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Supreme Court Next Stop for Prop 8 9 Dharun Ravi Begins 30 Days in Jail 6 Queens Kicks Off Pride 14 Anthony Perkins in Paris, Not Love 28

VOLUME ELEVEN, ISSUE TWELVE JUNE 6-19, 2012

WHY

Stop & Frisk IS A

QUEER ISSUE

LGBT LEADERS LEND THEIR VOICES P 4 | EDITORIAL P 12 © GAY CITY TY NEWS 2012 2 • COMMUN COMMUNITY UNITY IT MEDI MEDIA, A, L LLC, LC, ALL LC AL RIGHTS RESE RESERVED SERVED RVED


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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

MICHAEL LUONGO

Why Stop & Frisk Is a Queer Issue

Illustration by Christina Entcheva

LGBT leaders lend their voices; Gay City News endorses Silent March Against Racial Profiling 4, 12

BOOKS

Lambda Literary Foundation fĂŞtes Armistead Maupin, Kate Millett as pioneers

9

POLITICS HRW

Duane Offers Baton to Hoylman Albany vet retires; West Village community board leader early favorite 7

Taking a Tough, High Road Human Rights Watch Film Festival pulls no punches 24

PAGES 36-38


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| June 6, 2012

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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

Lending Their Voices on Stop & Frisk At dramatic Stonewall Inn event, LGBT community joins with Al Sharpton, NAACP’s Ben Jealous BY PAUL SCHINDLER

WILLIAM ALATRISTE

T

oday, we are going from dating on occasion to a marriage.” Displaying his trademark skill at artful turns of phrase, the Reverend Al Sharpton spoke to the dramatic significance of a June 5 press conference at the Stonewall Inn that brought together leaders of dozens of local and national LGBT groups and the organizers of a June 17 Manhattan march to protest the NYPD’s stop and frisk policies that affect people of color in starkly disproportionate numbers. The End Stop and Frisk Silent March Against Racial Profiling is planned for Father’s Day, and its lead organizers include Sharpton’s National Action Network, the NAACP, Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Federation of Teachers, and the New York Civil Liberties Union. Last year, the NYPD made nearly 685,000 stop-and-frisks, up from less than 100,000 in 2002. Police department data demonstrate the sharp racial and

Chris Bilal, flanked by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Joo-Hyun Kang of Communities United for Police Reform, Lambda Legal’s Kevin Cathcart, Ben Jealous of the NAACP, HRC’s Marty Rouse, and the Reverend Al Sharpton, at the Stonewall Inn on June 5.

ethnic disparities in the use of the tactic –– with 53 percent of them involving African Americans and 34 percent, Latinos. On June 5, most of the big names in LGBT advocacy –– the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Empire State Pride Agenda, the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), Lambda Legal, the

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Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Family Equality Council, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Marriage Equality USA, the National Black Justice Coalition, and Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) among them –– stepped up in solidarity. Terming the police’s stop and frisk policy “a process that is simply broken and that, if not fixed, will only cause further division,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, an out lesbian Chelsea Democrat expected to seek the mayoralty next year, said, “The key to our safety as a city is a positive connection between the police and the community.” The nearly 700,000 stops, she noted, are not distributed evenly across the city’s neighborhoods or eight million residents but rather “concentrated in particular subsets of New Yorkers.” The show of LGBT support for the June 17 march was organized by Stuart Appelbaum, the out gay president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, who said that the beginning of Pride Month was an appropriate time to “join” the civil rights and LGBT rights movements. The press conference came just weeks after the NAACP went on record in support of marriage equality and the nation’s first African-American chief executive became the first president to do the same while in office. The NAACP’s national president, Ben Jealous, was on hand for the event. It was less than two years ago when Jealous became the first NAACP president to appear at New York’s LGBT Community Center, and, while saying that “our movements have been coming closer together for some time,” he mentioned Bayard Rustin as an example of LGBT involvement throughout the history of the AfricanAmerican fight for civil rights. Rustin, an out gay man who was arrested on lewd-

ness charges in California and stopped and frisked in Harlem, was the lead organizer of the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Sharon Stapel, AVP’s executive director and one of two co-chairs of the march’s LGBT table convened by Appelbaum, focusing on the ways in which stop and frisk affects people of color communities and LGBT people, termed much of the practice “unacceptable state-sanctioned violence” that represents “institutionalized racism, homophobia, and transphobia.” A report just issued by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), made up of 16 organizations nationwide including the AVP, found that 32 percent of those who reported antiLGBT violence and harassment cited police misconduct as part of their experience. Of that group, slightly more than half alleged unjustified arrest, while about a quarter said they had been subjected to excessive force, 17 percent to entrapment, and five percent to police raids. Some transgender NCAVP clients said they had been profiled as sex workers and falsely arrested. Other LGBT clients complaining of police misconduct said they were arrested for public shows of affection or public sex either falsely or through selective enforcement. Nearly four in ten who cited police misconduct were survivors of violence who were themselves the ones arrested. Among all offenders cited in the NCAVP report, police officers and other law enforcement agents made up more than nine percent of the total. The report also found that transgender people of color experienced police violence at a rate more than two times greater than the LGBT community as a whole. Chris Bilal, a young African-American gay man who works with Streetwise & Safe, a group that engages youth of color to help them navigate their encounters with police on the street, talked about having been stopped and frisked several times, saying his experiences have too often been “missing from the barbershop narrative” about the issue. When he and two gay friends were dancing to Beyoncé music in a park, he said, that apparently convinced police it gave them “probable cause to suspect we were engaged in unlawful sexual conduct.” The risk of stop and frisk, he added, discourages many young gay men of color from carrying condoms for fear they will be profiled as sex workers. George Gresham, the African-American president of SEIU 1199, said that

FRISK, continued on p.8


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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

CRIME

Dharun Ravi Begins 30-Day Sentence Defense, state appeals pending, ex-Rutgers frosh guilty in Tyler Clementi web spying goes to jail BY PAUL SCHINDLER

D

harun Ravi, a 20-year -old former Rutgers Univer sity student, convicted on March 16 in a 2010 webcam spying case targeting his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, began serving his 30-day jail sentence on May 31. Ravi appeared in Superior Court in New Brunswick early in the mor ning the day before to tell Judge Glenn Berman that, despite a pending appeal of his conviction, he was willing to begin his sentence, which also includes 300 hours of community service, counseling on what the judge termed “cyberbullying” and “alternative lifestyles,” three years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. Ravi’s attor ney, Joseph Benedict, said his client would begin his community service after his jail time and initiate installment payments on his fine on August 1. Ravi will spend his time in the Mid-

dlesex County jail — not in a state prison — and could be released after 20 days. Steven Altman, another of Ravi’s attorneys, released a s t a t e me n t on the eve of the May 30 hearing offering the young man’s first for mal apology for the spying events, which were followed several days later by the suicide of Clementi, an 18-yearold Rutgers freshman who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. “My behavior and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice, or desire to hurt, humiliate, or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions,” the statement read. “I apologize to everyone affected by those choices.” Ravi ter med his actions “thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid, and childish choices.” The jail time, ordered in a sentencing hearing on May 21, was based on concurrent 30-day sentences for six of the 24 counts on which Ravi was convicted. He was found guilty of multiple counts

of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness and evidence tampering, and evasion of apprehension. Immediately after the sentence was handed down, the Middlesex County prosecutor announced plans to appeal Ravi’s sentence, arguing that it was “insuffi ci ent,” so the d efend ant could have deferred his jail time until the appeal was resolved. “It’s the only way I can get on with my life,” Ravi said in his written statement, explaining his decision to serve his time now. Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan, in a May 21 statement, said that while his office “did not request the maximum period of incar ceration for Dharun Ravi, it was expected that his conviction on multiple offenses of invading the privacy of two victims on two separate occasions, four counts of bias intimidation against Tyler Clementi, and the coverup of those crimes, would warrant more than a 30-day jail term. The imposition of this term is insufficient under the sen-

Tyler Clementi, a highly regarded violin player, was described as a shy college freshman at the time of his suicide.

tencing laws of this state, the facts that were determined by a jury, and long-standing appellate precedent. Consequently, this office will appeal the sentence.” At the May 30 hearing, first assistant prosecu-

tor Julia McClure said her office believes the defendant deserves five years in prison. According to nj.com, Ber man said, “I’ll stand on belief that his conduct was wrong.

RAVI, continued on p.34

Little Blowback on LGBT Voices Urging Ravi Sentencing Restraint Critics of “revenge” report hearing no angry responses from community BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

A

s debates raged in the gay blogosphere over the sentence that Dharun Ravi should receive after being convicted on 24 charges including invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering, bias intimidation, and hindering prosecution, a few queer voices seeking little or no jail time for Ravi emerged in the mainstream press. “I was in favor of no jail time in this case, but I think 30 days is well within the boundaries of what a fair and appropriate sentence is in this case,” said Richard Kim, executive editor at The Nation, a progressive magazine. Ravi will serve 30 days in jail beginning on May 31, pay a $10,000 fine plus additional costs, complete

300 hours of community service, undergo counseling, and stay on probation for three years. He first apologized for his actions on May 29. The defense and prosecution have said they will appeal. Ravi faced more than 30 counts in his New Jersey trial, and, to be sure, many in the LGBT community sought a far harsher sentence. A great deal of anger was directed at the 20-year -old Ravi because after he briefly spied on Tyler Clementi, his gay college roommate, and another man having sex, tweeted about having done so, and then attempted to do so a second time, Clementi, 18, took his own life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Clementi’s 2010 death followed a string of suicides by gay kids who had been bullied by their peers.

At Ravi’s May 21 sentencing hear ing, his attorney, Steve Altman, said his client had been “demonized by the gay community.” Ravi was not charged w i t h a n y crime related to Clementi’s d e a t h . I n interviews with t h e N e w Yo r k T imes and ABC’s “20/ 20,” jurors said the suicide played no part in their deliberations. While the debate within the queer community over the trial and sentence occurred almost exclusively on gay blogs, it was nevertheless rancorous and sharply divided. The gay voices that the mainstream

press quoted as urging leniency heard little negative feedback from the broader community. Aaron Hicklin, the editor of Out

In interviews with the New York Times and ABC’s “20/ 20,” jurors said the suicide played no part in their deliberations. magazine, wrote an editorial and spoke out in the press urging that Ravi be set free after the magazine ran a letter and photo essay by

BLOWBACK, continued on p.34


| June 6, 2012

POLITICS

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Announcing Senate Exit, Tom Duane Nods to Brad Hoylman BY PAUL SCHINDLER

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homas K. Duane, the out gay Chelsea Democrat first elected to the New York State Senate in 1998, has announced he will not seek reelection this November. “New York City is my home,” Duane said at a June 4 press conference, adding, “Yesterday, I went to see ‘Porgy and Bess’… I want to have more of those moments.” Other than saying he hopes to stay involved in “helping people” and “saving the world,” he was not specific about his plans come January 1. Duane, who is 57, was elected to the Senate after serving seven years on the New York City Council, where he held the seat now occupied by Speaker Christine Quinn, an out lesbian who once served as his chief of staff. He made clear that his candidate to succeed him is Brad Hoylman, the chairman of Community Board 2 in the West Village, who has jumped into the race. “Brad is one of my closest friends,” he said. “We talked last night. I would be proud to be represented by Brad Hoylman.” Hoylman, who had been expected to seek the City Council seat held by Quinn, who will be termlimited next year, told Gay City News, “Nothing would make me prouder than to continue Senator Tom Duane’s legacy of being a champion for our community and those who normally don’t have a voice in the halls of government. His 14-year legacy is without parallel. I hope to follow in Tom’s progressive, activist footsteps and am humbled by his comments today. I would be extremely honored to have Tom’s support for the State Senate.” Hoylman’s effort was also boosted by a June 4 endorsement from East Side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. During Duane’s time in the Senate, the state enacted hate crimes legislation that included protections for gay and lesbian New Yorkers, adopted a gay rights law, and put in place school anti-bullying protections based on categories including sexual orientation and gender identity and expression — all measures on which he served as lead sponsor. The most significant advance for LGBT rights during Duane’s time in the Senate came in June 2011 when New York enacted a marriage equality law with the strong support of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. In addition to those four measures, Duane was also the long-time sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a transgender civil rights measure passed five times in the Assembly but consistently stalled in the Senate. Over the past year, Duane handed off the lead sponsorship of that measure to his Democratic Senate colleague Daniel Squadron, who represents portions of Lower Manhattan and Brownstone Brooklyn. With a mix of frustration and determination, Duane said he would press this year to secure enactment of a rent cap — pegged at 30 percent of their income — for clients of the HIV/ AIDS Ser vices Administration who live in privately-owned housing, protection already afforded to HASA clients in public and congregate care housing. Dating back to at least the final years of the Pataki administration, Duane, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick,

and AIDS advocates, including Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL), have pushed to end an anomaly in state law that forces HASA clients without rental cap protection to pay up to 70 percent of their income on housing, leaving them with less than $15 per day for their other expenses. The measure, passed twice by the Senate, was vetoed in 2010 by then Governor David Paterson. “I will never understand why Governor Paterson vetoed the bill,” Duane said. “It was not the Governor Paterson I thought I knew.” The for mer gover nor was under significant pressure from the Bloomberg administration, which produced an analysis saying the rent cap law would cost the city and the state $15 million per year each. An analysis by the City Council countered that extending the rent cap would cost about $4 million in start-up costs, but would be no worse than revenue-neutral in later years, an objective that Paterson, burdened by a huge budget deficit, said he required. Asked if he had the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo on the measure, Duane noted that it first needed to be approved by the Senate and Assembly. “I’ll need everyone’s help to make sure it gets signed,” he said. A spokesman for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the legislation. In 1994, after only three years on the Council, Duane challenged West Side Congressman Jerry Nadler, who was finishing up his first term, in the Democratic primary. Nadler had been appointed by party leaders to run as the Democratic candidate in 1992 when incumbent Democrat Ted Weiss died suddenly during the fall election campaign, so he was considered potentially vulnerable. In a district that included sections of Brooklyn as well as Manhattan, however, Nadler dispatched Duane by a roughly two-to-one margin. While on the Council, Duane fought hard to keep the administration of Mayor Rudy Giuliani accountable for the performance of HASA, then known as the Division of AIDS Services (DAS). The former mayor quickly abandoned plans early in his first administration to dismantle DAS as a onestop agency making government support services available to people living with the virus at a time when the death toll from AIDS continued to surge in the city. Duane joined with activists in a massive march on City Hall to push back on the new mayor’s plans, and he succeeded in having the agency enshrined in law. Duane also worked to enact the state’s first domestic partnership law, but the contentious relationship between him and Giuliani frustrated his efforts. Shortly after the ex-mayor’s 1997 reelection race — in which the Empire State Pride Agenda remained neutral, rather than endorse his opponent, Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, a vocal gay rights supporter — the mayor pushed through his own domestic partnership law, similar to Duane’s, but gave the gay councilman no credit. Besides Hoylman, potential candidates for Duane’s seat that have been mentioned include Corey Johnson, the out gay chairman of Chelsea’s Community Board 4, Yetta Kurland, a lesbian who ran a strong challenge against Quinn in

GAY CITY NEWS

Veteran gay Dem leaves Albany after 14 years; CB2 chair steps up with Carolyn Maloney’s blessing

Senator Tom Duane announcing his retirement at a June 4 press conference.

2009, East Side Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, and West Side City Councilwoman Gail Brewer. Kurland, Kavanagh, and Brewer did not respond to requests for comment. In a statement praising Duane, Johnson, noting that he too has been considering a run for the Quinn seat next year, said, “I will be weighing this decision very carefully in the coming days, and will make an announcement in due course. Right now, however, I ask that we lay the question aside and instead focus on honoring a true leader and pioneer, Senator Tom Duane.” Kurland has been expected to run for the Quinn Council seat next year, as well. A spokesman for Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, an out lesbian who is a 22-year Albany veteran, knocked down speculation in the New York Times that she would jump into the State Senate race. The Democratic primary for Duane’s seat is September 13, and petitioning for primary begins this week.

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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

BOOKS

Literature, Excellence, and Glitz, Too Lambda Literary Foundation recognizes LGBT achievement in books BY MICHAEL LUONGO

MICHAEL LUONGO

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Farzana Doctor and Jim Provenzano accept their awards.

