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No Arrest Yet in Dallas BBQ Assault 10 Premature Reports of Gaydar’s Demise 22

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Uganda’s Frank Mugisha Finds Safety in Visibility BY PAUL SCHINDLER




do feel safe,” said Frank Mugisha, a gay rights activist in Uganda. “But sometimes I get paranoid.” With that, the East African nation’s most visible LGBT leader crystalized one of the paradoxes in his society’s posture toward homosexuality. For more than five years, Uganda has been swept by a contentious debate over anti-gay legislation that would stiffen penalties for repeat “aggravated homosexuality” offenders to life imprisonment. The measure — widely known as the “Kill the Gays Bill” because in its early versions it mandated the death penalty — was temporarily enacted before being thrown out last August by a court based on flaws in how Parliament approved it. Among its provisions, it would have required anyone with knowledge of same-sex sexual conduct, on pain of criminal penalties, to report it to authorities. In January 2011, amidst the mounting antigay turmoil, David Kato, the gay man previously most widely known in Uganda, was murdered in his home just weeks after prevailing in a lawsuit against the homophobic local newspaper Rolling Stone, which had published the names, photographs, and addresses of suspected gay people under the headline “Hang them.” The conviction of a man who the government said killed Kato after the victim demanded sex was viewed with deep suspicion by his fellow activists, who don’t believe justice was done in the case. Yet Mugisha, who is the executive director of the group where Kato was once a leader — Sexual Minorities Uganda, or SMUG — sees his own visibility as an asset. “Some people who are never in the media get harassed and beaten,” he told Gay City News in a recent interview in the Manhattan offices of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a non-profit advocacy group. “I’ve lived in Uganda for a long time, and I know my way around. And with ordinary Ugandans, I do alright.” And, said Mugisha, top among his concerns about the LGBT community’s future in Uganda is the ongoing interference of anti-gay American evangelicals in that nation’s political life. From the other side of the political ledger, worldwide condemnation of Uganda over its rush toward more repressive anti-gay measures — homosexual conduct is already illegal there based on laws put in place during British colonial rule — has not been without positive impact, Mugisha explained. “My president does not accept homosexuality,” he said of Yoweri Museveni, who has held office since 1986. “But he also does not want to antagonize the international community and he does not want to hear from us. He would rather the issue die out.” During the four -plus years the anti-gay

Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, during a recently visit to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in Manhattan.

LGBT rights leader navigates nation’s contradictory politics, fights Western evangelical provocations legislation was under consideration, Museveni took some steps that seemed aimed at slowing down its progress, but was also willing to fan the flames of homophobic feelings with inflammatory rhetoric. When Parliament moved the bill unexpectedly in late 2013, he seemed caught off guard and initially suggested there were technical flaws in the way it was voted on. In the end, according to Mugisha, the president “was forced to engage,” and he signed the measure. In August of last year, the Constitutional Court of Uganda struck down the law along the lines Museveni had initially raised. In response to criticism from abroad, Museveni has at times railed against Western inter ference, but that has been for local consumption, Mugisha said. The president is given pause when international corporations tell him they worry about the impact on their business an anti-gay crackdown could have, and he said Museveni was clearly embarrassed when two Texas hotels turned down his request to stay there during a 2014 visit to Irving and he was forced to rent a ranch. Mugisha acknowledged the difficulty in

prescribing precisely what Westerners can do to help LGBT Ugandans, but urged them to consistently raise their voices — especially celebrities; “Ugandans love US celebrities,” he said. (In another media interview, he specifically mentioned the impact Jay-Z could have on opinion in Uganda). At the same time, like many LGBT activists in the developing world, he cautioned against Western leaders making “public statements that will make the situation worse for LGBT Ugandans.” Activists from outside Uganda, he said, should always take their cue from those on the ground. International human rights groups can play a part by assisting activists in Uganda with research support on issues including international legal obligations and human rights standards. Mugisha singled out the efforts of Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of the late attorney general and New York senator who runs Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. She twice met with Museveni to discuss the legal and policy conclusions her group and SMUG reached through their collaboration. “It did influence his thinking,” Mugisha asserted. “They were probably his first meetings ever solely on LGBT rights.” They were also meetings SMUG itself is not in a position to have. Which is not to say the group has no standing with the government. Mugisha recalled with a chuckle meeting with senior police officials and having them, during their time together, receive a call from an officer on patrol reporting the arrest of a gay man. “At the highest levels, law enforcement at the highest levels are being careful,” he said. “They know that arrests and harassment will get lots of attention.” When the senior official he was meeting challenged the officer calling about the grounds for the arrest he made, the cop answered, “I thought we were supposed to arrest them.” Asked about such contradictions in policy and practice, Mugisha responded, “That’s what the Uganda political system is like. You can do something now and do something different the next day. You can’t trust politicians.” Even without freedom of assembly, SMUG activists, from Mugisha’s account, are able to “make a lot of noise and get a lot of media.” Crucially, he emphasized, while “we are trying to change the laws, we don’t want a different government.” And, in what he described as “definite headway” compared to the state of LGBT rights activism as recently as “seven to 10 years ago,” SMUG now gets support from other human rights groups in Uganda. The battle against the early proposals to incorporate the death penalty into the anti-gay legislation, he said, was critical in that respect. Whatever freedom Mugisha feels in being


MUGISHA, continued on p.24

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

In Uganda, Trust is the First Step At bars in Kampala and an AIDS group in Gulu, an emerging LGBT community is visible BY DANIEL SZYMCZYK


week before leaving for Uganda on a photojournalism expedition, I took to the streets of Manhattan with my trusted camera, going up to strangers and asking them what they knew and thought about the East African nation. Kevin Bright, an artistic-looking man smoking a cigarette outside Boxers in Hell’s Kitchen, got to the heart of the issue on my mind. “That’s where they’ve killed gay people before,” he said.

Isaac Mugisha and Brant Luswata speaking at the Gulu branch of TASO, the AIDS Support Organisation.

Downtown Gulu.

Like me, Bright was aware of recent, troubling news out of Uganda, which last year — thanks to the “activism” of a number of American evangelical Christians — passed the Uganda AntiHomosexuality Act. In its earliest incarnations, that measure included a death penalty for what it defined as “aggravated homosexuality”; only as it moved toward final passage was life imprisonment substituted for the death penalty as the most severe sentence. A Ugandan court threw out the law on technical grounds, but the issue is still very much alive there. Given that background, it was completely understandable when | May 14 - 27, 2015

Kevin replied, “Hell no!,” when I asked if he would ever visit Uganda. I had, of course, already made the opposite decision. Knowing there was a gay scene in Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city, I was determined to find it and learn from the people in it. So, at the end of a long first day of shooting in that city, I started off my evening browsing the local men on Grindr. Grindr being what it is, an hour quickly passed, but I managed a connection with a man named Keith King, whom I met at a very relaxed bar where the customers included well-dressed Ugandans as well as other whites like myself.

An HIV treatment advertisement in Kampala.

A ad promoting Christianity in downtown Kampala.

A few minutes into our drinks, I felt he and I had a lot in common. His voice is booming and his personality is one that demands attention; I could tell just how much of a wild child he is. Keith’s welcoming nature quickly began giving me insight into what it’s like being a gay man in one of the world’s most homophobic countries. He explained that over the past several years as the homophobic climate heated up, many poorer gays had fled to refugee camps in Kenya. At the same time, for Ugandans of better means, a thriving gay nightlife existed. Talking about that contradiction, he showed off what might

reasonably be called gallows humor. “I sometimes even wish the bill was still in law!” he jokingly said. “Everyone who was in the closet came out during that time. They felt a need to take a stand. Now that the bill isn’t a thing anymore, all of them went back in the closet.” That comment stopped me short. More men and women coming out of the closet when their lives could’ve easily been taken away by their own government? Before I had a chance to make sense of what he was telling me, Keith started to get


UGANDA, continued on p.18


TRIUMEQ is a once-a-day pill used to treat HIV-1. TRIUMEQ should not be used by itself in some people. Take TRIUMEQ exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. Is it time for you? Ask your doctor. APPROVED USES TRIUMEQ is a prescription medicine used to treat Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) infection in adults. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. It is not known if TRIUMEQ is safe or effective in children under the age of 18. TRIUMEQ is not for use by itself in people who have or have had resistance to abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine. TRIUMEQ does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. You must stay on continuous HIV-1 therapy to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illness. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

° yellow skin, or the white part of the eyes turns yellow; dark urine;

• A buildup of acid in your blood (lactic acidosis). Lactic acidosis can happen in some people who take TRIUMEQ. This serious medical emergency can cause death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you feel very weak or tired; have unusual muscle pain; have trouble breathing; have stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feel cold, especially in your arms and legs; feel dizzy/ light-headed; or have a fast/irregular heartbeat.

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 new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine.

light-colored stools; nausea; itching; or stomach-area pain. What is the most important information I should know about TRIUMEQ? • Worsening of hepatitis B virus in people who have HIV-1 infection. • Serious allergic reaction (hypersensitivity reaction). TRIUMEQ If you have HIV-1 and hepatitis B virus infections, your hepatitis virus contains abacavir. Patients taking TRIUMEQ may have a serious infection may get worse if you stop taking TRIUMEQ. Do not stop allergic reaction to abacavir that can cause death. Your risk is taking TRIUMEQ without first talking to your healthcare provider, so much higher if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701. Your he or she can monitor your health. healthcare provider can determine with a blood test if you have • Resistant hepatitis B virus. If you have HIV-1 and hepatitis B, the this gene variation. If you get symptoms from 2 or more of the hepatitis B virus can change (mutate) during your treatment with following groups while taking TRIUMEQ, call your healthcare TRIUMEQ and become harder to treat (resistant). provider right away: 1. fever; 2. rash; 3. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain; 4. generally ill feeling, extreme • Use with interferon and ribavirin-based regimens. If you’re taking tiredness, or achiness; 5. shortness of breath, cough, or sore TRIUMEQ and interferon, with or without ribavirin, tell your healthcare throat. Your pharmacist will give you a Warning Card with a list of provider about any new symptoms. Liver disease might get worse in these symptoms. Carry this Warning Card with you at all times. patients who are taking HIV-1 medicines and interferon. If you stop taking TRIUMEQ because of an allergic reaction, never Who should not take TRIUMEQ? take TRIUMEQ or any other medicine that contains abacavir or • Do not take TRIUMEQ if you: dolutegravir again. If you take TRIUMEQ or any other abacavir° have the HLA-B*5701 gene variation containing medicine again after you have had an allergic reaction, ° have ever had an allergic ®reaction to abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine within hours you may get life-threatening symptoms that may ° take dofetilide (Tikosyn ) include very low blood pressure or death. If you stop TRIUMEQ for ° have certain liver problems any other reason, even for a few days, and you are not allergic to What are other possible side effects of TRIUMEQ? TRIUMEQ, talk with your healthcare provider before taking it again. Taking TRIUMEQ again can cause a serious allergic or life-threatening • People with a history of hepatitis B or C virus may have an increased reaction, even if you never had an allergic reaction to it before. If your risk of developing new or worsening changes in certain liver tests healthcare provider tells you that you can take TRIUMEQ again, during treatment with TRIUMEQ. Your healthcare provider may do tests start taking it when you are around medical help or people who to check your liver function before and during treatment with TRIUMEQ. can call a healthcare provider if you need one. • When you start taking HIV-1 medicines, your immune system may

• Severe liver problems. Severe liver problems can happen in people who take TRIUMEQ. In some cases, these severe liver problems can lead to death. You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight, or have been taking nucleoside analogue medicines for a long time. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following signs or symptoms:

• Changes in body fat can happen in people who take HIV-1 medicines. • Some HIV-1 medicines, including TRIUMEQ, may increase your risk of heart attack. The most common side effects of TRIUMEQ include: trouble sleeping, headache, and tiredness. These are not all the possible side effects of TRIUMEQ. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Important Safety Information continued on next page.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see brief summary of Prescribing Information for TRIUMEQ on the following pages.

©2014 ViiV Healthcare group of companies. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. DTR045R0 November 2014


May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

Not an actual patient. Testimonial is based on a collection of real patient experiences.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRIUMEQ? • Before you take TRIUMEQ, tell your healthcare provider if you: ° have been tested and know whether or not you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701. ° have or had liver problems, including hepatitis B or C infection; have kidney problems; have heart problems, smoke, or have diseases that increase your risk of heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes; drink alcoholic beverages; or have any other medical condition. ° are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRIUMEQ will harm your unborn baby. ° are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take TRIUMEQ.

• Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines (for example, antacids; laxatives; vitamins such as iron or calcium supplements; anti-seizure medicines; other medicines to treat HIV-1, hepatitis, or tuberculosis; metformin; and methadone) and herbal supplements (for example, St. John’s wort). TRIUMEQ may affect the way they work, and they may affect how TRIUMEQ works.

• You should not take TRIUMEQ if you also take: or ZIAGEN) ° abacavir (EPZICOM, TRIZIVIR, ® lamivudine (COMBIVIR , EPIVIR, EPIVIR-HBV®, EPZICOM, or TRIZIVIR) ° ® ® ® ® ® ° emtricitabine (EMTRIVA , ATRIPLA , COMPLERA , STRIBILD , TRUVADA ) | May 14 - 27, 2015


BRIEF SUMMARY TRIUMEQ® (TRI-u-meck) (abacavir 600 mg/dolutegravir 50 mg/lamivudine 300 mg) tablets Read this Medication Guide before you start taking TRIUMEQ and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment. Be sure to carry your TRIUMEQ Warning Card with you at all times. What is the most important information I should know about TRIUMEQ? • Serious allergic reaction (hypersensitivity reaction). TRIUMEQ contains abacavir (also contained in EPZICOM®, TRIZIVIR®, and ZIAGEN®). Patients taking TRIUMEQ may have a serious allergic reaction (hypersensitivity reaction) that can cause death. Your risk of this allergic reaction to abacavir is much higher if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701. Your healthcare provider can determine with a blood test if you have this gene variation. If you get a symptom from 2 or more of the following groups while taking TRIUMEQ, call your healthcare provider right away to find out if you should stop taking TRIUMEQ. Symptom(s) Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5

Fever Rash Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal (stomach area) pain Generally ill feeling, extreme tiredness, or achiness Shortness of breath, cough, sore throat

A list of these symptoms is on the Warning Card your pharmacist gives you. Carry this Warning Card with you at all times. If you stop TRIUMEQ because of an allergic reaction, never take TRIUMEQ or any other medicines that contain abacavir or dolutegravir (EPZICOM, ZIAGEN, TRIZIVIR, or TIVICAY®) again. If you take TRIUMEQ or any other abacavir-containing medicine again after you have had an allergic reaction, within hours you may get life-threatening symptoms that may include very low blood pressure or death. If you stop TRIUMEQ for any other reason, even for a few days, and you are not allergic to TRIUMEQ, talk with your healthcare provider before taking it again. Taking TRIUMEQ again can cause a serious allergic or life-threatening reaction, even if you never had an allergic reaction to it before. If your healthcare provider tells you that you can take TRIUMEQ again, start taking it when you are around medical help or people who can call a healthcare provider if you need one. • Build-up of acid in your blood (lactic acidosis). Lactic acidosis can happen in some people who take TRIUMEQ. 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 the following symptoms that 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 and vomiting • feel cold, especially in your arms and legs • feel dizzy or light-headed • have a fast or irregular heartbeat • Severe liver problems. Severe liver problems can happen in people who take TRIUMEQ. In some cases these severe 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 signs or symptoms of liver problems: • your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow • dark “tea-colored” urine • light colored stools (bowel movements) • nausea • itching • stomach-area pain You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight, or have been taking nucleoside analogue medicines for a long time.


