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Mayor Defers to Health Commish on Chelsea Clinic Snafu 06 South Asian Culture Wars 26










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44-46 | May 28 - June 10 , 2015


After This, No Exile



Father Bernárd Lynch (center) celebrates the Irish marriage victory in London's Soho.

Father Bernárd Lynch.

A gay priest reflects on Ireland’s Declaration of Independence BY FATHER BERNÁRD LYNCH


n the December 1918 election, the Irish republican party Sinn Féin won a landslide victory in Ireland. On January 21, 1919, the party formed a breakaway government (Dáil Éireann) and declared independence from Great Britain. This past week, by voting to open marriage to same-sex couples, Ireland has chosen independence from the Roman Catholic Church. Although still Catholic, the majority of the Irish people have voted that the freedom to love transcends their deepest religious beliefs. This marks a seismic shift in the mind of the nation. This consciousness serves not only the LGBT community but the entire people of Ireland in their long and arduous struggle for justice and co-equality among all their citizens. As LGBT people, we had been robbed of our birthright: our absolute right to live and love as co-equals in our families, churches, towns, villages, and the country of our birth. Many of us left our homeland not for work and employment or for education — as the Irish have done for centuries by the millions — but simply because those of us who are LGBT were not welcome. Ireland up until


now failed to honour its own Constitution in not “cherishing all her children equally.” But, Friday, May 22, 2105, this changed forever. We have broken the shackles of our colonial past and our colonial governance by the Roman Catholic Church. We are free at last to live and love as we were born to be. For freedom — not happiness — is the precious stone. One cannot cling to happiness; it submits to no clinging. To be free, to live and love in your homeland, this is the most precious stone against which all others fade by comparison. We now know that, whatever organised religion may say, our way of loving is right. No holy communion is more holy than the human communion of two people in love. I believe that we can honestly assert that what we have learned first and foremost is that it is the oppression and repression of human sexual fulfillment that are the primary cause of sickness in our human communities, both straight and gay. We know, in our heart of hearts, that our love sexually expressed is a great good. HIV/ AIDS — I have always believed from my many years of work in New York and London, primarily with gay men — was a disease contracted primarily in the search for love, the search for

touch. Our spiritual quest within how we love continues to present a radical challenge to religion and to the state. We are right to declare that our responsible, non-exploitative explorations of these many possibilities and forms of relationship that constitute the full potential of loving are a gift we have to offer to human society at large. In our actions and sometimes our sufferings, we give witness to the wrongness of the patriarchal, heterosexist proscription of human erotic liberation. There are times in our own imperfect lives when the veil parts between the two worlds we contain — our inner desire for a more divine destiny and the hard reality of our present circumstances. In his poem “Postscript,” Seamus Heaney writes about the sideways breeze off the ocean that catches us off guard and blows our heart wide open. Such glimpses have an edge to them, marking us forever. Brian Friel’s play “Dancing at Lughnasa,” for example, features five sexually frustrated sisters in their County Donegal cottage in 1936. It is the time of the annual Celtic harvest festival named after the pagan god Lugh. Things are not good. Disgrace and penury are killing their stifled souls. Dancing is the key metaphor of the play. In a most extraordinary burst

of energy, the five women release their emotional and sexual suppression by dancing to a reel issuing from their new-fangled wireless. It is a glimpse of unquenchable passions that come from far beyond words. These almost subliminal but breathtaking glimpses are all tiny incarnations of heaven’s promise that love lived and enfleshed is the answer to our human quest for happiness. Without this most human and humanising experience, we forget and lose the way, the way of “truly seeing” as Daniel Berrigan put it. R.S. Thomas calls it “the turning aside like Moses to the miracle of the lit bush, to a brightness that seemed as transitory as your youth once, but is the eternity that awaits you.” Whether it be the wild dance across the fields of Ballybeg in Friel’s play, the human communion made holy in the body of a lover, or any of the countless daily acts of friendship that enable us to see into and beyond the immediate reality — transcending and transforming it into a new creation — they are all sustained and intensified by us in the flesh and blood, sweat and semen of our attempts to love each other as LGBT and straight people. It is good to be a seeker. LGBT people have a particular penchant to seek the best, to go after the best, to give generously of their best. While seeking out the goodness of life and love is necessary, sooner or later we must become finders and give the gift we have found into the world. To my mind, this is our moment to gift the world proudly with our love. As Henri Nouwen, a gay brother and theologian, so eloquently put it: “The real conversion is the uncovering of the truth that it is safe to love.” This is what binds us: Love. This is both sacred and playful, for love is above all playful like Lady Wisdom in the Hebrew scriptures. As a people with an in-depth awareness of our own spirituality, we know it is safe for us to be vulnerable to each other, to be available to each other, to surrender to each other, to suffer with each other. “Love and do what you will,” Saint Augustine tells us. It is preposterous and an outrage against all of humanity that any two people have


NO EXILE, continued on p.18

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |

A Better Place for the Next Generations BY KATHLEEN WARNOCK


The crowds in the courtyard of Dublin Castle on May 23 awaiting announcement of the official vote count.

Irish activists and artists cheered by the breadth of marriage equality’s victory activist Brendan Fay returned to his hometown of Drogheda, with his husband, Dr. Tom Moulton, a pediatric oncologist, and spent the weeks before the referendum canvassing in County Louth. Fay made it a point to attend a “Vote No” meeting. “I found that they had a much smaller turnout than I expected,” he said. “I wanted all the people there to meet and hear from a local gay married person. They were a bit taken aback, especially when they heard I met Tom at Sunday Mass and about our involvement with Dignity,” the LGBT Catholic organization. For Fay, who left Ireland in the 1980s, and other Irish activists and organizers who created the LGBT movement in Ireland after the 1993 decriminalization of homosexuality, marriage equality was an idea that seemed impossible until recently.

YESEQUALITY.IE | May 28 - June 10 , 2015


he world watched Ireland on May 22, when its citizens went to the polls to vote on refer endum proposals to amend their constitution. Of the two measures up for a vote, this is the one that brought out nearly 2 million of the country’s 4.6 million residents: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” And when the ballots were tallied, “Yes” won, with 1.2 million votes to the “No” side’s 734,300 — a 62-38 percent margin with a turnout of 61 percent of the eligible electorate. The landslide was helped along by thousands of Irish emigrants, who, due to the lack of an absentee ballot option, returned from all over the world to vote. #hometovote was one of the top hashtags on Twitter late last week, as returnees arrived by plane, ferry, bus, and train. When the marriage referendum was announced in February, organizers began a grassroots outreach that literally went door -to-door throughout the country to persuade people to vote “Yes.” “I was continually surprised by an overall feeling of genuine support from people on the street,” said Sonya Mulligan, a Dublin-based director and filmmaker. “However, there was a small percentage of the population who were vehemently opposed to any changes in the institution of marriage. We were spat at, called immoral, told we’d rot in hell, were vile, had no morals, called pedophiles, and had comments like ‘Fucking Lezzers’ shouted from cars passing by.” Jenny Butler, a producer of online and media content, was spared that kind of response. “I know that some people had terrible experiences of verbal abuse but they just kept going, and anyone I spoke to who had been canvassing said that the good far outweighed the bad,” she said. “I was fortunate not to have met with very negative responses.” Though her devout Catholic parents voted “No,” Butler said she was heartened by the overall response to her campaigning. New York-based filmmaker and

The “Yes” campaign takes its message to Ballyfermot.

“In my time, being gay was something you could never admit to, not even to yourself,” said actress and playwright Eilish O’Carroll, who married and had children before coming out as a lesbian in her 40s. “It was a lonely and isolated existence for so many of us. I might add the amount of older, high-profile people who came out prior to the referendum would astound you.” O’Carroll is a star of the Irish sitcom “Mrs. Brown’s Boys,” in which the title role is played by her brother, Brendan O’Carroll (in drag), and the cast includes an openly gay character. Irish popular culture wasn’t always this way. “Ireland had such little media, we had no role models or reference points,” said Brian Merriman, who came of age before homosexuality was decriminalized but ended up working

for the Equality Authority of the Irish government and founding the Mr. Gay Ireland pageant and the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. Merriman’s festival just finished its 12th year of presenting LGBT work by Irish and international artists. “Even after decriminalization,” he said, “the pressure on us all to hide in a straight relationship or marriage was immense. I went to a Pride photo exhibition and was struck as to how everyone in the photos was wearing a mask — it was a turning point in me wanting to create a mainstream channel for our LGBT stories to be seen and heard in public.” Dani Malone is a communications specialist living in Sydney, Australia, and, in an email, she recalled, “I emigrated from Dublin when I was


THE NEXT GENERATIONS, continued on p.18



Mayor Defers to Health Commissioner on Chelsea Clinic Snafu

Advocates criticize lack of city planning to replace lost STD services, but hopeful solutions in the works




hen Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at a World AIDS Day event this past December 1, he boldly endorsed a plan to reduce new HIV infections in New York from the current roughly 3,000 annually to 750 a year by 2020. “Hope will never be silent, and that’s what you’ve all proven,” de Blasio said. “And your voices have reached Albany and I commend Governor Cuomo for last June setting the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2020… And I want to thank so many of you who are part of that effort because this is the kind of goal that galvanizes us. And we will be working with community leaders. We will be working with health care professionals, everyone who has something to offer in that fight to achieve that goal.” In large measure, that goal relies on identifying HIV-positive people and treating them with anti-HIV drugs so they are no longer infectious. And it uses pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), anti-HIV drugs given to HIV-negative people to keep them uninfected. Candidates for PrEP and treatment as prevention (TasP) — the latter appropriate for those with the HIV virus — will be found at the city health department’s nine sexually transmitted disease clinics, among

His budget for the state fiscal year other locations. that began on April 1, however, So when the city closed its only included $10 million in new Chelsea clinic on March 21 for a spending for the plan. Advocates necessary two-year renovation with were looking for over $100 million. no apparent plan to replace the In the preliminary budget for roughly 20,000 visits that clinic the city fiscal year that begins on gets every year — the most among July 1, de Blasio cut the budgets the nine clinics — community for the health department and the leaders were unhappy. Human Resources AdministraAsked at a May 22 press tion, the two city agencies that will conference if the city ever had a contribute the most resources to plan to replace the services lost Mayor Bill de Blasio at a May the plan. Those cuts were partially when the Chelsea clinic closed and 22 press conference. restored in the mayor’s executive if it will spend the money needed budget, which was introduced on to maintain those services, de Blasio said, “I always try to be careful, I don’t May 7. Responding to the preliminary budget, have the details. I don’t want to speak beyond the City Council proposed $9.7 million in new my knowledge. I think it’s fair to say our health spending for the plan. That cash was not in the commissioner, Mary Bassett, has been extremely executive budget. The frustration with the Chelsea clinic closing careful and conscientious in making sure is due to the city knowing that the renovation resources are available to the community.” In some respects, the Chelsea clinic closing is was pending for at least seven years and getting emblematic of the early going in the Plan to End the required permits for it approved over the AIDS. The plan has political support, but not a course of 2014. Currently, the health department is sending lot of cash. When Governor Andrew Cuomo endorsed prospective clinic visitors to its clinic on West the plan last year, he also announced that he 100th Street. It is paying for six non-profits had negotiated reduced prices for the anti-HIV drugs that are a central component of the effort. c CHELSEA CLINIC, continued on p.20


NYPD Identifies Suspect in Dallas BBQ Assault in Chelsea Man sought, 41-year-old Bayna El-Amin, believed to have fled the state BY PAUL SCHINDLER


h e N e w Yo r k P o l i c e Department has identified the suspect sought in connection with an assault on two gay men at the Dallas BBQ in Chelsea on May 5. According to multiple May 19 media reports, the man named by the NYPD is Bayna El-Amin, 41, who was previously arrested a total of 18 times — on charges including assault, shoplifting, drug possession, credit-card fraud, forgery, and possession of stolen property — in New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Michigan, as well as New York. According to the New York Daily News, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said El-Amin is


suspected of having fled the state. The department’s public information office did not return Gay City News’ request to confirm the information reported in other media, but that information was consistent across those reports. The NYPD released a photo and video footage of the suspect on May 7, two days after the attack. The 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, located on Eighth Avenue at 23rd Street, and is timestamped 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-year-old 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 man, appeared to be kicking him. The scene was captured in a video that Isaam Sharef, a customer at Dallas BBQ, uploaded to his Instagram and YouTube pages in the hours after the assault. Snipes sustained bruises and cuts to the right side of his face and head, including a long gash running from his ear. York-Adams was brought to the ground when hit by the chair, while Snipes sat down and appeared dazed. As the melee unfolded, others in the restaurant broke it up on two separate occasions, with people holding the attacker back and

A photo released by the NYPD of a man police now identify as Bayna El-Amin, 41, wanted in connection with a May 5 assault on two gay men at the Dallas BBQ in Chelsea.

York-Adams trying to steer Snipes away. Screams and cries of “stop, stop” from the crowd can be heard throughout the video. 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 posted an initial story about the


DALLAD BBQ, continued on p.24

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |

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Morales’ Incriminating Statements Right After Carson Killing Arrest Stay In

Some police, district attorney questions thrown out, but prosecution case in 2013 murder remains strong





Manhattan judge tossed out several incriminating statements made by the accused killer of Mark Carson because police failed to give Elliot Morales his Miranda warnings and the assistant district attorney who took Morales’ videotaped statement ignored his request to remain silent and his refusal to answer questions. “All the statements made between 8:00 and 11:00 and the Q and A are suppressed,” Judge Charles H. Solomon said during a May 26 hearing. Morales, 35, is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, weapons possession, and menacing in the May 18, 2013 killing of Carson, a 32-year-old gay man, in the West Village. He was arrested within minutes of the shooting, which occurred just after midnight. Once 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 his trial. Statements that are made voluntarily or are spontaneous utterances are exempt from the Miranda requirements. Morales made a series of incriminating statements, including seven in which he directly admitted to the killing, immediately after his arrest. Some of his statements were recorded by police on their cell phones. The defense wanted them suppressed. Solomon said they can be used in the prosecution case. Between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. on May 18, 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. During those three 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.” Solomon suppressed the statements Morales

Elliot Morales in court on May 26.

