Sean Maloney Bucks GOP Trend 09
Rough Sex Gone Wrong Alibis? 06
Seth Rudetsky Drill Down 34
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FREE | VOLUME THIRTEEN, ISSUE TWENTY-THREE | NOVEMBER 13 - 26, 2014
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The gayborhood heads to the Liberty Bell
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The Lyp returns
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7/16/14 5:13 PM
After Four Appeals Marriage Court Wins, Sixth Circuit Upholds Same-Sex Bans Disagreement among circuit courts of appeals sets the stage for the Supreme Court to step in
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
GAY CITY NEWS
n a 2-1 ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown out decisions from district court judges in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee that found bans on same-sex marriage and recognition of out-of-state marriages there unconstitutional. In a November 6 decision written by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, the majority found that lower courts remain bound by a 1972 Supreme Court ruling that rejected a marriage equality case out of Minnesota for lack of a “substantial federal question” and that, in any event, such gay marriage bans have a rational basis that survives constitutional challenge. The Sixth Circuit’s action is contrary to recent rulings from the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and 10th Circuits, all of which upheld lower court rulings throwing out marriage bans elsewhere. The Supreme Court’s decision on October 6 to decline review of the rulings from the Fourth, Seventh, and 10th Circuits and the Ninth Circuit’s own ruling the following day expanded the marriage equality map from 19 states plus the District of Columbia to 32 states in total so far. Three more states, where legal proceedings continue, are also bound by those appellate rulings. The Sixth Circuit’s disagreement with the four other circuit courts of appeals makes it likely that the Supreme Court will take up the merits of the marriage equality issue in the term ending next June. In finding that the 1972 Minnesota precedent still applies, the Sixth Circuit ruling also flies in the face of nearly every federal court that has ruled on marriage equality since the 2013 Defense of Marriage Act decision by the Supreme Court. The DOMA ruling, in the eyes of most courts, makes clear that marriage equality does implicate a “substantial federal question.” If a majority of the Supreme Court felt otherwise, it certainly had the opportunity to accept review of the other appellate rul-
New Yorkers Joseph Vitale and Robert Talmas are among plaintiffs challenging Ohio’s ban on outof-state marriage recognition, having gone to court to ensure that both of their names appear on the birth certificate of their Cincinnati-born adopted son Cooper.
ings and summarily reverse them. On the question of whether marriage bans survive what is known as rational basis review — the least demanding form of judicial scrutiny that gives deference to the presumption that laws are rationally based — Sutton wrote, “A dose of humility makes us hesitant to condemn as unconstitutionally irrational a view of marriage shared not long ago by every society in the world, shared by most, if not all, of our ancestors, and shared still today by a significant number of the States.” Sutton finds two rationales that “meet this low bar.” The first is “that governments got into the business of defining marriage, and remain in the business of defining marriage, not to regulate love but to regulate sex, most especially the intended and unintended effects of male-female intercourse.” Marriage, then, is a rational response to the need to create incentives for couples who unintentionally have children — and same-sex couples do not have children in this way. This perspective, of course, ignores the harms that the children of same-sex couples may suffer as the result of their parents’ inability to marry, consequences that other circuits and the Sixth Circuit dissent emphasized. The second rationale Sutton credits is a state’s desire “to wait and see before changing a norm that our society (like all others) has
accepted for centuries.” Sutton also argues that recognizing a right of same-sex couples to marry “would create line-drawing problems of its own… If it is constitutionally irrational to stand by the man-woman definition of marriage, it must be constitutionally irrational to stand by the monogamous definition of marriage.” The majority found that marriage bans are not based in animus or prejudice, which the Supreme Court has found to be an unconstitutional basis for denying a right to a specific class of people. Voters were not enshrining prejudice when approving marriage referendums, Sutton wrote, they were merely codifying “a long-existing, widely held social norm already reflected in state law.” Turning to the argument that the Supreme Court has identified marriage as a fundamental right, for which restrictions must be examined using strict judicial scrutiny, Sutton argues that none of the rulings on that point — including the 1967 Loving decision that struck down bans on interracial marriage — contemplated any marriages other than those between one man and one woman. Here again, he refers to the issue of “line-drawing problems.” And he defines the plaintiffs’ aim as not seeking recognition of an existing right, but rather the creation of a new right. Sutton concluded his opinion by observing, “This case ultimately presents two ways to think
about change. One is whether the Supreme Court will constitutionalize a new definition of marriage to meet new policy views about the issue. The other is whether the Court will begin to undertake a different form of change — change in the way we as a country optimize the handling of efforts to address requests for new civil liberties… If the Court takes the second approach, is it not possible that the traditional arbiters of change — the people — will meet today’s challenge admirably and settle the issue in a productive way?” For Sutton, that second route is preferable. “When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers,” he wrote. “Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way. In her impassioned dissent, Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey wrote, “The majority sets up a false premise — that the question before us is ‘who should decide?’ — and leads us through a largely irrelevant discourse on democracy and federalism. In point of fact, the real issue before us concerns what is at stake in these six cases for the individual plaintiffs and their children, and what should be done about it.” Writing that the 1972 Minnesota precedent is essentially a “legal ‘dead’ letter,” Daughtrey was scornful of the majority’s finding that the need to address the problem of unintended procreation was a rational basis for existing marriage law in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, saying it reflected “the same tired argument” used by advocates for same-sex marriage bans everywhere. That argument, she pointed out at length, takes no account of the welfare of the intend-
SIXTH CIRCUIT, continued on p.5
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Marriage Rulings in West Virginia, Missouri Rebuke Sixth Circuit
Eighth Circuit catches up on having pro-equality rulings winding their way up for appeal BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
n November 7, one day after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected marriage equality claims fr om Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky, federal district courts in Missouri and West Virginia issued new gay marriage rulings. Chief US District Judge Robert C. Chambers of the Southern District of West Virginia granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in a case brought by Lambda Legal and the Tinney Law Firm. Senior US District Judge Ortrie D. Smith of the Western District of Missouri granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation. Missouri will appeal. West Virginia was already granting marriage licenses to samesex couples, in compliance with a ruling from the Fourth Circuit — which has jurisdiction over the state — that the Supreme Court has declined to review. The West Virginia ruling then was part of the mopping up process in that circuit. The Missouri decision staked out important new ground in the Eighth Circuit, where no feder al courts have yet ruled in favor of marriage equality. Chambers’ ruling in West Virginia was notable, however, for its pointed rebuttal to Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton’s opinion issued the previous day. First, focusing on Sutton’s assertion
SIXTH CIRCUIT, from p.4
ed children of same-sex couples, who number more than 200,000 according to expert testimony in one of the marriage cases she cited. And Daughtrey was dismissive of Sutton’s prescriptions to “let the people decide” and let the states “wait and see.” Finally, Daughtrey concluded that animus is at the heart of gay marriage bans, arriving at that finding not because the court can “divine individual malicious | November 13 - 26, 2014
about the purpose of marriage, Chambers wrote, “Denying marital status and its benefits to a couple that cannot procreate does nothing to further the original interest of regulating procreation and irrationally excludes the couple from the latter purpose of mar riage” — which he said even Sutton acknowledged was to “solemnize relationships characterized by love, affection, and commitment.” And responding to Sutton’s finding that states should be allowed to take a “wait and see” approach on gay marriage, Chambers wrote, “This approach, however, fails to recognize the role of courts in the democratic process. It is the duty of the judiciary to examine government action through the lens of the Constitution’s protection of individual freedom. Courts cannot avoid or deny this duty just because it arises during the contentious public debate that often accompanies the evolution of policy making throughout the states.” Smith’s Missouri decision is particularly significant because the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2006, rejected a challenge to Nebraska’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Smith concluded the issues at stake in the suit before him were different from those raised in 2006, making that precedent irrelevant. The 2006 plaintiffs argued that the anti-gay amendment unconstitutionally deprived them of equal access to the political process by locking a different-sex definition of marriage into the state constitution that trumped
any effort to win marriage in the legislature. They did not assert a federal constitutional right to marry, so the Eighth Circuit did not rule on that question, though it did offer the view that the amendment would survive such a challenge. Smith rejected the Sixth Circuit’s finding the previous day that it was bound by the Supreme Court’s 1972 decision to deny review of a ruling against marriage equality in Minnesota because no “substantial federal question” was at stake. In line with the conclusions of many other federal courts, he concluded that last year’s ruling in the Defense of Marriage Act case made that precedent moot. On the merits of the case, Smith found that the Missouri marriage ban violates the fundamental right to marry. The court was helped in this case by the defense that Missouri’s attorney general, Chris Koster, made in the case. He did not rely on the typical argument that marriage is all about channeling the procreation of otherwise irresponsible straight couples, but instead simply argued the ban is “rationally related” to the state’s interest “in promoting consistency, uniformity, and predictability.” Smith characterized this as a “circular argument” under which any regulation adopted by the state would be deemed rational, no matter how outlandish. “Merely prescribing a ‘followable’ rule does not demonstrate the rule’s constitutionality,” he wrote. Given that Smith concluded the ban violates a fundamental right,
the lack of any real justification proved fatal. He also found that the ban creates a “classification based on gender,” and any such classification requires heightened scrutiny, a demanding judicial standard the state could not meet. Smith felt constrained, however, to offer only limited relief, in the form of an order that the Jackson County recorder, Robert T. Kelly, as the named defendant, would be the only state official directed to issue marriage licenses. This seemed peculiar, since the case was originally filed in state court and then the state intervened as a defendant and had it removed to federal court. One would think that with the state as an intervenor defendant, Smith could make his order binding on all Missouri officials. Even though the state announced it would appeal, Koster, the attorney general, is not seeking a stay on Smith’s decision pending that appeal. (Koster had earlier declined to appeal a state court ruling mandating recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages but he is appealing one requiring that certain county clerks issue marriage licenses.) While marriage licenses are now being issued, at least in St. Louis and Kansas City, which is located in Jackson County, Missouri may become the state to argue the issue before the Eighth Circuit, unless a Supreme Court order comes down first. Both judges — Chambers and Smith — were appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton.
intent,” but rather because the bans are “based not upon relevant facts, but instead upon only a general, ephemeral distrust of, or discomfort with, a particular group.” Sutton was joined in his opinion by Judge Deborah Cook. Both were appointed to the court by President George W. Bush. Daughtrey was appointed by President Bill Clinton. After four circuit court appellate rulings upholding the right of same-sex couples to marry, the Supreme Court is now faced
with the opposing view. On several occasions, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said publicly that a circuit split is what will compel the high court to weigh in. The immediate question is how quickly the process to seek appeal by the plaintiff couples proceeds. If they are able to move expeditiously, the Supreme Court could hear the case in this term and render a final decision by June of next year. Chase Strangio, a staff attor ney at the American Civil Liberties’ LGBT Project, which represents
some of the plaintiffs in the cases before the court, said, “This decision is an outlier that’s incompatible with the 50 other rulings that uphold fairness for all families, as well as with the Supreme Court’s decision to let marriage equality rulings stand in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia…. We will be filing for Supreme Court review right away and hope that through this deeply disappointing ruling we will be able to bring a uniform rule of equality to the entire country.”
Facing Murder Rap, Defendant Blames Rough Sex Claims made in 2012 gay man’s death part of an emerging trend BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
sing a defense that appears to be growing more common in the killings of gay and transgender people, the two men who are accused of killing John Laubach may argue that the 57-year-old was accidentally choked to death during rough sex. “He payed for sex,” Edwin Faulkner, 32, wrote in a 2012 statement, which is filled with misspellings, he gave to police following the homicide. “He wanted to have sex, rough sex, excelation. So while I was choking him, letting go for him, to give air, suddenly he stopped breathing. I paniced, scared, because I have a record and was on parole. Tied him up with tape. Took the labtop and other things and left. My boyfriend did not know nothing about anything.” Faulkner and Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera, 34, are facing murder, kidnapping, and robbery charges in the killing. Laubach was found dead in his Chelsea apartment on March 2. He was bound and gagged. Faulkner called Laubach “Jack” and had known him for some time prior to the killing. In his
statement, Faulkner claims that the three of them were having sex in Laubach’s apartment when the older man died. “Jack liked rough sex, which included choking and asphyxiation,” Faulkner wrote. “While Jack was lying in front of me performing oral sex on Carlos, I was lying behind Jack, with Jack in a choke hold… After doing this for some time, Jack appeared to have stopped breathing.” In an admission that may harm the defense, Faulkner wrote that they panicked and decided to stage the scene after realizing that Laubach was dead. “I decided that we would tie Jack up and make it look like ‘kinky sex’ gone bad,” Faulkner wrote. The couple stole jewelry, a laptop, and Laubach’s ATM card and fled the apartment. They took a bus to Florida where they were arrested on March 15 of 2012. Gay City News found three other recent cases in which defendants claimed the gay or transgender victims they killed died from accidental choking during rough sex. In San Francisco this year, David Munoz Diaz was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, which has a maximum sentence of four
years in prison, in the 2011 choking death of Freddy Roberto Canul-Arguello. Diaz faced a murder charge in that case, according to the San Francisco Examiner. “David is a sweet kid who never meant to hurt anyone,” Alex Lilien, Diaz’ attorney, told the Examiner. “Freddy’s death was a terrible, tragic accident.” In 2012, a Manhattan jury found Davawn Robinson guilty of second-degree manslaughter, instead of murder, in the 2009 killing of Edgard Mercado. Robinson first claimed he was defending himself when he strangled Mercado then said the killing came during rough sex. His first trial ended with a hung jury. Sentenced to four to 15 years following his second trial, Robinson had his first parole hearing in 2013 and will have additional hearings every two years. If he cooperates with state prison rules, he is eligible for a conditional release in 2019. While a Brooklyn jury found Larry Davis guilty of murder in the 2010 choking death of Denise McCoy, who was called Richard McCoy in mainstream press reports, a state appeals court reduced that conviction to second-degree manslaughter this year and sent the case back to a Brook-
lyn judge for resentencing, saying that Davis acted “recklessly” but did not intend to kill McCoy. At his 2012 trial, Martin Goldberg, Davis’ attorney, told jurors that McCoy’s death came during rough sex. “You won’t be able to say with certainty that this was an intentional murder as opposed to kinky sex that went too far,” the Daily News quoted Goldberg saying. Davis is serving a 25-to-life sentence in the 2011 killing of his grandmother. After his arrest in that case, police linked his DNA to the McCoy homicide. Claims of accidental deaths during erotic asphyxiation are “generally rare,” Dr. Jason Graham, the deputy chief medical examiner, said during testimony at Robinson’s second trial for killing Mercado. At that time, Graham said he was aware of “a couple of case reports.” Graham supervised Laubach’s autopsy, which was performed by Dr. Jessica French in the medical examiner’s office, according to the arrest warrant for Faulkner and Martinez-Herrera. In that warrant, Graham is paraphrased saying, “The mechanism of death is asphyxiation consistent with tape ligature applied to the victim’s head and face causing airway obstruction.” That contradicts Faulkner’s assertion that it was his choking that caused Laubach’s death and that the older man was bound and gagged after he died.
Trans Victim of Brutal Assault Goes Home, Long Recovery Ahead Police release surveillance video of two suspects in Bushwick attack, but no arrests BY PAUL SCHINDLER
he 28-year -old victim of an October anti-LGBT hate crime in Bushwick has been released from the hospital but requires round-the-clock care at home while recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Kimball “Kimy” Hartman, a transgender woman, was attacked at about 11:20 p.m. on October 12 by a group of four men who shouted what police described as “antigay statements” while beating her with a plexiglass board. The incident took place outside 1250 Bush-
wick Avenue near Halsey Street. Hartman was originally taken to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens in critical condition and later transferred to the Bellevue Hospital Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit in Manhattan, from which she was released on November 3. According to a release from Kate Barnhart — executive director of New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth, where the victim has been a client — Hartman will require 24-hour supervision at home, while she is taking 10 medications and engaged in intensive outpatient brain rehabilitation. She will also need additional neurosurgery to replace a missing por-
tion of her skull. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Barnhart spoke with a gay man who was with Hartman at the time of her attack. The companion said the two were approached by four men who asked what they were doing on Bushwick Avenue.
According to Barnhart, when the men heard Hartman’s voice, they recognized that she is transgender and called her and her friend “faggots” and proceeded to punch and kick Hartman, as well as strike her with the plexiglass board. The assault is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force, and a surveillance video of two men suspected of being among the attackers has been released (tinyurl.com/nbzxhvm) but no arrests have been made. One of the suspects is described as “a male black, last seen wearing a gray sleeveless sweatshirt with the word
KIMY, continued on p.11
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
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GOP Wins New York Senate Majority Outright
Democrats fail in mission to flip control; LGBT advocates reassess the road away BY PAUL SCHINDLER
ith a popular governor headed for reelection, 2014 was supposed to be the year when Democrats could make gains in the State Senate sufficient to ensure they would be the governing party come January. It didn’t work out that way. Instead, Republicans on November 4 increased their share of seats from 29 to 32, just enough to guarantee outright control of the 63-member Senate. For the past two years, Republicans controlled the Senate only with the cooperation of the five-member Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), plus the vote of Brooklyn’s Simcha Felder, a staunch social conservative from the borough’s large Orthodox Jewish community. When that governing coalition failed once again to allow a vote on the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a transgender civil rights measure that has languished for almost a dozen years, LGBT advocates were among many groups hoping to see the Democrats improve their numbers in the Senate and woo the five IDC defectors back into their fold. Nathan Schaefer, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), acknowledged the task ahead on GENDA and other key LGBT rights initiatives has been complicated by last Tuesday night’s results. “It makes our job harder than it would have been with another result,” he told Gay City News. In a written release, the group said, “the pro-LGBT majority in the State Senate we had hoped for did not materialize.” Still, in light of the fact that the state’s gay rights law, hate crimes measure, and Marriage Equality Act were all passed while Republicans controlled the Senate, Schaefer, not surprisingly, noted, “We have a long track record of working on a nonpartisan basis here in New York.” During the campaign, as Democrats pushed for control, they contended with the fact that Senate districts have long been gerrymandered to favor Republicans. With the growing dominance of Democratic Party enrollment statewide, however, hopes were high that the institutional barriers erected could be swept away by pure demographic force. Through much of his four years in office, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who won reelection by a 13-point margin on November 4, seemed comfortable with Republicans running the Senate, but they did pose a major block to one of his key goals — the 10-point Women’s Equality Act. Then, as he was about to accept his party’s re-nomination this spring, the governor faced a potential revolt from the influential Working
New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican.
