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PRIDE

This Year, What Activists, the Community Marched For

In aftermath of dizzying high court victory, many emphasize need to push forward on many other fronts BY ANDY HUMM

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Grand marshal Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera of Uganda.

ANDY HUMM

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MICHAEL LUONGO

he LGBT Pride Parade in New York has largely become one long — and I mean really long, at seven hours-plus — infomercial for businesses, from banks to Broadway shows, that want the patronage of LGBT folks and those sympathetic to us. But LGBT and AIDS activist and service groups continue to dot the procession, with new and veteran activists and elected officials making a special effort to be there for this year’s last-Sundayin-June event in the wake of the historic Supreme Court ruling two days before opening marriage to same-sex couples nationwide. On June 28, Gay City News wanted to know what the focus of LGBT and AIDS activism is now for these leaders and activists. Their responses ranged from questions of survival to the trivial, but there was, over and over again, a lot of concern voiced for transgender people and youth. Kevin Cathcart, who has been the executive director of Lambda Legal for 23 years, said, “Everything else we have been working on just got bumped up a notch” by the marriage win, “strengthened by this amazing decision. It’s not just about marriage. It’s about our place in the Constitution and the country.” For Ugandan lesbian activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, one of the parade’s grand mar shals, who is from a country where members of Parliament are trying to make its anti-gay laws even more draconian than they already are and where leading gay activist David Kato was murdered in 2011, the priority is basic. “We want to be protected by our government,” she said. “We can’t do our work without protection.” Adejoke Tugbiyele, marching with a small contingent calling itself the Nigerian LGBT Community in NY, said, “We march for who can’t back in Nigeria,” where anti-LGBT persecution is widespread. Tugbiyele said she has hope for the youth in a country where “60 percent of the population is under 30. Things

More than one contingent drew links to broader issues of social and economic justice.

will change.” Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service — who while in the City Council cast the deciding vote on New York City’s gay and lesbian rights bill in 1986 — now works “with 47 LGBT groups in 14 countries, letting them define the nature of their struggle. They are at all different stages of social change.” Messinger acknowledged that, like many of us, she cried when she heard the news of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, while she was attending a meeting in Mexico. Gay pioneer Randy Wicker, 77, who joined the Mattachine Society in 1958 and said he is its last remaining active member, was in the parade being pushed in a

wheelchair amidst a group of activists from Russia, another nation that has suffered an anti-LGBT crackdown in recent years. That group was followed by some African Americans with a banner that read, “All of America is Stonewall for Black People.” A woman named Justice said, “We’re still fighting for basic, simple human rights in 2015, still have no justice in the courts and in the streets” — a message emphasizing that legal protections are not the end of social justice campaigns. Activists from Marriage Equality USA, moved up to the front of the parade in recognition of the June 26 court win, were received with thunderous cheers. Among those cheering was Ron Madson, 67, a teacher who with his now-husband

Richard Dietz and two other couples won the right to domestic partner benefits for all New York City municipal employees in 1993, after a six-year court battle. Madson said he wants “full equality in all 50 states — and get rid of those horrible ‘religious freedom’ laws. They are just James Crow — Jim Crow dressed up.” His call for a comprehensive federal law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression was echoed throughout the day — and one is set to be introduced by Democrats in the House and Senate any day now. US Representative José Serrano, a Bronx Democrat, thinks the “Supreme Court decision opens the door” to progress on LGBT issues in the House. “I think everything is on the table,” said Serrano, who argued that his colleagues, including Republicans, will now be more amendable to passage of measures like a comprehensive LGBT rights bill. Serrano’s colleague Jerry Nadler, a Democrat who represents Manhattan’s West Side and a portion of Brooklyn, was less sanguine about the new bill about to be introduced. “It’s going to take a couple of years,” Nadler said. “I hope I’m wrong.” He noted that he was criticized by some allies when he introduced a measure in 2009 to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but said, “The sooner you start, the sooner you’re finished.” Some were taking a breath for the weekend following the landmark marriage decision. “I have a completely free life to do what I want,” said Steve Turtell. “It’s been a long struggle.” Now, he said, “I want to change people’s minds about us, and we do it by being open and honest — all the time and everywhere.” Cathy Marino-Thomas, a longtime leader of Marriage Equality, said, “I’m working on helping homeless LGBT youth. It’s not the time to go home. We have to move forward.”

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PRIDE, continued on p.22

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

5


HEALTH

Those Eligible for AIDS Rent Cap Must Earn No More Than $12.50/ Day Cuomo administration’s formula for calculating benefit results in housing supports far below “mayor’s intention” BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

A

Jacqueline Dudley, the Human Resources Administration deputy commissioner for the HIV/ AIDS Services Administration, and Dan Tietz, an HRA special services officer, at a July 24 City Council hearing.

“I wouldn’t say uncooperative, I’d say we need more clarity from the state.”

GAY CITY NEWS

6

GAY CITY NEWS

long-sought cap on rent paid by people with AIDS living in city- and state-subsidized housing is benefiting roughly 8,500 of the estimated 15,000 people that AIDS groups had hoped would be protected by the cap because of the method the Cuomo administration is using to determine eligibility. “Our initial estimate was up to 15,000 could be eligible,” said Dan Tietz, special services officer at the city’s Human Resources Administration (HRA), which operates the HIV/ AIDS Services Administration (HASA), at a June 24 City Council hearing. HASA serves 31,711 people with AIDS and another 10,539 of their family members. The rent cap, which holds the rent paid by eligible people with AIDS living in city- and state-subsidized housing at 30 percent of their annual income, was enacted by the State Legislature in 2014 with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. AIDS groups sought the rent cap for more than a decade. It mirrors a federal law, which was enacted in 1969, that caps rent payments for people living in federally-funded housing at no more than 30 percent of their annual income. Because HASA rental assistance is funded by the city and state, those rents were never subject to the federal cap. The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), which sets eligibility for the rent cap, determined that anyone earning more than $376 a month, or about $12.50 a day, was not eligible for the rent cap. This significantly limited the eligible population of people with AIDS. “If you have excess income above $376, it’s a pretty difficult place to be,” Tietz said. “To be clear, that was not our intention. It was not the mayor’s intention.” Generally, people with AIDS who seek the rent cap are disabled and the income they are receiving comes from Social Security disability. When the legislation was enacted last year, the deal was the city would pay 65 percent of the cost of the cap and the state would contribute 35 percent. In practice, the city is paying 71 percent and the state is paying 29 percent, Tietz said at the hearing. Asked about the rent cap at a June 29 press conference, de Blasio was polite when discussing a Democratic governor who continues to attack his fellow Democrats and shortchange or discard initiatives he has publicly endorsed. “I can say that we would like renewed cooperation on the rent cap,” de Blasio said. “I think that was a very, very important new policy, something I believe in strongly, and we think it’s

A day ahead of his broadside against Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio said simply he hoped for “renewed cooperation on the rent cap” from the administration in Albany.

important that the state play its full role and pay its full share in that.” Asked if he felt that Albany was being uncooperative, de Blasio said, “I wouldn’t say uncooperative, I’d say we need more clarity from the state.” Charles King, the chief executive of Housing Works and co-chair of a 63-mmber task force that drafted the Plan to End AIDS, which seeks to reduce new HIV infections in New York from roughly 3,000 annually to 750 a year by 2020, said it was “critical that the 30 percent be fully

inclusive.” The plan relies on using anti-HIV drugs in HIV-positive and HIV-negative people to prevent HIV transmission and delivering stable housing, food, transportation, and other services for people with HIV. King recently met with OTDA’s executive deputy commissioner, Sharon Devine, and two of her deputies. “They have promised to review the regulations… to see if there is room to be more inclusive without a statutory change,” King said. Responding to an email asking about rent cap eligibility, an OTDA spokesperson wrote, “There are statutory income eligibility thresholds for public assistance that may make a person ineligible regardless of whether they are living with HIV/ AIDS.” The city-state split may result from the state’s annual contribution being capped and the cost of the rent cap being higher than anticipated. “The 30% HASA rent cap was implemented based on a plan submitted by NYC HRA,” the spokesperson wrote. “Over a three year period (SFY 2014-15 to SFY 2016-17), the State is providing NYC with a total of $27 million ($9 million per year), with whatever is spent over that amount at 100% City cost.” Cuomo endorsed the Plan to End AIDS in 2014. AIDS groups wanted at least $100 million in new spending for the plan. They got $10 million from the Cuomo administration for the state fiscal year that began on April 1. Those same AIDS groups wanted the de Blasio administration to match that $10 million in the city fiscal year that begins on July 1, but City Hall wanted more information on how the state was implementing the plan. The city did not receive that information prior to de Blasio and the City Council closing a deal on the budget, which provided $5 million rather than the $10 million advocates sought. “In terms of other areas, we’re waiting for more definitions from the state, particularly on how funding would be used in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” de Blasio said. “So again, we want to, we want to see more clarity. We’re ready to work in partnership. We’re very committed to the mission, but we want to see more clarity.” The city’s $5 million is split with $1.1 million coming from the de Blasio administration and $3.9 million contributed in City Council discretionary funds. City Councilmember Corey Johnson, who is gay and represents Chelsea, told Gay City News that it may be possible to add more funds for the Plan to End AIDS later in the fiscal year during budget modifications, which typically occur in November or December. “The mayor’s office wants to meet in the next two weeks… to discuss finding more money before the budget process for next year,” Johnson said on June 26. July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


HEALTH

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Case May Lack Needed Specifics, Judge Suggests Charges HIV agency made “false claims” based on incentives paid employees, patients may not survive dismissal motion BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

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omments made by a federal judge at a June 10 hearing suggest that a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by three former employees of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) against the AIDS agency is struggling. “I don't know of any case that allows a qui tam action to be brought based on the idea of ‘generally speaking this is how we did business,’” said Judge Kathleen M. Williams, who presides over a Florida US district court. “Qui tam, the sine qua non, is a claim; Jack submitted claim 12 for this, or AIDS Healthcare Foundation submitted claim 8 for this, or Bob who worked for AIDS Healthcare Foundation and got a kickback of 75 bucks on May 2nd. The broad strokes of aggregate data only resonates in the context of whether there is a claim that an entity received a government boon, a rebate, some type of government discount because they submitted bogus numbers to the government.” Qui tam lawsuits are brought by whistleblowers under the federal False Claims Act. The three former AHF employees, Shawn Loftis, Mauricio Ferrer, and Jack Carrel, also cite a similar Florida statute. The three charge that AHF defrauded the federal government and Florida by paying incentives and bonuses to employees for increasing HIV testing, identifying more HIV-positive people, and steering those people to AHF facilities for treatment and care. The lawsuit also charges that some patients were given incentives to use AHF facilities. AHF has countered that the bonuses and incentives are employee compensation that is allowed under safe harbor provisions under federal law. Federal law allows very limited provider-paid incentives for Medicare and Medicaid patients. The federal government and Florida reimbursed AHF for the testing and later care and treatment through Medicare, a federal health program, Medicaid, a health program that is jointly funded by the states and the federal government, GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

and other federal agencies. AHF is headquartered in Los Angeles and operates in 12 states. Later in the hearing, Ted Leopold, who is lead counsel for the former employees in the suit and a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, told Williams that he believed they had supplied specific claims. “And we go through some other names and set forth the timeframes, the linkage, subject matter, the job descriptions, the payments, the payroll accounts, and we set all that forward in here as specific examples,” Leopold said referring to earlier court filings. “And there are 900 and some odd examples of this that we have attached to the complaint… But this gives all of the information of who, what, when, where, and there are more documents that can support that.” Williams was unconvinced. “No, I don't think so most respectfully to you, Mr. Leopold,” she said, according to the hearing transcript, which was released on July 1. “These are spread sheets. You need to tell me in no uncertain terms, Jason Handy received a thousand dollars on this date for kickbacks for patient referrals; his patients were Bob and Tom. This is a violation of Medicare protocol, law, and therefore we have a case of qui tam. You cannot just append the spread sheets of a business and say this looks really bad and we think it is a bad way to run your business.” Such lawsuits are first filed under seal and the government is required to investigate the allegations. It then decides if it will join the case. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits, the three former employees in this case, collect a percentage of the settlement or judgment. If they win, a judgment in the AHF case could run to tens of millions of dollars. The suit was filed in June of last year and in February of this year, Florida and the federal government declined to intervene. While the federal statute says that no inferences can be drawn from a decision to not intervene, data strongly suggest that when the federal government does not intervene, the case will not be successful. AHF has since sued the three for-

mer employees and their attorneys demanding the return of patient records. AHF had employees save patient records on agency-owned hard drives to avoid losing data to computer crashes. When Carrel was discharged, he returned his AHF laptop, but the hard drive was in his home and he was never asked to return that, according to an email exchange between Leopold and AHF’s attorney, Mitchell A. Kamin, a principal at Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow, P.C. The email exchange was filed in court records. Carrel’s hard drive provided “most of the documents,” Leopold wrote. AHF alleges that when the qui tam lawsuit was filed publicly, the filing contained records that identified individual patients. Both sides are negotiating a protective order that will prevent any further release of what may be patient information. Both sides have filed motions to dismiss in both cases. Williams

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denied Leopold’s request for expedited discovery in the case against AHF, which suggests that even with the documents Carrel provided, the plaintiffs in that case do not yet have records demonstrating specific fraudulent activity. “Qui tam reverses the usual litigation perspective,” Williams said. “So you don’t start with the macro, the big picture... We start with the micro, Jack got this money on this date and/ or Jack submitted this claim, Medicare paid and it was false. So, the overall discussion of the conduct of an entity like AIDS Health might put it in context, but without the individual allegation of fraud and misconduct with who, what when, where and why, that story can't proceed.” Williams set various dates in July and August for the parties in both cases to respond to the motions to dismiss or to file an amended complaint. The judge set no date for her rulings on these issues.

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Ninth Circuit says valid Eighth Amendment claim raised BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD

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BEFORE

Trans Inmate’s Sex Reassignment Suit Revived

T

he Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision was not the only case of consequence for LGBT rights decided on June 26. On the opposite coast, a threejudge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco unanimously revived a California inmate’s lawsuit seeking sex reassignment surgery. That case had earlier been dismissed at the screening stage by Chief Judge Ralph R. Beistline of California’s Eastern District Court. Mia Rosati is a California prison inmate, incarcerated under the name Philip Walker Rosati, who identifies as a transgender woman but has not been formally diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Prison officials have refused even to allow her to be examined by a doctor qualified to diagnose gender dysphoria, which would be a prerequisite to receiving the treatment she seeks. According to Rosati’s allegations, despite knowing about her symptoms — “including repeated efforts at self-castration” — prison officials “recklessly disregarded an excessive risk to her health by denying [sex-reassignment surgery] solely on the recommendation of a physician’s assistant with no experience in transgender medicine.” In response to her appeal of the case’s dismissal, the state has acknowledged it has never provided such surgery to an inmate. Evidence in another recent federal case suggests that the California Department of Corrections maintains a blanket policy against providing such surgery for inmates. Rosati originally filed her complaint representing herself, and Judge Beistline, in “screening” it, dismissed it permanently, not even allowing her to respond with an amended complaint. She subsequently obtained representation from Lambda Legal’s Los Angeles office and the Prison Law Office in Berkeley, who filed her appeal.

Federal courts have ruled that prison inmates whose serious medical conditions are met by deliberate indifference from prison officials have a claim under the Eighth Amendment, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment. The battle for transgender inmates has been to establish that gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition and that sex-reassignment surgery may qualify as medically necessary. There is an emerging consensus among most federal courts that psychological counseling, hormone therapy, and modifications to an inmate’s living conditions involving dress and grooming may qualify as medically necessary, but the courts are still at early stages in accepting the proposition that prison systems should be required to provide sex-reassignment surgery. No state inmate has ever received such surgery as a result of a federal court order. The Ninth Circuit panel found that Beistline erred in screening out and dismissing this complaint, finding that his action could only be justified if it was “absolutely clear that the deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by amendment.” The state’s attor neys, in fact, conceded that Beistline should have provided Rosati with an opportunity to amend her complaint, so reversal of his dismissal was virtually mandated. But the court went further, stating that “even absent the concession, we conclude that the complaint, although not drafted with the skill and brevity expected of counsel, stated an Eighth Amendment claim upon which relief could be granted.” In arguing that she suffered from severe gender dysphoria for which sex-reassignment surgery was necessary treatment, Rosati quoted at length from the Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. “Rosati plausibly alleges that prison of ficials were aware of

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REASSIGNMENT, continued on p.18

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


HEALTH

Trans Challenge to NYS Medicaid Regs Survives Motion to Dismiss Federal judge rejects most of state AG’s arguments BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD

U

S District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan has denied most of New York State’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a variety of limitations in the state’s Medicaid program handling of gender dysphoria treatment. Rakoff did not immediately issue a written opinion supporting his June 26 ruling, but indicated one would be forthcoming. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program providing health care coverage for people who lack the financial resources to pay for adequate care. Though states are not required to have a Medicaid program, if they do so they must comply with US government standards in order to be eligible for the federal share of the cost. In general terms, the federal program requires coverage for medically necessary care. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of a class of transgender Medicaid-eligible New Yorkers seeking various procedures as a part of their gender transition. It was originally filed in June 2014 to challenge a state regulation banning all coverage for sex-reassignment treatments and procedures, which had been adopted during the Pataki Administration in 1998. The lawsuit arose from frustration about the Cuomo administration’s lack of response to continuing demands to change the policy, even as the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs have been evolving toward greater coverage in this area. Indeed, several years ago the US Tax Court ruled that gender transition treatment cost could be tax-deductible as medically necessary, reversing a long-time policy, and just weeks ago the federal Office of Personnel Management notified insurance companies covering federal employees that they were required to cover such expenses. This New York lawsuit soon triggered a response from the state, which adopted a new regulation effective this past March. The new

GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

regulation, however, only went part way toward the plaintiffs’ goal of achieving complete coverage for sex-reassignment procedures under Medicaid. They quickly filed an amended complaint. The old regulation was a blanket prohibition, stating: “Payment is not available for care, services, drugs, or supplies rendered for the purpose of gender-reassignment (also known as transsexual surgery) or any care, services, drugs, or supplies intended to promote such treatment.” The new regulation states that “payment is available for medically necessary hormone therapy and/ or gender-reassignment surgery for the treatment of gender dysphoria.” Payment for hormone therapy is available even if the individual is not seeking surgical reassignment. In cases of surgery, two qualified state-licensed health care professionals must certify that the individual suffers from gender dysphoria and the surgery is medically necessary. The regulation excludes coverage for people under age 18 and will not cover surgery that would render somebody sterile unless they are at least 21. This is most significant for transgender women, since removing the male genitalia and reproductive system organs always produces sterility. The regulation also explicitly excludes a long list of procedures deemed “cosmetic” and so not “medically necessary,” but which transgender individuals may need in order to accomplish a complete transition consistent with their gender identity. The lawsuit challenges the exclusions of coverage for younger transgender people and sharply disputes the contention that the procedures labeled as “cosmetic” should be excluded. The mindset of those who drafted the regulation is exemplified by its explanation that “cosmetic surgery, services, and procedures refers to anything solely directed

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MEDICAID, continued on p.18

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WHAT IS PREZCOBIX™? • PREZCOBIX™ is a prescription HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1) medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). PREZCOBIX™ contains the prescription medicines PREZISTA® (darunavir) and TYBOST® (cobicistat). • It is not known if PREZCOBIX™ is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age. • When used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection, PREZCOBIX™ may help: ○ reduce the amount of HIV-1 in your blood. This is called “viral load.” ○ increase the number of CD4+ (T) cells in your blood that help fight off other infections. • PREZCOBIX™ is always taken in combination with other HIV medications for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults. PREZCOBIX™ should be taken once daily with food. • PREZCOBIX™ does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS, and you may still experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection. You must keep taking HIV-1 medicines to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. • Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions on how to prevent passing HIV to other people. • Please read the Important Safety Information below and talk to your healthcare provider to learn if PREZCOBIX™ is right for you. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about PREZCOBIX™? • PREZCOBIX™ may cause liver problems. Some people taking PREZCOBIX™ may develop liver problems which may be life-threatening. Your healthcare provider should

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do blood tests before and during your treatment with PREZCOBIX.™ ○ Chronic hepatitis B or C infection may increase your chance of developing liver problems. Your healthcare provider should check your blood tests more often. ○ Signs and symptoms of liver problems include dark (tea-colored) urine, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, pale-colored stools (bowel movements), nausea, vomiting, pain or tenderness on your right side below your ribs, or loss of appetite. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any of these symptoms. • PREZCOBIX™ may cause severe or life-threatening skin reactions or rash. Sometimes these skin reactions and skin rashes can become severe and require treatment in a hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop a rash. ○ Stop taking PREZCOBIX™ and call your healthcare provider right away if you develop any skin changes with symptoms such as fever, tiredness, muscle or joint pain, blisters or skin lesions, mouth sores or ulcers, red or inflamed eyes like “pink eye” (conjunctivitis). • PREZCOBIX,™ when taken with certain other medicines, can cause new or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should check your kidneys before you start and while you are taking PREZCOBIX.™ Who should not take PREZCOBIX™? • Do not take PREZCOBIX™ with any of the following medicines: alfuzosin (Uroxatral®), cisapride (Propulsid®, Propulsid® Quicksolv), colchicine (Colcrys®, Mitigare®, if you have liver or kidney problems), dronedarone (Multaq®), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E.45®, Embolex®, Migranal®), ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot®, Ergomar®, Ergostat®, Medihaler®, Migergot®, Wigraine®, Wigrettes®), methylergonovine (Methergine®), lovastatin or a product that contains lovastatin (Altoprev®, Advicor®, Mevacor®), lurasidone (Latuda®), oral midazolam (Versed®), pimozide (Orap®), ranolazine (Ranexa®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifater®,

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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Rifamate®, Rimactane®), sildenafil (Revatio®) when used for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), simvastatin or a product that contains simvastatin (Simcor®, Vytorin®, Zocor®), St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) or a product that contains St. John’s Wort, or triazolam (Halcion®). • Serious problems can happen if you take any of these medicines with PREZCOBIX.™ What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking PREZCOBIX™? • About all health problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have liver problems, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C, have kidney problems, are allergic to sulfa (sulfonamide), have diabetes, have hemophilia, or have any other medical condition, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking PREZCOBIX.™ • About all medicines you take. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines interact with PREZCOBIX.™ Keep a list of your medicines to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist. Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take PREZCOBIX™ with other medicines.

bleeding in people with hemophilia have been reported in patients taking protease inhibitor medicines, including PREZCOBIX.™ ○ Changes in body fat can happen in people who take HIV-1 medicines. The exact cause and long-term health effects of these changes are not known. ○ Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. These are not all of the possible side effects of PREZCOBIX.™ For more information, ask your healthcare provider. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see accompanying full Product Information for more details.

• The most common side effects of darunavir, one of the medicines in PREZCOBIX,™ include diarrhea, nausea, rash, headache, stomach area (abdominal) pain, and vomiting. • Other possible side effects include: ○ High blood sugar, diabetes or worsening diabetes, and increased

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What are the possible side effects of PREZCOBIX™?

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IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION PATIENT INFORMATION PREZCOBIX (prez-koe-bix) (darunavir and cobicistat) tablets Please read this information before you start taking PREZCOBIX and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment. What is the most important information I should know about PREZCOBIX? • PREZCOBIX may cause liver problems. Some people taking PREZCOBIX may develop liver problems which may be lifethreatening. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before and during your treatment with PREZCOBIX. If you have chronic hepatitis B or C infection, your healthcare provider should check your blood tests more often because you have an increased chance of developing liver problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the below signs and symptoms of liver problems. • dark (tea colored) urine • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes • pale colored stools (bowel movements) • nausea • vomiting • pain or tenderness on your right side below your ribs • loss of appetite • PREZCOBIX may cause severe or life-threatening skin reactions or rash. Sometimes these skin reactions and skin rashes can become severe and require treatment in a hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop a rash. Stop taking PREZCOBIX and call your healthcare provider right away if you develop any skin changes with symptoms below: • fever • tiredness • muscle or joint pain • blisters or skin lesions • mouth sores or ulcers • red or inflamed eyes, like “pink eye” (conjunctivitis) • PREZCOBIX when taken with certain other medicines can cause new or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should check your kidneys before you start and while you are taking PREZCOBIX. See “What are the possible side effects of PREZCOBIX?” for more information about side effects. What is PREZCOBIX? PREZCOBIX is a prescription HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1) medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). PREZCOBIX contains the prescription medicines PREZISTA (darunavir) and TYBOST (cobicistat). It is not known if PREZCOBIX is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age. When used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection, PREZCOBIX may help: • reduce the amount of HIV-1 in your blood. This is called “viral load”.

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• i ncrease the number of CD4+ (T) cells in your blood that help fight off other infections. Reducing the amount of HIV-1 and increasing the CD4+ (T) cells in your blood may help improve your immune system. This may reduce your risk of death or getting infections that can happen when your immune system is weak (opportunistic infections). PREZCOBIX does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. You must keep taking HIV-1 medicines to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. Avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection to others. • Do not share or re-use needles or other injection equipment. • Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades. • Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions on how to prevent passing HIV to other people. Who should not take PREZCOBIX? Do not take PREZCOBIX with any of the following medicines: • alfuzosin (Uroxatral®) • cisapride (Propulside®, Propulsid® Quicksolv) • colchicine (Colcrys®, Mitigare®), if you have liver or kidney problems • dronedarone (Multaq®) • ergot-containing medicines: • dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45®, Embolex®, Migranal®) • ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot®, Ergomar®, Ergostat®, Medihaler®, Migergot®, Wigraine®, Wigrettes®) • methylergonovine (Methergine®) • lovastatin or a product that contains lovastatin (Altoprev®, Advicor®, Mevacor®) • lurasidone (Latuda®) • midazolam (Versed®), when taken by mouth • pimozide (Orap®) • ranolazine (Ranexa®) • rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifater®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®) • sildenafil (Revatio®), when used for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) • simvastatin or a product that contains simvastatin (Simcor®, Vytorin®, Zocor®) • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), or a product that contains St. John’s Wort • triazolam (Halcion®) Serious problems can happen if you take any of these medicines with PREZCOBIX. What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking PREZCOBIX? Before taking PREZCOBIX, tell your healthcare provider if you: • have liver problems, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C • have kidney problems • are allergic to sulfa (sulfonamide) • have diabetes • have hemophilia • have any other medical condition

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION • a re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if PREZCOBIX will harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking PREZCOBIX. • Pregnancy Registry: There is a pregnancy registry for women who take antiretroviral medicines during pregnancy. The purpose of the registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can take part in this registry. • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take PREZCOBIX. • You should not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV to your baby. • It is not known if PREZCOBIX can pass into your breast milk. • Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines interact with PREZCOBIX. Keep a list of your medicines to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a list of medicines that interact with PREZCOBIX. • Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take PREZCOBIX with other medicines. How should I take PREZCOBIX? • Take PREZCOBIX exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. • Do not change your dose or stop taking PREZCOBIX without talking to your healthcare provider. • Take PREZCOBIX 1 time a day with food. • If you miss a dose of PREZCOBIX by less than 12 hours, take your missed dose of PREZCOBIX right away. Then take your next dose of PREZCOBIX at your regularly scheduled time. • If you miss a dose of PREZCOBIX by more than 12 hours, wait and then take the next dose of PREZCOBIX at your regularly scheduled time. • If a dose of PREZCOBIX is skipped, do not double the next dose. Do not take more or less than your prescribed dose of PREZCOBIX at any one time. • If you take too much PREZCOBIX, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. What are the possible side effects of PREZCOBIX? PREZCOBIX may cause serious side effects including: • See “What is the most important information I should know about PREZCOBIX?” • Diabetes and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Some people who take protease inhibitors including PREZCOBIX can get high blood sugar, develop diabetes, or your diabetes can get worse. Tell your healthcare provider if you notice an increase in thirst or urinate often while taking PREZCOBIX. • Changes in body fat can happen in people who take HIV-1 medications. The changes may include an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), breast, and around the middle of your body (trunk). Loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face may also happen.

GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

The exact cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known. • Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV-1 medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you start having new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine. • Increased bleeding for hemophiliacs. Some people with hemophilia have increased bleeding with protease inhibitors including PREZCOBIX. The most common side effects of darunavir, one of the medicines in PREZCOBIX, include: • diarrhea • nausea • rash • headache • stomach area (abdominal) pain • vomiting Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of PREZCOBIX. For more information, ask your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. How should I store PREZCOBIX? • Store PREZCOBIX tablets at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Keep PREZCOBIX and all medicines out of reach of children. General information about PREZCOBIX Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use PREZCOBIX for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give PREZCOBIX to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about PREZCOBIX that is written for health professionals. For more information call 1-800-526-7736. What are the ingredients in PREZCOBIX? Active ingredients: darunavir and cobicistat Inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, and silicified microcrystalline cellulose. The tablets are film-coated with a coating material containing iron oxide black, iron oxide red, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol (partially hydrolyzed), talc, and titanium dioxide. Manufactured by: Janssen Ortho LLC, Gurabo, PR 00778 Manufactured for: Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP, Titusville NJ 08560 Issued: January 2015 © Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2015 027415-150108

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CRIME

Tears for Julio Rivera 25 Years After his Murder Jackson Heights vigil includes many who took up his cause BY ANDY HUMM

T

Julio Rivera, who was brutally murdered in Jackson Heights in 1990.

OFFICE OF COUNCILMEMBER DANIEL DROMM

The corner that commemorates Julio Rivera.

GAY CITY NEWS

Councilmember Daniel Dromm looks on as Julio’s brother Ted Rivera (l.) and Ted’s daughter Jenny hold a poster commemorating Julio.

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he brutal 1990 murder of Julio Rivera, 29, by three skinheads “hunting homos” in Jackson Heights was marked by an emotional vigil near the site of the killing at 37th Avenue and 78th Street, since renamed Julio Rivera Corner. More than half of the 50 people who gathered the evening of July 1 were involved in seeking justice for Rivera in a case that was initially ignored by police and prosecutors. Ken Kidd of Queer Nation was there with his group in 1990 and back for the vigil. “When we read about Julio being hit with the claw end of a hammer and then stabbed to death, it got people riled up,” he said. “We’d had enough. Our friends were dropping at an alarming rate from AIDS. Matt Foreman was the head of the Anti-Violence Project and he brought it to public attention.” The 25th anniversary vigil was led by Councilmember Daniel Dromm, a gay Democrat from Jackson Heights, who was a grade school teacher in 1990 whose activism in Queens was inspired by the Rivera murder. Dromm’s activist engagement accelerated in 1992 by the opposition in his local school district to the multicultural Children of the Rainbow curriculum that included mention of LGBT families. Dromm founded the Queens LGBT Pride parade in 1993 and the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens the following year, working ever since to keep Rivera’s name alive. “If it wasn’t for Julio,” Dromm said, “the Queens LGBT movement would not have gotten as far as it has gotten. Julio did not die in vain. He changed people’s lives.” Ted Rivera, Julio’s brother, who with his then-wife Peg threw himself into the movement for justice for Julio, said, “Twenty-five years ago we were very alone.” The way in which the Latino and gay communities in Queens came together and secured justice and built a movement made him grateful for “all the good that has come from Julio’s death.” Ted’s daughter, Jenny, said, “We’re so grateful for everyone here. So many of you have been here from day one.” Choking up, Dromm said, “What happened to Julio could have happened to any of us.” He said that there was no initial investigation into the murder “because Julio was seen as a throwaway” and the city would not put up a reward for information leading to arrests in the case. Gay activist Brendan Fay, co-founder of the St. Pat’s for All Parade in Sunnyside, said, “Julio Rivera hoped to live a full life. That’s why

he moved to Jackson Heights.” His death, Fay said, “took the movement out of Greenwich Village to throughout the city.” With the vigil coming just days after the US Supreme Court had opened marriage to gay couples in all 50 states, there was much talk of the movement’s work not being over. Chai Jindasurat, co-director of community organizing at the Anti-Violence Project, said, “Our national study showed 21 people killed for being LGBT in 2014, many of them transgender, and people of color were disproportionately affected.” Ed Sedarbaum, who was head of Queens Gays and Lesbians United in 1990, wrote in an email, “The two things that shine in my memory [are] (1) Seeing neighbors stepping out in the first march who had never been out of the closet in their own neighborhood, and telling me how thrilling it was. One of them, Susan Caust, ended up co-chairing Q-GLU with me. The other was the behavior of the crowd after the first march and vigil in the schoolyard. As emcee, I thanked people for keeping things dignified in deference to the culture of the neighborhood, then gave them information about the safest way to get back to the subway and suggesting they walk in large groups… after which, those dignified groups of ACT UPers and Queer Nationals were joined by the fearful local residents, who en masse broke into chanting and shouting and then took over Roosevelt Avenue and stopped traffic. Partly that was just release of the tension from a long day, but I was so proud of my neighbors who, having committed themselves to the struggle, were joyously giving themselves over to the more radical temper of the times. They got it.” Richard Shpuntoff, director of the documentary “Julio of Jackson Heights” now in the process of completion, sent a statement from Buenos Aires paying tribute to Alan Sack who “said goodnight to him on the corner” a half hour before Rivera was killed. Sack, who was not able to attend the memorial, once told Shpuntoff, “Julio was a great political victory for the community, but it came at a horrible personal price for many of us.” Matt Foreman, the executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project at the time of the murder and now senior program director for gay and immigrant rights for the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco, wrote in an email, “It’s still hard to believe all the good and enduring things that have come out of such a horrific crime. It shows what can happen when ‘mainstream’ organizations, direct action activists, and a devoted family... come together and don't give up. I know Julio would be very, very proud.” Of the three men who killed Rivera, Esat Bici who jumped bail to avoid a retrial after his first conviction was thrown out, was himself killed in 2002. Daniel Doyle and Erik Brown have completed their sentences. But it is the memory of Julio Rivera that lives on.