Morales continues to insist on defending himself. “I’ll let you start off representing yourself,” Solomon said. “If you want to switch, I’ll let you do it.” made during those three hours. Police are not allowed to engage in banter or apparently idle conversation in the hopes of eliciting incriminating statements. Morales was Mirandized for the first time at the start of a videotaped statement that he gave to Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, an assistant district attorney. That videotape, which Solomon suppressed, began at 1 p.m. on May 18 and within the first eight minutes, 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.” Solomon allowed the prosecution to use the suppressed statements in a cross-examination of Morales, if he testifies, and during a rebuttal case if the prosecution presents such a case following any defense case. “Those statements can be used should the defendant testify at trial,” he said. “They can be used in rebuttal.” Even without these statements, the case against Morales remains strong. He had the gun that was used to kill Carson in his possession at his arrest. At least three witnesses identified Morales as the killer soon after the shooting

in show-ups. In a show-up, as opposed to a line-up, the suspect is alone when viewed by a witness and, as was the case with Morales, is often in police custody and in handcuffs. The defense asked to suppress the show-ups, but Solomon admitted them. The prosecution may have a fourth witness who was present at the shooting and is a longtime friend of Morales. In a material witness warrant that Morales submitted to Solomon earlier, Morales wrote that Joe Anthony Matos is “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.” Morales also wrote that Matos was recently arrested and “police seized one firearm and two loaded magazines” from him. Solomon refused to issue that material witness warrant. Criminal court records show that a Jose A. Matos was arrested in Queens earlier this year and charged with possessing a firearm. Matos received a desk appearance ticket, which means police briefly took him into custody and he was released without posting bail and given an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which means the charges against him will be dropped in November if he is not arrested again. Morales’ trial should be over by then. At the May 26 hearing, Gary Sunden, Morales’ current attorney, said that Matos was “right at the scene” of the shooting. Matos’ family is not being helpful to Morales. During a May 11 hearing, Sunden said that when he contacted a female relative of Matos, she refused to speak with him. “That woman was very harsh,” he said. “She told me, ‘Don’t call me again. We don’t want to have anything to do with Elliot Morales.’” Morales has gone through three attorneys prior to Sunden, who is now saying he is unavailable to advise Morales until late October. Morales continues to insist on defending himself. On May 26, he objected when Solomon said he would appoint a fifth attorney to be his legal advisor. “I’ll let you start off representing yourself,” Solomon said. “If you want to switch, I’ll let you do it… I’m doing this as a precaution for you.” Editor’s note: Due to an editing error in Duncan Osborne’s “Miranda Problems May Nix Statements Mark Carson’s Accused Killer Made” (May 14), the original sub-head for that story inaccurately referred to the district attorney's "failure to read Elliot Morales his [Miranda] rights." As the May 14 story makes clear, the DA, in fact, did read him his rights at the start of a videotaped interview. However, the judge, as the story above notes, threw out the DA’s interview out as evidence. May 28 - June 10 , 2015 | | May 28 - June 10 , 2015



EEOC Steps Up Consideration of Sexual Orientation Claims

Federal equal employment agency outpaces US courts in seeing anti-gay bias as sex discrimination BY DUNCAN OSBORNE


hile no federal law bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has accepted roughly 2,500 cases alleging such discrimination over the past 18 months based on the legal theory that this is discrimination based on sex. “About two years ago, the EEOC ruled that someone who’s transgender and discriminated against on that basis is a form o f s ex discr im in a tion , ” C h a i Feldblum, an EEOC commissioner, told National Public Radio last year. “And then at some other opinions, we also explained how people who are discriminated against based on their sexual orientation — that can also be a claim of sex discrimination. Now charges are coming in to our offices and they're

not being turned away.” In the first nine months of 2013, the agency received 147 complaints charging employment discrimination based on gender identity and 643 complaints alleging employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. In the 2014 federal fiscal year, which ran from October 1, 2013 through the end of last September, the agency received 202 gender identity complaints and 918 sexual orientation complaints. The agency received 112 gender identity complaints and 505 sexual orientation complaints in the first five months of the 2015 fiscal year. In any one of the three time periods, about 20 to 25 percent of the cases were closed administratively. The EEOC found “no reasonable cause” in another 60 to 65 percent of the cases. The remaining cases were settled, withdrawn with some benefit to the complainant, resolved through

mediation, or are still pending. Altogether, the agency has collected about $4 million in “monetary benefits” for the plaintiffs. All of the cases in this EEOC data are against private employers. Since 2012, the EOOC has asserted that discrimination based on gender identity is a form of sex discrimination. That theory and transgender plaintiffs had already had some success in federal court cases. The agency has taken the same position in sexual orientation discrimination cases since at least 2011, though that theory has been less successful in federal courts. Sex is a protected class in Title VII, which bars employment discrimination, in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC enforces T itle VII. The EEOC accepting these cases serves several purposes beyond providing a remedy for the individuals who bring the complaints. Twenty-two states currently ban discrimination based on sexual

orientation and 19 of those 22 also include gender identity. In addition to complaints brought in those 22 states, the EEOC cases, which most likely come primarily from states without nondiscrimination protections, add to the evidence of discrimination LGBT people in the US face. Last year, the US Department of Labor added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to a 1965 regulation that barred discrimination by federal contractors. Historically, the Labor Department has dealt with systemic discrimination problems and referred individual cases to the EEOC. The EEOC will now handle cases under the amended regulation. (Responding to a Freedom of Information request from Gay City News, the EEOC refused to release a memorandum of understanding it has with the Labor Department on implementing that amended executive order.)


EEOC, continued on p.11

US Magistrate Refuses to Dismiss Gay Pilot’s Discrimination Suit

Failure to conform to gender norms basis of sex discrimination claim against SkyWest Airline BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


n a promising case of federal courts using a “gender stereotyping” theory to provide protections for gay plaintiffs under existing sex discrimination law, a US magistrate judge has refused to dismiss a claim by a gay airline pilot that his former employer discriminated against him by misrepresenting the reason for his discharge, thus making him virtually “unemployable” in the industry. When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the category of “sex” was added to Title VII’s list of forbidden grounds of discrimination as a floor amendment, so there is little legislative history to indicate specifically what Congress intended with the addition. Through the 1980s, both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the federal courts agreed that Congress did not intend to forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This narrow view began to erode in 1989, when the Supreme Court accepted the argument that discriminating against a person because of their failure to conform to “sex stereotypes”


could be a violation of Title VII. In a case filed against Price Waterhouse over a partnership promotion dispute involving a female employee, Justice William J. Brennan wrote for a plurality of the court that “we are beyond the day when an employer could evaluate employees by assuming or insisting that they matched the stereotype associated with their group… Congress intended to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women resulting from sex stereotypes.” Taking their cue from this decision, some federal courts began to reconsider the earlier view that T itle VII could not protect gay or transgender people from employment discrimination, at least in cases where the discrimination was related to a failure to comply with gender stereotypes. Within the past few years, federal appeals courts have ruled that transgender plaintiffs could bring claims under both Title VII and the Equal Protection Clause, and the EEOC changed its position regarding transgender discrimination claims a few years ago. This evolving perspective has been slower to embrace sex discrimination claims by gay

employees, but the May 11 ruling by Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty of the Colorado District Court in a claim brought by Frederic Deneffe adopts an interesting theory. According to Hegarty’s opinion, Deneffe was astonished by his sudden termination by SkyWest Airline, because he had passed a satisfactory review and had never been in an accident. He was unable to ascertain the reason for his discharge, but when he applied to other airlines and authorized SkyWest to release his employee records as required by regulations, he was stunned to learn that the airline cited “Performance/ Inability” and indicated he was “Ineligible for Rehire.” One airline recruiter told Deneffe that “with a termination like that, we’re not going to take you,” and he has been unable to find new employment. Deneffe asserts a very different reason for his firing, attributing it to the homophobia rife among his fellow pilots. Deneffe’s homosexuality was apparently known to some, if not all of his co-workers. He listed his same-sex partner as the beneficiary for his flight privileges with the


SKYWEST, continued on p.11

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |


EEOC, from p.10

And the EEOC and LGBT groups are continuing their efforts to convince federal judges that discrimination based on sexual orientation is discrimination based on sex. In 2014, the EEOC filed a friendof-the-court brief in an Illinois case in which a male employee at Caterpillar, the heavy equipment manufacturer, charged he was subjected to racist and anti-gay harassment and then retaliation when he complained. The case was filed in 2009 and dismissed on summary judgment in 2012. On appeal, the dismissal was upheld by a three-judge panel, which said Title VII does not bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. The agency filed a brief seeking a rehearing. “Since the Court first announced this interpretation of Title VII over thirty years ago, an increasing number of courts (as well as the Commission) have recognized that intentional discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation can be proved to be grounded in sex-based norms, preferences,


SKYWEST, from p.10

airline when he was hired, and took one or two trips a month with him. Deneffe claims other pilots regularly saw the couple at the airport and on flights together, and that he had talked about his sexual orientation with an openly lesbian fellow pilot (who made some adverse comments about him on an evaluation form). During many flights he piloted, Denef fe alleges, “other pilots jokingly insinuated that male flight attendants were homosexual, referring to them by the nickname of ‘Susie.’ Deneffe once heard another pilot refer to male flight attendants as ‘the little faggots who bring us our coffee.’ Other male pilots also commented, ‘I am not getting laid this trip,’ and ‘I will make sure I double lock my room,’ when only male attendants were on a flight.” Deneffe also alleged that “male pilots regularly engaged in banter about their heterosexual exploits. At least one pilot sent him text messages detailing his sexual exploits with a woman, but Deneffe was conspicuously | May 28 - June 10 , 2015

expectations, or stereotypes,” the EEOC wrote. “If this Court does not rehear the panel’s decision, it will create considerable confusion for employers and employees. It also could chill effective enforcement of civil rights laws.” In a separate friend-of-the-court brief in that case, the ACLU, the ACLU of Illinois, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, and the Transgender Law Center made a similar argument. The requests for a rehearing were denied and the case is ended. In 2013, Lambda Legal filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a discrimination case br ought against the Library of Congress by a gay employee there. In that brief, Lambda argued for the broader definition of sex in Title VII that would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. As Arthur S. Leonard reports below, a May 11 ruling from a US magistrate judge in the Colorado District Court will allow a gay pilot alleging sexual orientation discrimination in his firing to purse a sex discrimination claim.

silent when his co-workers discussed their sexual activities with women, made homosexual jokes, or talked about their wives and children,’” according to Judge Hegarty’s opinion. Deneffe asserted both age and sexual orientation discrimination claims, but Hegarty dismissed those based on his age for reasons not discussed in the May 11 decision. As to the sexual orientation claim, the judge acknowledged that the Denver -based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, whose precedents are binding on him, “has not recognized a Title VII claim for discrimination based on sexual orientation.” However, he also found that “Deneffe’s Title VII claim is premised on Deneffe’s failure to conform to gender stereotypes,” a theory recognized by the 10th Circuit in a case brought by a transgender plaintiff. S k y We s t a r g u e d t h a t t h e complaint failed to state how Deneffe did not conform to male stereotypes, but Hegarty wrote, “Deneffe counters that the following


SKYWEST, continued on p.20


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Even With Marriage Equality, Parental Status Conflicts Persist Disputes in four states highlight disparities Supreme Court ruling may only begin to resolve BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


egal observers widely expect the Supreme Court to rule next month that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, but such a ruling will not necessarily settle all the issues of parental rights of same-sex couples that continue to divide the courts. Litigation in four jurisdictions demonstrates the continuing problem of sorting out the issues. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, on May 7, ruled that the traditional presumption that a child born to a married woman is the legal child of her spouse applies to a lesbian couple. As a result, they need not provide formal notice to their sperm donor that they are seeking a joint adoption in order to avoid problems if they travel or relocate outside Massachusetts. But on May 20, the New York Second Department Appellate Division, in Brooklyn, ruled that the parental presumption does not apply to a lesbian couple, affirming a Nassau County family court ruling that the non-biological mother has no standing to seek a joint custody order for the child born to her same-sex spouse. In Oregon, the Court of Appeals ruled on May 13 that the question of whether the former registered domestic partner of a birth mother should be considered the legal parent of the child tur ned on whether the women would have married had that option been available when the child was born. And, in Wisconsin on the same day, Lambda Legal filed suit on behalf of a married lesbian couple denied the benefit of the marital presumption by state officials who have thus far refused to list both women as parents on their child’s birth certificate. The cases each present somewhat different facts, but all

of them implicate the question whether the birth of a children to a lesbian couple through donor insemination creates the legal presumption that both women are parents. The concept of parental presumption differs in its strength from state to state, but has generally been applied by courts and government officials to ensure that a child born to a married woman not be deemed “illegitimate” and be entitled to the support of the biological mother’s spouse. That presumption took on particular significance when married different-sex couples began to employ donor insemination to address male infertility, raising questions about the legal rights and responsibilities of the husbands. In the Massachusetts case, petitioners J.S. and V.K., a married lesbian couple, filed a joint petition to adopt their son Nicholas bor n to J.S. in 2014, having been conceived through in vitro fertilization using a known sperm donor. The women were married when Nicholas was born, and both are listed as parents on his birth certificate. According to Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly’s opinion for the Supreme Judicial Court, the women “sought to adopt their son as a means of ensuring recognition of their parentage when they travel outside the Commonwealth or in the event of their relocation to a State where same-sex marriage is not recognized.” Because the sperm donor is not a legal parent of Nicholas, they sought to proceed with the adoption without giving him notice. A family court judge denied the motion, finding the question needed resolution by an appellate court. Justice Duffly made clear that parental presumption controlled the issue’s resolution. “As is consistent with our pater nity statutes and longstanding presumption of the


PARENTAL STATUS, continued on p.13

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |



legitimacy of marital children, [the statute] confers legal parentage only upon the mother’s consenting spouse, not the sperm donor,” she wrote, reversing the family court’s motion denying the two mothers’ motion. The contrary ruling from the New York Appellate Division provides little rational explanation. As Gay City News reported last summer, the case of Jann P. v. Jamie P. produced a startling June 30 ruling from Nassau County Family Court Judge Edmund M. Dane holding that the state’s 2011 Marriage Equality Law, which provides that same-sex and different-sex marriages should be treated the same for all purposes of New York law, did not apply to the parental presumption. Identifying the parties as Jann and Jamie Paczkowski, who were previously anonymous in this proceeding, the appeals court noted that while the couple was married at the time of their child’s birth, their marriage was apparently shaky and no

adoption was undertaken. When the couple separated, Jann sought a court order allowing her continued contact with her son, but Judge Dane insisted the parental presumption did not apply because it was physically impossible for Jann to have been the child’s biological parent. On May 20, the Appellate Division echoed this conclusion. “Here, the petitioner, who is neither an adoptive parent nor a biological parent of the subject child, failed to allege the existence of extraordinary circumstances that would establish her standing to seek custody,” wrote the court. The statutory provisions concerning the parental presumption, the opinion continued, “do not provide her with standing as a parent, since the presumption of legitimacy they create is one of a biological relationship, not of a legal status, and, as the nongestational spouse in a same-sex marriage, there is no possibility that she is the child’s biological parent.” The court’s wording signals the archaic legal formalism of its

approach. The opinion’s reference to “the subject child” as if this case did not involve flesh-andblood people with emotional and psychological attachments — the bonding of a mother -child relationship extending over many months until Jann’s continued contact with her child was cut off — suggests the judges were more concerned with legal categories than human relationships. That priority is totally at odds with the underlying philosophy of family law, which strives to protect the best interest of children in disputes involving their parents. The case cries out for reversal by the Court of Appeals or the State Legislature. Surely, when the Legislature adopted the Marriage Equality Law that expressly provides that same-sex and different-sex marriages were to be treated as equal in all legal respects, it could not have implicitly intended to create an exception to the par ental pr esumption statute. It is particularly significant that the statute is not written in gendered terms, its clear intent

aimed at legitimizing the birth of any child born to a married woman by recognizing both spouses as parents. The practice commentary published in the statute book specifically states that this presumption “should apply to same sex as well as heterosexual married couples,” citing a 2014 ruling from upstate Monroe County to that effect. The Oregon case is a bit more complicated. Karah and Lorrena Madrone, same-sex partners, celebrated a commitment ceremony several years before Lorrena bore a child through donor insemination, but they did not have a legally recognized relationship. After the child was born, they entered into a registered domestic partnership, though there is evidence the two women’s relationship began to deteriorate during Lorrena’s pregnancy, and the two women disagree about the circumstances under which they signed their domestic partnership papers. They did, however, adopt the surname


PARENTAL STATUS, continued on p.14

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cases involving same-sex married couples. The women allege that failure to apply the parental presumption and issue the birth certificate they seek violates the couple’s equal protection and due process rights under the 14th Amendment. It may be that once the US Supreme Court has issued a

marriage equality ruling these parental presumption issues will begin to be sorted out in a consistent manner, but the differing approaches of state officials and courts suggest that this is one issue that will require further work. The practical implications of marriage equality may take some time to reach full fruition.

