targets of Giles Muhame, the homophobic managing editor of Rolling Stone, a local newspaper, who “ignores the rights of privacy in the interest of the public” and publishes the names, addresses, and photos of LGBT folks as he calls for their hanging. Interviews with Muhame, where he casually discusses his anti-gay agenda, are downright chilling. “Call Me Kuchu” chronicles the fight these gay rights activists, under the umbrella of Sexual Minorities Uganda,

GARY M. KRAMER: How did you meet the other LGBT folks in the film? JOHN “LONG JONES” ABDALLAH WAMBERE: When I came to live in Kampala, I started mingling. We used to meet at a hotel and then go to bars. This is how we got to know each other. We built a network of gay and lesbians activists, and held events, workshops, and parties. We had known each other a long time before the filming began. GMK: There are scenes of you and your friends doing drag in the film. Can you talk about that? LJ: I must really say I love acting and I love doing drag. But we don’t have much space or opportunity to do this, so when opportunities arise, I make use of them! When I saw a photo of me in drag, I thought I would look better in the correct makeup and costume. It is entertainment — a kind of a show. I wanted to show that I can do it and I love doing it. But I am not a drag queen. It helps me try to express another part of who I am. GMK: Why did you choose to be a part of the film? Wasn’t there danger in being exposed? LJ: Yes, there was danger, but I decided to not let the issue of exposure stop me from coming out or sharing my experience as a gay person in a country which is homophobic and has no laws to protect or recognize samesex relationships. This was not the first time I was exposed, but it was the first

David Kato, known as the first out gay man in Uganda, was murdered in January 2011, just weeks after prevailing in court against Rolling Stone newspaper.

John “Long Jones” Abdallah Wambere, an ally of the late David Kato, remains active in the LGBT rights movement in Uganda.

time I was being exposed willingly. I was exposing what I knew and my experiences as a gay man. I thought it was high time to show that we were not hiding — or not being real or who we are. There are issues in our society that affect us, and we want to tell the world the reality of what is happening here. GMK: Do you still live in fear because you are out? LJ: Once in a while, I must confess, that yes. I changed my address after David had died. GMK: Can you talk about the case against Rolling Stone and Muhame? LJ: David had two or three people suing Rolling Stone. What I remember was that on the day of the ruling, David was scared of the ruling. He thought that it would be negative. But all of the cases against human rights in response to sexual orientation have been successful. The judiciary is playing its role and not being biased. It respects the rule of law and people’s rights to privacy. But there is some pushback from the state. So people get harassed by security or blackmailed for money. GMK: David was murdered and the film shows a man was arrested for the crime. Do you think he was the guilty man? LJ: He could have been guilty, but we think the decision was rushed and they lacked enough investigation and evidence. When there is such a gruesome murder, they bring police dogs to sniff around and in this scenario they did not. They said it was a robbery, and that it had nothing to do with his sexual orientation or his work as an activist. The anti-gay group thought that he deserved to die.



n inspiring documentary about LGBT activists in Uganda, “Call Me Kuchu” opens with friends celebrating a gay couple’s ninth anniversary. In this country where homosexuality is illegal and newer, more draconian penalties are perennially threatened by politicians, filmmakers Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall profile the late David Kato — who called himself, as did many others, the first openly gay man in Uganda — as well as the circle of friends and allies around him. A dedicated gay liberation fighter and opponent of violence and discrimination aimed at LGBT people, Kato’s charisma is apparent as he describes his first time in a gay bar or when seen attending a church for gays.

or SMUG, wage against their oppressors, including a legal challenge that Kato and Ruzindana lodge against Muhame’s publication. But it is what happens after the verdict — Kato is murdered just weeks later — that makes this film so powerful. While there is an outpouring of international acclaim for the work the activist achieved in his life, his friends in Uganda continue to question the quick arrest and subsequent conviction of a man “known” as a thief and described in some accounts as a prostitute. Gay City News spoke with Long Jones via Skype from Uganda about his participation in the film — which takes its title from a word LGBT Ugandans have embraced in describing themselves — and his life as an out gay man.


BY Gary M. Kramer


Documentary chronicles LGBT resilience in wake of pioneering leader’s murder

A cover of the Rolling Stone newspaper that identified gay Ugandans and called for their execution.

The way the ruling was handled, it was something we weren’t convinced of, but we can’t take it back. GMK: David’s death was very difficult, but it called attention to LGBT rights issues in Uganda. How have things progressed after his murder? LJ: After his death, we realized it was our obligation as activists to take on what David started. It was very difficult to find someone who can really do what David was doing — who could be as brave and as knowledgeable and determined as David was. But that does not mean that because we can’t hit David’s high mark that we should sit back. The war is a long way from being over. We should try to get the constitution amended and have LGBT people free to compete for work and health services without discrimination. It is the obligation of all of us at the end of the day to continue.


| June 5, 2013

Safeguarding Brave Hearts

Portrayals of courage in fight for LGBT, women’s rights distinguish Human Rights Watch Film Festival BY SETH J. BOOKEY


Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center Jun. 13-23 Various venues Schedule, tickets at

This year, the festival has four films of interest to LGBT viewers, both domestically and internationally, with offerings from the US, Cameroon, and Serbia. These films provide a cinematic perspective on how far we have come — and how much further we must go. A fifth film offers one measure of women’s advances in US society.


Directed by Srdja Dragojevic In Serbo-Croatian, with English subtitles Jun. 17 at 9:15 p.m. IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. Jun. 19 at 9:15 p.m. Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center 144 W. 65th St.

Like many for mer Iron Curtain nations, the new countries that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia are virulently homophobic. The Serbian capital, Belgrade, is still a dangerous place to be yourself as a beating on the street is always possible. The 2010 gay pride parade there became an antigay riot that led to the injury of 78 police officers and 17 civilians and to the detention of 101 people for violent behavior. It took 5,600 policemen to guard just a few hundred gay and lesbian marchers. Using these events as a backdrop, “Parade” is a fictional seriocomic look at an odd romance in which an engaged woman threatens to call off her wedding unless fiancé Lemon, a redneck Serbian brute, rounds up former compatriots from the Yugoslavian wars of the 1990s to guard gay activists at the 2009 parade. One of the galoots responds, “If we grant human rights to dykes

Lemon sports a pink pride button as he stands with Radmillo (l.) at the gay pride celebration in Srdja Dragojevic’s “Parade.”

and faggots, then even Gypsies and Albanians will want it.” Lemon takes a road trip with Radmillo, a chubby gay veterinarian, in Radmillo’s tiny raspberry car, which is something of a graffiti magnet. It feels like “The Magnificent Seven” traveling through Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo to collect Lemon’s old war buddies. All this togetherness leads to changes of heart, as Lemon’s homophobic posse learn acceptance. “You guys, you’re really okay,” he says. “You’re normal.” At the end of the movie, it’s just seven people on the LGBT side standing up to hundreds of attacking skinheads. The heartbreaking results lead the police to offer real protection the following year. Using actual footage from the 2010 parade, the film was a blockbuster across the nations that formerly made up Yugoslavia.


Directed by Shaun Kadlec and Deb Tullmann In English and French with English subtitles Jun. 21 at 9:15 p.m. Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center 144 W. 65th St.