Families Party, which threatened to endorse Zephyr Teachout, a progressive law school professor. That possibility led to a brokered deal in which Cuomo committed to push to elect Democrats to the Senate. Shortly thereafter, the IDC announced it had reached agreement with the Democratic Conference to return to the party fold in January. None of that caucusing, however, amounted to much. Many Democrats and WFP members complained Cuomo did little personally to help out the State Senate push. In fact, he seemed more interested in ginning up a ballot line for the newly-created Women’s Equality Party. The effort, spearheaded by former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, was touted as a way to brand Senate Democratic candidates hoping to break through in tough races, though, in the end, only two, neither in tough races, garnered enough petition signatures to qualify for that line on the ballot. Instead, the push for the new ballot line was largely understood as Cuomo’s revenge against the Working Families Party for making him sweat. Diverting votes to a new third party threatened to deny the WFP the 50,000 votes in the governor’s contest it needs to stay on the statewide ballot in future elections. Many progressive Democrats, especially in New York City, rallied to the WFP’s side, and the party scored more than 100,000 votes, keeping its ballot line intact. The IDC, for its part, continued its intrigues right up to the election. Jeff Klein, the group’s leader who represents portions of the Bronx and Westchester County, hedged his bets the day before the election, telling WCNY Radio’s “Capitol Pressroom” that “a lot has changed” since the IDC agreed to rejoin the Democrats. He cited support that some Democratic senators gave to primary opponents who took runs, unsuccessfully, at him and his fellow IDC
member Tony Avella of Queens. Now that Republicans can claim a majority all on their own — without the help of either the IDC or Brooklyn’s Felder — it’s unclear if Klein has anywhere to go but back home to the Democrats, though he is still pushing for an IDC leadership role. But if Cuomo and the IDC didn’t really have their hearts in the push for a Democratic Senate majority, the party’s candidates had their own shortcomings. Three upstate incumbents — Terry Gipson, Ted O’Brien, and Cecilia Tkaczyk — lost their seats, two of them by double-digit margins. Democrats also failed to flip any of several Republican seats being vacated by incumbents. In Long Island, a possible pickup went out the window when the Democrat, David Denenberg, quit the campaign after his former law firm accused him of fraud amounting to $2 million. No Democrat took his place on the ballot. Only in the Buffalo area, did Democrats pick up a seat, with Marc Panepinto prevailing in a four-way race for the seat held by Mark Grisanti, who lost in September’s Republican primary but stayed in the race on the Independence Party line. Ironically, Panepinto won without the support of either Cuomo or LGBT advocates, all of whom felt a debt to Grisanti for his being one of only four Republicans to support the marriage equality bill when it passed in 2011. Cuomo and the Stonewall Democrats of Western New York stayed out of the race, and the Empire State Pride Agenda endorsed Grisanti. Senator Brad Hoylman, an out gay Manhattan Democrat who sponsors several LGBT-related bills, including one banning licensed mental health professionals from conducting sexual orientation conversion therapy on minor patients, said one factor that hurt Democratic candidates was heavy spending by independent expenditure groups, especially those focused on promoting charter schools, which he argued had an anti-New York City and an anti-immigrant flavor. Those ads, he said, particularly hurt incumbent Gipson and another upstate Democrat, Justin Wagner, who was contesting an open seat. The question ahead is what is to come of the LGBT community’s agenda — most prominently GENDA, but also the conversion therapy ban, an end to the state’s ban on surrogacy contracts and other family law reforms, and increased funding for social needs such as housing for homeless LGBT youth. Even with the participation of the IDC — all of whose members have endorsed GENDA and the conversion therapy ban — the Senate lead-
SENATE, continued on p.14
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
On GOP’s Night, Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney Prevails
New York’s first out gay member of Congress survives in tough reelection contest BY PAUL SCHINDLER
emocrat Sean Patrick Maloney, elected two years ago as New York State’s first openly gay member of Congress, won his reelection bid, in a hardfought and tight race against the one-term Republican he ousted in 2012. With 100 percent of the ballots counted in New York’s 18th Congressional District, Maloney had a 1.6 percent lead over former Representative Nan Hayworth. The margin between the two candidates was roughly 2,800 votes, and the tally was unofficial. Maloney claimed victory on Election Night, but Hayworth took time to review the results before conceding on the afternoon of November 5. In a Facebook post at about 2 p.m., Maloney wrote, “I just received a call from Dr. Hay-
worth conceding the race. I want to thank her and her supporters for that. We all need to come together now for the sake of the people we serve.” The district includes all of Rockland and Orange Counties to the northwest of the city and portions of Westchester and Dutchess Counties due north. Maloney prevailed in a very tough year for his party, where House Republicans made a double-digit gain in their majority, the Democrats lost control of the US Senate, and three Democratic congressional seats in New York State fell to the Republicans. Democratic incumbents Tim Bishop of Long Island and upstate’s Dan Maffei both failed in their reelection bids. Maloney ran, both this year and in 2012, as a “Clinton Democrat” — he worked at the White House during the former president’s second term and Hillary Clinton campaigned with him in
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents a Hudson Valley district upstate.
the contest’s final week — and on a range of issues he distanced himself from President Barack Obama in the rematch with Hayworth. He criticized the current administration over its handling of Ebola cases in the US, charged that federal oversight had led to “reckless”
utility rate increases imposed on the Hudson Valley, faulted Obama for failing to articulate a clear policy toward ISIS, and said he “voted against the president 44 percent of the time” on Obamacare, as much
MALONEY, continued on p.14
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At Last, An Inside Story Veteran of marriage battles in Massachusetts, New York, and at the 2012 ballot box tells some riveting tales
Marc Solomon, with his fist pumped highest in the air, joins other advocates in celebrating New York’s enactment of marriage equality in the 2011 LGBT Pride March in Manhattan.
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
s Marc Solomon tells it in “Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits — and Won,” New York’s state legislature was days from voting on marriage in 2011 when Brooklyn’s John Sampson, then the leader of the State Senate Democrats, nearly killed the legislation twice. With one day to go before the end of the legislative session, Sampson announced that five of his members would leave Albany to attend to various personal responsibilities. He backed down after Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened to publicly blame him for killing marriage. Then just minutes before the vote, Sampson demanded that nearly all of his conference, 23 out of 30 members, be allowed to speak on the Senate floor before that vote. That would have violated the deal made with Senate Republicans that limited the speeches to four, and Republicans would have pulled the bill. Sampson
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WINNING MARRIAGE: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits — and Won By Marc Solomon ForeEdge $27.95, 368 pages
backed down after Steve Cohen, a senior Cuomo aide, threatened to publicly blame Sampson for wrecking the marriage equality bill. Solomon’s book is filled with these sorts of fascinating details. He led much of the political organizing that stopped Mitt Romney, then the governor of Massachusetts, and his conservative allies from overturning a 2003 decision by that state’s highest court that allowed gay and lesbian couples to wed. This was the first successful marriage case since a 1993 Hawaii case. That earlier decision was overturned by Hawaii voters in 1998 when they amended their state constitution to effectively bar same-sex unions. The fight in Massachusetts a decade later was fierce. Following the Massachusetts victory, Solomon was a central player in the battle to win marriage in New York and in the 2012 ballot initiatives that enacted marriage in Maine, Maryland, and Washington and stopped a marriage ban in Minnesota. He was well placed to tell the inside story and he delivers. The book is fast paced and well written; it is an exciting read. The first 220 pages of this 368-page book are devoted to discussing the marriage fights in Massachusetts and New York. I followed marriage in New York closely so that was of greatest interest to me, though both stories are equally gripping. I was aware of only some of the private discussions and backroom deals that were part of winning marriage in New York. It appears that Solomon has delivered the entire story here.
In addition to the discussion of Sampson’s bungling, we learn what took took place in the Republican conference of the State Senate and the very difficult negotiations between the Cuomo administration and State Senate Republicans and Democrats. The chapters that follow those on Massachusetts and New York are less interesting, as Solomon discusses much that is already known. The tales on the ballot initiatives and President Barack Obama shifting to a pro-marriage position are less detailed and less exciting. But those chapters are still worth the read. While “Winning Marriage” is an important contribution to the history of the marriage movement, this book should not be mistaken for a history. Solomon is currently the national campaign director at Freedom to Marry — which was founded in 2003 by Evan Wolfson, a leading marriage proponent — and has championed same-sex marriage for more than a decade. Solomon’s book is dedicated to Wolfson and Mary Bonauto, the attorney at the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders who won the 2003 marriage case in Massachusetts. Solomon is a partisan. Anyone who wants to know how Romney and his allies fought or how the opponents of marriage in New York or any other state viewed the issue will have to look elsewhere. Solomon does offer some grudging praise for Frank Schubert, the political consultant who orchestrated the Prop 8 ballot initiative in California that reversed a State Supreme Court decision allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry there. Schubert was a “strong adversary,” Solomon wrote. Solomon’s partisanship is occasionally annoying. He is excessive in his praise for his allies. Describing Cuomo’s backing for marriage in New York in 2011, Solomon writes, “I could tell this operation was smart, disciplined, aggressive, and relentlessly dedicated to winning.” Relentless is an adjective that Solomon used unrelentingly in this book. That same year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a speech at Cooper Union in support of marriage. In “Winning Marriage,” Solomon described that speech as a “powerful public address on the cause.” I attended that event and can say that Bloomberg continued his longstanding practice of being uninspiring when reading from a text. The mayor was always at his best when speaking without a prepared speech. Being a partisan, Solomon never grapples with some of the difficult issues in the marriage movement. Millions of the dollars that have supported marriage equality have come from hedge fund billionaires who have done some ugly stuff with their money, including backing some anti-LGBT Republicans and attacking the economies of developing nations. The marriage movement, which is tightly controlled by lawyers, PR experts, and political consultants, has also presented a very narrow image of the community that has effectively silenced other voices and dissent. These discussions will have to come in some other book, but I can still strongly recommend “Winning Marriage.” November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
PREP AND THE MEDIA: NOVEMBER 20 FORUM The question of whether to use pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP — regular drug treatment aimed at preventing transmission of the HIV virus — faces all HIV-negative, sexually active people, but especially gay and bisexual men who are outside of a monogamous relationship. The National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association, in partnership with Gay Men’s Health Crisis, will host a public forum on PrEP and how good a job the media is doing exploring the pluses and minuses of this therapeutic breakthrough.
The panel’s participants are: • Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, assistant health commissioner, NYC Bureau of HIV/ AIDS Prevention and Control
KIMY, from p.6
‘Freedom’ on it, along with a dark long sleeve shirt, gray sweatpants, white sneakers, and ski cap.” A second suspect is described as “a male black with close cut hair, last seen wearing a blue Nike hooded sweatshirt with blue sweatpants.” The other two suspects are also described as black men. An online fundraiser has been set up to help Hartman cover her expenses while she recovers. The fundraiser can be accessed at gofundme.com/gky85k. A crowd of activists joined Hartman’s friends and family at a rally at the site of the attack on October 14. he October 12 attack was at least the second recent anti-LGBT bias incident in Bushwick. Three men have been indicted in connection with the shooting of a 22-yearold gay man on September 27 at about 7 a.m. on Broadway near Putnam Avenue. The victim and several friends, who according to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Anti-Violence Project identify as gay men, were dressed in women’s clothing when they were approached by three men who yelled, “Y’all faggots, trannies, men dressed like women, drag queens.” When the victim and his friends tried to leave, he was shot in the buttocks. After treatment at Brookdale Hospital, he was released. (Some news reports have referred to the victim and his friends as “transgender women,” though Gay City News cannot | November 13 - 26, 2014
• Anthony Hayes, managing director of public affairs and policy, GMHC • Tim Murphy, freelance writer, New York Magazine • Mathew Rodriguez, community editor, TheBody.com • Benjamin Ryan, editor-at-large, POZ Magazine • Vaughn Taylor-Akutagawa, executive director, Gay Men of African Descent The panel, moderated by Paul Schindler, Gay City News’ editor-in-chief, takes place on Thursday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m., in GMHC’s Peter Krueger dining room, 446 West 33rd Street. Details are on the PrEP Panel page on Facebook. independently confirm that characterization, which differs from official accounts.) While one media source identified the victim by name, at this point Gay City News is not doing so. Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson appeared in Bushwick on October 28 to announce that the alleged shooter, 20-year-old Matthew Smith, had been indicted on 13 charges, including second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, first-degree assault as a hate crime, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted on the top charge, Smith would face up to 25 years in prison. Cody Sigue, 22, and Tavon Johnson, 17, were indicted on multiple charges, including third-degree menacing as a hate crime, for which they could face up to a year in jail. “In Brooklyn, everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or sexual identity, must be treated with dignity, and respect,” said Thompson. “I wanted to personally visit Bushwick today because in addition to being distressed about this attack, just two weeks later, on October 12, 2014, there was another hate crime perpetrated against a member of the LGBTQ community. In that exceptionally vicious attack, a 28-year-old transgender woman, who was walking on Bushwick Avenue near Halsey Street with a gay male friend, was punched and kicked and then struck in the head by a piece of plexiglass one of the suspects threw at her.”
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Next July 4th, the Gayborhood Heads to the Liberty Bell
Philadelphia plans 50th anniversary celebration of 1965-1969 gay rights pickets at Independence Hall
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
The commemorative marker that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission placed across the street from Independence Hall in 2005.
GAY PIONEERS/ EQUALITY FORUM
n New York City, we hold the Stonewall Riots dear as the definitive marker for the start of the modern LGBT rights movement. And it’s fair to say that most gay folks share that assessment — as does the world generally. But Stonewall wasn’t the first occasion in which LGBT Americans asserted their visibility and their defiance of the status quo. In 1964, New York activists protested the exclusion of gays from the military at a Lower Manhattan induction center. The following year, a group gathered outside the United Nations to shine a light on Cuba’s policy of detaining gays in work camps. Gay street hustlers, drag queens, and transgender San Franciscans fought back in 1966 when police raided an all-night diner they frequented in that city’s Tenderloin district. The same year, several activists staged a “sip-in” at Julius’ Bar — the West Village haunt long a watering hole for discreet gay men — openly declaring they were gay to protest State Liquor Authority policy that forbade bars from serving alcohol to homosexuals. No public effort at visibility pre-Stonewall, however, had the same level of organization and strategic thinking as did a series of demonstrations, held on July 4th every year from 1965 through 1969, in front of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Those events, called Annual Reminders, will be commemorated in a four-day 50th anniversary celebration July 2-5 of next year. In a November 6 press conference, Equality Forum, which produces a week-long LGBT Pride program each May in Philadelphia, was joined by Mayor Michael Nutter and Visit Philly, the city’s leading tourism bureau, to announce the events, which are focused around a July 4th mid-day mass celebration on Independence Mall, where the Hall and the Liberty Bell are located. Planning for the inaugural Annual Reminder, in 1965, brought together some of the earliest gay and lesbian organizers not only
Marchers in the Annual Reminder outside Independence Hall.
from Philadelphia but from New York and Washington, as well. Philadelphians Barbara Gittings and her partner, the photojournalist Kay Tobin Lahusen (the couple were together 46 years until Gittings’ death in 2007), had worked for more than half a dozen years with the Daughters of Bilitis, a pioneering lesbian group, and for a time produced its magazine, the Ladder. Frank Kameny, whose case against the US Army for his firing from a job as an astronomer went to the Supreme Court in 1961, and Jack Nichols were co-founders of the DC chapter of the Mattachine Society, an early “homophile” organization. New Yorkers in the mix included Randy Wicker, who was engaged in the early protests here and, in 1964, became the first undisguised, openly gay person to appear on broadcast television, and Craig Rodwell, who would go on to found the West Village’s Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop. The first Annual Reminder drew roughly 40 people, one of whom, John James, in a recent interview with Jen Colletta of the Philadelphia
Gay News, recalled that his apprehensions about being publicly gay in such fashion proved unfounded. “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.” The lack of a blowback may have had something to do with the fact that Annual Reminders had nothing of the countercultural flavor that Stonewall and the earliest Gay Pride marches that followed would exhibit. At Kameny’s insistence, men wore ties, and some jackets as well, while the women were required to wear dresses. The image projected was that of clean-cut, carefully groomed, law-abiding citizens exercising their free speech rights — even if their signs were perhaps startling for the day: “Homosexuals should be judged as individuals” and “Homosexual civil rights.” The final Annual Reminder took place just a week after Stonewall, which is fitting since the tenor of the times had already changed dramatically from 1965. By June 1970, when New York held its first annual
commemoration of Stonewall, gay rights was already becoming a mass movement, where sexual liberation and individual expression took precedence over a disciplined display of earnest civil rights appeals. That’s not to say that the annual Philadelphia event and its organizers have been forgotten. Rodwell remained an influential figure in New York as Oscar Wilde’s owner until his death in 1993, and Wicker has never retreated from his activist spirit. In 2009, two years before his death, Kameny, whose DC home is now on the National Register of Historic Places, received an official government apology and stood behind President Barack Obama when he signed an executive order giving same-sex partners of federal employees benefits. Obama gave Kameny one of the signing pens. In Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, in 2005, placed a commemorative plaque honoring the Annual Reminders directly across the street from Independence Hall. Barbara Gittings, whose papers are housed at the New York Public Library, has been honored with a street in her name in Philadelphia, her long time home. In 2004, Equality Forum in partnership with WHYY, Philadelphia’s PBS affiliate, released “Gay Pioneers,” a documentary directed by Glenn Holsten that included archival footage of the Annual Reminders, recent interviews with their organiz-
PHILADELPHIA, continued on p.14
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
| November 13 - 26, 2014
SENATE, from p.8
ership in the past two years was unwilling to allow floor votes. It’s unclear how Republicans, with full control of the chamber, can be convinced to move any of these issues. Advocates certainly will turn to the newly reelected governor to press their demands for action. ESPA’s Schaefer said no specific strategy is in place yet. “We were focused on the elections to see what we would be dealing with in January,” he said. Despite the group’s disappointment that “many friends of the LGBT community lost their races,” Schaefer insisted, “There are a lot of new faces that we’ve not engaged with yet, and there is an opportunity to work with them.” ESPA is full cognizant, however, that Cuomo will need to play a lead role if the community’s issue are to get action. “We’re really going to be working with the governor to move those bills,” Schaefer said, pointing to recent endorsements Cuomo made of both GENDA and the conversion therapy ban.
MALONEY, from p.9
as any Democrat. Those votes as well as a series of votes on which he sided with Republicans during last fall’s government shutdown sparked criticism from some New York progressives who had backed him in 2012. However, groups that voiced displeasure at the time in comments to Gay City News — including the Working Families Party and the United Auto Workers — stood with the 48-year -old Maloney in his reelection campaign. Though the battle between Maloney and Hayworth was spirited, debates between the two candidates varied little from the template carved out two years ago. Hayworth again voiced a fundamental distrust of government’s role in many aspects of the economy — especially health care — and charged that Democrats force “an agenda of burdens” on taxpayers.