BOY SCOUT PRESIDENT WARNS BLANKET GAY EXCLUSION CANNOT LAST Robert Gates, the former Pentagon chief who now serves as president of the Boy Scouts of America, used his address to the organization’s annual meeting on May 21 to assert that its current policy barring the participation of gay adults in leadership positions “cannot be sustained.” Referring to his tenure at the Defense Department, during which the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was Boy Scouts President Robert Gates, who served as President formally dismantled Barack Obama’s secretary of defense when the Don’t Ask, Don't by Congress with sig- Tell policy was abolished. nificant input from the military, Gates said, leadership standards consistent with “We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to their faith.” He then added, “We must, at be.” He noted that at the time DADT was all costs, preserve the religious freedom abolished, a federal court order striking it of our church partners to do this. Our oath down had been stayed but might eventual- calls upon us to do our duty to God and ly have gone into effect without giving the our country.” But, unless the organization moved promilitary control over the process of replacing the policy with open service for gay and actively, Gates warned, “We could end up with a broad [court] ruling that could forbid lesbian soldiers. “Dozens of states — from New York any kind of membership standard, including to Utah — are passing laws that protect our foundational belief in our duty to God employment rights on the basis of sexual and our focus on serving the specific needs orientation,” he said. “Thus, between inter- of boys. Waiting for the courts is a gamble nal challenges and potential legal conflicts, with huge stakes.” Praising Gates for “taking important the BSA finds itself in an unsustainable position. A position that makes us vulner- steps to limit the harms of its longstandable to the possibility the court simply will ing policy and practices of sexual oriorder us at some point to change our mem- entation discrimination” in declining to bership policy. We must all understand that enforce penalties on chapters welcoming this probably will happen sooner rather gay leaders, Jon W. Davidson, legal director at Lambda Legal, described the prothan later.” Gates told the meeting he was not asking posal to allow church-affiliated chapters for any immediate board action, but said the to continue to bar gay adult participation organization would no longer enforce pen- as “unacceptable.” “Scouting is better than that,” he said. alties on local chapters opting to allow gay men to serve as leaders. Two years ago, the “Acts of bias cannot be reconciled with BSA ended its ban on gay youth participat- the Scout law’s obligation to be friendly, ing in the Scouts, but continued its refusal courteous, kind, and brave. Moreover, as Mr. Gates acknowledged… ‘The country to allow gay adult leaders. Noting that 70 percent of Boy Scout is changing and [the Boy Scouts is] increasunits have some church affiliation, Gates ingly at odds with the legal landscape at committed to a policy that would allow both the state and federal levels.’” — such religious sponsors “to establish Paul Schindler


Madrone, which was used for the child’s birth certificate listing both of them as parents. The court of appeals determined that Karah’s parental standing should turn on whether the women would have married had that option been available to them at the time the child was born. Thus, the court implicitly endorsed the view that if this same-sex couple had been married when the child was born, Karah’s parental status would have been the same as that of a husband whose wife became pregnant through donor insemination. The hurdle Karah likely faces is evidence that Lorrena had expressed ideological opposition to marriage as an institution, as well as her testimony that having the child was originally her idea and she never intended for Karah to be the child’s legal parent. The Lambda Legal lawsuit in Wisconsin seeks to vindicate the parental presumption principle there, where marriage equality — including the state’s obligation to recognize same-sex marriages from

other states — has been a reality since last fall. Chelsea and Jessamy Torres have lived as partners in a committed relationship since 2010, and were married in 2012 in New York. They live in Madison and began trying to have a child in 2013, when Chelsea began working with a fertility clinic. Their child was born this March, but when they filed forms to obtain a birth certificate listing both of them as parents, the state’s Department of Health Services sent them notification that listed Chelsea as the only parent. Though the state has said it is “evaluating” the situation, Chelsea and Jessamy had not received relief by the time they turned to the US District Court on May 13. Their complaint notes that Wisconsin law embodies the parental presumption and applies in cases where mothers become pregnant through assisted reproductive technology. The law uses the gendered terms husband and wife, but courts in other states, including California, have concluded such statutes should be construed as gender-neutral in

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |



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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.


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NO EXILE, from p.4

to ask to have their love recognised by the laws of the land. Our love for each other as couples is second to none. We are not better than heterosexual couples, but neither are we less than heterosexuals when we commit to live in covenants of love. Marriage and adoption are our right as a people co-equally made in the image and likeness of a loving cre-


ator. We are not asking for favours or special treatment. We are simply saying as Irish and US citizens our lives and our loves are as much part of what it is to be Irish, to be American, what it is to be human, as any and every person born in these lands. Our fight for this right is a work of love not only for ourselves, but for all people who desire to live in freedom, happiness, and peace. We must wear our continued strug-

gle for the freedom to love as a badge of honour and belongingness to the Earth from which we are made. Ireland, you have taken a giant step. It is my most fervent wish that soon the land of my spiritual birth — the United States of America — will do the same. Father Bernárd Lynch, the co-chair of London Irish LGBT Network, has worked in Zambia, New York, and

London, where he has carried out AIDS ministries and done both pastoral and psychotherapeutic work with people in oppressed communities, including closeted Roman Catholic priests. Following the 2012 publication of his memoir “If It Wasn’t Love,” in which he discussed his 1998 marriage to husband Billy Desmond, Father Lynch was expelled from his Roman Catholic order, the Society of African Missions.





20. My leaving was prompted by my coming out. I did come up against some homophobia in Ireland; not so much with ordinary people, more with the established authorities and religious ‘moral guardians.’” Malone noted the irony that she and her fiancé can now get married in Ireland, but not in Australia. Scott de Buitléir considered leaving Ireland to be with his partner if City Councilmember Daniel Dromm, an out gay Jackson Heights Democrat, flanked by Brian the referendum didn’t pass. As it is, Silva, executive director of Marriage Equality USA, and Irish-American activist Brendan Fay at an April 30 New York City Hall rally in support of the Irish marriage referendum. the referendum fight led him to give up a radio show he founded and hosted on Irish radio (RTÉ). His program, “The would win, but (a) it’s hard to imagine the status Cosmo,” focused on LGBT life, but because of quo being overturned and (b) there’s a huge difthe laws requiring equal time for opposite sides ference between doing well in opinion polls and of political issues, he found he couldn’t discuss doing well at the ballot box.” Gareth Hurley, the company secretary of the the biggest event in Ireland’s gay civil rights hisDublin Gay Theatre Festival, shared Fleming’s tory as it was unfolding before him. “I felt sad that I had to leave under the circum- uncertainty. “I knew that urban areas and young people stances,” de Buitléir said. “But I felt that I’d rather stand on the right side of history than retain my would support the Yes campaign,” he said. “But title as an RTÉ broadcaster. I was, and still am, what I didn’t know was whether that support very proud of the years of promoting LGBT issues would extend elsewhere. What was amazing was and stories on national Irish radio, but RTÉ’s ner- the strong backing for equality from rural Ireland vousness surrounding this referendum became and older people who had grown up in a very diftoo stifling for such a clearly pro-equality platform ferent country. It made this a victory for the entire country — and I hope the world. This referendum as LGBT programming.” De Buitléir and his fellow presenter, Jenny was not won in the last few weeks. It was won Butler, resigned from the show about two weeks through years of conversation, debate, and LGBT people having the courage to tell their deeply perbefore the referendum. “I felt silenced and very hypocritical,” Butler sonal stories. It was a triumph of valuing lived said, “because I was telling people that I supported human experience over cold abstractions.” As the ballots were counted, crowds gathered all marriage equality and how important it was to me that the referendum passed and urging people to over the country, including the courtyard of Dubvote “Yes,” but on-air, I was playing song after song, lin Castle, to wait for the official announcement. It avoiding talking about an historic time in Irish his- became apparent early that “Yes” would win, and tory. I kept thinking of the people who fought to throughout the country, there were public celebrasee equality in Ireland and around the world well tions that went on well into the night of May 23. In Dublin, Rian Corrigan and his fiancé Ronald before I was even born. I didn’t want to be silent.” So off to the campaign they went. The “Yes” Mendez went to pick up the invitations for their side had a lead in the pre-referendum polls, but upcoming civil union. “The lovely lady at the printer had a look and no one pushing for the referendum considered said, ‘You’ve written ‘civil ceremony,’ but you now the win a foregone conclusion. “I couldn’t call it,” said Irish musician and will have a marriage! Please let me re-print your storyteller Brian Fleming, who travels to New invitations and change that word to wedding, free York City every year to help organize the Queens of charge.’” Corrigan said. “I nearly broke down! inclusive St. Pat’s for All concert and parade that We would have emigrated if civil marriage didn’t Fay founded. “I think, on balance, I believed ‘Yes’ pass, that’s for sure. Now we are hoping that by

Brendan Fay campaigns in his native Drogheda, Ireland.

July 30, the constitution will have been amended. We could end up being one of the first couples to have a same-sex marriage here in Ireland! How amazing would that be?” While this campaign is over, many of the people who worked for “Yes” vote say there’s more celebration — and work — to be done. “I want to step back, recharge my creative batteries, and then come back onto the Irish media radar when I’m ready,” said Scott de Buitléir. “I’m not going away for too long!” “I suppose I’ll start buying a few new bowties for all the weddings that will be taking place!” Jenny Butler declared. “I am engaged to my English partner of two years, Victoria,” said Dani Malone. “My mother, Rita, who is also gay and part of an older Irish generation who are still healing from years of oppression, is now helping to organize my 2017 wedding in Dublin! I can’t wait! I will be marrying at the Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green.” Despite encountering pockets of hatred during the referendum campaign, Sonya Mulligan said the vote marks a profound change in Ireland. “I do believe being involved in this campaign has changed me and many others,” she said. “I believe we all stand taller and I hope this feeling never fades.” On May 23, one day after the vote, Brian Merriman discovered a new Dublin, as well. “I spent Saturday afternoon walking in the city and it was as if I had never seen it before,” he said. “I know I now have a better place for the next generations to live and love in than was bequeathed to me — and that is our duty as we pass through this world.” May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |



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to park testing vans outside the Chelsea clinic five days a week. The department is contemplating parking a trailer, which will replace the vans, outside the clinic for the duration of the renovation that will provide some of the services the clinic supplied and refer visitors to three Manhattan non-profit clinics. In an email, Mark Harrington, executive director of the Treatment Action Group, wrote, “The community has provided detailed recommendations to [the health department], to elected officials representing Chelsea, and to [Deputy Mayor Lilliam BarriosPaoli] and the Mayor regarding the urgent need to fully replace all activities suspended at [the clinic]. Somewhere in Chelsea, ideally close to the original site. To date, my understanding is that while the Deputy Mayor's office has been supportive of fully resourcing a solution to the problem, [the health department] has failed to propose an adequate interim solution.” Harrington called the health department’s approach to the clinic closing “epic incompetence.” Jim Eigo, a member of ACT UP New York, wrote that the health department had “badly botched planning for the closure. (How badly? Words fail!).” Following a meeting among advocates, elected officials, and senior health department staff on May 15, Eigo told Gay City News,


SKYWEST, from p.11

allegations support his claim: (1) He did not take part in male braggodicio [sic] about sexual exploits with women as the other male pilots did; (2) he did not joke about gays as other male pilots did; (3) he submitted paperwork t o S k y We s t d e s i g n a t i n g h i s male domestic partner for flight privileges, a benefit offered only for family members and domestic partners; and (4) he traveled on SkyWest flights with his domestic partner. The Court finds that these alleged facts, together with Denef fe’s allegation that the conduct by other male pilots was ‘regular,’ ‘frequent,’ and occurred during ‘many’ flights, suffice to state a plausible claim that the

“We’re going to miss a lot of people who are in acute infection and we’re going to miss a lot of people who are candidates for PrEP.” Harrington, at that time, lamented the lack of adequate city planning on issues also including the persistently high rate of syphilis and hepatitis C in Chelsea, saying, “The other thing we found out is that the city doesn’t have a plan to address the syphilis epidemic. They have to have a clear syphilis response. They don’t.” Eigo wrote that activists, the health department, and City Councilmember Corey Johnson, the out gay Health Committee chair who represents Chelsea, appear to be approaching a solution. They “secured the support of most of the relevant local politicians (city, state and fed) to support having an ‘enhanced’ trailer at the site that would be equipped to do a full range of STD and HIV testing, free & anonymous. The cost for a trailer that would have the capacity to test about six thousand people a year on site is modest.” Throughout the recent controversy, Johnson has been more charitable than the advocates, pointing out that, since 2008, the health department had investigated 80 alternative sites to provide services during the Chelsea renovation, but none was suitable. Asked if the health department did not plan for the closing, he said, “That’s not my impression. I think the planning could have been better.”

chief pilot submitted a negative PRIA employment reference [to other prospective employers] based on Deneffe’s failure to conform to male stereotypes.” Hegarty noted a 10th Circuit ruling that found that an employer’s action “that does more than de minimis harm to a plaintiff’s future employment prospects” can be the grounds for a claim, even where the “plaintiff does not show the act precluded a particular employment prospect.” Deneffe’s suit can now proceed to a trial on the facts of the case. Deneffe is represented by Rosemary Orsini of Berenbaum Weinshienk in Denver and Subhashini Bollini of the Employment Law Group in Washington, DC. May 28 - June 10 , 2015 | | May 28 - June 10 , 2015



An Irish-American’s Salute




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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ast weekend, more than 1.2 million Irish voters took a courageous stand for love and family when they overwhelmingly chose marriage equality. They recognized the fundamental truth that every person is entitled to dignity and respect, and that there can be no justification for the denigration or persecution of anyone because of who they love or who they are. I want to thank my good friends Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton for their forceful leadership and eloquent advocacy on this critical issue. I cannot improve upon the per fectly Irish statements they made following this historic vote, but I can echo the Taoiseach’s words when he described the Irish as “a generous, compassionate, bold, and joyful people,” and that their choice will be “heard loudly across the living world as a sound of pioneering leadership.” In 22 years, Ireland has gone from a nation where simply being LGBT was against the law. Now, it is a nation where the people resoundingly stand for equal rights. And here in the United States, in just the past three years we’ve gone from six states recognizing marriage equality, to 37 states, comprising 224





Vice President Joseph R. Biden

million Americans. It’s about love. It’s about equality. It’s about dignity. It’s about our most cherished values. That’s what this is about — it’s all it’s ever been about. There is still work to be done. There are still too many nations that deny people even the right to be safe from violence and severe discrimination, and too many states here in America that allow a person to be fired simply for being lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual. But the progress is undeniable. As advocates in Ireland, the United States, and around the world have proven time and again, where there’s passion and commitment, there is

opportunity. I continue to believe that in every corner of the world, people want to do the right thing. You should never underestimate the epiphanies that follow when a culture makes a breakthrough of conscience. But it takes leadership. It takes courageous individuals who are willing to step forward, to turn adversity into positive change, and to truly live the words of the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats: “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.” Joseph R. Biden is the vice president of the United States.


Go Ireland? The Real Meaning of the Marriage Victory BY KELLY COGSWELL


pparently, rainbows broke out all over Ireland as people voted “yes” to letting queers tie the knot. It was hailed as a remarkable victory for LGBT people, not just because it was the first successful attempt to hold a popular

vote on same-sex marriage across an entire country, but also because the measure won widespread support throughout Ireland from the big liberal city of Dublin to the tiniest villages boasting little more than a church and a pub. As in the US, I’m not sure how important a marriage win is for our community at

large. Because it’s possible that support for same-sex marriage is less a departure from Ireland’s entrenched conservative, Catholic values than a reflection of them. A successful trip to City Hall largely boils down to giving the happy couple the right to declare monogamy, protect inheritance, and pay less tax. What

could be more traditional than that? In fact, that’s how the global marriage equality movement has characterized itself, largely making its case by mothballing the freak flag, banishing liberation in favor of equality, and carefully removing the sex from homosexual. Most of the photos illustrating the marriage issue portray us as hand-holding milquetoasts, content with chaste kisses and changing the


DYKE ABROAD, continued on p.25

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |


Zanele Muholi: We Have to Document BY SUSIE DAY


“Zanele Muholi, Capetown, 2011.”