Uganda is Africa’s most notorious homophobic nation, but in Africa, the country that most aggressively jails people for being gay is Cameroon. “Born This Way” follows four gay Cameroonians as well as Alice Nkom, the first woman admitted to the bar, who steadfastly defends imprisoned gays and lesbians. The penalty for being gay is three to five years in prison, and everyday LGBTs in Cameroon run the risk of bashings and death threats. Nkom brings two women from a remote southern town to Yaoundé, the capital city, after their public trial exposes them to potential violence. We meet Cedric, who fears that

coming out would mean losing his mother’s love. He is forced to move around surreptitiously after a street gang threatens him. But there are also glimmers of hope. One woman journeys to her hometown and comes out to the Mother Superior who practically raised her and who now accepts her as she is. “She took the time to understand me,” the woman says. “That takes love." Nkom’s hope of taking the issue of homosexuality’s criminalization to Cameroon’s court is heartening, as well. In one scene, we see a flabbergasting discussion between a lesbian and a man driving her, who asks a litany of personal sexual questions. It’s clear he has never met an out lesbian. According to the film’s website, Cameroon’s president — Paul Biya, who has kept a tight grip on power since 1982 — has the power to drop the homophobic laws, has seen the film, and is considering a new, progressive direction for the nation.


Directed by Lisa Biagiotti, Duy Linh Tu, and Joe Lindquist Jun. 15 at 7 p.m. IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St.

America is about equality — and inequalities. When it comes to funding HIV/ AIDS prevention and care, the money dwindles each year. And so, in the documentary “deepsouth,” we follow Kathie Hiers, of AIDS Alabama, as she spends 120 days a year on the road lobbying for funding. Half of the AIDS deaths in America, we learn, are in the South. “Funding tends to bounce from one hot group of demographics to another — with no balance,” Hiers explains.




he annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival consistently presents amazing films from around the world that demonstrate the struggle for human rights and equality in all its varied forms. The dramas and documentaries explore and expose the forces that threaten women, gays, opposition political parties, economic justice, freedom of the press… the list goes on and on.

Joshua Alexander explores an abandoned church in the Mississippi Delta in Lisa Biagiotti, Duy Linh Tu, and Joe Lindquist’s “deepsouth.”

“The focus had been on gay men, then to black heterosexual women. HIV funding has not been distributed fairly.” Elsewhere, Monica and T ammy prepare for a retreat for people living with HIV/ AIDS in rural Louisiana. They face challenges in figuring out how to feed 72 people for several days as well in getting those 72 to come to a safe space to share their experiences and fears in the first place. We also meet Josh Alexander, a gay college student who gets most of his emotional needs met by his gay familyof-choice rather than from his relatives. A particularly poignant moment in “deepsouth” shows Josh walking among tombstones in the graveyard of a long-abandoned church. He stands at the forbidden pulpit — “the most sacred part of the church,” but also a place where a minister could be heard hectoring congregants about the sin of homosexuality and the punishment that results — AIDS. "The only thing you get here in the Bible Belt is hypocrisy," Josh concludes. The film sheds light on an ignored part of the America, where people are striving to redefine traditional Southern values even as they struggle to forge solutions to ensure their survival. Many people living with HIV, we learn, are not eligible for any gover nment pr ograms until they receive an AIDS diagnosis, long after they should have entered care.


Directed by Yoruba Richen June 19 at 7 p.m. IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. Jun. 20 at 6:30 p.m. Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center 144 W. 65th St.


BRAVE HEARTS, continued on p.27


June 5, 2013 |


Met Season Ends Machine “Walküre” may be retired; “Carmélites” a triumph ay 6 saw the last performance — for the season, some rumors said the last ever — of the Met’s Machinedominated “Die Walküre.” The Robert Lepage production’s first act seemed less wrong-headed and dismal this time around, perhaps because some details have been brightened and altered. The principals looked less trapped below the surface. Still, a few striking images across the evening did not redeem banal moments like poor Sieglinde — Martina Serafin, an excellent, specific actress with an attractive if not technically flawless soprano — scraping the dinner dishes. The second act finale could scarcely be staged worse in terms of credibility, visual focus, or curtain timing, and the show’s final moments sell out the sublime music for the sake of a grandiose Effect without Point. Fabio Luisi led a performance perhaps best termed “tidy” — cleanly played, even if with some brass strayed, but rarely expansive or involving. Act One fared best, as Serafin gave it warmth and vocal shine, despite a clearly limited top voice, and played well off of both her male co-stars. Simon O’Neill, whose impressive first Met Siegmund came in 2008, proved in good form here. His baritonal tenor may be less intrinsically beautiful than that of Jonas Kaufmann — true of most tenors — but it has more ring and command in this particular role. Hans-Peter König, rather too Santa Claus-y in presence, had a properly abusive rapport going with Serafin’s Sieglinde, and his fine bass stints neither on verbal nor vocal bite. Act Two dimmed the possibilities, though Greer Grimsley — if in terms of non-godlike timbre more of a Kurwenal or Telramund — made a strongly-voiced, involving showing in his first Met Wotan, certainly an improvement on Mark Delavan’s patchy singing. Stephanie Blythe, suffering from a knee injury requiring a cane, still provided quality sound as Fricka, though the diminished ease on top that ruined her fall Azucena was clearly evident, if less important here. Blythe still has many roles in which to shine — and she’d out-sing any Erda the Met has yet offered in this staging. Deborah Voigt bade goodbye to a part that, sadly, she left too late vocally — there was little but “likeability” and generalized energy to commend in



and ends. It’s modular and efficient for touring, and a lot of it will be familiar — stuff we’ve been doing since we met each other.” Yo n r e c e i v e d a c h o r e o g r a p h y fellowship from the McKnight Foundation. His muse and the mother of his child received a dancer fellowship and has commissioned choreographer Jodi Melnick. It might seem an unusual choice in some ways, but it is also inspired. “I would love to be in a dance by




Felicity Palmer and Isabel Leonard in Poulenc's "Dialogues des Carmélites."

her performance — and never mastered in terms of meaningful phrasing. It’s hard to love a “Walküre” without an incisive, compelling Brünnhilde.

“Dialogues des Carmélites” (May 11)

proved pretty much a triumph — a shame only three performances were scheduled. Poulenc’s luminous, cinematic score was very well served by Louis Langrée, who might have been the one who chose to violate the composer’s intentions and present the work not in the language of the audience. While the French scansion is excellent, the fine Joseph Machlis translation the company has usually used pulls the audience in much sooner than the French text. The first scene particularly demands word-by-word attention. Veteran SFO bass Philip Skinner made his company debut as the Marquis, jumping in very solidly for David Pittsinger, but didn’t prove as good a linguist as Paul Appleby, excellent in a role cut to his measure as the Chevalier. The object of their stifling concern — Blanche — suited Isabel Leonard in many ways. The recent Tucker Award-winner has youth, beauty, a lovely instrument, a wide range, and good enunciation on her side. Though conscientious, Leonard, however, rarely projects a distinct character beyond her own. The neurasthenic, often selfish Blanche seemed pleasantly self-confident, leaving a bit of a hole in the plot.

T ere O’Connor,” Griggs said, but added she “wanted to work with a female choreographer familiar with solo work. Most of my written proposal was built around working for friends. Ther e is a value to working with people who are in the same place” — as in, frame of mind. Melnick has also given Griggs some of the best counsel she has gotten as a dancer. “I don’t take class,” Griggs said. “I love being in rehearsal, but I’m not as mindful of that stuff. She doesn’t shy away from giving advice, and she’s

The dramatic and linguistic confidence of the two Prioresses anchored the show. Felicity Palmer, at 69, remains astonishing for vocal firmness and character. A great artist, she’s always been superb in French, and her Croissy ruled the stage in a manner increasingly rare. Patricia Racette (an excellent Blanche last time out, in 2002) made a moving, compelling, and goodsounding Lidoine, even if lacking the final radiance at the very top. Elizabeth Bishop sang well, as ever, and made Mère Marie sympathetic if not the major moral force Mignon Dunn or Judith Forst presented. Bishop is a fully qualified Met-quality mezzo, but one doesn’t remember her timbre as with Dunn, Forst, or the lustrous Florence Quivar. Erin Morley must be the loveliest-sounding Constance the company has had. She deserves further leads. From among the strong ensemble, Mary Ann McCormick (a finely voiced Mathilde), Richard Bernstein (Second Commissioner), and Patrick Carfizzi (Jailer) stood out for incisive work. In all, a night when the house truly seemed “The Met”.

