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State Moving on its PrEP Drive Cuomo funds prevention effort at six clinics as formal plan for ending epidemic still taking shape BY DUNCAN OSBORNE




hile AIDS groups want a task for ce to write the plan that will reduce new HIV infections in New York from its current 3,400 a year to 730 annually by 2020, the Cuomo administration is moving ahead quickly with implementing major components of that effort. “The message here today is no one else needs to become infected,” said Dan O’Connell, director of the AIDS Institute, which is part of the state health department, at an August 13 meeting held at the Ryan/ Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center in Manhattan. “All of this is doable. Everything that we need is available today.” While AIDS groups and the state expect to use a number of tools to reduce new HIV infections, the focus at the event was on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), or the use of a once-daily dose of an anti-HIV drug to prevent infection. PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV infection when taken correctly, though failed adherence to the daily

Michelle Green and Jacob Levine, who are currently on PrEP regimens, at an August 13 meeting held at the Ryan/ Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center in Manhattan.

dosing schedule was a problem in PrEP studies. The Ryan Center is one of six health clinics in a state-backed PrEP pilot program that began in February and has recruited 80 people to date to use the HIV prevention tool. Also participating are the Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/ AIDS (APICHA) and Harlem United in Manhattan, SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, Evergreen Health Services of WNY in Buffalo, and Trillium Health in Rochester. The clinics are meant to be the foundation for a statewide network to distribute a

comprehensive HIV prevention effort that will include PrEP. AIDS groups began their push for a plan to end AIDS last year and won Governor Andrew Cuomo’s public endorsement in June after the state had already passed its budget for the current fiscal year, which began on April 1. Some health groups have been allowed to reprogram some state dollars to fund components of the plan, but any new dollars or major changes in what the state funds will be seen in the next budget. “We’re going to be looking at this as a high priority in our next bud-

get cycle,” O’Connell said. Government funders have already been emphasizing HIV testing and getting people who test positive on to anti-HIV drugs so they are less infectious. They have also provided dollars for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), anti-HIV drugs to prevent infection in someone who experienced a recent exposure to the virus. PrEP and these other bio-medical interventions are the primary tools that will be used to reduce new HIV infections. The August 13 event featured two panelists, Jacob Levine and Michelle Green, who are currently taking PrEP. They talked about PrEP as a practical tool that allowed them to take charge of their health and their sex lives. “It’s for me to protect myself,” Green said. She noted feeling some embarrassment over taking the drug though her presence on the panel suggests she has overcome that. PrEP was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012. Some activists have suggested that the slow uptake of PrEP results from those using the HIV prevention tool


PREP, continued on p.5


A Flailing Defense Effort by Alleged Anti-Gay Killer

Three different attorneys, 15 hearings for defendant in Mark Carson murder



uggesting that the defense is in serious trouble, the accused killer of Mark Carson is on his third attorney in roughly 15 months, has filed a letter and two of his own motions with the judge in the case, and even considered representing himself at his trial for Carson’s 2013 homicide. “According to my attorney, [Kevin Canfield], there exists video that substantiates my testimony and I believe that this is why my attorney, Mr. Canfield, along with the District Attorney strategically kept me from appearing in front of the grand jury denying me the right to testify and having given my version of the true events of that night,” Elliot Morales wrote in a January 2014 motion to Charles H. Solomon, the judge in the case.


In that motion and a second that was filed at the same time, Morales asked that his indictment be dismissed. Morales said he learned he had a right to appear before the grand jury only after the indictment was issued and that he told Canfield before then that he wanted to testify. Criminal defendants rarely appear before grand juries. In a January letter that he sent to Solomon, Morales wrote that he had evidence that will “undoubtably [sic] demonstrate that this, in fact, was not a crime committed with ‘intent’ or out of ‘hate’ of any sort. On the contrary, however, this same evidence will also demonstrate that I was not the aggressor and that it had been me that was not only confronted but pursued and provoked as well.” Morales, 34, is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, weapons possession,

and menacing in the May 18 shooting last year. Allegedly, he followed Carson and a friend in the West Village. After taunting them with anti-gay slurs, he asked Carson, “Are you with him?” and when Carson answered, “Yes,” Morales allegedly shot the 32-year-old Carson. The defense already faced daunting evidence. Morales made roughly 20 statements to police and admitted to the killing in six. He was arrested within minutes of the shooting and he was carrying the pistol that was used to kill Carson. Four witnesses identified him at the time of the shooting. Another witness, who may be among the four, was on the phone with 911 when Carson was shot. “He shot a man in the head while his friend was on the phone with 911 trying to stop the


CRIME, continued on p.5

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |


PREP, from p.4

being called sexually promiscuous. “I struggled with that,” Green said, adding that she once hid her PrEP prescription so guests in her home could not see the pills. “I used to hide it, but then it wasn’t accessible to me.” The state health department estimates that 3,149 Medicaid recipients in New York were taking PrEP from January 2014 through May 2014. That number does not include any New Yorkers who paid for PrEP with private insurance. Using pharmacy data, Gilead Sciences, the company that manufactures and markets Truvada, the only drug approved for PrEP, had far lower numbers in two studies. The company estimated that 2,319 “unique individuals” across the entire nation started PrEP between

January 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013. That increased from the estimated 1,774 “unique individuals” starting PrEP between January 2011 and March 2013. Levine, a gay man, first became aware of PrEP about 18 months before he began taking the drug. He did not always use condoms during sex and was embarrassed by that. “I have not had perfect condom use and that was something I was sort of ashamed of,” he said. Taking PrEP means he does not have to rely on others knowing their HIV status or HIV-positive sex partners taking anti-HIV drugs to reduce their viral load to be less infectious. “I was scared by the prospect of relying on someone else for decisions that affect my health,” Levine said. “If you trust yourself to always use condoms, there’s no need for PrEP. That wasn’t my reality.”

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CRIME, from p.4

violence,” Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, the prosecutor in the case, said at an April 22 hearing. Last year, Canfield filed notice that he would pursue an extreme emotional disturbance defense, commonly known as an insanity defense, but Morales’s second attorney, Daniel Gotlin, said at the April 22 hearing that Morales never consented to that defense and would not allow it. Gotlin has since been replaced by Glenn F. Hardy. Hardy told Gay City News that Morales has already made “the most important comment one can make on a case like this, which is ‘not guilty.’” He added, “I am working with him. I have a good working relationship with him at the moment.” Gotlin declined to comment and Canfield did not respond to a request for comment. With an upcoming September 2 hearing, Morales will have appeared before Solomon 15 times, which is a high number. Morales discussed representing himself with Solomon at the April 22 hearing. Records that were released with the indictment suggest that Morales is, at a minimum, a volatile man. In his statements to police, he alternated between brutal bravado, worrying that he had shot a police officer, and self-pity. “I killed him, he was trying to act

tough so I shot him,” Morales told police. “Guy thought he was tough in front of his bitch so I shot him. Diagnosis is dead doctor.” Morales told police his sister “is a crackhead” and that he never knew his father. His mother is a diabetic with high blood pressure and “other issues,” he said. “I always hurt her and make bad decisions in life and make her cry,” Morales said. “She will die after this.” At one point, he asked police if the person he shot was dead. Upon being told “Not yet,” Morales “became very upset and vomited in the garbage pail,” according to one police statement. The Carson killing is the second violent felony that Morales has been charged with. In 1998, Morales and two other men, John Kehinde, then 17, and Daniel Olivencia, then 18, beat, bound, and robbed three young women in an East Village apartment. Morales wielded a machete in that attack. Morales and Olivencia choked the women, with Morales saying, “I’m going to put her to sleep,” according to court records in the case. They also hit the women with a metal pipe. Charged with attempted murder, multiple robbery and burglary counts, and assault, Morales pleaded guilty to robbery in 1999 and was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison. He served 10 years.

| August 21 - September 03, 2014

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With Guns Instead of Games,


What About Russia’s Gays? BY PAUL SCHINDLER




year ago, world attention on Russia focused on two things –– the impending Winter Olympics in Sochi and new legislation that, under the guise of preventing “homosexual propaganda” targeting children, in fact was the leading edge in a legal and extralegal assault on that nation’s LGBT community. Thanks to the efforts of activists worldwide, those two issues were often intertwined, with calls for boycotting the Games resulting in major world leaders, including President Barack Obama, choosing, in rather pointed fashion, to skip Sochi. Russian vodka was dumped, US corporations were urged by some to divest, and the New York City and State comptrollers alerted companies in their investment portfolios who were Olympic sponsors or doing business in Russia to their concern about the anti-gay climate there. US advocacy and philanthropic groups organized efforts to provide financial support to Russian LGBT organizations. Twelve months later, the world is once again focused on Russia, this time for its provocations for armed resistance to the government of Ukraine –– a crisis that in mid-July led to the downing of a civilian aircraft and nearly 300 deaths. The global outrage this time took on a considerably more muscular posture, with Obama and Western European leaders imposing significant economic sanctions, which now show signs of dissuading President Vladimir Putin from further escalation. The questions hanging out there are: What has become of Russia’s embattled LGBT community? How do its members perceive the hurdles facing them? And, what, if anything, are they looking for in terms of international support? In a new documentary, Michael Lucas, a gay man who left Russia

Filmmaker Michael Lucas with Masha Gessen (center), her spouse Darya Oreshkina, and their three children.

two decades ago at 23 and made his name in New York as a producer of gay porn films, explores those issues, with the assistance of co-director Scott Stern. “Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda” features conversations with more than a dozen gay men and lesbians, most of them activists in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It also includes an interview worthy of “Borat” –– only deadly serious –– in which Vitaly Milonov, a St. Petersburg official and a prime mover behind the legal attack on LGBT Russians, spews hate-filled rhetoric about sickness, Satan, and Sodom and Gomorrah apparently unaware he is on camera with a gay, Jewish ex-pat who makes adult films. At a recent screening of “Campaign of Hate” at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST), Lucas made no secret of his disdain for his homeland and his deep pessimism about the prospects for improving the lot of LGBT Russians. His film, though, allows a variety of perspectives to be heard, and many reflect determination to dig in against the wave of homophobia sweeping Russia. Gulya Sultanova and Manny de Guerre, two of the three organizers of the Side by Side LGBT film festival held every fall in St. Petersburg, talked about how the 2013 event faced five bomb threats and numerous street protests, at least one of

them spurred by the homophobic Milonov. Despite those dangers, the festival, drawing film luminaries including Gus Van Sant and Dustin Lance Black, was a potent symbol of defiance against the crackdown. Anton Krasovsky, a top news anchor until he came out on air during an early 2013 debate about the anti-gay law then under consideration, said he is now engaged in “my own battle, with no weapons and no barricades.” Filmmaker Elena Kostyuchenko told the story of a public kiss-in she organized that drew a violent response from street thugs. Intent on remaining visible, she acknowledged she can no longer ask others to accept the risks that sort of public demonstration entails. Masha Gessen, a journalist and for years the best known out LGBT Russian, was among several interviewees who argued the new law signaled to violent homophobic gangs open season on gays and lesbians. Some Russian officials don’t shy away from making that message explicit. Saying the new law did not go far enough, another top TV anchor, Dmitri Kiselev, who is the deputy general director of the Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, issued a stunning on-air anti-gay attack, saying, “Their hearts, in case of the automobile accident, should be buried in the ground or

burned as unsuitable for the continuation of life.” Gessen is unambiguous in her critique of what’s going on here, calling the wave of homophobia and violence “a concerted campaign from the Kremlin.” She tells Lucas, “It’s war rhetoric. The enemy is less than human… and scary. It’s very reminiscent of Nazi rhetoric.” Yelena Goltsman, a Kiev-born New Yorker who leads RUSA LGBT, a group for Russian-speaking LGBT Americans that is in frequent dialogue with gay Russians, concurred, telling Gay City News that to focus on how many Russians have been snared by the new law misses the point. “That is not the aim,” she said. “The law makes it not normal to be gay and allows Russians to treat LGBT people as second-class citizens. And neo-Nazis get permission for their violence.” It’s striking how many of Lucas’ interviewees offer personal stories of being gay-bashed. Some of the incidents are attacks an LGBT New Yorker or Parisian might suffer, but the frequency of experiencing violence appears clearly higher among the Russians. In the year since the new law took effect, anti-gay militants have flooded the Internet with horrific videos of gay men facing torture after being lured into danger under false pretenses. Even more draconian legal curbs on LGBT life could be in the offing. For the past year and a half, proposals to take children away from gay and lesbian parents have been discussed, though not yet formally advanced. St. Petersburg’s Milonov singled out Gessen and her “perverted” family in arguing the need for such a measure. Late last year, Gessen, who had repeatedly called for resisting Putin’s war on gays on all fronts, and her spouse, Darya Oreshkina, were sufficiently concerned about the possibility of such legislation that they left Moscow, taking their children to live in New York.