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

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ON INDEPENDENCE DAY, PHILLY FÊTES HALF-CENTURY OF ACTIVISM

Photo Essay by Donna Aceto | In a Fourth of July Weekend celebration, the city of Philadelphia marked the 50th anniversary of the first Annual Reminder demonstration. Organized by gay and lesbian activists from that city, New York, and Washington, the Reminders, held in front of Independence Hall on July 4 from 1965 through 1969, represented the first time the community staged a civil rights demonstration that was repeated on an annual basis. Equality Forum, a Philadelphia group that produces a week of LGBT-focused activities each May, put the four-day program together as a National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. The centerpiece of the weekend was a July 4 ceremony that honored the Annual Reminder pioneers, presented a reenactment of the ‘60s pickets, and focused on leading challenges facing the community today. There were also panel discussions on legal and political issues, an interfaith service, history exhibits at major museums across Philadelphia, and a concert, parties, and a Sunday afternoon street festival. The Fourth of July ceremony was emceed by Wanda Sykes (r., just

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below center), with events ranging from the Annual Reminder reenactment (top) to presentations from leaders including Amanda Simpson (inset to r.), who heads the US Army Office of Energy Initiatives and is the highest ranking transgender federal government employee. The weekend brought together activists who made their mark at a variety of points in the past half century, including original Reminder participants John James (top, r.); Ada Bello, seen below James with Edie Windsor, the victorious plaintiff in the 2013 case that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act; and James Obergefell (inset next to Windsor), the named plaintiff in last month's marriage equality win. A “Speaking Out For Equality” exhibit at the National Constitution Center highlighted prevailing attitudes from the mid-20th century that homosexuality was a mental illness that could be cured and also documented the New York Daily News response to the Stonewall riots. A July 3 interfaith service at Christ Church brought together a diverse group of religious and spiritual leaders, including Bishop Gene Robinson, the retired head of the New Hampshire Episcopal Diocese. July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


INTERNATIONAL

Europride Conferences Highlight Eastern European Issues

The war in Ukraine, Putin’s shadow center stage at June gatherings in Riga BY MICHAEL LUONGO

R

GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

MICHAEL LUONGO

ights, religion, and Russia weighed heavily on the minds of attendees at the two human rights conferences held during the June 15 to June 22 Europride events in Riga, Latvia. The first conference, entitled LGBTQ Movements in Central and Eastern Europe: Successes, Challenges, Perspective, took place on June 17 and 18 and focused on the struggles of activists in post-Soviet regions, with speakers from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Armenia, Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Kyrgyzstan. Regional activists agreed with those from the West that Russia’s law banning LGBT “propaganda” was setting an unfortunate example for other countries in the former Soviet bloc. Lithuania recently passed such a law, a point of deep concern for Shawn Gaylord, an advocacy counsel on LGBT rights at the Washington-based Human Rights First. “Our focus as it relates to Russia is on the propaganda laws,” he said. “I am mostly interested in how these laws are playing out in the region. Lithuania now has a law similar to that of Russia.” A copycat law proposed in Kyrgyzstan, he noted, had been killed. Syinat Sultanalieva, active with the Kyrgyzstan LGBT rights group Labrys, explained that her country is the most democratic of the region often called “the Stans” by outsiders. Even the attempt to advance such legislation, however, is an example of how “Russia has a huge influence and would have allowed the Russian activity against gays to be more promoted,” she said. While Kyrgyzstan is largely a Muslim country, Sultanalieva said, its government is officially secular. An Islamic movement has been emerging, she said, but remains insignificant compared to other Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. “There is a strong resistance to this type of Islam,” Sultanalieva said. “We have a strong civil society

Randy Berry (center, with flag), the US State Department special envoy for the human rights of LGBT persons, with Jonathan Posner, a US Embassy official in Riga, at the June 20 Europride March.

fighting to keep the secular state.” Tamas Dombos, an activist with Hungary’s Hatter Society, an LGBT rights group, argued that “religious dynamics are different in every country” in the former Eastern Bloc, but the spectrum does not conform easily to the way Westerners think about the issue. Czeslaw Walek, from the the Open Society in the Czech Republic, said his country was among the least religious in Europe. “If you have to compare Czech relations with the rest, we are ahead,” with polls showing 50 percent of the population comfortable with LGBT issues, said Walek, who heads up Prague Pride, the nation’s largest annual LGBT gathering. The Freedom Conference, which followed on June 19, took on a more global perspective — including Ted Talk-style presentations from web experts and government representatives — but Russia continued to loom large. Baiba Braze, a senior Latvian government foreign affairs official, read a message of greeting from her boss, Edgars Rinkevics, that nation’s foreign minister who recently came out as gay. Boris Dittrich, the LGBT rights program advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, told Gay City News that Russia’s “[Vladimir] Putin has a very strong hold. Latvia is an interesting case because 40 percent of the people are Russian speaking.” That leaves an opening in the event Putin were to create

unrest as a pretense for an invasion using “the same large heavy hand as he did in the Ukraine. That is why people are afraid.” The US and its NATO allies have announced a plan to stock weapons in Latvia in light of such a possibility. Levan Berianidze, the education officer at Georgia’s LGBT right group Identoba, voiced similar fears for his own country. “Coming here means I under stand very similar processes are going on in the region, in the post-Soviet countries,” he told Gay City News. “LGBT issues have become a scapegoat.” Berianidze added that Georgia is examining the question “Are we bringing ourselves into Europe, or to Russia?” Ukrainian activist Olena Shevchenko, who works with the group Insight, offered examples of the havoc Russian intervention can create. Her organization runs a shelter for LGBT IDPs, or Internally Displaced Persons, seeking refuge from the battles and violence in eastern Ukraine. Andrea Wiktorin, the German ambassador to Latvia, noted that Europride fell close to the anniversary of a major East German uprising against the Soviet regime. On June 17, 1953, a million East Germans took to the streets. “Crowds had gathered that day to show that they were fed up with the communist regime. They wanted democracy,” said Wiktorin, who

acknowledged that the event did not lead to the overthrow of the Soviets. However, on August 23, 1989, she continued, two million residents of the three Baltic states joined hands against communism, while marking the 50th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. That event was among many regional revolts in 1989 that finally destroyed the Iron Curtain. Despite those examples of resistance, Wiktorin warned that assaults against freedom continue to occur and that even in a democracy, citizens “cannot always take their rights for granted.” In his speech to the Freedom Conference, Randy Berry, the US State Department special envoy for the human rights of LGBT persons, also discussed assaults on LGBT rights, though he did not directly refer to Russia. “In the past two years, we have seen laws enacted and proposed in several countries around the world that seek to restrict the public discussion of sexual orientation under the guise of protecting minors from information on so-called non-traditional sexual relations,” Berry, who is gay, said. “These laws, sometimes called anti-propaganda laws, are often vaguely worded and arbitrarily restrict the rights of freedom of expression and assembly. They also contribute to the ongoing persecution of members of our community, including persons who are identified or are perceived as LGBTI.” Berry continued, “Gover nment-sponsored anti-LGBTI initiatives, like propaganda bans, suggest that homophobia is, in fact, officially sanctioned in these places. And in some cases, it encourages those who would act violently on such prejudice. Prohibiting expression of support for LGBTI individuals is not the way to promote social harmony; rather, it can lead to great intolerance, discrimination, societal unrest, and in some cases, in too many cases, violent assault.” Berry also pointed to “recent and proposed legislation against quote-unquote foreign agents [that] requires that [non-governmental organizations] that receive funding from abroad register as foreign agents themselves. This is a problem, because oftentimes,

c

EUROPRIDE, continued on p.18

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c

REASSIGNMENT, from p.8

her medical history and need for treatment, but denied the sur gery because of a blanket policy against SRS,” the panel found. In the past, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a “blanket, categorical denial of medically indicated surgery” is “the paradigm of deliberate indifference.” The court also noted Rosati’s allegation that treatment was denied based on a recommendation from an unqualified physician’s assistant. “Although Rosati lacks a medical opinion recommending SRS, she plausibly alleges that this is because the state has failed to provide her access to a physician competent to evaluate her,” the court found, noting that this, too, could be construed as deliberate indifference.

c

“We express no opinion on whether SRS is medically necessary for Rosati or whether prison officials have other legitimate reasons for denying her that treatment,” the court found. “But, like other courts that have considered similar actions, we hold that the allegations in Rosati’s complaint are sufficient to state a claim.” The Ninth Circuit panel cited decisions from the First, Fourth, and Seventh Circuits supporting its conclusion, though in none of those cases did a court ultimately order prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery. The panel also cited a March ruling by another California federal district court judge, who ordered sex-reassignment surgery for MichelleLael Norsworthy to be undertaken immediately, only to have the

MEDICAID, from p.9

at improving an individual’s appearance.” But Medicaid covers such procedures in other contexts, such as reparative and cosmetic surgery for somebody who has suffered disfiguring injuries in a fire, auto crash, or similar catastrophe, even though “improving an individual’s appearance” may be the primary goal of a particular procedure. The complaint spells out the problems encountered by individuals unable to access these procedures. An incomplete transition, the complaint spells out, makes their transgender status obvious, “outing” them and leaving them vulnerable to harassment or worse. The legal theory behind the lawsuit is that the limitations that persist even under the new regulation violate the state’s obligations under the federal Medicaid statute to cover medically necessary care and also raise constitutional issues of unequal treatment, as transgender people are being excluded from access to treatments and procedures covered in other contexts. The complaint also alleges a violation of the non-discrimination requirements of the

c

EUROPRIDE, from p.17

most of the time, the best work in this space is done by civil societies. They have the best knowledge of what’s happening on the ground, and these partners need to have space, freedom, and the resources to act.” Braze, the Latvian foreign affairs official, told Gay City News that “Everybody is under the influence of Russia. It’s not something unique

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order stayed by the Ninth Circuit in response to the state’s emergency motion. This panel’s ruling on Rosati’s appeal may foreshadow how another panel of the court will deal with that case. The Rostai panel, having found that her complaint was sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim, also commented that the district court should consider her claim that the state was violating her 14th Amendment right to equal protection. If the Ninth Circuit ultimately rules in favor of one of the two transgender inmates whose cases are before it, the chances are excellent that the state could obtain review from the Supreme Court. On May 4, the Supreme Court denied review in Kosilek v. Spencer, in which the full bench of the

Affordable Care Act (ACA). The attorney general’s office quickly responded to the amended complaint by filing a motion, in the name of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, to dismiss the case, arguing that 11th Amendment’s guarantee to states of sovereign immunity bars the plaintiffs’ constitutional claims, and that the Medicaid statute’s requirements are not enforceable by individuals in a federal lawsuit. The AG’s office also argued that excluding those under 18 violated no provisions of the statutes the plaintiffs relied on, that the denial of coverage for cosmetic procedures was not “ripe” for review based on the factual allegations in the complaint, and that the complaint raised no plausible claim for violation of the specific Medicaid regulation upon which the plaintiffs relied. Rakoff rejected most of the AG’s arguments, at least at this early stage of the lawsuit for purposes of determining whether the case should be thrown out or allowed to continue. According to a summary of his ruling published by the New York Law Journal on June 30, Rakoff declined to dismiss claims related to the “refusal to fully fund the treatment of

to my country and the Baltic region.” But, she voiced confidence that Latvia can withstand challenges and provocations from Russia. “The resilience of our society is as a democratic, free, open society,” said Braze, who explained that under the Latvian constitution, “equality applies to everyone no matter what origins they have.” Latvian freedom is personal for her, Braze explained. “I spent the first 24 years of my

First Circuit rejected a three-judge panel and a trial judge ruling and allowed Massachusetts prison officials to deny sex-reassignment surgery to Michelle Kosilek. If the Ninth rules the other way, the high court would face a split between two federal circuits, paving the way for it to consider the issue. The Supreme Court has never previously ruled on whether gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition or if prison officials may be required to provide for medically-necessary sex-reassignment surgery. Mia Rosati is represented on appeal by Jon W. Davidson and Peter C. Renn of Lambda Legal and Alison Hardy of the Prison Law Office. Renn argued the appeal in the Ninth Circuit. The World Professional Association filed an amicus brief in support of Rosati’s appeal.

gender identity disorder or gender dysphoria” including “refusing surgery for those under 18.” He also refused to dismiss a sex-based discrimination claim under the ACA, but granted the state’s motion to dismiss an ACA claim for youth hormone therapy for those under 18. He also dismissed a claim under one section of the Medicaid law requiring the state to have reasonable standards for determining eligibility for the extent of medical assistance. Rakoff noted that the two parties had agreed to dismiss the equal protection constitutional claim. The plaintiffs are represented by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and the Legal Aid Society, with pro bono assistance from lawyers at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Sumani Lanka, a Legal Aid Society attorney, told the Law Journal, “The state doesn’t really understand what gender identity is. Gender identity isn’t just reassignment surgery — it has to do with how a person perceives themselves and identifies themselves. It shouldn’t be that the state arbitrarily limits treatment that is medically necessary for gender dysphoria.”

life under Soviet rule,” she said. “It is a thing that nobody wants to go through. But it is also a thing to know what it was like when you are not free.” The young LGBT activists who marched in Riga the following day are not old enough to remember communism, but they still fear the violence and repression that parades in earlier years were met with. Braze voiced confidence that her country’s government “will

guarantee this value and the safety of the marchers. The right to have the Pride is the right for all of us in Latvia.” The peaceful manner in which Riga Pride unfolded the next day bore Braze out in her confidence. Michael Luongo’s stories on the Europride celebration appeared in the June 25 issue of Gay City News and can be found at goo.gl/2TIGxm and goo.gl/oPGofb. July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

19


MORSELS

Sex and Park Slope’s New Italian

Hugo & Sons is a welcome new addition to a corner of the neighborhood with haughtier entries BY DONNA MINKOWITZ

T

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FACEBOOK.COM/PAGES/HUGO-SONS

he waitress welcomed us as though she had been waiting all her life just to ply us with glasses of nerello mascalese and plates of pasta alla chitarra with tuna, chilies, and mint. That’s the kind of service I like. When you pay your hard-earned money to a restaurant, you should be treated as though you were making each staffer’s day just by sticking your foot in the door and exciting them for life just by placing your queenly butt in their chairs. Hugo & Sons, a convivial, three-monthold Italian restaurant in Park Slope, offers a much better experience than its delicious but snooty next-door neighbors, Talde and Applewood. The tiny portions and cool welcomes at those eminences should by rights direct diners to this happy, generous new kid on the block. A lot of the food will make you smile as warmly as the waitstaff do. That chitarra pasta (squareedged, long, spaghetti-like strands made on a traditional, cut-by-hand device) was surprisingly voluptuous, a special one night with unctuous lumps of cooked tuna. Lovers of pearls and diving, come to Brooklyn: I haven’t had cooked tuna this lewd in decades. (American chefs have forgotten how to make anything in between a near-raw sear and dead-and-dry.) My own pearl girl and I were eating in Hugo’s pizzeria annex, which serves everything on the regular menu except entrées, plus pizzas and specials. The pizza place’s outdoor seating on 11th Street turns out to be Hugo’s most romantic setting, amid abundant plants, Shabby Chic red metal chairs, leafy street trees, and the nearby outdoor diners from Applewood and their dinner plates to gawk at and compare. It was only a South Slope pizzeria, but we seemed to be dining in Paris. I was in the mood for a girly drink: a prosecco cocktail with strawberry purée making glowy red shapes at the bottom like a lava lamp, which I had seen two women

The strozapreti genovese is sexy as fuck.

drinking at the bar inside ($12). (Yes, I do call myself a butch. So sue me. If we can’t subvert our identities whenever we want, why be queer?) The drink was indeed pretty and festive, but I couldn’t taste enough strawberry. My aggressive femme partner had a glass of the nerello ($17), an earthy, tannic, dark-colored Sicilian wine that we both adored with her pizza fiamma (sopressata, crushed red chilies, pesto, tomato, and fior di latte mozzarella ($16). Karen loved her pizza, and I liked it (it would have benefited from a more generous hand with the chilies, but was perfectly satisfying anyhow, like a little Mack truck made of sausage, cheese, and tomatoes). The same went for a kale salad enmeshed in a rich Parmesan dressing ($9), also enjoyable to the max but not anything that could make me fall in love. I was falling in love with the evening, though, especially by the time my pasta came. The lesbo-friendly hosts and waitress smiled and winked at our arm-grabbing and knee-knocking in the warm June sunlight, the wine was delicious, and I noticed that the table next to us had a niçoise salad dominated by meaty-looking, blood-red slices of seared tuna (I like those, too) that I wanted to grab and eat. Then came the bill, with a surprise: they’d comped our drinks

because we’d had to wait quite a while for our entrées. I’ve endured far longer waits in restaurants without anything resembling an apology, much less free prosecco. On our next visit, we took a luxurious, red-banquetted table in the main section, which has a jolly, let’s-eat-and-drink-life-is-short vibe. I was prepared to be underwhelmed by the “assorted crostini” — stick a bunch of stuff on little pieces of toast for $9? — but the chefs proved that sticking some stuff on crisped bread can actually be a matter of talent and even profundity. One had what looked like guacamole (actually, an odd, delicious spread made of sweet peas) underneath thin slices of funky, salami-like Tuscan pecorino cheese. My favorite was the crust with buttery balls of burrata set off with lemon, chili, and marjoram. Karen’s strozapreti genovese ($16), literally “priest-chokers,” wer e fat, long, phallic, thickly-braided twists, perfectly shaped to stick on and into the braised-brisket ragú and sublime ball of ricotta that accompanied them. Yes, they were as sexy as fuck. (The glistening brisket sauce and breast-like ricotta helped in this.) My entrée, however, was the worst thing I’ve been served in a restaurant since 2013. Chicken milanese ($18) came as deep-fried,

unpounded, repellently thick ships of chicken breast (the word “cutlet” cannot properly be applied here) that had strangely not been touched by salt, spice, or even lemon. I don’t know if it was a good or bad thing that they served me enough to feed a large family. An odd thing happened just before my entrée appeared. A handsome, swaggery man in a white silk shirt was walking the room, checking on the needs of the tables — obviously a manager (or perhaps it was the chef, Andrea Taormina, who owns the restaurant with his wife, caterer Rebecca Tory). I asked him for coffee — preferably iced, or if that was unavailable, decaf americano or plain old cappuccino. I basically wanted coffee of any kind. The preening man regrettably thought there was no coffee, especially not iced, but began to flirt heavily with Karen and me. He would, ah, try and see what he could do, but could make no guarantees. I was surprised when a truly delicious glass of iced coffee turned up. The manager explained that while iced coffee would not have been offered to most diners, he had wanted to make some for me (I was lucky, he said, that the place was beginning brunch service the next day and so some coffee happened to be on hand). I began to wonder if he had recognized me as a reviewer. Or perhaps the dude was just into flirting as a hosting strategy? Still, the vibe at the end — that he was doing a real favor for me and I would owe him — was borderline unpleasant. He was overbearing, yet we also sort of enjoyed him. Whether Handsome Man was Taormina or not, come and eat at his restaurant. The chef, who was born in Sicily, has also worked as a sommelier, and many of the wines are little-known finds from southern Europe. All of them are minimally processed. And the place is fun. Hugo & Sons, 367 Seventh Avenue at 11th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn (hugoandsons.com), is wheelchair-accessible, with an accessible restroom. July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

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PRIDE, from p.4

MICHAEL LUONGO DONNA ACETO

22

A firefighter shares a smooch

DONNA ACETO

Activist Yetta Kurland, who twice ran for a City Council seat from Manhattan’s West Side, said, “We should enjoy what it feels like in this moment to be truly accepted.” She said she will continue her work as an attorney on employment and housing rights for LGBT people. Elizabeth Owens, who is 56 and works for VOCAL-NY, which organizes and advocates for low-income people affected by HIV, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration, recalled that she came out at age 12 living in Greenwich Village, but said she still has a long list of to-dos including “making sure HIV/ AIDS is taken care of, affordable housing, HASA for All. We’ve only just begun.” HASA for All is a campaign to expand eligibility for the city’s HIV/ AIDS Services Administration from those living with AIDS to anyone with an HIV diagnosis. Jennifer Flynn Walker, VOCALNY’s executive director, said, “We need to make sure that LGBT immigrants are not in detention and when they are they are treated equally.” City Comptroller Scott Stringer explained that he has launched a campaign for gender-neutral, single-serve public toilets in New York of the type used in other cities. “Transgender equality is essential,” he said. “We have to double down.” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito emphasized, “The struggle’s not over,” citing the need of “LGBT kids in schools,” though she deferred to Queens Councilmember Daniel Dromm, her Education Committee chair, on what steps need to be taken. In the just-completed budget cycle, Dromm succeeded in getting funding for Department of Education staff to work on integrating LGBT history into the curriculum. Corey Johnson, a gay councilmember from the West Side, said his priorities are “to expand HASA,” pass the state Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, and help LGBT youth. Johnson argued that the Supreme Court’s emphasis in its marriage ruling on the equal protection provisions of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment will help speed progress on key community needs. State Senator Brad Hoylman,

State Senator Brad Hoylman, with his husband, David Sigal, and their daughter, Sylvia.