New York Festival of Song’s 25th anniversary “song party” May 13 at the Di Menna

Center was a feel-good event, if somewhat undermined by a hazy acoustic’d patter mic. But all the singers that guiding divo Steven Blier presented made their words crystal clear. We heard a catalog of titles from top hits to obscure discoveries, sung by a panoply of talent from veteran to established to up-and-coming. High points for me: Amy Burton’s artistry in Bixio’s “Le chaland qui passe” and Mary Testa’s incomparable pizzazz in “I’m Going to Make You Beautiful.” Andrew Garland confidently knocked out the riotous postcoital scena “He Never Did That Before.” Ricardo Herrera’s jet-black baritone, forthrightly delivering several pieces and Julia Bullock exultantly laying out Billy Taylor’s “I Wish That I Knew How It Feels To Be Free” showed that one can be supremely stylish without affectation. The NYFOS Comedian Harmonists — five Blier Juilliard protégés, Kyle Bielfield, Mils Mykkanen, Nathan Haller, Philip Stoddard, and Leo Radosavljevic — killed with a brilliant rhumba number, “Mein Onkel Bumba.” Here’s to NYFOS’ next quarter century! David Shengold ( writes about opera for many venues.

wicked smart.” Moreover, said Griggs, “we both take to problem-solving in the studio. With Chris, it’s a crazy puzzle, an unwritten language. It’s fun to figure out, like math homework. As a dancer, she also likes these problems.” Following the performances at La MaMa, Yon and Griggs will start work on curating an evening of choreography for Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center over Thanksgiving weekend. Their call for auditions ask ed for dedications ins te ad of descriptions, and they are hoping to

transcend style in their selections. They are also working on the next pitch, a regular Saturday morning variety show at the cabaret in the back of the Bryant Lake Bowl in South Minneapolis, what Yon likens to a sister space for the Club at La MaMa. You can also look for them on the festival circuit in summer 2014. La MaMa Moves! 2013 celebrates the dance artists who have performed at the famed experimental theater over the years and runs from June 12-July 7. Complete details at


| June 5, 2013 BRAVE HEARTS, from p.25

"I am a sistah in the movement. I am a S I S T A H. Let's be clear,” declares Sharon Lettman-Hicks of the National Black Justice Coalition. “This is the unfinished business of black people being free." A documentary about African-American marriage equality activists taking on black ministers opposed to their goal, “The New Black” follows people on both sides of the issue in Maryland, where anti-gay groups forced a referendum last November on the same-sex marriage law enacted earlier in 2012. The story’s roots, however, go back to the November 2008 election, which swept Barack Obama into office but also found California voters striking down marriage equality there. Until 2012, whenever same-sex marriage was on a ballot, opponents won — in 32 states. In Maryland, with a sizeable AfricanAmerican population, the pulpits in some black churches became regular sources of homophobic rhetoric and hate-mongering. One African-American LGBT activist noted the challenge facing the pro-gay side — in the 1950s and 1960s, black churches were vital in providing "a community, a village, a sense of self-worth" at a critical time in history. Black gay leaders recognized that a public, grassroots response to bigotry where it was found was urgent. The issue became divisive in the black community. Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the president himself spoke out in favor of marriage equality, while many ministers persisted in making the typical “they want to redefine marriage” arguments. We see one bishop refer to Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage as “Judas’ kiss.” It’s astonishing to hear a black minister say that a radical “minority is attempting to impose itself on the majority.” Black ministers were far from unanimous in their opposition to same-sex marriage. Pastor Delman Coates, a Baptist minister, unapologetically argues that “it's dangerous to legislate some parts of the Bible and not others.” In the end, the gay activists’ efforts were rewarded — Maryland voters upheld the marriage equality law in the November election.


Directed by Freida Lee Mock Jun. 14 at 7 p.m. Walter Reade Theatre 165 W. 65th St.

The 1991 testimony of Anita Hill before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas often feels like an odd memory. An unknown



Anita Hill at the 1991 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court.

woman publicly recalls instances of alleged sexual harassment in the workplace by someone nominated for the nation’s highest court. In moments better suited to “Saturday Night Live,” an allmale, all-white panel of senators makes this woman repeat comments like “Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?” “Anita” offers a memorable look at what happened on October 11, 1991 — and since. The hearings put sexual harassment center stage. The first half of the film shows us the actual hearing, supplemented by commentary from today. Director Freida Lee Mock shows it all, and it’s hard to watch Hill’s discomfort as the senators humiliate her with their incredulous reactions to her embarrassing testimony. We see the anger and frustration of women spectators as Hill is treated almost like a hostile witness at a hearing chaired by Joe Biden, then the Senate Judiciary chair. For these men, from both parties and opposite sides of a highly polarized de bate, w i nni ng seem s far m or e important than finding the truth. We also learn that, in the intervening 20 years, women have held annual “I Believe Anita Hill” conferences. Dignity and courage have proved stronger than the bullying on exhibit at the 1991 hearing. Since then, record numbers of women have reached state legislatures and Capitol Hill. Women are also coming forward in unprecedented numbers to lodge workplace sexual harassment complaints. Anita Hill found her voice in 1991, and today she urges women everywhere to “raise your voice wherever you find it.” While Thomas remains on the Supreme Court, Hill has helped illuminate the complexities of female powerlessness, saying, “If I am not public, there would be a sense of victory they would have over me.” Hill never again wore the blue dress from the 1991 hearing — it is still in its dry-cleaner plastic. Meanwhile, it has become a much-requested item by women in Ghana who saw it on TV.


June 5, 2013 |


Speak to Us, Governor




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






There can be little doubt that for marriage equality in New York State in 2011, Andrew Cuomo was the indispensable man. A short 18 months before he signed legislation giving same-sex couples the right to marry, the issue had gone down to a staggering 38-24 defeat in the State Senate. Within weeks of his taking office in January 2011, the new governor rallied advocates while also making clear that the path to victory was one he would forge. He expected hard work and persistence from the team he assembled but he also demanded discretion, faith, and allegiance to his leadership. It all worked. With one vote to spare. When he spoke about the victory, Cuomo, being his father’s son, cast it in the proud tradition of the state’s progressivism. “New York at its finest has always been a beacon of social

justice,” the governor said as he signed the legislation shortly after it won Senate approval the evening of June 24. And Cuomo’s leadership did not only inure to the benefit of New York. It is surely no accident that Democratic governors across the nation — not to mention nearly every US senator from that party — have jumped on the gay marriage bandwagon after seeing all the lovin’ our governor got in the wake of our victory.

con of social justice.” Then how come 16 states offer their transgender residents protections based on gender identity and expression and New York does not? Why has more than a decade passed since New York enacted a gay rights law with no further statewide action taken to extend those same protections to transgender and gender non-conforming residents who face harassment, violence, discrimination, and poverty?

How come 16 states offer their transgender residents protections based on gender identity and expression and New York does not? Sure, some cynics have sneered that Cuomo saw the lovin’ comin’ as he met with wealthy gay men and attended their lavish political fundraisers. But that doesn’t change the fact that “New York at its finest has always been a bea-

And why, despite the governor’s repeated promises he would sign the long-stalled Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, have we not seen him put any visible political capital into making certain such a bill reaches his desk?

