Meningitis Vaccine Studies Urged 03
LGBT and in Public School 04
Theseus Rides the Bull 23
© GAY CITY NEWS 2014 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
FREE | VOLUME THIRTEEN, ISSUE TWENTY | OCTOBER 02 - 15, 2014
JOIN & ROLL YOUR WAY TO FREE PLAY!
WIN UP TO $100 FREE PL AY
Now - December 31, 2014
PLUS EARN & GET $10 Dining Voucher on sign-up day. *New members only. See Genting Rewards for rules and details.
The evolution of an advocate
LGBT Picket at Independence Hall, nearly 50 years later
Trials of the one percent
We need to change the climate
Imagining a different art discourse
Manila, no vanilla
110-00 Rockaway Blvd. Jamaica, NY 11420 rwnewyork.com â€˘ 1-888-888-8801 In Queens Near JFK Airport. Locate Your Free Shuttle: RWRedExpress.com MUST BE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER TO PLAY THE NEW YORK LOTTERY GAMES. PLEASE PLAY RESPONSIBLY. 24-hour Problem Gaming Hotline: 1-877-8-HOPENY (846-7369).
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Study of Meningitis Vaccine Effectiveness for HIV-Positive People Urged Treatment Action Group, Brad Hoylman call on manufacturers to undertake larger clinical trials BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
t least one New York City man who was in a recent cluster of three men who had meningitis was previously vaccinated against the bacteria, but may have had a reduced immune response because he is HIV-positive. “We knew it was possible that some people, particularly those who are HIV-infected, could develop meningococcal disease even though they were vaccinated,” the city health department wrote in a statement. “We are not changing our recommendations [on vaccination]. We know that vaccination remains the best way to prevent meningococcal disease.” This meningitis outbreak began in mid-2012 and ultimately infected 22 gay and bisexual men with a 23rd infection in a man who lived upstate, but spent significant time in the city. There were seven deaths. The outbreak was ostensibly ended in February 2013 with the health department estimating that “approximately 20,000 men received at least one dose of the meningococcal vaccine since the health department vaccination campaign began in 2012.” The latest cluster of three cases in gay and bisexual men infected with the bug seen in the 2012 outbreak was announced on September 5. The department continues to recommend that sexually active gay and bisexual men get the two vaccine shots that are administered six to eight
weeks apart. A few studies have found a reduced efficacy in meningitis vaccines among HIV-positive children, adolescents, and young adults, but those were small samples. The Treatment Action Group (TAG), a health and AIDS advocacy group, and State Senator Brad Hoylman, an out gay Democrat who represents a district that includes a wide swath of the West Side and Lower Manhattan, have written to Novartis and Sanofi, two companies that manufacture and sell commonly used meningitis vaccines, asking them to support clinical research into the efficacy of the vaccines in HIV-positive adults. Tim Horn, HIV project director at TAG, told Gay City News that the vaccines’ effectiveness may be near 80 percent after the two injections in an HIV-positive adult while the same vaccines are over 90 percent effective in an HIV-negative adult. “That’s not terrible,” Horn said. “The problem is we just don’t know what the efficacy is in adults.” In a meeting with city health department staff, representatives from Hoylman’s office were told that two of the three men in the recent cluster had been vaccinated, but the health department told Gay City News that just one of the three men had received the vaccine. Another problem with the recent vaccine campaign is that not every person vaccinated may have returned for the second shot. Some of the vaccinations were delivered in sex clubs
and the ability of doctors to follow up with those men would be limited, but even clinics and doctors’ offices might have a difficult time getting patients to return for the second dose. “Getting people to return for follow-up vaccination has been a problem the world over with all kinds of vaccinations,” Horn said. Getting just the first dose does offer protection, but two shots are recommended. The need for the vaccination was emphasized by a city health department study published in January in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal. Health department staff looked at 265 HIV-positive and HIV-negative New York City residents, aged 15 to 64, who had meningitis from 2000 to 2011. The study found the meningitis cases occurred at an annual incidence rate of 3.4 cases per 100,000 people in the HIV-positive sample and .34 cases per 100,000 people among the HIV-negative people. “Our findings and those of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] suggest that… [HIV-positive people] are at a higher risk for [invasive meningococcal disease] than the general population,” the study concluded. “Our sensitivity analysis…also produced an elevated [relative risk] and further supports the relationship between IMD and HIV.” That finding of an increased risk for meningitis among HIV-positive people is consistent with a 1995 study from Georgia and a 2010 study from South Africa that also found an increased risk for meningitis among HIV-positive people.
HIV-Positive Gay Man Cannot Sue for Discrimination Anonymously
New Orleans federal court finds plaintiff faces no “greater threat of retaliation” than others alleging bias BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
US magistrate judge has denied a request by a gay HIV-positive man to have his identity shielded from public exposure in a discrimination lawsuit he has filed against his former employer in the New Orleans federal district court. “The only specific concer n expressed in plaintiff’s motion papers,” Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson, Jr., wrote in a September 5 ruling, “is that he ‘believes... he will have difficulty finding new employment should his | October 02 - 15, 2014
HIV status be made public.” The plaintiff is claiming violations of both the Title VII sex discrimination prohibitions in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on disability. In his motion to Wilkinson, the plaintiff states he “is an HIV-positive homosexual male with an understandable fear that if his health status is made public, it will negatively affect his life in multiple ways.” Wilkinson pointed out that the general rule is that plaintiffs must sue in their own name and that
Title VII does not establish any exception. Courts, however, sometimes exercise their discretion to allow a particular plaintiff to proceed as “John Doe” or “Jane Roe” — the most famous example being the Roe v. Wade case, in which the trial court accepted the plaintiff’s argument that due to the controversial nature of abortion laws and her status as an unmarried pregnant woman challenging the Texas prohibition, she should be able to proceed anonymously. In the New Orleans case, the plaintiff did not want to be forced to out himself as both gay and HIV-positive to be able to vindicate
his rights in federal court. The plaintiff cited a 1979 decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals — under whose jurisdiction Wilkinson serves — that identified “homosexuality” as one potential ground for allowing a plaintiff to file anonymously. While criminal sodomy statutes then still on the books no longer exist, it remains true that neither Louisiana nor the federal government yet has any specific prohibition on sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. But Wilkinson asserted that the
NEW ORLEANS, continued on p.11
At Schools Panel, Spirited Debate, Agreement More Work Needed Stonewall Democrats bring together DOE officials, advocates, out gay Council education chair BY NATHAN RILEY
COURTESY: MELISSA SKLARZ
he New York City Department of Education (DOE) supports LGBT diversity, but with an uncertain trumpet that only erratically integrates queer concerns into the curriculum. That was the message of a September 17 panel hosted by the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City that included educators, the City Council’s Education Committee chair, and advocates. The new de Blasio administration is all ears when it comes to inclusion. The Council Education chair, Daniel Dromm of Jackson Heights, is out and proud and devoted his committee’s second hearing this year to LGBT issues. And displays of goodwill on the panel, held at the LGBT Community Center on West 13th Street, were abundant, even if everyone agreed the results of the efforts at inclusiveness remain tentative. The evening opened with brief remarks from Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who presented a humanistic philosophy toward public education at sharp odds with prevailing notions that schools today are workplaces where students apply themselves to learn skills needed to pass tests. The chancellor emphasized the need for schools to be safe as well as effective in socializing children, whose personal development is as important as the knowledge acquired. Explaining that the school system had earlier eliminated guidance counselors, she talked about the recent hiring of 200 to help young people with both their personal challenges and their career plans. (At a City Council hearing this week, the DOE acknowledged it is uncertain how uniformly the counselors are spread across the system.) And, demonstrating she is someone who cherishes the students she oversees, Fariña talked about the importance after-school programs play in helping middle school youth forge bonds with their peers. The optimistic, youth-affirming tone carried over into the panel dis-
Lois Herrera, Elayna Konstan, Michael Silverman, Jared Fox, and Councilmember Daniel Dromm in the September 17 public schools panel moderated by Gay City News’ Paul Schindler.
“No wonder there are no available statistics on anti-LGBT violence in our schools,” Steve Ashinazy wrote to his fellow Stonewall members. cussion, which included Dromm, Elayna Konstan, who heads up the DOE’s Office of Safety & Youth Development, Lois Herrera, the senior director of guidance and school counseling in the department, Michael Silverman, the executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), and Jared Fox, the New York City chapter chair of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Konstan opened the discussion by detailing the DOE efforts since 2008 — in which she has been a key player — in implementing its Respect for All program, which aims to curb bullying, harassment, and other bias-based infractions. Under a “Chancellor’s Regulation,” teachers and school staff receive training aimed at combatting bullying and incorporating diversity into the curriculum. It was not long into the panel, however, before unfortunate memories of the school system’s failed Children of the Rainbow curriculum of two decades ago surfaced. That effort, launched in the early ‘90s primarily as a means of promoting racial harmony, soon
became a political debacle. The curriculum spawned a media frenzy when several conservative community school boards — decentralized elected bodies since abandoned in the school system — raised a hue and cry over three pages out of a total of 443 that focused on families headed by gay and lesbian parents. Though the curriculum did not address same-sex behavior itself, one school board head in Queens labeled it “dangerously misleading lesbian/ homosexual propaganda.” The chancellor at the time, Joseph A. Fernandez, tried to quell the furor, saying he was “saddened by the irony that teaching children the fourth ‘R’ — respect for their neighbors and themselves — has brought on the hateful condemnations.” However, the Board of Ed — which has also since been replaced by the mayoral-controlled DOE — sided with the conservatives and Fernandez soon left New York. Those memories linger — and some LGBT advocates worry the negative lessons from 22 years ago continue to color the thinking today. One sore point is that teacher follow-up in the classroom is voluntary. Dromm was not shy about
voicing his ire. Diversity instruction, he said, “often ignores LGBT people.” While acknowledging the voluntary nature of much of the Respect for All initiative, Konstan noted that teachers run a risk if they don’t teach material on which students will be tested. One of the audience members on hand, Steve Ashkinazy, a founder of the Harvey Milk High School that serves at-risk LGBT students, left the panel fired up and dashed off a letter to his fellow Stonewall members arguing that “so long as teachers and principals are allowed to opt out, it’s a guarantee” that respect for the LGBT community “will never take hold in the areas where it is needed most.” Dromm called for an end to a critical factor in the silence surrounding school bullying incidents. Though bias incidents concerning religion, ethnicity, gender, and disability are categorized as such, there is no tally of homophobic harassment and bullying. The Education Committee chair said the schools needed to keep track of its LGBT students and bias incidents targeting them in order to protect them. GLSEN’s Fox disagreed, saying it was “unfair” to ask youth to “check a box” regarding still evolving identities. He argued his group is able to gauge trends in anti-LGBT incidents and attitudes through survey samples. Dromm fired back, “Our invisibility is our greatest enemy.” “How dumb can you get?,” Ashkinazy wrote of the different approaches the schools employ in tracking homophobic incidents versus those affecting other groups. “No wonder there are no available statistics on anti-LGBT violence in our schools.” Dromm, a former schoolteacher who was out before protections against retaliation were in place and publicly faced off against one of the most conservative community school boards, was, for all his willingness to prod the school officials on the panel, also generous in praising their hard work. Stonewall and AIDS, he noted, are now part of
EDUCATION, continued on p.11
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
What’s Next for Tish James and the LGBT Community?
After flap over Fernando Cabrera endorsement, public advocate meets with Stonewall Democrats BY PAUL SCHINDLER
wo weeks after her candidate in a Bronx State Senate Democratic primary fight went down to defeat, Public Advocate Letitia James met with members of the Stonewall Democratic Club, presumably to begin mending fences over the fact that her man in the race is a fiercely anti-gay pastor who recently traveled to Uganda to laud that nation’s homophobic regime. James endorsed City Councilman Fernando Cabrera in his challenge to State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a longtime ally of the LGBT community. Rivera dispatched his opponent on Primary Day, garnering roughly 60 percent of the vote. Cabrera has been a longtime foe of marriage equality and has an ongoing relationship with the Family Research Council, an organiza-
Tish James (second from right) appears at an August fundraiser for City Councilman Fernando Cabrera (second from left) and with Stonewall Democratic Club members Melissa Sklarz, Robert Atterbury, Rose Christ, Bryan John Ellicott, Eunic Ortiz, and Richard Allman.
tion condemned as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. FRC’s leaders have at one time or another endorsed criminal penalties for homosexual conduct and praised Uganda’s move toward harsh anti-LGBT punitive measures. As the primary contest entered its final days, a YouTube video Cabrera produced last winter in
Uganda sur faced in which he lavishly praised that country’s government leaders as “the righteous,” resisting the efforts of “cultural shifters” — a group in which he erroneously included the US government — trying to force gay marriage on the African nation. Citing other “cultural shifters” throughout history — including Communists, Nazis, and the North
Korean government — he said, “We are in the middle of a war. A war for our children.” Uganda recently enacted a harshly anti-gay law, imposing penalties even on those who fail to report homosexual conduct they are aware of, but the courts rejected it on procedural grounds.
TISH JAMES, continued on p.8
What’s your charitable dream? When Harry met Sarah,
he was a taxi driver who “never had a nickel.” Sarah, a passenger in his cab, was a nurse who listened to patients’ stock tips and invested. They had a storybook marriage. Sarah set aside money to take care of Harry. After their deaths, the remaining money started the Sarah and Harry Rogers Fund in The New York Community Trust to maintain parks and protect the City’s air and water. We continue to make grants in their names.
$ Rogers Fund, established in 1994 with
Grants given from the fund to nonprofits, to date
Questions about your giving? We have answers. Contact our counsel, Jane Wilton, at (212) 686-2563 or email@example.com
| October 02 - 15, 2014
of gi vi ng
Prospect Park photo by Michael Pick / Creative Commons
$ Market value of the fund (as of March 2014)
The Evolution of an Advocate
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
PETE SOUZA/ WHITE HOUSE
t’s rare for there to be much public discussion of any kind about the details of a government filing in a civil lawsuit, so the outrage that erupted over a 2009 Department of Justice brief submitted in litigation over the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was something quite extraordinary. “Holy cow,” John Aravosis wrote on Americablog. “Obama invoked incest and people marrying children.” Andrew Sullivan was similarly stunned. “To file an actual brief re-stating some of the worst and most denigrating arguments against gay civil equality is just bizarre,” he wrote on his Daily Dish blog. “What they did — without any heads up to any of their gay supporters and allies — is unconscionable. Citing incest precedents? Calling gay couples free-loaders? Arguing that our civil rights are not impinged because we can marry someone of the opposite sex? Who on earth decided that that was a great idea?” Coming less than six months after Barack Obama assumed the presidency on a promise to repeal DOMA, the brief unleashed a wave of “we’ve been had” recrimination against the new administration. Even the most sober assessments of the brief characterized it as inartful and politically inept. The president, according to Jo Becker’s “Forcing the Spring,” a chronicle of the Proposition 8 case, was angered when he learned about the brief and demanded an explanation. It’s hard to imagine that the explosion of criticism didn’t embarrass, as well, the new attorney general, the first African-American to hold that post and somebody with a deep attachment to the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, somebody who regards Robert F. Kennedy, the attorney general in his brother’s administration, as his hero, and somebody who as deputy attorney general in the late 1990s was the Clinton administration’s leading advocate for federal hate crimes legislation. As Holder prepares to leave the Justice Department after nearly six years on the job, he is pledging that should the Supreme Court take up one of the marriage equality cases in the term that begins next week, “we will file a brief that is consistent with the actions that we’ve taken in the past couple of years.” In July, he told ABC’s Pierre Thomas that DOJ has worked hard to make “the promise of the Windsor decision [that last year struck down DOMA] real” and that he had recently sent a letter to Obama detailing the steps taken “to knock down the barriers that still exist for
Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama.
same-sex married couples.” At a February Human Rights Campaign dinner at the Waldorf Astoria, the attorney general said the issue was “a top priority” for the president and himself and vowed, “In every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States — they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections, and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law.” But Holder’s record on same-sex marriage began with the June 2009 brief — and it was an inauspicious start. Portions of the brief read to many as inflammatory — and occasioned the greatest and easiest outrage. In rebutting the plaintiffs’ claim that the portion of DOMA that allows states to deny recognition to legal same-sex marriages from other states violates the US Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause, DOJ cited court precedents that upheld the rights of states to refuse recognition to marriages from elsewhere at odds with their own age of consent laws and their restrictions on marriage by cousins too closely related. That passage led to the anger over “incest” and “people marrying children.” Other portions of the 2009 brief seemed disingenuous. Aravosis noted that when asked to comment on criticism aimed at the brief, the administration emphasized the difference between Obama’s policy preferences and his DOJ’s legal arguments, saying, “The president has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits.” But that gulf was unbridgeable, Aravosis argued, given that the DOJ brief stated, “DOMA does not discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of federal benefits.”