RUSSIA, continued on p.7

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

RUSSIA, from p.6

Lucas’ film presents a consensus view that while Russia has never been an LGBT paradise, the situation has worsened in the past several years. Journalist Krasovsky, asked what it felt like to be gay there, answered, “Humiliating,” and Alexander Kargaltsev, a filmmaker who left Russia in 2010, said that “feeling shame… is so normal we don’t even think about it.” But Krasovsky hastened to add that the climate for LGBT Russians was better even in the immediate post-Soviet ‘90s than it is today. Contacted by Gay City News, Valery Sozaev, a Saint Petersburg activist who has worked with Coming Out and the Russian LGBT Network, said as recently as 2008 there were very few LGBT organizations to find elsewhere in the country but that “in six years, the situation has changed. It has changed so much that it’s difficult for me to imagine a discussion of Russian-language media without mentioning LGBT issues.” Gessen told MSNBC that in 20 years of living in Russia she spent a decade feeling like the only out person there, but that in recent years, LGBT organizations, cultural initiatives, and bars had sprung up widely. “It was not moving backwards,” she said of the period prior to 2013. The new repression, Lucas and his interviewees agree, is scapegoating, pure and simple, aimed at shoring up Putin’s political position. “Putin sees his constituency shrinking,” Gessen said. “He needs to show there is an enemy. Nobody represents the other better than gay men and lesbians. Most people believe they’ve never met gays and lesbians.” That last point was vividly underscored by a number of person-on-the-street interviews in Lucas’ film. Sozaev and Roman Kalinin, a Muscovite who describes himself as Russia’s first gay activist, agreed about Putin’s motivation, but see the anti-gay crackdown as part of a broader assault on human rights there. “It’s clear that Russian society today is living in a period of severe repression,” Sozaev wrote. “It’s clear that any person in our country who learns self-respect will then find themselves under constant pressure; they will be denied their rights and

freedoms, and be humiliated for having that very self-respect… And I’m not just talking about LGBT, I’m talking about everyone.” “Any dictatorship needs an enemy,” Kalinin told Gay City News. “A year ago, it was gay. Now Ukrainians. No ideology, just business.” Kalinin and LGBT RUSA’s Goltsman suggested the Russian media’s current obsession with the Ukraine crisis has cooled its attacks on gays. Many activists, in the film and otherwise, welcome international support for LGBT Russians, though even the most vocal proponents of a global effort acknowledge disagreements over tactics within Russia. Asked last year about dumping Russian vodka and boycotting the Games, Gessen said, “I support all these efforts.” Putin, she argued, “thought nobody was watching.” The global outcry, she said, was “a big surprise to them. It’s not going to make them reconsider those laws, but it may perhaps get them to dial back the campaign of hate.” In contrast, jour nalist Krasovsky told CNN, “Russian gay people need international support, but international support is not a boycott of Sochi Olympic Games… If you want to boycott Olympic Games in Russia, you’re trying to boycott seven million gay people in Russia. You want to boycott me.” One point on which there is agreement is the imperative that European and North American activists take their lead from those on the ground in Russia. For eign support must be “align[ed] with the mode of thinking and the approach that are employed locally,” Anastasia Smirnova, who coordinated a coalition of Russian LGBT activists working with the US-based Arcus Foundation’s Russia Freedom Fund on ways to put American dollars to work in support of gay groups there. Smirnova told Gay City News that the Fund has funneled about $300,000 to nine different groups across Russia doing work on a variety of legal and community building issues as well as on specific public events. Earlier this year, Smir nova and a colleague, Polina Andrianova, faced questioning from San

| August 21 - September 03, 2014


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Long String of Victories Broken

Tennessee state court rules against marriage recognition claim BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


reaking a string of roughly three dozen affirmative marriage equality rulings by federal and state judges, a Tennessee state judge denied a divorce to two gay men saying he had to reject a federal constitutional claim for marriage recognition because of a 1972 US Supreme Court ruling and the “public policy exception” to the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit requirement. “Although the United States Supreme Court has had opportunities to overrule the Baker decision, it has refused to take that position even in the decision on which the Plaintiff relies, which is United States v. Windsor,” Circuit Court Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr. wrote on August 5, referring to the 1972 case and to last year’s ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “The Court therefore finds that Baker is still applicable.” In a divorce petition, Frederick Michael Borman sought to end his marriage to Larry Kevin Pyles-Borman. The men were married in Iowa in 2010, but resided in Tennessee. Iowa does not open its divorce courts to non-residents. Frederick Borman can get a divorce by moving to Iowa and living there long enough to qualify under that state’s divorce statute or he can get a divorce in Tennessee, an option available to married heterosexual couples under Tennessee’s statute authorizing recognition of out-ofstate marriages. Tennessee’s Marriage Amendment prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages, as does the state’s marriage recognition statute. Relying on a steady stream of successful marriage recognition cases that began a year ago in the wake of the DOMA ruling and has continued unbroken — including other litigation in Tennessee — Borman argued that refusal to recognize his marriage violates his 14th Amendment rights under the US Constitution, but Simmons rejected that argument. Citing Baker v. Nelson, the US Supreme Court’s 1972 dismissal of an appeal from a marriage equality lawsuit in Minnesota on the ground that it presented “no substantial federal question,” Simmons found Borman’s argument that “doctrinal developments” since 1972 have rendered Baker inapplicable unconvincing. “The Windsor case is concerned with the definition of marriage, only as it applies to federal laws and does not give an opinion concerning whether one State must accept as valid a same-sex marriage allowed in another State,” Simmons wrote. “The premise that ‘doctrinal developments indicate otherwise’ gives a Court discretion to formulate new law by predicting

what future appellate decisions will say… For purposes of passing this issue to the appellate courts without discussion, this Court will find that the doctrinal development of the question whether Tennessee must accept another State’s same-sex marriage to be valid has not developed sufficiently to overrule precedent cases.” In a case brought by Edie Windsor, the US Supreme Court last year struck down the portion of DOMA denying federal recognition to valid same-sex marriages allowed under state law. Simmons wrote that his ruling was binding only in the Borman case and on his court. He rejected Borman’s equal protection argument, writing that Tennessee’s marriage recognition law does not discriminate against same-sex marriages. “The Anti-Recognition clause clearly does not single out only same-sex marriages to be declared void and unenforceable, but would also declare void and unenforceable marriages within a prohibited degree of relationship and multiple marriages,” Simmons wrote. Tennessee adopts the general policy of not recognizing marriages that could not be performed in Tennessee for any reason, which has the incidental effect of not recognizing samesex marriages.

No Hobby Lobby Out for Upstate “Wedding Barn” State Human Rights Division rejects religious exemption claim by public venue’s owners BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


he New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) has found that a rural wedding venue that denied a lesbian couple use of its facility violated the state’s Human Rights Law. In the August 8 ruling — first reported in the Albany T imes Union— Acting Commissioner Helen Diane Foster formally adopted a recommendation by Migdalia Pares, an administrative law judge, that the two women receive $1,500 each in compensatory damages and the venue, Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, located between Albany and Saratoga Springs, pay the state a fine of $10,000. In 2012, seeking a rustic setting for their marriage, the couple, Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, contacted Liberty Ridge, which


The couple, for now, is truly wedlocked in Tennessee.

Simmons also rejected Borman’s attempt to invoke the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution.He noted that both the US Supreme Court and the Tennessee courts have said that this clause does not require a state to apply another state’s law when that law violates its own public policy. “The laws of Iowa concerning same-sex marriage are so diametrically opposed to Tennessee’s laws, and Tennessee’s own legitimate public policy concerning samesex marriage, that Tennessee is not required by the US Constitution to give full faith and credit to a valid marriage of a same-sex couple in Iowa,” he wrote. The couple, for now, is truly wedlocked in Tennessee. Since last year’s Windsor decision, this has become an even more burdensome status. These men will be treated as married under federal law even if they no longer live together and they are barred from forming a legal relationship with a new partner, since no marriage equality state allows somebody to marry a new partner unless any prior marriage, domestic partnership, or civil union has ended.

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

RUSSIA, from p.7

Francisco blogger Michael Petrelis about how the Arcus funds steered clear of requirements in Russia’s strict foreign agents law. The women replied that the funded activities do not qualify as “political” and so do not fall under the law, but Smirnova declined to elaborate, saying, “How exactly it is possible to mitigate risks while being transparent is not a subject of an open discussion –– as no one here would like to make life difficult for any Russian organization.” Arcus did not respond to Gay City News’ request for comment on the Russia Freedom Fund, so, beyond Smirnova’s characterization, the precise way it is assisting the LGBT community there is not clear. At CBST, Lucas, who last year participated in a variety of protests in New York aimed at Russia, said he now believes things will not improve “until Putin is gone, which means when he is dead.” Activist support from outside Russia simply hands him “the proof that it is coming from the West,” he said, further fueling the new anti-gay

advertises online as a wedding venue. In a telephone conversation, Cynthia Gifford, a co-owner, initially encouraged Melissa to visit the facility. According to the DHR ruling, however, when Melissa referred to her fiancé, who was listening in on to the call as well, as “she,” Gifford told her there was “a little bit of a problem” because “we do not hold same-sex marriages here at the barn.” When Melissa challenged the legality of Liberty Ridge’s policy, Gifford responded, “We are a private business.” Pressed to explain why the venue had the policy, Gifford responded, “It’s a decision that my husband and I have made that that’s not what we wanted to have on the farm.” Answering the couple’s discrimination claim, the Giffords contended they have a “specific religious belief regarding marriage.” Pares’ first task in making a rec-

ommendation on the McCarthys’ complaint was to determine whether Liberty Ridge in fact qualified for an exemption from the Human Rights Law’s prohibition on public accommodations discrimination based on its claim of being a “private business.” The law exempts “any institution, club or place of public accommodation which proves that it is in its nature distinctly private,” something often referred to as the “private club” exemption for membership organizations not generally open to the public at large. Pares concluded that the facts did not support the Giffords’ contention. Liberty Ridge is not a membership organization, it advertises its services online as being generally available, and as of 2012 it had hosted at least 35 wedding receptions involving couples who did not know the Giffords before contacting Liberty Ridge about renting

the facilities. Pares concluded the venue is a public accommodation and found the fact that the Giffords live on the third floor of the barn irrelevant. The Giffords also argued that in denying the McCarthys use of their barn for a same-sex wedding based on their religious views they were not discriminating against the women based on their sexual orientation. Pares did not buy that attempt at a distinction. “It is unlawful discrimination to deny a benefit to a member of a protected class based on being a member of that protected class,” she wrote. “Here, the policy to not allow samesex marriage ceremonies of [Liberty Ridge Farm] is a denial of access to a place of public accommodation.” Finding that the Human Rights Law “extends liability for discriminatory acts in a place of


WEDDING BARN, continued on p.10

law’s popularity. The only thing Americans can do to support LGBT Russians, Lucas argued, is to help them leave. RUSA LGBT’s Goltsman acknowledged that her group hears from many in Russia who now think it may be time to emigrate. But like Gessen, she believes that without international outcry, Putin can carry on his crackdown with impunity. In any event, emigration would scarcely be a viable option for any but a small fraction of LGBT Russians. Sozaev, the St. Petersburg activist, acknowledged, “I do see people packing their bags and leaving and not just LGBT.” But he is not among them. “I’m really sad when LGBT activists make the decision to leave,” he wrote. “But I don’t judge them. I know that it only means that I will have to work harder and harder to do the work of the activist who left. There won’t be time to relax. But the problem of lack of manpower is nothing new. It was that way before. And new activists turned up. They’re turning up now.”

| August 21 - September 03, 2014



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n o t h e r unarmed black man is shot by a white cop, and as the situation explodes, plenty of rightthinking white folks are exhorting each of us blanquitos to become an ally. It’s also what straight folks are supposed to become when another fag gets beaten, another transwoman mutilated and killed. Or a dyke gets raped. I hate that word — ally. It is so patronizing. So beside the point. As if Michael Brown‘s death has no consequences for white lives. As if the murder of Bryan Higgins, a radical faerie, last week in San Francisco won’t touch hets. As if we could make our lives bubbles. No, not even bubbles that explode pretty easily. But pods maybe. Metal space ships exploring a different galaxy that we can leave whenever we want a change of scenery. Sure, plenty of people


are sheltered. Random attributes give us privileges, and we enjoy them as much as we can. I suppose it’s even remarkable that anybody bothers to wring their hands at the l a t e s t h o r r o r. B u t t h e links among us are still there. We drag around our shared histories like toilet paper stuck to our shoes. Like that extra 40 pounds we don’t really notice anymore. Haven’t for years. Doesn’t mean that sodden, shitty thing isn’t there. In the houses we can buy, the jobs we get. That bloody smudge on the sidewalk. But as long as my passport says American, what happens in Ferguson or Detroit or Chicago is my business, too. As long as I am human, really. Seeing each other as separate and irrelevant is part of what got us into this mess to begin with. The inability to look each other in the eyes and recognize, “Okay, a person. Like me.” Dogs are smarter than us. One sniff and they know what’s what. Cat. Dog. T ree. Homos not so sapiens get

WEDDING BARN, from p.9

public accommodation to agents and owners of same,” Pares also rejected the Gif fords’ argument they could not be held personally liable since they were doing business as a corporation. Telling the Times Union the Giffords were considering an appeal, their attorney, Jim Trainor, expressed surprise the DHR ruling did not consider the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, which found that a family-controlled corporation could deny its employees contraception coverage otherwise required under the federal Affordable Care Act because of the owners’ religious beliefs. That ruling was based not

distracted by all the superficial stuff — skin, hair, gestures, cars. Language. Act like they are mountain ranges with no clear path over. Are often glad that the barrier’s there. And work to build higher ones. In fact, differences really only exist in the painful middle distance. At the cellular level we are pretty much indistinguishable. And the further away you move the microscope, the more you can see how our futures are bound together, like the misery of our past. It’s in our own interest to pay attention and think about how we fit together. And then plunge in. Which is why I wish we’d retire that word — ally. It implies that we don’t really have to do much but have nice thoughts and maybe make a donation. Send some tents to the war zone. Sandwiches. Not go there yourself in the flesh. Risk getting hurt. Maybe physically, maybe just your feelings. I mean, you should try not to be a complete asshole, you’re not the center of attention and

on the First Amendment but on an interpretation of a federal statute, the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which restricts the federal government from imposing burdens on the religious beliefs of individuals without showing a compelling governmental interest not achievable with a less restrictive policy. Hobby Lobby sparked widespread outrage by holding, for the first time, that a business corporation can claim a religious exemption from a law. Although many states throughout the 1990s enacted their own versions of the RFRA, New York did not. While religious organizations in New York are deemed “distinctly private” and therefore exempt from public accommodations nondis-

maybe should listen more than you talk, but missteps are inevitable if you leave your space ship. The thing we have to keep in mind is that we are not “allies”. Not acting on anybody else’s behalf. We don’t deserve gold stars for getting involved in the society we belong to. We don’t even have to pretend to understand somebody else’s experience. We just have to believe we are more deeply connected than we admit. And if we fuck up sometimes, so what? If practice doesn’t make perfect, it does make better. At least we aren’t still deluded into believing we’re somehow outside the problem and that it won’t bite us in the ass one day. Hasn’t already infected our lives. I thought about this a lot when I was out there on the frontlines as a Lesbian Avenger. I always figured that if dykes finally got treated with respect, had the room to make choices about sex and romance, weren’t subjected to violence, it would stretch the possibilities for straight females like my bigoted hateful mom. Don’t want to get married? Fine. Resent kids? Don’t have


COGSWELL, continued on p.11

crimination provisions, businesses do not enjoy a statutory exemption based on their owners’ religious beliefs. Unless the New York courts were to construe the State Constitution’s guarantee of individual religious liberty more broadly than the US Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment of the feder al Constitution, there seems little chance that this decision would be reversed based on the Giffords’ religious objections. And there appears to be no basis for US Supreme Court review, given the early 1990s precedent — written by Justice Antonin Scalia! — that led Congress to step in with the RFRA as a corrective to what its members then saw as an incursion on religious freedom.