Maloney reprised attacks on Hayworth for her ties to Tea Party elements in the Republican Party, whom she courted openly in her initial 2010 campaign. With strong support from women’s groups and choice advocates, the Democrat tied his opponent to efforts by “the House Tea Party leadership” to defund Planned Parenthood. Maloney’s efforts for the women’s vote were aided by Hayworth’s opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to strengthen existing law barring wage differentials between men and women doing the same job. In at least one debate this year, the two candidates sparred fiercely over the question of marriage equality. Appearing before the Poughkeepsie Journal editorial board. Hayworth, who has an out gay son, noted that New York allows same-sex couples to marry and, with the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act, those marriages are now recognized by
PHILADELPHIA, from p.12
Diane Savino, a Staten Island member of the IDC, has long been a strong LGBT advocate in the Senate, and Jesse Hamilton, a Democrat who won an open seat in Brooklyn, might join the IDC as well, where he could also push gay issues. Even if the IDC were welcomed into a coalition with the GOP, however, Czaczkes acknowledged their input would likely be diluted compared to the past legislative session, when their votes were needed to maintain the majority. Hoylman agreed that the IDC might try to stay in coalition with the Republican majority but agreed with Czaczkes that their leverage in such an arrangement would be less than it had been in the last session. The afternoon after the national Democratic drubbing, Hoylman sounded weary but insisted, “It’s not all lost… Not all our issues are on ice.” “I can see a bill like GENDA moving if there’s political muscle behind it and if leaders are willing to make it a priority,” he said. Pressed on whether that political muscle had to come from Cuomo, Hoylman agreed the governor is important but was unwilling to put the bulk of the onus there.
the federal government. However, she also said, “The federal government should not impose a definition of marriage on the states,” even while arguing that states should honor all legal marriages from other states. She did not clarify how to square the lack of a federal constitutional right to marry with her view of interstate mar riage recognition. Maloney shot back, “How dare you say that you respect our marriage and wish us well but if we go down to Alabama you’re okay that they discriminate against us? If you are going to represent the State of New York, you have to come to terms with the fact that you are treating my family as less than your own.” Another gay congressional candidate in New York fared considerably worse than Maloney. Democrat Sean Eldridge, an investor and activist, lost in his bid to represent New York’s 19th Congressional
works are planned for July 3 and 4. “The 50th Anniversary is an inclusive celebration, said Equality Forum’s Malcolm Lazin, who will chair the event. “It will reflect the leadership and diversity of the LGBT civil rights movement. The organizing committee has solicited advice from grassroots to national organizations and will highlight movement leadership throughout the celebration.” For more information on the July 2-5, 2015 events, visit LGBT50th.org.
District, in a decisive defeat at the hands of incumbent Republican Chris Gibson. With 100 percent of the vote in, Gibson had bested Eldridge by a 65-35 margin. A first time candidate at 28, Eldridge, who is married to Facebook co-founder and New Republic publisher Chris Hughes, has lived in the district for less than two years. District 19 lies just north of Maloney’s district. The results demonstrate that Eldridge failed to make the case that the incumbent’s record was too harshly conservative for the district. Three weeks ago, Metro Weekly, a Washington LGBT newspaper, reported that Gibson, who is a sponsor of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, endorsed attaching the measure to the budget’s defense authorization bill. In several debates in the 18th District, Maloney, emphasizing his success at bipartisan initiatives, talked about working with Gibson on a number of issues.
ers, including Gittings and Kameny, and highlights of FBI investigative files on some of them obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Next year’s four-day celebration will include panels on topics such as law and politics on July 2, a screening of “Gay Pioneers” and a party on Independence Mall on July 3, the main event plus a concert there on July 4, and a street festival in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood on July 5. Fire-
Melissa Sklarz, a transgender activist, former president of the Stonewall Democrats of New York City, and an ESPA board member, also pointed to Cuomo as the key player moving forward. “I hope, as a transgender New Yorker, that he uses political leadership on the issue,” she said, emphasizing she was speaking on her own behalf. “Transgender New Yorkers will need the help of the governor in getting GENDA passed.” Noting she met last year with Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was “polite and respectful” as they discussed GENDA, Sklarz said she has “no idea about the relationship between Cuomo and the Republican leadership” in the Senate. Michael Czaczkes, president of Brooklyn’s Lambda Independent Democrats, called on Cuomo to put the sort of capital he used in making marriage equality the law into passing GENDA. Czaczkes also suggested the IDC might try to keep their relationship with the Republican Senate leadership, even though the GOP can control the chamber without their help. He noted that
Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny in 2005. November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
| November 13 - 26, 2014
PERSPECTIVE: Media Circus
In Your Face, Down Your Throat
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et this: “At this point, only the most deceived or grossly uninformed among us do not realize that a devilish enemy regime has taken over our nation. Under Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) we have seen unprecedented lawlessness from the executive branch of the federal government.” So writes Renew America’s Gina Miller, who wins the Dumbbell Prize in Idiocy for the parenthetical remark alone. She continues: “Perhaps the most diabolical advancement of Obama’s tyrannical, anti-American agenda is in the area of the radical homosexual movement. From militant homosexual activists, we have seen a full-frontal assault on the rights of Christians and others who oppose the campaign to force on America the acceptance of special ‘rights’ for sexual deviants and the destruction of the definition of marriage. We have seen Obama load his administration with open homosexuals. He has appointed them to federal courts. He has overseen the repeal of the prohibition on homosexuals openly serving in our military. He has used his Justice Department to ignore federal law that correctly defined marriage.
Under Obama, the activists in the radical homosexual movement have become emboldened, drunk on their metastasizing power to crush the rights of the right-thinking people of America. “Examples of legal assaults against Christian business owners are piling up faster than ever before, and the most brazen to date occurred last week against pastors in Houston, Texas. The story has been everywhere, as is the outrage of the American people, that city attorneys under the in-your-face homosexual Democrat Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, demanded that local pastors turn over their sermons that relate to the detestable ‘Bathroom Bill’ shoved down the throats of the city’s residents.” There is something clinical about the crank right’s all-but-instinctive use of the expression “shoved down our throats” in regard to LGBT rights. It’s particularly amusing when the subject is bathroom activities, conjuring as it does images of tea rooms and glory holes, grandly tumescent penises and gratefully gagging supplicants, all of which enjoy pride of place in the fascist unconscious. Notable, too, is Miller’s description of the lesbian mayor Parker as an “in-your-face homosexual.” What with the “full-frontal assault” on her values, what deep in her psyche is Miller imagining Parker thrusting in
her face? I’m guessing it’s not a copy of Houston’s new civil rights law. To bring you up to speed, the so-called “Bathroom Bill” was a section of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which passed the City Council and was signed into law by Mayor Parker back in May. While the bill was being discussed before passage, the perennially hostile and self-promoting former pastor Mike Huckabee — a man of whole cloth — faced with the terrifying prospect of transgender people in school bathrooms and locker rooms, immediately adopted a “Porky’s” mindset with this prurient observation: “If a boy walks in and says, ‘You know what? I really am feeling my girl’s side,’ he gets to go shower with the girls when he’s 14. I mean, I’m just thinking of all the 14-year-old boys I went to school with and how many of them would have awakened with that revelation.” Of course Huckabee leaves himself out of his own lurid fantasy. In point of fact, the offending clause was deleted from the bill’s final version, but cranks like Miller and Huckabee are still braying about it. The expunged clause read: “(b) It shall be unlawful for any place of public accommodation or any employee or agent thereof to deny any person entry
MEDIA CIRCUS, continued on p.20
PERSPECTIVE: The Long View
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he city’s new marijuana policy is a good thing, but it is probably best thought of as just a chapter in a book not yet completed. Donna Lieberman cut to the nub. “New Yorkers need to know if the NYPD is finally ending its marijuana crusade” or simply “shifting tactics,” the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties observed in a wait-andsee Daily News op ed. First, give credit to Mayor Bill de Blasio. After Queens College sociology
professor Harry Levine let the cat out of the bag with his report that marijuana arrests had increased since he took office, that New York’s police had in fact stepped up enforcement, the mayor was faced with a credibility problem given his campaign promises of last year. An out gay freshman City Council member from the Bronx, Ritchie Torres, got the ball rolling on a sign-in letter from his colleagues demanding a change in policy. The mayor stepped up, keeping his word and telling the police, “No more.” That’s more than Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg did when confronted with the same basic
picture: people of color committed a crime when holding marijuana, while white people didn’t get caught. The two former mayors resisted change for 20 years. De Blasio made a major change happen in his first year. It has taken years to drive home into the public’s consciousness the disparities created by marijuana arrests, but editorial writers have of late been calling for action. The mayor pushed and a long-standing house of cards fell. The police agreed they should no longer make a criminal case for marijuana possession. Sunday’s New York Times, in a remarkably savvy article, laid out the advantages and the pitfalls in these first steps. One of its revelations involved the stellar results achieved recently by Brooklyn’s new district
MARIJUANA, continued on p.18
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
PERSPECTIVE: A Dyke Abroad
Democratic Armageddon and Post-Everything America BY KELLY COGSWELL
he Democrats really got clobbered this mid-ter m. And all the progressives are wailing and gnashing their teeth. Still, we at least have a Democratic president for another two years, so it could be worse. And maybe it will be next election. The Republicans will probably keep the House and Senate and maybe even install Ted Cruz in the White House. Or why not my boy, Rand Paul? It was mostly their own fault. Democrats ran as fast and as far as they could from the Obama administration and his disturbingly good record on the economy, employment, health care, same-sex marriage evolution, and keeping promises to withdraw from war zones. I have a big problem with his record on civil liberties, domestic spying, Guantanamo, and his refusal to arrest US war criminals, but I won’t quibble since even most lefties aren’t as obsessed with that stuff. What Democrats were trying to avoid was contamination by proxy. Attacked for every reason under the sun, Obama has failed — or hasn’t bothered? — to create a narrative of success. He’s effectively decried as illegitimate, no matter that his white Republican prede-
cessor, George W. Bush, actually stole his own election. No, let’s impeach Obama for everything from the sheer nerve of his candidacy to the occasional executive order (something Bush used recklessly without qualm) and his use of force (though Bush invaded several countries and started several wars). No, Obama is entitled to do nothing except say, “Yessuh” to his betters instead of believing himself president. How dare he wear a black face in the very White House? That is really the crux of the matter. And it calls to mind that phrase we heard all the time in 2008 — post-racial. It was a nice idea, real wishful thinking, having a post-racial country. That was also post-feminist and nearly post-gay. Elect the African-American guy and all our racial woes are suddenly over. Finally, a chance to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” after all the episodes of police brutality, racist murders from Bensonhurst to Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo. Except we’re never post-anything. Sure, Obama’s election was a sign of progress, but by itself it wasn’t going to unravel the legacy of slavery. If anything, the backlash against Obama has clarified how racism and the institution of white supremacy snake their way through our society. We see it in housing
policy, elections, employment, and the police departments out there in Missouri rounding up their rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse people protesting the grand jury verdict in Ferguson where, in case you didn’t notice, another white cop shot another young black male. We don’t even mention the dead black women. Or raped women. Because that happens so often it’s not worth a few words. We have the same struggle with race in the LGBT community. Composed of all segments of the general public, we have the same racism, classism, misogyny, even homo- and trans-phobia. Our national (and local) institutions are usually pretty pale, pretty male in the leadership area. We ignore the poorer, browner parts of our communities, privileging the East and West Coasts. I welcomed the news a couple months ago that the Human Rights Campaign was going to invest a cool $8 million in a program down South. So far they’re saying the right things about reaching out to local activists already in the field and grappling with related questions of racial and economic justice. But will preliminary “conversations” really turn into real partnerships? I’d like to hope so. At any rate, us queers in New York should pay attention and
avoid believing we’ve got it made now that most of us can finally marry and we’ve got a Democratic mayor somewhat amenable to the LGBT community. Republicans on the state level now have a strangle-hold on the Legislature and passing Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) or ending conversion therapy seem unlikely. And beyond legal change, there is still the eternal matter of violence. Being safe on the street. In our homes with homophobic parents. Bullying. Getting jobs if we’re a little queer in the gender. The cultural invisibility that still makes each LGB or T or Q character on Netflix absolutely remarkable. This will only get worse if we’re subjected to a repeat of the ‘90s anti-gay Culture Wars. What troubles me is that we’ll be facing it with a community that is increasingly virtual. We let Gay Inc. deal with political pressure from the local level up. We’re losing queer bars, bookstores. The queer art scene is fragile at best. And if there are queer street activists, their existence passes largely unnoticed in the mainstream press. In short, we have few of the networks we mobilized during the AIDS crisis, during the Culture Wars. We pull off demos occasionally, but don’t actually organize. I guess you could say we’re post-activist. Kelly Cogswell is the author of “Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger,” published earlier this year by the University of Minnesota Press.
PERSPECTIVE: Snide Lines
Armed Woman Massacres All-Male Harvard Club BY SUSIE DAY
arvar d University r emains shut down one day after a lone woman wielding a Bushmaster .223 semiautomatic rifle broke through security at the university’s elite, men-only Porcellian Club and shot 14 white male students to death. The female — of indeterminate age, race, and sexual attractiveness — was described as wearing | November 13 - 26, 2014
a torn leather jacket emblazoned with Day-Glo letters that read: I GOT THIS WAY FROM PLAYING VIDEO GAMES. According to a survivor, the woman screamed, “The patriarchy has ruined my life and I will have my revenge!” She then leaped out an open window and remains at large. Based on the gunwoman’s strident message, the shooting is presumed to be motivated by reports of Internet trolls threatening to rape and/ or murder feminists who criticize “misogynist” video games. Anita Sarkeesian, for
instance, had criticized video games such as “God of War” for their portrayal of women “as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence.” She was forced to cancel her speaking appearance at Utah State University after receiving an email warning of “the deadliest shooting in American history.” “Feminists have ruined my life,” the message read, “and I will have my revenge.” The email was signed “Marc Lepine,” the name of the Canadian man who, in 1989, shot to death 14 women, most of them engineering students, in Montreal, then killed himself. In a society long inured to rape, sexual harassment, sniper attacks, random shootings,
SNIDE LINES, continued on p.21
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MARIJUANA, from p.16
attorney in his approach to marijuana. Ken Thompson’s prosecutors have dismissed 849 cases, or 34 percent of the marijuana busts in the borough. Dismissal is the key word here. It means the person stopped by the police is done — not only no record but also no days missed from work to fight a fine. The summons plan announced by the mayor and the borough district attorneys may not include this approach. Anybody who has gotten a summons for littering or walking in a park after curfew knows it is well nigh impossible to get the city to dismiss tickets. Brooklyn’s Thompson, who is emerging as a good guy on law enforcement issues, told the Times he was worried that by ticketing marijuana offenders, prosecutors will no longer have the leeway to simply dismiss cases outright. The New York Post editors took a swipe at the Brooklyn DA, saying the new city policy has a “bonus” — it “effectively cuts Thompson out — and deprives him of an anticop issue he can campaign on.” But even in the conservative precincts of Staten Island, the need to solve the problem of ballooning pot busts was clear. The DA there, Dan Donovan, is
pleased that the criminal courts will no longer be congested with all those arrests. Anyone fighting a marijuana ticket will go to the Summons Court in Lower Manhattan. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, not wishing to come off as a law-and-order dove, insisted the police will write tickets. “It’s still against the law,” he told the Daily News. “I’m not giving out get-outof-jail-for-free cards.” In New York City, pot remains illegal, but people will no longer be fingerprinted and labeled criminals. Only time will tell if this works. The $100 fine could pose a major burden for young people from communities of color, who are likely to bear the bulk of the summonses as they have the arrests. Failure to respond to a summons — by paying the fine or appearing in court — can lead to an arrest and fingerprinting. It’s possible that a significant burden is being shifted to the Summons Court judges, who will be subject to an unusual level of scrutiny. A majority of Americans now support taxed and regulated marijuana. Despite de Blasio’s move in the right direction, the city is still behind the curve. And tensions between law enforcement and significant segments of the public remain.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR EXCLUSION IS THE ISSUE November 5, 2014 To the Editor: I was disappointed that Duncan Osborne’s article on the exclusion of the executive directors of Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and the MOCHA Center from the 63-person task force charged with developing a plan to reduce new HIV infections statewide ended with two sentences that seemed designed to support the decision to exclude GMAD (“GMAD, Upstate Mocha Center Don’t Make Cuomo AIDS Task Force,” Oct. 30). The sexual harassment charges noted by Osborne were thoroughly investigated by GMAD’s Board of Directors and found to be without merit. The “continuing” financial challenges alluded to by Osborne are no different than those experienced by many small nonprofit
organizations. In less than two years as executive director, Vaughn Taylor-Akutagawa, and his staff, along with GMAD’s Board of Directors, have made substantial progress in bringing organizational expenses in alignment with revenues by relocating to less expensive, but larger office space, by systematically reducing outstanding debt, and by developing new revenue sources. Rather than include unconfirmed, speculative information in the style of a “parting shot” regarding the reasons for GMAD’s exclusion from the task force, the article would have been more accurate if it had remained focused on what is known about the decision regarding task force membership and GMAD. Kevin McGruder. Secretary GMAD Board of Directors
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
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to any restroom, shower room, or similar facility if that facility is consistent with and appropriate to that person’s expression of gender identity. It shall be a defense to prosecution for discrimination on the basis of gender identity under this article, however, if the defendant had a good faith belief that the gender or gender identity of the person discriminated against was not consistent with the gender designation of the facility.” Don’t assume that this section’s removal was a victory for the ‘phobes, however. It was the trans community and its allies who urged that the clause be yanked, owing to the underlined sentence, which would have enabled violators of the law to get off scot free if they could convince a judge or jury that when they denied someone access to a restroom they acted in “good faith.” And we all know what “good faith” means in the Bible Belt when it comes to LGBT issues. Despite its deletion, the “Bathroom Bill” lives on in the radical right’s myth of its own persecution. Don’t fall for it; what they hate is the rest of HERO, which protects a host of people from a host of discriminatory attacks. In October, the absent but still ferociously upsetting bathroom clause was powerful enough to generate a large number of petitions demanding the de-bathroomed law’s repeal. Houston’s city attorney questioned the validity of the petitions, then stupidly subpoenaed five pastors who’d railed against the bill in that official’s dimwitted effort to gather information that might have helped invalidate the petitions. After legitimate outcry, the city attorney’s office withdrew the subpoenas, but the damage was done: wackjobs like Gina Miller and prideful charlatans like Huckabee are now using the ill-conceived subpoenas as surrogates for the whole of HERO — trumped up evidence of another phony broadside against Christianity on the part of evil homos. Huckabee urged his minions to send Bibles to City Hall; many obliged. In point of fact, the anti-discrimination law — which covers not only sex and gender identity but also race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, mar-
ital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, and pregnancy, too — is scarcely an attack on Christianity. It’s an equal rights bill, and that’s what enrages them. Not “special rights.” Equal rights. I advise Miller and Huckabee to take a look at one of the many Bibles stacked up in the basement of Houston’s City Hall. When Jesus said, “Do to others what you want them to do to you,” he didn’t make any exceptions.
I Feel the Earth Move… “Satan is attacking our family by perverting the concept of marriage, which God created to be between one man and one woman only.” So says Dran Reese, who ran for a seat on the MiraCosta Community College Board of Trustees. The college is located north of San Diego. Reese made a fortune with her husband hawking a sticky substance designed to hold one’s Hummel figurines in place in the event of an earthquake, an achievement that naturally gives her direct knowledge of the Prince of Darkness and his dastardly schemes. It only stands to reason; Lucifer obviously creates earthquakes with the single-minded intent of destroying the Hummel collections of the righteous, and having developed Quakehold in an effort to thwart this nefarious goal, Reese has moved on to attempt to secure “our family” by exposing the devil’s role in its imminent demise. She has a history. In 2013, Reese circulated a petition aiming to prevent transgender students from — here we go again — using the bathrooms of their choice. She has also mystifyingly called transfolks “pedophiles.” All them two-dollar words must’ve busted her brain. In 2011, she declared that “homosexuals have no good quality intentions with children but to indoctrinate them into a perverted, sexual lifestyle.” Reese is clearly the type of thoughtful, reflective, well-schooled person who should be governing an institution of higher education. Alas, the voters on November 4 did not agree, so I offer her another avenue for service to the greater good: she should smear some Quakehold on her rump and stick herself to the nearest curio cabinet.