• Worsening of hepatitis B virus in people who have HIV-1 infection. If you have HIV-1 and hepatitis B virus infections, your hepatitis virus infection may get worse if you stop taking TRIUMEQ. To help avoid this: Take TRIUMEQ exactly as prescribed. • Do not run out of TRIUMEQ. • Do not stop TRIUMEQ without talking to your healthcare provider. • Your healthcare provider should monitor your health and do regular blood tests to check your liver for at least several months if you stop taking TRIUMEQ. • Resistant Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). If you have HIV-1 and hepatitis B, the hepatitis B virus can change (mutate) during your treatment with TRIUMEQ and become harder to treat (resistant). • Use with interferon and ribavirin-based regimens. Worsening of liver disease has happened in people infected with HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus who are taking anti-HIV medicines and are also being treated for hepatitis C with interferon with or without ribavirin. If you are taking TRIUMEQ and interferon with or without ribavirin, tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms. What is TRIUMEQ? TRIUMEQ is a prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virustype 1) infection. TRIUMEQ contains 3 prescription medicines: abacavir (ZIAGEN), dolutegravir (TIVICAY), and lamivudine (EPIVIR®). • TRIUMEQ is not for use by itself in people who have or have had resistance to abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine. It is not known if TRIUMEQ is safe and effective in children. TRIUMEQ may help: • reduce the amount of HIV-1 in your blood. This is called “viral load”. • increase the number of white blood cells called CD4+ (T) cells in your blood, which help fight off other infections. Reducing the amount of HIV-1 and increasing the CD4+ (T) cells in your blood may help improve your immune system. This may reduce your risk of death or getting infections that can happen when your immune system is weak (opportunistic infections). TRIUMEQ does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. You must stay on continuous HIV-1 therapy to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. Avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection to others. • Do not share or re-use needles or other injection equipment. • Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades. • Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safer sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions about how to prevent passing HIV to other people. Who should not take TRIUMEQ? Do not take TRIUMEQ if you: • have a certain type of gene variation called the HLA-B*5701 allele. Your healthcare provider will test you for this before prescribing treatment with TRIUMEQ. • have ever had an allergic reaction to abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine • take dofetilide (TIKOSYN®). Taking TRIUMEQ and dofetilide (TIKOSYN) can cause side effects that may be life-threatening. • have certain liver problems What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRIUMEQ? Before you take TRIUMEQ, tell your healthcare provider if you: • have been tested and know whether or not you have a particular gene variation called HLA-B*5701 • have or had liver problems, including hepatitis B or C virus infection • have kidney problems • have heart problems, smoke, or have diseases that increase your risk of heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes • drink alcoholic beverages • have any other medical condition • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRIUMEQ will harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking TRIUMEQ. (continued on the next page)

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

BRIEF SUMMARY (cont’d) TRIUMEQ® (abacavir, dolutegravir, and lamivudine) tablets Pregnancy Registry. There is a pregnancy registry for women who take antiviral medicines during pregnancy. The purpose of the registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can take part in this registry. • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take TRIUMEQ. You should not breastfeed because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. It is not known if abacavir or dolutegravir passes into your breast milk. Lamivudine can pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. TRIUMEQ may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how TRIUMEQ works. You should not take TRIUMEQ if you also take: • abacavir (EPZICOM, TRIZIVIR, or ZIAGEN) • lamivudine (COMBIVIR®, EPIVIR, EPIVIR-HBV®, EPZICOM, or TRIZIVIR) • emtricitabine (EMTRIVA®, ATRIPLA®, COMPLERA®, STRIBILD®, TRUVADA®) Tell your healthcare provider if you take: • antacids, laxatives, or other medicines that contain aluminum, magnesium, sucralfate (CARAFATE®), or buffered medicines. TRIUMEQ should be taken at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after you take these medicines. • anti-seizure medicines: • oxcarbazepine (TRILEPTAL®) • phenytoin (DILANTIN®, DILANTIN®-125, PHENYTEK®) • phenobarbital • carbamazepine (CARBATROL®, EQUETRO®, TEGRETOL®, TEGRETOL®-XR, TERIL®, EPITOL®) • any other medicine to treat HIV-1 • iron or calcium supplements taken by mouth. Supplements containing calcium or iron may be taken at the same time with TRIUMEQ if taken with food. Otherwise, TRIUMEQ should be taken at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after you take these medicines. • medicines used to treat hepatitis virus infections, such as interferon or ribavirin • a medicine that contains metformin • methadone • rifampin (RIFATER®, RIFAMATE®, RIMACTANE®, RIFADIN®) • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take one of the medicines listed above. How should I take TRIUMEQ? • Take TRIUMEQ exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. • Do not change your dose or stop taking TRIUMEQ without talking with your healthcare provider. • Stay under the care of a healthcare provider while taking TRIUMEQ. • You can take TRIUMEQ with or without food. • If you miss a dose of TRIUMEQ, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 4 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. If you are not sure about your dosing, call your healthcare provider. • Do not run out of TRIUMEQ. The virus in your blood may become resistant to other HIV-1 medicines if TRIUMEQ is stopped for even a short time. When your supply starts to run low, get more from your healthcare provider or pharmacy. • If you take too much TRIUMEQ, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. What are the possible side effects of TRIUMEQ? TRIUMEQ can cause serious side effects including: • See “What is the most important information I should know about TRIUMEQ?” • Changes in liver tests. People with a history of hepatitis B or C virus may have an increased risk of developing new or worsening changes in certain liver tests during treatment with TRIUMEQ. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your liver function before and during treatment with TRIUMEQ. | May 14 - 27, 2015

• 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 new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine. • Changes in body fat (fat redistribution) can happen in people who take HIV-1 medicines. 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 problems are not known. • Heart attack (myocardial infarction). Some HIV medicines including TRIUMEQ may increase your risk of heart attack. The most common side effects of TRIUMEQ include: • trouble sleeping • headache • tiredness 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 TRIUMEQ. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. How should I store TRIUMEQ? • Store TRIUMEQ at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). • Store TRIUMEQ in the original bottle. • Keep the bottle of TRIUMEQ tightly closed and protect from moisture. • The bottle of TRIUMEQ contains a desiccant packet to help keep your medicine dry (protect it from moisture). Keep the desiccant packet in the bottle. Do not remove the desiccant packet. Keep TRIUMEQ and all medicines out of the reach of children. General information about the safe and effective use of TRIUMEQ Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use TRIUMEQ for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give TRIUMEQ to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about TRIUMEQ. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about TRIUMEQ that is written for health professionals. For more information go to or call 1-877-844-8872. What are the ingredients in TRIUMEQ? Active ingredients: abacavir, dolutegravir, and lamivudine Inactive ingredients: D-mannitol, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, and sodium starch glycolate. The tablet film-coating contains iron oxide black, iron oxide red, macrogol/PEG, polyvinyl alcohol–part hydrolyzed, talc, and titanium oxide. This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufactured for: by:

ViiV Healthcare GlaxoSmithKline Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Lamivudine is manufactured under agreement from Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc Basingstoke, UK COMBIVIR, EPIVIR, EPZICOM, TIVICAY, TRIUMEQ, TRIZIVIR, and ZIAGEN are registered trademarks of the ViiV Healthcare group of companies. EPIVIR-HBV is a registered trademark of the GSK group of companies. The other brands listed are trademarks of their respective owners and are not trademarks of the ViiV Healthcare group of companies. The makers of these brands are not affiliated with and do not endorse the ViiV Healthcare group of companies or its products. ©2014, the ViiV Healthcare group of companies. All rights reserved. Issued: August 2014 TRM:1MG



No Arrests or Progress in Dallas BBQ Attack in Chelsea As police, LGBT advocates look at hate motive, amateur videographer says gay man threw first punch BY PAUL SCHINDLER



espite the NYPD’s May 7 release of high resolution video of a man sought in connection with an assault on two gay men at the Dallas BBQ in Chelsea two days earlier, as Gay City News went to press on May 13 police had announced no further progress in the case. The NYPD release described the man sought as a light-skinned black man wearing a black blazer and a white shirt. A photo still in the release appears to be from a security camera, presumably in the restaurant, and is time-stamped at 10:20 p.m. on May 5, roughly 45 minutes before the man was caught on amateur video slamming a chair over the heads of 25-yearold Ethan York-Adams and his

32-year-old boyfriend, Jonathan Snipes. That assault occurred at the end of roughly a minute in which Snipes was twice seen on the floor as his assailant, a large bald and bearded m a n , a p p e a r e d t o The Dallas BBQ suspect smashing a chair over the heads of Ethan be kicking him. The York-Adams and Jonathan Snipes, in a still from a video posted online by Isaam Sharef. scene was captured in a video that Isaam As the melee unfolded, others Sharef, a customer at Dallas BBQ, uploaded to his Instagram and in the restaurant broke it up on YouTube pages in the hours after several occasions, with people holding the attacker back and the assault. Snipes sustained bruises and York-Adams trying to steer Snipes cuts to the right side of his face away. Screams and cries of “stop, and head, including a long gash stop” from the crowd can be heard running from his ear. York-Adams throughout the video. Snipes and police have both was brought to the ground when hit by the chair, while Snipes sat said the two men declined medical attention after an ambulance down and appeared dazed.

arrived on the scene at 23rd Street on Eighth Avenue. Snipes’ mother, Trish Snipes, who spoke to Gay City News from her home in Alabama, said her son was concerned about the cost of emergency room care, which he understood would consist primarily of overnight observation for a concussion. She expressed concern, however, that he might lose some teeth, which she said were loosened in the assault. Snipes told that the attack began when he accidentally knocked over a drink and, “a table near us audibly started making pretty gross comments about the two of us like, ‘White faggots, spilling drinks.’” Snipes said he then confronted the men, and a fight ensued. Hours after Gay City News


BBQ, continued on p.25


AIDS Advocates, Activists Press City on Shuttered Chelsea Clinic Service providers, ACT UP demand provisional services, support for private clinics as neighborhood stopgap BY DUNCAN OSBORNE




ew York City’s health department is facing growing demands to replace the services that were eliminated when it shuttered its Chelsea sexually transmitted disease clinic for two years during a $17 million renovation of that facility. “This action poses an immediate and severe threat to the public health of the City, not only to Chelsea residents, but to all of New York City’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities,” six leading AIDS groups wrote in an April 30 letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and to Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the deputy mayor for health and human services. “This action, if not immediately remedied… will undoubtedly result in excess HIV and other [sexually transmitted disease] infections.” The letter came from the heads of the Treatment Action Group, Housing Works, Harlem United, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, VOCAL-NY, two members of ACT UP New York, and Ginny Shubert, a leading housing and healthcare consultant. Dr. Mary T. Basset, the city’s health commissioner, was copied on the letter as were other senior health department staff.

Members of ACT UP New York flyer outside a health department office in Queens on May 13.

The letter asked that the health department immediately “deploy mobile HIV/ [sexually transmitted infections] testing and care vans to well-publicized locations within Chelsea and continue there at least until permanent fixed venue(s) become available for use” and that the department “establish one or more fullystaffed and equipped HIV and STI screening, treatment, and linkage-to-care clinics in Chelsea until at least the completion of the current reconstruction.” The letter’s authors also asked for funding for existing private clinics that

could provide the services that were previously supplied by the Chelsea clinic. First opened in 1937, the Chelsea clinic is one of nine such clinics that the health department operates. In 2014, it had 19,243 visits and contributed 23 percent of the 83,000 visits to all the clinics last year. The next highest total was reported by the Fort Greene clinic in Brooklyn, which had 12,472 visits and contributed 15 percent of the total visits. While the renovation is clearly necessary, the lack of resources to at least temporarily replace the loss of services at the Chelsea clinic is frustrating activists. The health department is clearly aware of that. “We did not take that decision lightly, but there was no easy answer,” said Dr. Sue Blank, who heads the sexually transmitted disease unit at city’s health department, during an April 22 meeting of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City, an LGBT political group. “We still have other clinics that are a subway ride away.” For years, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen have had the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses and the highest rate of syphilis cases in the city. Both rates are driven by new infections among gay and


CLINIC, continued on p.16

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |


Miranda Problems May Nix Statements Mark Carson’s Accused Killer Made Judge weighs police, district attorney failure to read Elliot Morales his rights, but other strong evidence remains BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

A | May 14 - 27, 2015


n u m b e r o f statements made to police and a prosecutor by the accused killer of Mark Carson may be thrown out because police failed to give Elliot Morales his Miranda warnings and the assistant district attorney who took Morales’ videotaped statement ignored both his request to remain silent and his refusal to answer questions. “You’re obviously aware that there are some problems with the question and answer session,” Judge Charles H. Solomon told Shannon Lucey, the assistant district attorney who is prosecuting the case, during a May 11 hearing on the admissibility of evidence in the case. Morales, 35, is alleged to have shot and killed Carson, a 32-yearold gay man, in the West Village just after midnight on May 18, 2013. He is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, weapons possession, and menacing. Police arrested Morales within minutes of the shooting and he had the gun that was used to kill Carson in his possession. Over the next 13 hours he made 27 statements to law enforcement, including a videotaped statement he gave to Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, another assistant district attorney. He confessed to the killing in at least 10 of those statements. He was read his Miranda rights for the first time at the start of that video, which began at roughly 1 p.m. on May 18. Once Morales was in police custody, law enforcement was required to inform Morales of his right to remain silent, his right to an attorney, and other Miranda rights if they wanted to use any statements he made at a later trial. His attorney, Gary Sunden, said police began questioning Morales soon after he was in handcuffs. “There were questions put to Mr. Morales, on the ground, face

Mark Carson was 32 when he was gunned down in the West Village in May 2013.

down,” Sunden said during the hearing. “At the time of all of these alleged statements, no Miranda warnings had been given to Mr. Morales.” Later, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., when Morales was being held in a 6th Precinct interview room, a police sergeant and two detectives repeatedly asked Morales his name, address, sexual orientation, and other so-called pedigree questions, which they are allowed to do without Mirandizing a suspect. Police are not allowed to engage in banter or apparently idle conversation in the hopes of eliciting incriminating statements. During those thr ee hours, Morales first said, “I feel uncomfortable giving out my personal information. I know my Miranda warnings. I have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions,” and then, “You have my ID. I am not telling you anything. I know my Miranda rights.” In the first eight minutes of the video, Morales said, “I don’t feel comfortable answering questions,” and then, “Can I go with remaining silent?,” and finally, “I refuse to answer any more questions.” The prosecution said that the statements Morales made right after his arrest, some of which


EVIDENCE, continued on p.26


I was only 16 years old when I discovered that I was born with HIV. My mother passed away from the disease, but until getting tested at a community health fair, I had no idea, that I too, was living with HIV. Within a few months of my diagnosis, I got on treatment to control my viral load. Since then, I’ve stayed on treatment and in good health. Getting tested saved my life and I’ve used my experience to help youth learn about HIV prevention, testing and fighting stigma. Today, I enjoy friends, family and living life to the fullest. Christopher 1, HIV 0.


May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

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State Senate Honors LGBT Center’s Carrie Davis as “Woman of Distinction”

Brad Hoylman names 13th Street facility’s program/ policy chief as first transgender award recipient





don’t often like to be in the spotlight,” explained Carrie Davis, who has worked at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan since 1998, first joining the organization as a transgender peer focusing much of her time on nighttime street outreach to sex workers. Throughout her tenure at the Center, Davis, who has a master’s degree in social work, built up its Gender Identity Project, which provides counseling and group settings for transgender and other gender-nonconforming youth and adults, as well as their partners. Under her leadership, GIP developed a transgender cultural competency curriculum, which has been presented before more than 5,000 service providers in government, the non-profit world, educational institutions, and beyond. Dramatically expanding her portfolio in recent years, Davis became the Center’s chief program and policy officer responsible for delivering human services programs — in health, including HIV/ AIDS; mental h e al th, in clud in g sub s ta n c e abuse; economic and educational opportunity; building families; and immigrant support — to more than 9,000 people every year. Despite the breadth of those responsibilities, Davis continues to work closely with other advocates and public officials to advance specific policy goals of concern to the transgender community. Collaborating with city agencies including the NYPD, the Department of Correction, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Human Resources Administration, she was at the forefront on a number of recent policy breakthroughs — from the revision, in 2012, of the police department Patrol Guide to create procedures for respectful officer interactions with members of the transgender community when taking complaints and during investigations, questioning, searches, and arrests; to the establishment, last fall, of

regulations making it easier for transgender New Yorkers to obtain revised birth certificates, most importantly by eliminating the requirement for genital surgery. Davis’ engagement across a wide array of policy fronts, however, apparently has not instilled in her any deep need to be part of the headline. Laughing gently and saying she was uncertain if this reporter knew of her preference for a behind-the-scenes role, she explained, “I am happy to send other people forward.” Last week, State Senator Brad Hoylman took that option away from Davis. The out gay West Side Democrat, whose district includes the Center on West 13th Street, named her his choice for the Senate’s annual Women of Distinction Awards, in which each of the 63 members puts forward someone from their district. “She has made significant strides for the transgender community and for the LGBT community overall,” Hoylman said in explaining his choice of Davis for the honor bestowed in a May 5 Albany ceremony. Then, adding, “Carrie is a role model for young people,” he noted the Senate’s repeated failure to take action on a transgender civil rights bill — the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA — which advocates have pressed for since gender identity and expression were excluded from the gay rights law enacted in late 2002. “I feel I need to take every opportunity to remind my colleagues that this is the unfinished business of the LGBT civil rights movement and to remind them of the communities that I represent,” Hoylman said. Davis is the first transgender honoree in the history of the Senate’s Women of Distinction Awards, he noted. In her comments to Gay City News, Davis picked up on that historical first. “The Senate honors women who have worked to improve their communities and to help people,” she said. “I would like to convey the message that I am not covered in the same way and protected in

Carrie Davis, the chief program and policy officer at Manhattan’s LGBT Community Center.

the same way as the other women being honored. And to comment that it is time to move forward.” Davis noted that for many years, to the extent transgender concerns made their way into the discussion of public policy, the focus was on health issues — both the medical aspects of transitioning and the high incidence of HIV among transgender women. “ We r a r e l y t a l k a b o u t poverty,” she said, pointing out that transgender Americans, particularly transgender women of color, are among the poorest people in the nation. “We rarely talk about the link of HIV to poverty and so we talk about solutions that don’t authentically address the underlying problems.” And poverty, in turn, Davis pointed out, is related to educational attainment. “GENDA is at the top of the cascade,” she said. Lack of educational and employment opportunity, much of it based in discrimination, sets up the circumstances in which poor medical outcomes result. “The time is right for an employment project for transgender people,” Davis continued. “We’re a very discrete population and we can measure our success with this population.” Noting that nearly 70 percent of the transgender women who come through the doors at the