Surely that has nothing to do with the fact that there are no political fundraisers filled with wealthy transgender New Yorkers with checkbooks in hand. Or so Andrew Cuomo could prove by leaning in to the fight. The New York State Senate will simply not budge on this bill this session unless the governor leans in. He is leaning in on women’s rights in a big way this month. In fact, Cuomo has never shown the least bit of reticence about leaning in on issues that matter to him. As a gay man who just married my longtime partner, I am frankly embarrassed that GENDA is not yet the law of New York State. We left the transgender community behind when we passed the hate crimes law in 2000. We doubled down on that failure with the gay rights law in 2002. We said that marriage equality needed to go first in 2011 because it affected far more members of our community than would GENDA. What excuse is left to us? This Pride Month, we owe it our transgender brothers and sisters to tell Governor Cuomo that their lives matter to us — and they should to him, as well. It’s time to pass GENDA. It’s time for the governor to insist that the Senate do so. It’s time to make New York a beacon again.



On Being an Aunt

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spent a couple of days last week hanging out in a hospital room and watching the dreck that passes for children's programming — like that Disney movie “Mars Needs Moms.” It's pretty much naked propaganda for the Mom, Dad, kid nuclear family. This is the plot in a nutshell. The Martians come to Earth and snatch likely maternal candidates and fatally extract their efficiency and discipline, which is then implanted in a Nannybot who

is solely responsible for rearing the tiny aliens. No hugs. No love. Just orders. One boy whose mom is grabbed stows away on the space ship and tries to save her before she's irreparably har med. He stumbles onto a small resistance movement that literally uncovers pre-historic paintings of a mommy, daddy and baby Martian on a canyon wall. After a series of mildly suspenseful hijinks and lessons in love, the evil nanny-type Supervisor is overthr own, along with the commie-style, mass child-raising system. The original "natural" order

is restored with the nuclear family — and men — back at the top. I would have heaved, but it wouldn't have been sanitary. No spoof of 1950s values, this horrifying thing just appeared in 2011 and is still getting played over and over (and over) on a children's network. After watching it, I just sat there and seethed, even more uncomfortable than I already was. There's nothing like illness and the medical establishment to force you back into that whole heterosexual cesspool, where your identity is entirely determined by who had heterosex with

whom, and when. Walk in t he do o r o f t his particular children's hospital and immediately there are signs saying only parents and grandparents can stay over night, though it wasn't too hard to get one of the wristbands that designated me as an additional guar dian that meant I could stay, too. To the staff, my credentials were embodied in that word "aunt," which was only true in the strictest definition of the word. Because when the nurses and doctors asked me about the kid — was something normal for him or not? — I didn't really know. I only saw him once shortly after birth, then again as a young


COGSWELL, continued on p.29


| June 5, 2013


All the World’s A Stage BY NATHAN RILEY


omeless LGBT youth, for all the challenges they face, are beginning t o o rga n i z e a s n e v e r before, in recent years learning about lobbying for the services and housing they need by dramatizing their plight and enlisting allies in their cause. And through the good work of the Theater of the Oppressed NYC, drama is quite literally playing a big role in improving their skills and confidence. TONYC has created an ensemble of young people drawn from existing programs they conduct with LGBT homeless youth services groups such as the Ali Forney Center, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and the Door. This megaensemble recently completed a weekend workshop. TONYC partnered for the first time with St. Luke’s in the Field, an Episcopal church at the corner of Hudson and Christopher Streets. Katy Rubin, TONYC’s founder and director, explained that the actors have experienced homelessness and are the creators of their playlet. “They design it, they direct it to demonstrate a current problem, but one that comes from their own experience,” she explained. The May 17 weekend of “Legislative Theater” in the church’s gym was organized to share information and create strategies for action. It is advocacy by


COGSWELL, from p.28

teen. Then there he was in the hospital bed recovering from brain surgery at 16. It would have been more accurate to characterize me as an acquaintance with shared DNA and shared stories from the pre-history of his mom's childhood that would have discouraged even Disney's Martians from trying to resurrect the Mom, Dad, baby scenario. I don't understand what the big deal is about "families." I fled mine as soon as I could and have only seen a few examples since that contradicted my experience. Though it seems like I turned up at the hospital as a result of family feeling, you should know I've done as much and more for friends. It's a question of ethics, not genetics. If you see need, you should try to meet it if you can. But doing so

storytelling. It is one thing to be aware of the often desperate conditions facing these youth and quite another to watch them portray a police stop where the officers go through a young person’s belongings and casually throw condoms on the street. For these youth, a legislative proposal to ban the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution is a battle to protect a basic human right for access to preventive health care. Many of these youngsters challenge gender stereotypes and some have been charged with being sex workers with or without cause. The youngsters play all the parts. They are the ones being stopped, and they are the actors playing the police officers. They wrote the mini-play with the assistance of the staff of TONYC. “The performance gives audiences a chance to feel solidarity,” Rubin said. “Earlier presentations left audiences riled up and wanting to know what to do next.” The weekend also fostered selfesteem and self-empowerment. “Being on stage is a powerful experience,” Rubin explained. “They make an audience laugh and create feelings of empathy.” TONYS’ model is part of an international movement for empowering disenfranchised people that originated in Brazil and has spread to 70 countries. The stories that youth decide to tell may be prompted by TONYC staff asking questions like, “When did you

experience discrimination and were denied what you consider a basic human right?” Framing the issues in this way links the youth’s experiences to concepts of justice and provides alternative explanations that stop them from blaming themselves for their predicament or getting trapped in incoherent rage. TONYC prompts educational skills like reflection and analysis. The young actors at St. Luke’s also portrayed youth seeking shelter as well as the social workers who recognize a need but are unable to provide services under their policy guidelines. In this way, the youth walk in the shoes of adults they encounter, many in adversarial ways. The actors examine their experiences from all angles, and their understanding of the hurdles they face grows. At the end of the weekend, the participating youth remained keenly aware of the unmeet needs too often dominant in their lives, but they also exhibited a palpable sense of achievement. On Sunday after noon, they enjoyed a cast party and also discussed the need for decisive government action to address their everyday reality. The theater workshop drew the attention of several gay elected officials. West Side State Senator Brad Hoylman attended, as did a representative of Queens City Councilman Daniel Dromm. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, also of Queens, was there as

is almost impossible if you stick to the nuclear family model, which has Dad holding Mom holding the baby. While tripods are one of the most stable shapes around, they only work

nal values that redefined family as anybody who had your back, maybe because it was increasingly passé to agitate and make loud rude noises in the street, even for the sake of social

It's a question of ethics, not genetics. If you see need, you should try to meet it if you can. if all three legs are of equal length and strength. Otherwise, you get the usual disasters of gravity. Still, for ming tripods, no matter how dysfunctional, seems to be a common goal for most Americans, even queers. Long before the mar riage equality train left the station, we were pairing off and acquiring kids. We turned our backs on any commu-

change. Or maybe we never were a community and the whole thing is a myth except for one Sunday in June. A lot of people participated in the huge historic marches in DC and elsewhere, but weren't we still just a small per centage of the supposed community? And how many of us just re-conquered the couch after we got back

well and said what he saw reminded him of his days in ACT UP. Behind St. Luke’s brick walls are a park, a church, and a school. The church holds Saturday night dances for LGBT youth, and Rubin expressed satisfaction about the successful “networking” that brought TONYC and St. Luke’s into a closer working relationship. She predicted that as word spread that LGBT youth in need are welcome at the church socials, their attendance would increase. The approach taken by St. Luke’s couldn’t be more starkly dif ferent from the hostile attitude with which the Catholic hierarchy and right-wing Protestant groups confront the LGBT community. During the “Legislative Theater” weekend, Reverend Mary Foulke gave a sermon commemorating Pentecost Sunday, the holiday that celebrates the arrival of the Holy Spirit among Christ’s apostles after his crucifixion — an event that inspired them to start the Christian Church. Foulke told her congregation, “In the Sixth precinct (that is this neighborhood), recent statistics show that in the space of one year, 2,954 incidents of stop and frisk were reported. In 865 of those cases, officers reported the use of force.’ In only 32 of those stops was a weapon found. In addressing this issue, Foulke made clear that her church is prepared to provide leadership in forging solidarity in the community. St. Luke’s, by opening its doors to TONYC and the youth it serves, is also helping to arm young people with the capabilities and fortitude to take lessons from the stage beyond its walls and into the real world.