MICHAEL LUONGO

he 24th annual Lambda Literary Awards ceremony, held June 4 at Midtown’s CUNY Graduate Center on Fifth Avenue, easily accomplished its mission of being the third, final, and most glamorous of New York’s spring trifecta of gay literary events. Bestowed by the Lambda Literary Foundation, the awards, nicknamed the Lammies, followed March’s Rainbow Book Fair and April’s Publishing Triangle Awards. Always timed in conjunction with Book Expo America, North America’s largest such conference, this year’s edition of the Lammies was a particularly glitzy affair, with awardees and presenters that included bold-faced names such as writer Armistead Maupin, Oscarwinning actress Olympia Dukakis, lesbian feminist writer and activist Kate Millett, film actress Ally Sheedy, Broadway and film actor Anthony Rapp, playwright, screenwriter, and actor Charles Busch, TV host Ted Allen, and New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni. “This year we sold out of tickets for the event,” said Lambda executive director Tony Valenzuela. “The first time this has ever happened.” More than 400 people attended and participated, with awards given in 24 categories, some sub-divided by gender. Comedian Kate Clinton served as emcee, bringing her sharp and often biting sense of humor to the auditorium,

Dr. Eleanor Pam bestowed the Pioneer Award on Kate Millett.

with jokes touching on topics ranging from abortion to fellatio and politics, including a riff on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent proposal to ban the sale of jumbo sodas. Clinton, who felt loneliness as a youth in upstate New York, knowing nobody else who was LGBT, also offered serious commentary, saying. “LGBT writing saved my life.” She added, “Audre Lorde saved my life.” Maupin was the recipient of one of the Lambda Liter ary Foundation’s 2012 Pioneer

FRISK, from p.4

a common term among youth in many neighborhoods is “stop and frisk virgin,” used to describe that rare individual who has not yet been targeted by police. Robert Pinter, who was falsely arrested in 2008 on prostitution charges while leaving a Manhattan video store for a consensual sexual encounter suggested by a much younger undercover police officer, spoke about his ongoing activism with a group he founded, Campaign to Stop the False Arrests. Pinter’s was one of at least 30 such arrests in 2008 in six Manhattan

Awards. He was introduced by Dukakis, who said that of all the roles she has played as an actress, none had more impact on her than that of Mrs. Madrigal, the landlady in Maupin’s “Tales of the City.” From Mrs. Madrigal, she said, she learned that “the most important thing for me was to survive myself.” In receiving the award, Maupin acknowledged gay writers who came before him, in particular Christopher Isherwood, the author of “The Berlin Stories,” which was the basis

video stores identified by Gay City News. Law enforcement used the prostitution arrests as evidence in civil lawsuits aimed at closing down the video establishments. Both Marty Rouse, HRC’s national field director, and CBST’s Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum took note of recent revelations that the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM) secretly circulated memos highlighting the group’s aim of derailing progress on marriage equality by driving a wedge between the African-American and LGBT communities, two of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies. “We are all connected to each other,”

for the stage and screen hits “Cabaret.” Thanking younger writers in the room who had spoken of his impact on them, Maupin said, “We all have someone who is further along than us, someone who reaches across the ages.” He added, “We are all committed to each other. We can pass it on, and take it from our elders.” Rahul Mehta, author of “Quarantine,” which won the Gay Debut Fiction award, was among those paying tribute to Maupin. Accepting his award, Mehta said he was honored “to be in a room with Armistead Maupin and all the other great writers,” adding that LGBT “books told me I was not alone in the world.” The other 2012 Pioneer Award went to Millet, a towering feminist icon, an early leader of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the author of “Sexual Politics,” originally her Ph.D. dissertation for Columbia University. At a time when the feminist movement was beset by anxiety that it would dismissed as a push from man-hating lesbians, Millet, in 1970, was outed by Time magazine, something that made her a lightning rod for critics of women’s new-found assertiveness. Though frail and requiring assistance in reaching the stage, Millet insisted on standing during her humor-laced speech, at first apologizing for its informality, saying, “I wrote this in a taxicab.” She said she was “impressed to be in the company of so many stars.” Recalling the difficulties of being an out lesbian feminist activist more

Kleinbaum said. “We are all multiple identities at once. No one has the right to ask us to stand separate and apart.” Stirring words about coalition politics, however, could not completely mask the potential discomfort some LGBT leaders may have felt taking such direct aim at the conduct of a police force so strongly defended by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a highly visible advocate in the successful push for marriage equality in New York. Rouse declined to respond to a Village Voice question about HRC honoring the mayor last year with its National Ally for Equality Award, saying he was on hand to support the June 17 event.

than 40 years ago, she said that today “we’re practically a nation. We don’t have to hide anymore.” Emotions were high among the award recipients, many of whom had spent years working on their projects, often with little economic reward in small niche categories within LGBT publishing. A particularly emotional response came from Jim Provenzano, whose book “Every Time I Think of You” won in the Gay Romance category. He bounded out of his seat, trotted to the stage, and was red-faced and ebullient in accepting his award. The recognition of writers of color was one of the evening’s highlights. Farzana Doctor, whose “Six Metres of Pavement” won in the category of Lesbian Fiction, said she was particularly proud to stand before the audience as “a brown queer writer tonight.” Following her award, the evening’s final prize went to Colm Tóibín for his “The Empty Family,” recognized in the category of Gay Fiction. The Irish writer was in Dublin and sent regrets that he was unable to receive the award in person. The evening included a sidesplitting performance by Lypsinka, who wove famous telephone conversations from classic movies into a ‘50s-era song performance. The after-party was held at Slate, with Lady Bunny stepping out as DJ. A complete list of Lammy winners can be found at lambdaliterary.org. The 2013 awards ceremony will mark a quartercentury for this esteemed community celebration.

Through six years as Council speaker, Quinn has been faulted in some progressive quarters for what was seen as her surprisingly close and amicable relationship with Bloomberg. On several occasions, Pinter told Gay City News that he valued her work on the video store arrest issue, but unlike some elected officials who were visible and vocal at street demonstrations, the speaker seems to have exerted much of her influence behind the scenes –– presumably with either the mayor or Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, or both. The June 5 event may signal a shift in her public posture on policing issues.


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| June 6, 2012

LEGAL

Ninth Circuit Declines to Re-Hear Prop 8 Next stop is Supreme Court, if it chooses to reconsider decision striking down ‘08 referendum BY ARTHUR LEONARD

T

he US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has let stand a three-judge ruling that strikes down Califor nia’s Proposition 8. In a June 5 decision, the circuit denied a bid to grant rehearing by a larger panel of circuit judges — sitting en banc — of a February threejudge panel decision affirming Chief District Judge Vaughan Walker's 2010 ruling that Proposition 8 is an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

have a right to marry, based on both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment. In a lengthy opinion based on a very full trial record, Walker made detailed findings of fact that refuted all the justifications put forward for denying same-sex couples the right to marry. While Walker found that the denial of a fundamental right or the argument that sexual orientation should be tr eated as a “suspect” classification, like race, might subject the marriage ban to a heightened or strict level of judicial scrutiny — requiring a compelling justification — he concluded that Prop 8 could not even survive the least demanding type of review. AFER, he found, demonstrated that there was no rational basis for bar ring gay and lesbian couples from marrying. Existing Ninth Cir cuit precedent has held that sexual orientation discrimination claims should be subjected to such rational-basis review. The Prop 8 Proponents succeeded in getting Walker’s ruling stayed, but the case hit a speed bump when the Ninth Circuit asked the California Supreme Court for an advisory opinion about whether the amendment’s promoters had the right to intervene after top elected officials in Califor nia declined to defend the referendum in federal court. After the state high court responded affirmatively, the three-judge panel then ruled on the merits. That panel's February 7 decision af fir med Walker's conclusion that Prop 8’s enactment was unconstitutional, but employed dif fer ent — and narrower — reasoning. Unlike Walker, the Ninth Cir cuit did not rule that same-sex couples have a right to marry as a matter of federal constitutional law. Refocusing the case, the court instead concluded the state had violated the 14th Amendment by voting to rescind the right to marry after it had been granted. The court likened this case to

“This is a great step forward toward the day when everyone will be able to marry the person they love,” said David Boies. The court, however, stayed it ruling for 90 days to give the Of ficial Proponents of Prop 8 — who are defending the 2008 voter initiative in the absence of the California governor or attorney general doing so — the chance to appeal to the Supreme Court. The high court would not take up the question of an appeal until its new term begins in October, and if they take the case, a decision could be at least a year of f. Should they decline the case, however, samesex couples could marry again in California. “This is a great step forward toward the day when everyone will be able to marry the person they love,” said David Boies, one of the attor neys hir ed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) to represent two California same-sex couples who wish to marry. Boies and his colleagues, Ted Olson, against whom he famously battled in the Bush v. Gor e case that decided the 2000 election, and Ted Boutrous, spoke to reporters after the circuit decision was issued, in a call coordinated by Chad Grif fin, AFER’s founder and the new president of the Human Rights Campaign. Judge Walker's decision in August 2010 held that same-sex couples

PROP 8, continued on p.34


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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

HEALTH

When Having HIV Is a Crime Community Center forum focuses on criminalization throughout US as part of effort to repeal penalties BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

GAY CITY NEWS

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earing a light green shirt and beige pants, Robert Suttle was speaking to a crowd of roughly 50 people at a forum on HIV criminalization held at New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center. He was blunt. “I am not a criminal,” the 33-yearold said on May 24. “I am not a sex offender, but the state of Louisiana says I am.” Suttle served six months in prison after a former boyfriend, with whom he had a difficult relationship, told police Suttle had violated the state’s law that criminalizes intentionally exposing another to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Suttle pleaded guilty to avoid a longer prison term and was required to register as a sex offender. His Louisiana driver’s license has a red banner below his picture with the words “sex offender” in large black letters. His story is not unique. Thirty-six states and territories

Sean Strub and Robert Suttle at a May 24 New York City forum on HIV criminalization.

currently have laws that make it a crime to not disclose an HIV-positive status to sex partners and others or that punish exposing others to HIV. The laws do not necessarily differen-

tiate between safe and unsafe sex or require that anybody be infected by the defendant. “It undercuts the most basic message about public health, which is that

every person has to be responsible for their own health,” said Sean Strub, a longtime AIDS activist who is executive director of the SERO Project, a group that opposes these laws. The laws were enacted after Congress added a provision to 1990 legislation that funded many AIDS programs and services. The provision, removed from the 2000 reauthorization of the original legislation, required states to show that their criminal laws penalized the knowing transmission of HIV. A large number of states responded by enacting new statutes. Some laws punish behaviors by HIV-positive people that do not transmit HIV, such as spitting or biting, and many do not weigh the relative risks of transmission among various behaviors. “There are some states in which courts have allowed sex toys to be a means of transmission,” said Adrian Guzman, an attorney with the Center for HIV Law and Policy, a nonprofit law firm.

CRIMINALIZATION, continued on p.11

CRIME

Bias Slay Suspect’s Juvie Program Scored Only Modestly Alternative-to-detention for Luis Tabales shows recidivism marginally below incarceration BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

T

he New York City juvenile justice program that was unsuccessful in treating one of the accused killers of Anthony Collao has recidivism rates that are only marginally better than the recidivism rates for all of the state’s juvenile justice programs. Luis Tabales, now 17, was found to be a juvenile delinquent in Queen Family Court in 2010 and enrolled in the Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI), an alternative-todetention program run by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) under an agreement with the city’s Department of Probation. In JJI beginning in June of that year, Tabales agreed to a curfew, to attend school, to stop using marijuana and

Anthony Collao, a straight youth killed last year by a group shouting anti-gay slurs that allegedly included Luis Tabales.

other drugs, and to not get arrested again. The Tabales family received multisystemic therapy (MST) fr om a psychologist at the Child

Center of New York (CCNY), a private agency with an ACS contract to carry out the therapy with some of the r oughly 250 juveniles

enrolled in JJI every year. Tabales was arrested for fare beating in September 2010 and tested positive for marijuana six times between July 31 and November 3. Tabales missed 19 therapy appointments. His mother missed others, and she resisted enforcing elements of the therapy. He frequently skipped school and regularly violated his curfew. In December of that year, CCNY and ACS closed his case. This was the “most severe sanction available,” the judge in T abales’ case wrote in a 98-page decision he issued on March 14 of this year. Pr obation never issued a violation of pr obation petition to that judge during the entire time Tabales was in JJI. In 2011, on January 9, Tabales was indicted on 11 charges in the Bronx, includ-

ing robbery and assault, which are violent felonies. On January 25, he was charged with attempted robbery and assault in Brooklyn. Tabales and five other young men are accused of using anti-gay slurs as they allegedly beat Collao to death on a Queens street on March 12 of last year. Their c h a r g e s i n c l u d e m u r d e r, manslaughter, gang assault, and robbery, with some charged as hate crimes. Collao, 18, was straight. On March 1, nine months after Tabales entered JJI, probation delivered a violation petition to the judge. It sent an amended petition to the judge on April 29 of last year. According to ACS data, 61 percent of the juveniles who enrolled in JJI in the city’s 2009 fiscal year, which runs

TABALES, continued on p.11


11

| June 6, 2012

CRIMINALIZATION, from p.10

The forum is part of an ongoing effort to repeal these laws. The SERO Project has held forums in other cities, and Strub and Suttle testified before a United Nations committee last year. The UN committee will issue a report on HIV criminalization in July. One state, Iowa, has a “fairly developed” effort at repeal, Strub said, and others are at the start of repeal. “There are other states where there is sort of the beginning of it,” he said. The group will have a prison float in Manhattan’s LGBT Pride March in June. Last year, Barbara Lee, a Democratic congresswoman from California,

introduced legislation that requires the Pentagon, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice to review federal laws and regulations to identify where they place “unique or additional burdens” on people “solely as a result of their HIV status” and encourages their repeal. The legislation also uses federal funding to encourage states to repeal their laws. The legislation has 30 cosponsors. The best evidence suggests such laws have little or no impact on people’s behavior. A 2007 study published in the Arizona State Law Journal compared the sexual behavior of 248 men who have sex with men or injecting drug users

TABALES, from p.10

from July 1 to June 30, had not been rearrested one year after leaving the program. In the 2010 calendar year, 32 percent of JJI participants had a violation of probation petition, though 20 percent of the violators were allowed to complete the program. That same year, 38 percent of JJI enrollees were rearrested during treatment and 39 percent of those rearrested completed the program. In a report issued last year, the state agency that oversees all juvenile justice programs found

in Illinois, which has an HIV criminalization law, to 242 such people in New York, which does not have a similar law. The study found “very weak support” for the assertion the Illinois law affects behavior. What the study found were people acting in accordance with their views of what is right or wrong. “The notion that one can get in trouble for deceiving or endangering others does seem to matter to behavior, but does not depend at all upon the existence of HIV-specific laws or the belief that the law requires specific acts by people with HIV,” the authors wrote. A study, published this year in the journal AIDS Care, of 384 people with HIV in Michigan, which has an HIV

that 49 percent of a cohort of juvenile delinquents, who are older than seven but less than 16 and have cases in family court, and juvenile offenders, who are in that age range but have cases in adult criminal court, were rearrested within one year. The cohort included juveniles released from all programs in 2008. The JJI enrollees are allowed to remain living in their communities, which suggests they have committed minor crimes. The 2008 cohort includes juveniles who were detained in residential facilities and likely committed more serious crimes.

criminalization law, concluded the law was not associated with reduced risky behavior, “increased perceived responsibility for HIV transmission prevention,” or more disclosure to every one of a positive individual’s sex partners. Being aware of the law was “significantly associated” with study participants disclosing their status more to those who were firsttime sexual partners. The laws have resulted in harsh penalties for some people with HIV. They create a “viral underclass,” Strub said, and stigmatize people with HIV. To the extent that those living with the virus continue to garner attention in the US, he said, “we ar e seen principally as a threat to society.”

Among males in the cohort, 53 percent were rearrested within 12 months of their release. Thirty-one percent were rearrested for a felony. Altogether, 28 percent were convicted. The Bloomberg administration has pressed to refor m the city’s juvenile justice programs since 2003. Previously, the city paid for their detention in state facilities that have been criticized as ineffective and expensive. While the state still detains some city juvenile delinquents, increasingly they are housed in the city or they participate in programs like JJI.

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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR PUBLISHER & CO-FOUNDER JOHN W. SUTTER

JWSutter@communitymediallc.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER & CO-FOUNDER TROY MASTERS

troy@gaycitynews.com EDITOR IN-CHIEF & CO-FOUNDER

Why Stop and Frisk Is a Queer Issue BY PAUL SCHINDLER

PAUL SCHINDLER

editor@gaycitynews.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Duncan Osborne

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Christopher Byrne (Theater), Susie Day, Doug Ireland (International), Brian McCormick (Dance), Dean P. Wrzeszcz

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Robert Pinter was 52 when an attractive man in his late 20s approached him in an adult video store, saying he wanted to perform oral sex on him. The two agreed to leave the store together and have sex elsewhere. As they a p p r o a c h e d t h e d o o r, t h e younger man told Pinter he would pay him $50, a comment that raised a red flag, convincing Pinter he should extract himself fr om what was turning into an odd encounter. As they arrived outside, Pinter was thrown up against a wall and arrested on prostitution charges. The younger man was an undercover cop. Chris Bilal, a young African-American man, was dancing with two gay friends in a park when police arrived and stopped and frisked them. The cops, he said, apparently felt the dancing gave them “probable cause to suspect we were engaged in unlawful sexual conduct.” Pinter and Bilal didn’t run into trouble in the bad old

Gay City News, The Newspaper Serving Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender NYC, is published by Community Media, LLC. Send all inquiries to: Gay City News, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, NYC 10013 Phone: 212.229.1890 Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this paper, in part or whole, can be reproduced or redistributed. All contents (c) 2012 Gay City News.

Gay City News is a registered trademark of Community Media, LLC. John W. Sutter, President Fax: 646.452.2501; E-mail: JWSutter@communitymediallc.com

© 2012 Gay City News. All rights reserved.

women, often fear ful when appr oached by police, ar e “tricked” into agreeing to a search that stems from their gender nonconformity. Things can turn ugly fast if the woman is carrying condoms. In 2010, in a decision dripping with outrage, US District Judge Shira Scheindlin held New York City in contempt for failing to end enforcement of loitering laws held unconstitutional decades before. One of the laws at issue was the “loitering for sex” statute that Lambda Legal had succeeded in getting struck down in 1983 by New York’s highest court, shortly after it threw out the state’s sodomy law. “The human toll, of course, has been borne by the tens of thousands of individuals who have, at once, had their constitutional rights violated and been swept into the penal system,” Scheindlin wrote. “More disturbing still, it appears that the laws — which tar get panhandling, remaining in a bus or train station, and ‘cruising’ for sex — have been enforced particularly against the poor and gay men.” When a group of fed-up and brave patrons of the Stonewall Inn decided to

leaders to make good decisions. The article contained the following serious errors about our work with Luis Tabales, who is among the accused. Mr. Osborne quoted Judge Hunt’s statement that the Child Center of NY delivered “nebulous” therapy to Luis Tabales. This is completely untrue. Multi-Systemic Therapy sites, like the Child Center’s, are intensively supervised by the developer to insure fidelity to the model that three decades of rigorous research and 26 published studies have indicated is an effective treatment for preventing criminal activity. Mr. Osborne reported that, “Eventually fearing for her son’s

safety, Tabales’ mother wanted Probation to issue a violation petition to Hunt so he would be detained. CCNY talked her out of it.” This is an incorrect statement. The family, the Child Center, and the Department of Probation met to discuss what was going on. Probation made the decision to hold off on issuing a violation of parole. The Child Center did not “under-report” Luis’ violations. In fact, as required, we fully described in monthly written reports to the Department of Probation that Mr. Tabales was using drugs, not attending meetings, that he had a violation for jumping a turnstile, and more. The Child Center of NY has

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR JUVENILE INTERVENTION DIDN’T FAIL TABALES

WEB MASTER Arturo Jimenez Arturo@gaycitynews.com

days. Pinter was arrested in 2008. Bilal and his friends were dancing to Beyoncé, not Judy Garland. At some point in their lives, many LGBT people have been subjected to arbitrary judgments. It can merely be a matter of somebody betraying a stereotype or prejudice that, while painful, may not have serious ramifications. When law enforcement is involved, however, the consequences can be significant, even life-altering. Arbitrary law enforcement –– based on profiling, usually racial or ethnic, but in many cases also on sexual orientation or gender identity –– is at the heart of the stop and frisk crisis in New York City. At the June 5 press conference in which LGBT leaders spoke up in support of a Father’s Day march against stop and frisk, Melissa Sklarz, a longtime trans activist who is president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City, said, “T ransgender people know about being profiled.” Police too often assume that any transgender woman they s e e i s a s e x w o r k e r. J o o Hyun Kang, the coor dinator of Communities United for Police Reform, said trans

fight back in June 1969, nearly any queer person alive would have acknowledged what arbitrary police inter ference in their lives was all about. Today, too many of us pretend such concer ns are from a bygone era. They are not. They have not gone away for New York’s young people of color, straight, gay, transgend e r, o r q u e s t i o n i n g . T h e y have not gone away for any person whose appearance transgresses gender norms embraced by mainstream society. They have not gone away for gay men who think they have the right to go to an adult video store. And they have not gone away for black and brown men of all ages in this city. Our measure as people is based on our willingness to expand our understanding of our common humanity. The NAACP’s recent endorsement of marriage equality is but the latest example of people of color communities coming to embrace LGBT rights as their cause, too. The queer community, in turn, must be rigorously honest in acknowledging the common cause we have with all New Yorkers of color in the demand that justice be applied with an even and temperate hand. On Father’s Day, June 17, join the End Stop and Frisk Silent March Against Racial Profiling (silentmarchnyc. org) at noon at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue.