Daniel O’Donnell (r.) snags a kiss, from husband John Banta.

who is also gay and represents the West Side, said he is looking forward to the 2016 elections to regain a Democratic majority in the State Senate. That, he said, will allow for passage of GENDA as well as his bill to bar mental health professionals from practicing sexual orientation conversion therapy on minors. US Senator Chuck Schumer, who as a member of the House voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and reversed course in 2009 when he endorsed marriage equality, marched down Fifth Avenue shouting through a megaphone, “Pride in Alabama! Pride in Mississippi! Pride is New York’s greatest export!” Schumer said he would support the comprehensive LGBT civil rights measure set to replace the narrower Employment Non-Discrimination Act that has languished in Congress for more than two decades. Nick DelGiudice of Geeks Out, noting his group doesn’t “do activism, but social events,” said it does hold a “huge fundraiser for the Trevor Project,” a hotline for LGBT

youth, each year. Tony Setteducate, 75, a member of SAGE, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, said, “The battle is really just getting started. We need equality in the workplace, equality for transgender people, housing, and general public relations to convince people that we’re not weird we’re their neighbors, sons, and daughters.” Veteran activist Tom Smith is at work on senior housing for LGBT people through the new Stonewall Community Development Corporation so “LGBT people can stay where they lived their lives.” Richard Burns, who formerly headed the LGBT Community Center for decades, said, “I see this as an intersectional movement, working for reproductive justice, economic justice, and a safe, whole, free society for everyone. LGBT people are everywhere.” Emmaia Gelman of Irish Queers voiced her resentment over “queer conservatives using the power of the movement to build their conservative agenda — from the Human Rights Campaign to individuals like

Thomas Roberts,” the gay MSNBC anchor who led a contingent of LGBT employees of NBC, the broadcast sponsor of the anti-gay St. Patrick’s Day Parade, in this year’s Fifth Avenue event, in what many activists saw as a fig leaf to cover the organizers’ continued hostility toward gay Irish groups participating freely. Eric Sawyer, marching with ACT UP/ New York, said, “There is so much left to do and not just in the US. There are 79 countries where being gay is a crime, nine with the death penalty.” Bernard J. Tarver, 55, who was marching with his union, SAG-AFTRA, said he worries about the “isolation of gay seniors” and “gay kids being kicked out of their homes.” “Marriage was one victory, but not the only one we need,” Tarver said. Thomas Krever, who heads up the Hetrick-Martin Institute, said the Supreme Court decision tells the young LGBT people he serves “that their futures can be filled with love and acceptance. But we can’t rest on our laurels. The homeless rate hasn’t dropped. Let’s not kid ourselves.” Fred Karger, who smoked out the Mormon Church’s secretive funding of the successful 2008 Proposition 8 campaign in California, is now taking on virulently anti-gay Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee through a new Super PAC. “He’s a horrible individual with terrible judgement,” Karger explained. Columbia University law professor Suzanne Goldberg, who while at Lambda Legal won a 1996 Supreme Court victory against an anti-gay Colorado voter initiative, said she was “so happy” about the marriage decision, but misses “people like Paula Ettelbrick and Tom Stoddard who opened up the debate on it.” Ettelbrick, a longtime LGBT advocate in many roles who at the time of her death was sharing responsibility with Goldberg for raising the two children they had while they were partners, succumbed to cancer in 2011 at age 56. Stoddard, who led Lambda Legal for six years, died of AIDS at age 48 in 1997. Drew Tagliabue, who heads up PFLAG NYC, said his group’s great-

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PRIDE, continued on p.23

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


On View May 29 – October 2, 2015

PRIDE, from p.22

GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

ANDY HUMM

est challenge is working with parents of transgender youth, some of whom are coming out “as young as three or five.” Performer Nora Burns, focusing on New York City, said she is working on “making it a livable city so we can all afford to live where we want.” She lamented the unbridled “free market” that is “killing our neighborhoods.” Nathan Schaefer, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, said GENDA remains the group’s top priority, after having once again been denied a vote in the Republican-led State Senate, where not a single GOP member has signed on as a sponsor. He expressed the hope that a “new generation” in the Senate will make progress possible. African-American transgender activist Kiara St. James marched under the banner of Black Trans Advocacy: “Become the Change You Want to See in the World.” Asked about her priorities, she highlighted the epidemic of homicides against trans women of color. Police Commissioner William Bratton, marching with the Gay Officers Action League, or GOAL, pointed to “the larger number of officers who are out and proud, enjoying their sexuality and being police officers,” while Steven Sanfilippo, president of FireFLAG/ EMS, said his group lets LGBT firefighters know “they have a place to go.” Being a gay member of the FDNY today, he said, it is “easier to be out, and we are being accepted with no problems.” Jeff Stone, who has been engaged with Dignity/ New York for years, acknowledged the challenges posed by a Catholic Church hierarchy that remains anti-gay, “but we continue to work on the people in the pews who are with us.” The group has yet to determine how it will respond to Pope Francis’ New York visit in September and a Vatican family issues conclave scheduled for October. Upper West Side Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell, who led the fight for marriage equality in Albany, said he is currently most concerned about “transgender youth and bullying.” He plans a fall hearing on how the anti-bullying Dignity for All Students Act that he shep-

Longtime activist Randy Wicker.

herded to passage five years ago “is not working.” Michael Blake, a Democratic assemblyman from the Bronx, called the Supreme Court decision “the first step in breaking down barriers of injustice for LGBT people,” and cited the need for economic and educational justice for LGBT people and everyone else. The aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina, murders, he said, represents as a “transformational moment in the country,” calling it “a tragedy, but an opportunity to unite the nation in many ways.” Assemblymember Deborah Glick said she sees the next big opportunity in Albany — as early as the 2016 session — as getting the ban on using conversion therapy on minors through the State Senate. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who with his oversight of the state retirement pension funds is one of the nation’s largest institutional investors, said he would like to see more “LGBT people serve on corporate boards.” Veteran AIDS activist Brent Nicholson Earle, 64, said he’s still active with ACT UP and is now working with “the Stonewall 50 Task Force” planning for the half-century commemoration in 2019 of the riots widely credited with sparking the modern LGBT movement. A major display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, he said, will be one part of the commemoration in New York. Veteran activist Steve Ashkinazy, 66, the founder of the Harvey Milk School, said, “I’m bottom up. I don’t care about the law. I’m for people fulfilling the lives they want regardless of the law.” Jim Fouratt, marching in a small group of Gay Liberation Front veterans from 1969, said, “We still want the right to be different. We’re not all assimilated and homogenized, and a lot of us don’t want to be.”

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.

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

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For related tours and programs, visit www.mjhnyc.org/npoh. 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.

PRODUCED BY

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aBuild Muscle aFighting skill aFriendship With Metro Wrestling. Located at Staten Island LGBT Center 25 Victory Boulevard, New York City. Across the street from 1st SIR stop (Tompkinsville). Wednesdays 6 to 8:30 pm

23


PRIDE

New York’s Dyke March Still Bucks the Status Quo Adverse weather accents annual unbowed, unsanctioned show of lesbian visibility, self-empowerment on Fifth Avenue

DONNA ACETO

DONNA ACETO

The 23rd annual Dyke March grabs Fifth Avenue in a nom-permitted protest.

BY KELSY CHAUVIN

S DONNA ACETO

Drummers in the 23rd annual Dyke March.

DONNA ACETO

The Dyke March is also a very sexy event.

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tormy weather seemed somehow fitting for the 23rd annual New York City Dyke March. Rather than easing on down the road, throngs of queer women streamed through the center of Manhattan unified in the fight to claim our own equality — so committed that even summer showers could not deter us. If anything, it emboldened us as protestors of a status quo that continues to deny women financial parity, vocational and housing equity, and other equal rights This year’s march once again stepped off from 42nd Street and, as it has since 1993, claimed its two-mile stretch of Fifth Avenue as a permit-free First-Amendment-protected protest march. Or rather, a “fucking protest” as the official Dyke March marshals’ T -shirts declared. They blocked traffic at intersections to protect well over a thousand dykes, trans people, and other supporters making their voices heard under one banner. “Only the strong survive!” said Jen Wanous, who’s attended Dyke Marches from Fire Island to Bangkok over the past 15 years. “Everyone at this year’s march seems totally committed to being here, being out, and being with commu-

nity — as we’d have to be to get out here in the rain. There’s a silly joy and a sense of abandon. And it seems like a tighter-knit group this year. We’re all in it together!” One of the annual Dyke March points of pride is the band of drummers who lead the charge, setting a harmonious pace and serving as a beating heart for enthusiastic marchers. The “Annual Dyke March” banner declares a kind of pride unique to lesbian heritage, having been a key element of the march’s legacy since the very first protest in 1993. “Our struggle as women and lesbians is not over,” said Denise Shanks. “If anything, with the Supreme Court’s ruling, now we can turn our attention to fighting discrimination in other areas.” As is customary, curious tourists paused for snapshots, and a small handful of men shouting and picketing with homophobic, Jesus-citing signs followed the march. Their voices were overpowered by the pounding of drums, gleeful homoproud roars, and whistles and chants for dyke power. “This weekend has been so jubilant, but the most important thing is to never forget that there’s opposition to our equality all over this country,” said Shanks. “We scored a huge victory this year and it’s profound and amazing. We can and should celebrate! But we can never,

ever sit back on our laurels and let those who wish to limit our freedoms creep back from their dark corners and promote their narrow mindedness.” Dyke Marches take place in cities around the world, usually on the Saturday afternoon of Pride weekend. Cities like Washington, DC, New York, and San Francisco were home to the very first two decades ago, led by the political action group the Lesbian Avengers. Since then, cities everywhere — from Berlin to Mexico City to London — have their begun own protest tradition, along with most major US and Canadian cities. Vancouver and Toronto host impressive festivals and well-organized rallies around their Dyke Marches, using the occasions to galvanize queer women’s communities and organizations. This year in New York, marchers came from across the United States and as far away as Iceland. Helga Bryndís Ernudóttir and her girlfriend attended, making it their very first Dyke March, after celebrating Pride in other cities. Her observations underscore the direction many LGBT protestors see Pride headed the world over. “As the official Pride parade becomes more and more commercial, where you can’t march

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DYKE, continued on p.29

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


MICHAEL LUONGO DONNA ACETO

A RADIANT DAY OF JOY & CELEBRATION

DONNA ACETO

MICHAEL LUONGO

DONNA ACETO MICHAEL LUONGO

Photo Essay by Donna Aceto & Michael Luongo | Despite occasional drizzles, New York’s LGBT community, on June 28, staged the largest Pride March in memory, running roughly eight hours from the initial noon step-off at 36th Street until the final contingents arrived in the West Village. Mayor Bill de Blasio was joined by his family, First Lady Chirlane McCray, daughter Chiara, and son Dante. The City Council’s only married gay member, Jimmy Van Bramer (at l. to the r.) of Sunnyside, Queens, marched with his husband Dan Hendrick. Other bold-faced names included actor Ian McKellen (upper r.), one of the grand marshals, and singer and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star Tituss Burgess. All inset photos by Michael Luongo, except the Tituss Burgess shot, by Donna Aceto. GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

The Lift of a Driving Dream PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN

jgoodstein@cnglocal.com

BY PAUL SCHINDLER

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER & CO-FOUNDER

Comforted by the insight that even a broken clock is right twice a day, I’ve chosen a quote from Richard Nixon to frame my thoughts about the contributions one member of the LGBT community made to the successful fight for marriage equality. Our 37th president was not known for inspiring the better angels of our nature, but in describing the optimism that animates the American spirit as “the lift of a driving dream” in his 1970 State of the Union Address, Nixon captured a beautiful image. I also think that the subject of this editorial will appreciate some sly humor in my looting Nixon rather than, say, Abe Lincoln in coming up with a headline. In focusing on one person’s contributions, I don't in any way intend to dismiss or slight the enormous efforts on the part of tens of thousands of citizen activists and professional advocates. A Minnesota couple took the issue all the way to the Supreme Court in the early 1970s. Several thousand couples wed outside the IRS building during the 1987 March on Washington. Private attorneys apart from the LGBT movement identified litigation opportunities in Hawaii in the early 1990s. Movement lawyers, in turn, correctly weighed the prospects for early success in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Iowa — but they were also willing to take on a case in New York, despite a much bleaker judicial terrain. Advocates rallied to defend the victory in Massachusetts and to turn the New York court defeat into a win in

TROY MASTERS

troy@gaycitynews.com EDITOR IN-CHIEF & CO-FOUNDER PAUL SCHINDLER

editor@gaycitynews.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR

DUNCAN OSBORNE

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Gay City News, The Newspaper Serving Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender NYC, is published by NYC Community Media, LLC. Send all inquiries to: Gay City News, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Phone: 212.229.1890 Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this paper, in part or whole, can be reproduced or redistributed. All contents (c) 2015 Gay City News. Gay City News is a registered trademark of NYC Community Media, LLC. Jennifer Goodstein, CEO Fax: 212.229.2790; E-mail: jgoodstein@cnglocal.com

© 2015 Gay City News. All rights reserved. FOUNDING MEMBER

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FOUNDING MEMBER

the Legislature. One group of lawyers battled to victory in California — and a different set took on Proposition 8 which undid that win. Married couples and one formidable widow went after the Defense of Marriage Act, and based on that victory, court after court across the nation decided it was time to settle the whole business. All of these efforts — and many more — were consequential and must be counted in any thorough and fair reckoning of how we got to this day. And I’m sure that Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, would be the first to warn that I risk trivializing a long struggle and history itself in focusing on the role of one person. But I focus on Wolfson because his 32-year commitment to the marriage fight demonstrates beautifully how unbending fidelity to an idea, a goal, a cause can triumph. As a Harvard Law student in the 1980s, Wolfson wrote his thesis on the legal, political, and social framework for achieving marriage equality — undoubtedly one of the least marketable topics among his classmates. Later, at Lambda Legal, he led one side of a contentious, even bitter debate about whether marriage should be a goal of the gay rights movement. It was at his urging that Lambda dove into the Hawaii litigation, the striking promise of which led the state’s voters to pull the plug — and national politicians to conclude that “traditional” marriage needed to be “defended” in federal legislation. Wolfson never looked simply to the courts, ever aware that gays and lesbians needed to make their case to their fellow Americans, not only in the political arena but in their personal lives as well. In a 1997 interview at his

Lambda office, where he sat in front of a portrait of the Great Emancipator, he described the slog toward marriage equality as a “long engagement.” I had first encountered Wolfson several years earlier — before I began working as a journalist — at a gathering of LGBT activists upstate. The organizer of the event, which was convened to discuss the languishing state gay rights bill (it would be another eight years before that prevailed in Albany), told me that marriage was “off-topic,” but “you can’t say no to Evan Wolfson.” When I heard his brilliantly cogent and compelling presentation, I understood why. By 2003, Wolfson had stepped out of his role leading the marriage project at Lambda to found Freedom to Marry, giving himself a perch from which he became something of the battle’s quarterback — or, perhaps, third base coach. He always played to win, so I know some good number of people must have felt the sting of his relentless drive. Between my first encounter with him and my decision to schedule that 1997 interview with him at Lambda, I found myself on the receiving end of a finger-wagging lecture about how LGNY, Gay City News’ predecessor, was dropping the ball in its coverage of the fight. Wolfson often lauds the work of grassroots activists, but I know of more than one who resented what they sometimes felt was a heavy hand from on high. But change isn’t easy — and, cast against the long history of what social justice movements in the US have encountered, what marriage equality advocates achieved is nothing short of phenomenal. I hope that some of the many, many others who contributed in so many ways to this victory understand the deep respect and appreciation I have for the work they did. But when an individual of singular talents devotes the bulk of their adult life to achieving a driving dream, I don’t think that contribution can go unremarked.

PERSPECTIVE: Media Circus

When Hippies Walked the Earth BY ED SIKOV

H

urry up, Sherman!,” M r. P e a body cried. “Climb into the Wayback Machine! We’re going back in time to the 1960s!”