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

Shoppers Without Borders: Curing Media-Inflicted War Wounds BY SUSIE DAY


aige Tur ner, a 29-year-old graduate of Grinnell College’s creative writing pr ogram, came to New York to start her life as a novelist. She got some gigs chronicling upscale Manhattan lifestyles for glossy magazines: “good background for my first socially conscious bestseller!” Things were going great — she was online most of the day, researching fashion stories. Then she started to feel “awful” from coming across videos and news photos depicting Palestinian civilians dying under Israeli bombings. Paige developed a massive writer’s block. “Feeling all that pain and horror at the violent deaths of innocent mothers, babies, students, old people? And Israel calling this ‘mowing the lawn’? I started phrasing all my observations as questions? I think that’s because I kind of basically wanted to sort of criticize, uh — Israel?” says Paige, tossing back a latte at her neighborhood Starbucks. “Nor mally, when something upsets me I write it all out and then feel better,” Paige explained. “But this time, I shut down because I was afraid of being called anti-Semitic? Thank God for reparative shopping. Now, when I feel unfathomable grief about the slaughter of innocents, funded indirectly by my tax dollars, I just go out and buy myself something cool.” Paige caught the activist wave. She stopped mourning and organized Shoppers Without Borders, a consumer action group sporting


the motto “Consumer, Heal Thyself.” SWB represents a new breed of savvy trendsetters who claim their inalienable right as Americans not to feel bad about atrocities in which their government has a hand. According to its Facebook page, SWB now boasts 997,000 members and counting. Careful research has shown that buying something “cool” is the best way to recover from media-inflicted war wounds. For Paige — at least this week — that something cool

stuff helps me feel equal to the best part of humanity. The part that has a lot of cool stuff.” Shoppers Without Bor ders believes, contrary to humanity’s high ideals, that people are not basically humanitarian. “Group hugs notwithstanding, people naturally hate each other,” says Stubbie Nebbins, Manhattan psychotherapist and SWB treasurer. “So, to get along, let’s all just buy things, given that I think you suck.”

The urge to buy cool stuff is the only thing humanity has in common. Hence the militant chant, “THE WHOLE WORLD IS SHOPPING!”

happens to be the MacBook Air. “I can’t wait to hold that sweet little laptop,” says Paige, seeming to relish the return of her ability to form declarative sentences. “It’s so light, so thin! With that $899 pearl of techno-wisdom I’ll feel like I’m about to write all of Mark Twain’s novels! I can see myself now, using the Pages application to put the final tweaks on books like “The Jungle” or “The Grapes of Wrath.” You know —– real fight-the-power, change-the-world shit?” Of course, since the dawn of capitalism, people have bought things to cheer themselves up. In fact, argues SWB, the urge to buy cool stuff is possibly the only thing humanity has in common. Hence the group’s militant chant, “THE WHOLE WORLD IS SHOPPING!” As Paige observes, “Buying cool

COGSWELL, from p.10

to have any. And no problem if you don’t want to put on the pantyhose, make nice, suck up to the boss. If I can walk the streets unafraid as a lesbian, then you can, too. It’s pretty obvious how militarized and bigoted policing affects the LGBT community. Fags of all races still get arrested in adult bookstores, | August 21 - September 03, 2014

Stubbie is one of many who joined Shoppers Without Borders to get over their dread that the United States is destroying planet Earth in its lust for oil and empire. He says SWB helped him lose his anxiety about renewed US intervention in Iraq by giving him the emotional support to go ahead and buy that Mini Cooper he’d been wanting. “No better way to fight global warming,” observes Stubbie, “than with a new fuel-efficient car!” Paige Turner, approaching the Apple Store checkout counter, agrees. “We gave Peace a chance, you hippies,” she quips. “Buying is where the love is. When you add on the two-year warranty for this magical product — assembled by anonymous, underpaid hands that also insert the Intel chip the BDS movement wants you to boycott

get stung in illegal sex operations. Trans people, too, get profiled and harassed as prostitutes. Instead of getting help, many queers get harassed after assaults. Even on a sheer tactical level, it’s clear one segment of the population can’t be assured justice while another goes without. It is a habit. We can’t address violence against queers or against people of color without going after it in Amer-

— you feel that healthy sense of Self that says: ‘Sorry, dudes, but it wasn’t me who bombed you.’” An anonymous fuddy-duddy from Doctors Without Borders took a minute from fighting the African Ebola catastrophe to email a critique of SWB: “Wasn’t the main advantage of humanity’s (now passé) spiritual oneness the fact that it was free? And isn’t most of the world too poor to buy things that it really, really wants?” Stubbie Nebbins bristles. “Shoppers Without Borders provides standards,” he says. “Humanity can’t accept just anybody. The beauty part is, there’s no distinction based on color or creed — anybody who can buy cool things gets to be equal. Be they black; be they gay; be they multinational corporations…” To test SWB’s colorblindness theory, St. Louis member Amos Johnson took his wife out for a fancy dinner at a five-star restaurant, and bought her several cashmere Uniqlo sweaters. Mr. Johnson’s local chapter had encouraged him to “spend big,” to lose his fear of “what might happen to my kids” after police shot an unarmed black man about a mile from his house. “SWB made me see how lucky I am to live in this country,” said Mr. Johnson. “In the Mideast they wipe out whole families in a few hours. Here in our communities they just kill one person at a time. So I’m taking us out to a jazz club, enjoy some fine wine, maybe a little pie. That’s how I know we’re safe.” Back at the Apple Store, Paige hugged her new MacBook Air. A salesclerk asked her how long her shopper’s high might last. Paige admitted that she didn’t know. “I’ll probably feel good until I actually sit down to write something socially important on this thing,” she sighed. “Then I guess I’ll have to buy the new iPhone.”

ican society at large. We may have to address our problems in small ways, one law at a time, but our thinking has to be big enough to hold us all. Kelly Cogswell is the author of “Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger,” published earlier this year by the University of Minnesota Press.


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August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

| August 21 - September 03, 2014


• Do not stopwithout taking STRIBILD without talking to your healthcare • Do not stop taking STRIBILD first talking to yourfirst healthcare Patient Information Patient Information provider provider STRIBILD® (STRY-bild) STRIBILD® (STRY-bild) • IfSTRIBILD, you stopyour taking STRIBILD,provider your healthcare will need to • If you stop taking healthcare will needprovider to (elvitegravir 150 (elvitegravir mg/cobicistat 150 150 mg/cobicistat mg/emtricitabine 150 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/ 200 mg/ yourdo health do blood regularly for several check your healthcheck often and bloodoften testsand regularly for tests several tenofovir disoproxil tenofovir fumarate disoproxil 300 mg) fumarate tablets 300 mg) tablets months check your Tellprovider your healthcare provider months to check your HBVtoinfection. TellHBV yourinfection. healthcare Brief summary of Brief full Prescribing summary of Information. full Prescribing For more Information. information, For more information, about any new or unusual symptoms you may have after you stop about any new or unusual symptoms you may have after you stop please see the fullplease Prescribing see the Information, full Prescribing including Information, Patient Information. including Patient Information. taking STRIBILD taking STRIBILD What is STRIBILD? What is STRIBILD?

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SevereSevere liver problems. Severe problems can happen•inSee people 2. Severe liver problems. liver problems canliver happen in people “What is the most important I should know I should know • See “What is the information most important information who In some these lead STRIBILD?” who take STRIBILD. In take someSTRIBILD. cases, these liver cases, problems canliver leadproblems canabout about STRIBILD?” death. Your liver become largeand (hepatomegaly) and•you may to death. Your livertomay become largemay (hepatomegaly) you may New or worse •kidney problems, including kidneyincluding failure. Your New or worse kidney problems, kidney failure. Your fat in yourCall liveryour (steatosis). Call provider your healthcare provider develop fat in yourdevelop liver (steatosis). healthcare healthcare provider should doprovider blood and urine check your healthcare should dotests bloodtoand urine tests to check your away you get any symptoms of the following symptoms of liver right away if youright get any of ifthe following of liver kidneys before you start and while areand taking STRIBILD. kidneys before youyou start while you are Your taking STRIBILD. Your problems: problems: healthcare provider may tell provider you to stop STRIBILD you STRIBILD if you healthcare maytaking tell you to stopiftaking your part skinoforyour the white part ofyellow your eyes turns yellow (jaundice) • your skin or the •white eyes turns (jaundice) develop new or worse kidney develop newproblems. or worse kidney problems. • dark “tea-colored” urine • dark “tea-colored” urine • Bone problems• can happen in some take STRIBILD. Bone problems canpeople happenwho in some people who take STRIBILD. Bone problems include bone pain, softening or thinning (whichormay Bone problems include bone pain, softening thinning (which may • light-colored movements (stools) • light-colored bowel movementsbowel (stools) lead to fractures).lead Yourtohealthcare may need to do tests fractures).provider Your healthcare provider maytoneed to do tests to of appetite several days or longer • loss of appetite •forloss several days orforlonger check your bones.check your bones. • nausea • nausea • Changes in body fat can happen people who take • Changes in bodyinfat can happen in HIV-1 peoplemedicine. who take HIV-1 medicine. These changes may include increased amountincreased of fat in the upperof fat in the upper These changes may include amount • stomach pain • stomach pain back and neck (“buffalo hump”), breast, and aroundbreast, the middle back and neck (“buffalo hump”), and around the middle maytobeget more likely to getorlactic acidosis liver You may be moreYou likely lactic acidosis severe liver or severe of your body (trunk). Lossbody of fat(trunk). from the legs, arms andthe face may of your Loss of fat from legs, arms and face may if very you are female, very overweight have problems if you problems are female, overweight (obese), or have (obese), oralso happen. The also exacthappen. cause and health of these Thelong-term exact cause and effects long-term health effects of these been taking STRIBILD been taking STRIBILD for a long time. for a long time. conditions are notconditions known. are not known. 3. Worsening of Hepatitis infection. If you have hepatitis •B Changes virus 3. Worsening of Hepatitis B infection. If youBhave hepatitis B virus in your immune in system (Immunesystem Reconstitution • Changes your immune (Immune Reconstitution and take STRIBILD, HBV may get worse Syndrome) (flare-up) can happen (HBV) infection and(HBV) takeinfection STRIBILD, your HBV may getyour worse (flare-up) whencan youhappen start taking medicines. Your medicines. Your Syndrome) whenHIV-1 you start taking HIV-1 you stopAtaking STRIBILD. A “flyour are-up” when your HBV infection if you stop taking ifSTRIBILD. “flare-up” is when HBV isinfection immune system may get stronger and begin to fightand infections immune system may get stronger begin tothat fight infections that suddenly in abefore. worse way than before. suddenly returns in a worsereturns way than have been hiddenhave in your body for ainlong healthcare been hidden yourtime. bodyTell foryour a long time. Tell your healthcare • Do not run Refi out llofyour STRIBILD. Refill your prescription to your right away • Do not run out of STRIBILD. prescription or talk to your or talkprovider if you start provider right having away ifany younew startsymptoms having anyafter new symptoms after healthcare provider before your STRIBILD is all gone healthcare provider before your STRIBILD is all gone starting your HIV-1 medicine. starting your HIV-1 medicine.


