SPECIAL REPORT: Gays, History & A New Bishop of Rome 14
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FREE | VOLUME THIRTEEN, ISSUE TWENTY-FIVE | DECEMBER 11 - 24, 2014
EDITOR’S LETTER Transparency and trust
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December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
LGBT Voices Join Outrage Over Eric Garner Case
Leading advocates, elected officials decry lack of indictment, call for systemic NYPD reforms
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
DONNA ACETO DONNA ACETO
| December 11 - 24, 2014
n a December 4 statement, more than a dozen major groups from New York’s LGBT advocacy community came together to voice their “outrage over the lack of indictment in the Eric Garner case.” A day before, a Staten Island grand jury declined to issue an indictment in a wide array of potential charges against police officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold takedown of Garner on July 17 was captured on video. During the encounter, in which Pantaleo and other NYPD officers attempted to arrest Garner for selling loose cigarettes on the street, on 11 occasions Garner said, “I can’t breathe,” as his head and body were forcefully held against the ground until he died. “We stand in solidarity with Communities United for Police Reform, people of color, and LGBTQ people of color throughout New York City in condemning NYPD practices that disproportionately affect communities of color, and that led directly to the tragic, premature, and ultimately preventable death of Eric Garner,” the statement from the LGBT groups read. The letter’s signers included the Empire State Pride Agenda, Lambda Legal, the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the LGBT Community Center and the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Immigration Equality, the Family Equality Council, SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders), the GRIOT Circle: a gathering of elders, and several organizations advocating on behalf of LGBT young people, including FIERCE, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and Streetwise and Safe. Linking the lack of an indictment in Staten Island to last week’s decision by a Missouri grand jury not to indict a police officer in the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the groups wrote, “law enforcement officials are not held
accountable when they kill Black people in this country. Police violence is an LGBTQ issue. We know that far too many LGBTQ people, and particularly Black LGBTQ people, are regularly profiled, harassed, and subject to police violence.” The groups also pointed to a 2010 case in Newark, where a police officer shot and killed DeFarra Gaymon, an unarmed Black man, after encountering him in a gay cruising area. The officer claimed self-defense and also escaped prosecution. The letter cited the most recent report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs showing that, nationwide, transgender people of color face six times greater risk of violence at the hands of police than the average American. According to the New York City
Anti-Violence Project, for the second year in a row it “saw high rates of police misconduct being reported by our clients.” In each year, more than 65 respondents told the AVP they had encountered police hostility or violence while reporting crimes committed against them. The LGBT groups endorsed the proposed city Right To Know Act that would require NYPD officers to inform anyone they stop that under normal circumstances — that is, without a specific indication of criminal behavior — they can only be searched with their consent. The measure was recently introduced by Councilmembers Ritchie Torres, an out gay representative from the Bronx, and Brooklyn’s Antonio Reynoso. The letter added, “We call for NYPD reforms that prevent the police from policing their own
A huge crowd of demonstrators amassed in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan on December 4.
actions, as clearly that has not worked in Ferguson, in New York City, or countless other cities and towns throughout the country.” Separately, Lower East Side City Councilmember Rosie Mendez offered a stark assessment of the factors behind the Garner death, saying, “In New York City we have seen far too many lives taken by an act of hyper-aggressive policing that includes excessive and deadly force… The system that was created to ‘protect’ us is flawed and continues to fail us. At the root of this failure is institutionalized racism and we continue to lose lives and do not address this root cause.” In a release about Gar ner’s death and the lack of an indictment, Jimmy Van Bramer the out gay Council majority leader from
GARNER, continued on p.39
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
t a Wo r l d A I D S day event held at Harlem’s A p o l l o T h e a t e r, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the assistant commissioner in the city’s health department who oversees HIV programs, made a bold promise. “I am tired of hearing that that New York City is the epicenter of HIV,” Daskalakis told the crowd at the December 1 event. “New York City is going to be the epicenter of the end of HIV.” In June, Gover nor Andrew Cuomo endorsed an ambitious plan sought by AIDS groups that will use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), among other interventions, to prevent new HIV infections and to use treatment as prevention (TasP) in HIV-positive New Yorkers so that they are no longer infectious. Under the plan, new annual infections in the state would fall from roughly 3,000 currently to 750 by 2020. The single greatest
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, an out gay assistant health commissioner responsible for HIV programs,
obstacle to getting to 750 is the continued high rate of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City. “My short take is that, at reasonable levels of usage, PrEP is likely to make a noticeable dent in the epidemic for MSM, but alone it’s not going to ‘break the back’ of the epidemic in the ways that would be
needed to achieve the numbers in your Plan to End AIDS,” Steven M. Goodreau, a professor at the University of Washington, wrote in an email. “Even in combination with TasP that seems incredibly optimistic.” PrEP is highly effective when taken daily. PEP, a 28-day course of anti-HIV drugs given to people with a recent exposure, has been
used for nearly two decades, but mostly by healthcare professionals with a recent exposure, such as a hypodermic needle stick. TasP also requires strict adherence to dosing schedules among those with HIV. Goodreau has published 27 peer-reviewed journal articles, with most exploring HIV epidemiology. In 2012, the latest year for which the state has data, there were 3,316 new HIV diagnoses in New York and 3,141, or 95 percent, were in New York City. Among the city diagnoses, 1,719, or 55 percent, were among men who have sex with men. The rate of new HIV diagnoses among New York City gay and bisexual men has remained stubbornly high for 13 years. According to city data, there were 1,689 new HIV diagnoses among city men who have sex with men in 2001. That number climbed to 1,873 in 2008 and then fell to 1,609 in 2013, which represented nearly 57 percent of all diagnoses in the city last year. The overall trend in that the rate is stable. From 2001 through 2013, every other risk category — heterosexual sex, drug injectors, and motherto-child transmission — saw substantial declines. In 2013, heterosexual sex accounted for 520 new HIV diagnoses. Injection drug use and men who have sex with men who are injectors combined to contribute 89 cases last year. Mother-
ENDING AIDS, continued on p.6
How Much Will It Cost? Plan to End AIDS involves tens of millions of dollars, though private insurance, government funds split not now known
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
he Plan to End AIDS could cost tens of millions of dollars initially, with those costs first increasing then declining if the plan meets its target of reducing new HIV infections in New York State from its current roughly 3,000 a year to 750 by 2020. “Fifty million dollars would get you well into the game,” said Charles King, chief executive officer at Housing Works, an AIDS group, referring to the plan’s first-year price tag. King co-chairs the 63-member task force that is drafting the plan. In June, Governor Andrew Cuomo endorsed the plan, which will use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP),
and treatment as prevention (TasP) to prevent new HIV infections. With a nod to the plan’s reliance on costly anti-HIV drugs for PrEP, PEP, and TasP, the first act by the Cuomo administration was to negotiate reduced drug prices with a number of pharmaceutical companies. PrEP gives anti-HIV drugs to uninfected people to prevent them from becoming infected. It is highly effective when taken daily. PEP is a 28-day course of anti-HIV drugs that prevents infection in someone with a recent exposure. TasP keeps infected people healthy and it reduces the amount of virus in their bodies so they cannot infect others. Like the interventions for HIV-negative people, TasP also requires adherence to a dosing schedule. In addition to reducing new infections, advocates also hope to create a single point of access
to entitlement programs for people who are HIV-positive. Such an effort would probably be administered by county or city governments and would sign up HIV-positive people for Medicaid, food stamps, and rental and transportation assistance at one agency. Some data supports the view that such benefits make it easier for HIV-positive people to adhere to anti-HIV drugs, which is necessary for TasP to be successful. The total increase in costs under New York’s plan is unknown and the new dollars needed will not come exclusively from the government, but both the state and the city will have to find some new funds. In 2007, AIDS groups unsuccessfully sought
COST, continued on p.40
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Optimism on End to AIDS in 2020 in New York, 2030 Worldwide
Deep challenges remain, including stable housing for most vulnerable, persistent infection rates in gay, bi men
BY ANDY HUMM
| December 11 - 24, 2014
he Apollo Theater in Harlem was packed to the rafters on the mor ning of December 1, but coming from the stage was not entertainment but almost three hours of passionate speeches from elected officials and advocates marking World AIDS Day. The key message was a call for an end to AIDS in New York by the year 2020 — and a United Nations official backed that up by saying that ending AIDS worldwide is within grasp by 2030. These are not new calls, but there is patently more optimism about achieving the goals with advent of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, and new campaigns to get at-risk people — especially young men of color who have sex with men, the most vulnerable demographic in New York — tested and, if positive, into treatment to bring their viral loads to undetectable levels and so dramatically reduce the chance they could transmit HIV. Also in play is a higher level of commitment from the city and state — which enacted a 30 percent rent cap to stabilize the housing of poorer people with AIDS — and a blue ribbon task force appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to make recommendations on how to end AIDS. The movement even has a hashtag now, #EndAIDSNY2020. Just before the event kicked off, Tom Viola, the long-time director of Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, one of the sponsors of the campaign, said, “It’s important to talk about the end of AIDS as a goal.” But, he cautioned, “I don’t think that’s completely realizable,” noting how “AIDS is tied into poverty and racism and injustice.” He talked about the critical need to “reach out to people where they live and work to be tested.” Those who go on drugs to treat their HIV infection or to prevent it, Viola said, must be connected “to social services because adherence is difficult.” Viola, who has worked on AIDS issues at BCEFA for 26 years, said he was gratified to hear his concerns about the big picture problems that fuel the AIDS epidemic echoed by many of the day’s speakers, though he acknowledged most were long enrolled in the battle against HIV. “I like to do what is possible in front of me,” he said. Jennifer Flynn of VOCAL-NY, one of the lead organizers of the campaign, said that since providing stable, affordable housing is one of the keys to helping people with HIV not progress to AIDS, her group wants “enhanced rental assistance” for people who are HIV-positive but do not have an official AIDS diagnosis — and are not currently covered by the 30 percent rent cap protection — “to be the number one recommen-
dation from the governor’s task force.” After the event, Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, a West Side Democrat who is chair of the Health Committee, said that “while I would welcome that” expansion, “it obviously has a very high price tag. It took many years to get the 30 percent rent cap for even the most severely ill. So expanding it will be difficult.” “We think perhaps the city can do that on its own,” Flynn said, or that the governor can make it happen administratively by redefining a qualifying diagnosis for the program, which is helping an estimated 11,000 people with AIDS and could provide assistance to another 10,000 low-income people with HIV. Providing assistance to those who have not progressed to AIDS not only protects their health, but also minimizes the risk that they will be infective to their sex partners. Gottfried is holding hearings around the state on his bill to create a single-payer health insurance system for New York State, which he thinks will be “extremely important” to the campaign to end AIDS. But he acknowledged his bill is up against an unsympathetic Republican State Senate. Even Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver “wants to see real support for the bill in the Democratic conference” before moving the bill to the Assembly floor. Asked whether the city was making use of the six mandatory AIDS lessons in all schools, Dr. Mary Bassett, the city health commissioner, had to admit that she did not know. Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, an out gay assistant health commissioner responsible for HIV programs, said that school-based education was being put forth as a major priority by those on the governor’s task force. “Treatment makes the biggest difference,” Bassett said. The morning rally was kicked off by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who got a standing ovation from most in the hall, and featured representatives of more than 40 AIDS organizations united for an end of AIDS, by which they mean getting new infections so low that HIV is no longer at epidemic levels. “Change comes from the grassroots,” de Blasio said, citing advocates who pulled him aside to lobby him repeatedly on the 30 percent rent cap. He recalled his first consciousness of AIDS as an undergraduate at NYU in 1983 as a disease of “mystery and confusion” as well as his time working as a City Council colleague of the late Philip Reed, who was openly HIV-positive. “We’ve lost 100,000 of our fellow New Yorkers to AIDS and there are 100,000 living with HIV,” de Blasio said. “We have been at the forefront of solutions,” though that certainly was not true in the early years of the epidemic under Mayor Ed Koch. New York is, however, home to many leading AIDS research programs, services pioneered by Gay Men’s Health Crisis within a year
Mayor Bill de Blasio at the World AIDS Day event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
of AIDS being identified, and the fierce activists of ACT UP who first met in 1987 at the call of Larry Kramer. The mayor touted the new NY Knows campaign targeting people 13-64, “encouraging all sexually active New Yorkers to get tested. We are going to make it easier in all five boroughs.” Bassett hailed the drop in new HIV infections in the city to a “historic low, a 40 percent decrease from 10 years ago but not low enough. The right number is zero.” Declines in new diagnoses have comes across all demographic groups — with the notable exception of men who have sex with men. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem Democrat, used some of her time at the podium to also urge that the campaign to end AIDS be extended to her native Puerto Rico, which she said has experienced “an incredible rise” in new infections fueled by “a lack of access” to critical health services. Councilmember Corey Johnson, an out gay and HIV-positive Chelsea Democrat who chairs the Health Committee, called HIV “a disease of inequities,” saying it will not end it “if we do not provide equal access to these interventions.” He said the “1980s definition of AIDS” that requires two opportunistic infections or a T -cell level below 200 “is out of step with current science. Now people need to get sick to qualify for support. That ain’t right!” Out gay State Senator Brad Hoylman, also a West Side Democrat, cited Cuomo “as the first governor to embrace PrEP” and quoted NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, saying “a functional cure is within our grasp.” State Senator Daniel Squadron, a Lower Manhattan-Brooklyn Democrat, gave a pas-
AIDS DAY, continued on p.39
City HIV Diagnoses at Record Low, But Gay, Bi Progress Stalled
As goal to end epidemic announced, numbers do not yet indicate “success” BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
hile New York City’s health department is reporting that new HIV diagnoses in 2013 were at the lowest level seen since the city began tracking such diagnoses in 2001, the diagnoses among gay and bisexual men remain stubbornly high. “What we’re seeing among men who have sex with men, we see year over year, we see very slight declines, but unfortunately we’ve not gotten to the point where we can conclude and be excited about the fact that rates of HIV infection among young gay men particularly are declining,” said Dr. Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control at the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, at a World AIDS Day event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. “We haven’t seen increases, which is success, I guess, compared to the rest of the country, but it’s not what we would define as success.” There were 2,832 new HIV diagnoses citywide in 2013 compared to 3,141 in 2012 and 5,852 in 2001. With the exception of men who have sex with men, the city has seen declines in new HIV diagnoses among all groups, with substantial fall-off among injecting drug users. The success among injectors is attributed to the distribution of clean needles. “We have seen year over year declines in
ENDING AIDS, from p.4
to-child transmission caused two cases in 2013. In 2013, “unknown” transmission risk was the next largest group after gay and bisexual men at 612 cases. If the plan eliminates every new infection in these risk categories, it would still have to reduce new infections among gay and bisexual men by more than half to get to 750. Gay City News wrote or spoke to 11 researchers and authors who have published on HIV epidemi-
HIV diagnoses rates and we also have changes for individual subgroups,” Varma said. “For certain groups, we are seeing statistically significant declines.” With 1,609 of the 2013 HIV diagnoses, gay and bisexual men accounted for nearly 57 percent of the 2013 diagnoses. In 2012, that population accounted for just under 55 percent of the diagnoses, at 1,719 new diagnoses. In 2013, the next closest group was new diagnoses in people with an “unknown” risk factor. There were 612 new diagnoses in that group, accounting for just under 22 percent of the 2013 diagnoses. Heterosexual sex accounted for just over 18 percent of the new diagnoses in 2013, at 520 diagnoses. Injection drug use and men who have sex with men who are drug injectors contributed fewer than 50 new diagnoses each. In 2013, there were 2,280 new HIV diagnoses among men, and gay and bisexual men accounted for 70 percent of those at 1,609 new diagnoses. There were 874 new diagnoses among African American men and 785 such diagnoses among Latino men. The 898 new diagnoses among 20- to 29-year-olds accounted for just over 39 percent of the new cases, followed by 535 new diagnoses among 30- to 39-year-olds at 23.5 percent. The city’s semi-annual report on HIV epidemiology was released on World AIDS Day. While earlier World AIDS Day events have been somber remembrances, the December 1 event held at the Apollo
ology. Five responded, Goodreau among them, and like him they were skeptical that the goal of 750 new infections by 2020 could be reached. “It will take a multipronged strategy to make sure we’re tracking down and treating all cases of HIV in all NYC MSM,” wrote Eric T. Roberts, an associate research scientist at the Global Institute of Public Health at New York University and a doctoral candidate at Columbia who published two 2012 articles on HIV prevention in the Lancet. Roberts wrote that condoms “are
was a pep rally for the state plan to end AIDS, an ambitious proposal by Governor Andrew Cuomo to use anti-HIV drugs and other interventions to reduce the number of new HIV infections in New York from its current 3,400 a year to 750 by 2020. AIDS groups, notably Housing Works and the Treatment Action Group, first championed the plan. New York City contributes most of the new infections in the state so the city’s participation is central to the plan’s success. Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the event. While he has tacitly endorsed the plan to end AIDS previously, he was explicit at the Apollo. “Hope will never be silent, and that’s what you’ve all proven,” de Blasio said. “And your voices have reached Albany and I commend Governor Cuomo for last June setting the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2020. And the task force is being put together to achieve this. And I want to thank so many of you who are part of that effort because this is the kind of goal that galvanizes us. And we will be working with community leaders. We will be working with health care professionals — everyone who has something to offer in that fight to achieve that goal.” Cuomo appointed an unwieldy 63-member task force to draft the plan. It will complete its work by the end of January so its recommendations can be incorporated in the next state budget. New York’s fiscal year begins on April 1.
still invaluable as a prevention tool” and that “progress from a human rights perspective can help combat issues of stigma and shame,” which is also necessary to fight HIV. “I’m much more skeptical of PrEP’s role as an HIV prevention strategy,” he wrote, adding that a very high percentage of at-risk gay and bisexual men would have to use PrEP to produce declines in new HIV infections. Goodreau’s modeling supports that. “[W]e modeled an average of 40 percent of eligible men being on PrEP at any time,” he wrote. “This led to a 25 percent reduction in prevalence. We also explored 20 percent, 60 percent, and 80 percent... Even at 80 percent, the average reduction was 35 percent. Personally, I don’t see 80 percent as likely ever to happen, but I remain open to being proven wrong on that.” While the rate of new infections among gay and bisexual men in New York City remains high, it is
very likely that TasP and continued condom use have kept those numbers from going even higher. Gay and bisexual men in the city also have very high rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, that can facilitate HIV transmission, but there has not been a recent increase in HIV infections that would be expected with more STDs. But what is also notable is that TasP and condoms have not sent those numbers lower, which suggests that the amount of unsafe sex that men who have sex with men are having in the city is defeating the benefits of these interventions. The state health department did not respond to an email asking about any targets it may have set for the percentage of gay and bisexual who must be on PrEP or what percentage of positive men must be on treatment and have an undetectable viral load for the plan to succeed.
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
New Wrinkle in Florida Marriage Case
In not extending stay pending appeal, is 11th Circuit tipping hand or goading Supreme Court? BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
n a surprising move that in effect tosses the hot potato into the hands of the Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, issuing a terse order on December 3, denied the State of Florida’s motion to extend a stay on an August district court marriage equality ruling while it considers an appeal. In the absence of the nation’s highest court extending that stay, then, marriage by same-sex couples will become legal in Florida on January 6. Ruling August 21 in two gay marriage lawsuits, US District Judge Robert Hinkle found that Florida’s ban on same-sex mar riage was unconstitutional, but he stayed his order until January 5 to give the state a chance to appeal to the 11th Circuit. If the state wanted a longer stay while
the 11th Circuit considered an appeal, it would have to ask that court for the extension, Hinkle ruled. This week, a three-judge 11th Circuit panel denied the state any longer stay, meaning marriages would begin even as the appeals process continues to unfold. The 11th Circuit panel is implicitly signaling that the balancing of factors normally considered in deciding whether to stay a decision pending appeal does not support the state’s posture in the case. The first and most important of those factors is whether the state is likely to prevail in its appeal. Other factors include the harms to both sides and to the public interest in granting or denying the stay and whether any of those harms are irreparable. The December 3 action is a strong indication by the 11th Circuit about how they think a ruling
on the merits of the state’s appeal would turn out. This could, however, also be a high-stakes game of chicken being played by the 11th Circuit panel. On October 6, the Supreme Court declined to take up appeals of marriage equality rulings from the Fourth, Seventh, and 10th Circuits and has since refused to issue stays of plaintiff victories in states from those circuits. Right after the high court’s action, the Ninth Circuit also issued a pro-equality ruling. The result of these appellate rulings coupled with the Supreme Court’s decisions not to intervene has expanded the marriage equality map from 19 states to 35 in the past two months. The high court is now facing appeals of adverse rulings from the Sixth Circuit and from a district court in Louisiana. Prior to its October 6 action in declining review of appellate rulings in three
circuits, the high court had issued stays of favorable district court rulings that were under appeal. The question, now, is whether the Supreme Court will continue that practice and grant Florida a longer stay or, in light of the national momentum in the past several months and its October 6 decision, shift course and deny the state any more time as it pursues an appeal. If the high court chooses the latter, it could be showing its hand on how it would decide either a Sixth Circuit or a Louisiana appeal. The next two months are critical in determining the national campaign for marriage equality’s timing. Four days after the Florida stay is currently slated to expire, the Fifth Circuit, on January 9, is scheduled to hear oral arguments in appeals of marriage equality victories in Texas — and perhaps
FLORIDA, continued on p.37
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INDICATION ATRIPLA (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) is a prescription medication used alone as a complete regimen, or with other anti-HIV-1 medicines, to treat HIV-1 infection in adults and children at least 12 years old who weigh at least 40 kg (88 lbs). ATRIPLA does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS and you may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. See your healthcare provider regularly while taking ATRIPLA. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA can cause serious side effects: • Some people who have taken medicine like ATRIPLA (which contains nucleoside analogs) have developed lactic acidosis (build up of an acid in the blood). Lactic acidosis can be a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get the following signs or symptoms of lactic acidosis: - feel cold, especially in your - feel very weak or tired arms and legs - have unusual (not normal) - feel dizzy or lightheaded muscle pain - have a fast or irregular - have trouble breathing heartbeat - have stomach pain with nausea and vomiting • Some people who have taken medicines like ATRIPLA have developed serious liver problems (hepatotoxicity), with liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) and fat in the liver (steatosis). In some cases, these liver problems can lead to death. *Undetectable was defined as a viral load of fewer than 400 copies/mL. † In this study, 511 adult patients new to therapy received either the meds in ATRIPLA each taken once daily or Combivir® (lamivudine/zidovudine) twice daily + SUSTIVA® (efavirenz) once daily. ‡ Source Healthcare Analytics, Source® PHAST Prescription Monthly, July 2006 – March 2013.
