Mario Cuomo: Activists Recall "Push" to Move Liberal Lion 04
Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan explores hurdles of visibility & connection page 23 © GAY CITY NEWS 2015 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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IN THE NOH
EDITOR’S LETTER The blood stigma continues
12 14 DAYS Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan explores hurdles of visibility & connection
Danny Garvin: Critical witness to history
Healthy respite in the West Village
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American Realness is dead; Long live American Realness
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MARRIAGE ARRIVES IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
Among the plaintiff couples before Judge Sarah Zabel were Todd and Jeffrey Delmay, Cathy Pareto and Karla Arguello, Vanessa and Melanie Alenier, and Don Johnston and Jorge Diaz.
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
In 1977, Florida more or less gave birth to the modern anti-gay movement when that state’s citrus industry spokesperson, Anita Byrant, launched her successful Save Our Children campaign against a Dade County nondiscrimination law. Late in the day on January 5, gay and lesbian couples could be forgiven for putting that ugly legacy out of their minds. In a ruling that day, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel lifted her stay on a marriage equality ruling she issued in July but put on hold pending the state’s appeal. Zabel changed course at the urging of Equality Florida and the six plaintiff couples in the case because of the US Supreme Court’s December 19 decision not to extend the stay on US District Court Judge Robert Hinkle’s August gay marriage ruling. Hinkle’s stay was scheduled to expire at the end of the day January 5, and the Supreme Court’s action marked the first time it allowed a pro-equality federal district court ruling under appeal and not upheld by a circuit court of appeals to go into effect. Zabel’s clerk said marriages could begin immediately (before the federal stay technically ended), and the judge agreed to marry two of the plaintiff couples — Karla Arguello and Cathy Pareto, and Jeff and Todd Delmay. Marriage equality took hold statewide the following day, though, to the last, some jurisdictions resisted. Widespread questions and conjectures about how broadly Hinkle’s August order applied led to that judge issuing an extraordinary January 1 clarification. In response to an emergency motion from the Clerk of the Court of Washington County as to whether she was required to issue licenses to anyone other than the two plaintiffs in the case, Hinkle wrote that the preliminary injunction issued in August “does not require the Clerk to issue licenses to other applicants. But as set out in the order that announced issuance of the preliminary injunction, the Constitution requires the Clerk to issue such licenses. As in any other instance involving parties not now before the court, the Clerk’s obligation to follow the law arises from sources other than the preliminary injunction.” Some counties, mindful now of their obli-
Melanie and Vanessa Alenier get a head start on securing a marriage license in Miami on January 5.
gation to issue licenses, decided to avoid actually having to preside over any same-sex marriages by announcing that no marriages, different- or same-sex, would be performed by their employees. As the Miami Herald noted, Andrew Gillum, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, the capital, took the opportunity of intransigence by officials in some northern Florida counties to invite same-sex couples to travel to Leon County and marry in his city. The advent of gay marriage in Florida offered a glimpse of how former Governor Jeb Bush may not quite be ready for prime time in his nascent presidential bid. In a rambling response to the Miami Herald on January 4, he said, “It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision. The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the courts, I guess.” By the next day, in comments to the New York Times, Bush, though conciliatory, was mindful of talking points important to opponents of marriage equality. “I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue — including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty,” he said. — Paul Schindler
Activists Recall the “Push” Needed to Move Liberal Lion Outspoken against death penalty, hero from ’84 DNC keynote, Mario Cuomo cautious, uneven on gay, AIDS issues
Governor Mario Cuomo after a 1994 HIV/ AIDS event at the World Trade Center.
BY ANDY HUMM
ormer Governor Mario Cuomo, who died New Year’s Day at 82, was famously labeled “Hamlet on the Hudson” for his indecision about entering the presidential contests of 1988 and 1992, but it was the late Gay City News journalist Doug Ireland who first dubbed him Hamlet, even before his election as governor in 1982. Cuomo’s long, drawn-out process in 1983 in issuing a simple gay rights executive order, promised during the previous year’s campaign, led a local gay newspaper, New York City News, to run his picture on the front page with the headline: “Cuomo Executive Order: To Be or Not to Be?” When the order was finally issued, the paper’s headline was “Cuomo to Gays: I Did It My Way.” This reporter got a personal call from the governor to remonstrate about having raised doubts he would stay true to his pledge. Cuomo’s reputation as a liberal lion was based largely on his principled opposition to the death penalty and his stirring keynote address to the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco in defense of a government that cares. But his political persona was also shaped in significant ways by who he was not — his long-time political rival, New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who was still fighting with him from the grave, labeling Cuomo a “prick” in a video
released after his 2013 death. Koch’s resentment, which boiled for more than 35 years, was based on his firm belief Cuomo had allowed — and then never apologized for — posters in Queens in the 1977 mayoral runoff (that Koch won) that read “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo.” That poster incident was the only gay or AIDS-related matter mentioned in the lengthy New York Times obit by out gay reporter Adam Nagourney. This article will focus on gay and AIDS issues, which played major roles in Cuomo’s tenure. When Koch died, there was an outpouring of anger from many veteran gay and AIDS activists — as though a scab had been picked — condemning his inaction on AIDS and failure to get a city gay and lesbian rights bill passed for nine years despite promising to do it within six months of taking office in 1978. While some of the gay and lesbian reviews of Cuomo’s record are mixed, there was no similar level of anger directed toward him during his life or after his death despite the fact that he also presided over the explosion of the AIDS plague as governor from 1983 — less than two years after the epidemic was first detected — through 1994, more than a year before protease inhibitors started saving people with AIDS from almost certain death. At an ACT UP demonstration in Albany in 1988, the firebrand gay activist, writer, Vito Russo — who would die of AIDS just two years later — spoke and did not mention Cuomo. When Cuomo won a third term as governor in
1990, however, ACT UP so noisily disrupted his election night celebration that he never came down to the ballroom to claim victory. “I can’t recall Cuomo as doing anything,” author, playwright, and longtime activist Larry Kramer said this week via email. “That’s why ACT UP went up to Albany en masse to protest him. He came out and said a lot of b.s. feel-goodies statements, but I don’t recall any of them as coming true. Was the [New York State] AIDS Institute his doing? I guess they were useful. But considering that his state was among the worst struck down with HIV/ AIDS, he was not a compassionate leader.” Kramer, an unbending critic of Koch, nonetheless argued, “Cuomo seemed content to let Koch be the total fall guy for this one. Again, compare this reaction to how every leader and media outlet are publicizing Ebola almost since its appearance. If we’d had that kind of non-stop attention, we’d have a cure by now.” Noreen Connell, former president of NOW-NYS, recalled her group’s battle to speed legal redress for people living with AIDS before it was too late. NOW, she said, “sued him because it was taking 10 years for finding a ‘probable cause’ for complaints filed with the Division for Human Rights. By this time, most AIDS complainants had died and those claiming employment discrimination had their back pay awards set aside by the court. Talked liberal, acted conservative.” But Cuomo, who spent most of his time in Albany, was not as near a target as Koch for activist wrath. The governor also had credible gay activists in his administration, including the former head of what was then the National Gay Task Force, Virginia Apuzzo, who was well-respected and connected to a nationwide network of gay and progressive political activists. Koch’s gay liaison was the reactionary Herb Rickman who distrusted and often attacked the activist community — and literally procured men for the closeted mayor. (Rickman, who died in October, was the unpleasant Hiram Keebler character in Kramer’s “The Normal Heart.”) Still, Koch fulfilled a pledge to issue a gay rights executive order on the first day of his administration in 1978. Cuomo issued his order in late 1983 — 11 months into his term — angering even his closest gay allies with the delay as well as the directive’s content, which was viewed as weak. The governor refused to impose the gay rights protections on contractors doing business with the state, as activists had demanded. Before even meeting with gay leaders about the order, Cuomo held one with right-wing religious leaders opposed it. At a press conference, Cuomo defended his delay on this basis, say-
CUOMO, continued on p.5
January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
CUOMO, from p.4
Mario Cuomo, during his 1982 run for governor, with Allen Roskoff, Betty Santoro, Bella Abzug, Ermanno Stingo, and Andy Humm. All but Abzug, a former member of Congress, were affiliated with the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
COURTESY: HOWIE KATZ
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
ing “this was a subject that should have a lot of discussion.” He “had meetings with the gays and antigays, and the clergy for and clergy against,” the governor explained. Political scientist Kenneth Sherrill, in 1977 the first out gay person elected to public office in New York as a Democratic district leader, wrote to Cuomo during the executive order controversy. “Dear Mario,” the letter read. “I was distressed to read… that you met with a bunch of religious bigots and assured them you would do less to protect the rights of lesbians and gay men than Mayor Koch.” Koch supporters had warned him, Sherrill told Cuomo, that by backing him over the mayor in the 1982 Democratic primary for governor, “I would have to deal with a vindictive Mayor. It never dawned on me that I would also have to deal with an immoral Governor.” When the order came out, veteran gay activist Allen Roskoff, who worked for the administration as assistant vice president at the state’s Urban Development Corporation, said he got a call from Andrew Cuomo asking what he really thought of it. “I told him it is extremely weak, terrible,” Roskoff said. “He said, ‘I’m going to have the Jewish press call you for comment.’ They called me. I repeated the assessment. My boss called me in and said, ‘How dare you insult the governor’s order.’ I said, ‘Andrew wanted me to!’” Roskoff said there would have been no Cuomo promise of an executive order in the first place if the Village Independent Democrats had not met with Cuomo the day of their endorsement vote and stood firm in demanding it as a condition for giving him their nod. “He said he doesn’t make such commitments, so they said fine — no endorsement,” Roskoff said. Cuomo gave in. In the ‘77 mayoral race, Koch, the Greenwich Village “bachelor” congressman, publicly courted the gay vote. While Cuomo also supported banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, he was viewed as the more socially conservative, outer-borough Catholic candidate, in the public eye largely for having mediated a housing dispute in Forest Hills that scaled back the num-
Governor Andrew Cuomo plays basketball during the 1994 Gay Games with hate crimes bill activist Howie Katz (l.) and Senator David Paterson, the leader of hate crimes efforts in the Legislature who himself went on to become governor.
ber of low-income units planned for the middle class neighborhood. In his memoir, “Mayor,” Koch wrote that during that campaign, “it became clear that people around Cuomo were going to stoop to an attack alleging I was homosexual” using “undercover attacks” and “it was clear that Mario was going to be doing nothing toward disciplining or dismissing” those who participated in what he called “the smear.” Koch wrote that even though they both endorsed gay rights legislation, Cuomo decided it would be “politically advantageous… to portray me as someone who favored what he called ‘proselytization’: the teaching in schools of homosexuality by homosexuals.” Koch wrote that he also got wind of a Cuomo effort to get a “renegade cop” to “perjure himself” and say he had “arrested me for soliciting male prostitutes in the street.” Koch, of course, was homosexual and used former Miss America Bess Myerson — who died at 90
on December 14 — as his consort during the campaign, marching hand-in-hand in parades to ward off the talk of his being gay. Though Koch took immediate action on his gay rights executive order, he made a hard turn to the right in his early months in office, alienating progressive activists and giving Cuomo valuable allies in his battle with the mayor for the ’82 gubernatorial nomination. Early in that primary year, Koch enjoyed poll leads of 30 to 50 points, so Cuomo’s victory was celebrated as a surprising rebuke to the mayor’s new-found style of racial polarization. Cuomo became a beacon of hope for liberals nationwide. But as he himself said, “You campaign in poetry and govern in prose.” In addition to not delivering on the gay rights executive order in a timely or complete fashion, Cuomo never used his clout to get the state gay and lesbian rights bill passed. He also was content with having a State Senate controlled by
Republicans, never lifting a finger to help elect Democratic senators as Governors David Paterson and Elliot Spitzer would later. (Mario’s son, Governor Andrew Cuomo, undermined a Democratic majority elected in 2012 by blessing a rogue Independent Democratic Caucus led by Bronx Senator Jeff Klein that caucused with Republicans to keep the party that won at the ballot box from controlling the chamber.) As a Jesse Jackson candidate to the 1984 Democratic Convention, I was in the hall for Cuomo’s stirring keynote. If delegates had the power, they would have nominated him by acclamation that night over the bland Walter Mondale. That said, Cuomo could not bring himself to directly mention gay people in that speech, saying only, “We embrace men and women of every color, every creed, every orientation, every economic class,” omitting “sexual” before orientation so as not to scare the horses and hoping it would be enough of a signal to LGBT voters to suffice. The other memorable speech in San Francisco that week came from Jackson, and he did refer directly to gay and lesbian people. Ginny Apuzzo was offered a job as gay/ lesbian liaison in the Cuomo administration, but told them she would “do that for nothing. I wanted a job that makes me a colleague.” In 1985, she was appointed first deputy commissioner of the Consumer Protection Board, “a fabulous place to work on AIDS.” She went on to become deputy commissioner of housing and the first openly gay or lesbian person confirmed by the State Senate when she was named to head the Civil Service Commission. On Apuzzo’s first day on the job with Cuomo, she recalled in an email, “there was a banner headline in the Albany Times-Union and a pic of me with ‘LESBIAN EX-NUN WINS TOP JOB.’ I get called to the governor’s office. He said, ‘Sit down. You don’t get more press than your boss!’ I said, ‘It’s a terrible headline.’ He said, ‘It’s a good headline. It says “WINS.” It could have said “LESBIAN EX-NUN STEALS TOP JOB” or “HUSTLES TOP JOB’!”’” Apuzzo attributed her close working relationship with Cuomo to two things: “One is I’m Italian. The other
CUOMO, continued on p.10
Danny Garvin, a Critical Witness to History, Is Dead Gay man, invaluable source in documenting Stonewall Uprising, later asked a president to finish the “dance”
BY DAVID CARTER
anny Garvin, who was a 20-year old gay hippie when he arrived at the Stonewall Inn on the night of the famous June 1969 raid — just as the first club patrons who had been detained inside were being released by the police — died on December 9 at age 65. In addition to being a participant in the Stonewall Uprising, he was a longtime habitué of the club and contributed much to our understanding of that event as both a witness to that historic night and someone with intimate knowledge of the fabled night spot’s place in gay culture at the time. Daniel Francis Garvin was born to Michael Joseph Garvin and Mary Theresa Kelly Garvin — both from County Mayo, Irel a n d — i n N e w Yo r k C i t y o n March 1, 1949. He grew up in Inwood, the upper Manhattan neighborhood he r ecalled as “a big, middle-class immigrant neighborhood. Mostly Irish and Italian, and German Jews.” Like all the boys in his neighborhood, he belonged to a gang,
Discharged on St. Patrick’s Day, 1967, about two weeks after having turned 18, Danny decided to celebrate that night at Julius’.
and his was called the Ramrods. Coming out was very difficult for Danny, both because of the sexual guilt passed on to him from his very Roman Catholic family and because he lacked any positive role models. “It was just older gentlemen in subway restrooms,” Danny explained to me, in interviews for my 2004 book “Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution.” “Even glimpses of what you would see in a movie… was always a super -effeminate gay male image. And I knew that wasn’t me.” Danny’s mother died when he was quite young, and his father retired to Ireland when Danny was 17, but not before enlisting him in the Navy. Stationed in Brooklyn and working as a cook, he was in the early stages of coming out when some fellow sailors took him to the West Village bar Julius’.