Center seeking services face unemployment, she argued, “The vast majority of them want jobs, but they really don’t know how to navigate the obstacles they face.” And, Davis asserted, “It’s sort of a no-brainer” that discrimination aimed at the transgender community also costs society in terms of public spending on social services and medical care of people without the opportunity to escape a life of poverty. Despite widespread concerns within the LGBT community that the focus on marriage equality in recent years has obscured other pressing needs — transgender rights and well-being prime among them — Davis voiced confidence that “the foundations, the leaders” have an appreciation for and commitment to the bigger picture. Some, she acknowledged, might become “more relaxed” — it’s only natural, she said; “we shouldn’t live our lives in a state of crisis.” “But for many of us,” Davis continued, victory on marriage equality is “not enough. But it will be nice to check that off the list. And put our capital into something else.” She made no prediction on whether investments made over the years on GENDA would yield a dividend in the Senate session that ends in June. “The political calculus is not easily made,” Davis said. “My goal is to accumulate the political momentum so that when there is a vote, they will have heard us. I am not looking to beat anyone over the head.” Both Hoylman and his Manhattan Democratic colleague, Daniel Squadron, who is GENDA’s lead sponsor, have for the past several years voiced bitter frustration with the Senate Republican leadership’s refusal to allow votes not only on that bill but also on a measure, on which Hoylman is the lead, that would ban licensed mental health professionals from conducting sexual orientation and gender expr ession change ef forts —


WOMAN OF DISTINCTION, continued on p.26

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Two Key Agencies With AIDS Responsibilities See Cuts in Budget

De Blasio offers fewer dollars for Human Resources Administration, Department of Health uts in the city’s preliminary budget to the two city agencies most likely to contribute resources to a plan to substantially reduce new HIV infections in New York were only partially restored in the proposed executive budget. “We are officially in a recovery,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio during the presentation of his executive budget at City Hall on May 7. “It has not been a recovery for many New Yorkers.” The $78.3 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 is down from the $79.6 billion budget for the current fiscal year. The city is predicting a slowing in total tax revenue in 2016 over 2015 and its tax base has shrunk. While the number of employed New Yorkers has gone up from 2009 through 2014, 66 percent of the new jobs created during that time were low wage. The city is also contending with continued reductions in state and federal aid. “The New York City economy has been growing, but it has been growing slowly,” de Blasio said, adding that another downturn in the city’s economy could be on the horizon. “I see so many indicators that a turn could come at any time,” he said. “If problems occur, we do not expect anyone to come and save us.” This means cuts for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Human Resources Administration (HRA). In the preliminary budget, which was released on February 9, the DOHMH budget went from $1.760 billion in the current fiscal year to $1.708 billion in the 2016 fiscal year. The executive budget has that agency’s budget at $1.728 billion. HRA’s budget was cut from $10.472 billion to $10.334 billion from 2015 to 2016 in the February document. The executive budget funded HRA at $10.430 in 2016. The DOHMH funds most of the city’s HIV


CLINIC, from p.10

bisexual men. Those neighborhoods also have high rates of gonorrhea and hepatitis C. Closing the clinic makes addressing these high rates harder. The Chelsea clinic’s high volume of visits also represents an opportunity to identify LGBT New Yorkers who are candidates for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which involves giving antiHIV drugs to HIV-negative people to keep them uninfected. PrEP is a major component of the Plan to End AIDS in New York, which





Mayor Bill de Blasio announcing his 2016 executive budget at City Hall on May 7.

prevention efforts. The HIV/ AIDS Services Administration (HASA) is the HRA unit that links people with AIDS to benefit programs, such as housing support, Medicaid, food stamps, and transportation assistance. Leading AIDS groups, notably Housing Works and the Treatment Action Group, conceived of a plan to reduce new HIV infections from the current roughly 3,000 annually statewide to 750 a year by 2020. Governor Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio have endorsed the plan. With over 90 percent of the new HIV diagnoses in New York occurring in New York City, the plan will only succeed with the city’s support. In the state budget for the fiscal year that began on April 1, Cuomo included only $10 million for the plan to fund programs at the AIDS Institute, which is part of the state health department. Advocates were looking for in excess of $100 million as a down payment on the plan. In its response to de Blasio’s preliminary budget, the City Council asked for $9.7 million to fund components of the plan at the DOHMH.

has been endorsed by de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo. The plan aims to reduce new HIV infections from the current roughly 3,000 annually to 750 a year by 2020. The Chelsea clinic has the potential to be a significant resource in that plan. A sign posted outside the Chelsea clinic, which closed on March 21, refers visitors to the clinic on West 100th Street. That clinic had 6,377 visits in 2014 and contributed eight percent of all clinic visits last year. The health department did not respond to a request for data on visits to each of its clinics for the

That cash was not in the executive budget. The executive budget did include $4.7 million to increase the number of shelter beds for runaway and homeless youth from 353 to 453. The 100 additional beds will serve LGBT youth, according to the mayor’s office which specifically brought this one budget item to Gay City News’ attention. Anticipating gaps in future city budgets, de Blasio set aside $1.0 billon as a reserve fund and the budget put $2.6 billion in trust to pay for future retiree health benefits for city employees. City Hall also created a $500 million reserve fund that will allow it to continue paying for capital projects, such as new housing and school construction, when dollars for those projects fluctuate. The executive budget did have hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding for school programs, homelessness, and 24-hour, sevenday ferry service to Staten Island. It also had $36.4 million for anti-violence efforts in city jails and $1.8 million for technology called SHOTSPOTTER that is used by police to identify the location of gunshots. Any effort to get more money from the city to fund the plan to end AIDS will now be negotiated between the City Council, advocates, and City Hall. “I think that overall, it’s a progressive budget,” said Daniel Dromm, an out gay city councilmember who represents part of Queens. “Much of it still needs to be negotiated. Any of the items that we didn’t see in the executive budget, we’ll have to fight for.” City Councilmember Corey Johnson, who represents Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen and is gay, praised the mayor for including funding for new shelter beds for homeless LGBT youth. He thought the funding for HIV programs could be found. “I feel that our chances are good,” he said. “There’s a good possibility of our getting it done.”

month of April in 2015, 2014, and 2013, so there is no way of knowing if more people are now using the West 100th Street clinic. “A month after having shuttered the clinic, there’s no substitute,” said Jim Eigo, a member of ACT UP New York during that group’s May 11 meeting. “I think at the very least, the health department should have convened a community meeting.” ACT UP New York sent a second letter to Bassett on May 5 asking for a meeting, and on May 13 a halfdozen members of the AIDS activist group distributed several hundred

flyers that mirrored the content of the April 30 letter to health department employees outside the Queens office of that agency. City Councilmember Corey Johnson, who represents Chelsea and is the Health Committee Chair is convening a meeting of the health department and community groups on May 15. The goal of the meeting is to “ensure there is a continuation of services in the neighborhood,” Johnson told Gay City News. Permits for the renovation were approved last year by the city’s Department of Buildings, as early as 15 months ago. May 14 - 27 , 2015 |



Ask your doctor if a medicine made by Gilead is right for you. Š 2015 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. UNBC1848 03/15 | May 14 - 27, 2015 UNBC1848_KC1_GayCityNews_8.75x11.5.indd



3/25/15 3:56 PM


UGANDA, from p.5

calls from some buddies suggesting we meet them at another bar across town. Keith and I hopped on a boda, or motorcycle taxi, for the evening’s next phase. We arrived at a lively club filled with women in skin-tight dresses, men with designer jeans, and music ranging from Ugandan reggae to Ke$ha. Keith and I met up with his best friend, Isaac Mugisha, and a mutual friend of theirs whose name I agreed not to publish. I could soon see that Isaac, a bisexual gay rights activist who does HIV prevention work among men who have sex with men, had a very different personality from Keith. His chill, cool guy demeanor made him popular among just about everyone in the bar. It didn’t hurt that he’s very sexy. The third man gave off a very different vibe from either Keith or Isaac. He was very attentive to what was going on in his surroundings, and whenever I spoke to him I sensed a paranoia in his voice. Perhaps he had the courage to be out in public because of what he saw in Keith and Isaac. From their example, I could appreciate how LGBT people in Uganda need to trust each other for them to live their lives since their community is under attack almost on a daily basis. Trying to grasp how they look at their world, I asked Isaac, “So if you can’t live how you

Keith King having a good time out on the town in Kampala.

Isaac Mugisha relaxing at my lodgings in Kampala.

want to live, why live at all, right?” “Exactly,” he responded. Keith, meanwhile, was reveling in the camaraderie. “I’m the drunk, drag ass bitch!,” he yelled. Just like it’s often been here in the decades since the LGBT community emerged visibly in cities across the US, it was clear that socializing and hard partying play an important role in bringing people together in Kampala. Trust is something you build while sharing drinks and cigarettes over the course of a long evening. The key is holding on to that trust outside the bar when push comes to shove on the streets. A trip to northern Uganda gave me a chance to witness an emerging community in action. My photojournalism took me to Gulu, the principal city in Discover a place of your own at SAGEDay—a safe, the north, where I planned a visit to the supportive space where LGBT older adults can learn, local branch of TASO, share, and grow among peers and caregivers. the AIDS Support Organisation. Walking around Gulu, I got a surprise cell phone call. “Daniel!,” the voice Call us today at 844.SAGEDAY | on the other end said. “It’s Isaac! I’m

A Place Where I Can Be Myself


at the TASO building in Gulu. Meet me here!” Surprised but excited to learn that Isaac was in Gulu, I quickly made my way to the TASO building. Expecting to finding he was merely hanging out there, I soon learned Isaac had a mission at TASO. Isaac works with Spectrum Uganda Initiatives, which does HIV outreach and prevention work with gay and bisexual men. He and his fellow activist Brant Luswata, who works with a group called Icebreakers that runs a clinic, were visiting TASO to make a presentation to staff and board members about the basics of LGBT life — down to the fine points up being a bottom, a top, or verse. “Our main point, however,” Isaac said, “is how our organizations can work with TASO throughout all of Uganda.” TASO is a highly respected organization prominent in every main town in Uganda, and for Isaac and Brant the day was part of the early conversations about finding common cause with that group. It was certainly an act of faith and trust for the two men to push that discussion. A few hours before my flight back home to New York, I was at Miki’s Pub in Kampala with my new friends. We were all laughing — first poking fun at American life and next wondering how one of our group got so blackout drunk in so short a time. As the hour for my departure approached, Keith pulled me aside and we spent some time alone. At one point, he suddenly started to break down a little bit. He worried that living in such a homophobic place, having to be on his guard 100 percent of the time, was pushing him past the point of caring. Then he said, “I mean, ever since the bill, I’ve been willing to die for being myself.” That blew my mind, but at the same time made perfect sense. Keith’s attitude, in the face of all the stress he endures, is what makes change happen. Isaac and Brant play a high visibility activist role. Isaac and Keith’s friend whose name I am not using is taking his first tentative steps out. And Keith is showing how despite cruel obstacles, gay Ugandans are willing to be out and proud. Maybe I’ll find a different Uganda when I’m next able to visit. May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

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Sri Lanka By Way of Staten Island

Daytripping for a lunchtime buffet in the outerest of boroughs BY DONNA MINKOWITZ




like looking at the people of Staten Island. I especially like looking at people who are waiting with me to board the ferry, not chic — never chic — but beautiful. This man or woman with shaved sides of the head but long hair down their back, this woman fat with big breasts overflowing eating an ice cream cone and laughing with her friends, this guy with a large dagger tattoo holding his five-yearold’s hands, Puerto Rican, Italian, Liberian, African-American, IrishMayan. Staten Island resists the homogenization that has been happening all over New York, and for this I celebrate it. The island is one of the last holdouts against gentrification, and one of the main ways it has accomplished this is by being poor. The other way is by being independent and refusing to link to the rest of the city’s subway system. Staten Island is not the queer-friendliest place in the city, but Sarah Schulman teaches in its local CUNY college, the late, great Harry Wieder was an activist here, and queer folk live throughout the borough, some of them quite openly. There’s also food you won’t find anywhere else. The island is home to the country’s largest population of Sri Lankans, and if you live off-island one of the best weekend daytrips you can take is a lunchtime outing to one of several extraordinary Sri Lankan restaurants. Unless you’re driving, take the ferry; it’s gorgeous and it’s free. One of the food stalls at the Manhattan terminal sells excellent half bottles of wine, which you can drink on the ferry with one of its freshly-baked brownies or carry to the BYO restaurants. For today, let’s consider Lakruwana, whose weekend buffet is one of the few lunch buffets in Gotham I would recommend. A short bus ride from the ferry terminal (or a nice walk down sunny Bay Street, which runs parallel to the eastern shore), Lakruwana is surrounded on

Pineapple curry, where pineapple is the star, in the buffet offerings at Lakruwana.

nearby streets by beautiful and unsettling graffiti murals (one shows a menacing hydra-headed figure, drawn in a Mexican idiom). Because the restaurant is popular on weekends, service can be a bit disorganized. No matter. If you’re getting the buffet, as soon as you’re seated you can just grab a plate and start serving yourself. A member of the waitstaff will appear shortly with water and to see if you need anything else. Do take a moment to look around the room and notice the delirious assemblage of artwork and statuary hanging from the rafters and climbing up the walls. As you come in, there are three august and enormous stone Buddhas standing next to the bar, dozens of masks by ingenious Sri Lankan sculptors, some of them brilliantly colored demons and others beige but intensely expressive emotionally, and metalwork depicting (among other things) women with unusually vibrant breasts and prominent nipples. There’s much more, but you’re hungry. The buffet looks much smaller than it is because instead of being laid out on an unappealing steam table, it curves around a wall in a procession of clay pots mounted over tiny flames. There are two kinds of tasty, fluffy white rice. Use either as your base. The first thing you might want

to put on top of one of them is a mild but appealing dish of hardboiled eggs floating in psychedelicpurple curry (asked what had made it purple, one of the owners, Lakruwana Wijesinghe, would only say, “the coconut”). For the rest, I have to come right out and tell you that the vegetarian dishes are far better than the meat ones. After the eggs, ignore the containers of pork and chicken next in line. Proceed immediately to the far left side of the group of pots and get yourself some of a strange-looking dense, black item labeled “eggplant curry.” (In a lovely innovation, Lakruwana posts little handscripted labels identifying every dish, avoiding a common buffet pitfall.) Unless you’re accustomed to the food of the Sinhalese of Sri Lanka (the majority ethnic group), it’s unlike anything you’ve ever eaten anywhere. Very thin, long strips of eggplant are fried seemingly forever and caramelized, and come out sweet, tangy, and smoked, with a consistency somewhere between chunky jam and the Jewish Sabbath dish chulent (beans simmered for many hours with brisket and other items). I kept going back for more, dishing it over the rice. Nearby was pineapple curry, a dish Sri Lankans often eat for lunch. Note that it was not chicken

or tofu or vegetables, say, in a pineapple curry. Pineapple was no mere condiment here, but the star. Coconut and a little curry leaf and cinnamon were the base for ample, juicy chunks of the fruit. To me, the dish felt like a fantasy fulfillment — I get to eat pineapple as a regular entrée? I’m not a stoner, but it did seem like ideal stoner food. Even absolutely sober, I found the pineapple curry and that eggplant the best things I’d eaten in months. There was a yellow dish that looked like creamed corn, which turned out to be an unusually creamy and delicious dal. Alongside was a bowl of tasty papadums, more unctuous than the ones I’ve had in Indian restaurants, and an assortment of hot peppers so diners could ramp up the spice level of any dish at will: fried cayenne peppers, raw Thai bird chilies, and what looked like green habaneros and Scotch bonnets. About those meat dishes: they weren’t terrible, but they weren’t anything I would want to eat unless I was very hungry. Chunks of pork, though an appealing black color, were not particularly tasty or juicy. Though a sign warned of the presence of bones in the chicken curry, that didn’t make the tiny bites of too-tamely sauced flesh clinging to annoying pointy bone fragments worth it. A large pot of Ceylon tea went well with the food, but was bizarrely overpriced at $9. (The buffet, which is also available for Saturday and Sunday dinner, is a pleasing $12.95.) À la carte dishes are also always offered, including hoppers (also $12.95), the small, bowl-like rice crepes that serve as a container for a choice of curries, and many lamb, goat, beef, and chicken dishes, which I suspect may be better than their meat proxies in the buffet. I really wanted to try the house specialty of lamprais, a holdover from the Dutch occupation, which is made by steaming meat or fish curry with rice, vegetables, and various pungent condiments in a banana leaf (yup, also $12.95). But I was nearly full, and it was time to hit the dessert buffet, included with the purchase of


MORSELS, continued on p.26

May 14 - 27 , 2015 | | May 14 - 27, 2015



Reports of Gaydar’s Demise Are Premature





CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Seth J. Bookey, Anthony M.Brown, Kelly Jean Cogswell, Andres Duque, Michael Ehrhardt, Steve Erickson, Andy Humm, Eli Jacobson, David Kennerley, Gary M. Kramer, Arthur S. Leonard, Michael T. Luongo, Lawrence D. Mass, Winnie McCroy, Eileen McDermott, Mick Meenan, Tim Miller, Donna Minkowitz, Gregory Montreuil, Christopher Murray, David Noh, Sam Oglesby, Nathan Riley, David Shengold, Yoav Sivan, Gus Solomons Jr., Tim Teeman, Kathleen Warnock, Benjamin Weinthal, Dean P. Wrzeszcz





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he End of Gaydar,” Henry Alford’s recent piece in the Times, is exactly the kind of funny, smart, and well-written essay that we’ve come to expect from Alford. Just seeing his name at the top of an article puts me in a good mood. The trouble with “The End of Gaydar,” however, is twofold: gaydar isn’t dead and Alford isn’t writing about it to begin with. “In the wrong context, being asked if you’re gay is like pulling back the shower curtain in the morning and finding a census taker scribbling frantically on his clipboard,” Alford cleverly begins. He continues: “In a world in which a wedding ring or a desktop photo of children is no longer a signifier of heterosexuality, the question is being asked with what seems increasing frequency. Freedom almost always comes at a price: If, in the last decade, an increased tolerance of homosexuality has reduced the stigma of that sexual orientation, this reduced stigma has also emboldened more people, both gay and straight, to ask what they now view as a less-volatile question.” He goes on to chronicle a key assumption people make about a friend of his, 26-year -old Ryan, a young man whose enthusiasm for a “Downton Abbey” wedding, “his air of boyish wonderment and his propensity for making unmasculine comments” mark him as gay despite the fact that he’s straight. This is all very interesting and amusing, but it has nothing to do with gaydar.