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December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
With over 7 years of prescribing experience, ATRIPLA is the #1 prescribed one pill, once-daily HIV treatment‡ SELECTED IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION • Some people who have taken medicine like ATRIPLA have developed build up of lactic acid in the blood, which can be a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. • Some people who have taken medicines like ATRIPLA have developed serious liver problems, with liver enlargement and fat in the liver, which can lead to death. • If you also have hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and you stop taking ATRIPLA, your hepatitis may suddenly get worse. ATRIPLA is not approved for the treatment of HBV. Please see below for more information about these warnings, including signs and symptoms, and other Important Safety Information. 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.
Ask your doctor about ATRIPLA today. injections, or implants, because ATRIPLA (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) may make these contraceptives ineffective. • Are breastfeeding: Women with HIV should not breastfeed because they can pass HIV and some of the medicines in ATRIPLA through their milk to the baby. We do not know if ATRIPLA could harm your baby. • Have kidney problems or are undergoing kidney dialysis treatment • Have bone problems • Have liver problems, including hepatitis B or C virus infection. Your healthcare provider may want to do tests to check your liver while you take ATRIPLA or may switch you to another medicine. • Have ever had mental illness or are using drugs or alcohol • Have ever had seizures or are taking medicine for seizures. Seizures have occurred in patients taking efavirenz, a component of ATRIPLA, generally in those with a history of seizures. If you have ever had seizures, or take medicine for seizures, your healthcare provider may want to switch you to another medicine or monitor you. What important information should I know about taking other medicines with ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA may change the effect of other medicines, including the ones for HIV-1, and may cause serious side effects. Your healthcare provider may change your other medicines or change their doses. MEDICINES YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE WITH ATRIPLA • Do not take ATRIPLA if you are taking the following medicines because serious and life-threatening side effects may occur when taken together: Vascor® (bepridil), Propulsid® (cisapride), Versed® (midazolam), Orap® (pimozide), Halcion® (triazolam), or ergot medications (for example, Wigraine® and Cafergot®). • ATRIPLA should not be taken with: Combivir® (lamivudine/zidovudine), COMPLERA® (emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), EMTRIVA® (emtricitabine), Epivir® or Epivir-HBV® (lamivudine),
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Epzicom® (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine), STRIBILD® (elvitegravir/cobicistat/ emtricitabine/tenofovir DF), Trizivir® (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine/zidovudine), TRUVADA® (emtricitabine/tenofovir DF), or VIREAD® (tenofovir DF), because they contain the same or similar active ingredients as ATRIPLA (efavirenz/emtricitabine/ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). ATRIPLA should not be used with SUSTIVA® (efavirenz) unless recommended by your healthcare provider. • Vfend® (voriconazole) should not be taken with ATRIPLA since it may lose its effect or may increase the chance of having side effects from ATRIPLA. • Do not take St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), or products containing St. John’s wort with ATRIPLA. Taking St. John’s wort may decrease ATRIPLA levels and lead to increased viral load, and possible resistance to ATRIPLA or cross-resistance to other anti-HIV-1 drugs. • ATRIPLA should not be used with HEPSERA® (adefovir dipivoxil). These are not all the medicines that may cause problems if you take ATRIPLA. Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you are taking or plan to take. Important Safety Information is continued on the following page. Please see Patient Information on the following pages.
POWER TO HELP YOU BE UNDETECTABLE
ATRIPLA (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) Important Safety Information (continued) What are the possible side effects of ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA may cause the following additional serious side effects: • Serious psychiatric problems. Severe depression, strange thoughts, or angry behavior have been reported by a small number of patients. Some patients have had thoughts of suicide, and a few have actually committed suicide. These problems may occur more often in patients who have had mental illness. • Kidney problems (including decline or failure of kidney function). If you have had kidney problems, or take other medicines that may cause kidney problems, your healthcare provider should do regular blood tests. Symptoms that may be related to kidney problems include a high volume of urine, thirst, muscle pain, and muscle weakness. • Other serious liver problems. Some patients have experienced serious liver problems, including liver failure resulting in transplantation or death. Most of these serious side effects occurred in patients with a chronic liver disease such as hepatitis infection, but there have also been a few reports in patients without any existing liver disease. • Changes in bone mineral density (thinning bones). Lab tests show changes in the bones of patients treated with tenofovir DF, a component of ATRIPLA. Some HIV patients treated with tenofovir DF developed thinning of the bones (osteopenia), which could lead to fractures. Also, bone pain and softening of the bone (which may lead to fractures) may occur as a consequence of kidney problems. If you have had bone problems in the past, your healthcare provider may want to do tests to check your bones or may prescribe medicines to help your bones. Also, bone pain and bone softening may occur because of kidney problems. Common side effects: • Patients may have dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, and/or unusual dreams during treatment with ATRIPLA. These side effects may be reduced if you take ATRIPLA at bedtime on an empty stomach; they tend to go away after taking ATRIPLA for a few weeks. Tell your healthcare provider right away if any of these side effects continue or if they bother you. These symptoms may be more severe if ATRIPLA is used with alcohol and/or mood-altering (street) drugs. • If you are dizzy, have trouble concentrating, and/or are drowsy, avoid activities that may be dangerous, such as driving or operating machinery. • Rash is a common side effect with ATRIPLA that usually goes away without any change in treatment. Rash may be serious in a small number of patients. Rash occurs more commonly in children and may be a serious problem. If a rash develops, call your healthcare provider right away. • Other common side effects include: tiredness, upset stomach, vomiting, gas, and diarrhea. Other possible side effects: • Changes in body fat have been seen in some people taking anti-HIV-1 medicines. Increase of fat in the upper back and neck, breasts, and around the trunk may happen. Loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face may also happen. The cause and long-term health effects of these changes in body fat are not known. • Skin discoloration (small spots or freckles) may also happen. • In some patients with advanced HIV infection (AIDS), signs and symptoms of inflammation from previous infections may occur soon after anti-HIV treatment is started. If you notice any symptoms of infection, contact your healthcare provider right away. • Additional side effects are inflammation of the pancreas, allergic reaction (including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), shortness of breath, pain, stomach pain, weakness, and indigestion. This is not a complete list of side effects. Tell your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you notice any side effects while taking ATRIPLA. You should take ATRIPLA once daily on an empty stomach. Taking ATRIPLA at bedtime may make some side effects less bothersome. Please see Patient Information on adjacent and following pages.
© 2013 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. ATRIPLA is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb & Gilead Sciences, LLC. SUSTIVA is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. 697US14BR02441-03-01
Patient Information ATRIPLA® (uh TRIP luh) Tablets ALERT: Find out about medicines that should NOT be taken with ATRIPLA (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). Please also read the section “MEDICINES YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE WITH ATRIPLA.” Generic name: efavirenz, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (eh FAH vih renz, em tri SIT u`h bean and te NOE’ fo veer dye soe PROX il FYOU mar ate) Read the Patient Information that comes with ATRIPLA before you start taking it and each time you get a refill since there may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment. You should stay under a healthcare provider’s care when taking ATRIPLA. Do not change or stop your medicine without first talking with your healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions about ATRIPLA. What is the most important information I should know about ATRIPLA? • Some people who have taken medicine like ATRIPLA (which contains nucleoside analogs) have developed a serious condition called lactic acidosis (build up of an acid in the blood). Lactic acidosis can be a medical emergency and may need to be treated in the hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get the following signs or symptoms of lactic acidosis: • You feel very weak or tired. • You have unusual (not normal) muscle pain. • You have trouble breathing. • You have stomach pain with nausea and vomiting. • You feel cold, especially in your arms and legs. • You feel dizzy or lightheaded. • You have a fast or irregular heartbeat. • Some people who have taken medicines like ATRIPLA have developed serious liver problems called hepatotoxicity, with liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) and fat in the liver (steatosis). Call your healthcare provider right away if you get the following signs or symptoms of liver problems: • Your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice). • Your urine turns dark. • Your bowel movements (stools) turn light in color. • You don’t feel like eating food for several days or longer. • You feel sick to your stomach (nausea). • You have lower stomach area (abdominal) pain. • You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking nucleoside analog-containing medicines, like ATRIPLA, for a long time. • If you also have hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and you stop taking ATRIPLA, you may get a “flare-up” of your hepatitis. A “flare-up” is when the disease suddenly returns in a worse way than before. Patients with HBV who stop taking ATRIPLA need close medical follow-up for several months, including medical exams and blood tests to check for hepatitis that could be getting worse. ATRIPLA is not approved for the treatment of HBV, so you must discuss your HBV therapy with your healthcare provider. What is ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA contains 3 medicines, SUSTIVA® (efavirenz), EMTRIVA® (emtricitabine) and VIREAD® (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate also called tenofovir DF) combined in one pill. EMTRIVA and VIREAD are HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus) nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and SUSTIVA is an HIV-1 non-nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). VIREAD and EMTRIVA are the components of TRUVADA®. ATRIPLA can be used alone as a complete regimen, or in combination with other anti-HIV-1 medicines to treat people with HIV-1 infection. ATRIPLA is for adults and children 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 40 kg (at least 88 lbs). ATRIPLA is not recommended for children younger than 12 years of age. ATRIPLA has not been studied in adults over 65 years of age. HIV infection destroys CD4+ T cells, which are important to the immune system. The immune system helps fight infection. After a large number of T cells are destroyed, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) develops. ATRIPLA helps block HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, a viral chemical in your body (enzyme) that is needed for HIV-1 to multiply. ATRIPLA lowers the amount of HIV-1 in the blood (viral load). ATRIPLA may also help to increase the number of T cells (CD4+ cells), allowing your immune system to improve. Lowering
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
ATRIPLA® (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)
ATRIPLA® (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) the amount of HIV-1 in the blood lowers the chance of death or infections that happen when your immune system is weak (opportunistic infections). Does ATRIPLA cure HIV-1 or AIDS? ATRIPLA does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS and you may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. You should remain under the care of a doctor when using ATRIPLA. Who should not take ATRIPLA? Together with your healthcare provider, you need to decide whether ATRIPLA is right for you. Do not take ATRIPLA if you are allergic to ATRIPLA or any of its ingredients. The active ingredients of ATRIPLA are efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir DF. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients. What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking ATRIPLA? Tell your healthcare provider if you: • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant (see “What should I avoid while taking ATRIPLA?”). • Are breastfeeding (see “What should I avoid while taking ATRIPLA?”). • Have kidney problems or are undergoing kidney dialysis treatment. • Have bone problems. • Have liver problems, including hepatitis B virus infection. Your healthcare provider may want to do tests to check your liver while you take ATRIPLA or may switch you to another medicine. • Have ever had mental illness or are using drugs or alcohol. • Have ever had seizures or are taking medicine for seizures. What important information should I know about taking other medicines with ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA may change the effect of other medicines, including the ones for HIV-1, and may cause serious side effects. Your healthcare provider may change your other medicines or change their doses. Other medicines, including herbal products, may affect ATRIPLA. For this reason, it is very important to let all your healthcare providers and pharmacists know what medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins you are taking. MEDICINES YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE WITH ATRIPLA • The following medicines may cause serious and life-threatening side effects when taken with ATRIPLA. You should not take any of these medicines while taking ATRIPLA: Vascor (bepridil), Propulsid (cisapride), Versed (midazolam), Orap (pimozide), Halcion (triazolam), ergot medications (for example, Wigraine and Cafergot). • ATRIPLA also should not be used with Combivir (lamivudine/zidovudine), COMPLERA®, EMTRIVA, Epivir, Epivir-HBV (lamivudine), Epzicom (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine), STRIBILD®, Trizivir (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine/ zidovudine), TRUVADA, or VIREAD. ATRIPLA also should not be used with SUSTIVA unless recommended by your healthcare provider. • Vfend (voriconazole) should not be taken with ATRIPLA since it may lose its effect or may increase the chance of having side effects from ATRIPLA. • Do not take St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), or products containing St. John’s wort with ATRIPLA. St. John’s wort is an herbal product sold as a dietary supplement. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are taking or are planning to take St. John’s wort. Taking St. John’s wort may decrease ATRIPLA levels and lead to increased viral load and possible resistance to ATRIPLA or cross-resistance to other anti-HIV-1 drugs. • ATRIPLA should not be used with HEPSERA® (adefovir dipivoxil). It is also important to tell your healthcare provider if you are taking any of the following: • Fortovase, Invirase (saquinavir), Biaxin (clarithromycin), Noxafil (posaconazole), Sporanox (itraconazole), or Victrelis (boceprevir); these medicines may need to be replaced with another medicine when taken with ATRIPLA. • Calcium channel blockers such as Cardizem or Tiazac (diltiazem), Covera HS or Isoptin (verapamil) and others; Crixivan (indinavir), Selzentry (maraviroc); the immunosuppressant medicines cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune, and others), Prograf (tacrolimus), or Rapamune (sirolimus); Methadone; Mycobutin (rifabutin); Rifampin; cholesterollowering medicines such as Lipitor (atorvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin sodium), and Zocor (simvastatin); or the anti-depressant medications bupropion (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, and Zyban) or Zoloft (sertraline); dose changes may be needed when these drugs are taken with ATRIPLA.
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Videx, Videx EC (didanosine); tenofovir DF (a component of ATRIPLA) may increase the amount of didanosine in your blood, which could result in more side effects. You may need to be monitored more carefully if you are taking ATRIPLA and didanosine together. Also, the dose of didanosine may need to be changed. • Reyataz (atazanavir sulfate), Prezista (darunavir) with Norvir (ritonavir), or Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir); these medicines may increase the amount of tenofovir DF (a component of ATRIPLA) in your blood, which could result in more side effects. Reyataz is not recommended with ATRIPLA. You may need to be monitored more carefully if you are taking ATRIPLA, Prezista, and Norvir together, or if you are taking ATRIPLA and Kaletra together. Also, the dose of Kaletra may need to be changed. • Medicine for seizures [for example, Dilantin (phenytoin), Tegretol (carbamazepine), or phenobarbital]; your healthcare provider may want to switch you to another medicine or check drug levels in your blood from time to time. These are not all the medicines that may cause problems if you take ATRIPLA. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines that you take. Keep a complete list of all the prescription and nonprescription medicines as well as any herbal remedies that you are taking, how much you take, and how often you take them. Make a new list when medicines or herbal remedies are added or stopped, or if the dose changes. Give copies of this list to all of your healthcare providers and pharmacists every time you visit your healthcare provider or fill a prescription. This will give your healthcare provider a complete picture of the medicines you use. Then he or she can decide the best approach for your situation. How should I take ATRIPLA? • Take the exact amount of ATRIPLA your healthcare provider prescribes. Never change the dose on your own. Do not stop this medicine unless your healthcare provider tells you to stop. • You should take ATRIPLA on an empty stomach. • Swallow ATRIPLA with water. • Taking ATRIPLA at bedtime may make some side effects less bothersome. • Do not miss a dose of ATRIPLA. If you forget to take ATRIPLA, take the missed dose right away, unless it is almost time for your next dose. Do not double the next dose. Carry on with your regular dosing schedule. If you need help in planning the best times to take your medicine, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. • If you believe you took more than the prescribed amount of ATRIPLA, contact your local poison control center or emergency room right away. • Tell your healthcare provider if you start any new medicine or change how you take old ones. Your doses may need adjustment. • When your ATRIPLA supply starts to run low, get more from your healthcare provider or pharmacy. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to ATRIPLA and become harder to treat. • Your healthcare provider may want to do blood tests to check for certain side effects while you take ATRIPLA. What should I avoid while taking ATRIPLA? • Women should not become pregnant while taking ATRIPLA and for 12 weeks after stopping it. Serious birth defects have been seen in the babies of animals and women treated with efavirenz (a component of ATRIPLA) during pregnancy. It is not known whether efavirenz caused these defects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you are pregnant. Also talk with your healthcare provider if you want to become pregnant. • Women should not rely only on hormone-based birth control, such as pills, injections, or implants, because ATRIPLA may make these contraceptives ineffective. Women must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, such as a condom or diaphragm, even if they also use other methods of birth control. Efavirenz, a component of ATRIPLA, may remain in your blood for a time after therapy is stopped. Therefore, you should continue to use contraceptive measures for 12 weeks after you stop taking ATRIPLA. • Do not breastfeed if you are taking ATRIPLA. Some of the medicines in ATRIPLA can be passed to your baby in your breast milk. We do not know whether it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV-1 should not breastfeed because HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in the breast milk. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding. You should stop breastfeeding or may need to use a different medicine. • Taking ATRIPLA with alcohol or other medicines causing similar side effects as ATRIPLA, such as drowsiness, may increase those side effects.
ATRIPLA® (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)
ATRIPLA® (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)
Do not take any other medicines, including prescription and nonprescription medicines and herbal products, without checking with your healthcare provider. • Avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 to others. • Do not share needles or other injection equipment. • Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades. • Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. What are the possible side effects of ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA may cause the following serious side effects: • Lactic acidosis (buildup of an acid in the blood). Lactic acidosis can be a medical emergency and may need to be treated in the hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get signs of lactic acidosis. (See “What is the most important information I should know about ATRIPLA?”) • Serious liver problems (hepatotoxicity), with liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) and fat in the liver (steatosis). Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any signs of liver problems. (See “What is the most important information I should know about ATRIPLA?”) • “Flare-ups” of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, in which the disease suddenly returns in a worse way than before, can occur if you have HBV and you stop taking ATRIPLA. Your healthcare provider will monitor your condition for several months after stopping ATRIPLA if you have both HIV-1 and HBV infection and may recommend treatment for your HBV. ATRIPLA is not approved for the treatment of hepatitis B virus infection. If you have advanced liver disease and stop treatment with ATRIPLA, the “flare-up” of hepatitis B may cause your liver function to decline. • Serious psychiatric problems. A small number of patients may experience severe depression, strange thoughts, or angry behavior while taking ATRIPLA. Some patients have thoughts of suicide and a few have actually committed suicide. These problems may occur more often in patients who have had mental illness. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you think you are having these psychiatric symptoms, so your healthcare provider can decide if you should continue to take ATRIPLA. • Kidney problems (including decline or failure of kidney function). If you have had kidney problems in the past or take other medicines that can cause kidney problems, your healthcare provider should do regular blood tests to check your kidneys. Symptoms that may be related to kidney problems include a high volume of urine, thirst, muscle pain, and muscle weakness. • Other serious liver problems. Some patients have experienced serious liver problems including liver failure resulting in transplantation or death. Most of these serious side effects occurred in patients with a chronic liver disease such as hepatitis infection, but there have also been a few reports in patients without any existing liver disease. • Changes in bone mineral density (thinning bones). Laboratory tests show changes in the bones of patients treated with tenofovir DF, a component of ATRIPLA. Some HIV patients treated with tenofovir DF developed thinning of the bones (osteopenia) which could lead to fractures. If you have had bone problems in the past, your healthcare provider may need to do tests to check your bone mineral density or may prescribe medicines to help your bone mineral density. Additionally, bone pain and softening of the bone (which may contribute to fractures) may occur as a consequence of kidney problems. Common side effects: Patients may have dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, and/or unusual dreams during treatment with ATRIPLA. These side effects may be reduced if you take ATRIPLA at bedtime on an empty stomach. They also tend to go away after you have taken the medicine for a few weeks. If you have these common side effects, such as dizziness, it does not mean that you will also have serious psychiatric problems, such as severe depression, strange thoughts, or angry behavior. Tell your healthcare provider right away if any of these side effects continue or if they bother you. It is possible that these symptoms may be more severe if ATRIPLA is used with alcohol or mood altering (street) drugs. If you are dizzy, have trouble concentrating, or are drowsy, avoid activities that may be dangerous, such as driving or operating machinery. Rash may be common. Rashes usually go away without any change in treatment. In a small number of patients, rash may be serious. If you develop a rash, call your healthcare provider right away. Rash may be a serious problem in some children. Tell your child’s healthcare provider right away if you notice rash or any other side effects while your child is taking ATRIPLA.