Danny didn’t at first realize it was a gay bar, and in any event did not find anyone his own age he could relate to. As he continued his struggle with coming out, during a night of misadventures, the pressures all came together and threw him into a panic. While off the base, he learned about the death of a girl he had a crush on and proceeded to get drunk, left his identification in a liquor store, and slept too late to get back to his quarters on time. He then sought out the only gay man of his own age he knew, seeking support. But knowing Danny was both underage and AWOL, the friend told him to get lost. In desperation, Danny made a half-hearted suicide attempt and then called a psychiatrist, who advised him to check himself into Bellevue Hospital. When the Navy was informed, he was
Danny Garvin (l.) with his friend Martin Boyce at the White House with President and Mrs. Obama on June 30 of last year.
Danny Garvin, while he served on a naval base in Brooklyn.
transferred to St. Albans Naval Hospital in Queens. There, Danny faced a quandary: talking about his problems with coming out would get him a dishonorable discharge, which in that era would have made him unemployable. In the end, according to Danny, the Navy agreed to give him an honorable discharge on the condition he sign a document attesting that his psychological crisis had its roots in his mother’s death so that the military would not have to pay for his future medical care. Discharged on St. Patrick’s Day, 1967, about two weeks after having turned 18, Danny decided to celebrate that night at Julius’. A friendly older man there asked him why he wasn’t at the new bar just opening around the corner on Christopher Street where all the young people were. Deciding to go check it out, Danny walked into the Stonewall Inn on its opening night. Like everyone else who frequented the Stonewall, it was the dancing there that impressed him the most in an era when gay bars generally did not allow dancing, since same-sex pairing up was against the law and drew police crackdowns.
GARVIN, continued on p.7
January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
GARVIN, from p.6
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
GARVIN, continued on p.11
“I walked in there and saw all these people dancing, and I had never seen so many men dancing in my life,” he said. “And I was like, in shock — thinking, this will never last!” But on a subsequent visit to the Stonewall, Danny joined in the fun, when a friend arranged for him to be approached by a man he had confided he was attracted to. “I realized if I didn’t dance with this guy, we probably wouldn’t get it on together,” Danny recalled. “That was my first time I allowed myself to dance, to be part of gay life. To go ahead and kiss a man in public.” Danny soon became a Stonewall regular, and in time he would date the bar’s main doorman, who was known as Blond Frankie. He also befriended a man named Francesco, who worked at the Stonewall’s coat check under the camp name Barbara Eden, who then played the title role in TV’s “I Dream of Jeannie.” Around this time, Danny moved into what may have been New York’s first gay hippie commune, where he lived for two years. He recalled that while members of the commune and their friends often discussed women’s issues, the war in Vietnam, and other political questions, they never once had a conversation about the meaning of being gay in a profoundly anti-gay society. Danny became a regular pot smoker and started selling LSD at the Stonewall. Late in the evening on the last Friday of June 1969, Danny passed on going to the Stonewall and headed further west on Christopher to a new club — named Danny’s — that was the new gay hot spot. There he bumped into an old flame, Keith Murdoch, at home from college, and the two headed back to Danny’s commune where they smoked grass and had sex. They decided to finish the night off by dancing at the Stonewall. As they walked up Seventh Avenue South toward Christopher in the very early morning hours of Saturday, June 28, they engaged in a heady conversation about the possibility that a revolution was coming in America. When they saw a crowd protesting outside the club, Danny’s first impression was that
the revolution had just started. His vivid memories of what he saw the first two nights of the Uprising add valuable, human detail to our knowledge of what took place. He witnessed, for example, the NYPD patrol wagon being assaulted by the crowd, gay men using an uprooted parking meter to try to break down the Stonewall’s doors so they could attack the police barricaded inside, and the chorus line gay men formed to mock the advancing line of police trying to clear the streets. “I saw a bunch of guys on one side and the cops over there, and the cops with their feet spread apart and holding their billy clubs straight out,” Danny recalled. “And these queens all of a sudden rolled up their pants legs into knickers, and they stood right in front of the cops… and the cops just charged with the night sticks and started smacking them in the heads, hitting people, pulling them into the [police] car. . . . And for what? A kick line.” Danny was outraged by the gross injustice he was witnessing, but as a pacifist hippie, he did not participate in any violence. But he did join the crowds of protesters resisting police efforts to clear the streets so that they could bring the Uprising to an end. In the years after the Uprising, Danny’s life remained entwined with many key cultural moments in New York gay life. He marched in the earliest annual pride parades, then called Christopher Street Liberation Day marches, and was for a time roommates with Morty Manford, a leader in the Gay Activists Alliance. Danny played a role in Manford coming out to his parents, who went on to found PFLAG, now known as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. For a time, he ran with Andy Warhol’s circle, and he worked at the first gay bar with a back room, the Zoo. Danny lost the love of his life to AIDS and then, approximately a year and a half later, entered a friary in 1991 with the intention — for a time, at least — of becoming a priest. Danny also became involved in the recovery movement. His friend Thom Hansen recalled Danny’s role in establishing a show of sobri-
President Barack Obama’s response to Danny Garvin’s letter saying he had not yet had the chance at doing the “I Am A Completely Free Gay American Dance.”
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Biological Mom Who Won Child Support Can’t Deny Visitation Co-mother prevails in winning recognition as parent that would typically be denied her BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
unanimous state appeals court panel has ruled that a birth mother who successfully sued her former same-sex partner for child support cannot now argue the partner lacks standing to seek visitation rights with the child. The December 24 ruling from the Brooklyn-based Second Department of the New York Appellate Division based its ruling on the principle of “judicial estoppel,” which holds that a party who has won a favorable ruling cannot assert a contrary legal argument in a later proceeding. Estrellita Arriaga and Jennifer Dukoff began living together in 2003 and registered as domestic partners in New York City in 2007. After the couple decided to have a child together, Dukoff became pregnant with sperm from an anonymous donor and gave birth to their daughter in November 2008. Though the women shared parental responsibilities, Arriaga never legally adopted the child. When their relationship ended and Arriaga moved out in 2012, the child was almost four years old. Arriaga con-
tinued to visit with the child several days a week. In October 2012, Dukoff filed a family court petition seeking child support from Arriaga. The petition described Arriaga as “a parent to the child” who was “chargeable with the support of the child.” Arriaga, meanwhile, filed her own lawsuit against Dukoff, seeking custody or visitation with the child. In January 2013, the Family Court ordered Arriaga to pay child support, and she then amended her petition noting the Family Court’s finding that she is a parent of the child, entitling her to seek custody or visitation. Dukoff responded with a motion to dismiss Arriaga’s petition, arguing that under precedent established more than two decades ago by the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest bench, Arriaga was a “legal stranger” to the child and so ineligible to seek custody or visitation. Suffolk County Family Court Judge Theresa Whelan denied Dukoff’s motion to dismiss, finding that judicial estoppel applied given Dukof f’s success at the Family Court. When it was in her financial interest for the court to consider Arriaga a mother with support responsibilities, Dukoff
argued in favor of her parental status; she could not now turn around and deny that status when it was in her interest to do so in a custody or visitation case, Whelan concluded. In an unsigned opinion, the Appellate Division panel — consisting of Justices Reinaldo E. Rivera, Sheri S. Roman, Colleen D. Duffy, and Betsy Barros — issued a unanimous decision affirming Whelan’s order awarding visitation rights to Arriaga. The Court of Appeals precedent Dukoff asserted — in the case of Alison D. v. Virginia M. — involved a different legal concept, “equitable estoppel,” whereby a same-sex partner asserts parental rights based on an accumulation of circumstances that demonstrate that they have acted as a parent and that the birth mother has made clear through her actions that her partner was intended to be a parent. The state’s high court rejected that argument, establishing a significant bar in the intervening decades to co-parent rights in cases where no legal adoption ever took place. Judicial estoppel, the Appellate Division panel pointed out, “differs from establishing parentage
by equitable estoppel.” Arriaga was able to establish her parental rights not based on the circumstances of her raising their child jointly with Dukoff, but rather on her ex-partner’s victory in the child support proceeding. During that proceeding, Arriaga pointed to her lack of parental rights under New York law to defend against making child support. Dukoff, in turn, tried to employ the judicial estoppel doctrine to block Arriaga from changing her position to win custody or visitation. But judicial estoppel is a constraint only on the winner. It was Dukoff who prevailed in her argument that Arriaga is a parent, so she now has to live with that. During the course of the proceedings, Arriaga dropped her custody request so her win means she now has visitation rights. Jeffrey Trachtman and Andrew Estes of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, a New York City firm, and Susan G. Mintz of Gervase & Mintz of Garden City represented Arriaga, and Margaret Schaefler of Huntington represented Dukoff. Robert C. Mitchell of Central Islip appeared as counsel representing the interests of the child.
Lesbian Palimony Claim Can Proceed in Illinois Appeals panel recognizes unjust enrichment as cause of action open to former domestic partner
BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
he Appellate Court of Illinois has found that a state court judge who is a physician’s former samesex partner can assert an unjust enrichment legal claim — that is, a palimony claim — to seek compensation for her financial contributions toward both the home they shared and the physician’s professional practice. The court’s December 19 opinion found that legislative and common law developments in recent decades rendered obsolete a 1979 Illinois Supreme Court decision that barred such lawsuits between former unmarried partners. Jane Blumenthal and Eileen Brewer became domestic partners in the early 1980s when they were both graduate students at the University
of Chicago. By the time their relationship ended in 2008, they had raised and cross-adopted three children together. By then, Blumenthal was a doctor in a lucrative partnership practice, and Brewer was an elected Illinois Superior Court judge. They merged their finances during their time together and had registered as domestic partners when that option became available in Cook County in 2003. They had also purchased real estate together, and Blumenthal used joint funds to buy into her medical partnership. After Blumenthal moved out, Brewer assumed all the costs of maintaining the house they had shared. In 2010, Blumenthal filed a petition seeking to divide the value of the house, which they had purchased together, to reclaim her share. Brewer counterclaimed with a motion seeking sole title to the property to “equalize” the parties’
assets, since she had been a stay-at-home mom when their kids were young, Blumenthal’s medical partnership was purchased with their common funds, and Brewer had carried the financial burden of the house for two years after Blumenthal moved out. Blumenthal argued that the 1979 State Supreme Court precedent barred Brewer’s counterclaim, and Cook County Circuit Judge LeRoy K. Martin agreed and dismissed it. Brewer, represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Chicago attorney Angelika Kuehn, appealed with amicus support from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and Lambda Legal. When the state’s high court established its 1979 precedent, there were strong legisla-
ILLINOIS, continued on p.9
January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
No Religious Out for Firefighters Staffing Engine in Pride Parade Rhode Island court throws out constitutional claims made by Catholics assigned to Providence event BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
he Rhode Island Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that two Providence f i r e f i g h t e r s with religious objections to homosexuality did not enjoy a First Amendment right to decline an assignment to staff a fire truck participating in the that city’s LGBT Pride Parade. The December 19 ruling, involving complaints regarding a 2001 pride event, reversed a decision by Providence County Superior Court Justice Brian Van Couyghen, who denied a motion from two of the defendants in the case, the city’s former mayor and its former fire chief, who claimed immunity from liability because the lawsuit involved their actions as city officials. Justice William R. Robinson III’s opinion for the high court spells out that the Providence Fire Department receives numerous requests each year for fire trucks to participate in parades and other public events. In 2001, Fire Chief James Rattigan, apparently in consultation with Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr., agreed to such a request from the Rhode Island Pride Commission and ordered that a fire truck and crew from Engine Company 7 take part. Two of the firefighters, Theodore J. Fabrizio, Jr., and Stephen J. Deninno, who say they are Roman
Catholics with moral objections to homosexuality, protested the assignment, but Rattigan ordered them to comply and they reluctantly did so. After stewing about their experience for a few years, they both filed lawsuits against Cianci, Rattigan, and the city, asserting claims of discrimination, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of their constitutional rights. They allege they were subjected to verbal harassment from parade onlookers, received threatening and obscene phone calls after the event, and suffered harassment as well from fellow firefighters.