August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

- digoxin (Lanoxin-®)digoxin (Lanoxin®) The most common Theside most effects common of STRIBILD side effects include: of STRIBILD include: ® • Nausea • Nausea - disopyramide (Norpace - disopyramide (Norpace®) ) • Diarrhea • Diarrhea - estazolam - estazolam ® Tell your healthcare Tell your provider healthcare if you have provider any side if youeffect havethat any side effect that - ethosuximide (Zarontin - ethosuximide (Zarontin®) ) bothers you or that bothers doesyou not or gothat away. does not go away. ® - flecainide (Tambocor - flecainide (Tambocor®) ) • These are not all• the These possible are notside all the effects possible of STRIBILD. side effects For more of STRIBILD. For more - flurazepam - flurazepam information, ask your information, healthcare askprovider. your healthcare provider. ® ® ® ® - fluticasone (Flovent - fluticasone , Flonase(Flovent , Flovent , Flonase Diskus®®, ,Flovent® Diskus®, • Call your healthcare • Callprovider your healthcare for medical provider adviceforabout medical sideadvice effects.about side effects. ® ®® ® Flovent HFA, Veramyst Flovent ) HFA, Veramyst ) You may report side Youeffects may report to FDA side at 1-800-FDA-1088. effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. ® ) - itraconazole (Sporanox - itraconazole (Sporanox®) ® What should I tellWhat my healthcare should I tellprovider my healthcare before taking provider STRIBILD? before taking STRIBILD? - ketoconazole (Nizoral - ketoconazole (Nizoral®) ) ® - lidocaine (Xylocaine - lidocaine (Xylocaine®) ) Tell your healthcare about allprovider your medical conditions, Tell provider your healthcare about all your medical conditions, - mexiletine - mexiletine including: including: ® - oxcarbazepine (Trileptal - oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®) ) • If you have or had or liver problems, • Ifany youkidney, have orbone, had any kidney, bone, orincluding liver problems, including hepatitis B infection hepatitis B infection - perphenazine - perphenazine ® • If you are pregnant or plan becomeorpregnant. It is notpregnant. known if It is not known • If you are to pregnant plan to become if - phenobarbital (Luminal - phenobarbital (Luminal®) ) STRIBILD can harm your unborn baby.your Tell unborn your healthcare STRIBILD can harm baby. Tellprovider your healthcare provider ® ® , Phenytek ) ®, Phenytek®) - phenytoin (Dilantin - phenytoin (Dilantin if you become pregnant while taking STRIBILD. if you become pregnant while taking STRIBILD. ® ) - propafenone (Rythmol - propafenone (Rythmol®) - There is a pregnancy for women who take antiviralwho take antiviral - Thereregistry is a pregnancy registry for women ® medicines during medicines pregnancy.during The purpose of this registry is toofcollect pregnancy. The purpose this registry is-toquinidine collect (Neudexta - quinidine (Neudexta®) ) information aboutinformation the health ofabout you and your baby. Talk with your the health of you and your baby. Talk with your ® - rifabutin (Mycobutin - rifabutin (Mycobutin®) ) healthcare provider about how you canabout takehow part you in this healthcare provider canregistry. take part in this registry. ® - rifapentine (Priftin - rifapentine (Priftin®) ) • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do to notbreastfeed. Do not • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan ® ® ® - risperidone (Risperdal - risperidone (Risperdal , Risperdal Consta , Risperdal ) Consta®) breastfeed if you breastfeed take STRIBILD. if you take STRIBILD. ® ® - salmeterol (Serevent - salmeterol (Serevent ) or salmeterol when ) or taken salmeterol in combination when taken in combination - You should not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 ifbecause of HIV-1 the risk - You should not breastfeed you have because of the risk ® ) ®, Advair HFA®) with fluticasone (Advair with fluticasone Diskus®, Advair (AdvairHFA Diskus of passing HIV-1 to baby. of your passing HIV-1 to your baby. ® ® ® ), tadalafil l(Viagra (Cialis®)),ortadalafi vardenafi l (Cialis l (Levitra ) or vardenafi , Staxyn®l (Levitra ), , Staxyn®), - Two of the medicines can pass to your baby in your - Two in of STRIBILD the medicines in STRIBILD can pass to your baby in- sildenafi your l (Viagra-®sildenafi for the forerectile the treatment dysfunction of erectile (ED). Ifdysfunction you get dizzy (ED). or Iffaint you get dizzy or faint breast milk. It is not known if the medicines STRIBILD can in STRIBILD breast milk. It is other not known if theinother medicines cantreatment of (low blood pressure), (lowhave bloodvision pressure), changes have or vision have an changes erection or that have an erection that pass into your breast passmilk. into your breast milk. last longer than 4 last hours, longer call than your 4healthcare hours, callprovider your healthcare or get medical provider or get medical - Talk with your healthcare about theprovider best way to feed - Talk withprovider your healthcare about the best way to feed help right away. help right away. your baby. your baby. ® tadalafil (Adcirca-®tadalafi l (Adcirca ), for the treatment ), for of pulmonary the treatment arterial of pulmonary arterial Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines Tell your healthcare provider about allyou thetake, medicines you -take, hypertension hypertension including prescription andprescription nonprescription medicines, vitamins, including and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, ® and herbal supplements: and herbal supplements: - telithromycin (Ketek - telithromycin (Ketek®) ) • STRIBILD may affect the way other medicines other work, and other • STRIBILD may affect the waywork, other and medicines - thioridazine - thioridazine medicines may affect how STRIBILD works. medicines may affect how STRIBILD works. ® - voriconazole (Vfend - voriconazole (Vfend®) ) • Be sure to tell your if you take any of iftheyou following • Behealthcare sure to tellprovider your healthcare provider take any of the following ® ® - warfarin (Coumadin - warfarin (Coumadin , Jantoven ) ®, Jantoven®) medicines: medicines: ® ® ® ® ® ® - zolpidem (Ambien - zolpidem , Edlular(Ambien , Intermezzo , Edlular , Zolpimist , Intermezzo ) ®, Zolpimist®) - Hormone-based-birth control (pills,birth patches, rings, shots, etc) rings, shots, etc) Hormone-based control (pills, patches, Know the medicines Knowyou thetake. medicines Keep a you list oftake. all your Keepmedicines a list of alland your medicines and - Antacid medicines that contain aluminum, magnesium hydroxide, or - Antacid medicines that contain aluminum, magnesium hydroxide, or show it to your healthcare show it toprovider your healthcare and pharmacist providerwhen and pharmacist you get a new when you get a new calcium carbonate. Take antacids at least hours before or 2after youbefore or after you calcium carbonate. Take2antacids at least hours medicine. Do not start medicine. any new Do not medicines start anywhile newyou medicines are taking while STRIBILD you are taking STRIBILD take STRIBILD take STRIBILD without first talking without with your firsthealthcare talking withprovider. your healthcare provider. - Medicines to treat depression, transplant rejection, or high rejection,Keep - Medicines to organ treat depression, organ transplant or high STRIBILD and Keep allSTRIBILD medicinesand outallofmedicines reach of children. out of reach of children. blood pressure blood pressure This Brief Summary This summarizes Brief Summary the most summarizes importanttheinformation most important aboutinformation about ® ® , Pacerone ) ®, Pacerone®) - amiodarone (Cordarone - amiodarone (Cordarone STRIBILD. If you would STRIBILD. like more If youinformation, would like more talk with information, your healthcare talk with your healthcare ® ® ® ® , Caduet )(Lipitor , Caduet ) - atorvastatin (Lipitor - atorvastatin provider. You can also provider. ask your You can healthcare also askprovider your healthcare or pharmacist provider for or pharmacist for ® ® ® information aboutinformation STRIBILD that about is written STRIBILD for health that is professionals, written for health or professionals, or , Bepadin(Vascor ) , Bepadin®) - bepridil hydrochloride - bepridil (Vascor hydrochloride call 1-800-445-3235 call 1-800-445-3235 or go to or go to ® ® - bosentan (Tracleer - bosentan (Tracleer ) ) Issued: October 2013 Issued: October 2013 - buspirone - buspirone ® ® ® ® - carbamazepine (Carbatrol - carbamazepine , Epitol®(Carbatrol , Equetro®®,, Epitol Tegretol , Equetro ) , Tegretol®) ® ® , Prevpac®(Biaxin ) , Prevpac®) - clarithromycin (Biaxin - clarithromycin ® ® - clonazepam (Klonopin - clonazepam (Klonopin ) ) ® ® ® - clorazepate (Gen-xene - clorazepate (Gen-xene , Tranxene ) , Tranxene®) ® ® ) - colchicine (Colcrys - colchicine (Colcrys ) COMPLERA, EMTRIVA, GILEAD, COMPLERA, the GILEAD EMTRIVA, Logo,GILEAD, GSI, HEPSERA, the GILEAD STRIBILD, Logo, the GSI,STRIBILD HEPSERA,Logo, STRIBILD, the STRIBILD Logo, TRUVADA, and VIREAD areTRUVADA, trademarks andofVIREAD Gilead Sciences, are trademarks Inc., orofitsGilead related Sciences, companies. Inc.,ATRIPLA or its related companies. ATRIPLA - medicines that contain - medicines dexamethasone that contain dexamethasone is a trademark of Bristol-Myers is a trademark Squibb &ofGilead Bristol-Myers Sciences,Squibb LLC. All&other Gileadmarks Sciences, referenced LLC. Allherein other marks referenced herein ® ) - diazepam (Valium - diazepam (Valium®)

are the property of their respective are the property owners.of their respective owners. © 2014 Gilead Sciences, © Inc.2014 All rights Gilead reserved. Sciences, STBC0106 Inc. All rights 06/14 reserved. STBC0106 06/14

| August 21 - September 03, 2014


BACK TO SCHOOL America’s Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges & Universities BY PAUL SCHINDLER It’s fairly commonplace for students to travel out of state to attend college these days. A distant school may provide the best course of study for a particular interest or it may offer overall excellence not available closer to home. Maybe a school elsewhere in the country ends up being the most affordable option, or it could be a romantic interest that is the draw. Clearly, though, no one should have to leave home simply because an LGBT-friendly higher education opportunity is not close at hand. Campus Pride, a non-profit that works to improve the climate on campuses nationwide, has for the past seven years provided a data resource for students looking to learn more about how individual colleges work to welcome LGBT students ( Its 2014 ratings — released last week — are based on information provided by 425 institutions, evaluating them according to their performance in eight areas: incorporating LGBT issues into formal policies; institutional commitment to supporting LGBT students; academic life; student life; housing; campus safety; counseling and health; and recruitment and retention efforts. The benchmarks were established by an advisory board made up of Shane L. Wind-

meyer, Campus Pride’s founder and executive director, Dr. Genny Beeman, director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Dr. Susan R. Rankin, a retired education professor at Penn State University. In releasing its newest ratings, Campus Pride named a Top 50 ranking of colleges and universities, a group that includes schools located in 24 of the 50 states. As the accompanying graphic shows, 12 of those states have a greater share of the top 50 than their proportion of the total US population would predict. Most of the best performing states are those where the most significant advances in LGBT rights overall have been achieved. But the top 50 doesn’t tell the whole story. The ratings assign schools anywhere from one to five stars (the best), and while all of the Top 50 earned five stars, not all of the fivestar schools were in the Top 50. Schools in Kansas, Kentucky, and Utah were among the five-star schools that are scattered across the other 24 best performing states as well. At least one college in another 12 states (and the District of Columbia) scored four or fourand-a-half stars — Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia. And another four states — Arkansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia —

ARIZONA Northern Arizona University

MARYLAND University of Maryland at College Park

NORTH CAROLINA Warren Wilson College

CALIFORNIA Pomona College San Diego State University Stanford University University of California at Berkeley University of California at Los Angeles University of California at Riverside University of California at Santa Barbara University of California at Santa Cruz University of Southern California

MASSACHUSETTS Amherst College Harvard University University of Massachusetts at Amherst

OHIO Oberlin College Ohio State University

MICHIGAN University of Michigan

CONNECTICUT Connecticut College

MINNESOTA Augsburg College Macalester College University of Minnesota at Duluth University of Minnesota at the Twin Cities

FLORIDA University of Central Florida

MISSOURI Washington University

GEORGIA Emory University

NEW HAMPSHIRE Dartmouth College

ILLINOIS Southern Illinois University at Carbondale University of Chicago University of Illinois at Chicago

NEW JERSEY Princeton University Rutgers University

INDIANA Indiana University

NEW YORK Cornell University Ithaca College Syracuse University

have at least one school with ratings of three or three-and-a-half stars — the level at which Campus Pride puts a college on its “honor roll.” Seven states, however, have no school that currently reports pro-LGBT policies that earn them at least three stars — Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming. And it’s worth noting that, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, there are nearly 2,900 four-year colleges and another 1,700 two-year colleges in the US, so there are a lot of schools Campus Pride is not yet hearing from (though some schools which participate in its index don’t authorize their data to be made public as 425 of them do). It’s hard to know exactly what to make of the silence from several thousand higher education institutions on their commitment to LGBT students. “Campus Pride applauds all campuses who have ‘come out’ on the Index, regardless of their rating,” Windmeyer said. “By doing so these campuses are taking active responsibility for their LGBT campus community. The Campus Pride Index grew for the fifth consecutive year, but there are still many, many other colleges and universities who have yet to ‘come out’ for their LGBT students and then take adequate steps to protect and ensure a safe, welcoming learning environment.”