home? These stories we tell ourselves about Stonewall and queer family values, are they even true? We're Americans, too, after all. We're part of a society that's incredibly fractured, partly because of our insistence on the family value tripod, partly because we still pretend to believe in that bootstrap model of success. We're on our own and like it that way, at least until a hurricane or tornado hits. We don't interfere. Except when we do. Queers are also as divided by difference as society at large. We let ourselves be separated by race, by misogyny, and by questions of gender, a category where we seem to have less and less room for ambiguity. Getting hitched could make these things worse. Marriage, from what I've seen of the hetero brand, separates as much as unites, hides chasms with cake.


June 5, 2013 |


A Magic Purple Pen

With both “Cinderella” and “The Nance” Both Up for Tonys, Could Douglas Carter Beane Be Any Gayer? BY CHRISTOPHER MURRAY


he playwright and screenwriter Douglas Carter Beane looooooves Keen’s Steakhouse, that relic of old New York on West 36th Street in Midtown. Founded as a gentlemen’s smoking club when the theater district was just migrating Squares up from Union to Herald, but not yet Times, Beane is right at home at Keen’s, nestled in with walls covered by yellowing stage bills featuring titans of past theatrical triumphs — as well as a tasty Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned. Yup, he’s a homo. When I tell him I used to work as a waitron there back in the day, but that we all called it not Keen’s Chop House, but Queen’s Flop House, he barks with pleasure. Keen’s and Beane may sound like an old vaudeville duo, but it seemed an appropriate place to meet the playwright and screenwriter of “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” — which must be acknowledged as the best movie title of the past 50 years — the night after the opening of his new

Douglas Carter Beane could be up for a big Tony night on June 9.

play, “The Nance,” starring that clarionvoiced kleptomaniac of the spotlight Nathan Lane. Lane is up for a Tony on June 9 for Best Actor as is Beane himself for Best Book of a Musical for his smart, sassy, and soulful new adaptation of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Not one, but two new shows opening on Broadway in as many months must be some sort of gay Olympic record. Figure Skating, Greco-Roman Wrestling, and the Double Broadway Freestyle. And while both “Cinderella” and “The Nance” are as unabashedly gay as our solicitous black-vested server at Keen’s, they couldn’t be more different in tone. Still, their subject matter is not really so different — both explore the sometimes difficult complexities of identity in a world that prefers its pigeonholes. “The Nance” tells the basedon-historical-circumstance story of Chauncey Miles, a vaudeville comedian who specializes in broad gay stereotype and runs afoul of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s campaign against racy burlesque in the leadup to the 1939 World’s Fair. Sound familiar? Lane mauls the scenery with gusto and achingly embodies the tortuous self-sabotage of a man divided against himself, enraged at society’s homophobia but eaten up with selfloathing. A superb cast including veterans Cady Huffman and Lewis J. Stadlen, nail both the burlesque style of ham and swish, but also fill in the sympathetic community that can’t save Chauncey from the daggers pointed at the heart of the era’s furtive homosexual life. Many gay men seeing “The Nance” — the run of which has been extended to August 11 at the jewel box Lyceum Theatre ( — would

likely aver that such sordid selfabnegation is a thing of the past, what with gay marriage and the brave new world of our out, loud, and proud lives. Beane, however, chose to tell this story out of his awareness of the ways in which many of us still struggle with self-acceptance. For his part, Beane recounts a childhood of great love and encouragement that nonetheless was complicated by fears of bullies. He also treasures the salvation provided by an early immersion in the oasis of the theater. The support of his family and his theatrical community, he says, enabled him to surmount some of the pitfalls of our kind and establish a supportive, long-term relationship with his husband, composer Lewis Flinn, with whom he collaborated on the musical “Lysistrata Jones” in 2011. The couple have two adopted children and relish time spent in their Pennsylvania country home, not too far from Beane’s hometown of Wilkes-Barre. But no matter his satisfaction in his personal life, Beane is acutely aware that growing social validation of gay relationships is still tempered by the private battles each gay man or woman conducts in the privacy of their own mind and heart. A recent posting on the Craigslist “Missed Connections” board doesn’t sound all that far away from Chauncey’s rustling of his newspaper and coded phraseology targeted toward a potential hook-up at the Automat in Greenwich Village: The Nance — m4m (Broadway) We exchanged glances both at intermission and after the show. You were with friends. You are blonde and so handsome! Wish I would have said hi before you walked away, and glanced back at me.

| June 5, 2013



June 5, 2013 | St. Jun. 7-10, 14-16, 21-23, 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 at

wood. Jun. 9, noon-6 p.m., rain or shine. More information at

Pope Off the Rails

Written two years ago, “Benedictus” is the story of a pope who has visions commanding him to follow a new calling and decides to resign. Influential cardinals, concerned he is losing his mind, are eager to see him go, but Benedictus might just conclude his visions are illusions and he should return to being a conservative pope. This is the ninth collaboration among playwright Tom Attea, composer Arthur Abrams, who has written incidental music for the piece, and director Mark Mercante. Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. at Tenth St. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m., through Jun. 16. Tickets are $10 at


PRIDE Brooklyn Gathers in Park Slope

JUNE 6: Joseph Cavalieri's one-man show, "Stong Women Bright."


FILM Boys in the Band & on Celluloid

Brooklyn Pride in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum presents a screening of “The Boys in the Band,” the 1970 adaptation of Matt Crowley’s iconic play about a gay man’s birthday party that turns into a night of soul-searching when his straight college roommate turns up by chance. Laurence Luckinbill, one of the film’s cast members, appears afterward in a Q&A. 200 Eastern Pkwy., a block east of Grand Army Plaza, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, third fl. Jun. 6, 7 p.m. Admission is free but space can be reserved at

GALLERY Tough Broads in Glass

"Strong Women Bright" is East Village artist Joseph Cavalieri’s one-man exhibition that features illuminated glasswork portraits of strong women, including Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie O, Sophia Loren, Lady Bunny, and Maude (aka Bea Arthur). Dixon Place Lounge, 161A Chrystie St. btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts. Through Jun. 24.

What’s Good for the Goose…

In “The Catalog,” works first published by Bend Over Magazine in 2011, Danish-born Goodyn Green, who now works in Berlin, presents an exhibition of nudes of queer women inspired by poses seen in gay male magazines. Strange Loop Gallery, 27 Orchard St., btwn. Canal & Hester Sts. Through Jun. 30, Wed.-Sun., noon-6 p.m. Opening reception, Jun. 6, 6-9 p.m. More information at

DANCE A Pascal Rioult Premiere Rioult Dance NY presents an eight-performance

season, featuring artistic director Pascal Rioult's newest work, “”Iphigenia,” a dance drama inspired by the Greek heroine of the same name from Euripides' "Iphigenia in Aulis." Composer Michael Torke’s score will be performed by the Camerata New York Orchestra. The performances also include “On Distant Shores” (2011), “Prelude to Night” (2002), and one of the company's signature works, “Bolero” (2002). Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St. Jun. 6-8, 8 p.m.; Jun. 8 & 9, 2 p.m.; Jun. 9, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$49 at, or 212-242-0800.