The same principle underpins the proposition that government clerks cannot rely on their personal religious views to refuse to issue marriage licenses. Even though the case kicked around in a variety of courts for years while substantial factual discovery took place, motions by Cianci and Rattigan — who no longer hold their official posts — asserting what is known as “qualified immunity” from claims they had deprived the plaintiffs of freedom of religion, speech, and association in violation of the Rhode Island Constitution were rejected
ILLINOIS, from p.8
tive policies in effect supporting its view that an unmarried cohabitant could not make the argument Brewer made in this case, including a statute criminalizing unmarried cohabitation. Court decisions at the time upheld that policy preference, disfavoring child custody for parents cohabiting outside of marriage. Brewer argued that the legislative and judicial landscape in Illinois had changed so drastically that the 1979 precedent longer represented an accurate view of how state law should treat such a claim, and the appeals court agreed in an opinion written by Justice Margaret Stanton McBride. “We find that the public policy to treat unmarried partnerships as illicit no longer exists, that Brewer’s suit is not an attempt to retroactively GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
by Judge Van Couyghen. He found the facts in the case were not yet sufficiently developed to rule on their arguments. The Supreme Court, however, took the position it was unnecessary to decide Cianci and Rattigan’s assertions of immunity because the plaintiffs did not state a valid constitutional claim against them. “After receiving this work assignment from their employer (the regularity of which has not been questioned), respondents participated in the parade merely as relatively anonymous public servants,” Justice Robinson wrote. “We are unaware of any pertinent legal
authority in support of the proposition that, in such specific circumstances, employees’ rights are violated if they happen to possess religious objections to the beliefs of the group with which an otherwise legitimate work assignment requires brief interaction.” The firefighters were not compelled into any speech, the court found, since staffing a fire truck in a parade is not a political state-
create a marriage, and that allowing her to proceed with her claims against her former domestic partner does not conflict with this jurisdiction’s abolishment of common law marriage,” the judge wrote. McBride also pointed out that while the 1979 precedent sought to discourage unmarried cohabitation, it might in fact have the opposite effect. “Refusing to hear claims between unmarried cohabitants creates an incentive for some to not marry,” she wrote. “A cohabitant who by happenstance or design takes possession or title to jointly-acquired assets is able to retain them without consequence when their ‘financially vulnerable’ counterpart is turned away by the courts.” Despite the fact that Brewer and Blumenthal lacked the right to marry during the entirety of
ment when done under assignment from superiors. “The individuals chosen to carry out that assignment cannot be said to have engaged in personal speech by carrying out their work as public servants,” Robinson wrote, concluding the firefighters have no constitutional claim to raise. Beyond the specifics of this case, there is a broader principle involved here. Public employees at work are carrying out the directions of their superiors and are not, as such, free actors, a conclusion that underlies numerous rulings, from the Supreme Court on down, that public employee speech enjoys no protection when it is “official speech” — that is, speech undertaken as part of the job. The same principle underpins the proposition, now frequently contested, that government clerks cannot rely on their personal religious views or ethical objections to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage bans have been struck down. As such, this Rhode Island Supreme Court decision may stand as an important precedent as religious exceptionalists — including, several years ago, at least one in New York State — step forward to challenge the obligation they have to issue marriage licenses and even, in some place, to preside over ceremonies.
their long relationship — a right they would enjoy today — McBride wrote, “the legislature no longer disfavors their 26-year cohabitation or Brewer’s claims against Blumenthal… Brewer, who never had the option of marrying Blumenthal in Illinois, alleged that the couple intentionally comingled and shared their assets based on a mutual commitment and expectation of a lifelong relationship, that they divided their domestic and work responsibilities to best provide for the three children they had together, and that neither partner intended for their decisions and family roles to leave Brewer at a financial disadvantage later in life.” The court, noting that its decision was in line with developments regarding palimony claims in other states, sent the case back to the circuit court “with directions to consider the parties’ remaining arguments.”
CUOMO, from p.5
is that while a lot of people got into government and then came out of the closet and then took roles in the gay and lesbian community, I came with an activist background and connections to our communities around the country… I could give the governor not just an emotional reason for doing something, but the legal footing and the comparison with other states.” Apuzzo offered a starkly different assessment of Cuomo’s record on the AIDS epidemic than Kramer. “Our AIDS policy was arguably the best in the nation,” she said, something she attributes to “the core of leadership we had in New York State and relationships with leadership in California and around the country. We brought the entire administration together, demanded an interagency task force on AIDS, and ultimately the governor supported the AIDS Institute and had budget hearings bringing in agency heads” to get them to say what they were doing about the epidemic. "We got partner benefits at the end of the administration. I think Mario Cuomo understood the biggest public health crisis of our time,” Apuzzo added. Apuzzo used her clout to bring Cuomo commissioners to “Breakfast Club” meetings with gay and lesbian leaders, something that helped smooth over Cuomo’s 1986 lieutenant governor pick — upstate Congressman Stan Lundine, who called himself a “flaming moderate” and had twice voted for the infamous McDonald Amendment that denied gay people with discrimination claims access to the Legal Services Corporation, a non-profit organization authorized by Congress. Apuzzo was able to bring Lundine around on gay issues. Veteran activist John Magisano said of Cuomo, “He was truly a mixed bag in terms of leadership.” The governor, he noted in an email, appointed “unprecedented numbers of gays and lesbians (including me),” and “founded the AIDS Institute and oversaw some of the first HIV/ AIDS-specific supportive housing.” He also credited Cuomo with creating “the Crisis Prevention Unit (where I worked for four years) within the Division of Human Rights to respond to bias crime since the Senate would never take up a hate crimes bill because it listed sexual orientation as a protected class.” Still, Magisano concluded, “He had to be pushed every step of the way and push we did.” Another veteran gay activist, George De Stefano, who worked at the AIDS Institute under Cuomo, said, “The relationship between the Institute and the administration was at times strained, sometimes worse than that. The director, Nick Rango, was a pretty radical physician… who encouraged representatives of affected communities to advocate and protest. He even created a funding stream that basically supported community organizing and advocacy. He hired some ACT UP members and encouraged them to keep the heat on.” According to De Stefano, the governor seemed
New York’s gay press skepticism about Cuomo’s plan to issue a promised nondiscrimination executive order is met by the governor’s personal retort.
to be okay with that. “I give Cuomo credit for not obstructing what Rango tried to do,” he said, though he agreed the governor had to be pushed, particularly on “funding issues.” Coming up on his 1986 re-election battle, Cuomo grabbed some headlines on the issue of public sex, with a call to shutter gay bathhouses and, according to a 1985 Daily News story, “to limit sexual activity in bars that allow ‘aggressively promiscuous’ sex, possibly through an education campaign.” Through Health Commissioner Dr. David Axelrod, the governor got the Public Health Council to ban “dangerous sex” in certain “establishments.” The definition of “dangerous sex” was “anal intercourse and/ or fellatio,” which vastly inflated the risk of oral sex while leaving out vaginal sex — which could signal to women they had less to worry about in the epidemic. The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights sued Cuomo and Axelrod over the discriminatory guidelines, a case not settled until 1994 — when the Council added vaginal sex to its definition of “dangerous” behaviors. In 1987, the racially motivated killing of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach led to a push for hate crimes legislation in New York State. Veteran Queens gay organizer Ed Sedarbaum, who stepped up to lead in shepherding communities in support of such a measure, wrote on Facebook this week that Cuomo “was always able to provide profound quotes for us. But in the end I came to feel that, like many Democratic Assembly members, he preferred to have the Senate reject it so he could campaign on how hard the Dems fight for minorities.” Gay activist Howie Katz, who chaired the Hate Crimes Bill Coalition and led a 1992 march from New York City to Albany to push for it, said, “The Republican Senate majority told Mario in the late ‘80s they would pass it if they took out sex-
ual orientation and Mario went to Senator David Paterson and Assembly Member Roger Green of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and they refused the deal.” Katz said he forged a bond with Cuomo after inviting him to play basketball with his team in an exhibition at the Gay Games in New York in 1994. Katz was hopeful the access he gained in that way would help the push for the measure that year, but the Senate remained resistant through Cuomo’s defeat at the hands of George Pataki that November. Another six years would pass before the bill became law under Pataki and a Republican Senate in 2000. Gay rights legislation also failed to get a vote in the State Senate during Cuomo’s years in Albany. Until 1986, much of the frustration in the community focused on Koch’s failure to exert clout to win a sexual orientation nondiscrimination law in the city, and that took much of the heat off of Cuomo since few expected Albany to act first. Again, it was Republican Pataki and a GOP Senate that moved on a gay rights law in 2002. Cuomo, in his post-Albany years, became more outspoken on LGBT issues, eventually supporting same-sex marriage — an issue he deflected when asked about it in his losing 1994 race. According to Roskoff, Cuomo was “very proud of his son” when the current governor won marriage equality in 2011. “I feel privileged to have worked with him and am proud of the quality of the man,” Apuzzo said this week. “He had qualities sorely lacking in politicians today — a strong moral commitment to right and an immense amount of compassion. I January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
GARVIN, from p.7
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
ety in the Pride March: “Danny decided to organize a group of us from AA — and we were many — into a group called Sober Together. I helped him — and it was incredible. By the second or third year in the early ‘80s, we were the largest contingent in the march.” President Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural speech, which invoked a tradition of civil rights advances from “Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall,” prompted Danny’s most prominent recognition as a gay man. He wrote to the president urging him to do even more. Noting that the Stonewall raid was caused by the simple desire gay people had to dance, Danny wrote, “You made me proud sir when you mentioned that significant part of my life, but it is a battle that is not over yet, and we still have a big fight on our hands. I still have not gotten to dance that dance I started 44 years ago. The big joyous ‘I Am A Completely Free Gay American Dance’ yet, and I so badly want to dance that dance before I meet my maker.” The president responded, writing, “You are right that the dance is unfinished. But as long as I hold this Office, I will keep fighting to open the floor for everyone.” Later, Danny received a second correspondence from Obama — an invitation to attend the June 30, 2014 White House reception celebrating LGBT Pride Month. In a follow-up phone call, the White House asked that he arrive early “because President Obama would like to have his picture taken with you.” Whatever early problems Danny had about being gay, he came out to his family long ago and enjoyed warm relationships with all of them over the decades. One nephew recalled him as the favorite uncle and told me — with a mixture of pride and awe — how Danny always gave them tickets to Broadway shows as presents on their birthdays and at Christmas. Danny was tireless in sharing his memories of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, particularly those from the Stonewall Inn and the Uprising. Only two individuals have contributed more to documenting the history of that watershed event — Seymour Pine, the deputy inspector who planned and led the raid,
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Danny Garvin at last June’s LGBT Pride March in Manhattan.
and Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, another Stonewall habitué and a member of the circle of homeless street youth who led the assault on the police on the first night. (Tommy, however, like Danny, did not participate in the violence but joined in the crowd’s resistance to the police attempts to clear the streets.) Because of Danny’s high value as a Stonewall witness, when the makers of the PBS American Experience film “Stonewall Uprising” asked me whom they should consider as interview subjects for the documentary, Danny was close to the top of the list of names I gave them. Over my two decades of research and interest in Stonewall, I have seen many frauds step forward and grab the limelight, fooling journalists, documentarians, and historians. Though Danny was always enthusiastic about recalling his experience, he did so selflessly and was never puffed up about his role in anything. And he was certainly the sweetest witness to that historic night I ever came across. Like many gay men of his generation, Danny — who spent much of his adult life working in hospitals, most recently New York-Presbyterian — contracted hepatitis C, which led to cirrhosis of the liver and then liver cancer. He was also a smoker and suffered from emphysema, so in his final years he was dogged by ill health. Liver cancer and COPD were the causes of his death last month at St. Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan. Danny Garvin is survived by his sister, Annie Ahear n. His brother, Michael Joseph Garvin, died in 2013.
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR PUBLISHER
The Blood Stigma Continues
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER & CO-FOUNDER TROY MASTERS
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email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR
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More than 30 years ago, when the nation was in the grips of hysteria about the dangers AIDS posed to Americans, the federal government imposed a ban on donating blood on any man who had engaged in sex with another man since 1977. The “deferral” was lifetime. Just before Christmas — ironically a time of year when the nation’s blood supply can become critically low — the US Food and Drug Administration announced a proposed rulemaking change that was pitched as a loosening of the restrictive policy, long criticized for its lack of a sound scientific basis, not to mention its stigmatizing impact. Unfortunately, the proposal offers no significant advance on either front. And frankly, after years of advocacy for discarding a discredited public health policy, the idea — served up as reform — is insulting. The FDA’s proposal is to limit the deferral from donating to only those men who have had sex with other men during the previous year. That’s right — as a gay man, you can now join in the community of
PERSPECTIVE: The Long View
AIDS Policy Shows Where de Blasio’s New York is Succeeding
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civic-minded blood donors as long as you’ve been celibate for a year. This is an absurd outcome for a reform effort long urged on the government by expert groups including the American Medical Association, the Red Cross, America's Blood Centers, and the Association of Blood Banks. HIV is not a gay virus or a bisexual virus or a transgender virus. It is a virus transmitted through known risk factors, and other countries — from Mexico to Spain to Italy — have satisfied themselves they can protect their blood supply by screenings based on risk assessment, not categorical exclusions. One important safeguard on risk is testing. Even for those who have engaged in risky behavior, transmission can be confirmed or ruled out within 45 days. How the FDA could possibly have arrived at a one-year deferral — even had they assumed that every instance of gay sex involves HIV risk — is unclear. Some might argue that potential donors may not be honest about their sexual risk. But the entire donation scheme is based on an honor system. Gay men are only excluded from donating because we are unwilling to lie about being gay and sexually active.