June 1, 2012 To the Editor: We mourn the death of Anthony Collao and are broken hearted for his family who have suffered one of the worst losses imaginable (“Failed Juveline Intervention Led to Anti-Gay Murder Charge,” by Duncan Osborne, May 23-Jun. 5). However the kind of misreporting found in Duncan Osborne’s article “Failed Juvenile Inter vention Led to Anti-Cay Murder Charge” will do little to help the community cope with this tragic event. Nor will it help our policy

devoted nearly 60 years to helping the city’s at-risk children and youth succeed in life. But we cannot accomplish our mission alone. Multi-Systemic Therapy relies on complete engagement of the youth and his family. Unfortunately, neither Mr. Tabales nor his mother were willing to commit. Sandra Hagan, MSW Executive director The Child Center of NY Woodside, Queens WRITE US! Address letters to the editor of 250 words or less to Editor@GayCityNews.com. We reserve the right to edit any letter for space or legal considerations.


13

| June 6, 2012

PERSPECTIVE

Homophobic Pranks Ruined My Young Life, Then Taught Me Strength BY SAM OGLESBY n 1945, when I was six years old, I brought two bouquets of flowers to school, one for my first-grade teacher, Miss Dickerson, the other for my desk. It was an old-fashioned desk in a two-room country school house and contained an ink-well. I inserted the paper cup containing the flowers in the inkwell and thought it was a lovely addition to our classroom. I had gathered the flowers from our backyard garden and was sure they would be a hit with my teacher and my classmates. They were not. Minutes after installing my floral arrangement, I was greeted by hoots of "Pretty Flowers!," and that remained my name until I left the school three years later. Miss Dickerson seemed confounded by both my gift and the derisive nickname bestowed on me by my fellow students. Her apparent confusion at the sight of a boy clutching a bouquet seemed a signal to the class to up the ante; their taunts tur ned to insults. During r ecess I was pounded to the ground and later sent home with a bloody nose. By the time I was a 14-year -

I

old freshman in high school, I had ear ned another nickname — Mar garet Rose. This rather descriptive moniker — I had developed into an ef feminate adolescent — was not shouted out by schoolyard bullies. It was handed to me by my father, who being the family jokester thought that he could tease me out of my unconventional behavior through what he deemed comedy. While I laughed outwardly at his funny label for me — in the family, we all agreed that being named after the queen of England's younger sister was a real hoot — inside, I felt great shame and sadness. My photo peering from the pages of the school yearbook in 1954 was a study in melancholic desperation. Many of my fellow students refused to sign my yearbook, saying I was a sissy; even worse, others wrote scathing comments addressed to Girlie Boy and Miss Oglesby. After tearing my photo out of the freshman class pages, I shredded and burned the yearbook. Midway thr ough high school, I engineered a radical self-transfor mation, morphing into a swaggering gym rat who pumped iron every day and had the biggest biceps in school. Suddenly, nobody bothered or belittled me anymore. Some girls even

started flirting with me. By senior year, Slam Books — the 1950s notebook version of today's Facebook — that circulated in the cafeteria and the gym listed me as one of the coolest, most popular kids in school. My game of deception had succeeded brilliantly. I had gone "underground" and nobody but me knew what really lurked inside. My father seemed pleased that his Mar garet Rose tactic had worked. One day, he buddied up to me, telling me I was nearly a man now. In recognition of my impending adulthood, he reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes, offering me a Camel. Ye a r s p a s s e d a n d m y s a d n e s s turned to toughness. Smugly satisfied, I had learned to play by straight society's rules. I was outstanding in college and later excelled in the professional world. Happiness came to me slowly as I built my own tiny sphere of optimism and fun with a small human network of loving support that eventually included a domestic partner. We have been a loving pair for 30 years. When President Barack Obama recently announced his support for gay marriage, I smiled and thought to myself how different my life might

Obama Is Killing Us BY KELLY JEAN COGSWELL iolence is part of human nature. Anybody who says different has never left a three-year -old and a sixyear -old together in the same room with one ladybug change purse. The hair-pulling, biting, and scratching was brutal. And my God, it was worth it. I'd never seen anything as beautiful as that pleathery black and red thing, and I was gonna keep it no matter what the cost. I'm not an uninhibited, feral three-year -old anymore, and haven't bitten anybody in years. Though when I go upstate, I wage a

V

relentless war against mice. I plug holes when I can, set traps when I have to. I'm incredibly relieved every time I hear that particular dull snap that means something's been caught, and hopefully killed, and there's one less mouse that's gonna scratch a hole in the wall, burst out, and crawl around on my face. If I avoid poison, though, it's not because it causes the mouse more suf fering, but because I'm afraid an owl or eagle might eat the rodent and die. Or a roadkill-eating chipmunk, which my girlfriend adores. Or it might fall into the creek and end up in the New York City water supply. You never can

tell how little acts of violence ripple outwards. Even I feel myself getting a little more jaded with every tiny corpse I dump at the end of the path. It doesn't matter that they disappear, and I know some other animal is at least getting a meal. I try to avoid violence and believe most is unnecessary, though I accept the idea that individuals and nations have the r i ght to d efend them selves, and understand how the desire to meet violence with violence after September 11, along with strategic reasons, led to the war in Afghanistan. Though there was no reason at all to attack Iraq. And plenty not to. You'd think after all these

Sam Oglesby in his 1954 high school freshman yearbook picture.

have been if President Harry Truman had done the same thing in 1945. Sam Oglesby, a New York-based writer of memoirs, whose latest publication is "RAJAS BOOK — Twelve Months in a Life," can be reached at ogl39@aol.com.

days we'd have learned that violence propagates itself, dives underground. But we play with it like fire, encour age little kids to sing songs about killing queers. Are surprised when thousands of them are attacked, dozens killed. Last year, 30 LGBT people were murdered in the United States of America because of who they were. These figures don't include the suicides of young queer kids, but should, because it's still our society giving them the weapon and encouraging them to use it. Because homos are an assault on our American values, tear the fabric of society, even bring down large towers. We've got to protect ourselves! There's always a reason for violence. So often it's preserving America. Last week, the New York T imes

published a chilling article, "Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will," lionizing Obama for making the har d decisions himself, taking on the moral weight of ordering hits on presumed terrorists and their entourages, who may or may not have done anything yet. They've only committed what Orwell called thought crimes. Nevertheless, Obama's gonna send his unmanned, imprecise drones to save us. For them, no warrants, extradition orders, and the like. Because those require proof of actual crimes. Which we're not that interested in, or Rumsfeld and Bush and Alberto Gonzales would be behind bars for organizing actual murders, coordinating real live torture.

COGSWELL, continued on p.14


14

June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

Tens of thousands turned out on June 3 in Jackson Heights to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Queens LGBT Pride Parade and Festival. The parade included groups ranging from the Lesbian and Big Apple Corps marching band to the Queens Pride House, the borough’s LGBT community center — as well as one very proud gay marcher pictured with a police officer who, as it happens, is not. The festival stage was filled with colorful entertainment as well as elected officials such as out gay Sunnyside City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (top, middle). Rocky Sanabria, a 14-year-old transgender student who will enter the Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts in the fall, also addressed the crowd (bottom, right). Other elected officials on hand included Jackson Heights Councilman Daniel Dromm, who is gay and a founder of the celebration, seen with Queens State Senator Tony Avella (top, right). The parade honored the memory of Julio Rivera, a gay man whose 1990 murder galvanized LGBT activists in the borough.

COGSWELL, from p.13

Obama's progress on LGBT issues isn't enough to excuse murder, even if I celebrated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's historic speech declar ing LGBT rights are human rights. Ditto for when Obama admitted his own newfound support for marriage equality. In the long term, every gain of the LGBT movement is dependent on democracy and civil liber ties. Shred the Constitution, encourage assholes to go rogue, and we're lost. And in that regard,

Obama has gone beyond Bush, beyond rendition and military tribunals and indefinite detention, straight to murder. "While scores of suspects have been killed under Mr. Obama, only one has been taken into American custody, and the president has balked at adding new prisoners to Guantánamo." Sitting in front of a PowerPoint presentation, he is the judge and jury, God's own jurist taking on the sins of the world. I can't imagine the hubris, sitting in his Oval Office, signing off on drone strikes, imagining that if he acts with the

DONNA ACETO

TWENTY YEARS OF PRIDE

best of intentions, guided by a brilliant mind, there will be no unmanageable consequences. No major bleed-over from the battlegrounds of the War on Terror — where no one's a civilian — into our daily lives. This is what I am afraid of. That his example reinforces the idea that the wheels of justice turn too slow. That prison is too good for some people. That a faulty democracy is not enough when murder's so easy. The rule of law isn't for everybody. A crime is defined by the victim. And Justice with her scales should not be blind.


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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

Unanimous Appellate Panel Strikes Down DOMA Denying federal recognition violates equal protection BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD

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unanimous three-judge panel of the Boston-based US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled on May 31 that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Constitutionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifth Amendment guarantee of equal protection. The ruling came on consolidated appeals in two cases â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (Gill v. Office of Personnel Management), the other by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Commonwealth v. US Department of Health and Human Services). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Under current Supreme Court authority, Congressâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest,â&#x20AC;? the panel concluded regarding DOMAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s section 3. Since the Obama administration abandoned its defense of DOMA in early 2011, the party defending the constitutionality of section 3 has been the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) of the House of Representatives, a group controlled by Republican Speaker John Boehner that was allowed to intervene as defendant. Given the near certainty of BLAG appealing to the Supreme Court, the appellate panel stayed its ruling pending such review. The high court, similarly, would almost inevitably take such an appeal â&#x20AC;&#x201D; since the federal government could hardly recognize same-sex marriages in some but not all the US appellate circuits â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the case could be argued in the

term beginning in October, with a decision rendered by June 2013. The cases before the court did not require it to decide whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Rather, the issue was whether Congress could adopt a general definition of marriage for all purposes of federal law that would exclude same-sex couples married under the laws of states authorizing them to do so. US District Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled in 2010 that there was no rational justification for what Congress had done in enacting DOMA in 1996. The appellate panel upheld Tauro in striking down the law but offered different reasons for doing so. Congress and President Bill Clinton enacted DOMA in response to the possibility that the courts in Hawaii would require that state to allow same-sex marriages as a result of litigation then pending. Writing for the panel, Circuit Judge Michael Boudin, appointed to the court by President George H.W. Bush, noted that Section 3 â&#x20AC;&#x153;affects a thousand or more generic cross-references to marriage in myriad federal laws. In most cases, the changes operate to the disadvantage of same-sex married couples in the half-dozen or so states that permit same-sex marriages. The number of couples thus affected is estimated at more than 100,000. Further, DOMA has potentially serious adverse consequencesâ&#x20AC;? for those states â&#x20AC;&#x153;that choose to legalize same-sex marriages.â&#x20AC;?

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Mainers United for Marriage volunteers in Sanford, near Kennebunk, on a recent Saturday.

On November 6, for the first time in the nation’s history, marriage equality advocates will put before voters an affirmative ballot question aiming to give gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry. Having delivered more than 105,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office in Augusta this past January (in a state with only 1.33 million people), the Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition succeeded in having the voter initiative placed on this fall’s ballot. On June 13 from 6-8 p.m., Mainers United for Marriage, the coalition fighting to enact the initiative, hosts a fundraiser in Manhattan at the Nancy Margolis Gallery, 523 West 25th Street. Leaders in the effort will be on hand to discuss how the campaign is going and how New Yorkers and others outside of Maine can help. Organizers are asking for donations of at least $100 (action. mainersunited.org/page/event/detail/wrjp). Donated beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and Maine seafood hors d'oeuvres will be served. In May 2009, then-Governor John Baldacci, a Democrat, signed a marriage equality law passed

by the Legislature. However, in a voter referendum that November, the measure was repealed by a 53-47 percent margin, and Maine’s current governor, Republican Paul LePage, is a staunch opponent of gay marriage. A recent poll taken by Public Policy Polling, however, shows this November’s pro-gay initiative has the support of 54 percent of voters, with opposition standing at 41 percent. The ballot question, titled “An Act to Allow Marriage Licenses for Same Sex Couples and Protect Religious Freedom,” reads “Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?” Voters in Washington State and Maryland may be voting on whether to approve the marriage equality laws passed in those states earlier this year, and LGBT advocates in Minnesota are fighting back against a constitutional amendment on November’s ballot that would bar same-sex marriage in that state. — Paul Schindler

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DOMA, from p.16

The key legal issue was whether Section 3 should be evaluated using the traditional â&#x20AC;&#x153;rational basisâ&#x20AC;? test â&#x20AC;&#x201D; under which a claimant must show the government has no rational basis for making distinctions under the law based on a particular characteristic â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or if it must meet a more demanding form of judicial review. Tauro concluded that Section 3 failed to survive the traditional test, but the court of appeals disagreed. The rational basis test is very deferential to the legislative and executive branches, presuming a lawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s constitutionality and upholding it if there is any hypothetical nondiscriminatory justification for it. Boudin wrote that the plaintiffs â&#x20AC;&#x153;cannot prevailâ&#x20AC;? using that standard. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Consider only one of the several justifications for DOMA offered by Congress itself, namely, that broadening the definition of marriage will reduce tax revenues and increase Social Security payments,â&#x20AC;? he wrote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is the converse of the very advantages that the Gill plaintiffs are seeking, and Congress could rationally have believed that DOMA would reduce costs, even if newer studies of the actual economic effects of DOMA suggest that it may in fact raise costs for the federal government.â&#x20AC;? What Congress could have believed when it passed the statute, then, is critical, and so this rationale would be acceptable, the panel found. The court concluded, however, that the traditional rational basis test is not appropriate for these cases. Still, the court did not turn to â&#x20AC;&#x153;intermediateâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;heightenedâ&#x20AC;? scrutiny as the appropriate standard for reviewing DOMA, hewing to the circuitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2008 precedent in rejecting a constitutional challenge to the Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Ask, Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Tell policy. In that case, the First Circuit relied on the fact that in 1996, when the Supreme Court, in Romer v. Evans, threw out Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Amendment 2, which barred the state and local governments from enacting gay rights laws, it failed to identify â&#x20AC;&#x153;sexual orientationâ&#x20AC;? as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;suspect classificationâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; like race â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for which any distinctions in law must be justified using a demanding standard of review. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nothing indicates that the Supreme Court is about to adopt this new suspect classification when it conspicuously failed to do so in Romer â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a case that could readily have been disposed by such a demarche,â&#x20AC;? Boudin observed. Intermediate and heightened scrutiny, however, are not the only alternatives to traditional rational basis review, the court found. Boudin wrote that the Supreme Court has â&#x20AC;&#x153;several times struck down state or local enactments without invoking any suspect classification. In each, the protesting group was

historically disadvantaged or unpopular, and the statutory justification seemed thin, unsupported, or impermissible. It is these decisions â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not classic rational basis review â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that the Gill plaintiffs and the Justice Department [which is now arguing against DOMA] most usefully invoke in their briefs.â&#x20AC;? The court identified three significant precedents. In 1973, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the federal food stamp program that excluded households containing unrelated adults, based on legislative history showing that it was motivated by a â&#x20AC;&#x153;bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular groupâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;hippiesâ&#x20AC;? living together communally. In 1985, the high court overturned a local zoning law enacted to keep a group home for mentally disabled adults out of a particular area, finding the provision was adopted based on â&#x20AC;&#x153;mere negative attitudes, or fear, unsubstantiated by factors which are properly cognizable in a zoning proceeding.â&#x20AC;? Finally, the court pointed to the Romer decision itself, wher e the

The US Supreme Court could take up DOMA as early as the term beginning in October. Supreme Court found that Amendment 2 was a â&#x20AC;&#x153;status-based enactment divorced from any factual context from which we could discern a relationship to a legitimate state interest.â&#x20AC;? The Supreme Court was applying a flexible approach to equal protection, Boudin, in essence, argued, not one based on labels, but rather one â&#x20AC;&#x153;sensitive to the circumstances of the case and not dependent entirely on abstract categorizations.â&#x20AC;? The three cases Boudin cited were all based in â&#x20AC;&#x153;the historic patterns of disadvantage suffered by the group adversely affected by the statute.â&#x20AC;? In both the Romer case and the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas sodomy case, the high court concluded, in Boudinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words, that â&#x20AC;&#x153;gays and lesbians have long been the subject of discrimination.â&#x20AC;? Given that history, DOMA merits â&#x20AC;&#x153;a more careful assessment of the justifications than the light scrutiny offered by conventional rational basis review.â&#x20AC;? Section 3, the panel concluded, imposed burdens on same-sex couples â&#x20AC;&#x153;comparable to those the Court found substantialâ&#x20AC;? in the three precedents cited. As a result, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the extreme deference accorded to ordinary economic legislationâ&#x20AC;Ś would not be extended to DOMA by the Supreme Court.â&#x20AC;? The suit brought by Massachusetts introduced the complicating factor of federalism, which the panel found also

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DOMA, continued on p.19


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DOMA, from p.18

justified a more demanding form of judicial review than the rational basis test, since Congress was intruding into the sphere of domestic relations law, traditionally a state function. Here, the court did not accept Tauroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conclusion that Section 3 violated the Tenth Amendment and the Spending Clause of the Constitution, finding that the Supreme Court had only applied these provisions to cases where Congress sought to interfere with state programs. Marriage equality states, however, are negatively affected by DOMA, the panel concluded. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The denial of federal benefits to samesex couples lawfully married does burden the choice of states like Massachusetts to regulate the rules and incidents of marriage; notably, the Commonwealth stands both to assume new administrative burdens and to lose funding for Medicaid or veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cemeteries solely on account of its same-sex marriage laws,â&#x20AC;? Boudin wrote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These consequences do not violate the Tenth Amendment or Spending Clause, but Congressâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; effort to put a thumb on the scales and influence a stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision as to how to shape its own marriage laws does bear on how the justifications are assessed.â&#x20AC;? In assessing the justifications advanced for Section 3, the court quickly discounted the idea that â&#x20AC;&#x153;preserving scarce government resourcesâ&#x20AC;? could stand up as a rationale. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where the distinction is drawn against a historically disadvantaged group and has no other basis, Supreme Court precedent marks this as a reason undermining rather than bolstering the distinction,â&#x20AC;? since such a group, Boudin wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;has historically been less able to protect itself through the political process.â&#x20AC;? The court agreed with Tauro that enacting Section 3 â&#x20AC;&#x153;to support childrearing in the context of stable marriageâ&#x20AC;? was not rational. DOMA would â&#x20AC;&#x153;not affect the gender choices of those seeking marriage,â&#x20AC;? the court pointed out, noting the â&#x20AC;&#x153;lack of any demonstrated connection between DOMAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s treatment of same-sex couples and its asserted goal of strengthening the bonds and benefits to society of heterosexual marriage.â&#x20AC;? Congress stated goal in 1996 of expressing â&#x20AC;&#x153;moral disapproval of homosexualityâ&#x20AC;? is no longer a valid basis for legislation, in light of the 2003 high court sodomy ruling. Though the Supreme Courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick ruling held that Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disapproval of homosexuality was a justification for its sodomy law, the 2003 Lawrence sodomy ruling stated that Bowers was â&#x20AC;&#x153;wrong when it was decided.â&#x20AC;?