OREGON Oregon State University Portland State University Southern Oregon University University of Oregon PENNSYLVANIA Pennsylvania State University University of Pennsylvania RHODE ISLAND Brown University University of Rhode Island VERMONT University of Vermont WASHINGTON Central Washington University Washington State University University of Washington WISCONSIN University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

LOUISIANA Tulane University


States with no colleges in the Top 50 (26 states) States with colleges in the top 50, but a number not proportional to population (4 states) States with number of colleges in the top 50 roughly proportional to population (8 states) States with more colleges in the top 50 that their population would suggest (12 states)

STATES WITH PROPORTIONATELY THE GREATEST SHARE OF TOP 50 SCHOOLS Twelve states have a greater proportion of the Top 50 schools than would be expected from their share of the total US. population. The percentage figure in blue to the left of each state is its share of the US population; the red percentage number to the right is its share of the Top 50 schools. The best performing states, shown in dark blue in the map above are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington State.

CA 12.1%

| August 21 - September 03, 2014











NH 6%






NJ 2%






1.2% August 21 - September 03, 2014 |











Silk Stockings and the World’s Greatest Museums

The Upper East Side remains home to pre-war elegance and post-war exuberance




he Upper East Side’s Fifth Avenue mansions were once occupied by families named Carnegie, Whitney, Pulitzer, and Vanderbilt. In time, large but swanky apartment houses in the neighborhood bolstered the impression of old money, as did the IvyLeague-type private schools such as Chapin and Dalton. Locals and tourists alike cherish the area’s world-class museums and galleries, along with its easy access to Central Park and the East River Esplanade’s bikeways and walkways. This part of town also has bragging rights to the sophisticated couture of shops along Madison Avenue and, of course, to Bloomingdale’s. But the Upper East Side is about a lot more than just the carriage trade. The 92nd Street Y (, on Lexington Avenue, offers a democratic spirit of cultural and intel-

The living room at 875 Fifth Avenue.

lectual vitality, and there are guilty pleasures to be had in the frozen hot chocolates at Serendipity (, on 60th Street between Second and Third Avenues, and from Italian meals and desserts at Sant Ambroeus (san-

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1860 Bath Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11214 18, on Madison Avenue between 77th and 78th Streets. The Upper East Side extends north from 59th to about 96th Street between Fifth Avenue and the East River, and it’s famous for its countless historic districts. Prime among them are: Carnegie Hill (86th to 96th Streets between Lexington and the park); Henderson Place (a tiny gem tucked between 86th and 87th Streets for half a block west from East End Avenue); Treadwell Farm (a swatch that runs from 61st to 62nd Streets between Second and Third Avenues), and Hardenburg/ Rhinelander (a group of row houses at Lexington and East 89th Street), that last a reminder that this part of the neighborhood — Yorkville — was long a hub of German immigration. Without doubt, the hottest neighborhood topic of conversation among locals today concerns the new Second Avenue subway. On the drawing boards since flapper dresses were all the rage, 65 percent of Phase One is complete (a tunnel that runs from 105th to 72nd Streets and connects to another existing tunnel that travels to 63rd Street and Lexington). The line will initially run as an extension of the Q, with service set to begin by December 2016. The MTA reports that construction of new stations at 96th, 86th, and 72nd Street is progressing nicely, as is the retrofitting of the 63rd Street station. But those who wonder when the complete 8.5-mile stretch of tracks — from

125th Street to Hanover Square — will go online better hold on to their hats. 2029! While the neighborhood’s 190,000-plus residents wait on the new stations, the MTA created a daily “surface subway” along First and Second Avenues from 125th to South Ferry. Currently the M15 SBS, making stops approximately every 10 blocks along those avenues, counts some 55,000 passengers on an average weekday.

ON THE MARKET Family-sized pre-wars are everywhere you look but the ones that run along Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th Streets and those with sweeping East River views along East End Avenue (79th to 90th Streets) are highly sought after. One caveat, though. These buildings come with super strict board scrutiny. In addition to tony apartments along Fifth and East End Avenue, Madison, Park, and Lexington Avenues are also top draws. Buyers seeking classic townhouses lining genteel side streets will find plenty to choose from. Ditto for the latest and grandest new developments and blocks and blocks of post-war white brick buildings and walk-up mid-rises — with options for both buyers and renters.

Discerning buyers seem to gravitate without hesitation to any pre-war apartment house designed by Emory Roth, one of the most iconic architects of his time. One such coveted listing is from the Corcoran Group at 875 Fifth Avenue near 69th Street. This one is a large three-bedroom home in a Roth-designed building that opened in 1941. Easily convertible to a two-bedroom plus a den, it also has a windowed home office. Coming in at approximately 2,100 square feet and priced at $3.995 million, its major rooms face east while the others face south and west. A result of a seamless combination of two residences, this home opens with a grand center hall that


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REAL ESTATE, continued on p.20

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

| August 21 - September 03, 2014



REAL ESTATE, from p.18

leads to a spacious living room and separate dining area. The windowed kitchen features a pantry area and closet and the oversized master suite has a large picture window, allowing for sweeping views of the neighborhood’s historic district. All the bathrooms have been restored with antique tile, marble and porcelain accented with nickel finishes. The unit has new windows, high ceilings, walk-in closets, parquet floors, and through-wall air conditioning. This white-glove co-op with the highest standards of

service, including elevators manned with operators and a resident-only gym, permits pieds-à-terre but no pets. ( Display/3122777)

Lovers of bridge views should check out the brand new SixtyFour at 300 East 64th Street at Second Avenue. Developed by architects Stonehilll & Taylor, known for their high-end hotel and resort work, this is a luxury conversion of a rental into a condominium exclusively sold through Douglas Elliman Development Marketing. Unit sizes run from one to three-bedrooms, including a pent-

• Beachfront Living • Rooftop Terraces • 20-year tax abatement • Free Membership to YMCA** • Two-Family y Home Rental Income

Designed in 1950 by master architect Gordon Bunshaft from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Manhattan House was designated a New York City landmark in 2007. On East 66th Street between Sec-

ond and Third Avenues, the building ranges from one- to five-bedroom units, including penthouses and tower residences that enjoy private outdoor space. Some units offer wood-burning fireplaces. Square footage runs from 950 to 4,000-plus, and interiors include rift cut, quarter sewn wide-plank white oak floors, windowed kitchens with terrazzo-tiled floors, front-loading washer/ dryers, custom wood cabinetry, CaesarStone worktops and Ann Sacks glass tile backsplashes, and Viking Professional Series appliances. Master baths are dressed in Sebastian and Zocalo crème marble tiles and custom-designed walnut vanities topped with marble. Select homes feature radiant heat floors, walk-in showers, and soaking tubs. The 10,000-square-foot Manhattan Club includes a rooftop lounge, a catering kitchen, a library, landscaped terraces, a spa, and a Roto Studio-designed playroom. Sasaki Associates’ redesigned gardens, which comprise one of the city’s largest residential


REAL ESTATE, continued on p.21



REAL ESTATE, from p.20

parks, recently acquired two significant sculptures, “Trinity” and “Red Gateway,” designed by internationally acclaimed Dutch-born sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp. Marketed by Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, prices currently start at $1.9 million. (

If the idea of living opposite Carl Schurz Park with its winding paths and riverfront promenade is intriguing, consider a two-bedroom home, both with en suite bathrooms, at 10 Gracie Square, at 84th Street. Now listed with Engel & Völkers, this spacious, pre-war condominium has direct East River views. A gracious entry seamlessly flows into a large living room with a wood-burning fireplace and onward to a dining room with sliding glass doors that open into a completely renovated windowed kitchen with appliances by Sub-Zero, Miele, and Bosch. You’ll also find herringbone hardwood floors and very large windows



An aerial view of the communal open-air penthouse at the SixtyFour at 300 East 64th Street.

house, and square footage ranges from about 725 to 1,431. Units all have hardwood floors and oversized and/ or floor-to-ceiling windows. Kitchens are outfitted with Liebherr and Bosch appliances. Spa-like bathrooms have soaking tubs, Kohler Caxton sinks, and marble vanities. The building showcases a communal open-air penthouse with four exposures for spectacular sightings of the Queensboro Bridge, the East River, and the Manhattan cityscape. This party area includes a table and bar, an outdoor grill, and custom designed lounge furniture. The building also has a wood and marble screening room adjacent to a library, as well as a stateof-the-art gym with lots of add-ons such as stretch and yoga platforms and no less than 100 classes to choose from. Prices start at about $925,000. (

The living room at 10 Gracie Square.

throughout. The master bedroom has a large walk-in closet. Other rooms include laundry, office, and sitting room space. This is among the most prestigious, white-glove buildings in town, and owners enjoy a private gated driveway, on-site parking, a squash/ basketball court, a playroom, and a soon-to-come fitness center. An alternative three-bedroom floor plan, subject to board approval, is available to view at showings. This unit is listed at $3.795 million. (

Preview On September 18 & 25 NYC Community Media will present it’s Fall Real-Estate Preview Section, written by Lauren Price.

September 18th

September 18th

September 25th

September 18th

September 25th

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August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

| August 21 - September 03, 2014




The Complicated Business of Intimacy

Trusting Youth to Tell Us Their Troubles

Ira Sachs looks to a gay marriage and a separation to explore a couple’s lives together BY GARY M. KRAMER


Directed by Ira Sachs Sony Classics Opening Aug. 22 Angelika Film Center 18 W. Houston St. at Mercer St. Chelsea Bowtie Cinema 260 W. 23rd St. Lincoln Plaza Cinema 1886 Broadway at W. 63rd St.



Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as the gay married couple at the center of “Love Is Strange.”

of their lives, and this young boy [Joey] finding out about love for the first time.” The writer and director emphasizes character and mood over plot, a narrative strategy that keeps the audience engaged. A series of lovely scenes depict how George, Ben,

Insult Comedy… Without the Laughs Drew Tobia never makes clear if he aims to lampoon or celebrate BY GARY M. KRAMER


he title of out gay writer and director Drew Tobia’s frustration comedy “See You Next Tuesday” is a play on a particular word that causes women to bristle. In one exchange in the film, a friendly co-worker drops the c-word in front of Mona (Eleanore Pienta) and quickly apologizes. Mona responds just as fast, “Cunt, cunt, cunt,” taking the sting out of the term. Tobia’s film tries to take the sting out of many offensive things, not just words. We see Mona burping, spitting, vomiting, and, in a particularly humiliating moment, defecating into a plastic bag — and missing. Amidst all the vulgarity, Tobia, making his feature debut here, fails to include the laughs. Mona is about to give birth as the film opens, but admits to not visiting a doctor or having any real plans for raising the baby. She has

SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY Directed by Drew Tobia Devolver Digital Films Opens Aug. 22 Cinema Village 22 E. 12th St.

a low-paying job as a supermarket checkout clerk and lives in an apartment without a bathroom. Her mom May (Dana Eskelson) is a recovering drug and alcohol abuser, and her sister Jordan (Molly Plunk) is an unemployed lesbian artist who lives with her African-American girlfriend Sylve (Keisha Zollar). After Mona and her mother stop speaking over a fight, she loses her job and apartment in the same day. Mona then moves in with Jordan and Sylve, despite their wariness, especially about the coming baby. It is unclear if “See You Next Tuesday” wants to satirize or celebrate its loser characters. May seems more like a frat boy than a

woman about to become a grandmother, her favorite expression being “Bite Me.” Tobia is clearly aiming to mine such behavior for dark humor, but conflicts between his characters mostly seem like occasions for them to say nasty things to each another. The slurs are meant to be funny, but jokes need to make an impact when they land. Here, too many of the jokes involve unsympathetic characters using epithets perhaps because they are otherwise inarticulate. When a drunk Jordan calls Sylve the N-word, it magnifies the “Mammie” and “Scarlett” roles from “Gone with the Wind” the lovers use in their foreplay. Is this really supposed to be funny? That Jordan later teases the wounded Sylve by calling her a “nnn-nincompoop” in her apology is more insulting than amusing. Sylve (Keisha Zollar), in fact, is the film’s sole levelheaded character, and viewers might wonder why she

and their friends and family members interact. The authenticity of key moments in the film will resonate with viewers — whether in the opening sequence when Ben borrows money from George and the


STRANGE, continued on p.28

remains in a relationship with the unpleasant Jordan after three years. Not only is “See You Next Tuesday” too often aggressively unfunny, but its tone is all over the place. Tobia’s directorial style is as ramshackle as his characters’ lives and messy apartments. This may be an effort at verisimilitude — or it may simply be that the director doesn’t know where to place the camera. An early scene of Mona cutting her finger in her mother’s apartment creates chaos that may leave viewers dizzy or just heading for the exits. If the film is meant to be farce, the pacing should be zippy, not leaden. The conceit of “See You Next Tuesday” may be that it is honest about the burdens women bear in society, but that perspective is undercut by the female characters’ unpleasantness. All the bitchy hostility is off-putting not empowering. In the central role, Eleanore Pienta gives what is usually described as a “brave” performance — one where she is mostly exasperating. Molly Plunk is also irritating as Jordan, although Dana Eskelson, as May, shows a glimmer of heart when she is not being vulgar.

ritic/ filmmaker Robert Greene recently attacked reviewers for their blindness to subtleties of form — particularly in the way faces were filmed — in the recent Afghanistan War documentary “The Kill List.” It would be difficult to ignore the choices Mexican director Nuria Ibañez has made in framing her subjects — for the most part, teenage psychiatric patients — in “The Naked Room,” a documentary shot in a therapist’s office inside a hospital. The film consists almost entirely of huge close-ups of faces. Doctors and parents are present, but largely left off-screen. That’s the most obvious decision Ibañez made, and it speaks to a desire to trust youth. That said, some of her images contradict reports about her subjects’ behavior. One young boy looks particularly angelic and innocent, but according to his father, he left bags of his shit in the family refrigerator. “Among the devices used in nonfiction, nothing is more transparently staged than the interview, with its artificial mood lighting and unnatural atmosphere,” Greene wrote. “I simply don’t believe that in a post-’Jersey Shore’ confession booth world people watch interviews without thinking about manipulation — either in front of or behind the camera.” Watching “The Naked Room” with his words alone in mind would be hopelessly cynical. For one thing, Ibañez didn’t interview anyone herself — she filmed interviews conducted by medical professionals — yet one can’t help feeling that there’s a touch of adolescent self-dramatization to some of its subjects. They often break down in tears while telling their stories. Unlike cinema vérité pioneer Frederick Wiseman, Ibañez doesn’t hide the presence of her camera. Her framing calls attention to it. However, for all his Wiseman’s stat-



Down to camera shot framing, Nuria Ibañez gives patients their say


ove Is Strange,” a thoughtful, wistful film from director and co-writer Ira Sachs, concer ns a couple — George (Alfred Molina) and Ben (John Lithgow) — who have been together 39 years. The men marry in the opening moments, but spend most of the rest of the film apart. When the Catholic school where he works learns of the wed-

ding, George is fired and the men lose their apartment. George moves in with his downstairs neighbors, Roberto (Manny Perez) and Ted (Cheyenne Jackson), while Ben goes to live with his nephew Elliot (Darren E. Burrows), his wife Kate (Marisa Tomei), and their son Joey (Charlie Tahan). Watching men who love each other live apart forms the emotional core of this observational drama. “It’s a film about intimacy and about the possibility of love to grow with time,” the soft-spoken Sachs declared over tea last month at the Marlton Hotel. “It’s called ‘Love Is Strange’ for a reason: every intimate relationship is different from the next. Every stage of our lives, we experience love in a different way. This is a film about three generations. Each has a different perspective of love based on their experiences. You have the older couple, the couple in the middle

Nuria Ibañez’s “The Naked Room” consists almost entirely of huge close-ups of young faces.