“ G e e , M r. P e a b o d y , ” Sherman said with a fearful tone. “Wasn’t that a dangerous period in American history?” “Yes and no,” Mr. Peabody replied. “For uptight assholes, it was indeed a perilous decade. Americans

began to question institutions that had previously held great authority over their public and personal lives. The Civil Rights movement, protests against the Vietnam War, the rise of Women’s Liberation, the Stonewall Riots — the ‘60s

were a turbulent era.” “Gee, Mr. Peabody,” said Sherman repetitively. “Are we going to meet any hippies?” “I’m sure we will,” Mr. Peabody replied. “I’m sure we will. Hippies flour ished in the late ‘60s, but by 1975 they had become essentially extinct. They

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MEDIA CIRCUS, continued on p.27

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


PERSPECTIVE: A Dyke Abroad

Gay Marriage and Burning Black Churches BY KELLY COGSWELL

A

fter the Supreme Court announced that lesbian and gay people had the right to marry everywhere in the US, some Southern states announced their intent to ignore or otherwise resist the ruling. And perhaps as proof of the limits of legal equality in the face of hate, a number of black congregations down South were left sifting through the ashes of their churches — several from acts of arson; for others, lightning is being blamed. I always did wonder about church burnings — if the culprits thought that it was black voices lifted in prayer that ended slavery or got them out from under that heavy white thumb of the Jim Crow laws. I wonder, also, how come they aren’t afraid of the God they usually profess to believe in, burning down His modest little Houses. Or perhaps they believe black people themselves are an abomination unto the Lord, like gay folks, and that the Almighty God is too weak to act on His own behalf, apparently needing the gasoline and matches only a human can provide. Which is perhaps why they also engage in the bombing of abortion clinics and gay bars, the corrective rapes of lesbians, the slaughter of godless immigrants at our southern border. I’m not sure we need to explain it to stop it. Hate and logic are not always friends. Hate’s found more often in the company of fear. Fear and violence. And even if we manage to unrav-

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MEDIA CIRCUS, from p.26

began to bathe around 1972, and without their protective crust of grime and dead skin cells they rapidly died off. Within a few short years the hippie had become as rare as the dodo bird.” “Gee, Mr. Peabody,” Sherman observed; he was beginning to get on Mr. Peabody’s nerves. “Didn’t Justice Scalia just advise us all to ‘ask the nearest hippie’ about marriage equality?” “Not exactly, Sherman,” Mr. Peabody corrected. “Justice Scalia was trying to make some sort of inane point about ‘intimacy’ and wrote in his dissenting opinion in the marriage equality case that ‘one would think that Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

el a bit of white supremacy, straight supremacy, and the rule of men and we win rights like marriage, those of us who are hated and feared should keep in mind the limits of legal protections in a country where we adore violence so much we let our toddlers play with guns, and if they shoot each other, or us, well... That’s the price of freedom. Because what is this American love of guns, but a fascination with violence, the willingness of the owner to imagine killing at their own discretion, on their own behalf as judge, jury, executioner? No gun owner ever just says, “I like guns, so what? They’re fun.” They invoke Liberty, Self-Defense, the Constitution, claiming threats to their Person, their Property, to their Way of Life, to this Great Nation. And it’s us they’re afraid of. Naming the Communists, the Cities, the Blacks. The Illegals. The Gays. The Fascists who will force them to vaccinate their children when some minor celebrity has condemned them. Shaking in their boots, they whip out their guns and actually do kill — kids in hoodies, or their spouses up at night to get a glass of water. Their children coming home from college. Or they transform their fear into acts of terrorism against communities or individuals that seem to represent actual or symbolic threats. Churches and synagogues are burned. The black man dragged to death behind a pickup truck, the fag left splayed on a fence, the dykes in dumpsters, the butchered trans woman in the gutter. Not that these victims don’t have their own hates, their own fears. You don’t have to listen

expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.’” “But Mr. Peabody! That doesn’t make any sense! There aren’t any hippies to ask!” “Justice Scalia is stuck in the last century,” Mr. Peabody explained. “Somebody must have dosed his fondue. And now we are going back in time half a century just so you can meet a hippie.” And with that Mr. Peabody closed the door of the Wayback Machine, and the two time travelers were on their way to 1967, Haight-Ashbury, and the Summer of Love.

at keyholes to hear black preachers denouncing queers, or women going after dykes (that’s not a woman), or immigrants after each other because in many ways we humans are all wolves, marking our territory, baring our fangs. Nothing terrifies us more than watching others progress. A black president drives those crackers crazy. Immigrants are accused of taking black jobs. Now gay marriage. Dang. Nobody will stay in their place, they say. Everybody claiming everybody else wants what they have. And so often, in fact, we do. We want the same jobs at the same pay, the same homes, the same safety. The same rights and responsibilities, and wedding cakes. Or at least a chance at them. So of course we’re all afraid. Because, while it may be theoretically true that freedom is not a pie that has a limited number of pieces, equality always does threatens someone. Remove racism from housing policy in Chicago, and there would be a lot less money in white pockets and a white family might have to live next to blacks. Or worse, noisy Mexicans. Allow women to be educated, you may be expanding the work force, tapping an unclaimed resource, but some inadequate man somewhere will lose his job. And allow same-sex marriage, allow... change, and anything at all could happen. People feel that possibility in their bones. And some, it terrifies. The powerful do not like to lose their power. Even the poor fight over scraps. And what’s left for the straight couples who in their loveless marriages no longer have the pleasure of seeing our queer faces pressed against the windows of their miserable homes? #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches Kelly Cogswell is the author of “Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger,” from the University of Minnesota.

Crackpot Alley: A Traffic Jam of Persecuted Bigots

arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals. Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an ‘alternative lifestyle’ or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. Gay advocates have taken offense at such a position insisting this would never happen. However, psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago.” — Former Florida Republican Congressmember Allen West’s website

“Using the same tactics used by gay rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status

“SCOTUS’ rule in favor of gay marriage is a devastating blow,

not only to the Marriage Reality Movement but to the Christian understanding of reality itself. For the secular culture, physical reality no longer matters. The only thing that counts is a person’s feelings about him or herself and the world he lives in. Facts don’t matter. Matter doesn’t matter. Only opinion and emotion.” — Aleteia.org, a worldwide Catholic network sharing faith resources

“Following the Supreme Court decision Friday that made samesex marriage legal in all 50 states, an Ohio minister found the courage to come out of the closet too — sort of. David Vaughan, the senior minister at Whitewater

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MEDIA CIRCUS, continued on p.46

27


PRIDE

“Still Queer” Message Floods the Pride Parade

To the tune of 7,500 copies, manifesto anonymously attacking assimilationist politics handed out on Fifth Avenue BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

A

Some in the crowd responded enthusiastically.

GAY CITY NEWS

28

GAY CITY NEWS

manifesto reading “Still here. Still Queer.” on one side quickly became the must-have accessory during Manhattan’s June 28 Pride Parade. The distributors, a mix of volunteer and paid, were careful to display that side as they traveled the length of Fifth Avenue handing out 7,500 copies. The broadsheet was quickly hung on the barricades that lined the parade route or attached to clothing. A few faces turned to consternation as recipients flipped the manifesto and read “I Hate the Gays.” and “Fuck Homonormativity” on the other side. “I thought it was important to get those voices out there,” said Ken Kidd, who was among those distributing the manifesto. “These were 14 very strong, very diverse voices that talked about the history of the movement at a watershed moment as well as where we go from here.” The 14 essays, all authored anonymously, fired at the assimilationist impulse that dominates LGBT politics in 2015. Coming just two days after the US Supreme Court required all states to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples and to honor the licenses issued to such couples in other states, a decision that for some in the community represents the victory by those who would have LGBT people conform to the dominant culture’s values, the essays reasserted the queer identity as one with fundamental differences from heterosexuality that are valuable and worth celebrating. “It was a particular moment where some would argue we had just won our biggest victory and others would argue it was our biggest concession to assimilation,” Kidd said. Some of the essays revel in queer sexuality and different identities, or offer pointed, even insulting, critiques of both “homonormativity” and “heteronormativity.” The authors printed 10,000 copies of the manifesto. In addition to the Pride Parade, they were distributed at the Dyke March, the Drag March, the June 26 rally in

Some of the 14 anonymous essays written for the manifesto.

the West Village that celebrated the marriage decision, and at other locations in Manhattan. “The most heartening thing to me was to see how eager young people were to get this,” Kidd said. “We sell these kids short. I will tell you that my experience that whole weekend is that these were the people who were hungry to get it and hungry to get extra copies that they could give to their friends.” The 2015 broadsheet mirrors one that was distributed in 1990 titled “Queers Read This,” and this year’s manifesto reprinted several portions of that earlier document. The 1990 manifesto was written by “Anonymous queers” and was best known for the essay “I Hate Straights,” which was very controversial in New York City’s LGBT community. The “I Hate the Gays.”

essay reflected that earlier piece. In a sort of be-careful-what-youwish-for irony, “I Hate Straights” called for a moratorium on LGBT people participating in heterosexual weddings and related rites or viewing baby pictures until LGBT people could have their own. “I Hate the Gays” chastised the gay and lesbian couples who are marrying and raising children and “imagine that the straight dads and moms don’t talk about them like they’re second-class citizens once the gluten-and-peanut-free cupcakes are gone and the SUV’s doors are shut tight.” As the 2015 manifesto was handed out, few people read it, but the hope was they would take it home, read it, talk about it with friends, and contemplate it. The few people who were reading it on West 38th Street before the group, which

was not officially admitted to the parade, stepped on to Fifth Avenue responded positively. “I think it’s really interesting,” said Mel, who was seated on the sidewalk and reading it with a friend. “It moves past the conservative binary of gay and lesbian.” Mary, who was reading the manifesto with two friends, approved, though one friend, Jasmin, was initially unsure if it was a proLGBT document. It was “informative” and “good,” said Charles as he stood reading it. “Sometimes you need to be radical to be heard,” said Mary. Whether radical politics, which are the origin of the modern LGBT rights movement, still have a place in the movement is the broader question raised by the manifesto. Typically, movements are motivated by grievances and movements are organized around battling those grievances. The LGBT movement has seen a string of recent successes, largely on marriage, culminating in the US Supreme Court decision. “The fact of the matter is that we owe extraordinary debts to our enemies because almost all of our progress has been in response to things our enemies have done and precious little were things we thought of,” said Ken Sherrill, a professor emeritus of political science at Hunter College. “We were radicalized by the bad things that were done to us. Very few of us are radicalized by manifestos.” The manifesto could spark an intra-community dispute, which already exists to the degree that the anonymous authors are not the first to resist the marriage movement that presents LGBT people as just like everybody else in America. In Sherrill’s view, coming out is already a “radicalizing experience” and that may be sufficient for most LGBT people today. “Some people are persuaded that we have an obligation to be radical,” he said. “I think that as much as I love people who try to do this and as much as I try to one of them myself, there are limits to your ability to radicalize… I think the argument is that it takes more to radicalize a gay person today than it took 45 years ago.” July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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DONNA ACETO

DONNA ACETO

An intimate moment amidst the roar.

The Dyke March is by and about women.

DYKE, from p.24

unless you are part of a group, the Dyke March lets every self-identifying dyke walk and fight for their rights,” said Ernudóttir. “Along with that, as gay men and lesbians are often grouped together as they have many similar advocacy issues, the Dyke March, as the name states, is just for dykes and lets lesbians fight for the causes often forgotten, such as reproduc-

tive rights.” Above all, she said, “The best part was the incredibly strong protest atmosphere. There were dykes from all walks of life there to fight for a common cause — the right to be who they are.” With the wet weather, the premarch rally proved challenging at Midtown’s Bryant Park. It did prompt a punctual step-off, however, and between the drums, the exultation, and the determination,

this year’s march proved as powerful as ever — culminating in familiar revelry at Washington Square Park. “As a queer woman who passes as straight in the world, the Dyke March is a rare opportunity to be out,” said Wanous. “It’s also important to be reminded that amongst our differences, we all have a common tie.” And the best part of the experience?

Wanous said that would be: “Seeing old friends, sharing the experience, being reminded that I’m part of a bigger community… And the outfits!” Kelsy Chauvin is a writer, photographer, and marketing consultant based in Brooklyn. She specializes in travel, feature journalism, art, theater, architecture, construction, and LGBT interests. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @kelsycc.

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29


FILM

Aiming for Realness on LA’s Gritty Streets Sean Baker uses first-time trans actors to tell a story of sex work, connections, and drama

TANGERINE Directed by Sean Baker Magnolia Pictures Opens Jul. 10 Landmark Sunshine Cinema 143 E. Houston St. Btwn. First & Second Aves. landmarktheatres.com Film Society of Lincoln Center 144-165 W. 65th St. filmlinc.com

BY GARY M. KRAMER

T

GARY M. KRAMER: Sean, You tend to make films about marginal-

MAGNOLIA PICTURES

angerine,” Sean Baker’s funky little comedy — shot entirely on an iPhone — is full of dram-ah as motor-mouthed transgender sex worker Sin-dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) finds out from her BFF Alexandra (Mya Taylor) that her boyfriend Chester (James Ransone) has been cheating on her while she’s been in jail. As Sin-dee wanders around Los Angeles on Christmas Eve trying to find Chester, Alexandra prefers to focus on her performance that night. Meanwhile, Razmik (Karren Karaguilian), a cab driver, seeks out both women for personal reasons. The film thrives on its characters’ manic energy, and will win viewers over because Sin-dee and Alexandra have tremendous heart. In separate interviews, Baker and Taylor spoke via Skype about making “Tangerine.”

Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, first-time actors who are stars of Sean Baker’s “Tangerine.”

ized, struggling, and/ or disenfranchised characters. Why do these kinds of stories appeal to you? SEAN BAKER: I try to stay away from being too self-analytical. In all four of my films, I dealt with subject matter I didn’t know about. I think that those were small cultures I was interested in exploring. Each project began a different way and led to what it became. With “Tangerine,” it was a street

corner in LA that was infamous as a chaotic red light district. I had just explored sex work in my previous film, “Starlet.” I think I’m doing a trilogy. It was pure curiosity that led me there. The collaboration of befriending and getting the trust of the people from that world is how the stories were developed. GMK: Mya, how do you see the characters and their situations?

MYA TAYLOR: Before I started this movie, I told Sean not to make it sad, but to make it raw and real and funny and exciting. The story is sad as fuck. I don’t like a theater full of crying people. I’ve had a sad life. To keep myself going, you have to be fun. I made Alexandra like Mya Taylor. I wanted it to be happy. If you’re having a hard life, you have to make yourself happy. Life isn’t easy. GMK: What input did you have with your character? MT: Basically, the only thing that changed was the language. We brought our own personality into it. Everything else was Sean. What

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TANGERINE, continued on p.40

Well, Do I?

Beginning with his voice, David Thorpe explores impact of gay behavior, gay stereotypes on his life BY GARY M. KRAMER

F

ilmmaker David Thorpe thinks he “sounds gay.” So he made a documentary “Do I Sound Gay?” that chronicles him hiring speech and voice coaches to help him lose his sibilant S, gain confidence, and get rid of what he sees as his vocal effeminateness. His film nimbly chronicles this mission, and features clips of Paul Lynde and “Boys in the Band” as well as interviews with Dan Savage and David Sedaris, among others, to address queer stereotypes, adjusting to masculine norms, covering in order to pass,

30

camp, “performing gayness,” and even the advantages of sounding gay. Thorpe recently talked via Skype with Gay City News about “Do I Sound Gay?” G A R Y M . K R A M E R : Yo u describe being out of sync with your voice and feeling a lack of confidence. Why do you — and so many other gay men — associate those feelings with sexuality? DAVID THORPE: When I was growing up, I was made to feel that gay people were worthless. When I am vulnerable or insecure, it automatically connects to my sex-

ual orientation — that part of my worthlessness comes from being gay. That’s what happens in the beginning of the film and in my life. I’m single, middle aged, and unlovable: What’s wrong with me? One of the answers is: You’re a fag. I don’t rationally believe that, but when you grow up with that notion drilled into you for so many years, it’s a reflex. GMK: Do you think your film breaks down or reinforces queer stereotypes? DT: I hope it breaks down stereotypes. I have a straight guy who sounds gay and a gay guy who

DO I SOUND GAY? Directed by David Thorpe IFC Films Opens Jul. 10 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. ifccenter.com

sounds straight. But it’s about embracing who you are and your femininity. It’s time to re-appropriate the feminine stereotype. I’m

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SOUND, continued on p.35

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


BUY TICKETS AT TICKETMASTER.COM AND CHARGE BY PHONE 800-745-3000 GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

31


FILM

It’s More Than Just Power Corrupting

that Zimbardo’s team asks the students: Have you ever given into an aggressive urge or impulse? KPA: [Laughs.] I don’t think I have. I’ve never thrown or taken a punch. I tend toward passivity at times. Maybe I shouldn’t. It’s easy to say I wouldn’t act like those guards. Movies become potboilers in themselves, and pressures and anxieties boil up. Making this film, it was hard to keep the morale up.

Kyle Patrick Alvarez reexamines the mayhem created when college students play inmates and guards

IFC FILMS

Six “inmates” and one “guard” in Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s “The Stanford Prison Experiment.”