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
SNIDE LINES, from p.17
police killings of unarmed civilians, and the occasional presidential assassination attempt, this incident at an elite Ivy League club has proven horrifying beyond belief. Lawrence Summers, Har vard law professor and President Barack Obama’s former director of the National Economic Council, shook with grief on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360˚” as he mourned the “desecration” of the Porcellian Club, formed in 1791 as a haven for wealthy Caucasian males of the best families, from the presidential Roosevelts to the Facebook-challenged Winklevoss twins. “All those poor, rich, highly-educated, Caucasian lads of the landed gentry, with the penny loafers, the maroon knit ties, the studly Ralph Lauren tweeds — they’re gone,” Mr. Summers sobbed in Mr. Cooper’s arms. “I guess I never realized the sanctity of human life before. Their blue blood dripping down Harvard’s mahogany walls was just as red as any of the Earth’s seven billion nobodies.” Handed a new handkerchief by Mr. Cooper, Mr. Summers continued, “I hope I won’t offend the ladies here, but if that deranged woman had possessed one-tenth the innate mathematical ability of any one of those Harvard boys, none of this would have happened.” Reached by phone, the president of the National Rifle Association was inconsolable. “Oh my God,” he shrieked, “I never realized what guns could do. I mean, everybody knew black people could be killed by guns. Also deer. But rich white men? Shocking. I think we should probably just shut that whole gun industry thing down.” The NRA president refused to give his name or location, saying that he was afraid of being mowed down by dissenting NRA enthusiasts. Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and dissenting NRA enthusiast, phoned this reporter to ask for the NRA president’s address. Ms. Palin also shared some of her “lock and load” thoughts on gun control. “Guns don’t kill people, honey,” she said, “feminists kill people. So tell me where that NRA guy is, ‘cause I’m going to blow his nuts off.” Ms. Palin went on to say that she felt the anonymous woman who shot up the Porcellian Club was | November 13 - 26, 2014
unfeminine. “It is outrageous that a woman could have done such a thing,” said Ms. Palin. “If that broad wanted to shoot so much, she should have stayed home and killed her own children. Which is God’s plan for us. Oh, and God wants us women to shoot up lots of abortion clinics, too.” That women finding fault with “women-hating” video games resulted in the massacre of 14 ruling-class white men portends, for many, the demise of civilization as we know it. Several pundits have come forward to reassure Western culture that it was built on a power that goes far beyond video games. Lloyd Asskick, commanding general of the Multi-National Endless War on Iraq, was adamant when he stated, “Please do not fuck with my First Amendment right to watch dudes rape and mutilate women, cut their heads off, and stick them into trunks of cars, be it on film, TV, or the Internet. This country depends on the degradation of the weak, the destruction of the helpless, the quiet, everyday torture sessions in the basement. It’s what gives us as Americans the self-esteem we need to take all that to a global level.” Probable US presidential contender Hilary Clinton concurs: “As a woman, I have faced sexism. But this is also a country where I, as a woman in a 2008 campaign speech, threatened to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran. America gave me that right. So you women want your job opportunities, your samesex marriage, your drivers’ licenses? America gave you those rights, too — and America can take them away. You people of color, you listening? Everybody has to put up with a little humiliation, a little terror. It’s the price we pay for living in a democracy.” Meanwhile, the gunwoman has been seen heading south on I-95 in a 1995 Toyota. Police and civilian vehicles are quickly closing in, and the woman may soon be apprehended. Because of her wanton, “she asked for it” behavior, and because of crime and punishment tropes in certain popular video games, whatever happens to her will probably not be pretty. Susie Day is the author of “Snidelines: Talking Trash to Power,” just released by Abdingdon Square Publishing.
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BEST OF GAY CITY
And Now for the Winners… 25 top prizes in the Best of Gay City Readers’ Choice Awards BY PAUL SCHINDLER AND MICHAEL SHIREY
Biggest Celebrity Crush ANDREW RANNELLS
When Patti LuPone, portraying some version of herself on HBO’s “Girls,” opens her apartment door to find Elijah, played by Andrew Rannells, waiting there alongside Lena Dunham’s Hannah, the Broadway diva swoons, squealing that he’s Troy Donahue, the ‘50s and ‘60s beefcake heartthrob. In utterly beguiling fashion, Elijah beams proudly. The boy knows his hottie history. The gay Elijah, as an ex of Hannah’s from college, also proves that even a sexually liberated Brooklyn hipster gal will fall for this guy’s charms. Our readers agreed, voting Andrew Rannells the Biggest Celebrity Crush. Not that the 36-year-old actor is just a pretty face. He snagged a Tony nomination in the 201011 Broadway season for his turn in “The Book of Mormon,” and
we’ve been able to see a lot of him since. “The New Normal,” touted as something truly new when NBC introduced it in the fall of 2012, misfired, but Rannells showed himself to be a bright spot. He’s just completed a turn in the title role of Broadway’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” and when “Girls” begins its fourth season in January, Elijah, once exiled for bad behavior from the pack of friends, will be back in the thick of things full time.
Best Drag Performer
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN “Wow I’ve been chosen as the best drag queen in the best city in the world,” Bob the Drag Queen said when told of her latest honor. “The other queens in this city must really be crap. A big thanks to everyone who voted for me. It really means a lot. As the reigning queen for the people I will go forth and dominate.” Formerly Kittin Withawhip, Bob the Drag Queen keeps herself very busy. With a slew of week-
ly and monthly shows, including “The Bob Show” on Mondays at Barracuda Lounge, it’s little wonder she was voted Best Drag Performer. You can also catch her gigs at Industry, Therapy, the Monster, Suite, and Boots & Saddle. Don’t believe the voters? Find her on Facebook at Bob the Drag Queen or follow her on Twitter @ thatonequeen. Or just get your butt out to one of the many shows she does weekly and see this funny bitch for yourself.
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
BEST OF GAY CITY Best Show
CABARET New York theater audiences have enjoyed plenty of opportunities to see “Cabaret” since it first debuted on Broadway in 1966. With music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and source material that runs back to Christopher Isherwood’s 1939 semiautobiographical “Goodbye to Berlin,” it’s no surprise it’s always
been a gay favorite. But probably never more than since Alan Cumming, as the Emcee, snagged a Tony for the 1998 revival at Studio 54. Cumming’s been back with the show since early this year, first with Michelle Williams, whom Gay City News critic Christopher Byrne termed “brilliant” in the role of Sally Bowles, and now with Emma Stone sharing the stage. As for Cumming’s performance this year, Byrne wrote it “is darker and more pointed than I recall, and there is a subversive anger pulsing through it that offers gripping counterpoint to Williams’ Sally. Cumming remains the consummate entertainer, however, and the Emcee’s adorable creepiness is galvanizing down to the last shattering moments of the show.” Trust our readers and see the show.
Best Museum or Gallery
LESLIE-LOHMAN MUSEUM OF GAY & LESBIAN ART
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art was founded 27 years ago on Prince Street in Soho, and while there are many ways its mission to preserve and celebrate the legacy and work of LGBT artists could be explained, the museum’s Jerry Kajpust put it very succinctly: “Our job is to make gay culture public.” Th e wo r l d ’s f i r s t m u s e u m dedicated to LGBTQ art, Leslie-Lohman, now located at 26 Wooster Street between Canal and Grand Streets, maintains a collection of 22,000 works, including pieces by Catherine | November 13 - 26, 2014
Opie, David Wojnarowicz, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, George Platt Lynes, and Jean Cocteau. It’s apropos that as our readers select Leslie-Lohman as the Best Museum/ Gallery, it is hosting “Classic Nudes and the Making of Queer History.” Curated by art historian and activist Jonathan David Katz, who directs the doctoral program in visual studies at SUNY Buffalo, the exhibition documents how “every time classical nudes have re-emerged into discourse or fashion, it is evidence of a changing historical understanding of same-sex desire.” “Classic Nudes and the Making of Queer History” runs through January 4 (leslielohman.org).
What is STRIBILD? STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. It combines 4 medicines into 1 pill to be taken once a day with food. STRIBILD is a complete single-tablet regimen and should not be used with other HIV-1 medicines. STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. To control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses you must keep taking STRIBILD. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to reduce the risk of passing HIV-1 to others. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD?
Who should not take STRIBILD? Do not take STRIBILD if you: • Take a medicine that contains: alfuzosin, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, methylergonovine, cisapride, lovastatin, simvastatin, pimozide, sildenafil when used for lung problems (Revatio®), triazolam, oral midazolam, rifampin or the herb St. John’s wort. • For a list of brand names for these medicines, please see the Brief Summary on the following pages. • Take any other medicines to treat HIV-1 infection, or the medicine adefovir (Hepsera®).
What are the other possible side effects of STRIBILD?
STRIBILD can cause serious side effects:
Serious side effects of STRIBILD may also include:
• Build-up of an acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include feeling very weak or tired, unusual (not normal) muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, feeling cold especially in your arms and legs, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or a fast or irregular heartbeat.
• New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do regular blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with STRIBILD. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking STRIBILD.
• Serious liver problems. The liver may become large (hepatomegaly) and fatty (steatosis). Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice), dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach pain. • You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking STRIBILD for a long time. In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions.
• Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you also have HBV and stop taking STRIBILD, your hepatitis may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking STRIBILD without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health. STRIBILD is not approved for the treatment of HBV.
• Bone problems, including bone pain or bones getting soft or thin, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. • Changes in body fat can happen in people taking HIV-1 medicines. • Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking STRIBILD.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking STRIBILD? • All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection. • All the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. STRIBILD may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how STRIBILD works. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. Do not start any new medicines while taking STRIBILD without first talking with your healthcare provider. • If you take hormone-based birth control (pills, patches, rings, shots, etc). • If you take antacids. Take antacids at least 2 hours before or after you take STRIBILD. • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if STRIBILD can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking STRIBILD. • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk. Also, some medicines in STRIBILD can pass into breast milk, and it is not known if this can harm the baby.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Brief Summary of full Prescribing Information with important warnings on the following pages.
The most common side effects of STRIBILD include nausea and diarrhea. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away.
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used as a complete single-tablet regimen to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.
I started my personal revolution Talk to your healthcare provider about starting treatment. STRIBILD is a complete HIV-1 treatment in 1 pill, once a day. Ask if itâ€™s right for you.
| November 13 - 26, 2014
Patient Information STRIBILD® (STRY-bild) (elvitegravir 150 mg/cobicistat 150 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg) tablets Brief summary of full Prescribing Information. For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information. What is STRIBILD?
Who should not take STRIBILD?
• STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. STRIBILD is a complete regimen and should not be used with other HIV-1 medicines. • STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. You must stay on continuous HIV-1 therapy to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. • Ask your healthcare provider about how to prevent passing HIV-1 to others. Do not share or reuse needles, injection equipment, or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them. Do not have sex without protection. Always practice safer sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood.
Do not take STRIBILD if you also take a medicine that contains: • adefovir (Hepsera®) • alfuzosin hydrochloride (Uroxatral®) • cisapride (Propulsid®, Propulsid Quicksolv®) • ergot-containing medicines, including: dihydroergotamine mesylate (D.H.E. 45®, Migranal®), ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot®, Migergot®, Ergostat®, Medihaler Ergotamine®, Wigraine®, Wigrettes®), and methylergonovine maleate (Ergotrate®, Methergine®) • lovastatin (Advicor®, Altoprev®, Mevacor®) • oral midazolam • pimozide (Orap®) • rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®, Rimactane®) • sildenafil (Revatio®), when used for treating lung problems • simvastatin (Simcor®, Vytorin®, Zocor®) • triazolam (Halcion®) • the herb St. John’s wort Do not take STRIBILD if you also take any other HIV-1 medicines, including: • Other medicines that contain tenofovir (Atripla®, Complera®, Viread®, Truvada®) • Other medicines that contain emtricitabine, lamivudine, or ritonavir (Atripla®, Combivir®, Complera®, Emtriva®, Epivir® or Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Kaletra®, Norvir®, Trizivir®, Truvada®) STRIBILD is not for use in people who are less than 18 years old.
What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD? STRIBILD can cause serious side effects, including: 1. Build-up of lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis). Lactic acidosis can happen in some people who take STRIBILD or similar (nucleoside analogs) medicines. Lactic acidosis is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Lactic acidosis can be hard to identify early, because the symptoms could seem like symptoms of other health problems. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms which could be signs of lactic acidosis: • feel very weak or tired • have unusual (not normal) muscle pain • have trouble breathing • have stomach pain with nausea or vomiting • feel cold, especially in your arms and legs • feel dizzy or lightheaded • have a fast or irregular heartbeat 2. Severe liver problems. Severe liver problems can happen in people who take STRIBILD. In some cases, these liver problems can lead to death. Your liver may become large (hepatomegaly) and you may develop fat in your liver (steatosis). Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms of liver problems: • your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice) • dark “tea-colored” urine • light-colored bowel movements (stools) • loss of appetite for several days or longer • nausea • stomach pain You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking STRIBILD for a long time. 3. Worsening of Hepatitis B infection. If you have hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and take STRIBILD, your HBV may get worse (flare-up) if you stop taking STRIBILD. A “flare-up” is when your HBV infection suddenly returns in a worse way than before. • Do not run out of STRIBILD. Refill your prescription or talk to your healthcare provider before your STRIBILD is all gone
• Do not stop taking STRIBILD without first talking to your healthcare provider • If you stop taking STRIBILD, your healthcare provider will need to check your health often and do blood tests regularly for several months to check your HBV infection. Tell your healthcare provider about any new or unusual symptoms you may have after you stop taking STRIBILD
What are the possible side effects of STRIBILD? STRIBILD may cause the following serious side effects: • See “What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD?” • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before you start and while you are taking STRIBILD. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking STRIBILD if you develop new or worse kidney problems. • Bone problems can happen in some people who take STRIBILD. Bone problems include bone pain, softening or thinning (which may lead to fractures). Your healthcare provider may need to do tests to check your bones. • Changes in body fat can happen in people who take HIV-1 medicine. These changes may include increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), breast, and around the middle of your body (trunk). Loss of fat from the legs, arms and face may also happen. The exact cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known. • Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV-1 medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you start having any new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine.
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
The most common side effects of STRIBILD include: • Nausea • Diarrhea Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. • These are not all the possible side effects of STRIBILD. For more information, ask your healthcare provider. • Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking STRIBILD? Tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including: • If you have or had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis B infection • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if STRIBILD can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking STRIBILD. - There is a pregnancy registry for women who take antiviral medicines during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk with your healthcare provider about how you can take part in this registry. • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take STRIBILD. - You should not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. - Two of the medicines in STRIBILD can pass to your baby in your breast milk. It is not known if the other medicines in STRIBILD can pass into your breast milk. - Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements: • STRIBILD may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how STRIBILD works. • Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following medicines: - Hormone-based birth control (pills, patches, rings, shots, etc) - Antacid medicines that contain aluminum, magnesium hydroxide, or calcium carbonate. Take antacids at least 2 hours before or after you take STRIBILD - Medicines to treat depression, organ transplant rejection, or high blood pressure - amiodarone (Cordarone®, Pacerone®) - atorvastatin (Lipitor®, Caduet®) - bepridil hydrochloride (Vascor®, Bepadin®) - bosentan (Tracleer®) - buspirone - carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®) - clarithromycin (Biaxin®, Prevpac®) - clonazepam (Klonopin®) - clorazepate (Gen-xene®, Tranxene®) - colchicine (Colcrys®) - medicines that contain dexamethasone - diazepam (Valium®)
| November 13 - 26, 2014
- digoxin (Lanoxin®) - disopyramide (Norpace®) - estazolam - ethosuximide (Zarontin®) - flecainide (Tambocor®) - flurazepam - fluticasone (Flovent®, Flonase®, Flovent® Diskus®, Flovent® HFA, Veramyst®) - itraconazole (Sporanox®) - ketoconazole (Nizoral®) - lidocaine (Xylocaine®) - mexiletine - oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®) - perphenazine - phenobarbital (Luminal®) - phenytoin (Dilantin®, Phenytek®) - propafenone (Rythmol®) - quinidine (Neudexta®) - rifabutin (Mycobutin®) - rifapentine (Priftin®) - risperidone (Risperdal®, Risperdal Consta®) - salmeterol (Serevent®) or salmeterol when taken in combination with fluticasone (Advair Diskus®, Advair HFA®) - sildenafil (Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®) or vardenafil (Levitra®, Staxyn®), for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). If you get dizzy or faint (low blood pressure), have vision changes or have an erection that last longer than 4 hours, call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away. - tadalafil (Adcirca®), for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension - telithromycin (Ketek®) - thioridazine - voriconazole (Vfend®) - warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®) - zolpidem (Ambien®, Edlular®, Intermezzo®, Zolpimist®) Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. Do not start any new medicines while you are taking STRIBILD without first talking with your healthcare provider. Keep STRIBILD and all medicines out of reach of children. This Brief Summary summarizes the most important information about STRIBILD. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can also ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about STRIBILD that is written for health professionals, or call 1-800-445-3235 or go to www.STRIBILD.com. Issued: October 2013
COMPLERA, EMTRIVA, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, GSI, HEPSERA, STRIBILD, the STRIBILD Logo, TRUVADA, and VIREAD are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. ATRIPLA is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb & Gilead Sciences, LLC. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. © 2014 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. STBC0108 10/14
★★★★ – Time Out New York
– Daily News
“A JOY TO WATCH! CHARMING, HILARIOUS AND MOVING.” – Towleroad
NOV. 9 – DEC
AL AN ALDA
BEST OF GAY CITY Best Gayborhood HELL’S KITCHEN In the Readers’ Choice Awards’ final round of voting, up against sentimental favorites Chelsea and the West Vill a g e a n d a n o u t e r - b o ro u g h well-heeled contender, Park Slope, Hell’s Kitchen prevailed. Emerging well over a decade ago as a major LGBT residential haunt, HK seemed at first like something of a Chelsea’s Chelsea — coming up so fast on the heels of that popular neighborhood just to the south. A nightlife and dining desert barely 20 years ago, the neighborhood is now full of bars, lounges, and
restaurants that have crowds spilling out into the streets on fair-weather evenings. As with any successful district in the city, there’s increasingly noise about redevelopment and soaring rents — and the imminent rise of Hudson Yards will undoubtedly have a profound effect on HK’s face of the future. For now, though — even as Harlem, Inwood, Long Island City, Williamsburg, and Bushwick draw growing legions of queer migrants — Hell’s Kitchen remains firmly rooted in the LGBT community’s mental map of New York.