THE NAKED ROOM Directed by Nuria Ibañez In Spanish with English subtitles Magic Lantern Opens Aug. 29 Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. at Second St.

ed “neutrality,” some of the most memorable scenes in his films — such as a young man’s bad mescaline trip in “Hospital” and an extended racist rant in “Welfare” — seem to be played up to the camera. The camera definitely alters the situations in “The Naked Room”; one can tell how its subjects react to it by seeing if they look into it or stare at the floor instead. Self-harm is the most common manifestation of the young patients’ mental illness shown here. Despite a few horror stories, including a kidnap victim who was told by her father that Satanic possession was responsible for criminals choosing her, these kids’ parents seem relatively supportive. The mother of Victor, a bisexual teenager who cuts himself, emphasizes that she doesn’t care about his sexual orientation and still loves him. It would be easy to mistake “The Naked Room” for an artless document of medical intake. But if Ibañez’s direction is relatively unadorned, the film’s editing is obviously carefully thought-out. “The Naked Room” is parceled out into


YOUTH, continued on p.25





















August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

| August 21 - September 03, 2014



Nellie’s Billy


McKay’s masterpiece, amazing Amos, miserable “Maids,” a gay movie classic BY DAVID NOH




ne of the great enigmas in the music world, William Lee “Billy” Tipton (1914 – 1989) was an American jazz musician and bandleader, who, it was discovered after his death, was born a woman. Named Dorothy Louise Tipton at birth in Oklahoma, he took his father’s name, “Billy,” when he started his music career and bound his breasts and stuffed his pants to pass when he performed. By 1940, he was living as a man in private as well as public life, and no one, apart from a couple of cousins and perhaps his lovers, knew his secret. He toured the country with different bands, eventually forming the Billy Tipton Trio, which was signed by Tops Records in 1957 and recorded two moderately successful albums. The band was offered a permanent position at a Reno hotel and more Tops recordings, but Tipton decided to move to Spokane, Washington, to work as a talent broker and lead his trio as a local club’s house band. He had many paramours, but the chief one was a stripper named Kitty Kelly with whom he adopted three sons. They split up and he took custody of the boys, moving into a mobile home and living in poverty. By the late 1970s, arthritis forced him into retirement from music, and in 1989 he died from a hemorrhaging ulcer. One of his sons, William, only realized at the hospital that his father remained biologically a woman, and the coroner agreed to keep this a secret. After financial offers from a curious media, however, Kitty went public and the story broke the day after Tipton’s funeral. On August 7, Nellie McKay debuted her show, “A Girl Named Bill — The Life and Times of Billy Tipton,” at 54 Below, and I venture to say the weekend run was the artistic highlight of the summer. I have long suspected McKay of being a real genius and this engagement proved it in spades. She’s tackled onstage biography before, as in her salutes to Rachel Carson and Barbara Graham, but this was her most

lucid, comprehensive, and fully committed portrayal yet. With just a few props, some costume changes — including the dazzling switch from demure, cloche-hatted Dorothy to ebullient, be-suited Billy with a brunette man’s haircut — and the acting help of her totally game backup trio, she painted a thrillingly theatrical, musically divine, full-scale portrait of Tipton, filling in puzzling blanks with the kind of empathy that only a true artist can muster. The records I have heard of Tipton reveal a pleasant piano technique, with nothing like the dazzling virtuosity McKay always shows off with such careless ease, and the song selection was brilliant. McKay is a true old movie lover and she included two enchanting selections from classic Ernst Lubitsch comedies. “Jazz Up Your Lingerie,” delightfully warbled originally by Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins in “The Smiling Lieutenant” became a witty commentary about cross-dressing, and “Trouble in Paradise,” complete with perfect mandolin accompaniment, was pure Paramount 1932, with its campy overripe romanticism. There were nods to all the great studios, starting with Fox with that charmer “But Definitely,” written by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon for Shirley Temple. MGM then took over with “Tira Lira La,” from the filmization of “I Married An Angel,” and McKay and Co. invested this deliriously delicious ditty with an overload of winking fun. Finally, her “Knock on Wood” magically turned the club into Warner Brothers’ Rick’s Café, as she effervescently performed that Dooley Wilson gem from “Casablanca.” Palpable and contagious was McKay’s delight in singing such male anthems as “The Sadder But Wiser Girl” and, especially, the noxious “Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man,” while the walls of 54 Below positively turned blue with Jelly Morton’s “Winin’ Boy Blues” (“I had that bitch and had her on the stump,/ I fucked her ‘til her pussy stunk/ I’m the winin’ boy, don’t deny my name”). To hear those lyrics sung by a woman, even in drag, was liberating, to say the least.

Nellie McKay was Billy Tipton for three nights at 54 Below.

Making no attempt to really enact a man, McKay retained her familiar sunny persona as Billy, which worked beautifully, telling wonderfully awful jokes with a “Ladies, please!” refrain and reveling in impersonations of Elvis, Liberace, and, smashingly, Jimmy Durante doing “Inka Dinka Doo.” It wasn’t all jovial high-jinks, however, for she gave the loveliest reading of “The Nearness of You” I have ever heard and, later, during Tipton’s darker passages, conveyed the terror of being stopped in the Deep South with her black musician by a bigoted cop, followed by the “Broadway Danny Rose” desperation of her time as a talent manager and her impoverished later years, marked by illness. This went way beyond the kind of joshing if diabolically clever playacting she has done in the past, bringing a real ear to the eye; hell, she even dropped dead on the stage. I really hope she revives this insanely wonderful, important show in some way, shape, or form, so our entire community can experience it.

Every bit as wonderful was another formidable female on the keyboard, Tori Amos, at her Beacon Theater concert (August 12). I confess to having adored her first three albums back in the 1990s and then letting her fall off my radar for no good reason. She certainly didn’t need me, as a sold-out house of Amos fanatics — a terrifically varied demographic, from dyke couples to Upper West Side middle-aged intellectuals to glitteringly be-garbed

gay fanboys — roared their approval at the very first familiar notes of every song she started. “This will be a whole evening of requests!,” she cried, as she mesmerizingly held the stage solo for two solid hours on two pianos, including her own impressive Bösendorfer, radiating an elegant, warm, grateful, humble aura while showing off flabbergasting sound and imperishably strong vocal technique, all marks of a great artist. Along with everything else, her concert was the most technically impressive and visually beautiful I have ever seen, with immaculate usage of lasers and other lighting effects, glorifying her to a fully deserving goddess stature, superbly timed to the music, with a swoony color palette like that of vintage kimonos — violet and gold at one point suffusing the stage. Cabaret hound that I am, it had been a while since I’ve been to a big concert — the Beacon was the perfect venue — and it made me recall that there is nothing like the thrill of leaving a fully satisfying evening as this one was amidst a crowd of completely blissed-out New Yorkers, jabbering happily about what they’d just experienced.

IN THE NOH, from p.24

fucking cunt. Put your head back and open your fucking mouth!” We have Blanchett’s husband, Andrew Upton, and director Benedict Andrews to thank for such classy repartee, and their take on the 1947 play was relentlessly vulgar and in-your-face, empty shock value that went beyond grotesque to being pathetic and embarrassing. Watching Blanchett, Elizabeth Debicki, and, especially, a hyperactive, incomprehensible, anything for a non-existent laugh Isabelle Huppert roll about, scream and spit at each other, and fondle their groins for an interminable 90 minutes was like being stuck in some fresh hell of a playhouse with particularly scatological, sugar-besotted brats in desperate need of Ritalin. The production was unwisely tricked out with video projections that came perilously close to the actresses’ faces, revealing much more than one needed to know — i.e., the need for a good shave on some of them. If this review seems misogynistic, forgive me. That’s not my intention, and my take is rooted in Genet’s original conception — admittedly hard to take, even when done well. For real misogyny, this production took the cake and left no crumbs. So, please, dear readers, do not beat yourself up if you were unable to score tickets to this one. You dodged a big, smelly bullet.

Tony Yazbeck’s 54 Below engagement, “The Floor Above Me” (August 14), was, surprisingly for that enclosed space, a dancing affair. By putting his drummer on the floor, the stage widened considerably, enough to give him room to really strut his stuff, which he did, and then some. Homage was paid to Astaire and Kelly, with hyperactive tapping to “Pick Yourself Up,” “No Strings,” “I Won’t Dance” (with sassy Melinda Sullivan), and “Moses Supposes” (with a winning Curtis Holbrook). Yazbeck landed a job as one of the newsboys in the Tyne Daly revival of “Gypsy” and never looked back, and his reminiscences about his showbiz start were touching, culminating as they did when he played Tulsa in Patti LuPone’s edition of that imperishable show. He performed the signature “All I Need is the Girl,” and is a winning presence, slated to play Gabey in the upcoming “On the Town.” His dancing is far stronger than his singing, and I just wish he had done more with material not so strongly associated with the iconic Astaire. When you hear those Berlin/ Kern gems, old Fred’s urbane image is hard to erase, and Yazbeck could bring real freshness to so many other songs if he chose to, I’m sure. Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@, follow him on Twitter @ in_the_noh, and check out his blog at

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McKay and Amos gave me real art. Now for fake art — by which I mean the hotly attended “The Maids,” at City Center (August 10). At this play, you saw the kind of well-heeled Birkin bag-bearing fashionistas you never see at the theater. Why? Cate Blanchett, darling! And as the lights went up on the uber chic white set, with its huge rack of designer clothing, mirrors, and flowers everywhere, you could feel them all settling in for a suitably soignée entertainment. Although they gave the production the requisite standing O, I wonder how many of them really enjoyed seeing— let alone understood what they had just seen, which was basically an indefatigably vicious attack upon themselves, with dialogue, crudely adapted from Jean Genet, along the incessant lines of “You stupid, gutless,


IN THE NOH, continued on p.25

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |


YOUTH, from p.23

minute-long chunks, each focusing on an individual kid. The film was obviously made up of very lengthy takes, which were edited down into much smaller scenes. It goes back to spend more time with some of its subjects, including Victor. Ibañez is rarely critical of her subjects’ parents, and she seems wholly on the side of the psychiatrists. At the same time, her directorial choices suggest a total sympathy with the youth — about twothirds of whom are female — one not often granted by a hostile and sexist world. In the film’s opening scene, a teenage girl says that her self-esteem has plummeted with the onset of adolescence, as she feels that she’s no longer pretty or thin and that her breasts are too big. Such feelings, of course,

are completely subjective, but the ugliness and weight gain she perceives seem utterly imaginary to me. Ibañez holds the camera above her breasts, as if to say that some things should be outside the spectator’s judgment. The fragmentation of “The Naked Room” is its weakest aspect. I would have preferred not to constantly shift attention from one subject to another. That said, by narrative standards, its takes are remarkably long. At only 67 minutes, one feels like we’ve barely gotten introduced to the world of the hospital, but a longer film would’ve risked becoming unwatchably harrowing. At its best, “The Naked Room” gives a voice to some of society’s most troubled and marginalized people, in a style that clearly reflects a great deal of thought about the moral implications of form.

| August 21 - September 03, 2014

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An Upper West Side Liberal Living Legend

Marginally Mozart, Masterfully Mark Morris

Lee Grant’s lifetime fighting for things she cared about in Hollywood and Washington

Reorchestration of Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” gets Lincoln Center opera-ballet staging