BENEFIT Characters Unite at CB2 for LGBT Youth

In celebration of Pride Month, the USA Network “Characters Unite” public service program teams up with CB2 stores in a multi-platform campaign to fight hate and discrimination and to support the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. The effort will include the sale of CB2 messenger bags priced at $79.95, with $30 going to support GLSEN. On Jun. 6, 5-7 p.m., the CB2 Soho Store, 451 Broadway near Grand St., hosts a special pride party. For more information on the monthlong campaign, visit


THEATER And Just $24 Started It All

Peculiar Works Project presents its new site-specific theatrical event, Barry Rowell’s “MANNA-HATA,” the extraordinary true story of the transformation of New York from a small island to a booming metropolis. Featuring famous scoundrels (Peter Stuyvesant, Boss Tweed, Robert Moses), artistic legends (Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker), and other beloved City figures (Jane Jacobs, Shirley Chisholm), “MANNAHATA” shares tales of graft, oppression, and violence, as well as stories, poems, and songs of love. James A. Farley Post Office, 425 Eighth Ave., enter on 31st

The 17th annual celebration of Pride in Brooklyn is an all-day affair, beginning with a 5k run in Prospect Park and ending with a twilight parade down Fifth Ave. On Jun. 8, 10 a.m. (registration opens at 8), a 5k run co-sponsored with Front Runners begins at Bartel Pritchard Circle, 15th St. & Prospect Park W., with proceeds benefiting the LGBT youth program of GLOBE/ Make the Road NY. The street festival and stage show runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in a new location — Fifth Ave., btwn. Third St. & Ninth St. A kids’ space is at the Old Stone House/ Washington Park at Fifth Ave., btwn. Third & Fourth Sts. The parade gathers at Douglas St. & Fifth Ave. and steps off toward Ninth St. at 7:30 p.m. Complete information at


MUSIC Taylor Mac Preps for 24-Hour Gig

Taylor Mac, who is preparing for a 24-hour “Concert of the History of Popular Music” to be performed in 2015, is working hard on keeping 240 songs in his head at once. Mac and his musical directors use Dixon Place as their open rehearsal room. 161A Chrystie St., btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts. Jun. 19 & 19, 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but a hat will be passed.

Renewable Klezbos

Isle of Klezbos’ 15th annual KlezBiGay Pride festivities feature Obie-winning actor and playwright Lisa Kron as MC in an evening with a sustainable city/ renewable energy theme. Margaret Jolly, Con Edison’s solar power and co-generation maven, will present the latest in enlightenment options on and off the New York City grid. The gal-powered sextet performs two sets of music ranging from klezmer to Yiddish swing and tango to free-roaming original compositions. El Sol Brillante Garden, E. 12th St., btwn. Ave. A & B. Jun. 12, 7-9 p.m. In case of rain, the venue shifts to the Jewish Community Center, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at W. 76th St. Complete details at

DANCE Ailey Moves Lincoln Center

North Jersey Pride, which hosts its festival on Jun. 9 (see below), presents an adult night-out in advance, with dancing, complimentary wine and bubbly cocktails, delectable edibles, and a silent auction that includes tickets to “Kinky Boots,” “Book of Mormon,” and Cyndi Lauper’s upcoming concert. DJ Steve Sidewalk spins all evening. The Maplewood Club, 489 Ridgewood Rd. at Collinwood Rd., Maplewood. Jun. 8, 7 p.m.midnight. Tickets are $50 at

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents seven performances that include the world premier of Ronald K. Brown’s “Four Corners,” Brown’s “Grace,” an encore performance of Jirí Kylián’s “Petite Mort,” Garth Fagan’s “From Before,” artistic director Robert Battle’s “Takademe,” Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16,” and the company’s signature “Revelations,” built around African-American spirituals. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center, Columbus Ave. & 63rd St. Jun. 12-13, 16, 7:30 p.m.; Jun. 14-15, 8 p.m.; Jun. 15, 2 p.m.; Jun. 16, 3 p.m. Tickets are $25-$135 at

COMMUNITY An Army of Lovers

NIGHTLIFE Xs & Os Against Violence

Jersey Dances for Equality

Artist Ginger Brooks Takahashi presents a ritual unfurling of “An Army of Lovers Cannot Fail,” a quilt begun in 2004 as a tribute to the community building and dialogue of the queer community she has known. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy., a block east of Grand Army Plaza, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, fourth fl.. Jun. 8, noon-5 p.m.


PRIDE Pride Returns to Maplewood

Now in its third year, the North Jersey Pride Festival is a family-friendly event brings together LGBT folks and straight allies from all over the Garden State. The afternoon includes a stage show, a food court, and a kids’ zone. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is seeking a US Senate seat this year, kicks off the festivities at Noon. Memorial Park Amphitheater, 124 Dunnell Rd. at Oakview Ave., Maple-

Singer Derek Bishop, boylesque star Go Go Gadget, and Tym Moss of "Artists Exposed and the new Bronx community center join the fun at Will Clark’s P*rno Bingo, tonight a benefit for the New York City AntiViolence Project. Uncle Charlie’s, 139 E. 45th St. Jun. 12, 9-11 p.m.


NIGHTLIFE Pride for Laughs at BAM

“Get It Out There,” a monthly comedy showcase produced by BAM and IFC, presents a Pride Month installment featuring comedian David Smithyman, writer and storyteller John Flynn, comedian Matteo Lane, and Eliot Glazer and Jackie Mancini. Caroline Creaghead is the evening’s curator and Erin Judge hosts. BAMcafé, 30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Pl., Brooklyn. Jun. 13, 9 p.m. Admission is free.


14 DAYS, continued on p.35


| June 5, 2013

WeddingPrideDirectory Celebrating gay anD lesbian marriage

ATTORNEYS Ron L. Meyers, Esq.

515 Madison Ave. in New York, (212) 644–8787, Ron L. Meyers is a leading practitioner of estate planning for LGBT clients. He was a major source for the New York Times’s October, 2009 feature, “The Higher Lifetime Costs of Being a Gay Couple.”

Rumbold & Seidelman, LLP

116 Kraft Ave. Ste. 3 in Bronxville, (914) 779–1050, Rumbold & Seidelman has a long history of representing the LGBT community — whether through adoption or some form of collaborative reproduction.

AUTOMOTIVE Bay Ridge Subaru

1819 Cropsey Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 234–7960, Visit Bay Ridge Subaru for a new or used Subaru Forester, Outback, or Tribeca. It supports same-sex couples.

Ford Lincoln of Queens

39-48 Queens Blvd. in Queens , (718) 657–8888, Leave your wedding in style in a new 2013Ford Fusion Hybrid!

Habberstad BMW

945 E Jericho Tpke. in Huntington Station, (631) 271–7177, Proud supporters of the LGBT community — especially if they have a taste for luxury!

CEREMONY SITES Park Avenue Christian Church

East 85th Ave. in New York, (212) 288–3246, The historic building has Tiffany stained-glass windows and a 56-rank Holtkamp organ that fills hearts with the glory of music.

The Riverside Church

490 Riverside Dr. in New York, (212) 870–6802, Exchange vows where Presidents and some of the most historic figures of our time have stood then finish your perfect day in one of its event halls.