Best Weekend Getaway STACY KEACH & DIANA RIGG TAKE OVER DEC. 6 – JAN. 9
TIME OUT NEW YORK CRITICS’ PICK FOR FUTURE ALL-STAR CASTS, VISIT LOVELET TERSBROADWAY.COM
TICKETMASTER.COM OR 877-250-2929
BROOKS ATKINSON THEATRE, 256 W. 47TH ST. ·
TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE DISCUSSION AND VIGIL Thursday, November 20
Candlelight Vigil 6 – 7 p.m. In front of building
Speakers: Tiq Milan, GLAAD Cecilia Gentili, APICHA SPONSOR
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 367-1016.
PROVINCETOWN Nobody can say our readers don’t enjoy the beach. Having chosen Fire Island as their f a vo r i t e w e e k e n d g e t a w a y, Readers’ Choice voters then picked Provincetown, the Massachusetts beach town at the very end of Cape Cod, as the best vacation destination. That pairing is not surprising since the booming popularity of both locales over the past century was based in good measure on the communities forged there by LGBT people. Already by the early 20th century, P-town had a vibrant arts scene, with the Provincetown Players luring the likes of Eugene O’Neill to Cape Cod. The bohemian scene always made way for gay and lesbian participation, and by the 1960s and ‘70s Provincetown was a major destination for Boston and New York’s gay
communities. The Provincetown Business Guild, which works to promote gay tourism, has more than 200 members, and the 2010 Census found that that 16 percent of P-town’s households are headed by samesex couples — more than anywhere else in the nation. Provincetown plays host to a wide array of LGBT-focused events each year — a June film festival, Mr. Leather New England in November, Women’s Week in October, and Family Week in late July. But special weekend or not, there’s always Tea Dance at the Boatslip and late nights at the A-House. For more information on activities year-round, visit provincetowntourismoffice.org and ptown.org.
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
PROVINCETOWN TOURISM OFFICE
GMHC welcomes all to participate in a discussion and vigil marking the 16th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, to honor and remember transgender individuals who lost their lives due to bigotry, hate and violence.
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Dining Room, 7th Floor
When America came home from World War II to forge a placid Ozzie and Harriet suburban paradise from coast to coast, a 30-mile island of a dozen-plus beach communities off the southern shore of Long Island already provided a summer playground where an alternative gay and lesbian culture could flourish. For more than 60 years, the Fire Island Pines and nearby Cherry Grove have been queer havens
that loom large in the imagination of LGBT people worldwide. For New Yorkers, of course, the beaches, summer shares, hotels, fine dining, nightclubs, and live theater are just a commuter train and ferry ride away. Despite competition from bucolic getaways in the Hudson and Delaware River Valleys and revitalized resorts on the Jersey Shore, Fire Island remains the Best Weekend Getaway in the view of Gay City News readers.
Best Vacation Destination
GMHC, 446 West 33rd Street, NYC
BEST OF GAY CITY Best Travel Service GAYCITIES.COM Launched in 2005 as a gay travel resource, GayCities.com (no relation to Gay City News or GayCityNews.nyc) has, over the years, focused on building social media tools to enhance its users’ experience and build a community of LGBT travelers. In addition to
providing comprehensive descriptions, listings of accommodations, dining, and events worldwide, the site boasts the participation of members in 223 cities on six continents. The result is a collection of crowd-sourced reviews of the most popular destinations for LGBT travelers around the globe.
Best Gay Bar BARRACUDA LOUNGE What accounts for Barracuda Lounge’s popularity year in and year out? The location, a t 2 75 We s t 2 2 n d S t re e t , i s hard to beat. The absence of attitude makes it welcoming for newcomers, a good share o f w h o m p ro b a b l y p ro g re ss
to becoming regulars. And in addition to a typically packed front room that shouts “ this is where you wanna be” and a pool table in back, there are also regular drags shows that d raw f ro m t h e b e st . O p e n 4 p.m.-4 a.m. daily, visit Barracuda Lounge on Facebook.
New Website Launc www.bpcdaynursery
Best Lesbian Bar CUBBYHOLE There’s probably no place where you feel more like you’re in the heart of Old Greenwich Village than in the cozy corner establishment called the Cubbyhole. Sure it’s primarily a lesbian watering hole, but since 1994 it has officially billed itself as New York’s neighborhood fusion bar — lesbian, gay, and straight friendly. And that last word is important to understanding this venue’s charm.
That — and great drink specials and a tradition of funky tchotchke-esque ceiling hangings that shift around with the s e a s o n s . Wi t h a h a p py h o u r M o n d ay to S a t u rd ay u n t i l 7 p.m., Cubbyhole is a good bet f o r e a r l y eve n i n g s , b u t yo u can’t go wrong heading over there for your late-night fun either. Girl or boy. C u b by h o l e i s a t 2 8 1 We s t 1 2 t h S t r e e t a t We s t F o u r t h Street; visit cubbyholebar.com.
Best Happy Hour BOXERS NYC Whether you’re looking for afterwork drinks or a p l a ce to wa tc h the big game, B o x e r s N YC i s a premier gay sports bar for New Yo r k e r s . W i t h l o c a tions in Chelsea (37 West 20th Street) and Hell’s Kitchen (742 Ninth Avenue at 50th Street), and drink specials like 2-for-1
on Tuesdays and Wednesday (4-9 p.m.) and Absolut Thursdays ($6 brand cocktails after 10 p.m.), Boxers NYC had lots to say for itself in the final round of voting for Best Happy Hour. And Boxers gives back, supporting LGBT-friendly sports organizations including Cheer New York and OutCycling. Be sure to try Boxers’ wings, brick oven pizza, and, in HK, daily boozy brunch. Visit boxersnyc. com.
NURSERY SCHOOL • PRE-K • SUMMER
Same great programs •with new options for NURSERY SCHOOL PRE-K • SUMMER
New Website Launched! Joinprograms us 9am-3pm,with 9am-12noon, Samewww.bpcdaynursery.com great new options for 2pm-5pm or 8am-6pm preschool and pre-kindergarten classes preschool and pre-kindergarten classes
NURSERY SCHOOL • PRE-K • SUMMER
• View Join our outdoor on-site playground us 9am-3pm, 9am-12noon, Same great programs with new options • Learn more about our program curriculum andfor options 2pm-5pm or 8am-6pm preschool pre-kindergarten • Meet ourand teachers and administrators classes • Read testimonials from parents and local officials Join us 9am-3pm, 9am-12noon, • Schedule a2pm-5pm school touror 8am-6pm
215 South End Ave
CALL FOR A VISIT 212-945-0088
Best Cocktail BOURBON ON THE ROCKS What more can we say than that queer taste has grown (back) up? | November 13 - 26, 2014
215 South End Ave., Battery Park City (Two blocks south of Brookﬁeld Place)
Classical Nudes and the Making
of Queer History
Curated by Jonathan David Katz
Funded by the John Burton Harter Charitable Trust
October 17, 2014 to January 4, 2015
BEST OF GAY CITY Best Sweet Shop BIG GAY ICE CREAM
L o n g a f t e r N e w Yo r k e r s Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff had grown up, they got a truck to play with. It was the summer of 2009 when they christened their new toy Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Emblazoned with a candy-color cone, the truck offered soft-serve ice cream that grabbed the attention of easily distracted Manhattanites. At the end of their third summer in business, they decided to take Big Gay Ice Cream indoors — first at 125 East Seventh Street near Avenue A and later, as well, at 61 Grove Street, around the
corner from Sheridan Square. T h i s a u t u m n t h e l a d s a re bringing their Big Gay Ice Cream to Philadelphia and Los Angeles, two cities in need of their kind of civilizing. Visit biggayicecream.com.
Best Coffee James Bidgood, Pan, 1965, C-print, 22 x 22 in., © James Bidgood, Collection of Michael Sodomick.
26 Wooster St., NYC 10013 Tues-Sun: 12-6 pm Thurs: 12-8 pm LeslieLohman.org Made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
BEST PET CARE SERVICE
WITH THE MOST DEDICATED STAFF, BEST GROOMERS, HAND SELECTED APPAREL, CUSTOM BEDS, ORGANIC FOOD AND TREATS, IT’S NO WONDER WE ARE THE SEAPORT’S AND FIDI’S #1 RESOURCE FOR ALL THINGS PET! LOCATED ALONG NYC’S HISTORIC WATERFRONT IN THE SOUTH STREET SEAPORT
ONE BY LAND, TWO BY SEA A beautifully restored carriage house once owned by Aaron Burr on a West Village lane, a traditional menu of lamb, pork, beef, game, and an impressive variety of seafood choices, famed
fireplaces perfect for a long dinner on a winter night, classic banquettes, and a Sunday jazz brunch make this a must-visit Manhattan classic — date night or not. 17 Barrow Street, just west of Seventh Avenue South; oneifbyland.com.
Best Cheap Eats POMME FRITES
38 PECK SLIP
BETWEEN FRONT & SOUTH STREETS Facebook.com/TheSaltyPaw Twitter.com/TheSaltyPawNYC
Manhattan cafés — in Grand Central and on the Upper East a n d U p p e r We s t S i d e s — i n additional to their original home on Irving Place. A special treat for the true aficionado, however, may be Irving Farm’s Flatiron Training Lab on 20th Street where baristas are trained and quality control research is carried out. Check out the Irving Farm Coffee’s Facebook page for when the lab is open to the public, and to order online, visit irvingfarm.com.
Best Date Night Restaurant
Finalist in Gay City News
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters got their start in the mid-1990s as a small café located near Union Square. They loved coffee — and decided the best way to show their love was to grow it themselves. Today, they do just that — near the Hudson Valley town of Millerton, located where the Catskills meet the Berkshires. The farm’s output allows the company to sell retail online, welcome wholesales partners, and serve by the cup at three
Years ago, David Letterman did a gag bit about specialty stores in the old Bowery lighting district. In a store called Just Shades, he’d ask about all the different shades, and then inquire whether he could get some light bulbs as well. “Just shades,” was the gruff answer. And on and on for Just Bulbs and Just Lamps. Pommes Frites
has made a wildly popular business out of just fries. But what fries they are! Served in the paper cones you’d get them in at a Brussels lunch spot, you can enjoy them with Irish curry o r ro s e m a r y g a r l i c m ayo o r peanut satay or malt vinegar, raw onion, and jalepeño. 1 2 3 S e c o n d Ave n u e n e a r Seventh Street; pommesfritesnyc.com.
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
trying to have a baby?
BEST OF GAY CITY
WE CAN HELP!
Best Delivery SEAMLESS
Why keep a million menus stuffed in your bureau, when you can do one-stop online
Our mission is to help patients realize the dream of parenthood — regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.
shopping for dinner delivery? Our voters agree — their choice for best delivery is seamless. com.
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.
Best Home Design Store RESTORATION HARDWARE Offering high-end classic looks that are, increasingly, daring and surprisingly affordable, Restoration’s Flatiron store at
935 Broadway is eye-popping even for those who hate shopping, a sort of FAO Schwarz of home design (believe us, we know from whence we speak). Visit restorationhardware.com or just drop by the store.
Best Pet Care Store SPOT EXPERIENCE Really, is there anything we wouldn’t do to ensure that our pets get the most tender handling and best possible care while we’re not there to provide it ourselves? Based on the frequency with which our readers voted in this category, the answer apparently is there is nothing. The Spot Experience offers walking, training, groom-
ing, daycare and transportation to and from, and overnights. It also offers Spot Country in an upstate Connecticut location for those vacationing four-leggeds. Spot Experience has Manhattan well covered, with locations at 105 West 72nd Street, 6 0 0 We st 4 2 n d S t re e t , 1 4 5 West 20th Street, and 21 Murray Street downtown. Visit thespotexperience.com.
Building Families Over 25 Years! Brooklyn • Long Island • Staten Island
Fertility & Reproductive Medicine
Where Life Begins
(718) 283-8600 www.genesisfertility.com
Best Health Care Service CALLEN-LORDE Dating back more than 40 years to its roots in the St. Mark’s Community Clinic and the Gay Men’s Health Project, the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center offers health services to the LGBT community regardless of ability to pay. Last year, Callen-Lorde served over 15,000 patients, more than a third of them uninsured, for whom they provided $7 million-plus in unre-
| November 13 - 26, 2014
imbursed care. Providing primary care, oral health service, and mental health care, with specialized expertise in serving the transgender community, Callen-Lorde has a record of stepping up — whether vaccinating large numbers of gay men when a meningitis vaccine broke out in late 2012 or in the early dispensing of PrEP, as an HIV prevention treatment. 356 West 18th Street; visit callen-lorde.org.
THE KUBA LAW FIRM
We successfully have completed same sex marriage petitions resulting in U.S Lawful Permanent Residence for the Beneficiary.
BEST OF GAY CITY Best Parenting Service SIMPLE SURROGACY
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT NOW! (212) 732-5050 (845) 356-1313
HELPING THE COMMUNITY FOR OVER 50 YEARS! Immigration Law
Spousal and Family Petitions, Asylum, Deportation Defense, Adoptions, Work Visas, etc.
Criminal Law Civil Law
Employment discrimination, family law (divorces, custody, child support, marriage contracts, separations, etc.)
Rockland Office L.S. Plaza 230 W. Route 59 Spring Valley, NY 10977 (845) 356-1313
235 East 11th Street New York, NY 10003 (212) 777-3240 www.thirdstreetmusicschool.org Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM Saturday, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
COME EXPLORE WITH US...
we’re your community music school!
Beginner group classes Individual or partner lessons Free trial lessons Weekly music and dance instruction for all ages and levels, after school and on Saturday afternoons.
Navigating the complexities and uncertainties of surrogacy can be difficult, and Simple Surrogacy is a participating sponsor of conferences and expos produced by Men Having Babies, a 15-year-old New York-based nonprofit that works with gay men here and elsewhere to assist them as they navigate the journey to fatherhood. For more information about Simple Surrogacy, visit simplesurrogacy.com.
Best Cosmetic Surgeon DR. DAVID RAPAPORT
Consult one of our attorneys to prevent your criminal case from causing problems with USCIS and removal from the USA
Tribeca Office 321 Broadway 4th Fl New York, NY 10007 (212) 732-5050 Fax (212) 766-0049
A Dallas-based full surrogacy agency, Simple Surrogacy has in recent years developed a specialty practice working with gay and lesbian intended parents. Since surrogacy contracts are not currently legal under New York State law and are generally unavailable in New Jersey as well, intended parents here face the burden of pursuing surrogacy completely out of state.
The Readers’ Choice Award for Best Cosmetic Surgeon goes to Dr. David Rapaport, a board certified plastic surgeon who studied at Boston University and Tel Aviv University. Rapaport trained in general surgery at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, where he served as chief resident, and completed his plastic surgery training at the NYU’s Institute of Reconstruc-
tive Plastic Surgery, where he was also chief resident. Working for four years in the mid-1990s in Florida, Rapaport helped develop legislation to improve insurance coverage for reconstructive breast surgery and developed better procedures for minimal incision breast and melanoma surgery. Rapaport’s office is at 905 Fifth Avenue at 72nd Street. Visit him at parkavenueplasticsurgeon.com.
Best Gym or Personal Trainer DAVIDBARTONGYM With gyms in eight US cities and four locations in Manhattan, DavidBartonGym was voted the best fitness outlet in New York. Walking in the door at a DavidBartonGym, members are promised unique decors that Interior Design magazine has hailed as among the most innovative
in the world. DavidBartonGym has just reopened a location in Chelsea — the Chelsea Limelight at 656 Sixth Avenue at 20th Street —and also has gyms at 152 Christopher Street, at 4 Astor Place, and at 85th Street and Madison Avenue. For details on membership, visit davidbartongym.com.
Best Salon or Spa WEST SIDE CLUB
When it comes to salons or spas, our readers voted for a longtime favorite — the West Side Club, which promises the
opportunity for gay and bi men to grab a sauna and relax with like-minded gents. 27 West 20th Street; visit westsideclubnyc. com.
Third Street Preschool full and half-day programs.
Daytime Toddler/Early Childhood dance and movement classes.
B R I N G I N G T H E A RT S TO L I F E SINCE 1894
And finally, it should probably come as little surprise that the Best of Gay City Readers’
Choice Award for Best App goes to… Grindr.
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
November is National Adoption Month! Adoption STAR (a New York State Authorized, Non-Profit Child Placing Agency)
is celebrating by hosting two New York City-based events. Please join us for one or both!
Saturday, November 22nd • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Party Solvers Entertainment 79-74 Cooper Avenue • Ridgewood, NY 11385 For adoptive families and prospective adoptive families.
th Wednesday NOV EMBER 19 from 6-7:30pm
kling Tantru Tac Workshop ms Teaching parents how to understand and change their child’s challenging behavior
Free Orientation Session — Building Families Through Adoption
Thursday, November 20th • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Phillips Lytle LLP • The New York Times Building 620 Eighth Avenue • 23rd Floor • New York, NY 10018-1405
Bridge kids of NY
Provides an introduction to Adoption STAR and the agency’s policies and procedures.
Call Adoption STAR at
or email the agency at email@example.com to register.
215 South End Ave
Law Office of Brian Esser Building Families, Protecting Families
Sperm Bank The Law Office of Brian Esser is a Brooklyn-based boutique practice concentrating on adoption, reproductive law, and estate planning.