Other common side effects include tiredness, upset stomach, vomiting, gas, and diarrhea. Other possible side effects with ATRIPLA: • Changes in body fat. Changes in body fat develop in some patients taking anti-HIV-1 medicine. These changes may include an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), in the breasts, and around the trunk. Loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face may also happen. The cause and long-term health effects of these fat changes are not known. • Skin discoloration (small spots or freckles) may also happen with ATRIPLA. • In some patients with advanced HIV infection (AIDS), signs and symptoms of inflammation from previous infections may occur soon after anti-HIV treatment is started. It is believed that these symptoms are due to an improvement in the body’s immune response, enabling the body to fight infections that may have been present with no obvious symptoms. If you notice any symptoms of infection, please inform your doctor immediately. • Additional side effects are inflammation of the pancreas, allergic reaction (including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), shortness of breath, pain, stomach pain, weakness and indigestion. Tell your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you notice any side effects while taking ATRIPLA. Contact your healthcare provider before stopping ATRIPLA because of side effects or for any other reason. This is not a complete list of side effects possible with ATRIPLA. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a more complete list of side effects of ATRIPLA and all the medicines you will take. How do I store ATRIPLA? • Keep ATRIPLA and all other medicines out of reach of children. • Store ATRIPLA at room temperature 77 °F (25 °C). • Keep ATRIPLA in its original container and keep the container tightly closed. • Do not keep medicine that is out of date or that you no longer need. If you throw any medicines away make sure that children will not find them. General information about ATRIPLA: Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use ATRIPLA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give ATRIPLA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. This leaflet summarizes the most important information about ATRIPLA. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about ATRIPLA that is written for health professionals. Do not use ATRIPLA if the seal over bottle opening is broken or missing. What are the ingredients of ATRIPLA? Active Ingredients: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate Inactive Ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate. The film coating contains black iron oxide, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, red iron oxide, talc, and titanium dioxide.
October 2013 ATRIPLA is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb & Gilead Sciences, LLC. COMPLERA, EMTRIVA, HEPSERA, STRIBILD, TRUVADA, and VIREAD are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. SUSTIVA is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company. Reyataz and Videx are trademarks of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Pravachol is a trademark of ER Squibb & Sons, LLC. Other brands listed are the trademarks of their respective owners. 21-937-GS-013 Revised October 2013
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Married Lesbian Denied Usual Parental Presumption New York court gives biological father preference over mother’s wife BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
he standard rule in family law is that the legal spouse of a woman who gives birth to a child is presumed to be the child’s legal parent. Traditionally, that meant that when a married woman gave birth, her husband was accepted as the father. The doctrine was developed to ensure that children were not subjected to the legal status of illegitimacy. In some states the parental presumption is incontestable, while in New York and elsewhere it can be overturned if evidence of another man being the biological father is produced. Applying this presumption and its traditional underpinnings to a same-sex married couple is not a precise fit, and one court in New York has now ruled that a man has the right to prove he is the father of a child born to a women married to another woman at the time she gave birth. The man went to court hoping to win a paternity order, which would effectively cut the biological mother’s wife out of the picture in terms of parental claims. The case, decided on October 14 but not reported in the New York Law Journal until last month, has an unusual set of circumstances. Ms. C and Ms. S married in New Hampshire in 2010, but their marriage has endured several separations and they are now seeking to divorce. According to the opinion by Monroe County Supreme Court Justice Joan Kohout in Rochester, during a separation that began in late 2011, Ms. C began a relationship with Mr. M., which she has acknowledged led to her becoming pregnant with J.C. In fact, after the infant was born, by which time Ms. C was back together with her wife, she allowed the biological father two visits with their daughter. Shortly after the second visit, Mr. M. filed his paternity suit, seeking genetic testing to confirm J.C. is his daughter and also to deny Ms. S the right to claim access to the child other than that afforded voluntarily by the biolog| December 11 - 24, 2014
ical mother. Ms. S was with her wife when she gave birth to J.C., “selected the child’s name and signed her birth certificate,” according to Kohout’s opinion. Even after the couple separated again, Ms. C continued to allow Ms. S contact with the child and she supports her estranged wife’s desire to be treated as J.C.’s mother. Both women testified that Ms. S has “a close relationship” with the child. “Ms. C. takes the position that Mr. M. should be excluded from J.C.’s life,” wrote the judge. “Although she has never denied that he is J.C.’s biological father, she argues that her wife is the lawful and proper parent of J.C. She testified that she wants her ‘wife to have rights to my daughter as she has been.’” Ms. S. never legally adopted J.C., but the couple argue that step was unnecessary given the parental presumption typically accorded a biological mother’s spouse. Kohout rejected the women’s arguments, specifically saying that marriage between two women changes the equation. “With the advent of same-sex marriage, the role of the non-biological spouse, especially in a marriage of two women, requires a re-examination of the traditional analysis of the presumption of legitimacy,” the judge wrote. “Most of the cases to date concerning same-sex couples involve children born of artificial insemination where female spouses have planned together to raise the child.” Kohout noted that sperm donors are usually anonymous so “there is no legal father.” Responding to Ms. C’s argument about the parental presumption, the judge wrote, “the Marriage Equality Act does not require the court to ignore the obvious biological differences between husbands and wives.” Even though the 2011 law “requires same-sex married couples to be treated the same as all other married couples, it does not preclude differentiation based on essential biology.” Kohout also precluded any other
argument Ms. S could use to claim her rights as a parent, noting that the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest bench, has “repeatedly declined to expand the traditional definition of a parent beyond biological or birth parents and adoptive parents,” and has “rejected arguments that non-adoptive or non-biological third parties, such as Ms. S., should be grated parental status based on a claim of a close relationship with the child.” Ms. S. has, at best, the status of a step-parent., the judge found, meaning she might be able to seek visitation rights under certain circumstances but not custody in preference to Ms. C and Mr. M.. The judge noted that Mr. M never took any steps to deny his paternity or surrender the rights that entails. “Since Ms. S. never adopted J.C. and is not a biological parent, she does not fit within New York’s definition of parent,” Kohout wrote.
“Thus, Ms. S. is not entitled to court-ordered custody or visitation with J.C., and any contact she has with J.C. is entirely by voluntary arrangement with Ms. C. Of course, there is nothing to prevent Ms. C. from continuing to permit Ms. S. to have a relationship with J.C.” That was, in fact, exactly what the court-ordered attorney representing the child’s interests recommended. If Ms. C were to die or become incapacitated and unable to care for J.C., Mr. M. would hold all the cards in a dispute with Ms. S. over custody and visitation The failure of New York law to allow for the possibility that a child can have more than two legal parents at the same time leaves a gap in the rights of de facto parents such as Ms. S. Progressive legislation in California now recognizes the possibility of more than two parents in unusual cases. New York might consider the desirability of following suit.
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Gays, History & A New Bishop of Rome
Francis’ first Christmas as pope was a prism for viewing changes in the Church and in Italy
BY MICHAEL LUONGO
Lesbian activist and Rome City Councilmember Imma Battaglia under the rainbow Christmas lights that Mayor Ignazio Marino installed on the Via del Corso.
mma Battaglia leaned in to tell me a story of intrigue — about secret closed door agreements between the Catholic Church and political figures. It all seemed farfetched in the modern era, more akin to the Borgias’ rise to power or something from Machiavelli’s “The Prince.” “You know, it is a part of our story,” she said. “It is part of our city. The Vatican is in the middle of this city. They meet every day, they have lunch together. They are lobbyists.” The Church’s hand in everything. Imma and I had not seen each other in more than 13 years, since we first met while I covered Rome’s World Pride in 2000. It was that global event’s first incarnation, created as a direct challenge to the Catholic Church during its celebrations of the Millennium and the Jubilee (Il Giubileo), the 2,000-year anniversary of the birth of Christ. The gravitas of that first World Pride has since devolved into essentially a circuit party. In 2000, Imma, as head of one of Italy’s most important rights groups, Circolo Mario Mieli, was a rallying force at the operatic, drama-filled events she and other LGBT leaders pulled off against Pope John Paul II. Now a member of Rome’s City Council, Imma seems not to have aged. She still has her closely cropped, lesbian chic tomboy hair, her tanned, chiseled face, calling to mind Ingrid Casares, Madonna’s 1990s Cuban-American Miami girl-toy. The Church didn’t win against World Pride. And if recent cir cumstances like the October 2014 Synod are an indication, the Church might — just might — be on the road to giving in. But history weighs heavily in Rome. Imma’s office is half a block from the Trevi Fountain, where Federico Fellini filmed Anita Ekberg wading running through its water. Step outside, you can hear the water roar. It’s this history, this weight of ruins and religion that
Pope Francis travels through the Vatican crowds.
inescapably burdens Rome’s LGBT rights movement, making it unlike that even in other Italian cities. December of 2013 was a different time from my previous visit, with a new pope, one who famously declared, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about gay clergy. I personally know the pope, having met him in Buenos Aires when he was simply Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, a man opposed to Argentina’s gay rights movement, Latin America’s most successful. It was this seemingly changed man I wanted to understand better in his new setting during my two-week visit over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays a year ago. I would see him at some of the same religious rituals I had photographed him at in Buenos Aires, like Midnight Mass, though in Rome I would never be able to simply walk up to him, shake his hand, and ask him questions. I wrote about Bergoglio’s views for
Gay City News when he was elected pope, observing that under his leadership as archbishop, his homophobia cost the Catholic Church membership and respect in Argentina, especially when he crusaded against the country’s 2010 same-sex marriage law. The Buenos Aires archdiocesan Catedral Metropolitana became a center of the battle over LGBT rights, with protesters standing on its steps to harass Pride marchers going by — though there’s no evidence Bergoglio approved of this. In response, the cathedral was often graffiti-covered and splashed with red paint reflecting the view of some critics that the Church had blood on its hands. I expected more of the same on gay questions when Bergoglio morphed into Pope Francis. But he surprised me. He surprised a lot of us, and many Americans — gays included — have become enamored of him.
But what about Italians, whom he serves symbolically as well as bishop of Rome? When I arrived in Italy, I wanted not only to see the changes in Rome’s LGBT community since my previous visit, but to understand as well what activists, politicians, and ordinary citizens thought of Francis. I would come to learn of a variety of opinions, but since the days of the Caesars, what one has seen in Rome is not always what has existed under the surface. As Imma said, there is always something behind closed doors. Those things, she believed, were secret deals between the Vatican and Matteo Renzi, then the young new secretary of the Partito Democratico, the Social Democratic Party. He was only 38, and Imma was surprised when he went no further than endorsing civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. A man so young and heading a liberal party, she expected, would tout full marriage equality. “This for me means that there is a sort of hidden agreement,” Imma said. “In Italy, when you become the secretary of the Partito Democratico, you have had meetings with the Vatican. You know, nothing can happen without a meeting.” Soon after our interview, in February of 2014, Renzi was named prime minister. Secret deals and hidden agendas bolster the status of the pope, as does his seeming openness on gay issues. But as this past October’s Synod of bishops demonstrated, the openness isn’t necessarily what it seems or easy to pigeonhole. A draft report of the Synod struck a surprisingly conciliatory tone on gay questions, one dialed back in its final form by the time the gathering adjourned. In reality, according to Imma, Francis has never said anything directly about LGBT issues when it comes to actual rights. “He never really pronounced something against gay issues or gay marriage,” she said. “He is very, very clever in talking.” With a dramatic flourish, Imma emphasized her words, twisting her finger near her ear. “He
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is putting a lot of attention on this, the gay theme. He never says something against. He never says something for.” I told Imma Francis is a contrast from the man I knew in South America, who called gay marriage the work of the devil. Why the change? “Because he realizes that he is in Europe now. And in Europe, gay marriage, gay civil unions are recognized,” she said, even though Italy, in fact, does not yet have either. “So he learned his lesson, because he is not doing this. He is very open. He is really coming to everyone, each word he says is on the balance. He puts a lot of attention on his words, to try to avoid this argument. The more he can do this, the more powerful he is.” But it is not just the pope who has changed, Imma believes, but his entire institution. “I think what has changed from 2000 to today is that the Vatican has learned a lesson since World Pride,” she said. And the same event changed the entire the entire country. “All the politicians, all the people, the gay community, they realized their power,” she said. “People were no more scared. It is a growing community and growing self-consciousness and self-confidence” — helmed by “more and more gay politicians” like herself. Most important of all, the LGBT movement has joined itself to the most powerful building block of Italian society: the family. “Rainbow families with children are growing by large numbers,” Imma told me. That is a theme I heard about from other activists. And the family, even with an LGBT twist, is something the Church can’t ignore. In November 2013, just before my visit, Francis addressed the Union of Superiors General, a conference of leaders of male religious orders in the Church, and talked about new kinds of families — including those headed by divorced and LGBT parents — that he believes the Church must begin to think about for the sake of the children. Any supposed sins of their fathers and mothers should not be visited upon them.
The Cow Who Killed Me Drunk handsome men pawed at me as I tried to make my way | December 11 - 24, 2014
through the dance floor. They saw I had something big and they all want me to use it on them. None of them, as far as I know, wanted to sleep with me. It was my SLR camera with its long lens, slung around my neck, that they were after. They all wanted me to photograph them. This was another change from 2000, when it was much harder to find gay men who wanted to be identified and photographed for publication — at World Pride events or out at nightclubs. Andrea Maccarrone, who currently heads Circolo Mario Mieli, was in front of me, his hand clasped in mine, making sure he didn’t lose me as we sought a quiet space to talk. We were in the midst of Muccassassina — literally “Cow Assassin” — his group’s monthly dance party and people thought I was the official photographer. “It’s Facebook,” Andrea told me, laughing as we snaked through the sweaty crowds. “Everyone wants their picture on Facebook now.” We found a corner in the warren of narrow changing rooms under the club’s stage, the constant thump of music and pounding feet above us. It was far from tranquil, but easier to talk, even as drag queens and glitter-streaked dancers, musclebound and shirtless, brushed provocatively past us, double kissing Andrea along the way. Unlike Imma, Andrea focused — at least at first — on the downsides since World Pride. “Some things are even worse than in 2000,” he told me, adding, “There was World Pride and it was a huge march, and it was special. We did it, against everything. Politics. Society. People want to maintain to defend this freedom. We hoped things would change, but they didn’t.” Andrea, 34 at the time of the interview, is originally from Sicily. I was already familiar with how geography and Renaissance princedoms and city-states continue to impact the way Italians think about their country, and Andrea helped rewrite my assumptions about the state of LGBT rights. From his perspective, Rome lags behind the rest of the nation. He pointed out that Sicily and Puglia have gay governors, adding,
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“The big difference for gay people is mostly by living in a big city or a small city,” much as in the US. “Lombardia is not only Milan with the fashion industry,” he said, contrasting the backwardness of the region’s hinterlands with its principal city. The relationship between Venice and the surrounding Veneto, he said, is similar. The grandest irony, in Andreas’ view, is that Rome is “the biggest city,” but also has the “highest profile of bashing. What we see is this killing and violence, but not in the south,” with its “more live and let live attitude.” The suicide of Simone D., a 21-year-old gay man who threw himself from a tall building, had stunned Rome on the eve of my visit there. Andrea believes the Church is central to the difference between Rome and the rest of Italy regarding the acceptance of the LGBT community. Andrea called Francis “a great communicator,” turning even non-believers into Vatican admirers. “He grew very much in popularity,” he said. “They talk even about how the pope is building tourism and bringing a new image to Rome.” Still Andrea said cautiously, coming closer to me as the music made it difficult for us to hear each other, “The structure under him remains. We have very hostile bishops and clerics,” even if, as he added, “this pope has created hope for gay Catholics because they are inside the Church. What we see in Italy is a political revolution.” That observation was something of a contradiction from his earlier pessimism about what has not changed since World Pride, but Andrea went on to argue that growing gay power challenges the exceptional status of the Church in Italian society. The May 1 Family Day, an event the Church uses to promote religious values, he said, has become smaller than Rome’s Gay Pride. A decade ago, all that was on the table was civil unions; “Now we are about marriage,” Andrea said about an LGBT discourse that only moves forward. The Vatican is aware of society changing around it. “I think they are getting smart, the Church,” Andrea said. “Italy knows it. They are over 2,000 years old. They can change with society, keeping
Activist Andrea Maccarrone (center), who heads Circolo Mario Mieli, at the group’s month dance party Muccassassina.
the power.” Changing to maintain power is an Italian tradition, Andrea said, mentioning the novel “Il Gattopardo” (“The Leopard”) by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa about a Sicilian noble family impacted by dramatic social transformations during the Risorgimento, a period in Italy from the Napoleonic Era to Giuseppe Garibaldi’s unification of the country. The main character, he explained, talks of how “we need everything to be changing for everything to stay as it is.” Today, with Pope Francis and the Vatican, it is the same. “They are very good at this, to adapt to the situation,” Andrea said. Still, politicians continue to genuflect to Vatican authority, he argued, mimicking their prattle, “‘The pope says, the pope says.’ Every politician left and right says, ‘the pope says.’” Most Roman politicians are behind the times, Andrea insisted, but he noted that the mayor, Ignazio Marino, a member of the prime minister’s Partito Democratico, is a leader on LGBT issues. “He has been strong,” Andrea said, “even among politicians, he is among the most open. He is in favor of same-sex marriage. But he is also cautious.”
Meeting with the Mayor My first thought in the mayor’s waiting room in the Palazzo Senatorio — at the Campidoglio on Capitoline Hill, the extravagant Renaissance municipal complex designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti — was how much the overwrought interior feels as if it were decorated by an Italian grandmother with a limitless budget. I sat on an ancient sofa, its carved, gilded wooden trim filigreed with worm holes. While Italy technically has separation of church and state, across from my perch was a painting of Mary with the baby Jesus, a malachite cross to its side. The window looked onto the back of the Vittorio Emanuele monument — the grand marble memorial to one
of Italy’s last kings — located at the terminus of the Via del Corso, which was draped, controversially, with rainbow Christmas lights. Standing at the window with me on that drizzly January day, Marino’s press officer searched for sign of the mayor’s bicycle, a potent symbol of Marino’s progressive environmentalism and of his humble, down to earth nature. The matter of the Christmas lights, which some in the city believed were a memorial to Simone’s suicide — was the first thing the mayor and I discussed. Marino told me, “I knew that in Italy they would become a topic for arguments, because everybody did say the mayor wanted that because of LGBT rights.” Gay issues, he said, are “important to me, but the feeling that I wanted to give was that this city is a city of peace and rights and the rights of a young child, a woman, somebody that travels from far away in Africa to run away from war, torture, or other horrible things” are important, too. A few months before our meeting, hundreds of refugees from Libya and Eritrea, both former Italian colonies, drowned off the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa. Pope Francis tweeted about the disaster, and for the mayor it was part of what made 2013 “a very tough year.” In later photographing the rainbow Christmas lights, I discovered they culminated in a giant tree decorated with the word “peace” in a multitude of languages, and decided perhaps the mayor was sincere in saying they were inspired more by the plight of the African refugees than by his advocacy for LGBT rights. Marino is a surgeon by trade who once worked in Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson Hospital. His experience in the life and death issues of medicine combined with his own personal situation informs his views on what LGBT families face. “In this country, the law is so behind,” Mari-
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December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
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no said. “I live with my wife now for about 23 years and we have a daughter. We are married, but we do not have a marriage certificate. We just live together. We have a child. I am a 58-year-old male, so at risk for a cardiac event or a brain hemorrhage…. The person with whom I live for 23 years, if she does not have a marriage certificate, by law, she cannot enter into the ICU, holding my hand, and she cannot participate to the discussion about medical treatment.” Unlike nearly every other European country, Italy does not have what might be thought of in the US as common law marriage — the rights and benefits attached to a union that lacks the formalism of a certificate. The mayor’s marriage without a certificate, he under stood, is just like the marriages and families formed by gay and lesbian couples who are denied legal recognition in Italy. Throughout our interview, Marino echoed much of Andrea Maccarrone’s assessment that Rome lags the rest of Italy on LGBT issues. “Rome was governed in the last five years by a coalition of people strongly and sincerely against civil partnership,” the mayor said. “Not only they didn’t want to hear about gay marriage, they don’t even want to listen about any discussion of civil partnerships. So with that kind of majority, Rome fell behind.” Marino is striking back, with the limited powers he has to right the wrongs facing LGBT families. Like several other mayors across Italy, he has recently established a municipal civil registry for same-sex couples who marry abroad as a way to protest and highlight the lack of equality under Italian law. As with his discussion of the rainbow Christmas lights, the mayor leaves the strong impression that he thinks holistically on questions of human rights — whether for LGBT couples, unmarried heterosexual couples, immigrants, the poor, and those who are homeless. Though he told me he has not discussed LGBT issues in his Vatican meetings, in a place like Italy, his actions, observed closely by the Church, allow his views to be aired, even if he says nothing directly. The mayor gave me more than twice the time that had been prom-
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino in his office suite at in the Palazzo Senatorio.
ised, and as our interview wound down, I asked about the future of LGBT rights in Rome. “I think that Rome should be as any other city in Italy, a town where doesn’t exist any form of discrimination,” Marino said. “I have been saying for several years, we don’t need special rights for special people. We need the same rights for all the people.” But the mayor understands that historic and stubborn obstacles require special workarounds — hence, the civil registry as well as his decision one day this past May to fly the rainbow flag on the Campidoglio façade, something Imma Battaglia long hoped to see happen.