St John’s Lutheran Church

81 Christopher St. in New York, (212) 242–5737, In the heart of the West Village, St John’s Lutheran Church and Rev. Mark E. Erson, Pastor, openly accepts same-sex couples.

ENTERTAINMENT M B Sound Productions Entertainment

3034 Merrick Rd. in Long Island, (516) 322–1745, MB Sound Productions & Entertainment is a professional, high tech, well equipped, and mobile DJ entertainment company servicing the tri-state area.

Metropolitan Klezmer

(212) 475–4544, Established in 1994, Metropolitan Klezmer brings eclectic entertainment to every event by performing vibrant versions of, trance, folk, swing, and tango styles.


him, her, and them. Surf through its site to quickly discover just the right thing.

your source for exquisite adornments.


608 Fifth Ave. in New York, (212) 751–3940, This Fifth Avenue jeweler has been manufacturing wedding and engagement rings since 1953. It offers an unusual assortment of its own vintage-influenced designs and classical rings.

Genesis Fertility and Reproductive Medicine

Multiple locations,, (718) 283–8600 Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine is a nationally recognized center of excellence for comprehensive fertility services.

FLORISTS Fleurs Bella

55 E 11th St. in New York, (646) 602–7036, Fleurs Bella creates unique, floral designs, from the smallest flower arrangement to the most lavish event decor. The team at Fleurs Bella will capture the essence of your vision.


917 Fulton St. in Brooklyn, (718) 789–7900 Prymar Associates is a one-stop destination for event needs, financial consulting, and investment guidance. Operating for 15 years, Prymar can arrange weddings and birthdays of any size.

HEALTH & BEAUTY Bay Ridge Skin & Cancer Dermatology

9921 Fourth Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 833–2793, Put your best face forward with the help of David Biro, who was voted one of “New York Magazine’s” best doctors. The medical office offers Botox, microdermabrasion, and laser hair removal.

Emergency Medical Care

200 Chambers St. in New York, (212) 962–6600, Emergency Medical Care is a gay-friendly healthcare practice and an efficient and compassionate urgent care concept. It is a healthcare practice dedicated to better, timely medicine.

Dr. Kate Brayman, DDS: Cosmetic & General Dentistry

44 W. 10th St., Ste. 1A in New York, (212) 505–0295, Contact Dr. Kate Brayman for a great smile. Her office provides teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. Look your best on your big day and call Dr. Brayman today.

Lavaan Dental Spa

474 6th Ave. in New York, (212) 837–1833, Lavaan is the only true spa for your smile. There’s no drilling, no filling, just clean, while smiles.

INVITATIONS PaperPresentation

23 W. 18th St. in New York, (212) 463–7035, Paper Presentation is a unique retailer of specialty papers, envelopes, custom invitations, giftwrap, craft and art supplies, and other products to inspire your creativity.

JEwELRY The Clay Pot

(516) 860–9288, Kupcakes with a K offers over a dozen different unique flavors for you to enjoy! Sold in certain locations and through its website for your party or event.

162 7th Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 788–6564, The Clay Pot opened in 1969 as a pottery studio and now sells designer jewelry with an impressive wedding ring selection. Come visit and see what everyone is talking about!

Lou Babs & Moogs

Greenwich Jewelers

Kupcakes with a K

95A Main St. in Port Washington, (516) 883–8585, Lou, Babs & Moogs opened its doors in 2002, and sells an inspiring mix of unique and useful gifts for

64 Trinity Pl. in New York, (212) 964–7592, If you’re in search of something classic, contemporary, or completely eclectic, Greenwich Jewelers is

Wedding Ring Originals

MEN’S FORMAL wEAR Black Tie Formals

Multiple locations, Family-owned and operated since 1970, Black Tie Formals offers tuxedo and suit, rentals and sales. It has a large inventory with many labels. Come in and try on a style and see how dashing you look!


(646) 302–2801, 2 To Tango believes that excellent planning starts with a clear understanding of the clients’ needs, style, and wishes. It offers help finding interfaith Ministers, caterers, wedding insurance, and more.

PARTY RENTAL Classic Party Rentals

336 W. 37th St. in New York, (212) 752–7661, At Classic Party Rentals, exceptional customer service is its hallmark. It offers a network of party specialists that can provide everything you need anywhere you need it.

REAL ESTATE SERVICES Accurate Building Inspectors

1860 Bath Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 265–8191, Accurate Building Inspectors is a full-service home and building inspection firm servicing the tri-state area since 1961.


and improved Staten Island venue can provide the perfect. elegant backdrop for your reception with prime dates still available.

Le Cirque

151 E. 58th St. in New York, (212) 644–0202, Le Cirque has offered an unparalleled dining experience for over 38 years. It welcomes you to enjoy a meal in its modern, circus-themed dining room where the food is just as exciting as the decor.

The Provincetown Business Guild

3 Freeman St., Provincetown, Mass., (508) 487–2313, In 2004 Provincetown quickly became the number one destination for LGBT unions. The inclusive, gay-friendly spirit provides the perfect place for all couples to host a wedding, commitment ceremony, or spend their honeymoon.

reBar Brooklyn Gastropub

147 Front St. in Brooklyn, (718) 766–9110. This DUMBO gastropub located on the mezzanine of a 19th century tea factory offers seasonal New American fare, 135 beers, an organic wine list, and an extensive scotch selection.

Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

370 Canal St. in New York, (212) 966–3400, Let the Sheraton Tribeca help you celebrate your same-sex wedding. The sleek, modern hotel works with various New York City wedding venues in the area.

Tio Pepe

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

Top of the Garden

251 W 30th St. in New York, (212) 643–0055, Top of the Garden is an L-shaped raw loft space that lets your imagination come alive for a wedding. It’s 4,000-square feet offer seamless spaces in which to primp, prep, cook, and set up.

(212) 627–8838, Alger House is a great venue for smaller weddings and corporate events (30 to 106 guests). The very private reception hall has high ceilings, custom lighting, and nearby transportation.

The Vanderbilt at South Beach

Brooklyn Museum

Villa Vosilla

200 Eastern Pkwy. in Brooklyn, (718) 638–5000, The Brooklyn Museum is an extraordinary venue located in the heart of Prospect Heights. It has oneof-a-kind backdrops for private events.

Circle Line

89 South St., Pier 17 in New York, (212) 742–1969, Treat your guests — and yourself — like royalty aboard an enchanting Zephyr luxury yacht for your wedding, post-wedding brunches, rehearsal dinners, and more.

Columbia’s Faculty House

64 Morningside Dr. in New York, (212) 854–1200, A smart and stylish choice for your unique New York City wedding, the prized University landmark has classic, flexible spaces with a surprising, modern twist.

Fort William Henry Resort

48 Canada St. in Lake George, (518) 668–3081, The gay-friendly hotel is located on 18 acres that span the entire southern shore of Lake George. It assures that your wedding will be one spectacular memory — for you, your wedding party, and guests.

Grand Oaks Country Club

200 Huguenot Ave. in Staten Island, (718) 356–2771, Formerly the South Shore Country Club, this new

300 Father Capodanno Blvd. in Staten Island, (718) 447–0800, Boasting both a luxurious banquet hall, as well as magnificent outdoor oceanfront space, 6302 Main St. in Tannersville, (518) 589–5060, Villa Vosilla is located in the middle of the Catskill Mountains. The hotel can customize your wedding with a cocktail party and gourmet cuisine prepared by a culinary chef from Italy.

World Yacht

81 W. 41st St. in New York, (212) 630–8100, Operating since 1981, World Yacht at Pier 81 is the premiere destination on the Hudson River. It has four stunning vessels and is an ideal venue for romantic dinners, group outings, and weddings.