The First Circuit panel also addressed the â&#x20AC;&#x153;newâ&#x20AC;? rationale advanced by the Justice Department in front of Tauro in 2010 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; before Attorney General Eric Holder reversed his thinking â&#x20AC;&#x201D;that â&#x20AC;&#x153;faced with a prospective change in state marriage laws, Congress was entitled to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;freezeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the situation and reflect.â&#x20AC;? DOMA, the panel pointed out, â&#x20AC;&#x153;was not framed as a temporary timeout.â&#x20AC;? Despite fears expressed in Congress that state judges would â&#x20AC;&#x153;imposeâ&#x20AC;? samesex marriage on a reluctant electorate, the court found that voters did not need any assistance from Congress on this score â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as evidenced by the dozens of state constitutional bans on marriage equality enacted in recent years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We conclude, without resort to suspect classifications,â&#x20AC;? wrote Boudin, â&#x20AC;&#x153;that the rationales offered do not provide adequate support for Section 3 of DOMA. Several of the reasons given do not match the statute, and several others are diminished by specific holdings in Supreme Court decisions more or less directly on point. If we are right in thinking that disparate impact on minority interests and federalism concerns both require somewhat more in this case than almost automatic deference to Congressâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; will, this statute fails that test.â&#x20AC;? Boudin made a point to emphasize that the panelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ruling did not rely on another argument the plaintiffs had made, that DOMAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;hidden but dominant purpose was hostility to homosexuality.â&#x20AC;? Comments by individual members of Congress should not be attributed to

The case before the court did not require it to decide whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. everybody who had voted for the statute, in light of its broad bipartisan support in 1996, he argued. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Traditions are the glue that holds society together,â&#x20AC;? he wrote â&#x20AC;&#x201D; offering a more benign explanation for DOMAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enactment â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;and many of our own traditions rest largely on belief and familiarity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not on benefits firmly provable in court. The desire to retain them is strong and can be honestly held.â&#x20AC;? The fact that DOMA may not have resulted purely from homophobia, however, does not change the fact that, as Boudin wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Supreme Court decisions in the last 50 years call for closer scrutiny of government action touching upon minority group interests and of federal action in areas of traditional state concern.â&#x20AC;? Boudin was joined on the appellate panel by Chief Judge Sandra L. Lynch, a Clinton appointee, and Juan R. Torruella, put on the court by Ronald Reagan. The majority of the three-judge panel, then, was appointed by Republican presidents.

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FILM

Taking a Tough, High Road Difficult but rewarding material punctuates this year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival CALL ME KUCHU n many parts of our world, standing up for Directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika even the most basic human rights can be a Zouhali-Worrall challenge of Herculean proportions. To go on In English and Luganda with English subtitles the record is hard, but allowing yourself to Closing Night Film, Jun. 28 at 7 p.m. be filmed? Words like brave and defiant don’t This documentary opens simply enough with an anniseem big enough. The documentaries in this year’s versary party for two gay men who have been together Human Rights Watch Film Festival capture personal for nine years. It seems like a very simple backyard gathdramas, depicting oppressed lives with conviction and ering, but we quickly learn that while simply living their a lot of artistry. The parts that are the lives, they are up against a government most compelling, however, involve HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM and a public that happily calls for their seeing and hearing people tell their deaths, citing God’s law, just because FESTIVAL own stories of struggle and sacrifice. they are kuchu, or queer. David Kato, Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center This year’s festival presents 16 doc“the first openly gay man in Uganda,” and Walter Reade Theatre umentaries and fiction films from 12 his fellow LGBT activists are the party 165 W. 65th St. countries; 14 of them are making their guests, and we learn about how they creJun. 14-28 New York premieres. While the festival ated SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda) Full information, tickets at ff.hrw.org has five themes — LGBT and migrants’ and their battle with a national media rights; health, development, and the that publishes their photos and calls for environment; personal testimony and witnessing; report- their hangings. ing in crises; and women’s rights — what really emerges We also meet Giles Mahume, the publisher of Uganmost is how the men and women in these films strive for da’s homophobic newspaper Rolling Stone, who calmly and demand their dignity in the face of oppression. Some explains how they use “disguise” — another word for are willing to pay for this struggle with their own lives. entrapment — to learn who is gay and then expose them publicly. It’s very difficult to reconcile how someone can so calmly, dispassionately, and with a smile talk about deliberately ruining people’s lives. After a bomb blast, credited to Al Qaeda, the media blames Uganda’s gays. Kato worries that accusations of treason will endanger their lives. We also meet two women, Naome and Stosh, who were forced to go into hiding after being outed. Friends and family don’t seem to understand why they are lesbians. A common question is, “Did you do this to earn money?” The film culminates with a deadly legislative initiative against gays that for now, at least, remains stalled In Uganda, Rolling Stone is a newspaper that literally hunts down homosexuals. in the Ugandan legislature. The fact that the proposal HRW

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is even in play is a tragedy, but it’s uplifting to see the sheer joy the activists share when the vote is postponed. As one of them says, “You stay with your strength.”

REPORTERO Directed by Bernardo Ruiz In English and Spanish with English subtitles Jun. 21 at 4 p.m.; Jun. 22 at 9:30 p.m.; Jun. 23 at 3:30 p.m. Sensationalism has different translations. In a celebrity-obsessed America, it might be the latest Kardashian misstep, but south of the border, it is political corruption and narcotics trafficking that make headlines. The difference is critical. Here, we might get disgusted with non-news. In Mexico, journalists face death threats. “Reportero” is the story of Zeta, a 32-year -old newspaper produced in Tijuana that covers the drug wars, corruption, and other social ills. “The only way to do investigative journalism [in Mexico] would be if Zeta was journalist-owned,” we learn. In Mexico, the press has been run by either the gover nment or corporations. To maintain its independence, Zeta is printed in California

FESTIVAL, continued on p.30

HRW

BY SETH J. BOOKEY

In “Little Heaven,” on her 13th birthday, Lydia is told she was born with HIV and will be sent to live in an orphanage.

THEATER

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE

eter and the Starcatcher” has arrived on Broadway, and the subtle improvements made since its run at New York Theatre Workshop — which left me decidedly nonplussed — have turned this into a charming piece perfectly pitched to a family audience, as one would expect from the Disney theatrical team. While the story remains intact as a prequel to Disney’s “Peter Pan” and has precious little in common with J.M. Barrie’s original — based as it is on a Disney-Hyperion novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson — the theatrics have been turned down a few notches in the current staging. The result is a piece that is accessible and wisely more

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intent on clarity of narrative than on its heart. That heart is what draws us reveling in its own cleverness. Directors into the story and gives it a human cenRoger Rees and Alex Timbers deserve ter. That has made all the difference. The cast remains largely intact from credit for the excellent fine-tuning of the original production, and they have their original work. Where the first act seemed frenetic all grown into their parts wonderfully. Celia Keenan-Bolger is and unclear previously, PETER AND THE terrific as Molly, Adam the story now emerges as Chanler-Berat is consisthe primary motivating STARCATCHER Brooks Atkinson Theatre tently winning as the Boy device, and the creative 256 W. 47th St. who becomes Peter, and use of the company and a Mon.-Thu. at 7 p.m. handful of props to create Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m. Christian Borle is hilarious as Black Stache. the scenes — including $59-$129; ticketmaster.com Or 800-745-3000 In reviewing the New ropes, boxes, and pieces York Theater Workshop of fabric — organically supports the narrative rather than com- production, I said that the show didn’t peting with it. The second act flows flu- seem to know its audience. Well, it’s idly out of the first so by the end of the found it — anyone with a remnant of piece, we feel that we’ve gone on a full a child’s sense of wonder and a delight in theatrical storytelling will find “Peter journey with the characters. Most importantly, the piece has found and the Starcatcher” irresistible.

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Flying High “Peter and the Starcatcher” lands on Broadway, finds its heart

Adam Chanler-Berat and Christian Borle in “Peter and the Starcatcher.”


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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

FILM

Mother and Son Mathieu Demy’s “Americano” poignantly evokes parentage by Agnès Varda’s “Documenteur” BY GARY M. KRAMER athieu Demy, son of filmmakers Agnès Varda and the late Jacques Demy, makes an ambitious, even audacious feature directorial debut with “Americano.” The story concer ns Martin (Demy), a Parisian with an American passport flying to Los Angeles to handle his later mother Emilie’s estate. Martin and Emilie are characters from Varda’s 1981 film “Documenteur.” In that film, the then eight-year-old Demy played Martin, who searched for a home in Los Angeles with his mother, Emilie. In “Americano,” Demy continues Martin’s story, and he skillfully incorporates clips from “Documenteur” to create Martin’s “memories” from his childhood. It may sound like a solipsistic stunt — picking up the life of a character he played in his real-life mother’s film to tell a story about the death of his fictional character’s mother — but it pays off handsomely. By creating a quasi-sequel to “Documenteur,” Demy adds a poignant dimension to Martin’s story about finding “home” and re-inventing himself. It is particularly affecting to watch the distraught Martin, with his hangdog expression, rummaging through his mother’s apartment. He finds photographs that trigger memories and feelings of abandonment. He experiences an indelible sense of grief one character

MPI PICTURES

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Salma Hayek and Mathieu Demy in Demy’s “Americano.”

calls “reactional depression.” These are universal qualities — and nicely portrayed in such an obviously personal film. “Americano” does not focus exclusively on dysfunctional family drama, however. Demy also positions his film as a twist on the road movie genre, in which the main character leaves home to find himself. After Martin arrives in Los Angeles, he makes two discoveries — one that his mother was a painter and the other that she kept in touch with his childhood friend Lola. These revelations, along with his mother’s will that leaves Lola her house, lead Martin to Tijuana, where the second half of the film unfolds. In the first act of “Americano,” Martin is in careful control of his emotions, but he turns impassioned in the Mexican sequence. He needs to find Lola (Salma Hayek) in order to understand

why his mother perhaps loved otherwise be willing to extend him. But Martin is grieving and her more than him. Lola, who works in a seedy he is also obsessed, and anyone — though possibly once high- able to empathize with him will class — strip club called “Amer- find his descent to rock boticano,” is an enigmatic woman. tom oddly cathartic. Even if the film risks seemApproached by ing ludicrous Martin, she adaAMERICANO as Martin sinks mantly responds Directed by Mathieu Demy MPI Pictures into crushing that she refuses Opens Jun. 15 despair, there is to live in the past, Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema as she argues he 143 E. Houston St., btwn. First & something fascinating about his does, and shows Second Aves. journey. more interest in landmarktheatres.com This is in part his money than in because Demy the reasons for his goes so deep into his perfor sudden appearance. As Martin tries time and mance. His broken English again to connect with his child- and facial expressions affecthood friend — spending money ingly convey the bewilderment to talk with her at the club and and innocence he brings to his tracking her down on her off encounters in Mexico. When hours — “Americano” may exas- Martin parks a vintage 1966 perate some viewers. He loses cherry red Mustang converthis car, his money, and even his ible (which he has “borrowed”) dignity, as well as a good mea- on the streets of Tijuana one sure of the patience we might night, only he seems surprised

it is missing the next day. Martin is a character who does not know how to ask the questions despite the urgency of his search for answers. Demy plays this guileless character expertly, conveying sincerity even in Martin’s most inept moments. Hayek’s Lola proves an apt foil for Martin. Her entrance is a dazzling lip-synched routine that shows the endur ing allure of a facially scarred, money-hungry prostitute. Martin is unable to convince her he can change her life, but she is happy to take his money as he tries. Hayek is utterly convincing in her role, exuding an appropriate mix of sleazy toughness and vulnerability. Some viewers may judge “Americano” a curious misfire, but Demy’s film offers puzzling layers to enjoy. Surely it is no coincidence that Demy casts Chiara Mastroianni as his character’s girlfriend, Claire. Mastroianni’s mother, Catherine Deneuve, starred in Demy’s father’s celebrated film “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” And “Lola” was the title of another of père Demy’s most famous films. Yo u n g D e m y a l s o c a s t s another famous filmmaker’s offspring, Geraldine Chaplin, as Emilie’s best friend, Linda. Showing up in the Mustang convertible to meet Martin in LA, Chaplin wears a neck brace and an LA Dodgers baseball cap. She speaks rapidly and hysterically about Emilie, oblivious to Martin’s grief. It is a wacky, dizzying moment in a wonderfully offbeat film full of such oddball scenes.

Sister Act Exploring lesbians sleeping with men, Lynn Shelton falls short of straight guy gay porn “Humpday” tale BY STEVE ERICKSON ne valuable quality female filmmakers can bring to cinema is an outsider’s perspective on masculinity. From Elaine May’s “Mikey and Nicky” to Claire Denis’ “Beau Travail” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” female directors have delivered a critical point of view

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on male bonding and military machismo. L ynn Shelton’s 2009 br eakthrough “Humpday” falls into this tradition, depicting a clash of male egos with a wicked sense of humor. Shelton is also interested in gay and lesbian themes. While I don’t know where her sexuality lies, her treatment of them suggests she’s an outsider here, too. “Humpday” revolves around two heterosexual guys who

decide to make a porno in which they have sex with each other. Although its ending made sense in terms of these particular characters’ motivations, it still felt like a cop-out. “Your Sister’s Sister” offers up the latest in a long line of movie lesbians who have sex with men, although we later discover that the character did so largely in an attempt to get pregnant. “Your Sister’s Sister” begins at a

memorial party a year after the death of Jack’s (Mark Duplass) brother Tom. While one person offers a sentimental speech about how the film “Hotel Rwanda” inspired Tom to volunteer at a homeless shelter, Jack recalls his brother’s days as a teenage bully. Seeing the trouble Jack is having with Tom’s death, Tom’s ex-girlfriend

SISTER, continued on p.27


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FILM

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A Weekend of Youthful Abandon and Serious Lessons Patrik-Ian Polk explores African-American gay friendship in “The Skinny” BY GARY M. KRAMER ut writer, director, and singer PatrikIan Polk has created an enjoyable comedy-drama with “The Skinny,” the story of four African-American gay men and one lesbian reuniting a year after finishing college. The group of friends come together for a weekend to celebrate Gay Pride in New York — and face a variety of romantic crises in the process. In a recent phone interviews, Polk, who directed “Punks” (2001) and created the 2005 Logo series “Noah’s Arc,” explained that with “The Skinny,” his goal was quite simply to create “a party weekend movie.” As he developed the storylines, however, both comic and dramatic situations emerged. Magnus (Jussie Smollett) faces trouble with his boyfriend, Ryan (Dustin Ross), who may be cheating on him. Joey (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman), a shy yet sarcastic guy, and Langston (Shanika Warren-Markland), a lesbian with obvious smarts, both pine for potentially unavailable partners — a stripper and a bartender, respectively — at a club they frequent. Meanwhile, Sebastian (Blake Young-Fountain) hopes that the more experienced Kyle (Anthony Burrell) will be his first.

TSBB RELEASING

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Jussie Smollett and Shanika Warren-Markland are two college friends among a group reuniting for Gay Pride in New York.

Polk said he made a very spe- ing instruction about the approcific choice to have his charac- priate ways to douche for anal sex, the importance of condoms, ters just one year out of college. “College is the last bastion the risks of human papillomavifor random connections, where rus (HPV), the treatment course you can be thrown into the mix for post-exposure prophylaxis with anyone,” he explained. “It’s (PEP), and why it is critical to a bubble — you shake it around get tested — and re-tested — for HIV. The mesand fall where THE SKINNY sages he sends you fall — and Directed by Patrik-Ian Polk demand attenthose friends TSBB Releasing tion as the rates often become lifeOpens Jun. 8 Quad Cinema of HIV in the long friends.” 34 W. 13th St.; quadcinema.com African-Ameri“The Skinny” Faison Firehouse Theatre can community explores love 6 Hancock Pl. at W. 124th St. documented in and trust among near Manhattan Ave. faisonfirehouse.org the end credits these friends attest to. as the charac“These characters are young ters drop in and out of crushes. Comic scenes alternate with a and figuring things out as they handful of serious segments make their way into adulthood,” focused on safe sex. Throughout Polk said. “If you’re 21 and still the film, we see characters offer- a virgin, these are things you

ing for something similar. While Cassavetes’ films were carefully scripted, Iris (Emily Blunt) stages an “interven- they were often mistaken for improv tion,” telling him he should stay alone exercises. Much of “Your Sister’s Sisfor a week in her family’s cabin off the ter” was genuinely improvised, and coast of Washington State. When Jack “Humpday” was made with a script but without pre-writgets there, he discovers that Iris’ sister Han- YOUR SISTER’S SISTER ten dialogue. In the latDirected by Lynn Shelton ter film, this technique nah (Rosemarie DeWitt) IFC Films worked. In “Your Sisis already there. She’s Opens Jun. 15 ter’s Sister,” Shelton a lesbian recovering IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. reaches for an emofrom the breakup of a ifccenter.com tional truth through seven-year relationship. Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on-the-spot interacThough Iris implies that Lincoln Center, 144 W. 65th St. tions from her cast. Jack should drink less, filmlinc.com The problem is that he and Hannah split a bottle of tequila and wind up sleeping they’re still working from a narrative together. They’re quite unprepared for whose outlines are grossly phony. The relationship between Iris and a visit from Iris the next day. Most of John Cassavetes’ films Hannah is quite believable. It’s far offered up melodrama disguised — less comprehensible why both women through acting and directorial style — would want to spend so much time as realism. Shelton seems to be aim- with Jack. To be fair, the film — by SISTER, from p.26

have to face. And there are particular ways that young people encounter these issues versus how a 30- or 40-year-old does. It was interesting to explore that aspect of gay life.” The film’s focus on sexual responsibility does not stand in the way of its eroticism, however. Plenty of skin is on display during a passionate tryst in a nightclub bathroom as well as during a sex party. Polk aimed to balance sex and sex education, explaining, “We know young people have sex, and it’s important to show that and not shy away from it. But it’s also important not to shy away from some of the social issues around sex.” Of “The Skinny,” he said. “I wanted it to be sexier than anything I’ve ever done.”

having Hannah tell Jack, in no uncertain terms, how desperate he seems and suggest he get away for a while — does initially acknowledge his unattractive side. Her concern for him, however, soon gives way to the characters backstabbing and betraying one another in small and large ways — from putting butter in a vegan’s mashed potatoes to poking holes in a condom. Still, the film seems unaware about just what jerks these characters can be. It ends with the three of them prepared to raise a family together if necessary. In “Humpday,” Shelton worked from a limited visual palette. Her cinematographer’s video camera was relatively low-grade, and almost all her shots were close-ups taken from a handheld camera. She’s expanded her visual vocabulary greatly in “Your Sister’s Sister.” In fact, all the scenes were

In a sequence filmed during a Pride celebration in Harlem, the film also celebrates gay AfricanAmerican history. “We were there by the graciousness with GMHC, and they welcomed us onto the parade,” Polk said. “The parade happened the day after gay marriage passed, so the atmosphere was particularly celebratory. It was spectacular to capture how electrified the air was.” When the friends visit the “sacred, hallowed ground” of Langston Hughes’ apartment, Polk creates a wonderful scene that pays respect to the gay poet, playwright, and novelist who was a towering figure in the Harlem Renaissance. The filmmaker hopes that viewers will “remember our history and where we come from. A lot of the strides we’ve made and are still making are from years ago. The youth of today live in a fast-food culture and have so much information at their fingertips, they don’t seek it out. Gay history is not generally taught in schools. It was important for me to show this and for them young kids to check this stuff out, and see Hughes’ neighborhood and think about what that time was like. If it inspires kids to look Hughes up, that’s a good thing.” Polk added, “It is always good to slip in lessons in entertainment.”

shot from two cameras simultaneously. There’s a much greater variety of camera angles. The film still winds up feeling frustratingly claustrophobic. The problem doesn’t lie with Shelton’s choice of camera angles but with her decision to stage 90 percent of it in the cabin. She uses long shots of the island’s exteriors as punctuation; these images are expressive enough to suggest they could have added up to something more than mere breaks in the tension. The ending of “Your Sister’s Sister” affirms the merits of unconventional family structures — as well as arthouse ambiguity. It’s too bad that the 90 minutes that came before cobble together an aura of reality and contrived plot twists. “Humpday” showed that Shelton has talent, particularly as a director of actors, but “Your Sister’s Sister” is a disappointing follow-up.