WHYY, the NPR television outlet in Philadelphia, quoted the FDA as saying that it rejected self-assessments of risk as unreliable and that “assessment of high-risk sexual behaviors would be highly burdensome on blood donation establishments and potentially offensive to donors.” That statement should concern even those who don’t care that sexually active gay and bisexual men are categorically barred from donating blood, because it suggests the FDA is inattentive to the HIV risks brought to the blood supply by others. Absent some level of risk assessment of donors or DNA testing of donated blood, the FDA would seem handicapped in assuring the nation there are not HIV risks to the blood supply. And, conversely, if those other sensible and medically prudent steps are taken, there is no justification for blanket bans. Irrationally banning people from donating blood hurts those who need blood for life-saving procedures. And forcing gay and bisexual men, on every occasion when they are asked to give blood — for example, on the job — to respond, “No, I am barred by federal policy from helping out here” is an unnecessary humiliation visited on them. The FDA and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell need to go back to the drawing board. The answer they’ve offered just ain’t good enough.
BY NATHAN RILEY
could plant a big wet kiss on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s cheek for putting Dr. Demetr e Daskalakis in charge of AIDS policy. Daskalakis is a persuader, an exciting man who understands his subject. Before he became a deputy commissioner in the city health department,
he led a team that visited New York City bathhouses to test for HIV and STDs. He’s a public health professional who helps people where they are. The last left-leaning mayor, David Dinkins, had a terrible time appointing a health commissioner. His choice, while black, was a Republican from the Midwest who had signed on to contact tracing as a viable
strategy during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Asking people to name their sexual contacts was a scary idea, and ACT UP chanted, ‘Woody Myers, you just try it, we’ll go out and start a riot.” Political leaders spent many, many hours refereeing that dispute. That memory is ger mane as the New York Post tries to recreate racial tensions and paint a portrait
of a bumbling administration that undermines the police. The mayor’s foes want a repeat of their victory over Dinkins: he lasted one term. Defeated by Rudolph Giuliani, Dinkins was followed by 20 years of Republican mayors. The cosmopolitan Daskalakis soothes troubled waters. An engaging man,
LONG VIEW, continued on p.14
January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
PERSPECTIVE: A Dyke Abroad
Death by Gender: Leelah Alcorn BY KELLY COGSWELL
hen I try to think about gender, I have to go lie down with smelling salts, my head swirling with all the complications that we pull on like clothes over our biological sex. Even if you stick to binary territory, gender expression is constantly shifting. A big-haired, white trash girl like my sister has bigger balls than this Bengali upper -class straight guy poet I used to know. I’d dismissed a French-Asian waiter in Paris as generically masculine until his friends turned up and he became a total swish. There’s a lot we can say about gender expression, genetics, and the intersection of biology and society, but who really cares about the nuances when the consequences are hatred, bigotry, and one more young dead queer? Last week, at 17, Leelah Alcorn stepped in front of a truck to end years of suffering. She came out as trans at 14, relieved to discover there was a word for somebody like her who had never felt like a boy. Her mother’s response was to drag her to Christian conversion therapists, and tell her she’d “never be
a real girl” and was going to hell. At 16, when she decided to try the intermediate approach by coming out as gay, her parents removed her from school, took away her phone, and any access to social media. When they gave it back, not long ago, she was too isolated and depressed to survive. It’s easy to blame her parents — they deserve it, offering up hate instead of love. Hellfire instead of any kind of help. Also to blame are the Christian conversion therapists who seem to specialize in driving queer kids of all kinds over the edge. But the problem goes a lot further, to the widespread policing of gender, which often intersects with sexual orientation. Gay effeminate men are never real men except maybe when it comes to their paychecks. Dyke lives rarely appear in Women’s History except maybe as scapegoats for the failure of the feminist movement’s second wave. In fact, trans women like Janet Mock have more credibility as women than I do. When her book, “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More,” was reviewed in Jezebel, the reviewer began by announcing that it was “unfortunately not about how to achieve her
fantastic hair. Oh, because those curls are glorious.” The readers got the message: she’s one of us. One even commented that when it came to viewing trans people as humans like everybody else, “It helps that she ‘passes’ — it’s hard to see her as anything BUT a woman. While it’s unfair for trans people to be held to a societal standard that is for many unattainable, it definitely helps blur the gender boundaries. A lot of people still have this ridiculous view of trans women as hulking dudes stumbling around awkwardly in heels like dudes playing dress up.” Janet Mock doesn’t just read as a woman, but a certain kind of woman. And even when she and other trans activists like Laverne Cox have tried to shift the narrative away from transition and surgery, biology and beauty, nobody’s hearing the message. In fact, they probably wouldn’t get a platform at all if they looked more like early trans activists Marsha P. Johnson or Sylvia Rivera. Or even any aging housewife watching her own original tits sag. This is important, because Leelah’s suicide note reveals that it wasn’t just the transphobia of her parents and church that
drove her to suicide, but the belief that she had to transition early or she’d be an “ugly woman,” which would literally be a fate worse than death. “The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition,” she wrote. “I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life... I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself.” It’s unbearable all the anguish and fear in her letter. It indicts the whole LGBT community and our failure to grapple with our diversity and accept it. The more we advance, the more we put forward only our most pedicured feet, our most photo-shopped faces. Above all it underlines our long estrangement from feminism, which at its best yanks the clothes off both the emperor and the empress — and leaves them both shivering equally in the cold. Kelly Cogswell is the author of “Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger,” published last year by the University of Minnesota Press.
PERSPECTIVE: Snide Lines
Outing Torture Queen Bikowsky BY SUSIE DAY
Dear Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, So many people want to be famous. Not you. You were content to let Jessica Chastain portray a more competent version of your waterboarding and bin Laden-stalking self in the film “Zero Dark Thirty.” You never asked for credit. But now, thanks to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s Report on CIA Torture, we know you’ve made more history than the average, anonymous schlub. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker calls you “The Unidentified Queen of Torture.” She says you: dropped the ball when the CIA was given information that might very well have preventGayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
ed the 9/11 attacks;… gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward;… And then… falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked. Of course, Jane Mayer doesn’t name you. Neither does Matthew Cole in his NBC News report, which was the basis for Mayer’s article. You are the “Unidentified Queen” because the CIA told the media not to reveal you. According to Mayer, you were the reason the Senate Intelligence Committee was not even allowed to use pseudonyms to identify you or any of the major players in its torture report, making it: “almost impossible to… hold anyone in the American government accountable.” We only know you are Alfreda Bikowsky because of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who
has problems with authority. Glenn defied the CIA to identify you in an article for the Intercept, an investigative news website that purposely operates outside the parameters of mainstream media. Thanks a lot, Glenn Greenwald. I said that sarcastically, Ms. Bikowsky. Or, if I may: I said that sarcastically, Your Majesty. Glenn should not have “outed” you. After all, Glenn’s gay; he should know better. Being a queer of the more sensitive variety, myself, I feel that people should not be forced out of the closet before they’re ready. There can be hard feelings. Like, I can only guess how you feel now. But if it’s even a little like being shackled and hung from the ceiling in freezing rooms, or forcibly hydrated and fed rectally, or stripped naked and deprived of sleep for a week, or put in stress positions for hours, you have my deep sympathy. It’s not easy to be exposed as a war criminal.
SNIDE LINES, continued on p.14
SNIDE LINES, from p.13
Now that you’re out, though, you may take a page or two from the Gay Rights Movement. Here are some hard-won pointers to help you face an ignorant and uncomprehending world.
Say It Loud: War Criminal and Proud According to NBC News, your name was redacted at least three dozen times from the declassified Senate Committee’s report on torture. This self-redacting tendency indicates that you are an extremely modest person, Your Majesty. Yet, like so many women, you may be sacrificing your self-esteem just to avoid “making a scene.” Coming out allows you to proclaim your worth to society. Did you stop to think that maybe God made you this way? Much like God gave gay men, brain-wise, a small hypothalamus gland, He may have given you an abnormally tiny empathy-inducing anterior insular cortex. But whether your condition is biological or chosen, it’s time to step up and say, “Yes, America, I AM a war criminal. So what if all that torture did not yield useful information in finding bin Laden or anybody else — it was FUN!” Back to the woman thing. Very few satanic creatures of note are women. Are you going to
LONG VIEW, from p.12
he is keeping disputatious factions within the LGBT community talking to each other while finding friends for the mayor. The positive impacts on gay men are visible. Debate ripples through the community, as big changes happen. Discrimination against people with HIV is being tackled. Stigmas are challenged, and once again people with the virus are speaking up and announcing themselves. For years, it was understood that men who were on their meds could say, “I’m negative.” Meaning, truthfully, “I won’t hurt you,” even while being untruthful about the medical facts. This year, in growing numbers, positive folks announce they are “undetectable” — the medical equivalent of “cured.” It happens in the bars and on the web. HIV had regained its human face, and we learn that normal people are positive. The hurtful idea that only an irresponsible person gets HIV is countered. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a poz person dismissed for having earlier been a “bug chaser.” Related to all this, of course, is that PrEP has come into the sunshine. Those seeking dates
let Henry Kissinger and Beelzebub take all the credit? Isn’t it time Dick Cheney made coffee for YOU, for a change?
Out of the Black Sites and Into the Street Contrary to myth, war criminals make good citizens. Like gay people, they boost property values and contribute to art and high culture. In fact, thanks to America’s more discerning war criminals, many prestigious US museums are simply teaming with artifacts and masterpieces acquired from backward, terrorist-friendly countries that never fully appreciated them. It’s often hard for prejudiced “normal” people to accept that war criminals are human. Part of being human is, of course, making mistakes. So stand up for your war criminal humanity, Your Majesty, by proudly defending your royal fuckups. Anybody in your CIA position could have goofed in snatching Khalid el-Masri, an innocent German citizen, off the street and torturing him for months in Afghanistan’s Salt Pit prison. Why, even most non-war-criminals mistake people with Muslim names for terrorists. It’s what unites us! And be PROUD you testified to Congress that waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (about 183 times, but who’s counting?) led to the apprehension of a particular terrorist — despite the fact
announce they are on PrEP. Tim Murphy broke the news about “sex without fear” in a big way in New York magazine last summer, in a story that explored how PrEP is relieving anxiety, and also noted Daskalakis’ role in persuading the FDA to make PrEP a daily treatment option for uninfected individuals. These changes pass my smell test, and they affect acquaintances I have far from the usual political circles. Two 20-year-olds I know independently decided to use it. Sexually active since their midteens, both have stayed negative and seem unlikely to seroconvert, but they now have an added measure of safety. How is the city health department helping? By publicizing those doctors who are prescribing PrEP and establishing a responsive website for those with questions. And, thanks to Obamacare, the young now have medical insurance. For young gay men, that means preventative care, a game changer. The administration listened to progressive demands, and that is working a healthcare revolution in the gay community. I never thought condoms were the only answer. I grew up when
that this suspect was already in CIA custody. You will encounter prejudice. Some people will assume you “got that way” by being waterboarded as a child or exposed to a war criminal teacher at an early age. Although this may well be true, it’s none of their business. When confronted with such war-criminal-o-phobe behavior, it is best to respond thusly: “I appreciate your concern, but I feel comfortable with who I am.” Then arrest this person and have them slammed repeatedly against a wall.
Accept Your Greatness Bottom line, O Queen? If we anonymous schlubs can’t hold you accountable for anything you’ve done, the least you can do is become a celebrity. See, you know all about us — our metadata is vacuumed up every second by your friends in the NSA — but we know nothing about you. Do you own a PC or a Mac? What’s your most embarrassing moment? Favorite brand of toothpaste? Please tell us, Your Majesty: Who ARE you? If we knew that, we might know something more about who we are. Susie Day is the author of “Snidelines: Talking Trash to Power,” just released by Abdingdon Square Publishing.