BY GARY M. KRAMER

T

he Stanfor d Prison Experiment” is gay filmmaker Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s take on a 1971 study conducted at the northern California university designed to observe the effects of incarceration on the behavior of both inmates and their keepers. Dr. Philip Zimbardo divided 24 male students into prisoner and guard roles in a mock jail. Though basic rules were established to prevent physical abuse, the guards were instructed to keep control over the prisoners. In time, the experiment became overwhelming for the prisoners, who struggled and rebelled. The story has been told before as “Das Experiment,” a 2001 German film, and “The Experiment,” an American remake in 2010. However, those previous versions were done in prison facilities. Alvarez sets his intense, tightly wound film in the hallways and offices of the Stanford psychology building to increase the emotional and physical claustrophobia. The decision is effective as the director uses his camera to unflinchingly record the characters’ breakdowns and breakthroughs. Alvarez, whose previous films include “C.O.G.” and “Easier With Practice,” spoke with Gay City

32

News about “The Stanford Prison Experiment.” GARY M. KRAMER: What prompted you to tell this story, which has been told before both in books and films? KYLE PATRICK ALVAREZ: I asked myself that a lot, actually. This script was well written and taut. I went back and read the Wiki page on the story, and it wasn’t embellished. The [film’s] dialogue was created from transcripts, and the staging was taken from the event. I was familiar with “Das Experiment,” but I didn’t want the other films in my head. They took it too far — people were dying, and they never showed the other side of the story. I felt the story was so important and compelling. We rebuilt the basement of Stanford down to the square inch. We presented the historical version and that was gripping, so it deserves this take on it. Hopefully, it’s more relevant. GMK: You are drawn to films that portray the complex male ego. “The Stanford Prison Experiment” also deals with that and the use and abuse of power. Can you comment on this theme that runs through your work? KPA: I’ve made three films exclusively about men. It’s not my MO. I

THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez IFC Films Opens Jul. 17 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. ifccenter.com

keep falling into them. It’s easy to hear the Stanford story and think they got drunk with power. I thought there is some truth to that, but there is a way to blur those lines a bit, and the final interviews are recreated nearly verbatim. They can look back and see themselves being abusive. The experiment is not about turning evil, but it is tied to the human condition, which is a lot frailer. Becoming these roles and role-playing is powerful, and we can get lost in that. It can happen to any of us. I tried to approach the story as a character drama. These kids were college age, not adults. This film needs to be told this way and tap into the grayer areas and what institutions serve us and how do we punish people. GMK: Let me ask you a question

GMK: How, as the director of the film, did you control the actors in this situation and did they ever rebel against you, saying that they would not do something? KPA: No. An easy approach to the film would be to invigorate that. It was low budget and we had a tight schedule, so I tried to spend time with the guys beforehand, so they are acting as guys who are acting this position. There’s a meta characteristic and I wanted to work against that, not kindle it. There are 15 people on set and we had to give everyone their space, so we worked at creating a community. GMK: The film is about the power of stripping away the individuality of the men, to “feminize them” as one character says, to show how institutions affect individuals’ behavior. I see a parallel here to how gay men are sometimes treated. As a gay man, how did you approach this film? KPA: In some ways, my other films were about homosexuality. Sexuality exists in gendered ways here — the woman saves the day. There was a heightened awareness about the role of homoeroticism at play in the experiment. What I thought was relevant was the sexual humiliation in the last night. When you take away everything from someone, sexual humiliation is all that left. It’s worse than physical humiliation. That’s what’s so upsetting. For me, it’s realizing that sexual humiliation is a sub-human state. My gay sensibility — being bullied as a kid — might have given me a heightened sensitivity. This film wasn’t as intensely personal as the other films I’ve made, though. GMK: There is a clinical,

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POWER, continued on p.34

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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33


THEATER

His Roots Are Showing Patti LuPone supercharges a memory play about life and love in the theater BY DAVID KENNERLEY

AT THE TABLE

P

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POWER, from p.32

detached approach you take to telling the story. KPA: Yes. Even aesthetically, I thought: How are we going to shoot people watching the experiment? There are no close-ups until a character has a bag pulled off his head. There are no handheld shots until a character flips out, so there

34

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laywright Douglas Carter Beane may have made it big, with a pack of works on Broadway in recent years, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots. His latest comedy, “Shows for Days,” inspired by his own adolescence in the early 1970s, recalls finding refuge — and a measure of love — in a community theater in Reading, Pennsylvania, at the tender age of 14. And if your gaydar is pinging it should, for this coming-of-age tale is also partly a coming-out tale. But mostly it’s a love letter to the theater, specifically the amateur kind that brings together intrepid, like-minded souls to commune and create art. Theater as support system, you might call it. Staged with flair by Jerry Zaks in the relatively modest Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, the wispy memory play is as heartfelt as it is deeply personal. It’s so earnestly humble they needed to haul in the big guns to bring it to life. This firepower is supplied by the one and only Patti LuPone. Aided by William Ivey Long’s luminous costumes, her nuanced perfor mance is nothing short of spectacular, erasing any shred of doubt that she is among the greatest performers on the New York boards today, a living legend. And, I might add, she does not sing a single note. Though a case could be made that from her, even a well-timed zinger sounds very much like music. LuPone plays Irene, the fearless, often monstrous co-founder of the struggling Prometheus Theater Company, willing to do whatever it

Patti LuPone and Michael Urie in Douglas Carter Beane’s “Shows For Days,” directed by Jerry Zaks.

takes to keep the troupe alive. (Any resemblance to a certain mythic yet iconic, semi-deranged diva trying to salvage a showbiz career is purely intentional.) LuPone imparts the bossy egomaniac with a streak of vulnerability; it’s hard to detest her even when she’s blackmailing one of her cohorts. She’s doing it for art’s sake, after all. The per fect counterpoint to LuPone’s brash Irene is Michael Urie’s Car, a stand-in for Beane. The winsome Urie slips easily between the role of present-day Car as a successful dramatist, and Car as the gawky, curious teen who joins the troupe to escape his suffocating life in the cushy suburb of Wyomissing. Not that such dexterity should surprise anyone who saw Urie’s enchanting hit solo show, “Buyer &

Cellar,” where he juggled multiple roles, including that of no one less than Barbra Streisand. For such a small theater company, there’s plenty of drama. Their dumpy home in a row of abandoned storefronts is terrorized by a wrecking ball, forcing them to scramble for new digs. A rival company threatens to run them out of business, staging crowd pleasers like “You Can’t Take It With You” while Irene prefers dusting off more challenging, esoteric works like O’Neill’s “The Great God Brown.” The critics, sad to say, hated that production, with one headline screaming “Great God Brown? Good God, No!” Her back against the wall, Irene insists that Clive (Lance Coadie Williams, who wowed in “Bootycandy” last year), a devoted troupe member, convince his rich, closet-

are no subjective shots. And that’s how I wanted to feel about the film. I didn’t want it to be didactic: You’re supposed to feel this!

I am shooting something grueling, like the push-up scenes, I felt sympathetic. The challenge for me was technical: How will I do this and keep it compelling and keep 25 guys engaged as actors? But that’s what drew me to it, the ambition to juggle it all.

GMK: Did making this film force you to confront something difficult inside of you? Or did you, as the characters indicate, become what you hated and enjoy it? KPA: No. [Laughs.] Every time

GMK: Would you have been a guard or a prisoner?

ed Republican boyfriend to donate a new space or she will blast their closet wide open. The married Irene is having a fling with Damien (Jordan Dean), a young member of the company who — you can see this coming a mile away — hooks up with Car. The hormone-charged youth is unsure about his sexuality until that blissful encounter, which occurs behind a rack of costumes. Irene strong-arms the wisecracking lesbian stage manager Sid (the delightfully acerbic Dale Soules) and ditzy actress Maria (Zoë Winters) into making tough personal sacrifices for the good of the group. What’s more, Irene suffers from a serious, life-threatening illness. Did Beane, whose recent Broadway triumphs include “Cinderella,” “The Nance,” and “Sister Act,” really have such a crisis-packed adolescence? Not exactly. The adult Car reassures us that much of the proceedings are fiction, and some characters are composites. Not that it matters. We enjoy the rambling, wild ride, even if it’s more affectionate than affecting. And we appreciate his insights about tapping into the irresistible magic that is theater. As Car deftly observes, with a twinkle in his eye, “On stage, ginger ale is champagne.”

KPA: [Laughs.] I thought about both. I don’t think I’d want to be either. I think if I was eager I would challenge myself, and my tendency is passivity. So who are the people who stand up in trying moments and say, “This is wrong,” and “Stop this?” What are the qualities that make people do good? I’d rather be a guard in the hope that I can run things kindly and smoothly. July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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David Thorpe in his film “Do I Sound Gay?"



not the only person celebrating gay femininity, but I had to learn to re-embrace my own femininity.

answering all the questions about why people sound gay and hearing others’ stories and looking at our culture. I found a path I didn’t know was out there for me.

GMK: Why do you think there is such shame associated with feminine-sounding men? DT: I think men feel anxiety about feeling effeminate because we live in a sexist culture that devalues women and men who have feminine traits. We’re on the cusp of change, but it will take a couple more generations for widespread change.

GMK: How did you respond, growing up, to kids who were effeminate sounding? DT: When I was growing up I wanted to reach out to feminine boys, but I stayed as far away because I knew that effeminacy was “catching,” and the safest thing to do was not hang around effeminate boys and boys who sounded gay.

GMK: You emphasize and even embrace the visibility of gay icons like Paul Lynde and Liberace, but also seem to be rejecting this kind of behavior in your own life. Isn’t that talking out of both sides of your mouth? DT: That’s the journey of the film. When I began the project, I was keenly aware of not wanting to be flamboyant anymore, because I felt it was a reason why I was alone and unhappy. I wanted to be really honest about those feelings. I’m not the only one who has them. I was out for 20 years and an AIDS activist, and I was still not comfortable with it. Maybe I needed to be a different kind of person? At the same time, I didn’t think that I could learn to accept myself in middle age. I felt like I was cooked. It was just as valid a path to change, the way gay men go to the gym or dress to be more masculine. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with shaping my voice. I knew that that was coming from a place of shame. I went down both paths simultaneously, but it was

GMK: You are told in the film that you started sounding “more gay” after you came out. Did you recognize an increase in that behavior around that time as well? DT: I think that everything about me got gayer. But I think my voice was probably what changed most, and certainly my friends noticed it. When voices sound gayer, it rankles people. The voice is an essential part of who someone is. When it’s changed, people wonder why.

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SOUND, from p.30

GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

GMK: You hired speech pathologists and voice coaches to change your voice. Did you feel that was a good investment? DT: It was a great investment at the time, because it helped me get in touch with my voice and sound more authentically myself, but I don’t need to do it anymore. When I’m relaxed now, my larynx settles into vocal home base and I hang out in that place, which gives me the most ease. If you are uncomfortable with your voice, you should find out why that is and find out how to use the one you have.

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IN THE NOH

Ellen’s Back “Little Shop of Horrors”’ original Audrey makes an already-legendary comeback at Encores! BY DAVID NOH

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JOAN MARCUS

eal theater comebacks — the kind that incite an electric buzz of anticipation and, when truly triumphant in performance, drive an enslaved audience mad — are rare, indeed. But the long-unseen Ellen Greene, who just recreated her role of Audrey, the hapless but heartbreakingly irresistible heroine of “Little Shop of Horrors,” truly made it happen at Encores! last week. Pencil slim and looking hardly a day older than when she last played the role in 1986, her enormous, gorgeously unrusted pipes shook City Center to its very core and her ineffably winsome line readings (“Mr. Mushnick!”) made a new generation of achingly young theater queens in attendance fall both all over themselves laughing and instantly in love with her. The raucously unalloyed love that filled this venerable hall for her and the entire, perfectly cast show will be one of the year’s theatrical high points, for sure. Meeting her again after some years, she threw her arms around me (“I r emember you!”), and exclaimed about her show’s imperishable appeal, “Isn’t it amazing?” Recalling the show’s origins more than three decades ago, she said, “Originally, when we were shopping for theaters, we first did it at this very small theater upstairs, over this whorehouse on Fifth Avenue and I remember it was very warm. We had to take off our sweaters, but Cameron Mackintosh came, who became our London producer, and the Shuberts, and it was quite exciting with so many people there and producers starting a bidding war. We had the month of June to relocate, and we looked at other theaters, and came to the conclusion that we could book it on Broadway and maybe not run as long, or be Off-Broadway and run forever, and we found the Orpheum downtown. They wanted to revamp the theater, so Howard [Ashman,

Ellen Greene and Jake Gyllenhaal in the Encores! production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

the show’s lyricist] sent me away to relax on Fire Island, [sings] ‘where the boys are.’ And it was fun, and then we came back, and it was magical how it was put together so quickly and so surprising. Howard let me do so much; he got me and I got him.” The show was turned into a wonderful film in 1986, and I remember, during the promotion of it, Greene went on Joan Rivers’ show. Theater fan Rivers enthused about how rare it was for a theater actress to recreate her role on film, and Greene said, “Yes, and I hope it sets a precedent.” Like a shot, Rivers, fired back, “It won’t!” “When you went on her show, they took a nice portrait of you and then sent it to you as a gift. She also wrote thank you notes, and it was the classiest backstage I’d ever seen. She was wonderful and gorgeous. Actually, when I first put together the Audrey thing, with the blonde wig and everything, Howard wasn’t sure he liked it and said, ‘You look like Joan Rivers.’ Well, I took that as a compliment because she was gorgeous, even when I met her years later, and the funniest woman ever. And, yes, I thought it would be a precedent but it wasn’t. “I’ve been so fortunate. John Landis was first going to direct the film. I finished the play in 1984 with

reviews that nobody could buy in comedy theater. Marty Robinson, who created the plant for the play was my boyfriend and we were living together. Howard sent me the script as a gift, before I was even cast in it. John Landis invited me and Marty to lunch at the Russian Tea Room. I was just his girlfriend there, and John’s talking to Marty about all the plans, a charming man, and his wife, Deborah, was going to do the costumes. At the end of the lunch, he said, ‘Oh, by the way, you’re playing Audrey!’ Well, I quietly went downstairs to the powder room to scream ‘Ahhh!’, but instead I got sick and got rid of my lunch. I came back and just said, ‘Oh!’ I had only done two films before that, and I knew how many big names wanted it, so I thought I probably wasn’t big enough. “So Landis was going to do it, but then there was that horrible helicopter accident on the set [of ‘Twilight Zone,’ which killed Vince Morrow]. And then Scorsese was doing it for a moment, and then not. So then there was Frank Oz, who I knew from Marty, and Jim Henson and Joe Raposo from ‘Sesame Street.’ Frank was doing a movie, and I asked him if I could I talk to him during lunch on the set. I said, ‘You should do “Little Shop!” You understand the show: the plant is

larger than life, but he has a heart and he’s innocent and sweet and silly, and [“Sesame Street’”s] Grover is all of that. And not only that, you understand the puppets!’ He was magnificent, it was a great film, and they later released his cut of the film, which was glorious!” In the 1970s, Greene really ruled New York, with Paul Mazursky’s classic — and I believe greatest film — “Next Stop, Greenwich Village,” and her appearance as Pirate Jenny in the Public Theater’s electrifying Richard Foreman-directed “Threepenny Opera,” with Raul Julia. In addition, she reigned supreme at the legendary cabaret Reno Sweeney, where, instead of doing my NYU homework, I would sit at the bar and catch her spectacularly eclectic gigs, where she would dedicate “Knights in White Satin” to the waitstaff (“Babes, I love youuu”), who would be wearing T-shirts that said “Ellen’s Back.” “Oh, wow! You came there? It was amazing, my luck! In the early ‘70s, Reno’s was my home, as was the Public Theater. Reno’s and I were both born in 1973. I performed there and got my first musical, ‘Rachael Lily Rosenbloom,’ and my first opportunity to go into ‘The Boom Boom Room’ at the Public. “Paul Mazursky saw me the day there was a brilliant review in the Times, and he left after the first act. I thought he hated it, but he said, ‘I saw enough,’ and they called me in for ‘Next Stop.’ I got the part because Paul did a lot of things by instinct. He brought me back in his life many times for premieres of his films or whatever. He and his wife loved to have me in his house, and he was so supportive, so kind. He loved talent, a great director, and not one person did not like working with him. The incredible cast had Lenny Baker, what a great guy, who passed away way too young. There are all these ghosts in my life: Shelley Winters I was honored to do two films with, Dori Brenner. Lois Smith is still around, though, Jeff Goldblum, the best actor, and gorgeous Chris Walken. Every time I see him, he’s so dear.” I told Greene the poster from the film hangs next to one from “The Boys in the Band” at Julius’, favorite movie locale and the oldest gay bar in the city: “Oh, I love

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July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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IN THE NOH, from p.36

Julius’! That’s where we filmed the second scene of me, Sarah, with Lenny, as Larry. We took over the city when we shot the film. Everybody so loved Paul! We’d rehearsed the entire thing for two weeks — unusual — so we were a company and that’s why there’s such magical chemistry in it. Paul did it old school, he wanted to have the work on the screen, and said, ‘I don’t care about all the extras!’” Greene’s quite brilliant, exquisite, alien-looking, and alienated Sarah is that echt New York girl, who comes to the city, drawn irrevocably to the glamour, fun, and excitement, but really not quite sure why she’s there, a striking precursor to the denizens of “Girls.” “Sarah was a secretary, and that was so interesting. The reason she didn’t stay with Larry was that she wasn’t magical. She knew she wasn’t. He was, though, and she couldn’t live up to what he was, but in that moment, she was special. But she still lived with her mother, and it was amazing to work on that. If you say I was still able to make this boring girl so interesting, that was because Paul was a great director who told me to trust my instincts, the first to ever tell me that.” “They honored Paul at the DGA [Director’s Guild of America], and I thought it was just gonna be this big Jewfest on a Sunday, with Birkenstocks and newspapers, so I went alone. It was close to my house, and I didn’t invite anybody. Well, it was a big to-do with tables and really gorgeous food, with a lot of names — Mel Brooks, George Segal, Elliott Gould. I was late, and everyone was going into the film, which I thought was going to be a lot of clips. Someone handed me a program and said, ‘Oh, you’re wonderful,’ and I said, ‘Oh. Oh, thank you,’ not knowing what she was referring to, and sat down. “Paul is sitting with his wife Betsy on the aisle and I’m two rows in front, by myself, near Jill Clayburgh and her kids. I loved Jill, when she passed away I was so puzzled — she was really like a girlfriend. Paul had a heart like a marshmallow, which you would never know, always cool, and he walks over to me and says, ‘Oh, nice coat!’ I open the program and they’re screening GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

CON

Get Back to the 60s and 70s! Ellen Greene with David Noh.