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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

BOOKS

A Splash of Hollywood Glitter Gay Frenchman recalls how dashing, closeted Anthony Perkins armed him for life

was a precocious reader from my earliest age, devouring the written word as my chums gobbled candy. Unlike them, I found my heroes in books, not in the movies. But when, at the age of 10, I saw the 1957 black-and-white film “Fear Strikes Out,” I found myself fascinated — captivated, really — by Anthony Perkins when, in his first major critical success, he played the mentally troubled Boston Red Sox baseball player Jimmy Piersall striving unsuccessfully to please an emotionally distant, demanding, and authoritarian father, cuttingly portrayed by Karl Malden. For reasons I was then too young to put into words, I was drawn to Perkins as a moth to a flame — to his awkward grace, his intelligent but soulful and troubled eyes and shy half-smile, his marvelously tall and athletic slim, wideshouldered body, his vulnerability. After that, I would immediately go see anything with Perkins in it. At 13, with my hormones beginning to rage (although my sense of difference from other boys still had not found a consciously acknowledged vocabulary), I rushed to see him in what I knew even then was a trashy romantic comedy, 1960’s “The Tall Story” — my interest being to see Perkins in a minimum of clothing as a college basketball star opposite his on-screen love interest, Jane Fonda. I went so far as to acquire the three albums Perkins recorded as a quite talented pop crooner in the mid and late 1950s. With all sorts of moist, only halfformed fantasies swirling amorphous-

I

ly through my head, I wore out, with repeated playing, his 1958 chart-topping hit, “Moonlight Swim.” As with his pop music efforts, it’s often forgotten that Perkins was nominated for a Tony award for his role in the 1960 Frank Loesser musical “Greenwillow”. It was not until a decade later, when I was caught up in the post-Stonewall gay liberation effervescence and able to begin accepting that my orientation was (that dreaded word) homosexual that I finally realized what had drawn me as a youngster to the charismatic actor — Tony Perkins was as queer as a the proverbial three-dollar bill. From showbiz obsessed new gay chums, I heard about his legendary promiscuity, including his affairs with Tab Hunter, Rudolph Nureyev, Stephen Sondheim (with whom he co-wrote the film “The Last of Sheila”), and the longest-running one he’d had — Young pop star Dave and his willowy blonde lover Patrick in Puerto Rico. with the dancer and choreographer Grover Dale. I also learned that Perkins was be pitied rather than admired (though which is steadily climbing the French deeply closeted (though his penchant for the great historian and essayist Martin best-seller lists. “L’homme de passage” would never be his own sex was an open secret in show- Duberman, in his candid 1991 “Cures: A biz circles) and self-hating. Perkins sub- Gay Man’s Odyssey,” makes amply clear classed as great literature, but I found it jected himself to a series of psychiatric how our homophobic culture compelled quite touching and revealingly honest. In attempts to “cure” his homosexuality, so many otherwise intelligent people to October 1970, Patrick was 20 years old and a virgin, earning a modest living as a even going so far as to submit, in 1972, seek similar phony transformations). A new memoir, “L’homme de passage: salesperson in Yves St. Laurent’s men’s to electroshock aversion therapy, right at the moment the gay liberation movement une histoire d’amours” (“The Transient: A boutique in Saint Germain des Prés on was smashing the taboos on homosexu- Story of Loves”), published this spring in Paris’ Left Bank. With a decent middleality, making front-page news, and forc- Paris, recounts the tale of a young man class education and as the only one at whose life was utterly changed after being the store proficient in English, it was his ing open many closet doors. He finally managed to have his first seduced by Perkins, with whom he had lot to wait on celebrities such as Peter sexual experience with a woman at the a three-month affair. The author, Patrick Sellers and Greta Garbo. Still, as the French say, he was ill at age of 39, bedding Victoria Principal, his Loiseau, has for the past four decades co-star in “The Life and Times of Judge been the partner of a popular, Dutch-born ease in his skin. He hated his nose, his Roy Bean” — a dalliance later confirmed French singer, Wouter Otto Levenbach, chin, his eyes — his whole face, in fact — and his too-thin body; as a teenage by the actress. The following year, he who goes by the single name Dave. Dave first came to public prominence vegetarian, he’d been hospitalized by his married model and photographer Berry Berenson — the granddaughter of legend- as the star of the French version of the parents for anorexia. Patrick had neimusical “Godspell,” in ther girlfriends nor boyfriends, and his ary fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and sister L’HOMME DE PASSAGE: which he had a critically only homosexual encounter came when, three-year run, struck by an urgent need to pee, he’d of the jet-setting modelUNE HISTOIRE D’AMOURS acclaimed followed by any num- gone to relieve himself in one of Paris’ actress Marissa Berenber of million-selling hit now vanished Vespasians — odiferous son — with whom he By Patrick Loiseau singles in the 1970s and open-air urinals. There, he was simultaproduced two sons. The In French ‘80s. His sharp-tongued neously groped by two older men, which “cure,” of course, didn’t Editions Didier Carpentier editions-carpentier.fr wit and self-deprecating shocked and repulsed him so much he take, and he continued 19.5 Euros; 269 pages humor have made him a zipped up before climaxing but wet his to have countless sameregular guest for decades pants and shoes as he fled. (In Edmund sex affairs, primarily with young men, until he died of AIDS in 1982. on all the important French TV and radio White’s admirable anthology “The Faber The electroshock treatments took a talk shows and, at times, host of his own Book of Gay Short Fiction,” poet Alfred terrible toll on Perkins — the talent that programs. His looks and voice largely Corn’s marvelous short story “In Praise made him sought after by such distin- undiminished, he made headlines in the of Vespasian” makes clear just what went guished film directors as Claude Cha- past decade when he became the first on in those legendary pissoirs.) Patrick was less successful in escaping brol, Jules Dassin, and Orson Welles well-known show-biz personality to enter faded away, as did his looks. My child- into the French version of a civil union, the troubling thoughts that certain men hood fascination with Perkins faded as with Loiseau, who is also his lyricist. The inspired in him; his instinct to see those well, and since my early gay liberation couple, often seen together on the talk- yearnings as sick and depraved only days and his electroshock treatments show circuit, have recently been appearhe’d seemed to me a tragic figure, one to ing on behalf of Loiseau’s new book, 䉴 LOISEAU, continued on p.33

EDITIONS DIDIER CARPENTIER

EDITIONS DIDIER CARPENTIER

BY DOUG IRELAND


| June 6, 2012

THEATER

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Literary Lambs Feeble power grabs and back stabs among the bookish set BY DAVID KENNERLEY n the mid-1980s, “The Common Pursuit” had a healthy run Off Broadway and won the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for best play. The soapy drama, which centers on a group of starry-eyed students at Cambridge University who launch a literary magazine and struggle to keep it afloat over two decades, highlights how best laid plans, in both business and pleasure, have a way of turning out in extraordinary ways, sometimes for better but usually for worse. Time has a way of cheating dreams. As the current Roundabout revival makes clear, time has not been kind to this play. Even director Moisés Kaufman, who worked miracles with “I Am My Own Wife,” “33 Variations,” and “The Laramie Project,” can’t quite rescue it. First of all, the plot — publishing a literary magazine (also titled the Common Pursuit) — may be too esoteric for Jacob Fishel, Tim McGeever, Josh Cooke, and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe in Simon Gray’s “The Common Pursuit,” directed by Moisés Kaufman. today’s audiences, even subscriptionpaying New Yorkers. It’s hard to muster annoying hacking cough who manages zine that, try as it might to be otherwise, is described as “embattled” and “beleamuch empathy for snooty geeks trying to hijack every conversation with his itself comes off as elitist. The magazine, guered” — a perfectly fair description of even before the first issue is published, this lackluster endeavor. ramblings. to uphold unrealistic stanThe play tries to draw dards of a precious enterprise. power from the tension The whole idea seems rather THE COMMON between highbrow ambiquaint, now that the Internet PURSUIT tions and baser urges. Perhas blown the old publishing Laura Pels Theatre model to smithereens. Roundabout Theater Company haps years ago it was compelling that bookish types The chief dilemma — Do we 111 W. 46th St. Through Jul. 29 consume copious amounts compromise our ideals to ramp Tue.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m. of liquor and are capable up business? — has been done Wed., Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. to death on stage and elsewhere. $71-81; roundabouttheatre.org of animalistic sexcapades, but not so much now (one Scoring “major new poems” by Or 212-719-1300 exception was the recently a “major poet” is meant to be closed “Seminar,” aided by riveting stuff, but I didn’t care. SAME-SEX MARRIAGES ($800) & DIVORCE ($995) The guy on my left kept nodding off. Alan Rickman’s electrifying turn). Not to mention that the play, set at On my right, my theater companion, who works in literary publishing, leaned over Cambridge, feels about as authentically during intermission and whispered, “I have English as packaged English muffins. The accents are all over the map. one word for your review: rarified.” That said, there are intermittent plea“The Common Pursuit” crew is a hodgepodge of affable eccentrics, por- sures to be found. Playwright Simon trayed with flair by a solid ensemble. Gray’s dialogue is often amusing. “SomeThe ringleader is Stuart (a bearded times I think I’m missing out on addicJosh Cooke, in an impressive New York tion,” the goody-two-shoes Martin says stage debut), the idealistic editor who of his colleagues’ drinking and smoking often puts the needs of the magazine and carousing. Of a rival writer, Nick deadpans, “One before those of his exceedingly alluring girlfriend — later his wife — Marigold needs someone one hates meshed into (Kristen Bush). The business manager, the texture of one’s life.” A couple of pulpy plot twists were surMartin (Jacob Fishel), is a hardworking, solitary type devoted to his dog. Peter prisingly affecting. The revelation of one (Kieran Campion) is a married, shame- particular affair was something I certainless philanderer who uses Martin as an ly didn’t see coming. Derek McLane’s evolving set of the alibi to cover up his trysts. Then there’s Humphry (Tim McGeev- magazine’s office, which suggests the er), a haughty poet with a taste for find- passage of time while maintaining ing love in public toilets. The most flam- a constant wall of books, is cleverly boyant of the bunch is Nick (Lucas Near- designed. “The Common Pursuit” is a play about Verbrugghe, who strains to make the role believable), a chain-smoker with an an elitist, intellectually rigorous maga-

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30

June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

OPERA

Opera Abroad MICHAEL COOPER, CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY

Toronto and Ghent BY DAVID SHENGOLD ince my last visit to fabulous, gay-friendly Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company moved into the spectacular, comfortable Four Seasons Centre. Acoustics are certainly improved from its impossibly huge former venue. Though both conductors I heard were problematic — Andrew Davis overwhelming singers in a Zemlinsky/ Puccini double bill (May 15) and Rinaldo Alessandrini, delightful on recordings, sadly foursquare in Handel’s “Semele” the following day — the orchestra itself affirmed its fine quality. The unifying idea behind Catherine Malfitano’s staging of “Eine florentinische Tragödie” and “Gianni Schicchi” was that both 1917 works are Florence-set. A single set obtained — with 1920s trappings for Zemlinsky, more or less current stuff for Puccini. Many details of set, dress, and behavior contradicted this frame, notably the 1990s style “power couple” photo of Simone (Alan Held) and Bianca (Gun-Brit Barkmin) dominating their living room. The Wilde-based moral (immoral?) tale is basically an anecdote — a mercantile couple’s flagging lust rekindles when the husband kills the wife’s princely lover Guido Bardi (Michael Koenig). Malfitano had the singers either clump about expressionistically or stand and glower; no tension accumulated. After several hearings, I ascribe that to the work, which surely works best in concert form. At that, the orchestration is what impresses; only the final couplet of lines offer memorable melodic contour. Held fared best, animating the crafty old trader’s utterances and (usually) making himself heard impressively over the storms Davis unleashed. Koenig delivered solidly. Barkmin, in Louise Brooks garb and bob, sang with conviction but rather ordinary tones. Skulking about felinely and simulating orgasms every few minutes, she seemed to channel Malfitano’s Salome and Lulu characterizations simultaneously. The diva-cum-director handled “Schicchi” better, where Held provided a very ingratiating star turn. But TV-based “comic” attitudinizing was the directorial mode, with singers scampering around and singing atop Wilson Chin’s set, a towering furniture pile. René Barbera’s Rinuccio sounded very healthy indeed, and Donato di Stefano (Simone, in classy casting) and studio member Philippe Sly (Notary) were outstanding. “Semele” proved deeply frustrating in a manner increasingly common. A director — here, Chinese art-

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and imported into Mexico. In the 1980s, when the paper was founded, the gover nment even controlled the supply of paper for publications. “Reportero” benefits from a trove of Zeta’s own archival footage and photos, which feature its founder, Jesús Blancornelas, as well as his editors, many of whom lost their lives covering the drug cartels. Reporter Sergio Haro says that some stories were so dangerous, “It was like holding a grenade.” Sometimes,

Allyson McHardy and Jane Archibald in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Handel’s “Semele.”

ist Zhang Huan, an exhibit of whose impressive work graced the Art Gallery of Ontario — undertakes a first opera and responds to their own personal mythology, not the work. Zhang’s main contribution to “Semele” was the rebuilding of an ancient Chinese temple as its set, with the overture accompanied by a mini-documentary film detailing the family and career problems of those previously living there. After that, their story was dropped. Various sorts of pan-Asian iconography and devices appeared, a striking but strikingly misplaced melismatic Chinese song trumped Act One’s rousing finale, and — mystifyingly — two sumo wrestlers gruntingly battled through “Bless the glad earth.” A phallic donkey cavorted unamusingly. Evidently neither director nor conductor understood English well enough to invest in William Congreve’s brilliant libretto — sexy, funny, and moving. The cast, quite fine, seemingly fended for themselves — especially Jane Archibald, an expert vocal technician ideally voiced for Semele’s music, who looked right but miscalculated the rapacious princess. She might as well have been playing the unselfish virgin Iphis in “Jephtha.” William Burden’s handsome Jupiter was a paragon of line and verbal articulation — an achievement given Alessandrini’s unresponsiveness. Rather tight of production initially, he still sang much of his music exquisitely. Mezzo Allyson McHardy had fun with the Ino/ Juno pairing and sang everything but her last aria stylishly and well. Katherine Whyte’s lively Iris contributed more than Steven Humes (Cadmus/ Somnus), a fine bass but no Handelian. Anthony Roth Costanzo moved heaven and earth to maximize what was left him of Athamas’ part — a pity to hire such a stylish, expressive countertenor and cut his most effective arias. But then, this production cut the opera’s final chorus and replaced it with the hummed “Internationale”. (You read that right.) Still, any opera-loving visitor to Toronto should check out COC’s offerings. Next May don’t miss Robert Cars-

no individual bylines are given, to protect the writers. Writing the stories that other media outlets are afraid to cover comes with a price. Some of the editors’ lives become a crowd of bodyguards and bullet-resistant cars. But the truth is that "you cannot interview someone if you bring armed guards with you. You cannot run after a politician if you're wearing a bulletproof vest." “Reportero” shows us a journalism most American readers could not possibly recognize

SILENCED VOICES Directed by Beate Arnestad

In English, Swedish, and Tamil with English subtitles Jun. 25 at 9:15 p.m.; Jun. 26 at 4 p.m.; Jun. 27 at 7 p.m. When 300 people are killed in one day, it usually makes news worldwide. And yet, in Sri Lanka, when an estimated 390,000 Tamil minorities suddenly disappeared, how did something that big escape critical attention? “Silenced Voices” introduces us to several Sri Lankan journalists living in exile because they have persevered to tell the truth behind their government’s crushing of the Tamils and a 28-year civil war.

en’s “Dialogues des Carmelites,” splendidly cast — Isabel Bayrakdarian, Judith Forst, Adrianne Pieczonka, and Irina Mishura. Belgium’s Flemish Opera has raised its artistic profile dramatically recently, making its art-rich and LGBTfriendly home bases, Antwerp and Ghent, even more attractive as destinations. Last season’s “Frau ohne Schatten” proved as moving and beautiful as any starry reading I’ve heard under Boehm, von Dohnanyi, or Thielemann. This year, Flemish Opera dove into local history, presenting the illuminating world premiere of Donizetti’s unfinished final opera in its original French version. “Le duc d’Albe,” seen in Ghent’s intimate theater May 29, uses the Eugène Scribe libretto later refashioned into “Les vêpres siciliennes” — the usual Verdian conflict of power versus personal happiness across two generations. Here the setting is 1500s Flanders under Spanish occupation. Composer Giorgio Battistelli, in post-Bergian mode, completed the orchestration and the 15 percent of the melodic line left undone by Donizetti. The stylistic alternation sometimes worked, but nonetheless evoked the Berio-competed “Turandot” — not enough humility obtained, and absent, also, was any will to convey Scribe’s ambivalent ending, with despair and hope — however misplaced — commingled. Enough compelling music remains to make the score fascinating. Venezuelan director Carlos Wagner used Alfons Flores’ brutalist/ totalitarian set and projections to make the milieu contemporary — any place of unjust occupation. The overriding concept worked, though blocking was awkward (those with fancy pool tables don’t climb on them), the cast too often on the floor. Crosses and Christ-parodic arm gestures appeared so incessantly that they lost any evocative meaning. George Petean’s fine, strong baritone and sinister Mussolinian presence dominated as the blood-spilling Duke. Once past some Act One pitch problems, Belgian tenor Marc Laho, singing the conflicted Henri, savored the text and — in legato passages — honored the lyrical legacy of Alain Vanzo, among his teachers. Rachel Harnisch (the implacable Helene) offered a supermodel physique, but proved vocally underpowered, with insufficient resonance below a clean, Mozartean top. Of the others, Igor Bakan (Daniel) and Stephan Adriens (Taverner) offered apt bel canto approaches. Conductor Paolo Carignani started rather heavily but overall provided sure guidance. Next season the rising Flemish Opera’s offerings include “Agrippina” and “Parsifal” appealingly cast, plus Terry Gilliam’s “Damnation de Faust.” David Shengold (shengold@yahoo.com) writes about opera for many venues.