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The Pope’s First Christmas Marino and Imma were among the politicians I ran across as I photographed Christmas rituals held in the Vatican. At one event, Imma’s mother dramatically reached out and hugged the pope from the politicians’ seating area, able to be so close to him because of a daughter whose life has been dedicated to fighting Church doctrine. Few places in the world are more beautiful and religiously joyous at Christmas than the Vatican. My final day in Italy was the Epiphany, January 6, the morning spent in the Vatican’s basilica for a dazzling spectacle celebrating Christianity in a city whose rulers once sought to crush it as just another revolutionary movement from the empire’s edges. That religion is now the city’s raison d’etre. Organ music and the high falsetto voices of adolescent boys singing in Latin echoed through the vast arches that rise overhead and
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Argentine tourists hoist their nation’s flag on Christmas Eve.
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into the chapels, niches, and marble columns behind the photography dais, amplifying and sharpening the rich melodies. At times, an almost frightening sound flowed through the church, a woosh that would begin softly, crescendoing into a deafening roar — the posteriors of genuflecting crowds hitting thousands of chairs. The most dramatic moment that day was Francis’ entry through the bronze front doors. The organ music suddenly pitched higher and lights in the ceiling’s arches brightened like a lightning burst. Cameras and smartphones waved madly over the heads of worshippers. Thrilling as this man-made show was, Mother Nature — or perhaps, if you believe, God himself — got involved. The very second the pope entered, a beam of light broke through a transept window, striking a statue of Santa Teresa. Though not a Catholic — despite my Italian ancestry — even I gasped and quivered at the timing. Throughout the ceremony, the beam cast its spell on me as it made its way across the wall to Bernini’s bronze altarpiece. Priests and altar boys raised gilded crosses behind the pope, their polished metal surfaces sparkling against the sun’s rays. Unlike in Buenos Aires, though, I was not mere feet away as he performed the rituals, the only foreigner among a tiny handful of photographers. There were dozens in Rome, and we were stationed far away. St. Peter’s Square, a pagan Christmas tree at its center overlooking a life-size Neapolitan-crafted nativity set, was filled with joyous revelers — clergy and lay — every day of my visit. There were hundreds of Argentines, many waving celestial blue and white flags as
Pope Francis carries the Christ child during his first Midnight Mass at the Vatican.
Crowds filling St. Peter’s Square during Midnight Mass.
they donned Santa Claus hats and shouted for El Papa, Spanish for The Pope. One young woman told me she believes the pope himself personally called about her Vatican entry ticket, so familiar was the Argentine-accented voice confirming her request. It’s just one more legend about Francis’ personal touch, yet the woman was still surprised to be there. Without Francis, she would never have attended a Vatican ceremony. Argentine visitors to Rome have increased so significantly that Aerolineas Argentinas doubled its flight capacity. While the Argentines stood out to me, tourists from dozens of other countries waved their flags within the crowds. Among them were Ukrainians, seminary students with families and friends trying to bring attention to the conflict besetting their country. They included a young man and a young woman whom I would find out were dating when I later saw them embracing in another part of Rome. Ukrainian Catholics are among the Eastern Rite Churches affiliated with the Roman Church under the pope’s authority, but that have the leeway to allow for married priests.
Young men who have dedicated their lives to the Church fascinate me. Some read as gay to me, but not the vast majority. Many are strikingly handsome and, in their youth, are at their sexual prime. Though I know many priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders, it has long been a calling that baffles me. The seminary students presented a mesmerizing image against Bernini’s colonnade. With the winter wind flapping against their black robes as they made their way across St. Peter’s Square, I was reminded of Richard Chamberlain’s indelible character in TV’s “The Thorn Birds.” Dozens of the seminarians were in the Vatican Museum during my tour, evoking the Renaissance as they stood gathered in groups within the dim rooms ornamented by Raphael’s depictions of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Bible. The lives of the artists behind this spectacular display have inspired Roman gay travel company Quiiky to conduct gay-themed Vatican tours. Quiiky’s Alessio Virgili who is also the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s Italy representative, said the tours
highlight the “gay life of some artists, like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, or about the love of Hadrian and Antinous. We think that it is important to speak about their homosexuality to understand their art.” Tours use licensed guides and do not require Vatican approval, though Virgili does not know what Italian media scrutiny of the gay tours bodes for the future. Many Italians and others I met in Rome told me that the outpouring of love for the new pope by both people of faith and those who consider themselves secular represents a vast change from the Vatican under Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. I had hoped to meet with Sergio Lo Giudice, an openly gay Italian senator of the Democratic Party but he was away for Christmas. In an email, he told me how refreshing he finds the changes at the Vatican, even if he sounded unsure how deep they go. “Francis is using an innovative language, very different from that of his predecessors and respectful of the dignity and value of homosexual persons,” Lo Giudice wrote, though he added, “There has been no opening on the doctrinal, so homosexuality remains for the Catholic Church a sin as well as a moral disorder.” Lo Giudice’s email distinguished between Francis and the Church hierarchy, suggesting a potential for conflict. “I hope that the pope’s words can have an impact on the attitude of the hierarchy and the Catholic community on these issues,” he wrote. “I believe that Francis, who has quickly become a very popular pope, will have a positive influence on people. I am less optimistic that the Vatican hierarchy, often very conservative and obsessed with
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The Swiss Guard on duty on Christmas Day.
On the Town in Rome
ROME, from p.18
sexual morality, will soon follow the same path.” Voicing a view similar to Andrea Maccarrone’s, he argued it is “characteristic of Catholicism to adapt its principles to reality.” Lo Giudice added, “Perhaps Francis realized that in a world dominated by inequalities and social injustice it is absurd that Catholicism is most identified for its rigidity on sexuality or on self-determination of women.” Still, he cautioned, “We need to be careful so that this new style, so modern and friendly, doesn’t turn into an effective tool of legitimizing exclusionary and oppressive attitudes.” Indeed, the positive news that came out of October’s Synod — even if walked back somewhat in the gathering’s final statement — largely obscured an international family conference hosted by the Vatican the following month that was titled “The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium.” It included Christian right Protestant leaders from the US.
Gay life is not uniformly visible across Rome, and when it is the location can be surprising. Coming Out is a hotel, bar, and restaurant complex on Via San Giovanni in Laterano, a gladiator helmet’s throw from the Colosseum. Its rainbow lights in a brilliant triangle above the entrance leave no ambiguity about their meaning, unapologetically making Roman homosexuality visible to millions of international tourists visiting its famous ancient neighbor. Coming Out was crowded with locals drinking outside, flirting with each other. Though many Romans assumed from my looks that I was a local, I passed two men in tight jeans who apparently took me for the tourist I was and quickly switched into English while conversing about blowjobs. All of us were leaning on another piece of history, a balustrade cordoning off ruins excavated under Mussolini. Italy’s fascist leader surely never imagined that this 1930s modernist tampering with the Colosseum surroundings — not to mention his massive sports complex
ROME, continued on p.30
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Queer Flavors in Windsor Terrace
Krupa Grocery lends a funky twist to neighborhood’s modest eating scene
BY DONNA MINKOWITZ
ny meats with the faintly louche name of “organ meats” are inherently queer. Think about it: “nice” people don’t eat offal — cuts of meat that come from far inside the body and are often chopped up to hide what they really are. Offal partakes of funk, and funkiness — closest to unami among the five tastes, but incorporating elements of sourness, gaminess, sex, even a little rot — is definitely a queer flavor. One of the greatest places to eat funky in New York right now is a new restaurant called Krupa Grocery in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. There’s nothing queer about the owners, the chef, or even, by the looks of it, the waiters. What’s queer — and wonderful — is the food. One night, mussels came in a musky sauce of housemade lamb pancetta, fermented chilies, Szechuan peppercorns, and Grüner Veltliner, an elegant white wine originally developed in Austria. The different funks of the lamb belly and fermented chilies combined to make this the most delicious mussel dish I’ve had in years. Another late afternoon, my partner and I hopped in for just beers and an appetizer: a large salad simply called “mixed greens” which was made strangely exciting by its bagna cauda (literally “hot bath” in Italian, a warm dressing made with olive oil, butter, garlic, and chopped anchovies), along with flecks of Sardinian pecorino and some brittle garlic croutons. We had just happened on the place after a long walk in Prospect Park, and were shocked that a mere green salad could have so much sex appeal. Windsor Terrace, a mixed-income neighborhood with a sizable lesbian population, isn’t exactly known for fine dining, but Krupa’s chef Domenick Gianfrancesco, it turns out, served as sous chef of Tom Collichio’s Craft and then executive sous chef at Craftbar. Let me say straight out that Krupa Grocery is a little pricey. Not pricey like Annisa or Craft, places I can’t afford, but pricey enough that I could never make the place my second home. The mussels, not a huge portion, are $16, and the green salad I mentioned is $10. Most servings are on the small side, so you may have to order more than usual to fill up. But for a change, the inventiveness of the cooking and quality of ingredients make the money seem worth it. Service is exceptional: hosts, bartenders, and wait staff were unusually welcoming and friendly, but also unusually correct. Glasses were never left empty, and crumbs and dishes swiftly cleared away. The one time that service faltered was a Tuesday night I dined alone (Tuesdays, there is a slightly abbreviated menu and live
A mussel dish at Krupa Grocery was the best mussels enjoyed in years.
music — jazz, blues, and funk — starting at 8 p.m.). The lone waiter that night left me hanging for long periods and neglected to inform me that the decaf would have to be decaf Americano. Nonetheless, as service problems go, I’ll take it. That night, I ate the best two things I’ve had at Krupa. A towering skate po’ boy was taller than the dimensions of my mouth, the stacks of fish coated in buttermilk and exquisitely fried. The sandwich ($14) was slicked with remoulade (think: something in between homemade mayonnaise, aioli, and tartar sauce) and dotted with Gianfrancesco’s housemade bread and butter pickles, which are far less sweet than most and nicely spicy. Alongside, a little oddly but pleasurably, was a long spear of a totally different kind of housemade cucumber pickle, more assertive and sour. But the best thing I ate was something called Chicken and the Egg ($9), an appetizer consisting of two deviled eggs topped with a good schmear of the restaurant’s own chicken liver pâté and tiny flecks of candied cocoa nibs. Yeah, you read that right. The deviled eggs are also pickled in beet juice. When I put one in my mouth with its toppings, it tasted earthy, profound, a bit milky, elemental, like eating the beginning of the world. The unctuousness was cut with pickled red onions and more of those pert bread and butter pickles. The only boring item I had at Krupa was the “blistered” shishito peppers ($7), which tasted, er, like mildly charred green peppers, and badly needed vinegar, spices, a liberal shake of salt, or all three.
The place is named partly after a beloved grocery/ newsstand owned by an Indian-American couple that stood on the same spot for years, where the proprietors called everyone “love” and posted unusual “Thought of the Day” notes on their door about the unity of all people. Yet this isn’t a horrible gentrification story, but a mildly happy one: the Krupa family still owns the building and decided to retire and rent the space out instead. According to Bob Lenartz, one of the restaurant’s owners, the name is also an homage to his favorite jazz drummer, Gene Krupa. Oddly beautiful prints by the artist John Nickle on the walls try to show both sources for the name — in Rorschach-like black ink, they depict figures from Indian mythology holding various jazz instruments. Krupa serves weekend brunch and breakfast and lunch every weekday but Tuesday, and has a great and frequently-changing list of beers on tap, wines by the glass, and cocktails. A brunch item of lacy lemon ricotta pancakes with apple jam spread on top (and maple syrup on the side), $14, was deeply satisfying. Too bad I never got to put my face in the smoked Berkshire pig head terrine, steak with bone marrow, or peppered beef tongue. Krupa Grocery (krupagrocery.com) is at 231 Prospect Park West, between 16th Street and Prospect Avenue. The dining room is wheelchair-accessible, and one of the two restrooms can fit a wheelchair. December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
VOTERS’ PRIZES ANNOUNCED IN BEST OF GAY CITY NEWS READERS’ CHOICE CONTEST As a thank you to several lucky participants in the first annual Best of Gay City News Readers’ Choice contest, five prize winners have been announced:
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Transparency and Trust PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER & CO-FOUNDER
The nation’s two most significant news stories in recent weeks both underscore a critical shortcoming too big to ignore — that government, at all levels, too often fails in its obligations for transparency. Whether it’s about guaranteeing that police conduct toward those they’re sworn to protect is free of abuses or that the US is carrying out its foreign policy and intelligence-gathering in ways consistent with the Constitution, international treaties, and basic humanity, Americans need to know they can trust those in authority. And the US cannot to expect to lead in the vital mission of forging peaceful mechanisms for resolving global conflict if other nations cannot trust it to abide by the rules of decency demanded of everybody. Over the long run, indifference to such standards can only threaten the safety of our service members and other citizens abroad. A Staten Island grand jury’s failure to issue any indictment in the death of Eric Garner brought the issue of police accountability to a boil. Millions watched the video demonstrating that police officer Daniel Pantaleo applied a chokehold to bring Garner to the ground and then kept pressure on his head as fellow cops pinned him there. The city medical examiner concluded Garner’s death was a
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homicide caused by compression of his neck and chest. What we don’t know is what evidence was presented to the grand jury. At least when a grand jury similarly delivered no indictment in the Ferguson, Missouri police killing of Michael Brown, we had the benefit of the full transcript of its proceedings, providing solid basis for public debate about that outcome. New York and other jurisdictions need to eliminate policies barring release of grand jury records. One lesson from the Ferguson transcript is that the close relationship between police and local prosecutors becomes problematic when potential police misconduct is at issue. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is right in asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to give him interim authority — pending a permanent legislative solution — to intervene in cases where unarmed citizens are killed by police. It’s particularly frustrating that video documentation of Garner’s death did not change the outcome at the grand jury, but surely Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken the right step in his pilot program for police wearing body cameras to document their interactions with the public. More evidence can never hurt. Public trust in the NYPD would also be enhanced by City Councilmembers Ritchie Torres and Antonio Reynoso’s proposed Right to Know Act, requiring police to inform citizens that, except where specif-
ic reason to suspect a crime exists, they have the right to refuse a search. That protection can help ensure that the mayor’s pledge to curb the abuses of Stop and Frisk becomes reality. The federal government role here is constrained by the primacy of states in law enforcement. But the Justice Department is right to consider civil rights charges against Pantaleo, and Attorney General Eric Holder took an important step this week in broadening the existing ban on racial profiling by federal law enforcement officials to similarly bar such practices based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, and national origin, as well. Difficult as making progress on police-community relations nationwide will be, the revelations contained in the just-released Senate report about CIA torture and deception from 2002 to 2008 present even more daunting challenges. Putting a light on this history is indispensible, but absent consequences for those whose illegal and inhumane conduct was documented it’s hard to see specifically where the issue moves next. Coming after revelations unearthed in recent years by Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, however, this report makes clear the nation is long past due for an open debate about how the US conducts surveillance and anti-terrorism efforts. Dick Cheney apologists have already come out swinging hard, and this is no time for Americans who care about our decency on the world stage to shrink from the fight. 2016 is just around the corner, and we have no one to blame but ourselves if we let this challenge go unmet.
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PERSPECTIVE: Media Circus
Ebola? What’s Ebola?
Gay City News, The Newspaper Serving Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender NYC, is published by NYC Community Media, LLC. Send all inquiries to: Gay City News, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, NYC 10013 Phone: 212.229.1890 Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this paper, in part or whole, can be reproduced or redistributed. All contents (c) 2014 Gay City News. Gay City News is a registered trademark of NYC Community Media, LLC. Jennifer Goodstein, CEO Fax: 212.229.2790; E-mail: Jennifer@communitymediallc.com
© 2014 Gay City News. All rights reserved.
BY ED SIKOV
t’s been only two months — two months — since Thomas Eric Duncan died of Ebola in a Dallas hospital and this country went berserk. Every day that passed after Duncan’s death brought more and more politicians and news commentators and so-called reporters vying to outdo each other’s
air of barely disguised glee dressed up as natural panic. “The Ebola Crisis,” as the media presented the subject to the public, quickly reached a level of shrillness and inanity not seen since the run-up to the Iraq War. Real viral proteins from West Africa took the place of trumped-up weapons of mass destruction buried in the Iraqi desert. But the outcome was the same: We were all going to die.
Republican members of Congress, who routinely answer any question about climate change by saying, “I’m not a scientist,” suddenly revealed their expertise in virology, infectious diseases, and international public health policy, except that the policies they were demanding were as willfully ignorant as their denials of global warming. Prompted by their handlers at Fox News, they excoriated President Obama and the Centers for Disease Control for remaining calm in the face
MEDIA CIRCUS, continued on p.23
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
PERSPECTIVE: Nurturing Our Youth
When LGBT-Only Housing Isn’t Enough
BY TAZ TAGORE
en years ago, Adam Bucko and I started the Reciprocity Foundation, in response to the growing number of homeless youth — especially LGBT identified young people — living on New York City streets. Around the same time, Carl Siciliano founded the Ali Forney Center (AFC). The time was ripe for change and the two organizations serve many of the same youth and work toward the same goals, often in collaboration. In recent years, AFC has become a national voice advocating for LGBT homeless youth and has helped put this issue on the map. But the level of services for homeless youth is still woefully under-resourced and we are working to fill a gap at non-LGBT oriented organizations, including Covenant House. Prior to founding Reciprocity, Adam and I had both been working or volunteering at Covenant House and felt inspired to offer services and programs that appeared to be missing from New York City’s largest shelter and. more broadly, from the homeless sector. Covenant House gave us an education in youth homelessness, but also inspired us to do things differently and create change from within. And we are seeing some results, although there is of course much more work to do. Although many organizations such as AFC have impressively grown housing and services for LGBT -identified youth, it was clear to us that the infrastructure to support such youth couldn’t appear fast enough to match demand. As a sector, we needed other solutions. The Reciprocity Foundation offers an alternative. At our holistic center in Midtown Manhattan, homeless youth of all ages, sexual orientations, and world views come together to heal from past trauma, to create — films, music, images,
MEDIA CIRCUS, from p.22
of the imminent viral cataclysm that had been unleashed, in Bill O’Reilly’s memorable locution, from “black Africa.” Throughout October, O’Reilly insistently called for a travel ban on anyone coming from the region, an idea he presented as common sense despite its flying in the face of thoroughly-researched public health policy. He was joined, perforce, by Ann Coulter, who really needs to add a double dose of Ensure to her diet. Necessarily it | December 11 - 24, 2014
among other things — to eat home-cooked, vegetarian meals, and to summon the strength to create change, in ourselves and in the world. On a recent Thursday night we hosted an Urban Retreat. Roughly 20 homeless youth gathered together to practice yoga and meditation and to answer Reciprocity’s Three Questions: What breaks your heart? What makes you feel truly alive? What kind of change will you help create in the world? The youth came to us from the Ali Forney Center, Covenant House, True Colors, Safe Home, and Chelsea Foyer. During the discussion, youth partnered up with the person sitting beside them. A typical pairing was a bi-racial transgender woman with a straight, white young man or woman. The young people spoke from the heart and formed strong connections with their partners despite their apparent differences. One pair connected when they discovered that they both suffered from PTSD — for one, it was triggered by combat overseas; for the other, the trigger was surviving sex work on New York City’s streets. Fostering these kinds of connections — that are forged across racial, sexual, and cultural lines — is one way to support LGBT-identified homeless youth in a world where LGBT -only programs are still too few in number. Adam and I have worked at group homes, shelters, supportive housing projects, and drop-in centers across the five boroughs where homeless youth of all sexual orientations must live together. We pride ourselves on creating spaces where LGBT-identified youth feel safe, but also feel understood by youth within and outside the LGBT community.
was all Obama’s fault: “A travel ban to America is certainly appropriate at least until American health officials get organized to contain any Ebola intrusion. But the president continues to say no. That’s just one of many examples of ideology trumping practical solutions to vexing problems. Summing up, we are living in a very dangerous, complicated world and we need problem solvers, not ideologues, in office.” So said Bill O’Reilly on October 20. O’Reilly’s lackeys in Congress acted swiftly. That very day, the world-renowned problem solver
In the past year, we have also begun to lead training sessions — both at our Manhattan center and upstate — for staff working with homeless youth. We teach staff working directly with youth how to create safe spaces for youth to heal, with a strong emphasis on how to support LGBT-identified youth. Staff from Covenant House, Good Shepherd Services, and the Department of Education have completed trainings with us. The most common feedback after a training is, “I realized that I’ve been chasing down youth trying to ‘get things done’ but I completely forgot how to connect heart-to-heart with these young people.” Followed by, “Which means that I’m completely disconnected from my own heart.” When we mistreat LGBT youth, we’re most likely closed off to ourselves, our families, and friends, too. Unfortunately, training programs to create safer or more tolerant spaces for LGBT-identified homeless youth are not funded by city or state agencies. The training programs led by Reciprocity are either funded by a private individual or offered as part of an inter-agency collaboration initiated by Reciprocity. Will our government eventually wake up and facilitate collective problem-solving, since it is the fastest and most effective way to create the changes our youth desperately need? One of my students, an intelligent, African-American lesbian, recently confided what she perceives to be the “gifts” of homelessness. She said, “After sharing spaces and stories with other LGBT homeless youth, I learned to be more proud of and open about my sexuality.” But, she added, “I also feel more confident when I’m at school and at work, because of the gaystraight relationships I cultivated at Reciprocity.” Her words stayed with me for a long time. Is there only one way to serve the needs of LBGT -identified homeless youth? I hope not. Because transcending homelessness is about more than uncovering who you are — it is about expressing it with clarity and confidence in a larger context. Reciprocity Foundation (reciprocityfoundation. org) is located at 255 West 36th Street and can be reached via its website or at 646-692-4000.