That sentence from the brief was the one that most infuriated Chris Geidner, now the legal editor at BuzzFeed and among the closest observers of the courtroom twists and turns on the path to marriage equality. Gay City News’ Arthur S. Leonard, a New York Law School professor, was struck by what he and others termed a “new argument” — one that was not made during the 1996 congressional debate over DOMA and therefore one that could not now post-facto be described as a rational basis for its enactment. “The one that bothers me the most,” Leonard wrote here, “is the argument that there is no antigay motivation behind DOMA, merely a desire by Congress to pursue a policy of ‘neutrality’ with respect to the issue of same-sex marriage in a situation where some states allow such marriages while others bar them. This is absurd.” The negative fallout had at least some impact on the administration and the legal arguments it put forward. Over the next 18 months, the legal wordsmiths at DOJ took some pains to apply lipstick — but the pig proved no shape-shifter. In early 2011, when DOJ prepared for its appeal of a district court ruling out of Boston that held DOMA did not satisfy even the most lenient standard of judicial review — that it was grounded in some conceivably rational basis — it was still peddling the same “neutrality” argument, saying that the status quo of federal uniformity was required as the states, one by one, wrestled with the question of gay marriage. Edie Windsor’s challenge to DOMA in the New York Southern District court provided Holder and Obama with an out, one it seems clear they had been casting about for. Arguing a case in New York, which is located in the Second Federal Circuit, offered opportunities not available in Boston, which is in the First Circuit. Under governing precedent in the First Circuit, claims of sexual orientation do not merit heightened scrutiny. The government need merely show it has a rational basis for a policy under challenge — a very deferential standard that does not require the motivation to be compelling or the solution narrowly tailored. The president and the attorney general were not prepared to argue in Boston that no rational basis existed for DOMA. In contrast with the First Circuit, the New York-based Second Circuit had established no precedent on the appropriate level of scrutiny that should be applied when sexual orientation claims are made. In that sense, it was legally terra nova and the administration undertook an examination of what level of scrutiny it believed was appropriate. The result of that analysis proved groundbreaking. In a February 2011 letter, Holder informed House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, that DOJ would not defend DOMA in the Windsor case. “After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the president
HOLDER, continued on p.7
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
HOLDER, from p.6
has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny,” the attorney general wrote. “The president has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional.” DOJ took its new posture a step further in July of 2011 when it filed a brief in support of a suit brought by a federal court employee, Karen Golinski, challenging the denial of spousal benefits to her wife. Legal commentators termed the brief a “game changer,” with the administration shifting from a posture of not defending DOMA to one where it was working to undo it. In New York, Windsor went on to win her case at the district court, and when the Second Circuit ruled on the appeal brought by a legal team representing the House Republicans, it followed the lead of the First Circuit in Boston in striking down DOMA — but it did so with a more powerful vindication of gay rights. “What is different about this decision is the court’s conclusion that the ‘heightened scrutiny’ test should be used to decide the case,” Gay City News’ Leonard wrote at the time. “This could make the Second Circuit the first federal circuit to adopt this more searching standard for evaluating claims of sexual orientation discrimination under the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.” By the time the Second Circuit, in October 2012, had ruled in Edie Windsor’s case, Obama had made his long-awaited embrace of gay marriage. Welcome as the president’s May 2012 comments were, they had their limitations. “At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex-couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Robin Roberts in an interview on ABC. He did not, however, take the next step of saying there is a federal constitutional right to marry. In fact, he suggested otherwise. “I have to tell you that part of my | October 02 - 15, 2014
hesitation on this has also been I didn’t want to nationalize the issue,” the president told Roberts. “There’s a tendency when I weigh in to think suddenly it becomes political and it becomes polarized. And what you’re seeing is, I think, states working through this issue — in fits and starts, all across the country. Different communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times. And I think that’s a healthy process and a healthy debate. And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what’s recognized as a marriage.” From then until the critical moment 13 months later when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA’s ban on federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages while letting stand a lower court ruling tossing out California’s Proposition 8, DOJ’s posture did not vary from the ground staked out by Obama. In one sense, the administration was doing what it could to support the plaintiffs litigating these cases — but going no further. Windsor did not need the high court to find a federal right to marry in order to have the IRS’ refusal to have her marriage recognized in a dispute over inheritance taxes on her late wife’s estate struck down. And as it turned out, the Prop 8 litigants were able to win back the right to marry in California without the Supreme Court deciding the underlying constitutional question — or even weighing in on the merits of the case at all. But DOJ did do more than the minimum. The federal government was not a party to the Prop 8 litigation, which was a challenge to the constitutionality of a state voter initiative. But LGBT advocates pressed hard for the administration to weigh in and it did. In a brief filed about a month before the Supreme Court heard arguments on Prop 8, DOJ used the heightened scrutiny standard to argue that when California voters took away a right that state’s Supreme Court had earlier granted, they violated the equal protection rights of same-sex couples there. That argument would seem narrowly tailored to the particular circumstances of California, where couples were able to marry between May and November 2012 before that
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITES COMMUNITY HOSPICE NURSES (RN) MEDICAL SOCIAL WORKERS (LMSW/LCSW) Bilingual English/Spanish; English/Mandarin; English/Cantonese. Reliable automobile & valid driver’s license are preferred. Competitive compensation and benefits package. Hospice of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
FORWARD RESUME TO: JUDITH GAYLE firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax: 718.784.1413
Come Make a Difference New training groups each month!
Patient Care Volunteers Support patients and their loved ones in your community Bereavement Volunteers Support families who have lost a loved one Administrative Voluteers Assist personnel in our Long Island City office NASSAU & QUEENS Contact Angela Purpura email@example.com or 516.222.1211
MANHATTAN, THE BRONX & BROOKLYN Contact Sandra Nielsen firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.472.1999
BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES Free bereavement support services for adults who have had a loss (Loved one is not required to have had hospice care) Contact our Bereavement Department at 347.226.4823
HOLDER, continued on p.9
Same-Sex Couples Denied Employer Benefits Will Get Their Day In Court US district judge refuses BNSF Railway’s motion to dismiss in Washington State litigation BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
Washington State employer that refused for almost a year to allow employees to enroll their same-sex spouses in its health plan lost its motion to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit pending in federal court. On September 22, US District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez denied a motion from BNSF Railway Company, which insisted it could not provide the benefits because its plan defined mar riage as “between one man and one woman.” BNSF did not extend the benefits until January 1 of this year after it amended its plan through collective bargaining with its employees’ union by adopting a more inclusive marriage definition. That change most likely came in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling last year that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The Washington case illustrates the ongoing challenges in ensuring that marriage equality laws in fact create equal treatment for same-sex spouses. Just days after Martinez’s ruling, the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders filed a similar claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of an employee of a Walmart store in Massachusetts, Jacqueline Cote, who was denied spousal health insurance for her wife, Diana Smithson, for six years. After rejecting their application repeatedly from 2006 through 2012, last year Walmart, reacting to the DOMA ruling, announced it would change its
TISH JAMES, from p.5
It supporters have vowed to reintroduce the bill and the nation’s attorney general has appealed the court’s decision. When the video surfaced, LGBT advocates, including the City Council’s out lesbian and gay members, called on James and
policy effective January 1, 2014. During the period Smithson was refused coverage, however, the couple accumulated more than $100,000 in unpaid medical bills Smithson incurred for conditions including ovarian cancer. The women’s discrimination suit seeks compensation for those expenses. In a May case in New York, a federal district judge ruled that federal law governing employee benefits plans — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act — did not require St. Joseph’s Medical Center, a Catholic health system in Westchester County, to offer the same-sex spouse of an employee the coverage provided to different-sex spouses. Despite the fact that last year’s DOMA ruling requires the US government to recognize a valid same-sex mar riage in New York, absent a federal nondiscrimination employment law, nothing in ERISA compels the hospital system to treat samesex and different-sex spouses in the same manner, Judge Nelson S. Roman found. And ERISA’s limitations override any nondiscrimination protections New York State law provides. In the Washington State case, two BNSF Railway employees — Michael Hall and Amie Gar rand — brought suit after they were denied the right to enroll their same-sex spouses whom they married after voters there approved marriage equality in the 2012 election. Though their spouses are now covered, the two employees are seeking damages for the period they were denied as well as an order specifying that same-sex spouses living in a state that recognizes their marriage are
entitled to equal treatment under employee benefit plans. Hall and Garrand pointed to nondiscrimination provisions of the federal Equal Pay Act as well as to ERISA. They also claimed protection under Washington State’s Law Against Discrimination, which forbids employment discrimination based on sex and sexual orientation. Hall added a claim of sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act. BNSF moved to have all claims dismissed with the argument that federal law does not forbid sexual orientation discrimination and that state law was preempted by ERISA, claims under which are subject to an arbitration provision in that company’s employee benefits plan and so could not be litigated in court. Martinez agreed that the ERISA claim must be dismissed because of the arbitration provision, but otherwise ruled against BNSF. The judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the denial of coverage could be challenged as sex discrimination. Even while “acknowledging that it is often difficult to distinguish sex discrimination claims by people identifying as homosexual from those claims based solely on alleged sexual orientation discrimination,” Martinez found that BNSF denied coverage to Hall’s spouse “based solely on the fact that Michael is male… Plaintiff alleges disparate treatment based on his sex, not his sexual orientation, specifically that he (as a male who married a male) was treated differently in comparison to his female coworkers who also married males.”
The judge pointed to a handful of other federal trial court rulings that could be construed to have accepted similar arguments, including a 2009 internal court system administrative finding by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who sits on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, under whose jurisdiction the Western District Court of Washington falls. Martinez did not rule on the validity of Hall’s sex discrimination claim, but found “that Plaintiff has satisfied the initial burden of stating a claim that is plausible on its face.” As a result, he denied BNSF’s motion to dismiss. He also rejected the railroad’s claim that ERISA preempts the state law claim, since state anti-discrimination laws are preempted only to the extent that they go beyond the protections of the Civil Rights Act’s Title VII. Having found that statute could plausibly apply, Martinez concluded the motion to dismiss the state law claim was premature. The plaintiffs, then, are now free to pursue claims under Title VII, the Equal Pay Act’s ban on sex discrimination, and the Washington State nondiscrimination law. They could also file a grievance with the plan administrator and seek arbitration of their ERISA claim. The plaintiffs are represented by Seattle attorneys Duncan Calvert Turner and Cleveland Stockmeyer, with amicus assistance from Lambda Legal. Lambda will have a particular inter est in seeing a published court order on the ultimate question of whether employers can refuse to provide benefits coverage to legally married same-sex couples.
others to withdraw their endorsements, but the public advocate declined to do so. Instead, she issued a release saying, “Fernando Cabrera has worked with the public advocate on economic justice issues throughout the Bronx. The public advocate does not share his views on LGBT equality issues.”
Several days after the primary, James told the New York Observer, “I endorsed Cabrera on paper. I did not actively campaign, and I distanced myself from him during the campaign.” Pictures circulated on Twitter, however, show James posing with Cabrera and other supporters of his at an August fundraiser.
Despite the fact that one of the Stonewall members who attended the September 23 kiss-and-makeup session with the public advocate posted a photo of the group and James, the club told Gay City News the gathering was “a closed door meeting.” James’ office did not respond to a request for comment on the meeting.
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
HOLDER, from p.7
right was taken away. Arthur S. Leonard, however, noted that the filing was “a subtly constructed brief,” one that essentially argued that any state that offers same-sex couples all the rights and benefits of marriage but not the title — as a number of states then did with civil union or comprehensive domestic partnership laws — were violating their equal protection rights. “The government’s brief does not overtly advocate that same-sex couples have a federal constitutional right to marry as such,” Leonard noted here. “Rather, it asserts that if a state has resolved the policy issues in favor of providing the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples, it cannot then deny them the right to marry.” Leonard also discerned more comprehensive implications in the DOJ posture. “The arguments it makes could well support a challenge against a state Defense of Marriage Act or the failure of a state to provide marriage — whether or not the state has adopted civil unions — by arguing against the sorts of constitutional justifications advanced to defend Prop 8,” he wrote. The Supreme Court may well have wondered about those same subtleties in the administration’s posture. As BuzzFeed’s Geidner recently noted, Chief Justice John Roberts essentially called the administration’s bluff during the Prop 8 arguments, asking Donald Verrilli, Jr., the solicitor general who was representing DOJ, “Is it the position of the United States that same-sex marriage is not required throughout the country?” Verrilli gave the answer that may strategically have been the best one to help the cause of the Prop 8 plaintiffs, but he also pulled back from having the administration go the full distance. “We are not taking the position that it is required throughout the country,” he responded. “We think that that ought to be left open for a future adjudication in other states that don’t have the situation California has.” Cautious restraint may be a fair characterization of how DOJ lent its voice to the plaintiffs challenging Prop 8 and DOMA, but its response to the June 2013 Supreme Court | October 02 - 15, 2014
ruling tossing out the ban on federal recognition of valid same-sex marriages was anything but restrained. Obama, in-flight when the ruling came down, called Windsor from Air Force One to congratulate her and promptly issued a statement directing Holder “to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.” By the time the Human Rights Campaign held its press conference that day, Holder had already chatted with the group’s president, Chad Griffin, to discuss what Griffin characterized as “an expedited implementation of the DOMA ruling.” T rue to Holder’s word, the administration in fact acted with alacrity in tackling what was a big task — figuring out how to conform federal government practice with the mandate that same-sex couples have their marriages recognized. One of the thorniest issues was how to treat those couples who married in states where it was legal, but lived in states where it was not. Here, the administration tilted decisively toward a maximalist position. On June 28, two days after the high court ruling, the US Office of Personnel Management issued a directive that same-sex spouses of federal government employees would be eligible for spousal benefits wherever they lived. On July 1, Janet Napolitano, then the secretary of Homeland Security, directed the immigration service to review all visa petitions and treat samesex spouses in the same manner as different-sex spouses, again regardless of where they lived. Less than three weeks later, the Board of Immigration Appeals, a unit of the Justice Department, announced that it too would consider where a marriage was celebrated rather than where a couple lived in petitions for lawful resident status by same-sex couples where one partner was not a US citizen. Perhaps the most significant advance came in late August of 2013 when Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that the IRS would treat every married same-sex couple in the nation as such for federal income tax purposes. A few days later, Holder wrote to Boehner telling him that despite the fact that the DOMA ruling did not specifically
address a law barring the Defense Department and Veterans Administration from providing same-sex spousal benefits, “the reasoning of the opinion strongly supports the conclusion that those provisions are unconstitutional.” By the start of this year, it had become routine for the administration and DOJ, in particular, to react to new questions about federal recognition by stepping up with solutions. After roughly 1,300 couples married in Utah between the time a federal judge struck down that state’s gay marriage ban on December 20 and the Supreme Court stepped in to stay the ruling on January 6, Republican Governor Gary R. Herbert directed Executive Branch officials there not to honor
It became routine for DOJ to react to new questions about federal recognition by stepping up with solutions. those marriages while an appeal was undertaken. Several days later, Holder announced the federal government would take the opposite approach. DOJ, he said in a release, “has been working tirelessly to implement [the DOMA ruling] in both letter and spirit — moving to extend federal benefits to married same-sex couples as swiftly and smoothly as possible.” As the appeals process plays out, he added, “these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds.” In what the administration billed as a major policy pronouncement in early February, Holder in his Waldorf speech to the HRC, announced new DOJ policies to advance the compliance required by last June’s high court ruling. At the February 8 dinner, the attorney general said that members of same-sex couples will have the right to decline testifying against their spouse in criminal
and civil court proceedings, they will be treated just like different-sex couples in bankruptcy proceedings, inmates will be eligible for spousal visits from a same-sex spouse and have the right to furloughs for a spousal emergency or death, and same-sex spouses will be able to participate in federal benefit programs such as the September 11th Compensation Fund and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, which grants compensation after the injury or death of a police officer or fire fighter. Holder spoke in ringing tones and DOJ leaked the substance of the speech to the New York Times hours before its delivery, but the attorney general was doing nothing fundamentally different than he had been for seven months — moving as expeditiously and with as high a profile as possible to ensure compliance across the federal government. With Holder’s departure on the horizon, what remains undone in his advocacy and that of his boss, the president, is an unambiguous embrace of a federal constitutional right to marry for same-sex couples. The attorney general’s comments to ABC in July and NBC in the past week suggest clearly that DOJ is ready to take that step. Twice, Holder pledged to file a brief in any Supreme Court litigation and characterized the arguments the administration would make as “consistent” with their past actions. Not surprisingly, perhaps, given the venue of a television interview, he did not make clear precisely what that pledge would mean in terms of specific arguments, though he did tip his hand in July when he told ABC, “I think that a lot of these measures will not survive a heightened scrutiny examination.” Holder has said he will stay on the job until his successor is confirmed by the Senate — something that could take some time given the November elections and the harsh partisan climate on Capitol Hill. With the Supreme Court positioned to accept one or more of the cases that resulted in pro-marriage equality rulings at the appellate level, Holder may have the chance to complete his journey as an advocate and file the brief that puts the United States government squarely behind the constitutional right of every same-sex couple in America to marry.