International observers were ordered out, and film crews and cameras were forbidden. “I believe journalists can save the world. Why else are we here?” says Sonali Samarasinghe, the widow of Lasantha Wickrematunge, a journalist slain for opposing the Sri Lankan government. While admitting nothing, even a government official admits on TV, “If you are not with us, you are against us.” And, journalists who oppose government policies or question why hundreds of thousands of minorities vanished also disappear. It is easy for

people in the West to take freedom of the press for granted. The Sri Lankans we meet are safe in places like Berlin, Oslo, and New York, but they aren’t happy. They would rather be home. Thanks to technology, these journalists are able to view images and videos of executions and abuses, taken on smart phones and smuggled out of the country, hidden in the cloud computing that is email. “Silenced Voices” presents some of the most difficult imagery I’ve seen in my many

FESTIVAL, continued on p.31


| June 6, 2012

FILM

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Scout’s Ardor Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” successfully navigates line between absurdity and sincerity BY STEVE ERICKSON

pen pals. Suzy sneaks out of her parents’ house, and Sam escapes from the Scout camp. The two meet up es Anderson managed to remake a on the island and share a romantic day, listening to good deal of American cinema in his records and reading science fiction novels. Khaki Scoutmaster Ward (Edward Norton) is infuriated own image, although I’m sure that was far from his intention. Of the by Sam’s escape and organizes the troop, along with local generation of American filmmakers sheriff Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis), to search for the coucurrently in their 40s, only Quentin Tarantino can claim ple. Meanwhile, a hurricane is brewing off the island. In its first 15 minutes, “Moonrise Kingthe same. David Fincher and Paul Thomas dom” shows off all the tools in Anderson’s Anderson may be equally well-regarded, MOONRISE KINGDOM basket. It begins with a lengthy horizontal but they don’t have a consistent style that Directed by Wes Anderson Focus Features tracking shot, moving from left to right as others can pin down and copy. Regal Cinema Union Square a group of Khaki Scouts listen to a record 1998’s “Rushmore” was Anderson’s 850 Broadway at 14th St. deconstructing a Benjamin Britten comequivalent to “Pulp Fiction,” although regmovies.com position. These camera moves are someit didn’t make nearly as much money. AMC Loews Lincoln Square 1998 Broadway at 68th St. times interrupted by jerky vertical pans. Released on DVD, it quickly found a cult amctheatres.com Then, Anderson cuts to an onscreen narfollowing for its stylized direction, choice rator (Bob Balaban) with no connection to use of ‘60s rock music, and humane the other characters and the ability to see into the future. approach to comedy. Shooting in 16mm — though the film will probably By the time Anderson released his follow-up, “The Royal Tenenbaums,” imitators had emerged and detrac- be projected digitally at all its New York engagements tors would accuse him of focusing on First World prob- — Anderson creates a somewhat unreal look. While lems in a twee, quirky style. “The Life Aquatic With Steve the exteriors are fairly naturalistic, most of the interiors Zissou” and “The Darjeeling Limited” suggested the nay- are marked by bright, candy-painted colors. Anderson sayers had a point, but “Fantastic Mr. Fox” was an ani- is notorious for his micromanaged attention to detail, and the production design in “Moonrise Kingdom” is no mated masterpiece. “Moonrise Kingdom” continues Anderson’s winning exception. It makes it very clear that the film takes place in a fantasy world whose emotions are nevertheless quite streak. It takes place on an island off the coast of New Eng- genuine, even heightened. “Moonrise Kingdom” is set in 1965, but its timing feels land. Sam (Jared Gilman) is a wayward Khaki Scout. A year before the main events of the film take place, he approximate and ambiguous. Perhaps only in a period met Suzy (Kara Hayward), a 12-year-old girl appear- piece could Anderson get away with showing a 12-yearing in a play. The two instantly fell in love and became old smoking a pipe. (Smoking seems to be the main reason

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years of reviewing this festival’s offerings. The journalists examine horrible scenes of executions and corpses and are able to demonstrate just how and why the nation’s military is pulling the trigger.

LITTLE HEAVEN Directed by Lieven Corthouts In Amharic with English subtitles Jun. 25 at 4 p.m.; Jun. 26 at 6:30 p.m.; Jun. 27 at 9 p.m. In many underdeveloped countries, orphans are not kids without parents — they are children institutionalized when parents or family cannot or will not provide care. In Ethiopia’s “Little Heaven,” we meet Lydia, who is told on her 13th birthday that she has HIV and is going to another orphanage. The woman who delivers the news seems very kind and clearly feels horrible about this dreadful birthday greeting. We follow Lydia through her first year at Little Heaven orphanage. She lives two lives — one filled with friends and schoolwork, the other taken up with doctor’s visits and medications. She was dealt an unfair hand at birth, and now she’s been set aside by her family. She oscillates

between a mantra of “I want to be happy every day” and a despairing question — “What does my future hold?” Lieven Corthouts highlights Lydia’s isolation by using long shots, showing her split off from the other children. We also see her vulnerability in extreme close ups. Her face, tears rolling down her cheeks, fills the screen when she is told she has HIV. During a visit to the doctor, close ups present just her face while the doctor talks about her condition. It is the unscripted moments here that paint the most evocative pictures. A younger girl arranges her teddy bear next to a portrait of Jesus. Another girl says nothing makes her happy — “I just want to sit or sleep.” Lydia says it best, though: "Having HIV is like having someone live in your body without paying rent."

INVISIBLE WAR Directed by Kirby Dick Jun. 18 at 8:45 p.m.; Jun. 20 at 6:30 p.m. “Invisible War” chronicles a long history of sexual assault within the US military against its own ranks. A “zero tolerance” policy toward the abuses seems to result in almost no investigations or arrests. The amazing thing about this

the film is rated PG-13; all of its violence takes place offscreen.) Once again, Anderson shows off his eclectic taste in music, mixing Britten, Hank Williams, and French yé yé singer Françoise Hardy. Making Hardy the favorite singer of one of his child characters is a bit of a leap, but maybe her music was more popular in the US in 1965 than it is now. If Anderson’s adults are childlike, his children are precocious. The latter is essential for the film to make emotional sense. Anderson rests on the edge between total absurdity and complete sincerity. Fortunately, he lands on the latter. He gets fully committed performances from his child actors, who get much more screen time than Willis, Norton, or Bill Murray, who plays Suzy’s father. The idea of two 12-year-olds getting married may seem ridiculous, but “Moonrise Kingdom” takes the passion of Sam and Suzy very seriously. In fact, Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures” is the only film I can think of that takes love between two children or teenagers as seriously; like the lovers of “Heavenly Creatures,” Sam and Suzy are willing to resort to violence to stay together, although they don’t go nearly as far. Anderson is a Francophile, although the French haven’t always loved him back — Cahiers du Cinéma ran a grotesquely dismissive review of “Rushmore” upon its release in France. His models for “Moonrise Kingdom” seem French rather than American. Its deep romanticism and depiction of Sam and Suzy as an outlaw couple on the run recall French New Wave films like Jean-Luc Godard’s “Pierrot le fou,” while its tracking shots go back further in French film history, to the work of Max Ophüls. The Khaki Scouts may be all-American, but the cross-cultural sensibility of “Moonrise Kingdom” is a welcome one.

documentary is that all the statistics come from government sources, and almost everyone we see on camera is cur-

rently or has been in the military. “Invisible War” has a June 22 general release date. Look for a full review by Steve

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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

IN THE NOH

Evergreen Songwriter Williams’ wit, bright Tony hopeful, dim Garland account BY DAVID NOH f any one person wrote the music soundtrack of our lives in the 1970s, that would have to be Paul Williams, composer of “Evergreen,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “The Rainbow Connection,” “Old-Fashioned Love Song,” “Love Boat Theme,” that wedding perennial “We’ve Only Just Begun,” etc. He’s the subject of a marvelous documentary, “Paul Williams Still Alive” (opens Jun.8, Angelika, 18 W. Houston St. at Mercer St.; angelikafilmcenter. com), directed by Stephen Kessler, a fan who basically stalked him into submission and got his full story, from the heady drug-fueled days of his jukebox glory through recovery and now perfect contentment as an artist still touring and the dedicated president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP. Over breakfast at the Park Lane Hotel, Williams, a brilliant raconteur in that hip, crusty way true musicians often show, regaled me in his irresistibly inimitable style. “It’s been a great surprise to me, the way this film has been received,” he said. “I’ve avoided writing my memoirs because is there anything more disgusting than some little old man saying, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more fame?’ I wasn’t sure that I wanted to deal with everything again, because I love my life and have a great balance with my ASCAP work. But I’m really glad I did it because it says a lot about recovery, and is also really funny. It’s not a traditional documentary at all, but about the filmmaking process and the humor of this stalker becoming a brother.”

I

ANITA AND STEVE SHEVETT

Reluctantly at first, Paul Williams allowed Stephen Kessler to have him look back at his life.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Tony nominee for “Ghost,” at the May 24 New Dramatists lunch.

Williams started out as an actor, making his debut in the classic black comedy “The Loved One” at age 24: “In my childhood, there was a movie that blew me away that I watched with my mother when I was about 9, ‘With a Song in My Heart.’ Remember, Susan Hayward playing [singer] Jane Frohman? ‘Don’t take her leg!’ [Laughs.] I remember her singing to the troops and that was the music I loved, the Great American Songbook, Crosby, ‘Moonlight Becomes You,’ ‘Here’s That Rainy Day.’ “When I started writing songs, the music I had loved as a kid became my music school; the structure — two verses, a bridge, and a chorus. Always heavy-duty melody, and I write codependent anthems. My favorite love song I ever wrote is ‘That’s Enough for Me,’ which had a line about how ‘our pleasure makes me cry’ and everybody was like, ‘God, that’s so brave of you!’ and I was like, ‘That’s part of me!’ I’m totally in touch with my feminine side. I told Williams that, because of his androgynous image and outrageous wardrobe — as a USC college kid, I remember seeing him at a movie premiere in a floorlength white fur coat — many assumed he was gay: “Oh, yeah, I know. I loved trying to be David Bowie. A lot of people thought I was gay, except most gay men thought, ‘No, he’s not very attractive.’ I got luckier with the women [laughs]. I’ve never been with a man, but I’m not dead yet… “Oh, God, I finally get to talk about this: you remember in 1977 [orange juice pitchwoman] Anita Bryant had this whole anti-gay campaign? I was in San Francisco, and I took out an ad in Variety that said ‘Mr. and Mrs. Paul Williams, in response to Anita Bryant’s campaign, have stopped drinking dot dot dot.’ “The story got picked up by the Associated Press, so it went all around the

world. I’d go to my dressing room and there’d be a stack of mail without return addresses, and I knew what that was going to be, and a few with addresses, thanking me for the stand we took. To this day, I will be standing on a set and someone on the crew will say, ‘You know what? The ad — thank you!’ but I’d never gotten such hate mail in my life.” Williams’ encounters with showbiz legends alone could fill a book: “My manager called me, saying Mae West wants to talk to you about writing the songs for her movie, ‘Sextette.’ I went up to her great apartment, Ravenswood, with this kinda muscle guy she lived with. Everything was white, shag rug, and a copy of Life magazine from the 1940s with her on the cover, like time travel. “After a while, she came out, fully made up, in a flowing negligee, and she must have been in her 80s then. She sat down and there was not a lot of conversation, so, finally, her friend said, ‘You know, Paul just wrote the songs for the new version of “A Star is Born.”’ ‘Oh!,’ she said, ‘I love that one!’ and sang, ‘The night is bitter…’ “I started to go, ‘No, it wasn’t…’ but she gave me this look, and I stopped, and to this day, I don’t know if she was putting me on. It will remain a mystery for my entire life — I think she was, but how hip to do that! “When I did work on the ‘A Star is Born,’ Streisand asked me, ‘What do you need to write?’ Jokingly, I said, ‘White wine and macadamia nuts at my fingertips,’ and the next time I was at her house, they were at every table. I was being fitted for a tuxedo when the phone rang and my wife came in and said, ‘It’s Barbra Streisand.’ I was like ‘Hi,’ and she said, ‘You wrote a song called ‘You and Me Against the World.’ There’s this place at the end of the picture where I find this

song that [Kris Kristofferson’s character] was working on, and I wanted to talk with you about writing that song,’ which became ‘With One More Look at You.’ “She gave me this little melody [for “Evergreen”], and I still have a tape of her playing the guitar, looking for the chords, and singing ‘Love dadadadeedada,’ and I’m going, ‘I love it! It’s gorgeous!’ But I had to write the other stuff first, and she kept asking, ‘Where’s my love theme?’ “The first two lines I wrote were ‘Love, fresh as the morning air/ Love, soft as an easy chair’ and I called her and said, ‘You know what? It sings better if you flip them. They’ll probably laugh us out of town, but dig it [sings it]. ‘Morning’ sings better than ‘Easy’ there. ‘Yeah,’ she said, ‘That’s cool. Bye!’ “‘With One More Look at You’ is one of my favorite songs, an homage to the 1954 version when James Mason would say to Judy Garland, ‘Hold on. I just want to take another look.’ I had the verse on a napkin with three lines underlined when I sang it to her, and, after she heard it, she said those exact three lines could have been better. Like a heat-seeking missile, she knew what worked for her, she knows music. “She gave me a chance to do something that reflected amazingly on my children’s lives, and I don’t think I ever really thanked her as I should have. I was too busy being cool, but she’s a spectacular talent and I love that she always puts ‘Evergreen’ on every album, love it when another version comes out.” “The great thing about my career is I caught the third act of Crosby, Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella, and Torme, who recorded my songs, and today I’m president of ASCAP and can fight for these kids to make sure they can make a living with their music. I wrote songs for the movie ‘Bugsy Malone’ in the styling of Ella and Torme and later on, they both recorded them. You don’t get luckier than that.” I told Williams that the star of ‘Bugsy,’ Jodie Foster, was, in those days, a dead ringer for him: “We were interchangeable. She was a little more butch than me, but other than that… Now I look like a cross between Hayley Mills and Jo Stafford, with a dash of Skip E. Lowe.”

If you’d dropped a bomb on the Marriott Marquis on May 24, the entire Broadway season would have been wiped out as almost every actor on the boards right now was there for the New Dramatists lunch honoring Bernadette Peters. Peters was there, amazingly ageless as ever, with curls and “girls” (in her ubiquitous low décolletage) on display,

IN THE NOH, continued on p.33


33

| June 6, 2012

LOISEAU, from p.28

added to his self-loathing. Photos of him from that time show he was an extremely attractive, long-haired, and willowy blonde boy whose androgynous looks earned him the nickname “ma feé” (my fairy, which in French is not a pejorative) from the aging closeted fashion queen who was the St. Laurent boutique’s manager. One day Perkins, in town to make “Quelqu’un derriere la porte” (“Someone Behind the Door”) for the Franco-Hungarian director Nicolas Gessner, came in to buy pants needed for the film. It was Patrick who waited on him, taking his measurements and kneeling to pin the garments to be tailored. As Perkins left, he said, “By the way, your name is Patrick, isn’t it? I’m Tony!,” and with a flashed smile and wave of a hand was out the door. To Patrick’s astonishment, the day after the clothes were delivered to Perkins’ hotel, the store manager got a phone call complaining the pants didn’t fit. But when Perkins showed up and the pants were once again put on him, he pronounced them “perfect after all” and, to excuse himself for the unnecessary disturbance, asked Patrick to choose some shirts and sweaters for him. He also slipped a piece of paper into Patrick’s hand and whispered, “I hope I didn’t get you into any trouble, but I just had to see you again.” The paper contained just the name Tony — with his phone number. After agonizing for two days about whether to call the capti-

vatingly handsome 38-year-old star, Patrick worked up his courage and dialed the number. It turned out to be that of a luxuriously appointed apartment Perkins had borrowed from a friend, to which Patrick was immediately invited for dinner. Thinking himself unworthy of such attentions, Patrick was discombobulated when, in time, Perkins cupped the boy’s head in his hand and, intoning the words “Patrick, you’re sooooo sexy!,” kissed him long and deeply, the first man to ever have done so. Perkins began slowly undressing the trembling youth, who quickly began to help him do so — and they made love. Nearly

“Dear Patrick, “I know that you must be asking yourself WHY I haven’t written, but when I explain I’m sure you’ll understand. “Because you’re too intelligent to be just a salesperson in a boutique, and if you only had the mentality, the sensibility, and the capacities of a sales clerk, you and I would never have gotten together. So, why haven’t I written? “Because I was waiting to get a letter from you — your inevitable letter of disillusion, which would say, ‘Okay, I want just to let you know that my eyes have finally been opened. I see clearly now that you never had any real feeling for me, and that I was only an occasional nothing that you couldn’t forget quickly enough. Thanks anyway — I want you just to understand that ‘I DON’T THINK I NEED YOU ANY MORE!’ But I’ve not as yet had such a letter from you. “However, even if you’ve only THOUGHT of writing me a letter like that, that’s good enough for me. All that is a long and complicated way for me to tell you that you must know that you don’t really ‘need’ me, as you’ve said in each of your letters — that makes no sense! You live in France and I live in America, and that’s not going to change any time soon. And when you wrote me that you refused all New Year’s Eve invitations to stay alone at home and think of me, that makes me sad

“Do you think I find you attractive because you’re feeble, dependant, and adolescent? You’re better than that.”

every night for the next ten weeks, they arranged to get together, and when the time arrived for Perkins to go to London for additional filming, he promised to be back in a few weeks to dub the French version of the movie. Sadly for Patrick, one day he got a call from Perkins, who told him he was returning to New York and to write him. Patrick was, by this time, deeply in love for the very first time, and fell into a profound depression, eventually sending Perkins three plaintive letters telling him how destroyed he felt. Finally he received a reply.