“Love & Loss.”

past 15 years, though this figure is probably under-reported. “Hate crimes have become a binding factor for LGBTI communities,” says Muholi in the HRW video. “And what are we doing about it? After funerals you go home and wait for another funeral? No, you have to document.” Muholi was born in the Umlazi township of Durban in 1972 and lived her first 18 years under apartheid, the daughter of a maid in a white home. In the early 1990s, she became a reporter for a gay magazine in Johannesburg, only to find that the lives of black lesbians were not fully seen or included. So she headed back to the townships, to the black LGBTI people there, taking her skills as a photojournalist with her. Most of the people Muholi photographs are younger, born after the politicizing 1980s and early ‘90s, when queer activists of all colors worked against the apartheid regime. The South African LGBTI community now is united less by politics than by social media, so Muholi has invited queers — mostly black lesbians — to document their own lives and share them: weddings, parties, funerals. “We all document the lesbian funeral, every person who has a cell phone with a camera,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what quality, all of us come together to make that document viral.” To encourage community expression, Muholi has created Inkanyiso (, a brave and galva-

Susie Day is the author of “Snidelines: Talking Trash to Power,” published by Abdingdon Square Publishing.


activist. She is responsible for a stunning exhibit of her photography and art installations now at the Brooklyn Museum. Go up to the fourth floor and find “Isibonelo/ Evidence” (200 Eastern Pkwy., near Grand Army Plaza, through Nov. 1; brooklynmuseum. org). There, you’re greeted by a silent procession of black and white photos: 250 South African lesbians and trans people, whose portraits manifest one by one, each for five seconds, on a plain white wall. These are township people, whose eyes meet yours defiantly or sadly or joyfully. In their faces is a stark, full-on humanity, luminous with ordinary wisdom and psychic scars — physical scars, too. And you can guess where some of those scars come from. On a nearby wall, two hands hold a South African passport showing a page stamped “deceased.” This is the passport of Disebo Gift Makau, who was 23 years old when she was found half-naked with a hosepipe rammed down her throat. Her corpse lay across the road from her mother’s house. Then there was Duduzile Zozo, raped and murdered in Thokoza, Gauteng, a toilet brush left inside her. And Noxolo Nogwaza, found in a ditch, her head crushed with a stone. And Eudy Simelane. And Girlie Nkosi. These are not statistics; they were members of Zanele Muholi’s community. According to a recent article in the British Telegraph, at least 32 lesbians have been murdered and raped in the



few weeks ago at the Queers and Comics conference, I heard Alison Bechdel on a panel, talking about how her epic “Dykes to Watch Out For” got started. “At first, I just wanted to see me and my friends in the world,” Alison said. “But after 25 years of doing that comic strip, I felt, ‘OK, we all know that lesbians are people, so let’s move on.’” The audience (including me) laughed appreciatively because, after over 25 years of activism, the fact that lesbians are people had thoroughly permeated every consciousness in the room. But this was a room in New York, where dykes — and queers of all genders — can get legally married. Perhaps you’ve noticed that many places in the world are not New York. Even New York can be not-New-York, as queers are randomly harassed, beaten, and sometimes killed. You realize that whatever human status the law has given you can be taken away in a second by any rage-filled person you pass on the street. By the same token, South Africa is not-South-Africa. Post-apartheid South Africa possibly leads the world in enlightened constitutions. Going beyond freedom of expression, it gives every South African the right to equal housing, employment, and health care. It is the first country on the planet to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the first country in Africa to legalize gay marriage. But real social and economic equality never came to poor Black South Africans. Vast inequality has borne vast hatred, often misdirected at women and queers. Beatings, rape, torture, and murder have become old news in world media, which report South African lesbians and transgender people being given “curative” rapes and often dying during the course of their “treatment.” Ignoring poverty and “not dealing with the corrupted system,” says Zanele Muholi, in a video interview by Human Rights Watch, “leads to many hate crimes.” Muholi, a black South African lesbian, describes herself as a visual

nizing organization, with its own website, that serves as a platform for her work and the work of her fellow LGBTI artists. Inkanyiso, a Zulu word meaning “illumination,” was also the name of Zanele’s own nephew who, in 2006, committed suicide at the age of 15. Back at the Brooklyn Museum, there are too many of Muholi’s penetrating images to absorb at one go. There’s a grid of black-and-white photo portraits; a blurry video of Muholi and her partner making love; photos and videos of joyous, raucous queer weddings. And, because the prospect of her own violent death has become part of her life, Zanele Muholi has installed a Plexiglas coffin, covered it with armfuls of flowers, and laid a framed photo of her own face inside on a white pillow. So, of course, we at the Queers and Comics conference knew that lesbians are people. But some of the dykes Alison Bechdel so marvelously watched out for may not be able to move on just yet. Not in South Africa. And not here in the United States, where a simple phrase like “Black Lives Matter” has such trouble being accepted. Not here, where legalizing gay marriage has been used to wash pinkly over police shootings and drone strikes. We need to keep seeing and acknowledging the people who, for whatever legal or cultural reason, are still not considered human. PS: “Shield and Spear,” a film about political art and activism in South Africa, is just out. It’s complex and provocative and Zanele Muholi’s in it — and you really need to see it:

“Mourning Disebo Gift Makau.”



The Art of Subversion



rom comes a delightful tale of cyber sabotage: “ Wa r n i n g s o f w r a t h . com used to direct people to the Open Door Baptist Chur ch’s webpage. Now, thanks to one clever man, visitors of the website are redirected to a very, very NSFW hardcore gay XXX site called that depicts videos of tattooed skinheads pounding each other from behind, engaging in cream pie orgies, and inserting icepicks into their urethras, among other things.” I’m particularly fond of that “among other things.” Queerty describes the viciously anti-gay Open Door Baptist, located in Easley, South Carolina, as “a slightly less crazy ver sion of the Westboro” loons. The unnamed saboteur simply seized on an opportunity that was handed to him. Let this be a lesson to all bigots everywhere. To paraphrase Joan Crawford in the immortal “Mommie Dearest”: “Don’t fuck with us, fellas.” The seizure of warningsofwrath. com is reminiscent of Dan Savage’s brilliant contest that asked readers to come up with an obscene definition of the word “santorum” in an effort to ridicule the anti-gay former US senator from Pennsylvania, a once and likely future presidential aspirant. The winning entry:


“Santorum: the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” Then began a coordinated effort to keep the new definition at the top of the page of Google search results for “Santorum.” This requires an ongoing commitment on the part of the public, since search results are listed in descending order of clicks. As a Facebook friend of mine put it in a recent post on the subject, “I try to click on it at least once a day.” So please take a moment and Google “santorum,” then click on the obscene definition. Make it a part of your daily routine. Keep filth alive!

Inevitable: Via Right Wing Watch comes this bit of lunacy about the Amtrak derailment and Brandon Bostian, the train’s gay engineer. It’s from Sandy Rios, one of the American Family Association’s radio blatherers: “Now I am not saying, I am not inferring to those of you that are gay rights activists and like to monitor this show, I’m not inferring that this accident happened because he was gay, but I do think it’s an interesting part of the story and you can bet it would be edited out.” Rios then wondered whether the engineer was “going through some confusion that has to do with the very core of who they are.” She’s not only a bigot; she’s an illiterate bigot. A “he” is not a “they,” Sandy. And I assure you that none of us “like” to monitor

DALLAS BBQ, from p.6

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, in the immediate aftermath of the incident, 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 AntiViolence Project, told Gay City News the incident was being investigated as bias-related by the


your show. Dairy farmers shovel a lot of shit, but they don’t have to like it. As it happened, of course, Bostian’s sexual orientation was hardly “edited out.” The New York Times and many, many other news sources included it as part of their coverage of the story. The Times found a sensible way of mentioning the fact in its profile of the beleaguered engineer: “In California, Mr. Bostian was active in the battles over samesex marriage, donating money and attending rallies in opposition to Proposition 8, which banned samesex marriage. ‘It’s kind of insulting to have to beg people for my right to marry,’ he told New York’s Midtown Gazette at a marriage equality gathering in 2012 in Manhattan. ‘I feel like we shouldn’t even have to have this fight.’” It’s certainly fair to note that Bostian is gay. It’s a part of who he is. In contrast to Sandy Rios’ assumption, I think anyone interested in unbiased, accurate reporting expects to see as complete a portrait of the man as possible. Being gay isn’t shameful, Sandy. Why would we expect it to be “edited out”?

On the lighter side: I am mesmerized by the overbearing Italian mama in the commercial — the one who lear ns to take Aleve to ease her back pain while she pr epar es Sunday dinner for the family. Her cookware is

department’s Hate Crimes Task Force. City Councilmember Corey Johnson, an out gay Chelsea Democrat, said that, given the likelihood that the NYPD is in possession of more information about the incident than any one else, its treating the assault as a bias crime is significant. “They have determined this to be a hate crime,” he told Gay City News. “This was a brutal, out-of-control attack. That’s unacceptable.” (Several online sites have asserted that a Facebook page they say is El-Amin’s indicate that the suspect is himself gay, but Gay City News has been unable to confirm that independently.) Snipes’ mother, Trish Snipes, who spoke to Gay City News from her home in Alabama, said her son told her that a waitress at Dallas

designed to feed the Marines: we see her draining a vast amount of spaghetti for some unspecified, secondary side dish. She’s also seen rolling out dough for another excessive course. (Pizza? Focaccia? A strangely yeasty pie?) Then she badgers a small child into acknowledging the meal’s masterpiece: “You’re waiting for my lasagna, aren’tcha!” My lasagna!” What a brilliant touch! From then on, it’s nothing but complaints. Of course she has back problems! She could have avoided the whole mess if she simply stopped taking stacks of plates down from the cabinet by the dozen. Ignoring the obvious cause of her pain, she then faces the camera and delivers her best lines: “I hadda ask my sista ta come ova ‘n help! I don’ like askin’ people fa’ help… I hadda take six pills ta get tru de day.” All of this with earthy gesticulations and an air of longstanding grievance. “But den my daughta brought ova some Alleve.” Thank God fa’ de daughta! “Ta fa-muh-ly!” she shrieks in the ad’s final moments while clinking her glass of Chianti. Not since “Showgirls” has this perfect an example of camp appeared on the popular culture screen. But the reaction of our community has been disappointing, to say the least. I’m appalled that every gay man in town isn’t doing an imitation. And where are the drag versions? Grindr is killing gay culture. Follow @EdSikov on Twitter.

BBQ, whom she described as having a ponytail, urged the attacker to “hurry up and leave before the police arrive.” The man in the video is seen leaving the restaurant immediately after smashing the chair over Snipes and YorkAdams’ heads. 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. Anyone with information about the Dallas BBQ attack or knowledge of El-Amin’s whereabouts can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers at 646-610-6806, 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 May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |

DYKE ABROAD, from p.22

better predictor would be the fate of trans and genderqueer people. What happens to our girly boys and masculine girls when they dare step outside or into that rigid box of gender? The way we challenge expectations of bodies and control intersects more closely to issues of abortion and reproductive freedom than the question of marriage equality ever could. And the state of the trans Irish nation doesn’t give us much encouragement for an abortion fight. At the moment, trans people can legally change their names, but still not their genders. The Gender Recognition Bill currently in the works contains regressive medical certification requirements and age restrictions.

nappies of somebody else’s kids. Our unions are spiritual. Our new rights as abstract as citizenship. So far, this right to bear boutonnieres hasn’t made much difference to queer lives in the flesh, in the street. We’re still getting bashed outside our own bars and bullied in the locker rooms. Queer kids are getting kicked out of their own homes. Pervasive social change is still a distant promise. Nevertheless, some members of Ireland’s Labour Party are interpreting the victory there as a sign it’s time to improve the country’s strict anti-abortion laws. First on the agenda is repealing the 1983 constitutional amendment giving the “unborn” an explicit right to life. Second is broadening the 2013 law that allows abortion only when a woman’s on the verge of death or suicide. A report published last year by Currently, unless they the Transgender Equality Network have the means to get abortions abroad, Irish Ireland showed that trans and women are forced to bear genderqueer people paid unwanted children, even in cases of rape or when a high price for moving the fetus won’t survive beyond traditional roles. past birth. If you have an illegal abortion, you face up to 14 years in jail. Even women who qualify for an abortion under A report published last year by the 2013 law can’t always get them. Every year it seems there are cases the Transgender Equality Network of suicidal girls forced to carry a Ireland showed that trans and genkid to term. Last year, a brain-dead derqueer people paid a high price woman was actually kept alive as a for moving beyond traditional roles. human incubator in an attempt to The verbal harassment is endless. One person said, “Every day [I’m] save a fetus. Women just don’t count for called a ‘tranny,’ ‘lezzer,’ ‘lesbian,’ much, there or anywhere. We lack ‘it’s a man,’ 10 to 20 times a day dignity both in life and death. Which every day in Dublin.” Trans people are attacked in is the biggest problem when you try to look to marriage equality as a bathrooms, on the street. In one of predictor of the abortion fight. Men the worst cases of late, an 18-year(and women) are winning rights old was beaten, chased, and raped in the first case. The second is all for being a trans man. Like other about females. And what are we but trans victims and the average our bodies and our flesh? Especial- woman — gay, straight, bi, trans — ly when it comes to abortion and he didn’t trust the police enough to there’s no denying that at some report it. United in humiliation and point a penis came into contact with fear, we have more in common than a vagina, or at least a sperm met up we think. Éirinn go Brách. with an egg, and the result is growKelly Cogswell is the author of ing there in a female belly. If somebody insists on finding “Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian a queer comparison, a canary to Avenger,” from the University of sing about the end of Patriarchy, a Minnesota Press. | May 28 - June 10 , 2015

On View May 29 – October 2, 2015

The Nazi regime’s attempt to eradicate homosexuality left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more. The exhibition explores the rationale, means, and impact of the Nazis’campaign. For related tours and programs, visit Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 was produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, whose exhibitions program is supported in part by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund established in 1990. The New York presentation is made possible in part through the generous support of the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation.


Solidarity, by RichaRd GRune, 1947. SchwuleS MuSeuM, Berlin.



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South Asian Culture Wars Raj Amit Kumar juxtaposes sexual intolerance, religious extremism in Indian, Pakistani societies BY GARY M. KRAMER



nfreedom,” written and directed by Raj Amit Kumar, tells two vivid and visceral parallel stories about intolerance. In New Delhi, Leela (Preeti Gupta), a lesbian, rejects her father Devraj’s (Adil Hussain) plans for an arranged marriage and runs off with her activist lover, Sakhi (Bhavani Lee). Meanwhile, in New York, Hussain (Bhanu Uday) arrives from Pakistan to seek revenge on Fareed (Victor Banerjee), a liberal Muslim scholar, in the name of religious fundamentalism. Kumar’s film was banned in India because of its content; it features explicit sex and nudity as well as violent scenes depicting torture and abuse. What audiences there will miss, but can be seen here, is

Bhavani Lee and Preeti Gupta in Raj Amit Kumar’s “Unfreedom.”

the director’s success in conveying the way characters in disparate situations struggle for political, religious, and sexual freedom. Gay City News spoke with Kumar about making “Unfreedom.” GARY M. KRAMER: Why did you choose to tell these two parallel storylines?

RAJ AMIT KUMAR: I think I did that because I wanted to get to something beyond each one of these individual stories. I wanted to make a movie about the questions of identity and violence. We all have many different identities. You may be a son or a father, a lover, a Hindu, a football player. In today’s world, when violence is inflicted on

you, you are boxed into an identity — Muslim, homosexual, etc. I created archetypal characters on both sides that are parallel. I wanted to have events happening to each of them to understand questions of religious intolerance, patriarchal society, masculinity, violence, sexuality, and identity. In my mind, all filmmakers make things that are very personal to them. In all these characters I see pieces of me. You don’t pull something out of thin air or they won’t ring true. You construct a story and characters, but you draw from your personal experience. I’ve seen religious violence firsthand. I have friends in India in the LGBT community who have faced violence and rape. GMK: What can you say about the controversy you and your film encountered? RAK: The biggest risk for a filmmaker with a project like this is putting all these resources together. And then the censorship author-


UNFREEDOM, continued on p.27


From Studio to the Silver Screen Famed nightlife, society photographer Rose Hartman catalogues a lifetime of images BY MICHAEL LUONGO


or nearly four decades, Rose Hartman has captured famous personalities in intimate moments — from the worlds of art, fashion, nightlife, and society in New York and elsewhere. Her work has been in hundreds of publications, including Vogue, Stern, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and Allure. Her first book, “Birds of Paradise: An Intimate view of the New York Fashion World,” published by Delacorte Press in 1980, explored the chiffon jungle in photos and text. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York, the Pucci Gallery, the Dia Art Foundation, the Whitney Museum, the Library of Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, the Dean Project in Miami, and the Ravestijn Gallery in Amsterdam, among many other locations. Her second book was “Incomparable Women of Style,” published by Antique Collectors’ Club (ACC) in 2012, and her new book is “Incomparable Couples,” released this year by ACC. Hartman spoke to Gay City News about her books, her decades of photos, and what makes nightlife of the past more interesting than it is today.