LGBT Picket at Independence Hall, Nearly 50 Years Later A veteran of pioneering 1965 Philadelphia demonstration looks back BY JEN COLLETTA
PHILADELPHIA GAY NESS
KAY TOBIN LAHUSEN/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
n July 4, 1965, John James traveled to Philadelphia to march among a group of gay and lesbian demonstrators calling for liberty for LGBT people. Nearly 50 years later, James is again surrounded by LGBT people in the City of Brotherly Love —this time in a very changed world. Earlier this year, James, 73, moved into the John C. Anderson Apartments, an LGBT -friendly senior living facility in the heart of Philadelphia — more specifically, on South 13th Street in the Gayborhood section of town. The building, just one of a few affordable gay senior living complexes anywhere, is the largest publicly funded LGBT building project in the nation’s history. The complex is home to a vast cross-section of the LGBT elder community — businesspeople, artists, activists, researchers, social workers, and everyone in between — who lived through, and at times led, the birth and growth of the modern gay rights movement. The spark that ignited that movement is typically traced to the June 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street. But, four years earlier, a different sort of protest calling for LGBT freedom germinated on the steps of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall — fittingly, the birthplace of American freedom. What was dubbed the Annual Reminder march was conceived of by Craig Rodwell — who two years later founded the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in the West Village — and organized by pioneering activists such as Washington-based Frank Kameny as well as Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen of Philadelphia. The demonstration was set for Independence Day to call attention to the fact that gays and lesbians were denied the basic rights guaranteed to them in our nation’s founding documents. At the time of the march, James was a 24-year -old working as a computer programmer at the National Institutes for Health. Hav-
John James, in a recent photograph, declined to be photographed in the 1965 Annual Reminder picket, but others, such as Barbara Gittings, had no such reservations.
ing grown up in DC, he moved back there in 1963 after graduating from Harvard University. James’ father was a federal government anti-trust attorney and he followed in his footsteps in seeking work in public service after abandoning his initial idea of pursuing medicine. “I was always interested in science and went to college intending to do pre-med but I decided it wasn’t for me,” he said. James recalled that he began coming to terms with his sexuality in his early 20s and, after returning to DC, joined the fledgling Mattachine Society, what was then known as a “homophile” group whose Washington chapter was the brainchild of Kameny and Jack Nichols. James said he was usually just an observer at the group’s meetings. “Jack went on to be a well-known gay writer but, at the time, he used a pseudonym, Warren,” James recalled. “His father was an FBI agent, and Hoover had a real thing about homosexuals. His father told him he’d kill him if the FBI found out about [his being gay], so we always used the name Warren. He and Kameny and some others came up with the idea for the demonstration.” Noting he had never before participated in a public demonstration, James said, “It was kind of the thing to do. I went along and did it because that was the thing to do right then.” James was then out to only a
small circle of friends and family, so he was reassured that his chances of being outed by marching were slim since the demonstration was not in DC. He declined when organizers asked for his consent to be photographed at Independence Hall. “I said no because I liked my job,” he recalled. At the time, the prevailing policy in the federal government was to terminate “known homosexuals.” That policy foreclosed certain opportunities for James’ advancement. “I never considered applying for a security clearance because they would’ve found out and that would have complicated things,” he said, adding with a laugh, “But, I didn’t want to do military work anyway, so not having a security clearance was one way to make sure I stayed away from that.” The Annual Reminder organizers insisted that participants both dress and act professionally during the demonstration. “We all wore suits and ties,” James said. “That was Kameny, that was his philosophy.” About 40 people participated in the inaugural picket and marched for about an hour -and-a-half behind a police barricade, holding such signs as “Homosexuals should be judged as individuals” and “Homosexual civil rights.” James recalled participants having “some degree of fear” about marching, but said they were met with no real pushback.
“People took it in stride,” he recalled. “I didn’t notice any expressions of either hostility or support. It turned out peaceful. We weren’t attacked by people in the streets or anything.” James’ face stayed out of photos, though a picture of Gittings that ran on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer may have just missed him. “I suspect my leg is showing in the picture,” he said. “But I’m not sure.” Though James only participated in the 1965 event, picketers returned each year for the next four years, the final Annual Reminder demonstration taking place just days after Stonewall in 1969. James would likely have been surprised to know that the type of activism he undertook in 1965 would explode on the streets of New York just four years later. “I knew there was a symbolic importance at the time, but it wasn’t necessarily the kind of movement I would have done myself if I hadn’t been asked, but yet again I wasn’t an organization person anyway,” he said. “So I went along with how Frank and Warren wanted to do it. My philosophy was a little different. Kameny’s was to pick one issue and do just that issue, where my idea was to mix all the issues — anti-war, gay rights, civil rights, whatever you had the opportunity to do.”
HISTORY, continued on p.11
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
NEW ORLEANS, from p.3
court’s record is “presumptively a public record, open to view by all, and requests to seal the court’s record are not lightly granted or considered.” The plaintiff had the burden to show that his interest in protecting his confidentiality outweighed the public’s “common law right of access” to such a record. “Although sexual preference is certainly a personal matter and homosexuality is one of the ‘matters of a sensitive nature’ identified in the above-cited Fifth Circuit opinion, public opinion about both homosexuality and HIV-positive status has become more diverse and accepting during the 35 years since that decision,” Wilkinson wrote. “Certainly, only the seriously uninformed today act under the
erroneous impression that HIV transmission might occur in ordinary workplace activity.” Pointing to same-sex marriage litigation in Louisiana, he continued, “Other plaintiffs asserting claims in civil actions in which their sexual preference is an issue have done so publicly and in their real names.” And, Wilkinson added, “Defendants — whose names have already been published in the court’s record — have been the subject of public accusations by plaintiff that may do damage to their good names, reputation, and economic standing.” The judge also noted the “high” level of public interest in the issues being litigated, since most federal courts have rejected claims that anti-gay discrimination is covered by the 1964 Act’s ban on sex dis-
EDUCATION, from p.4
the core curriculum, though he said that when Billie Jean King and Bayard Rustin are discussed it is vital that the impact of their sexual orientation be considered. The panel also addressed challenges facing transgender youth in the schools — who were the subject of new guidelines developed over several years and issued by Fariña earlier this year. At their core, the guidelines make clear that students can use their chosen name even if different from their legal name and can participate in sports corresponding to their gender identity. TLDEF’s Silverman praised the guidelines as a “tremendous step forward,” but raised worries about some details, including the use of bathrooms and other sex-segregated facilities. No child can be forced to use a particular bathroom, but the issue of what bathroom they can use is left open. Konstan emphasized that the question is left to case-by-case consideration and said the schools’ policy is focused on the needs of the transgender student, not those of others. Silverman, however, warned that it is important not to leave any stu-
HISTORY, from p.10
After leaving federal employment, James moved to the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, where unfortunately events conspired to give him the opportunity to prove his commitment to multi-issue activism. As the HIV epidemic began ravaging that city in the 1980s, he founded AIDS Treatment News (ATN). Early on, the publication explored alternative medicine and experimental treat| October 02 - 15, 2014
crimination and there is a divide among courts about whether the ADA automatically protects an HIV-positive person if there is no specific evidence of a physical or mental impairment. Concluding that the plaintiff in this case would not face any “greater threat of retaliation than the typical plaintiffs alleging Title VII violations under their real names and not anonymously,” Wilkinson denied his motion. Focusing only on the Title VII sex discrimination issue, however, ignores the HIV confidentiality side of this case. The ADA recognizes the importance of this issue by requiring employers to preserve the confidentiality of their workers’ medical records. Employers may well understand that an HIV-positive employee
dent with the message that they cannot access facilities the same way any other boy or girl can. Voicing concern about what she saw as the panel’s lack of diversity, one attendee, Octavia Y. Lewis, a trans woman and an education specialist in the Hetrick-Martin Institute’s transgender program, told the crowd, “I don’t identify as gay” and insisted that policy must ensure that each student be the “narrator of their own stories.” Eunic Ortiz, Stonewall’s president, noted that one issue unaddressed on the panel — moderated by Gay City News editor Paul Schindler — was the de Blasio administration’s decision to reverse Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s defense of DOE policy that barred the use of public schools by religious congregations on weekends. Under Bloomberg, the city contested a federal lawsuit brought by the Bronx Household of Faith to overturn the DOE ban. A leader in that fight is Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera, whose unsuccessful September 9 primary challenge to Democratic State Senator Gustavo Rivera brought to light a video Cabrera made last winter in Uganda praising that nation’s virulently anti-gay regime. Ortiz made clear that the objective of at least
ments and went on to publish more than 400 editions. “When treatments were becoming available, no one wanted to cover it,” he said. “So we were talking to patients, doctors, scientists. That was my main project. I was never much into demonstrations so I think that, by far, my most important activism was AIDS Treatment News. That was my contribution.” After years in San Francisco, that cradle of high tech entrepre-
poses no risk of contagion in the workplace, but they could potentially discriminate against applicants based on assumptions they make about work attendance, longevity on the job, or the impact of their presence on co-worker morale. A decision requiring an HIV-positive person to disclose their serostatus in a public record as a condition of seeking discrimination redress seems inconsistent with the ADA, since it could strongly discourage HIV-positive people with potentially valid claims from filing suit. It is particularly at odds with the 2008 ADA Amendments Act, which Congress adopted in order to make clear that HIV-positive people are protected against discrimination, regardless of what some uncomprehending federal trial courts had concluded in the previous 18 years.
some congregations trying to use the school is the promotion of similar Christian right beliefs, noting that such culture warriors “walk the hallways of the school, and openly anti-gay churches put posters up and leave material advertising their church.” Dromm noted that a deliberate and well-documented “church-planting” strategy to put evangelical Christian congregations in place in public schools across the nation has been underway for years. Dromm brought down the house when he shifted from his critique of where the DOE has not gone far enough to his recommendations for what should be done. Students, he insisted, deserve “positive role models from out teachers” They should learn about gays and lesbians in history, lessons that serve as both a “window for straight students,” allowing them to see the contributions the LGBT community has made, and a “mirror for gay students,” emboldening them to see their potential. LGBT parents must be more involved in school life. “We need to get the message out — gay is good,” Dromm said to thunderous applause.
neurship became unaffordable, and James packed up ATN and headed back east, deciding to settle in Philadelphia, where he had a number of colleagues and friends. ATN now operates as an independent project housed at Philadelphia FIGHT, an AIDS services group. James reflected with some wonder on the city of Philadelphia’s plans to host a large-scale celebration next year to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Annual Reminders pickets.
“We never would have thought of any official recognition like that,” he said. “That would have been inconceivable. We were just happy to be more tolerated. We weren’t looking for anything out of the government besides just letting us live how we wanted to live and leaving us alone.” Jen Colletta (email@example.com) is a staff writer at Philadelphia Gay News, which is spearheading nationwide coverage of the annual October LGBT History Month.
PERSPECTIVE: The Activist Front PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN
Jennifer@communitymediallc.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER & CO-FOUNDER
We Need to Change the Climate
firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR IN-CHIEF & CO-FOUNDER PAUL SCHINDLER
email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Duncan Osborne
Christopher Byrne (Theater), Susie Day (Perspective), Brian McCormick (Dance)
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS ANDREW GOOSS CHRIS ORTIZ
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT SALES/MARKETING AMANDA TARLEY
SENIOR VP OF ADVERTISING / MARKETING FRANCESCO REGINI
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES JACK AGLIATA ALLISON GREAKER JENNIFER HOLLAND ANDREW MARK JULIO TUMBACO Please call (212) 229-1890 for advertising rates and availability.
NATIONAL DISPLAY ADVERTISING Rivendell Media / 212.242.6863
Gay City News, The Newspaper Serving Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender NYC, is published by NYC Community Media, LLC. Send all inquiries to: Gay City News, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, NYC 10013 Phone: 212.229.1890 Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this paper, in part or whole, can be reproduced or redistributed. All contents (c) 2014 Gay City News. Gay City News is a registered trademark of NYC Community Media, LLC. Jennifer Goodstein, CEO Fax: 212.229.2790; E-mail: Jennifer@communitymediallc.com
© 2014 Gay City News. All rights reserved.
The VOCAL-NY contingent in the September 21 People’s Climate March.
BY ROBERT TOLBERT
e need to change the climate. Yes, I am speaking about the actual climate. We need to stop fracking. We need to clean up our air and water. We need to recycle, rebuild, and retrofit. But we also need to change our political climate. Political will can’t just happen when it’s close to an election. We need politicians to do the right thing, right now. As an activist for over 15 years, I have marched with thousands, blocked roadways, and even knocked on the door of the homes of people in power to speak truth to power about what it is to live like me. I am HIV-positive and low-income. I have spoken in various arenas to tens of thousands about my personal fight to survive what was a plague and how I am dedicated to ending this epidemic, not only for myself but for the entire
@GayCityNews has 10,000 Twitter followers. Are you one of them?
ART DIRECTOR MICHAEL SHIREY
Seth J. Bookey, Anthony M.Brown, Kelly Jean Cogswell, Andres Duque, Michael Ehrhardt, Steve Erickson, Andy Humm, Eli Jacobson, David Kennerley, Gary M. Kramer, Arthur S. Leonard, Michael T. Luongo, Lawrence D. Mass, Winnie McCroy, Eileen McDermott, Mick Meenan, Tim Miller, Gregory Montreuil, Christopher Murray, David Noh, Nathan Riley, David Shengold, Yoav Sivan, Gus Solomons Jr., Tim Teeman, Kathleen Warnock, Benjamin Weinthal, Dean P. Wrzeszcz
Robert Tolbert, with a cap symbolizing the call for a Robin Hood Tax.
world. One of the most important marches that I will ever be a part of us took place on Sunday, September 21 — the People’s Climate March. Climate change is an issue for us all. People living with AIDS, queer people, people of color. We are always the ones who live nearest the bus depots, on top of the super fund sites, next to the oil refineries. Along with AIDS, people of color suffer disproportionately from asthma. We also live in neighborhoods where there are the fewest hospitals. Much like Katrina and Sandy showed us, we will be the first to be flooded and the last to get the help we need to survive. So when I speak of climate change, I am not only talking about global warming, hydro-fracking, and pollution, but also the ambivalence of people in power to address the issues of its citizens. People living with AIDS know firsthand what it means to fight life or death issues. We did it for decades, while, frankly, many just watched us die. The fact is AIDS dis-
proportionately affects people of color and the poorest people in the world. We now have the knowledge and the opportunity to “change this climate.” We can end the AIDS pandemic with nothing more than the political will. We can save the planet with nothing more than political will. We need to act now and we can’t wait for a billionaire to buy the change for us. We can generate the revenue we need, now. We can create a Robin Hood Tax to end AIDS and save the climate. We can tax the richest among us. Hopefully, hundreds of thousands in New York City alone will change the climate in City Hall, in Albany, and in Washington, DC. The climate sure is changing for the rest of us. Robert Tolbert is board member of VOCAL-NY, a statewide grassroots membership organization that aims to build power among low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, the drug war, and mass incarceration.
KELLY COGSWELL – SARAH SCHULMAN PODCAST WEB EXCLUSIVE In her “A Dyke Abroad” column in the last issue of Gay City News, Kelly Cogswell presented excerpts from her recent conversation with writer, queer activist, historian, and Lesbian Avengers co-founder Sarah Schulman. To listen to a podcast of the entire conversation, visit gaycitynews. nyc/one-last-lesbians-standing-publishing.