The creeps in my high school class assumed that anyone who was bookish and didn’t play sports was gay. They got it right in my case but wrong in others. It took no talent or brains — no siree, no brains at all. And the older gay couple Alford cites, two gay men who assumed that Ryan’s friendliness to them meant he was just like them, made a similar assumption about young Ryan. A cute, boyish, friendly waiter just has to be gay, they thought. They were wrong.

He mentioned that he was buying some records that day: several Judy Garland albums. He told me he was soon moving out of New York — to San Francisco. I asked him on a date. He accepted. I was elated… until he said, “Do you mean a romantic date? I’m straight.” I have never been so dumbfounded. It wasn’t that my gaydar was on the blink. It was rather that Greg didn’t conform to some classic gay stereotypes — or better, he conformed to gay ste-

One of them is carrying a tote bag containing a Cher wig. You know he’s gay, but so does everyone else in Penn Station. I’ve had my own experience of misjudging a guy, though to this day I fail to see how I could have read the signs any more accurately. Greg worked at a video stor e (r emember them?), and after seeing the name on my membership card he struck up a conversation with me about an essay I’d written on Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s ultragay “Querelle” (1982); he’d cited me in a college paper. I lost track of him for a while but found him again, this time at the Gay Film Festival screening of “Urinal” (1989). He told me he was working at Footlight Records, a store that sold theater and film soundtracks, the complete Doris Day, anything by Ethel Merman and Dolores Gray, and so on.

reotypes that didn’t define him accurately at all. And in case you think Greg was lying just to get out of going on a date with me, first of all fuck off, and second, I’ve gotten to know him very well since then and I guarantee that he’s really straight. Gaydar is something else entirely. I agree with Alford that it’s getting more and more difficult to assume anything about young people’s sexual orientations based on over -thehill stereotypes, and that asking the question “Are you gay?” doesn’t have the same intrusive quality it once did. But gaydar isn’t about stereotypes or asking someone about his or her sexual orientation. It’s more subtle and inexplicable than that.

Gaydar is a sixth sense that only gay people possess, one that enables us to pick out another gay person in a crowd based solely on a particular pulse picked up by our brains and other assorted organs. Gaydar doesn’t have anything to do with associating Judy Garland with gay men. It has to do with the ESP-like talent many of us have for recognizing our brothers or sisters without any apparent external symbols of gayness marking them as such. Straight people don’t have this talent. They correlate Judy Garland with gay men, but that’s not gaydar. That’s simply reading a stereotype. You’re at Penn Station on a Friday evening in the summer. You see hundreds of men dressed in suits and ties running for the Long Island Railroad. One of them is carrying a tote bag containing a Cher wig. You know he’s gay, but so does everyone else in Penn Station. It’s picking out the guy who has no external signs of gayness but nonetheless turns up on the Fire Island Ferry that proves that your gaydar is in proper working order. It works in reverse as well. How is it possible to distinguish straight men from gay men in a gym shower area? There are no fashion choices to use as judgment aids. The most anyone is wearing is a towel. And it’s New York City, where straight guys don’t necessarily let themselves go to seed immediately after college. All you see are well-built naked men. And yet I’m willing to bet that most gay guys are able to pick out who’s straight and who’s gay in a matter of seconds. Tell me I’m wrong. Gaydar is alive and well. How do I know? I just do. Follow @EdSikov on Twitter.

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

PERSPECTIVE: Rhymes With Crazy

Let Our Kids Boldly Go… Buy Legos



f you have passed a public playground anywhere in New York City, you have seen this sign: “Playgr ound rules prohibit adults except in the company of children.” That is right — no adults allowed, unless they are demonstrably there in their capacity as a caregiver. Apparently, any adult who simply wants to sit on a bench and watch kids at play could be a creep. Best to just ban them all. The idea that children and adults go naturally together has been replaced by distrust and disgust. Maybe you recall that case in a Washington Heights playground a few years back when seven chess players were fined for — wait for it — playing chess. The chess tables — concrete ones, placed there by the city — were deemed too close to the kids. So the men were booted. It didn’t matter that they hadn’t caused any trouble. In fact, the grizzled guys had taken it upon themselves to teach some of the local kids how to play the Game of Kings. The reality of the situation — the men’s kindness — didn’t matter. All that mattered was the fantasies conjured up by “What if?” thinking: What if they turned out to be monsters? By separating the generations this way, we are creating a new society, one that actively distrusts anyone who wants to help a kid other than his own. Compare this anxiety with what goes on in Japan. There, the youngest kids wear

bright yellow hats when they go to school. “Doesn’t that put them in danger?,” asked a friend I was telling about this. To her, a kid who calls attention to himself is a kid who could be attracting a predator. It is like she really thinks kids should play outside in camouflage. But attracting adult attention is exactly what the yellow hats are supposed to do. In Japan, the assumption is that the easier it is to see children, the easier it is for grown-ups to look out for them. Japan is coming from the idea that children are our collective responsibility. America sees children as private treasures under constant threat, so why trust anyone else around them? Which brings me to the flip side of our obsession with Stranger Danger: The idea that any time a parent lets her kids do anything on their own, she is actually asking the rest of us grownups to “babysit” them, for free. This topic came up last week when a story from Canada went viral: An 11-year-old boy in an Alberta mall was detained by the staff of the Lego store because he was shopping there without a parent. It didn’t matter that he had come there with his own money, intending to buy the Legos he loves so much. It didn’t matter that he had shopped there many times before without incident. And it didn’t matter that he was perfectly well-behaved. All that mattered was that this time a store employee asked his age and when it was under 12 (the magical age when Lego allows consumers to fork over cash on their own) he was

deemed an unbearable burden to the store. The manager had him detained him until his father picked him up. This detention outraged many people, but a significant contingent sided with the store, saying that the employees there shouldn’t have to “babysit” the boy. But that’s the point! No one did have to babysit him. He was just a person in public, albeit a young one. He was fine. If some problem had come up — say he poked himself in the eye with a Lego block — well, then, yes, some adult may have had to come to his aid. That is not babysitting! That is one human being helping another who happens to be under 12. Most kids making their way to school, running an errand, or playing in the park are not going to need major league assistance from anyone, adult or otherwise. But if they do, I’d like to think most of us would give it ungrudgingly. Their parents have not foisted a huge burden on society by letting their kids be part of it. Old and young have always interacted. Adults who enjoy being around kids are, for the most part, adults who enjoy being around kids. They aren’t predators. And kids who are out and about in the world are, for the most part, kids out and about. Not a big, unpaid, drag of a job for the rest of us. I’m not sure about the yellow hats, but Japan has the right idea. Looking out for everyone beats trusting no one. Lenore Skenazy is a public speaker and creator of the book and blog Free-Range Kids (


Let’s Hear it for White Appreciation Day!



t’s not such a bad idea, White Appreciation Day, the brainchild of two Hispanic restaurant owners, Edgar Antillon and Miguel Jimenez, who recently bought a BBQ place in Milliken, Colorado. It might well be a simple publicity stunt, but fair’s fair after all, and if, like Mr. Antillon said, “We have a whole month for Black History Month,” and another for Hispanic Heritage, “…the least we could do was offer one day to appreciate white Americans.” And why should I bite a gift horse in the mouth that feeds me? | May 14 - 27, 2015

cially since Mr. Antillon’s such an obviously generous guy. He’s already been a long-time activist supporting the rights of pot smokers to score handguns. His own organization, Guns for Everyone, even offers classes on the whole concealed carry thing, because I suppose folks have to be instructed on how to buy a gun and then not wave it around, for instance, or how to strap it to their chests. With all the abundance of holidays he enjoys, why not share? Do you think WAD will deprive you of something? As if the big white head could get any fatter? Or white cops more violent? White corpora-

tions more greedy? No? Why not concede this gesture, and let the poor disenfranchised White Race have their day? Scheduling is the biggest problem. At first glance Presidents’ Day seemed a no-brainer for WAD, but that’s out now that Obama’s portrait is up in whatever gallery presidential portraits are relegated to. Labor Day might actually work since unions in the US are largely defunct and nobody ever does anything for that day anyway, except have a BBQ, which is half Mr. Antillon’s goal. We also might consider replacing Parents’ Day on July 26, which seems awfully redundant

given that my mother and father would by then have already had 24 more hours each than they’re owed, if I’m allowed to do the calculating. Or perhaps we should plump for May 10, that locally unknown day set aside to remember the abolition of slavery, which lasted 400 years and not only enslaved multitudes, but directly killed 60 to 70 million Africans. Yes, what better day to acknowledge how the effects still reverberate, not just in economic inequality, violence, and institutional racism directed toward the descendants of slaves, but those poor White Folks deprived of around the clock, disposable “help.” The least we deserve is a cheap pulled pork sammie, 10 percent off at Mr. Antillon and Mr. Jimenez’s Rubbin Buttz BBQ. Maybe Ben


DYKE ABROAD, continued on p.26


PERSPECTIVE: Strengthening All Families

Time For New York to Support Those Giving Care BY LINDA B. ROSENTHAL AND MICHAEL ADAMS


hen New Yorkers go home from the hospital, the health care system suddenly becomes very personal. There may be complicated medication regimens to follow, injections to administer, bandages to replace, complex medical equipment to operate, and much more. In many instances, those tasks are up to the person whom patients trust most with their well-being — their caregiver. The transition from hospital to home is a critical time for patients — especially for many in the LGBT community who may have fragile family support systems. And the potential burden on their caregivers can’t be underestimated. Caring for a loved one — without pay or pomp — is a big job. The consequences of mistakes loom large. Yet more than four million New Yorkers do it every year — for older parents, spouses, partners, friends, and loved ones. It stands to reason that if we want our loved ones well cared for


at home, their caregivers must be given the proper instruction in how to provide that care. That is why, with help from AARP, we’re working to make sure our state laws recognize the critical role caregivers play in our health system. The CARE Act (Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable) would allow hospital patients to designate a family caregiver and require hospitals to offer that caregiver instruction in and a demonstration of the tasks that they will be expected to perform at home post-discharge. This bill reflects our understanding that the LBGT community (and the same holds true for many other communities) will receive the care they need if medical providers recognize the circles of family and friendship that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender New Yorkers have built. That’s why the CARE Act (A.1323) would allow patients to designate whomever they choose as a caregiver — and why it requires hospitals to provide those caregivers the knowledge they need to follow the discharge plan and to be able to provide proper care at home

MUGISHA, from p.4

visible in Ugandan politics, it’s clear authorities keep tabs on him. In a nation where, he estimated, only 25 people or so are active in the LGBT movement — with “five to seven of them truly visible” — and perhaps just 2,000 people are “out” in the Western sense of that word, he and some of his colleagues hosted a party four or five years ago for about 300 people. That was a “gamble” Mugisha acknowledged — gay parties in numerous places across Africa have been raided on charges they were illegal “gay weddings.” “Nothing happened” in response to his party, he said, “but police knew about it. In later conversations, police indicated knowledge of the party.” Mugisha readily acknowledges the hostility the LGBT community faces — from the nation’s president, from its Parliament, and in popular opinion that can at times foment an angry mob. But, it’s clear he locates his biggest enemies not in Uganda at all, but rather in the United States. In fact, with the representation of the


and to access support services. The fact is, LGBT people often face severe isolation as they age, since they are four times less likely to have children than other elders, twice as likely to be single and living alone, and much more likely to be disconnected from their families of origin. The caregivers of LGBT elders are often isolated as well, since many are not part of a larger family network. This fragility of care and support for LGBT elders makes it especially important that medical providers recognize and support the caregiving relationships that exist for LGBT older people – their “families of choice.” The CARE Act would be an important step forward by providing hospitals with an inclusive framework that recognizes the wishes and preferences of all kinds of families and caregivers, and that helps identify patients who are profoundly isolated. We know from experience that LGBT caregivers often have limited access to LGBT-affirming services in their communities. The CARE Act addresses this issue as well, requiring that hospitals offer the

Center for Constitutional Rights, SMUG is engaged in federal lawsuit against Scott Lively, the president of the Abiding Truth Ministries and a former official with the American Family Association, charging that his actions in working with Ugandan officials to pursue their anti-gay legislation qualifies as “persecution” under international law and is a crime against humanity. (Lively was a co-author of the notorious 1995 book “The Pink Swastika,” which alleged that gay men were “the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities.”) Joined by several other stridently antigay American evangelicals, Lively traveled to Kampala in early 2009 to make a presentation to Ugandan leaders about what one of the event’s local organizers described as “‘the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda’ — and the threat homosexuals posed to Biblebased values and the traditional African family.” Though Lively subsequently sought to distance himself from the parliamentary measure, including the death penalty provision, that came alive within months of his visit, over

caregiver and patient answers to their questions in a culturally competent manner and provide contact information for health care, community resources, and long-term services and supports necessary to successfully carry out the patient’s discharge plan. The State Senate last month passed the CARE Act unanimously and the Assembly Health Committee quickly followed suit. But the bill still must clear the Assembly’s Codes Committee and the full house before going to Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law. The governor proposed a similar “Caregiver Support Initiative” in his 2015 State of the State/Opportunity Agenda, so we are optimistic that he will sign the CARE Act once it reaches his desk. This bill is critically important, and we will do all in our power to ensure that it passes into law this year. Let’s pledge to join together and give all caregivers the support they deserve. Linda B. Rosenthal is the prime sponsor of the CARE Act in the New York State Assembly, where she represents the 67th District on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Michael Adams is the executive director of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE).

the past two years both a district court judge and a federal appeals panel have declined to dismiss the case against him. One of the reasons for Mugisha’s recent US trip was to give deposition testimony in that case. From Mugisha’s perspective, there has been a sea change in attitudes toward homosexuality since Lively and his evangelical colleagues began their Uganda campaign. Prior to about 15 years ago, Ugandans, he said, were largely indifferent — even if not particularly friendly — to LGBT people. In recent years, however, evangelical extremists in Uganda, like David Bahati, the member of Parliament who created the anti-gay legislation, have used homophobia to advance their ambitions. That push “got lots of encouragement from Lively,” according to Mugisha. Since 2009, the stepped-up “anti-gay agitation” has “triggered” popular animosity toward the LGBT community. The popular view now, Mugisha said, is that homosexuality threatens children, is a Western import, and


MUGISHA, continued on p.25

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |


MUGISHA, from p.24

stands in opposition to religion. “Religion is treated as sacred,” he said. “To go against religion is blasphemy. People say they don’t know homosexuals but that they’ve heard this about them.” In such a climate, it is little surprise that Bahati says he stands prepared to move once again on anti-gay legislation. With less than a year left before elections, parliamentary leaders warn of a backlog of legislative priorities. According to Mugisha, however, because Parliament has gotten so little done on fundamental issues like public | May 14 - 27, 2015


posted an initial story about the attack on the evening of May 6, however, Sharef sent a message to the newspaper saying, “Snipes didn’t go to the table to confront him. He went over and punched the guy in the face. Then the guy got up and attacked him.” Neither Snipes nor York-Adams responded to online and telephone requests for comment. Sharef did not respond to a follow-up question as to whether he witnessed anything before what he described as Snipes’ first punch. Though the NYPD would only confirm that two assault complaints had been filed and an investigation was ongoing, Sharon Stapel, the executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told Gay City News the incident was being investigated as bias-related by the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force. Snipes’ mother told Gay City News that her son told her that a waitress at Dallas BBQ, whom she described as having a ponytail, urged the attacker to “hurry up and leave before the police arrive.” Eric Levine, whom the restaurant identified as its spokesperson for the incident, did not return an email seeking comment on the attack and the allegation an employee may have helped the attacker elude capture. On May 8, State Senator Brad Hoylman and City Councilmember Corey Johnson, both out gay Democrats who represent the


May 16

BBQ, from p.10

The NYPD’s photo of the suspect, in a still taken from the restaurant’s security video.

neighborhood, joined a group of activists, including members of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City, in flyering outside the Dallas BBQ about what they termed a hate crime. Asked if they were concerned about the allegation that Snipes in fact threw the first punch, Johnson noted that the NYPD, which presumably knows more about the incident than anyone else, was treating the matter as a bias crime. “The NYPD takes these types of incidents very seriously,” said Johnson. “At this time, they have determined this to be a hate crime... This was a brutal, out-of-control attack. That’s unacceptable.” “The details as we know them have shaken a lot of members of our community,” Hoylman said. “We need to let Chelsea know that we’re standing alongside the victims.” Anyone with information about the Dallas BBQ attack can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers at 646-6106806, visit NYPDCrimeStoppers. com, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES), and then enter TIP577, or can call the AVP’s 24-hour hotline at 212-714-1141. — Additional reporting by Duncan Osborne

health and clean water, only corruption and the anti-gay law stand out in voters’ minds. Some in Parliament may therefore feel they should at least enact a version of Bahati’s legislation that survives court scrutiny to be able to say they did something. This looming threat explains why Mugisha and SMUG hope the West and human rights activists in Uganda will continue to raise their voices. Speaking out only at the 11th hour simply encourages charges of outside interference. Discouraging the Ugandan government from acting in the first place is what Mugisha hopes world opinion can achieve.