MICHAEL LUONGO: Tell me about some of the background of your development as a photographer, specifically here in New York. ROSE HARTMAN: I’ve been a New Yorker all my life. It is a city that I love, although I’ve traveled the world writing travel stories and taking documentary photos from Bali to Buenos Aires. I also took various workshops to hone my craft. Aspen, Colorado was a favorite of mine, and I spent endless hours visiting photo exhibitions and looking at photo books, a great pastime of mine. An assignment to cover the [Joan] Hemingway wedding in Sun Valley [in 1976] that was published in DNR hooked me. The pleasure of seeing my images on the front page to illustrate “A Moveable Feast” was more than enough to change professions. My first book, “Birds Of Paradise, An Intimate View of the New York Fashion World,” was published in 1980, and I never looked back. ML: I have always been fascinated by the story of your most famous photo, Bianca Jagger riding on a horse into Studio 54. RH: In 1977, I began going to Studio 54, the most extraordinary club in the world, to dance. I

INCOMPARABLE COUPLES By Rose Hartman Antique Collectors’ Club $49.50; 176 pages

would leave my cameras in the oversized speakers and capture the fantastic creatures that made each evening so memorable. One night, I glanced up at Bianca Jagger, celebrating her birthday, seated on a spectacular white horse for a few seconds. This was the shot seen round the world and became my most iconic image. ML: There’s a lot of content that is of gay interest in your new book, “Incomparable Couples.” You have images of Halston, Andy Warhol, Whitney Houston, Rupert Everett, Liberace, Andy Warhol, Amanda Lepore, Jean Paul Gaultier, and


HARTMAN, continued on p.27

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |


UNFREEDOM, from p.26

ities come and ban you. The goal of censorship is to create an environment for independent voices to self-censor. You shut someone off to send the message that you can’t talk about these things. But filmmakers, writers, and artists have to take these risks, and we need to push these boundaries. Homosexuality is a criminal offense in India. It’s an age-old Victorian law we are carrying on our shoulders for no reason. There’s a huge [queer] community fighting against these laws, and we can’t give rights to the LGBT community. So when you decide to make a film on that subject and the subject of violence in the name of religion — we see what’s happening with ISIS — you are taking a huge risk in many ways. If you don’t take those risks, you give in to these forces that will keep the religious and moral ideology the same. GMK: Can you discuss how homosexuality is viewed in contemporary Indian society?


UNFREEDOM Directed by Raj Amit Kumar Dark Frames In English, Hindi with English subtitles Opens May 29 AMC Empire 25 234 W. 42nd St.

RAK: We all know from the Supreme Court in India, Section 377 [of the Indian Penal Code] defines homosexuality as illegal. You can put someone who is gay in jail for 10 years. The conversation is: How do you stay out of jail in India? I would assume if you were to poll people in India, especially in the cities, I am sure you will find overwhelming support for the LGBT community. But the common people don’t hold the power to make that change. The current ruling moral consciousness is very religious. It’s a sad affair. Forget same-sex marriage or equal rights. The struggle is how do you get away from a law.


UNFREEDOM, continued on p.28

HARTMAN, from p.26

ML: What’s your favorite New York nightlife moment? RH: Although I have shot some marvelous people at various clubs, like Area, MK, the Palladium, USA, I have never ever duplicated the excitement of seeing Baryshnikov, Halston, and Mick Jagger at Bianca’s birthday that night with the horse. | May 28 - June 10 , 2015

A Place Where I Can Be Myself


others. Tell us about some of the gay highlights in your book. RH: Although I titled my third book “Incomparable Couples,” it is really a compendium of amorous duos, gorgeous duos, outrageous duos, and other kinds of duos. What interested me was the originality of my trend-setting subjects, from RuPaul in a leopard jacket and mini-skirt, to Rupert Everett in a vintage, stylish “Russian” coat, to Jean Paul Gaultier in his signature striped sailor shirt, to Warhol actually conversing with Lou Reed, to the sensational Amanda Lepore. I have always been attracted to capturing a segment of the population that is all about extraordinary style.

ML: Tell me about Andy Warhol, and about how Eric Shiner of Andy Warhol Museum wrote an essay about you for the book. RH: Warhol — I would see him selling him Interview Magazine around town and at Mickey Ruskin’s famed watering hole [Max's Kansas City]. We never spoke, but he did sign a book for me. I was fascinated by his extraordinary art as well as his uncanny ability to tap into pop culture — and become its emperor. As


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HARTMAN, continued on p.42



Waking from the Doldrums Julianne Côté is winning as young woman struggling to surmount mid-summer disaffection BY GARY M. KRAMER



UNFREEDOM, from p.27

GMK: The depictions of sex and the violence in the film are surprisingly extreme. Was it tough to find actors to do the film? RAK: It was a challenge to find actors for the film, the actresses especially. Popular actors wanted to do it and it would have been easier if I got them to do it, but they wanted me to change my aesthetic so I had to go with actors who believed in the script the way it was. As a filmmaker you create an experience. When I’m asked, “Why couldn’t you do it another way?”


Then it would not be the experience I pictured. It could be told a thousand ways, but each brings a different experience. GMK: What can you say about the themes of shame and honor in the film? Devraj tells Leela that she is “naked in front of the whole society.” RAK: It relates to the concept of making a choice and what it meant for me to make a choice to do this film. I am a student of existential philosophy. I believe at all times in life, no matter how tough the situation is, we make a choice or decision that defines us and things that happen around us. Coming around


he wry and witty Canadian comedy “Tu Dors Nicole” is filmed in black and white, as if to emphasize the colorless world the title character (Julianne Côté) inhabits. A 22-year-old house sitting for her parents for the summer, she wiles away her lazy humid days with her best friend, Véronique (Catherine St-Laurent). The two wander around aimlessly, play miniature golf (badly), and get soft ice cream trying to beat the heat and their boredom. The only bright spot is the credit card that arrives in the mail — signaled by some dreamy music — allowing Nicole unexpected financial freedom. In fact, Nicole and Véronique decide to take a vacation to Iceland. If they are going to do nothing, Nicole rationalizes, they should do it someplace else. Such is the sly worldview of this charming, deadpan coming-of-age film. Writer-director Stéphane Lafleur peppers “Tu Dors Nicole” with clever sight gags, such as a neighbor using her vacuum to clean up dog shit, to puncture the absurdity of the stifling suburban life Nicole so desperately wants to escape. The title means “You’re Sleeping, Nicole,” ironic given that she has insomnia — due as much to her lackluster life as the heat. But this summer represents her awakening, which is a subtle thing — no great traumatic event happens, just some mild knocks that prompt Nicole to grow up, be less selfish, and begin to take on adult responsibilities. Lafleur conveys Nicole’s despair with adroit visuals, such as her lying on an air mattress she has deflated or letting go of a floatation device and sinking to the bottom of her family pool. The

pressures she faces are not particularly intense, but that’s not how they feel to her. Repeated trouble with a bike lock frustrates her efforts to get around town; she steals garments from the store where she works to relieve the tedium; she struggles to avoid a 10-year-old boy, Martin (Godefroy Reding), she used to babysit who has a crush on her. One of the film’s funniest conceits is that Martin’s voice has changed early. His dialogue is spoken by the deep-timbred Alexis Lefebvre; coming out of the baby-faced Reding’s mouth, the effect is hilarious, especially as Martin waxes philosophically about love or gives Nicole advice on how to cure her insomnia. Nicole’s troubles also include the return of her older brother, Rémi (Marc-André Grondin, from the queer classic, “C.R.A.Z.Y.”), who invades the house with his band mates. The incessant percussive beat of their music only worsens her insomnia, but her irritation over them may be due as much to the flirtatious interest Véronique takes in them. That “Tu Dors Nicole” manages to make its sour heroine likeable is a credit to Côté’s engaging, naturalistic performance. She can be amusing — pulling faces when she meets Véronique’s cute elderly boss or in playful banter with Martin. And even when she turns petulant toward Tommy (Étienne Charron), a young man who is already engaged, we understand it is based in jealousy toward anyone moving ahead with their life while she continues to tread water in her own. When Nicole mentions her plans to visit Iceland to Tommy, he tells her to see the geysers, which he explains explode from all the heat and pressure that build up underground. Nicole is

Julianne Côté in Stéphane Lafleur’s “Tu Dors Nicole.”

TU DORS NICOLE Directed Stéphane Lafleur Kino Lorber In French with English subtitles Opens May 29 Lincoln Plaza Cinema 1886 Broadway at W. 63rd St.

experiencing her own heat and pressure, of course, and Lafleur ends “Tu Dors Nicole” with a wink that reassures us she will survive, even thrive. “Tu Dors Nicole” is a modest film but it is also consistently disarming.

to the questions of shame and honor, it’s a religious culture that is ingrained in that state — and you can see examples of that in America as well. It creates shame for a family that doesn’t fall into the norm of being straight. For Leela, it is a question of making a choice. And her father has a choice — to make a decision about what he wants to do. Shame and honor play a huge role for patriarchs to act in the way that they act. That concept of humiliation in front of the whole society is a part of that. The reason for that is to give an example in open society, so that nobody does it. That scene is

very symbolic in terms of the Indian state and homosexuality. It’s the patriarchy of the nation, not just individual relationship for Leela. GMK: There is a discussion of what is right and wrong in “Unfreedom.” Do you think your film can help change minds about political, religious, and sexual freedoms? RAK: Isn’t that what you hope as a filmmaker? If not to change minds then that viewers question why this is. What can be done? How is it happening? Those questions are important. As a filmmaker, you can impact your audience in a way that they go out and question it. May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |



d n A

! n i W


iPad Mini & a Bottle of Absolut Vodka


2 Broadway Tickets & a Bottle of Absolut Vodka


An Absolut Vodka Pride Gift Basket




Any picture you snap at a Pride celebration in June qualifies and upload your picture

to visit: and vote for your picture

Winning entries will be printed in the July 9 issue of Gay City News and posted online at Entries and voting start June 1 and close at noon on July 6 Enter as many times as you like • Must be 21 or over to enter • All entries subject to approval

Visit for rules and conditions | May 28 - June 10 , 2015



18th Century Fachs

Virginie Verrez’s fine mezzo has too much timbral static for Cherubino, though she acted well. Samantha Hankey made Marcellina anything but matronly and unappealing; her lovely singing was among the afternoon’s highlights. Miles Mykkanen (Basilio) fielded an attractive, substantial tenor; he and Wadsworth managed to make the tutor recognizably gay without cringe-worthy minstrelsy. Liv Redpath (Barbarina) displayed a really exquisite voice, with an immediately recognizable personal timbre. The Juilliard players are firstrate, but some very audible mistakes crept in. Gary Thor Wedow’s leadership was earnest but both a bit bland — allowing some second-verse decoration but rare appoggiatura — and at times overpowering; neither low-voiced protagonists had fully developed lower ranges, so both Kemane and Onishi sometimes vanished in ensembles. But John Arida’s harpsichord continuo was continually helpful.

Handel and Mozart around town

On April 27, I saw the muchballyhooed “Orlando” at


Hadleigh Adams and Drew Minter in R. B. Schlather’s production of “Orlando” at the Whitebox Lab.



tephen Wadsworth directed a pleasing “Nozze di Figaro” at Juilliard, with his trademark visual taste and attention to detail. Charlie Corcoran’s very basic sets made sense — for once, hurrah, Act IV actually portrayed a garden — and Camille Assaf’s costumes were gorgeous and flattering. Wadsworth illuminated every exchange, also making a “thing” of introducing characters — the Countess, Antonio, Barbarina, and Curzio — onstage before da Ponte’s libretto does. No harm done, and in some cases it explained further developments — though Mozart’s having the Countess show up to introduce Act II allows him to effect a sea change in the score’s tone from that of the rather heartless first act. Two Bad Television touch-


es — Susanna stomping on Basilio’s foot, and Figaro and Susanna pelvis bumping in Act IV’s mock seduction — misfired in an otherwise well-integrated conception. Ying Fang’s lovely pearly soprano and manner have already elevated her to incipient stardom; her Susanna sounded gorgeous, and greater verbal point will come with experience. Heard April 26, Thesele Kemane’s Figaro had easy, ringing high notes, but for three acts sounded too soft-grained in midrange and made too little of the text. Alexandra Razskazoff (Countess) has a bright sound evoking the Puccini/ Strauss soundworld more than Mozart. Occasionally sharp, she proved very interesting and certainly projected youthful panache. Takaoki Onishi (Count) looked and moved very well, displaying elegant legato and polished phrasing.

the Bowery’s Whitebox Lab. R. B. Schlather’s strongly cast production afforded some interesting moments and some comic perspective on the opera too, but an air of self-congratulation pervaded the evening. It isn’t wise to trumpet being “the future of opera.” That remains to be seen, especially when so many tropes in that direction — near-catatonic affect to the audience, floor -writhing, indifference to text, louche semimasturbatory and assaultive carrying-on in even loucher period clothes (Terese Wadden showed a sure eye for Warhol-era fashion detritus) — all derive straight from the Christopher Alden playbook, as seen in his 2005 Gotham “Arianna” and elsewhere. Schlather opened rehearsals to the public, as a gallery installation and virtually — a genuinely novel, compelling artistic strategy, which might indeed interest newbies in Handelian opera. Some were in evidence at the show, but so —in great part — were the same well-heeled Manhattanites and industry people one sees at Gotham and BAM. The program listed the five hard-working soloists without role names. Distinct identities are so 20th century! This allowed arche-

typal posturing and — sometimes — genuinely amusing or affecting invention to replace any continuous response to a story and/ or the sung words. A wooden subway bench — the kind dating from 1980, not from the era Schlather seemed to have in mind — sat on a catwalk spanning the space. After 30-plus years of engagement with Orlando’s music, Drew Minter still does it a remarkable measure of justice, despite some extra breaths; certainly his stylistic command, including varied trills and keen dynamic shading, remains complete. He gave a bravely vanity-free performance of a totally psychotic creep. The other countertenor, Brennan Hall, has much to learn about text and phrasing but his voice was pleasant and engaging; like most Medoros he scored big in the lovely “Verdi allori.” Two incisive, well-contrasted sopranos, Kiera Duffy (Angelica) and Anya Matanovic (Dorinda), gave much pleasure, though not always flattered by the long room’s acoustics. Duffy drew long lines and Matanovic excelled at staccati. The trio “Consolati, o bella” — maybe the opera’s high point — got sent up, with Medoro and Angelica miming sex, clearly uninterested in anything as unhiply unironic as compassion for Dorinda. If Schlather aimed at evoking Warhol’s East Village Factory scene, the treatment of the two women — presented as a wallflower Mary Ann and Ginger-as-mob-wife, both desperate for sex — all too well reflected its essential misogyny. Dorinda’s transformation into a vixen, however, owed more to Olivia Newton-John’s in “Grease.” In large part the show seemed designed to showcase gay Kiwi bass Hadleigh Adams, who’s made some waves in San Francisco. Strikingly handsome and in great shape, his Zoroastro embodied a Village People-worthy leather daddy, appeared in drag, and spent the last hour virtually nude save for briefs. In slow music he sounded impressive save for lunged-at high notes, but the testing “Sorge infausta” suffered from “appoximattura.” Adams surely won’t lack for contracts. Geoffrey McDonald did not seem like a natural Handelian; though some good players participated, the ensemble was just too scratchy.


OPERA, continued on p.40

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |

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The Women of Tennessee James Grissom’s collected portraits of the playwright’s favorites is a spellbinder


Eva Le Gallienne.



od knows how many books have been written about Tennessee Williams, most of them not very good. However, James Grissom’s “Follies of God: Tennessee Williams and the Women of the Fog” honors the playwright beautifully. A great work, it is undoubtedly my favorite Williams tome yet. The book has yet to be reviewed in the New York Times, an irksome, nay infuriating fact to me. Yes, John Lahr’s quite good biography was also recently published, but surely — given Williams’ widely acknowledged status as America’s greatest playwright — more than one volume deserves to be considered, especially one as good as this. It takes a humane artist to capture the quality of another, and Grissom is surely that. I arranged a meeting with him for New York’s oldest gay bar, Julius’, which he’d never been to. When he arrived, I was chatting with one of the bar’s wonderful regulars, a genial lush whose knowledge of film and theater never ceases to astound me. With curiosity and true generosity, Grissom was as interested in my friend as in talking about himself.