Marco Rubio brought the “Keeping America Safe from Ebola Act of 2014” to the Senate floor. In the House of Representatives, Congressmember Mike Kelly introduced a similarly tasteless purse to match the senator’s hideous shoes. No action has been taken on either the Senate or the House bill to date, but of course their status may change when the new Republican-controlled Congress convenes in January. Then again, the fact that Ebola has disappeared from Americans’ increasingly shrinking attention span — currently mea-
sured in Planck time units — may be enough to prevent the bills from rising out of the trash heap of pointless, showboating legislative proposals that politicians use to get their mugs on the evening news. For comic relief, from Wingnut Central comes this theory, given voice by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association: “It looks like [President Obama] actually wants Ebola to come to the United States. Why would he want that? Well remember, President Obama
MEDIA CIRCUS, continued on p.28
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.
December 11 - 24, 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.
| December 11 - 24, 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.
December 11 - 24, 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®)
| December 11 - 24, 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
PERSPECTIVE: A Dyke Abroad
All #BlackLivesMatter & Advice to That Young Activist
BY KELLY COGSWELL
f there’s any cause for hope on America’s racism front, it is that young black woman in braces on the TV. She wasn’t just a participant, but an organizer of some of the New York marches protesting Eric Garner’s death and the verdict that gave his cop murderer a free pass. Watching her talk, you have to wonder how long it will be before the old guard try to wrangle her into speaking at one more March on Washington, or a big New York Rally Against Something or Other, sandwiching her in between reverend this, or congressman that, sucking up her youth and vitality the way they always do. As an “older and wiser” activist, I feel I should give her some advice. Which first of all is to ignore older and wiser activists of all kinds. You seem to know what you’re doing, keep it up. And be especially wary of anybody offering a platform you haven’t built yourself. The more successful you are, the more the old guard will come knocking at your door, and you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t give much in exchange. Before you know it, your
cause will have become a career, and whatever new ideas you had, whatever lines you were willing to cross will seem ridiculous, outlandish, not at all worth the risk. I mean, really, what kind of sucker actually believes this U, S, of A, can deliver on its promises of liberty and justice for all? Or that it’s worth putting yourself in harm’s way for a man that’s already dead? Naw, take the crumbs you can get and milk that expense account for all its worth. Not that they’ll tell you that up front. They’ll tell you that they’re actually considering your ideas in Committee A. And adding some language to the guidelines Committee B is going to present. Change takes time, and blah blah blah. Come back next Thursday at nine for the photo op with the mayor. No, my friend, better to do what you’re doing, and refuse compromise. Let the wheelers and dealers wheel and deal. You stick to the streets. Allow yourself to dream a better city, better country. Demand everything. Fight hard, resist violence, and keep each other safe. Maybe even fly the freak flag once in a while. Avoid any proposition that requires new clothes. All I want for Christmas is to
MEDIA CIRCUS, from p.23
thinks that this country is racist to its core, it’s been racist since the beginning, it’s an evil colonial force that’s been the root of all kinds of evil all around the world, it needs to be punished, it needs to be brought down to size, it needs to be disciplined.” After stating for the record that he was not specifically accusing Mr. Obama of deliberately letting Ebola loose in the United States, Fischer finished with this: “It looks like President Obama wants Ebola to come to the United States to punish America for being racist. Maybe it’s part of his redistribution plan to redistribute disease, not just wealth.” White. Supremacist. Clown. For rational white folks, Fischer’s Naziesque theory is a big shande, as my people say. In the end, it didn’t get any traction. As a matter of fact, by now, in mid-December, the trumpeted “Ebola crisis” has disappeared entirely from the nation’s awareness. It turns out not to have been a crisis at all. Governors Cuomo and Christie, who couldn’t
see the hashtag upgraded to read #allblacklivesmatter. We know the names of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, T rayvon Mar tin, but what about Dionte Green, another black death in Missouri, but gay this time? Doesn’t he count, too? Or how about black cis-woman Yvette Smith who was shot twice by a deputy sheriff earlier this year in Texas? In 2010, Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley killed a young black girl Aiyana Jones. Sakia Gunn was killed for being a dyke, neither the first nor last. Last Friday, DeShawnda Bradley (Sanchez), a black trans woman, was killed while she was pounding on a stranger’s door for help. All black lives matter, not just those of black men, and not just those killed by cops who wear on their shoulders the power of the State and carry terror in the increasingly large guns, and teargas, and — I never thought I’d say this — tanks. Black women come in for more than their share of violence. And the deaths of black trans women should inspire an equally enduring rage. Often committed brutally, and publicly, with extraordinary violence, their horrible deaths are meant to inspire fear in a whole
have shoved their way in front of the microphones fast enough to announce their idiotic automatic quarantines in October, have somehow managed to keep their yaps shut about Ebola for the last month or so. Part of the reason for their silence is that the seemingly unshameable Christie’s solution turned into a sick joke when an infuriatingly sympathetic and feisty nurse was remanded to a ridiculous makeshift tent outside a Newark hospital. Christie — who, after all, gave her a box to use as a toilet, but she still whined about it, the fucking ingrate! — promptly called her complaints “malarkey” and proudly noted she was given “takeout food from the best restaurants in Newark.” A touch of hilarity was thus injected into an otherwise grim story of government overreach. George Orwell, meet Richard Pryor. The nurse, Kaci Hickox, was liberated from her five-star plastic tent a few days later and went home to Maine, where she had to put up with yokels — excuse me, locals — demanding she be dispatched to an internment camp for do-gooders. Tragically for America’s 24/ 7 news
population, just like lynchings. The life-and-death power on display here is not so much that of the State, but of an entire society that already forces trans women of color to the margins. Makes school impossible, like finding decent jobs. Their lives matter, too. Don’t be afraid to say it. Maybe for the first time it would work. The movement seems open and free — for the moment. I went down to a protest at Foley Square last week, and on my way saw young people of all races arriving together, as friends. Even if you don’t believe the white kids are there for the long haul, and even if you’ll often find their privilege shows, a generation ago those white kids wouldn’t have been there at all. So they’re learning. They’re educable. And accepting. Dare everything. Beyond that, what can I say? I’ve been at this a while, know how to work the press, marshal organized demos, but these free-flowing, wonderful, cop-thwarting things popping up all over the city are beyond me. I’m thrilled to see street activism and direct action renewed, going beyond those sterile Facebook clicks. Some things like racism, like homophobia, won’t change unless we confront them in the flesh. It’s what our enemies are so afraid of. Kelly Cogswell is the author of “Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger,” published earlier this year by the University of Minnesota Press.
hawkers, Hickox — a hero in any sane society for having gone to West Africa to help alleviate horrific suffering — did not develop Ebola. The Facebook page demanding her imprisonment isn’t getting too many “likes” these days. The media’s morbid glee next erupted with reports that Dr. Craig Spencer, who had done exactly the right thing by alerting the city’s health department within minutes of recording a fever, had instead knowingly endangered the health of millions of people in the tri-state area by taking the subway to go bowling in Brooklyn. No matter that he showed no symptoms and therefore couldn’t even have infected an immune-suppressed infant: Hundreds of thousands of people touched the same pole on the A train that the selfish, evil Ebola carrier touched! And just think of those poor, innocent bowlers sticking their pristine fingers into those infectious holes! They’re all going to get sick and die! We’re all going to die!
MEDIA CIRCUS, continued on p.29
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
PERSPECTIVE: Snide Lines
“Accidental” Murders, From Garner To Afghanistan BY SUSIE DAY Last Wednesday, December 3, a Staten Island grand jury announced it would not indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric Garner, an unarmed Black man, whose crime was, at most, selling a few loose cigarettes on the street. Officially, then, no one is culpable for what millions of people around the world saw on video, for what a New York City medical examiner had ruled a homicide. Maybe Eric Garner, then, didn’t really die — or maybe his life didn’t really matter. If the killer had been anyone other than a cop, if the victim had been anyone other than a Black person, someone would have gone to prison for this. Not that prison equals justice; it’s just ironic that there are so many Black people inside US prisons, while police on the outside continue to snuff out Black lives with impunity. Could there be some force here, a force beyond the mere police force that keeps these killings happening? Could what’s been called the “militarization of police” be reflected in US foreign policy? A few weeks ago, I published “Snidelines: Talking Trash to Power,” a collection of my columns, that includes this piece:
Defense Secretary’s Bullet Slays Brooklyn Youth NEW YORK — A detailed forensic examination of the scene of another fatal shooting by New York City police has revealed the bullet that killed an unarmed 14-year-old African-American youth in front of a Brooklyn bodega actually came from the service revolver of the US secretary of defense in Washington, DC. “I was cleaning Ol’ Betsy during a conference at the Pentagon and it went off in Brooklyn,” explained the secretary, pausing to secure his gun’s safety catch. “Oops.” Similar accidents may play an increasing role in government policy. According to well-placed
MEDIA CIRCUS, from p.28
Disappointingly, nobody got sick and nobody died, but the fear of clean extremities entering fouled holes rings a certain historical bell. Suggesting, however implicitly, that Spencer’s pre-subway “fatigue” was evidence of his contagiousness, reporters of all political stripes managed to overlook the fact that the man had just flown more than 3,000 miles from Guinea to Brussels and another 3,600 miles from Brussels to New York and might have been just a tad jet-lagged | December 11 - 24, 2014
sources, the Pentagon has been working on a top-secret program in which drones and other state-of-the art weapons used to fight terrorism abroad can be simultaneously deployed to keep order in the United States. “We kept noticing the similarities between our soldiers serving in hotspots like Afghanistan and cops here at home,” said Defense Department spokesman Oliver Ordnance. “Both police officers and troops are stationed in remote regions foreign to their background, culture, and usually to their race. Both wear snazzy uniforms and carry fully loaded weapons to set them apart as peacekeepers. Yet they are often beset by ill-mannered, dark-skinned suspects who are intent on going about their daily business in a threatening manner.” According to Mr. Ordnance, the new weapons program is designed to operate largely by accident. Whether it be an African-American man in the Bronx reaching for his wallet or an Afghan woman presumed to carry a grenade in her chador, the dual-purpose system would save time and resources by “accidentally” eradicating two or more suspects, at home and abroad, with the same coincidental maneuver. Such accidents, experts say, would cut down considerably, both on military spending overseas and the hit on municipal coffers here at home, with the savings used to fund workshops for beat cops on racial awareness. “Shooting unarmed poor people is what made this country great,” observed the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who asked that his name not be used. “By mistakenly assassinating random blameless individuals, we keep troublesome populations at bay, while preserving our image as good guys. This new weapons system allows us to make the whole thing more efficient. We’re calling them embedded accidents.” The secretary of defense has justified the kill-
from traveling through five time. It seemed as though Spencer’s isolation in a sealed unit at Bellevue Hospital was the only thing that kept him from being dragged out to the middle of First Avenue by an angry mob in hazmat suits and set on fire. Spencer didn’t die. End of coverage. Then, much to the joy of newspeople across the nation, a black woman who’d recently come from West Africa made an abrupt exit from the planet in a Brooklyn hair salon. Alas, she’d suffered a boring heart attack. Her corpse was Ebo-
ing of the 14-year-old Brooklyn youth (whose name has not been released pending law enforcement officials getting around to asking what it was) by saying that the young man’s hoodie clearly indicated that he was planning to fly to Pakistan to train with an Al Qaeda cell. No one knows the exact number of civilians inadvertently eradicated while attempting to live ordinary lives in countries such as Pakistan and Iraq. The United States, however, being an advanced country, often keeps records of police shootings of individual civilians here at home. Timothy Stansbury, Jr., for example, a 19-year-old African American, was fatally shot in Bedford-Stuyvesant in the early hours of January 24, 2006 by a uniformed policeman, when Stansbury, in attempting to return to a party at an adjacent building, opened the door to his roof in a manner suggesting that he was Osama bin Laden. Such instances in the United States number in the hundreds every year, with even the right-wing CATO Institute opining that an American civilian is eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist. Response to these random shootings by police has been mixed. A few people express despair, while others are clearly angry. “This is an outrage,” shouted Sal Plankton, president of Cops of Color Who Are Soon to Be Accidentally Shot by Fellow Officers. “The United States has a mandate to kill foreigners, not its own citizens! And for good reason — neighborhoods teeming with Latinos and Blacks have never been known to possess much oil.” US Defense Department officials have been quick to reassure the public of their concern. Hours after the incident, the NYPD commissioner also expressed regret, but advised a wait-andsee attitude, pending a more thorough investigation. “Soldiers and police officers aren’t the only ones making mistakes,” noted the commissioner. “Like so many Afghanis and Iraqis, the victims of fatal shootings here in the US forget that they’re living in occupied zones.” Susie Day is the author of “Snidelines: Talking Trash to Power,” just released by Abdingdon Square Publishing.
la-free, dammit. No one is currently under quarantine in either New York or New Jersey. Two health care workers returning from West Africa were quarantined in California and one in North Carolina. Spencer’s girlfriend was quarantined in the Harlem apartment she shares with him, but she’s been sprung by now. The 114 health care workers who came into contact with Spencer at Bellevue are no longer being monitored. About 220 people who recently arrived in New York from West Africa are currently being
tracked. None of these people has developed Ebola. There are no Ebola cases in the United States. What a colossal letdown. Now there’s nothing but silence. What if they threw a killer disease crisis and nobody came? A national health calamity that doesn’t materialize is so deadly dull. Never mind about the 17,000 or so people who actually contracted Ebola in “black Africa.” Only 7,000 have died. And let’s face it — their corpses and the families and friends they left behind are hardly worth a Planck time unit of thought.
ROME, from p.19
It is that next generation which preoccupies Vladimir Luxuria, another major Italian LGBT rights figure I met during World Pride. A transgender woman who wears many public hats, Vladimir is best known as a singer, actress, and former politician. After a Vatican Mass early on New Year’s Eve, I traveled to a club where I watched as Vladimir’s makeup artist prepared her
Vladimir Luxuria and the New Year
adorned with male nude statues, now called Foro Italico and home to World Pride’s White Party in 2000 — would become gay Roman playgrounds. Another night, I made my way to the Hangar, a small place with two bars and a dark room, where I met the American owner John Ross. Warm and affable, Ross swooned when talking about the new pope, telling me, “I think he is the best thing that has happened to the Catholic Church in 1,000 years.” At Garbo, a small gay bar in the Trastevere neighborhood, festooned in colored lights and candles that warm its gray brick interior, I heard similar sentiments from staff and patrons. Jahan Genet, a bartender originally from California, energetically told me, “We love the pope.” His boss, bar owner Remo Tofani, an Abruzzi native, called the Francis “open,” adding, “I like this pope. He is cleaning up a lot of stuff from years and years of the Church.” An American soldier stationed in Naples said of the pope, “I like what he says about the gays, but people say he really hasn’t changed anything.” He also said he found Naples more progressive than Rome, mentioning he even met a lesbian powerful in the mafia there. A Latin American man who works for the Church told me, “If you’re waiting for Francisco to change things, it’s a little too early.” The pope could be pro-gay, he said, but “he hasn’t changed anything that would reflect his views on gay rights.” Still, he thinks Francis could have the kind of galvanizing effect on the Church that Vatican II unleashed in the 1960s. “The pope is opening the path to new ways,” he said. “We’re not going to see it, but the next generation will.”
Vladimir Luxuria prepares for her New Year’s Eve performance at Rome’s Gay Village.
Vladimir Luxuria (center) on stage New Year’s Eve.
for the evening’s show, her silvery getup bringing to mind a queerthemed “Lost in Space.” Even nine months ahead of the bishop’s October Synod, the Vatican website was soliciting input and Vladimir and I discussed what she expected to come out of it. While acknowledging that both the Church and politics in Italy were behind the times compared to the rest of Europe, she said, “There was a constant growth of same-sex couples, and there are 100,000 children raised by same-sex couples. So even though there is no law, society goes, you know. Society does not ask the permission to the law.” Though politicians often use the Church as an excuse for resisting change, Vladimir believes the Church under Francis is opening up. The pope, she said, is asking “how should the Church react and behave with the children of samesex couples who want to be baptized?... Paradoxically, it is a way they recognize these children.” Vladimir also sees changes among rank and file clergy, even in their attitudes toward transgender people. She recalled a funeral where “the priest, who is the director of Caritas, an important Catholic association, he referred all the time to this transgender as a she, and he called her God’s daughter. And he said, if Jesus was amongst us now, he would have come to her and accepted her. At the Church of Jesus, right in the center of Rome.” Remembering Francis’ efforts in Argentina against same-sex marriage, Vladimir said she expects the pope to compromise by recognizing “the less worse is the civil unions.” S h e a dde d, “ I a m sur e he i s against gay marriage but he is less
obsessed than the previous pope on homophobia, on anti-gay declarations, and he has changed the style, the language on our issues, so I think it’s the first little step, toward a more open Church about the LGBT community.” Politicians, she believes, stand in the way more than the Church. As a former member of the Italian Parliament, she is disillusioned and decried “politicians who think of the religion while they are making some laws. It is not a problem of what the Church says about gay marriage, because of course we do not think it would be possible to have a religious gay marriage. We want a civil gay marriage.” That is a goal, Vladimir is confident, Italians can agree on. Her country, she said, is “more willing, more ready to have laws like other countries in Europe and the Western world.”
Under the Lights of the Via del Corso Before I left Rome, I visited the Via del Corso with Imma Battaglia; it is just a short walk from her Council office. “Every time I walk under the rainbow, I am happy,” she said, her eyes beaming. “I find peace.” She reveled in telling me that the pope himself was forced to walk under them during the December 8 procession for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Imma’s cheekbones were bathed in the multi-colored river of light, and locals and tourists alike were flashing selfies next to us. It was almost dangerous the way all of us stood in the center of the Via del Corso, as cars, motorcycles, and massive buses strug-
gled to avoid hitting us. The day I arrived in Rome, Imma told me that several months before the mayor asked her to keep secret a message he wanted to convey to her. Then, in November, she said, “I was walking through Via del Corso, and I was looking at these men putting the lights, and I look at it and I go, ‘Wow, it’s a rainbow. He keep the promise.’” Her hands flicking up and down in dismissal, Imma added, “Of course, you know there are people, gay people, who are never happy and say he did not do the rainbow flag. There are seven lights. There is the light blue. This is the peace flag, not the gay flag. I tell journalists, I don’t know, I don’t care. I know why the mayor put these lights. It’s against homophobia. It’s for equality. It’s for peace of course, but peace without rights is not a peace. We are all children of the same flag.” Now, lit underneath them in all their glory, Imma remarked on the years since World Pride, when her work was so challenged by the Vatican: “After 13 years, a lot has changed and today we have a mayor that supports gay marriage. I am proud.” As we walk together, she continued, “I feel history is changing. It’s time for equality. Even in Italy.” M i c h a e l L u o n g o p re s e n t s a slideshow “Christmas in Rome” with an emphasis on the Vatican, the pope, and LGBT issues, as well, at the New York Public Library Mid-Manhattan, 455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, on Tuesday, December 30 at 6:30 p.m., and at the Queens Library in Flushing, 41-17 Main Street on Sunday, January 4 at 2 p.m.