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so-called conversion or reparative therapy — on minors. Both GENDA and the conversion therapy ban have repeatedly passed the Democratic-dominated Assembly. “It’s shocking that Carrie — an accomplished and admired member of our community — is


not afforded basic protections in housing, employment, and public accommodations, simply because of who she is,” Squadron said of Davis in an email message to Gay City News. Charging that the GOP’s resistance on GENDA “is the shame of our state,” Squadron pledged to continue working with Hoylman to demand action on key LGBT

MORSELS, from p.20

the savory one. The day we went, there was “caramel pudding” (which turned out to be a frankly terrible-tasting flan), soothing tapioca, and fabulous, creamy mousses made from mango and what was identified as “gooseberry” (actually an unrelated but similar-tasting fruit called the “Ceylon gooseberry,” which is native to Sri Lanka). The dulcet mango is most people’s fave, but the faux-gooseberry was mine. It was


DYKE ABROAD, from p.23

Affleck can even make peace with his slave-owning ancestors who were probably just going along with the crowd. I have to say it took me a while to understand the potential. I’ve spent many an International Women’s Day as a tireless harridan quoting statistics at the men demanding

legislative initiatives. Hoylman said the arrest this week of the Senate Republican leader, Long Island’s Dean Skelos, on federal corruption charges put the remaining seven or eight weeks of the session under a cloud, but he also suggested it was possible that “a dramatic shift in leadership could raise opportunities for we Democrats.”

bright neon green and quivering, looking like some extraterrestrial delicacy, and it tasted voluptuous and bright at once. With that gooseberry cream rolling in your mouth, cast your eye over some of the other decorative items here: straw puppets of monkeys, wicker owls and peacocks hovering over the dessert bar and the (nonalcoholic) beverage bar, beautiful though not excessively comfortable chairs made of rope strung in long triangles over metal rods. But some of the best

their props. There’s the matter of wages, violence, sheer and unadulterated power, I’d say. Every March 17, I rage against the Irish bigots who justify queer exclusion from the St. Paddy’s Day Parade in New York on the grounds we have an entire month and our own goshdang parade. But, this is the thing. With a WAD firmly in place, white folks

EVIDENCE, from p.11


art is in the bathroom: as you’re doing your business, stare at a row of extraordinarily expressive sculptures of faces. A large wooden sign over the nearby kitchen spells out, “Relax.” Lakruwana is at 668 Bay Street at Broad Street in Staten Island ( or 347857-6619). Not wheelchair accessible (the restaurant and its narrow restroom both require one step up).

flashing our skin and demanding special treatment on all those other days will only be entitled to a slap upside the head. Preferably from our own mommas, who will tell us to our rotten, complaining, candy and tear -streak faces, “No, yesterday was your day at the fair. No more tear gas and hollow points and steel-toed boots in the subject’s head. Or preferred admittance to

the crime. “The intention was to ascertain pedigree information,” Lucey said. “The entire time they were in were recorded on police cell phones, were spontaneous utterances, which are exempt from the the squad room, the statements were voluntary.” Toward the close of the hearing, Lucey Miranda requirements. “At no time was the defendant being interro- appeared to tacitly concede that they will be gated,” Lucey said. “What prompted the police barred from using at least the videotaped stateofficers to turn on those cameras was the defen- ment during the prosecution case when she dant talking. Nothing was said to the defendant.” asked Solomon to allow her to use that stateShe said that the police only asked Morales ment to impeach the testimony of any witnesses, about pedigree information in the 6th Precinct including Morales, that the defense may presand that he chose to disclose information about ent in their case. Solomon, who will rule on the admissibility of the statements on May 26, appeared to be CORRECTION: In “Four Gay Council Members Push Subsidy for Anti-Gay amenable to the use of Schools” (by Andy Humm, Apr. 30), Gay City News incorrectly reported that the the videotaped stateCatholic Community Relations Council is lobbying in Albany against the Gender ment in that context. Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and a ban on conversion therapy for Even without the minors. The Catholic Conference, representing Catholic bishops, neither supports statements, the case nor opposes these bills at present, according to Dennis Proust, executive director of against Morales the Conference, which lobbied against same-sex marriage and the 2002 gay rights remains strong. In law. Nathan Schaefer, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, said, addition to the gun, “We have had some encouraging conversations with the Catholic Conference, but the prosecutor has we don’t know yet” whether it will come out with positions on the bills. The Catholic at least three eyewitConference is pushing for “comprehensive religious liberty protections” that would nesses to the shooting allow its state-funded hospitals and adoption agencies not to recognize “same-sex and may have a fourth ‘marriage’” (putting the word marriage in quotes), among other things.


In the meanwhile, Davis’ presence on stage in Albany this week is intended to send a message to his colleagues. “Much of the Senate’s actions are ceremonial,” Hoylman said. “We decree, proclaim, and pontificate at every opportunity. I am trying to use the levers at my disposal to make clear why action on GENDA is so important.”

Harvard. Or that seat on the board. That gatekeeper’s gig. Nope, nuhuh. Only one day a year for you.” WAD will put Whiteness on the level of every other race. Shrink it down to cake and bunting only one day a year instead of having it as the unspoken default. Name a thing, call it out, you don’t conjure but control it. Every two-bit sorcerer knows that. So here’s to WAD.

who was a longtime friend of Morales who was with him on May 18. Morales continues to insist that he wants to represent himself, and his propensity for making errors may help the prosecution. That tendency was on exhibit in a request for a material witness warrant he submitted to Solomon, which was denied, in which he identified a possible witness “as a very close friend of mine of twenty years who had been one of the individuals I was with prior to the occurrence of the incident I am being accused of committing.” If the prosecution calls that witness, identified by Morales as Joe Anthony Matos, they now have Morales affirming that Matos can easily identify him because they have been close friends for 20 years. Morales almost blew the May 11 hearing by first asking that he make the legal arguments on admissibility. He relented only after meeting privately with Sunden. “If you were a real lawyer, you would realize you have a real issue here,” Solomon told Morales before argument began. “You have a good argument on the Miranda issue, but you don’t see it. You don’t see it because you’re not a lawyer.” May 14 - 27 , 2015 |



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The Exemplary Life of Oliver Sacks Famed neurologist exchanged his white coat by nightfall for motorcycle leathers BY DAVID EHRENSTEIN




h where is the leather-clad motorcyclist who will sweep me away?,” Lindsay Anderson moaned rhetorically in his diaries. It’s a shame the great film and stage director never met Oliver Sacks. Both British, with only a 10-year age difference between them, they might well have clicked. But Sacks, the neurologist and author — whose books on brain-function oddities, “Awakenings” (1973), “Musicophilia” (2007), and (most famous of all) “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat” (1985), have brought him fame among those with no familiarity with what it is he is discussing — has reached a new plateau with his new memoir “On the Move: A Life.” In it, the good doctor emerges as both a dedicated man of science and the gay bike-riding bon vivant as well. A fortiori, in simply and honestly recounting his life, Sacks has something important to say about what it means to be gay. Like his fellow forthrightly gay Brit David Hockney, Sacks came to terms rather handily with his sexuality, despite coming of age in a Great Britain where being “a homosexual” could put one in prison. Anderson on the others hand, like far too many gay men of his era, was quite a different story. He could find no sexual solace in actual life, only in the fantasy of his masterpiece “if…” (1968), in which Malcolm McDowell memorably swipes a motorcycle while his classmate Richard Warwick (gay and out in real life, and briefly un amour de Larry Kramer) falls in love with a younger student (the lovely Rupert Webster), whom he woos with a demonstration of gymnastic skill. But as charming as Anderson’s fantasy may be, Sack’s reality is even better. Especially in light of his near-heroic matter-of-factness about being gay: “I was not too aware of what was going on all around me — or inside me — I had no crushes on anyone at school (although I was turned on by the full-size reproduction, at the head of the stairway, of the famous statue of the beautifully muscled, naked Laocoon, trying to save his sons from the serpents).” Hence, “coming out” to his parents proceeded this way: “‘You don’t have many girlfriends,’ [his father] said. ‘Don’t you like girls?’ ‘They’re alright,’ I answered, wishing the conversation would stop. ‘Perhaps you prefer boys?’ he persisted. ‘Yes, I do — but it’s just a feeling — I have never “done” anything,’ and then I added fearfully, ‘Don’t tell Ma — she won’t be able to take it.’ But my father did tell her, and the next morning she came down with a face of thunder, a face I had never seen before. ‘You are an abomination,’ she said. ‘I wish you had never been born.’ Then she left

Oliver Sacks in Greenwich Village in 1961.

ON THE MOVE: A LIFE By Oliver Sacks Knopf $27.95; 416 pages

and did not speak to me for several days.’” Sacks’ mother eventually came around. So much so that at the last he declares, “My mother’s death was the most devastating loss of my life.” But, as Sacks discovered, the reason for her initial reaction stemmed from his brother Michael’s schizophrenia. She had “lost” one son to mental illness, now “homosexuality” signaled to her the “loss” of another as well. “Homosexuality” was classified as a “neurosis” in those days but also legally outlawed, thus creating a thriving blackmail business that the 1961 Dirk Bogarde-starred drama “Victim” exposes with great insight. Sacks never encountered such problems. Not that it was always easy, as he first fell in love with a man named Richard Selig: “I fell in love with his face, his body, his mind, his poetry, everything about him.” He tells Selig, who replies, ‘I know. I am not that way, but I appreciate your love and love you too, in my own way.’”

Selig marries and, alas, dies 15 months afterwards from a lymphosarcoma Sacks himself had diagnosed. Sack got himself sorted out initially in Amsterdam where he had sex with another man despite being dead drunk. “Was it nice?” he asks his one-nighter. “Yes, very nice,” he’s told, with the proviso, “There is no need to get dead drunk, pass out, and lie in the gutter. This is a very sad — even dangerous — thing to do. I hope you will never do it again.” Happily, back in the UK, Sacks had better luck in Soho, where through a bulletin board in a bookstore on Old Compton Street he made contact with a fellow motorcycle enthusiast who he could tell from the posting was gay. They began a relatively uncomplicated affair — bike riding, dinners, hanging out, and lots of uninhibited sex. But then Sacks got an offer to “jump the pond” and work in Canada and then the States. He informed his casual lover of his plans and when he heard back from him, “I felt stricken when I received his letter and realized, too late, that he must have fallen in love with me and that now I had broken his heart.” Sacks’ own heart was a lot lighter in the US, when — settling in San Francisco — he discovers the joys of living at the Y: “Around 11:00 p.m., there was a soft knock on my door. I said ‘Come in,’ the door was not locked. A young man put his head around the door and, seeing me, exclaimed, ‘Sorry I’ve got the wrong room.’ ‘Don’t be too sure,’ I answered, hardly believing what I was saying. ‘Why don’t you come in?’ He looked uncertain for a moment and then came in, locking the door behind him… I had a peculiar feeling of freedom. I was no longer in London, no longer in Europe, this was the New World and — within limits — I could do what I wanted.” What Sacks wanted took many forms. Professionally, he found he was able to make all sorts strides in neurology, most markedly with “post-encephalitic Parkinsonism” patients, suffering from a nerve disease whose visible manifestations are both erratic movements and complete stillness. Describing her condition, “Frances A,” one of Sack’s patients, said, “I don’t just come to a halt, I am still going, but I have run out of space to move in... You see, my space, our space, is nothing like your space: our space gets bigger and smaller, it bounces back on itself, and it loops itself round till it runs into itself.” Sacks’ experiments with the drug “L-dopa” brought relief to such patients, allowing them to engage with the world in ways he explains in “Awakenings,” memorably made into a dramatic film in 1990, directed by Penny Marshall and starring Robert De Niro as a patient named


MOTORCYCLE, continued on p.42

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |



Casino Le Roux Catherine Deneuve loses daughter amidst button-down gangster machinations






ut gay French director André Téchiné’s “In the Name of My Daughter” Directed by André Téchiné has all the elements for In French with English subtitles a satisfying film: a diva turn from Cohen Media Group Catherine Deneuve (in her seventh Opens May 15 collaboration with the director), an IFC Center unusual take on the courtroom 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. melodrama (based on a real dent), a seemingly capable supportLincoln Plaza Cinema ing cast, and gorgeous cinematog1886 Broadway at W. 63rd St. raphy of sunny Nice locales. Received wisdom about the film so far runs along the lines of “a thriller without thrills,” which is accurate in a sense but seems to miss the point. Téchiné’s best films have generally had a touch of autobiography — his 1994 masterpiece “The Wild Reeds” is my favor ite gay coming-of-age tale, and it also touchCatherine Deneuve and Guillaume Canet in André Téchiné’s “In the es on the effects of the Name of My Daughter.” Algerian War on early ‘60s France. “J’Embrasse Pas” reflected obliquely on but Agnes knows she can use her his relationship with philosopher stake to manipulate her mother — or just toy with her emotions, out Roland Barthes. “In the Name of My Daughter” is of a bitterness that’s never fully someone else’s life story — one of explained. Then Agnes disappears, the screenwriters is the son of the and the film jumps ahead several real woman played by Deneuve, decades to Maurice’s trial for her adapting her memoir. “In the Name murder, although a body is never of My Daughter” takes on the found. “In the Name of My Daughter” is material of soap opera and tries to transform it into an art film. It’s an loaded with random moments of intriguing bet, but despite many beauty that have nothing to do with the story. In one, the camera tracks surface pleasures, Téchiné loses. “In the Name of My Daughter” Maurice’s son through his house. begins in 1976. Renée Le Roux In another, it hovers alongside (Deneuve) becomes president of a Agnes and Maurice’s faces as they failing Nice casino. Her daughter ride a motorcycle, seemingly only Agnes (Adele Haenel) comes back inches away. These small epiphhome after a nasty divorce. Having anies play like miniature versions inherited a large stake in the casi- of the splendid dance numbers in no, Agnes wants to sell her shares Léos Carax’s films or the extendso she can live on her own; in the ed party scene in Olivier Assayas’ meantime, she works at a store that “Cold Water.” I wish Téchiné had sells books, African art, and rugs. come up with more of them, and, She becomes involved with lawyer more importantly, figured out how Maurice (Guillaume Canet), who to integrate them into the narrative. works for her mother. The casino’s future looks dim, c DAUGHTER, continued on p.31 | May 14 - 27, 2015










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A Throwback Drug War


Cédric Jimenez adds little in a riff on Friedkin’s “French Connection” BY STEVE ERICKSON


few weeks ago, the Film Society of Lincoln Center played French director Eric Rohmer’s “Comedies and Proverbs” series. While this shouldn’t have surprised me, I was still startled that Rohmer’s “Boyfriends and Girlfriends” outsold “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which played directly opposite it on another of their screens. For a certain kind of cinephile, Rohmer defines French cinema: white middle-class people having lengthy talks about their love lives. (Arnaud Desplechin’s “My Sex Life, or How I Got Into an Argument” pushes this notion to the point of conscious self-parody.) I don’t wish to attack the late director, whose work is broader and more interest-

ing than that pocket description would indicate. However, it’s noteworthy that “Boyfriends and Girlfriends” offers an idyllic view of the Paris suburbs that would become the subject of a wave of films about poor, angry young Arab and black men a few years later. Americans’ view of French cinema is blocked by distributors, who act as gatekeepers, even if available choices are supplemented by series like the Film Society’s annual “Rendezvous with French Cinema.” In arthouse culture, JeanLuc Godard’s extremely challenging “Goodbye to Language” was a minor hit, playing six months at the IFC Center. The mainstream comedies and thrillers the French themselves are entertained by are often harder to see. Cédric Jimenez’s “The Connec-

Directed by Cédric Jimenez In French with English subtitles Drafthouse Films Opens May 15 Landmark Sunshine Cinema 143 E. Houston St., btwn. First & Second Aves.

tion,” which riffs on William Friedkin’s “The French Connection,” is an exception. “Loosely based on real events,” which probably means it’s 75 percent made up, it wears its love of American genre cinema on its sleeve. But so did French New Wave films like Godard’s “Band of Outsiders” and Francois Truffaut’s “Shoot the Piano Player.” It would be great to report that Jimenez has found a similar kind of inspiration in American cinema, but the difference is that he has nothing of his own to bring to the table. When “The Connection” begins in 1975, Marseille magistrate Pierre

When Death Arrives Late Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon misfire in feel-good attempt at dark euthanasia comedy BY GARY M. KRAMER




umor is often used to get a serious point across. Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon, the writers and directors of the Israeli import “The Farewell Party,” employ comedy to address the moral issues surrounding euthanasia. Some will enjoy the frequent dollops of honey, but many viewers will find the enterprise cloying. The trouble with “The Farewell Party” is not the filmmakers’ important message about the desire so many terminally ill people have to die with dignity, but rather the obvious manner in which it is delivered. In an assisted living facility in Jerusalem, Max (Shmuel Wolf), who is terminally ill, asks his friend Yehezkel (Ze’ev Revach) to help him die. They turn to Dr. Daniel (Ilan Dar), a veterinarian who has access to drugs that can help Max peacefully slip away. Yehezkel, a tinkerer, creates a mercy-killing machine that allows Max to inject the lethal drugs into his own system, and Raffi Segal (Raffi Tavor), a friend of Dr. Daniel’s,