Like so many of us, Grissom originally wanted to be an actor. He enrolled at Juilliard, “where I immediately bonded with my teacher, Marian Seldes, and I realized that I didn’t love it enough, seeing all these committed people. Marian said, ‘You don’t have the right attitude. You have the talent, but that’s generally not enough. There’s a degree of delusion that you need that I don’t think you have about acting.’ “She had read everything I had written because I showed it all to her — short stories, profiles, impressions of class and places. She liked it and said, ‘You have an ability to get people to help you, which you did to me, so why don’t you write to a writer who means a lot to you?’ I did, and that was Tennessee. “Six months later in 1982, I was in my parents’ house in Baton Rouge and my mother came into the bedroom, saying, ‘Someone claiming to be Tennessee Williams is on the phone.’ I answered it and he said, ‘Perhaps you can be of some help to me. Let’s have lunch. I’m at the Royal Orleans Hotel [in New Orleans]. I said, ‘You know, I’m 80 miles away.’ ‘So you better hurry.’ “I drove there, and we met in Jackson Square. There he was in his horrible raccoon coat and we went to the Court of the Two Sisters restaurant, and we started talking.” Williams had a special assignment for Grissom: for him to visit a variety of people — mostly actresses, but a few actors as well — with whom the playwright had worked or deeply admired, give them Williams’ personal impressions of them, and ask them what they in turn thought of him and if they believed he still mattered. “We had been going on five hours and he said, ‘Let’s go to Louis’ place,’ the St. Louis Cathedral. He bought me a rosary and I honestly thought we were going to be asked to leave because he kept ticking off the rosary beads like the people he was interested in, saying loudly, ‘Get her off! I don’t want her on it. We’ll take Faye Dunaway, and put Maria Tucci there instead.’ It was hard for me to write all this down while I was kneeling.” The exercise was all about Williams seeking affirmation. “I said, ‘Okay, you want me to take what you’re saying about, say, Julie Harris, knock on her door, and say, ‘Tennessee said this.’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And then what?’ ‘Then you tell me what she said.’ ‘And then what?’ ‘Well, then I’ll feel better about myself and face the pale judgment [what Williams called the blank page]. You are the canary in the coal mine of my need.’” Williams died five months later, but by then Grissom had become quite close to him. “I had a vast knowledge of movies and plays, but there were things I never saw growing up in a cultural ditch. If it wasn’t on the late show, I

FOLLIES OF GOD: Tennessee Williams and the Women of the Fog By James Grissom Knopf $30; 416 pages

wouldn’t have seen a particular movie he’d mention, but he’d say, ‘I’ll do it for you!’ And he would do a 60 to 75-second version of ‘Gaslight,’ really condense the whole movie — and plays, too. He’d say, ‘I’m sorry, but there is no reason on earth to read or see “Peer Gynt.” I can’t think of one.’ I had youth, he had cocaine.” Requiring that he move to New York, Williams’ assignment initially was daunting for Grissom. After the playwright’s death, however, he decided to make good on his promise and embarked on the decades-long project that became “Follies of God.” “When I moved to New York in 1989, Marian Seldes asked me to meet her, and she had a huge bag which she dumped on the table. It was all the letters I had written her with the interviews I’d gotten, which she’d been reading in her classes, and she said, ‘This is a book — you have to do it.’ She got on the phone and called Alec Guinness, Irene Worth, John Gielgud, and Edward Albee. The interviews started building up at a clip. “Marian said once, not cruelly, ‘This could never have happened if he was alive, because you would have gotten all caught up in taking care of him. You would have been with him when he was drunk or stoned and it would have been messy to show up with him at the home of Julie Harris or Jessica Tandy.’ It’s not in the book, because it would be too much of a downer, but, with the exception of Maureen Stapleton, they were all ashamed that they had been actively avoiding him in his later years because of how he lived, drinking, etc. It was all, ‘Well, what happened? Where did everybody go?’ You’d hear him utter those words.” “I fell in love with a lot of the women. Jessica Tandy, her vulnerability. Zoë Caldwell was astonished, as was Tandy Cronyn, who said, ‘I can’t believe you got all this out of my mother.’ Maureen Stapleton was an angel, a dark angel. Kim Stanley was great, too, smart and funny on the phone: ‘Honey, come and see me.’ When


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May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |

RALPHI ROSARIO | May 28 - June 10 , 2015





“Fiddler” at 50

Sheldon Harnick’s total recall; Simon Callow’s sensible heels BY DAVID NOH




he 92nd Street Y is observing a very special theatrical anniversary with a special concert series, “To Life! 50 Years of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’” A cast headed by Jonathan Hadary will be singing those immortal songs, with Rob Fisher as music director, but, best of all, the show’s lyricist, Sheldon Harnick, will be hosting with his matchless erudition, wit, and brio. (May 30-June 1, Lexington Ave. at 92nd Street; In his lovely, light-filled apartment in the Beresford on Central Park West, Harnick brought up another 50th anniversary he is celebrating this year, his marriage to photographer wife Margery. Asked which he thinks is the more impressive milestone, he immediately says, “Marriage. But what’s astonishing to me is not the length of the show’s popularity, but the attention that’s being paid to it. Others have lasted as long, but they don’t make such a fuss about it. “I have a friend who runs the Utah Festival Opera and last year, they did ‘Fiddler,’ and he played Tevye. I coached him because too many of his readings were operatic. He thanked me and said, ‘Because of what you wrote, there’ll never be anti-Semitism again.’ I thought, ‘From your mouth to God’s ear, but it’s rising in Europe for some reason. There were few shows back in 1965 with such a heavily Jewish theme, apart from ‘Milk and Honey’ and a couple of others, but not this serious. “In our pre-Broadway try-out in Detroit, during intermission I had two diametrically opposed experiences. I was in the men’s room and heard these two very wealthy corporate looking types talking. One said, ‘If I knew it was about Jews, I wouldn’t have come.’ Then I went out and overheard a woman in the phone booth saying, ‘Harry, I told you should have been here! There was a pogrom and everything!’ “When we talked about casting Tevye, [composer] Jerry Bock

and I wanted Howard Da Silva, who’d been ‘Fiorello.’ Jerome Robbins, our director, said, ‘I know Howard’s work is wonderful but Howard is life-sized and I want someone who’s larger than life and that’s Zero Mostel.’ ” With brilliant, irresistibly hammy Mostel, it was a different show every night. To Har nick’s knowledge, he never changed dialogue but would change the staging so other actors never knew where he would be. “During ‘If I Were a “Fiddler on the Roof” lyricist Sheldon Harnick will host a 50th Rich Man,’ all Zero had anniversary celebration of the show this weekend at the 92nd to do was raise his can Street Y. of milk to heaven and sigh, and then lower his arm accidentally into the milk. my God, what he and Jewison had He then was supposed to wring out done was wonderful, they made a his sleeve and look at God, as if to real movie out of it.” The last Broadway revival of “Fidsay, ‘This too, you do to me?’ Zero took that wet sleeve and made per- dler” had many detractors, and fume for behind his ears, greased Harnick is one of them. “There was a lot wrong with it, the wheels of his wagon with it, and walked to the edge of the stage and and part of it was our fault. Bock, wrung his sleeve into the orches- [book writer Joseph] Stein, and I tra pit and it went into a bassoon. were we were so hungry to see a That’s a $15,000 instrument and new look because we were so used the musician was ready to kill him. to the little house on stage and we [Producer] Hal Prince saw this and had seen Sam Mendes’ brilliant said, ‘I’m replacing him at the end reimagining of ‘Cabaret.’ So when of his contract even though the [director] David Leveaux got this show is a success, because there’s set designer who showed us this open stage, we thought, ‘That’s no telling what he’ll do for a laugh.’ “What really broke Mostel’s wonderful!’ “But once the show opened, I heart, however, was being passed over for the 1972 film adaptation. realized the audience was con[Director] Norman Jewison said, fused. Here is this poor man who ‘The only person I’ve ever seen really should live in a tiny house who can use Zero effectively is Mel and it looked like an estate with Brooks [in ‘The Producers’]. He’s trees in the background. The opening number went great and then too big for the screen.’” Harnick loves the film, which we lost the audience for 15 minnever really seems to quite get the utes before finally they’re brought recognition for the great movie back into it the story, because of the staging. musical that it is. “And at some rehearsals, I saw “The first time I saw it I was very conscious that a lot of the verbal Alfred Molina attempt to do things humor got lost because for [the film that were wonderfully emotionTevye] Topol, English was his third al, and Leveaux kept pulling him language. But the second time I back. I thought, ‘My God, he’s taksaw it, it didn’t matter at all. Oh ing an aristocratic approach to this,

not letting him do what is called for. So Molina was criticized for his acting, which wasn’t his fault. “When Harvey Fierstein came in, Leveaux didn’t bother to direct him and just let him do what he wanted. Consequently, Harvey’s second act was one of the most emotional I have ever seen, just brilliant — so I did not enjoy working with Leveaux. Rosie O’Donnell as his wife was odd casting, but I understood why they wanted her, a name. I fell in love with her because she was so dedicated and worked so hard. She told me told she felt so privileged and honored to be playing this role. She didn’t kid around at all and she gave it the best she could.” My personal favorite musical is Harnick’s “She Loves Me,” which the Roundabout is happily reviving with Laura Benanti and Josh Radnor in the spring of 2016 ( “I’m very curious because the last time Scott Ellis directed it, it was lovely, but in the meantime his skills have improved! I just wrote him a note thanking him for ‘You Can’t Take It with You,’ ‘The Elephant Man,’ and ‘On the Twentieth Century,’ which he did this year, and I’m dying to see what he does with it!” Of all the great lyricists, I don’t think there is a more character-driven one than Harnick. It’s only way I know how to write and do it very consciously. I study the script and try and get a bead on these characters, put myself in the situation, what would I say? Shows with villains are hard for me to do. I turned down the musical ‘Nick and Nora.’ I was there when the producer asked the director Arthur Laurents, ‘In a sentence, what’s this show about?’ Arthur said, ‘It’s about Nick and Nora Charles, these two innocents dancing their way through an evil world.’ “I thought about it and called him, ‘Arthur, I can’t do the show. I can do the songs for innocence, but I just can’t for an evil world.’ And am I glad I got out of it: it was a disaster.”


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May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |


IN THE NOH, from p.34

Part of the wonder of Harnick is his irrepressible enthusiasm for the better, younger perpetrators of the art at which he so excels. “I loved ‘Hamilton!’ We saw it twice, but the first time, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who’s a friend, wasn’t in it. As we walked up the aisle, he popped out of the audience and said, ‘I had to see the show!’ He told us whom to call, and we got house tickets for another performance and we will see it again on Broadway. He was very smart: the producer wanted to go right to Broadway, but Lin realized it was too long and when we saw it the second time we realized the second act needed to be trimmed. As far as I know, that’s what he did. “I was surprised that everyone seems to love it except for [orchestrator] Jonathan Tunick and his wife, they didn’t buy it. I’m very curious to see what Sondheim thinks of it. I went to see ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’ and I hated it. I walked out at intermission with [playwright] David Ives who said, ‘I’m going to send Sondheim a bill for my time. He’s the one who told me to see this!’” Harnick is an utterly inspirational 91, mind and body vibrantly alive, and I constantly see him around town catching performances. When I asked him what his eternal youth secret is, he chuckled, “Oh, I don’t know, I’m just happy I’m working. My sister is going to be 93, and the only thing she needs is a cane. My Dad died at 69 and my mother was 75. I feel she could have lived much longer, but was lonely for him and just ate and ate. “Joe Stein was my inspiration. He was close to 98 and going strong. He was in the hospital and had to go to the men’s room but was too embarrassed to ask the nurse to come in with him. He had his walker and told her, ‘You stay out here,’ but he lost control of the walker, fell, and fractured his skull. But he was great, right up to the end!”

The eminent British character actor and author Simon Callow is appearing in a daring, critically lauded one-man, or I should say one-woman, show at 59E59, “Tuesdays at Tesco’s.” His Pauline is a burly cross-dresser, who | May 28 - June 10 , 2015

nevertheless believes herself the most glamorous of domestic divas, caring as she does for her violently disapproving curmudgeon of an old father, whom she takes once a week to the titular English supermarket chain for his groceries. The play is a real tour-de-force for the actor. who ruthlessly throws himself into this challenging, self-enchanted role. (59 East 59th Street, through June 7; If you are wondering, this is not Callow’s first time at the drag rodeo. “In 1975, I played Princess Anne in a short parody of ‘Equus,’” he told me, “in which her horse broke his leg and she had to shoot it, and a few years later I played Margaret Thatcher in ‘A Mad World My Masters,’ by Barrie Keeffe.” It takes Callow an hour to become Pauline: “The wig, makeup, dress. It’s quite easy to wear all of that, but it changes your whole posture. Once you have all that on, you cannot behave like a man. I was brought up completely by women, and I watched them assemble themselves and that is exactly what I do every night. The shoes are quite comfortable, except when we did this in Edinburgh four years ago, they were black. For New York, however, I said Pauline demands turquoise, so the costumer painted them, which says a lot about our low budget.” A friend of Callow’s had seen the original production of the play in Paris and sent the script to him, thinking it would be a great role for him. “I didn’t have time to read it, and didn’t particularly want to do another one-person show. I had looked at a couple of Charles Ludlam plays, but realized they probably relied on him. So I read the play in French and within a page knew I wanted to do it. We’ve translated it and made it English so the French Monoprix store has become our British Tesco’s. [Playwright] Emmanuel Darley got the idea for it when, in a supermarket, he saw a trans woman and her father having a fight, and out of that stemmed the whole vision of what their lives might have been.” Callow has been comfortably out and gay for most of his life: “It was only an issue when I started getting a little bit famous and everybody


IN THE NOH, continued on p.40

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Dishes Served Hot And Cold

Revenge long in the making in “The Visit”; “Queen of the Night” is a wonderful, sexually charged diversion


Chita Rivera in “The Visit.”



agic in the theater isn’t always made by a soaring Peter Pan or a falling chandelier. It can also happen when audiences experience how illuminating darkness can be, when the spectacle is created not by stage mechanics

but through human machinations. Such is the power of “The Visit,” the fascinating and thrilling new musical with a book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, now at the Lyceum. The piece is based on a 1956 play of the same name by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, and McNally has artfully reduced the three-act original to a spare

95 minutes, strategically focusing its characters and themes. The result is sustained tension that aims Shakespeare’s “mirror up to nature” at humanity’s bleaker aspects. Challenging as that is, “The Visit” succeeds because its directness and lyricism make it a heartfelt and deeply engaging experience. Claire Zachanassian, the richest widow in the world, returns to her hometown of Güllen, an unspecified town in Europe that has been devastated by war — presumably World War II — with its residents on the brink of starvation. Her return is seen as the town’s salvation, but she exacts a price for rescuing it. In exchange for dedicating her untold riches to the town, Claire demands the life of Anton Shell, the man who jilted her when they were young and she was pregnant because she was from the wrong side of the tracks. In her humiliation, she turned to prostitution, but ironically in the end married very well, giving her both wealth and a taste for revenge. The drama unfolds with resonant themes


Reasons to Be Gutsy


Neil LaBute’s incisive dramedy proves there’s got to be a morning after

Second Stage Theatre 305 W. 43rd St. Through Jun. 14 Tue.-Fri. at 7 p.m.; Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m. $60-$125; Or 212-246-4422 90 mins., no intermission





s you take your seat at the Second Stage Theatre to see “The Way We Get By,” you can’t help being wowed by Neil Patel’s stylish, detailed set of a New York apartment, with its tasteful cream-andbrown contemporary décor flecked with burnt orange accents. Yet if you look closely, the place is a tad too immaculate. The mail lives neatly in a wall caddy by the door. The throw pillows on the sofa have not been thrown at all, but placed just so. The wicker storage bins, perhaps from West Elm, have been meticulously labeled. This being another finely-etched social dramedy by Neil LaBute, it’s a safe bet that this tidy universe will completely unravel by the final curtain. A nagging sense of foreboding

Thomas Sadoski and Amanda Seyfried in Neil LaBute’s “The Way We Get By,” directed by Leigh Silverman, at the Second Stage Theatre through June 14.

is palpable. And that’s just for starters. Under the taut direction of Leigh Silverman, the combustive twohander, which unfolds real-time over 90 minutes, doles out the drama in tantalizing bites, never quite satisfying yet keeping us hungry for the next mouthful. It’s the kind of play where an ordi-

HOT & COLD, continued on p.37

nary exposition point becomes an intriguing plot morsel. It is just before dawn. A young man we later learn is named Doug (Thomas Sadoski) emerges from a bedroom in his boxer shorts, groggy and dazed, fumbling around a dark apartment that is not his own. Shortly after Beth (Hollywood “it” girl Amanda Seyfried) joins him

in the living room, we deduce that they had a boozy hookup the night before. Apparently, the duo met at a wedding reception, and now must gingerly negotiate the dreaded morning-after minefield. Sure, most of us have seen — even lived — this should-I-stay-orshould-I-go scenario plenty of times. But LaBute manages to deftly inject just enough rich details and kinks to make it feel fresh. We soon learn this is no random hookup. In fact, Doug and Beth have met before. Are they long-ago lovers? Is one of them a best friend’s spouse? Does Doug stick around? Revealing too much would spoil the fun.