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Music and Words Gena Rowlands shines in choppy comedy about learning the steps from Cheyenne Jackson BY GARY M. KRAMER
SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS Directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman The Film Collective and Dada Films Opens Dec. 12 Village East Cinema 189 Second Ave. at 12th St. villageeastcinema.com AMC Empire 42nd Street 234 W. 42nd St. amctheatres.com The story, set in Florida, has the elderly Lily hiring the young, attractive Michael for six lessons. The pair don’t get along at first, mostly arguing and insulting each other. Lily threatens to cancel the lessons, but Michael convinces her that he needs to keep the job. She relents because she, in turn, needs to keep active. The plot soon feels like “Dancing Miss Daisy,” as the two keep meeting and dancing and ultimately form a heartwarming friendship. Seidelman, who mostly works in television, makes much of the film feel stagy. This approach works well in the quieter scenes set in Lily’s apartment or at Michael’s home, where we see the two talking about their lives. When the story is opened up to dance halls, it feels forced, the emotions never swelling like the music. | December 11 - 24, 2014
IAN L. SITREN/ FILM COLLECTIVE & DADA FILMS
ust as dance instructor Michael Minetti (Cheyenne Jackson) fails to make a good initial impression on his first client, Mrs. Lily Harrison (Gena Rowlands), “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” starts off badly. The film’s opening scenes feel awkward and artificial, as if the characters are in two different films. But like Michael, who slowly ingratiates himself with Lily, Arthur Allan Seidelman’s film, based on Richard Alfieri’s play, eventually finds its footing.
The lessons really aren’t about da n c e , we s oon und er stand . Michael and Lily discuss honesty and integrity, aging, sexuality, and loneliness. Tolerance is more important than the tango when Michael, after a particularly successful lesson, decides to be honest with Lily about being gay, despite his trepidation because she’s the widow of a Southern Baptist minister. How the two dance around this topic but eventually come to understand and accept each other is the heart of “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks,” though it must be said that the film works mostly because Rowlands is such a wonderful actress and Jackson is so handsome. Rowlands carries the entire film effortlessly, arousing emotion just in the way she purses her lips while looking at an old photograph. Her dignified, subtle playing is like a fine waltz with the steely strength to absorb Jackson’s aggressive boogie-woogie performance. His broad turn is fine in scenes with Irene Mossbecker (Jacki Weaver), who uses her in-home dance lessons with Michael as an opportunity to grab his ass. These comic moments provide counterpoint to the more refined relationship between Michael and Lily. Unfortunately, Michael, as scripted, brings vulgarity to otherwise tender moments with Lily — talking about a “fuck me” dress or about putting her check in his pants as though he were a stripper. The comments set Lily off but they are also jarringly off kilter in the context of the emerging relationship between the two. Jackson’s performance only hits its stride when Michael dials it way down and embraces the intimate bond Lily craves. While the two bark at each other early in the film, Michael rarely gets the upper hand and that may contribute to the seeming weakness of Jackson’s perfor-
Cheyenne Jackson and Gena Rowlands in Arthur Allan Seidelman’s “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks.”
mance. The film finally gets their relationship right when Lily cancels their appointment because she is not feeling well and Michael brings her soup. “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” is far more interesting when the characters actually start doing something for each another. When Michael talks about his late mother and
his bad dates and Lily recalls her late husband, he finally becomes more than simply a cardboard cutout foil for her. “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” may be uneven, but it is enjoyable when it gets in step. The upbeat ending ties together many of the film’s themes and redeems its rougher moments.
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
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.
Putting On A Show… and Then Another and Another Performer, impresario Nicky Paraiso keeps eyes peeled for squirts coming up BY CHRISTOPHER MURRAY
h, I’ll go to three shows a day most weekends,” noted the d ow n t ow n p e r f o r mance maven Nicky Paraiso as we walked along the Bowery a few nights before Thanksgiving. We’d just been to see sexy naked Hungarian dancers writhe about the stage for an hour while sweating copiously at the Abron Arts Center. And now, after a pit stop for some bratwurst and beer, we were heading to that bastion of downtown cool, Dixon Place, to see Dane Terry and David Cale’s musical collaboration “Hello, Cowboy.” I used to call Paraiso “the Pinoy Gertrude Stein,” a nod to his Filipino heritage and his role as a bringer-together of artists. He was born and raised in an Irish neighborhood in Queens, attended Oberlin College, and then got a masters in performance at NYU, but he’s remained close to that ethnic heritage, working frequently with other Filipino artists including Jessica Hagedorn, Ching Valdes-Aran, and Ching Gonzalez, and offered support to both the Ma-Yi Theater and the National Asian American Theatre Company. In the mid-’90s, his Stein-like role was formalized when Paraiso began convening dance and cabaret events for the late Ellen Stewart, La MaMa’s formidable founder. Since then, he’s been seen less behind the piano or wielding a violin or concertina on stage, but has developed an important role as an artistic mentor on the East Fourth Street “Arts Block” in the East Village, where La MaMa is a keystone institution, as well as at many Lower East Side performances spaces. Everyone in Dixon Place’s nifty little black box theater also seeing “Hello, Cowboy” seemed to know Paraiso, 63, who is celebrating 35 years as an actor, arts administrator, gadabout, and guru in New York’s Off-Off-Broadway and dance communities. Ellie Covan, the artistic director and founder of Dixon Place calls him “omniscient and omnipresent... and omnisexual too,
Simon Miller, Nicky Paraiso, and Matt Nasser in “Christmas in Nickyland.”
right?” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” auteur John Cameron Mitchell waved hello and Nicky got a shoutout from Terry, the angst-and-drollery songster It Boy of the moment, who was onstage at the piano. “Nicky introduced me to Dane at ‘Springtime in Nickyland,’” the Obie Award-winning monologist Cale told me recently, referring to one of Paraiso’s seasonal variety cabarets at the Club space at La MaMa, where he is programming director. Cale and Terry will reprise a few of their songs at a fresh edition of “Christmas in Nickyland” on December 20 at 10 p.m. and the following day at 6 p.m., joined by downtown stalwarts like Split Britches’ Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, the Moth’s storyteller Edgar Oliver, choreographer Yoshiko Chuma, and others (74 E. Fourth St., btwn. Second Ave. & Bowery; lamama.org). Next May will mark the 10th anniversary of the Paraiso-curated contemporary dance festival “La MaMa Moves.” “Nicky is passionately and rigorously tuned in to what’s happening in the arts and particularly the gay arts,” said Cale. “It makes him the most knowledgeable presenter of young and emerging gay artists that I know of.” Cale noted that Paraiso, appearing in Jeff Weiss’ “That’s How The Rent Gets Paid” at the Wooster Group’s Performance Garage, was one of the first performers he saw when he migrated to New York from Great Britain in 1979. Playwright and activist Sarah Schulman echoed Cale, recalling she
first knew Paraiso as a member of Weiss’ extended theatrical family performing in those crazy, inspired theatrical extravaganzas that for many epitomized the spirit of the avant-garde theater of the ‘80s that refused to let the AIDS crisis darken its creative spirit. “He brought a wonderful light into the room,” Schulman said. In an email message, Terry said Paraiso “has a very magical trio of traits for an artistic curator — an “an informed and discerning taste, a capricious sense of adventure, and perhaps most importantly an uncanny intuition about people. He is our motherly hub. A password. A thing to have in common with truehearted people.” Mel Gussow, writing in the New York Times in 1984, said of “That’s How The Rent Gets Paid, Part IV,” “In common with most of the company, the appealing Mr. Paraiso plays a multiplicity of roles, from Mr. Piano-man to a bisexual policeman on a midnight stakeout.” Paraiso was particularly known for his rendition of the standard “Where or When” and a cheeky number called “Chinese Sex” that he co-wrote with Weiss. Schulman also lionizes Paraiso for his special role as a mentor to new generations of theater artists, particularly queer ones. “He not only has the history,” she said, “but he’s very open to young people, very warm. He’s not slick. It’s an old school appreciation of people.” Last year, Paraiso was part of the five-member panel that decided the recipients of the Obie Awards.
Michael Feingold, Theatermania’s “Thinking About Theater” columnist and longtime chair of the Obies, said Nicky “is a godsend to the theater, and especially — as I know from experience — to any committee that sits in judgment on any aspect of it. He never stops caring passionately about the art, and he never stops seeking out new artists in every area and every aspect of the work.” Performance artist Dan Fishback concurred. “In 2012, I attended a public conversation at La MaMa, hosted by the legendary lesbian performance troupe Split Britches, and there was this moment where everyone was like, ‘Where are the new young queer artists these days? What are they doing?’ And I was like, ‘Well they’re not at La MaMa!’ So Nicky came up to me afterwards and said, ‘Well they should be. Why don’t you curate an emerging queer performance series here?’ “That was the birth of La MaMa’s ‘Squirts,’ which has become an annual festival,” said Fishback. “It’s become a major event in the queer performance world, and many of the young artists who’ve performed in ‘Squirts’ have gone on to great opportunities at La MaMa and beyond. And that’s all because Nicky is paying attention — not just to what he’s seeing, but to what he isn’t seeing. He knows where the gaps are, and he fills those gaps. He gets that art is about community.” The third iteration of “Squirts” runs January 16-25 at the Club at La MaMa (lamama.org). Also in January, Paraiso will be back on stage in Bessie Award-winning composer Mike Iveson’s “Sorry Robot” as part of Performance Space 122’s “Coil” festival ( Jan.617; 150 First Ave. at Ninth St.; ps122.org) . You can see a teaser video at ps122.tv/sorry-robot. “The rehearsal process has been great,” Paraiso said. “I love Mike’s play. It’s so smart, funny, brave, eccentric, idiosyncratic, so spot-on about everything that’s happening in our world.” Clearly, many of his peers in the downtown theater world think very much the same about Paraiso.
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
Make the Yuletide Gay Musicalized Truman Capote tale strains to recall happy golden days of yore
“THEY ARE KNOCKOUTS! HOW LUCKY WE ARE THAT THEY DROPPED IN FOR THE HOLIDAYS!” –Rex Reed, The New York Observer
“HAVING GENA ROWLANDS BACK ON THE BIG SCREEN IS THE SEASON’S BEST GIFT.” –Chuck Wilson, The Village Voice
“GENA ROWLANDS IS LUMINOUS. A magnificent Oscar-worthy performance from one of the true screen greats. SIX DANCE LESSONS is pure joy from start to finish!” ®
–Pete Hammond, Deadline
Ashley Robinson, Silvano Spagnuolo, and Alice Ripley in Duane Poole’s adaptation of the Truman Capote story “A Christmas Memory.”
BY DAVID KENNERLEY
f you’ve had your fill of “Christmas Carols” and “Nutcrackers” for the holiday season, a cautionary advisory is in order for the option served up this year by Irish Repertory Theatre: fruitcake. But before you turn up your nose and head for the hills, hear me out. This fruitcake is in the form of a musicalized version of Truman Capote’s deeply personal short story “A Christmas Memory,” where Buddy, a celebrated author not unlike Capote himself, visits his boyhood home in 1955 after a 20-year absence. He is flooded with memories of a blissful time when he’d make the fruity confections with a spinster relative named Sook, who stepped in when his divorced parents abandoned him. “It’s fruitcake weather,” Sook would gleefully proclaim. This nutty, gooey labor of love, adapted by Duane Poole, is actually not half bad. Under the direction of Charlotte Moore, “A Christmas Memory” manages to avoid being too cloying or heavy, balancing the sweet, lighthearted homespun sentiments of a simpler time with the tart, harsh realities of growing up a misfit in rural Alabama in the Great Depression. Fruitcake, as it turns out, is par-
You can’t learn to dance... without stepping on a few toes.
A CHRISTMAS MEMORY Irish Repertory Theatre DR2 Theatre 103 E. 15th St. Through Jan. 4 Tue., Thu. at 7p.m. Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat., Sun. at 3 p.m. $70;irishrep.org Or 866-811-4111 One hr., 40 mins., with intermission ticularly apt, since Sook is a bit of a loon and prone to depressive spells. The effeminate young Buddy is deemed a sissy by another guardian, Jennie, who threatens to ship the boy off to a military academy to toughen him up. “Fruitcake?,” Jennie intones. “The amount of time you two spend together. You’ll grow up soft and it’s a hard world.” The affable cast is led by none other than Alice Ripley, Tony Award-winner for “Next to Normal” (and nominated for the original “Side Show”). Ripley teases out layers of warmth and complexity from Sook, who obviously needs Buddy as much as he needs her. Ashley Robinson imbues the grown-up Buddy with a tender yearning that, as he wrestles with ghosts of Christmas past, becomes tinged with regret. Virginia Ann Woodruff is excellent as Anna, the
MEMORY, continued on p.37
DOCLER ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH ENTPRO AN ARTHUR ALLAN SEIDELMAN FILM GENA ROWLANDS CHEYENNE JACKSON "SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS” RIORITAGINALMORENO JULIACOSTUMESN SANDS KATHLEEN ROSE PERKINS ANTHONY ZERBE SIMON MILLERPRODUCTIAND JACKI WEAVER CASTING ON BY PAUL RUDDY, C.S.A. MUSIC BY ATTI PACSAY BY GYÖRGYI SZAKÁCS CHOREOGRAPHER KAY COLE EDITOR BERT GLATSTEI N, ACE DESIGNER TIBOR LÁZÁR ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE CINEMATOGRAPHER VILMOS ZSIGMOND, ASC PRODUCER SIMON MILLER PRODUCERS MARC PLATT JERRY OFFSAY BRUNO P. GYÖRGY PRODUCER THOMAS H. BRODEK PRODUCED BASED ON SCREENPLAY DIRECTED BY GYÖRGY GATTYÁN ANDRÁS SOMKUTI THE PLAY BY RICHARD ALFIERI BY RICHARD ALFIERI BY ARTHUR ALLAN SEIDELMAN ©2014 DOCLER ENTERTAINMENT KFT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
www.sixdancelessonsmovie.com EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENTS
START FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12 | December 11 - 24, 2014
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IN THE NOH
Our Very Own and Impressive Symphonic Band Big Apple Corps turns 35, plus a trove of holiday books for the discerning BY DAVID NOH
t’s hard to believe, but the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps turns 35 this year and the LGBAC Symphonic Band performs its holiday concert, “Make the Yuletide Gay!”, on December 12 at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th St., 8 p.m.; lgbac.org). I grabbed the chance to talk to its new artistic director, Kelly Watkins, who told me, “This is the first time we’ve incorporated dance, with the Rhythm Nights dance group choreographed by Christopher Anderson, who’s a member of the color guard for the marching component of the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps. For every concert, I typically propose a theme and selections to our board of directors and they approve and make adjustments. This year I chose a series of mostly dance-inspired pieces like “The Nutcracker.” We’re also doing some Shostakovich, some folk dances, “Dance of the Jesters,” which is fun, and a medley of Chanukah music. We are featuring one of our members for 17 years, flutist Craig Devereaux, on ‘Rhapsody for the Flute.’ “We’re also doing the ‘Sandpaper Ballet’ by Leroy Anderson, who really started a very American style of composing. Some of it’s a little folkyhokey but very playable. He did the ‘Typewriter’ ballet, and with this one, you have three soloists playing sandpaper blocks, and they will be three former directors of the symphonic band, two of them founders of it back in 1979.” To add spice to the event, one of my favorite singers, out lesbian Terese Genecco, is also featured. “She’s great and has hosted and sung at concerts in the past, Watkins said. “We try to also bring in new people, like Doug Quint, who was a trained bassoon player and dropped out to found the Big Gay Ice Cream stores springing up all over the country. Of course, being gay, we have to do some Broadway selections, and this year we are doing ‘A Chorus Line.’” Warm camaraderie has always been a key allure of LGBAC. “If you’re new in town, or not, and want to make friends, just join a band,” Watkins said. “It’s the best way to meet people: you already have something in common, especially with LGBT. It’s our 35th year, which is incredible. All the band’s original goals have come to fruition, and we’ve gone above and beyond that. Our concert band has 85 members, a lot of really great talent, with people like doctors who aren’t fulltime musicians. Asked if players have to be gay to join the band, Watkins replied, “No you don’t. We have a fair number of allies and friends who come to play. It’s all-inclusive — everyone’s welcome and there are no auditions. Anyone can come aboard
Kelly Watkins, artistic director of LGBAC’s Symphonic Band.
and the only thing we ask is that you’re able to read music relatively well.” What about the one real flat-noter who shows up and can really bring the band down? “We’ve been pretty fortunate that that hasn’t happened since I’ve been around,” Watkins said. “I think people can gauge for themselves whether they can keep up. Maybe a certain part’s too difficult for someone who can maybe play one not quite as challenging. People help each other out a lot, and some have become very good friends and develop really strong bonds. There’s no competitiveness, and the great thing is the community that’s been formed.” Watkins’ whole life is music —her full-time day job is as first trumpet in the US Coast Guard Band. “Each branch of the military has a band,” she explained. “We are primarily a PR unit for the face of the Coast Guard and we go on national and international tours to spread the good word of the Coast Guard, the good will of America, and patriotism and all that sort of stuff. Where the other military branches have multiple bands with one premiere topnotch band, the Coast Guard only has one. But we hold ourselves to the same level. It’s very competitive, and to get an audition is like any major symphony orchestra. “I’m very fortunate, as this is one of the few ways you can have a nice, comfortable life as a performing musician, with the same salary and benefits as anyone else in the military. You’re also subject to same rules like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which fortunately does not exist any longer. Being gay in the Coast Guard is not a problem anymore, but when I entered in 2003, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was very real and very enforced.
I think being a musician worked better for gays in the military than being in the front lines of artillery, as people in the arts tend to be quite open-minded. I’m married now and my wife Amanda and I have a nine-month-old daughter. We got married shortly after all the benefits had been worked out and it was great to be able to have a child. “If it had been before, there would have been a lot of hurdles, which are still extant, like if you’re stationed in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. I’m not the biological mother and would not be able to claim our daughter as a dependent or reap the benefits of dependent pay or childcare at the local development center where we take her for daycare. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was never really an issue for me because I knew people who knew I was gay. I felt comfortable and never felt I was in a situation where I got threatened or could be outed in a bad way, but obviously there’s a great number of people who were discharged under Don’t Ask.” Watkins hails from Henderson in East Texas and said, “I guess I always felt gay but it took me awhile to come to the realization for sure. East Texas is a very religious Southern Baptist area and I was very active in church and my youth group until high school and then not as much. My parents are relatively religious and very conservative overall. It was around grad school time when I put the pieces together, got a grip on it, and started to live my life as a gay person. When I got my Coast Guard job there was kind of a big hesitation accepting the job. But it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and fortunately I knew people in the band to reach out to them and ask, ‘What do you think?’ “There’s a slew of gay people in military bands and they have been there for years, in all of the military actually. Everyone negotiates it, however they can, and I got some sound advice. Maybe only five years ago, I came out to my parents. I was at least 30, and it was difficult. They love Amanda and accept us, but we don’t talk about it much. My parents are wonderful people but for them it’s easier not to talk about that. It’s fine. I’ve had a lot longer to understand it than they have.”
This holiday season we are surrounded by gadgets galore, but I still think a good book is the best gift to give, and there’s a slew of honeys to choose from. Jean-Noel Liaut’s fascinating “The Many Lives of Miss K.” is the first biography of the bisexual adventuress Toto Koopman. You may not know the name, but you have definitely seen her in any number of iconic fashion photographs taken in the 1930s by the likes of Hoyningen-Huene, Beaton, Steichen, and Horst.