IN THE NOH, from p.32

receiving glowing tributes, including one from Elaine Stritch, whose memory failed her at the beginning of an anecdote, and after she looked to her accompanist for help, said, “I asked for a prompt and got, ‘You’re doing good!’” I asked Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Tony nominee for “Ghost” and so deserving for the bighearted brashness and joyful musicality she brings, if she felt as completely at home and comfortable onstage as she seems. “Yes, I love it!,” she responded. “Stepping into the shoes of Whoopi Goldberg [who originated her role in the movie] was amazing, but I didn’t get bogged down in what she did. She got nominated for a reason — she’s fabulous, obviously. But, like anything else, if you want to do Shakespeare, what does the text tell you

about your interpretation? You do the work, and I knew that would be the biggest downfall if I tried to recreate what Whoopi did because it’s a musical for a reason. It’s not ‘Ghost Part 2,’ you know. “I started singing in church and am a classically trained opera singer. I was home, in bed, when I heard about my Tony nomination. I’d asked my assistant to call me if something happened and she did that morning, and it’s amazing, fabulous, thrilling, and I’m taking the ride as it comes. “I have so many influences — Aretha, Whitney, Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, the list goes on and on. It’s great to be an artist in this generation where we have so many wonderful artists to look up to. I feel very solidified to have this great library of research. When I was younger, I would watch Turner Classic Movies, tons of old movies with

— because it doesn’t correspond to the image I have of you at your best: INDEPENDENT, STRONG, AND ADULT. Do you think I find you attractive because you’re feeble, dependant, and adolescent? You’re better than that, and you mustn’t miss me — even though it would be awfully easy for me to miss you. I think about you too, but hoping that I’ll be in Paris again soon — and you’re the first person I’ll call (from the airport!). “Thanks for the gift. That scarf: the only thing I can say is that each time I throw it around my shoulders I think of you, and I will never, ever lose it. “Have you understood this letter? Will you write me soon? “Affectionately, “Tony.” It took a few more months for Patrick to more or less heal, at least enough to allow himself to be persuaded to join a young female friend in an outing to a crowded and smoke-filled night club in the Latin Quarter, where a handsome young beatnik singer from Holland was eking out a meager living by singing and playing the guitar, then passing his hat to collect tips from the customers. When he came by the table where Patrick and the girl were sitting to collect his tip, he gave the young blonde boy a ravishing smile — and then, some minutes later, having finished amassing all the francs he could, came back to their table, put his arm around Patrick, and asked, “Do you like boys? My name’s Dave.” They have now been together more than 40 years. Irony of ironies, it was his brief affair with the self-hating Ameri-

my grandmother — Greta Garbo, all that stuff I grew up with. “Dream role? At the beginning, I wanted to play Rafiki [in “The Lion King”] so bad, but now I would love to do a biopic of Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald, whatever is open.”

“Ghost” was lambasted by the critics but, far more mysteriously, “End of the Rainbow” was praised to the skies, and Tracie Bennett seems a sure bet for Tony’s Best Actress. While she’s undoubtedly energetic and fearless (but completely clueless as to the correct gestures to use while singing), the show is a steaming pile of ordure, an incredibly vulgar and witless desecration of the last days of Judy Garland’s life. I started to seethe near the very beginning, when “Judy” falsely recalled going to classes at MGM with Deanna

can movie star that gave the selfhating French boy enough of a sense of self-worth to be able to accept and return the affection that Dave soon showered upon him. If he’d been used as a sexual Kleenex by Tony, at least he’d been used elegantly and charmingly. Tony and Patrick would not see each other for another five years, when Patrick and Dave were on a visit to New York to meet with the execs at CBS Records, where Dave was then under contract. On a chance impulse, Patrick dialed an old New York phone number given to him by Perkins, who was then on Broadway starring in “Equus.” The French couple found it impossible to get tickets to the sold-old hit before their scheduled departure, but when Berry Berenson answered the phone she exclaimed, “You’re Patrick from Paris? Tony will be so happy to see you. There’ll be two tickets for you and your friend waiting at the theater box office tonight, and I’ll leave word for you to be admitted back stage to his dressing room.” After the play, Patrick and Dave did indeed go back stage, but instead of knocking on Perkins’ dressing room door, they diffidently decided to wait for him to come out. When he did, he was wearing the scarf Patrick had given him all those years before… and in the background lurked another young blonde boy who did not look unlike Patrick. Still, the smile on Perkins’ face on seeing Patrick Loiseau and meeting his lover Dave was broad and genuine. Perkins’ letter of rupture had achieved some effect on the young Frenchman after all.

Durbin and Elizabeth Taylor (who would have been about four at the time), and then had to watch her click her heels with groaning obviousness at any mention of travel, rut around stage like a dog in heat, and shriek “Suck my cock!” in some insanely ludicrous approximation of the star’s legendary wit. It was frankly horrendous, not helped at all by the queasy, depressingly retro portrait of a homosexual assistant (Michael Cumpsty) or the nasty depiction Garland’s last (ineptly acted) husband, Mickey Deans, as a hustling drug enabler. It was all enough to make me want to demand that all involved be flogged — or at least turn in their gay cards immediately for such shameful shamelessness. Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@ aol.com and check out his new blog at nohway.wordpress.com.


34 䉴

PROP 8, from p.9

Romer v. Evans, the US Supreme Court's 1996 decision that struck down Colorado’s Amendment 2, a referendum rescinding the right of gay people there to seek any nondiscrimination protections. The Ninth Circuit concluded, as had the Supreme Court in Romer, that there was no rational, non-discriminatory reason for doing so. In narrowing the case's scope in this way — by making its decision tur n heavily on Walker's factual findings about the nature of the campaign to pass Prop 8 — the three-judge panel made it less likely that the Supreme Court would be interested in hearing the case. Boies and Olson offered somewhat different takes on the prospects for the high court stepping into the Prop 8 case. “ We s u s p e c t t h e y w i l l t a k e t h e case,” Olson said. Noting the May 31 ruling from a First Circuit appeals panel (see page

June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com 16) af fir ming a decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Boies offered a more cautious response, saying, “I think it is probably likely that the court will take one or both of the cases.” He added, “I don’t have a view of whether they will likely take this case.” He said if the Supreme Court was predisposed to view the Prop 8 case on the narrower grounds laid out by the appeals panel in February, “that might be a factor increasing the chances they would not take the case.” It is very likely the high court will be considering the DOMA case in its next term, since the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) of the US House of Representatives, a group controlled by Speaker John Boehner that began defending the 1996 law when the Justice Department decided last year it would no longer do so, is expected to file an appeal of the May 31 decision. That ruling held that DOMA’s Section 3, which bars federal recognition of valid same-

RAVI, from p.6

But I don’t believe it was hate-motivated.” He added, “I can’t find it in me to remand this gentleman to a state prison that houses such people convicted of murder, robbery, and rape.” At the sentencing hearing nine days earlier, however, the judge was scathing in his comments about Ravi. “I haven’t heard you apologize once,” he said. Ber man noted that Ravi’s pre-sentencing letter also failed to acknowledge the seven charges related to his cover -up for which he was convicted. Stating that the witness best able to describe Ravi’s behavior was dead, the judge pointed out that Clementi had called the defendant’s behavior “wildly inappropriate.” Berman did not allow the jury to hear those words, but said he could not put them out of his own mind in coming to a decision on sentencing.

sex marriages, is unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment's equal protection requirement. The First Circuit found no justification for the federal government distinguishing between same-sex and different-sex marriages that are valid under state law, but did not rule on the underlying question about a constitutional right to marry. The Supreme Court is expected to grant review in the DOMA case, since otherwise the federal gover nment would be in the untenable position of recognizing same-sex marriages in the First Circuit — comprised of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico — but nowhere else. It seems less likely the Supreme Court would be interested in reviewing the Prop 8 case, given its narrower scope and application to just one state. If the Court did grant review, it would be free to reframe the question more broadly to focus on whether same-sex couples have a right to

The judge focused a good deal of attention on the steps Ravi took to evade law enforcement, describing that effort as “anything but isolated and spontaneous… This was a cold, calculated, and methodically conceived” plan. During the trial, there was testimony that the

Ravi termed his actions "thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid, and childish choices.”

BLOWBACK, from p.6

Tyler’s brother, James. Some readers responded with condemnations of Ravi. Between the end of his trial and his sentencing, Ravi embarked on an effort to burnish his image, which included his interview on “20/ 20” and relied on mainstream press stories that cited gay voices calling for a more considered reaction. “I do feel queasy about the way he has used an editorial like mine to reinforce his position,” Hicklin told Gay City News. “This isn’t about exonerating Ravi at all. It’s about a temperate response to something that we in the LGBT community know is widespread.” Like Hicklin, others were motivated to speak out by the community’s

videotaping captured images of Clementi kissing another man, identified only as M.B., who is now 32. Prosecutors introduced evidence that on 38 occasions in the days before his suicide, Clemen-

demand for what they believed was revenge. Others were philosophically opposed to hate crime laws, which were used in the Ravi case. Wi l l i a m D o b b s , a l o n g t i m e g a y activist, was critical of Ravi’s prosecution because it was “way over charged.” He has long pressed an effort to get the community to dial back its demands for punishment in criminal cases with LGBT victims. “For decades, we gays have had to push the criminal justice system into action, but that kind of pressure can also cause a miscar riage of justice,” said Dobbs, who carried a sign reading “Justice Not Vengeance” at a 2010 vigil on the Rutgers campus where Clementi and Ravi were students. The LGBT community once fre-

marry, or it could practice judicial restraint and limit itself to determining whether the Ninth Circuit panel correctly applied the reasoning of Romer v. Evans to find that Prop 8's rescission of rights was invalid. Olson, after saying AFER will oppose the Proponents’ effort to appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling — since its clients would enjoy an “absolute victory” if it stands — said he and the other attorneys “will not avoid a full ventilation of this issue.” Their arguments, he said, will address the broad issue of denying gay couples the fundamental right to marry and the narrower question of California voters choosing to take away a right earlier judged fundamental under the State Constitution. Referring to a potential Supreme Court ruling by June 2013, Olson boldly predicted, “We believe that will vindicate the rights of gay and lesbian people to marriage equality in the United States.” — Additional reporting by Paul Schindler

ti went online to look at a Ravi tweet saying he’d viewed his roommate “making out with a dude.” The prosecutor also charged that Ravi deleted a Twitter post alerting others to a September 21 encounter between the two gay men, replacing it “with a false post on Twitter intended to mislead the investigation.” Evidence was presented showing that the defendant provided false information to investigators and attempted to persuade witnesses not to testify against him. A star violin player from Ridgewood, New Jer sey, Clementi was described, at the time of his suicide, as a shy young man who had only recently come out to his parents. In his sentencing, Ber man emphasized that Ravi was not convicted of contributing to Clementi’s death. He also said he would recommend that the defendant, an immigrant from India, not be deported, though he added that a final decision on that was not his, but rather to be made by federal immigration authorities.

quently battled law enforcement, when it raided gay bars or arrested community members on sodomy charges. Dobbs points to the silence on another case in which a Rutgers student groped and filmed his sleeping roommate. That silence shows the community’s current lopsided approach to crime, he said. That student pleaded guilty to invasion of privacy and criminal sexual contact earlier this year. He will serve a year in jail, be on probation for life, and is required to register as a sex offender. “These are very, very serious charges to be bringing against college students,” Dobbs said. “Both of these cases, they might have been university disciplinary matters. Instead, we are now using serious penalties against them.”

E. J. Graff, a contributing editor at the American Prospect, a progressive journal, saw a community that seized on the Clementi case as one that represented all the earlier suicides. “This was a pretty easy symbolic case for something we’d been having a national discussion about,” Graff wrote in an email. “Some cases become big because they stand for something we’re talking about.” In many, if not all, of those ear lier suicides, no one was charged with any crime. In Ravi, the community found a defendant it could hold responsible for the death, she argued. “This was not manslaughter and trying it as though it was manslaughter was oversimplifying a very complicated discussion and I think the judge got that,” Graff wrote.


35

| June 6, 2012

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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com

June 17. With the Happiest of Endings

audiences. ($20). On Jun. 11, 8 p.m., at the Abrons Art Center Underground, Biljana Kosmogina presents “‘P’ Campaign,” a provocative political parody about the presidential candidacy of “Vagina” (popularly known as Pika), who believes she can save Serbia. On Jun. 11, 10 p.m., at the Abrons Art Center Experimental, Željko Zorica presents “KroaTisch-Amerikanische Freundschaft,” an audio/ video/ edible installation organized and presented alongside a controlled happening, in which the artist offers gastronomic pleasures to the audience. ($10) On Jun, 12–14, 8 p.m., at the Abrons Art Center Experimental, Silvia Costa / Plumes dans la tête presents “La Quiescenza del Seme,” a live installation that focuses on the preparation and waiting that charges the moments before every birth with physiological and ideological meaning. ($20) On Jun, 12–14, 8 p.m., at the Abrons Arts Center Gallery, Igor Josifov presents “2-Dimensional,” a performance installation exploring the delicate relationship between the artist and the viewer, with Josifov, lying underneath a plexiglass structure, inviting the audience to walk over him. (Free) On Jun. 14-15, 8 & 9 p.m., at the Invisible Dog, 51 Bergen St., btwn. Smith St. & Boerum Pl., Brooklyn, dancers François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea present “Paquerette,” which moves beyond the idea of penetration as a form of interaction or source of sexual pleasure to explore it in imposing new restrictions and liberties on the body. Tickets and complete information at queerny.org.

Pussy Faggot! Ninth Ave. at 28th St. Jun. 7, 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 at brownpapertickets.com/event/240104.

THU.JUN.7

PERFORMANCE Queers of All Flavors

MICHAEL STEINBRICK

GALLERY Photorealism Paintings of NYC Grime & Glitz

Out gay cityscape painter and muralist Michael Steinbrick, who studied at the Constantijn Huygens Academie in Kampen, the Netherlands, and earned his BFA from Montclair State University, is joined by photographer and mixed media artist Tony Zaza and painter Victoria Hanks in the inaugural exhibition at Victoria Hanks Fine Art, 202 Bellevue Ave. at Northview Ave., Suite 2, Montclair, NJ. The opening reception is Jun. 7, 5-8 p.m. Exhibition runs through Jun. 30. More information at victoriahanksfineart.com.

MUSIC My Big, Fat, Gay Wedding Reception The Stonewall Chorale celebrates its 35th anniversary as the nation's first LGBT choir, Cynthia Powell's 10th season as artistic director, and the one-year anniversary of marriage equality in New York. The evening’s program includes the New York premiere of Meredith Monk's “Wedding March,” as well as some of the chorus’ favorite wedding reception tunes. It promises to be a big, fat gay party. Church of the Holy Apostles, 296

Queer New York International Arts Festival (QNYI) is a new contemporary performance and visual art series — co-curated by Zvonimir Dobrovi, artistic director of Queer Zagreb and the Perforations Festival in Croatia, and art historian and curator André von Ah — that explores and broadens the concept of “queer (in) art.” At the Impossible Project Gallery, 425 Broadway, btwn. Canal & Howard Sts., fifth fl., beginning Jun. 7, 6 p.m. and running through Jun. 16, the East Village Boys, in “For personal use,” bring together artists including Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Jeff Hahn, Jayson Keeling, Josh McNey, Christian Schoeler, and Andrew Yang to photograph whatever it is they do in private for, with, or to themselves. On Jun. 7-8, 8 p.m., at the Abrons Art Center Playhouse, at 466 Grand St. at Pitt St., Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte, l’enfants terribles of the Italian theater scene, present their acclaimed work “Macadamia Nut Brittle,” a play based on text by Dennis Cooper that frames four performers in a desperate waiting game in an impossible world for those seeking love. ($20). On Jun. 7 & 10, 9:30 p.m., at the Abrons Arts Center Underground Theater, Tadasu Takamine presents his controversial video/ performance installation “Kimura-San,” a documentary chronicling his care, over a five-year period, of Mr. Kimura, who was a victim of the Morinaga arsenic milk poisoning and lost complete use of his arms, legs, and mouth. Takamine’s caregiving included aiding in the satisfaction of Kimura’s sexual needs. ($10). On Jun. 9-10, 8 p.m., at the Abrons Art Center Playhouse, David Wampach presents “Auto + Batterie,” which exposes and exploits the relationship between dance and music, which too often, according to the artist, gets left on automatic pilot. ($20). On Jun. 11, 8 p.m., at the Abrons Art Center Playhouse, Marlene Monteiro Freitas presents “Guintche,” a one-woman performance piece based on one of her drawings. The title character has been called “demented” and “indomitable” by

In conjunction with the opening of Queer New York International, Jordan Fox hosts “Pussy Faggot!,” an evening of very queer fun, featuring Canadian rocker Carole Pope, Cuban-Ame rican performance artist Carmelita Tropicana, Italian drag king troupe Eyes Wild Drag, British cabaret star Sarah-Louise Young, and Mexican-American artist Raul de Nieves among a group of several dozen performers. DJ sets presented by JD Samson, DJ R!C, and DJ Malakai. The Delancey, 168 Delancey St., btwn. Clinton & Attorney Sts. Jun. 7, 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Admission is $10 at the door; $6 by RSVPing at pussyfaggot.net.

THEATER Lost in Small Space Braeson Herold stars “Hot Steams,” a futuristic mental ride through torture and imprisonment in which the protagonist finds himself jailed and dressed in a Santa suit with no memory of who he is or how he got there. His cellmate (Zach Wegner), a questionably accused mass murderer, is supposed to be in solitary confinement. Their sanity is at stake as they face an unscrupulous law enforcer (Timothy Weinert). Performances benefit the Innocence Project (innocenceproject.org), which seeks to exonerate innocent prisoners through the use of DNA evidence. Jaclyn Biskup directs. Theaters at 45 Bleecker, Bleecker St. at Lafayette St. Jun. 7, 8:30 p.m.; Jun. 9 & 19, 10 p.m.; Jun. 12, 9:30 p.m.; Jun. 21, 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 at planetconnections.org/hot-steams.

BENEFIT Reigniting the AIDS Fight AIDS Service Center NYC (ascnyc.org), a nonprofit organization that helps HIV-positive New Yorkers and those at risk get a second chance to take charge of their health and reclaim their lives, hosts its annual spring benefit, “HEAT — Reigniting the Fight Against AIDS.” The evening includes an open bar, a showcase of condom fashion, hot music, dancers, and appearances by actress Lilli Taylor, sex columnist Savanna Sampson, and star radio DJ Vic Latino. The Griffin, 50 Gansevoort St. at Ninth Ave. Jun. 7, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Tickets are $75; $150 for VIP entry at heatnyc.org.

FRI.JUN.8

DANCE New from Nicholas Leichter

In the world premiere of “Twenty Twenty,” which Dance Magazine has called “a scorching, irrepressibly sexy duet,” choreographer Nicholas Leichter and his protégé Bryan Strimpel explore the dynamics of age, race, sexuality, and performance personae. The work revels in the similarities and differences between these two charismatic performers, and uses a mix-tape soundtrack to express a range of cultural memes about identity, presence, and the Other. Joe's Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Jun. 8-9, 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 at joespub.com or 212-967-7555; $20 at the door. Doors open at 6 for pre-show cocktails or dinner.