LAW OFFICE OF BRIAN ESSER A00 540 President Street, Third Floor 3 Brooklyn, NY 11215 Ph: (718) 747-8447 PTION STAR INC. Fax: (718) 799-9170 N SERVICES NY GAY CITY FAMILY PRIDE firstname.lastname@example.org | www.esserlawoffice.com | Twitter: @BrianEsserEsq Attorney Advertising
| November 13 - 26, 2014
Free Access to: Donor Baby Photos Staff Impressions Extended Donor Profiles
Strict Donor Screening Standards Diverse Donor Selection Directed Donor Program Available Home Delivery Available (866) 366-6777 www.ny.cryosinternational.com
Musical Theater Drill Down Seth Rudetsky generously takes us into the daily life of a consummate Broadway insider
BY CHRISTOPHER MURRAY
DRESS CIRCLE PUBLISHING
DRESS CIRCLE PUBLISHING
o, do you watch these Broadway-themed hit reality shows? “Lifestyles of the Bitchiest on Broadway,” “Celebrity Accompanist,” “The Voice Coach,” “Keeping Up with the KarSmashians,” “America’s Got High C’s,” “The Real Understudies of Broadway,” “Don’t Tell Mama in Hell’s Kitchen,” “The Biggest Loser Who Was Robbed of That Tony Award,” “So You Think You Can Do a Time Step?” or “So You Wanna Be Paul Castree’s Understudy?” Anyone? Of course, you don’t, they don’t exist. Yet. But any one of them could be created from the raw material of “Seth’s Broadway Diary, Volume I” just published by Dress Circle Publishing — in time to buy for your grandmother for Christmas. Take that, football! If you’ve been to a musical on the Great White Way in the last 25 years, this book is as addictive as potato chips. You can’t read just one entry. Luckily, there are dozens, with italicized updates from the present and referrals to YouTube.com videos of Tony broadcast perfor mances and OCRs, or “Original Cast Recordings” — not “soundtracks,” that’s just for movies, thank you very much. It’s like the textbook for a Yale survey class “Musical Theater Queen 101.” The Broadway Boswell in question is Seth Rudetsky, whom the diva Audra McDonald — record holder for six Tony wins, more than any other actor — calls “The Mayor of Broadway.” Rudetsky is convinced everyone has an inner musical theater queen. “I don’t think Broadway is just for gay men,” he said to Gay City News recently. “It’s for everybody. Possibly, gay men don’t have some of the constrictions that straight men do — that have gotten actually worse. The idea that singing and dancing is just for girls is moronic. I don’t know where this thing began that the arts are just for gay people.” Rudetsky’s performed a veritable A, B, Cs of theater jobs: actor, audition accompanist, Broadway orchestra pit musician, casting coach, director, not to mention hosting his Sirius XM Broadway radio show and his “Seth Broadway Chatterbox” each week at Midtown’s Don’t Tell Mama cabaret. He even has his own subscription Inter net media empire: SethTV.com. He’s regularly at the piano for the concerts of stars like Betty Buckley, Ana Gasteyer, Jennifer Holliday,
SETH’S BROADWAY DIARY, VOLUME I By Seth Rudetsky Dress Circle Publishing $20; 306 pages
Patti LuPone, Andrea McArdle, and Chita Rivera, among many. After playing “You’re The One That I Want” — as he reports — “at least a 1,000 times” from the pit for the Broadway revival of “Grease” featuring Rosie O’Donnell as Rizzo, he became a writer for her television talk show. There he earned three daytime Emmy Award nominations. He also wrote the Tony Award broadcast opening number for two of the three years O’Donnell hosted. And Rudetsky, married since 2012 to James Wesley, with whom he raises their seven-yearold daughter Juli, helped organize Rosie’s R Family Vacation cruises and now puts togeth-
er and hosts the playbill.com Broadway cruises featuring a bushel and a peck — anyone? — of Broadway stars sailing the “High C’s.” Yuk, yuk. Besides its sheer entertainment value, the book is a record of cultural change for gay lives, seen in the quotidian detail of shared professional and personal lives and moving from the dark days of the AIDS crisis into the brave new world of marriage equality. One of the most telling and moving details is when Seth casually signs off an entry with, “Okay, this week is a salon for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS and I’m also going with Juli’s class to the Bronx Zoo. Peace out!” Raised in North Woodmere on Long Island’s South Shore, and trained in classical piano performance at Oberlin College, Seth — in the book’s columns, on his radio show, and in casual conversation — comes off as intensely motivated, encyclopedically smart, and possessed of a razor sharp and lightning fast wit that can be just a touch bitchy. He is also a true sweetheart, an Olympic-class fan, and someone who appreciates, even savors talent and the joys of friendship. His first book, “The Q Guide to Broadway” was published by Alyson Books, and the sequel to his Random House novel for young people, “My Awesome/ Awful Popularity Plan,” is due out next summer. Meanwhile, his musical satire “Disaster!” written with Jack Plotnick and in which Rudetsky also acts, appeared Off-Broadway last year at St. Luke’s Theatre to generally favorable reviews and seems headed for Broadway in 2015. He’s clearly got a good thing going. Anyone? “Broadway Diary” is an unalloyed pleasure, making you feel like a real insider with access to a trove of Broadway and musical lore. If you haven’t had a crush on Jonathan Groff or can’t complete the sentence “Everyone hates me, yes, yes. Being the ________” (the first lyric to Angela Lansbury’s opening number in Sondheim’s “Anyone Can Whistle,” anyone?), then a fair amount might whiz over your head, despite Seth’s admirable efforts to clue you in to terms like “sitzprobe” (the first time the cast of a show rehearses with the full orchestra). Rudetsky’s popular “deconstructions” of musical theater performances take what we all know of the experience of being a 13-yearold in their bedroom driving their family crazy by listening to the same song from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” over and over and over again. And over again. But he ennobles such obsessive fandom, showing how it presages the emergence of professional artists — how that kid in her bedroom wailing at the top of her adolescent lungs and sounding like a dying chimpanzee is, in fact, practicing, sucking up knowledge of style and technique that will form the basis of their adult technique married to that youthful passion and sheer joy of expression.
BROADWAY DIARY, continued on p.44
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
NOVEMBER 15 • 9 PM
Legends of OL’ Skool R&B
Revival of Terrence McNally Fire Island drama fails to generate heat
CONCERT & DANCE PARTY
Austin Lysy, Michael Chernus, Tracee Chimo, and America Ferrera in Terrence McNally’s “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” at Second Stage Theatre through November 23.
BY DAVID KENNERLEY
LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART
nly the brilliant Terrence McNally can get away with setting a play in the gay wonderland of the Fire Island Pines and populate it solely with straight characters. When “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” a quirky drama about two miserable married couples (a recurring motif this New York theater season) celebrating July 4th weekend in a beach house premiered in 1991, it felt as exhilarating as a plunge in the ocean on a steamy summer afternoon. Yet the revival at Second Stage Theatre, helmed by Peter DuBois, is strangely soggy. Has time tempered this once-edgy piece — it was among the first to touch on the AIDS crisis and the resulting homophobia — or does the fault lie in misguided performances? A bit of both, actually. Sure, we get that Sam and Sally are uneasy staying in the house she inherited from her brother, David, who had recently succumbed to AIDS. After all, the seaside retreat is crawling with homosexuals. But that doesn’t mean Michael Chernus and America Ferrera must appear uncomfortable in their roles. Both deliver tentative, stiff performances that tend to distance us when we should be drawn in.
Second Stage Theatre 305 W. 43rd St. Through Nov. 23 Tue. at 7 p.m.; Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $79; 2ST.com or 212-246-4422 Two hrs., 35 mins., with two intermissions
| November 13 - 26, 2014
As the eternally chirpy Chloe trying desperately to fill awkward silences with jokes, songs, and jazzercise moves, the hilarious Tracee Chimo is working full-throttle, a jarring contrast to the other actors onstage. Austin Lysy brings a casual blandness to Chloe’s waspy husband, John, who lounges around doing a crossword puzzle on the deck in his pink chinos. Complicating matters, two of the characters are having an affair, and Chloe and Sam are brother and sister who have a freaky bond. For most of the play I couldn’t remember who’s married to whom — none of the relationships feel genuine. To be fair, the cast had a tough act to follow. The original production starred Nathan Lane, Christine Baranski, Anthony Heald, and Swoozie Kurz, several of whom were apparently in McNally’s mind when he wrote the piece. Since the debut of the play, which, for the most part, tiptoes around difficult topics like AIDS,
LIPS, continued on p.44
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Straightening Things Out A hardscrabble mom faces a chaotic life and an effeminate son BAD HAIR Directed by Mariana Rondón Cinema Tropical and Figa Films In Spanish with English subtitles Opens Nov. 19 Film Forum 209 W. Houston St. filmforum.org CINEMA TROPICAL AND FIGA FILMS
Samuel Lange in Mariana Rondón’s “Bad Hair.”
BY GARY M. KRAMER
ad Hair” is a gritty, absorbing film set in Caracas, Venezuela, about nine-year old Junior (Samuel Lange), who is determined to straighten his unruly curly hair in time for his school photo. Junior’s widowed mother, Marta (Samantha Castillo), disapproves of her son’s constant primping, and the battle of wills that takes place
between them is as much about conformity and being different as it is about hair. The title is a metaphor for the characters’ hardscrabble lives, consistently knotty and difficult to untangle. Marta, struggling to raise Junior and his infant brother on her own, is a temporarily unemployed security guard hoping to get her job back after a suspension. She is troubled that her elder son is not very masculine and criticizes him when he sings pop tunes or danc-
es with his eyes closed, waving his arms slowly in the air. Other boys who live in their tenement perform hip-hop moves that are very different than Junior’s. When Marta presses him on why he acts the way he does, Junior says, “Because I feel like it.” Marta yells at him, displeased with his independence. Junior is also crushed on the local grocer, Mario (Julio Méndez), whom he says has “amazing eyes.” He spies on Mario from his apartment window and admires him on the basketball court. Mario is perhaps not entirely ignorant of the attention. Other locals are aware of it as well. Marta, of course, becomes angry when she learns about this. Marta so vehemently objects to her son’s effeminate nature — she scolds him for peeing sitting down — she asks a doctor, “Why is he
weird?” She fears Junior is gay and would suffer if he is, and also wonders if his orientation is her fault. The doctor suggests Junior needs a father figure, someone to show him how men and women love each other. Marta knows that the attractive neighbor whom she has a passionate tryst with one afternoon is no father figure. He may be the only source of real pleasure in her life, but he’s only good for sex. “Bad Hair” may villainize Marta for not accepting her son as he is, but it also shows her struggling to establish some sense of her own dignity and help Junior develop his. Constantly begging favors from babysitters she can’t afford and humiliating herself to get back the job she lost, Marta makes bad decisions out of economic and emotional desperation. Inevitably, she takes her frustrations out on her son. Junior’s grandmother, Carmen (Nelly Ramos), who lives nearby, offers to pay Marta to let her raise the boy, who in turn can look after her. Marta stubbornly refuses.
HAIR, continued on p.44
Death in the Shadows Albert Serra’s vampire outing likely to leave audiences cold BY STEVE ERICKSON
ove it or hate it, you can say one thing about Catalan director Albert Serra’s “Story of My Death”: vampire films don’t get much further from “Twilight.” Dracula appears here, but no sparkly seducers are on the scene. In an American context, almost anything that offers an extreme alternative to our culture’s assembly line of comic book adaptations and superhero movies is bound to look progressive. However, Serra’s take on the European art film is actually rather backwards-looking and borderline retro. “Story of My Death” draws on Pier Paolo Paso-
lini’s “Trilogy of Life” series (particularly in its scatological frankness), Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s austere literary adaptations, and even Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon.” Its central conceit — having a real historical figure meet a literary one — isn’t entirely new, but it’s still relatively fresh. Even so, it fails to do more than set up an encounter between two seducers, Casanova and Dracula. The latter comes off worse. Are you surprised? The film starts off with Casanova (Vincenç Altaio) and his servant in Switzerland. They attend an outdoor party, then the infamous womanizer gets the idea to write his memoirs. (They were published posthumous-
STORY OF MY DEATH Directed by Albert Serra M’aidez Films In Catalan with English subtitles Nov. 20-26 & 28-30 Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. at Second St. anthologyfilmarchives.org
ly and became a bestseller.) But mostly he and his servant sit around talking, although they do take a trip to the Carpathian Mountains. About halfway through “Story of My Death,” Dracula (Eliseu Huertas) is introduced. He has no problem with daylight and spends his time sucking the blood of local women, with whom both he and Casanova are infatuated. It’s possible that if “Story of
My Death” could have been shot on 35mm film, my problems with it would be lessened. Serra rarely moves the camera. In bright scenes, the cinematography is extremely grainy. But most of the film, particularly in its second half, takes place at night. Those segments look murky. As far as I can tell, Serra shot the film with natural light — it would go along with his use of non-professional actors and partially improvised dialogue — but instead of achieving the candlelit beauty of “Barry L yndon,” he’s made a remarkably unattractive-looking film. Unlike films such as Philippe Grandrieux’s “Sombre,” in which
DEATH, continued on p.37
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Zurich on the Down Low Swiss film mixes drama and documentary to illuminate discreet postwar gay life he Circle,” which is Switzerland’s submission for the Best Foreign Language F i l m O s c a r, p r o vides a fascinating glimpse into gay life in 1950s Zurich. Directed and co-written by Stefan Haupt, the film alternates between dramatic episodes and documentary interviews. The hybrid approach effectively chronicles the lives of men involved in a secret homophile society called “The Circle,” in the process resurrecting images of gay life from nearly 60 years ago. In the film, the organization, founded in 1942 by the actor Karl Maier, is being led by Rolf (Stefan Witschi). The 2,000 international members receive the title publication and are invited to balls where transvestite singers like Röbi Rapp (Sven Schelker) perform. The film tells the story of Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbühler), a schoolteacher, joining the Circle and falling in love with Röbi. Interspersed between these
Directed by Stefan Haupt Wolfe Releasing In German and French with English subtitles Opens Nov. 21 Quad Cinema, 24 W. 13th St. quadcinema.com
scenes is footage of the real-life Röbi and Ernst, an elderly couple who are still together in Zurich. The documentary scenes recount how the couple met and negotiated their relationship during a repressive era. Their romance blossomed during the time of Paragraph 175, which criminalized homosexuality in Germany. While gay sex wasn’t illegal in Switzerland, being open was not entirely safe either. As the film shows, police raids at clubs and arrests were not uncommon. “The Circle” makes salient points about the dangers of being out during that era, but also emphasizes gay men’s need to be true to their natures, assert their identities, and “cultivate friendship and love in freedom.” That Ernst decides to join the
Matthias Hungerbühle as Ernst and Sven Schelker as Röbi in “The Circle,” and Röbi Rapp and Ernst Ostertag as young men.
BY GARY M. KRAMER
CIRCLE, continued on p.44
DEATH, from p.36
| November 13 - 26, 2014
rape and murder take place in an inky darkness that leaves them up to the spectator’s imagination, there seems to be no point to the muddy look of “Story of My Death.” It’s just cheap and ugly. Serra would be better off spending his budget on a more expensive video camera next time around. Serra’s film never feels like it needed to run for 145 minutes. The best long films, even extreme examples like Béla Tarr’s seven-hour “Sátántangó,” create a universe where one can come to feel complicit with their char acters, as though we’re sharing an experience alongside them. Nothing like that happens here. For all the earthiness of “Story of My Death,” the barrier between character and spectator remains firm. It’s like going to a particularly unusual historical re-creation site. It can wave shit in our
Vincenç Altaio in Albert Serra’s “Story of My Death.”
faces all it wants and even talk about alchemy, but the process of turning dross to gold never happens. The films that influenced “Story of My Death” managed to convey the feel and rhythm of a distant time. As in his first two
features, which riffed on Cer vantes’ “Don Quixote” and the New Testament, Serra is obviously trying to do the same here, but he doesn’t succeed. The film feels liveliest when it introduces more modern elements, like a drone-rock score. The prob-
lem is that “Story of My Death” winds up stranding the spectator in a rather boring locale. Numerous films have been inspired by Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula”; despite some onscreen violence, “Story of My Death” must be the most bloodless yet.
Bi-Coastal Opera Martinu and Handel rarities; a Verdi standard BY DAVID SHENGOLD
eal Goren’s always interesting Gotham Opera started its season October 14 at the L ynch Theater with a Bohuslav Martinu double bill that looked great — Gotham shows almost always do — but left one wanting musically. The urbane Czech composer penned works, including “Julietta” and “The Greek Passion,” that deserve renewed local attention soon. But the two 1937 radio-designed works Gotham offered, “Alexandre bis” and “Comedy on the Bridge,” reaped scant rewards. “Alexandre bis” — performed in French poorly delivered by the entire cast except bass Joseph Beutel — combines old-fashioned Gallic sex farce with Surrealism, with a neo-Classical wash. It doesn’t add up to much. Cameron Anderson’s wonderful black-and-white sets — a scheme largely echoed by Fabio Toblini’s clever, well-cut costumes — gave the staging class that James Marvel’s incessant frenzied “silent comedy” blocking lacked. “Comedy” shows more compelling music, with a soprano part drawn in classic Czech lyric mode. Jenna Siladie, routine as the first opera’s heroine, proved very appealing here both vocally and dramatically. Its conceit — war is absurd and five interconnected characters with safe-conduct passes get stuck on a bridge between two warring entities — just goes on too long. It might indeed work best on radio, with Czech listeners; improbably, the singers’ Czech easily outperformed their French. Maybe Gotham needed it translated? Goren’s audiences expect attractive young singers, and they got them — perhaps at the price of much vocal distinction. Baritone Jarrett Ott has a cultivated finish to his slightly tremolo-marked sound and he phrased well. Abigail Fischer’s churning mezzo suited the Czech idiom perfectly. Perhaps a gay newspaper shouldn’t complain that Marvel gave Beutel the most gratuitous shirt removal since Sam Ramey’s heyday and blocked more
Jarrett Ott, Jenna Siladie, and Joseph Beutel in Gotham Opera’s “Alexandre bis.”
male pelvic thrusting than any operatic staging ever. Gotham has had and will have better evenings. Don’t miss December’s revival of Montsalvatge’s “El Gato con Botas,” brilliantly realized by Moises Kaufmann and Sean Curran.
Meanwhile, a long weekend in San Francisco afforded two worthwhile productions, Handel’s “Partenope” — a company premiere — and Verdi’s “Un ballo in maschera,” which it has done roughly every five years for decades. The two were presented in strikingly contrasting production style. Christopher Alden’s half-brilliant, half self-indulgent take on “Partenope” (October 18), was visually inventive almost to a fault, while the next afternoon featured the stodgy work of José Maria Condemi in uncredited “Classic Comics” sets and John Conklin’s lush traditional costumes. Alden cleverly sets Handel’s parodic, multivalent love story in a blend of Noël Coward smartness and highly allusive Surrealist weirdness. Jon Morrell’s costumes were splendid for the two women, Danielle de Niese (Partenope) and Daniela Mack (Rosmira). But, presumably under Alden’s direction, he and Jeanna Parker (wigs, make-up) managed to make four notably handsome men — David Daniels (Arsace), Anthony Roth Costanzo (Armindo), Alek Shrader (Emilio), and Philippe Sly (Ormonte) — look pretty dowdy and pasty: Daniels and Shrader’s wigs competed for road kill bizarrerie. But
that’s the C. Alden Sensibility: desire renders men dire. Young bass-baritone Sly showed excellent voice and style. His character, played as a loopy queen, was made the — as it were — gay butt of jokes, maybe accurate for Surrealism but faintly “minstrel” in the execution. De Niese looked ravishing and moved well; she’d clearly worked hard to make her characterization more than her usual soubrette manner — more a chatelaine — but it never lasted long before she’d be back to honoring the Muse of Dance and seducing the audience rather than the other characters. Despite a few nice moments, the shallow, grainy vocal quality just isn’t special, certainly not on sustained phrases. Partenope has a transcendent self-revealing aria, “Qual farfalletta,” and at Glimmerglass Lisa Saffer, with a voice no larger or richer in colors than de Niese’s, brought the audience to tears through phrasing, concentration, and some gravitas amidst the comedy. Mack’s impassioned singing and acting, by contrast, was dynamic and technically accomplished. “Partenope” has served Daniels well at Glimmerglass, Vienna, and Chicago, and remains an excellent vehicle. Bravura dazzle is somewhat lessened, but he served up an exciting “Furibondo spira il vento,” and the legato “Ch’io parta?” remains an exquisite legato time-stopper. It was a fine night for Daniels. Costanzo, master of his slenderer but fluent tone, executed scary/ funny pratfalls and tap-danced
amidst expert coloratura; Armindo’s tender nature emerged in the ravishing finish on soft phrases. Somebody cast this expressive countertenor as Medoro in “Orlando”! Another skilled comedian, Shrader — with excellent vocal agility and definition — has much to offer in Handelian repertory, but conductor Julian Wachner assigned or allowed him ill-advised cadenzas suitable for Rossini or just placed too adenoidally high. Wachner occasionally overpowered ensembles but fared pretty well with his modern forces — save for some sorely pressed horns. “Ballo,” led idiomatically if somewhat fitfully by Nicola Luisotti, requires less comment: more than correct work by principals and chorus, but lacking much frisson of excitement. Most of it came from Julianna di Giacomo’s Amelia, sung with strength and beauty if occasional passing pressure on top. She’s a real deal Verdian spinto. Heidi Stober and veteran Dolora Zajick coped more than capably with Oscar and Ulrica’s music. Ramon Vargas’ Gustavo showed physical imagination, singing with musical distinction except when stretched for topmost notes. Popular with the crowd, soi-disant Verdi baritone Thomas Hampson offered woody-sounding constricted loud singing and over inflected words: a fussy, Fischer-Dieskauish Anckarstroem. Condemi thought up some undergraduate business — like the tall conspirators tossing short Oscar’s hat around — that distracted at key moments. Plot points went begging: Ulrica’s pointed asides to the conspiring counts had them standing far across the stage. Amelia thought she sees a ghost downstage left, but Gustavo — the “ghost” — entered above and behind her. Plus, the masked ball called forth a tacky gold lame confetti drop. Verdi’s sovereign score prevailed in the end. SFO has thrilling June news: Berlioz’ magnificent “Troyens” with Donald Runnicles leading Bryan Hymel, Susan Graham, Anna Caterina Antonacci, and Sasha Cooke. Simultaneously, at the Symphony: a Nina Stemme/ Brandon Jovanovich “Fidelio” under Michael Tilson Thomas. David Shengold (shengold@ yahoo.com) writes about opera for many venues.