GIFT BOOKS, continued on p.35
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
GIFT BOOKS, from p.34
| December 11 - 24, 2014
JEAN-NOEL LIAUT’ “THE MANY LIVES OF MISS K”/ RIZZOLI
Her eerily aristocratic Dutch-Indonesian looks — similar to that later supermodel Pat Cleveland — made her one of the great beauties of her era and her sexually rapacious life was more akin to what a man could enjoy than a woman. And there was a brain and burning life force behind that creamy mask. She was not only the lover of press magnate Lord Beaverbrook (and his son!), Randolph Churchill (Winston’s son), and Tallulah Bankhead, but, fluent in six languages, Koopman was also a spy for the Italian resistance and almost died in the concentration camp at Ravensbruck. After the war, she met Erica Brausen, a German art dealer, who became her lifelong partner and with whom she opened the legendary Hanover Gallery in London, showing Lucian Freud, Henry Moore, Marcel Duchamp, and the trailblazing artist she discovered, Francis Bacon. Always open about her sexuality, people were drawn to the gallery for the chance to see this notorious lesbian couple (at a time when homosexuality was a criminal offense in Britain) as much as the extraordinary art on exhibit. When Koopman died in 1991, at 82, Brausen (who soon followed her in death) sequestered herself with Toto’s body for eight days, going out only to buy fresh roses to arrange about the beloved corpse’s face each morning. A more recent icon of beauty and fashion, Loulou de la Falaise, died in 2011, and her beyond-elegant life is celebrated in a sumptuous self-titled Rizzoli coffee table book by Ariel de Ravenel and Natasha Fraser -Cavassoni. Much of the book is a graceful oral history, with memories of her inimitable glamour and grace from intimates — Diane von Furstenberg, Marisa Berenson, Manolo Blahnik, Pierre Bergé, the partner of Yves Saint Laurent with whom de la Falaise worked for years, turning out his extraordinary collections. I had an unforgettable meeting with her at Studio 54 when Saint Laurent launched his Opium perfume. I was standing in the club’s infamous balcony when she suddenly materialized next to me, having escaped her intense clique of Saint Laurent, Halston, and Warhol downstairs. She admired my Cas-
Lovers Tallulah Bankhead and Toto Koopman at the 1934 premiere of “The Private Life of Don Juan” in London.
telbajac jumpsuit, offered me a sip of her whiskey and soda, and we spent the evening together talking about everything from the famous women her uncle, Henri de la Falaise, married (Gloria Swanson, “zat beetch” Constance Bennett) to her preference in Japanese designers (Kenzo over Issey Miyake) to her work (“Every season, Yves and I look at each other and say, ‘So how do we create a new skirt and blouse?’”). She was the most hypnotically seductive, chic woman I have ever met. and each time I saw her again she was just as lovely, just as stylish, and just as real. John Gruen has for decades been one of New York’s foremost cultural chroniclers, be it through his perceptive writing or marvelous photographs, and these two gifts are combined in “My New York,” a mesmerizing ode to this greatest of cities. Half of this book, from the brand new and exciting Turning Point Press, are Gruen’s vivid time capsule grab shots of our town and its largely anonymous populace at work and leisure. The other half is comprised of his telling, canny thumbnail sketches of the many artists he’s encountered, a stunningly varied group that made up the fabulous tapestry of Manhattan before the invasion of one-percenters and Starbucks — Arthur Miller, Keith Haring, Leonard Bernstein, Comden & Green, Larry Rivers, Virgil Thomson, Bobby Short, and Warhol drag star Mario Montez, among many. An absolute sure-fire book bet is Matthew Kennedy’s terrif-
ic, comprehensive “Roadshow!” which is about those huge, often bloated 1960s movie musicals the big studios launched in the wake of the dazzling success of “My Fair Lady” and “The Sound of Music.” These films were a major influence on anyone growing up in those years — events — with their musical overtures and exit themes, intermissions, glossy souvenir programs, and incredibly enticing hype preceding them. (I can still absolutely recall the thrill, as a kid in Hawaii, of seeing the trailer for “Funny Girl” that was about the filming of the “Don’t Rain on My Parade” number.) These musicals mostly flopped, bankrupting their studios, but God were they fun, for all of their bowdlerizations and miscastings. Kennedy is unforgiving about many of them — I thought I was a curmudgeon! — and he and I have had some lively arguments about many of these films. I am probably in the minority who doesn’t think Vanessa Redgrave was an inferior Guinevere to Julie Andrews’ stage rendition in “Camelot.” Director Joshua Logan, clumsy as he could be, got it right when he said he wanted to cast a woman who looked worth losing a kingdom over, and she is sumptuous — a ravishingly hippie Medieval queen (in 1967) with purringly seductive vocals that, while not approximating Andrews’ pristine tones, more accurately convey the character’s sensuality and satirical wit. And, not to further Julie-bash — she’s undoubtedly great in her way
— but for musical heroines, I far prefer Petula Clark in Francis Ford Coppola’s exuberantly counter-culture “Finian’s Rainbow” and Herbert Ross’ “Goodbye Mr. Chips” (a true neglected classic) to Andrews, who, while gorgeous vocally, could be so antiseptic. Clark, with her experienced pop chops, brought a natural acting talent and her distinctive, white-soul melismata effectively to both roles. She’s the definitive, sexy, spunky colleen in the first (I could watch her seductive “Old Devil Moon” duet with Don Francks endlessly). She’s luminous, womanly in “Mr. Chips,” while Peter O’Toole gives his greatest performance as the shy, heartbreakingly gallant schoolmaster — the two of them warbling Leslie Bricusse’s heavily maligned but, I think, lovely score. I defy anyone to watch Clark sing “You and I” to him and not get at least a little misty. Of course all this is so subjective and, in my case, so intensely wrapped up in childhood nostalgia. I adore Streisand’s Dolly and wish more coverage had been given to my favorite of her musicals, “On a Clear Day,” which I constantly battle to come to aesthetic terms with. Just get this book and blissfully immerse yourself in Kennedy’s scrupulous research, which goes behind the scenes and magically makes the making of these indelible misses and occasional triumphs absolutely come alive. Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@ aol.com and check out his blog at http://nohway.wordpress.com.
“Allegro” is a mixed success; “The River” just gets swept away BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
llegro” is neither an easy nor necessarily crowd-pleasing show. First written in 1947, it was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s attempt to reflect tribulations of the common man in a world changing quickly. Its moralistic and sometimes overbearing politics argue for fulfilling the soul rather than pursuing riches. Its score, though boasting some wonderful songs, is fragmented, and the original book is overlong by today’s standards. Given all these challenges, it’s no wonder the show is rarely produced. As a piece of history, however, it represents the creators’ ongoing efforts to change the musical form. Seen in this context, the new production of “Allegro” at Classic Stage Company is a significant and consistently interesting effort to breathe life into an oft-overlooked work. If, like the current revival of “On The Town,” it often seems like a museum piece, that’s almost an inevitability. The show tells the life story from birth to maturity of Joseph Taylor, Jr., son of a local doctor, who ultimately has to make the choice of honoring his father’s choice and caring for the people back home or following his more ambitious wife, who wants him to be a famous man in the big city of Chicago. Joe initially follows his wife, but in what we would today call a midlife crisis, realizes that true fulfillment comes from the choice his father made before him. The production has been directed by John Doyle, so the actors are also the orchestra. This has become Doyle’s calling card, and, quite frankly, it’s starting to wear thin. What once seemed innovative and groundbreaking now seems contrived and gets in the way of the storytelling. There never was a real dramatic justification for actors also being the orchestra in “Sweeney Todd” or “Company,” for example, and now it just seems like a stunt. However, there are pleasures to be had here. What Doyle has done remarkably well is cast this piece.
Claybourne Elder in “Allegro.”
ALLEGRO Classic Stage Company 136 E. 13th St. Through Dec. 14 Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at 3 p.m. $70-$125; ovationtix.com or 866-811-4111 90 mins., no intermission The principals are all outstanding, as is the choral singing, with the ensemble on stage the whole time functioning as a sort of Greek chorus. Mary-Mitchell Campbell’s music direction and orchestrations are pretty near perfect. The company as a whole is sublime. Claybourne Elder as Joseph Taylor, Jr. is truly extraordinary. His voice is outstanding, and he manages the clunky transitions of the character from baby to grown man gracefully. Malcolm Gets as his father gives a warm and sensitive performance that never strays into sentiment. Alma Cuervo as beloved mother and grandmother is fine and stoic in the classic Americana mode, while singing beautifully. Jane Pfitsch gets what is probably the best-known number in the show, “The Gentleman is a Dope,” and does it very well. And Elizabeth A. Davis is just right as Jenny, Joe Jr.’s ambitious and selfish wife. She’s an exceptionally good bad egg. As a piece of its time, along with “Our Town,” to which this invites obvious comparison, “Allegro” is noteworthy. But where “Our Town” radiates warmth and humanity,
Hugh Jackman gives a fine performance in the deeply flawed “The River.”
THE RIVER Circle in the Square 1633 Broadway at 50th St. Through Feb. 8 Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $35-$175; telecharge.com Or 212-239-6200 90 mins., no intermission “Allegro” starts as a much colder piece to begin with — perhaps in line with Hammerstein’s aim of commenting on the quickening rhythm eroding life in the culture around him. Then, this production requires the actors to play instruments, sing, and abide by staging more about artful arrangement of bodies than dramatic narrative, imposing a distance it never overcomes. The most resonant pleasure in this “Allegro” is in the music, and there CSC does very well.
Self-reverence and obscurity masquerading as emotional depth are typically the province of teenagers clutching a copy of “The Bell Jar” and earnestly scribbling verse. Sadly, it is also the defining conceit of the slight, self-consciously cryptic play “The River” by Jez Butterworth now at Circle in the Square. The play is remarkable only in that it stars Hugh Jackman in the role of “The Man.” Set in a fishing cabin on what seem to be three different moonless nights when The Man has brought different lovers up for trout fishing, the play is ostensi-
bly about his attempt to find love. The Man is manly; after all, he guts a real trout right on stage. On the first two of the evenings, we see relationships at the point of either deepening or dissolving. Clearly, they dissolve. Both women seem surprised and resentful that an apparently single, middle-aged man has a romantic history, which is crazy. Or maybe they just feel like they’re being played. Don’t hold me to any of that; I am only guessing at what’s going on. There’s a lot of labored fishing imagery going on, and Butterworth takes on myths of what it means to be male and questions of whether or not our character is set or changeable in different situations. He clearly wants desperately to be literate, but his play collapses in on itself as it tries to be a contemporary “Rashomon.” The Man is ultimately too underwritten to be interesting, and the women are clichés, so the whole thing just sits there. Kind of like the trout. Which is unfortunate since Jackman gives a fine per for mance in this limited role. Ian Rickson’s direction stresses simplicity, and Jackman is so likeable just in his presence that one wonders what’s wrong with these women who find so much fault with him. Butterworth never makes it clear what’s at stake for any of the characters, and so the story spins out like so much fishing line in the dark until we realize there’s nothing there to hook.
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
FLORIDA, from p.7
Mississippi as well — and in an appeal of the loss in Louisiana. Between now and the end of January, the Supreme Court is likely to take up in conference one or more among the appeals from the plaintiffs in the Sixth Circuit cases — from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky — as well as a petition filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of the Louisiana plaintiffs (who also have an appeal pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals). If the high court takes up one of those cases, a key question is wheth-
MEMORY, from p.33
soulful housekeeper who helps the nostalgic author come to terms with his fraught history. As the stern Jennie, Nancy Hess reveals a caring center beneath a tough exterior. Silvano Spagnuolo, as the young Buddy, does his best in a role even a seasoned adult actor would find demanding. What he lacks in precision and nuance he makes up for in charm. Capote, as everybody knows, was the notoriously homosexual author of landmarks like the
er arguments can be scheduled and a decision reached by the end of the term in June — or if the case is put off until the fall of 2015. Should the Supreme Court delay the matter until the next term, a final resolution of the marriage equality question would realistically not come until early 2016. In either event, an announcement by the high court that it will hear an appeal would likely stall any further actions by appeals courts in circuits where the question has not yet been decided — the Fifth, the 11th, the Eighth, where there have recently been gay marriage victories in Missouri and Arkansas, and the First, where an adverse rul-
novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and his “non-fiction novel” “In Cold Blood.” Astute fans will recognize the pesky neighbor tomboy, Nelle Harper (nicely portrayed by a pigtailed, gap-toothed Taylor Richardson), who also grew up to become a famous author, Harper Lee (“To Kill A Mockingbird”). To tug on our heartstrings even harder, they’ve cast an adorable scruffy terrier as Sook and Buddy’s furry playmate. If the intention was to create an intimate, folksy chamber musical, the creative team may have gone
ing in Puerto Rico is being appealed. If the Supreme Court refuses to stay the Florida ruling — Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi will almost certainly seek an extension — that would send a clear signal to the district judges in Alabama and Georgia who have marriage cases before them that if they rule in favor of plaintiffs, there is no need to stay their rulings since the 11th Circuit and the Supreme Court are unlikely to do so. That scenario would be ironic, with marriage equality spreading throughout the circuit without any ruling from an appeals court known for its conservatism.
too far — the production feels so constricted it has scant room to breathe. Crammed into the tiny stage at the DR2 Theatre (the Irish Rep’s home is being renovated), the seven-person ensemble must navigate gingerly around James Noone’s imaginative, surreal wooden set. The songs by Larry Grossman (music) and Carol Hall (lyrics) draw from American musical vocabulary of the blues, vaudeville, and ragtime from the early 20th century. One lively number finds the entire company strumming on ukuleles
and strutting to Barry McNabb’s jaunty choreography. Many numbers, however, are too lean and deserve more support than the skimpy three-member “orchestra” can provide. “A Christmas Memory” works hard to articulate the conflicting swirl of emotions surrounding family, holidays, and going home again. This often touching yet imperfect production, like a homemade holiday treat, promises to unleash a flood of romanticized yuletide memories for even the grinchiest of theatergoers.
Steve Schirripa of “The Sopranos”presents:
Cooked on our stove for six hours so you don’t have to!
| December 11 - 24, 2014
Late Autumn Voices
Rossini, verismo, Rachmaninov, Handel BY DAVID SHENGOLD
uilliard Opera did very well by the good — not great — Rossini comedy “Il Turco in Italia” on November 19. Speranza Scappucci, conducting and playing continuo, guaranteed a scintillating, stylish performance for the fine orchestra, though a few inevitable first night “accidents” obtruded. One hopes to hear much more of her work hereabouts. John Giampietro and his design team went for the 1960s look; surely — please! — the vogue for staging everything a la “Mad Men” and “La Dolce Vita” must end soon. But at least no group Polaroids were taken, and the blocking and characterizations, including those of the sonorous choristers, proved fluid and successful. It’s hard to care about this opera’s nasty, selfish characters; if anything, the two protagonists (Fiorilla and Selim) seemed in this cast too normal and charming. The titular Turk was Michael Sumuel, already in the professional realm with an extremely cultivated bass-baritone that shows off admirable agility. Looking lovely, Hyesang Park’s Fiorilla fielded a lovely, coruscating soprano that flowed effortlessly. She aced her big scena but should have omitted the anachronistic pennywhistle high note at its close. The most individual sound among the students came from bass Daniel Miroslaw, an excellent, firm-voiced Geronio and a fine comic actor, albeit too young and handsome for his part. Kara Sainz made a fine “seconda donna,” with a fresh, appealing mezzo. As the Pirendellian playwright Prosdocimo, who shapes the action as it proceeds, Szymon Komasa seemed to be channeling Neil Patrick Harris as Barney; he sang energetically with a certain throatiness and iffy Italian. The two tenors showed correct musicianship but not the proper instruments for this particular, testing vocal style. As an ensemble effort, this attractive, well-conceived “Turco” provided much to enjoy.
Daniel Miroslaw, in the lounge chair, with Kara Sainz standing behind him holding his hand in the Juilliard Opera production of “Il Turco in Italia.”
Te a t r o G r a t t a c i e l o , o n November 18, held an under-attended gala at Skirball/ NYU. For 20 years, Duane Printz’s troupe has valiantly presented concert readings of verisitic repertory, uncovering much of interest. The concert both revisited past repertory choices and signaled a few in the company’s pipeline. It was particularly good to hear, from the former, Act IV of Alfano’s “Risurrezione” with strong, moving singing from Kerri Marcinko and Stephen Gaertner. In the latter half, I enjoyed Israel Gursky’s reading of Wolf-Ferrari’s delightful “La Dama Boba” Overture and the visually and vocally glamorous Tiffany Abban doing diva-quality work in Giordano’s “Siberia.” Some other Grattacielo stalwarts like Megan Monaghan, Anna Tonna, and Ashraf Sewailam contributed nice turns. Cult diva Aprile Millo won cheers for just showing up. Her singing in the maudlin final scenes of “Zaza” and “Cecilia” showed her wonted committed — if highly emphatic — style. I expected greater verbal accuracy and specificity. Much of Millo’s powerful voice remains intact; the roles that might best exploit her current resources are Puccini’s Giorgietta — created, like Cecilia, by Claudia Muzio — and Prokofiev’s Fata Morgana, premiered by Nina Koshetz.
On November 21 at Boston’s venerable Symphony Hall, it was exciting to see the chemis-
try between the BSO players and their dynamic new conductor Andris Nelsons live up to its billing. Nelsons, very energetic, is demonstrative with the musicians, not showing off to the crowd, and proved himself in fine control of every aspect of a difficult program. The admirable Tanglewood Festival Chorus offered two recent pieces, an amusingly Handelian one by John Harbison and an attractive New Romantic world premiere by Eriks Esenvalds. Yo-Yo Ma appeared for a phenomenal rendition of the Prokofiev “Sinfonia Concertante,” tossing off its spectacular difficult cadenzas. The vocal portion came with Rachmaninov’s Poe-based orchestral poem “The Bells,” with the TFC again demonstrating great ensemble and tone. Pavel Cernoch’s dark lyric tenor tended to flat and to monochrome, but soprano Victoria Yastrebova fielded a pleasant, not conventionally shrill Russian soprano and showed welcome dynamic variety. Truly sensational singing poured forth expansively from young Lithuanian bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas. Remember the name: he sounded like a young Tom Krause and sang with the same musicality and commitment.
Handel’s “Alcina,” heard in concert at Carnegie Hall October 26, proved definitively that baroque opera doesn’t need to be ground into witless pastiches to grab an audience and can instead
attract a substantial following if casting and conducting promise rewards. Harry Bicket’s alert, enlivening work with the English Concert was one key factor. Another was the fabulously talented Joyce DiDonato in the demanding title role. She proved herself up to the soprano demands of the complex character; her bewitching singing in tough music sounded like falling off a log. Stance, gaze, utterance of words and dynamic play made a complete moment of every aspect of Alcina’s harrowing journey out of being loved: a triumph. Bring on Cleopatra, Agrippina, Nitocris, and more Handelian roles! Alice Coote nailed Ruggiero’s swagger, and his two wonderful slow arias — “Mi lusinga” and “Verdi prati” — were both deeply satisfying. Coote’s voice is maturing out of Handel and now has trouble with long lines and rapid passagework, so the two contentious early arias were cautious and unlovely, with lots of extra breaths. The treacherously demanding “Sta nell’ircana” nearly defeated both Coote and the horns. Yet she remained an artistic force. As they have demonstrated in “Cendrillon,” DiDonato and Coote have tremendous stage chemistry, sparking off one another. Morgana, lesser witch sister to Alcina, is a gift — Anna Christy’s soubrette handled her duties capably and amusingly if without ultimate vocal distinction. The other four soloists doubled as chorus. Christine Rice’s Bradamante showed a well-practiced Handelian stylist with remarkable coloratura fluency in “Vorrei vendicarmi”; her timbre itself, while solid, seems rather ordinary. One wished the excellent bass Wojtek Gierlach (Melisso) had more to sing. Not so the just barely adequate Ben Johnson (Oronte), his tenor and deportment lacking charm, an element essential to making this multiply-betraying character palatable. By design, Oberto’s three arias can be dispensed with; Anna Devin was brightly fluent if no better than senior Juilliard students might have been. This was a fine ensemble effort on a masterwork, with DiDonato and Bicket ‘s work unforgettable. David Shengold (shengold@ yahoo.com) writes about opera for many venues.
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
GARNER, from p.3
Sunnyside, Queens, said, “Neither the activity he was engaged in nor his response to the police officers who apprehended him warranted the force that was applied — force that ultimately resulted in his death… We have a major problem in our city and country when people of color, black men in particular, believe that the justice system consistently fails them. I have great respect for police officers and the very difficult work they are charged with, but today’s announcement does not represent equal justice for all under the law. The December 4 letter came as protesters launched a second night of demonstrations across the city, which included a huge rally in Foley Square outside Lower Manhattan’s courthouses, as well as actions that blocked portions of the Brooklyn Bridge, the West Side Highway, and Times Square.
At an action organized by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Randi Weingarten, the out lesbian president of the American Federation of Teachers, was arrested for civil disobedience. The day before, Weingarten, in a statement on behalf of the AFT, said, “Today, we share in the disappointment of many who question the outcome of the grand jury’s deliberations in this case.”
| December 11 - 24, 2014
IMPERIAL COURT on another magical year of spreading LOVE! THANK YOU for your years of support and helping God’s Love provide nutritious meals & education to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.