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
PERSPECTIVE: Global Justice
LGBTQ Immigrants: Heroes Among Us — If They Can Get Here
BY SEBASTIAN MAGUIRE
am generally loath to praise our country’s dysfunctional immigration system. Both immigrants and their advocates can readily attest to the Kafkaesque frustrations of dealing with mindless bureaucrats and heartless policymakers. A shining exception to my general attitude is asylum. Since 1994, when Attorney General Janet Reno issued a decision recognizing sexual orientation as a category subject to protection under asylum law, the United States has saved the lives of countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals. LGBTQ immigrants from almost every corner of the globe have made their ways to the US to seek asylum and establish new lives. Immigrants, especially LGBTQ individuals, have enriched our country beyond measure. Just as important is the impact these brave individuals have had on the international human rights movement. While many asylees and asylum
seekers have understandably sought quiet lives in their adopted homeland, others have become bold ambassadors for global equality. Each of them has a harrowing yet inspirational story. Working his way up from the Kingston ghetto, Dwayne Brown was poised to complete graduate studies and commence a teaching career when he had to flee. He has since founded Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand, which mobilizes world opinion against that nation’s culture of antiLGBTQ violence. Wyatt Tan came to the US for school, fell in love, and married his boyfriend. Among his compatriots, he is a rare voice speaking out against the homophobia he experienced in Malaysia and for marriage equality here in the US. Andrey Mironov escaped to the US after connecting with activists, including clergy affiliated with the LGBTQ-affirming Metropolitan Community Churches. Andrey now helps queer Russian émigrés adjust to life here. In the relative freedom afforded by the US, these exemplary individuals have found their voices. They have overcome the crippling fear
and silence of their repressive societies and bravely spoken out in a way that perhaps only the earliest gay rights pioneers of this country could fully appreciate. Many who could and should avail themselves of protection, however, are not able to do so. Asylum requires applicants first to find a way across the border. This limits asylum’s usefulness to those who can obtain a visa (often a remarkable feat in itself) and the funds to come to the US. The most vulnerable immigrants from the most homophobic countries often have little hope of leaving. The process by which our government brings refugees to US soil has so far eluded most at-risk LGBTQ individuals. The US, in recent years, has welcomed large numbers of refugees from Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, and Somalia and smaller numbers from dozens of other countries. But what about the LGBTQ individuals driven from their homes in Uganda, Jamaica, and Pakistan? Despite government-sanctioned persecution in countries such as Jamaica, the US has no plan to help LGBTQ Jamaicans leave en masse and no willingness to help individual Jamaicans who plead for refuge before consular officers. In a country sharply divided by class,
GLOBAL JUSTICE, continued on p.17
PERSPECTIVE: Media Circus
Reading Kristol’s Balls
BY ED SIKOV
t’s so much fun to gloat. I know, I know — it’s distasteful to revel in someone else’s humiliation. Emily Post would frown upon it. It’s not done in polite society. But I’m not polite, and I’m certainly not in high society, unless you count weed. Friends, I’d like to introduce you to one of the right-wing’s most unintentionally ridiculous clowns, a pundit whose prognostications never ever turn out to be correct, a man who gets it wrong so often that if he told you that the sky wasn’t going to fall tomorrow I’d strongly advise you to kiss your ass goodbye because we’d all soon be crushed. Gents and ladies, meet Bill Kristol. During the reign of Bush père, Kristol served as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle. (Stop laughing!) He is the founder and editor of the Weekly Standard, the only real standard of which is its inability to get its guesses right. | October 02 - 15, 2014
He’s a frequent guest on Fox News. You can see where all this is going. If you Google “Bill Kristol wrong” you get about 195,000 hits. That’s impressive. Nicole Belle’s piece on crooksandliars.com chronicles some of his more notorious failures. For instance: “If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she’s going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her, then… Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.” That was Kristol on “Fox News Sunday,” December 17, 2006. Another foresight that turned out to be slightly off the mark was Kristol’s unbridled support for the war in Iraq: “Removing Saddam Hussein and his henchmen from power would be a genuine opportunity, I think, to transform the political landscape of the Middle East. The rewards would be very great, and I would also say the risks of failing to do this I think are very great.” The “political landscape of the Middle East” has indeed
been transformed, but I suspect it hasn’t gone in the ways Kristol envisioned. Iraq and Syria are in chaos, and there’s no end to the ghastly bloodshed in sight. On Obamacare, Kristol was, in a word, wrong: “If the exchanges are permitted to go into effect... there will be error, fraud, inefficiency, arbitrariness, and privacy violations aplenty... Just as economic shortages were endemic to Soviet central planning, the coming Obamacare train wreck is endemic to big government liberalism. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” Note the redbaiting, as though such pathetic 1950s “rhetoric” — and I use the term loosely — needed to be pointed out. Obamacare has brought affordable insurance to 7.3 million people, and even the GOP is mostly steering clear of it this election cycle. It’s Esquire’s political blogger Charlie Pierce who has been the most articulate commentator on the subject of Bill Kristol: “Blow me, you monstrous, bloodthirsty fraud, you silly, stupid chickenhawk motherfucker who plays army man with the children of people who are so much better than you are, and who would feed innocent civilians in lands you
will never visit into your own personal meatgrinder to service your semi-annual martial erection.” Okay, okay — Charlie is particularly unfond of him. But many political writers have chronicled Kristol’s abysmal record of prophecies — so many, in fact, that when Rachel Maddow listed some of them back in March, she was roundly hissed and harassed by legions of bloggers who have been writing about Kristol’s habitual erroneousness for years. I saw that evening’s broadcast and I thought it was fabulous, but I can see why the bloggers, long on the Kristol’s trail, were irritated. What’s my interest in Bill Kristol at the moment? Why do I think he’s worth retreading? Simply this beautiful quotation, the Kristol clarity I cherish the most: “I think this is the high water mark of the gay rights movement in the United States.” The year was 1993. Some of our younger readers weren’t born when Kristol made that prediction. Kristol was referring to the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal
MEDIA CIRCUS, continued on p.17
Cast Your Vote Today! gaycitynews.nyc/bestofgaycity Every voter receives a complimentary 3 Day CRUNCH gym membership
Vote for your favorite “Best Of Gay City” for a chance to win an iPad, iPad Mini, David Barton Gym Membership, Hornblower Cruises and more!
VOTING CATEGORIES • Best Gay Bar • Best Lesbian Bar • Best Happy Hour • Best Cocktail • Best Coffee • Best Date Night Restaurant • Best Delivery • Best Cheap Eats • Best Sweet Shop
• Best Pet Care • Best Gym or Personal Trainer • Best Salon or Spa • Best Cosmetic Surgeon • Best App • Best Museum/ Gallery • Best Show • Best Drag Performer • Best Home Design Store
• Best Parenting Service • Best Gayborhood • Best Vacation Destination • Best Weekend Getaway • Best Travel Services • Best Healthcare Services • Biggest Celebrity Crush
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Gay City News Launches First Annual Best Of Contest
Readers’ choice awards means that you are in the editor’s chair
BEST GAYBOR HOOD A single mome nt can change everyt hing.
Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhoo of the most d represents diverse and evolving communitiesone New York City. It’s mix of residents-fro in and single twenty-some m families things, to its gallery and rich artist and GLBTQ communities astonishing –continue to growth and see development . Chelsea has become a prime restaurants, destination theatres, nightlife for hotels, completion and retailers. of the The and waterfront, incredibly popular High Line opment of the the forthcoming mixed-use park Hudson Yards develsion of Chelsea and planned-expa nexciting places Market make this one of the world. Chelsea to live and visit anywhere most has also become in the most innovative home to America’s the east-coast tech firms making it epicenter silicon valley. of
SPOTLIGHT Chelsea Market Chelsea Market is an enclosed urban food court, shopping mall, office building and television production in the Chelsea facility located of the borough neighborhood of Manhattan, in New York City. Built in former National the Biscuit Company factory complex where the Oreo cookie was invented and produced, the two entire blocks complex fills bounded by Ninth and Eleventh Avenues and 15th and 16th Streets, with a connecting bridge over Tenth Avenue.
A simple ceremony. An approved adoption. A plan for retirement. These personal victories have a huge big leap forward for all of us. However,impact on our collective community. and other organizations we know Each to provide resources there is still work to do. That’s step toward equality, every with the Accredited milestone reached, why Wells Fargo Domestic Partnership and financial guidance is a teams up with for the future. HRC, GLSEN, AdvisorSM designation, to LGBT communities. Together, NGLCC And as the first we are a reality. wellsfargo.co we move forward. Step by to offer financial step, with individuals, well versed on current laws m/lgbt advisors to help you develop in communities a solid plan — we can make what once seemed impossible
2 © 2014 Wells
August 07 20, 2014 | www.gaycityne
Fargo Bank, N.A.
All rights reserved.
ws.com | August 07 - 20, 2014
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
e want to hear from you. And we want other readers to hear from you. That’s one of two vital messages I want to impart about our inaugural Best of Gay City Annual Readers’ Choice contest. The other thing you must know: This is all about having some fun. Not that we’re not looking for input on some serious matters — whether parenting services or who offers the best health care. But as you cast ballots in 25 categories, let us know where you’ve had good experiences, what you enjoy, and what you look forward to doing again. Let us know about nightlife — bars, happy hours, cocktails, restaurants, or for those evenings of cozy snuggling, delivery. Where do you go to take care of your health, appearance, fitness, home design, or — and, for me, this one is key — your beloved pets? This being New York, tell us what shows, museums, and drag performers keep you coming back. Whether at home or away, everyone has their favorite gayborhood, weekend getaway spot, vacation destination, and travel service. And could we possibly not ask about your favorite app (and since you can vote every day, that could change over and over again) — or the identity of your fave celebri| October 02 - 15, 2014
ty crush (ditto the changing daily part)? Here’s how it all works: go to gaycitynews.nyc/bestofgaycity and that page will walk you through the voting in 25 categories. Vote for as many or as few categories as you want. Each category offers several choices and we strongly encourage you to write in your favorites if you don’t see them among the choices. And, as I’ve already mentioned, you can vote once a day for the duration of the contest. First round voting begins on October 2 and runs through 6 p.m. on October 26. Finalists will be announced in our October 30 print edition and voting among them will run from then until 6 p.m. on November 7. We will announce the winners in our November 13 print edition. Naturally, we are sweetening up the voting a bit as an enticement. The first day that you vote, you’ll win a three-day free pass to Crunch Gym. And every time you vote, your name gets entered into the raffle for gifts including an iPad, an iPad Mini, a David Barton Gym membership, and travel on Hornblower Cruises. We are proud to have the support of Gold Sponsor God’s Love We Deliver, Silver Sponsor Hospice of New York, and Category Sponsors Simple Surrogacy, Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine, Cryos International, and Gay Men’s Health Crisis. But enough from me. It’s your turn. Let’s hear from you!
City Council Funding for SAGE Guarantees Outer Borough Centers
Appropriation of $1.5 million supports new facilities in Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, expansion in Queens, Harlem BY PAUL SCHINDLER
City Council appropriation in this year’s budget will allow for the most dramatic geographic expansion of services for LGBT seniors in New York’s history. For the fiscal year that began on July 1, the Council earmarked $1.5 million that will allow SAGE, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, to open up centers serving the community’s seniors who live in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island and to broaden the services offered in a center SAGE has run in Harlem for the past decade. Money will also go to support the Queens Center for Gay Seniors, formerly known as SAGE Queens. The Queens center, even under its old name, operated independently of SAGE, which is headquartered on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea. According to SAGE, roughly 100,000 residents of New York City
are LGBT people 65 and over. The group estimates that one third of them live in poverty. The Council appropriation will provide just over $360,000 each for new centers in Brooklyn and the Bronx and the existing Queens Center, which is housed at the Kew Gardens Senior Center, part of the Queens Community House borough-wide system. That money will provide each of the borough’s facilities with 50 meals a day, a site coordinator and a program coordinator, and a 20 percent share of the time of a citywide SAGE Center program director. A new center in Staten Island will be funded at $133,000, with no site coordinator and no meals provided. The existing Harlem center will provide meals, but with fewer needs for incremental on-site staffing, the total appropriation there will be $280,000. Accor ding to T racy Welsh, SAGE’s deputy executive director and chief financial officer, the new money will allow the Harlem facili-
ty, which she termed currently as a “small satellite” to the main SAGE Center in Chelsea, to roughly double in capacity. The small allocation for Staten Island, the least populated borough, she explained, came from “an understanding of the city’s demographics and the challenges of getting them up quickly” in that borough. She added, “Hopefully, the demand and funding will allow us to upscale there.” For now, the money represents a Council initiative rather than a permanent part of the city’s Department of Aging programs. Such initiatives are often the way new programs are launched, and SAGE and the councilmember the group credited with leading the charge, Ritchie Torres, an out gay freshman Democrat from the Bronx, are hopeful the new centers can prove their effectiveness and win support from Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Aging for budgets going forward. Welsh noted that this year’s budget was not the first time SAGE sought funding to expand to boroughs outside Manhattan. “When we met with Ritchie, he was able to get his mind around it,” she said. “He was a champion.” At a recent gathering of DL21C, a group of young progressive Democrats, Torres said, “This initiative penetrates to the core of progressive government.” The LGBT community in the outer boroughs, he asserted, is disproportionately older and poorer relative to Manhattan and to date has had little or no ready access to “culturally competent senior centers.”
Noting the risks for depression among older and economically challenged people, Torres said, “Something as simple as a senior center could change their lives. A second home —maybe the only family they have.” In his DL21C presentation, Torres also mentioned he is working to win support for capital funds to convert the old Fordham Library in his Bronx district into an LGBT community center for all ages. Discussing LGBT community needs in the Bronx, he pointed out that while Chelsea has an HIV infection rate twice that of the Fordham neighborhood, the rate of AIDS mortality in Fordham far outstrips that in Chelsea. SAGE’s Welsh said the group is zeroing in on locations in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island and hopes to have one or more of the centers up and running this autumn. In addition to existing senior centers in Chelsea, Harlem, and Queens, the LGBT Community Center has, since its founding in 1983, maintained a SAGE drop-in center managed by clients of the agency. As Andy Humm reported in the last issue of Gay City News, renovation at the Center caused SAGE to lose its first floor space and led to a contentious fight between the room’s regulars and both the Center and SAGE. Michael Adams, SAGE’s executive director, on September 16 announced an agreement that met what he said were “95 percent” of the clients’ demands, an assessment that Jerry Hoose, a longtime participant in the drop-in center, said was about right.
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
GLOBAL JUSTICE, from p.13
wealthier Jamaicans are able to leave the island. In contrast, the Gully Queens, featured in a VICE News documentary (youtube. com/watch?v=ILXVpFQVEbw), eke out precarious lives in drainage ditches a short distance from the US embassy. Without the help of the US or some other country, they have no hope of escaping the ever-present specter of violence that forces them into the gullies. Inexcusably, our country’s refugee resettlement efforts have failed to include LGBTQ victims of persecution. Federal policymakers need to remove this vestige of institutional homophobia and transphobia in our immigration system and implement a plan to admit such refugees as soon as possible. Many who are able to come to the US find the high cost of living quickly drains their resources and they usually cannot rely on family networks so critical to the success of other immigrants. In addition, every new immigrant must deal with navigating the complexities of their new country. The paucity of services available to LGBTQ immigrants is surprising considering such a large portion of New York City’s LGBTQ population has recently immigrated here. Our community’s organizations need to step up, and all organizations working with immigrants need to incorporate LGBTQ concerns into
MEDIA CIRCUS, from p.13
Rights and Liberation that took place that year. A million of us showed up for it. Where does one begin to list the accomplishments the LGBT community has achieved since then? 1996: Throwing out an anti-gay Colorado referendum, the Supreme Court rules that moral disapproval or animus cannot justify singling gays out for disparate treatment under the law. 2003: In Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court rules that sodomy laws were unconstitutional, and all of them disappear. Poof! 2004: Same-sex marriages begin in Massachusetts. 2011: The military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy goes the way of | October 02 - 15, 2014
their work. LGBTQ immigrants would particularly benefit from efforts to reform detention policy and increase access to legal representation for indigent people. Given how valuable asylum has been, it is, and should remain, a readily available option for LGBTQ immigrants. To ensure this, all asylum adjudicators should receive mandatory training on how to deal with sexual orientation and gender identity in different cultural contexts. And federal authorities must promptly respond to complaints and root out prejudiced adjudicators. Disparities in outcomes in all types of asylum cases depending on where immigrants apply are well documented. Exacerbating this problem are personal prejudices against LGBTQ individuals held by some adjudicators, examples of which I have unfortunately witnessed. For a generation now, a quiet revolution, spurred by our asylum policy, has transformed the face of global LGBTQ activism. Without the safety afforded to courageous immigrants, the pace of change here in the US and throughout the world would be much slower. We owe it to them and to our human rights movement to help them come here and adjust to life once they arrive.
trying to have a baby?
WE CAN HELP! Our mission is to help patients realize the dream of parenthood — regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. GENESIS Fertility & Reproductive Medicine is a nationally recognized center of excellence for the treatment of infertility, long-recognized for our comprehensive fertility services, culturally-sensitive approach to patient care and excellent success rates. The countless notes from patients that decorate our halls are testimony to the quality of the GENESIS program.