condoms were practically the only form of birth control. Did we have problems with teenage pregnancy? Yes we did, and with STDs also. The new PrEP era will also have problems, but it won’t bring back the orgiastic binges of the disco era. The community’s attitudes have changed too much, and the emphasis in recent decades on relationships is here to stay. After AIDS, the idea that sex is always harmless has no credibility. The unquestioning embrace of unrestrained coupling that existed in the ‘70s is gone, and sex-positive people operate in a different climate, one tempered by realism. But PrEP was developed because gay men, especially young gay men, will have evenings with multiple partners, and that need not mean they will seroconvert. The evidence is clear; it works. And it doesn’t require perfect adherence. Miss taking your pill and you have the chance to get back on track the next day. We spend too much time fretting about noncompliant patients. It’s actually insulting to suggest that people with multiple partners are heedless and won’t take the pills. We said the same thing about needle users, and they are now well
below the radar on seroconver sion, with less that a hundred new infections per year in New York, while in the gay community, there are about 3,000 cases of new diagnoses each year. If needle users can avoid HIV, so can gay men. Will we bring down seroconversion as dramatically among sexually active gay men? It’s too early to say. But one obstacle is seldom mentioned. The biggest challenge comes not from people refusing to take the pills, but from government dealing so harshly with people that they become incarcer ated, unemployed, or homeless and therefore live totally chaotic lives. We used to force drug users to rely on dirty needles. Now, we jail young people for marijuana. Quality of life arrests, high rates of unemployment, and too much homelessness — often aggravated by mental illness — create a class of people who are barely surviving. Asking them to place a priority on health is often an unreasonable demand. Mayor de Blasio is making progress, and the health department is a bright spot that demonstrates that. This not the work of a bumbling mayor, but of a man who is keeping his campaign promises. January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
Healthy Respite in the West Village
Nourish Kitchen + Table offers affordable comfort, inventive recipes
BY DONNA MINKOWITZ
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
“restaurant” originally meant a place where you go to be restored. The first use of the term was in 18th century Paris, where a man named Boulanger had a shop selling healthful broths (restaurants) that were supposed to restore a person’s sense of ease and vitality. Few moderately-priced eateries make you feel anything like that these days. Particularly in Manhattan, places with delicious food at affordable prices tend to be noisy, cramped, and tense-making, with backless chairs to discourage sitting for long. Servers are typically rushed, indifferent, or, in the horrible new fashion promulgated by bad-boy chefs, actually surly. Nourish Kitchen + Table, on Greenwich Avenue and 12th Street in the Village, is different. It looks like a coffee bar from the outside, so I went in one day just praying the coffee would be hot and I would find a not-too-dirty place to sit. Inside, I suddenly felt like I could breathe. My shoulders relaxed. What was it? First, the man and woman at the counter seemed to make me want to feel good, not hurried or resentful. A friendly server answered all my questions about the food, for yes, that was the second thing — there was real food, a dozen radiant dishes laid out on the counter. There was a fruit salad that had been prepared with beauty and imagination, with chunks of very-fresh-looking pineapple, strips of coconut, and mint leaves, along with kiwi and banana. It had obviously been made that morning. There was a piece of carrot bread that appeared to actually be healthy, because the ingredients listed on a little card next to it included carrot, olive oil, and tahini, but not sugar, and the counterwoman said that it had none. It tasted extraordinary — there were bits of ginger in it. I sat in the back. There were gorgeous dried flowers on each table, with a giant vase of lilies on the counter of the open kitchen that framed the room. There was a basket of dark blue cloth napkins wrapped around table settings on each beautiful wooden table, an entire wall made of black slate, exquisite framed drawings on the walls, food magazines you could read. There was delightful pottery you could touch (and buy). There was a basket of apples so tempting it made you want to grab one, and Billie Holiday was playing. On the wall, also for sale, was a black apron with metal studs that I have to say, as a butch home cook, I really appreciated. The place felt like home, if home was a place that was always charming and never got dirty. In the bathroom, there was fancy soap and
Nourish Kitchen + Table is on Greenwich Street at 12th Street in the West Village.
Maybe the best thing I ate at Nourish was a small sandwich ($7) of “thyme-roasted mushrooms, free range turkey, fontina, and date aioli” (!) hand cream from Murchison-Hume, and those amazing paper hand towels that masquerade as cloth because they are so firm and soft. I told the staff I have an arm problem, so would they be willing to carry my (wonderfully-designed) coffee cup and plate to my seat? But of course. They made trips to get me everything I needed. Blah blah blah, you’re saying — how was the rest of the food? Sadly, at dinner one night, most of the roasted pork loin ($7) was dry, though bits of it were meaty and delicious. I asked for mayo or ketchup to moisten it up, but there wasn’t any, and one of the evening servers (not quite as friendly as the morning staff) seemed annoyed by my request. She finally provided some sriracha. But along with the pork I had ordered what turned out to be the best cauliflower dish I have ever eaten — roasted and topped with a tahini
sauce and capers, fried onions, and currants. I also got — as a plate with the pork and two sides ($17) — a lovely, unusual kale salad that tasted creamy (from sesame oil?) and came with watermelon radish, slivered almonds, a little bit of plum, and white sesame seeds. Maybe the best thing I ate at Nourish was a small sandwich ($7) of “thyme-roasted mushrooms, free range turkey, fontina, and date aioli” (!), which I ate while fondling a gray fakefur throw that looked like something a sexy barbarian would have given Daenerys Targaryen. Alongside, I had a mini hard-boiled egg sandwich on a brioche roll ($3), with pickled red onions, arugula, and “sriracha aioli,” that would have been delicious if only it had some salt. (There was no taste of sriracha in the aioli smear on top.) Another day, a beet salad was okay but boring, decked out with goat cheese, lettuce, and a solitary walnut ($5). But I drank a “house refresher” made with sparkling water and housemade “tea-rose syrup” ($3.50) that was both thrilling and pretty damn healthy. The “signature roast chicken” ($7) was moist and homey but not as exciting as the description (“Moroccan spice blend, lemon”) had led me to believe. Still, a fruit salad at the same meal (a large portion for $5) was the best fruit salad I’ve ever eaten, with a voluptuous texture and flavor that had somehow been produced from apples, pears, many pomegranate seeds, and “rosemary honey.” In a phone interview, Nourish’s “brand director” Allegra Ben-Amotz (for alas, they do have a brand director) told me that the counterwoman had actually been wrong about the carrot bread I ate on my first visit. In fact, it had sugar, albeit the organic kind — as do many of their sweet items. (The little ingredient cards next to each item, it turns out, are not exhaustive.) “All of our recipes are developed with balance in mind,” she said. The shop’s owner, Marissa Lippert, is a registered dietitian who, Ben-Amotz said, develops all the recipes in concert with the chefs. “We try to balance ingredients we’re excited about, eating with the seasons, making food that’s beautiful to look at and also healthy.” What went a longer way for me was the reassurance that all the meats are antibiotic and hormone-free and the beef is grass-fed, which is awesome given how low the prices for proteins are and how very nourishing it feels to sit in this space. There is sometimes a longish wait at the counter, but I’d have to say it’s worth it. Have the strong iced coffee available even in winter, or choose from a few well-chosen beers and wines by the glass. Nourish + Kitchen Table (nourishkitchentable. com) is not wheelchair accessible.
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.
January 08 - 21, 2015 | 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.
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
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.
January 08 - 21, 2015 | 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®)
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
- 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
more information on the show, visit pandorascooter.com. Reach the Center at 347-889-7719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
THU.JAN.8 - FRI.JAN.23 FEATURED PERFORMANCES American Realness Is Dead; Long Live American Realness
CABARET Marilyn Maye at Metropolitan Room Marilyn Maye, who Gay City News’ David Noh writes gave one of 2014’s most memorable performances at 54 Below, wraps up her twoweek run at Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St. Through Jan. 10, 7 p.m. Tickets are $40-$115, and there’s a two-drink minimum.
Writer in a Strange Land Kyoung H. Park’s “TALA” blends the semi-autobiographical story of a gay, Korean-Chilean playwright living in America with the tale of Pepe and Lupe, two lovers inspired by Chilean poets Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral. This surreal tragicomedy delves deep into the absurdities of being an artist while trying to write within the margins of
14-18); the North American premiere of Neal Medlyn’s “Pop-Star Series, The 2015 Emerald Edition,” drawn from the performance pieces he has built around the music, lives, and personae of a series of pop stars: Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Prince, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Insane Clown Posse, and Michael Jackson. (Jan. 15-17); and Dynasty Handbag’s “Soggy Glasses, A Homo's Odyssey,” which uses the Homer classic as both dramaturgical framework and toilet paper to recast the masculine allegory of returning home in a feminist context, on a voyage though her extremities, heart, mind, bowels, and artist colon-y (Jan. 16-18). 466 Grand St. at Pitt St. Jan. 8-23. Most events are $20 at abronsartscenter.org; and there’s a festival pass available for $100. Visit the website for the full schedule of productions.
systems that are broken. The play, directed by Park and produced by his Pacific Beat company, stars Daniel K. Isaac (“Anna Nicole: the Opera,” at BAM), Flor De Liz Perez (“Pericles” at the Public Theater), and Rafael Benoit (“Magic Kingdom” at the Connelly Theater). The production features original music by Svetlana Maras, choreography by Yin Yue, video by John Knowles, and installation art by Jason Krugman. University Settlement,184 Eldridge St., btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts. Jan. 8, 5 & 9 p.m., Jan. 9, 5 p.m., Jan. 10 & 15-16, 22-23, 8 p.m. Tickets are $18, $10 for students & seniors at kyoungspacificbeat.org or 800-838-3006.
POETRY Silent Kneeling Jacob Steinberg celebrates the launch of his new full-length poetry collection “Before You Kneels My Silence” from Scrambler Books. The
evening, hosted by Lucas Baumgart, features performances by Steinberg, Carina Finn, and Lonely Christopher. Bureau of General Services — Queer Division at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Jan. 8, 7-10 p.m.
Steeped in the seamy underbelly of New York, “The Talk Show” is Joe Wenke’s fast-paced and mordantly funny thriller that examines how the forces of nihilism threaten the yearning for love, family, and acceptance. Someone is following New York Times reporter Jack Winthrop — most likely the gunman who tried to kill America’s most controversial talk show host, Abraham Lincoln Jones. Ever since that fateful night when Jones called Winthrop with his audacious proposal — to help him transcend television by bringing his national “Emancipation Tour” for radical change directly to the people — Winthrop’s life has not been the same. Wenke reads from “The Talk Show” at Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., rm. 210. Jan. 10, 7 p.m.
CABARET Happy Days Are Here Again — And Again
FRI.JAN.9 SPOKEN WORD Believing in Yourself Pandora Scooter, a nationally touring spoken word artist, presents her new show about suicide prevention and self-confidence building, “I Am Enough.” It’s the story of a young lesbian named Pan who is rejected by her friends and family, struggles with suicide, and eventually attempts its. In the end, with help, she learns she wants to live and thrive. Brooklyn Community Pride Center, 4 Metrotech Center, Willoughby St. at Gold St., entrance on Willoughby. Jan. 9, 4-6 p.m. For
TRANS UBER LLC
“The American Realness Festival” returns to the Lower East Side’s Abrons Arts Center for its sixth season, with 63 performances of 23 productions, including several world, North American, or New York premieres. Highlights include: Miguel Gutierrez’s “Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:-/,” the first of a suite of queer pieces he is creating over three years addressing the representation of the dancer, the physical and emotional labor of performance, tropes about the aging gay choreographer, the interaction of art-making with administration, and the idea of queer time and futurity (Jan. 8-10); Gutierrez’s second installment in that suite, “Age & Beauty Part 2: Asian Beauty @ the Werq Meeting or The Choreographer & Her Muse or &:@&” (Jan. 12-18); the world premiere of Keith Hennessy’s “Bear/ Skin,” which appropriates Nijinsky's choreography for “Le Sacre du Printemps” (1913) to consider Modernism's dependence on appropriations of the indigenous, folk, exotic, and oriental to ask questions about ritual and art today (Jan. 8-11); Karen Sherman’s “One With Others,” which uses dance, words, and scrap wood to examine who we become due to the choices we make — or that others make for us (Jan. 8-11); the world premiere of Tere O’Connor’s “Sister,” in which he embraces the concept of “variation and variation” — as opposed to “theme and variation” — that he first developed in his “Four Sister Dances” at the Kitchen in 1989 (Jan. 9-11); O’Connor’s “Undersweet,” where he works from the supposition that formalism might result from repressed sexual desire (Jan. 12-14); the North American premiere of Jeremy Wade’s “Death Asshole Rave Video,” part lecture-performance and part concert, in which a machine made out of movement, sound, and words interrogate death and the agreements we make as a society (Jan. 12-18); the world premiere of Jack Ferver’s “Night Light Bright Light,” which draws inspiration from, and parallels between, his own life and the life, art, and death of mid-20th century artist, musician, and choreographer Fred Herko (Jan.
Now in its fifth year, Rick Skye and To m my Fe m i a — named Best Duo of 2012 by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs
SAT.JAN.10, continued on p.28
January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
JOIN US VOLUNTEER CONTACT US GodsLoveWeDeliver.org
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Opportunities for groups of 8-15 people Sunday through Friday
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BECOME A VOLUNTEER IN OUR KITCHEN: With over 20,000 meals delivered each week, we rely on volunteers to help prepare nutritious meals for people living with servere illness. TASKS INCLUDE:
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/godslovewedeliver GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
A Queer Pastoral
Nanouk Leopold takes intimate look at gay Dutch farmer discovering himself
BIG WORLD PICTURES
Jeroen Willems and Henri Garcin in Nanouk Leopold’s “It’s All So Quiet.”
BY GARY M. KRAMER
BIG WORLD PICTURES
here are too few films about rural queer life, and the very fine drama “It’s All So Quiet,” in capturing the experiences of Helmer (Jeroen Willems), a big, beefy, 50-ish repressed gay farmer in the Netherlands, distinguishes itself. This compelling film is a quiet, contemplative character study that yields insights for viewers willing to look for them. Providing a strong sense of place, writer and director Nanouk Leopold, adapting Ger brand Bakker’s popular novel, relies more on interior thought than action to tell a poignant story. Helmer is first seen lifting his elderly father (Henri Garcin), for whom he is the sole caretaker, out of bed and up the stairs. The relationship between the two is tense, to say the least. As the film eventually reveals, Helmer once had a twin brother, Geert, who was his father’s favorite, something Helmer knows in his heart. “It’s All So Quiet” painstakingly depicts Helmer’s life as he changes his father’s soiled bed, washes him, and brings him food. It’s mostly thankless work; his largely immobilized father just wants to die. The older man watches for the crow “that is waiting for him,” a harbinger of his impending death.
Martijn Lakemeier with Jeroen Willems (back turned).
Father and son eventually do address some of their conflicts but not before a few dramatic episodes prompt the discussion. Helmer meets regularly with Johan (Wim Opbrouck), a dairy driver. Johan is obviously smitten with the sexy but reticent Helmer and tries to engage him in conversation. While Johan intrigues Helmer, the farmer resists developing a deeper friendship with him. A neighbor expresses her surprise when she learns Helmer has never invited Johan into his house for a cup of coffee. Such is the compartmentalized nature of the men’s relationship. This is not to say Helmer is not interested in some tenderness. His loneliness and despair are palpable from both Willems’ forceful perfor-
IT'S ALL SO QUIET Directed by Nanouk Leopold Big World Pictures In Dutch with English subtitles Opens Jan. 9 Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. at Second St. anthologyfilmarchives.org mance and the way Leopold frames his protagonist sleeping, looking out the window, or isolated in a room or a field. Willems’ expression is one of almost perpetual resignation. He goes through his daily tasks, cleaning the cow shed, disposing of a stillborn lamb, or recovering donkeys that have escaped. When he takes a shower and washes off the day, viewers experience a sense of relief, so real are the actions depicted in the film.