AIDS DAY, from p.5
sionate speech about the need to enact the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, especially given the disproportionate number of transgender people at risk for HIV. Afterwards, he acknowledged, “We’re a long way from getting it passed” in his Republican-controlled house. Daskalakis said that every person with HIV, every service provider, and every counselor “is an activist in the effort to keep all of New York undetectable.” While promoting PrEP, he is not abandoning condoms. “The Department of Health has wrapped this city in latex,” he said. PrEP, used consistently, reduces the chance for an HIV infection “96 percent” he said. Julie Lynn, 48, talked about having grown up in the “Fear Generation” regarding AIDS. “HIV stole my youth,” she said, saying she went through “30 years of fear” over the peril of sexual encounters. She has turned to PrEP for peace of mind, but will not abandon condoms. “I’m finally in the position to be the sexual person I wanted to be at 18,” Lynn said. “I am tired of hearing that that New York City is the epicenter of HIV," Daskalakis said. “”New York City is going to be the epicenter of
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE
A poster emphasizing the day’s major theme — a plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York by 2020.
ending HIV.” Keith Holder of Housing Works said he was “a 25-year survivor” and credited the group with “taking away the stigma of being HIV-positive.” He had a time in his life “where I slept on the A train for six months,” but has pulled through. “I’m so happy to be undetectable now,” he said. Simon Bland, director of the UNAIDS office in New York, said “we’ve made incredible progress” worldwide, though “we have lost 35 million to this dreadful disease and have 36 million living with it. One and a half million die each year.” Still, he said, “2013 was a tipping point because there is more access to treatment for those becoming newly infected. We have the tools. This is no time for complacency. We can end AIDS by 2030.”
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COST, from p.4
One indicator of the cost of just the PrEP portion of the state’s plan comes from the state health department in Wa s h i n g t o n . I t l a u n c h e d i t s PrEP Drug Assistance Program in April. For uninsured enrollees, it pays for T ruvada and the quarterly testing needed to monitor for side effects. For insured enrollees, the program pays deductibles and co-pay fees. It will cover 200 enrollees at a cost of $2 million annually, though as the program is finding that most enr ollees have insurance, it could cover 300 enrollees at the same cost. With 300 enrollees, that is just under $6,700 per person per year. To get the thousands of New York City gay and bisexual men on PrEP needed to significantly reduce new HIV infections would cost tens of millions of dollars, though those costs would be shared by the state and private insurers. Gilead also offers Truvada at a reduced cost to qualified individuals. The state health department did not respond to an email seek-
to open the city’s HIV/ AIDS Services Administration (HASA), which is akin to the single point of access proposal, to all HIV-positive New Yorkers and not just those with an AIDS diagnosis. Advocates put the cost of that at $68 million annually and the City Council estimated it would cost $75 to $100 million annually. The number of new clients added under the single point of access proposal would likely be lower than the 10,000 who were expected to enroll at HASA under the 2007 proposal. Medicaid, the health insurance plan for low income people that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, is already paying for PrEP for roughly 3,100 New Yorkers and private insurance is likely paying for PrEP for others. Medicaid and private insurers also cover PEP and TasP. The costs borne by Medicaid and private insurance will certainly increase. In order to cut new infections, the plan will have to get very high numbers of HIV-negative gay and bisexual men on PrEP as
well as a greater share of positive men on treatment to suppress their viral load. In 2012, the latest year for which the state has data, 95 percent of the state’s 3,316 new HIV diagnoses were in New York City and 55 percent of the city diagnoses were among men who have sex with men. The rate of new HIV diagnoses among New York City gay and bisexual men has remained high and stable for 13 years. Currently, an estimated 51 percent of HIV-positive people in the state are virally suppressed. “We do know that we have to double the number of people who are in treatment and virally suppressed,” King said. In addition to the 3,100 Medicaid recipients on PrEP in New York, Gilead Sciences — the company that makes Truvada, the only drug approved for PrEP — estimates that 3,253 “unique individuals” nationally began PrEP between January 1, 2012 and March 31, 2014. The rate at which people are starting PrEP appears to be increasing, according to the Gilead data.
Dr. Mary Bassett, the city’s health commissioner.
ing comment about the cost of the plan. At a World AIDS Day event at the Apollo Theater, out gay State Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the West Side, noted the importance of money. “If we provide the funding, if we have the political will, of course we can end the epidemic,” he said at the December 1 event. In a follow up conversation, he was more careful. “We need to fully fund the task force and its recommendations,” Hoylman said. “I’ll reserve comment until we see what those recommendations are… [The plan] is an important blueprint for legislators and then we can start talking about numbers in the budget.”
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
| December 11 - 24, 2014
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
| December 11 - 24, 2014
December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
CATCH THE SPIRIT Holiday spiritual resources for New York’s queer community BY CHRISTOPHER MURRAY
minister who, having watched 36 years earlier as his gay son was kicked out of the Church after coming out, officiated at his wedding when Pennsylvania began allowing gay marriage this year: “When Chester Wenger conducted his gay son’s wedding, he was doing God’s work in this world: filling the timeless form of faith with fitting content that is praiseworthy and true. Blessings on him and his family. And blessings on all of us who, in our own place and time, faithfully walk from what’s past to what’s possible.” Christmas Eve Services: Wednesday, December 24, 8 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Unity New York
UNITY NEW YORK
THE SECRET CITY
The Secret City Band’s Jeremy Bass.
The Divine Gypsies, Unity New York’s dance ministry, in a 2012 performance.
dignitynewyork.org DignityNY@DignityNY.org Founded in 1972, the New York chapter of Dignity offers a welcoming home to LGBT Catholics and even has a group for active and former gay priests. The Dignity Christmas Mass details follow below under Judson Memorial Church. DONNA ACETO
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah.
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) Jewish At Church of the Holy Apostles 296 Ninth Avenue at 28th Street Shabbat Service: Friday, 7 p.m. cbst.org New York’s pioneering LGBT synagogue still meets at Church of the Holy Apostles for Shabbat services Friday evenings, but the congregation ritually broken ground and is in the demolition phase on construction of its new home-to-be at 130 West 30th Street. The design, by Luke Hughes, will have modular pews! This year’s main Shabbat Chanukah service will be led by the charismatic and upbeat Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum on December 19, 7 p.m. (27 Kislev 5775, when sunset is at 4:22 p.m.).
Dignity New York Catholic At St. John’s in the Village Church 218 West 11th Street, Between West Fourth Street & Waverly Place Mass: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. | December 11 - 24, 2014
Judson Memorial Church Dually-aligned with the American Baptist Churches and the denomination now known as the United Church of Christ 55 Washington Square South at Thompson Street Weekly Service: Sunday, 11 a.m. judson.org The 1890 Italian Renaissance landmark was designed by Stanford White with gorgeous stained glass windows by John La Farge. Community minister of the arts Micah Bucey is easy on the eyes, welcoming, and even plays the ukulele! “I ran from the church for a long time,” he told Gay City News recently. “I didn’t feel I was welcome there and then I found Jesus was the queerest one of all! He questioned the way society told us to act, so I found he was a queer activist.” Judson holds Advent Services Tuesdays, December 16 and 23, 6 p.m. Judson also hosts the Dignity Christmas Mass on Wednesday, December 24 from 6:30-10 p.m. A 4 p.m. Family Service precedes the Christmas Mass.
St. Bart’s Episcopal 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street Choral Eucharist: Sunday, 11 a.m. Reverend Bruce Forbes at 212-378-0210 Or firstname.lastname@example.org stbarts.org
Harvard architecture scholar Christine Smith has called the 1917 Bertram Goodhue-designed Byzantine church “a jewel in a monumental setting.” St. Bart’s is where Jim McGreevey, who earned a master’s of divinity since resigning as governor of New Jersey, worships and it has a very active and friendly Lesbian and Gay Fellowship Group. Christmas Eve Services: Wednesday, December 24, noon; A Quiet Christmas in the Chapel, 4 p.m.; Eucharist with Christmas Pageant; 7 p.m.; Festival Eucharist, 11 p.m. Christmas Day Service: Thursday, December 25, 11 a.m.
The Secret City Nondenominational At Dixon Place 161A Chrystie Street, Between Rivington & Delancey Streets thesecretcity.org Service: Third Sunday, 11:30 a.m. “We worship art,” explained the energetic Chris Wells, founder and artistic director of this group that, since 2007, has attracted a growing community of fine and performing artists. Their “ongoing performance rituals” are decidedly upbeat, with lots of fun music, led by cutie electric guitarist Jeremy Bass. The Secret City’s December 21 event has the theme “Visions.”
Unitarian Church of All Souls Universalist Unitarian 1157 Lexington Avenue at 80th Street Weekly Services: Sunday, 10 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. allsoulsnyc.org Senior Minister Galen Guengerich was raised Mennonite and last month delivered a sermon about a 96-year-old former
Unity Worldwide Ministries/ Association of Unity Churches At Symphony Space 2537 Broadway at 95th Street Weekly Service: Sunday, 11 a.m. unityofnewyork.org Unity attracts big, truly diverse crowds that get up and shake a tail feather to the terrific choir and just as often to the sermons of handsome, daddy-type senior minister and founder Paul Tenaglia, here in his Twitter feed: “Any day I work out is a good day; any day I work out my mind is a great day; any day I work out my soul by meditating is a perfect day.” Christmas Sunday Celebration Service: December 21, 11 a.m.
Twelve Step Groups: Alcoholics Anonymous High Noon LGBT Community Center 208 West 13th Street Sunday, noon nyintergroup.org AA is the granddaddy of all 12-step programs and High Noon is the grandmamma of all New York gay AA meetings. With a crowd of 300-400 LGBT people every week there to hear one of there own tell their story, qualifying at High Noon is like playing the big room in Vegas. Oddly enough, everyone always stays until the speaker has finished, but at the break the room clears out as all and sundry head to brunch! Sunday, December 21 is the pre-holiday meeting of High Noon, where more than one share is likely to be about how alcoholism is a three-pronged disease: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Sexual Compulsives Anonymous Full weekly meeting list for New York At: scany.org/meeting_list.html scany.org This program, which draws 95 percent of its attendees from gay men (there are similar programs serving other demographics), covers a lot of ground behavior-wise: getting caught up in booth-stores, hustlers, phone apps as well things like romantic obsession and so-called sexual anorexia. Holiday Gratitude Meeting: Chelsea Studios 151 West 26th Street December 21, 3-4:30 p.m.
12 Drunks of Christmas,” a twisted take on “Let It Snow,” “I’m Dreaming of A White Trash Christmas,” a holiday tribute to Bea Arthur, and a special visit from the Port Authority Cockettes. Laurie Beechman Theater, West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd St. Dec. 12 & 19, 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 at SpinCycleNYC.com or 212-352-3101, and there’s a $15 food & drink minimum. Full dinner menu available.
Lypsinka, in Repertory With Herself
COURTESY: HEDDA LETTUCE
Hedda Lettuce at the Metropolitan Room, December 13-24.
THU.DEC.11 THEATER Celebrate BAAD!
FRI.DEC.12 THEATER Use a Wooden Hanger for Your Coat For the first time in 12 years, “Christmas with the Crawfords” returns to New York, with a cast that includes Joey Arias as Joan, Chris March of “Project Runway” as her beloved Christina, Connie Champagne as Judy Garland, Sherry Vine in the dual role of Hedda Hopper and Baby Jane Hudson, and Flotilla DeBarge as Hattie McDaniel tormenting Joan with her Oscar throughout the party. Other Tinsel Town icons — including Liberace, Carmen Miranda, Gloria Swanson, and the Andrews Sisters — also make appearances. Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand St. at Pitt St. Dec. 17-18 & 23, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, 8 p.m.; Dec. 14 & 21, 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 at abronsartscenter.org or 212-352-3101.
“War Lesbian” is a new musical, directed by Jordan Fein with book by Kristine Haruna Lee and music by Kathryn Hathaway, that features downtown diva Erin Markey. This tale of womanhood, where Ellen DeGeneres is a demonic demi-god, floods the stage with impossible probabilities, ridiculous heartbreak, and a surgically precise amount of absurdity. Dixon Place, 161 Christie St., btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts. Dec. 12, 13, 19, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m. Tickets are $16; $12 for students & seniors at dixonplace.org.
PERFORMANCE OMG! It’s Christmas Cult film icon Mink Stole (“Hairspray,” “Pink Flamingos,” “Cry-Baby”) premieres her new holiday show, performed alongside Her Wonderful Band. You’d expect something unconventional from John Waters’ favorite actress, and she delivers just that — performing songs including “Stay a Little Longer Santa,” “Le Petit Tambour“ (“The Little Drummer Boy” in French), Tom Lehrer’s “Christmas Carol,” “Pretty Paper,” “Christmas Time is Here” and more. Laurie Beechman Theater, West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd St. Dec. 12-14, 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at SpinCycleNYC.com or 212-352-3101, and there’s a $15 food & drink minimum. Full dinner menu available.
Twinkling Funhouse Reflections Holly Dae, Bootsie Lefaris, Pixie Aventura, and Brenda Dharling present the third annual installment of “Distorted Kristmess,” in which holiday favorites are run past a dirty funhouse mirror. Highlights include “The
The Champagne of Bottled Camp Dan Derby and Michael Rheault’s “Fabulous! The Queen of New Musicals” is a “Some Like It Hot”-style tale of two down-on-their-luck female impersonators — Josh Kenney and Nick Morrett — on a cruise ship trying to keep their cool and all the while creating confusions worthy of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Directed by Rick Hamilton with choreography by Mary Lauren, “Fabulous!” was an Off-Off Broadway hit last season and is now 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.
BOOKS An Evening of (Self) Recognition The Bi Book Club meets to discuss “Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men,” edited by Robyn Ochs and H. Sharif Williams. Bureau of General Services — Queer Division @ The Center, 208 W. 13th St. Dec. 12, 6:308:30 p.m.
SAT.DEC.13 PERFORMANCE Lettuce Rejoice The end of the world may be upon us, but nothing stands in the way of Hedda Lettuce’s crisp comedy and delicious song parodies in a holiday tradition that goes back more than a decade. In “Lettuce Rejoice — The End Is Here, But Nothing Can Stop Christmas,” “Frosty The Snowman” becomes the tale of a randy gay snowman and you can only imagine what Hedda does with “Let It Snow.” Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St. Dec. 13-14, 21, 24, 7 p.m.; Dec. 19-20, 9:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $25 at metropolitanroom. com, and there’s a two-drink minimum.
BOOKS Knowing Someone in the Biblical Sense
In a tradition now in its 11th year, Charles Rice-Gonzalez presents his “Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo,” a gay Latino comedy about a couple whose arguing reaches the queer heavens from which comes a ghetto thug/ diva spirit to guide them on a trip through their lives. 2474 Westchester Ave. at St. Peters Ave., Westchester Sq., Bronx. Dec. 11, 7 p.m.; Dec. 12-13, 19-20, 8 pm.; Dec. 13, 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 at badbronx.org. The Dec. 11 performance is a special birthday celebration for the Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, and is preceded by a 6 p.m. reception featuring BAAD!’s signature coquito (Latino egg nog).
Where Ellen’s the Villain
John Epperson performs a rotating best of Lypsinka repertoire with “Lypsinka! The Boxed Set,” “The Passion of the Crawford,” “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.
at Wooster St. Dec. 13-14, 1-5 p.m. Opening reception, with Salsa music by DJ Fowl Play and appearances by Bryan and co-curators Tony Zanetta and Kymara, Dec. 12, 7-9 p.m. Bryan does an artist talk, Dec. 13, 3 p.m., followed by an erotic film hour at 4.
D i a n a C a ge celebrates the launch of “The Lesbian Sex Bible,” and is joined by Julia Bloch, Ella Boureau, Stephen Boyer, Elizabeth Koke, Rachel Levitsky, and Sarah Schulman. Bureau of General Services — Queer Divisio @ The Center, 208 W. 13th St. Dec. 13, 7-10 p.m.
MON.DEC.15 PERFORMANCE Happy Klezmerversary!
GALLERY Boys of El Barrio In the last Leslie-Lohman Prince Street Project Space exhibition of the year, Dana Bryan presents “The Original Latino Fan Club,” recapturing the lost gritty Times Square aesthetic that stood in sharp contrast to the All-American Boy erotic standard. 127-B Prince St.
Metropolitan Klezmer, one of America’s most accomplished and inventive klezmer bands, celebrates its 20th anniversary with a holiday-timed release of its new CD, “Mazel Means Good Luck” and a special performance at the Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., btwn. Canal & Division Sts. Dec. 15, 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15 for students & seniors at eldridgestreet.org or 212-219-0888.
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December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc
MON.DEC.15, from p.46
Hey, Big Spender
PERFORMANCE The Wainwrights & McGarrigles Celebrate the Holidays Siblings Rufus and Martha Wainwright return with a holiday tradition after a threeyear hiatus. In “Noël Nights,” the McGarrigle/ Wainwright musical dynasty — including as well Sloan Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, and Lucy Wainwright Roche — welcome guests Emmylou Harris, Justin Vivian Bond, Cibo Mattoy, and Cyndi Lauper (Dec. 17) and Renee Fleming (Dec. 18). Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. Dec. 17-18, 8 p.m. Tickets are $55-95 at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000. Proceeds benefit the Kate McGarrigle Foundation, which raises money for sarcoma research, the rare and underfunded cancer that took the life of Rufus and Martha’s mom in 2010.
Bonding at Christmas Yelling, “When ya comin’ back, Baby Jesus?!?” into the abyss, Justin Vivian Bond leads a celebration of everything and nothing with holiday hi-jinx. Bond is joined by musical director Matt Ray, Nathann Carrera on guitar, and Claudia Chopek on violin. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Dec. 17-20, 9 p.m.; Dec. 21-23, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 at joespub.com
BOOKS To Have and to Hold Photographer and author B. Proud’s “First Comes Love: Portraits of Enduring LGBTQ Relationships” documents gay and lesbian couples in photos and stories as the nation moves inexorably toward full marriage equality. Proud is joined for the book’s New York City launch by Edie Windsor, whose lawsuit against the federal Defense of Marriage Act led to the historic Supreme Court victory in June 2013. Bureau of General Services — Queer Divisio @ The Center, 208 W. 13th St. Dec. 19, 8:30 p.m.
SAT.DEC.20 CABARET New Rules From Baby Jane
The Crashing Realities of Adulthood Hans M. Hirschi’s “The Fallen Angels of Karnataka” is a novel about a young gay Norwegian man in the 1980s who, recovering from the WWW.HIRSCHI.SE tragic loss of his first lover to AIDS and believing he is in his own last year of life, stumbles into a relationship with an older British man who, he learns, is engaged in a worldwide pedophilia enterprise. Hirschi, whose aim was to “weave a story of hope, detailing the struggle of everyday people overcoming the evil that walks among us,” reads from his new book at Bureau of General Services — Queer Divisio @ The Center, 208 W. 13th St. Dec. 21, 4-5:30 p.m.
In “Bad With Money,” Ben Rimalower — who previously explored his obsession with La LuPone with “Patti Issues,” to much acclaim — charts his sometimes hilarious, sometimes harrowing struggle to overcome his problem, or go broke trying. “People tend to be familiar now with alcohol and drug addiction — and I’ve got those, too,” Rimalower says. “But spending money I don’t have is really my drug of choice.” Aaron Mark directs. The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. S., Sheridan Sq. Dec. 15, 22 & 29, 7 p.m.; Dec. 19, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$50 at purplepass.com, and there’s a two-drink minimum.
Beat on Ice” is a blizzard of new seasonal material including “A Gay in A Manger” and some classic Jackie such as her snow-fueled rewrite of “Let It Snow,” the pregnancy confessional “Santa’s Baby,” a menorah-loving “Jew Christmas,” a booze-infused spin on “Happy Holidays” called “Alcoholidays,” and the cautionary ballad “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Syphilis.” Laurie Beechman Theater, West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd St. Dec. 20-21, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 at SpinCycleNYC.com or 212352-3101.
FRI.DEC.26 PERFORMANCE Sandra Is Blessed & So Are We Sandra Bernhard’s new live show “Sandra Bernhard is #blessed” spotlights her blend of hysterical insight and outspoken views, with rock-n-roll, cabaret, stand-up, and a little burlesque. Bernhard is joined by her band the Flawless Zircons. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Dec. 26-30, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 31, 9 & 11 p.m. Tickets are $60, $150 on Dec. 31 at joespub.com.
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. Dec. 20 & 26-27, 7 p.m. The cover charge is $25, and there’s a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-206-0440.
PERFORMANCE A Soldier in the War on Christmas Frosty drag star Jackie Beat, in her 17th annual Christmas show, continues her mission to poison every sacred belief and holiday tradition. An addictive antidote to holiday cheer, “Jackie
PERFORMANCE Gifts That Are Unwrapped
| December 11 - 24, 2014
In “Unwrapped 2014,” Jinkx Monsson and Major Scales present original songs, covers, and comedy — including favorites from last year such as Sarah Silverman’s “Give the Jew Girl Toys” and a warped version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Laurie Beechman Theater, West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd St. Dec. 19, 7 p.m.; Dec. 19-20, midnight; Dec. 21, 1:30 p.m. brunch. Tickets are $25 at SpinCycleNYC. com or 212-352-3101, and there’s a $15 food & drink minimum.
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Don’t waste a minute. Find your plan at nystateofhealth.ny.gov. Or call 1-855-355-5777.
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December 11 - 24, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.nyc