Aliza Rozen, Levana Finkelshtein, Ze'ev Revah, Ilan Dar, and Rafael Tabor in Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon’s “The Farewell Party.”

helps destroy the evidence. Yehezkel’s wife, Levana (Levana Finkelstein), is the lone voice of dissent, accusing them all of murder. The euthanasia plot that binds these characters together — as others in the facility learn of Max’s death at the hands of Yehezkel’s device, they are in high demand — brings to light secrets these character have. Levana suffers from dementia, which her loving husband

Michel (Jean Dujardin) deals with juvenile offenders, many of them drug addicts. He gets promoted to the organized crime division. He sees this as a new way to fight drugs, particularly if he can take down kingpin Gaetan Zampa (Gilles Lellouche). Zampa traffics huge amounts of heroin into the US. Helped by a large task force of cops, Pierre raids Zampa’s associates, but the man himself seems almost untouchable. As their struggle heats up, the lives of Pierre and his family are put in danger. Jimenez’ direction reminds me of Michael Mann before Mann discovered digital video, He likes filling the screen with huge close-ups of the actors’ faces, sometimes making them so large they take up half the frame. His action scenes are a flutter of shakycam and quick cutting. When Jimenez gets ambitious, he relies on montage sequences stringing together action in different locations. The film’s violence is bloody but startling and abrupt. For his two leads, Jimenez cast


DRUG WAR, continued on p.31

Yehezkel goes to great lengths to cover up. The vet and his married friend Raffi are sleeping together on the down low — something we learn when Raffi is discovered naked in Dr. Daniel’s closet, in the film’s clunkiest metaphor. When Dr. Daniel, who like the rest of the characters is elderly, asks his friends to be discreet about this secret, he explains, “My mother doesn’t know.” “The Farewell Party” tries too hard. When Yehazkel is pulled over by a cop for speeding, it’s meant to create suspense about whether the gang will be caught. This soon becomes a running joke that is heavy-handed and unfunny. One evening, Levana arrives naked to dinner at the senior facility, and Yehezkel and Max’s widow Yana (Aliza Rozen) try to assuage her humiliation by having all their friends gather in the greenhouse without their clothes as well. They are discovered and reprimanded by an administrator, in a moment intended to emphasize that they have become outlaws at odds with authority. This moral dimension is addressed more effectively, however, when they face blackmail threats from a man who is demanding their help with his own suicide. “The Farewell Party,” for the most part, avoids overly grappling with the ethical quandaries of euthanasia in favor of a mild dark humor, a choice that diminishes its impact. Levana poses the only tough questions in the film, and her authority in objecting is undermined when her


FAREWELL, continued on p.44

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |


Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche face off in Cédric Jimenez’s “The Connection.”


DRUG WAR, from p.30

actors who physically resemble each other. Their haircuts and long sideburns look similar as well. The first showdown between Pierre and Zampa has a real charge to it. But after that point, “The Connection” keeps them apart. Its suggestion of a connection between lawman and crook is a familiar neo-noir trope, evoking John Woo’s “Face/ Off” and Mann’s “Heat.” Pierre is a recovering gambling addict, and his wife suggests that his legal pursuits have become a new form of addiction. The film takes this notion seriously for about 20 minutes, with Dujardin’s sweaty performance really selling it, then it goes back to contrasting Zampa hanging out with a crew of gangsters in nightclubs and Pierre relaxing with his children. To use Neil Young’s phrase, “The Connection” shows the needle and the damage done. It’s an anti-heroin film. It also approvingly lifts a Nixon soundbite on the evils of drugs, which is symptomatic of a


DAUGHTER, from p.29

As it is, they simply play like bonus material. Now in her 70s, Deneuve has acquired a regal quality that initially suits her character well. In fact, that turns out to be a bit deceptive because Renée doesn’t know as much about running a casino as she thinks. Canet, a talented director himself, is blandly handsome: a French Matt Damon. He’s not so good-looking or charming that one can readily understand Maurice’s reputation as a womanizer. The process by which he gradually seduces Agnes remains mysterious, unless one thinks all friendships between heterosexual men and women will eventually turn sexual. Téchiné may have looked at | May 14 - 27, 2015

deeper flaw. It’s a celebration of the war on drugs, never recognizing that in some areas — American minority communities, present-day Mexico — the war has done as much damage as the drugs themselves. It presents the hunt for a dealer as a triumphant struggle without any acknowledgment that there’s likely another ambitious young man ready to become the next kingpin as long as demand for heroin persists. There are several American cable shows about the lives of gangsters, breathlessly tracing their rise and fall with still photos, archival film, and interviews with Mafia historians, cops, and FBI agents. They manage to be both moralistic and hagiographic, always avoiding the root causes of poverty or drug abuse. “The Connection” plays like the fictional version of one of these shows, transposed to Marseille. At best, it’s a fun exercise in ‘70s nostalgia, with a great soundtrack and a Dujardin performance oozing conviction. At worst, it’s a reactionary drag.

tin Scorsese’s gangster films and decided to take out everything they include. The Mafia is present here, but there’s no onscreen violence. They use lawyers and board meetings to take over casinos, not guns. The film’s final half hour takes place in court, but its true conclusion happens in two intertitles that reverse the verdict we’ve just seen. Téchiné obviously wants to subvert cheap thrills and easy narrative goals. Alas, his usual flair for melodrama fails him here. At best, he can combine the sensibility of an American director like Nicholas Ray with the European chill of Ingmar Bergman. “In the Name of My Daughter” sets out to disrupt genre conventions, but it just plays like a failed version of the kind of film it’s trying to critique.

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A western-themed bar may sound out of place in New York City -- but what about a gay western-themed bar? How about one owned by a straight couple no less? Jacqui Squatriglia, who owns the bar with Chris Barnes, didn't seem to think it was such a queer idea. Best known for choreographing the dance moves at Coyote Ugly, Squatriglia brought that same energy to Flaming Saddles Saloon ,whose dancing bartenders have become a Hell's Kitchen staple since opening in 2011. Go check them out at 793 Ninth Avenue near 53rd Street, open Monday-Friday 3 p.m. - 4 a.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon - 4 a.m. — Michael Shirey


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The one and only Lady Bunny made a rare club performance last week at Industry Bar, with a series of bits -- including a roast burning everyone from Justin Bieber to Bruce Jenner, a standup routine involving a squirting dildo, as well as a new number critiquing the current season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” For more Lady Bunny, visit — Michael Shirey May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

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Thank Heaven for Two Out of Three “It Shoulda Been You,” “Something Rotten” delight; “Gigi” won’t grow up BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE


“Something Rotten!,” the new musical at the St. James, is, in just two words, something wonderful. This adorable, antic show is reminiscent of the type of frolic P.G. Wodehouse and Jerome Kern wrote in the early years of the


IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU Brooks Atkinson Theatre 256 W. 47th St. Tue., Thu. at 7 p.m. Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $90-$139; Or 800-653-8000 One hr., 35 mins., no intermission


ear theater snobs, believe it or not, there is an audience for smart and sassy comedy that lets them get home before the first intermission in the first part of “Wolf Hall.” That show right now is “It Shoulda Been You,” a silly confection of a musical with book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music by Barbara Anselmi. This light, slight, and thoroughly engaging one-act musical has no ambitions other than to divert, and it demands nothing other than the willingness to go with it and have a good time. It’s hard to imagine not being charmed by what’s on stage at the Brooks Atkinson. This is a door-slamming farce about a wedding between a nice preppy boy and his Jewish girlfriend. Given the premise, it practically writes itself, but there are a few unpredictable twists that are quite delightful. Replete with stock characters and situations, the show still manages to feel fresh and bouncy as a new puppy. “It Shoulda Been You” also offers sensational performances by the mothers of the bride and groom, respectively Tyne Daly as the hand-wringing Jewish mother and Harriet Harris as her Locust Valley lock-jawed nemesis. Add a flamboyant wedding planner, a neurotic older sister (the sensational Lisa Howard), an attractive betrothed couple (David Burtka and Sierra Boggess), and their equally attractive best friends (Nick Spangler and Montego Glover), and the guy the girl should have married (the hilarious and versatile Josh Grisetti), and you’ve got a warm and funny evening. Director David Hyde Pierce doesn’t miss a gag, and the whole thing is a perfect marriage of classic comedy and contemporary sensibility.

Christian Borle as Shakespeare, with the cast of “Something Rotten!”

20th century, combining ridiculous plots and characters with tuneful songs, obvious jokes, and flat-out entertainment that marries high brow and low brow with spoof and spectacle. The result here is one of the most appealing shows on Broadway right now. The plot concerns the Bottom brothers, who are Shakespeare’s rivals and, unfortunately, lesser mortals, not gifted with the Bard’s talent or popular success. Trying to create a hit, they come up with the concept of a musical based on the vision of Nostradamus — not that Nostradamus — who can foresee the future of the theater. His sooth is a little off kilter, though, as he foresees “Omelette” rather than “Hamlet.” It all just spins out from there. The book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farell and lyrics by Kirkpatrick and his brother Wayne are full of puns, double entendres, and a kind of gleeful silliness that recalls Monty Python. And, it takes balls to rhyme “genius” and “penis.” The laughs are non-stop as Nick and Nigel Bottom try to get their show up, only to find their company infiltrated by Shakespeare himself, who may not be as cocky as he pretends. There are moments of comic genius in “Something Rotten!” — from the opening number, “Welcome to the Renaissance,” to the production number “A Musical,” which makes fun of every classic

musical you’ve ever seen, to the big number from “Omelette: The Musical.” Those last two stopped the show cold at the performance I saw. The stellar cast is let by Brian d’Arcy James as Nick and John Cariani as Nigel. Christian Borle is hilarious as Shakespeare, particularly when he’s seen as a Renaissance rock star. Brooks Ashmanskas is, as always, very funny as a Puritan who would close the theaters, and Brad Oscar is simply amazing as Nostradamus. The direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw is dead on, and it’s a very rare moment when the audience isn’t nearly doubled over with laughter. Gregg Barnes has done the fine costumes, and the terrific set is by Scott Pask. There’s an old theater joke about adding an exclamation point to a title, as if that can make the show seem more exciting. In this case, however, a second one wouldn’t be out of place.

To start out by mentioning what’s right with the new musical “Gigi,” there are Br oadway stalwarts Victoria Clark and Dee Hoty, costumes by Catharine Zuber, and scenery by Derek McClane. On the minus side is just about everything else. Heidi Thomas’ hideous adaptation of the book has turned Colette’s original story of a young

St. James Theatre 246 W. 44th St. Tue., Thu. at 7 p.m. Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $15.95-$142; Or 212-239-6280 Two hrs., 30 mins., with intermission

GIGI Neil Simon Theatre 250 W. 52nd Street Tues, Thu. at 7 p.m. Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $75.75-$156.75; Or 800-653-8000 Two hrs., 45 mins., with intermission

courtesan in training who finds love and a legitimate life with a handsome, rich young man into a confusing and nonsensical mess. Thomas reduces the storytelling — and the sex — to the level of young adult fiction. Bad young adult fiction. Things are made even more horrific by Vanessa Hudgens in the title role, playing Gigi as a petulant, self-absorbed brat. Hudgens’ acting lacks any complexity, and her singing is the kind of brazen belt popular on competition shows but completely wrong for a nuanced coming of age story. Though heavily dependent on the movie version of “Gigi,” this production pretends the story is not about sex, the trading of sex for wealth, and the fact that wealth can prove more durable than love. In a “Real


GIGI continued on p.44

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

RALPHI ROSARIO | May 14 - 27, 2015





Wonderful Wanamaker

Zoë in “Zorba,” timeless Collins, a “Gigi” dissent BY DAVID NOH




ne of the greatest, most versatile actresses alive, Zoë Wanamaker, just graced our city with her appearance in the Encores! revival of “Zorba!” Having long admired her on stage and screen, I dashed to interview her and found her to be wonderfully warm, with a wicked wit and terrific recall. “The last musical I did was a long time ago,” she recalled. “It was ‘Cabaret’ in 1975, pretty good [laughs]. Madame Hortense, my character in ‘Zorba’ is a glorious, colorful Frenchwoman living in Crete and obviously sort of a kind of outsider in this very pagan, rustic community. She’s a very delicate, extraordinary creature, passionate with no limit to her emotional availability. It’s a long time since I’ve seen the movie, but she’s spectacular. You can meet these people and think, ‘Where the hell did they come from?’ and she’s one of them. It’s a fascinating musical because like the two I’ve done now — ‘Chicago’ and ‘Cabaret’ — it’s based on the actual play script and the songs and music come out of situations that could be spoken. I think they’re just beautifully written, and the fact that there’s a suicide and a murder in ‘Zorba’ is another thing. It’s a dark musical but it has some brilliant lyrics and some wonderful, delightful characterful songs, very clever. I didn’t know this show before and I’ve got three songs!” As for the show’s lyricist and composer, “I never met Fred Ebb, but I’ve met John Kander. He’s been around our rehearsals and is so sweet and adorable. I didn’t audition for this — Encores! approached me. It was a bit of a shock and a challenge. It’s something that scared the pants off me and still does. Anyway, I’m laughing a lot, at myself being picked up by men and twirled around and that makes me laugh. I’m working with the most wonderful people, glorious singers and actors. I feel like pinching myself all the time.

This could be professional suicide, you never know. Wanamaker arrived in New York three days before our interview. “I just finished the play ‘Stevie,’ about the poet Stevie Smith, at the Hampstead Theater in London,” she said. “I don’t know whether that play is past its sell-by date, but I found the woman fascinating and the play very different and slightly off the wall. It’s got poetry and one man in it who becomes various characters, and her Lion Aunt, whom she lives with. Yes, Mona Washbourne was fantastic as her, in the Glenda Jackson film of it, and I had Linda Barrett, a wonderful actress with a fantastic career. “It’s a very literary play and I don’t know whether that whole era has gone from England, as well as that whole culture of reading. And Smith spoke Russian, French, Greek, and Latin. It’s that kind of intelligence that we don’t have anymore, which is a shame. But because of the revival of this play, Smith’s collected works are coming back again, as well as her first novel, so I’m very pleased about that.” Wanamaker is so veddy British that it’s something of a surprise to learn she was born right here in New York. At the age of three, however, she moved to London because of her actor father Sam Wanamaker’s persecution by the McCarthy blacklist. “Daddy knew he was going to be subpoenaed before the [House Un-American Activities] committee and my mother, probably, too, so he took a film in London. My mother packed up the house in Connecticut, we went there, and Daddy didn’t get his passport back for 10 years. He was the first Method actor to go to England.” While there, Wanamaker’s great dream was to open the Globe Theatre to make Shakespeare truly accessible to everyone. “When I started my career in 1970, Daddy was just starting that and it took 27 years of fighting to get it done. It all had to do with money and great antagonism

Zoë Wanamaker with David Noh.

about it being in the wrong place and the wrong configuration. I was very affected by this, people like Jonathan Miller saying, ‘I don’t know why your father is trying to build the Globe. We’ve got Stratford on Avon!’ And, of course, now it’s exactly what he said it would be, you can’t get in, and the whole area has exploded with new people moving in, as he predicted. He died before its completion, so he never saw it. “ B u t t h e S a m Wa n a m a k e r Playhouse which is indoors, has opened, and it’s absolutely beautiful, candle-lit. The seats are still very uncomfortable but it’s just what Daddy wanted: an absolute complex with a cinema, museum, and apartments for visiting talent. But it still needs money because it’s not subsidized, except by public support.” Zoe’s parents were initially resistant to her becoming an actress “because they were like any parents about their child’s being hurt by rejection and they didn’t want that. So I went to art school first and my mother insisted that if I was going to be an actress, I also had to learn typing, which was funny, because I’m dyslexic. “I went into the secretarial world for about six months, which was a disaster, and then I worked for a brilliant casting director friend of my parents. That was a great education which made me initially hate the business because it’s all about a photograph— what you look like — and individual taste, not necessarily talent. It’s also what works, chemically, so now I can more understand it when someone says,

‘No’ to me, and know what they’re thinking.” Despite whatever “no’s” she’s heard, Wanamaker has enjoyed a rich variety of roles, all of which she admits to loving. There was her American breakthrough in TV’s “Prime Suspect,” with Helen Mirren: “Oh, I hate the bitch! [laughs]. A wonderful piece of writing, one of the best crime shows because of the way it was shot, and a very good character, as well.” Wanamaker was astonishingly effective as the matriarch in Odets’ “Awake and Sing”: “That was surprising when they asked me to do that one, too, but extraordinary because the play started with the Group Theater, which my father was in, and also because of my roots, with grandparents Russian Jews, who came over from Europe. It was such a visceral experience, and to work with Ben Gazzara, Lauren Ambrose, Mark Ruffalo — terrible people! [laughs]. I liked Gazzara because he was so grumpy, but a really warm person. We used to go next door from the Belasco to the bar, have our beloved vodka martinis, and laugh.” In John Guare’s National Theater adaptation of “His Girl Friday,” Wanamaker got to step into the iconic shoes of Rosalind Russell, whose performance in the original film could possibly be the greatest female comedic turn onscreen. “Jack O’Brien, whom I love, directed it and we had a ball. Bob Crowley did the most wonder ful sets and costumes. The film is famous for the dialogue which is something like 120 words a minute, so that was great fun and a challenge.” Wanamaker has been happily married for 20 years to Gawn Grainger: “He’s an actor since the age of 12, a child star. He has also written and worked here a long time ago, and now works on and off at the National, where he’s doing something now. We only worked together once and will never do it again, as he makes me laugh too much. I have two stepchildren and four grandchildren, wonderful!” I had to ask this Zoë about the other one, Zoë Caldwell, with whom she shares that elfin mien as well as first name.