Helmer is overwhelmed physically and emotionally between caring for his father and managing the farm. While he rejects a neighbor’s offer to look after his dad, Helmer does eventually hire Henk (Martijn Lakemeier), a strapping young field hand to help care for the animals. Henk’s presence on the farm is welcome, and while it has the added effect of sparking some sexual longing in Helmer, he is hesitant to act on it — even when Henk stands naked before him. The relationship between these two men is as curious as the one between Helmer and Johan. However, a pivotal scene has Helmer and Henk sharing a bed and acting affectionately with each another despite the farmer’s initial protestations. The impact of this moment prompts Helmer to address some of the issues he has with his father. “It’s All So Quiet” is an intimate and delicate drama, and it is appropriately filmed with a handheld camera that creates the feeling of eavesdropping on these characters’ lives. The film’s editing forces viewers to fill in some narrative blanks. The scene of Helmer and Henk in bed together, in particular, requires audiences to draw their own conclusions about the nature of their relationship and how things evolved to that point. The narrative doesn’t necessarily suffer, but some viewers might find the approach frustrating. It’s unclear how much time passes over the course of the film, but that may not matter. What is significant is the mood Leopold strikes. The filmmaker uses a natural palette that infuses the film with a raw, chilly sense (especially during a rainstorm) that seeps into the characters’ bones — and the viewers’ as well. A New Year’s Eve bonfire it is one of the film’s rare scenes of warmth. “It’s All So Quiet” culminates in a few intense moments that sneak up on viewers. After so much inaction, Helmer finally begins to express himself. Some of his emotional release involves his father, but he also expresses anguish at losing somebody he perhaps loves. Willem’s performance in the final scenes is remarkable, and the actor’s death shortly after filming wrapped makes it all that much more touching. “It’s All So Quiet” deserves a look. January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
Yep. Another Bisexual Persian In Brooklyn Writer and director Desiree Akhavan in the starring role of her “Appropriate Behavior.”
Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan explores the hurdles of visibility and connection BY GARY M. KRAMER
penly bisexual writer and director Desiree Akhavan has crafted a laugh out loud deadpan comedy with her fabulous feature debut, “Appropriate Behavior.” Brooklynite Shirin (Akhavan), who is not out to her Persian immigrant parents, has just broken up with her girlfriend Maxine (Rebecca Henderson). Underemployed, she takes a job teaching filmmaking to five-year-olds, which is as funny and dreadful as it sounds. As Shirin tries to recover from the breakup, she dates men, women, and even has sex with a couple. But she finds it difficult to emotionally connect with anyone. Akhavan recently spoke via Skype with Gay City News about her film and being appropriate and otherwise.
APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR Directed by Desiree Akhavan Gravitas Ventures Opens Jan. 16 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. ifccenter.com Nitehawk Cinema 136 Metropolitan Ave. at Berry St. Williamsburg nitehawkcinema.com GARY M. KRAMER: There are so many films about bisexual Persians in Brooklyn. Why did you make another one? DESIREE AKHAVAN: I know! I’m a follower. I see a formula that works, and I latch on. [Laughs.] GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
GMK: Seriously, how did you develop your film and your character, Shirin? DA: I don’t see myself as Shirin. Her issues weren’t my issues. We are very different. But the themes of the film touch on issues I was dealing with, so that’s how it came about. GMK: What can you say about your deadpan sense of humor? Is that a coping mechanism for dealing with reality? DA: Perhaps. I think people’s sense of humor is inherently personal. For me, the way I was raised and dealing with the world around me, it was imitating my brother who is really funny and deadpan. There’s always someone in your family you want to look cool in front of, so I imitated him. Also, life sucks, so I tried to laugh my way through it.
grants. It’s different for each person. Some live a double life — one with their Iran family, another with their friends. Personally, I haven’t had that. I’m honest to a fault. It’s more that I’m a terrible liar, and it hurts to make up a façade. GMK: What I like about your film is that it’s relatable, whatever one’s experience.
DA: I tried to make something that rings true to me and hope that it rings true for others. If it’s honest and specific enough, it can be universal. GMK: Do you think “Appropriate Behavior” will change people’s perceptions of bisexuals?
APPROPRIATE, continued on p.24
GMK: Shirin says she is good at pretty much only two things: drinking and dancing. What do you like to drink, and what is your favorite dance music? DA: I don’t think drinking and dancing are my best qualities. The older I get I can’t even handle drinking that much! I like whiskey. As for dancing, I enjoy anything but house music. It’s a mood killer for me. I like a smorgasbord of other kinds of music. GMK: “Appropriate Behavior” has Shirin hiding her sexuality from her parents. Do you think most children of immigrants from countries like Iran have to be especially careful about coming out? DA: I think it’s definitely a consequence of being a child of immi-
Mask of Precision Denis Côté explores the intriguing imagery overlaying a factory’s monotony
BY STEVE ERICKSON
JOY OF MAN’S DESIRING Directed by Denis Côté Films Boutique In French with English subtitles Opens Jan. 16 Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. at Second St. anthologyfilmarchives.org “Joy of Man’s Desiring” goes from the zoo to the factory floor and finds a whopping dose of boredom and alienation, but also a great deal of fascinating imagery. This is closer to a Stanley Kubrick film than Bruce Springsteen’s dirge “Factory.” “Joy of Man’s Desiring” opens with a woman speaking to another person, who remains unseen. That person seems to be a co-worker, and the speech is extremely ambiguous. From there, Côté’s film goes into a long, dialogue-free stretch that concentrates on the presence of machines operating automatically. Eventually, it returns to people speaking, but about 45
APPROPRIATE, from p.23
DA: It depends on who sees it. For a film to make an impact, it is a consequence of that. There is a lack of exposure of those who are willing to tell stories of neither gay or straight or both gay and straight. If I’m holding hands with a girlfriend, I’m visibly a lesbian, but if I’m in a relationship with a man, I’m automatically seen as straight. So it’s about visibility. You can’t be visibly bisexual,
which is what the film is saying. There’s something taboo about that word in general. I think the measuring tool is: Do you have the capacity to be physically intimate with someone of either gender? Some folks can’t handle the baggage of stepping into that ambiguous place. GMK: Do you often get to visit Iran? DA: I used to go, but I haven’t been back in a long time. I can’t go back because it would be kind of dangerous now.
oy of Man’s Desiring” confirms my impression that Denis Côté is the most talented Canadian director to emerge since Guy Maddin. He’s also one of the hardest to pin down. He seems to alternate between relatively conventional narratives (like “Vic + Flo Saw a Bear,” which played Anthology Film Archives last winter) and flirtations with documentary. “Bestiaire” is the closest he’s come to making a straightforward doc, but its appearance is deceptive. At a Q&A session, the director revealed that he fiddled with the sound in post-production and tried to make the animals he filmed at a Montreal zoo appear more agitated than they actually were. Simultaneously, he denied any sympathy with animal rights activists or any political agenda.
minutes pass before we see the woman from the opening scene again. The factory setting is real, but Côté cast actors to fill it, at least partially. His dialogue is deadpan and often quite funny, as when one worker speculates on a gay affair between Prince Charles and the king of Morocco. Now that almost all movies are shot on high-definition video, it may not mean much to say “Joy of Man’s Desiring” is particularly suited to the medium. Yet it recalls films shot in the early days of HD, like Michael Haneke’s “Caché” and Jia Zhang Ke’s “Still Life.” The cinematography has a crisp gloss that brings out white tones in the factory backgrounds. Côté rarely moves the camera, relying on zooms instead to vary the film’s rhythm. One worker talks about encountering dust and oil in her first day of factory labor, but the factories we see are almost antiseptic. Côté knows how to bring out a creepy, near-institutional quality in them. “Joy of Man’s Desiring” is unabashed about aestheticizing work that may be a dull grind for factory laborers. Côté makes the processes of grinding coffee beans and operating an industrial laundry intriguing to watch. Most of us would probably prefer not to work in such places, but where would our morning routines be without clean sheets and coffee? The fact that factory work is rapidly leaving North America for cheaper overseas locales hovers over “Joy of Man’s Desiring” and lends an edge of desperation to the film and its characters, especially a woman who goes around praying for work. Côté has created an observational work that finds both beauty and pain in the factory. He’s frank enough to acknowledge the former, mostly in the first half, but the film’s second half makes clear what a drag work can be. One worker tells a story about a crooked landowner who hires people to till his land for two dollars. The catch is that they can’t get paid unless they can make him say “aah” and “eee.” One clever man manages to defeat him by getting him bit by a scorpion and a spider. No one is physically hurt by their
A factory scene in Denis Côté’s “Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
labor in “Joy of Man’s Desiring,” but the scorpion and spider are freighted with psychological meaning, especially in the mind of one man who’s too depressed to go on working. Unlike Quebecois filmmakers like Jean-Marc Vallée and Denis Villeneuve, Côté seems unlikely to ever go to Hollywood or work with American stars like Jake Gyllenhaal or Reese Witherspoon. Even Xavier Dolan, who hasn’t left Canada either, has a higher profile. Côté seems content to film his surroundings: Montreal and the countryside around it. When I interviewed him last year, I discovered he’s a Quebecois nationalist, something that now seems implicit in his work. There’s a political ambiguity to “Joy of Man’s Desiring,” however, that keeps it fresh: it’s hard to imagine a Marxist acknowledging that beauty can be found in machines pounding away — Côté recalls Italy's Futurists without their proto-fascist agenda — or a gung ho capitalist showing such a downside to factory labor. The Bach reference in the title isn't entirely ironic. Côté seems open to anything he found in the factories. Even his fictional creations ring true.
GMK: Shirin is quite sexually adventurous in the film — using strap-ons, role-playing with her girlfriend (albeit badly), and sleeping with couples. She seems to pursue every potential sexual situation. Do you think she should learn to love herself first? DA: Perhaps. I saw it as the minute she got her heart broken, she threw herself into a “choose your own adventure.” The exploits are her trying to process her heartbreak.
GMK: Your film has fart jokes, bad sex, nudity, and other shaming behavior. What is inappropriate? DA: We are conditioned to be ashamed. When I came out, I realized nothing else can humiliate me. I have said the most taboo thing to my parents, whom I love, so I just don’t give a shit. I felt a real shift in my work after that. Losing your shame — you dictate for yourself what’s right or wrong, where your morals live, what you think is cool or sexy. I didn’t realize that until then. January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
New Year’s Eve’s Last Waltz
Led by Fleming and Gunn, Stroman’s Met “Merry Widow” production lacked fizz BY ELI JACOBSON
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
and pizzazz. She certainly showed greater vocal and dramatic authority than Shrader’s Camille de Rosillon, who looked almost prettier than her but whose acting was as stiff and tentative as his tight, shakily produced lyric tenor. His vocal stiffness, iffy top, and lack of charm fatally compromised the ravishing “Pavilion Duet” in Act II. As Valencienne’s Nathan Gunn and Renée Fleming in the Susan Stroman befuddled husband production of Franz Lehár’s 1905 “The Merry Widow” at the Baron Mirko Zeta, Metropolitan Opera. Allen stole every scene he was in. He easily could have had a successful rhythm and managed to work up career as a dramatic actor. Marga- some dramatic momentum. ret Lattimore also stole scenes as Sir Andrew Davis’ elegant baton the bitchy matron Praskowia, but brought a wistful autumnal touch of Carson Elrod was directed to play “Der Rosenkavalier” to Lehár’s fizzy Njegus as the sassy gay friend. score — Act II’s “Women” march He got easy laughs but they were lacked rhythmic swagger and marincongruously at the expense of the tial strut while the Act III grisettes' tone and period sensibility. can-can needed more giddy abanStroman’s production numbers don. With a dashing, dancing, danat the top of Acts II and III were gerous leading man, better pacing, efficient and diverting but lacked better dances, and a hint of sex, this imagination. The shallow Act I could be a very good show. All the embassy set precluded much in other ingredients are in place. the way of dancing and the dramatPerhaps Susan Graham and ic pacing was off, with dead space Rod Gilfry will be lighter of step and between lines and entrances and quicker of pulse when the “Widow” exits as well as jokes that failed to returns in April. The current land. Acts II and III (played togeth- “Merry Widow” will be broadcast er without intermission) had better Live in HD on January 17.