Building Families Over 25 Years! Brooklyn • Long Island • Staten Island
Fertility & Reproductive Medicine
Where Life Begins
(718) 283-8600 www.genesisfertility.com
Sebastian Maguire is the co-founder and director of the Asylum Seeker Assistance Program of the Metropolitan Community Churches’ Global Justice Institute.
the dodo. 2 0 1 3 : The Supr eme Court strikes down the vile Defense of Marriage Act. 2014: Nineteen states now have full marriage equality — and the Supreme Court this week considers whether to take up the issue on a nationwide basis. It will likely conclude that the time has come. No, it isn’t news that Kristol is notoriously wrong on just about everything and that he’s a complete embarrassment to himself and to conservative politics as a whole. As Bob Ceca put it recently, “Whatever Kristol says, the opposite must be true.” I just wanted to make sure Media Circus readers were up to speed on this worthless hack’s sorry, inept, hilarious history. Here’s to ya, Bill. Keep up the good work!
From the Publisher
Why Pink BY JENNIFER GOODSTEIN
NURSERY SCHOOL • PRE-K • SUMMER Same great programs with new options for preschool and pre-kindergarten classes Join us 9am-3pm, 9am-12noon, 2pm-5pm or 8am-6pm
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a time for all of us to redouble our ef forts to eradicate the second-leading killer of women in the United States. When my husband and I bought NYC Community Media in 2012 and, in June of this year, added the Brooklyn-based Community News Group to our media company, we realized we were taking on a big responsibility. Our publications reach more than a million New Yorkers each week, offering us a broad platform to support causes that can impact our readers and wider communities. My husband and I are also a family that lives and works in New York City, and we are committed to giving back to the communities we serve. Our company’s support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is just one step toward meeting that goal. Like most people, we have had friends and family who have battled cancer, including a close friend who has survived three bouts with breast cancer. Anyone w ho ha s w a tched the impact of this terrible disease on sufferers and their loved ones understands the urgent need to find a cure. The good news is that better early detection and treatment therapies are boosting survival rates. We are pleased to note that some of the best work against breast cancer is being done in the metropolitan area. Our medical institutions are pushing the limits of possibility with their surgical excellence,
The numbers from th
One in eight women is d with breast cancer in the
More than 630 are diagnosed breast cancer e
Nearly 110 of t die every 24 ho
playing pivotal roles in discovering the genes that cause breast cancer, leading to surgical techniques that are now treatment gold standards. At the grassroots level, a groundswell of community support is financing critical breast cancer studies with innovative fundraisers around town. Thanks to the support of our advertisers, our media group is donating $7,500 — and will provide free promotional services — to the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”
makingstrides.acsevents.org | 18
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
he American Cancer Society are sobering: Roughly 430 men will lose their lives to breast cancer this year.
diagnosed eir lifetime.
HELPING Cancer Patients PLAN for their FUTURE FAMILY More than ever, cancer patients are surviving their disease and can look forward to the future. The ability to have children and build a family is important to cancer survivors. Loss of fertility and early menopause can be side effects of cancer treatment. Oncofertility is a field that bridges oncology and reproductive health; providing fertility preserving options for patients facing fertility-threatening therapies. The Oncofertility Program at GENESIS helps patients preserve their options for having a baby in the future. To contact us immediately please call: 1-855-ONCFERT (662-3378) Brooklyn • Staten Island • Long Island
Fertility & Reproductive Medicine
Where Life Begins
0 women with every day.
(718) 283-8600 www.genesisfertility.com
Building Families Over 25 Years!
campaign (makingstrides.acsevents.org), whose annual October walk at locations in each of the five boroughs raised nearly $6 million last year to help battle the disease. Community News Group is proud to partner with Maimonides Medical Center, Eastchester Center for Cancer Care, Aviator Sports and Events Center, Coney Island Hospital, Estée Lauder Companies, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens County Savings Bank, Winthrop University Hospital, and
all of this week’s advertisers in honoring and recognizing the Pink Ribbon campaign founded by the Estée Lauder Companies, now recognized as a worldwide symbol of breast health. We hope our embrace of the pink message will encourage our readers to turn to their families and friends and ask if they have been screened or of fer to go with them for this critical, life-saving examination. Jennifer Goodstein is the president of Community News Group.
| cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer | October 02 - 15, 2014
Downtown Rises In a city bursting with new developments, Lower Manhattan’s surge is a standout
ower Manhattan in recent decades has established a strong record of land use conversions. Since 1995, 16 million square feet of office space have changed use, creating nearly 14,000 residential units and 350 hotel rooms. Most of that shift was spurred by the city’s 421-g Tax Incentive Program, which provided a real estate tax exemption and abatement for conversion of commercial buildings, or por tions of buildings, into multiple dwellings. The program applied to much of Manhattan south of Murray Street, City Hall, and the Brooklyn Bridge. In the wake of 9/ 11, $1.6 billion in triple-tax-exempt Liberty Bond
financing also ensured the revitalization of a district many city leaders — unnecessarily, as it turned out — worried could spiral into a serious slump. According to the second quarter 2014 report from the Downtown Alliance, residential inventory continues to expand south of Chambers Street. The district is now home to an estimated 61,000 residents who live in 30,500 units in 323 mixed-use and residential buildings. That population represents a near tripling since the attack on the World Trade Center. In the pipeline of upcoming residential projects are 2,200 new residential units in 10 buildings currently under construction. They include 70 Pine, at Pearl Street, which will be completed by the end of this year, the final phase of 20 Exchange Place that
BY LAUREN PRICE
The School House on the Lower East Side has loft apartments available for rent.
will be ready for moving in next spring, and the expected completion of the nine-story penthouse known as the Woolworth Residence at 233, in the iconic tower on Broadway, and the Four Seasons Residences at 30 Park Place, near Church Street, in 2016. Lower Manhattan’s median rent has reached $3,550, rising three percent since the previous quarter and six percent year-overyear, according to data provided by Miller Samuel/ Douglas Elliman. Also, according to the same
report, the number of new rentals increased 11 percent. Total unit sales jumped 26 percent since the previous quarter and 14 percent year-over-year, making the current market the most active since 2011 and besting trends seen elsewhere in Manhattan. The average price per square foot increased a strong 16 percent year-over-year to $1,271, ahead of the pace seen across Manhattan as a whole. According to Zillow, the median
REAL ESTATE, continued on p.22
New Homes Personalized Just For You Starting From $279,900
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
This walk lk This wae o t s u s t g gets us to e ne n lif i l h is h fin s i n thet i e h faster. faster.
When you walk and fundraise in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, you help the American Cancer Society make the greatest impact and save more lives in more communities, through groundbreaking research and programs like clinical trials matching and free rides to treatment. Walk with us, because you can help us finish the fight.
MakingStridesWalk.org Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Manhattan Central Park 72nd Street Bandshell, October 19, 2014, 8 AM
ÂŠ 2014 American Cancer Society, Inc.
| October 02 - 15, 2014
The living and dining space of a 4,500-square-foot loft at 88 Franklin Street.
REAL ESTATE, from p.20
price for available homes in Tribeca is $4.45 million, with a median listing price per square foot of $2,157. Median rent in the second quarter stood at $6,711 versus $2,178 for the city overall. By comparison, the Lower East Side, despite its rapid gentrification and proliferation of chic restaurants and nightspots, is a relative bargain. There, the median list price per square foot is $843, a number that is still a good bit higher than the citywide average of $507. The median price of currently
listed homes on the Lower East Side is $650,000 and median rent stands at $2,995.
Originally converted from a public elementary school to a condominium two years ago, the School House at 371 Madison Street at Jackson Street on the Lower East Side is offering rental units with seven-foot-high sleeping lofts, some with an extra room that would be perfect as a home office or additional sleeping space. Square footage ranges from 542 to 1,810 square feet. Standout amenities include an indoor swimming pool that is nearly
Olympic-sized, a residentâ€™s lounge, two landscaped courtyards with fountains, and doorman services. Marketed and leased by Modern Spaces, currently available no-fee monthly rents starts at $2,900. (modernspacesnyc.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=371+Madison+Street+manhattan&type=rentals)
One of the tallest residential towers in New York, 50 West, at Rector Street, is slated for completion next fall. A curtain wall development from Time Equities, it will feature one- to five-bedroom units, including a duplex penthouse, ranging from 1,045 to 9,000 square feet and floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of New York Harbor and the Hudson and East Rivers. Sold through the Marketing Directors, prices range from $1.665 million to $18.63 million. (50westnyc.com)
A loft apartment with about 3,300 square feet to roam around in, located at 28 Laight Street between Hudson and Varick Streets, is currently on the market. This residences boasts four
exposures and includes original details such as whitewashed ceiling joists, exposed whitewashed brick, a wood-burning fireplace, and wide-plank maple floors. It also features three bedrooms, including a double-size master suite with a sitting room. Priced at $5.995 million, itâ€™s listed with Town Residential. (townrealestate.com/sale/ id-889834/28-laight-street-3a-tribeca&scroll=1)
Another loft, this one with about 4,500 square feet, is being marketed at 88 Franklin Street at Church Street, an 1880 building originally engineered as a sewing factory. The residence includes 50-foot south-facing frontage adorned with energy efficient double-paned custom milled solid windows and 10-inch-wide hickory floors. This five-bedroom loft was restored, maintaining much of the original details, including wood beams, 11-foot ceilings, and a steel wheel mounted on an exposed brick wall that was used in the old freight elevator. The asking price is $8 million. (platinumpropertiesnyc. com/88-franklin-street-4th-floor-0)
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Theseus Rides The Bull Mark Dendy journeys through a mythical Jungian underworld BY BRIAN McCORMICK
MARK DENDY PROJECTS
| October 02 - 15, 2014
“Labyrinth” Abrons Arts Center 466 Grand St. at Pitt St. Oct. 9-11, 15-18, 22-25 at 8 p.m. Oct. 12, 19, 26 at 5 p.m. $20; abronsartscenter.org 212-352-3101
here have been many versions of the myth of Theseus, founder-king of Athens and, like Jesus, the son of two possible fathers and one mother. In Mark Dendy’s new dance-play “Labyrinth,” the artist draws inspiration from Mary Renault’s 1958 Bildungsroman “The King Must Die” and weaves in his own personal historical fiction. For Dendy, who said he has “been to hell in the last 10 years,” the project has become the vehicle for overcoming his own demons. In Dendy’s “Labyrinth,” we meet Theseus in midlife, as an artist who makes abstract pieces in public spaces on his way uptown to choreograph a dance for the Rockettes. (Dendy has done both.) Artistically conflicted and aided by a mix of anti-anxiety meds and alcohol, he has a nervous breakdown in Times Square and ends up at Bellevue as Superstorm Sandy is approaching. As the storm rages, he finds tranquility within. The non-linear labyrinth is inhabited by various characters drawn from the Jungian realm of Dendy’s real-life therapy — each representing a different facet of Theseus’ character. There’s a bartender, a nightclub singer, a shadow self, a soldier, a goddess, a whore, and Barbara Stanwyck in a dream. The cast of four collaborators — Dendy, Heather Christian, Stephen Donovan, and Matthew Hardy — all play multiple characters, live and via video, and also perform the sound and music live. Dendy plays the hero; the racist, homophobic father; the heroine prostitute Hannah; and the child. Standing in for Ariadne, Hannah gives Theseus string, but instead of a sword under a rock he finds a TV remote, which allows him to get messages from her. Instead of a Minotaur, he must face a mechanical bull. But the themes of recovery, renewal, and redemption remain central. In the
Heather Christian, Stephen Donovan, and Matthew Hardy in Mark Dendy’s “Labyrinth,” a tragicomic, autobiographically-inspired retelling of the Theseus myth.
end, he has ridden out the storm, conquered the father, and dealt with his fears. “When this has come forward before in therapy,” Dendy told Gay City News, “it’s come with anguish, tears, and shaking. It’s hard to share one on one. Here I am being my father. How can I do this in front of everyone? But talking about it now is easy because we’re enacting it.” Dendy’s last dance project, “Ritual Cyclical,” was a “big, site-specific, ritual, architectural dance for 80” at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. “Labyrinth,” which has been in development for three years, is “dramaturgical, mythological, and personal,” he said. “Labyrinth,” like much of Dendy’s work, doesn’t fit neatly into any particular genre. He draws from cabaret, nightclub, theater, character portraiture, musicals, and experimental forms. “It’s a total genre fuck,” he exclaimed. “The dancing is used as psychological embellishment. There’s a lot of stylization, abstraction, and gesture.” Autobiographies can be painful for authors as well as their other interested parties. But in writing them, new lessons and personal insights can be gleaned. For Dendy, there have been revelations. “When you come from abuse,
dysfunction, and alcoholism,” he said, “you learn to set self yourself aside, apart. You show an outward front. You analyze everything. Why am I a victim? How can I get love
and attention? There’s the possibility for the gift of the vigilance of an artist, if you can overcome the trauma. You can develop powerful tools for dealing with the world.” For Dendy, who has been through his own real life dark journey, this project has been a spiritual endeavor. He is not trying to alienate people, but to get them to relate. And the gift of redemption far outweighs any guilt he has in exposing anyone’s secrets. “That’s what the perpetrator wants,” he affirmed. “If people don’t like what you write, tell them they should have behaved differently.”
Accurate Building ® Inspectors Buying an apartment or house can be a scary process even for the knowledgeable and experienced buyer. First timers can feel completely overwhelmed. Our professional and patient inspectors will examine the property and explain all aspects of your new home. We will provide a fully written report. with photographs that will explain the property in question in common terms. We are not only inspectors, we are building and home educators. All Accurate Building Inspectors® are fully licensed and insure in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. We have over 100 years of combined Experience.
1860 Bath Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11214 www.accuratebuilding.com firstname.lastname@example.org 23
Boom and Fear on the Great Plains
explores limits of Christian compassion, community in 21st century America BY STEVE ERICKSON
Directed by Jesse Moss Drafthouse Films Opens Oct. 10 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. ifccenter.com
his neighbors see the newcomers instead as sources of pollution and potential crime. “The Overnighters” starts off as a hopeful tale about Christian values and ends as a story about the dissolution of community. “The Overnighters” takes place in the small town of Williston, where tens of thousands of desperate people have traveled to look for work in the nearby Bakken shale oil field. But they discover that there just aren’t enough jobs to satisfy everyone’s needs, even in a boomtown. As one person says, if they don’t find work within their first 48 hours in town, they’re not likely to find it at all. At Concordia Lutheran Church,
Reinke strives to treat the new arrivals in a dignified manner. This eventually angers the church’s congregants, the town’s newspaper, and the City Council. The problems seem to peak when the Williston Herald learns about a sex offender living in the church, but things get even worse from there. From everything we can see of Reinke, he seems like a good man. Yet he has a repeated tendency toward strange decisions and unpleasant fallings-out with people around him. He’s doing his best to reconcile Christian values with the damaged world of modern-day America. If “The Overnighters” got a wide American release, I wonder if it would be embraced by the “faith-based” audience that made hits of such films as “God’s Not Dead.” While not particularly explicit at all, it doesn’t depict a PG-rated reality or offer easy answers to spiritual yearning. Yet it’s the best American film to address the issue in years.
he North Dakota oil fields have created a situation unique in post-recession America: a place where jobs are plentiful. As such, they’ve drawn men — and, to a lesser extent, women — from all over the country, resulting in rising rents and other disruptions in small towns with large influxes of new arrivals. Jesse Moss’ documentary “The Overnighters” depicts one man, pastor Jay Reinke, trying to create a sense of community under difficult circumstances. He allows homeless men — although he prefers the term “Overnighters” and, in fact, some of them have left behind homes in other parts of the country — to sleep in cars and RVs in his church’s parking lot. He even turns the church into a makeshift shelter. While Reinke preaches the gospel of sharing, many of
Pastor Jay Reinke stands inside the doorway of an abandoned church.
“The Overnighters” is fairly open in addressing the challenge posed by the presence of sex offenders. For reasons never fully explained, Reinke decides to open his home to Frank, a man who claims he made it onto the sex offender registry
OVERNIGHT continued on p.32
Love and Death Mathieu Amalric’s taut drama explores how thoroughly two lovers have betrayed their spouses BY GARY M. KRAMER
he title of director Mathieu Amalric’s compelling adaptation of the Georges Simenon novel “The Blue Room” refers to both the hotel where Julien (Amalric) and Esther (Stéphanie Cléau) engage in extramarital assignations and the courtroom where the pair are on trial for the murder of their spouses.