Yacht Owners Association

101 W. 23rd St., New York (212) 736–1010, Yacht Owners Association has over two decades of experience planning events at sea, and the largest number of yachts in the tri-state area. The Yacht Owners Association can accommodate weddings anywhere from 2 to 600 guests.

TRAVEL Ace World Travel

8320 13th Ave. in Brooklyn, (347) 915–4287, This full-service and certified romance travel agency specializes in destination weddings and honeymoons. It can also create custom-built itineraries.

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crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people, presents “TrevorLIVE,” its signature annual event bringing together top entertainers, advocates, and corporate leaders. The event honors Cindy McCain, who will receive her award from daughter Meghan, as well as Cason Crane, a young out gay mountaineer, and Wells Fargo. In an evening hosted by Jane Lynch that includes cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction, Broadway director Michael Wilson helms a performance featuring Billy Porter and Sara Bareilles, and DJ Kiss spins. Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, 23rd St. at the Hudson River. Jun. 17, 6 p.m. Tickets are $500 at

14 DAYS, from p.32



Chelsea Opera presents the Manhattan premiere of “A Distant Love: Songs of John and Abigail Adams,” Gary Fagin and Terry Quinn’s work based on letters exchanged between the second president and his wife. Soprano Victoria Tralongo appears as Abigail and baritone Peter Kendall Clark sings the role of John. Jorge Parodi conducts the Chelsea Opera String Quartet. Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, 120 W. 69th St. Jun. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Jun. 15, 3 p.m. Tickets are $30-$35; $20 for students & seniors at or 212-260-1796


BOOKS Felice Picano Takes Us Time-Traveling


COMEDY The Night Long Island City Sanks


The two short novels that make up Felice Picano’s “20th Century Un-limited” — “Ingoldsby” and “Wonder City of the West” — take delicious what-if peeks at outwitting Time’s (seemingly) unbending Arrow. Time travel, sexy gay men, and the Golden Age of Hollywood are all in the mix. Picano reads from the two novels, and is joined by Tom Baker, who reads from his story collection “Full Frontal: To Make a Long Story Short.” SAGE USA, 305 Seventh Ave. at 27th St., 15th fl. Jun. 19, 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 646-841-1349 or visit

Ringleader Adam Sank (NBC's "Last Comic Standing”) presents the Pride edition of “The Queens of Queens,” a Long Island City LGBT comedy show featuring the musical comedy duo Mel & El — as Melanie Kinard and Ellie Dvorkin, best friends since 12 — Yamaneika Saunders, Neil Thornton, Veronica Elizabeth, and token straight boy Mike Cannon. Laughing Devil Comedy Club, 4738 Vernon Blvd. (#7 train to Vernon-Jackson). Jun. 16, 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 at, plus a two-drink minimum.

THEATER An Italian Funeral — And Another Wedding

Staten Island native Anthony Wilkinson (“Boys Just Wanna Have Fun,” “My Big Gay Italian Wedding,” both Off-Broadway) presents his latest show, “My Big Gay Italian Funeral.” This sequel to “Wedding” kills off the father, introduces a long-estranged gay brother, and crams everything imaginable into a big Italian wake. Emmy-winner Sonia Blangiardo directs. St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th St. Sun., 7 p.m. beginning Jun. 16, running through Aug. (The revival of “Wedding” runs Sat., 8 p.m., beginning Jun. 22.) Tickets are $69.50 at or 212-239-6200.


BENEFIT A Lifeline for Youth in Need The Trevor Project, the nation’s leader in providing


FILM Chillfest Heads to Asbury Park

Customarily presented in Jersey City, the LGBT film series Chillfest heads to the beach for the summer — specifically to Asbury Park. The summer schedule include Jeffrey Schwarz’ “I Am Divine,” the story of the overweight, teased Baltimore youth who achieved drag superstardom in collaboration with filmmaker John Waters (Jun. 21, 10 p.m.; Jun. 23, 2 p.m.); Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a witty and affecting story of a 15-year-old loner, Charlie (Logan Lerman), who embarks on high school in the wake of his best friend's suicide (Jun. 22, 9 p.m.); Ashton Christian’s “Petunia,” about a young gay man clinging to the idea that celibacy is the best way to go through life while standing at the center of a family that has a storied history of avoiding real feelings (Jul. 5, 10 p.m.; Jul. 7, 2 p.m.); Curtis Hansen’s “Wonderboys,” a campus farce in which Robert Downey, Jr., has a brilliant turn as a rambunctious gay book editor (Jul. 6, 9 p.m.); Thom Fitzgerald’s “Cloudburst,” a foul-mouthed lesbian road movie starring Brenda Fricker and Olympia Dukakis (Jul.19, 10 p.m.; Jul.21, 4 p.m.); Mike Nichols’ “Silkwood,” the true story of a poisoned nuclear materials plant worker who dies in a mysterious car accident while trying to expose the scandal, which features Cher as the lesbian buddy of heroine Karen Silkwood, played by Meryl Streep (Jul. 20, 9 p.m.); Yen Tan’s “Pitstop,” a story about small-town America in which Gabe, a man recovering from an ill-fated affair with a married man, finds solace in his relationship with his ex-wife and daughter, and Ernesto evades his life at home with his ex-boyfriend by spending time in the hospital with an ailing past love (Aug. 2, 10 p.m.; Aug. 4, 2 p.m.); and “The Wedding Banquet,” Ang Lee’s celebrated comedy about a gay New Yorker who stages a marriage of convenience with a young woman in

need of a green card to satisfy his traditional Taiwanese family (Aug. 3, 9 p.m.). The ShowRoom Cinema, 707 Cookman Ave. at Bond St., Downtown Asbury Park. Tickets are $10 at .



The Sundance Outdoor Adventure Society, New York’s oldest LGBT outdoor recreational club, hosts the Sundance Pride Ride, a 40-mile ride roundtrip from Central Park to City Island and the Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. An ideal challenge for an intermediatelevel ride looking for something out of the ordinary. For details and to reserve a spot for this free event, email Jun. 22, 9:30 a.m. sharp kick-off.

PRIDE A Special Night of Leather

Mr. Eagle 2013 Arsenio Amadis and Past Empress XXVI of the Imperial Court of New York Witti Repartee preside over the 30th anniversary Leather Pride Night NYC — a fundraiser for Bailey House, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and Heritage of Pride, producers of Manhattan’s LGBT Pride Week events. Veteran auctioneer Jo Arnone promises to guide heated bidding on nearly 100 items, including leather and latex fetish clothing, toys and equipment, art objects, event passes and tickets, and unique personal services. The event also features sexy performers, a silent auction, a

kinky flea market, and of course the services of an attentive team of bootblacks. XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd St. Jun. 22, 6-10 p.m. Tickets are $20, $75 for VIP access at; $25 at the door.


PRIDE A Kick-Off to the Big Week

The LGBT Community Center hosts the 30th annual Garden Party, the only gay tasting festival in the nation. Join some of New York’s most talk-about chefs for an evening of scrumptious food, cocktails, and a silent auction on the Hudson River. Pier 84, West Side Hwy. at 44th St. Jun. 24, 6-10 p.m. Tickets are $99 at


FILM Rufus, Martha Sing Tribute to Their Mom

In a tribute to their late mother, folksinger Kate McGarrigle, Rufus and Martha Wainwright appeared in a May 2011 Town Hall concert with her sisters Anna and Jane McGarrigle, Jimmy Fallon, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, Teddy Thompson, and novelist Michael Ondaatje. Lian Lunson’s film of that concert, “Sing Me the Songs that Say I Love You” premieres tonight at the Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St. Through Jul. 9. Tickets, show times at


June 5, 2013 |

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