I SAID YES TO EVERYTHING: A Memoir By Lee Grant Blue Rider Press $28.95; 480 pages

doing with Peter Falk. “The fear of losing my memory frightened me so much that I sat down to write, to be honest with myself and pull no punches, and that’s how it started. Everything was still there, even recalling at age two and a half how I could smell the air in the Poconos and feel the grass under my feet, and later, had a sense of all these boys I was in love with, and then my husband. It was such a revelation and so reassuring that I couldn’t stop writing and I was at my desk for four and a half years. “All in longhand, this diary I should have written when I was a kid poured out of me along with plenty of tears and laughs. It was the biggest catharsis I could ever have given myself because not only was my memory back, but it was there in a way I never would have dreamed it could be.” Few actresses have deserved the Oscar more than Grant for “Shampoo,” an incredible justification after her troubled Hollywood past, and I asked her what inspired her echt Beverly Hills housewife, Felicia: “‘Shampoo’ was extraordinary, as was all of the late ‘60s and ‘70s, when I was lucky enough to be working in a Hollywood which just burst open with great writing, directing, actors. Just astonishing, the work that we




andel’s pastoral masterpiece “Acis and Galatea” started out in 1718 as an English masque based on a theme from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” and evolved into a bilingual “serenata” (a semistaged concert opera in costume) in 1732 and was expanded into a two-act “little opera” in 1739. It was incredibly popular during Handel’s lifetime and for decades after — buoyed by hit tunes like “Love in her eyes sits playing,” “Hush ye pretty warbling quire,” and the duet “Happy we!” Mozart reorchestrated Handel’s score in 1788 for a music-loving baron. Mark Morris’ staging of “Acis and Galatea” as an opera-ballet for his company (in Mozart’s arrangement) premiered last April in Berkeley. His 1988 choreographic setting of Handel’s oratorio “L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato” is one of his greatest achievements, and his “Dido and Aeneas” (1989) is another brilliant fusion of modern dance and baroque opera. The Mostly Mozart Festival brought Morris’ “Acis and Galatea” to Lincoln Center for three eagerly anticipated performances earlier this month, and the new work joyously lived up to expectations. A masque is a genre based more on dance and elaborate visual tableaux than straightforward dramatic action. John Gay’s libretto for “Acis” (with contributions by Alexander Pope and John Hughes) lacks con-

ventional musico-dramatic structure. Act I consists of static vocal showpieces interspersed with choruses and dances celebrating the joys of love and nature. In Act II, the lustful giant Polyphemus shows up to add some needed dramatic conflict in the familiar operatic recipe of a romantic triangle and murder. Pastoral pieces of the era extolled the joys of simple rural life in classical style, with subtle touches of wit and self-parody for the courtly sophisticate. Morris’ choreographic style is similarly characterized by a juxtaposition of classical symmetry and precise musical phrasing with loose physical abandon spiked by wicked comic touches and idiosyncratic flourishes. Dance provides the physical and theatrical movement Handel’s pastoral lacks. Morris’ dance ensemble creates a kind of kinetic visual orchestra accompanying the soloists — sometimes they pantomime words or actions referenced in the text and at other times comment on the action. The dancers jump and twirl joyously to the music but also can be turned into the boulder with which the giant kills the shepherd Acis. In a disturbing counterpoint to the lustful Polyphemus’ solo “Ruddier than the cherry,” the dancers move around the giant in a circle while he gropes and fondles each one in passing. Dance is the element that fuses joyous music to an untheatrical libretto, creating a vibrant, entertaining, complete work of art. Adrianne Lobel’s transparent scrims and flying drops depict forest glades in a naïve fauvist

Douglas Williams and members of the Mark Morris Dance Group in Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s “Acis and Galatea.”

style. Isaac Mizrahi dressed the dancers in light flowing dappled green fabric — loose tunics for the women, billowing sarongs for the bare-chested men. Michael Chybowski’s lighting design under scores the shift from innocent joy to stark tragedy in Act II with the golden glow of springtime turning into stark gray twilight. One brutal spotlight transfixes Galatea in her grief like a deer in headlights. Musically things were in safe hands with Handel specialist Nicholas McGegan leading the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale (the chorus remained in the pit) in a fleet, spirited reading, with silken Mozartian strings contrasted with bracing Handelian woodwinds and horns. The singers, dressed in simple modern clothing in woodland hues, all had light youthful instruments. Disappointingly, Morris gave them minimal blocking — they merely stood and sang for the most part.

Only bass-baritone Douglas Williams as a lithe, lanky Polyphemus interacted with the dancers and performed detailed physical business. As Galatea, Yulia Van Doren’s crisp, slender soprano was well-balanced and youthful. Tenor Thomas Cooley as Acis displayed expert diction, clear tone, and incisive musicianship. Oddly, lyric tenor Isaiah Bell as the hero’s friend Damon had a more youthfully romantic tone quality and stage presence than Cooley. The tall, handsome Williams has a rather light baritonal sound for a menacing giant but has strong stage instincts. He brought an appropriate mix of the sinister and buffoonish to his characterization. The final tableau of Acis transfigured into an immortal river was a vision of harmony and joy. The audience exited the theater into a clear, serene summer evening with an enhanced sensitivity to beauty — in art, nature, and living.


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LEE GRANT, continued on p.31

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |




iving for years on the Upper West Side where she was born is a woman who is something of a living legend. Lee Grant’s life has encompassed so incredibly many facets, spanning her own New York Jewish roots, a debut with the Metropolitan Opera at the age of four, and a segue from dancing to acting that took her to the Broadway hit “The Detective Story.” She made the film version of it with William Wyler in 1951, and her film debut won her an Oscar nomination and the Best Actress Award at Cannes. During the same period, she found her self called to testify against her then-husband, Arnold Manoff, for being a Communist by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). She refused, and this, combined with her eulogy for actor J. Edward Bromberg in which she accused HUAC of causing his early death, resulted in her being professionally blacklisted and unable to work in film for 12 years. She continued to find work in the theater while battling the blacklist, and survived it to appear in the insanely popular TV series “Peyton Place” in 1965. A striking appearance in the film “In the Heat of the Night” really re-opened doors for her and she made some of the most striking movies of the 1970s, winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Shampoo” in 1975. This brilliant shape-shifter entered a new chapter when she began directing not only feature films but also a series of groundbreaking documentaries that tackled subjects like poverty in America under Reagan (“Down and Out in America”), the longest bank strike in American history (“The Willmar Eight”), legal bias against women in divorce court (“Women on Trial”), women murderers (“When Women Kill”) and the transgender community (“What Sex Am I?,” way back in 1985). Grant has just written her autobiography, “I Said Yes to Everything,” which, unsurprisingly, is absolutely magnificent in its searing truthfulness. A total bucket list dream came true when I got to interview her at length, at the end of which she exclaimed, “You’re my new best friend! I’ve talked with you about things I haven’t talked about with anybody!” Asked why she finally decided to pen her memoirs, she said, “What started me was the fact I couldn’t remember names, and I think this began when I was in front of HUAC in my 20s. They wanted me to name my husband who was a Communist, and at the time I couldn’t introduce one person to another. I would just go blank and I thought maybe I’m getting Alzheimer’s. Then I forgot my lines onstage in a big hit play [“The Prisoner of Second Avenue”] I was

were doing then. “That role was like an exploration with a husband who didn’t want me, Jack Warden. I could explore the kind of drive that a Beverly Hills woman would have, living at home with a gorgeous teenage daughter, Carrie Fisher, who didn’t like her, and a husband who was having constant affairs with other people, particularly this gorgeous Julie Christie. Felicia had a hunger for approbation, love, sex, and pleasure and was not getting it any place but from her hairdresser, who was, fortunately for her, Warren Beatty. So that kind of need I could crack into at any time in my life where my rage at the people around me was transferred to this experience that would take me out of my life and myself. That was not hard for me to find.” The scene where Felicia walks in on her daughter and hairdresser right after they’ve had sex remains unmatched for sheer audacity. “Warren told me that Felicia wouldn’t have known they’d been having sex, and I said, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I know that about women.’ And that’s when I quit the movie and when he asked me why, I said, ‘You’re my hairdresser. Who are you to tell me what I think? I know very well when I go through the door that you’ve had my daughter and I just want enough left for me. That’s all I want — I don’t care what you did before.’ That I kind of drive — I come home from wherever I was to my house in such heat that it wouldn’t have made any difference if the delivery boy had been there, that kind of need.” Fortunately, Grant’s quitting didn’t take. Her face-off in a restaurant with her rival Christie is excruciatingly intense and funny, with her sustaining the longest dirty look in film history. Laughing, she recalled, “Oh no, I do not break that stare! It happened to be a very magical set with Hal Ashby directing, who was one of my heroes, a guy I really connected with. His direction always surprised me and so you went the limit for Hal.” Telling Grant about working right out of college at Brentano’s bookstore in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and literally falling over when I saw Christie come in, she was that beautiful, she responded, “The most gorgeous! You could drown in her face — that’s how exquisite she was and there were times I couldn’t talk to her, she was so beautiful. Her skin was golden and her eyes were the bluest blue that ever existed and, of course, her puffy mouth. But also there was a diffidence in her, a charm that worked against that incredible beauty of hers and that funny little elegant English voice of hers. What a delicious person! Her mind was quixotic and she was not like anybody you ever knew. You never know and she doesn’t know what she’ll

| August 21 - September 03, 2014



Second Nature Sex, competition, power games lead to growth




STRANGE, from p.22

two search for a lost pair of glasses before heading off to get married or later when the couple reminisce about their lives together at the Greenwich Village Bar Julius’. “Love Is Strange” is a personal film for Sachs, but it is not autobiographical. Though he and his husband, painter Boris Torres, married in January 2013 — and had twins a week later — Sachs identifies more with the character of Kate than with either Ben or George. “She’s me in the sense that she’s in the middle of her life, trying to figure out what the parameters are and what is possible and what might have to be let go,” he explained. Sachs described his drama as “a film about family and learning to accept the limits of our own lives.” Elaborating on that theme, he said, “That we are not here forever is comforting, not depressing. ‘Love Is Strange’ recognizes and



or those who bemoan the disappearance of the “well-made-play,” feeling that too many new scripts are simply weak screenplays plopped on the stage, there is cause for celebration. Laura Eason’s “Sex With Strangers,” at Second Stage through September 1, is smart, brilliantly plotted, and completely entertaining. Its beautifully intersecting themes touch on art, commerce, power, and how all of these can change people. Ethan has written a best-selling book based on his blog chronicling his year of — you guessed it — sex with strangers. Olivia has written a literary novel, which failed, and a new one, about which she is almost pathologically protective, paralyzed by the fear of another failure. Ethan wants to write like Olivia, and Olivia wants Ethan’s success. What happens between them is sexually charged, intellectually fascinating, and emotionally chaotic. It’s not surprising that Ethan is deeper than the shallow person he has created for himself to pander to the market, and Olivia is far more ambitious and cutthroat than she would like to admit. What makes their story so engaging is Eason’s sharp writing and deep understanding of the characters. At times hilariously

Billy Magnussen and Anna Gunn in Laura Eason’s “Sex With Strangers,” directed by David Schwimmer.

SEX WITH STRANGERS Second Stage 305 W. 43rd St. Through Sep. 1 Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $75; Or 212-246-4422 Two hrs., 20 mins., with intermission

funny, particularly when Ethan’s unflinching confidence, youthful exuberance, and grasp of social media clash with Olivia’s reserved, cere-

values my parents’ generation. It’s very much a middle age film, a film about my parents — the people I see who are disappearing.” Sachs beautifully depicts what he calls “the seasons of life” in his film, and he expresses empathy for all his characters. Ben is forced to share a room with Joey, which creates some awkward moments between them — especially when George visits — and creates a dramatic subplot about stolen books. In time, Kate becomes irritated by the burden of Ben’s presence. “These are good people who can still manage to hurt each other,” Sachs said of his characters. “That is the texture that I am most interested in, the nuance of intimacy. All my previous films are about the nature of relationships and the likelihood of relationships destroying everyone involved. A lot of my films have been about lies and what is hidden, and for the most part, this is not that film.” His new film, Sachs explained,

bral approach to life, and very moving when the tables are turned, Eason’s tale offers us real people in believable situations. The interplay of sex and power and the ensuing complications are not new in literature, but the freshness of the storytelling and the precision of the construction make this play remarkable. Eason presents a trenchant examination of personal identity in a world where truth and fiction are often indistinguishable. Ethan embraces — while Olivia struggles with — a world in which art and the artist are inseparable, where commercial success often depends as much on the celebrity as on the work they create. David Schwimmer has directed with a deft hand for both the comedy and the more melancholy moments, and there isn’t a false moment in the play or the performances. Anna Gunn is outstanding as Olivia. She beautifully inhabits the shy and somewhat broken woman whose sense of self and passion are awakened by the arrival of Ethan. Billy Magnussen is every bit her match as Ethan, capturing the confidence of easy success and the conflict he feels with the artist he would like to become. With characters who are alternately brutal and merciful with each other over the course of the play, Gunn and Magnussen negotiate these changing dynamics with seeming effortlessness, offering a master class in naturalistic acting in the process. What is so surprising and exciting about this play is that while it might appear to be a light summer comedy, it’s really a literate, thought-provoking piece of social criticism that just happens to be irresistible fun.

explores issues of offering support to those around us. “‘Love Is Strange’ is more about responsibility and what we choose to do with other people,” he said. “How much we are there for the people we are closest to. I really try not to judge anyone in the film, nor myself, for the complicated questions: Who do we take care of? Who do we take in? And what is our responsibility?” Sachs’ explores these questions in depicting George and Ben’s marriage. Despite the fact that their wedding cost George his job, the filmmaker is more interested in what their marriage means in terms of their lives together on a personal level. “You can say that gay marriage is reactionary and avant-garde,” Sachs said. “I believe it is both. I think it’s become such a symbolic point in the discussion around equality that it’s meaningful in the same way that water fountains were in the civil rights movements. People didn’t really just

want to drink water, they just wanted the right to drink water.” He added, “‘Love Is Strange’ is about two people who face conflict and thus grow stronger together. It’s a drama of separation.” Separation has very profound consequences on intimacy, he noted. “What they were separated from was being in bed together: physical intimacy in private space,” Sachs explained. “So when you do see them in bed together, it reveals the history more than anything else.” For the filmmaker, that is a history of complexity and nuance. “It’s a film about the beauty of love,” Sachs said. “I wanted the audience to get a laser sharp view of the history of this relationship and understand in a moment that it had its passages and its acts. The heart of the film is about intimacy, the structure of building a life together with another human being. Love is not simple, and intimacy is complex.”