KEN HOWARD/ METROPOLITAN OPERA
ranz Lehár in his 1905 operetta masterpiece “ T h e M e r r y Wi d o w ” used the waltz as a metaphor for the push and pull of sexual attraction. Money and politics push the ex-lovers Hanna Glawari and Count Danilo apart but the strains of the waltz pull them together. Eventually politics and money capitulate before the power of music and love. On New Year’s Eve, the Metropolitan Opera unveiled its second production of Lehár’s masterpiece, directed and choreographed by Broadway’s Susan Stroman (“The Producers”) in her first operatic assignment. Renée Fleming and Nathan Gunn star as the sparring, waltzing former and future lovers. Also making a Met debut was darling of Broadway Kelli O’Hara in the secondary soubrette role of Valencienne, with Sir Thomas Allen and Alek Shrader as the men in her life. With two glamorous opera stars experienced in crossover in the leads, sumptuous Belle Époque scenery by Julian Crouch and lavish period costumes by William Ivey Long, a relatively restrained book and lyrics translated by Jeremy Sams, all guided by Tony winner Stroman’s knowing hand, this “Widow” seemed destined to be a surefire hit. Unfortunately, it hit the palate like yesterday’s champagne without the bubbles and offering no kick. It looked new and pretty but felt slightly arthritic and tired. The missing ingredients were essential ones — sexual chemistry and the thrill of the dance. Fleming and Gunn are slightly younger and more agile than Frederica Von Stade and Placido Domingo were in 2000 when they starred in the Met’s premiere production of “The Merry Widow.” But they dance less and strike fewer romantic sparks, Stroman’s production being much more conservative and old-fashioned than the Tim Albery production it replaces. The problem was not with the
diva. Fleming looked lovely and youthful enough — her hourglass figure poured into Long’s silk gowns — and seemed game for anything. She even handled her spoken lines with some flair (helped by her recent sojourn into straight dramatic acting; “Living on Love” is scheduled to transfer to Broadway this April). In Act I, Fleming’s middle voice sounded swallowed along with most of her words and her top was uncharacteristically tentative. In Acts II and III, she warmed up nicely — her signature tonal mix of silver and cream suiting the Viennese style perfectly. Fleming soared through the interpolated “Liebe du Himmel auf Erden” (from Lehár’s “Paganini”) in Act III. But when she was supposed to be swept away by the irresistible strains of the waltz, Nathan Gunn’s bland, personality-challenged Danilo did a measly twostep that hardly traveled across the floor — no turns, no twirls, and a feeble final dip without passion. “Dancing With the Stars”’ Maksim Chmerkovskiy probably can’t sing but he definitely would have swept Fleming off her feet while suggesting what’s in store when the dance is over. Gunn was more suburban husband than dashing rake — looking a little softer in the middle, the erstwhile barihunk didn’t even wear his tails and military uniform with flair. His salon baritone did the job decently but, as in everything else he did, lacked sparkle. The dialogue scenes between the leads also lacked sexual tension and humor. Fleming is by nature rather demure onstage; she needs a strong leading man to draw her out. The other romantic pair seemed mismatched, as well. O’Hara showed off impressive legit soprano chops — not surprising since she has a degree in opera from Oklahoma City University and even participated in the Metropolitan Opera Regional Council Auditions. She kicked up her heels gamely in Act III’s grisette can-can number and showed the rest of the cast how to put over lyrics with intelligibility
IN THE NOH
Unearthing important gay erotica,
Dory Previn recalled, one mesmerizing Bennett sister
emember those paperback pulp gay porn novels that used to be semi-discreetly sold in drugstores and random magazine stands in the 1960s and early1970s? They had deliriously suggestive covers and titles like “The Number on the John Wall,” “Chamber of Homos,” “Tailpipe Truckers, “ “Hot Asset!,” “The Male Maulers.” No? Well I do, and so does writer Maitland McDonagh, who has painstakingly amassed an impressive collection of them over the years and has now started her own imprint to republish and bring them to interested readers once more. Her latest such effort is a handsomely produced double novel: “Man Eater,” by one Dick Jones (these authors almost always used pseudonyms), and “Night of the
Sadist,” by Paul Laurie. Admitting to me that for her a healthy interest in penises, straight or gay, was inevitably an inspiration, McDonagh added, “In the late 1980s, I saw some copies of these kinds of books in Times Square because I was there all the time seeing horror movies. There were also all the bookstores, so I started buying these old gay porn novels, just for the covers and kept on collecting them. But unlike most people who collect these books, because I’m a reader at heart, I read them. What I discovered in the wealth of information about them online was that a lot of collectors had no interest in what was inside the book and often had contempt for them, like “OMG, the books are trash but the covers are so camp!” And I was thinking, “You’re kind of assholes, because, yes, some of the covers are great in a campy way, but some are quite beautiful. “None of the artists signed the covers, apart from a guy named
FRANK LOVECE/ 120 DAYS BOOKS
FRANK LOVECE/ 120 DAYS BOOKS
BY DAVID NOH
Adam. He was one of the more talented artists, but also completely unknown. Artists are harder to find than the writers — and they’re hard to begin with, because everyone worked under a pseudonym. “Five years ago, I rekindled my interest in all this, and I started trying to track down the writers. I found about a half dozen, all of whom had ‘fessed up to their old identities: Dirk Banden and Richard Fullmer, who left Vernal, Utah after he graduated high school. Can you imagine being a Mormon in Utah and gay in the early 1960s? You had to pack up your stuff and go to San Francisco. “There was a huge community of gay porn writers there. Victor Bannis came from some huge hillbilly family and he wrote, under a pseudonym, these hilarious takeoffs on spy novels which revolved around superspy Jackie Holmes, who is gay, but his cover is that he’s a super-swish, so nobody ever thinks that he’s gonna be dan-
gerous. He has a poodle named Sophie, whose teeth have been filed down to sharp points. Some company reissued a bunch of them and they’re hugely entertaining, fun, and smart, and he also wrote an autobiographical memoir called something like ‘Spine Broken, Small Creases,’ which is enormously entertaining.” To reprint some of these titles, McDonagh started her company, 120 Days Books: “Of course, a De Sade reference, how could I resist? It’s been difficult. I don’t have this sense of corporate liability because the fact is I can’t find the writers. These publishing companies have been out of business for 30 years at least, so at this point, who really knows what the rights are? That’s why I was trying to track down the writers. I didn’t want to mess with their books because I have a sense of morals, being a writer myself. “William Maltese started writing in the late 1970s and I ran into him on Facebook. He posted, ‘You know, there are some of us who are not grateful to see their books republished. I wrote back to him, ‘I assure you, I am not publishing the books of anybody who is still alive I can find. But I think a lot of these books are in danger of being lost and some of them are really good and some are kind of good, but very entertaining. I’m really looking to put them back into the public eye.’ We became pals and he wrote back, ‘Sorry I snapped at you, but you can see why I might be upset.’ There’s this automatic feeling of somebody poaching the rights of other writers. “He wasn’t ashamed of his books, and he’s actually writing a series now about ‘The Stud Drakul,” with a hero who’s the heir to some enormous fabric fortune. He goes gallivanting around the world having endless sex with exotic men while doing business for his family’s company. “The writer Victor Bannis is very fun, funny, and very normal. When the big boom of gay erotica began to kind of die in the 1980s when everything was hardcore and nobody wanted to read stories anymore, he started writing pulp westerns and sci fi, some 150 books. Kind of amazing.” “There are a lot of cop and truck-
IN THE NOH, continued on p.27
January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
IN THE NOH, from p.26
Dory Previn (1925-2012) was one singer-songwriter of the 1970s I knew more by name than through any actual experience of her music. For me, she was primarily the one who wrote the songs for that indelible camp classic “Valley of the Dolls,” as well a being the woman, whose husband, composer and conductor Andre Previn, was stolen by a young Mia Farrow, after her failed marriage to Frank Sinatra. Ms. Previn’s life was celebrated by singer Kate Dimbleby in her show, ‘Beware of Young Girls,” which I caught at 59E59 on January 2. That title happens to come from the song Previn wrote about her traumatic experience with Farrow, who, in the show, is a constant bête noir in Previn’s life. Indeed, watching Dimbleby — and the projected shot of Farrow on the wall behind her stage — I found myself musing more on Previn’s romantic rival than Previn herself. Previn’s life seemed to approximate a sort of Hollywood/ New York Greek tragedy, filled with betrayal, karmic retribution (given the whole Woody Allen brouhaha), and bloody, hard-won survival. My wandering mind might also be blamed on the quality of the show itself, for as fascinating a subGayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
The Museum of Modern Art continues its performer-driven “Acteurism” series with Joan Bennett through the end of January. Bennett was the youngest of the three illustrious — and sometimes tragic — daughters of the great actor Richard Bennett. Described by George Cukor as the “prettiest” Bennett sister — there was the dazzlingly chic and thin diva Constance and Barbara, who drank rather than acted — Joan also possessed a natural understatement, which stood her in versatile good stead in a long career that stretched from the silent era to the '60s cult Gothic vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows.” She went from the most delectably ethereal blonde to a more dramatic brunette, which opened a new film world to her, appearing as an archetypal noir dame, especially for director Fritz Lang, in films including “The Woman in the Window”
er novels, as well as rarities, like this one about Nazi porn, which is a surprisingly good book. But look at those swastikas on the cover! Is this a book I want to buy? But all of them are becoming harder to find. Most people didn’t save them, and some of them who did died and their relatives would see this huge box of porn books and they were out on the sidewalk in no time flat. “My interest is not just a weird little kink. I think these books are really interesting. If nothing else, they are such portraits of the 1960s through the mid-1970s. Everything was changing what with gay lib, and it was easier for some than others. Sometimes just a matter of being five years older or younger could make an enormous difference in your experience of coming out and finding other gay men.” (Learn more about McDonagh’s effort at facebook.com/120DaysBooksRediscoveringVintageGayErotic.)
ject as Previn is, she was not best served by Dimbleby’s weak vocals, choice of material (which took the form of too many similar ballads, flatlining the evening), missing context at random points, and spotty narration. Previn was reduced to little more than a dreary clinical case study of schizophrenia rather than represented as the fecund artist she actually was in life. Previn, who lived to 86 despite a troubled medical history, wrote three Oscar -nominated songs, and, although Dimbleby’s haunting “Theme from Valley of the Dolls” was the evening’s most effective moment, she didn’t mention anything abut that film’s undying gay cult status. She sang “You’re Gonna Hear from Me,” and neglected to say that this was from Natalie Wood’s Gavin Lambert-penned “Inside Daisy Clover.” She never mentioned Previn’s other winsomely pleasing hit, “Come Saturday Morning,”(which she should have sung) or the fact that it was from Liza Minnelli’s “The Sterile Cuckoo.” And a definite aura of cheese set in during Dimbleby’s rendition of “Lemon Haired Ladies,” when portraits of haphazardly chosen, anachronistic divas — Carole Lombard, Jean Harlow, Mae West! — flashed behind her, ending with, yes, Mia Farrow again, who’d already undergone vitriolic treatment with the show’s title song.
Joan Bennett goes Carmen Miranda in Archie Mayo’s “The House Across the Bay.”
and “Scarlet Street.” I really like two lesser -known titles that MOMA is screening. “I Met My Love Again” (1937) was Joshua Logan’s film directorial debut (with a small assist from Cukor), a modestly scaled, lyrical, and quite literate tale of the often rocky small town love between an initially innocent Bennett, who quickly becomes a scandalous woman of the world and single mom, and Henry Fonda, as an engagingly upright college professor. Bennett is radiantly blonde, totally ingratiating, and relatable, giving my favorite performance of hers. (Jan. 14-16, 1:30 p.m.) “The House Across the Bay” (1940) features a sultrier brunette Bennett, showing the other, more delightfully hard-boiled and wisecracking side to her talents. She’s a nightclub singer who marries mobster George Raft and rats him out to the IRS so he’ll be thrown into jail, which she sees as a safe refuge from his criminal enemies.
The underrated Archie Mayo directs this breezy, highly satisfying melodrama with a vivid, raunchy touch, and the cast includes the great Gladys George, Walter Pidgeon, Lloyd Nolan, Peggy Shannon, and June Knight, who originally introduced “Night and Day” on Broadway in “The Gay Divorce,” with Fred Astaire. (Jan. 21-23, 1:30 p.m.) When I met the charming Bennett years ago, she fondly remembered “my beautiful wardrobe,” which was designed by the brilliant Irene, the greatest modern costume designer of her time, beloved by every major diva and a tragic figure who eventually jumped to her death at Hollywood’s Knickerbocker Hotel. (The full schedule of “Acteurism” screenings is at moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1535.) Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@ aol.com and check out his blog at http://nohway.wordpress.com.
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SAT.JAN.10, from p.20
SUN.JAN.11 BRUNCH Mazel Means Good Luck
THEATER Healthy Interaction “Blood/ Work: You Shoulda Told Me,” an interactive forum play created and performed by the 13 Theatre Troupe and presented by Theatre of the Oppressed NYC in partnership with Housing Works, examines the connections among education, employment, and access to information in influencing an individual’s health outcomes. Housing Works Bookstore Café, 126 Crosby St., btwn. Prince & Houston Sts. Jan. 12, 7 p.m. Donations accepted at the door. More information at info.housingworks.org.
BOOKS Drag Under the Gun Lisa E. Davis’ newly re-published novel “Under the Mink” takes place in 1949 in New York, where the world is upside down at the Candy Box Club. The emcee Blackie Cole is actually Blanche Cohen and the feminine chorus line is
BENEFIT OUTMusic Supports Brooklyn Pride
p.m. Admission is free as part as the Target Free Thursday series. More information at atrium.lincolncenter.org.
Thread Bare Rebecca Levi’s thread-based and pen & ink work is influenced by images i n f o u n d p h o t o g r a p h y, mid-century magazines, and 1970s porn. In embroidered portraits, she subverts the norms of the medium with the unexpected, inviting a playful collision between traditional handicrafts and the untraditional themes of queer identity and gender performativity. “Queering the Lines:– Thread & Ink” is exhibited at Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center, 208 W. 13th St., room 210, through Feb. 1. On Jan. 14, 7 p.m., Levi talks about her work with John Chaich, who curated the recent Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art exhibition “Queer Threads: Crafting Identity & Community.”
led by a stunning dark-eyed boy named Titanic. The only thing protecting the performers from the social reformers hoping to curb… er, cure them is Stevie, the kingpin of the mob’s downtown operation whose hand moves from the till to the pockets of the police. When a young gay man is murdered in the club, only Blackie Cole cares enough to find out why. Davis presents the LGBT Community Center’s Second Tuesday Lecture, where she’ll read from the novel and show images of early New York City drag entertainers. 208 W. 13th St. Jan. 13, 7 p.m. Admission is $10 at gaycenter.org.