MUSIC She Carries Her Own Mic Jane Krakowski has a knack for scene-stealing roles, whether as Carla in the revival of “Nine,” for which she won Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critic Circle Awards, or as Jenna Maroney on NBC’s “30 Rock,” where she’s earned three Emmy nominations even while competing with scenery chewers Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan. Tonight, she’s at Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. Jun. 8, 8 p.m. Tickets are $45-$55 at the-townhall-nyc.org or 212-840-2824.

Pacific Heartbreak Chelsea Opera presents Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” with a cast headed by Christina Rohm as Cio-Cio San, Yajie Chen as Suzuki, and Daniel Rodriguez as Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton. Carmine Aufiero conducts. St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea, 346 W. 20th St. Jun. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Jun. 9, 4 p.m. Tickets are $30-$35; $20 for students & seniors at chelseaopera.org; $25-$45 at the door.

SAT.JUN.9

PRIDE A Full Day In Brooklyn

LGBT Pride Day kicks off in Brooklyn with a 5k run, beginning at 9 a.m., Jun. 9, at Bartel Pritchard Circle, Prospect Park W. at 15th St., Park Slope. Registration begins at 8, and half of the $25 fee supports the LGBT youth programs at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center. The annual multicultural festival, with stage entertainment, runs from noon-6 p.m., near Prospect Park W. & Ninth St., with a Kids Space open from noon-4 p.m. The Night Parade kicks off from Fifth Ave. at 14th St. in the Slope and proceeds north to Sterling Pl. Gay Men of African Descent hosts an after-pare open mic youth event at 9 p.m. at 44 Court St. at Joralemon St. in Brooklyn Heights. For complete information on the day, visit brooklynpride.org.

Herstory Grows in Brooklyn In conjunction with Brooklyn Pride, the Lesbian Herstory Archives holds a “books plus” sale, open house, and tour. Fiction, poetry, pulps, mysteries, scifi, non-fiction, and more plus vintage Tees, LPs, music cassettes, and buttons are on sale, some as cheap as 50 cents. 484 14th Street, btwn. Prospect Park W. & Eighth Ave., Park Slope. Jun. 9, noon-5 p.m. More information at lesbianherstoryarchives.org.

SAT.JUN.9, continued on p.37


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FILM Celluloid Vito

SAT.JUN.9, from p.36

Chillfest, the LGBT-themed film series, presents a special gay pride screening of “Vito,” Jeffrey Schwarz's bio-doc on the late Vito Russo, a leading gay activist, film scholar, and author of "The Celluloid Closet." Via interviews, rare clips, and miles of archival footage (with Russo always at the forefront of gay crowds), Schwarz makes his subject a dramatic focal point in the history of gay rights from Stonewall riots to AIDS. LITM, 140 Newark Ave., half block from Grove St. PATH station, Jersey City. Jun. 10, 4 p.m. Drinks and light bites begin at 6. Tickets are $7 at chillfest.org; $10 at the door.

GALLERY Early Haring in Brooklyn “Keith Haring: 1978-1982” is the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of the legendary pop artist, who died of AIDS in 1990. The exhibit traces the development of the artist's extraordinary visual vocabulary and including 155 works on paper, seven experimental videos, and more than 150 archival objects, among them rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs. Brooklyn Museum of Art, 200 Eastern Pkwy (2, 3 to Eastern Parkway) near Grand Army Plaza. Through Jul. 8, Wed., Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; first Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

MON.JUN.11

THEATER Some Things Never Change

PRIDE Whoopi at Cooper Union

THU.JUN.14

THEATER Will He Obey? Theatre at St. Clement's hosts a semi-staged reading of Tony Adams' play, "A Letter From The Bishop," about the friendship shared by three gay priests and how they react to their bishop's demand that all his priests read a letter directing Catholics to vote against same-sex marriage. One of the three objects to the demand, which alters his friendship with the other two and leads to a confrontation with the bishop. The question "Will he or won't he read the letter?" is revealed in the final scene. 423 W. 46th St., 7 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations strongly recommended at aletterfromthebishop.blogspot.com.

SUN.JUN.10

BOOKS Michael Cunningham, CA Conrad

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ DAVID SHANKBONE

MARRIAGE Get It Right the First Time

Brad Loekle usually hosts the Electroshock Therapy Comedy Hour” in this time slot, but tonight he presents his second annual Tony Award viewing party, with theater queen, raffle, and dastardly challenge cash prizes and $5 Mount Gay Rum (out since 1703!) cocktails. Therapy, 348 W. 52nd St., 7-11 p.m. Awards start at 8!

TUE.JUN.12

Robb Leigh Davis presents “The Homosexual Agenda,” his chronicle of promise and disaffection in an election year, in which he stars along with Ben Dunn, Pierce Forsythe, Jen Peterman, Nyshev Starr, and Jenmn Wehrung. Park Avenue Christian Church, 85th St. & Park Ave. Jun. 13, 15-16, 20-23, 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 at smarttix.com.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month by honoring Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, Brice Peyre, a top aide to East Side Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, social and economic justice activist Earl Plante, and Lynn Schulman, a board member at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute. Onegin Restaurant, 391 Sixth Ave., btwn. Waverly Pl. & Greenwich Ave. Jun. 11, 6-8 p.m. RSVP to rsvp@manhattanbp.org.

“Activist New York” is a Museum of the City of New York exhibition that examines how New Yorkers have advocated, agitated, and exercised their power to shape the city’s — and the nation’s — future. Among the installations examining 14 different movements over the past 350 years is “‘Gay Is Good’: Civil Rights for Gays and Lesbians, 1969-2012,” which draws on artifacts from groups ranging from ACT UP and Radicalesbians to the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and borrows from collections at the New York Public Library and the Fales Library at NYU. 1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St. Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The exhibition has an open run. Admission is $10; $6 for students & seniors. For more information, visit mcny.org.

THEATER It’s Loekle Just to Be Nominated

the out gay creator of powerhouse franchises such as “Top Chef” and “The Real Housewives” whose new book is “Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture.” Bryant Park Reading Room, the 42nd Street side of the park under the burgundy and white umbrellas. Jun. 13, 12:30-1.45 p.m. The rain venue is Library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 W. 44th St.

PRIDE Scott Stringer Celebrates

NYC’s Social Activist Tradition

Litter, a queer reading series, welcomes author Michael Cunningham, who won both the Pulitzer and PEN/ Faulkner Awards for “The Hours” and will read from a novel in progress, and CA Conrad, who will read from his recently published book of poems, “A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon — New (Soma)tics.” Phoenix Bar, 447 E. 13th St., near Ave. A. Jun. 10, 7 p.m.

p.m., Tod Ensign, director of Citizen Soldier, a GI and veterans rights advocacy group founded in the Vietnam era, and Kimber Heinz, a member of the advisory board of the Bradley Manning Support Network advisory board and national organizing coordinator with the War Resisters League, discuss the history of GI activism and resistance. On Jun. 25, 7:30 p.m., the forum will examine information on what is known about recent US military engagement as the result of whistleblower activities. 451 West St., btwn. Bank & Bethune Sts. Admission is on a sliding scale from $6-$15.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ DAVID SHANKBONE

As part of a month of LGBT Pride Month events at the New York Public Library system, the Tompkins Square Library presents “I Love You, Now Marry Me,” with Psychology Today and GO Magazine contributor Dr. Darcy Smith Sterling speaking about how to know when it’s the right time to marry, what to prepare for, and how to make it last after the honeymoon. 331 East 10th St., near Ave. B. Jun. 11, 5 p.m. In a later installment of the same theme, on Jun. 20, 5:30 p.m., at the Mulberry Street Library, Charlie The Matchmaker, who blogs on the Huffington Post, offers his take. 10 Jersey St., btwn. Lafayette & Mulberry Sts.

POLITICS The Implications of Bradley Manning The Brecht Forum, a social justice educational center, hosts a series of discussions about the issues raised by the case of Bradley Manning, a gay soldier arrested in 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of passing secrets to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. On Jun. 11, 7:30 p.m., a panel including Alfredo Lopez of May First/ People Link, who is active in the open source online movement, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of the Icelandic Parliament, and Trevor Timm, a blogger at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, will discuss advances and defeats in this battle for press freedom online. On Jun. 11, 7:30

Whoopi Goldberg emcees the City Council’s celebration of Pride Month, hosted by Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilmembers Rosie Mendez, Daniel Dromm, and Jimmy Van Bramer. In a nod to an iconic Goldberg film role, the event includes a live performance by the Broadway cast of the musical “Sister Act.” The celebration honors Dee Rees, director of the Sundance Film Festival award-winning film “Pariah,” the gripping story of an African-American teenage lesbian struggling to come into her own growing up in Fort Greene; the NYPD’s LGBT Advisory Panel; and Hermes Mallea and Carey Maloney, leaders of LGBT @ NYPL, for their work to expand the number of LGBT books in the New York Public Library system. The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 E. Seventh St., btwn. Third & Fourth Aves. Jun. 12, 5:30 p.m. (doors open at 4:45). RSVP to council.nyc.gov/events or 212-442-1649.

MUSIC The Queerness of Whitman & the Beats New Music New York presents “I Sing the Body Electric,” newly created chamber ensemble works for voices and instruments inspired by the texts of Walt Whitman and his long-acknowledged poetic progeny, the American Beat Generation of the 1950s and ‘60s. The concert celebrates the queer spirit of Whitman and the Beats (Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the San Francisco bookstore owner tried for obscenity for selling Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” having said the Beat poets were at least half-gay). Saint Peter's Church @ Citicorp, 54th St. & Lexington Ave. Jun. 12, 8 p.m. Admission is $20. More information at nmnybodyelectric.eventbrite.com.

WED.JUN.13

BOOKS Never Too Early for Andy Cohen

Willie Geist, host of MSNBC's “Way Too Early” and a co-host of “Morning Joe,” talks to Bravo’s Andy Cohen,

MUSIC Pride & Praise

Lavender Light: The Black and People of All Colors Lesbian and Gay Gospel Choir presents “Rejoice,” the choir’s annual Pride concert that is an evening full of praise. In its 27th year, the group aims to build bridges of respect and understanding through music. Kaufman Center’s Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67th St. Jun. 14, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 at lavenderlight.com.

THEATER The Etiquette of Death Living in the East Village for the past 25 years, Chris Tanner has been surrounded by death and has become obsessed with how the dying and those who love them behave in the face of it — with reactions ranging from absurd to paradoxical, wrenching, and even hilarious. Artists including Penny Arcade, Lance Cruce, Jeremy Halpern, John Jesurun, Taylor Mac, Stephen McCauley, Greta Jane Pedersen, and Penny Rockwell, joined Tanner her a in putting together together collage of scenes, songs, poetry, lores music and dance that explores the “Etiquette of Death.” Everas ett Quinton and Julie Atlas Muz direct. La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. Fourth St., btwn. Second Ave. & the Bowery. Jun. 14-Jul.1. Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., Sun., 5:30 p.m., except for Jun. 24 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18; $13 for students & seniors at lamama.org.

PERFORMANCE It Gets Better: Healing Through Improv As part of a month of LGBT Pride Month events at the New York Public Library system, the Jefferson Market Library plays host to the National Comedy Theatre, which presents an interactive program where improvisational actors recreate scenes from the LGBT experience based off of suggestions from those in the audience. Bring your sense of humor as the troupe works to inspire healing through comedic moments. 425 Sixth Ave. at 10th St. Jun. 14, 6:30 p.m.

14 DAYS , continued on p.38


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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com p.m. The program will be reprised on Jun. 22, 5:30 p.m., at the Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave. at 40th St., east side of Fifth, with Lindsay Weiner offering the style tips and Miles DeNiro taking Hedda Lettuce’s place.

14 DAYS, from p.37

FRI.JUN.15

FASHION Emily Brontë/ Jacqueline Susann Makeovers

AT THE BEACH The Men of Fire Island The Dworld Underwear Party presents the men of DN’s Fire Island Calendar. DJ Chuck’s spinning is followed by a late-night erotic cabaret, and a 2 a.m. heated pool party. The Ice Palace, Cherry Grove. Jun. 15, 11 p.m. Admission is $10.

SAT.JUN.16

ALEXANDER D’OR

FAITH Taking a Chance on God

As part of a month of LGBT Pride Month events at the New York Public Library system, the Jefferson Market Library hosts “Styled by Literature,” in which Bevy Smith, a social media socialite, provides expert style tips in literary makeovers for drag queens Hedda Lettuce, Paige Turner, and Yuhua Hamasaki. 425 Sixth Ave. at 10th St. Jun. 15, 6:30

As part of the 40th anniversary celebration of Dignity, the organization for LGBT Catholics, director Brendan Fay and producer Ilene Culter present “Taking A Chance on God,” a portrait of 86-year-old John McNeil, a pioneer gay Catholic priest, who was a POW in Nazi German, a Vietnam peace activist, a gay rights advocate and Dignity co-founder, and the loving partner for 46 years of Charles Chiarelli. McNeill, Fay, and Culter will take questions after the screening. School of Visual Arts Beatrice Theatre, 23rd St., btwn. Eighth & Ninth Aves. Jun. 16, 7 p.m. Tickets are $16.52 at brownpapertickets.com/event/246908.

CULTURE Hip-Hop & Divas As part of a month of LGBT Pride Month events at the New York Public Library system, VIBE senior editor Clover Hope, and Kathy Iandoli, music editor

of HipHopDX, join LGBT hip-hop artists Foxxjazell and Soce The Elemental Wizard to discuss the obstacles in rebelling against stereotypes and challenging gender norms to expand the hip-hop genre. The Riverside Library, 127 Amsterdam Ave. at W. 65th St. Jun. 16, 2 p.m. In “Love Thy Diva,” the Village Voice’s Michael Musto moderates a discussion among Madonna impersonator Vivian Belle, Bette Midler impersonator the Divine Grace, and Clay Cane, a WWRL radio host and the entertainment editor at BET.com, as they critique, analyze, and celebrate diva worshipping in the LGBT community. Tompkins Square Library, 331 East 10th St. btwn. Aves. A & B. Jun. 16 2 p.m. Cane moderates a similar panel on Jun. 24, 2 p.m. at the Riverside Library, 127 Amsterdam Ave. at W. 65th St., with Whitney Houston impersonator Tyra Ross, Beyonce impersonator Charley Marie, and TheGrio.com and Huffington Post political analyst Edward Wyckoff Williams.

SUN.JUN.17

PRIDE Folsom Street East

Organizers call this event New York Fucking City’s Sexiest Street Festival. Thousands of sexy kinksters turn out on 28th St., btwn. 10th & 11th Aves. on Jun. 17, 2-7 p.m., for a summer afternoon to celebrate sexual diversity and expression. Will Clark and Xavier Rice emcee, with performances by the Glamazons, Dallas DuBois, Heloise and the Savoir Faire, Brett Gleason, Naked Highway, Kyle Edmond, Derek Bishop, and the Imperial Court of NY. The event benefits the New York City LGBT Community Center, the New York City AntiViolence Project, and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. This year’s Sexual Freedom Award goes to Diana Adams, an attorney, activist, and educator who agitates for sexual civil rights and nontraditional families in representing gay, lesbian, polyamorous, and single clients. Admission is $10. More information on the festival and other leather events during this weekend at folsomstreeteast.org.

BENEFIT The Happiest of Endings In “Broadway Bares XXII: Happy Endings,” a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, more than 200 of New York's sexiest and most delectable dancers travel to a land where rubbing a magic lamp reveals more than just a genie. These storybook happy endings would make seven dwarfs whistle before and after they work. Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd St. Jun. 17, 9:30 p.m. & midnight. Tickets are $60-$750 at broadwaycares.org.

SUN.JUN.17

PRIDE Garden Party 29

The LGBT Community Center’s traditional kickoff to Pride Week offers “A Taste of Pride,” with food offerings from more than 30 Manhattan eateries and caterers. This year, the party has been moved to Pier 46 at Christopher St. on the Hudson River. Jun. 18, 6 p.m. This event supports the Center’s programming providing lifeaffirming and changing programs and services for New York’s vast and diverse LGBT community. Tickets begin at $85, which includes the open bar; $150 for a food tester ticket, at gaycenter.org.

BENEFIT Judy, Judy, Judy... Justin Sayre hosts the second annual "Night of A

Thousand Judys," a Pride concert to benefit the Ali Forney Center, which houses and provides social services to homeless LGBTQ youth in New York. Among those appearing in this Judy Garland tribute are Tonya Pinkins (Tony Award-winner for “Jelly's Last Jam”), Andrea McArdle (Tony nominee for “Annie”), Daniel Reichard (“Jersey Boys”), Nellie McKay (“Three Penny Opera”), the Village Voice’s Michael Musto, Jayne Houdyshell (Tony nominee for “Follies”), Sirius XM host Frank DeCaro, Molly Pope, and Bridget Everett. Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St. Jun. 18, 8 p.m., with pre-show VIP reception at 6:30. Tickets are $25; $60 includes the reception at aliforneycenter.org.

TUE.JUN.19

BENEFIT Metropolitan Community Church at 40

The Metropolitan Community Church of New York, one of the oldest LGBT congregations in the nation, hosts “Evening of Pride & Hope: 2012,” a fundraising reception celebrating 40 years of serving the community. XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd St. Jun. 19, 6-8 p.m. Admission is $30 at tinyurl.com/7rkhosj. Benefactor admission at $85 allows early entry at 5, with a swag bag and keepsake included.

WED.JUN.20 BOOKS Doonan & DeCaro Frank DeCaro, an Sirius XM radio host and author of “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen,” talks with Simon Doonan, the creative force behind the infamous windows at Barney's and author of “Gay Men Don’t Get Fat,” “Wacky Chicks” and “Confessions of a Window Dresser.” Bryant Park Reading Room, the 42nd Street side of the park under the burgundy and white umbrellas. Jun. 20, 12:30-1.45 p.m. The rain venue is Library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 W. 44th St.

PRIDE Geeks, Grooms & Comics Geeks OUT (geeksout.org), New York City's largest group for queer geeks, hosts “Mighty Mutant Marriage Extravaganza,” a Pride event celebrating the one-year anniversary of marriage equality in New York and Marvel Comic’s upcoming “Astonishing X-Men #50, “which features the marriage of out characters Kyle and Northstar. Marriage Equality USA’s executive director, Brian Silva, is the special guest. Elmos, Marvel, and Midtown Comics, which is looking for gay and lesbian couples to marry in their store, are providing prizes. Downstairs at Elmo Restaurant and Lounge, 156 Seventh Ave., btwn. 19th & 20th Sts. Jun. 20, 6-9 p.m. Admission is $5.

PERFORMANCE The Iconic Barbra As Brooklyn awaits the Barclays Center debut performances of Barbra Streisand, Marc Courtade, an adjunct professor in the arts management program at Long Island University and the business manager of its Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, discusses one of the most critically and commercially successful women in show business history. 92nd Street Y, Tribeca, 200 Hudson St., just below Canal St. Jun. 20, noon-1 p.m. Tickets are $18 at 92YTribeca.org.


| June 6, 2012

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June 6, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com


Gay City News, June 6, 2012  

Gay City News, LGBT newspaper for New York

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