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
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Setting Sail Two nautically inspired musicals take to Broadway’s challenging seas THE LAST SHIP Neil Simon Theatre 250 W. 52nd St. Tue., Thu. at 7 p.m.; Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $63.75-$141.75; ticketmaster.com or 800-754-3000 2 hrs., 30 mins., with intermission
ON THE TOWN
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Tony Yazbeck, and Clyde Alves in “On the Town.”
BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
et’s address the 400-ton boat in the living room first, shall we? The book of the new musical by John Logan and Brian Yorkey, “The Last Ship,” is not great. You could sail a tanker through the holes in its logic. The story is part “Billy Elliot Builds a Boat” and part “Kinky Boats,” but there’s an inexhaustible catalog of musicals that have kept afloat even with an inept book. And “The Last Ship” is a good musical, bordering at times on brilliant. The music by Sting beautifully reflects the many inspirations that have shaped his career. From haunting harmonics to chilling overtones to an in-depth understanding of what makes a good song in a musical, this score is exquisite on so many levels. It’s what makes the show work, and if you can abide the story’s problems you’ll be richly rewarded. All you really need to know about the plot is that it concerns out-of-work shipbuilders, has a complicated love triangle, and explores the quest for meaning in life. The book’s difficulties notwithstanding, director Joe Mantello manages to create a stirring evening, and Steven Hoggett’s choreography makes use of the stomping and earthy energy that was so successful for him in “Once.” There are times when the choreography is breathtaking. As Gideon, the boy who comes home after 15 years with hopes of wooing his old girlfriend Meg, Michael Esper has never sounded better. He capitalizes on a roughness in his voice to wonderful effect and conveys a depth of emotion that creates empathy for his choices and his regrets. Rachel Tucker as Meg is splendid, with a clear voice and straight, powerful singing that
goes to the center of every song. Aaron Lazar is in his element as Arthur, the more conventional man chosen by Meg. His is the most lyrical role to sing, and Lazar handles it impeccably. In fact, all the singing is outstanding. Under Robert Mathes’ supervision, the singing and orchestrations do as much to convey the story as any other single element. David Zinn’s sets and costumes are appropriately industrial and striking. All of this works so well together that even though the story’s conflicts and ending are predictable, you’re left with a lump in your throat. As with David Byrne’s “Here Lies Love” — still the most exciting show in town — when masters of pop music apply themselves to Broadway, the result can be unexpectedly exciting, moving, and new.
New York City has always enjoyed a special place in the global imagination — symbolizing freedom, opportunity, the chance to reinvent oneself, and, of course, adventure in countless books, movies, plays, and musicals. With the exception of “Annie,” no show has reveled in the romanticized city more than the 1944 classic “On the Town,” now being revived at the Lyric Theatre. The story of three sailors on 24-hour shore leave who want to see the sights and fall in love is classic feel-good Americana. Like so much popular entertainment produced from the Depression through World War II, it was created as pure escapism in a bleak time. Fueled by a silly and often funny book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and Leonard Bernstein’s groundbreaking and magnificent score, the show is the very definition of an “old-fashioned musical.” It plays it safe down
Lyric Theatre 213 W. 42nd St. Tue., Thu. at 7 p.m.; Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $46.25-$147.50; ticketmaster.com Or 800-754-3000 2 hrs., 30 mins., with intermission
to the sexual innuendo, and while that makes it great family entertainment, it does have a museum quality that ultimately blunts the production. On the positive side, the score has seldom sounded better and the large orchestra gives it full voice. Joshua Bergasse’s choreography, while heavily indebted to Jerome Robbins with a clever bit of Balanchine thrown in, is often exciting and fresh, an essential for such a danceheavy show. Where the production misses is in the direction and the casting. Even for an inherently broad show, director John Rando misses the opportunity to elicit any kind of subtlety from the characters. It’s all primary colors, which can be amusing but tends to wear thin. Tony Yazbeck as Gabey sings decently and dances very well, but he plays the role as a onenote galoot. If you have never seen Jackie Hoffman before, you may be enchanted by her oversize, vaudeville performance as Madame Dilly, but for those who know her work it is shaped largely by her trademark shtick-heavy mugging. Both Jay Armstrong Johnson as Chip and Clyde Alves as Ozzie find some depth to their roles, but Alysha Umphress as Hildy isn’t really up to the vocal demands of the role, at least based on the performance I saw. Elizabeth Stanley as Claire De Loone is easily the best in the show, finding a way to balance the broad comedy with heart that makes her both hilarious and compelling. Visually, the show is terrific. Beowulf Boritt’s sets and projections use technology very well, and Jess Goldstein’s costumes capture the period perfectly and move really well in the dancing. You won’t have a bad time at this show. It is, after all, an American classic that can survive a production’s shortcomings. Still, I wish they hadn’t played it all so safe, particularly while celebrating a city that gets its reputation for never doing that. November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Nigh Fidelity Inventive Stoppard revival serves up marriage on the rocks with a wry twist BY DAVID KENNERLEY
Roundabout Theatre Company American Airlines Theatre 227 W. 42nd St. Through Jan. 4 Tue.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat., Sun. at 2 p.m. $67-$137; RoundaboutTheatre.org Or 212-279-1300 Two hrs., 15 mins., with intermission
Annie is an actress who ardently supports a boorish activist named Brodie (Alex Breaux) who was famously beaten by cops and imprisoned, and she later stars in the play he writes about the incident. Henry, naturally, is appalled by Brodie’s crude attempt at playwriting. It’s not Brodie who Henry should be worried about, but Billy (the hunky Ronan Raftery), Annie’s co-star in a production of, ironically enough, the controversial classic “Tis Pity She’s a Whore.” Despite the breakup of their marriage, Henry and Charlotte, meanwhile, have not become enemies. Their precocious, guitar -strumming teen daughter (Madeline Weinstein) requires them to stay in contact, and there’s the inevitable scene late in the play where the exes reflect on their bumpy journeys. Sure, “The Real Thing” is laden with Stoppard’s dense, mind-bending wordplay, and Henry’s diatribes can grow irksome. But under the smart direction of
om Stoppard’s warped r omantic dramedy “The Real Thing” still packs a punch. The original Broadway production, featuring Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, and Christine Baranski, won a raft of Tony Awards in 1984, and a revival in 2000 also did quite well. I suspect the gripping, star-filled revival, courtesy of the Roundabout Theatre Company, will again be a contender this season. As the title suggests, “The Real Thing” examines the blurred lines between truth and delusion, art and artifice, and love and lust. Henry (Ewan McGregor) is a smart aleck who writes dramas about crumbling relationships — his characters register as more believable than the actual ones in “The Real Thing.” A couple of scenes are plays within the play, though it can take us a while to figure that out. It’s a rigorous, multilayered character study that leaves us breathless. The intricate plotting threatens to spin out of control. As the play begins, Henry is married to Charlotte (Cynthia Nixon), and his buddy Max (Josh Hamilton) is married to Annie (Maggie Gyllenhaal). But soon, an affair between Henry and Annie is exposed; the marriages collapse and the new couple moves in together.
THE REAL THING Cynthia Nixon and Ewan McGregor in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing.”
Sam Gold (“Fun Home”) the piece stays aloft, uplifted by pleasing musical selections, mostly 1960s pop and classical. At the start of each act and during scene changes, the cast sings along with the tunes, injecting a touching dose of realness to the proceedings. It’s a risky move that pays off. David Zinn’s efficient set of loft-like abodes, crammed with rows of books and vinyl records, is punctuated by a pair of massive hi-fi sound systems that, to our 21st century eyes, seem like quaint antiques. When the living room morphs into a set evoking a moving train, it’s impressive. The wobbly narrative is kept steady by solid per for mances. Gyllenhall, largely a screen actor, is pitch-perfect, bringing a charming intensity to the role of Annie. If McGregor’s utterly engaging turn borders on bombastic, it’s perfectly in sync with Henry’s uncontrollable urge to critique everything and everybody. Nixon, who, by the way, played Debbie in the original Broadway production, is well cast as the stoic, cynical Charlotte. No passage in this turbulent drama captures Stoppard’s analy-
sis of authenticity more effectively than Annie’s lecture to Henry. “You write because you’re a writer,” says Annie. “Even when you write about something, you have to think up something to write about, just so you can keep writing… Then somebody who isn’t in on the game comes along, like Brodie, who really has something to write about, something real, and you can’t get through it.” Henry is a brainiac with a weakness for old pop music, while Annie prefers classical. The selection of pop tunes will certainly appeal to theatergoers of a certain age who have a soft spot for the Everly Brothers, the Righteous Brothers, Herman’s Hermits, the Archies, the Beach Boys, and Procol Harum. That these catchy tunes might be considered just as “real” as a Bach orchestral suite is just one reason why this production is “The Real Thing.” Three decades later, in a gadget-dominated culture where virtual experiences substitute for substance, “The Real Thing” resonates more forcefully than ever. Were the play written today, poor Henry and Annie would really have something to carp about.
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| November 13 - 26, 2014
IN THE NOH
The Lyp Returns, Imelda’s Enduring Fascination John Epperson and Carlos Celdran serve up cherished icons
BY DAVID NOH
t’s incredible, but L ypsinka, that whirling dervish of illusion and the highest imaginable camp — whom I consider as essential a New York figure as the Statue of Liberty — hasn’t been on a local stage in nine years. This has been happily remedied with “L ypsinka! The Trilogy,” running through January 3 at the Connelly Theater (220 E. Fourth St.; lypsinka.com). It consists of three separate show revivals: “Lypsinka! The Boxed Set,” in which she plies the kaleidoscopic, scrupulously curated sound bytes that made her a star; “The Passion of the Crawford,” in which she hypnotically recreates the one and only Joan; and the autobiographical “John Epperson: Show Trash,” in which she appears, speaks, and sings as himself. I sat down to chat with this formidable, indestructible star at one of his favorite Chelsea haunts, Le Zie, and just had to ask him the most important of questions: Who was his favorite star — Dolores Gray, whose fabulously bombastic gestures and surreally exotic look surely inspired L ypsinka, or the ever-enduring Crawford? “I don’t have a favorite star,” Epperson said, “but Crawford remains fascinating to me. As she got older, I see her as a sad figure, not because of Christina and the wire hangers, but just the stuff she put herself through to survive in Hollywood. There’s something kind of tragic and vulnerable about her which I see in her eyes the more I watch her. She keeps evolving.” I remember going to the original production of “The Passion,” and a drunken old bear of a queen was sitting in front of me, slugging straight liquor from a big paper cup and cackling hysterically at everything. When he turned around, it was Stephen Sondheim. I asked him if he’d ever met Crawford and he replied tersely, “No. Never met her. Nope!” John and I both know, however, that the song “I’m Still Here” was inspired by her, and Epperson said,
John Epperson as Lypsinka.
“I’m hoping he will come because it’s altered over the years and become deeper and richer. He is a movie fan and really is crazy about Joan Crawford. I emailed him not too long to say I finally saw [her 1928 film] ‘Our Dancing Daughters,’ and he replied, ‘What have you been doing your whole life?,’ because to him, that’s something I should have seen a long time ago. “I had the idea to do all of this 10 years but had to wait on the money. For this, we have to thank a man named Gerry Herman, not the composer, but an American man I met in 2010 in Paris, at the Café de Flore. I was there with a former assistant of Karl Lager feld’s, Gilles Dufour. He and Karl are on the outs, so I was afraid that Karl would be there, too, but he said, ‘Darling, I don’t care.’ I met Gerry there, and we were
chatting and he said, ‘Wait a second, you’re Lypsinka. Why are you here?’ I said, ‘I would love to perform here and have come here to meet people.’ He said, ‘I’m going to get behind you,’ and he has, my very first real angel.” I asked Epperson how he came to create L ypsinka and he said, “I had two older sisters, and the older of them was so imaginative and would think up things for her younger siblings. We had a recording with Jayne Mansfield on the cover in a black cat suit on all fours, even though she didn’t sing on the record. It was pop 1950s songs like ‘Sweet Old Fashioned Girl’ and ‘You Gotta Have Heart,’ and my oldest sister started moving her mouth to the record and my mother loved it. She called it pantomime and would be our audience. “When I got to college in Jack-
son, Mississippi, I went to the gay bars and the drag queens were lip-synching, doing what I saw my sisters do. That’s when I started getting the germ of an idea, and I also saw a review of Charles Ludlam’s ‘Camille.’ I thought, ‘Wait a second. He’s in drag and in Time magazine, and that’s the differ ence: you have to be in New York. “I came here in 1978 and one of the first things I saw that weekend was Divine in ‘The Neon Woman’ at Hurrah. Then I saw Ludlam’s ‘Camille’ and thought, ‘How can I make my mark, unique but rooted in some sort of gay performance tradition?’ I needed to come up with a name that tells the audience I have a sense of humor. I saw the Richard Avedon show at the Metropolitan and there were photos of Veruschka, Dovima, one-name fashion models. Well, I’m tall and skinny, too, so what if I am this one-name fashion model Lypsinka, who has a sense of humor about herself and tells the audience what they’re gonna see? “There was also a deeper psychological reason, which was that I had the desire to be on stage, but was also filled with fear of exposing myself. So, if I could hide behind someone else’s voice. And that has been the conundrum of my career, because a lot of people think I can’t do anything but lip-synch.”
IN THE NOH, continued on p.43
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
IN THE NOH, from p.42
No less formidable a diva than the Lyp is the ever fascinating Imelda Marcos, and, to add to her living legend status, along with the Public Theater’s ragingly successful “Here Lies Love,” here comes actor/ writer/ activist Carlos Celdran, a real Renaissance guy, with his show, “Livin’ La Vida Imelda,” at the Clurman Theatre (through Nov. 23, 410 W. 42nd St.; ma-yitheatre.org) “There truly is so much more to this woman than those infernal shoes,” I said to Celdran, and asked him what inspired him to do this show. He said, “The architect of Imelda, Leandro Locsin, was my original inspiration. Amazing man. Brilliant work and very ambitious. Back in 1999, I used to give a walking tour of his buildings that Imelda commissioned. After doing that architectural walking tour for a few years, I realized that there was a character here that I wasn’t addressing. The elephant in the room to speak. So as the years went on, Imelda somehow became the new focus of the tour and his buildings became the backdrop to her story. “I just want to convey Imelda as more complex. I am not forgiving her for her sins nor am I condemning her. I just want to present a different side to her. Imelda’s identity is quite ingrained in the Philippine identity, as well. Must we allow the world to see her as a caricature, along with it somehow being okay to make a caricature of Filipinos as a people, as well? If the French can turn Marie Antoinette into a complex character to be understood, then why can’t we do the same with Imelda. She really is more than | November 13 - 26, 2014
COURTESEY: CARLOS CELDRAN
I saw New York City Opera’s revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” in which Epperson stole the show with his aristocratic, nigh-Restoration comedy elegance: “I spoke in my own voice and sang the songs and thought surely someone will take me seriously as an actor and say how we can use the name Lypsinka to market another show, without being the Lyp. I thought, ‘I’m going to get offers and I didn’t.’ That was in 2004, a big year, with the movie ‘Kinsey,’ in which I appeared, playing across the street from Lincoln Center, eight pages in Paris Vogue, but nothing happened. “Fortunately, being onstage doesn’t totally feed my identity. I’m very happy being an audience member but now I don’t go to theater because the audiences are so awful. I’m an audience at home, I watch movies and just saw ‘I Can Get It for You Wholesale,’ so there are Susan Hayward movies I have never seen. I’m perfectly happy, reading books and going on my Vermont trips every summer. I have a whole network of friends there. It’s so quiet, no tourists bombarding you and pushing strollers. The air is fresh and when I first went there, my friend said, ‘Here in Vermont, there’s valium in the air,’ because everyone was so relaxed. It’s only on the surface though. There are lots of angry poor people there, also.”
just about the shoes.” I jokingly asked Celdran if, like almost every Filipino I know, he can sing, and, more seriously, if he could describe any particular traits identifiable with his people. “Yes, I work in theater so I do sing,” he said with a laugh. “Imelda probably sings better than I, though. Identifiable Filipino traits? Jeez. Well, like a stereotypical Filipino, I like my adobo and white rice at any time of day. But Filipinos also have a flair for the dramatic and melodramatic and do tend to laugh in the face of adversity. It’s a coping mechanism I share with my countrymen. Being Filipino has been impactful. Some people don’t think we’re Asian at all. We’re like wandering Mexicans who ended up next to Hong Kong. But having said that, being Asian rocks.” Celdran attended the Rhode Island School of Design and described that as “an amazing time. The late ‘90s was a perfect moment to be in art school and living in the East Village of New York City. It was intense. The music, the art, the burgeoning LBGT movement, the drugs. I’m lucky and quite grateful to have been part of that and lucky and quite grateful to have come out of it alive [laughs]. As far as artistic influences go, I would cite my American canon: Robert Wilson, John Leguizamo, Bob Fosse. My Philippine canon: Santiago Bose, BenCab, and Sipat Lawin Ensemble. I’m constantly inspired by what they do. In September 2010, Celdran staged a demonstration against the Catholic Church’s role as the enforcer of social conservatism in Philippine politics. Dressed as the 19th century revolutionary Filipino writer José Rizal, Celdran entered Manila Cathedral during a Mass with the city’s mayor and various archbishops, bearing a sign protesting church-sanctioned abuses of power, and shouted, “Stop getting involved in politics!” before being dragged away by the police. He was charged and found guilty of offending religious feelings, which drew the attention of Human Rights Watch as well as thousands of Facebook supporters. “I was a little naive in thinking that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines would let me go with just a slap on the wrist,” Celdran said. “But I did the protest in order to push legislation that was pending in Congress called the Reproductive Health Bill. A very important bill which would provide birth control options to the poorest of Filipinos plus strengthening sex education courses in public schools. This bill had been blocked by the Catholic Church for 16 years. Finally one day, I decided to do something about it. I’m glad I wore a derby [Rizal’s trademark] that day. “Silence is still leading to death in the Philippines. The Philippines’ HIV infection rate is increasing at an alarming rate and reversing the trend in a region where infection rates were going down. Lack of funding, lack of concern, lack of legislation are the primary reasons why this is happening. I would love to give a shout
Carlos Celdran conducting one of his tours in Manila.
out to Jonas Bagas [tlfshare.org] and Laurindo Garcia [b-change.org] for being leading lights in the Philippine HIV fight. I am just a mere clown next to these guys.” But Celdran himself is a true activist, and he ran afoul of the Dubai authorities, as well, when he was invited to perform “Living La Vida Imelda” for Art Dubai 2012. He was interrupted in mid-performance because of an imaginary conversation he had written between Imelda and Muammar Gaddafi, in which she says, “Islam is all about peace, and if you are funding a war in my country that is pitting Filipino against Filipino, you are also pitting Muslim against Muslim. How are you following Mohammed?” Afterwards, he was questioned by security officials and instructed to censor his show. Rather than do that, he cancelled performances. He told me, “As for Dubai, the whole region is just mired in hypocrisy, bigotry, and misogyny. I have no desire to return to the UAE at all. It still baffles me why institutions like Georgetown and NYU choose to open schools in this region and seemingly validate their system and their way of thinking. Russia makes a new anti-gay law and the whole world freaks out. UAE has had an anti-gay law forever and the world lines up to throw money at them. I don’t get it.” As far as his sexual orientation goes, Celdran said, “I guess queer would be the best way to describe me. I’m a gay man happily married to a woman for the last 15 years. So I guess that makes me part lesbian too. I’m actually not the first of its kind. I doubt I’ll be the last.” Read more from Carlos Celdran at celdrantours.blogspot.com. Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@aol.com and check out his blog at http:// nohway.wordpress.com.