THE BLUE ROOM Directed by Mathieu Amalric Sundance Selects Opens Oct. 3 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. ifccenter.com
Unfolding in a flashback/ forward style, “The Blue Room” allows viewers to look at the facts from all angles until the characters’ fates are decided. The storytelling is canny, with clues perhaps having deeper meanings or maybe being just deceptive distractions. When Esther makes a comment to Julien as he
stands naked by the hotel room window, does he really hear her or is he oblivious because he is watching her husband, Nicolas (Olivier Mauvezin), walk toward the hotel? When this moment is presented early in the film, audiences may read it one way. When the incident is recounted later, in a police station, another interpretation is possible. Life is different when you live it versus when you go back over its details in your memory, Julien says. Conversations as well as letters sent and received come back to haunt the characters. Amalric’s opening scenes are a precise series a shots — a hallway, a wall, bed sheets, and blood, all seen against a soundtrack of erotic pleasure. Fragments of naked bodies—a fly on Esther’s navel and a bite of Julien’s lip — and the question, “Would you spend your whole life with me?,” give way to scenes of an investigation. We learn that Julien and Esther have met eight times in 11 months. Were they conspiring to kill their spouses? “The Blue Room” unpeels its layers carefully. Julien’s tenderness with Esther is contrasted with tense moments between him and his
wife, Delphine (Léa Drucker). When Julien and Esther share illicit moments in bed in the blue room, there is an erotic charge to the couple’s sweaty, naked bodies. In Julien and Delphine’s bedroom, there is a palpable frostiness as the couple settles down for bed. At the beach, Delphine playfully splashes and dunks Julien, but his reaction seems almost menacing. Perhaps he hates her — but does he really want to kill her? Or is the scene a red herring? Amalric teases out the answers in a dramatic, talky last act where the evidence is reviewed in the courtroom. The deaths of Nicholas and Delphine are suspicious, but they happen off-screen. (There is a terrific bit in which Delphine’s death is revealed through a series of police photos). This narrative approach encourages viewers to consider whether they are sympathetic to the lovers, who are mere victims of circumstance, or they believe the adulterers are instead cold-hearted killers. Amalric, as director, tries not to tip his hand, but a drop of blood-red plum jam on a computer and a shot of Delphine seen from a car’s
BLUE ROOM, continued on p.25
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Marriage Futility Gillian Flynn’s vision adapted, refracted in David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” BY STEVE ERICKSON
merica generally doesn’t reward female artists for misanthropy. That makes the success of Gillian Flynn’s novel “Gone Girl,” now adapted by the author into a script directed by David Fincher, all the more surprising.
GONE GIRL Directed by David Fincher 20th Century Fox Opens Oct. 3 citywide
BLUE ROOM, from p.24
| October 02 - 15, 2014
Ben Affleck, Patrick Fugit, David Clennon, Lisa Barnes, and Kim Dickens in by David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” based on the novel by Gillian Flynn.
Dunne (Ben Affleck) discovers that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing, possibly murdered, and he’s the prime suspect. Their relationship is sketched in from her perspective through diary entries, which flesh out their meeting in New York five years earlier and their initially happy marriage. Both writers, they lost their jobs and moved to New Carthage, Missouri, to take care of his sick mother. Although Amy is gone, she left behind a number of clues for Nick related to a game they always played about anniversary gifts. This time, though, they seem to offer hints about her disappearance. Aided by his sister,
the play of light and shadow on his face and naked body suggest desire — but also evil. Cléau, though not as prominent in the film as Amalric, also makes a strong impression. Signs of Esther — a red towel, those anonymous cards — crop up from time to time, reminding Julien of her, as though he could ever forget his passionate attachment to her. Some may find “The Blue Room” has an unnecessary artiness or staginess about it — with its portentous symbols or Julien’s goatee changing into a beard or a clean shaven chin to demarcate time. But this is a forceful and concise drama that is testimony to Amalric’s talents both in front of and behind the camera.
with whom he manages a bar, Nick makes some ill-advised public appearances at events aimed at motivating volunteers to find his wife. Critic Adam Nayman aptly described Flynn’s novel as “brilliant trash.” The Fincher film that combo best describes is his disposable remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” His work has roots in pulp, to be sure — his reputation dates back to his serial killer opus “Seven.” But his style has a chill and a polish lacking from Flynn’s. In “Gone Girl,” Fincher favors dim lighting and stat-
GONE GIRL continued on p.29
side view mirror provide nice visual touches. The filmmaker also uses dark brooding music when Julien and Delphine are on their beach holiday. But, again, the viewer will wonder whether they are reading too much into these details. The performances are so poker -faced, audiences will likely grasp onto any clues in their path. Amalric is fantastic as Julien. His blank expressions belie the intense concentration he brings to processing the unfolding situation. When Julien reacts to an anonymous card he receives in a pharmacy, it’s unclear whether the look on his face is one of guilt or he is simply stunned. In the hotel room,
But as popular as the novel is, it’s also proven quite divisive. While Flynn describes herself as a feminist and the book’s most memorable passage mocks the pressure on women to be “cool girls”, she depicts women lying about rape and domestic violence. Given recent news items about Ray Rice and other NFL players abusing their loved ones, this aspect of the film is bound to be even more controversial than it was in the book. Although her prose style is fairly crude, Flynn’s worldview is closer to Patricia Highsmith or even Jim Thompson than Gloria Steinem. All the same, if one can appreciate classic femme fatales — or modern updates like Sharon Stone’s character in “Basic Instinct” — and see them as images of feminine power and rebellion, the same can be done for their counterparts in Flynn’s work. Fincher’s sensibility, however, doesn’t cohere well with Flynn’s, even if she had a substantial amount of input into the film adaptation of “Gone Girl.” “Gone Girl” begins on July 5th, the day Nick
Mathieu Amalric and Stéphanie Cléau in Amalric’s “The Blue Room,” adapted from the Georges Simenon novel of the same name.
Trials of the One Percent Stories of privilege never change — for better or worse BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
ot much happens on the surface of “This is Our Youth,” Kenneth Lonergan’s 1996 play about three over-privileged and searching young people in 1982, now getting a solid revival on Broadway. What makes the play intriguing is its larger literary context — young people grappling with their place in a culture from which they feel somehow disenfranchised. The successors of Hemmingway’s “lost generation” between the World Wars and John Osborne’s “angry young man” of the 1950s, the three characters thrown together in a down-at-the-heels Upper West Side apartment are caught between
their secure childhoods — one of them brings his beloved toys when he leaves home — and adulthood for which they are unprepared. The three search for an authentic —or what they think is authentic — human experience, a journey at odds with the Reagan-era greed around them. Combine that conflict with keenly observed, if sometimes predictable, characters and you get an interesting study of alienated young adults. Dennis is living in the cheap apartment because his parents would rather have him live separately than with them. He makes do by dreaming big and dealing drugs. After a fight with his father, Warren, a prep school classmate, shows up at Dennis’ door with his
toy collection and $15,000 he’s stolen from his father. The men are later joined by Jessica, a girl Warren is smitten with but who he feels is out of his league. He successfully woos her with the stolen cash, and Warren and Dennis try to build on that stash in a drug deal, but it goes wrong. In the end, Jessica leaves, Warren is bereft, and things go on. The slight plot doesn’t really demand resolution. Under the direction of Anna D. Shapiro, the cast does an excellent job of bringing this world to life. Michael Cera as the nerdy War ren is superb. He is a present and focused actor who listens brilliantly and executes the physical comedy of the piece flawlessly. Kieran Culkin is outstanding as Dennis.
THIS IS OUR YOUTH Cort Theatre 138 W. 48th St. Tue., Thu., Sun.-Mon. at 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. $85-$135; telecharge.com Or 212-239-6240 Two hrs., 20 mins., with intermission
Even if the character’s bravado masking a deeper insecurity is a tired literary convention, Culkin is a live wire — consistently interesting and fully in command of his character’s nuances. Charming though less successful is Tavi Gevinson as Jessica. Like Culkin’s, her role is based in conventional issues — here, parental conflict, burgeoning sexuality, and a desire
OUR YOUTH, continued on p.27
Balls and Chains Adulterous Bergman film even more intense when translated to the stage SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE New York Theatre Workshop 79 E. Fourth St., btwn. Second & Third Aves. Through Oct. 26 Tue.-Fri. at 7 p.m.; Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 2 & 7 p.m. $75; nytw.org or 212-279-4200 Three and a half hrs., with intermission
Tina Benko and Arliss Howard in Ingmar Bergman’s “Scene from a Marriage,” directed by Ivo Van Hove.
BY DAVID KENNERLEY
hen “Scenes From a Marriage,” Ingmar Bergman’s lacerating TV miniseries about a marriage gone sour, premiered in Sweden 1973, that country’s divorce rate report-
edly doubled. The filmmaker even had to get an unlisted phone number to avoid the flood of calls from strangers seeking conjugal advice. Later, the series was condensed into a feature film for US release. Apparently, the Bergman classic was not searing enough for avant-garde director Ivo Van Hove. In adapting the work for the stage
(based on Emily Mann’s English translation), he conceived an ingenious, brash framework designed not just for maximum emotional punch but also maximum discomfort. The result is at once fascinating and excruciating. Be forewarned — the running time is three and one-half hours, which includes a halfhour intermission, during which you may wish to pound back a couple of glasses of Chardonnay or ditch the play altogether and rush home to watch something more cheery, like repeats of “Game of Thrones.” For Act I, the New York Theatre Workshop space has been reconfigured into three distinct mini-theaters, where audiences watch one of three half-hour scenes being staged simultaneously. After watching a scene, each group shuffles over to the next theater. The chronology of scenes depends on which group you happen to be in. This is the In-Your-Face School of Drama,
MARRIAGE, continued on p.27
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
OUR YOUTH, from p.26
Brooks Atkinson Theatre 256 W. 47th St. Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $52-$127; ticketmaster.com Or 800-745-3000 90 mins.
Once again, the Mint scores with a pitch-perfect, beautifully staged revival of a nearly for gotten play. George Kelly’s “The Fatal Weakness” tells the story of a proper middle class marriage torn apart by a husband’s infidelity. Illusions are shattered and a betrayed woman regains her sense of self in a way comparatively modern for 1946. “The Fatal Weakness” might have seemed
THE FATAL WEAKNESS The Mint Theater 311 W. 43rd St. Through Oct. 26 Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 2 p.m. $55; minttheater.org Or 866-811-4111 Two hrs., 30 mins., two intermissions
MARRIAGE, from p.26
where you may find yourself just inches away from the action. You’ll witness violent spats over whether to go to Marianne’s parents for regular Sunday dinner, whether to terminate a pregnancy, or whether the couple should split. Some poor theatergoers get sprayed when a glass of cognac is tossed in somebody’s face (don’t worry, it’s obviously just water). This daring production takes voyeurism and brutalism to whole new levels. Not only are we meant to hear the muffled shrieks and slammed doors seeping from the neighboring scenes, but each theater has windows into a common central chamber where the action from all the theaters spills over, so we can catch glimpses of the other scenes as well. It’s supremely creepy and harrowing, ratcheting up anxiety | October 02 - 15, 2014
for connection — and Gevinson’s overally strident performance lacks the complexity the other two actors bring to their characters. These three young adults are not sympathetic characters and, yet, they spark compassion. Lonergan effectively achieves a larger emotional truth about the universal struggle to accept adulthood and grow into maturity. That is not a new story in human experience, but it is one each of us lives.
Kieran Culkin and Michael Cera in Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth,” directed by Anna D. Shapiro.
scandalous and even cynical in that day, with Kelly getting in his digs at the chafing of matrimonial ties that bind, the scandal of divorce, and self-actualized women. With outstanding performances by Kristin Griffith, Cynthia Darlow, and Cliff Bemis, spot-on direction by Jesse Marchese, gorgeous costumes by Andrea Varga, and sets by Vicki R. Davis, this production is superb in every respect. It makes clear that when it comes to the human comedy, there’s not much new under the sun — but how delicious that comedy can be.
levels even further. And unlike other fiendish familial plays that are laced with comic relief — Neil LaBute’s wickedly wonderful “The Money Shot” comes to mind — there are scant moments of intentional levity. Most laughter is of the nervous variety. As you’ve probably figured out, three different pairs of actors play the beleaguered Johan and Marianne. That they look nothing like their counterparts and have wildly contrasting acting styles only adds to the intrigue (or bewilderment, depending on your taste). The strongest duo is Arliss Howard and T ina Benko, who triumph in a tricky scene. Johan announces he is fleeing to Paris with another woman, and instead of kicking him out, a shattered but hopeful Marianne dutifully
It’s difficult to imagine anyone under the age of 70 finding much relevance in A.R.Gurney’s “Love Letters.” This twee, epistolatory story charts the sometimes prickly, sometimes passionate relationship between Melissa and Andrew from grade school in the Depression to Melissa’s apparent suicide in the 1970s. The characters are obvious stereotypes of the privileged in the literary traditions of Fitzgerald,
brewed in NYC
43rd St. & Broadway
MARRIAGE, continued on p.32
John Knowles, and J.D. Salinger, which means they are woefully dated in 2014. The banality of their tribulations quickly wears thin as their shallow and predictable story arcs unfold. This is low impact theater, and Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow sit at a table and read the letters. Dennehy is desultory and seldom engages, while Farrow is excessively mannered and generically neurotic. Farrow and Dennehy will be followed over the next months by a string of stars on the brink of having their “sad last days” chronicled by the super market tabloids, however hale they might be in actuality. Still, if you want to ogle erstwhile celebrities for 90 minutes with impunity, by all means go. You can pick your poison, but obviously all I wanted was a poison pen.
UNION SQ. W
8th Ave. & 41th St.
5th Ave. & 34th St.
at 17th St.
43rd St. & Broadway
IN THE NOH
A Conversation With Carp MGM’s eternal Boy Next Door, a NY Film Fest miss, and Mankiewicz’s hits BY DAVID NOH
COURTESY: DAVID NOH
t age 88, Carlton Carpenter is one of the very last survivors of Hollywood’s Golden Age of musicals, specifically MGM Studio, which signed him to a seven-year contract in the late 1940s. Lean and lanky, he was a charmingly gawky presence in films like “Father of the Bride,” “Two Weeks with Love,” “Summer Stock,” and “Sky Full of Moon,” but also appeared extensively on the stage and live television, besides writing books and popular songs. An indefatigable workaholic, his occasional appearances at New York events always elicit excitement from the generations of fans who have never forgotten him. He’s wonderfully blessed with total recall, though he was caught up a bit short when I reminded him that he was featured on the cover of the Advocate way back in 1976, trumpeting his then daring move in coming out of the closet. “I did?,” Carpenter gasped. “Somebody must have asked me! I’d forgotten about that. This guy did a whole big piece about me and asked, and I said, ‘Of course, I slept with a lot of guys. [chuckles] And I won’t name names, a gentleman doesn’t tell about that.’” He was full of detailed memories in recounting his colorful life to me, which began in Bennington, Vermont : “Acting was all I ever wanted to do. My family supported my dreams and I worked constantly, from the age of four when a little girl and I sang ‘When You and I Were Young, Maggie’ at the Bennington Armory, for which we were paid a dollar, which we split. “I got my Equity card on January 3, 1944 and remember that day so well. I bussed from Bennington to Albany and then a train to New York City. I checked my bag at Grand Central Station, walked to the St. James Hotel, bought a trade paper for five cents, and went for lunch at Child’s — mac and cheese. “They were looking for 16-yearold boys for a play called ‘Bright
Carlton Carpenter with this writer earlier this year at the New York Theatre Company’s retrospective panel “Remembering Mary Martin.”