a few cuts... and then the entire ‘Next Stop.’ I got out of my seat and went to him, ‘You didn’t tell me they were screening ‘Next Stop!’ He said, very cool, ‘Well, they asked me what I wanted to see, and I told them.’ And here I didn’t invite or tell anybody! It was my first film, and I hadn’t seen it in years, but sitting alone was that great moment. “Afterwards, we took pictures together and I go to say goodbye to him. I started to tear up, and he goes, ‘Don’t.’ And, in two seconds because he could control me like nobody, the tears went back in and I kept it together, because if I went, he would go, and he didn’t want to go. He was quite ill by then. He was so deep, so when he passed, I wrote this big article in Playbill, which compares him and Joe Papp as the two men who were leaders and father figures and who gave me great chances. “At The Public, in those days, you checked your ego at the door. Everybody was talented so nobody was talented, and if you weren’t in a show, you were developing a showcase or workshop. In ‘Threepenny Opera,’ in that tango dance, I got compared to Martha Graham. It was choreographed by Raul, Richard Foreman, and mostly me. One night, we just came up with this bizarre dance that was really hot, sexy, and really dirty. It was at the famous 1977 blackout in Central Park, as I was just about to start ‘Pirate Jenny’ when the lights went out. I thought, ‘Ohmigod, there’s wheelchairs there!’ My face was painted whiteface and it all happened in my mind in a second that this could be chaos. Don’t lose con-

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OPERA

San Francisco Treats Bay Area Berlioz, Beethoven, and Mozart BY DAVID SHENGOLD

W

hile attending Pride Week and the fabulous Frameline film festival in San Francisco, there’s much opera to enjoy every June. Berlioz’s sublime “Les troyens” represents a monumental undertaking for any company; SFO hadn’t done so since massively cut performances in the 1960s with Régine Crespin. All the more reason to praise Donald Runnicles and his orchestral forces for the magisterial, glowing reading they achieved, powerful in flow yet rich in the magical solo detail Berlioz demands. On June 25, several patrons who looked as if they’d think nothing of sitting through a five-hour Giants game grumbled about the opera’s length, but most sat enraptured. Runnicles did inflict some cuts, mainly nips and tucks but unwisely including the second half of the

great Anna/ Narbal duet. Set in un-illuminating Crimean/ Franco-Prussian garb, David McVicar’s Covent Garden staging, revived by Leah Hausman, fell rather flat in Troy, save for a well-rendered scene of the women lamenting, but improved vastly in Carthage, though the choreography throughout remained a liability. Dancers and extras alike afforded the usual McVicar plethora of exposed, toned male flesh made central; few complained. Bryan Hymel — acclaimed at the run’s opening — had to cancel the fearsome part of Enee for the third time running. Corey Bix, tall and presentable if understandably not very distinctive dramatically, soldiered colorlessly through three acts but was able to rise considerably to Act IV’s ravishing romantic sequence of numbers with Susan Graham’s lovely Didon and hold his own creditably in the hero’s final

scene. Graham, much beloved of this audience, looked queenly and superb and handled the French inspiringly. She cheated a bit on the mountain-climbing climaxes of “Chers tyriens” and had to yell through the testing declamatory scene by the Trojan ships but otherwise gave a remarkably assured and beautiful performance. Anna Caterina Antonacci offered a passionate, stylishly declaimed Cassandre rich in apt diva plastique; her voice per se remains fascinating yet somewhat opaque, lacking in oomph on either end. McVicar had her writhe on the floor too much and steal focus in the wrenching Andromache episode, which the awkward blocking sorely diminished in visual impact. “Troyens” requires first-rate singing in many secondary roles. In Chorebe’s gorgeous music — so loving and so foursquare, opposite Cassandre’s tortured imagina-

tion of disaster — Brian Mulligan sounded terrific, lacking only the final Gallic verbal command of a Robert Massard. Sasha Cooke’s Anna — unaccountably dressed like a circus rider — proved rather light vocally but musically and dramatically excellent. Bass-baritone Christian van Horn lacked bass amplitude for Narbal but fared solidly too. The two featured tenor roles, Iopas and Hylas, won deserved applause for René Barbera — sounding brightly glorious, with a fil de voce on Iopas’ high C — and the lyrical Chong Wang, an assured company Young Artist who also managed to project as the usually inaudible Helenus. Bass Jordan Bisch achieved genuine impact as Ghost of Hector. Ian Roberston’s chorus really excelled; an inspiring evening, with Runnicles — next to Berlioz, that is — its hero.

The San Francisco Orchestra’s semi-staged June operas have provided a new reason to frequent the city at Pride. After a brilliant

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THEATER

Sounds and Sweet Airs A simple “Tempest” puts poetry in the park BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE

T

he Tempest” is a difficult play, to say the least. A great grab bag of Shakespeare’s recurring themes, it encompasses the argument between the natural and the supernatural, revenge, romance, and — plotted, if not realized — regicide. As plays go, it’s really kind of a mess. The plot is thin and confusing, the characters’ motivations are often unclear, and Prospero’s grand revenge against those who imprisoned him on a remote island for a dozen years fizzles out, even when he has the opportunity to exact it. The play has challenged scholars and directors for centuries because for all its flaws, it is deeply romantic, lyrical, and highly theatrical. The powerful appeal of this play was splendidly captured in the understated and artful production by the Public Theater just concluded in Central Park. Director Michael Greif opted for a simple and straightforward staging on a largely bare stage with a cerulean sea project-

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ed on a cyclorama upstage to frame the action and locate it on the remote island where Prospero and his daughter Miranda have lived in exile since being usurped from the court of Milan. Their only company are the sprite Ariel and the monster Caliban, whom Prospero deposed when he took over the island and reviles for having tried to rape Miranda. But when Prospero’s brother, who dethroned him, and the King of Naples are returning from a wedding, Prospero raises the titular storm that lands them on the island, where he plans to take revenge on them. But then he doesn’t. Instead, the King’s son Ferdinand falls in love with Miranda and, being the first man she’s ever met who is her contemporary, she’s more than willing to reciprocate. However, Prospero puts him to work cutting wood and such, controlling him with magic, to make him prove his worth. There’s also a subplot with drunken clowns whom Caliban encourages to overthrow Prospero and make themselves island royalty. There’s also another murder plot among the castaways

— it seems like everyone is hot to be the Duke of Milan. In the end, Ferdinand is freed and gets to marry Miranda. Prospero reveals himself and gets to go back to being Duke, and everyone leaves the island — except Ariel, who is released from servitude to Prospero, and Caliban, who is left alone, which is all he really wanted. Happily ever after. Greif’s judicious use of theatricality — an acrobat here, a contortionist there, a full on storm at the opening — allowed the language of the play to dominate. It’s some of Shakespeare’s most beautiful, tinged with hope and melancholy, word play in the comic roles, and Caliban’s rougher vernacular. It’s a bold move to allow the language to do the heavy lifting in a theatrical environment where machines dominant (the same tactic that made “The Visit” earlier this year so poetic), and if this production was quieter than others I’ve seen of the play, it was also more heartfelt. Here, the characters have an authenticity beneath the poetry that is sometimes obscured in other stagings. Greif has an excellent cast to work with. Sam Waterston as Prospero filled every moment with interesting choices. I have seen Prosperos who were more Lear-like — or Gandalf-like — but Waterston’s Prospero is a fallible man with con-

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July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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flicting emotions who only incidentally has magical powers. It’s fascinating how he lets his fantasy of revenge slip away, just as he casts off his magical powers and plans instead to return to the life he knew. Francesca Carpanini was a lovely Miranda, and her beau Ferdinand was played with clarity and confidence by Rodney Richardson. In the comic roles, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as the jester Trinculo and Danny Mastrogiorgio as the butler Stephano managed their tricky turns with ample charm and skill. The most interesting perfor mances of the evening, however, came from Louis Cancelmi as Caliban and Chris Perfetti as Ariel, representing the elements of earth and air, respectively, with their miens and movements in line with their natures. Both bound to Prospero, GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

MADONNA CORY WEAVER/ SAN FRANCISCO OPERA

“Peter Grimes” last year, Michael T ilson Thomas continued the streak with a cleanly, rousingly played “Fidelio” (June 28), by and large inspiringly sung. Blocked but with minimal props and only black outfits and lighting as real scenery, the drama seemed concentrated. Much dialogue — even, alas, when it motivated the subsequent music, as with Act Two’s Prison Trio — vanished in favor of sometimes helpful “clarifications” imported from a staging by director Tatjana Gürbaca. Nina Stemme made a noble Leonore/ Fidelio, but started without much sheen or steadiness and really only began hitting her stride in her big aria. Act II explained her high reputation in the role. Brandon Jovanovich’s Florestan had clearly been frequenting the prison weight room; though subjected to some kind of “reverb” acoustic in his aria, he showed himself an excellent exponent of this tricky part, with clear, beautiful sound, sufficient agility, and dynamic contrast. Alan Held remains an expert, impactful Pizarro. Despite some rust and unstellar German, veteran Kevin Langan managed a more than creditable Rocco. Luca Pisaroni’s smooth, emotional Don Fernando represented luxury casting. Joélle Har-

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OPERA, from p.38

COURTESY OF

Anna Caterina Antonacci in the San Francisco Opera production of Berlioz’s “Les troyens.”

vey lent Marzelline lovely tone and line but was unaccountably still on book, limiting her expressiveness. The fine lyric tenor Nicholas Phan proved an engaged Jacquino, more than usually audible in ensembles. Even the two Prisoners (Matthew Newlin and Craig Verm) were uncustomarily impressive. “Fidelio,” like “Troyens,” fully deserved the standing ovation that everything in San Francisco gets.

“Le nozze di Figaro” the next day — a pleasant repertory performance, solidly cast but led without

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costume designer Emily Rebholz fitted each with a leather harness as a symbol of their captivity. Michael Friedman’s original music is well matched to the overriding simplicity of the production, and much of it was performed live by percussionist Arthur Solari, an echo of what would probably have been common in an Elizabethan staging. On the night I saw this production, a gathering mist as the sun went down gave way to a light rain, but one that passed in time. While it lingered, it added to the wonderful environmental feel of this production, and, if anything, required the audience to listen yet more closely to the language of this perplexing and always moving play. After all, the language is where Shakespeare’s magic reigns, and Greif’s choice to emphasize that was both rewarding and revaltory.

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TANGERINE, from p.30

really happened and how the girls really talk. I wanted the story to be as real as possible. Why are Alexandra and Sin-dee in the streets? They are trans. They don’t have family; they have been shunted away. That’s my story, Mya Taylor’s. It happened to me. It’s been six years since I have spoken to my family. I applied to 186 jobs, but didn’t get one. I didn’t want to turn to selling my body. Santa Monica and Highland is full of trans girls and gay guys who are forced to go out and sell drugs or sell ass. You have to use what you got to get what you want. GMK: Sean, you shot the film

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entirely on an iPhone. What can you say about that decision and that process? It certainly adds an immediacy to the film. SB: It began as a budgetary constraint, and it became more than that. At first it was because we didn’t have the money to shoot with other equipment. We said we’re going to embrace this and exploit the benefits from shooting on the phone, and suddenly the benefits revealed themselves to us. I knew we could be more clandestine, but I was much more mobile. The camera moves became more fluid. The most important thing was that these first-time actors had their inhibitions stripped away. Mya and Kiki were never intimidated by the camera.

GMK: How much of the film was improvised? SB: For the girls’ dialogue, improvisation was encouraged. Chris [Bergoch, the co-writer] and I recorded every interview we did. We used the interviews as a guide for the dialogue. I gave the characters the script and told them if you don’t like it, put it into your words, and that’s what they did. They sometimes said the script or came to the table with their own wording. The only time we couldn’t deviate from the script was during the Armenian dialogue because I don’t know Armenian. GMK: There’s a fantastic scene in a car wash, but you cut away

IN THE NOH, from p.37

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MGM

trol. I used to walk out on a plank and walk back and I said to myself, ‘Do what you always do and you won’t fall off.’ I started to sing and then Amy who played piano, God love her, followed and played, no lights, by just instinct. The crowd calmed down and they started seeing my white face in a black dress and they focused on me and I focused on the song and I didn’t fall off. I walked back and it was an amazing moment. Then I sang everything from Reno Sweeney, my club stuff, to keep everyone calm. It could have been a really frightening moment, a stampede.” I asked Greene what her life is like now, living in California. “This past year has been studying ‘Little Shop’ because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I’m so excited because I want Howard to live again, because I am his ‘Little Shop.’ I left here in 1996 because it was the end of my marriage to my dear Tibor, whom I’m still very close with. The 1990s were very exciting: I got married, but then deaths started to happen. Howard was the first to go in 1991, and Peter Allen in 1992. It was one after another one, either getting sick, or in the middle of it, or dying, and that pattern kept going nonstop. All these major players of my life, so many, and finally after I sang at the Bottom Line for Peter, in 1992, I basically stopped singing. My heart started going into my throat. When Don Palladino died, I think in 1996, that was it for me. “Joe [Papp] had gone and there were so many ghosts that I’d been near to through all these diseases, because I don’t believe in not being there for people. Are you ambitious or do you decide to be an authentic person? And also your work is better if you are a person as opposed to the other. But there were just so many, and then my husband was overwhelmed and he got into heroin. I saved his life, and he’s remarried and has a child. My second husband, Christian Klikovits,

Marlene Dietrich, costumed Ernest Dryden, in “Garden of Allah.”

who is my musical partner, got me to sing again in 2001. And now it’s great to be at Encores! working with [summer director] Jeanine Tesori with whom I have such history. I’m so glad she got the Tony [for the “Fun Home” score], and to be with her ad Dick Scanlan and Jake [Gyllenhaal]! I’m not going to hold his beauty and his youth and his height against him! [laughs] You know, I just say it’s okay!”

You can enjoy an absolute orgy of vintage color at MoMA this summer with its festival “Glorious Technicolor: From the George Eastman House and Beyond.” Some of the most glowing examples — literally — from Hollywood’s Golden Age are on tap through August 5 (moma. org/visit/calendar/films/1583). Feast your eyes on the sumptuous spectacle of Ingrid Bergman, yes Swedish, but the definitive Spanish heroine, Maria, in Hemingway’s florid “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (July 12, 5:45 p.m.; July 13, 6:45 p.m.). You can see and hear Red Skelton, the woofable Ricardo Montalban, and Betty Garrett and the wet and wonderful Esther Williams (both gowned by the great Irene)

in the middle of it, which both increases and interrupts the dramatic moment. Can you discuss that strategy? SB: The car wash was a scene I wanted to shoot — a long take in the car wash. I didn’t know what I would do and when Mya told me that women take their clients into the car wash for a quickie, that’s what led us to write that scene. What I did with the music and the cuts were abrupt and jarring. I edit my own films. It’s done organically, following my instincts. A sneak preview at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on July 9 at 7 p.m. will be followed by a Q&A with Sean Baker, James Ransone, and Karren Karaguilian.

charmingly singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” in “Neptune’s Daughter” (July 9, 7 p.m.; July 10, 1:30 p.m.). Judy is well represented by one of her two most iconic films, “A Star is Born” (July 17, 1:15 p.m.; July 23, 7 p.m.). Less sublime, musically speaking, is the twoton lavish mistake that was a tiresomely heavy Ginger Rogers’ “Lady in the Dark” (July 22, 4:30 p.m.; July 28, 7:15 p.m.). A half-breed and gorgeous Jennifer Jones and Gregory Peck (in his single sexy performance) writhe and pant with lust in the spectacularly trashy “Duel in the Sun” (July 25, 7:45 p.m.; July 27, 4 p.m.). Marlene Dietrich wears perhaps the greatest movie wardrobe (Ernest Dryden) in the somnolent romance “Garden of Allah” (July 21, 1:30 p.m.), or as the queens use to refer to it, “Chiffons Over the Desert,” which Cyndi Lauper featured in her video for “Time After Time.” (The sublimely exotic dancer Tilly Losch steals both of the aforementioned films with her savage grace.) You will shriek hysterically when Maria Montez screams “Gif me dose cobra jools!” and dances while pointing to her subjects for instant designated death, in Robert Siodmak’s camp miracle “Cobra Woman” (July 12, 3:45 p.m.). There’s a rare Technicolor screen test of Katharine Hepburn for a 1934 “Joan of Arc” that was never made. It’s screened with “Nothing Sacred,” with Carole Lombard and Frederic March (July 21, 6:45 p.m.; July 26, 3:30 p.m.). Finally, the most beautiful film in the series has got to be “Frenchman’s Creek” (July 20, 6:45 p.m.; July 22, 1:30 p.m. ), Mitchell Leisen’s sumptuous Daphne Du Maurier adaptation, with Joan Fontaine at her most patrician-lovely fighting off the advances of a snarling, peruked Basil Rathbone and falling for pirate Arturo de Cordova (although they loathed each other in real life). Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@aol.com, follow him on Twitter @in_the_noh, and check out his blog at nohway.wordpress.com. July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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FILM

A Peak at India through its Courtrooms Chaitanya Tamhane offers rare, but incomplete frame on world’s largest democracy BY STEVE ERICKSON

S

ZEITGEIST FILMS

ometimes, less is more. Earlier this year, the Israeli film “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” offered a minimalist look inside that country’s divorce courts, which are governed by conservative Orthodox Jews. It didn’t try to “open up” its story. Indian director Chaitanya Tamhane’s “Court” offers a riveting glimpse inside his country’s decrepit legal system, but it makes the mistake of trying to delve into its characters’ private lives. It gives them just enough time for us to get a glimpse of their homes, but not enough to gain any insight into their inner workings. The protagonist, folksinger Narayan Kamble (Vira Sathidar), arrested for inciting the suicide of a manhole worker with one of his songs, actually gets less screen time than his lawyers and remains a cipher, whose life is explained in court rather than dra-

Vira Sathidar (r.) as the folksinger Narayan Kamble hauled into court on charges that his music incited a suicide.

matized by his actions. Americans’ view of Indian cinema is colored by two poles: Bollywood and the late Satyajit Ray. The former produces a vast quantity of films, many of which are marketed to the South Asian diaspora in the US and gross two or three million dollars without crossing over to Anglo audiences. The latter still defines Americans’ idea of Indi-

an art cinema; in fact, Film Forum recently gave a lengthy run to Ray’s “Apu trilogy.” Other Indian art-filmmakers, like Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen, are almost unknown here. That may be changing; “The Lunchbox,” an Indian film that falls outside both Bollywood and art film conventions, was one of the most popular US foreign language releases of 2014. Even at home, “Court”