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

| August 21 - September 03, 2014


THEATER The Champagne of Bottled Camp

In a return engagement, comic Adam Sank does cabaret mixed with his comedy and — best of all? — humiliating childhood stories, including how a bathroom stall and a fraternity brother finally led him out of the closet. Sank is joined by Erika Amato, fresh off the national tour of “Flashdance.” Duplex Cabaret Theatre, 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. S., Sheridan Sq. Aug. 21, 7 p.m. The coverage charge is $10 at, and there’s a two-drink minimum.

THEATER Nixon & A Midwestern Vampire

“Midwestern Gothic” is a solo show by Adin Lenahan that explores the mechanisms and fantasies parentless children create about their pasts in order to have a healthy present. Nixon is a young man who aged out of foster care and got engaged to a man living in the Adirondacks. But before the wedding he must break a promise to a vampire and this means reconciling with the Midwest. Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., near 10th St. Aug. 21, 6:30 p.m.; Aug. 22, 9 p.m.; Aug. 24, 2 p.m.; Sep. 4, 9 p.m. Tickets are at $12 at

Excessive Force

Playwright and director Van Dirk Fisher’s “Code of Silence” is inspired by a 1997 incident in which a Bronx teenager was killed by a police officer after being placed in an illegal chokehold because his football bounced off of the officer’s patrol car. This Riant Theatre Company production is presented as part of the Strawberry Theater One-Act Festival. Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 W. 46th St. Aug. 21-23, 8 p.m.; Aug. 28, 8:30 p.m.; Aug. 30 4 & 8 p.m.; Aug. 31, 2 p.m. Tickets are $25-$50 at

BOOKS Taking a Stand

Kaylie Jones Books is a New York publisher dedicated to addressing serious social and historical issues. Tonight, “Drunken! Careening! Writers!” host Kathleen Warnock welcomes Jones and four of her imprint’s writers — Laurie Loewenstein, whose first novel is “Unmentionable”; Matthew McGevna, whose first novel “Little Beasts” will be published next year; Nina



PERFORMANCE All Stripped Down

Lauren Molina (“Marry Me a Little,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Rock of Ages”) and Nick Cearley (“All Shook Up”) became YouTube sensations when they burst on the nightlife scene as the Skivvies, an undie-rock, comedy-pop duo. They don’t just strip down their musical arrangements, they literally strip down to their underwear to perform their distinctive mashups and eccentric originals for cello and ukulele, with touches of glockenspiel, melodica, and a surprising array of under-used instruments. 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Aug. 22, 11 p.m. The cover is $30-$40 at, and there’s a $25 food & drink minimum.


GALLERY New Acquisitions

In “Permanency,” the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art presents an exhibit of recently acquired works from the past 60 years including pieces by James Bidgood, Dyke Action Machine (DAM), Robert F. Figueroa, Nan Goldin, Red Grooms, Peter Hujar, Harmony Hammond, Robert Indiana, Deborah Kass, George Platt Lynes, and Annie Sprinkle. 26 Wooster St., btwn. Grand & Canal Sts. Tue.-Sun., noon-6 p.m. (8 p.m. on Thu.) through Sep. 28. Information at

AT THE BEACH Kathy Najimy and Her Aunt Maddie

Kathy Najimy’s “Lift Up Your Skirt” is a semi-autobiographical collection of stories from her upside down life. Najimy with be joined by her alter ego, Aunt Maddie, a character made famous in her “Kathy and Mo Show,” who presents a new tale about marriage equality. The Ice Palace, Cherry Grove. Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35-$55 at


PERFORMANCE Try It Again, With Your Braces On

SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky music directs and presents “Not Since High School,” showcasing Broadway performers singing classic roles they played as teens while wearing braces and/ or breaking out. Performers include Sierra Boggess, Mario Cantone, Jerry Dixon, Christine Ebersole, James Monroe Iglehart, LaChanze, Jose Llana, Julia Murney, Anthony Rapp, Emily Skinner, and Keala Settle. 42West, 512 W. 42nd St. Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45-$100 at tinyurl. com/obv7xan. Proceeds benefit MS 245, an Upper West Side public middle school that focuses on computer studies.


BOOKS August Writers

Author and critic Daniel Mendelsohn (“Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture”) appears in conversation with Adrian Goldsworthy, author of the new biography “Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor,” for which Mendelsohn wrote the introduction. The two will discuss Goldsworthy’s book as well as “Augustus,” a 1972 National Book Award winning novel by John Williams, who also wrote “Stoner” (1965). McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St., btwn. Lafayette & Mulberry Sts. Aug. 25, 7 p.m.


THEATER When You Realize the Chase Is On

“Chasing Heroes” is a new play by Shane Cherry that focuses on a budding but difficult relationship between two young gay men who are starting out in life. Chris Rivera directs a cast that features William Thomason, Brian Esposito, Mark Jonathan, Monique Sanchez, Austin Boykin,


AT THE BEACH Sondheim Amidst the Pines

The Fire Island Pines Arts Project presents Stephen Sondheim James Lapine’s “Into the Woods,” with orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales — “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Rapunzel,” and “Cinderella,” among others. Whyte Hall Community Center. Aug. 29-31, 8 p.m. Tickets are $70 at


PERFORMANCE Toni Basil In Conversation

Toni Basil, multi-award winning director, choreographer, dancer, filmmaker, and singer shares the insane stories of her life, living roomstyle, over drinks, with funny, inspirational tales about sex, the entertainment industry, living, and her drug of choice — dancing. Songwriter of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-honored ‘80s hit “Mickey,” Basil worked with stars from Bette Midler to David Bowie and even swung acting gigs in the iconic 1969 and ’70 films “Easy Rider” and “Five Easy Pieces.” The Ice Palace, Cherry Grove, Fire Island, Aug. 30, I8 p.m. Basil also appears at the Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. Aug. 31, 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-45 at dworld. us or


PERFORMANCE Quarter Century on a Larger than Life Beat

Jackie Beat, the self-professed bastard child of “Weird” Al Yankovic and buxom Bette Midler, celebrates 25 years in showbiz with her trademark sick ‘n’ twisted song parodies, video flashbacks, and lots of special surprises. And the beat goes on. Laurie Beechman Theater, inside West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd St. Aug. 30-31, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 at


NIGHTLIFE Back to School Nude

Daniel Nardicio and Owen Hawk present a clothing-optional Back to School Party. They promise six sexy naked dancers — and there are tons of freshmen to meet. 250 W. 40th St. Aug. 31, 11 p.m.-3 a.m. Tickets are $25 at, $30 at the door.

August 21 - September 03, 2014 |


LEE GRANT, from p.26

decide next, but it’s not anything any other actor ever decided before. As far as her life was concerned and her decisions in the work she did, it was all what Julie would do, not what anybody else would do. Totally unique.” Grant maybe should have also won the Oscar for her hilarious turn in Ashby’s amazing 1970 directorial debut, “The Landlord,” as a wacky, rich, suffocating mother of Beau Bridges who decides to buy and move into a building in Harlem. Her drunken encounter with an amazing Pearl Bailey is the film’s highlight: “Well, she tried to steal the scene from me by throwing that ham hock into my purse, instead of me putting it there when I leave her. But you had to laugh at her because she was so sly and funny and did it with a laugh. I appealed to Hal when she took the ham hock, saying to me, ‘Here, honey!’ I said, ‘Don’t here honey me. It’s my piece of business, Pearlie Mae!’” This country as well as its films have changed considerably since that liberated, creative 1960s-70s heyday, something Grant is all too aware of. “We’re being destroyed by junk food, honey,” she said. “The only news I follow is the BBC and NPR. Otherwise, it’s all amusement. The news covers what’s happening with Israel and the next minute you’ll have what’s her name — that reality star with the big ass. It’s all mixed together so you can’t focus on what’s happening. People are working with their thumbs on the set as they walk around, losing themselves in games or texting about nothing. “There’s a loss of contact and really talking and doing something about so much that’s wrong today. It’s lost in frivolity and in wanting to be a celebrity instead of a person. You have a big ass and do a porn film and go right into celebrity as a reality TV star — and it’s horrendous, the place we’re in. I would rather be back in the blacklist period and have a real issue and fight for something and care about something instead of being in a place where unreality is becoming the norm.” I asked Grant if she was aware that gays were also being blacklisted when she was: “I never heard

that during those years, it was all political, as far as I was concerned. No one ever discussed being gay in those days, everyone was in the closet. Hoover had a secret file on so many, and I’d heard he was gay. What a fucker he was, if he could have thrown himself in the path of the civil rights movement, he would have. Like you say, as with AIDS, the blacklist decimated a generation of talent. Everybody in my world died too young: Canada Lee died in his early 40s from a heart attack just before he was called before the Committee, same thing with John Garfield at 39. “What was it like to wake up to all that? Honey, I was a mom, a housewife, and I was a fighter on the barricades in the television union fighting against a president of the union and board of the union who were blacklisting their own members. So I had a barricade to be on — that was my college education when I grew up and learned to fight. Grant’s documentaries certainly aimed to say something about things she cared about, and of “What Sex Am I?” she said, “ It was an amazing journey, those guys were something and their wives were wonderful. What was so surprising was how many of the tranny guys had wives who supported them and even went shopping with them, a new kind of love. “I’ve had so many gay friends. My [current] husband [Joseph Feury] started out as a ballet dancer, so half of his friends were gay, dancers like Nick Dante who wrote ‘A Chorus Line.’ They were tight family to us and we lost a lot of them, as you and a lot of us have. That’s not something I wanted to do a documentary about. It was bad enough living it. I have all the photos of our friends all around the house and as far as I’m concerned, they’re living for me and they’ll never die.” Grant and Feury have been together for more than 50 years and she said she thinks he’s “cuter now to me than he ever was.” Her husband might be “cute” as a kid, but Grant explained they have an adult relationship: “I would not ever, ever call it an open marriage, but when Joey was doing his TV commer cial business and would go off to Chicago and Cleveland… He’s 10 years younger than me and, having observed another marriage where people were clawing each other to

| August 21 - September 03, 2014




CABARET Sank Giving Song

Solomon, whose first novel “Single Wife” has been optioned by Warner Bros.; and Barbara J. Taylor, whose first novel is “Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night.” KGB Bar, 85 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Free.

Dan Derby and Michael Rheault’s “Fabulous! The Queen of New Musicals” is a “Some Like It Hot”-style tale of two down-on-their-luck female impersonators — Josh Kenney and Nick Morrett — on a cruise ship trying to keep their cool and all the while creating confusions worthy of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Directed by Rick Hamilton with choreography by Mary Lauren, “Fabulous!” was an Off-Off Broadway hit last season and now opens at Write Act Repertory Theatre, Times Square Arts Center, 300 W. 43rd St. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat.-Mon., 7:30 p.m., beginning Aug. 23. Tickets are $34 prior to Sep. 8 opening, then $45 at

Corey Crysler, Ali Wetzel, and Elsbeth Denman. Manhattan Rep, 303 W. 42nd St., sixth fl. Aug. 27-29, 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at door; reservations at

Lee Grant in Hal Ashby’s 1975 hit film “Shampoo.”

death, competing with flirtations, I just said to him, ‘You’re a boyman. If you get an impulse there and sleep with somebody, just keep it to yourself. Don’t tell me about it and if that happens with me, if I go off on a film some place and I’m in Minnesota and there’s a second camera guy who appeals to me, you know I promise I’m not going to bring it home and try and make you jealous.’ It was a reality check. You couldn’t say to somebody like me or Joey at our ages that we wouldn’t come across, especially in a movie, somebody attractive, that circumstances wouldn’t happen where

boom! one night it happens, but that’s it. Don’t carry it home, don’t have an affair, and don’t tell me.” I told Grant that young folk need to know more about her than the fact that she did the camp essential “Valley of the Dolls” from 1967 and she laughed: “They love that film, honey! I know it. Ten years after we filmed it, I was guest of honor at a gay production of it in LA, where very, very good actors played all our parts. They did not change a line and people were falling out of their seats, laughing. That’s what they should do now, put it on Off Broadway. It would absolutely bowl them over!”

Come Join


Sept. 8 7:00PM 92|Y Lexington & 92nd New York, NY




IF YOU WANT A SINGING CAREER, STAY AWAY FROM SECONDHAND SMOKE. Ellie’s severe asthma attacks were triggered by secondhand smoke at work. She and her partner have to live with its effects forever. If you or someone you know wants free help to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Ellie, Age 57 Her partner, Karen Florida



August 21 - September 03, 2014 |

Gay City News, August 21, 2014  

Gay City News, August 21, 2014

Gay City News, August 21, 2014  

Gay City News, August 21, 2014