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May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |

HOT & COLD, from p.36

about the corrupting effect of wealth. Can justice be bought, and is revenge the same as justice? Is society so easily corruptible? When does expediency overwhelm morality? “The Visit,” though, is much more than an intellectual exer cise. Kander and Ebb’s score is one of their most sophisticated, and McNally’s book is frank and authentic. Claire’s bargain is positioned as a simple transaction, with no judgment passed — which has the effect of amplifying its horror. The creators’ decision to add two characters —the ghosts of young Claire and Anton as lovers — emphasizes the corrosive effects of time on romantic love. And in Claire’s insistence that her youthful romance be enshrined for eternity, we see the tragic dimensions of her character. John Doyle’s staging keenly captures the humanity of the characters beneath their symbolism. The story’s gentle unfolding is chilling, and Scott Pask’s


LABUTE, from p.36

A scruf fy Sadoski, at times bare-chested or wearing a vintage “Star Wars” T -shirt, portrays the agitated yet resolute Doug with nuanced sensitivity. Completely at ease here, the actor boasts an impressive resumé of similar dark character studies, like “Reckless,” “Other Desert Cities,” and another LaBute play, “Reasons to Be Pretty.” HBO fans will recognize him from “The Newsroom.” The big surprise of the evening is Seyfried, whose Playbill bio lists zero theater credits and who has admitted to stage fright. We loved her in “Mean Girls” and the film versions of two Broadway classics, “Mamma Mia!” and “Les Misérables.” Turns out she’s just as affecting onstage, skillfully delivering LaBute’s rhythmic, pointed dialogue and generating real sparks with Sadoski, even when standing some 15 feet apart, which they do often throughout the piece. “The Way We Get By,” which is less misanthropic and caustic than LaBute’s previous works, has much to say about the elastic nature of desire, seizing the moment, and | May 28 - June 10 , 2015

THE VISIT Lyceum Theatre 149 W. 45th St. Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m.; Fri., Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $29-$149; Or 212-239-6200 95 mins., no intermission

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT The Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel 235 W. 46th St. Tue.-Sun., 7:40 p.m. $150-$495, including dinner & other percs or 212-706-7344 Two hrs., 30 mins.

crumbling railroad station set, Ann Hould-Ward’s costumes, and Japhy Weideman’s lighting per fectly complement the mood. The cast is a dream ensemble featuring Jason Danieley, Mary Beth Peil, David Garrison, and Tom


HOT & COLD, continued on p.38

getting what we want. How many times, for example, have we regretted not mustering the nerve to approach that hottie who smiled at us? “That’s the way we get by,” Doug says, begging Beth to take a chance on him before the moment is lost forever. “Play it safe or wait a turn or… worse. We run away. We give up.” Clearly, he’s had his fill of just getting by. The gorgeous Beth, weary of the countless men who lust after her hot body, also yearns for something true. “I need someone who wants me,” she says. “I need somebody to put up a fuss. For me.” Although Beth’s roommate, Kim, is not physically there, her presence is deeply felt. She owns all the furniture and has labeled, in addition to those wicker bins, her food items in the kitchen, even the bottled Smartwater. She keeps a strict TV viewing schedule and insists Beth ask permission to DVR a show. This OCD-addled control freak represents the constraints put on by society that keep us from exploring — and realizing — our better selves. Kim will not be pleased when she returns home.

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FOG, from p.32

I went to LA and saw her, she was really broken down in bad health and I was looking at the effects of that. That was in 1992, and I never would have thought she could have lived for another nine years.” The interviews are indeed amazing — honest and lyrical. “It may be completely gone now, but I think there was an innocence about me,” Grissom said, explaining how he attained such intimacy with so many stars. “I really wanted to do this for this man, and people let their guard down. And there was the aforementioned fact of their being ashamed.” Asked who the toughest interviews were, Grissom immediately answered, “Lauren Bacall and Faye Dunaway. Lauren was always so nice to me, but in [her apartment in] the Dakota, she said, ‘I don’t like journalists.’ I said, ‘I’m not a journalist.’ ‘You’re writing a book.’ ‘That’s not a journalist.’ Bad sitcom dialogue, until I finally said, ‘Then why am I here?’ Later, Phyllis Newman said, ‘That’s how you deal with her. She likes to test people.’ “She only saw me because Vicky Wilson, my editor, had edited her book. So disdainful, I had to say, ‘I’ve asked these questions of 20 people and they don’t think they’re stupid, like do you ever wonder if your work matters?’ And then I would be out with Marian or Frances Sternhagen at a play, and she’d be ‘Oh, hello darling!’ — mwah, mwah — ‘How’s your book coming? He’s very talented, you know! How come you never came back to finish the interview?’


“Faye I met when I worked the Carlyle front desk, a pimp for many of the gay people upstairs, checking in people, and we had a ‘Do Not Take’ list which Phil Spector and also Faye were on. She had one gay employee who was in her clutches. He would never give her a room but would do things like tape the Tony Awards for her because she said, ‘It’s very important to me. I’m coming back to the stage.’… Or she’d say, ‘I’m doing an interview. Can I have a room?’ ‘You can have two hours but don’t throw ashtrays or anything.’ She walked in on me and was sweet as could be because she needed something. I said, ‘While I have you here, I’m writing a book about Tennessee...’ She spoke to me for a while and all the other guys were shocked, they’d never seen her so nice. “She still had her apartment on 78th street and said, ‘You can come see me.’ She was screaming when I got there, she was horrible. Ohmigod, you are in a ‘Mommie Dearest’ outtake! Everything was negative. I’d say, ‘I’m asking the questions Tennessee wanted to ask.’ ‘Well, they’re negative!’ She wasn’t freakish looking then, in 1998, but each year, more and more. What do they see when they look in the mirror?” Elizabeth Taylor was definitely fun for Grissom, though not that helpful for the task at hand. “She didn’t stay on the subject of Tennessee, so I’m putting that in my next book about Marlon Brando, about stardom shaping one’s life. She asked me to meet her at the Carlyle. They all remembered me when I went to see her — I was

HOT & COLD, from p.37

Nelis, with John Riddle and Michelle Veintimilla, as the young Anton and Claire, delivering sensational performances. Roger Rees is wonderfully understated and detailed in his portrayal of the conflicted Anton, who emerges as the piece’s moral center. Rees captures every nuance of the role. And then there’s Chita Rivera. With an ability to grab hold of a Broadway house with the slightest movement of her shoulder or the flash of an eye, she is simply radiant. Star power aside, Rivera delivers a clear portrayal of Claire’s many layers and a fragile heart that still beats with youthful longing beneath her gowns and jewels. Whether in a pas de deux with her younger self or simply standing downstage, she




Elizabeth Taylor in 1986.

so tacky, carrying a can of Tab. This shriveled little Rutanya Alda woman opens the door and she was ready for me, on the couch. “And she broke her own pose, and shrieked, ‘Tab?! Ohmigod, we’re gonna be best friends! I have Tab! Get him a Tab!’ She was stroking her little white Maltese dog in her lap and said, ‘Can you do me a favor? Sugar’s a little nervous. Can you take care of it?’ “I said, ‘You mean the dog, right?,’ and she went, ‘Aaack!’ She was great — tacky and loud Liz — and how scared do you think I was, walking Liz Taylor’s dog, with all the passersby on Madison? ‘Cute dog!’ ‘Get away!’ ‘What kind of dog?’ ‘Shitzu!’ I should have saved its shit and taken it to Christie’s! “Her eyes were not purple, more of a lavender. She just wanted to be comfortable and she kicked her shoes off, nearly hitting the Rutanya Alda woman. I was so devoted to beauty, I asked, ‘Can I use your bathroom? No, I don’t wanna go to the hall bathroom, I want to use yours. I want to see the products!’ She gave me a tour, ‘Now this I use, witch hazel. Oh, honey you’ll never have a pore!’”

owns every moment of the piece, and the juxtaposition of her hot passion lost and her cold revenge is profound. When Claire is onstage, we, like the people of Güllen, barely see anything else. Last summer, I raced to Williamstown to see this show for fear that after so many false starts it might not make it to Broadway. “The Visit” is finally here, and all I can say is you should race out to see it immediately.

Is “Queen of the Night” a nightclub act? A circus? An elegant supper club? Whatever you want to call it, it’s wonderful. Set in the Diamond Horseshoe lounge deep below the Paramount Hotel, it is a recreation of the nightclub that Billy Rose ran for years, complete with a sumptuous dinner, acrobatics, and dance.

Grissom’s book is an addictive read, a must for all true theater lovers, as each legendary actress weaves her own individual Scheherazade spell, with Grissom an uncannily canny guide. Of all his interviews, my personal favorite is with the great, not remembered nearly enough Eva Le Gallienne, the pioneering actress and producer and fiercely out lesbian all her life, devoted to bringing classical repertory to the public with her own company. Tennessee had told Grissom, “She never bored me. Even when I expected the worst from her — judgments and self-aggrandizing attitudes and bitterness over spent gifts — but it never happened that way. She had a mind that was like a tough, tall broom that swept everything before it away, and what was left was a clean, bare floor, a screen, and you could then project onto it whatever you needed to re-think something, to begin again.” Of Williams, Le Gallienne in turn said, “He had the talent. He had the gift. This was demonstrable; that could not be disproved. What he lacked — and what I believe he always lacked — was the foundation of discipline and respect that everyone needs to remain balanced and to function. When he was young and strong, he could fly on lots of dreams and little maintenance, but when I last saw him [about 1980] he was adrift, sad, diminished [though Williams said he had been distracted]. He was the distraction. Tennessee Williams was the only thing that could destroy Tennessee Williams. And he did.”

The artistry of the performers is unquestionable, and the story is slight: The Queen of the Night is relinquishing her crown, but her successor must give up love to step into her place. Can she do it? That at least is what I saw; my companion for the evening didn’t get any of that and instead simply reveled in the wonderful performances, an outstanding meal, free-flowing cocktails, and efficient dinner service that had its own delightful theatricality. The show manages to be at once sexually charged and innocent, opting for frissons of intimacy more effective than something more overt. The evening is a subterranean escape from the ordinary, a journey into a different and wholly delightful entertainment. And, whatever you do, don’t miss the last special dessert. May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |

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OPERA, from p.30

What some rich scenester should give the talented Schlather is more money for musical rehearsal time.

Manhattan School of Music’s “Die Zauberfloete” (May 3), warmly received, had a sensible, unusually logic-driven modern dress staging by Jay Lesenger. Sarastro’s mission was to include women — through Pamina — in the


hierarchy of the enlightened order. Steven Capone’s set, lit by Julie Duro, gave atmosphere aplenty. B. G Fitzgerald kept the order’s costumes muted until the sun’s victory at the end. George Manahan obtained good results in the pit and coordinating with his singers, all quite capable. Standouts were Addie Hamilton (Pamina), a pure, poised lyric soprano who — almost uniquely — delivered the English dialogue

with conviction, and Jana Mcintrye, whose sensational, always musically phrased Queen of the Night exceeded many heard on professional stages. Christopher S. Lilley — an affable if rather passive Tamino — fielded a beautiful, still growing tenor, and Shi Li’s Sarastro exhibited admirably even vocal production. The crowd loved Paull-Anthony Keightley’s solidly vocalized Papageno, but I thought he and Lesenger considerably overestimated the

charm of his manic puppy characterization. Scott Russell (Speaker/ Guard/ Armed Man), Joseph Sacchi (Guard/Armed Man), and Alaysha Fox (First Lady) all performed very creditably, showing vocal promise. Lisa Barone (Third Lady) unfurled a splendid mezzo; she, too, spoke with genuine dramatic point. David Shengold (shengold@ writes about opera for many venues.

IN THE NOH, from p.35



said, ‘Don’t come out!’ Interviewers would ask if I had a girlfriend, and I would say, ‘No, I haven’t got a boyfriend either. I’m gay.’ But they thought I needed to be protected and never printed that. Also, they didn’t want me to tell them, they always want to find you out. “I knew I was gay from an early age, seven or eight. I never had the hots for girls, only boys. But when I was 12, I was reading books about homosexuals and what a dreadful life was presented to me! I seemed to be the only gay person, and all there was was getting picked up by a couple of rather seedy people in dirty mackintoshes. “Even when I got my first job in the theater at the Old Vic box office, I was too shy. But then I went to drama school and that was fantastic. I never had any anxiety, shame, or guilt, so I eventually had to stop people from protecting me. It was actually a useful thing to do, as I think I’m the first well-known British actor to come out. There were others, but mostly in fringe theater, and I think I led the way for people like Antony Sher and Ian McKellen.” Callow is happily partnered with Sebastian Fox, who is “32, dazzlingly handsome, a management consultant. He just went home today. We’ve been happy together for three years now and are getting married.” Apart from acting and directing, Callow writes constantly. “My third volume of my Orson Welles biography came out, which ends on a note of triumph with

Simon Callow appears in the one-man show “Tuesdays at Tescoe’s” at 59E59 through June 7.

his film ‘Chimes at Midnight,’ which I think is his greatest film. Now I have to write the fourth and final volume, also a book about Wagner based on this one-man show I did, ‘Inside Wagner’s Head.’ Then I want to write a novel, but haven’t been able to get around to it. You have to be completely ruthless. I do quite a bit of journalism, too, so am always with deadlines. You have to compartmentalize everything. I’m very greedy!” In 1999, Callow was made a Commander of

the British Empire: “It’s quite touching because it was given for services rendered to the theater. Yet I’m a commander of an empire that doesn’t exist anymore, very ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I like that absurdity, but it is lovely and the queen was charming when she gave it to me.” Contact David Noh at, follow him on Twitter @in_the_noh, and check out his blog at

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GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie, with Tyne Daly, David Hyde Pierce, and Governor Andrew Cuomo looking on. Governor Andrew Cuomo holding up a plaque given him by GMHC in recognition of his support for the Plan to End AIDS by 2020.



Montego Glover, currently appearing in Broadway’s “It Shoulda Been You.”

GMHC’s Kelsey Louie and AIDS Walk founder Craig Miller show off the haul from this year’s event.

The sun shined brightly on May 17 as more than 30,000 walkers marched for the 30th annual AIDS Walk New York, the 10-kilometer trek through Central Park that supports the work of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and other local HIV/ AIDS service organizations. According to a GMHC press release, nearly $4.9 million dollars were raised this year. Among many recognized at the opening ceremony, GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie welcomed Governor Andrew Cuomo, honoring him for his support of New York’s Plan to End AIDS by 2020. Last June, the governor endorsed an initiative advocates urged on him to target a reduction in annual


HARTMAN, from p.27

the New York photographer for the prestigious Italian magazine Panorama, I was invited to the opening of the Warhol Museum, with an array of his signature works as well as those Mylar pillows that floated in space. It was an unforgettable weekend spent visiting Warhol’s home and the cemetery where he was buried. I even received a watch that said, “famous for 15 minutes” that I cherished for years. Eric Shiner, the erudite director of the Warhol Museum, is one of my supporters, and he graciously offered to write an essay for my current book, because, as he said, “It takes two to tango, but it takes Rose


to truly dance.” ML: One of my favorite images in the book is the one of Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell from 1992. RH: One of my fave shots is Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, two of the super models whom I captured at one of the many private events that I’ve attended throughout my long career, an intimate moment within a room overflowing with fashionables. ML: For techies, do you now shoot mostly in digital, and if so what are your likes and dislikes of the transition to digital from film?