IN THE NOH continued on p.40

May 14 - 27 , 2015 |

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Send In the Clowns

David McVicar gets halfway to truth with “Cavalleria Rusticana,” “I Pagliacci”


Baritone George Gagnidze as Alfio, with his break-dancing buddies.



hough “Send in the Clowns” is Sondheim’s most popular song, very few people understand the significance of the title. It was generally thought to be a circus reference — whenever an accident or injury occurs in the ring, the ringmaster will send in the clowns to divert the audience’s attention. However, Sondheim in a 1990 interview said that the actress Desirée uses this theatrical catchphrase alluding to her own failed love life: “[I]t’s a theater reference meaning ‘if the show isn’t going well, let’s send in the clowns’; in other words, ‘let’s do the jokes.’” David McVicar’s new Metropolitan Opera production of Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” and Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci” flopped in Act One but turned into a hit after intermission with the addition of chicken puppets, dancing acrobats, and vaudeville routines (combined with searing melodrama and murder — “La commedia é finita”). McVicar explained that the traditionally paired verismo one-acters are in his perception very dissimilar — “I Pagliacci” being the more musically and dramatically sophisticated of the two. The English director set both operas in the central piazza of the same Southern Italian town some 40 years apart — “Cavalleria” at the turn of the 20th century and “Pagliacci” just after World War II. In “Cavalleria,” the open curtain reveals towering stone walls in


the background shrouded in stygian darkness with a brilliantly lit bare wood platform center stage (designed by Rae Smith). As Turiddu serenades Lola offstage, the chorus files in dressed in black and sit in wooden chairs surrounding the central platform. They silently stare down in judgment on the town pariah Santuzza, who stands alone center stage. The mood suggested not a sunny Easter morning in Sicily but something out of a Lorca tragedy like “Blood Wedding” or “The House of Bernarda Alba.” I began to buy into this concept — starkly minimalist, stripped down stylized tragedy — until the opening chorus, when the central platform began to rotate. McVicar from then on went for directorial overkill, placing realistic props and fussy business on a stylized bare set with expressionistic lighting. A table sprung up from the wood floor while the chorus women demonstrated handicrafts in picturesque groups, suggesting costumed performers in a colonial village. The men started line-dancing in the streets like chorus boys in the musical “Zorba.” The nadir was Alfio’s aria “Il cavallo scalpita,” where the baritone jumped up on a table in Mamma Lucia’s wine shop while his trio of male backup dancers (choreographed by Andrew George) did break-dance moves in front. All this “local color” looked arbitrary and foolish — typical of a director not trusting the material and reaching desperately for effects. A few scenes with two characters alone

onstage —– the jealousy duet between Santuzza and Turiddu for example — showed that less is more. Santuzza remained sitting downstage throughout the second half of the opera, eavesdropping on Turiddu in scenes where she has no part — pulling emotional focus from the other characters. In “Pagliacci,” the stage was filled with brilliant color, the characters moved in bright daylight in recognizable spaces and acted believably in a logical, natural manner. The steamy atmosphere suggested Hollywood film noir (though in Technicolor, not black and white) mixed with Italian post-war neorealism in the Rossellini manner. The singers executed puppetry, clown acts, pratfalls, and dance routines like true circus professionals (coached by vaudeville consultant Emil Wolk). McVicar allowed no false moves and the action hurtled forward to a sizzling climax. Tenor Marcelo Álvarez and baritone George Gagnidze performed double duty in both operas. Álvarez sang Turiddu with Latin fervor and sensuality, his Canio was less effective. McVicar conceives Canio as a broken down alcoholic wreck, and Álvarez stooped, round-shouldered clown indulged in too much self-pity, exuding little physical menace in his jealous rages. On opening night, his soft-grained tenor didn’t open up on climaxes, further blunting Canio’s emotional force. Gagnidze’s juicy, thrusting dramatic baritone was perfect for the bullish Alfio but his Tonio was bluntly sung and acted in a generalized style lacking vocal and verbal nuance. Eva-Maria Westbroek’s Santuzza brought sympathy and warmth to the character, and for a non-Italian singer she handled the declamation well. Sadly her voice was not as focused as her acting. Though Santuzza’s music sits mostly in her warm middle octave, tonal pressure resulted in loosening vibrato and squally tops. In “Pagliacci,” Patricia Racette dominated the stage, turning Nedda into the central character. Wilful, sensual, defiant — almost a Magnani-like figure — this Nedda was also an accomplished dancer, acrobat, and comedienne. Some hardedged tone in her upper register suited both the verismo style and her mature, world weary characterization. Lucas Meachem’s Silvio was hangdog in manner and phrased the arching lines of the love duet listlessly. Andrew Stenson’s brightly sung Beppe, Ginger Costa-Jackson’s insolent, overly brazen Lola, and Jane Bunnell’s stoic Mamma Lucia all provided quality vocalism. Fabio Luisi conducted both operas with polished elegance and precise detail that did not preclude emotional intensity and dramatic force. Luisi’s “Cavalleria” had lyrical grandeur and “Pagliacci” a swirling, multifaceted orchestral brilliancy. The term verismo refers to truth and reality in art — life lived onstage without artificial filters. McVicar’s very theatrical “Pagliacci” had this quality in spades but it was totally lacking in his “Cavalleria.” May 14 - 27 , 2015 |



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The Colors of a Life

Andy Propst offers exceptional new biography of Broadway legend Cy Coleman BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE


equired summer reading for theater lovers has arrived. It’s “You Fascinate Me So,” Andy Propst’s biography of composer Cy Coleman, who wrote 11 Broadway shows over his career — including “Sweet, Charity,” “On The Twentieth Century” (now getting a wonderful revival at the Roundabout), “I Love My Wife,” “The Life,” “Barnum,” and “Will Rogers Follies.” Coleman also worked on many shows that never found audiences and projects that started strong only to fizzle out. Propst’s meticulously crafted and highly accessible book reads both as the portrait of an artist and an insightful study of just how mercurial and challenging Broadway musicals and the music business have been in the past century. Coleman, born Seymour Kaufman, was an unlikely musician who found his calling almost accidently. A family his mother had been renting an apartment to disappeared one night, leaving only a piano. Young Seymour, age four, began plunking away at the keys and soon became obsessed with it. In short order, it was clear he was a musical prodigy, playing by ear and com-


IN THE NOH, from p.36

Seeing Judy Collins at the Café Carlyle on May 5 was the perfect way to usher in spring. Ablaze in white, her Valkyrie features and clarion voice remain as powerfully beautiful as ever, as she sang


and a visionary. The reminiscences of actors like Keith Carradine, star of “The Will Rogers Follies,” will leave the reader wondering how any show gets on the boards in the first place. Propst also uses Coleman’s life and work to show how the musical has evolved over the decades. Younger readers may not remember how Broadway shows were the source of much popular music in the middle of the 20th century or that having Sinatra record a song from an upcoming show could spur ticket sales. Coleman was resolute in his commitment to staying current with changes in popular music and taste. Yet he was often ahead of his time, and virtually all his later shows were compared in the press to his first big hit, “Sweet Charity.” Landmark a show as that was, it was not immune to some harsh criticism — from its original incarnation to later revivals. Coleman’s life was indeed rich, and in addition to his Broadway work, he scored films, performed live, and was even a TV personality in the medium’s earliest days. All of this is wonderfully captured in Propst’s biography, which beyond the fascinating story is an important contribution to theater history.

her beloved standards, with the addition of stirring renditions of Sondheim’s “No One is Alone” and “Being Alive.” Enjoying her music and puckish badinage were Angela Lansbury, looking ravishingly elegant and surprisingly seated right near the entrance, and, less impressively to me, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. CAFÉ CARLYLE

“The reason she’s called ‘Zo,’ is because when she came here, they wouldn’t put the diaeresis [umlaut] on the ‘e.’ Now they do it for me, but people still always call me ‘Zo,’ and I say, ‘No, it’s Zo-ee.’ “But I’ve known her since I was nine years old when Daddy was playing Iago to Paul Robeson’s Othello at Stratford. Robeson set up a baseball team with Daddy as captain and Zoë, Vanessa Redgrave, and Albert Finney were on it. I was in love with Albert Finney, fancied him at nine! I saw Zoë when I was doing ‘Electra’ here, and then her husband died and I don’t know where she is now. She must be of an age now, as she’s much, much, much, much older than me! [Laughs.]”

posing from his youngest days. His proficiency at the keyboard and facility for composition was his lifelong calling card, never failing to amaze people. Those skills also helped save him in several pinches as shows were coming to life. Propst chronicles Coleman’s life from club performer to songwriter for Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and many more to Broadway legend. And while over the course of his career, Coleman worked with the likes of Lucille Ball, Neil Simon, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Bob Fosse, Tommy Tune, and Chita Rivera, what makes Propst’s work so satisfying is that the focus is always on the artistic process. This is not a sensationalistic, dishy backstage story. It’s far richer and more interesting. Perhaps that’s appropriate, as Coleman’s life, until his later years at least (he died in 2004 at 75), was devoted to his artistic endeavors. Propst astutely conveys show business’ challenges and how the combination of Coleman’s passion for the art and a whole lot of determination allowed him to overcome hurdles others might have found insurmountable. In this telling, whatever the frustrations, Coleman was always gracious, fully engaged in the process,

By Andy Propst Applause Theatre & Cinema Books $32.99; 512 pages

“Gigi” has been pretty roundly and — to me — infuriatingly dismissed by

The inimitable Judy Collins.

the critics, including by Gay City News’ reviewer in this issue (page 34), but I found it to be, next to “Hamilton” and right alongside “Fun Home,” the most engaging musical in town. Without attempting to preempt my colleague, I’ll say simply that I’m a stone Colette freak and was initially wary when I heard rumors about it being “sanitized” for proper family fare, with Maurice Chevalier’s “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” now being sung by Victoria Clark and Dee Hoty. My fears proved to be unfounded,

as the song in this new context works even better than in the film, as it enriches the characters of Gigi’s grandmother and aunt, who’ve watched dotingly over her development into womanhood. I found this stage version — which blessedly retains every “decadent” nuance of its source material — has an emotional depth the delectably pretty film never possessed, and that’s largely due to Clark’s performance, the best and most poignant I’ve ever seen her

deliver. The audience —including quite a number of blissful gay couples — lapped it up, but, after intermission, I stopped asking my confreres their opinion. When I countered the negativity of some with, “What do you want, the movie?” damned if a few didn’t actually say, “Yes.” Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@, follow him on Twitter @in_ the_noh, and check out his blog at May 14 - 27 , 2015 |



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Tio Pepe 168 W. Fourth St. in New York (212) 242–9338, At Tio Pepe you have a choice of atmosphere. The skylight dining room supplies a touch of romance while the enclosed sidewalk cafe provides a room with a view of Greenwich Village.

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Whyte Hall 577 Fire Island Boulevard, Fire Island Pines (631) 597=6060, Sequestered but easy to reach, this dramatic is located in one of your favorite locations. Experience the magic of Fire Island at its finest.

Yacht Owners Association 101 W. 23rd St., New York (212) 736–1010, Yacht Owners Association has over two decades of experience planning events at sea, and the largest number of yachts in the tri-state area. The Yacht Owners Association can accommodate weddings anywhere from 2 to 600 guests.


Ace World Travel 8320 13th Ave. in Brooklyn (347) 915–4287, This full-service and certified romance travel agency specializes in destination weddings and honeymoons. It can also create custom-built itineraries.

Alger House

45 Downing Street, New York (212) 627–8838, Alger House is a great venue for smaller weddings and corporate events (30 to 106 guests). The very private reception hall has high ceilings, custom lighting, and nearby transportation.




MOTORCYCLE, from p.28

Oliver Sacks at Oxford in 1953.

“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved.”




Leonard Lowe and Robin Williams as Dr. Malcolm Sayer. The film is not a biopic for reasons Sacks had much to do with. When the project began, with Peter Weir set to direct, screenwriter Steven Zaillian fashioned a script that included a doctor-patient love story (heterosexual of course). Sacks nixed that immediately, and in the new script Zaillian completed for Marshall such notions were not only excised but all that ended up remaining of Sacks himself sprang from Williams’ uncanny mimicking abilities. Sacks was on the set throughout the shoot and he and Williams became good friends. “On the Move” was doubtless at the printers when Williams tragically took his own life, with reports he suffered from Lewy body dementia. There’s no way of knowing if Sacks could have preventively intervened if he’d known Williams’ condition. He was unable to prevent a seriously depressed Spaulding Gray from suicide, despite their friendship. In reading “On the Move,” one can see Sacks’ understanding of both his and others’ abilities and limitations in situations dire or commonplace. Writing of “Mel,” a fellow bodybuilder he befriended at Muscle Beach in Venice, California and came to live with during his time as a weight-lifting enthusiast who specialized in “squat lifts,” he notes, “Evenings were a strain. I found it difficult to concentrate and was very conscious, almost hyperaware, of Mel’s physical presence, not the least his virile animal smell, which I loved. Mel liked being massaged and would lie naked face down on his bed and ask me to massage his back. I would sit astride him, wearing my training shorts, and pour oil on his back — neat’s-foot oil, which we used to keep our motorbike leathers supple — and slowly massage his shapely, powerful back muscles. He enjoyed this, relaxing and surrendering to my hands, and I enjoyed it too; indeed, it would bring me to the brink of orgasm. The brink was okay — just; one could pretend that nothing special was happening. But on one occasion, I could not contain myself and spurted semen all over his back. I felt him suddenly stiffen when this happened and without a word got up and had a shower. The next morning Mel said tersely, ‘I have to move out, find a place of my own.’ I said nothing but felt close to tears.” The two men kept in touch over the years, with Sacks aware that Mel “was not fully at ease with his own sexuality and longed for physical contact with me, where I had, so far as sex was concerned, given up my illusions and hopes about him. Mel’s almost disgusted rejection affected me deeply, depriving me (so I felt) of all hope for a real love life, driving me inwards and downwards to seek whatever satisfactions I could find with drug-fueled fantasy and pleasure.” Sacks did not travel this full descent, but he did turn to drugs. His overindulgence in chlo-

Oliver Sacks in 1956.

ral hydrate resulted in hallucinations, and for a time amphetamines were his drug of choice — the use of which played a key role in a love affair that began on a visit to Amsterdam: “I met a young German theater director called Karl. He was elegantly dressed and articulate; he spoke with wit and knowledge about Bertolt Brecht, many of whose plays he had directed. I thought him charming and civilized but did not think of him as especially attractive in sexual terms and gave no thought to him when I returned to London.” On Karl suggestion, the two later meet in France: “We divided our long weekend in Paris between sightseeing and lovemaking. I had bought a cache of amphetamines with me and downed 20 tablets or so before we went to bed. Hit with excitement and desire, which I had not felt before taking the tablets, I made love ardently.” Karl took them, as well. “That we might thrash about like two animals in rut was perhaps not wholly surprising given the circumstances plus the amphetamine. But what I did not expect was that this experience would cause us to fall in love with each other.”