MUSIC A Klezmer Yentl The music Jill Sobule composed for the stage version of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story “Yentl” will be performed in new arrangements with Isle of Klezbos, the all-gal klezmer sextet. Sobule will join the ensemble on vocals, guitar, and banjo. David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W. 62nd St. Jan. 15, 7:30-9
Deadline Pressure BGSQD.COM
The Metropolitan Klezmer octet, celebrating 20 years as well as its new CD, “Mazel Means Good Luck,” is joined by sister ensemble Isle of Klezbos, an allgal sextet which has its own new CD, “Live from Brooklyn,” in a brunch concert at City Winery NYC, 155 Varick St. at Vandam St. Jan. 11, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., with doors opening at 10. Admission is $10, with a full menu and bar available but no minimum order. The two bands offer up fresh, imaginative arrangements of traditional and vintage popular repertoire, as well as genre-expanding original compositions drawing on jazz, cumbia, reggae, and more. More information on the venue at citywinery.com/newyork.
(MAC) — have extended their run of “Judy and Liza Together Again,” at Don’t Tell Mama through Valentine’s Day. The mother-daughter team sing some of their personal favorites, including “Maybe This Time,” “New York, New York,” “Over the Rainbow” (performed movingly by Femia), and, in a powerhouse finale together, “Get Happy” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Femia, who has been performing Judy for 20 years at Don’t Tell Mama, is winner of seven individual MAC Awards. 343 W. 46th St. Jan. 10, 17 & 31, Feb. 14, 8 p.m. The cover charge is $25 and there’s a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212757-0788 or donttellmamanyc.com.
power, and ownership of memories unfold around them. Awesome ‘90s music and dance breaks included. Lauren Hennessy stars as a trans woman who pursues a lesbian romance. Hennessy, who identifies as a “transgender male actress” has become something of a sensation on Buzzfeed with a video — that’s garnered 1.5 million hits — about his decision not to transition. “Mrs. Mayfield” is presented by Caps Lock Theatre at an undisclosed East Village apartment that audience members will be informed of after reserving tickets. Jan. 15 -18, 22-25, 29-31, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 at capslocktheatre.com; seating is limited.
Sabrina Chap hosts a works-in-progress evening with cutting edge queer artists, including Zavé Martohardjon (theatrical movement work), Adam Chad Brody (music video), and Courtney Gillette (literary memoir). The series is based on the notion that there’s no greater inspiration than a deadline. In this way renegade artists are forced to bring new and developing work to an audience for the first time, on the premise that part experimentation plus part guaranteed failure equal 100 percent awesomeness. Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center, 208 W. 13th St., rm. 210. Jan. 15, 7-10 p.m.
The LGBT Academy of Recording Arts, which holds its annual OUTmusic Awards on Jan. 19 (see listing below), presents an evening of performance to benefit the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, which provides a safe, common space offering physical and mental health services, social support, and recreational and cultural programming, as well as being a hub of information for the borough’s community. The evening’s line-up includes Sir Ari Gold, Julia Weldon, Reina Williams, DJ Roze-Royce, Deepa Soul, Aris, Shorty Roc, and DJ shErOck. Littlefield, 622 Degraw St., btwn. Third & Fourth Aves., Gowanus. Jan. 16, 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 at ticketfly.com.
NIGHTLIFE LGBT Alumni Mixer LGBT alumni groups from a large number of colleges get together for a free mixer at Rubin Art Museum, 150 W. 17th St. Jan. 16, 6-8:30 p.m. The mixer, with a cash bar and food and two-for-one beer, wine, and house drinks from 6-7, is downstairs, while the museum’s Art from Himalayan Asia exhibit is upstairs. To RSVP, visit tigernet.princeton.edu/~ffr-gala/ AlternateEmail.html.
Remembering Fifth Grade in the ‘90s
Mariah MacCarthy, winner of the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award and NYtheatre.com’s 2012 Person of the Year, reunites with director Leta Tremblay (“The Foreplay Play”) on their site-specific hit “Mrs. Mayfield’s Fifth-Grade Class of ’93 20-Year Reunion” — a look at what happens when a group of former classmates hovering in their 30s reunite for an evening of partying and reminiscing. The play is immersively staged and intimately drawn, with audience party-goers eating chili and drinking beer as calamities, revelations, and battles for affection,
New York Gallery Tours hosts a visit to Chelsea galleries of particular interest to the LGBT community. Among those leading the tour is gay artist Benjamin Fredickson, who talks about his X-rated photos of nude men and what makes them art and not porn. The tour will take in seven galleries in all, with exhibits of painting, sculpture, electronic media, and photography. The group will meet at 526 W. 26th St., Jan. 17, 1 p.m. For tickets at $25 and more information, visit nygallerytours.com.
Gay Art, Peripatetically
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January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
GayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
Eclectic in Elements and Imagery Chris Ofili has debut US solo exhibition at New Museum BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN
© CHRIS OFILI. COURTESY THE ARTIST, DAVID ZWIRNER, NEW YORK / LONDON AND CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS, BERLIN
Chris Ofili’s 1997 “Pimpin' ain't easy”: oil, polyester resin, paper collage, glitter, map pins, and elephant dung on linen, 96 x 72 in.
ight and Day,” the first major US solo museum exhibition of Chris Ofili will span the artist’s entire career, encompassing painting, drawing, and sculpture. Over the past two decades, Ofili has become known for his vibrant, meticulously executed compositions that fuse elements derived from figuration, abstraction, folklore decoration, and pop-cultural kitsch. His imagery is no less eclectic, sourcing the Bible, hip-hop, Zimbabwean cave paintings, blaxploitation films, and William Blake’s poems, among others. One of those works, his “The Holy Virgin Mary,” created the real “Sensation” — at least in the mind of then Mayor Rudy Giuliani — at the Charles Saatchi Brooklyn Museum exhibition in 1999. This survey aims to reveal how significantly Ofili’s practice is based on constant change and free experimentation. It certainly succeeds in celebrating a body of work that involves many facets and ranges from boldly expressive to deeply introspective.
CHRIS OFILI: NIGHT AND DAY New Museum 235 Bowery, btwn. Rivington & Stanton Sts. Through Jan. 25 Tue.-Wed., Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thu., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. $16; $14 for seniors; $10 for students newmuseum.org or 212-219-1222 In contrast to Ofili’s famous work of the 1990s, in which he layered materials — including paint, resin, glitter, and elephant dung — his most recent works have been animated by exotic characters, outlandish landscapes, and myths that resonate with references to the paintings of Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin. No matter what series one focuses on, one quickly recognizes that it is Ofili’s hybrid juxtapositions of high and low and of the sacred and the profane that bestow his images with unique drama and energy. Stephanie Buhmann can be contacted via stephaniebuhmann.com.
Party with Pa and Ma Ubu Late night rock musical bathes you in sweat, absinthe, kielbasa juice BY SCOTT STIFFLER
UBU SINGS UBU The Slipper Room 167 Orchard St. btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts. Jan. 11, 11 p.m. Jan. 12, 8 & 11 p.m. $18; slipperroom.com or 212-253-7246 $22 at the door
ta l k i ng the tal k , Jarry was walking the walk.” That walk was a short one: Jarry died in 1907 at the age of 34, and the original run of “Ubu” closed the same night that it opened: December 10, 1896. Although the basic Skin is in, and so is satire — in Tony Torn’s adaptation of “Ubu Roi.” plot was familiar (Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” set in Poland), Parisian intact (including the presence of a audiences were apparently not yet menacing bear). Two notable addiready for the combination of a sur- tions give this version some claws real narrative, bizarre visuals, and of its own. Burlesque icon Julie Jarry’s flagrant disregard for social Atlas Muz has a slinky form and a gift for rhythmic cadence that and political norms. Flash forward to modern times, promises to function well alongand Torn’s adaptation, with chore- side the “giddy, angular new wave ography by co-director Dan Safer, rock” of a theremin-infused band builds upon the once-scandalous covering the work of cult songmakplay’s subversive spirit, while leav- ers Pere Ubu, itself inspired by the ing much of the original content play’s name and style. January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc
inding an ample supply of flesh on display at the Slipper Room is a given — but whether it’s shocking or sexy is purely in the eye, and quite often the groin, of the beholder. That’s what makes the decadent burlesque venue such a good match for the brief run of “Ubu Sings Ubu,” a satirical, skinfilled rock musical (whose run at Abrons Arts Center last April saw its liquor -fueled audience turning the curtain call into a
mosh-friendly celebration). Created from the French text of Alfred Jarry’s play “Ubu Roi” by way of the Google Translate engine, “Ubu Sings Ubu” is adapter, co-director, and co-star Tony Torn’s rowdy and profane gift to those not yet ready to head home after seeing an early show. “Under the Radar and other downtown festivals have discontinued their late night lounges,” noted Torn, who asked, “Where will the hordes of late-night theater professionals go after the 8 p.m. shows have ended? If they have the guts to party with Pa and Ma Ubu, we’ll be ready to bathe them in sweat, absinthe, and kielbasa juice!” Jarry aficionado James Habacker, who serves as the Slipper Room’s major domo, called the notorious “Ubu” playwright “one of the most significant and influential of modern artists, if not the most influential. When others were
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SUN.JAN.18 BOOKS Probing Desire Writer Connor Spencer, who has conducted archival research on both coasts about artists David Wojnarowicz and Gary Fisher, leads “Que(e)rying Theory,” a discussion group about queer theory and critical theory for thinkers from all contexts. Tonight, the group discusses Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman’s “Sex, or the Unbearable,” an inquiry into the theory of desire. Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center, 208 W. 13th St., rm. 210. Jan. 18, 6-9 p.m. For a small donation, wine, beer, and sparkling water are available to help lubricate the conversation.
miered at the 2014 International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival to sellout houses, depicts four of the heroes and heroines of the Irish Rebellion of 1916 whose lives as gay men and lesbians were downplayed or erased. One of them, in fact, was literally airbrushed out of the official picture of the surrender to the British. Directed by TOSOS artistic director Mark Finley, the reading features a cast of Irish and American actors, including performance artist and novelist Honor Molloy who plays Elizabeth O’Farrell, who carried the flag of surrender, only to be removed from the picture; actor and producer Aedin Moloney who plays author, labor organizer, and activist Eva Gore Booth, who advocated for her sister, Countess Markewicz, and for Sir Roger Casement; playwright and actor Chris Weikel who plays Casement, the British peer executed for his role in helping get weapons to the Rebellion; and Nicholas Wuehrmann who plays Padraig Pearse, the schoolmaster-turned-revolutionary. Irish Arts Center, 553 W. 51st St. Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27 at brushed.bpt.me.
THU.JAN.22 The Legacy of AIDS in Gay Art ARIGOLD.COM
L e a DeLaria, star of the hit Netflix series “Orange Is T h e N e w B l a c k ” a n d S i r Ari Gold host the Ninth Annual OUTmusic Awards, which recognize LGBT achievement in more than 20 categories. The evening also includes honors for Monifah Carter, star of “TV One’s R&B Divas Atlanta,” Billy Porter, the Tony Award-winning star of “Kinky Boots,” s i n g e r- s o n g w r i t e r a n d h u m a n r i g h t s activist Holly Near, Thomas McCormack and Michael Mitchell, who created the former Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards (GLAMAs), and Wolfgang Busch, producer, activist, and director of the HIV awareness and artist empowerment documentary “How Do I Look.” Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. Jan. 19, 7 p.m. Tickets, at $25-$125, and a full list of nomination are at outmusicawards.com.
WED.JAN.21 THEATER Gay Irish Heroes of 1916 TOSOS (“The Other Side of Silence”), New York’s oldest LGBT theater company, and St. Pat’s For All, the inclusive celebration held every March in Sunnyside and Woodside, Queens, team up to present a benefit reading of Brian Merriman’s new play, “Eirebrushed.” The play, which preGayCityNews.nyc | January 08 - 21, 2015
For a sixth year, Gay Men's Health Crisis and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art host “A rt & AIDS: Amor y Pasión,” an exhibition featuring 45 artists living with HIV and AIDS. Utilizing diverse media, the artists produced their work in weekly therapeutic art classes run by GMHC's Volunteer, Work and Wellness Center, with art teachers donating their time. The work sold during the exhibition allows the artists to increase their financial independence, which is particularly important for those who live on a limited income. “AIDS and HIV have been a subject for many gay artists for the last 30 ears and have, unfortunately, become a recognized theme in gay art history,” said Hunter O'Hanian, Leslie-Lohman’s executive director. The exhibition is co-curated by Osvaldo Perdomo and David Livingston. 26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts. Jan. 22-Feb. 1. Opening reception, Jan. 22, 6-8 p.m. On Jan. 24, 6-8 p.m., curator Jonathan David Katz hosts “A Conversation on ArtAIDSAmerica,” where he discusses the upcoming national museum exhibition showcasing 30 years of art responding to the AIDS epidemic in the US. The museum screens the documentary “The Universe of Keith Haring,” an intimate portrait of the late artist whose mantra was that “art is for everyone!” on Jan. 29, 6-8 p.m. The screening is followed by a discussion led by Julia Gruen, executive director of the Keith Haring Foundation. Leslie-Lohman’s hours are Tue.-Wed., Fri.-Sun., noon-6 p.m.; Thu., noon-8 p.m.
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Don’t waste a minute. Find your plan at nystateofhealth.ny.gov. Or call 1-855-355-5777. ©2014 NY State of Health
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January 08 - 21, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc