At Last, Public Schools LGBT Liaison 07
Clinton’s Endorsements Edge 11
Snow White Uncovered 25
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FREE | VOLUME FIFTEEN, ISSUE THREE | FEBRUARY 04 - 17, 2016
New Genvoya is now available
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
Onepill pill contains One contains elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir (TAF). and tenofoviralafenamide alafenamide (TAF). Ask your healthcare provider Ask your healthcare provider if GENVOYA is right for you.
if GENVOYA is right for you. To learn more visit GENVOYA.com To learn more visit
Please see Brief Summary of Patient Information with important warnings on the following pages.
GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
12/3/15 11:35 AM
Brief Summary of Patient Information about GENVOYA GENVOYA (jen-VOY-uh) (elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide) tablets Important: Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with GENVOYA. There may be new information about GENVOYA. This information is only a summary and 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 GENVOYA? GENVOYA can cause serious side effects, including: • Build-up of lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis). Lactic acidosis may happen in some people who take GENVOYA. Lactic acidosis is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Lactic acidosis can be hard to identify early, because the symptoms could seem like symptoms of other health problems. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms, which could be signs of lactic acidosis: • • • • • • •
feel very weak or tired have unusual (not normal) muscle pain have trouble breathing have stomach pain with nausea or vomiting feel cold, especially in your arms and legs feel dizzy or lightheaded have a fast or irregular heartbeat
• Severe liver problems. Severe liver problems may happen in people who take GENVOYA. In some cases, these liver problems can lead to death. Your liver may become large and you may develop fat in your liver. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms of liver problems: • your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice) • dark “tea-colored” urine • light-colored bowel movements (stools) • loss of appetite for several days or longer • nausea • stomach pain • You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking GENVOYA for a long time. • Worsening of Hepatitis B infection. GENVOYA is not for use to treat chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV). If you have HBV infection and take GENVOYA, your HBV may get worse (flare-up) if you stop taking GENVOYA. A “flare-up” is when your HBV infection suddenly returns in a worse way than before. • Do not run out of GENVOYA. Refill your prescription or talk to your healthcare provider before your GENVOYA is all gone. • Do not stop taking GENVOYA without first talking to your healthcare provider. • If you stop taking GENVOYA, your healthcare provider will need to check your health often and do blood tests regularly for several months to check your HBV infection. Tell your healthcare provider about any new or unusual symptoms you may have after you stop taking GENVOYA.
What is GENVOYA? GENVOYA is a prescription medicine that is used without other HIV-1 medicines to treat HIV-1 in people 12 years of age and older: • who have not received HIV-1 medicines in the past or • to replace their current HIV-1 medicines in people who have been on the same HIV-1 medicines for at least 6 months, have an amount of HIV-1 in their blood (“viral load”) that is less than 50 copies/mL, and have never failed past HIV-1 treatment HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. GENVOYA contains the prescription medicines elvitegravir (VITEKTA®), cobicistat (TYBOST®), emtricitabine (EMTRIVA®) and tenofovir alafenamide. It is not known if GENVOYA is safe and effective in children under 12 years of age. When used to treat HIV-1 infection, GENVOYA may: • 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. 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). GENVOYA does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. You must stay on continuous HIV-1 therapy to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. Avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection to others: • Do not share or re-use needles or other injection equipment. • Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades. • Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safer sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions about how to prevent passing HIV-1 to other people.
Who should not take GENVOYA? Do not take GENVOYA if you also take a medicine that contains: • alfuzosin hydrochloride (Uroxatral®) • carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®, Tegretol-XR®, Teril®) • cisapride (Propulsid®, Propulsid Quicksolv®) • ergot-containing medicines, including: dihydroergotamine mesylate (D.H.E. 45®, Migranal®), ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot®, Migergot®, Ergostat®, Medihaler Ergotamine®, Wigraine®, Wigrettes®), and methylergonovine maleate (Ergotrate®, Methergine®) • lovastatin (Advicor®, Altoprev®, Mevacor®) • midazolam, when taken by mouth • phenobarbital (Luminal®) • phenytoin (Dilantin®, Phenytek®) • pimozide (Orap®) • rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®, Rimactane®) • sildenafil (Revatio®), when used for treating lung problems • simvastatin (Simcor®, Vytorin®, Zocor®) • triazolam (Halcion®) • the herb St. John’s wort or a product that contains St. John’s wort
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking GENVOYA? Before taking GENVOYA, tell your healthcare provider if you: • have liver problems including hepatitis B infection • have kidney or bone problems • have any other medical conditions • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if GENVOYA can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking GENVOYA. Pregnancy registry: there is a pregnancy registry for women who take HIV-1 medicines during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk with your healthcare provider about how you can take part in this registry. • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take GENVOYA. – You should not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. – At least one of the medicines in GENVOYA can pass to your baby in your breast milk. It is not known if the other medicines in GENVOYA can pass into your breast milk. – Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Other medicines may affect how GENVOYA works. Some medicines may interact with GENVOYA. Keep a list of your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. • You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a list of medicines that interact with GENVOYA. • Do not start a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take GENVOYA with other medicines.
How should I take GENVOYA?
• Take GENVOYA exactly as your healthcare provider tells • • • • • • •
you to take it. GENVOYA is taken by itself (not with other HIV-1 medicines) to treat HIV-1 infection. GENVOYA is usually taken 1 time each day. Take GENVOYA with food. If you need to take a medicine for indigestion (antacid) that contains aluminum and magnesium hydroxide or calcium carbonate during treatment with GENVOYA, take it at least 2 hours before or after you take GENVOYA. Do not change your dose or stop taking GENVOYA without first talking with your healthcare provider. Stay under a healthcare provider’s care when taking GENVOYA. Do not miss a dose of GENVOYA. If you take too much GENVOYA, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. When your GENVOYA supply starts to run low, get more from your healthcare provider or pharmacy. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to GENVOYA and become harder to treat.
What are the possible side effects of GENVOYA? GENVOYA may cause serious side effects, including: • See “What is the most important information I should know about GENVOYA?” • Changes in body fat can happen in people who take HIV-1 medicine. These changes may include increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), breast, and around the middle of your body (trunk). Loss of fat from the legs, arms and face may also happen. The exact cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known. • Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV-1 medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you start having any new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine. • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before you start and while you are taking GENVOYA. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking GENVOYA if you develop new or worse kidney problems. • Bone problems can happen in some people who take GENVOYA. Bone problems may include bone pain, softening or thinning (which may lead to fractures). Your healthcare provider may need to do tests to check your bones. The most common side effect of GENVOYA is nausea. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. • These are not all the possible side effects of GENVOYA. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. • Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
General information about the safe and effective use of GENVOYA. Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use GENVOYA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give GENVOYA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. This Brief Summary summarizes the most important information about GENVOYA. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about GENVOYA that is written for health professionals. For more information, call 1-800-445-3235 or go to www.GENVOYA.com. Keep GENVOYA and all medicines out of reach of children. Issued: November 2015
EMTRIVA, GENVOYA, the GENVOYA Logo, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, GSI, TYBOST, and VITEKTA are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. © 2015 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. GENC0001 11/15
GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
12/3/15 11:35 AM
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Meth Kills — and evidence points to its upswing in NYC
08 - 09 HISTORY
Rare women’s suffrage artifacts at Hunter Public Policy Institute
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Via Twitter, Council LGBT Caucus grows to seven
16 14 DAYS
EDITOR'S LETTER Hate doesn’t pay
Alan Cumming gets all sappy
36, 39 February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
City Schools Finally Get Coordinator on LGBT Issues Big move in 40-year battle to make classrooms safe, educate all students on LGBT people
BY ANDY HUMM
GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
he New York City Department of Education (DOE) has just appointed Jared Fox, an out gay educator, as LGBT community liaison, a position for which LGBT education activists have been agitating for more than three decades. “I have a huge sense of urgency,” Fox told Gay City News. “We’re trying to make sure that LGBT people see themselves in the curriculum and that all students see LGBT people in the curriculum.” In his first month on the job, he is meeting with people at all levels of the school community to figure out how best to make systemic change. Part of being a liaison, he said, “is listening and part of it is getting things done. I want to get things done by building a long-term vision.” Fox is not just burrowing into the system. He wants to hear from people with ideas and is giving out his e-mail: Jfox16@schools. nyc.gov. Out gay Councilmember Daniel Dromm of Jackson Heights, chair of the Education Committee and himself a former out grade school teacher, secured the $200,000 funding to pay for the liaison position and related activities in this year’s budget. He told Gay City News that Fox “is charged with coming up with a strategic plan for making the DOE a more inclusive environment for LGBT students, teachers, parents, and families” and that his committee will hold a hearing in June to monitor progress. Dromm said he wants a list of all schools with a gay-straight alliance (GSA) and hopes that the DOE central office at the Tweed Courthouse will finally have an LGBT Pride celebration. “Invisibility is our biggest enemy,” Dromm said. “We can no longer tolerate discrimination anywhere in the city but especially not at the DOE, and now that I have oversight I will make sure that is the case.” Lois Herrera, CEO of the Office of Safety and Youth Development, said in a written statement, “Our goal is to promote a positive school climate and culture that supports students in their academic and social growth.” Fox, she said, “will be working with city agencies and community organizations to help schools support, protect, and provide resources to LGBT students, families, and community members.” Fox said that among the groups on an advisory committee that is meeting monthly on these issues are city agencies — including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
Jared Fox, the Department of Education’s first LGBT liaison.
Badges available to teachers interested in signaling that they are allies on LGBT issues.
the Department of Youth and Community Development, and the Administration for Children’s Services — as well as such community organizations as the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the LGBT Community Center, pride community centers in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth. To finally get a point person on LGBT issues in New York’s public schools, it took Dromm’s leadership, a more sympathetic administration in Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, and the advocacy of groups ranging from the Gay Activists Alliance and the Gay Teachers Association in the 1970s, the Hetrick-Martin Institute in the ‘80s, and the Education Coalition on Lesbian and Gay Youth (ECOLaGY) in the ‘90s to the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, from the ‘90s to today. The culture has also progressed enormously on LGBT issues, but the schools — often scared of political fallout from parents objecting to any mention of homosexuality to their children — have been laggards, until recently. Fox, 28, was himself the founder of the New York chapter of GLSEN. He had the experience of coming out at age 13 in the eighth grade and being bullied in a Catholic school in Cleveland, which led his mother to get him
transferred to a public school where he was able to establish a GSA. His degree from Lake Forest College is in community organizing, activism, and politics, and he taught English for three years at a school near New Orleans where he also started a GSA. Fox has worked for the DOE for the last three years in its Division of Instructional and information Technology, where “we spear headed a movement to have a tech person in every school. Now over 80 percent have a tech person. We need to have the same success with LGBT students. It’s not like with computers and knowing how to turn them on and off. It’s about kids’ lives.” Fox is working with the Office of Research to do a survey “and identify one person in every school to liaise with.” He explained, “It could be a GSA advisor or a teacher or a Respect for All coordinator.” The system’s Respect for All program is an overall anti-bullying program launched eight years ago. In a system with more than a thousand schools and 1.1 million students, a lone community liaison faces a daunting challenge. To involve more school staff, the DOE is piloting a program that has staff wearing a badge that says “Out for Safe Schools” and has a rainbow
EDUCATION, continued on p.17
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
eaths from methamphetamine overdoses increased 160 percent from 2013 to 2014 in New York City, according to data from the city health department. The department reports that “methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths” went from 13 in 2013 to 34 in 2014. The department does not have final data on 2015 deaths. Ninety percent of the 2014 deaths were among men, and the greatest increase in deaths was among New Yorkers aged 35 to 54. In an email, the department wrote that 64 percent of the deaths were among whites, but did not supply other demographic information. The data comes from a surveillance system that the health department maintains with the cooperation of hospital emergency departments that allows it to monitor increases and decreases in illnesses, deaths, and other public health conditions.
CENTER FOR HEALTH IDENTITY, BEHAVIOR, AND PREVENTION STUDIES
Perry Halkitis, founder of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies.
Peter Staley, a longtime AIDS activist who was one of the key players in developing the state’s Plan to End AIDS blueprint.
More potent crystal meth that is made and distributed by drug trafficking organizations in Mexico may be causing more deaths. As federal and state laws regulating the ingredients used to manufacture meth have made producing the drug in the US more difficult, the drug trafficking organizations are making purer methamphetamine and shipping it into the US. The speculation is that traffickers are flooding America with cheaper product to create demand. It could also be that the deaths result from more crystal in New York City and more gay and bisexual men using the drug. Data from the National HIV Behavior al Health Survey that Peter Staley, a longtime AIDS activist, published on his blog on poz. com on February 2 indicate that meth use is increasing among men who have sex with men in the city. The percentage of New York City gay and bisexual men in that survey reporting crystal use in the 12 months prior to taking the survey
went from 13.8 percent in 2004 to 5.8 percent in 2008 to 4.3 percent in 2011 to 9.2 percent in 2014. Some of the increase may be due to researchers using different venues to recruit men for the study or changes in the demographics of the participants. Other indicators support the view that there is more methamphetamine in New York City. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) told Gay City News that a measure of statewide drug seizures that the agency uses to make year-to-year comparisons is showing a significant increase in meth seized. The DEA seized 51 kilograms of crystal in 2014 and 56.7 kilograms in 2015. In 2000, the agency seized less than a kilogram. Seizures climbed to 9.8 kilograms in 2005 and declined to 3.4 kilograms in 2010. The 2014 and 2015 seizures were typically bundled with large amounts of heroin and cocaine. Other information also suggests that the availability of crystal in the city has increased. Gay City News found 10 cases in federal court in Manhattan, some involving multiple defendants, dating to 2014 in which the defendants were charged with distributing crystal. The amounts the men were carrying at their arrests ranged from several hundred grams to multiple kilograms. In 2004, 2005, and 2006, meth use among gay men in New York City received a burst of attention from AIDS and community groups, with the city and state funding anti-crystal campaigns. The DEA also made a series of high-profile arrests for meth distribution. Generally, the men in those earlier cases possessed far less crystal at their arrests than the amounts seen in the current cases. The New York State Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, which prosecutes felony drug cases throughout the city, told Gay City News that its meth seizures went from 22.4 kilograms in 2014 to 41.3 kilograms in 2015. “They tell you that it’s rising and it has epidemic possibilities,” said Perry Halkitis, an associate dean at NYU’s College of Global Public Health and the founder of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies, referring to the DEA and city health department data. Halkitis has authored or co-authored more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles on gay men’s health, including many studies of gay men and drug use. If there are more meth users and more meth in New York City, it could have implications for the Plan to End AIDS, which aims to reduce new HIV infections from the current roughly 3,000 a year to 750 annually by 2020. Staley served on the task force that drafted the plan. “It’s back to the drawing board,” Staley told Gay City News. “This is something New York State is going to have to add to its End the Epidemic portfolio. There’s no way to get to the numbers we want with an ongoing meth epidemic.”
METH KILLS, continued on p.9
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
sked if a 160 percent increase in “methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths” reported by the city health department in 2014 over 2013 and a substantial increase in methamphetamine seizures by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) supported any particular conclusion, Travis Wendel had a terse response. “Other than the OD death numbers, which surprise me, I think these stats are not necessarily indicative of anything,” the research director at St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction in the Bronx wrote in an email. “Did the OD deaths involve use of other drugs as well or only meth?” The health department reports that methamphetamine deaths went from 13 in 2013 to 34 in 2014. The DEA told Gay City News that it seized 51 kilograms of crystal in 2014 and 56.7 kilograms in 2015. The agency seized 9.8 kilograms in 2005 and 3.4 kilograms in 2010. The seizures reflect statewide figures. Wendel’s surprise is not a surprise. Methamphetamine deaths have received little attention among researchers, and the view is that they are uncommon. Where they are reported, the death is often associated with other drugs that commonly cause overdose deaths, such as opiates. Wendel was the lead author of a 2011 study that described the methamphetamine market in New York City. He also served on the
In a meth overdose, an elevated body temperature is a “universal presenting symptom, with lethal overdoses generally associated with extreme hyperthermia.” New York City team of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Study for several years. But meth does kill and it can kill all by itself. A 1999 study in the Journal of Forensic Sciences investigated 413 deaths in San Francisco over a 13-year period in which methamphetamine was detected in the dead person’s body and concluded that 65 percent of the deaths were “due to accidental methamphetamine toxicity” and “methamphetamine was an incidental finding” in the remaining cases. The average was roughly 21 deaths attributable to meth per year over the 13-year period.
METH KILLS, from p.8
In addition to the physical harm that it causes in users, meth is implicated in the spread of HIV because gay and bisexual men often use the drug in sexual networks. Meth use is associated with more condomless anal sex and greater risk for acquiring HIV. Men who are HIV-positive and using meth may have trouble adhering to their anti-HIV GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs looked at various measures of methamphetamine use in San Diego from 2001 to 2005 and concluded that among the “245 deaths involving methamphetamine” in 2005, “44 were attributed to overdose involving either methamphetamine alone (n = 13) or in combination with other drugs (n = 31), most commonly heroin/ morphine.” In 64 deaths in the San Diego study, methamphetamine was a “contributing factor” and “methamphetamine was detected during autopsy but was not listed as a causal or contributing factor” in the remaining deaths.
drugs, making them more likely to infect others. “HIV incidence rates are double or triple among men who use methamphetamine, and it may be higher,” Halkitis said during a January 25 meeting with ACT UP. The AIDS activist group recently created a committee to address meth use. Should the state and city health departments and AIDS and community groups
Gay City News found studies and case reports from Thailand and Taiwan dating to 1994 that documented deaths caused by crystal meth, which is the most widely abused illicit drug in the world, according to some reports. Meth can kill a number of ways. “Ingestions of large doses of the drug can cause more serious consequences that include life-threatening hyperthermia above 41°C, renal and liver failure, cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks, cerebrovascular hemorrhages, strokes, and seizures,” said a 2009 study in Brain Research Reviews that was ominously titled “Methamphetamine Toxicity and Messengers of Death.” At 41°C, a person’s body temperature is at 105.8°F, which is well above the temperature at which heat stroke occurs. In a meth overdose, an elevated body temperature is a “universal presenting symptom, with lethal overdoses generally associated with extreme hyperthermia,” said a 2014 study that was published in Pharmacology & Therapeutics. That study said that the clinical diagnosis of hyperthermia comes at a body temperature at 40°C, which is 104°F. The 2014 study noted that “extreme hyperthermia that can be lethal if left untreated” and other “presenting symptoms commonly observed, particularly in high-dose patients, include hypertension, tachycardia, dyspnea, and chest pain, with other features including increased agitation, altered mental status, pupil dilation, shivering, and possible seizure activity.”
respond to crystal use among gay and bisexual men, those efforts will be complicated by the different needs and circumstances of African-American, white, Latino, and Asian men who use the drug. Halkitis’ research shows that African-American and white users tend to be poly-drug users, requiring any response to talk about more than just crystal. There is little research on drug use among Latino and Asian gay and bisexual men.
Five Months After Rentboy.com Raid, Owner Indicted Jeffrey Hurant faces federal prostitution, facilitating a minor’s crime, money laundering charges
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
fter what appeared to be months of plea negotiations, the US Attorney for the Easter n District of New York has indicted the owner of rentboy.com for promoting prostitution, facilitating a crime by a person under 16, and on two counts of violating a federal money laundering statute. “It’s a crazy and out of control prosecution,” said William Dobbs, an attorney and gay civil libertarian. “It caused not only a lot of community outrage, but had the New York Times slamming it in an editorial. Let’s hope the other defendants get fairer treatment.” Jeffrey Hurant, who founded the gay escort website in 1997, was arrested last August along with six employees of the website, which was seized and shut down by the US Department of Homeland Security. The prosecution, which is being handled by the US attorney in Brooklyn and not Manhattan, where rentboy.com was headquartered, sparked protests in four cities and angry denunciations by a host of LGBT and civil liberties groups. Hurant faces one count of violating the federal Travel Act, which makes certain state crimes a violation of federal law when they are
Demonstrators on September 3 outside the Brooklyn federal courthouse.
committed across state lines or by using a phone, email, snail mail, or other forms interstate commerce. The January 27 indictment alleges that Hurant violated New York’s statute on criminal facilitation in the fourth degree and promoting prostitution in the fourth degree, which are misdemeanors, and promoting prostitution in the third degree, which is a class D felony. Violations of the Travel Act carry a sentence of up to five years in prison. The indictment also charges Hurant with two counts of violating a federal money laundering statute that make it illegal to use the proceeds from illegal activity. The indictment says that the government wants to seize roughly $1.6 million in cash and from rentboy. com bank accounts. About $1.2 million of that amount is held in bank accounts owned by Hurant. The text of the indictment suggests that Hurant made no effort to conceal the proceeds. The money laundering charges carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. In an email, Michael Tremonte, Hurant’s attorney and a partner at Sher Tremonte LLP, wrote, “The government’s charges against Mr. Hurant are unwarranted. He ran his business openly for nearly 20 years, and it makes no sense to single him out for criminal prose-
cution. Mr. Hurant plans to contest the charges and looks forward to full vindication at trial.” Beginning in September, the defendants and the US attorney’s office filed repeated orders for continuances that effectively stop the clock on the statutory time the prosecutor has to file an indictment. The most recent order was set to expire on January 29. The repeated continuances suggested that the parties were negotiating a plea deal. The indictment quotes from emails that were likely seized when rentboy.com was shut down last August but also quotes conver sations that employees had with advertisers on the site, managers at rentboy.com, or with friends about content on the site. This may mean that one or more of the six employees arrested in August are cooperating with federal prosecutors, a practice that is routine in criminal cases, or that the government used wiretaps in this case. “On another occasion, the same employee rejected an advertisement’s content and told the escort that it was ‘way over the line in terms of making the sale of sex explicit,’” the indictment says. “The employee went on to say that ‘We have to be careful not to attract the wrong attention from the law.’” Escorts and escort agencies
were war ned by rentboy.com employees to not say that they were offering sex for money, the indictment alleges. Advertisers were told that they should say they are selling their time. In another conversation, one employee was offered free sex with an escort by an agency, the indictment charges. “In one case, the manager of an escort agency offered the sexual services of his escorts to a rentboy. com employee for free at any time,” the indictment says. “The employee told friends that he was not going to accept the offer because ‘the pimp is taking advantage of the escort.’” The allegations in the indictment that concern facilitating a crime — prostitution in this case — by a person under 16 appear flimsy at first glance, with employees merely commenting that an escort looks underage, but then the indictment does not contain all of the information that the government has. “In one case, a rentboy.com employee told a manager that an account was held by a ‘guy who brings in 10-12 boys/ year to pimp out here,’” the indictment says. Some of the anger at the original arrests was fueled by the criminal complaint and anonymous leaks to the mainstream press that alleged crimes that Hurant and the six employees were not charged with. That practice continued in the indictment, which noted that three men in Florida who are facing sex trafficking charges there advertised on rentboy.com. Hurant is not charged with trafficking. “After reading the complaint, which was nothing more than a lengthy diatribe against homosexuality and the gay community, it brings disgrace upon their office that they would indict somebody for doing nothing more than providing a service to the gay community,” said Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, an LGBT political group. “These trumped up charges are a disgrace… The complaint demonstrates that bigotry is behind this exercise.” February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
Clinton Gains Early Lead on LGBT Endorsements Ahead of Iowa “tie,” New Hampshire, Hillary outpacing Bernie BY PAUL SCHINDLER
efore even a single vote was cast in the 2016 presidential race, leading LGBT organizations and political clubs were making their bets — with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton well out ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, despite the fact that both broadly embrace the community’s agenda. The biggest announcement, to date, came from the Human Rights Campaign, which announced its support for Clinton on January 19 almost a full two weeks before the Iowa caucuses. “Hillary Clinton is fighting to advance LGBT equality across our nation and throughout the world,” HRC’s president Chad Grif fin said in a written release. “We are proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for president, and believe that she is the champion we can count on in November — and every day she occupies the Oval Office.” The release asserted, “Secretary Clinton has made LGBT equality a pillar of her campaign and recently unveiled the most robust and ambitious LGBT plan any candidate for president has ever laid out.” Critics of HRC’s move, however, noted that the difficulty of distinguishing between the records of Clinton and Sanders. When both faced voters in 2006 Senate bids, neither yet supported marriage equality, and in three consecutive scorecards from HRC, Sanders edged out Clinton in his rating. Clinton’s husband signed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, a measure Sanders, then in the House, was one of the few Democrats to stand up to. Perhaps most importantly, both Democrats now pretty much check off every box on the LGBT political wish list. Noting the impact that former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley had in pushing Vice President Al Gore on LGBT rights issues when they faced off during the 2000 Democratic primaries, the Huffington Post’s MichelangeGayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
lo Signorile asked, regarding this year’s contest, “So why didn't the largest LGBT group keep it going? Why didn't they keep both candidates competing for the LGBT vote and promising more on a range of issues.” Signorile then voiced an explanation shared by other critics of HRC — and one which Sanders himself seemed to embrace. “The only answer to that question has to do with access to the White House, and perhaps what the Clinton campaign may have said to HRC, and to Planned Parenthood, the Brady Campaign on Gun Violence, and other groups that have endorsed early, about the kind of access they might get — and what they might not get if they didn't endorse now,” Signorile wrote. Sanders voiced that view somewhat differently, pointing to the tendency of insiders to go with insiders. “We’re taking on not only Wall Street and the economic establishment, we’re taking on the political establishment,” he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “So I have friends and supporters in the Human Rights Fund [sic], in Planned Parenthood. But you know what, Hillary Clinton has been around there for a very, very long time and some of these groups are part of the establishment.” The “establishment” charge sparked some blowback against Sanders, from both Planned Parenthood and HRC, with HRC tweeting, “We share @PPact's disappointment in Sanders' attacks. @HRC has proudly taken on the establishment & fought for LGBT people for over 30 years.” On social media, many Clinton supporters highlighted, in particular, the firestorm Planned Parenthood has faced from the right wing in the wake of trumped of charges that the group sells fetal tissue for profit. But others in the LGBT community defended the characterization of HRC as part of the political establishment. Andrew Miller, a
HILLARY, continued on p.12
Medical Marijuana Users Do Not Enjoy Employment Discharge Protections Federal court rejects claim by New Mexico plaintiff prescribed cannabis for HIV BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
New Mexico federal court has found that legal use of medical marijuana does not protect a patient from discharge under their employer’s drug use policy. US District Court Judge William P. Johnson, on January 7, ruled that Tractor Supply Company, a national employer doing business in 49 states, is not required to accommodate the disability of Rojerio Garcia — who is using medical marijuana under New Mexico’s Compassionate Use Act to deal with the effects of his HIV infection — by waiving its requirement that its workers refrain from pot use. During his job interview at Tractor Supply, Garcia told the hiring manager that he was HIV-positive and enrolled in the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. After he was hired, he was required to take a drug test, which came up positive for marijuana. He was then discharged under the company’s zero-tolerance drug use policy. Garcia complained to the New Mexico Human Rights Division alleging disability discrimination, arguing that the employer was required to accommodate his disability by allowing him to use medical marijuana under the state’s program. The Division concluded there was no probable cause to
HILLARY, from p.11
spokesperson for Queer Nation, told the Washington Blade, “I’m surprised Chad Griffin wasn’t flattered that Bernie Sanders labeled HRC ‘part of the political establishment.’ Griffin, who has just returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, certainly runs the organization as if that’s what they aspire to. It’s gratifying that at least one American politician understood — at least for a moment — that HRC represents the one percent, not the majority of the LGBT community nor the values of LGBT Americans.” HRC’s endorsement may have
believe its anti-discrimination statute had been violated. Garcia next filed suit in state court, claiming he was dismissed because of his “serious medical condition,” an unlawful action, he claimed, since he was using medical marijuana to deal with his HIV symptoms on his physician’s recommendation and under a state program. Tractor Supply exercised its right to have the case removed to federal court, arguing that the US Controlled Substance Act (CSA), which outlaws marijuana use, would preempt Garcia’s state law claim, and that the New Mexico anti-discrimination law did not require the company to employ marijuana users. Judge Johnson’s opinion does not specify whether the basis for federal jurisdiction is the fact that Tractor Supply is incorporated in another state or the fact that US law preempts the plaintiff’s state law claim. The court sided with Tractor Supply’s argument that it did not discharge Garcia because of a disability, but rather because of his use of marijuana violated its drug policy. The company argued that the medical marijuana statute did not require it to forego applying its drug use policy, and the court found that even though the law protected Medical Cannabis program participants from state law penalties for using cannabis, it
had no effect whatsoever on the employer-employee relationship. “Here, Mr. Garcia was not terminated because of or on the basis of his serious medical condition,” Johnson wrote. “Testing positive for marijuana was not because of Mr. Garcia’s serious medical condition (HIV/ AIDS), nor could testing positive for marijuana be seen as conduct that resulted from his serious medical condition. Using marijuana is not a manifestation of HIV/ AIDS.” The court also refused to buy Garcia’s argument that because the US Department of Justice refrains from prosecuting individuals when they obtain medical marijuana through a state program such as New Mexico’s, its use cannot lawfully be the basis of a discharge from employment. The attorney general’s discretionary decision not to prosecute, Johnson found, “is not law,” and he was not going to tell a national employer operating in 49 states that it would have to modify its company-wide drug policies to take account of compassionate use laws in a handful of states. The state’s medical marijuana statute and its Human Rights Act, he concluded, do “not provide a cause of action for Mr. Garcia as medical marijuana is not an accommodation that must be provided for by the employer.” On the question of federal law preempting Garcia’s right to use
marijuana under the state’s medical program, Johnson looked to a ruling on this question from the Oregon Supreme Court, in which a concurring judge wrote that “the fact that the state may exempt medical marijuana users from the reach of the state criminal law does not mean that the state can affirmatively require employers to accommodate what federal law specifically prohibits.” Johnson agreed, writing, “To affirmatively require Tractor Supply to accommodate Mr. Garcia’s illegal drug use would mandate Tractor Supply to permit the very conduct the CSA proscribes.” States have generally not moved to protect medical marijuana users from employment discrimination, and this ruling from a New Mexico federal district court is consistent with the trend. The bottom line, it appears, is that employers operating in New Mexico or other states that have decided to allow compassionate use of marijuana by people whose medical conditions justifies it are not required to accommodate such use, even if the triggering medical condition is considered a disability under the state’s anti-discrimination law. Garcia is represented by E. Justin Pennington of Albuquerque. The company was represented by Albuquerque attorney Jessica R. Terrazas and Austin, Texas, attorney Michael W. Fox.
proved controversial, but the group is far from the only LGBT advocacy organization that has come down on Clinton’s side. In New York City, she has won the endorsements of the Stonewall Democrats, the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, the Lambda Democrats of Brooklyn, and the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens. On January 27, in what clearly is an expression of establishment support for the former secretary of state, 10 out LGBT city councilmembers and state legislators announced their support— West Side Senator Brad Hoylman, Manhattan Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Daniel O’Donnell, their
Staten Island colleague Matthew Titone, and their upstate colleague Harry Bronson, and Councilmembers Daniel Dromm, Corey Johnson, Rosie Mendez, James Vacca, and Jimmy Van Bramer. Similarly, Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and four of the six out LGBT members of the US House — New York’s Sean Patrick Maloney, Rhode Island’s David Cicilline, Jared Polis of Colorado, and Mark Takano of Hawaii — have endorsed Clinton, who also enjoys the support of former Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank. Sanders overall trails Clinton considerably in marquee-name endorsements, but he is not with-
out support among LGBT groups and figures here in New York, having won endorsements from the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and former State Senator Tom Duane, the veteran West Side legislator. "Bernie Sanders is giving voice to people who are pushed aside and left out in a democracy where increasingly only the rich and powerful matter,” Duane said in a written statement. “He's mobilizing unprecedented enthusiasm, and he's doing it by telling the truth, just as he has for his entire career… I hope my endorsement will make it a little easier for other progressive leaders to join the campaign as well.” February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
Rare Women’s Suffrage Artifacts at Hunter Public Policy Institute New exhibition honors feminist leaders from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Eleanor Roosevelt BY KELSY CHAUVIN
xactly 100 years ago, only 12 US states allowed women to vote, even though all men, regardless of race, could vote beginning in 1870. In New York — the very state where the first women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls in 1848 — suffrage had to wait until 1917. Even the cowboy state of Montana had adopted suffrage by 1914 — and elected the very first woman to the House of Representatives, Jeannette Rankin, in 1916. These are just a few of the cold, hard facts we should remember when viewing the new Hunter College exhibit, “Women Take the Lead: From Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Eleanor Roosevelt, Suffrage to Human Rights.” Opened on January 14, it’s the first special exhibition organized by the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter, on East 65th Street, since the space reopened six years ago. And what a perfect fit it is for this historic gathering place, once home to civil rights champions Franklin and Eleanor, a gift from FDR’s mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, circa 1905, the year of their marriage. The exhibit brings together a collection of rare original artifacts used in the early 20th century to promote voting rights for women. Among them are about 75 posters, broadsides, pamphlets, photographs, and manuscripts that reveal political messages unique to the era preceding the 19th Amendment. That monumental reform was approved in 1920, at long last adding to the Constitution: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied… on account of sex.” While the exact usage of many of the two dozen posters displayed here is unknown — they were possibly pasted to walls or used in marches — award-winning historian Harold Holzer, the recently named Jonathan F. Fanton Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, calls them “the tweets of their day, directed at men
The 1912 “Mother Goose as a Suffragette” includes a stinging little poem about how voting rights were reserved for “My husband [who] was dumb.”
to stop hogging power.” “They are pithy, declarative, and humorous,” said Holzer at the show’s opening. “They’re enjoyable ways to share the message.” He pointed out posters that work as part of a series, with messages about practical issues like laundry and childrearing that spoke directly to the male voting block’s domestic concerns. Many of them also clearly try to make a rational, intelligent argument for suffrage, like these choice examples: “You trust women with your children, can you not trust them with the vote?” “The welfare of the State as well as the home demands votes for women.” “Who would mind the baby when the woman goes to vote? The one who minds it while she goes to pay her taxes.” Most of the extremely rare pieces that comprise “Women Take the Lead” come from a special loan by the Dobkin Family Collection of Feminist History, and the exhibition is supported by a grant from Roosevelt House board of advisors member and Hunter Foundation trustee Elbrun Kimmelman and her husband Peter. The private-
“Who would mind the baby when the woman goes to vote? The one who minds it while she goes to pay her taxes.”
ly held Dobkin Family Collection was built over 25 years by New York philanthropist Barbara Dobkin (now overseen by her daughter Rachel) and chronicles women’s political and domestic experiences and achievements. With posters dating to the 1912 presidential election year, some of these materials have never been shown together publicly. Along with them are a cross-section of artifacts related to women’s civil rights, including an early printed copy of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments” from the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention; an original manuscript on family planning by birth control activist Margaret Sanger; and the hand-edited 1938 Nobel Prize acceptance speech of novelist Pearl S. Buck — the first American woman to win that honor. Appropriate for the venue, Eleanor Roosevelt’s work also is well
represented. There are letters she wrote to her family and prominent figures tracing her evolution as a human rights leader from her time as first lady of New York and then the United States, and during the decades that followed. She is shown in various photos, including one with New York’s fierce Representative Bella Abzug, who famously said during her successful 1970 campaign: “This woman’s place is in the house — the House of Representatives.” “Women Take the Lead” comes at an especially discordant moment politically, with presidential primaries looming and divisive candidates polling higher than what many New Yorkers may have anticipated even in a worst-case scenario. “In a year in which two women are seeking the presidency of the
SUFFRAGE, continued on p.21
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
Via Twitter, City Council LGBT Caucus Grows to Seven
Bronx’s Jimmy Vacca comes out to widespread praise, says he hopes to “contribute” BY PAUL SCHINDLER
OFFICE OF COUNCILMEMBER VACCA
ith a full 26 characters to spare, veteran Bronx City Councilmember Jimmy Vacca took to Twitter with something of a major status update: “After talking w/ my friends & family I’ve decided to come out publicly as a gay man. Now back to the Golden Girls!,” read the January 22 mid-afternoon tweet from @JamesVacca13. With that Vacca, a Democrat first elected to represent the northeast Bronx’s District 13 in 2005, became the seventh out LGBT member on the 51-seat Council. Speaking to Gay City News 10 days later, he elaborated a bit on his decision. “As a public official I felt like I had a responsibility to say something publicly,” said Vacca, who is halfway through his third and — because of term limits — final Council term. “I want to give to the community — over the next two years and beyond.” As for the medium he chose for his coming out, he explained, “I thought Twitter was the best vehicle, not only because I’m the Technology Committee chair, but because of its reach. I’m proud of who I am.” At 60 and after decades in public life — on the City Council and before that in 26 years as the district manager of Bronx Community Board 10 — Vacca now adds a new dimension to his profile in the community. Asked how long he had thought about coming out, he said only, “I made the decision over the holidays,” before adding, “I’ve gotten to know myself more.” The father of a college-age daughter, Vacca is separated from his wife as the couple seeks divorce. His family, he said, were “great” about his decision, even if it took his 85-year-old mother time to get used to the news. “There is something called unconditional love,” Vacca said. The councilmember sounds pleased at feedback he’s already gotten about the impact of his announcement. A few days after his tweet, a man stopped him on the street near City Hall to praise the work he’s doing on the Council, and then said, “I work in the Sanitation Department, and they’d kill me if I came out on the job. But if you did it, I’ll do it.” The response from his Bronx district, which he described as “fairly conservative,” has been uniformly positive, he said, with many phoning, emailing, and tweeting their support — and some constituents he’s known for years telling him about a gay family member for the first time. Asked if he’s gotten any negative reaction from conservative faith leaders, Vacca responded, “No religious leaders have reached out to me.” New York’s political community was quick to offer its support.
Bronx City Councilmember James Vacca.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, also on Twitter, wrote, “I’m honored to know you and stand with you.” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, “Congratulations, Councilman! #loveislove.” Lower Manhattan Councilmember Rosie Mendez, an out lesbian, on Twitter wrote, “Proud 2call u my brother. Pls remember that our visibility makes it easier4every young person 2 live #outandproud.” Her out gay Jackson Heights colleague Daniel Dromm wrote, “Congratulations to @JamesVacca13 for coming out as an openly gay man. Your courage deserves our respect and the highest admiration possible.” Later the entire LGBT Caucus, including, as well, the Bronx’s Ritchie Torres, who got his start in politics working in Vacca’s Council office, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens, West Sider Corey Johnson, and Carlos Menchaca of Brooklyn, issued a statement saying they are “incredibly proud of our colleague, Jimmy Vacca. Throughout his career, Jimmy has always been a strong champion of LGBT rights, and by coming out he is giving inspiration and strength to untold numbers of people. Coming out is never easy — even in 2016 — and we greatly admire Jimmy for his courage.” Asked on what issues he’d like to make a contribution to the LGBT community, Vacca first mentioned bullying. “I was bullied in school, and I can tell you where I was and when I was bullied, what room it took place in, and I’m 60 years old,” he said. Bullying, he added, “has always involved people going after people who looked different.” “I was a funny-looking kid,” Vacca recalled. “I was short, fat, and I wore glasses.”
When he was in public school in the Bronx, in the ‘60s, however, “you never heard about knives,” he said, in explaining his view that bullying today involves more violence than in generations past. “And words,” he added emphatically, “have life-long consequences.” On January 30, Vacca joined Torres, Menchaca, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute for a Bronx Youth LGBT Summit in Mott Haven aimed at showcasing the services available for young people in that borough. Asked whether his northeast Bronx constituents hold onto older perceptions that gay life is something that’s more about Manhattan than the other boroughs, Vacca was dismissive, saying, “That’s not the case.” Still, he’s well aware that too many LGBT youth — from everywhere — can still face rejection from their families. Recalling how the Council had to repeatedly battle the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to cut back funding for homeless and runaway youth, Vacca voiced praise for de Blasio’s proactive increases in dollars for youth beds. From the Council’s vantage point, he said, “the key thing is accountability: What are the numbers? Where are the beds?” As deputy leader of the Council and a member of its budget negotiating team, Vacca said another Council priority is making sure that the mayor delivers on his commitment to fund HASA for All — which would open up the services of the HIV/ AIDS Services Administration to everyone with the virus, whether or not they have an AIDS diagnosis — in the fiscal year beginning July 1. Acknowledging that de Blasio’s pledge is dependent on support from the state, he said, “We have not yet heard from the governor on that money.” Vacca expressed satisfaction that one antigay practice that once plagued his part of the Bronx has been resolved. For years, the Throgs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade, like most others in the city, barred participation by gay groups; in 1999, six demonstrators were arrested protesting that policy. In 2011, Vacca directed $5,000 in Council funds toward the parade. When asked by Gotham Gazette’s Andy Humm, a longtime Gay City News contributor, about the parade’s exclusionary policy, Vacca said he was unaware of it, but would check on it. He did not return follow-up calls on the matter. He now explains that when he reached out to the parade’s organizers, “the answer was vague… I thought that was a commentary.” Since then, the event has been opened up, and for the past several years Vacca has marched with a gay group carrying a rainbow banner. On a more recent issue on which the Council’s
VACCA, continued on p.22
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
EDUCATION, from p.7
and the DOE logo on it. “It’s a visible representation of being an ally,” Fox said. “Students know if a teacher is wearing that badge that that is a person they can talk to” about LGBT concerns. This atmosphere-changing program has been enthusiastically taken up by large percentages of teachers in other school systems, including Los Angeles. In New York, 5,000 badges have been printed, and officials intend to have them on 8,000 staff by the end of the school year. The Out for Safe Schools campaign “also includes training for teachers and staff to provide them with support and resources for a successful implementation,” the DOE said.
race and sexual orientation,” said Dromm. While AIDS education has been mandated since the 1980s and sex education more recently, Fox is concerned “that for many, it is heteronormative” and that there is “no conversation about safer sex practices” other than condoms and the availability of treatments such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a drug regimen aimed at preventing infection in those who are HIV-negative. To correct that and other shortcomings, Fox is meeting with “cur riculum people, library facilities, every division, and every department.” Thomas Krever, the longtime executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) for LGBT youth, met with Fox and
“A lot of this is about a kid being able to know they are not alone,” Fox said.
“A lot of this is about a kid being able to know they are not alone,” Fox said. He sees more teachers who are out to their students than ever before, but this badge program allows students to see thousands of allies, LGBT and otherwise, in their schools. Dromm said he wants to see LGBT-specific posters up in every school next to the Respect for All posters that aim to counter bullying. The Education Committee chair is pushing to have Fox’s position baselined by the administration in the June budget negotiations and expanded by the Council. The current funding includes $38,000 for the Lambda Literary Foundation to bring LGBT authors of color into the schools to dialogue with students. “I’ve asked them to target schools that haven’t had programs,” Dromm said. The budget also has $50,000 for Teachers College to do a fullday workshop for 150 instructors on “how to integrate LGBT issues into curricula,” with a special emphasis on “the intersection of GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
said, “I’m ecstatic that this position now exists. It sends a very powerful message to young people and their families and the entire school community that there is now accountability for creating more inclusive schools and insuring that all young people are safe.” Because schools had been egregiously unsafe for LGBT students, HMI started the Harvey Milk High School in 1985 and is still its home, though it has been run by the DOE since 2002. This position is definitely the right step forward,” Krever said. “In a large system, getting the information from Tweed to the young people is a process and now we have someone to close that loop.” “For me, it’s the culmination of 25 years of work with ECOLaGY and other groups,” said Dromm. “In the early days, we couldn’t even get a letter from the chancellor” telling staff to be more inclusive and sensitive on the issue. “This is a beginning step,” Dromm said. “We’re still going to have to fight.”
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BY PAUL SCHINDLER For years, the Blood of Jesus Atlah World Missionary Church at 123rd Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem has been a beacon of hate. For a congregation led by an African-American minister, James David Manning, the vitriol on the church’s marquee-style signs aimed at President Barack Obama has been shocking, but the ugliness there is dwarfed by the rabid homophobia that is Manning’s primary preoccupation. When Gay City News last checked in this past autumn, the signs read, “Join the revolution to drive the sodomite interlopers, freaks and slave master land grabbers out of Harlem,” with the flip side saying, “You sodomites and freaks have soiled Harlem but ye shall be moved. Payback is a bitch.” Payback is… er… rough, isn’t it, Pastor Manning?
Last week, DNAinfo.com reported that the church has amassed tax liens and unpaid bills to creditors totaling more than $1 million and that a state judge has ordered the building be put up for auction on February 24. Enter the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest provider of housing and social services for homeless LGBT youth, currently providing safe housing for 107 youths, including 24 in the same neighborhood as Manning’s offensive signage. AFC has undertaken a fundraising drive with a target of $200,000, which its executive director, Carl Siciliano, says could be leveraged against other financial commitments and sources to purchase the building. “The biggest reason our youths are driven from their homes is because of homophobic and transphobic religious beliefs of their parents,” said Siciliano, “Because of this, it has been
horrifying for us to have our youths exposed to Manning's messages inciting hatred and violence against our community. It has meant the world to us that so many Harlem residents have stood up to support our young people, and are now urging us to provide urgently needed care at the site of so much hatred. If we are able to obtain the space it would truly be a triumph of love over hatred.” Since just this past weekend, AFC has raised more than $155,000 toward its goal. Siciliano promises that if the purchase does not go through, the group will dedicate the money raised “to increase its housing and vocational services for homeless LGBT youth in another site.” Manning, however, is not ready to go quietly. In an extraordinarily vituperative YouTube video titled “Foreclosure Tax Message to My Enemies” (at goo.gl/ uG70Fk), he insisted that the building is “the Lord’s House… not a bathhouse or a fag house.” AFC would succeed, he said, only when gay men are able to “carry babies in their testicles and
PERSPECTIVE: A Dyke Abroad
Queer Ally, Defender of Justice, Resigns in France
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give birth through their anuses.” Manning has suggested he has friends willing to help him financially to avoid the loss of his building. AFC is not alone in trying to rid Harlem of Manning’s insidious influence. In fact, the church’s hatemongering was a major topic at a November 5 LGBT town hall hosted by Community Board 10 and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Love Not Hate is a local community group battling Manning’s congregation, and the group’s coordinator, Stacy Parker Le Melle, said this week, “Whe n t he At lah s t o ry broke on Thursday, immediately I heard from neighbors: wouldn’t it be amazing if an LGBT group could acquire the property? What if it were the Ali Forney Center? We all knew that this would be poetic justice. We need to care for those kicked out of homes, often on religious-based grounds. We need to care for those most vulnerable to Atlah’s hate speech.” Amen to that. You can help by going to AFC’s fundraising page at goo.gl/ Sa0ZSz.
love Christiane Taubira. If she appeared before me like Yemaya or the Virgin Mary, I’d fall at her feet. The French Republic has rarely had such a staunch and principled defender. As an elected deputy of the French parliament, she was the driving force behind a 2001 law recognizing slavery and the Atlantic slave trade as a crime against humanity. François Hollande’s minister of justice since 2012, she spent months introducing and defending the 2013 law that would give lesbians and gay men marriage equality — and establish
her as one of the most hated targets of the extreme right. She didn’t care. Every day during the battle I’d wake up and check out YouTube to catch her latest impassioned speech, or snippy response, or even extended fit of giggles. She took the fight personally as a black woman. And said so. Equality was equality to her. And she’d been fighting for it her entire life. In France as a young black student newly arrived from her birthplace of Cayenne in French Guiana. In Guiana, fighting for the cause of independence. Now, faced with having to defend proposed legislation that actually attacks equality, she’s walked
away from her post, denouncing the anti-terrorism measure that would strip convicted terrorists of French citizenship if they are dual nationals, even if they are born in France. While it may seem like a small, symbolic gesture that would almost never be applied, it is part of a constitutional reform that will institutionalize inequality, officially creating two classes of French citizens. There are those who have citizenship permanently and irrevocably — mostly white French people born in France into white French families. And those whose citizenship is theoretically vulnerable — mostly immigrants and the children of immigrants who also have citizenship in another country. This act can only exacerbate existing racism, xenophobia, and anti-immigration sentiment at a
DYKE ABROAD, continued on p.19
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
PERSPECTIVE: The Long View
HRC Is Wrong; Bernie Sanders Is the Better Bet for Change BY NATHAN RILEY
o the Washington gay lobby, the Human Rights Campaign, endorsed Hillary Clinton. The middle-of-the-road LGBT rights organization endorsed the middleof-the-road candidate. The difference for the LGBT community between Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Clinton isn’t over the issues. They both offer fervent support for the LGBT community, and in the Senate he co-sponsors the Equality Act broadly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Nonetheless, the differences between the two and their candidacies are profound and deserve careful consideration. The Human Rights Campaign, just like a sister progressive organization, is fighting bitter battles. Planned Parenthood also supports Hillary. That group is fighting fabricated charges of selling fetal tissue and, in the fracas, state funding for its Texas health clinics has been cut off. Meanwhile, HRC faces the kinds of challenges that recently got the best of our community in Houston. There, right-wingers libeled the LGBT anti-discrimination law with the insulting canard that it would allow men into women’s restrooms. The opposition twisted human rights into a smutty joke. In the referendum, a commanding 61 percent voted against LGBT rights. These organizations are scared, very scared, of Republican attacks and believe Hillary is the strongest candidate. In their eyes, joined by many professionals, her moderate views offer the biggest tent —
including left-wing Sanders voters, independents, and Republicans disgusted by the evangelicals and the Tea Party. She will gather a winning coalition, in their view. To this way of thinking, supporting Bernie is reckless — he may offend independents and even conservative Democrats, and with a narrow base lose the election. His vulnerabilities loom large. Still unknown to most Americans, his enemies can distort his record with false accusations. Hillary is well known, not perfect, but a reasonable person who shrugs off rightwing hate. But Hillary faces risks, as well. The email investigation has involved frequent leaks — attributed to “intelligence sources” (presumably not the FBI) — about the mishandling of secret files. More than 100 FBI agents are culling the files found on her private email server. In January, Fox News — hostile to Hillary for decades — said the agents wanted to investigate connections between her actions as secretary of state and contributions to the Clinton Foundation. The story died, only to have liberals revive it. On January 30, the New York Review of Books website posted a story citing official actions Hillary took involving entities that had contributed to her family foundation. Her candidacy faces risks as great as those facing the Vermont senator. Bernie Sanders is a combative idealist. Health care is a right — that should be free and available to all, like schools, libraries, and police protection. He freely admits his health care approach would raise taxes, so the question becomes whether voters will believe his promise that the increase will be
DYKE ABROAD, from p.18
moment when all of Europe is grappling with a huge swell of refugees. And citizens of color in France, including North African Jews, are already considered not quite French. Most importantly, here, where Equality and Fraternity are two of the three pillars of the French Nation, along with Liberty, it also underGayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
more than offset by reduced insurance premiums. How will Sanders respond to accusations that the public will be forced to abandon existing health plans and accept a government takeover? These anxieties — not unreasonable given the uproar over Obamacare and Hillary’s health care reform efforts more than two decades ago — spur opposition to Bernie. Bernie is not just a one-issue candidate: global warming, criminal justice refor m, campaign finance overhaul, break-up of the big banks and overall Wall Street reform are signature issues of his, all with one common theme — inequality. Bernie promises to confront head-on a status quo where the richest get richer, and the rest fall behind. And Bernie has taken the issue of inequality right to Hillary, quizzing her in a debate over what it means that she accepted more than $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs since leaving the State Department. His campaign is based on the belief that Democrats must prove to voters that they are for the people and not for the rich. The Republicans may nominate billionaire Donald Trump, who despite being bested in Iowa, still appears dominant in New Hampshire and beyond. By March, a second billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, may become a third party candidate; the former mayor is reported to be willing to put a $1 billion into a race, which would make him competitive with the resources Hillary is expected to be able to mount. When one man can withdraw a billion from his assets and run for president, his influence casts a shadow on “we the peo-
mines what it means to be French. Like the US, France has never quite lived up to its ideals. But the average French person still believes in them, at least in the abstract. And when social and legal change does happen, some aspect of liberty or equality or fraternity will be the underlying argument. I can’t imagine France without them. Will it be converted into a US post-9/11, cynical or indifferent to vanishing civil liberties, secret
ple.” Bloomberg illustrates the unchecked power of great wealth. His gigantic campaign budget would represent less then three percent of his fortune. To put it another way, a household that had $60,000 in savings would be able to mount a $1,600 campaign for the presidency if it contributed the same portion of its net worth. Income inequality heightens political inequality. Idealism empowers Bernie Sanders to go toe-to-toe with Republican attacks. Obama’s passivity to Tea Party fulmination distressed Democrats. Hillary Clinton responds with moderation, as well. She’ll let the “professionals” in the Justice Department judge the emails. Bernie, in contrast, offers vigorous comebacks to claims he favors high taxes and a bigger government. The problem isn’t government, he argues, the problem is government captured by great wealth. Regulators become lapdogs because they use a revolving door to take corporate jobs after they leave government. Sanders will campaign for the public interest, providing a sharp contrast to Republican cuddle-the-rich policies. Should Cruz build on his Iowa upset, Bernie would be even stronger, given the very narrow ideological base the Texas senator has. The difference between a rigged game and an even playing filed is one Americans understand, and Bernie Sanders has the clean hands to make the argument. His approach is fresh, and he understands that many voters fear that the Democratic Party, like the GOP, is owned by the rich. Growing income equality and economic growth that is moving at the speed of a turtle make this the moment to draw the contrast Bernie illuminates His idealism is political realism. It offers a clear alternative to Republican prattle about taxes and big government, and gives him a mandate to transform the United States.
prisons, a parallel justice system with its own Guantanamos, endless surveillance? I saw the Spielberg movie “Bridge of Spies” during the holidays, and especially liked that scene between a Cold War spook and Tom Hanks, who plays Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan defending an accused Russian spy. The CIA
DYKE ABROAD, continued on p.22
A Foot Doctor Who Learned at a Renaissance Man’s Knee Rock Positano builds a career on non-surgical solutions for most podiatric challenges BY PAUL SCHINDLER
HOSPITAL FOR SPECIAL SURGERY
uccessful professionals, when asked what inspired their interest and passion for their field of endeavor, will often recall a favorite professor or an older practitioner whose work they admire. Dr. Rock G. Positano, the director of the Non-Surgical Foot and Ankle Service at the Upper East Side’s Hospital for Special Surgery, looks a bit further back in time when answering the question — to the 15th and 16th centuries. “My interest in the foot and the ankle came from my study of da Vinci’s anatomical drawings,” he said. “He was amazed that this small device had to carry a human body all their life.” Explaining that the original Renaissance Man thought about the human body in much the same way he investigated the impact of pulleys and levers in the rudimentary machines he sketched out, Positano said, “I figured da Vinci couldn’t be all wrong.” The most important insight Positano gained by starting from da Vinci’s perspective is that “feet are the pedestal of the body.” The two most important factors in the average person’s quality of life, the foot specialist believes, are the ability to see and the ability to walk. And here’s where the “non-surgical” part of Positano’s work comes from: “With foot and ankle surgery, you could do textbook perfect surgery, but that there is no guarantee it will work the same way. You don’t want to take a part of the body that is working and change it.” As with any surgery, Positano explained, “joint preservation is key,” but if surgery creates or exacerbates problems in the foot or the ankle, the impact of those problems can easily migrate “up the chain” to the knees, hips, and lower back. Positano and his colleagues at the Hospital for Special Surgery, he said, are always mindful of the relationship among pathologies in all these parts of the body. The vast majority of foot and ankle problems, he said, can be successfully and more safely addressed without surgical intervention. That’s a perspective that wins broad agreement among foot care specialists today, but that wasn’t always the case, Positano argued. “I’d like to think I was a trailblazer,” he said. “Back in the ‘70s, there was a lot of emphasis on what were termed minimally invasive procedures for problems like bunions. Unfortunately, the long term outcome was often not good.” After earning his bachelor’s degree at NYU, Positano, a Bay Ridge native, received his medical training in the 1980s at NYU’s School of Medicine and the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, before going on for a master’s degree in public health at Yale. It was in New Haven that he
Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings of the foot.
Dr. Rock G. Positano.
focused on “ways to improve foot function without surgical intervention.” In 1991, he joined the Hospital for Special Surgery, where he found a welcoming climate for advancing his thinking on foot and ankle care. He credits Dr. Thomas P. Sculco, the hospital’s longtime director and a hip replacement specialist, for his receptiveness. “He understood the importance of proper foot function,” Positano said. He also singled out the contributions of Dr. Brian Halpern, the first board-certified non-surgical sports medicine physician at the hospital. Not surprisingly, sports medicine is an important part of the work of the Hospital for Special Surgery, and Positano has served as a consultant to the Mets and the Giants, as well as a sports medicine columnist at the Daily News and expert with the Associated Press. One New York athlete with famously bad knees went to Positano, where he was outfitted with shoe inserts that corrected the problem within a month. In fact, it is his association with a marquee sports name that likely accounts for how Positano is best known among the general public. Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio was decades retired when he visited Positano in 1990 complaining of painful bone spurs, which were successfully treated with arch supports. The foot doctor soon found himself part of DiMaggio’s “Bat Pack” of guys the ex-Yankee dined with when he was in New York. When DiMaggio died at age 84 in 1999, it was
Positano who organized the public memorial service held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and he now he heads up the Joe DiMaggio Sports Medicine Foot and Ankle Center that he founded. As a New York Times story about the DiMaggio memorial service makes clear, Joltin’ Joe was far from the only high profile Positano client — the list also includes the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Henry Kissinger, and Mort Zuckerman. But the foot specialist made clear his practice and research interests connect him with all types of people experiencing problems with their feet. In collaboration with Harvard Medical School researchers working with the Framingham Foot Study, he has investigated the correlations between problems with bunions, hammer toes, and Achilles tendons and knee and hip pathologies. A peer-reviewed article authored by Positano concluded that nearly 90 percent of youth who suffer from flat arches go on to develop knee and back problems. Dr. Thomas J.A. Lehman, a pediatric rheumatologist colleague of Positano’s at the hospital, often finds that his patients can benefit from examination by a foot care specialist. With his interest in public health, Positano voiced satisfaction that as much as 70 percent of his practice today is in preventive medicine — not only among athletes, but also business professionals who play sports to alleviate stress. “They’ll play squash, golf, and of course tennis,”
HEALTH, continued on p.21
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
TOOT Your Own THE
HEALTH, from p.20
he said. “But professional people today are not so quick to push the button on surgery. They tend to take an active interest in participating in strategies to avoid problems. And nobody wants to be out of work for any length of time.” It’s the same type of person who will think about preventive care for their children who might be involved in sports. “Parents are often told there’s nothing that can be done about flat arches,” Positano said. “But then those parents will go around them and come see us.” On the bet, however, that many more parents won’t think to do that, he added, “We have an active campaign to educate pediatricians about the importance of feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower backs.” If feet form the pedestal that influences the health of knees, hips, and the lower back, Positano also points to bigger life and death issues that are involved. Conditions that lead to immobility also contribute to obesi-
SUFFRAGE, from p.14
United States and women around the world are raising questions related to opportunity and empowerment, this is the perfect time and place to take renewed inspiration from the Suffrage Movement, still barely a century old,” said Holzer. Many of the exhibition’s pieces offer straightforward slogans that balance both earnestness and humor — a sign that many suffragettes saw the irony of running a home they weren’t legally able to govern. Or perhaps they were just using humor as a strategy to
ty, which in turn can have a severely negative impact on cardiovascular health. Among many positions he holds — including as director of the New York-Presbyterian/ Weill Cornell Medical College’s Foot Center and teaching posts at Weill Cornell, the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and Brown University — Positano said that one of his “proudest appointments” is in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at Weill Cornell. “I help them to keep patients ambulatory at Cornell,” he explained, a factor that makes a vital contribution to their quality of life — and, often, even survival. It is sports medicine, above all, that Positano, in talking about his career, seemed to credit for cluing him in to the benefits and satisfaction of that sort of interdisciplinary collaboration. “One of the beauties of sports medicine practice,” he explained, “is that my colleagues are always looking to integrate other specialties.” That’s a point of view da Vinci would probably have appreciated.
reach uneducated men who, paradoxically, held all the power to approve equal voting rights. One of the most amusing of these artifacts was the 1912 booklet, “Mother Goose as a Suffragette,” where this rhyme sums up the situation of the day: “I had a little husband No bigger than my thumb; Though I was a college graduate My husband, he was dumb. I earned the money we lived on And ran the house beside, But when it came to voting I must humbly step aside.”
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DYKE ABROAD, from p.19
guy wants him to share confidential information and tactics. And Donovan goes all constitutional on him, defending the right to a fair trial for everyone and asking just what it is Americans have in common, anyway. Especially Americans like them, Donovan, the child of Irish parents? The spy guy with a German name? Donovan answers his own rhetorical question by saying that nothing at all unites Americans. Just a few abstract ideas, a few principles. Like Equality. Especially equality under the law, a competent defense. For everyone. It was eerie to watch the movie here in Paris just a few weeks after the November 13 attacks
VACCA, from p.16
LGBT Caucus was split down the middle — $20 million in taxpayer funds made available to religious and other private schools for security services — Vacca sided with Torres, Van Bramer, and Menchaca against some LGBT and civil liberties advocates who raised objections that the funding breached the church/ state divide and was a give-away to schools, many of which espouse an anti-gay philosophy.
when people were still lighting candles and laying mountains of flowers in front of the cafés and restaurants and clubs where hundreds of men and women were slaughtered and maimed by ISIS terrorists. People were still afraid. The streets were half empty. Tourists had cancelled their reservations and many Parisians were avoiding cafes, especially the terraces. You could get a seat anywhere. Also, Hollande had just made his big speech to the parliament with his ministers there in the front row. I saw Taubira listening as he tried to counter fear and grief with strength and anger, condemning the attacks. And of course, laying out his anti-terrorism measures, which included declaring a state of emergency, possible con-
“Every kid is entitled to basic protection,” he said. “These are our kids too. San Bernadino was a rude awakening.” When asked about testimony from NYPD officials that security is provided to any school when specific threats are identified, he responded, “They don’t have it covered.” One of the biggest challenges Vacca sees for the LGBT community is the defense of funding streams — on issues from hous-
stitutional reforms, and this provision to strip nationality. When he said that, I thought I saw Taubira’s face close in on itself. And afterwards, when she joined the whole room singing “The Marseillaise,” I wondered what that call to battle meant to her. Now I know. A portion of her parting tweet was, “Parfois résister c’est rester, parfois résister c’est partir...” “Sometimes resisting means staying, sometimes resisting means walking away…” She’d stayed for months trying to fight the provision. But having failed, she couldn’t stay and offer her seeming approval. Already, she’s published a book-length essay against the legislation. She may have left the government, but she’s still fighting for France.
ing for homeless youth to battling AIDS — during economic downturns. That, he said, is a national as well as a the local concern, and as the US turns its full attention to the upcoming presidential election, Vacca has made his choice. “I think Hillary is going to be able to hit the ground running,” he said, explaining that he favors former Secretary of State Clinton based on both her experience and her electability. While effusive in his praise for her — “there really is
no comparison” — Vacca is not one of those partisans hell-bent on discrediting her rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whom he praised for “raising issues which are moving the debate.” Still, in response to the inchoate impatience being expressed by many voters on both the left and the right this year, Vacca said, “People are frustrated with the pace of government. Those of us in government are also frustrated with the pace of government.”
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“Society’s Child” Returns to Manhattan
BY DAVID NOH
GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
f for no other reason than the poignantly empathic song “At 17,” prolific singer-songwriter Janis Ian is assured a place in music immortality. The troubled youthful reminiscence, released in 1975, has touched a chord with generations of listeners and became a cultural reference point in TV and movies from “The Simpson” to “Mean Girls.” Years before “17” — in fact when she just 16 — Ian had already sparked big controversy with “Society’s Child,” about an interracial romance. That song went on to become a Grammy Hall of Fame honoree, in 2001. This week, on February 5, Ian performs in Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series (8:30 p.m., Appel Room, 10 Columbus Cir cle, Broadway at 60th St., fifth fl.; americansongbook.org). The New York City native last performed solo here four years ago, and she said her show will be “a combination of old and new stuff. Up until a few days ago, it was my only show of the year, but I just got two more interesting offers. One to play with Buffy St. Marie and one that’s an LGBT thing with the San Diego Women’s Chorus. I’ve been sort of touring since 1993, and I thought, ‘I don’t want to do that anymore.’ “I’m in my 60s, and it’s a different thing. I looked at my 50s as my ‘fuck you’ years, I didn’t expect to still be here, so what are you gonna do to me? In my 60s, I don’t have as much tolerance as I used to — and I didn’t have a lot to begin with. But in a weird way, I have a lot more patience. Instead of building, building, and amassing, and trying to be safe with your family, you look around and the clock’s running. I have a pretty well-known author friend who told me, ‘My partner’s 15 years older than me and I’ve written more books than I ever dreamed would be published. So I’m going to spend my remaining time with her. First, I’ll still have plenty of time to write and, second,
Janis Ian performs February 5 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room as part of Lincoln Center’s “American Songbook” series.
Janis Ian talks Cosby homophobia, gay history, and, of course, “At 17” if I go first I won’t care.’ “I thought about that because my wife [Patricia Snyder] had both knees replaced last year and she got very ill and so did I. After all that, why am I on the road 200 nights a year? It’s crazy. I also know a lot of my contemporaries are gone — Phoebe Snow, Laura Nyro. I’ve been really lucky so far, and I want to enjoy that. There’s also the freedom of being in a longterm relationship. I’ve been with Pat for 27 years, and I’m going to visit friends for Passover, and she’s going to meet up with a mutual friend somewhere else. There’s the freedom of ‘Yeah, you wanna do this and I wanna do this,’ so we coordinate and are away at the
same time. I’m at the point where I want to see my friends scattered all over the country and those relationships are valuable to me.” I wanted to know if coming out was a big deal for her: “Not really, because it was in so many stages. I was outed by the Village Voice in 1977 but the press didn’t pick up on it. It was very kind of them because I would have lost my cabaret card. But still, everyone pretty much knew. And then I fell in love with a man, which confused the issue. Then I was living with a woman, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was going to let the music speak for itself and not make a big deal about it. “But Urvashi Vaid, who was with
what became [the LGBTQ Task Force], told me about all the gay teenage suicides and asked me, ‘Did you ever have a role model who was gay?’ I said, ‘Yeah, “The Well of Loneliness,” which almost convinced me I wasn’t gay.’ And she said, ‘Don’t you wish you had had one? Will you please wait until your record comes out and make a splash?’ “That’s what I did, so technically I guess I came out in 1993 with my record, ‘Breaking Silence.’ Then it got confused because Greg Louganis’ book came out almost simultaneously and it was called ‘Breaking the Silence.’ Back then, it was a big deal and we were worried about our audiences for a while, but I always wanted my shows to be welcoming to everyone, so that worked out really well.” AIDS was raging at that time. “I think the epidemic made it so you couldn’t stay hidden anymore. A lot of people who were in hiding and families in denial couldn’t be that way anymore. People like Larry Kramer and ACT UP, whether you agreed with their tactics or not, really forced the issue. It became a matter of life and death — families were throwing gays out of the house then. It was also the first time in my experience that gay women and gay men came together, because up until then it had been two separate worlds. Suddenly gay women were the only ones willing to take care of these men, so that changed things a lot, too.” Someone else tried to out Ian before she was ready: Bill Cosby. After his rape accusations, she posted about this on Facebook. In 1967, at 16, she met him on the TV set of “The Smothers Brothers Show,” where, drained from nightmares and death threats brought on by “Society’s Child,” Ian fell asleep on the lap of her female chaperone. Her manager called her to say that Cosby had seen this and was trying to get her blacklisted on TV, saying she was a lesbian and not suitable family entertainment.
JANIS, continued on p.34
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apering about the stage dressed in cowboy/ disco chic, with pursed red lips and a face caked in corpse-meets-Kabuki makeup, Dandy Darkly is a mincing, lilting, alliteration-spouting avenger whose signature look screams horror. Oddly, the effect is both disturbing and reassuring — which, while seem-
ingly at odds, are twin pillars supporting a solid philosophical foundation. Birthed in 2010 on the stage of the Stonewall Inn and developed through a series of guest appearances on Gotham’s cabaret and storytelling circuit, Darkly is the “Southern fried sissy” creation of Brooklyn transplant Neil Arthur James. Trained from childhood in “the art of Georgia ghost stories,” his work stays true to that nar-
rative backbone, while grafting onto it elements of pop culture, satire, and sexual transgression. It’s as if an unexpected ill wind has blown across a campfire session of one-upsmanship tales, burning eyes and leaving a thick layer of soot in its wake. Having previewed last summer at Dixon Place, followed by an acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and some Halloween dates here in New York, “Trigger Happy!” marks the foulmouthed artist’s fourth collection of original material, joining well-polished gems like the anti-misogyny “Pussy Panic” and the pro-homo “Glory Hole.” Darkly has amassed an impressive body of meticulously constructed supernatural morality tales distinguished by one-liners that induce groans, horrific images that elicit gasps, and psych-profile character sketches that expose motives both sinister and pure. Darkly takes his place alongside the Crypt Keeper, Svengoolie, and Elvira in the pantheon of creepshow hosts who delight in executing campy framing devices, and the actual stories that give a show of his its pulpy mar-
DARKLY, continued on p.32
The splendid revival of “Noises Off” is a non-stop riot BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
the performance at the end of the tour, as the cast is disintegrating in front of our eyes. No written description can capture the hilarity of this revival of
he show is a send-up of the traditional farce and is all about a company of second-tier actors rehearsing and performing a play called “Nothing On,” your typical door-slamming farce about illicit sexual escapades in an empty country house. The cast of the farce within a farce includes several faded TV stars, according to the hilarious mock program that comes tucked inside your Playbill. Don’t miss the faux-academic production notes that equate the dropping of trousers to the fall of man. I was laughing out loud before the houselights went down. The first act shows us the cast stumbling through technical rehearsal a few hours before opening, as everything goes wrong. The second takes us backstage as the company, now on the road for a month,
tries to get through a performance while all sorts of personal drama — and intrigue — unfold, threatening to derail the performance. The final act takes us back out front as we watch
Jeremy Shamos, Kate Jennings Grant, David Furr, Andrea Martin, and Campbell Scott in Jeremy Herrin’s revival of “Noises Off.”
“Noises Off.” This is one you really have to see. Andrea Martin is magnificent as Dotty Otley, the cockney maid, whose accent become quite plummy when she’s offstage. Her timing is sheer perfection as she does battle with plates of sardines, phone cords, and the omnipresent doors. David Furr is a riot as Garry Lejeune, and he makes one of the most famous comic bits in the piece (in Act Three) his own. You simply won’t believe it. Megan Hilty, as the dim bombshell Brooke Ashton, is inspired. You can hardly take your eyes off her because every moment of her performance is full-on funny. Jeremy Shamos is fantastic as Frederick Fellowes, the kind of actor who needs motivation for something even as mechanical as getting a box out of the way. He is so earnest, he fails to realize that
NOISES OFF, continued on p.28
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
Tried & True & Twisted Beloved classic tales get surprising and sublime makeovers 3024 QUENTIN ROAD • BROOKLYN NY
he works of Jane Austen have long been fertile targets for pillage and parody. Look no further than “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” “Clueless” (the charming 1995 update of “Emma”), “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters,” and don’t even get me started on the Filthy Classics book series’ “Pride & Penetration.” And now comes Bedlam’s mildly deranged staging of “Sense & Sensibility,” which, under the go-forbroke direction of Eric Tucker, manages to deconstruct and send up the 1811 classic tale of romantic entanglements. Playwright Kate Hamill, who also plays the role of the not-so-sensible Marianne Dashwood, has managed to condense the rangy, 400-page novel into a hugely entertaining two hours and 15 minutes. If the plot about the Dashwood daughters’ breathless machinations to find the perfect match remains largely intact, it’s the delivery that’s truly remarkable. This incarnation, first seen in a limited, sold-out Off Off Broadway run in 2014, is geared towards today’s ADD-addled audiences unwilling to sit through a stuffy period piece. Or anybody who wants a jolly good theatrical romp. The madcap revamp has found a comfy home in the quirky Off Broadway Gym at Judson. Staged in the round, the polished concrete floor is perfect for the chairs, tables, doorframes, and trellises that constantly whizz around on casters, trying to keep apace with the brisk action. Cast members interact with the audience, evoking a sense of intimacy, even collaboration. The fun starts from the get-go, when the exuberant ensemble of 10 strip off their contemporary clothes to reveal period garb, all while doing a lively dance that begins to look like a late 18th-century English quadrille. The proceedings are punctuated by a chorus of hissing and clucking gossips, magnifying the importance — and absurdity — GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
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of the era’s judgment-heavy social strictures. When confidences are exchanged at the dinner table, the attendant snoops don’t simply listen in politely, they all roll their chairs right up and surround the innocent parties like a pack of hungry wolves. The Bedlam members are masters of ingenuity and economy. No budget for a horse and carriage? No problem, they simply create one using the actors’ nimble bodies. Need to portray the Dashwoods out for a stroll? Simply have them march in place, then direct other actors holding tree branches to saunter by (or whizz by, depending on the urgency). One of the show’s many comic highlights is Stephan Wolfert’s uncanny portrayal of a restive horse, without any prop or hint of a costume. It’s hard to imagine a more dexterous cast to pull off such antics. Special mention goes to Jason O’Connell, who plays dual roles as Elinor Dashwood’s attentive yet “soft-hearted” suitor, Edward Ferrars, and his rowdy, boozy younger brother, Robert. Laura Baranik is a hoot as the vindictive Fanny Ferrars Dashwood, who can’t kick her relations out of their former estate fast enough (she also plays the coy, crafty Lucy Steele, who competes with Elinor for Edward’s hand). Not that it’s all mirth and frivolity. The titular underlying theme, the curious schism between head (personified by the sensible Elinor,
TWISTED, continued on p.33
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Queer and serious eye turned on TV’s preoccupation with wives left behind BY STEVE ERICKSON
enjamin Cr otty is an American director working in France, although he plans to make his next film back home. He took most of the dialogue for his debut feature, “Fort Buchanan,” from American TV, although he’s been reticent to spell out his exact sources. However, he has cited the cable show “Army Wives” as an inspiration; perhaps as a consequence, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s program notes describe “Fort Buchanan” as a “queer soap opera.” “Fort Buchanan” is set on a US Army base in France. The spouses live in cabins on the base, and
none of them seems to work. Roger (Andy Gillet) lives with his 18-year-old daughter, Roxy (Iliana Zabeth), although he doesn’t look old enough to have fathered — or even adopted — a young adult. He pines for his husband, Frank (David Baiot), serving in Djibouti, a tiny country in the Horn of Africa. The wives all seem to be bisexual and pass the time flirting with each other and Roxy, something Roger doesn’t seem to mind. They all go to Djibouti in the film’s second third, but Frank seems distant and Roger doesn’t know how to reignite the couple’s sex life. Most attempts to infuse pop culture with a gay perspective wind up dreadfully dull and compromised: think of the music of Sam
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Military Soap, Not Standard Issue David Baiot in in Benjamin Crotty’s “Fort Buchanan.”
Smith or the films “Philadelphia” and “Freeheld.” They bring to mind Leonard Cohen’s line “they sentenced me to 50 years of boredom for trying to change the system from within.” However, Crotty is doing something different. He’s not exactly critiquing pop culture, but he’s trying to suggest what it might be like if soap operas dealt with homo- and bisexuality as the norm. “Fort Buchanan” takes place in a world where almost everyone has the potential to sleep with a member of the same sex, even if they’re married to someone of the opposite sex. It’s the cinematic equivalent of Charles Stross’ science fiction novel “Rule 34,” in which all the lead characters are lesbian, gay, or
Thwarted Dreams Mark Kemble offers eloquent study of a family in crisis BY GARY M. KRAMER
sensitive, absorbing drama about a family in crisis, “Bad Hurt” is based on a play by writer/ director Mark Kemble. Set during Christmas week 1999, the film explores the difficult lives of the Kendalls, a Staten Island married couple and their adult children. Elaine (Karen Allen) juggles caring for her developmentally disabled daughter, DeeDee (Iris Gilad), and her PTSD-affected son, Kent (Johnny Whitworth). Her husband Ed (Michael Harney), like Kent a war veteran, is disillusioned by what their lives have become, while their youngest son, Todd (Theo Rossi), is supportive of his parents, pitching in wherever he can. The family struggles to get by as their dreams are crushed again and again by harsh reality. Todd wants to be a cop but hasn’t been able to pass the academy exam. Kent was a talented baseball player who never had the chance to realize his promise, and after going off to war comes home “sick.” This close-knit family cares for one
another and their love comes across, but troubles beset them, ranging from simple misunderstandings to a serious tragedy. Kemble’s film is obviously very personal to him, and his characters and the house they inhabit seem real, though there are touches of staginess to the enterprise, such as metaphors about the house’s walls having no insulation. And when the Kendalls experience several emotional crescendos on one particularly painful day, the plotting strains. Still, these flaws are forgivable because the film’s messages are so heartfelt. “Bad Hurt” emphasizes the love, tolerance, and respect people who are damaged, like Kent, or disabled, like DeeDee, deserve. Elaine plays mama bear as she defends DeeDee’s inappropriate actions at the box factory where she works, explaining that others need to make allowance for her daughter’s occasionally strange behavior. Elaine is able to calm DeeDee down, as is Willy (Calvin Dutton), a disabled man DeeDee says is her boyfriend. Elaine’s patience is saintly, and when she
Directed by Benjamin Crotty Self-distributed In French with English subtitles Film Society of Lincoln Center Howard Gilman Theater 144 W. 65th St. Feb. 5-11 $14; $9 for students & seniors filmlinc.org
bisexual and no one calls attention to this or finds it odd. The military has long been fetishized by gay male culture, and I suppose “Fort Buchanan” takes part in this tradition to some extent. But while Frank is conventionally macho, Andy Gillet brings a certain feyness to the part of Roger. He may be best known for his role in Eric Rohmer’s “The Romance of Astrea and Celadon,” in which he played an androgynous character who was mistaken for a woman. Even when Roger grows a beard late in the film, he’s not exactly butch. “Fort Buchanan” spends far more time on the people left behind
MILITARY SOAP, continued on p.32
turns on a radio, closes herself into a closet, and screams in pain and frustration, the movie achieves profound catharsis. “Bad Hurt” is not relentlessly downbeat. The film features characters suffering — Kent in particular endures considerable pain, both emotional and physical — but by and large, they remain hopeful. Todd tries hard to forge a connection not only with his older brother, but also with Jessie (Ashley Williams), a young woman who has recently moved to Staten Island. Todd is a nice, decent guy, and like Elaine, he deserves a break from his hardscrabble life. To protect Kent, he beats up a drug dealer, but he later buys his brother drugs from the same dealer to help soothe his chronic pain. These characters have their breaking points, and Kemble seems inclined to showcase all of them. Several choose to confide in Todd, revealing everything from a queer romance to a longheld secret about survivor’s guilt. Todd is surprised by what he learns, but wisely keeps the confidences shared with him. As Ed notes, the pain of others hearing some of this news would be “so bad you don’t feel anything.” Viewers, however, absorb all of the emotional traumas, which feel earned and never manipulative. The fine cast makes the most of very chal-
BAD HURT, continued on p.32
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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He’s In Bizness Jason Robert Brown kicks off his artist-in-residency at SubCulture
BY MICHAEL SHIREY
ason Robert Brown knows what he is talking about when he sings “I’m in bizness” — a line from the opening number at his packed SubCulture concert on January 25, where he is currently the artist-in-residence. Back by popular demand, it is clear that business is going well for the polymath composer-lyricist, who hosts intimate concerts featuring guests performing music from his famed songbook. Past guest-performers have included acclaimed Broadway actors like Tony-Award winners Kelli O’Hara (“The King And I”) and Norbert Leo Butz (“Catch Me If You Can,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”). Following the opener, Brown performed “I Could Be In Love With Someone Like You” from his popular chamber musical “The Last Five Years,” before segueing to a new song, “Why Is Falling In Love So Easy?” Explaining that
NOISES OFF, from p.24
farce is about getting the sardines off and on the stage and slamming the doors. Shamos reveals a superb talent for physical comedy we haven’t seen from him in other shows. Rob McClure, as the nervous stage manager Tim Allgood, is priceless. The rest of the company — Campbell Scott as the dejected director, Tracee Chimo as the starstruck stage manager, Kate Jennings Grand as the gossipy leading lady, and Daniel Davis as the old,
Tituss Burgess joins Jason Robert Brown on the SubCulture stage.
Jason Robert Brown at SubCulture on January 25.
though he performed the tune for the first time earlier in January, this night was it’s New York debut — and thus its real premier “as far as we’re concerned,” he joked. Later in the evening, Brown was joined by acclaimed accordionist Guy Klucevsek, who performed his piece “Dancing on the Volcano,” before accompanying Brown and his band on “This Is Not Over Yet” from the Tony-Award winning musical “Parade.” Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) came on stage mid-song. Burgess recounted meeting Brown for the first time many years ago in Atlanta, where Brown was conducting a touring production of “Parade.” Upon meeting the composer that night, Burgess vowed he would one day work with Brown — a promise he fulfilled some years later when he sang in a production of “Songs For A New World.” Burgess came and went throughout the rest of the night, performing “Still Hurting” (“The
alcoholic actor — are all wonderful playing identifiable types. Director Jeremy Herrin has a terrific sense of how to make several layers of farce work. Special note should be made of the contributions of Lorenzo Pisoni, who is billed as comedy stunt coordinator. Pisoni is a genius at physical comedy, and while one can’t always tell where his work ends and Herrin’s begins, fans of his will recognize some of the seemingly impossible physicality that the entire cast tackles with gusto. With a perfect period set from
Last Five Years”), a cover of Annie Lennox’s “Wonderful,” and “King of the World” (“Songs For A New World”). The evening’s other songs included “It All Fades Away” and “Being A Geek,” from the Broadway musicals “Bridges of Madison County” and “13,” respectively. Brown also per formed songs from his solo album “Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes.” Before closing up the night, Brown thanked the audience, many of whom had been to every one of his SubCulture shows. His career may have had its commercial ups and downs, but Brown has attracted a dedicated following. When the rest of the band left the stage, he stayed behind for one last number, “Someone To Fall Back On.” Lena Hall (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Kinky Boots”) will join Brown for his next installment at SubCulture, on February 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 at subculturenewyork. com/events.
Derek McLane and costumes from Michael Krass, the production is a finely oiled machine that looks like it could go off the rails at any moment. And that’s precisely the point. When “Noises Off” first showed up in 1983, it followed a period when British farces were particularly popular on Broadway and it came as quite a surprise. More than 30 years later, the play works as well as ever. After all, this is classic comedy that reaches back to the earliest days of the theater. No matter how sophisticated we
NOISES OFF Roundabout at the American Airlines Theatre 227 W. 42nd St. Tue.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. $67-$137; roundabouttheatre.org O 212-719-1300 Two hrs., 30 mins., with intermission become, the combination of slapstick and schadenfreude always works. And never more so than when it’s done as wonderfully as this production of “Noises Off.” February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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Remembrance of Opera Companies Past Roy G. Niederhoffer, Michael Capasso field a Dicapo team to conjure NYCO BY ELI JACOBSON
sionist touches fell flat — Cavaradossi pulling a knife and tackling Angelotti for trespassing in the chapel? In a public space where the Marchesa Attavanti had previously visited? In Act III, the substitution of Spoletta executing Cavaradossi mafia-style with one bullet to the back of the head instead of the traditional firing
ew York’s surprisingly strong snow storm on January 23 forced cancellation of two of the six performances of “Tosca” scheduled for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater by the newly formed NYCO Renaissance company. Roy G. Niederhoffer, a former board member of the original NYCO, organized and bankrolled NYCO Renaissance and tapped Michael Capasso of the defunct Dicapo Opera Theatre as his general director. In a sentimental gesture toward the past, the nascent company opened with the same Puccini opera that inaugurated the original New York City Opera back in February 1944. This new production recreated the original Adolfo Hohenstein set and costume designs from the 1900 world premiere of “Tosca” at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. The performance was pleasant and respectably professional but seemed an exercise in misplaced nostalgia. It did not resemble anything I remember from the original New York City Opera. The conductor and opening night prima donna were Dicapo stalwarts. Former Dicapo music director Pacien Mazzagatti conducted an able body of musicians billing themselves as the New York City Opera Orchestra, while Musica Sacra and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus were deputized in place of the disbanded NYCO chorus. Though Lev Pugliese was listed as the stage director, reliable informants suggested that Capasso actually directed most of the rehearsals. What transpired onstage resembled a high-end Dicapo Opera Theatre upgraded from a 200-seat church basement to a 1,000-seat opera house with a larger orchestra and budget. What was gained in higher quality playing and staging came at the cost of the modest homespun charm and intimacy of the original Dicapo experience. In the old days, NYCO would present cutting edge productions of the standard repertory in con-
trast to the lavish, traditional versions favored by the Metropolitan Opera. This was reversed this season: Luc Bondy’s stark modernistic “Tosca” played out what was rumored to be its last revival at the Met. Meanwhile, the NYCO Renaissance production featured painted cloth scenery, with Tosca entering Sant’Andrea della Valle in
Latonia Moore and Carlo Guelfi in the NYCO Renaissance production of "Tosca."
Act I sporting a feathered picture hat and walking stick straight from the pages of the 1912 edition of the “Victor Book of the Opera.” The original designs closely match the historical buildings familiar to the Roman audience in 1900 — much more so than Franco Zeffirelli’s grandiosities at the Met. The painted drops were probably scaled down to fit Rose Hall’s shallow stage. The original sets likely had greater depth and visual detail than were depicted in the design sketches consulted for this production. In Act II, Scarpia’s apartment in the Palazzo Farnese looked like a watercolor blown up to life size with vague washes of pastel colors that did not suit the atmosphere of the scene. It was interesting to see the original set configurations, though not all the original stage directions were respected. Some of the revi-
squad made no sense. In reality, the bloody exit wound would have left no doubt Mario was dead, with Tosca standing only five feet away. Otherwise, it was a standard crucifix and candles affair. “Tosca” is a vehicle for great voices, and here the company provided a mixed bag. I caught both casts, seeing the January 20 first night and the last show the following Sunday afternoon. I have admired Kristin Sampson as Violetta, Butterfly, and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline at Dicapo. As Tosca, Sampson seemed efficient but low-impact in this grander role and surroundings — her dark full lyric soprano had neither the lush beauty for a lyrical conception nor the tonal thrust for a more dramatic reading. As an actress the petite soprano hit all the marks without finding a personal interpretation. Still, Sampson’s firm sopra-
no has an even scale and a reliable high C — neither of which her Mario, tenor James Valenti, could count on. The tall, dashing, but dramatically awkward Valenti produced a wooden sound that unraveled in the passaggio (upper middle break). He had to break the vocal line to realign his tonal placement in order to reach isolated high notes. Baritone Michael Chioldi absolutely stole the show as a juicytoned, lubricious Scarpia who relished his villainy while wallowing in the masochistic guilt of false piety. The second cast was dominated by Latonia Moore in her role debut as the Roman diva, with luscious tone and dramatic thrust easily at her command. Moore’s velvety lirico-spinto soprano thrives more on broad lyrical phrases than the agitated vocal line of verismo (her “Vissi d’Arte” broke the line with too many sobs yet still brought down the house). Her acting is dutiful rather than spontaneous. Yet this Floria provided vocal glamor and was emotionally moving. Young Italian tenor Raffaele Abete was her Cavaradossi, unveiling a rich, slightly throaty lyric tenor, a natural instinct for Italian style, and bright high notes he wasn’t shy about flinging up to the rear balconies. Carlo Guelfi, a familiar Met Scarpia, displayed the slightly dry and juddery tone of the older veteran singer but also the dramatic and stylistic authority years of experience bring. Mazzagatti favored broad lyrical tempos but too often got out of sync with his soloists in quicker conversational passages. What is in the cards is uncertain: Niederhoffer and Capasso both have failed opera companies in their past. A bigger scaled Dicapo Opera Theatre is no replacement for the old New York City Opera in repertory and artistic scope. But a door has been opened for the future. In an online exclusive at gaycitynews.nyc, Eli Jacobson reviews Nina Stemme’s Met performance in “Turandot.” February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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DARKLY, from p.24
row snake their way toward karmic comeuppances straight out of an Aesop fable or a “Twilight Zone” shocker. Everybody gets what they deserve, and nobody emerges unscathed — except in rare instances: unlike the victims stalked by Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger, it’s a lack of sexual activity that puts his characters in harm’s way. Excess is rewarded — that is as long as it’s in the service of staying true to your nature. That’s one of the hard-earned lessons in Darkly’s current show. “Trigger Happy!” is a four-story collection cut with winks and nods that only slightly dilute the potency of outrage directed at America’s weakness for violence, excess, and complacency. Time-honored boogeymen like werewolves and ghosts spread fear and mayhem alongside more recent horrors like mass shootings and reality television. Throughout, Darkly recites long observation-
MILITARY SOAP, from p.26
by the military than soldiers themselves. Most of them are women, which helps subvert clichés about the army. This isn’t a Tom of Finland drawing come to life. It’s not even similar to Claire Denis’ homoerotic take on military life, “Beau Travail.” “Fort Buchanan” plays the Film Society of Lincoln Center as part of a series called “ Friends with Benefits: An Anthology of Four New American Filmmakers.” It includes
al and narrative passages at a breakneck pace, gliding with ease through the alliteration-heavy text — an acquired skill that owes as much to the actor’s work ethic as it does to Ian Bjorklund’s corset-tight direction. “Their disco dancing became a bloody ballet, a spray of crimson confetti and tracer fire the color of claret,” he says in the opening story “Silver Dollar” (in which a self-loathing ex-military man’s PTSD figures into a tale of “lycanthropy, anxiety, and southern fried sodomy”). Elsewhere in the show, “Final Girl” begins with the discovery of a once-vivacious starlet in her final role (as a headline-making corpse), then provides the backstory — a cannibalistic tale in which Hollywood and the insatiable viewing public feed on one of their own. The plucky heroine of “American Apparel” is a drag queen rat named Bidet, who temporarily reclaims an iconic gay bar that’s fallen victim to changing times. “Craigslist, Manhunt, and Scruff,” notes Darkly, “took cruising off the
shorts by Alexander Carver, Daniel Schmidt, Crotty and Gabriel Abrantes, as well as Schmidt and Carver’s 2013 feature “The Unity of All Things.” One can see the roots of “Fort Buchanan” in Abrantes and Crotty’s very first short, “Visionary Iraq,” in which the white male directors play all the roles (including an Angolan girl). There’s a love there for politically incorrect play with gender and race that got smoothed out by the time Crotty made “Fort Buchanan” and was able to cast actual women and
barstool and on to the Internet and abruptly, unexpectedly, the Poppycock was padlocked.” When the titular retail behemoth moves in, it does so as a “corporate cancer” growing “inside the hollowed husks of hallowed LGBT hostelry.” The real terror comes when former bar patrons return, as gentrified zombies marching “one by one, to a massive meat grinder where rag dolls chewed them into commercial chum.” Destined to walk the earth with a sweet tooth for underdogs and a short fuse for ambivalence, Darkly uses these blood-soaked tales of horror and revenge as a vehicle for social, political, and sexual activism. With a singsongy voice that chugs its way toward the falsetto range and dissipates into a breathy vapor once it reaches that peak, we’re invited to laugh at his fey nature, even mock it on occasion — an effective ruse that comes back to haunt, when sudden bursts of violent imagery transport the audience into an unsettling realm where nervous laughter is the only sane response.
people of color. Still, Abrantes and Crotty’s drag show offers up the same fascination with the military, along with a more overt skepticism about its supposed benevolence. Abrantes and Crotty’s follow-up short, “Liberdade,” shows an engagement with real Angolans and adopts a more sober, melancholy tone than either “Visionary Iraq” or “Fort Buchanan.” An element of childlike playfulness, drawn from ‘60s American avant-garde directors like Jack Smith and the Kuchar brothers,
remains in “Fort Buchanan,” particularly in its first 20 minutes. But “Fort Buchanan” is more mature: it begins with love and ends with disillusionment and death. As Crotty’s work evolves, I hope it retains the same playful quality and gentle iconoclasm. Benjamin Crotty appears at the Feb. 6, 7 p.m. and Feb. 7, 6 p.m. screenings of “Fort Buchanan,” and, with Gabriel Abrantes, at the Feb. 6, 4:30 p.m. screening of “Visionary Iraq.”
BAD HURT Directed by Mark Kemble Screen Media Films Opens Feb. 12 Cinema Village 22 E. 12th St. cinemavillage.com
BAD HURT, from p.26
SCREEN MEDIA FILMS
lenging material. Allen is a standout as Elaine. Watching DeeDee head off to work at the box factory, her expression shifts from happy to depressed in mere seconds, beautifully conveying the brave face Elaine must constantly put on for her daughter. Elaine is never pathetic; Allen makes her sympathetic in her tenacious handling of every crisis. During Elaine’s few brief moments of joy, as when she is dancing, Allen puts across the radiance of this resilient and loving woman. It is a bravura performance that is a reminder of how great an actress Allen is.
Theo Rossi, Michael Harney, and Karen Allen in Mark Kemble’s “Bad Hurt.”
The rest of the ensemble cast is uniformly strong. Neither Gilad nor Dutton makes their pivotal characters, holy fools that they may be, cloying — and there is never a hint of overacting. Scenes of DeeDee getting a bath or being calmed down for bedtime show not just the difficulties of
caring for a developmentally disabled adult child but also some of its happiness as well. As Ed, Harney underplays nicely and is especially moving in a scene where he cares for Kent. “Bad Hurt” is equal parts tender and tough, and is a very rewarding film. February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
Jessica Frey, Andrus Nichols, Kate Hamill, and Samantha Steinmetz in Steinmetz’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense & Sensibility.”
TWISTED, from p.25
played with understated grace by Andrus Nichols) and heart (personified by the passionate Marianne) comes through loud and clear. As do issues of untimely death, matrimony, real estate, income, respectability, social status, and stigma. There are many heart-rending moments, and they land hard. As with all spoofs — and this one deeply respects its subject — familiarity with the source material makes the experience even richer. If you are not inclined to read the novel, do yourself a favor and watch the 1995 Ang Lee film starring Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, and Hugh Grant. Then make haste downtown to the Gym at Judson, before this irresistible “Sense & Sensibility” sells out yet again.
GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
Company XIV Minetta Lane Theatre 18 Minetta Lane, btwn. Washington Sq. W. & Sixth Ave. Tue.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 5 p.m. $40-$105; CompanyXIV.com Through Mar. 12 Two hrs., with intermission
and a deadly comb, only to find herself at the mercy of red-hot coals. If you saw the set list you would think that Austin McCormick, who conceived, choreographed, and directed this daring enterprise, is out of his mind. But somehow the mishmash of classical (Schubert, of course), opera, chanson, flamenco, folk, and pop (the most recognizable being Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” perfect for the poison comb rou-
TWISTED, continued on p.34
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Another well-worn tale, “Snow White,” has been stretched to even greater extremes, in an “adults-only” version. The latest burlesque spectacle of flesh and flash from Company XIV (“Nutcracker Rouge,” “Cinderella”) is a delirious fever dream mashup of styles and genres. Are we at a Weimar cabaret, the Folies Bergère, the Court of Louis XIV, Cirque du Soleil, or the Black Party? Designed to amaze and titillate, it may be the company’s most ambitious, captivating show to date. Company XIV has wisely ignored the beloved Disney movie and drawn from the much darker German version in Grimms’ Fairy Tales. You know, the one where the maniacal Queen tries to bump off the innocent beautiful princess not just via a poisoned apple, but also a knife-wielding hunter, a strangulating corset,
Hilly Bodin (center), Laura Careless (second from right) and the cast of Company XIV’s “Snow White.”
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JANIS, from p.23
“He’s a total jerk and his wife is a complicit jerk, and they should both be ashamed of themselves, and I hope all those suits against him win. What he did to me was absolutely unconscionable, but what he did raping those women is on another whole other level. And then denying, denying, denying, and then suing them, what fucking hubris! “His attitude is ‘I can destroy you and nobody can touch me.’ And it was true for a long time. I had a really moving thing after I wrote that Facebook post. The husband of my tour manager back then called me and said, ‘Thank you because she’s never talked to anybody about it but me.’ I talked to her and she said, ‘I just didn’t think anybody would believe us. So I thought it was put up or shut up.’ Cosby had also said some really cruel things about her, and I thought, ‘Shit, if I had known that then, it would have been damn the torpedoes! Very cruel, and so unnecessary. Outside of the fact that I was 16 and she was straight, what business of his was it? Well, he will get his. I mean karma comes around, sooner or later.
TWISTED, from p.33
tine) blends together to form a surprisingly cogent if not exactly seamless whole. Zane Pihlstrom’s costumes are a dazzling, decadent mélange of heeled shoes, corsets, codpieces, bustiers, pasties, fishnets, feathers, leather, brocade, lace, and glitter, strategically revealing maximum skin and blurring gender lines. His set is equally fabulous, juxtaposing crystal chandeliers, frilly curtains, and a cute little puppet stage. From time to time, one of the Queen’s cohorts breaks out a camcorder, projecting the action on a string curtain. This dual perspective intensifies the exhibitionistic quality even further. The fact that the occasional narration is provided in German, with just bits of English, proves just how gutsy this piece really is. Mood, sensuality, and artistry purposefully trump plot. Propping up the shaky narrative structure is a solid, recurring motif of the evil Queen demanding that
“That’s why the silence is so deadly. There’s a point where keeping silent about something that happens to you is dangerous because we know now that, physiologically, the narrative really takes the trauma out of the area of the brain and moves it to another area. So, even if it’s telling a complete stranger, like a bartender, that is healing.” Like millions of others, when I first heard “At 17” — as a kid in Hawaii — it made an indelible impression on me, which I shared with Ian. “Thank you. And what blows me away now is that the song is now in its fifth generation, still with that kind of reach. It’s unbelievable to have written something that has entered the culture of so many countries and crossed the socioeconomic strata. “I’m grateful every time I sing it, and never really get tired of it. Part of a writer’s goal, I guess, is to do good in the world, and that song has done more good than I will ever personally do. I sing it on stage and I see people mouthing the words — men and women of all ages — astonishing.” Ian performed it on the debut
her mirror reveal “Who’s the fairest of us all?” The mirror’s answer and the Queen’s respondent rage, though familiar, never fail to elicit spine shivers every time. The per for mances ar e all first-rate, with the spirited, lithe dancers and aerialists in fine form. Primary vocalist Marcy Richardson is superb. The uber -talented Hilly Bodin makes for a most unconventional Snow White, with her muscular, stocky physique and military crew cut. As the Queen, Laura Careless possesses a delicious, malevolent quality that avoids shrillness. She’s so stirring I found myself feeling pangs of empathy toward her instead of her pretty victim. The seven dwarves are conspicuously absent, relegated to brief cardboard turns on the puppet stage. This erotically indulgent, intensely theatrical enterprise is too busy evoking vices like envy, greed, pride, and wrath. Perhaps a better title might be “Snow White & the Seven Deadly Sins.”
show of “Saturday Night Live,” and it won the 1975 Grammy — over Linda Ronstadt, Helen Reddy, and Olivia Newton-John. She said, “I only vaguely remember sitting there the night of the awards and being so surprised. It’s always a shock, you never expect to win, and another reason to be grateful. I am actually up for my 10th nomination now. I just keep saying to all my friends who are nominated, “We’re all golden until February 15, so enjoy it.’ It’s a great thing to be able to say, “I got nominated for a Grammy next month.’ Very few people get to attain that.” Ian wrote a moving new title song for the HBO series she appeared in, “Getting On.” “[My co-stars] Laurie Metcalf and Alex Bornstein were brilliant, and Rita Moreno on top of it, how hard was that? It was tremendous. Any funny stories? Nothing printable [laughs], but I will say that I was there for two weeks and those were some of the best two weeks of my entire life. I have rarely ever had so much fun: everybody on that set loved each other and were all pulling together. It was devastating that it was ending, but we’re actually seeing Laurie in ‘Misery’ and I hear she’s great in it. She’s amazing, anyway. Everybody was so good to me and I was so relieved that they were all so nice. “I’m glad you liked the song. I really like it, and I was able to use some of what I learned in acting class with Stella Adler. We became good friends and we corresponded a lot. The day after she died, I got her Hanukkah card. She was very good to me, but I agree with you, she was terrifying, absolutely. My entire first year with her I spent making sure I wasn’t noticed. “But she followed my career, would critique my songs, and send me these long thoughts about them. When I was in New York, I would escort her when she needed an escort somewhere, and when she was here in LA, I saw her nearly every day. She was a big part of my life, and you’re right, nobody would have ever thought to connect the two of us together. In my limited experience, great artists are inevitably nice and humble because they know that they were born with this talent. “I think that’s the important thing about this songwriting series
at Lincoln Center. I think the important thing is to have a variety there — or at Carnegie Hall — whatever faults it has, to bring in different types of art. It’s part of what keeps the chaos at bay. The beautiful thing about art to me is that it’s so subjective, and one of the things as you learn as you get older as an artist is to separate yourself enough to know, ‘Yeah, I really don’t like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great. It’s just not what I like. “I don’t have a problem with rap, until you get into the ‘bitches’ and ‘hos’ and homophobia, but I would have that problem with that in any art form. We are going to see ‘Hamilton’ the night after my concert and we’re excited.” Leonard Bernstein also played a big part in Ian’s life: “Without him, I don’t think ‘Society’s Child’ would ever have gotten played. He was the one who really brought it forward to the world and said, ‘This needs to be heard.’ He was very good to me and followed my career. My uncle used to see him at Tanglewood and they would talk about me. His kids have always been very sweet to me. I didn’t know him well but my connection with the Stella Adler school in New York brings me in contact with Tom Oppenheim, Stella’s grandson, whose father David, was Bernstein’s great love and producer for many years. It was David who brought ‘Society’s Child’ to Bernstein’s attention. “I do a yearly series of master classes at Adler’s NYU adjunct, so there’s yet another connection. All I need is to find a free apartment in New York. If I I hit the lottery, I would get a small flat here. That would be great.” I wanted to know if two of Ian’s contemporaries, Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro — particular favorites of mine — were big influences on her and did she know them? “Well, Joni started making records after I had already done them, but of course ‘Court and Spark’ is a seminal record. Laura I knew, not terribly well, but well enough to hang out in the studio when she was recording. She was a few years ahead of me at school [the New York City High School of Music and Art] and she was always really lovely to me. I’ve had very few bad experiences with other performers, which is a real stroke of luck.” February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
GALLERY The Photography of William Gedney William Gedney, a Kentucky photographer who died of AIDS in 1989, was highly regarded in his lifetime, though his work was not well known beyond a small circle of colleagues and curators. In 1968, John Szarkowski curated “Eastern Kentucky and San Francisco: Photographs by William Gedney” at the Museum of Modern Art. In a release for that show, Szarkowski wrote, “Gedney’s pictures make it clear that the individuals are more complex and more interesting than the clichés.” A new exhibit, “All Facts Eventually Lead To Mysteries: The Photographs and Notebooks of William Gedney,” presents the artist’s intimate portrayals of out-of-work coal miners and their families in rural Kentucky, hippie culture scenes from San Francisco, and his lonely-streets-atnight pictures from his travels around the US. Howard Greenberg Gallery, 41 E. 57th St., Suite 1406. Feb. 5- Mar. 19: Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. On Feb. 10, 6-8 p.m., the gallery hosts a panel discussion featuring Peter Galassi, Philip Gefter, Lisa McCarty, and Margaret Sartor.
COMMUNITY Queens Winter Pride Rescheduled
NIGHTLIFE Tropical Time Tripping “The Grand Paradise” is a fully immersive, multi-sensory experience in which visitors travel to a tropical paradise. Set in those hazy and culturally liminal years of the late 1970s becoming the ‘80s, the experience begins as you are handed a vintage plane ticket by a polyester-clad airline attendant. On the island, you encounter a rogue’s gallery of eccentrics, gay hustlers, eternal youths, gods, monsters, disco queens, and sexy con men. 383 Troutman St. at Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick (just off the L Jefferson St. stop). Through Mar. 31: Tue.-Sun., 7 p.m. & 10 p.m. Tickets are $115; $95 for late shows at thegrandparadise.com.
THEATER An Emily Schwend Debut The Amoralists proudly present the world premiere of Emily Schwend’s “Utility,” the story of Amber, who has two jobs, three kids, an eight-year-old’s birthday party to plan, a house that needs fixing up, and an on-again, off-again husband who just can’t help but make things worse. As Amber struggles to keep things from boiling over, she finds herself a stranger to the person she once was and the person she thought she might be. Jay Stull directs a limited engagement at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 224 Waverly Pl., btwn. Perry & W. 11th Sts. Through Feb. 20, Thu.Sat., 8 p.m., plus Feb. 17, 8 p.m.; Feb. 13, 3 p.m. Tickets are $18 at TheAmoralists.com or 866-811-4111.
SAT.FEB.6 GALLERY Benjamin Fredrickson in a Solo Show The Bureau of General Services — Queer Division and Daniel Cooney Fine Art are joining forces to present a solo exhibition by New York City artist Benjamin Fredrickson at BGSQD, coinciding with Fredrickson’s collaborative exhibition with Juan Betancurth at Daniel Cooney in Chelsea. The solo show, titled “Salon,” features previously unseen Polaroid photographs and new images made with paper negatives. Fredrickson’s early work documents his sexual life and his community of gay men, while his new work, though less explicit, unexpectedly offers deep intimacy and beauty among his subjects. BGSQD at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Through Mar. 20. More information at bgsqd.com. The Frederickson- Betancurth collaborative exhibition takes place at Daniel Cooney, 508526 W. 26th St. Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
MON.FEB.8 HEALTH HIV/ AIDS in the African-American Community AIDS Services Center NYC hosts a day of events marking Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at its Herald Square program offices, 64 W. 35th St., third fl. On Feb. 8, from 10-11 a.m., Gilead Silences presents a
program on HIV/ AIDS Prevention, Care, and Treatment among black Americans. From 11:30-12:30, a panel considers the Impact of Sex and Drugs in Relationships. A community lunch follows from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Free confidential HIV testing is available on a walk-in basis from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Metrocards will be provided. For more information, visit ascnyc.org.
MUSIC Alan Cumming Gets All Sappy In a one-night only performance, Tony-winner Alan Cumming presents his first full-length show at Carnegie Hall, in the Stern Auditorium. Titled “Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs,” the evening also features Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Ricki Lake, and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. Cumming is backed by his longtime musical director Lance Horne on piano, Eleanor Norton on cello, Chris Jago on drums, and Michael Croiter on guitar and percussion. 881 Seventh Ave. at 57th St. Feb. 8, 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-$135 at carnegiehall. org or alancummingsingssappysongs.com.
THU.FEB.11 ACTIVISM The Legacies of ACT UP, Dyke Action Machine! Launched in the 1987 at the height of the AIDS crisis in New York, ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, made creative use of direct action and tactical media (posters, graphic design) to demand legislation and funding for medical research. The image Silence = Death below a pink triangle became part of mass culture and effectively brought attention to the lack of governmental response to the crisis. Beginning in 1991, Dyke Action Machine! challenged heteronormativity and patriarchy within gay culture and society at large. Using graphic work, Dyke Action Machine! expressed the lesbian community's ambivalence toward the gay movement’s push for mainstream goals like parenthood and same-sex
THU.FEB.11, continued on p.39
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
SHELLEY & DONALD RUBIN FOUNDATION
The annual Queens Winter Pride Gala, which was postponed by the January 23 blizzard, takes place Feb. 5, 7 p.m.-midnight. Astoria World Manor, 25-22 Astoria Blvd., Astoria. Tickets are $105 at m.bpt.me/event/2463714.
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CEREMONY AND RECEPTION VENUES Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts* Our Pocono Wedding Packages provide the perfect intimate celebration for 2, with as little or as much privacy and intimacy and as your hearts’ desire. Beside the backdrop of the beautiful Pocono Mountains, or from a candlelit indoor ceremony, a Wedding Concierge can help you plan a special day that’s uniquely customized for you in every way. Discover all the ways you can create a Wedding to remember. 800-972-3820 CoveHaven.com/Pride Edison Ballroom Delivering Happiness One Event at a Time. 240 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036 212.201.7650 email@example.com Entertainment Cruises* Emilie Hagon • Wedding Specialist 646-358-3117 • firstname.lastname@example.org Erin Trinidad • Wedding Specialist 646-358-3116 • email@example.com Grand Oaks Country Club Grand Oaks goes above and beyond when it comes to setting the standard for superiority in the industry. Award-winning chefs are dedicated to provide customized menus for the most selective tastes. 200 Huguenot Avenue, Staten Island. NY. 10312 718-356-2771 grandoaksnyc.com Highlands Country Club 955 Route 9D, Garrison, NY 10524 845-424-3254 The Highlands Country Club offers a unique blend of romance and elegance in a country setting, just one hour north of New York City. Established in 1898, the Highlands Country Club includes a grand ballroom and several indoor and outdoor spaces that blend old world elegance with the verdant surrounding landscape to accommodate up to 150 guests.
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GayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
will work closely with you down to the last detail to be sure that every moment is exactly as you picture.
Terrace On The Park 52-11 111th Street Flushing, NY 11368 718-592-5000 www.terraceonthepark.com Award winning food, breath taking views, and impeccable service. Tio Pepe 168 W. Fourth St. in New York 212-242-9338, tiopepenyc.com At Tio Pepe you have a choice of atmosphere. The skylight dining room supplies a touch of romance while the enclosed sidewalk cafe provides a room with a view of Greenwich Village. The Vanderbilt at South Beach Waterfront Facility 300 Father Capodanno Blvd., Staten Island, NY 718-447-0800 www.vanderbiltsouthbeach.com Boasting both a luxurious banquet hall, as well as magnificent outdoor oceanfront space. Vavaldi’s 201-10 Cross Island Parkway Service Road Bayside, NY 11360 718-352-2300 www.vavaldiny.com Woodhaven Manor Caterers & Banquet* 96-01 Jamaica, Ave., Woodhaven, NY 11421 718-805-8500 woodhavenmanorny.com We have created the ultimate venue for the most special of celebrations!
ENTERTAINMENT Amazing Bottle Dancers Add a touch of tradition and excitement to your B’nai Mitzvah or Wedding! bottledancers.com 800.716.0556 East Coast Band New York’s Ultimate Party Band 516-354-2372 EastCoastBand.com Soul System Orchestras 1650 Broadway, Suite #503 New York, 800-466-7685 soulsystemorchestras.com Soulsystem Orchestras bands have been on the leading edge in providing “elegantly hip” wedding entertainment for the past 15 years. Clients can choose from a 3-piece ensemble to a 20-piece swing orchestra and beyond.
FORMALWEAR Lindman NewYork What the dress is to the bride, the necktie is to the groom. Well, perhaps not quite, but it is important. Well-designed neckties for you, the best man, and the groomsmen will capture—as well as add to—the style and sophistication of the wedding as a whole. 917-364-6675 LindmanNewYork.com
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February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
SHELLEY & DONALD RUBIN FOUNDATION
THU.FEB.11, from p.36
DANCE Five Weeks of Contemporary Dance The Harkness Dance Festival is five weeks of innovators and history-makers from today’s contemporary dance scene. The festival
SAT.FEB.13 BENEFIT Fighting AIDS in the Dark In partnership with the Monster Cycle, Gay Men’s Health Crisis holds its fifth annual indoor cycling benefit, “Be Monstrous. Fight AIDS,” a three-hour fundraiser. Teams of three people or a single person riding solo will participate in one or more of three 45-minute classes in Monster Cycle’s pitchblack basement, where the only light comes from two large LCD screens surrounding the instructors and every ride is a multimedia experience set to the beat of the latest music videos. Each rider is responsible for raising a minimum of $250. 182 Lafayette St., btwn. Broome & Grand St. Feb. 13, 2-5 p.m. To register, visit crowdrise.com/bemonstrous2016.
marriage. The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, whose patrons established the Rubin Museum of Art, hosts a conversation with Avram Finkelstein of ACT UP and Carrie Moyer and Sue Schaffner of Dyke Action Machine, with the foundation’s artistic director, Sara Reisman, moderating. 17 W. 17th St., eighth fl. Feb. 11, 6-8 p.m. Space is limited, so RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. The talk is part of a series of events tied to the exhibition “When Artists Speak Truth,” featuring the work of Tania Bruguera, Andrea Bowers, Felix-Gonzalez Torres, and Dread Scott, on display on the eighth floor.
opens Feb 11-12, 8 p.m., with the Kathryn Posin Dance Company, made up of leading ballet dancers from New York City Ballet and other companies, presenting a revival of Laurie Spiegel’s “WAVES,” as well a new work by Meredith Monk, John Adam’s “Century Rolls, and Theo Bleckmann performing the suite from Monk’s iconic “Facing North.” On Feb. 19-20, 8 p.m.; Feb. 21, 3 p.m., José Limón Dance Company presents “Dialogues.” On Feb. 26-27, 8 p.m.; Feb. 28, 3 p.m., Keely Garfield Dance performs “Pow.” On Mar. 5, 3 p.m., Pilobolus presents “Rules @ Play.” And to close out the festival, Mar. 18-19, 8 p.m.; Mar. 20, 3 p.m., Tina Croll + Company presents “One Rhinoceros, 3 Birds and a Pineapple.” 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92md St. Tickets are $250$35 at 92y.org/ harknessfestival or 212-415-5500.
CABARET One Sordid Room North of Chelsea Rick Skye’s work as a Liza Minnelli impersonator has earned him MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs), Dublin Theatre Festival, and Backstage Bistro Awards. On two remaining Saturdays, Skye brings his “Liza Live! In Concert” to Don’t Tell Mama. His parodies of songs from “Mein Herr” to “Sara Lee” have left audiences weak from laughter, and this show includes a “new” Charles Aznavour song, Liza’s concert version of “The Single Ladies Song,” a “Happy Endings” production number, and a tribute to “one of her famous parents.” (Which, we wonder.) Ricky Ritzel is musical director. 343 W. 46th St. Feb. 13 & 20, 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 at tellmamanyc. com or 212-757-0788, and there’s a two-drink minimum.
SUN. FEB.14 PERFORMANCE A Valentine’s Burlesque Hostess Shelly the Singing Siren Watson welcomes a bevy of burlesque beauties to a “Filthy Gorgeous BurGayCityNews.nyc | February 04 - 17, 2016
lesque Valentine’s Spectacular.” Baby Soda appears playing New Orleans jazz and swing from the 1930s, accompanying performances by the Reigning Queen of Burlesque — Miss Exotic World 2015, Trixie Little, Dirty Martini, World Famous Hula Hooper Pinkie Special, Badass Evelyn Vinyl, He Puts the Burly in Burlesque Brewster, and Bunny Buxom. DJ Momotaro is on the decks. Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 6. Tickets are $30-$50 at highlineballroom.com; $35-$60 at the door.
MON.FEB.15 THEATER A Horse, Not a Unicorn According to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, “What The Horse Saw” is the funniest play Tennessee Williams never wrote. The company’s sketch team One Idiot (featuring David Ebert) began the project as a standard show, but it soon blossomed into a hilarious homage to Mississippi’s most famous playwright. Leaning heavily on Tennessee’s tropes with a heavy dose of NSFW comedy, the show is equal parts witty and vulgar. Between the sexually repressed men, scheming matriarchs, beautiful 24-year-old spinsters, and titans of Southern industry, fans of Williams, American drama, or even just pretty horsies will find something here to enjoy (preview the show at https://youtu. be/oIQcSfagJTw). Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, 307 W. 26th St. 15, Mar. 7 & 21, 8 p.m. Admission is only $5 at ucbtheatre.com or at the door.
February 04 - 17, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
February 04, 2016