Eventually the affair cooled, though they continued to correspond by mail. “But then the feeling started to fade. We asked ourselves whether the experience we had shared was real,” given the drugs. “In November we oscillated between doubt and affirmation... By December we were out of love.” Sacks wrote to Karl, “I have memories of a fevered joy, intense, irrational… totally gone.” By then, Karl had become a druggie, living in a squalid apartment at the end of Christopher Street. “I heard, in the 1980s, that he was ill with AIDS and had gone back to Germany to die.” For his part, Sacks was lucky when it came to the epidemic. In London in 1971, he met a young American, while swimming at Hampstead Heath (he’d made a grab at Sack’s junk). “We had a joyous week together— the days full, the nights intimate, a happy, festive, loving week — before he had to return to the States. There were no deep organized feelings, we liked each other, we enjoyed ourselves, and we parted without pain or promises when our week was up. It was just as well that I had no foreknowledge of the future, for after that sweet birthday fling I was to have no sex for the next 35 years.” There’s a special beauty in this passage. The ability gay men have to enjoy “casual sex” is one of the treasures of our lives. That AIDS turned this joy to despair is, of course, a tragedy whose depths have yet to be fully plumbed. But the fact that Sacks found himself sexually uninvolved for 35 years is no uncommon thing. We are thought of by our enemies as monsters of sex — rutting wildly 24/ 7.Yet that is not at all the case, as Sacks demonstrates. His long abstinence wasn’t by design; in many ways, it was a matter of temperament: “I am shy in ordinary social contexts, I am not able to ‘chat’ with any ease. I have difficulty recognizing people (this is lifelong though worse now my eyesight impaired), I have little knowledge of and little interest in current affairs, whether political, social, or sexual. Now, additionally, I am hard of hearing, a polite term for deepening deafness. Given all this, I tend to retreat into a corner, to look invisible, to hope I am passed over. This was incapacitating in the 1960s when I went to gay bars to meet people; I would agonize, wedged into a corner, and leave after an hour, alone, but somehow relieved. But if I find someone, at a party or elsewhere, who shares some of my own (usually scientific) interests — volcanoes, jellyfish, gravitational waves, whatever — then I am immediately drawn into animated conversation (though I still may fail to recognize the person I am talking to a moment later).” One incident beautifully captures Sacks’ social awkwardness: “Passing by a bar in my neighborhood, I was struck by the range of colored lights within, and pressed my spectroscope against the window to examine them. It became obvious, however, that the patrons inside were disquieted by this odd behavior, my gaping at


MOTORCYCLE, continued on p.44

May 14 - 27 , 2015 | | May 14 - 27, 2015



FAREWELL, from p.30

visit to a depressing nursing home sparks a change of heart about mercy killing. In fact, it is Levana’s dementia — rather than euthanasia — that becomes the most compelling issue raised by the film. There is real poignancy when she describes “disappearing” as her mind starts to fade and she pleads for loved ones to remember her other than how she appears in a hospital bed. Even here, though, the filmmakers


gild the lily, showing her decline by having her use salt instead of sugar as she bakes cookies and eat out a trashcan. In the end, her dementia seems to be a device to jerk tears and reinforce the case for euthanasia. Still, Levana Finkelshtein gives a commendable performance as a woman slowly losing her mental faculties. Even when her face is vacantly staring off in the distance, the effect is moving. Granit and Moymon clearly aimed for a crowd-pleasing film,

GIGI, from p.34

Housewives” world, the coyness is simply disingenuous. When the original story’s central conflict is excised, what’s left is as dull and unappetizing as a fallen soufflé. Gigi’s ultimate love, Gaston, is presented as plastic and safe as any boy band member, and Corey Cott is perfect for that role. He is Parisian


MOTORCYCLE, from p.42


by way of California, and his acting is stilted and obvious. As his uncle Honoré, Howard McGillin plays the former roué with the same kind of stilted veneer. The character’s signature song, “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” has been taken from him, as has any of his worldliness. Given this, McGillin musters on gamely, but he provides no foil for the romantic Gaston. Fortunately, we can always listen to Clark,

THE FAREWELL PARTY Directed by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon Samuel Goldwyn Films In Hebrew with English subtitles Opens May 22 Angelika Film Center 18 W. Houston St. at Mercer St.

who just sounds better and better here as Gigi’s grandmother Mamita, and Dee Hoty, who as Aunt Alicia is the only character that hasn’t been eviscerated in the rewrite. Hoty has a delightful acerbity as well as a knack for the ironically comical. Still, after nearly three hours, the only thing I was thanking heaven for was that I could just go home.

“A few weeks ago I learned that I have multiple metastases in the liver. Nine years a go i t wa s di s c o v ered that I had a rare tumor of the eye, an ocular melanoma. The radiation and lasering to remove the tumor ultimately left me blind in that eye. But though ocular melanomas metastasize in perhaps 50 percent of cases, given the particulars of my own Oliver Sacks in 2010. case, the likelihood was much smaller. I am among the unlucky ones. I feel not be replaced. They leave holes grateful that I have been granted that cannot be filled, for it is the nine years of good health and pro- fate — the genetic and neural fate ductivity since the original diagno- — of every human being to be a sis, but now I am face to face with unique individual, to find his own dying. The cancer occupies a third path, to live his own life, to die his of my liver, and though its advance own death… I cannot pretend I am may be slowed, this particular sort without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have of cancer cannot be halted. “I have been increasingly con- loved and been loved.” For a gay man of Sacks’ time, scious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporar- who has made such a remarkies. My generation is on the way able contribution to understandout, and each death I have felt as ing the seemingly ineffable, that an abruption, a tearing away of is no small affair. The book leaves part of myself. There will be no one an image of Sacks dominated by like us when we are gone, but then the picture on its cover, with him there is no one like anyone else, noting of the most joyous period ever. When people die, they can- of his life when he was known as


them (as they thought) with a peculiar little instrument, so I strode in boldly — it was a gay bar — and said, ‘Stop talking about sex everyone! Have a look at something really interesting.’ There was a dumbfounded silence, but again, my childish, ingenuous enthusiasm won the day, and everyone started passing the spectroscope hand to hand, making comments like, ‘Wow — cool!’ After everyone had had a turn with the spectroscope it was handed back with thanks. Then they all resumed talking about sex again.” In 2008, Sacks met Billy Hayes, author of several books including “The Anatomist” about the creation of “Grey’s Anatomy”: “Timid and inhibited all my life, I let a friendship and intimacy grow between us perhaps without fully realizing its depth.” Only while recuperating from knee and back surgery, he explains, “did I realize how deep it was… I was in my seventy-seventh year… We have a tranquil, many-dimensional sharing of lives — a great and unexpected gift in my old age, after a lifetime of keeping at a distance.” That intimacy has doubtless been of incalculable solace to Sacks, who in a New York Times article this February announced,

but they might better have made a more thoughtful or impassioned one — which in the end might have proved funnier. At points, depictions of aging and of homosexuality are so superficial as to be insulting. Halfway through “The Farewell Party,” the characters perform a song about life, death, and “Neverland,” a sequence that will charm some viewers. Even at this intermediate point in the film, however, for others it will be too little too late.

Wolf: “This corresponded to a certain duplicity I felt in myself, which I thought of in part as a need to have different wolves for day and night. By day I would be the genial, white-coated Dr. Oliver Sacks, but by nightfall I would exchange my white coat for my motorcycle leathers, and, anonymous, wolflife, slip out of the hospital to rove the streets or mount the sinuous curves of [Marin County’s] Mount Tamalpais and then race along the moonlit road to Sunset Beach or Bodega Bay.” His friend, the great gay poet Thom Gunn, put it best in the poem whose title Sacks “sampled” for his own: “On motorcycles, up the road, they come: Small, black, as flies hanging in heat, the Boys, Until the distance throws them forth, their hum Bulges to thunder held by calf and thigh. In goggles, donned impersonality, In gleaming jackets trophied with the dust, They strap in doubt — by hiding it, robust — And almost hear a meaning in their noise.” Indeed. May 14 - 27 , 2015 | | May 14 - 27, 2015


THU.MAY.14 BOOKS In Tribute to Isherwood In celebration of the publication of “The American Isherwood” (University of Minnesota Press), edited by Chris Freeman and James Berg, Freeman, a USC English and Gender Studies professor, is joined by Christopher Bram, the author of many novels including “Father of Frankenstein” and author of “Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America”; Bill Goldstein, the founding editor of the books site of; and playwright and actor David Drake, whose one-man show “The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me” made his name two decades ago. Bureau of General Services — Queer Division at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., rm. 210. May 14, 7-10 p.m.


with two different storylines that collide in one boisterous and joyous show! NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Pl. at Washington Sq. S. May 15-16, 8 p.m.; May 16, 2 p.m.; May 17, 3 p.m. Tickets are $29-$89 at

Ben Rimalower, In Repertory Ben Rimalower, whom Gay City News’ Christopher Byrne describes as “larger than life on the small stage and very charming,” presents his two cabaret shows — “Patti Issues,” about his obsession with La LuPone, and “Bad With Money,” about his troubled relationship with filthy lucre and the spending of such — at the Duplex, 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. S., Sheridan Sq. May 15, Jun. 14, 7 p.m. May 31, 9:30 p.m. (“Patti”) and May 22, Jun. 2 & 21, 7 p.m. (“Bad”). Tickets are $25-$50 at, and there’s a two-drink minimum.

Bullied No More “Bullied to Death… It almost happened to me,” is a book by Christopher Rosalie, who under the pen name Christopher Trevor has written more than 35 books of erotica and suspense. He was motivated to write “Bullied to Death” by the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard and the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, to reflect on his own experiences as a youth and to offer insight into the support resources available to young people harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Rosalie is joined by Perry Brass, author of 19 books including “King of Angels,” “How to Survive Your Own Gay Life,” and “The Manly Art of Seduction,” and Nicholas Bowman, the pseudonym of a semi-retired journalist who writes erotica. Bureau of General Services — Queer Division at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., rm. 210. May 16, 7 p.m.


Justin Sayre, the board chairman of the International Order of Sodomites, returns with “The Meeting*,” known for a unique blend of outrageous comedy, politics, culture, and everything in between. Tonight’s installment celebrates the Scissor Sisters, with appearances by Amber Martin, Edgar Oliver, Tammy Faye Starlight, Michael Cavadias, Bridget Barkan, Jamie Wright, Angela DiCarlo, Philip Taratula, and Brendan Michael. David Nagler is music director. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. May 17, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at or 212-967-7555.


CABARET Happy Days Are Here Again — And Again Now in its fifth year, Rick Skye and Tommy Femia — named Best Duo of 2012 by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) — have extended their run of “Judy and Liza Together Again,” at Don’t Tell Mama through May. The mother-daughter team sing some of their personal favorites, including “Maybe This Time,” “New York, New York,” “Over the Rainbow” (sung movingly by Femia), and, in a powerhouse finale together, “Get Happy” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.” 343 W. 46th St. May 16 & 30, 8 p.m. The cover charge is $25 and there’s a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-7570788 or

SUN.MAY.17 HEALTH 30th Annual AIDS Walk More than 30,000 participants are expected to join the 30th annual AIDS Walk sponsored by Gay Men’s Health Crisis, benefiting that group and other local groups working in the fight against the HIV epidemic. The 10-k Walk begins in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow (entrance at 65th St. Transverse from


The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, America’s preeminent professional repertory company for G&S work, presents “The Gondoliers, or, the King of Barataria,” an operetta that combines two different groups


Boisterous Mayhem from Gilbert & Sullivan

Sodomites Celebrate Scissor Sisters






“Interface: Queer Artist Forming Community Through Social Media” is an eclectic mix of queer, New York-based artists, working in a wide variety of styles and mediums, who use social media to create a community to exhibit their work. Just as early ‘80s artists would display their work on rotting piers, abandoned furniture, tenement bathroom walls, and subway billboards, the current generation circulates its creativity among a potentially infinite virtual audience that can instantly connect with the work, repost images, and blog about it. Walt Cessna curates the work of artists including Dietmar Busse, Isauro Cairo, Adrian Carroll, Ben Copperwheat, Jordan Eagles, Alesia Exum, Natasha Gornik, Joel Handorff, Leo Herrera, Erika Keck, Brian Kenny, Naruki Kukita, Scooter La Forge, Brett Lindell, Slava Mogutin, Diego Montoya, Chuck Nitzberg, Maria Piñeres, Gio Black Peter, James Salaiz, George Towne, and Todd Yeager. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts. May 15-Aug. 2; Tue.-Sun., noon-6 p.m., with an 8 p.m. closing on Thu. Opening reception is May 15, 6-8 p.m.

the east and west) at 10 a.m., and is preceded at 9 a.m. by opening ceremony and followed at noon by a concert. Among those participating in the opening ceremony are singers Montego Glover and Victoria Clark and actors Tyne Daly, David Hyde Pierce, Nick Wechsler, Kit Williamson, and Bellamy Young. The concert will feature Leon and the Peoples and the British Dependency. For more information, visit or call 212-807.WALK.

Downtown legend Penny Arcade and her longtime collaborator Steve Zehentner continue their development of “Longing Lasts Longer,” a passionate rumination on love, longing, and the loss of New York’s cultural identity. In the post-gentrified landscape of “The Big Cupcake,” where ideas too have been gentrified, “Longing Lasts Longer” is set in a New York disappearing under the weight of suburbanization, cultural amnesia, and the politically correct straightjacket of consensus. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. May 18 & 25, Jun. 1 & 8, 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 at or 212-967-7555.


14 DAYS, continued on p.47

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SAT.MAY.30 BOOKS Celebrating Bisexual Writing JAMES MATTHEW DANIEL



14 DAYS, from p.46

TUE.MAY.19 JAZZ A Week of Fred Hersch Duos Jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch, who is an eight-time Grammy Award nominee, hosts his 12th annual Duo Invitation Series — six nights of collaboration with other jazz greats. On May 19, 7:30 & 10 p.m., he is joined by Brad Mehldau, a major voice of his generation on piano ($40 music charge). On May 20, 7:30 & 10 p.m., saxophonist and Latin American folkloric music and improvisational jazz composer Miguel Zenón, a multiple Grammy nominee and a Guggenheim/ MacArthur Fellow, joins Hersch ($30). On May 21, 7:30 & 10 p.m., Hersch is joined by singer Kate McGarry ($30). On May 22, 7:30 & 10 p.m., Hersch appears with jazz saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane ($35). On May 23, 7:30 & 10 p.m., jazz piano elder statesman Kenny Barron, who has played with artists from Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz to Steve Wilson and Trio Da Paz, sits in with Hersch ($40). And, on May 24, 7:30 & 10 p.m., Hersch concludes his week with jazz violinist Regina Carter, a 2006 MacArthur Foundation Genius ($35). Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St. Tickets are available at or 212-576-2232.

ual Underground of the Meatpacking District before Gentrification.” 208 W. 13th St., rm. 210. May 20, 6-10 p.m.

FRI.MAY.22 PERFORMANCE Justin Viv’s Obsessions Justin Vivian Bond returns to Joe's Pub with "Love is Crazy!," an evening in celebration of obsession, sex, romance, and all their queer and mysterious complications. Accompanied by Nath Ann Carrera on guitar, Claudia Chopek on violin, and under the musical direction of Matt Ray, Mx Bond displays legendarily twisted wit, along with songs from Dendrophile and Silver Wells as well as work from v's stage and film appearances. Inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. May 22-25, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at or 212-967-7555.

THEATER The End of Aquarius Rady&Bloom Collective Playmaking present the world premier of “The Upper Room,” co-written and co-directed by the husband and husband team of Jeremy Bloom and Brian Rady, with music composed and performed by Catherine

Brookman (Broadway revival of “Hair”). “The Upper Room,” inspired by the backto-the-land movement, is set on an island way off the north coast of Maine, where the last participants of a once thriving commune meet the sea. This darkly humorous consideration of spirituality and the dangers of our changing environment combines with a live mixed score, antique scuba suits, and an overhead projector to create a brand new music theater event. New Ohio Theatre, 154 Christopher St., btwn. Greenwich & Washington Sts. Tue.-Sat., 8 p.m.; May 22-Jun. 12. Tickets are $18; $15 for students & seniors at or 888-596-1027.

WED.MAY.27 BOOKS Gay in the Great War In honor of Memorial Day, Lance Ringel and his husband, actor Chuck Muckle, will read from Ringel’s historical novel “Flower of Iowa,” which centers on the unexpected romance between a young American soldier and his best buddy, a British soldier, in 1918 France during the final months of World War I. Muckle will perform music from the Great War, which was supposed to end all wars. Bureau of General Services — Queer Division at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., rm. 210. May 27, 7-10 p.m.

The Bi Writers Association hosts its third annual Bisexual Book Awards, presented in tandem with its eight annual multiarts reading. Awards will be bestowed in 10 categories — Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Erotic Fiction/ Erotica, Speculative Fiction, Memoir/ Biography, Teen/ Young Adult Fiction, Mystery, Poetry, and Anthology — and there will also be special Book Publisher of the Year and Writer of the Year Awards. The evening will include readings by Geer Austin, Ann Herendeen, Courtney Moreno, Dr. Herukhuti, Nora Olsen, Vivek Shraya, Laura Foley, Shari Slade, A.R. Fiano, and Ann Herendeen. Gymnos Alitheia offers a special presentation of art photography from his ongoing project “Full Disclosure,” and Rorie Kelly will perform live music. Westbeth Community Room, 55 Bethune St., btwn. Greenwich & Washington Sts. May 30, 7 p.m. Afterparty is at Malaparte Restaurant, 753 Washington St. at Bethune St., 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Tickets to the Awards are $15 at biwriters. org, at, or at the door. Admission to the afterparty is free, and there’s a cash bar with food.

Dale Peck’s War Years Dale Peck, the author of 12 books, including the novels “Martin and John” and “Sprout” (a Lambda Literary Award-winner for young adult literature), and the essay collection “Hatchet Jobs,” discusses his new memoir, “Visions and Revisions,” with critic and editor Jonathon Kyle Sturgeon. “Visions and Revisions” revisits Peck’s experiences as a writer and AIDS activist from the founding of ACT UP in 1987 to the advent of successful antiretroviral treatments in 1996. Bureau of General Services — Queer Division at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., rm. 210. May 30, 7-10 p.m.

WED.MAY.20 PHOTOGRAPHY Queer New York | May 14 - 27, 2015

Stop Crystal Before It Stops You! Robert Teixeira, LCSW Gay, Spiritually Fluent Psychotherapist I get it! 212-961-1745

Together, we’ll create a personal path to your permanent recovery! BGSQD.COM

“Queer New York and Beyond: The social event photography of Efrain John Gonzalez” is a presentation of the artist’s work going back to the 1980s. Highlights include shots of Annie Sprinkle performances, the Black and Blue Ball, Cave Canum, the annual Drag March, Folsom Street East, the annual Pride March on Fifth Avenue, Kate Bornstein, the Limelight, Plato’s Retreat, and Wigstock. The evening is presented in conjunction with the Bureau of General Services — Queer Division’s current exhibition by Gonzalez, “A Buried Past, Forgotten Stories: The Sex-














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MAY 14, 2015 GAY CITY NEWS  


MAY 14, 2015 GAY CITY NEWS