Seth Rudetsky and Matthew Broderick at Don’t Tell Mama in October.
LIPS, from p.35
many dramatic works, like McNally’s “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” have tackled them headon. As a result, “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” now feels timid. Now and then the characters’ anxieties — about thong-wearing gays, a possible suicide by drowning, marital infidelities, terminal illness, a secret pregnancy — are revealed via spotlighted interior monologues, underscoring their sense of isolation. Unfortunately, the asides feel forced, breaking the drama’s natural cadences. I also have a quibble with the gay neighbor’s taste in music, which feels out of touch. On one
HAIR, from p.36
When Junior spends time with his grandmother, she straightens his hair and teaches him 60s songs. But when she makes him a “singer’s suit,” Junior is upset that it “looks like a dress,” something Marta is unhappy about as well. In a later scene, when Junior
Circle before he is officially confirmed as a teacher at his school (which ensures him job security) is a risk he feels is worth taking. His relationship with Röbi is a bit trickier. While the men first meet when Ernst is transfixed by Röbi’s performance in drag, he doesn’t understand that the singer is a man. The men don’t truly connect until Ernst visits Röbi, a hair stylist, at his work. The couple soon start spending their nights together. But their relationship was not without its hiccups early on. While Röbi is open to his mother, Erika (Marianne Sägebrecht), Ernst is closeted to his parents. In the interviews, the real-life Röbi and Ernst discuss how long it took for Ernst to introduce Röbi to his parents, a scene recreated in the film. Ernst’s sister is also interviewed in the documentary portion, and she explains how the relationship between the
Take a look at a “deconstruction” from last summer as he was preparing to head to London for one of his live on-stage “deconstruction” events. Here (https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uh7HWctKKQE), he analyzes diva Elaine Page’s London triumph in the title role of “Evita,” showing us point by point the elements of vocal technique that created her thrilling performance, and in doing so, “per-
side they are blasting Billie Holiday and Broadway show tunes; on the other side, Schubert and Ella Fitzgerald. As I recall, gay culture in 1990 was filled with dance music by the likes of Madonna, Deee-Lite, and Black Box featuring Martha Wash. In the plus column, there’s a positive, albeit brief, portrayal of gay relationships. The wild sex act in the nearby bushes that Sam observes is followed by the men lying in each other’s arms and saying, “I love you.” The bug zapper, with its sinister neon blue light and periodic buzzes, is a poignant, chilling reminder of mortality. There is one plot point that feels oddly topical. All four of them refuse to jump into the pool for
wears an oversized hoodie that Mario gives him and poses like a gangster in a mirror, Marta is also uncomfortable with that image. The film returns again and again to issues of appearance, masculinity, identity, and sexuality. Writer and director Mariana Rondón films “Bad Hair” in an intimate, almost documentary style.
CIRCLE, from p.37
BROADWAY DIARY, from p.34
fear of catching AIDS, not unlike the hysteria surrounding another deadly virus from Africa dominating today’s headlines. The best thing about this version of “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” may well be the production design. Alexander Dodge’s gorgeous midcentury modern beach house, complete with a pristine, water-filled pool in the foreground, looks identical to one in the Pines designed by famed architect Horace Gifford. Ultimately, you’re left with the feeling that the climactic fireworks, evoked by Justin Townsend’s lighting and Fitz Patton’s sound design, are more impressive than whatever fireworks are attempted in the muddled action onstage.
Her neo-realist approach has viewers practically eavesdropping on the characters, which makes their emotions more palpable. The film’s authenticity is affecting, and the characters, despite their flaws, are sympathetic. Rondón coaxes strong performances from her two leads, Lange and Castillo. Haircuts have long been a sym-
men was understood if not discussed. She discloses that her brother fabricated stories about women he was dating to maintain a double life and didn’t come out until he was 70. The film includes a subplot about gay murders taking place in Zurich at the time that put pressure on Rolf and his fellow members of the Circle. Rather than protest ill treatment in the streets, the group decides to maintain the sanctity of the organization. A sequence showing the murderer cast as a victim in court while the gay men murdered were portrayed as criminals underscores the harshness of the LGBT community’s second-class citizenship even in a country with relatively liberal attitudes at the time. A scene where Ernst and Felix (Anatole Taubman) smuggle the banned Circle magazine into Germany captures the tension of a scramble across the border, but underplays a romantic dalliance the two friends share. And a storyline about Ernst’s boss, Mr. Sieber (Peter Jecklin), who has secret sex-
forms” the number “Rainbow High.” He’s quite literally giving a master class on vocal and performance technique, but in essence, teaching us how to love something he loves. I don’t think there is a greater gift one human being can offer to another; it’s deeply intimate and generous. And he is a wonderful teacher and performer, full of passion and commitment, even when, as on YouTube, channeling that gayest of art forms, the drag lip sync.
bol of life change in film and literature, and this device is especially resonant here. As “Bad Hair” builds to its provocative ending, mother and son force a compromise that yields a powerful moment. The film’s final shot beautifully addresses how conformity and difference can intersect when they interact.
ual trysts in toilets with rent boys, comments on the repressive tenor of the times but otherwise is lacking in dramatic impact. Haupt may have tried to shoehorn too many plotlines into 102 minutes. The filmmaker does best when presenting factual material, such as how the magazine could publish artistic nudes but photographs could not feature naked genitals. Pictures from the era, such as the real-life Röbi in costume, are also compelling, especially in contrast to the handsomely mounted “re-creation” scenes. Despite flaws, “The Circle” is an important film and it provides a critical history lesson. Nuanced appreciation for the varying degrees of acceptance and sexual expression are represented, even if some of the characters are too broadly portrayed. Ernst and Röbi emerge as sympathetic in both the dramatic and documentary segments, and a closing note about a recent barrier the couple surmounted allows the film to come a gratifying full “Circle.” November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
| November 13 - 26, 2014
FRI.NOV.14 FILM Fassbinder’s Legacy
ANTÓNIO DA SILVA
THU.NOV.13 FILM Embracing Queer Experimentalism, Technological Change
PERFORMANCE Lypsinka, in Repertory With Herself John Epperson performs a rotating best of Lypsinka repertoire with “Lypsinka! The Boxed Set,” “The Passion of the Crawford,” and “John Epperson: Show Trash.” Connelly Theater, 220 E. Fourth St., btwn. Aves. A & B. Through Jan. 3. For complete schedule and tickets at $45, visit ovationtix.com.
The Champagne of Bottled Camp
MIX NYC is a community of artists and organizers joined together to explore, share, and create queer experimental media in an age of constant technological change. The art, its organizers say, is intended for themselves and their community not for markets or museums. Highlights of MIX 27 — which screens, except as noted, at the MIX HIVE, 337 Butler St., btwn. Third & Fourth Aves. in Gowanus, Brooklyn — are: On Nov. 13-19, 7 p.m. & 9 p.m., plus Nov. 15-16, 4:45 p.m., at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave. at Second St., MIX presents “Burroughs: The Movie” ($10 tickets, $8 for students, $6 for seniors, available only at Anthology the day of screening), the recovered and restored 1983 film by the late Howard Brookner that includes interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Patti Smith, and Terry Southern. Tom DiCillo, the film’s director of photography, appears on Nov 13, 7 p.m., and Jim Jarmusch, who did the sound recording, appears on Nov. 18, 7 p.m. Bruce LaBruce’s “Pierrot Lunaire” ($13), adapted from the Arnold Schoenberg music of the same name, with Susanne Sachsse as the trans man Pierrot, screens on Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m. Filipe Afonso, on Nov. 13, 9 p.m., curates “Queer Wi-Fi: Do Trust Strangers” ($13), which explores the time we spend in front of screens navigating virtual worlds, swapping genres, and creating new avatars, fantasies, and anxieties. On Nov. 14, 6:15 p.m., UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave., a block off Grand St., Bushwick, screens “I Always Said Yes” ($9), Jim Tushinski’s affectionate portrait of gay erotic art filmmaker Wakefield Poole, which Gay City News’ Gary M. Kramer described as “a terrific queer history that recounts Poole’s life and work —from his experiences as a dancer in the Ballet Russes to his success making ‘artistic, erotic — not dirty’ films, which include his blockbuster successes ‘Boys in the Sand’ and ‘Bijou,’ as well as the fascinating flop ‘Bible!’” On Nov. 14, 8 p.m., MIX screens Oiticica Filho’s first film, “Hélio Oiticica,” ($13), about his uncle who was one of the most important Brazilian artists of the 20th century. On Nov. 14, 10 p.m., Shine Louise Houston curates “The Intimate Erotics” ($13), a program that examines how using “intimacy” as a pornographic element reveals new perspectives on kinky queer sex and exposes the vulnerability in pornography.” MIX screens Charles Lum and Todd Verow’s “Age of Consent” ($13), about the London
all-male fetish club the Hoist, which opened in 1996 and is still around today, on Nov. 14, 11:30 p.m. Pablo Oliverio’s “Cine Tomado” ($13) which combines vibrantly manipulated live action video and hand-drawn animation in a story that provokes us to consider the place of artists and artistic institutions in a world full of threat, screens on Nov. 15, 4 p.m. “Un(dis)sing Our Abilities,” an experimental sexplicit short movie showcase presented by Periwinkle Cinema that explores sensuality, intimacy, safety, and consent through the lens of the less-represented — those of us dissed, dismissed, (mis)labeled, disabled, and generally passed over in mainstream queer crowds — screens on Nov. 15, 6 p.m. Ethan Reid’s “Peter De Rome: Grandfather Of Gay Porn” ($13) which celebrates the life of a filmmaker whose sense of mischief has not diminished even at age 90 and which revisits some of the most orgasmic moments caught on film, screens on Nov. 15, 8 p.m. In “SUBMERGE @ BAX on Nov. 15, 8 p.m. at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, 421 Fifth Ave. at Eighth Ave., curator Zavé Martohardjono presents a night of mixed-media performance, bringing together three multidisciplinary artists — Mieke D, DJ Tikka Masala, and Alicia Ohs. “Please Relax Now” ($13), a collection of films to exploit your spectatorship, remaking moments of intimacy and unlocked sexual inhibitions into collective experiences, screens on Nov. 15, 10 p.m. “History Doesn’t Have to Repeat Itself” ($13), presented on Nov. 16, 5 p.m., is a mixture of oral history, manipulated video, and archival footage that explores various New York communities born out of the post-Stonewall era. Participants include Perry Brass, from the early 1970s Gay Liberation Front; Deborah Edel from the Lesbian Herstory Archives; Cara Page, Chelsea Johnson Long, and Elliot Fukui from the Audre Lorde Project; Arthur Aviles and Charles Rice-Gonzalez from the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, or BAAD!; Camilo Godoy, Megan Mulholland, Michael Tikili, and Reginald Brown from Queerocracy; and Sarah Schulman and Jim Hubbard from MIX NYC, the ACT UP Oral History Project, and the AIDS Activists Videotape Collection. MIX NYC closes on Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m., with Psychic TV’s “Dream Less Sweet” ($20), in which the band, founded in 1981, invited 47 artists to create a collective film set to the group’s acclaimed second album in a process drawing from the cut-up technique originated by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs. Complete information on the festival’s schedule and tickets at mixnyc.org.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who made nearly 40 feature films between 1969 and 1982, when he died at age 37, was one of the most prolific and influential European filmmakers of the late 20th century. In melodramas, gangster movies, literary adaptations, and even sci-fi films, he returned obsessively to themes of love, crime, labor, and social and emotional exploitation. He was similarly fixated on his beloved performers — including Hanna Schygulla, El Hedi ben Salem, and Ulli Lommel — who formed a repertory company of sorts whose fierce, complicated devotion to their visionary leader is without parallel. In part II of its “Fassbinder: Romantic Anarchist” program,” the Film Society of Lincoln Center presents more than two-dozen of his films and collaborations with other collaborators. Fassbinder’s 1982 swan song, the unforgettable “Querelle” (Nov. 23, 1 p.m.; Nov. 26, 8:30 p.m.), based on the Jean Genet novel, follows a Belgian sailor and hustler (Brad Davis of “Midnight Express” fame) as he frequents a brothel in Brest run by Lysiane (Jeanne Moreau), and works through a complex relationship with his brother. “Lili Marleen” (Nov. 15, 4:20 p.m.; Nov. 18, 8:30 p.m.) is a 1981 melodramatic chronicle of the starcrossed love affair between German cabaret singer Willie (Schygulla) and Swiss-Jewish songwriter Robert Mendelssohn (Giancarlo Giannini), who furtively lends his support to a group of German Jews. Walter Reade Theater, 165 W. 65th St. and Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 W. 65th St. Through Nov. 26. Tickets are $13; $9 for students & seniors (with package discounts available) at filmlinc.com.
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 Hamil-
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ton with choreography by Mary Lauren, “Fabulous!” was an Off-Off Broadway hit last season and is now running 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.
toward a cure, including amfAR’s “research roadmap” that identifies the four key scientific challenges that are the principal roadblocks. The New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St, 40th Floor from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. The event is free, but pre-registration is required at curecountdown.org/summit. Breakfast and lunch are provided.
Recognizing Health Leaders
THEATER Dickinson, Alone Again “The Belle of Amherst,” William Luce’s one-woman play of the private yet prolific 19th century poet Emily Dickinson, stars Joely Richardson and is directed by Steve Cosson. Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St. Through Nov.23: Tue., 7 p.m.; Wed.Sat., 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat., 2 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. Tickets are $79-$99 at telecharge.com or 212-239-6200.
The Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which serves the LGBT community regardless of ability to pay, holds its annual Community Health Awards. Honorees this year are the Paul Rapoport Foundation, BioReference Laboratories, City Council Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson, and Julie Halston, from Broadway’s “You Can’t Take It With You.” Edie Windsor, whose lawsuit struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, is the evening’s special guest. Espace, 635 W. 42nd St. Nov. 17, 6-9 p.m. Tickets, which includes cocktails, a banquet, and entertainment, are $350 at callen-lorde.org.
In the Back Room, She Was Everybody’s Darlin’
BOOKS The Boys of November
Justin Sayre’s monthly edition of “The Meeting*,” a blend of outrageous comedy, politics, and culture, features a tribute to Warhol Superstar Candy Darling, featuring Justin Vivian Bond. Tracy Stark is the evening’s music director. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Nov. 16, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at joespub.com or 212-967-7555.
“Drunken! Careening! Writers!” host Kathleen Warnock welcomes John W. Bateman, the first person in his family to leave the fly-over states in more than 200 years, who is currently working on a novel about ghosts, drag, and Southern charm; New Orleans native Rickey Laurentiis, author of the poetry collection “Boy with Thorn,” forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2015; Martin Hyatt, born just outside of New Orleans, whose debut novel, “A Scarecrow’s Bible,” was named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association and won the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction; and Bob Smith, a Buffalo native who was the first openly gay standup comic to appear on “The Tonight Show” and whose second novel, “Remembrance Of Things I Forgot,” published four years after he was diagnosed with ALS/ Lou Gehrig’s Disease, was picked by Amazon as one of Ten Best Gay and Lesbian books of 2011. KGB Bar, 85 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Nov. 20, 7 p.m. This event is free.
New Rules From Baby Jane Baby Jane Dexter’s “Rules of the Road (Part 3)” is the latest emotionally empowering and highly-charged show from the cabaret star who has received six major MAC Awards, two Nightlife Awards ,and two Back Stage Bistro Awards. Dexter will sing selections from Rogers & Hammerstein, Cy Coleman & Peggy Lee, Peter Allen & Carol Bayer Sager, Leiber & Stoller, Mike Scott, Randy Newman, and John Bucchino. Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St. Nov.21-22 & 28-29, Dec. 20 & 26-27, 7 p.m. The cover charge is $25, and there’s a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-206-0440.
WED.NOV.26 NIGHTLIFE American Whore Story It’s Thanksgiving Eve and the Monster plays host to a sexy freak show, presented by Dworld. Upstairs, clothing is okay, but downstairs, where Go Go Strongmen will be accompanied by Ringmaster Sammy Jo, the mandatory dress code is underwear only. The Monster, 80 Grove St. at Sheridan Square. Nov. 26, 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 at dworld.us or $20 at the door.
Sharing the Bounty On Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 27, God’s Love We Deliver seeks volunteers to deliver meals. “It’s a beautiful thing to watch our community come together in celebration, to help their neighbors in need, and to spread holiday cheer!,” said Steven Marion, the group’s director of special events and volunteer services. In all, 900 volunteers will help cook and deliver more than 3,000 holiday feasts to homebound New Yorkers living with AIDS cancer, and other illnesses that limit their mobility. Visit glwd.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MON.NOV.17 HEALTH The HIV Cure Summit, hosted by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, is an opportunity for the public to participate in a discussion with some of the world’s leading HIV/ AIDS researchers on progress | November 13 - 26, 2014
COURTESY: KATHLEEN WARNOCK
Road to a Cure
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research invites you to the
An update from some of the world’s leading researchers on progress toward a cure for HIV Monday, November 17, 2014 8:30 a.m. –3:30 p.m.
New York Academy of Sciences 7 World Trade Center 250 Greenwich Street, 40th Floor New York City
RSVP required. To RSVP go to www.curecountdown.org/summit
Event is free.
amfAR Summit ad Gay City News 102414.indd 48
November 13 - 26, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc 10/24/14 3:41 PM
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