Boy’, so I went to this hotel on 44th Street to the top floor. It was really cold and I was wearing my heavy Christmas coat. I heard voices and opened the door to a room which was jammed with guys. A man with a clipboard said, ‘You’re too old,’ and I was headed out the door when this guy grabbed my coattail and said, ‘He told me that six months ago and I’m still reading for the part!’ Off came my coat, I scrunched down behind him and the others, and lit a cigarette. I waited 40 minutes before clipboard guy came over said, ‘Okay, you’re next.’ “I went in and there was a long table with the director, playwright, and David Merrick, a young lawyer from St. Louis who was associate producer. I read for five different roles and was handed the script and told to read it. That took about an hour and they asked me what I thought of it. I said, ‘It’s the best thing I ever read.’ They said, ‘We want you in the show but don’t know for which part. Could you come in at 10 a.m.?’ “I arrived early at the hotel the next day and they asked, ‘What part do you see yourself in?’ I said, ‘Shakespeare,’ the nickname of a tall, lanky blonde boy who wants to be actor. ‘So do we,’ and we all shook hands, I signed a contract for $57.50 a week and I headed for the Equity office.” On the strength of his appear-
ance in “Bright Boy” and his next show, “Career Angel,” Carpenter was offered movie contracts with three studios, MGM, Paramount, and Fox. “I loved the movies since I was a child, but all I really ever dreamed about was being onstage,” Carpenter recalled. He made his first big splash in “Two Weeks with Love”: “Debbie Reynolds and I had done ‘Three Little Words’ together — one scene, in which she played the boop-boop-adoop girl, Helen Kane. The studio liked the way we looked together and cast us in ‘Two Weeks.’ Originally we only sang in the ensemble numbers, ‘That’s How I Need You,’ and ‘The Oceania Roll,’ with Janie Powell. “We were rehearsing the latter number when I saw a pile of sheet music stacked up on the piano, turn of the century songs. I picked out ‘Aba Daba Honeymoon,’ for the monkeys on its cover, and called Debbie over. ‘Such fun! I love monkeys!,’ she said. A couple days later, I saw our producer Jack Cummings headed into the studio. I told the pianist, ‘Just start here,’ and said to Debbie, ‘Let’s just sing it as fast as we can.’ “So we did and in the middle of it, Cummings came over and said, ‘You know, that would be a good number for the two of you!’ ‘Really?!’ And that’s how that hap-
pened. It was financially best thing I ever did in my life. It became a bestseller record, immense, the first soundtrack record that went right to the top of the charts and stayed there, a number one hit for months. We each got $10,000 in royalties and Debbie built a pool in her back yard. It was not a very big plot, so you came out the back door and it was right there — where we all hung out. Debbie was terrific, we stay in touch all the time.” Carpenter was in Judy Garland’s final MGM film, “Summer Stock,” with Gene Kelly: “I adored her and she reminded me of Kaye Ballard, an old friend of mine, for whom I did material for her club act. Judy liked me a lot and invited me up to her place a lot. It was strange because she was kind of heavy but she lost a lot of weight for the ‘Get Happy’ number. I was on another film, but whenever I was off, I’d go and watch her do that number, which took several days to shoot. “In the film, I played a piano player, and every time she’d take a break, she’d sit on my piano stool and throw her arms around my back. Mr. Kelly did not like me. I have no idea why. He said, ‘You know, I saw you in New York. You’ll be a star on groceries alone,’ which is what I thought he said. But he was talking about gaucherie, always with a smile on his face. He was mean to Debbie too on ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ but it’s all past.” Carpenter’s personal favorite of his films is “Sky Full of Moon”: “It’s a marvelous little film, intimate and simple, like a foreign film, and I still get strange and wonderful letters about it, mostly from directors and people like that. Norman Foster, who was once married to Claudette Colbert, directed it, Jan Sterling played my girlfriend, and Keenan Wynn, and it was my first starring role. I played a young guy who goes to Las Vegas for the first time to be in the rodeo. I ran into William Inge at a party two years later and he said, ‘Thank you.’ “Why?,’ I asked. ‘You know, I loved that film and I actually used it as the basis for ‘Bus Stop.’
IN THE NOH, continued on p.31
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
THE CORNER OF HOLLYWOOD & WYCKOFF
On October 3, 7 p.m., the festival screens Kitty Green’s feature documentary “Ukraine is Not a Brothel,” which explores that nation’s newest feminist sensation, Femen, a group of women who bare their breasts in public protest against prevailing images of Ukrainian women as either brides for sale overseas or as commodities in the world’s sex tourism trade. Their activism has sparked the imagination of women elsewhere in Europe. (Cobra Club, 6 Wyckoff Ave. at Jefferson St.) On October 5, 12:30 p.m., Bruce Goodison’s British-made film “Leave to Remain” is screened — a feature drama about the difficulties facing a charismatic teenage Afghan asylum seeker in the UK, who must either tell his unbelievable truth or give authorities the story that will ensure he can stay. (Cobra Club, 6 Wyckoff Ave. at Jefferson St.)
GONE GIRL, from p.25
ic camera positions. (For much of the film, Nick gets up before the sun rises.) The director doesn’t have much of a feel for ordinary Midwestern middle-class life and tends to turn homes into furniture warehouses. When he gets to switch to a rich character’s man cave, the relief is palpable. The goriest scene is genuinely startling, but it feels like slumming in slasher movie territory. You’d have to blind to miss the way cable news fetishizes the disappearance of thin, pretty blonde girls and women — and mostly ignores those of everyone else. With an acidic edge, “Gone Girl” takes this on but offers up media satire so blunt that it overshoots the target. A woman approaches Nick, offers him a meal, and asks if she can take her photo with him. His answer ticks her off, and his “inappropriate” smile in the photo is dissected ad nauseam on cable news. “Gone Girl” captures the smugness and smarminess of such programs’ hosts, like Nancy Grace, and their conviction that they know who’s guilty even before | October 02 - 15, 2014
Also on October 5, 3 p.m., the festival screens Petter Ringbom’s feature documentary “Shield and Spear,” which tells the story of an artist whose caricature of South African President Jacob Zuma provokes a lawsuit, death threats, and a massive street protest. The film explores identity, art, race, and freedom of expression in South Africa two decades into its democratic life. (Cobra Club, 6 Wyckoff Ave. at Jefferson St.) On October 5, 2 p.m., one of the festival’s two programs of shorts includes Beyza Boyacioglu and Sebastian Diaz’s 21-minute “Toñita’s,” which tells the story of one of the last Puerto Rican social clubs in hipster haven Williamsburg — a refuge where Maria Toñita struggles to maintain Nuyorican culture against the devouring “growth machine.” (Radio Bushwick, 22 Wyckoff Ave. at Troutman St.)
BUSHWICK FILM FESTIVAL
Since 2007, the Bushwick Film Festival has provided opportunities to explore both domestic and international indie films as well as new media projects. This year’s edition, which runs October 2-5, screens 10 features and two programs of shorts that total another 15 titles. There are also panels, workshops, and, of course, a few parties. Though the website line-up does not highlight specific gay-themed films, a variety of screenings and other events explore timely topics of LGBT community interest including feminism and the role of women in the world, immigration, artistic expression, cultural work that contributes to social change, and the impact of gentrification on traditional social life in Brooklyn.
“Ukraine Is Not a Brothel,” the story of the street protest group Femen, screens on October 3 at 7 p.m.
On October 4, 1 p.m., “Conscious Filmmaking: Creators and Supporters of Stories That Change Us” is a panel discussion about how cinema can be harnessed to make positive change in society and in the world. Panelists include Marc Bicking, the founder and president of Epic Stone Productions, a media financing company; Vivianne Njoku, a Nigerian-born video artist who lives in Brooklyn and is director of cultural sustainability at Filmmakers Without Borders, which works to harness art, education, and technology in encouraging young people in cinema; Lisa Dent, director of resources and award programs at Creative Capital; and Laurel Gwizdak, the education director at Reel Works, a nonprofit filmmaking program that teaches documentary filmmaking to at-risk youth in Brooklyn. (Radio Bushwick, 22 Wyckoff Ave. at Troutman St.)
a trial has begun — in this case, before Amy’s body has been found. It’s getting at something real, but it’s so heavy-handed about it that it doesn’t seem much smarter than its targets. Part of the problem is that we don’t get to see enough of Nick’s hotshot lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) showing off his supposed brilliance at dealing with the media, although he appears on one brief TV segment and in a scene in which he coaches Nick before a TV interview. “Gone Girl” tells the story of two sociopaths, one of whom has good reason to be angry at male misbehavior, locked in marriage with each other, a fate they richly deserve. The film imagines its characters slightly further along in their lives than the book’s disappointing ending, but it’s not much more satisfying. Still, some of its strongest moments come in its final 20 minutes, especially a shocking burst of violence that makes one question the reliability of one character’s perspective. Maybe Flynn’s feminism runs deep after all: you’re not likely to see an American film paint such an ugly picture of the institution of marriage again any time soon.
Also at 1 p.m. on October 4, the festival presents a workshop on “Crowdfunding to Build Independence.” (Brooklyn Desks, 49 Wyckoff Ave. at Willoughby Ave.) True to its roots as a festival founded by female entrepreneurs, Bushwick also presents a “Women in Film and TV Panel & Reception” at noon on October 5. (Lightspace Studeios, 1115 Flushing Ave. near Varick Ave.)
For a complete guide to the Bushwick Film Festival and for tickets, visit bushwickfilmfestival.com. — Paul Schindler
15 to 19
All venues in Midtown, Manhattan.
Come to any session and get a complimentary glass of Dark Horse wine*! *You must be 21 or older.
New Starts Laura Kaminsky’s inspiring new opera; Met season begins
BY DAVID SHENGOLD
The Met’s “Figaro” will doubtless look and play better on HD. In-house on September 22, Richard Eyre’s direction was overbusy — staged overture, yawn; fussy crowd scenes with multiple extras confusingly dressed identically to Marlis Petersen’s winning Susanna; wedding photo, a trope to be banned immediately — shedding zero enlightenment on the drama. Precious little light, too, save for the Countess’ entrance (understandably tentative from 20-something debutante Amanda Majeski, a fine Mozart stylist with good line and appealing presence). Eyre’s team mired the stage in oppressive darkness, eliminating the needed sense of contrast between scenes and acts. A pre-World War II aesthetic prevailed, without adding much.
KEN HOWARD/METROPOLITAN OPERA
eptember brought good news to New York’s opera world. The American Opera Project premiered a fine new work of unusual interest to the LGBT community, Laura Kaminsky’s “As One.” And the Metropolitan, after bruising labor negotiations, opened on time, with an uneven new staging of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” and a star quality revival of “Macbeth.” “As One” had a brief run but will surely be back. The ongoing Met shows have upcoming HD showings this month — “Macbeth” on October 11 and “Figaro” on October 18. The song cycle-like chamber opera “As One” (September 7) brought to BAM Fisher the story of a male-to-female transsexual, designated as “Hannah before” and “Hannah after” played by baritone and mezzo. Gay playwright Mark Campbell and trans filmmaker Kimberly Reed’s well-considered libretto yields an iconic, unexceptional but satisfyingly articulated journey to self-acceptance. Kaminsky’s scoring ranges widely and is apt and compelling throughout. Of how many new operas can that be said? Ken Cazan’s inventive direction profited by fine leads. Kelly Markgraf — unafraid to play fey — offered forthright lyricism and proved commendably responsive throughout. Wondrous Sasha Cooke, a real centering force as an actress, showed a mezzo full of nuanced colors and articulate verbal phrasing. Lucky San Franciscans will hear her as Berlioz’s Anna this June. Under Steven Osgood’s fine direction, the Fry String Quartet played expertly and took active part in the staging. Reed’s ambitious video effects didn’t quite register but may play better if the show tours different venues, as it should. The message and the artistic content deserve wide exposure.
Amanda Majeski, Peter Mattei, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Marlis Petersen in Richard Eyre’s production of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.”
Peter Mattei’s Count ruled supreme: tall, sexy, adept at double-takes, dispensing phenomenal legato and seductive tone. Opposite him, Ildar Abdrazakov’s Figaro — while a quality bass and certainly handsome — emerged decent but unformed, not really projecting a fully rounded character. Petersen made “Deh, vieni” the needed highlight despite undermining by Eyre, who placed her prematurely in the Countess’ costume, as if he hadn’t grasped the plot’s mechanics — what if Figaro sees her? — and surrounded her with witnesses. Isabel Leonard looked and acted Cherubino splendidly. After an act her voice lost its intrusive vibrato on top and she sang well, but evidenced no memorable personal timbre. The comprimarios were disappointingly routine — in the case of Greg Fedderly’s camped Basilio, a nasty bit of minstrelsy that vocally evokes a provincial Dr. Blind, downright grating. Ying Fang’s lovely, promising Barbarina was the exception. James Levine attained his wonted shaping control only fitfully, the brilliant second act finale passed for little. Smooth orchestral playing was assured, but Levine’s retrograde taste in Mozart — no cadenzas, almost no decoration — sounds ever more limiting. But a merely quite good “Figaro” is its own musical reward. Mattei and Petersen’s performances alone merit the admission, and surely the whole show (this cast plays through October 25) will improve with repetition.
Two nights later, Adrian Noble’s 2007 “Macbeth” returned: a mixed bag, but as
fully shorter. With four genuine star singers, the result felt like more a world-class premiere than had “Figaro.” Rather than pumping adrenaline, Zeljko Lucic’s Macbeth starts so unheroic and recessive that his character has no downward arc to trace. Still, despite persistent flatness in the upper middle, he voiced much of Macbeth’s music compellingly. Despite occasional tonal overdrive, Anna Netrebko’s much-awaited first local Lady Macbeth was pretty damned impressive, with agility and power nicely balanced. Her Italian pronunciation is much improved, but she’s still rather outside the words. This plus Noble’s beyond-awkward blocking made for a vocally gorgeous but unmoving Sleepwalking Scene — no terror, no remorse. But the portrayal’s overall daring and accomplishment deserved warm applause. Luxury casting supplied Rene Pape (Banquo) and Joseph Calleja (Macduff): these one-aria roles need star vocalism and rarely get it. Pape typically began as if comatose, but sang extremely well. Calleja’s bright singing honored the memory of the late Carlo Bergonzi, the Met’s first Macduff in 1959: one could hear Calleja at every point. Would he could put more emotional investment in Macduff’s great aria, aced purely in vocal terms. Noah Baetge’s trenchant Malcolm and Claudia Waite’s stentorian ensemble high notes as the Lady-in-Waiting earned gratitude. The chorus sounded very strong, especially in Verdi’s searing — and unfortunately never outof-date — refugees’ chorus. Fabio Luisi took a swift, Donizettian view of the score and did handsomely by it. This worthwhile show plays through October 18.
often happens with revivals, some silly stuff — though not the protagonists’ floor-rolling — has been shelved and scene changes proved merci-
David Shengold (email@example.com) writes about opera for many venues. October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
IN THE NOH, from p.28
“I broke my MGM contract after I came back from a tour during the Korean War. [Gossip columnist] Louella Parsons liked me personally — every other day I was in her column. I was scheduled to do ‘The Loves of Dobie Gillis,’ a part that was written for me, but she said, ‘You’re not going to do that. You’re going to do ‘Take the High Ground,’ which had already been done forever, a basic Army training film. “Dore Schary had been hired as studio boss and there was a strange division between those with Schary ties and those loyal to [former MGM chief] Louis B. Mayer. I asked for a special meeting with Schary and was ushered into his office. Sitting across his big desk from him, I asked, ‘Why on earth would you take me out of ‘Dobie’, a film that I was assigned for, and put me in a war training film in which Edna May Oliver could have played my part?’ I still can’t believe I said that, but at any rate I got out of the contract, and ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ which would have been my next film. But I couldn’t have been happier and got cast in “John Murray Anderson’s Almanac” on Broadway.” I asked Carpenter if he was sexually out during those early years: “No, nobody ever even asked me. If they had, I would have told them. It didn’t make any difference to me. I slept with a lot of guys, God knows, but I slept with a lot of women, too. [Actress] Barbara Ruick and I wanted to get married. “But the gay thing never was an issue. I never thought about it and never had anything to fear from it. I never had a steady boyfriend then, only later on. I had a lover when I was back in New York, somebody I met in Chicago who built sets for ‘Mr. Roberts’ when I was doing it with Buddy Ebsen. We lived together for a while but I was working all the time and never really had any time for anything else.” Carpenter has cr eated his own rural utopia on five actors in upstate Warwick, in the Hudson Valley: “I’ve lived here for 45 years. I love it up here and I work constantly. I have written seven mystery novels, all still in print. I’ve also written songs like ‘Christmas | October 02 - 15, 2014
Eve,’ which was a huge hit when Billy Eckstine recorded it in back in the 1950s.”
The annual New York Film Festival (filmlinc.com/nyff2014) opened at Lincoln Center with probably the most misogynistic film (written by a woman, Gillian Flynn) to ever have that honor, David Fincher’s “Gone Girl.” Relentlessly dark and edgy, over-elaborate and over-extended, this film, featuring the most psychotic female lead in recent memory, takes up where many famous Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade film noir dames left off, but in a truly nasty, often stomach-turnOpen House | City and Country ing way. One can only shake one’s Wednesday, November 13, from 6-8pm head at the thought of so many Please visit www.cityandcountry.org for information people wanting to read the book and application materials. it’s based on and watch such lurid, 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 hateful garbage. Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade Far more rewarding is the festi- Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade val’s “Joseph L. Mankiewicz: The Essential Iconoclast,” which pays Wednesday, W e d n e s d aNovember y , N o v e m13, b efrom r 1 96-8pm , 6-8pm tribute to this writer/ director Wednesday, November 13, from 6-8pm whose best work represents the Please visit www.cityandcountry.org for information peak of Hollywood wit and style. materials. Please and visitapplication www.cityandcountry.org for information The essential “All About Eve” is, 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 and application materials. of course, his masterpiece, but “A Letter to Three Wives” (Oct. 7, 8 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 p.m. ; Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m.) is nearly as good, and there are lesser-known gems as well to discover. “The Late George Apley” (Oct. 6, 9 p.m.) is a gleamingly literate, deeply charming adaptation from John P. Marquand’s novel about Beacon Hill Brahmins, featuring Ronald Colman in his best screen performance. Now that DOMA has been repealed, Likewise, the exquisite Gene IT’S TIME TO REVISIT YOUR WILL. Tierney and a surprisingly sexy and dashing Rex Harrison (both ALL ASPECTS OF ESTATE PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION ridiculously Oscar-snubbed) have * Over 20 Years Of Experience * Reasonable Rates * Prompt Attention Given To Your File their finest onscreen moments in “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” (Oct. 3, MORDY MANDELL, ESQ. 340 Webster Ave., Suite #6J, Brooklyn, NY 11230 (718) 438-4219 6 p.m.), Mankiewicz’s most romantic film, with a superlative Ber nard Herrman score and brilliantly moody cinematography by that great glamour man, Charles Lang. “The Barefoot Contessa” (Oct. 6, 6 p.m.) is juicily entertaining trash, starring the unspeakably luscious Ava Gardner, and I may actually steel myself and put myself through all 192 minutes of Liz Taylor’s “Cleopatra” (Oct. 13, 1:30 p.m.), a film I have never watched in its entirety.
How a child learns to learn will impact his or her life forever.
a child learns learnwill will HowHow a child learns totolearn impact forever. impact his his or or herher lifelifeforever. Open House | City and Country
Open House | City and Country
TIME TO REVISIT YOUR WILL?
Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@ aol.com and check out his blog at http://nohway.wordpress.com.
Imagining a Different Art Discourse Wes Hempel revisits Neoclassical, High Renaissance eras with a queer eye BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN
George Billis Gallery 525 W. 26th St. Through Oct. 25 Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. georgebillis.com Or 212-645-2621
past that gets validated.” By choosing to present contemporary males as objects of desire in familiar looking art historical settings, Hempel wittily and romantically imagines an art discourse that never excluded the gay experience. In a time when this subject still has the ability to shock the unenlightened, Hempel’s paintings are not simply aesthetically stimulating, but serve as a poignant reminder that art — no matter how liberal its traditions are touted — has also had its cultural limitations. Stephanie Buhmann can be contacted via stephaniebuhmann.com.
OVERNIGHT, from p.24
for having consensual sex with a 16-year-old when he was 18. The whole family embraces Frank, even Reinke’s teenage daughters. The local paper finds out that the Overnighters program offers shelter to sex offenders and publishes their addresses, listing the church as one man’s home. In the wake of this exposure, its neighbors grow increasingly hostile and one of the church’s workers belatedly comes clean about his record, which winds up costing him his job. The film raises the question of how far Christian compassion should be extended and is honest about the price to be paid when peo-
MARRIAGE, from p.27
and lovingly packs her hubby’s suitcase as if he were going on a business trip. While Susannah Flood and the studly Alex Hurt are also compelling, Dallas Roberts and Roslyn Ruff have a tough time convincing us that Johan and Marianne ever had a connection. Also flummoxing is the unclear time period — one scene features
GEORGE BILLIS GALLERY
n a new exhibition at George Billis Gallery, Wes Hempel explores notions of masculinity by setting portraits of present-day men against backdrops that resemble paintings of the historical Neoclassical and High Renaissance era — Nicolas Poussin and Guido Reni frequently come to mind. Hempel’s work especially reflects his interest in masculine sexuality as it has been represented throughout art history. When studying works of the past in museums, Hempel found that as a gay man what was absent was the depiction of his own story: “…paintings of the Old Masters on the walls of museums like the Met, the Louvre, and Rijksmuseum still have a certain cache. They’re revered not just for their technique but because they enshrine our collective past experience. Of course, it’s a selected
Wes Hempel’s “Identity Question (study),” 2014, oil on canvas, 24 x 20 in.
ple decide you’ve gone too far. There’s a gay angle to “The Overnighters,” but discussing it would be a spoiler, as it’s not revealed until the last 15 minutes. That said, there are clues planted throughout that blossom in retrospect. The version of Christianity practiced by Concordia doesn’t outwardly condemn homosexuality, but it still leads its gays to talk of themselves as “broken” and speak in a stilted vocabulary of “same-sex attraction.” Positioning this narrative development so close to the film’s end completely changes one’s understanding of the story it tells and frankly feels a bit coy. I’d like to see its implications played out at greater length. When Bruce Springsteen sang “We Take
a rotary phone, an iPhone, and an e-cigarette. Each scene features precious music from the era of the Bergman film, like “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “The Windmills of Your Mind.” The nondescript wardrobe, of a somber palette, could have been purchased off the rack at Club Monaco. Those brave enough to return for Act II will find all walls removed to reveal a vast arena
Care of Our Own,” I figured he had to be at least partially ironic because America lets its poor fall through the cracks left and right. Just go for a long walk in Manhattan and count the number of times you get asked for change. In America, the Christian right has been successful at rebranding Christianity in its own image. Reinke was attempting to do something dif ferent, more akin to the true spirit of Jesus. He wound up finding his own reflection in the men he tried to help. If “The Overnighters” is accurate, Americans’ sense of community has been sacrificed to tabloid fearmongering. It’s a despairing look at how we got this way.
stage. Which is fitting because it features an extended sequence involving all three pairs simultaneously duking it out. The long-overdue fight is cathartic for the couple; for us, however, it’s harrowing. Not that “Scenes From a Marriage” doesn’t have something useful to say. It asks whether it’s really possible, or desirable, to live with the same person for a lifetime. It stresses the importance
of having the courage to voice grievances, speak your truth, and accept a love that’s imperfect. The electrifying, high-concept drama sharply articulates the myriad pitfalls of a rotten mar riage — malaise, bickering, stale sex, lies, cheating, and vindictiveness. Problem is, as we become numb to the bedlam and grow to despise these fickle, “emotional illiterates,” the ideas nearly get lost.
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
| October 02 - 15, 2014
yanked their funding for “indecency,” reprises some of her most searing performance work on the subject of AIDS, written and originally produced when medical treatment remained tragically ineffective. Her retrospective piece “Written in Sand” gets its world premiere at the Baruch College Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave., entrance on 25th St. Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 ($40 for the opening night benefit for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS) at SpinCycleNYC.com or 212-352-3101. Student & senior tickets at $20 available at the box office.
THEATER A Gertrude Stein One-Off at 100
Drifting on a Tennessee Williams Dream In “The Drift,” Justin Vivian Bond creates a new free-associative collage of spoken word and song inspired by Tennessee Williams’ novella “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone,” about a retired actress named Karen Stone who drifts from one space to another through couture, bed, or her own mind. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Oct. 2-3, 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 at joespub.com or 212-967-7555, and there’s a food & drink minimum for table service.
When the publisher and poet Donald Evans invited Gertrude Stein to send him a play for publication, she didn’t send a play, but “Tender Buttons,” a curious tripartate work of unclassifiable genre. Celebrating the centennial of the work’s publication, Van Reipen Collective presents the entire text in a five-hour spectacle performed in three parts — “Objects,” a dark comic Americana operetta for 12 performers directed by Gary Heidt (Oct. 2-5); “Rooms,” two women’s exploration of the psyche presented as series of rooms, directed by Cara Scarmack and Christopher Weston (Oct. 9-12); and “Food,” an absurdist dining room drama with music by Mark Tulk that explores the ways in which we turn people into objects, words into shapes, and food into dreams, directed by Niki Tulk (Oct. 16-19). Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m. Theater for the New City, 55 First Ave., btwn. E. Ninth & 10th Sts. Tickets are $15 at theaterforthenewcity.net or 212-254-1109.
Karen Finley’s AIDS Retrospective Karen Finley, winner of two Obies and two Bessies and one of the four National Endowment for the Arts grant recipients who sued in 1990 when Congress
PERFORMANCE The Champagne of Bottled Camp 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 is now open at Write Act Repertory Theatre, Times Square Arts Center, 300 W. 43rd St. Through Dec. 29: Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat.-Mon., 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $45 at brownpapertickets.com.
SAT.OCT.4 Queer Division on the Move! The Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, the bookstore and performance venue that earned its stripes on the Lower East Side, is on the move. To the West Village — at the LGBT Community Center.. To launch its new space, BGSQD welcomes Lady Quesa’Dilla (aka Alejandro Rodríguez), who presides over a grand opening featuring Original Cockette Rumi Missabu, visiting from San Francisco, as well as Stephen Boyer, Cristy C. Road,West Vargina, Dusty Shoulders, Max Steele, Mizz June, and DJ Jade Payne. 208 W. 13th St., Oct. 4, 7-10 p.m. Suggested donation of $10, but no one will be turned away. More information at BGSQD.com.
MON.OCT.6 BOOKS When Ninth Street Was Nirvana NIR ARIELI
Inspired by Leonard Bernstein, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Father Mychal Judge, and Matthew Shepard, the Edward Morgan Ballet + Players present “Mass for the Ballet,” presented in collaboration with the Goddard Riverside Youth Theatre, composer and singer Stan Satlin, and spoken word artist Debra Rapoport. Proceeds from the performances will benefit Goddard Riverside, a modern day settlement house that serves more than 17,000 people annually in the Upper West Side and West Harlem. Church of the Holy Apostles, 296 Ninth Ave. at 28th St. Oct. 3-4, 8 p.m.; Oct. 5, 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 at edwardmorganballet.org.
Revisiting the Sexual Revolution Dana Leslie Goldstein’s newest play, “Daughters of the Sexual Revolution,” is set in Westchester County in 1976 and swings back and forth between the households of two women who are in love. Joyce, 40, is having an affair with Judy, who is in her early 30s. Judy’s psychiatrist husband Liam tries to control her with Valium, while Joyce’s husband Ed, in his 50s, in an understanding guy who focuses on the couple’s college age daughter Stacia, a volatile and hotheaded girl discovering sex for the first time with classmate Simon. WorkShop Theater, 312 W. 36th St. Through Oct. 11: Thu., 7 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 3 p.m. Tickets are $18, $15 for students & seniors at workshoptheater.org or 866-811-4111.
Ballet for the Homeless
DANCE New Work From Jonathan Royse Windham Choreographer Jonathan Royse Windham’s “Creatures of Habit” — which features seven dancers with dynamic physicality who find themselves in an absurd, yet strangely familiar universe, in a story that draws its inspiration from slapstick comedy, children’s stories, game shows, and existential drama — receives its world premiere. Orignal music composed by Dan Kazemi. Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St., btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts. Oct. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16; $12 for students & seniors at dixonplace.org or 212-219-0736; $20 at the door.
Susan Sherman, playwright and founding editor of IKON magazine, celebrates the launch of her new book of short fiction, “Nirvana on Ninth Street,” stories of the East Village from its hey day as a center of boundary-busting creativity. Sherman is joined by her friend Hettie Jones (“How I Became Hettie Jones”). Bluestockings, 172 Allen St., btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts. Oct. 6, 7 p.m.
TUE.OCT.7 THEATER Before We Forgot How to Land on the Moon In Kathleen Warnock’s “The Further Adventures of...,” Maggie Day uncovers the story of Commander
TUE.OCT.7, continued on p.35
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
TUE.OCT.7, from p.34
NIGHTLIFE Monstrous Cocktober The Dworld Underwear Party retreats from the Fire Island autumn chill to the cozy confines of the Monster. Full dress is okay upstairs but downstairs, underwear only. 80 Grove St., Sheridan Sq. October 12, doors open at 10 p.m. $15 at dworld.us or $20 at the door.
FRI.OCT.10 COMEDY Gold Lament Judy Gold — whose Off-Broadway “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother” won a GLAAD Award and was a Drama Desk nominee — brings her stand-up comedy to the Baruch College Performing Arts Center. Gold promises to leave no stone unturned — her mom, her kids, growing older, and everything else that racks her nerves. 55 Lexington Ave., entrance on 25th St. Oct. 10, 8 p.m. Tickets are $27 at SpinCycleNYC. com or 212-352-3101.
SAT.OCT.18 COMMUNITY BGSQD.COM
Zoron and Prince Kal in the ‘50s sci-fi serial, “Atlantis, 1 Million Years BC,” and learns about the actors who portrayed them, Drake Darling and Frank Gallagher. Following their paths from a classic sci-fi show to the Internet age, she reveals hidden secrets, lost loves, and the things people couldn’t say then (and maybe even now?). Directed by Eric Chase and starring Tim Burke, Mark Finley, and Jamie Heinlein, “Further Adventures: gets an Emerging Artists Theatre one-nightonly production. TADA! Theater, 15 W. 28th St., second fl. Oct. 7, 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 at brownpapertickets.com/event/870859.
Sheridan Sq. Through Nov. 6: Thu., 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$50 at purplepass.com, and there’s a two-drink minimum.
SUN.OCT.12 BOOKS Bad Feminist, Good Writer
According to her publisher Harper, Roxane Gay’s new book of essays, “Bad Feminist,” is a roadmap to her “journey… as a woman... a funny and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are.” Her essays mix high and low with ease and style, and her active Twitter and Tumblr presences explore her black and queer feminist identities. Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, now at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Oct. 12, 7 p.m. More information at BGSQD.com.
Queer Color After the day’s New York Comic Con’s activities, LGBT writers Maria Burnham, Dylan Edwards, Jeff Krell, Amber Love, and Jennie Wood join together for a reception and reading. Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, now at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Oct. 10, 7 p.m. More information at BGSQD.com.
Black Lesbian Creativity Celebration As part of its 40th anniversary programming, the Lesbian Herstory Archives hosts Black Lesbian DIY Fest 2014, an all-day event that includes workshops and skill shares, the sale of zines, small press books, chapbooks, and posters by or about self-identified black lesbians, and a raffle with prizes from participating authors, artists, and sponsors. 484 14th St., btwn. Eighth Ave. & Prospect Park West, Park Slope. Oct. 18, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, including tabling at the festival, visit blacklesbiandiyfest.wordpress.com.
www.gaycitynews.nyc www.gaycitynews.nyc www.gaycitynews.nyc www.gaycitynews.nyc
BOOKS A Heart’s Vulnerability Kevin Scott Hall is the author of “A Quarter Inch from My Heart,” a memoir of an intense but troubled relationship. On the 20th anniversary of Hall’s stabbing in Midtown Manhattan — an event that also nearly pierced his heart — he will appear in conversation about his book with writer/ actor Ben Rimalower (“Patti Issues,” and “Bad With Money,” currently running through Nov. 6 at the Duplex.) Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, now at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Oct. 8, 7 p.m. More information at BGSQD.com. ALECMAPA.COM
THU.OCT.9 PERFORMANCE Hey, Big Spender In “Bad With Money,” Ben Rimalower — who previously explored his obsession with La LuPone with “Patti Issues,” to much acclaim — charts his sometimes hilarious, sometimes harrowing struggle to overcome his problem, or get rich trying. “People tend to be familiar now with alcohol and drug addiction — and I’ve got those, too,” Rimalower says. “But spending money I don’t have is really my drug of choice.” Aaron Mark directs. The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. S.,
| October 02 - 15, 2014
Manila, No Vanilla Alec Mapa, America’s Gaysian Sweetheart, returns to New York with a revival of “I Remember Mapa,” his comic journey as a gay Filipino American actor in film (“Connie and Carla”), television (“Ugly Betty”), and performing in the original Broadway cast of “M. Butterfly.” The Baruch College Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave., entrance on 25th St. Oct. 11, 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$50 at SpinCycleNYC.com or 212352-3101.
IT’S NOT OFTEN YOU GET TO HANG WITH THE GUYS, AND FEEL BETTER THE NEXT MORNING.
INTRODUCING THE PRESTON ROBERT TISCH CENTER FOR MEN’S HEALTH. 555 MADISON AVE. BETWEEN 55TH AND 56TH ST. Now, men have a state-of-the-art medical facility they can call their own, right here in the heart of Manhattan. The Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health provides men with access to NYU Langone specialists in cardiology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, urology, orthopedics/sports medicine, physical therapy and physiatry, dermatology, ear, nose and throat, mental health, plastic surgery, pulmonology, endocrinology, neurology, and radiology. Experience what it feels like to have your healthcare tailored specifically for you. To make an appointment with an NYU Langone doctor, call 646.754.2000. Visit nyulmc.org/menshealth
October 02 - 15, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc 7/16/14 5:12 PM