What Brutality Does Not Crush Probing Indonesia’s past, “The Look of Silence” offers flip side to “The Act of Killing” BY STEVE ERICKSON

T

he world of Joshua Oppenheimer’s previous film, “The Act of Killing,” was a moral black hole — and not a safely fictional construct. Oppenheimer invited the murderers of Indonesian “communists” — a blanket term for anyone the government, installed by a 1965 military coup, disliked — to make films dramatizing their experiences, and the results resembled the cinema that Nazis might have made had they won World War II. Resistance was almost entirely absent from “The Act of Killing,” with the exception of one or two stray critical comments from a young TV engineer. Considering that the killers were still in power in Indonesia when the film was made, that’s understandable, but not the full story. “The Look of Silence,” Oppenheimer’s follow-up, traces the efforts of Adi, an optometrist, to investigate the murder of his older brother. Oppenheimer shows a family of survivors of the 1965 genocide, including a mother and father

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who have survived to live to be over 100. Adi’s job working with eyes may make a bit too neat of a metaphor — he helps people see, literally and figuratively — but the filmmaker didn’t invent it. Living in his home town, it’s impossible for Adi to avoid the perpetrators of the genocide; they still maintain positions of power and many of them are his clients. Oppenheimer sets up a video monitor and shows Adi outtakes from “The Act of Killing” in which murderers talk about killing his brother, focusing on Adi’s face. Then as he takes prescriptions for glasses, he discusses the events of the ‘60s with his customers, none of whom seem to care. As much as possible, Oppenheimer effaced his presence in “The Act of Killing,” although the films-within-the-film clearly benefited from his expertise. Oppenheimer’s voice is heard on camera far more in “The Look of Silence.” (He’s fluent in Indonesian.) Furthermore, interview subjects refer to him frequently, usually in a way that makes Adi look better, one man

took many by surprise when it won India’s equivalent of the Oscar for best film, a rare feat for an independent film. At the start of “Court,” Narayan sings a song lamenting the political and moral decline of India. He performs in an open square to a curious audience; rather than playing for money, he makes his living doing workshops about writing poetry and folk songs. (Someone introduces him as “the people’s poet.”) He’s soon arrested and taken to court. His lawyer, Vinay Vora (Vivek Gomber), fiercely defends him against public prosecutor Nutan (Geetanjali Kulkarni.) Even the fact that Narayan owns two banned books is used against him, even though one of the books was published in 1899. It becomes clear the judicial system is a carry-over from India’s colonial era and not updated for a country that

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COURT, continued on p.43

THE LOOK OF SILENCE Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer Drafthouse Pictures/ Participant Media In Indonesian and Javanese With English subtitles Opens Jul.17 Landmark Sunshine Cinema 143 E. Houston St. Btwn. First & Second Aves. landmarktheatres.com

remarking that his questions cut much deeper than Oppenheimer’s. “The Act of Killing” was nominated for an Academy Award, no small feat for a film so intensely disturbing. In general, it was extremely well-received. It did have its critics, though. The loudest was filmmaker Jill Godmilow, who took to indieWIRE to post a list of rules documentarians should follow. Of course, such rules are made to be broken. Others thought the film didn’t place enough blame on the US for its complicity in the Indonesian government’s massacre, though it did suggest that American history, politics, and culture were a terrible influence

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SILENCE, continued on p.43

July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


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COURT, from p.42

proudly calls itself “the world’s largest democracy.” Tamhane never moves the camera. Usually it’s close to the actors; occasionally, as in song performances, it’s far from them. It always faces them frontally, but sometimes he chooses unusual angles from which to film them. The unfortunate result is a certain stiffness. Narayan is defined by his music, though we get to see a few scenes showing off his feisty personality — for example, when he complains about the number of pills he has to take in a hospital. Judging from his lyrics, he seems like an Indian equivalent of the late Nigerian singer Fela Kuti. According to Tamhane, he’s comes from a tradition of 1970s protest singers. His lyrics seem vague enough that the government’s determination to prosecute him looks ridiculous. It’s as absurd as the heavy metal band Judas Priest’s trial for supposedly inserting subliminal messages telling listeners to kill themselves in their music. At least Narayan gets

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SILENCE, from p.42

on the country. Oppenheimer may not directly blame the CIA for what happened to Indonesia, but he hits a deeper taboo by depicting American pop culture as anything but a liberating force. Even a film as conservative as “Argo” acknowledges America’s role in overthrowing a democratically elected government in 1950s Iran. Oppenheimer has used the platform given to him by the success of his films to talk about Western complicity in Indonesia’s dictatorship,. This subject is less of an issue in “The Look of Silence,” but Oppenheimer seems to respond to his critics by including a 1967 American TV news broadcast cluelessly celebrating the extermination of communists. “The Look of Silence” shows the power of slurs to dehumanize any group of people, ultimately leading to murder. As used in ‘60s Indonesia, “communism” didn’t mean anything specific, yet Oppenheimer films school kids today being taught that communists went around mutilating people and so had to be eradicated. One of the most GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

COURT Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane Zeitgeist Films In Marathi, Hindi, English & Gujarati with English subtitles Opens Jul. 15 Film Forum 209 W. Houston St. filmforum.org

enough out of the experience to write a book about the trial. Particularly in films about countries like India, critics and other spectators tend to see them as opportunities to glean nuggets of information that will inform the bigger picture. This is especially true here since we see few realistic films about that country; Bollywood’s garish fantasies have as much direct connection to Indian life as “Avengers: Age of Ultron” does to American life. “Court” exposes a feudal mentality that may be specific to India or applicable more widely to post-colonial countries around the world. I just wish the film had more confidence in its own strengths.

frightening aspects of “The Look of Silence” is the attitude from some of his subjects that “communists” deserved to die because they were atheists and adulterers. “The Look of Silence” isn’t quite as tightly focused as “The Act of Killing”; the scenes of Adi’s family life could stand to be trimmed. It’s easier to watch, although the acts, including the drinking of blood (which supposedly preserved the killers’ sanity) described are actually more brutal than those depicted in “The Act of Killing.” But while extremely disturbing, it’s not the unblinking glimpse into hell that “The Act of Killing” was. (The MPAA agrees and rewarded “The Look of Silence” with a PG-13 rating.) I’d sound hopelessly corny if I suggested that Adi finds some kind of hope or closure at the end, but “The Look of Silence,” unlike “The Act of Killing,” depicts a world where active resistance is still possible. That makes a huge difference, as does the fact that these films themselves have reached a wide audience in Indonesia and sparked debate there. Hopefully, one day Oppenheimer’s “anonymous” co-director will be able to reveal his or her real name.

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FRI.JUL.10-SUN.JUL.12

THU.JUL.9 FILM Streaming From LA Coinciding with the opening of Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival, DIRECTTV presents free online screening to official festival selections. Among the films streaming will be “The Heroes of Evil,” “Tomgirl,” “Gideon’s Cross,” “Maybe Next Season,” “The First Date,” “Caged,” “Gay Over,” “The BrocKINGton,” “No Boundaries,” “Tomorrow,” “Noah and Anya,” “Calavera,” and “Elise.” A full line-up of films will be available at outfestonline.com, beginning Jul. 9. For complete information on films at the festival, visit outfest.org/fest2015 or call 213-480-7065.

FRI.JUL.10 NIGHTLIFE Awkward Sex… and the City Some of New York’s finest storytellers and comedians — including Natalie Wall, Krystyna Hutchinson, Corinne Fisher, Anita Flores, and Bobbeyonce Hankinson — relive their most awkward sexual situations for your viewing pleasure. The Pleasure Chest., 1150 Second Ave. at E. 61st St. Jul. 10, 8:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Admission is $15 at goo.gl/UZEmLx; $20 at the door, with free beer and wine and 15 percent discounts on all merchandise.

Whitton in Time Scare Residency With a new single, “Black and White to Color,” just released, Whitton, whose style blends Billie Holiday, Norah Jones, and Regina Spektor, returns to New York for a residency, with a show that includes her own songs as well as classics from Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee. The Celebrity Theater at Time Scare, 669 Eighth Ave. at W. 43rd St. Through Aug. 23; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. Tickets began at $39 at 212-5867829 or whittonmusic.com.

BOOKS Nigerian Novel 14 Years in the Making Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene, an Ijaw and Urhobo Nigerian dyke performance activist, poet, dancer, educator, actress, and visual artist, reads from her new book, “For Sizakele,” about Taylor, a queer Nigerian college student, who is in a passionate relationship with Lee, an African-American basketball-playing pianist, but also develops romantic feelings for Sy, a Cameroonian photographer. Etaghene will also perform electric, sugarcane-flavored poetry and take questions. Bureau of General Service — Queer Division at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Jul. 10, 7-10 p.m.

SAT.JUL.11

11th Annual Pride in Staten Island Pride Weekend in Staten Island kicks off Jul. 10, 7 p.m., at the Sanctuary of the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, 312 Fillmore St. at Clinton Ave. in New Brighton, with an InterFaith Service to promote the theme that LGBT people are “whole,” “acceptable to God [or god or the gods],” and “worthy of his/ her/ their love.” Participants include Rabbi Michael Howald of Temple Israel Reform Congregation, Father Michael Tesmacher and Mother Maura Bernard, pastors at Prince of Peace in Central Islip, Long Island, Ruth Benson, a lay member of the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, Ghanim Khalil, a lay Muslim, Reverend Lewis Marshall, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, Silkie O-Ishi, high priestess of Grailwood Coven, of the Pagan, Wiccan, Faerie tradition, and Reverend Nancy Hazzard, a minister of religious science. PrideFest activities on Jul. 11 include the 9:30 a.m. 5k Run & Walk, which begins at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, btwn. Tysen St. & Cottage Row, and traverses the Garden’s 83 acres. Registration is $20 at pridecentersi.org/5k-race.

MON.JUL.13

Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland (1920-1991) is considered to be the most iconic gay artist of the 20th century. “Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play” — which includes more than 140 drawings, rarely seen gouaches from the 1940s, over 600 pages of collages, as well as his early childhood drawings — is the first exhibition to examine, analyze, and present the historic role that his art plays in addressing and transgressing stereotypes of gender, sexuality, race, class, and power relations. Artists Space Exhibitions, 38 Greene St., btwn. Grand & Broome Sts., third fl. Through Aug. 23; Wed.-Sun., noon-6 p.m. For more information, visit artistsspace.org

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SAT.JUL.18

CIVIL RIGHTS

CABARET

SCOTUS De-Briefing

Happy Days Are Here Again, All Summer Long

LeGaL, the LGBT bar association of Greater New York, hosts a conversation about last month’s successful marriage equality ruling, with panelists Evan Wolfson, a gay marriage pioneer who founded Freedom to Marry, University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Tobias Barrington Wolff, and Dahlia Lithwick, a legal correspondent and senior editor at Slate, who writes the "Supreme Court Dispatches" and "Jurisprudence" columns and records the "Amicus" podcast. Proskauer Rose LLP, 11 Times Sq., Eighth Ave. at 41st St. July 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m., with a reception to follow. Register at le-gal.org/ after-obergefell.

WED.JUL.15 CABARET

Now in its sixth year, Rick Skye and Tommy Femia — named Best Duo of 2012 by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) — have extended their run of “Judy and Liza Together Again,” at Don’t Tell Mama through the summer. The mother-daughter team sing some of their personal favorites, including “Maybe This Time,” “New York, New York,” “Over the Rainbow” (sung movingly by Femia), and, in a powerhouse finale together, “Get Happy” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.” 343 W. 46th St. Jul. 18 & 25, Aug. 8, 15, 22 & 29, 8 p.m. The cover charge is $25 and there’s a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-757-0788 or donttellmamanyc.com.

Gregory Nalbone’s Passions Handsome romantic balladeer Gregory Nalbone returns to the Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St., for two shows, Jul. 15, 7 p.m. & Jul. 18, 9:30 p.m. In his new show, “The Sounds of My Heart,” Nalbone takes the audience on a soul-bearing journey backed by Kenneth Gartman on piano, Dan Frabicatore on bass, and Donna Kelly on percussion. Admission is $25 at metropolitanroom.com, and there’s a two-drink minimum.

SUN.JUL.19 COMMUNITY Pride in Newark The LGBT community in Newark gathers on Jul. 19, 1 p.m. sharp at the corner of Raymond Blvd., Broad St. & and Park Pl. for a march to Washington Park, where a festival is held through 8 p.m. For complete information, visit newarkgaypride.org.

THU.JUL.23

GALLERY Play and Learn With Tom of Finland

PrideFest itself kicks off at 11:30 a.m. on Jul. 11, also at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, btwn. Tysen St. & Cottage Row. The line-up of entertainment includes Miss New York and Miss Wheelchair New York, Donna Maxon, Maxine, Ron B, Anne Guinta, Fatal Femmes, Chanel International, the Free Candy Band, Tyler Alyxander, Tym Moss, Jolina Jasmine, Plastiq Passion, Verona, Billy Winn, Tyler Ford, Roxxy Andrews, and Axel Andrews. At 12:45 p.m., David Frei, co-host of NBC and USA Network's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show coverage, emcees a Doggy Drag Show, with a suggested $5 donation for participants. The festival runs until 6 p.m. On Jul. 12, beginning at 11:30 a.m., Eve Ultra Lounge, 2354 Arthur Kill Rd. at Rossville Ave. hosts a brunch (until 1:30 p.m.) and tea dance (2-6 p.m.). The tea dance includes entertainment from DJ Steve Sidewalk, singer Tiana Elise, and drag artist Jolina Jasmine joined by go-go dancers. Tickets are $30 for the brunch-only; $10 for the tea dance-only; and $35 for both. More information at 718-808-1365.

THU.JUL.16 BOOKS Listen to This Chap Niel Rosenthalis celebrates the release of “Try Me,” his new chapbook of poems, and is joined by friends Rickey Laurentiis, Joanna C. Valente, Robert Whitehead, and Marni Ludwig, who will also read. . Bureau of General Service — Queer Division at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Jul. 16, 7 p.m.

FILM Araki Occupies Anthology Film Archives “Dirty Looks: On Location” is a July series of queer interventions in which in film and video artists will appear in queer social spaces and former sites of queer sociality (like shuttered bars, bathhouses, and former meeting zones). The Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave. at Second St., screens Gregg Araki’s “The Doom Generation,” the ultimate midnight movie of the ‘90s, a total cult sensation, and the central installment in Araki’s “Teen Apocalypse Trilogy.” Jul. 23, 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, $8 for students & seniors, at anthologyfilmarchives. July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

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MEDIA CIRCUS, from p.27

Crossing Christian Church, posted an online blog on the church’s website declaring his intention to marry his true love, bacon. ‘I’m tired of living in the shadows. It’s time to come out of the pantry closet,’ he wrote. ‘Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that everyone has a constitutional right to marry anyone (or anything), I have come to a huge decision. I have decided to marry bacon.’” — BizpacReview.com, conservative news you can trust

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much profile or sparkle by Patrick Summers — got one too. The most interesting thing Summers did was to allow his cast to decorate their singing with cadenzas and appoggiaturas, usually judiciously chosen but occasionally straying beyond sense. The staging, over 30 years old, remains handsome — salutary to see actual trees in Act IV these days. Robin Guarino’s direction combined intelligent pointing of text and a few good ideas — like Figaro all but addressing “Non piu andrai” to the Count — with rather too high a quotient of broughtalong shtick from the comic foils. The Antonio, vocally appalling, distracted throughout with unfunny upstaging; dismayingly, in Act II’s astonishing ensemble we had an outbreak of the provincial “funny” dance steps I have come to dread. The good outweighed the bad, though I would have preferred less hard-edged, fan-snapping, knowingly smiling behavior from the cast’s Countess (Nadine Sierra), Susanna (Lisette Oropesa), and Barbarina (Maria Valdes), all attractive young women with attractive voices. Sierra lacked

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OPERA, from p.39

27) stands the indictment of the approval and institutionalization of it. Though people know intuitively that homosexual acts (along with gossip, slander, insolence, haughtiness, boasting, faithlessness, heartlessness, ruthlessness) are sin, ‘they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them’ (Romans 1:29–32). ‘I

gravitas; Oropesa, spontaneity of utterance — she tended to shade “soubrette” too readily. Her Figaro, Philippe Sly, proved by contrast fascinating, as he continually seemed to be forming phrases as if newly minted. Sly and lankily sexy, he commands superb tonal finish with excellent musicianship; what lacked was sufficient volume for the room. I’d love to hear his Figaro in a first-rate smaller house. The most satisfying of the principals were Luca Pisaroni’s mercurial Count — tonally fresh and pliable and giving lessons in Italian declamation and detailed facial expression — and the clear-toned, musically secure, and cutesiness-free Cherubino of Angela Brower. Next summer SFO promises “Jenůfa” with Karita Mattila and Jovanovich in role debuts as Kostelnicka and Laca under Jiří Bělohlávek, “Don Carlo” with a fabulous lineup including Michael Fabiano, Krassimira Stoyanova, René Pape, and Mariusz Kwiecień, plus Calixto Bieito’s US debut directing “Carmen.” Book now! David Shengold (shengold@ yahoo.com) writes about opera for many venues.

tell you even with tears, that many glory in their shame’ (Philippians 3:18–19). “This is what the highest court in our land did today — knowing these deeds are wrong, ‘yet approving those who practice them.’” — Theologian John Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, on his desiringGod blog.

“Franklin Graham said in a n e x c l u s i v e i n t e r v i e w, ‘ I believe God could bring judgment upon America.’ Graham told Fox News that Christians should be prepared for per secution in the after math of the Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual marriage. ‘You better be ready and you better be prepared because it’s coming,’ Graham said just moments after the court handed down its ruling. ‘There will be persecution of Christians for our stand.’” — The Way (Christianity without Walls) Follow @edsikov on Twitter July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc


GayCityNews.nyc | July 09 - 22, 2015

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July 09 - 22, 2015 | GayCityNews.nyc

GAY CITY NEWS, JULY 9, 2015  

GAY CITY NEWS, JULY 9, 2015

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