HIV infections by that year from the current level of roughly 3,000 statewide to under 750. “We are now looking at a new future with a new possibility,” Cuomo said, in a spirited speech. “Where we can now say we’re going to make HIV and AIDS a thing of the past. New York is going to lead the way. The way we did on marriage equality.” Others in attendance included New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Public Advocate Letitia James, stars of Broadway’s “It Shoulda Been You,” Tyne Daly and Montego Glover, and its director, David Hyde Pierce. — Michael Shirey

RH: Only digital. Seeing the results immediately is fantastic! ML: What are some of your favorite memories from Studio 54, the location of much of your work? RH: Dancing the night away — surrounded by Valentino, Warhol, Liza, and all those bold-faced names that frequented the private parties held at Studio. ML: How much has nightlife changed since what many people think are the heydays, the ‘70s and ‘80s, both for gay and, for want of a better word, mainstream nightlife? RH: Current nightlife is a combo of drinking and talking. No true excite-

ment is connected to nightlife at all. ML: There is also a documentary about your life coming out now, isn’t there? RH: I am happy that a documentary film is being edited now on my life and long career. It is an 85-minute-long movie, with Øtis Mass as the director. There are interviews with me and those I have photographed, like Carolina Herrera, Phillip Block, Simon Doonan, Eric Shiner, and others. It’s currently in post-production. For more details on the documentary about Rose Hartman’s career, visit May 28 - June 10 , 2015 | | May 28 - June 10 , 2015


FRI.MAY29 THEATER The End of Aquarius




Celebrating Bisexual Writing

A Decade of Fighting for the Trans Community

The Bi Writers Association hosts its third annual Bisexual Book Awards, presented in tandem with its eighth annual multi-arts 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, at, or at the door. Admission to the afterparty is free, and there’s a cash bar with food.

SAT.MAY.30 GALLERY #QueerArtInterface “Interface: Queer Artist Forming Community Through Social Media” is an eclectic mix of queer, New Yorkbased 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, 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. Through Aug. 2; Tue.-Sun., noon-6 p.m., with an 8 p.m. closing on Thu.


BOOKS 27th Annual Lammies

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.

It’s Not All Manolo Blahniks and Cosmos “Awkward Sex… and the City” is an ongoing series in which New York storytellers relive their most embarrassing coitus experiences. Host Natalie Wall welcomes Phoebe Robinson, SJ Son, Amber Nelson, and a special surprise guest. The Pleasure Chest, 156 Seventh Ave. S., btwn. Perry & Charles Sts. May 29, 8:30 p.m. Ticket are $15 at, $20 at the door.

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund commemorates a decade advocacy with its Freedom Awards benefit. The evening honors the Amazon television series “Transparent” and longtime TLDEF partners BNY Mellon and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Judith Light, a star of “Transparent” hosts the evening; and Alexandra Billings, another star of the show, accepts the award on its behalf. The Art Directors Club Gallery, 106 W. 29th St. Jun. 1, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $225; $100 for those 30 and under at


Rady&Bloom Collective Playmaking presents 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 back-to-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., through Jun. 12. Tickets are $18; $15 for students & seniors at or 888-596-1027.


SUN.MAY.31 THEATER Women Playwrights on Women’s Adventures Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Works Series presents staged readings of three plays about historical women and their adventures — Lynda Crawford’s “Familiar Stranger,” about Nancy Lane Smith, a Native American, a homeless woman, and a New Yorker; Andrea Lepcio’s “Girl of Summer,” about Toni Stone, an African-American woman who played professional baseball; and Kathleen Warnock’s “Flying Blind,” about the final journey of Amelia Earhart. Simone Federman directs. TADA, 15 W. 28th St., second fl.. May 31, 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 at

MON.JUN.1 PERFORMANCE Paradise Lost Downtown legend Penny Arcade and her long-time 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., Jun. 1 & 8, 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 at or 212-967-7555.

Kate Clinton returns as host of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards, celebrating outstanding achievement in two dozen categories of LGBT writing. The evening honors John Waters and Rita Mae Brown for lifetime achievement. Presenters include Liz Smith, Gloria Steinem, Alan Cumming, Justin Vivian Bond, Janet Mock, Michelangelo Signorile, Barbara Hammer, Andrew Rannells, Sarah Schulman, Kevin Sessums, and Tristan Taormino. The awards ceremony includes performances by Toshi Reagon and the cast of “Fun Home.” Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 E. Seventh St. at Third Ave. Jun. 1, cocktails at 5:30 p.m.; awards at 7 p.m. Tickets are $150 at

BENEFIT Thousands of LGBT Youth Depend on a Thousand Judys A benefit for the Ali Forney Center, which provides housing and social services for homeless LGBT youth across the city, “Night Of A Thousand Judys” honors the iconic Judy Garland with skits, tributes, and songs drawn from her legendary film, stage, and recording career. The evening’s performers include Melissa Errico, Liz Callaway, Michael McElroy, Lauren Worsham, Rachel York, Randy Graff, Kim David Smith, Danielle Grabianowski, the Skivvies, Cyrille Aimee, Adam Kantor, Julie Hill, Josh Sharp, and Aaron Jackson. Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67th St. Jun. 1, 8 p.m. Tickets are $30-$60 at or 212-501-3330. Admission including a 6:30 VIP reception begins at $100.

TUE.JUN.2 THEATER Passion & Consent In David Rhodes’ new play “Consent,” which the playwright directs, Ron Sullivan is a former NFL player and award-winning architect, nearly divorced from his high school sweetheart, who has a chance encounter with Kurt, a hot Yale law student, that pushes him to the


TUE.JUN.2, continued on p.46

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |



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Classic Party Rentals 336 W. 37th St. in New York (212) 752–7661 At Classic Party Rentals, exceptional customer service is its hallmark. It offers a network of party specialists that can provide everything you need anywhere you need it.

REAL ESTATE SERVICES Accurate Building Inspectors

1860 Bath Ave. in Brooklyn (718) 265–8191, Accurate Building Inspectors is a full-service home and building inspection firm servicing the tri-state area since 1961.

Kikco Property Management PO Box 408, Sayville, NY (631) 597-7018, Rental properties, venues for parties and honeymoon packages.


Andaz Wall Street 75 Wall Street, New York (212) 699-1636, Sophisticated urban gay weddings have access to over 14,000 sq. ft. of unique indoor and outdoor spaces right in the heart Wall Street.

The Andrew

the townhouses of East 64th Street. For your wedding reception, the venue’s dazzling, gold-domed Arabelle restaurant provides one of the most unique settings in Manhattan with its blend of murano glass and brass chandeliers, chiffon colored walls and murals of Asian pagodas.

75 North Station Plaza, Great Neck (914) 482-2900, Leave the details in accommodating your friends and family the the professionals at The Andrew, Great Neck’s Boutique Hotel, where chic sophistication meets the timeless essence of Long Island’s Gold Coast.

Russo’s on the Bay

Brooklyn Museum

Shakespeare on the Hudson

162-45 Cross Bay Boulevard, Howard Beach, NY, (718) 843-5055 Exemplary service and exquisite cuisine combined with professional attention to detail was the best way to achieve customer satisfaction.

200 Eastern Pkwy. in Brooklyn (718) 638–5000, The Brooklyn Museum is an extraordinary venue located in the heart of Prospect Heights. It has one-of-akind backdrops for private events.

216 Route 385, Catskill, NY (518) 947-1104, This remarkable event space now features three beautifully romantic cabins ideal for both large groups and private weekends.

Carlyle Catering

Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

Various locations in New York (516) 501-9700, Whether you desire timeless elegance ON THE GREEN, the regal splendor OF LAWRENCE, deco glamour at The Palace, retro nostalgia at The Omni, or a personalized catering style Off The Green, Carlyle has something for everyone.

Columbia’s Faculty House 64 Morningside Dr. in New York (212) 854–1200 A smart and stylish choice for your unique New York City wedding, the prized University landmark has classic, flexible spaces with a surprising, modern twist.

The Edison Ballroom 240 West 47th Street, New York (212) 201–7650, With its award-winning executive chef and personalized service, the Edison Ballroom continues to provide the perfect environment for all occasions in an elegant private event space in the heart of Times Square, New York.

Grand Oaks Country Club 200 Huguenot Ave. in Staten Island (718) 356–2771, Formerly the South Shore Country Club, this new and improved Staten Island venue can provide the perfect. elegant backdrop for your reception with prime dates still available.

Houston Hall 222 W. Houston St. New York (212) 582 2057, A massive space on West Houston Street has plenty of room to create the event of your dream...or a rowdy Beer Hall wedding. Eternal love, beer and a complimentary minister!

Plaza Athenee 37 East 64th Street at Madison Ave, New York, , (212) 644–0202 Le Trianon, our ceremony space is elegantly appointed in natural earth tones with ten windows overlooking

370 Canal St. in New York (212) 966–3400, Let the Sheraton Tribeca help you celebrate your same-sex wedding. The sleek, modern hotel works with various New York City wedding venues in the area.

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.

The Vanderbilt at South Beach 300 Father Capodanno Blvd. in Staten Island, (718) 447–0800 Boasting both a luxurious banquet hall, as well as magnificent outdoor oceanfront space.

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.




TUE.JUN.2, from p.44

edge of his sexual boundaries — or beyond. Passion transforms both men and ripples into the lives of Ron’s wife and his sister Emily, who questions the ethics and risks of sex games. The audience ultimately decides who is seducing whom in the murky realm of power plays. “Consent” stars Mark McCullough Thomas, Michael Goldstein, Catherine Curtin, and Angela Pierce. The Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, 111 W. 46th St. Jun. 2-28; Tue., 7 p.m.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. Tickets are $60 at or 212-352-3101.

WED.JUN.3 COMMUNITY Pride Takes Bow in the Bronx

OPERA Tosca in Chelsea Chelsea Opera presents Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca,” starring Regina Grimaldi as Floria Tosca, Edgar Jaramillo as Mario Cavaradossi, and Thomas Woodman as Baron Scarpia. St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea, 346 W. 20th St. Jun. 4, 7 pm.; Jun. 6, 4 p.m. Tickets are $30$35; $20 for students & seniors, at or 866-811-411; $40-$45; $25 for students & seniors at the door.

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and



Bravo for the Sugarbakers

Dreams of a Summer Night

Nick Cearley of Skivvies fame joins Becca Ballenger, Em Grosland, Sheria Irving, Jenny Strassburg, Kevin Cristaldi, Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte, Jan Leslie Harding, Emilio Paul Tirado, Jack Herholdt, Lou Liberatore, Reynaldo Piniella, and Warren Jackson in Masterworks Theater Company’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Tamilla Woodard. 47th Street Theatre, 304 W. 47th St. Tue-Thu., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 3 p.m.; Jun. 5-28. Tickets are $50-$65 at or 212-279-4200.

OPERA Donizetti, In Benefits for Youth, Earthquake Victims West Side Opera Society presents Gaetano Donizetti’s “La Favorite” in benefit concerts for the Trinity Lutheran LGBT Youth Shelter and for the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. Trinity Lutheran Church, 164 W. 100th St. June. 5 & 12, 7 p.m.; Jun. 7 & 14, 5 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit

“Re-Designing Women” is Jamie Morris’ unauthorized original comedy parody celebrating the 1980s sitcom. A female-owned Atlanta interior design firm, plagued by the faltering economy, is on the brink of collapse, when one of the sassy Southern belles has an idea: pitch a reality show to Bravo’s Andy Cohen. Soon, camera crews are following the zany antics of the four outspoken feminists, their ex-con deliveryman, and their daffy family friend. But fame and fortune quickly turn into infighting and jealousy. Christopher Kenney (“The Threepenny Opera” on Broadway) directs. Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave. at 25th St. Jun. 10-21; Wed.Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. Ticket are $30 at or 212-352-3101.

Anthology Film Archives hosts the first film retrospective of New York filmmaker and poet Stephanie Gray, who has been making experimental and documentary Super 8 films and videos since 1998, Jun. 12-14, 7:30 p.m. nightly. On the series’ first evening, Gray explores hidden stories of dyke heroines including Kristy McNichol, Joan of Arc, Laverne & Shirley, and Eileen Myles. The following two nights, she investigates the hidden mysteries of New York City and its vanishing authenticity. 32 Second Ave. at Second St. Admission per screening is $10. More information at

SAT.JUN.13 COMMUNITY Pride in the Slope

CABARET Seth Sikes’ Birthday Cake for Judy In celebration of Judy Garland’s 93rd birthday, Seth Sikes returns to 54 Below with an evening of her most popular songs. Sikes, who was captivated upon discovering Garland’s work as a kid in Paris, Texas, conceived the evening in collaboration with Tony-Award winning lyricist Lisa Lambert. Gary Adler is musical director, and orchestrations are by Matt Aument. 254 W. 54th St. Jun. 10, 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $25 at 54Below. com or 646-476-3551, and there’s a $25 food & beverage minimum.


Honoring Leslie-Lohman’s Founders





As part of its mission to curb police abuses against LGBTQ youth of color, FIERCE, again this year, is conducting Pride CopWatch on Jun.28, the day of the Fifth Avenue Pride Parade. Organized groups of community members will legally observe and document police activities using video cameras, in order to keep the streets safe and help de-escalate potentially violent and abusive police interactions. CopWatch participants are required to attend a CopWatch training, on Jun. 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m., 147 W. 24th St., sixth fl. Participants must be available from 7-11 p.m. on Jun. 28. For more information, email or visit

Experimental Works of Stephanie Gray


In anticipation of the June 7 Pride celebration in the borough, Queens Pride hosts a PrePride Party, with entertainment by the Haus of Mimosa. Studio Square’s outdoor beer garden, 35-37 36th St. Jun. 4, 6 p.m. A $10 donation gets you one free drink. More information at

Ensuring Fair Police Treatment of Youth

Mayor Bill de Blasio and APICHA, the Asian-Pacific Islanders Coalition of HIV/ AIDS, serve as grand marshals for the 23rd annual Queens LGBT Pride Parade. The parade kicks off at noon on Jun. 7 at 89th St. & 37th Ave., and proceeds on 37th Ave. to 75th St. The street festival, at 75th St. & 37th Rd. begins at 1:30 and runs until 6 p.m. Entertainment on two stages will be capped with a performance by CeCe Peniston, whose hits include “Finally,” “We Got A Love Thang,” “Keep On Walkin,” “I’m Not Over You,” and “Lifetime To Love.” More information at


Stonewall Dems Salute Pride

Run-Up to Queens Pride

Pride in Queens






THU.JUN.4 The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City holds its annual Pride cocktail reception and awards ceremony, this year honoring Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Octavia Lewis, an educational specialist for transgender programming at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and Mark Thompson, executive vice president of the government relations and consulting firm Capalino + Company. Union Square Ballroom, 27 Union Sq. W. at W. 16th St. Jun. 4, 6-8:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $100 at



Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., hosts the borough’s fifth annual LGBTQ Pride Awards Ceremony. Honorees include Eric Soto, founder of Boogie Down Pride; Vanessa Victoria of the New York City Anti-Violence Project; Marie Spivey of L Group; Sasha Washington of Destination Tomorrow; Douglas Reich of Bronx Lebanon Hospital; and City Councilmember Daniel Dromm. The evening’s emcees are Appolonia Cruz and Dominique Jackson, aka Tyra A. Ross, author of “The Transsexual from Tobago.” Billy’s Sports Bar, 856 River Ave. at E. 161st St. Jun. 3, 6-8 p.m. RSVP to

Lesbian Art celebrates the launch of Kevin Clarke’s “The Art of Looking,” a new biography of Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman, the museum’s founders, published by Bruno Gmünder. Steven Blier’s New York Festival of Song, featuring baritone Jesse Blumberg and tenor Scott Murphree, provides the evening’s entertainment. 26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts. Jun. 4, 6:30-9 p.m. The evening includes cocktails, food, and a silent auction. Tickets are $125 at

Brooklyn’s annual Pride Parade and Festival — the 19th — kicks off Jun. 13 at 10 a.m., with an LGBT 5K run in Prospect Park beginning at Bartel-Pritchard Square, Prospect Park W. at 15th St. The street festival, with stage entertainment, on Fifth Ave., btwn. Third St. & Ninth St., runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Then, the Twilight Parade begins at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Pl. on Fifth Ave. and proceeds south to Ninth St. For complete information, including details of the Jun. 8 Pride reception at Borough Hall, a Jun. 10 interfaith service, a Jun. 11 indie rock showcase, a Jun. 12 evening of queer memoirs, and the Jun. 13 afterparty, visit

May 28 - June 10 , 2015 | | May 28 - June 10 , 2015



May 28 - June 10 , 2015 |

MAY 28, 2015 GAY CITY NEWS  


MAY 28, 2015 GAY CITY NEWS